The official newsletter of the UNT College of Business.
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Dan Franks ('08)

UNT graduates have been known to transform innovative business ideas into successful ventures, and 2008 accounting major Dan Franks is no exception. In 2013, Franks started a podcast with fellow UNT alumnus Jack Montgomery and noticed an untapped market within the field. After attending a number of conferences and conventions, he realized that podcasters did not have an event they could call their own. This realization prompted Franks, and several other colleagues, to launch a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 that ultimately raised more than $30,000 in thirty days (triple their goal) to establish a podcast conference.

Today, Franks can proudly state that he has successfully developed the world’s largest podcast conference, “Podcast Movement,” which is held annually throughout the nation. Growing attendance levels from 500 to 2,500, his most recent event hosted attendees from 25 countries and all 50 states.

Franks may never have thought his degree would lead him down this path, but he still uses his UNT education every day—linking back to the valuable lessons he learned in his marketing, finance and accounting classes.

I really owe so much of what I do today to my entire education at the College of Business, and the Department of Accounting. This has turned from a crowd funded passion project that I did on the side, to a full-time career running a business that I helped build from the ground up,” said Franks.

The next Podcast Movement will be held in August of 2019 in Orlando, Florida.



Madhuri Bandla

Madhuri Bandla was selected as a recipient of the 2018 Texas Society of CPAs' Outstanding Accounting Educator Award. The Outstanding Accounting Educator Award recognizes Texas accounting educators who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and have distinguished themselves through active service to the accounting profession.
Madhuri is an inspired teacher, dedicated to her students, willing to innovate and try new things, a credit to the profession, and above all, passionate about her alma mater, UNT,“ said Don and Donna Millican Chair in Accounting Ananth Seetharaman.
The award gives profession-wide recognition to its recipients, while also promoting role models in academe. Only one Outstanding Accounting Educator Award is awarded in each category (community college, small, medium, and large university or college), and awards are not given in categories where judges determine that the entries do not merit them. The last time UNT won the award was in 2000, by Dr. Raymond Clay.
The award recipients will be honored before their peers during Texas Society of CPAs' annual Accounting Education Conference next month. Bandla will receive a $500 award, a recognition plaque and complimentary registration to the conference. News releases will be distributed to state and national accounting media, and to each recipient’s hometown media and college or university public information office.


North Texas Giving Day Donors

Each year, North Texas Giving Day brings together thousands of charities and donors for a full day of philanthropic giving. September 20th marked the 10th anniversary of this momentous event and we were grateful to have a number of donors contribute to the cause.

The generosity of those who gave helped the College of Business raise nearly $5,000. These gifts support our students and their academic careers, and serve as a vote of confidence in our college. For those reasons, we would like to extend a special thank you to all of those that supported the College of Business through this year's North Texas Giving Day:

Brian K. Abbey
Paula Calise
Samuel & Ellen Chang
John Curry
Alan Garrison
Nicole Jones
Mark M. Miller
Maureen Moore
Kim Norrell
Kelli Fuhrman
Ron Skillens
Mark & Debbie Sutherland
John S. Taylor



STEM-designated MBA in business analytics gets green light for fall 2019

One of the nation’s first Master of Business Administration degrees in business analytics designed around the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields has been approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. 

Starting August 2019, students can begin taking classes for the program through the UNT College of Business.   

“We are now one of the only M.B.A. degrees in the U.S. with a STEM-designation,” said Leon Kappelman, chair of the UNT Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences. “The beauty of this unique configuration is that students get a strong, analytical background in business IT, but they will also graduate with a core-management foundation that is great for those who aspire to C-suite positions.”

For international students, the categorization as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program by the U.S. federal government, gives graduates the eligibility to work for 36 months under the Optional Practical Training program, instead of the usual 12 months for graduates of non-STEM degrees.


UNT entrepreneurship center joins Denton’s new Angel Investment Group

The Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of North Texas is partnering with the Denton community to launch a new investment group in North Texas.

The Denton Angel Investment Group – whose founders include several successful entrepreneurs, two CEOs, a seasoned corporate attorney and the leader of UNT’s Murphy Center – was recently created to provide investment and strategic advisory support to early-stage ventures within Texas, emphasizing the Denton area.

“Between our university and the Denton community at large, we have a rich environment for startups to access creativity, technology, educational support, economic growth and capital,” said Jon McCarry, a UNT alumnus and senior director of the Murphy Center. “We are looking to support the group’s growth, assist entrepreneurs and help investors access opportunities.”


Accounting program receives recognition at the university and national level

The Department of Accounting at UNT continues to be recognized for its vast achievements on a university, and national, level. The department was recently identified as this year's Outstanding Department Award recipient, an honor given to only one department on campus. Faculty and staff will be recognized at the next President’s Staff Sack Lunch on October 3.
In addition to this honor, the department also received national recognition when the 2018 Annual Professor's Survey of the Public Accounting Report (PAR) announced the undergraduate accounting and doctoral accounting programs were both ranked in the top 50 in the nation, for the first time in history. All undergraduate rankings moved up in comparison to 2017, with UNT even receiving recognition on the report's cover.


Alumni honored with 2018 Most Admired CEO Awards

The Dallas Business Journal recognized two distinguished UNT College of Business alums through their newly established Most Admired CEO Awards. Brint Ryan, CEO of Ryan LLC, and Rusty Reid, chairman and CEO of Higginbotham, were among the elite list of 30 CEOs in North Texas to be honored.

Both Ryan and Reid were selected based on their level of servant leadership and the integrity they exemplify in everyday practices, according to their peers, employees and the community.

Ryan’s tax services firm serves more than 14,000 clients in 45 countries, and he firmly believes that creating value for those clients and over-communicating with them is essential. He stresses that the importance of enabling clients to perform to their highest potential is ultimately what develops a successful business. Likewise, Reid believes that being trustworthy and transparent with his employees helps keep everyone working toward the same goals. His employee-owned insurance company gives employees the opportunity to have a stake in the business’ success, which has helped them rise in the ranks.

Both Ryan and Reid were honored at an awards dinner at the Omni Frisco Hotel at The Star.


What’s the shape of business education in Texas? State deans’ group brings 2018 conference to UNT

Higher ups from business schools across the state headed to the University of North Texas College of Business for an annual event meant to bring together the top leadership from Texas’ business-education programs.

The Council of Texas Business Deans yearly conference began on Sept. 30 and was hosted by Marilyn Wiley, dean of the College of Business. Several dozen deans and associate deans were invited to discuss enrollment, retention, graduation, ways to improve educational systems and techniques to increase opportunities for students, among other topics.

The event was headlined by Robert Kaplan, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, as its keynote speaker. Kaplan had a conversation with UNT President Neal Smatresk on the state of the economy and the impact of business education in Texas today.  

Inaugural BornGlobal Innovators Forum joins start-ups and venture capitalists from around the globe

UNT’s inaugural BornGlobal Innovators Forum on Healthcare-tech took place on Monday, September 17 as a way to bring together institutional investors, venture capitalists and start-up portfolio companies from around the world.

In partnership with Astoria Consulting Group, the event took place in Frisco, Texas and included virtual forums from Palo Alto, California and Tokyo, Japan. Approximately 40 attendees gathered in Frisco, with an additional 120 virtual attendees from Silicon Valley and Tokyo.

“The ability to network with the fund managers and start-ups proved key, along with our ability to raise awareness of UNT and the City of Frisco,” said Jon McCarry, senior director of the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UNT.

Investors were given the opportunity to gain insight into innovative companies, while start-ups and venture capitalists showcased their ideas and expertise. Ten start-ups presented their ideas, while seven firms participated in an international panel session, discussing everything from investment criteria and sector specific market trends, to value add strategies.

The next BornGlobal Forum will take place on December 3, focusing on technology. Registration and more information will be available online.



The College of Business operates without a set advertising budget. Current advertisement recruitment efforts are based on departmental discretionary funding and often lack the necessary wide-range exposure and reach needed to successful promote the college and recruit prospective students. A gift of $10,000 would help alleviate this strain by providing the College of Business with a defined way to reach the prospective students by promoting our programs through one of the newest ways to capture young audience members—podcasts.


The Women in Business program within the UNT College of Business began four years ago as a way to connect women in the college with business leaders through networking and learning opportunities. Through exclusive speaker presentations, mentorships and professionalism courses, the program serves to empower women as they build one another up in the industry. Your support will help provide these invaluable services to our future women business leaders, enabling and empowering them to successfully serve as well-rounded leaders.


The Dean's Excellence Fund exists to give the Dean flexibility in supporting immediate needs and opportunities within the college. Whether that be a student's travel fees to an upcoming competition, a program that needs additional marketing collateral, or a piece of technology that must be fixed in the classroom, your unrestricted gifts toward the Dean's Excellence Fund, in any amount, are a critical part of our operations.


Click here or the "Make a Gift" link below to learn more
and solidify your support.


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University of North Texas
College of Business

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