UA appoints Brent Williams interim dean of Walton College

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,091 views 

Brent Williams

The University of Arkansas has appointed senior associate dean Brent Williams as the interim dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, effective Aug. 14.

Matt Waller, dean of Walton College for the past eight years, is leaving the job on that date. He will return to the classroom as a supply chain management professor at the UA.

Provost Terry Martin announced Williams’ appointment Friday (April 14).

“I’d like to congratulate Dean Waller for all the successes he has brought to Walton College in the past eight years,” Martin said in a statement. “We are grateful Dean Waller will continue to serve our institution as a professor. I’d also like to welcome Dr. Williams as he becomes the interim dean in August. I’m confident that Dr. Williams will continue the great work that Dean Waller has started and position Walton College as one of the best business schools in the country.”

Williams has worked in various roles at Walton College since coming to Fayetteville in 2011. He oversees Walton College’s academic departments, student success initiatives and insights and analytics function. He is the associate dean for strategy and growth initiatives and holds the Garrison Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management.

He received his Ph.D. in business administration from the UA, with a supply chain management focus. Williams has held previous faculty positions at Texas Christian University and Auburn University.

“I am energized by the opportunity to serve as interim dean. I am grateful to Provost Terry Martin for his confidence in me and to Dean Matt Waller for his mentorship and support,” Williams said.

In previous leadership roles, Williams led the early development of the McMillon Innovation Studio and Walton College at 2nd & Main in Downtown Little Rock. He also served as the chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management.

According to a UA news release, school officials will conduct a national search for the next Walton College dean during the 2023-24 academic year.

Walton College undergraduate enrollment jumped 42% from 2015 to 2022. In fact, 7,719 undergraduates enrolled in the business school in the fall 2022 semester, making it — for the first time — the largest college on the UA campus, just ahead of Education and Health Professions.