Simon Sheather PhD
On July 1st, 2018, Simon J. Sheather became the 8th dean of the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics. One of UK’s top two largest undergraduate colleges, Gatton College consistently ranks top among UK colleges in economic development and is home to the Center for Business & Economic Research (CBER), the applied business and economic research branch of the Gatton College and the leading source of information on the Kentucky economy. Sheather is a strong believer in the college’s mission to prepare principled leaders for the global economy, produce influential research, and support economic growth in Kentucky and beyond. Gatton College educates more than 4,000 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing and supply chain management.
Previously, Dean Sheather served as professor and interim director of Texas A&M University’s Institute of Data Science, as well as academic director of the M.S. in Analytics and Online Programs in the Department of Statistics. After taking office, Sheather announced a real-time, online MBA option and a popular new minor in business analytics, which produced its first graduates in 2020. Under Sheather’s leadership, the college has implemented new initiatives to leverage online technology, increase access and encourage more international exposure for business students at Kentucky’s flagship university. The college is also expanding its programs for recent graduates and full-time working professionals who want to enhance their careers. New programs beginning in fall 2021 include the Master of Science in Strategic Human Resource Management and Analytics, a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management as well as a Master of Science in Marketing.
In 2021, Sheather was named as the first holder of the Truist Chair in Data Analytics. The inaugural chair in the Department of Finance is part of a $2.5 million endowment established in 2019 by Truist Financial Corporation through its Truist Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund at The Winston-Salem Foundation. Sheather has extensive consulting experience working with industry and government in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, UK, and US, developing practical predictive models for big data. Because today’s global economy depends on using data to solve the world’s biggest, most daunting problems, Sheather will be providing data analytics opportunities for faculty and students.
A native of Australia, Sheather graduated with 1st Class Honours in mathematical statistics from the University of Melbourne and earned his Ph.D. in statistics from La Trobe University. His academic career includes professorships at the University of New South Wales and Texas A&M University as well as visiting professorships at Pennsylvania State University and the Stern School of Business at New York University. While at Texas A&M, he personally started two professional master’s programs, both of which make innovative use of technology. In addition, he led numerous philanthropy efforts, which raised substantial funds from alumni and companies. Additionally, Sheather is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and has received awards for excellence in teaching at two different institutions.