Linda Myers is the Haslam Chair of Business and a Distinguished Professor of Accounting in the Department of Accounting and Information Management. She is also the director of the PhD program in accounting.
Why this field
As a first-generation college student, Myers did not have much experience with university life. In high school, she took accounting courses and found that the subject matter came easily to her. Knowing that a degree in accounting would guarantee her a job, she decided to major in accounting at McMaster University in Canada. She stayed on to earn an MBA in finance and teach accounting at McMaster. Eventually, she earned her PhD in business administration from the University of Michigan. Before coming to UT in 2016, she taught at the University of Illinois, Texas A&M University, and the University of Arkansas. She also served as a visiting researcher at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom and a visiting faculty member at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Myers enjoys hiking with her husband, who is also on UT’s faculty, and she coordinates a group that has come to be known as “Haslam Hikes.” Once a month, she organizes a group of faculty, staff, and PhD students from the college to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains or other parts of Tennessee. “We typically have between 10 and 15 hikers. Some are experienced and others are newcomers. It’s a great way to meet people in the college, to get some exercise, and enjoy the Tennessee scenery.”
Myers also loves to travel and has visited exotic locales including Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Estonia, and Slovenia. “I’m very fortunate because my opportunities for travel have been amazing,” she said. “Universities from around the world invite accounting professors to come to present their research. This allows me to visit many different places and meet interesting people while representing UT.”
If she didn’t do this
“My husband used to joke that I should be a cruise director because I like to plan things and organize parties and groups.”
Advice to her college-age self
“Don’t shy away from things that are difficult.” Myers realizes that she did this while she was in college, avoiding harder math courses and advanced economics.
“Have fun.” She regrets missing out on traveling, extracurricular activities, and concerts because she was so focused on her grades. She strongly recommends that students study abroad, get involved in extracurricular organizations, and take full advantage of everything UT has to offer.
“Be more active.” The more active you are now, the more likely you’ll be healthy in the future. Although she’s not athletic, Myers enjoys taking dance lessons with her husband.
“Don’t skip class—the future arrives.” She admits she didn’t always follow this advice, and she ended up having to study three times harder for the final exams in those classes.
And finally, “Just know that it will all work out. Some things will always go wrong but it’s really not the end of the world, even though it can feel like it. Just keep trying and know that it will all be OK, maybe in ways you can’t imagine yet.”