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Spotlight Series: Neel Corporate Governance Center

Haslam Building

The Neel Corporate Governance Center conducts nationally recognized research on corporate governance, specifically focusing on public policy. It was formed in 2003 after a series of high-profile collapses of large public companies motivated investors to prevent similar losses. The Neel CGC’s research incorporates accounting, economics, finance and law, to examine the checks and balances inside and outside a company that ensure it upholds its fiduciary responsibilities to various stakeholders.

The Neel CGC conducts a yearly Distinguished Speaker Series bringing three to four prominent speakers to campus each semester. Speakers have included board members, CEOs and CFOs of major corporations and board members and leaders within the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). Speakers help keep the Neel CGC’s research focus relevant and timely, often meeting individually or in small groups with faculty after their presentations.

Research fellows at the Neel CGC participate in weekly research forums, designed to give feedback that improves faculty and doctoral students’ chances of publication. Because Neel CGC research fellows represent a variety of business and legal disciplines, research forums naturally take an interdisciplinary view on a specific issue facing current corporate governance practice. Neel CGC research forums are open to any faculty member or student interested in research on corporate governance.

Learn more about the Neel Corporate Governance Center and keep up to date on their latest research and events by visiting their website.

Recognitions, July 11

Emeritus Dean and Professor Recognized with Highest Accounting Educator Honor

The American Accounting Association (AAA) has announced Jan R. Williams as its 2018 Outstanding Accounting Educator. The award recognizes Williams’ full portfolio of achievements in teaching, research and professional involvement.

“This is the highest outstanding faculty award the AAA gives out,” says Bruce Behn, former AAA president and associate dean for graduate and executive education at the Haslam College of Business. “The list of previous winners is the who’s who of accounting faculty. It is an amazing honor for Jan to be part of this group.”

Williams spent 36 years at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, serving 13 years as dean of the college. In addition, he held the positions of associate dean and head of the accounting and information management department, as well as teaching at every degree level.

“Once I arrived at UT in 1977, I never gave serious thought to moving elsewhere,” Williams says. “The flexibility within the organization that allowed me to do different things over the years was a major factor in my being at UT so long. I feel like I had several ‘mini careers’ during my time there.”

Volunteers Serve Communities Across Nation for ‘One Family’ Event

The UT Knoxville family—current and prospective students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends—came together on Saturday to serve their communities as part of “One Day. One Family. All Vols.”

The event is this year’s iteration of Volunteering with the Vols, which has drawn Volunteers into community service efforts around the country over the past two years.

In Knoxville, 11 volunteers came to together to clean the kitchen and food service area at the Love Kitchen. The group prepared food for the next week’s meal deliveries. Four participants drove in from Illinois to volunteer.

The Love Kitchen provides meals, clothing and emergency food packages to homebound, homeless and unemployed persons. The organization works with local agencies to provide meals, secure used clothing, and donate services to Knoxville’s needy.

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Social Work Professor to Evaluate California Guaranteed Income Project

A California city in economic recovery is embarking on a social experiment: it will give a test group of about 100 families $500 a month for 18 months with no strings attached to see if that guaranteed monthly income helps alleviate economic instability and inequity.

Stacia WestStacia West, an assistant professor in the College of Social Work, along with Amy Castro Baker, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, will spend about two years evaluating the project, dubbed the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED).

Stockton, California, is a diverse community with a population that’s 40 percent Latino, 21 percent Asian, and 12 percent African American. More than half of the working-age population earns the minimum wage.

The idea for SEED was born when Stockton’s mayor, Michael Tubbs—who, at 27, is the nation’s youngest mayor of a large city and Stockton’s first African American mayor—met Natalie Foster, co-founder of the Economic Security Project, a nonprofit formed to advance the concept of guaranteed income.

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