Category Archives: News

Heinzel Named Walton College Employee of the Quarter

Pamela Heinzel, administrative support supervisor for the Department of Marketing, has been named employee of the fourth 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 Heinzel, Rachel Hancock, academic advisor for the Honors Program, was nominated for her 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.

Accounting Ph.D. Alumnus Receives National Outstanding Educator Award

Jan R. Williams, dean and professor emeritus of the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee who earned a Ph.D. in 1970 from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, is one of two recipients of the 2018 Outstanding Accounting Educator Award from the American Accounting Association. Continue reading Accounting Ph.D. Alumnus Receives National Outstanding Educator Award

Psychological Stressors Affect Truck Driver’s Experience and Contribute to Shortage in Industry

A 2017 study published in the Transportation Journal gives insight into truck driver woes with a rigorous phenomenological research approach. What does that mean, exactly? These authors went straight to the source and talked to truck drivers about what phenomena cause them stress.

Using this qualitative research methodology, they were able to gather data in two ways: face-to-face interviews with truck drivers and online blogs. Sixty-one participants were asked to describe their experience as a truck driver, and their interviews were transcribed so the researchers could easily find statements about how drivers handle their job. These statements were grouped into themes or categories that became the findings for the study relating to the essence of the truck driver experience.

Being a truck driver is a grueling and often thankless job. Time away from home and family, poor pay and a generally unhealthy lifestyle make it an unattractive career. Recent statistics from the American Trucking Associations show turnover rates were in excess of 90 percent last year, and with the projected growth of demand, the industry is going to experience a painful shortage in the upcoming years. The number of truck drivers leaving the industry is skyrocketing, and new drivers are not there to backfill the void.

Because almost every finished good eventually ends up on a truck, this is a far-reaching problem that hits almost every industry. Here are a few of the types of psychological stress found in the study:

  • Truck drivers experience loneliness and isolation. They also experience health issues that go unaddressed because of inadequate healthcare options, uncertainty about where to find affordable care and tight delivery windows while on the road. Being away from home and an overall unhealthy lifestyle take a tremendous emotional and physical toll.
  • A multifaceted issue, truck drivers feel disrespected by car drivers on the road, customers, dispatchers and managers. While some might say that drivers should not take all the animosity personally, the fact is that they do. They feel they are being slighted as human beings, and that the truck-driving profession is snubbed and met with disdain.
  • The most challenging piece of the puzzle seems to be the regulatory environment. While most drivers understand the intent behind many of the regulations, they often feel stress-related burdens regarding their pay, eligibility to drive and being told how to do their job. Safety is the intent behind most regulations, but drivers feel that the reality is very different.

TruckThe findings in this research are timely. This past December, the Electronic Logging Device rule went into effect. These ELDs are automatically logging the hours of the truckers, and experts are already predicting increased costs for transportation. When it costs more to move products, the increase in transportation cost will eventually be passed on to consumers in cost of goods. The research team plans to conduct a follow-up study in the near future on the psychological stress related to these new ELD rules.

Stephanie Thomas, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management, was a co-author of the research regarding truck driver stress.
Stephanie Thomas, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management, was a co-author of the research regarding truck driver stress.

What are the implications of these truck-driver stressors to business and to consumers? Consumers need truck drivers. They need the products that truck drivers deliver, and consumers want them in a timely manner. Many companies today are working to improve the truck driver experience in a number of ways such as providing different routes, improving compensation or providing well-being resources. For their part, consumers can improve the experiences of truck drivers as well by being more aware of these stressors and by promoting a more respectful driving experience.

Read more and watch a supporting video at the Supply Chain Management Research Center website or the latest article to be published at Transport Topics at www.ttnews.com the week of August 20.

Walton College Establishes Blockchain Center of Excellence

Building on its history as a global leader in information systems research, the Sam M. Walton College of Business Department of Information Systems at the University of Arkansas has established the Blockchain Center of Excellence to discover and disseminate innovative uses of the emerging technology and to teach students its importance to the future of business and digital security.

Continue reading Walton College Establishes Blockchain Center of Excellence

Walton College Hosts Accounting Career Awareness Program

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business is hosting 19 high school students from Arkansas and Texas at the Accounting Career Awareness Program on the University of Arkansas campus July 15-20. The residential summer camp introduces high ability minority students to career options available in accounting and other fields of business administration.

To kick off the program, Anne O’Leary-Kelly, Walton College senior associate dean; Barbara Lofton, Walton College director of Diversity and Inclusion; andDonell Cunningham, president of the Northwest Arkansas chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, will speak to students about career and academic options. During the week, students attend short courses in business foundations, accounting, oral and written communications, computer information systems, ACT Prep and multimedia. National Association of Black Accountants members assist and serve as mentors to students.

Accounting executives, business leaders and other professionals talk with students about professional development and opportunities in their field. Campers will tour nearby corporations including Walmart and JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. to learn more about accounting.

“I am thrilled that Walton College is opening doors to professional accounting careers for these students,” Lofton said. “We couldn’t have done it without the generosity of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Black Accountants and other corporate partners. It’s a great investment into our communities, our state and our college.”

This year’s camp is supported by a $14,000 grant from the institute and the national association. An additional $10,000 from a collaborative effort of the Northwest Arkansas chapter, Walmart, KPMG, EY and The Tea Rose Foundation of Northwest Arkansas also supports the summer program.

Walton College hosted the first Accounting Career Awareness Program session in the summer of 1994 and continued the program until 2010 through the support of the Ernst & Young Foundation and the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. Through their support, the Accounting Career Awareness Program accommodated more than 300 participants.

The Accounting Career Awareness Program was developed by the National Association of Black Accountants in response to the growing need for minorities in accounting and related fields of business. 

Board Accepting Nominations for the 2019 Arkansas Business Hall of Fame

The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame board is accepting nominations for the 2019 class of leaders who have made a lasting contribution to business and their communities.

Arkansas Business Hall of Fame

The nomination deadline is July 31.

Specific criteria for selection and a list of past honorees can be found at walton.uark.edu/abhf. Nominations can be made by completing and submitting the form found on the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame website or sending a letter of nomination including information that illustrates to the selection committee why the nominee deserves recognition.

Nominations also may be emailed to abhf@walton.uark.edu or by mail to the Office of External Relations at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development, Office of External Relations, Room 217, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201.

The 2019 class, which will join the 82 business leaders now in the hall of fame, will be inducted at a gala dinner Feb. 8, 2019, in Little Rock.

In selecting inductees, the committee considers outstanding leadership in establishing, building or running a business; improving his or her community; and displaying the highest level of ethics.

Equal consideration is given to Arkansans – by birth or by choice – whose business achievements have been inside or outside of the state. Living inductees must be at least 60 years of age. Nominations are not limited to graduates of the Sam M. Walton College of Business or the University of Arkansas.