Jim Burton (left) dean of the College of Business, chats with potential MTSU transfer student Kevin Smith on Aug. 2, 2012, during the Middle Tennessee Education Center Celebration of Education Open House in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo courtesy of MTSU)
In an annual fall faculty meeting Friday of the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University, Dean Jim Burton announced he is stepping down from his position effective at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year.
The longtime Murfreesboro resident has worked for the university for more than 20 years, and he is the longest serving dean of the College of Business since the department became a school in 1965.
While the average service for a dean in accredited Colleges of Business is a little more than four years, Burton is beginning his 14th year in the leadership role.
In 1990, Burton came to the university as a professor of accounting, having previously taught at Florida State University and Murray State University, located in Kentucky.
During the past two decades, Burton has served as the coordinator of the Jones Chair of Excellence and associate dean for External Relations for the College of Business. Former MTSU President James Walker appointed Burton dean in August 1999.
He holds degrees from MacMurray College, Murray State University, and a doctorate in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner.
Under his leadership, the College of Business has received reaffirmation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business international accreditation college twice, as well as for the Department of Accounting.
The college also received the Wright Travel Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and the Woody Miller gift of $10 million for academic improvement – the largest such gift in the history of the university.
Burton also oversaw the establishment and subsequent improvement of a college specific admissions standard, and he helped lead the way in the college receiving its namesake, Jennings A. Jones.
In recent years, the College of Business has garnered praise from around the country for its academic excellence, which played a large role in it receiving in excess of $750,000 in summer research grants.
Since taking the position, the college has also added a doctorate degree program in the School of Economics, an entrepreneurship major, a technology equipped Student Collaboration Room and Trading Room for the Department of Finance.
Burton will continue to serve on numerous boards of directors for both nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies.
He is particularly active with the Middle Tennessee Council Boy Scouts of America and the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. He is board vice-chair and chair of the Pension Committee of Murfreesboro Electric, as well as a member of the Board of Directors, Audit Committee, and Finance Committee of Piedmont Natural Gas, a New York Stock Exchange listed public company.
Burton said he intends to remain with MTSU in a future role that is a matter of on-going discussion, and he looks forward to continuing and increasing his role with the regional business community.