News

BIT Club Meeting – 9/19/19 @ 1:40 pm

The Business & Information Technology (BIT) Club is having its Fall Welcome Meeting and Kick-Off on Thursday, September 19th.  The event, which will be held in the College of Business Auditorium (Rooms 107/208) during X-period (1:40 – 2:30 p.m.), is open to all majors on campus.  Amy Beam, People Operations Manager for Edafio Technology Partners, will be the featured speaker.  Amy is a UCA graduate and we are delighted to welcome her back to campus.  Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be awarded.  All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend.

Trade, Tariffs & The Arkansas Impact

The trade war and new tariffs put in place by the U.S. and Chinese governments dominate most of the headlines.

But what is the impact in Arkansas? How are Arkansans affected? How are Arkansas businesses and farmers coping with changing tariffs? What’s the impact long-term?

Jeremy Horpedahl, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics and ACRE Scholar, discusses the issues and their impact at home in Arkansas. For more, check out the video below.

50 Years of COB Alumni: Donna Townsell

The University of Central Arkansas has been a part of Donna Townsell since childhood.

She grew up blocks from the university, rode her bike through campus, hit golf balls with her dad in the field that now houses the Pepsi Center near the corner of Bruce and Farris streets.

“Choosing UCA was an easy choice,” said Townsell. “It was a great school and close to home.”

Interested in a Business Degree? Check out the COB’S Programs of Study

It took her a few years to settle on a major and the College of Business, though. She spent her underclassmen years completing her basics, then, eased her way into prospective majors, which included marketing.

Townsell felt confident it could be a fit for her. She worked in many retail businesses as a teenager, including her family’s clothing business, a local photography studio, and a convenience store. Those work experiences showed her the value of marketing.

She enjoyed tasks that required creativity and writing. When one of her courses required her to create marketing material for an imaginary company, Townsell knew she had found the right place.

“It helped me utilize my skills and get a feel for different types of marketing tools,” she said.

Townsell’s career has taken her to many industries, including banking and finance where she has worked for Home BancShares for more than a decade. Now, she’s director of investor relations for Centennial Bank. Earlier this year, she became the first woman to be elected as a board member of Home BancShares and Centennial Bank.

Find Out More: UCA Marketing

No matter where she’s worked, Townsell said her degree from the UCA College of Business prepared her to compete and thrive.

“I soon realized the skills and knowledge I gained that can be used every day, whether directly or indirectly, in any field of work I’ve landed in,” said Townsell.

Townsell now serves the college as a member of its advisory board.

University of Central Arkansas Designated Global Center of Insurance Excellence

The University of Central Arkansas has been designated a Global Center of Insurance Excellence by the International Insurance Society.

UCA’s designation was earned for its Insurance and Risk Management program in the College of Business. For consideration, universities and colleges have to meet criteria in student qualifications, course offerings, graduate and industry employment rates and professional involvement. Prospective schools must also exhibit students learn from academically qualified, full-time faculty with research expertise.

The UCA College of Business’ Insurance and Risk Management program is the only four-year program of its kind in Arkansas. The program offers a personal financial planning emphasis and an opportunity for students to earn their University Associate Certified Insurance Counselor designation. Cynthia L. Burleson is the director of the college’s Center for Insurance and Risk Management.

“UCA’s Insurance and Risk Management program plays a significant role for insurance and financial services companies in the state and region, because of its uniqueness,” said Michael B. Hargis, Ph.D., dean of the UCA College of Business. “We’re proud of Cynthia’s leadership of our program and thrilled to see it recognized globally.”

UCA and three other 2019 designees were officially recognized in June at the International Insurance Society Forum in Singapore.

“The GCIE designation signals the industry as to where the top talent is being cultivated and in doing so, builds the prominence of the world’s leading insurance programs, which are effectively serving as the top-tier talent pipeline,” said Michael J. Morrissey, president and CEO of the International Insurance Society.

The Insurance and Risk Management program is housed in the college’s Department of Economics, Finance, and Insurance and Risk Management. It is one of only three programs offered fully online. It currently has 60 majors.

The International Insurance Society, founded in 1965, is a global forum of insurance stakeholders with members from more than 90 countries, including brokers, regulators, public policymakers and insurance scholars. It promotes the innovation and development of the industry, as well as its relevance in the global economy.

Since the certification was created in 2017, it has designated 34 universities in 11 countries, including the University of Alabama, Florida State University, University of Georgia, University of Iowa, University of Mississippi, St. John’s University, Temple University, Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Wisconsin.

The UCA College of Business is the fastest-growing college at the University of Central Arkansas with more than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 13 baccalaureate degrees, two master’s and one graduate certificate across four academic departments and houses the state’s only insurance and risk management program. The UCA College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Visit uca.edu/business for more.

50 Years of COB Alumni: Erin Simpson

Erin Simpson grew up in the small, close-knit Arkansas farming community of Hazen.

She knew college would take here away from home, but Simpson was not ready to leave behind the supportive, family atmosphere. At the University of Central Arkansas, Simpson realized she would not. Instead, she traded one family for another.

“My professors became mentors who made sure I did well in classes, stayed focused and had a path to a career,” she said. “UCA and the College of Business became a family and a home for me. I gained a community and a group of people invested in making sure I succeeded. That was what I needed coming from a small town.”

Interested in a Business Degree? Check out the COB’S Programs of Study

Simpson found her passion for accounting as a teenager working over the summer in a local firm in Hazen.

“I fell in love with it,” she said.

Simpson’s time in the College of Business crafted that passion into a career.

“My professors knew my strengths and weaknesses and were able to guide me in the right way,” said Simpson. “When it came time to decide tax or audit, they knew I should be in auditing because my personality is geared toward being out in front of employees, clients and customers, working to help them.”

Find Out More: UCA Accounting

Simpson spent nearly three years working at an accounting firm in Little Rock after graduating in 1999. She assisted clients from many industries, including non-profit, banking and government agencies. Then, she made the switch to banking compliance. She has been a senior vice president and director of compliance at First Security Bank since 2008.

The business education she received in the College of Business has allowed her to work in several facets of business, said Simpson.

“There are so many opportunities with an accounting degree,” said Simpson. “You have to understand the aspects of a business that help it operate efficiently.”

Jeff and Lori Standridge Establish First Endowed Scholarship in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Jeff and Lori Standridge have established the first endowed scholarship in innovation and entrepreneurship in the University of Central Arkansas College of Business.

The Dr. Jeff and Lori Standridge Innovation & Entrepreneurship Scholarship will be awarded annually to one upperclassman majoring in innovation and entrepreneurship.

“We wanted to honor the act of entrepreneurship and young, aspiring entrepreneurs and, hopefully, ease their mind a bit about meeting financial obligations while completing their degree,” said Jeff Standridge, Ed.D., adjunct professor of innovation and entrepreneurship and chief catalyst of Conductor. “Our hope with this scholarship is its beneficiaries will create the next startup or corporation that employs hundreds in our community.”

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship program was launched at UCA in 2012. Students engage in experiential, hands-on activities to learn how to form and implement ideas, as well as be equipped to start a business. The program has 74 students.

“Even if these students don’t go on to start their own business, established firms and companies, public schools, universities, hospitals and health care systems want to hire innovative, entrepreneurial talent,” said Jeff Standridge. “The program in the UCA College of Business does a great job of equipping the aspiring entrepreneur and innovator.”

Jeff Standridge is a member of the UCA College of Business Advisory Board, co-founder of Cadron Capital Partners and is involved in several venture companies that support entrepreneurs and start-up companies in Arkansas. He teaches innovation leadership and entrepreneurial finance in the College of Business.

When the couple realized there was not a scholarship exclusive to innovation and entrepreneurship majors, Lori Standridge said it was a “no-brainer” to establish one.

“It was a given for me that it needed to be done,” she said. “The number of coaching sessions Jeff has done in the last few years, the profile of companies that have moved to Conway and just the general excitement level toward the field in our community, it shows a need for this.”

The UCA College of Business is the fastest-growing college at the University of Central Arkansas with more than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 13 baccalaureate degrees, two master’s and one graduate certificate across four academic departments and houses the state’s only insurance and risk management program. The UCA College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Visit uca.edu/business for more.

Tom Snyder, Ph.D., Named Chair of Department of Economics, Finance, and Insurance and Risk Management

Tom Snyder, Ph.D., has been named chair of the Department of Economics, Finance, and Insurance and Risk Management in the University of Central Arkansas College of Business.

Snyder assumes the position July 1.

“Tom has been an integral part of EFIRM, the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics and the College of Business for several years now,” said Michael B. Hargis, Ph.D., dean of the UCA College of Business. “I know he will be the same in this new role.”

Snyder came to the UCA College of Business in 2010 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2016. He served four years as the Resident Master of EPIC Residential College, an entrepreneurship-based program for upper-level students at UCA.

Snyder’s research in public policy, education, and entrepreneurship has been published in several journals, including in the Journal of Private Enterprise, Eastern Economic Journal, B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, Journal of Economics and Business, Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Journal of Entrepreneurship & Public Policy, and Review of Regional Studies.

Snyder earned his bachelor’s in economics from Florida State University in 2003. He obtained his master’s and doctorate in economics from Florida International University in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

The UCA College of Business’ Department of Economics, Finance, and Insurance and Risk Management offers undergraduate degrees in all three studies and features the only four-year insurance and risk management program in Arkansas. The department has 230 majors and 17 faculty.

The UCA College of Business is the fastest-growing college at the University of Central Arkansas with more than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 13 baccalaureate degrees, two master’s and one graduate certificate across four academic departments and houses the state’s only insurance and risk management program. The UCA College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Visit uca.edu/business for more.

Zack King Found Purpose, Forte in Accounting Program

Zack King came to the University of Central Arkansas expecting to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

His father, a UCA alumnus and physical therapist, King enrolled at UCA to do the same. After one class, King decided physical therapy was not for him. His dad suggested a switch to accounting, but he remained unsure.

“If you had asked 16-year-old Zack if he would ever be an accountant, he’d tell you no way,” said King. “It is just not something I had a desire to do. What I expected was people that sat in the corner and crunched numbers.”

King found something different in the Department of Accounting and it clicked with him immediately.

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“I’ve always been a numbers person and that appealed to me right away,” he said. “The research aspect, the principles and their applications did, too, as well as accounting being the language of business and vital to so much.”

The coursework felt relevant and beneficial to King as he worked his way through his undergraduate degree, in addition to meeting with potential employers and participating in mock interviews.

His time in the Master of Accountancy program only furthered his level of understanding in the principles of the field. But, it was when he took the CPA exam, and passed all four parts on the first try, that he realized how beneficial his time in the accounting program at UCA had been.

Learn more: UCA Accounting

“It showed how great the College of Business was, how great the faculty had been and how much I had learned,” said King.

Once he entered the workforce, if there were any misconceptions about accounting remaining, they soon dissipated. King found work that required interpersonal skills and interaction with a variety of industries, clients and people.

“I realized what I expected were the ways of the past, no one sits behind a desk anymore and does depreciation calculations all day,” said King. “Now, it’s about getting out in front of clients and colleagues to help explain accounting topics to help the business make better decisions.”

Communication is the key to his job, said King, and what he tries to impart to students when speaks with them.

“Being able to explain why an accounting rule or regulation is the way it is, that is crucial to the future of accounting,” he said.

King is now the vice president and corporate controller of USAT Capacity Solutions, formerly known as USA Truck, Inc. He has worked at the company since 2015 and also served previously as corporate accounting manager and assistant controller.

King is a member of the UCA College of Business Advisory Board. He regularly returns to campus and speaks with business students. King was the college’s Accounting Professional in Residence in the spring.

“I want to have an influence and give back to the college, and help improve it through my experiences,” said King. “It’s always nice to come back on-campus and give back to the university that gave me so much.”

Shareholders Prefer In-Kind Element to Cause-Related Marketing Strategies, UCA College of Business Study Shows

Shareholders prefer corporations to deploy in-kind donations in place of, or in supplement to, monetary support of social causes, according to a recent study from a marketing professor at the University of Central Arkansas College of Business.

Previous studies have shown consumers react positively to corporations’ support of social causes in a strategy known as cause-related marketing. Parker Woodroof, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing in the UCA College of Business, is the first to investigate shareholder reactions to cause-related marketing initiatives in a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, which found shareholders prefer in-kind donations in place of, or in addition to, monetary donations.

The study analyzed 344 announcements across 62 firms and 54 industries from companies populating Fortune’s Most Admired All-Star list between 2005 and 2017.

“Shareholders had a significant and negative reaction to the most common tactic used in cause-related marketing, which is a monetary-only donation,” said Woodroof. “Shareholders made a clear distinction between the announcement of monetary and in-kind donations.”

On the day of the announcement, stock prices fell by an average of 0.51% for companies who only gave monetarily, while those that included an in-kind donation saw stocks rise by 0.10%.

Across a six-day period ­— from two days before the announcement to three days following — stocks fell by 1.27% for companies that only gave monetarily. Alternatively, shares for companies that gave only in-kind increased by 0.47% over the event window. Companies averaged a 0.23% gain in prices when giving monetarily and in-kind.

Of the 344 announcements analyzed, 157 were monetary, 83 were in-kind and 104 mixed monetary donations with in-kind.

“Shareholders buy and sell stock based on how they perceive the future value of cash flow prospects of company investments, and they are showing they do not value monetary-only, cause-related marketing strategies,” said Woodroof. “These may seem like small percentages, but for the size of companies we analyzed, a significant and negative effect translates into millions and millions of dollars, meaning an announcement of a $5 million gift to a non-profit might cost you several million more in a sell-off.”

Incorporating in-kind contributions appears to show more commitment and improves shareholders’ perception that it is part of a well-conceived strategy, Woodroof said.

“Giving your time, through employee volunteerism, your expertise or supplies and services, signals more effort to investors and in-kind resources do not hurt the corporation’s bottom line, either,” said Woodroof.

In addition to donation type, financial resources, corporate reputation and industry played a role in mitigating the negative shareholder response. Companies in a better financial position experienced a less negative response among investors, according to the study.

“We have seen in previous studies that slack resources make companies more likely to engage in cause-related marketing,” said Woodroof. “Our study suggests investors view resource slack as the result of capable management, which gives them more confidence in corporate spending decisions.”

The overall strength of the industry also impacted investor response in the study.

“Our results showed investors perceive the potential value of resources gained through these initiatives to be most useful for firms in dynamic markets,” said Woodroof. “It may be they view it as providing their company with a competitive edge with rivals in the market.”

Woodroof led the study with co-authors George D. Deitz, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business & Economics; Katharine M. Howie, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Lethbridge; and Robert D. Evans Jr., Ph.D., associate professor at the Texas A&M International University.

Woodroof came to UCA in 2016. He earned his bachelor’s in business finance from Middle Tennessee State University in 2007. He earned his Master of Business Administration in marketing from Belmont University in 2010, and his doctorate in marketing from the University of Memphis in 2015.

He is a member of the American Marketing Association, Society for Marketing Advances and Academy of Marketing Science.

The UCA College of Business is the fastest-growing college at the University of Central Arkansas with more than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 13 baccalaureate degrees, two master’s and one graduate certificate across four academic departments and houses the state’s only insurance and risk management program. The UCA College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Visit uca.edu/business for more.

Doug Voss, Ph.D., Reappointed to Arkansas Trucking Association Board

Doug Voss, Ph.D., professor of logistics and supply chain management at the University of Central Arkansas College of Business, has been reappointed to the Arkansas Trucking Association Board of Directors.

Voss will serve a one-year, renewable term. The Arkansas Trucking Association is owned and governed by more than 300 trucking companies and industry suppliers.

“With so many large transportation companies located in Arkansas, trucking has a significant impact on our economy and daily lives,” said Voss. “I am happy to be able to continue to serve the industry through the ATA Board of Directors.”

Voss was appointed to the board in 2015. He was a member of the inaugural class of Arkansas Trucking Association’s 40 Under 40 Council in 2010. He served on the council through 2016.

Voss came to the UCA College of Business in 2007 as an assistant professor of logistics and supply chain management. He was promoted to associate professor in 2013, and to professor in 2019.

He also serves as director of the college’s Center for Logistics Education, Advancement and Research. The center was founded in 2007 to educate logistics professionals and conduct research to the benefit of the logistics industry.

Voss earned his bachelor’s and master’s in transportation and logistics at the University of Arkansas. He earned his doctorate in logistics at Michigan State University. He was named to the Scott E. Bennett Arkansas Highway Commission Endowed Chair of Motor Carrier Management in 2015.

The UCA College of Business is the fastest-growing college at the University of Central Arkansas with more than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 13 baccalaureate degrees, two master’s and one graduate certificate across four academic departments and houses the state’s only insurance and risk management program. The UCA College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Visit uca.edu/business for more.