The College of Business at WTAMU announced the establishment of three new professorships: the Donald W. Hodges Professorship of Corporate Governance, the Neil and Anne Macy Terry Professorship of Business, and the Gene Edwards Professorship of Corporate Governance, as well as the new appointment of the J. Pat Hickman Professorship of Marketing.
Dr. James Owens, professor of Accounting, Economics and Finance, was named the Hodges Professor of Corporate Governance. Owens commended Hodges, a WT graduate, for his donations and continued support of the college.
“Every year, Professor [Anne] Macy will take a class from her investments group [to visit the Hodges Investment Fund in Dallas],” Owens said. “He is always very gracious in giving tours, having lunches and arranging talks with his senior people,” Owens said. “I think his perception – like a lot of people [looking for perspective marketers] – is that they want more [graduates from WT]. They want that work ethic.”
Owens, who has been a faculty member at WT since 1978, plans on using the professorship to try to bring marketing professionals to WT to speak and engage with his students.
“There are no greater ethical issues going on right now than what we are dealing with in the whole finance sector,” Owens said. “My intention is to bring in two or three speakers, other than local, to speak with the students about the big issues coming up.”
The Terry Professorship of Business has been awarded to assistant professor of Computer Information and Decision Management Dr. Jeffry Babb. Babb, who received his doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University and joined WT in 2009, was unavailable for comment.
Assistant professor of Accounting, Economics and Finance Dr. De’Arno De’Armond was named the Edwards Professor of Financial Planning. De’Armond, who received his doctorate from Texas Tech University, recently discovered that he is the first from that program to receive a professorship in financial planning.
“[Financial planning professorships] are so new, and to me, that’s a serious commitment,” De’Armond said. “One of the biggest things, I think, that [these professorships] have enabled this college to do is attract really good talent and faculty and retain really good talent and faculty.”
De’Armond said he plans to use part of the professorship to renew his credentials because he wants to be able to walk into the classroom and have the most up to date information on what he is teaching.
“As a professor, you are charged with three things: teaching, research and service,” he said. “This is one more way in which you can give back to your classroom and to your students. It really helps you hone and further develop your professional skills in both teaching and research.”
Dr. Nick Gerlich, professor of Management, Marketing, and General Business, has been appointed as the J. Pat Hickman Professor of Marketing, established in 2008. Gerlich believes the professorship is a good fit according to the stated goals and objectives of the donor.
“It’s an honor,” Gerlich said. “[The funding] makes it possible to do many more things than I would be able to do on my own. I am able to do more research, attend conferences, present papers and pursue other means of professional development.”
Gerlich and his colleagues will be conducting research on social media and breaking news, and they are currently trying to conceptualize a study on boycotting behavior.
A special reception will be held to honor the donors and WT professors currently holding professorships on Feb. 20, from 4-5:30 p.m., in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall.