MBA Faculty Directory

Navid Aghakhani

Dr. Aghakhani earned his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Shahid Beheshti University; M.Sc. in Computer Science from University Malaya; and Ph.D. in Computer Science and Information Systems at the University of Colorado Denver. Some career highlights include being nominated for the best dissertation award by his graduate school. 

When asked what is the biggest challenge people face in his field today, Dr. Aghakhani shared "Big data has dramatically changed the research in my field. We need to learn new research methods and to develop new theories to answer our research questions."

Dr. Aghakhani also shared that the best advice he has ever received is to "Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about".





Dr. Beni Asllani

Beni Asllani is the Marvin E. White Professor of Management with focus on business analytics. Dr. Asllani earned his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Tirana, Albania and his PhD and M.A. from the University of Nebraska. He has published more than 38 scholarly articles in business journals, including the Omega, Transfusion, European Journal of Operational Research, Knowledge Management, Computers & Industrial Engineering, Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, and Service Business: An International Journal. He serves as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Business Research and on the editorial board of Service Business: An International Journal. In 2015, Dr. Asllani authored a book entitled “Business Analytics with Management Science” which is published by Pearson/FT Press.

When asked about the qualities that make someone particularly successful in the profession he teaches, Dr. Asllani shares, “Good understanding of the fundamentals of MIS.”

Dr. Asllani says, “As a student I was inspired by many teachers who had an impact on my career. I was fascinated by their ability to lead us from the known to the unknown, from the simple concepts to the more complex ones. Sharing my knowledge and trying to explain complicated things into simple terms is my mission.” 





Michaël Bonnal is the UC Foundation Associate Professor of Economics. Michaël earned his MBA from the University of Louisiana Monroe and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from The University of Alabama. Dr. Bonnal’s areas of expertise lie in labor economics, economic growth and economic development. He has published reports and manuscripts on employer benefits surveys, counties and state labor profiles, underemployment, labor standards, labor employment dynamics, and also political institutions and economic development/growth and trade. His recent research was published in Business Economics, Review of Development Economics, Journal of Labor Research, and the Review of Regional Studies.

When asked about the qualities that make someone particularly successful in the profession he teaches, Dr. Bonnal shares that a “caring personality, respect for others' views and opinions, someone that can listen and be compassionate” are most important.

The best piece of advice that he could give to his students, “study from week 1, have a social life, engage with your instructor.”






Lisa Burke-Smalley is Guerry Professor Management.  She earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior/Human Resources and a BS in Public Sector Management (Minor inBusiness) from Indiana University.  Career highlights include former students contributing at all levels in the private sector, U.S. military and in state government; a recurring National SHRM Scholarship established in her name by a former student; being inducted to the UTC Council of Scholars early on; and receiving the Guerry Professorship.

When asked what qualities make someone particularly successful in Human Resources and the challenges they will face, Dr. Burke-Smalley says to be successful one should communicate effectively to different audiences, create stretch goals, problem-solve and possess a strategic understanding of the business (see J. Zenger, "What Separates Great HR Leaders from the Rest").  Notable challenges for HR professionals include efficiently sourcing and integrating technology in meaningful ways, along with regulatory compliance.

Dr. Burke-Smalley says one of the best parts of teaching is staying in touch with students she taught decades ago, whether it be to learn of the family they've started, the career they've pursued or the differences in this world they've made.  The best advice she ever received was to epouse a healthy indifference to this world.  The best advice she can give to students is that a return on your education doesn't come without investing in it and don't be afraid to start at entry-level – that's where you'll learn the business and gain credibility as you progress.








Frank Butler is the UC Foundation Associate Professor of Management. Frank earned his B.B.A. in management information systems from the University of Georgia, and his Ph.D. in strategic management (support areas: organizational behavior and human resource management) from Florida State University. Some career highlights include: Being invited to teach a class on cross border management at Ostfalia University in Wolfsburg, Germany; receiving a “Think Achieve” Faculty Award for experiential learning in the classroom; and, being nominated as a "Favorite Professor" for the SGA UTC Outstanding Senior Award.

When asked about the qualities that make someone particularly successful in the profession he teaches, Dr. Butler’s response is to “strive to continue learning, to engage in continual research in the profession, and to keep your eyes and ears open and to try and understand the why.”

The best piece of advice that he could give to his students, “Do not cut corners. The little details matter. They may not be readily apparent, but they do not go unnoticed.”






Parthasarati Dileepan is the Henry Hart Professor of Management. Parthasarati earned his MBA from Indiana University, and his B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Houston. Some career highlights include publishing four articles in a single year (1988) in top tiered journals including Management Science, OMEGA, and Computers and Operations Research.  More recently, he developed the Business Analytics concentration for Management majors.

When asked why he started teaching, Dr. Dileepan says, “When I started my graduate studies, I had to teach as a part of my duties. That is how I started, with lot of trepidation, but grew to love it. Interacting with the students is the best part of my job.”

The best piece of advice that he has ever received, “Talk less, listen more!”






Stephanie Gillison is the UC Foundation Assistant Professor of Marketing. She earned her B.S. in management, her M.S. in marketing, and her Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Alabama. Some career highlights include receiving the Society for Marketing Advances “Best Retail Dissertation Award”; being named a UC Foundation Assistant Professor; and, receiving the University of Alabama College of Commerce “Outstanding Teaching by a Doctoral Student Award.”

When asked about the qualities that make someone particularly successful in the profession she teaches, Dr. Gillison shares that they include “the same qualities that make someone successful in general: hard working, diligent, creative, open to others' ideas and opinions, flexibility, organization, ability to self-reflect and improve.”

Dr. Gillison says: “I started teaching because I love learning new things. Being a professor allows you to explore topics of interest to you, which I really enjoy. I also like interacting with my students, sharing what I know and learning new things from them as well.”






Katherine Karl is a Professor of Management within the College of Business. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Michigan-Flint, her MBA in Personnel Administration/Human Relations, and her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Michigan State University. Prior to joining the UTC faculty, she was a professor at Marshall University, University of Indiana South Bend, and Western Michigan University.

When asked about the qualities that make someone particularly successful in the profession she teaches, Dr. Karl shared "To be successful in Human Resources, one needs a strong background in all business functions; expert knowledge in HR; effective communication skills including listening skills, strategic thinking skills, credibility; and the ability to influence others".

Dr. Karl says the biggest challenge people face in Human Resources today is "Talent Management (attracting and retaining top talent) and dealing with uncertainty".








Michael Long is the Arthur G. Vieth Professor of Finance. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, his M.S. in economics and his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Kentucky. Some career highlights include over 25 years teaching experience; published 22 articles in peer reviewed journals; performed a feasibility study for a unified dispatch service for Hamilton County 911 Emergency Services; and, worked as an economist for the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

When asked about the qualities that make someone successful in the profession he teaches, Dr. Long shared that “I think you really need to enjoy what you are doing. I also show a lot of patience with my students. I want to make them feel comfortable asking questions.”

Why he started teaching, “When completing my undergraduate degree I worked for a professor who encouraged me to pursue a Ph.D. While getting my degree I got a chance to teach and loved it. I did work as an economist for 3 years before completing my doctorate. I knew that teaching was much more fulfilling and it made me feel like I was giving back.”






Mark Mendenhall is the J. Burton Frierson Chair of Excellence in Business Leadership. He earned a B.S. in Psychology and a PhD in Social/Organizational Psychology from Brigham Young University. Some career highlights include serving as the Past President of the International Management Division of the Academy of Management; serving as a Fellow for the International Academy for Intercultural Research; Endowed Chair of the J. Burton Frierson Chair of Excellence in Business Leadership (UTC); and Endowed Chair of Ludwig Erhard Stiftungsprofessur, Stiftung Internationale Unternehmensfuhrung, University of Bayreuth (Germany).

When asked about the biggest challenge people are facing in leadership today, Dr. Mendenhall shared "For leaders, it is leading in an environment of ever-changing complexity. The best leaders realize that they don't know enough by themselves to successfully lead an organization, so they actively focus on trying to extract the wisdom and creativity from their employees across all organizational levels and to operationalize that knowledge into the organization."

Dr. Mendenhall's advice for students: "Be a continual learner. Become your own professor after you graduate. Follow the advice of Peter Drucker: 1) Master a discipline outside your profession, 2) Read extensively in and outside your primary specialty, and 3) Write about what you think about and discuss with others - share your wisdom beyond your close circle of friends."








Professor Michael Owens, CPA, is the College of Business Assistant Dean and accounting lecturer. Mike earned a BS in accounting from UTC, and an MBA from Loyola of Maryland. He started his career at Ernst & Ernst, one of the original “Big 8” accounting firms.  After some 30 years as a senior executive in business, Mike began a second career in higher education. Based on his many years’ experience as CFO, COO, and ultimately president of a large marketing company, Mike is able to share the first-hand lessons he learned.

“I began teaching as an adjunct professor while I was still in business, and found that I really enjoyed working with students, particularly bringing real world experiences to the classroom.” 

The best piece of advice that he ever received, “I was fortunate to be able to work with some very talented people during my career and was able to learn from each of them.  But the one piece of advice that stands out for me was from the Chairman of the Board of the company I joined when I left public accounting.  His advice was about maintaining the right balance in your personal and professional life and remembering the importance of family.”






Philip Roundy is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in Economics, his M.S. in organizational theory and M.S. in management science and his Ph.D. in corporate strategy from the University of Texas at Austin. Some career highlights include being selected to serve as the inaugural Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship at UT Austin, having widely published in several disciplines and topics (strategy, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, organization theory, narratives/storytelling, and religion/work); and, having interviewed or consulted with almost 200 entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, and investors.

Dr. Roundy started teaching because, as he says, “I pursued a career in academia because professors have the privilege of wearing three ‘hats,’ all of which I am passionate about: research, teaching, and service (to the university and business community). I have a relatively short attention span; if I was limited to doing only one of those things, I would quickly get bored.”

When asked about the qualities that make someone successful in the profession he teaches, Dr. Roundy shared that “For entrepreneurship: work ethic (you have to be willing to hustle), tenacity, thick skin, ability to think outside the box, a customer-focus.”








Anne M. Wilkins, CPA, is Assistant Professor of Accounting and earned her Doctorate of Business Administration: Accounting in May 2012 from Kennesaw State University. She has 25 years of public accounting experience and has spoken to many groups on current issues in Auditing and Accounting. Sample recent publications include a publication in the July 2014, issue of Strategic Finance, “Does Your Company Have This Document? All Organizations Should Have a Code of Conduct” as well as “Reframing the Discussion on Internal Control- Implications of the Updated COSO Framework on Small and Entrepreneurial Organizations” in the October 2014 issue of The CPA Journal.  Dr. Wilkins areas of expertise include auditing, internal controls, managerial accounting. Her areas of research are: auditing, internal controls, internal auditing, corporate governance, and fraud.

Dr. Wilkins decided to start teaching because, as she says “I love introducing students to the power of accounting knowledge.”

When asked about the qualities that make someone particularly successful in the profession she teaches, Dr. Wilkins shares “Critical thinking skills and the ability to solve problems are mission critical.”









Professor David Witt is a management lecturer for the College of Business. He earned a B.S. in Organizational Management from Covenant College; a Masters in Applied Computer Science from Kennesaw State University; a Masters in Business Administration from UTC; and is currently pursuing a DBA at Kennesaw State University with a dissertation topic focusing on Entrepreneurial Passion and Burnout: Disentangling the Connections. Before teaching, David gained nearly 30 years of experience operating a small computer controls and consulting business in the floor covering industry. He also has decades of experience in unsuccessful and successful small business startups.

When asked why he started teaching, David shared "Teaching is particularly rewarding for me in a couple of ways. First, I think putting perspective on and explaining the value of our accumulated knowledge is critical for learning. I did not always get that experience, so later I had to work harder and missed some opportunity because of it. Teaching is my opportunity to show others the value of the content I share. I hope that leads to their ability to take advantage of more opportunities and improve their lives. Second, for my benefit, I find there is no better way to improve understanding of a body of knowledge than to try to explain it to someone else."

According to David, a book everyone should read is: "The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by the Arbinger Institute. As a teacher, I promote tools for success in business for the purpose of supporting one path to success in life. This book has nothing to do with that, and everything."