From the Nuts about Southwest Airlines blog

Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Airlines to Receive Distinguished Alumnus Award AUSTIN, Texas – Gary Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines, will be recognized by the Texas Exes at their Distinguished Alumnus Awards Friday, Oct. 22, in Austin. The award, created in 1958, recognizes annually up to six graduates or former students of The University of Texas at Austin who have distinguished themselves professionally and through service to the university. The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor given by the Texas Exes. 

Kelly received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with honors from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977. After graduation, he joined Arthur Young & Company as a CPA in Dallas and worked as controller for Systems Center, Inc. In 1986, Kelly joined Southwest Airlines as Controller. From there he rose to Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Operator, then to Executive Vice President, and on to CFO. In 2004, Kelly was named the airline’s CEO, and the titles of Chairman and President were added in 2008. In 2008, Kelly was named top CEO in the country by Institutional Investor magazine and CEO of the Year by D Magazine and the Dallas Morning News. Among his other honors are being named a finalist for Texan of the Year by the Dallas Morning News in 2005 and one of Business Travel News’ 25 most influential executives of 2004. 

Kelly has worked closely with Southwest co-founder Herb Kelleher to continue to build the nation’s largest airline in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and low-fare leader. Even during tough economic times, Kelly has faithfully followed Kelleher’s example of never laying off or cutting the pay of his Employees. Kelly also gives back to The University of Texas at Austin, serving as Vice Chair of the McCombs School of Business Advisory Council and as a member of the school’s Accounting Advisory Board. 

There will be five other recipients honored at the event in addition to Kelly, including David Beck, attorney and founder of Beck, Redden & Secrest, L.L.P; Ernest Cockrell, chairman of Cockrell Interests Inc. and president and director of The Cockrell Foundation; Elizabeth (Libba) Shatto Massey, civic leader and philanthropist; Diane P. Wood, federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School; Hector De Leon, founder of the law firm of De Leon & Washburn, P.C.. The Texas Exes was founded in 1885. The mission of the Texas Exes is to unite, inform and involve alumni and friends for the purpose of promoting, protecting and preserving The University of Texas at Austin. Today there are about 90,000 members whom the association strives to connect to each other and to the past, present and future of the university through career counseling, travel, reunions, continuing education, fellowship, legislative advocacy in support of higher education and The Alcalde magazine. For more information on the Texas Exes or to become a member, visit

Professor Michael Williamson

Professor Michael Williamson

Accounting Professor Michael Williamson is one of four McCombs faculty members among the educators honored by The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System for outstanding teaching. The winners were:

Ramesh K. S. Rao, D.B.A., the McDermott Professor of Banking and Finance, Department of Finance

Dorothee Honhon, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management (IROM)

Michael Williamson, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Accounting

Michael W. Brandl, Ph.D., senior lecturer in economics and finance, Department of Finance

“The finance world is constantly evolving,” Brandl told the Daily Texan. “I don’t teach the same class I did five years ago, and I don’t plan on teaching the same class five years from now.”

72 educators from the 15 system institutions were honored as the 2010 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award winners during a ceremony on UT Austin campus on Aug. 11. UT Austin is home to 34 of the recipients.

The awards, which range from $15,000 to $30,000, are given to faculty members who demonstrate extraordinary classroom performance and innovation at the undergraduate level. The event marked the program’s second year.

In the competition for the awards, faculty candidates were subjected to rigorous examination of their teaching performance over three years by campus and external examiners.

Evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers considered a range of activities and criteria, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.

From McCombs TODAY

The McCombs School of Business took seventh place in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2011 survey of undergraduate business programs. Among public schools, McCombs tied for fourth. This marks the 12th year in a row for McCombs to place seventh or higher in the U.S. News ranking.

McCombs excelled across the board in the specialty rankings. The accounting program came in at number one for the fifth year running, and McCombs ranked in the top 10 in 10 out of 12 specialties. That is the best top-10 coverage in the nation, save one–the University of Pennsylvania. Only nine schools can boast of five or more top-10 specialty rankings.

McCombs’ performance in the specialty rankings:

Accounting: 1
Entrepreneurship: 7
Finance: 6
Insurance/Risk Management: 8
International Business: 4 (tie)
Management: 4 (tie)
Management Information Systems: 4
Marketing: 3
Production/Operations Management: 6 (tie)
Quantitative Analysis: 11 (tie)
Real Estate: 10
Supply Chain Management/Logistics: 12

The University of Texas came in at 45 in the national university rankings and 13 among public universities.

U.S. News and World Report business rankings are based 100 percent on peer assessment. Deans and directors are asked to rate the quality of programs they are familiar with on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished). On the specialty rankings, they are asked to nominate (but not rank) up to 10 of the best programs in each specialty.

from Compliance Week

A new academic paper by Professor William Kinney and McCombs doctoral student Marcy Shepardson has raised some intriguing ideas on how internal control flaws at small companies could be disclosed without a full external audit as required by Section 404(b) of Sarbanes-Oxley.

The paper suggests that there are less expensive ways to gauge a company’s control effectiveness short of a full external audit of internal controls over financial reporting, as SOX Section 404(b) requires.

Read the complete article at Compliance Week (login required), or download Kinney and Shepardson’s paper here .

Patrick Parker, BBA '04, MPA '04

Patrick Parker, BBA '04, MPA '04

From the McCombs Alumni Network News blog

Have you ever considered the importance of consistently giving to your alma mater?  One thing I’ve learned as a BBA/MPA alumni board member these past two years is that alumni do not always understand the importance of giving back to the McCombs School of Business, but perhaps this is due to outdated thinking.  Twenty five years ago state funding accounted for 59.3% UT’s total budget, but today it’s only 23.5%.  We are in a new era for how public institutions obtain their funding.  McCombs relies on alumni giving to operate and improve the school.  As your fellow alumnus, I’m asking you to give back to the McCombs School on an annual basis.

When you contribute to the McCombs School you are sending a message to the public that you value the education you received while attending McCombs.  The percentage of alumni that make a financial contribution of any amount to their alma mater during a fiscal year is known as alumni participation, and McCombs’ alumni participation is one metric used to determine our ranking among our peers according to widespread publications such as US News and World Report.

The McCombs School is one of the largest and most distinguished business schools in the country, and there are many things the school can brag about, but unfortunately, alumni participation is not one of them.  In the last few years, approximately 6% of alumni gave back to the McCombs School, which means McCombs alumni participation is ranked among the lowest of its peer schools (compared to 20% at Michigan Ross and 19% at UCLA Anderson). Continue Reading »

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