All posts by mclemore

Urban League Honors Dean Matthew Waller

Matthew A. Waller, dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, will receive the Whitney M. Young Award for his work to improve the lives of underserved Arkansans at a luncheon hosted by the Urban League of the State of Arkansas on Dec. 5 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock.

“It is quite an honor for me to be a recognized by the Urban League,” said Waller. “An integral part of the Walton College mission is to serve all Arkansans, something I take seriously. To aid us in our mission, Walton College leans on our Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the oldest diversity office of any SEC business college. We also provide scholarships and academic support resources to assist and retain students. This support is important to our school, industry and state.”

The luncheon, chaired by Lottie Shackelford, former mayor of Little Rock, recognizes the contributions of individuals who help provide equal opportunities for all Arkansans.

Waller was chosen for the honor because of his commitment to diversity and inclusion at Walton College and within the state.  Annie Abrams, a longtime civil rights activist, will also be recognized at the event.

For additional information or to purchase tickets for the event, contact the Urban League at info@urbanleagueark.org

Moore Selected as Walton College Employee of the Quarter

Amy Moore, administrative specialist III for outreach, has been named employee of the first quarter by the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Anyone in the college may nominate colleagues for the award, which is given to employees who show superior customer service that enhances the image of the college above and beyond the scope of that employee’s job description.

Along with Moore, Alice Frizzell, assistant director of information systems graduate programs; Monica Gammill, assistant director in the accounting center; Rachel Hobby, assistant MBA director at the Graduate School of Business; and Amanda Waters, administrative specialist II in the Department of Management, were also nominated for their contributions to Walton College.

The winner receives a certificate of appreciation and a cash prize. Winners are chosen by Walton College Dean Matt Waller, the associate deans, the assistant deans and the Walton College Staff Council.

Taking Care of Customers and Environment Pays Off, Study Shows

Sebastian Garcia-Dastugue, Supply Chain, Faculty
Sebastian Garcia-Dastugue, Supply Chain, Faculty

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Findings by a University of Arkansas supply-chain management researcher suggest that, in the field of logistics, companies that excel in customer service and environmental sustainability also perform better in sales growth and cost efficiency.

Read the full story in Newswire.

IT Executive Forum for College Students To Be Held Nov. 1

The Information Technology Research Institute is hosting an IT Executive Forum for College Students on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 4-5 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development auditorium at the Sam M. Walton College of Business on the University of Arkansas campus.

Attendees will hear from information technology executives and may ask them questions about careers and the technology industry. The technology leaders represent Walmart, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., Tyson Foods, Acxiom, FedEx and Movista. The panel will field questions from students. Intermittently, door prizes will be drawn for attendees.

For additional information, contact Eric Bradford, managing director of the Information Technology Research Institute, at ebradford@walton.uark.edu.

Jebaraj to Serve on National Economics Board

Mervin Jebaraj, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, has been selected to serve on the board of the Association for University Business and Economic Research.

The Association for University Business and Economic Research is a professional association of leading university-based economic research centers and affiliate organizations across the United States.

“I am excited to represent the University of Arkansas at a national level on AUBER’s board,” Jebaraj said. “This position will allow wonderful collaborations, encourage sharing of best practices and provide the latest in research.”

Kathy Deck, the 2017-18 AUBER president, director of Community and Economic Research Partnerships at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business and former Walton College director of the Center for Business and Economic Research center, welcomed new board members.

“The AUBER organization continues to add value for regional economic experts at universities across the United States,” Deck said. “The newly elected board of directors bring their enthusiasm and talent to AUBER and will continue the good work of supporting our membership with vital programming and connection opportunities.”

The board elections were announced October 16 at AUBER’s 2018 conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was hosted by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

For more information about AUBER, visit auber.org.

2019 Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Four leaders who have made significant contributions to their communities and to the canning, protein, finance and petroleum industries will be honored Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Little Rock at the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board announced that the following business leaders will be added to the list of 82 distinguished members of the Hall of Fame:

  • Claiborne P. Deming, retired president and chief executive officer and current chairman of the board, Murphy Oil Corporation
  • The late Joe M. Steele, founder, Steele Canning Company and the Springdale Canning Company
  • Warren A. Stephens, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Stephens Inc.
  • The late John W. Tyson, founder and former chief executive officer, Tyson Foods
The 2019 Arkansas Business Hall of Fame will honor Claiborne P. Deming, the late Joe M. Steele, Warren A. Stephens and the late John W. Tyson on Feb. 8, 2019.
The 2019 Arkansas Business Hall of Fame will honor Claiborne P. Deming, the late Joe M. Steele, Warren A. Stephens and the late John W. Tyson on Feb. 8, 2019.

“These leaders have shaped Arkansas with their sense of community and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Matt Waller, Walton College dean. “Their contributions reach beyond our state’s borders, while creating lucrative opportunities for Arkansans.”

The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame is permanently housed in the atrium of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development at the Walton College on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.

Ann Bordelon, Walton College alumna and chief financial officer of Mitchell Communications Group, chaired the selection committee of nine business and community leaders who reviewed nominations from throughout the state and chose the inductees. Criteria for selection included: the significance of the impact made as a business leader, the concern demonstrated for improving the community and the display of ethics in all business dealings. In addition, living inductees must be over the age of 60.

A list of previous inductees into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame and brief videos highlighting their lives and careers are available at walton.uark.edu/abhf.

Tickets to the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a black-tie optional event, are $150 per person. For more information about tickets and event sponsorships, please mail the Walton College Office of External Relations at Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development, Room 217, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201; call 479-575-6146; email abhf@walton.uark.edu; or visit walton.uark.edu/abhf.

About the University of Arkansas:The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity.  U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

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Thomas Roy McKinnon Leader. Teacher. Mentor. Friend.

In Memoriam:  Thomas Roy McKinnon
April 4, 1935 – August 10, 2018

Soft spoken. Gentle. Athletic. Trusted. Leader. Teacher. Mentor. Friend.

Just a few of the words friends and colleagues used to describe Thomas “Tom” Roy McKinnon, emeritus university professor of economics, who died August 10.

Former colleagues at the Walton College describe McKinnon – known to many as TMac – in glowing terms as they reminisced about their friendship with him and his impact on the college.

“He was just Tom,” said Bill Curington, emeritus university professor of economics and former chair of the Department of Economics. “He always cooperated. If there was a controversy in the department, he looked for solutions. Everybody valued his input.”

“He was the Pied Piper of economics,” said David Gay, retired university professor of economics who worked with McKinnon. “He had a way of getting people to feel comfortable and relax and have a better understanding of economics, to expand their boundaries as teachers or as students.”

Tom McKinnonApril 4, 1935 – August 10, 2018
Tom McKinnon
April 4, 1935 – August 10, 2018

McKinnon earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Southern State College (now known as Southern Arkansas University) in 1956. He met his wife Frances there. After a stint in the U.S. Army, McKinnon began his professional career teaching history and social studies in 1959 to high school students in El Dorado. He completed his master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Arkansas in 1960. Within a few years, he became an assistant principal at the high school in El Dorado.

In 1968, McKinnon completed his master’s degree in economics at the University of Illinois. He then moved his family to Oxford, Miss., to earn his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Mississippi in 1972. After earning his doctorate, McKinnon moved back to Fayetteville and began work as an assistant professor of economics at the University of Arkansas. In the process, he made lifelong friends at the School of Business Administration, now known as the Walton College.

A Lasting Legacy
In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, McKinnon worked with Bessie B. Moore, an influential educator and the first executive director of the Arkansas Council on Economic Education, the predecessor to Economics Arkansas. Moore asked McKinnon to assist with economic workshops for teachers and encouraged him to acquire his doctorate.

With his background in secondary education, both as a teacher and an administrator, and his new position as an assistant professor in economics, Moore felt McKinnon would be a strong director for a new economic education center at the university. With that position in mind, Moore recruited McKinnon, who help to found the Center for Economic Education in 1978.  He served as the director of the center from 1979 through 2004.

Since 1979, the Bessie B. Moore Center for Economic Education has been training Arkansas teachers to teach primary and secondary students economics through innovative, hands-on workshops, creative curriculums and interactive projects. Countless Arkansans have learned basic economics through the center’s programs.

Now “every kid has to have economics in high school,” Curington said.

“He created a large contingency of informed decision makers,” said Rita Littrell, current director of the Bessie B. Moore Center for Economic Education. “Every student was important.”

In addition to his duties as an economics professor and center director, McKinnon served as the interim dean of the college from 1992 to 1993, prior to Doyle Z. Williams being hired. McKinnon also served as co-director of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, chair of the re-accreditation team and participated and led numerous college and departmental committees.

McKinnon’s influence reached beyond the college to the university. He served as chair of the Campus Council, co-director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Support, president of the Teaching Academy and helped to establish the Faculty Senate for the university.

On a national level, McKinnon had an impact on economics through various journals and associations. He served on editorial boards for the Journal of Economics and Finance, Journal of Business Leadership andJournal of the International Associations of Children’s Social and Economic Education. He also served as a reviewer for the Journal of Economic Education, Southwest Economic Review and theForum of the Association of Arid Lands Studies.

People and Places

Tom McKinnon traveling in England
Tom McKinnon traveling in England

McKinnon’s  life outside the university was just as full with travel, athletics, family, friends and fun. He enjoyed traveling to countries to learn new cultures and meet new people.

McKinnon, often accompanied by his wife Frances, traveled with study abroad and exchange programs to Lithuania, Croatia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Turkey and more. Twice he taught a semester at sea, traveling around the globe.

For several years in the early 1990s, he would join fellow Walton professors for a rim-to-rim hiking excursion in the Grand Canyon the day after commencement.

“He was the strongest hiker among us,” Curington said.

Former professors and friends, (l-r) Jim Millar, Tom McKinnon, Don White, Bill Curington and Joe Ziegler hike the Grand Canyon after attending spring commencement in 1994. The group made the trek for several years in the early 1990s.
Former professors and friends, (l-r) Jim Millar, Tom McKinnon, Don White, Bill Curington and Joe Ziegler hike the Grand Canyon after attending spring commencement in 1994. The group made the trek for several years in the early 1990s.

Outside the U.S., McKinnon – at age 76 – hiked Machu Pichu, a 27-mile hike in Peru with a maximum height of 13,776 feet. At age 78, he also hiked sections of the Camino De Santiago pilgrimage, a 500-mile trek in Spain.

In addition to hiking, McKinnon ran three marathons, played baseball and basketball and led Walton College Dead Day Float trips with colleagues on the Buffalo River.

In 1988, McKinnon was chosen to appear on the game show “The Price Is Right,” alongside celebrity Bob Barker, and won a 2-door Subaru coupe. His experience was highlighted in the local paper.

In Tom’s later years, he wrote a book, Footprints in the Sand, for his children and grandchildren about his life as a child. He took art classes so that he could illustrate the book.

“Tom embraced everything,” Littrell said. “Whatever the experience, Tom was going to be part of it. He lived life to the fullest.”

Paying It Forward
Littrell met McKinnon through workshops he held for Arkansas teachers. Working in nearby Springdale, Littrell often assisted him with workshops and seminars, training teachers how to integrate economics into their curriculums.

“I’d been a school administrator four years – I was ready for a change,” Littrell said.

During Doyle Williams’ tenure as dean, McKinnon created a part-time center position for Littrell. He encouraged her to attain her doctorate, just as Bessie Moore had encouraged him to do the same. In 1997, Littrell became the assistant director for the economic education center.

In June 2004, McKinnon retired and Littrell was named his successor as center director in August.

“If you measured your pedigree by your mentors, I would have the highest pedigree,” Littrell said.

McKinnon is survived by his wife of 60 years, Frances, daughters Laura Harrison and Lisa Wilson, son Alex McKinnon and their spouses and children.

“People like Tom are difficult to find,” Gay said. “Find someone like Tom McKinnon.  Find them. Get to know them.  Treasure them.”

Diversity Is EPIC at Walton College

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Walton Career Services at the Sam M. Walton College of Business are hosting a picnic and networking event, panel discussion, recruiting information session and doughnut giveaway Oct. 8-11 to promote diversity in the workplace.

Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

A Diversity in the Workplace discussion will take place in the Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 4-5 p.m. with senior leaders from Walmart, General Mills, Academy Sports + Outdoors and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Panelists will discuss diversity and inclusion, thought processes and perceptions, and changes in mindset. Pre-registration is required.

Other activities include:

  • Picnic on the Plaza– Find free food and corporate recruiters Monday, Oct. 8, on Shollmier Plaza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.Bring your resume and your appetite!
  • Women’s Leadership in Business Coffee Chat— Join a small group discussion about women’s leadership in the business world and career development on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 9:30-10:30 a.m., in WJWH 501. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.
  • Pitched Perfect– Deliver an elevator pitch to corporate recruiters and get their feedback on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 3-5 p.m., in WJWH 203. Pre-registration is required.
  • Company of the Day: Academy Sports + Outdoors– Talk with corporate recruiters about career opportunities and diversity hiring on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the WCOB second floor atrium 9 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3 p.m.  Info sessions will also be held in WJWH 203 starting at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Diversity Doughnut Day– Grab a doughnut on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 8:30 a.m. until they are gone!
  • Pop-Up Shop on Global Intercultural Fluency– Join Walton career coaches on Thursday, Oct. 11, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., in the WJWH atrium for career advice on the go. Multicultural partners will share global engagement opportunities.

Visit Handshake to pre-register and learn more about each event.  For additional information, contact Catherine Beasley, manager for Corporate Programs at CBeasley@Walton.uark.edu or visit Walton Career Services online at walton.uark.edu/career.

U of A Offers Online Accounting Degree

The Sam M. Walton College of Business now offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in accounting, in addition to its online general business program. To earn the degree, students must complete 120 credit hours including 24 hours of major course work in accounting.

“Walton College is committed to providing the best academic environment for Arkansans, no matter where they live or work,” said Matthew Waller, dean of the Walton College. “With our online programs, we provide opportunities for students to pursue a degree whether they are new to college, completing a degree they may have started years ago, or seeking an additional degree to enhance their skillset.”

The online program is open to any student who is eligible for admission to the University of Arkansas. It provides a more flexible schedule for those seeking a non-traditional path to higher education.

“Online degree programs provide the flexibility needed by some students to overcome barriers of time, distance and life demands,” said Don Judges, vice provost for Distance Education. “The new online accounting degree is the perfect complement to the U of A’s growing list of online bachelor’s and graduate degree programs.”

Coursework includes pre-business core, business core and upper-division business classes and will be taught by the same Walton College faculty who teach the traditional semesters as offered by the University of Arkansas.

“Adding the online accounting degree program reflects our ongoing efforts to advance the college’s vision for being a catalyst for transforming lives,” said Gary Peters, chair of the Department of Accounting.

Walton College is one of the Top 30 Public Business Schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.  Through the online degree program, Walton College students may enter or advance in the workplace with strong knowledge of accounting principles and skills, taught by an AACSB-accredited institution. To learn more about this and other online U of A programs, visit online.uark.edu.

Walton College Seeking Aspirations in Computing Award Applications

Now through Nov. 5, the Information Technology Research Institute at the Sam M. Walton College of Business on the University of Arkansas campus is accepting applications from Arkansan female high school students for the 2018-2019 National Center for Women & Information Technology Aspirations in Computing Award.

The award recognizes high school women who have demonstrated interest and achievements in computing, leadership and academics and who plan to pursue a post-secondary education.

The Information Technology Research Institute will host a dinner to recognize the winners in April 2019 as part of the Women in Information Technology Conference. Winning students will receive an award for themselves and their school and will have the opportunity to receive scholarships, internships and access to a peer network. To apply, students should visit the program’s website.

The program is also accepting applications to recognize high school educators, counselors, mentors and influencers who support high school women’s computing and technology programs. Applications for educators will be accepted at through Nov. 12.

For additional information, visit the Information Technology Research Institute website.