Sam M. Walton College of Business
Brent D. Williams Named Dean of Sam M. Walton College of Business
Provost Terry Martin has appointed Brent D. Williams as dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, effective Feb. 1, 2024. Williams has served as the interim dean of the Walton College since August 2023 when former dean Matt Waller transitioned back to faculty as professor of supply chain management.
"As interim dean and through other leadership roles within the university, Dr. Williams has demonstrated and proven he is the right person to serve the college and our business community in this role," Martin said. "He is committed to student success, research and innovation, which are paramount to our land-grant mission, and I look forward to seeing the Walton College continue to grow and excel as one of the nation's leading business schools under Dr. Williams' exceptional leadership."
The search for the dean of the Walton College began in September 2023 with Ann Bordelon, executive vice chancellor for finance and administration, serving as the chair of the search committee. Russell Reynolds Associates, an external search firm, assisted Bordelon and the search committee.
"I'm very thankful for the search committee's dedication to ensuring a robust and thorough search process and to Russell Reynolds for their support," Bordelon said. "After conducting a national search and speaking with several prospective finalists, the search committee and Russell Reynolds strongly endorsed Dr. Williams' appointment over all other candidates. We're thrilled he will continue to serve the Walton College, and are certain that he is the best person to lead the Walton College into the future."
Williams is currently the Garrison Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management. When Williams becomes the dean in February, he will serve as the Sam M. Walton Endowed Leadership Chair in the Walton College.
Prior to serving as interim dean, Williams was the senior associate dean in the Walton College, where he oversaw the college's academic departments, student success initiatives and strategic planning process. Williams also led the early development of the McMillon Innovation Studio and Walton College at 2nd & Main in Downtown Little Rock.
"Dr. Williams' outstanding teaching, research, mentoring, industry outreach and administrative leadership have contributed to the Walton College's reputation as one of the nation's top business schools," said Chancellor Charles Robinson. "I am looking forward to Brent's leadership further advancing the Sam M. Walton College of Business to even greater heights in the coming years."
Williams joined the Walton College faculty in 2011 and has served as the chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management, among many other leadership positions.
As a professor, Williams has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses and conducted research in supply chain management, with much of that work focusing on how retail supply chains can improve their performance. Throughout his career, he has consistently engaged industry partners to bolster student success, research and innovation.
Williams received his Ph.D. in business administration from the U of A. He has held previous faculty positions at Texas Christian University and Auburn University. A native Arkansan, Williams is from Newport, Arkansas.
"I'm grateful to Provost Martin for the trust he has placed in me to lead Walton College," Williams said. "I'd also like to thank Ann Bordelon and the search committee for their endorsement and recommendation. I'm honored to serve as dean and look forward to working with our faculty, staff, students, alumni and so many others to grow the impact of the Walton College and University of Arkansas."
About the Sam M. Walton College of Business: Founded in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business is AACSB-accredited and ranks among the top business schools in the nation. Walton College is the largest college at the University of Arkansas, serving nearly 9,000 undergraduate, master's and doctoral students. Walton College is recognized among U.S. News & World Report's 2023 "Best Business Schools," and its undergraduate supply chain management program was ranked No. 1 in North America by Gartner. The college's Master of Business Administration program was also ranked No. 11 for best return on investment by The Wall Street Journal. The Princeton Review ranked the college's graduate entrepreneurship program as one of the top in the country for the first time in the 2022-23 year. And in partnership with the Global Campus, the U of A's online business degree program ranked No. 12 nationally among 214 institutions by U.S. News in 2023. For more information on Walton College, visit walton.uark.edu.
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas' economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research and Economic Development News.
Updated January 12, 2024.