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Congratulations to Dr. Chanaka Edirisinghe and Dr. Russ Zaretzki who are recipients of two new Faculty Awards

Dr. Chanaka Edirisinghe

Dr. Russell Zaretzki


Both of these awards are taking advantage of the Chancellor's Faculty Salary Support Challenge. The chancellor recognizes investments must be made to retain and recruit outstanding faculty. One benefit of the chancellor's challenge is that endowment income can be paid out immediately instead of having to wait the typical 5 years. This means Dr. Edirisinghe and Zaretzki are able to immediately benefit from these new awards.

Dr. Chanaka Edirisinghe

A major gift from two University of Tennessee, Knoxville, graduates has established the first-ever joint faculty positions between the colleges of Engineering and Business Administration.

A gift from Ralph and Janet Heath through the Heath Family Charitable Fund in the Community Foundation of North Texas has established the Heath Endowed Faculty Fellowship in business and engineering with the goal of enhancing the relationship between the two fields.

Chanaka Edirisinghe, professor of statistics, operations, and management science, is the Heath Faculty Fellow in the College of Business Administration. Rupy Sawhney, a professor of industrial and information engineering, is the fellow in the College of Engineering.

This gift answers Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek's challenge to private supporters to help recruit and retain UT's most talented faculty. Read the full story.

In fall of 2016 the national meeting of INFORMS will return to Nashville after a quarter of a century. INFORMS is the largest professional organization in the area of Operation Research (about 12,000 members). Chanaka will be the chairman of that meeting and it will be a great opportunity for not only UT College of Business and the College of Engineering to be at center stage, but also many other Universities.

Dr. Russell Zaretzki

Dr. Russell Zaretzki has been named the first recipient of the George and Margaret Melton Faculty Award in Business Analytics. This award has been made possible by an endowment created by George and Margaret Melton.

George Melton is the CEO and president of Wyle, a leading provider of specialized engineering, scientific, and technical services to the Department of Defense, NASA, and a variety of commercial customers. Mr. Melton received a B.S. in Statistics from the University of Tennessee and served in the U.S. Army.

Dr. Zaretzki has been with the department for 10 years and teaches in the MSBA and Ph.D. programs. His research focuses on the interface of statistics and marketing and he is actively working with a number of Ph.D. students.

He is also leading an effort to develop an industry center for business analytics in Knoxville on the UT campus. The initiative will allow companies working in the analytics space to collocate on the UT campus and take advantage of world class super computing facilities, students, and faculty expertise. You can read more about this initiative here.