Annual Report 2016 – 2017

College Mission:

The College of Business provides quality business education, delivered by research engaged faculty, in partnership with the business community, to prepare students for professional careers and enhance regional economic development.

Strategic Initiatives:

  • Provide students with core business competency, discipline based knowledge, demonstrable, practical skills to enable/improve their professional careers.
  • Involve students in experiential and application based learning through partnerships with the business community and external constituents.
  • Support students’ professional development opportunities through investment in Career and Student Services and engagement with external partners.
  • Engage in applied, teaching and learning, and discovery scholarship.
  • Participate in and provide expertise to the external community and business profession.
  • Continuously improve through assurance of learning and response to the educational needs of our region.
  • Advance professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

College Values:

  • Respect for our diverse students, colleagues, and communities
  • Integrity in our professional conduct.
  • Commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Accountability for our actions and results.

College Vision:

The College of Business serves as a catalyst to advance education and economic development in the state of Arkansas.


The Department continued its review of the finance curriculum and began a review of the Real Estate program.

The Department offered two new classes to strength its financial data analytics offerings: Finc 4350 Financial Modeling and Finc 4355 Predictive Data Analysis


The Economics and Finance faculty published 6 peer-reviewed articles and had 2 others accepted. The faculty made 14 research presentations at professional conferences.


Ashvin Vibhakar coordinated an Ethics Forum: Crisis Mitigation Through Ethics, held on February 28. Over 100 accounting and finance professionals attended. The event was also open to students.

Josh Kerr hosted 7 workshops for the Kenneth Pat Wilson Center for Economic Education.

Erick Elder's research on state rainy day funds continues to attract interest from legislators and journalists from across the country. He was interviewed by newspapers in Montana and by He provided expert professional service to the Montana Legislative Fiscal Division and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The faculty served as reviewers for 9 journal articles. Additionally, Sarah Quintanar served as an NSF grant reviewer. Zi Jia served as a judge for two DECA competition events.

The faculty serve of numerous state, local and national boards. Erick Elder serves on the Board of Policy Advisors for the Heartland Institute. Andy Terry serves as Vice President of the Arkansas Society of CFA's, and serves on boards for Just Communities of Arkansas and Arvest Bank. Ashvin Vibhakar serves as a board memeber for Arvest bank and the CFA Society of Arkansas.

Student Success

Stina Resen was selected as the Outstanding Student in Economics.

Autumn Bauman was selected as the Outstanding Student in Finance.

Seven students completed internships in Economics and Finance.

Autumn Bauman, Tanner Whisenhunt, Andrew Fielder, Bryan Sparks won first place in the MidSouth CFA Institute Research Challenge, and competed in the Americas CFA Institute Global Research Challenge.



Faculty in the Department of Economics and Finance fully participated in assessment activities of the college throughout the year:

  • Active participation on college assessment committees.
  • Team evaluation of assessment process and results: undergraduate and graduate.
  • Curriculum evolution based on assessment findings.

The following learning goals/objectives were assessed:

  • OBJECTIVE 1 Students will demonstrate effective written communication skills.
  • OBJECTIVE 3.1 Students will identify an ethical dilemma and identify the impact on identified stakeholders.
  • OBJECTIVE 3.2 Students will analyze alternative actions and consequences of behavior based on an identified Ethical Rule or Model.
  • OBJECTIVE 5.1 Students will demonstrate competence in each of the functional areas of business (accounting, economics, finance, management, operations, and information systems.
  • OBJECTIVE 5.2 Students will demonstrate knowledge of the issues involved in conducting business in a diverse, global environment.

The department has 3 priorities for the year. The first priority is to increase the number of students taking economics and finance classes. The department will be working with other departments in the College and on campus to explore interdisciplinary options and joint programs to attract more students. The second priority is to develop our faculty. We have had several retirements and now have several assistant professors. We will be mentoring the junior faculty regarding their teaching and research. The third priority is to raise the profile of the department. We will continue reaching out to the community to explore new program needs. We will increase the online advertisement of the ongoing engagement of our faculty with external constituencies.

Enrollment (fall census, 1st major headcount, and SSCHs)

  • SSCH:  2872 (undergrad)
  • Majors: 168

 Retention Fall 2015 - Fall 2016 - 82%

 Personnel (number per category, tenure, and promotion, etc.)

 Category of Faculty

  1. Full Professor: 3
  2. Associate Professor: 2
  3. Assistant Professor: 4
  4. Instructor: 1
  5. Visiting Professor: 2