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Dean College Of Business
Johnson Hall (JOHN) 101 / Box 5025
Dr. Thomas Payne is Dean of the College of Business at Tennessee Tech University. As dean, Tom serves as the senior academic and administrative officer, provides leadership and vision, and sets strategic, operational, and financial direction for the college.
The Tennessee Tech College of Business includes three academic departments serving 1,400 students across nine undergraduate programs – including the MBA and the Masters of Accountancy. Home to 65 faculty and staff, the college includes the Student Success Center, Student to Career Center, Small Business Development Center, the ICube Innovation Center, and chairs of excellence focused on quality leadership and information technology. The college also supports collaboratives in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and in Analytics and Data Sciences.
Prior to joining Tennessee Tech, Dr. Payne served as the University of Tennessee at Martin Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking and as chair of the UTM Department of Accounting, Finance, Economics and Political Science. Tom’s professional experience also includes positions at Texas Instruments, Rockwell International, UT Chattanooga and the University of Arkansas.
Tom serves on the Executive Committee of the Putnam County Chamber Board of Directors
and as Vice Chair of the Workforce Development and Education Division. He served as
chair of the Martin Tennessee Industrial Board and as a member of the Weakley County
Economic Development Board. He is founder of the UT Martin Regional Entrepreneurship
and Economic Development (REED) Center and the Mid-South School for Advanced Agricultural
Lending. He served on the WestStar Leadership Program Board of Trustees and as a past
president of the Southwestern Finance Association. A Paul Harris Fellow, Tom is a
member of the Cookeville Rotary Club and a past president of the Martin Rotary Club.
Tom served as a visiting professor at the University of Orléans (France), partnered with the Financial Services Volunteer Corporation to assist the Savings Bank of Albania during its privatization, and hosted a management program for Russian bank executives. He serves on the faculty of banking schools throughout the Southeastern United States and received the Eugene Spragens president’s award for teaching excellence from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. Dr. Payne has published dozens journal articles, provided hundreds of presentations, and worked in partnership with academic, government, and private organizations supporting education and economic development.
Dr. Payne holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas, an MBA with a Concentration in Finance from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Arkansas. Tom and his wife Amy have two daughters, Rachel and Rebekah, and a granddaughter, Reese, who live, work and play in the greater Nashville area.