Associate Professor Robert Fuller is the Jan R. Williams Professor and director of the Master of Accountancy program in the Haslam College of Business. Originally from Nashville, Fuller earned his doctorate at Indiana University and taught at the University of South Florida before being drawn back to his home state of Tennessee.
His expertise includes information systems in the sales environment as well as the diverse range of technology applications in business.
“It’s how we use information tools to make better decisions, to keep track of what we’re doing, to maintain data on our customers and sales,” he said.
Why this field?
“When I was little there was always technology around the house. I always enjoyed playing around with technology, building technology, breaking technology. I learned to program at a very young age; I wanted the computer to do the things that I wanted to do.
“I honestly didn’t go into technology as an undergraduate or even in my master’s degree, but . . . at some point I thought, ‘I really like this. Maybe I should put some time and effort and focus into it,’ and that’s when I got my PhD in information systems.”
When he’s not working with computers, Fuller is an avid hiker and traveler. This past summer he completed a monthlong 500-mile hike across northern Spain with his family.
“We’ve done a lot of hiking being this close to the Smokies, but that hike is very different. It’s actually an old premedieval pilgrimage across Spain. It was a very different way to experience Spain and experience my family.
“Not only did we have this renewal of relationship, so to speak, within our own family, but we had some really amazing relationships with people we met from Germany, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, and Ireland. It’s hard to describe it until you experience it.”
If he didn’t do this . . .
If he had never become involved with information technology, Fuller believes he would have fallen into his other passion: the outdoors.
“Working in national parks, or doing something in terms of sustainability or green spaces, to me is a big deal—having places for people to go to get away from the day-to-day office environment.”
Favorite spot on campus
“The entrance to the Haslam College of Business on Volunteer Boulevard.
“I teach in our master’s program, and at the end of the year we go there and take a class picture. It’s kind of a bittersweet location for me, because it’s kind of the last time I get together with all of the students that I teach in this concentration.
“It’s also a cool thing because they’re getting ready to go out and do all the things that they’ve been planning to do.”