Thomas Payne


Thomas  Payne




Dean College Of Business

Email Address:


(931) 372-6132


Foundation Hall (FNDH) 317B / Box 5025


  • PhD, Finance, University of Arkansas
  • MBA, Finance Concentration, University of Texas at Dallas
  • BS Electrical Engineering, University of Arkansas

Teaching, Research, and Professional Areas

  • Commercial Banking
  • Financial Markets and Institutions
  • Risk Management
  • Financial and Economic Policy
  • Leadership and Strategy  


Dr. Thomas Payne serves as the senior academic administrative officer, provides leadership and vision, and sets the strategic, operational, and financial direction for the Tennessee Tech College of Business. The college includes three academic departments serving 1,500 students across nine undergraduate and two graduate programs - including the MBA and Masters of Accountancy.  The college houses the Student Success Center, Student to Career Center, the iCube Innovation Center, the Small Business Development Center in partnership with the Upper Cumberland Development District, and chairs of excellence in quality leadership and information technology. A driver of innovation, the College of Business is committed to high-quality lifelong education and engaged in collaborative initiatives supporting economic and business development, health care, community banking, and data science and analytics. 

  • More About Dean Payne

    Payne serves on the Nashville Health Care Council Board of Directors, the IMPACT Board of Directors, and the Friends of Scouting Leadership Team. He co-led the development of the Tennessee Tech Tomorrow Strategic Plan during 2018-2019.  Tom served on the Cookeville Putnam County Chamber Board of Directors from 2017-2019 and the Chamber’s Executive Board in 2018. He previously served as Chair of the Martin Industrial Board, a member of the WestStar Leadership Board of Trustees and president of the Southwestern Finance Association.  A Paul Harris Fellow, he is a past president of the Martin Rotary Club and a member of the Cookeville Rotary Club. 

    Payne served as a visiting professor at the University of Orléans (France) teaching international finance and risk management and partnered with the Financial Services Volunteer Corporation to assist former Soviet Bloc financial institutions transition to privatization. He received the Eugene Spragens president’s award for teaching excellence from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU in 2013 and is a frequent speaker at banking schools and professional conferences on community bank performance; leadership and strategic planning; and economic change, policy, and forecasting.  Dr. Payne has published dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles; taught finance and banking at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels; provided hundreds of presentations; and worked in partnership with academic, government, and private organizations.

     Before joining Tennessee Tech, Payne served as the Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking and as chair of the Department of Accounting, Finance, Economics, and Political Science at the University of Tennessee at Martin. His professional experience also includes positions at Texas Instruments, Rockwell International, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and the University of Arkansas. 

    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 granddaughters, Reese and Mary Eva, who live, work and play in the greater Nashville area.