Allen and Ruth Harris Chair of Excellence in Business

The Allen and Ruth Harris Chair of Excellence was established in 1988 to enhance the academic, research, and service programs of East Tennessee State University's College of Business. The chair's emphasis is on the development of management skills and practices, particularly within the Master of Business Administration program. In addition, the chair seeks to enhance stronger working relationships between the college and the regional business community.

The Harris family of Johnson City, Tennessee has been a strong supporter of ETSU for many decades. Allen Harris, Jr.'s distinguished career included important executive and ownership positions with the Harris Manufacturing Company, the Harris Flooring Company, and Harris-Tarkett, Inc.

A 1929 MBA graduate of Harvard Business School, Mr. Harris was dedicated to the support of quality education for present and future business leaders. Together with his wife, Ruth Harris, he was also devoted to improving the quality of life for all citizens in the regional community. From 1982 until his passing in 1992, Mr. Harris served as the first chairman of the ETSU College of Business Board of Advisors.

Harris Chair Mission Emphases
  • The principal mission emphases of The Allen and Ruth Harris Chair of Excellence are:
  • To strengthen the working relationships between ETSU's programs in business and the regional business community
  • To enhance the regional, national and international reputation of ETSU and its business programs
  • To enhance the academic, research and service programs in business, with an emphasis on management skills and practices
  • To assist with the development of the ETSU MBA program which serves as a means of upgrading the management skills of area personnel
  • To provide expertise to businesses and other organizations seeking to improve their management systems and practices