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Governor Bill Haslam has appointed a UT director to a new committee that will advise him on how to support aerospace and defense employers in Tennessee and ways to attract new businesses.

Andy White, director of the university’s Aerospace and Defense Executive Master of Business Administration program, is one of ten members on the Tennessee Aerospace and Defense Advisory Board. The committee met for the first time this month at the governor’s mansion in Nashville.

Beginning in September, the committee, which includes academics, retired military leaders, and executives from the aerospace and defense industry, will execute strategic planning aimed at spurring economic development in the state’s aerospace and defense sectors.

“I visit aerospace and defense organizations all over the country, and Tennessee offers everything they value most—a well-educated and hard-working labor force, low taxes, low-cost utilities, business-friendly regulations, and a strategic location,” said White, who also is a retired Air Force officer. “The industry is rapidly relocating to the southeastern US and our governor is determined to see Tennessee capture some of that work.”

White, who has directed the Aerospace and Defense Executive MBA program since 2007, noted that the university brings an impressive package to the table to help grow the industry, thanks to its role in jointly managing the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, its strong engineering departments, and the College of Business Administration, which provides extensive support to the aerospace and defense industry. The college has a $40-million multiyear contract with the Air Force for applied research and instruction to support military business process improvements.

UT’s Aerospace and Defense Executive MBA program, based in the College of Business Administration, has graduated 225 industry leaders since its inception in 2004.

To learn more about the program, visit the website.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,

Andy White (865-974-2027,