College of Business dean to give keynote address at business expo Oct. 1

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KINGSTON, R.I. – September 29, 2008 –Mark M. Higgins, dean of the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business Administration and the Alfred J. Verrecchia-Hasbro Inc. Leadership Chair in Business, will give the keynote address at the fourth annual Business to Business Statewide Business Expo.

To be held, Wednesday, Oct. 1 at URI’s Ryan Center from 1 to 7 p.m., the expo is an event of the South Kingstown Chamber of Commerce. Higgins’ talk, “The Need to Connect Tax Policy and Economic Development” will be at 1:15 p.m. He will take questions following the talk. The expo is free and open to the public. More than 160 exhibitors will be featured at the expo, which is expected to attract 2,000 visitors.

In the two years since his appointment as dean, the former accounting professor has led several initiatives that have brought the College national acclaim.

In August, URI became just the 22nd U.S. university to earn Certification in Transportation and Logistics from the American Society of Transportation and Logistics. URI earned the certification just one year after the supply chain management major was created at the College of Business Administration. It is the first New England university to offer the certification to its students, joining such schools as The Ohio State University, the University of Maryland, The Pennsylvania State University and the University of Tennessee.

In November of 2007, URI became just the 5th undergraduate finance program in the U.S. to be named a Chartered Financial Analyst Program Partner by the CFA Institute. URI and Michigan State University are the only schools certified by both organizations.

Upon his appointment, Higgins was praised for his administrative work, teaching and community service.

Higgins is working to re-energize the international business program through a strong collaboration with URI’s International Engineering Program, and he intends to forge strong links to the colleges of Pharmacy and Environment and Life Sciences so that business students can gain an understanding of the biomedical and biotechnical fields.

Higgins was associate dean of the business college for undergraduate programs prior to his appointment as dean, and he was director of the master’s program in accounting for 12 years. Under his direction, the College has expanded its honors offerings from three classes to six. The College’s accounting program has achieved 100 percent job placement for its graduates since 2000.

A certified public accountant, Higgins earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of South Carolina and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee.

He is the past-president of the American Taxation Association and a member of the Northeast Region of the American Association of Accounting Hall of Fame.

Higgins’ research has been published widely in professional and academic journals and he is the co-author of the textbook, Concepts in Federal Taxation, which is in its 15th edition. He has also served as a technical tax consultant to The Providence Journal’s Neil Downing, who writes the “Moneyline” column.

A season ticket holder for URI men’s basketball and a supporter of other athletics programs, Mark and his wife Ann are busy in the community with their three children, Will, 20, Dan, 17, and Tommy, 14. He has been a coach with the South County Youth Soccer Club for more than 15 years, as well as a basketball coach in the South Kingstown recreation program. He is a lector at Christ the King Church and has served on its finance committee.