Texas Tech University

Dean Margaret Williams Awarded Highest Honor from Southern Management Association

Jacob Gordon

November 16, 2021

Dean Margaret Williams

Williams joins William Gardner and James G. Hunt as TTU recipients of the award.

Margaret L. Williams, dean of the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, was awarded the 2021 James G. Hunt SMA Sustained Outstanding Service Award (Hunt SOSA Award) by the Southern Management Association (SMA). Williams received the award during the SMA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on Thursday, November 4.

The Jerry Hunt SOSA award is the highest honor that SMA can bestow upon its members. It is named after James (Jerry) G. Hunt, a former Paul Whitfield Horn Professor in the Area of Management and the founding director of the Institute for Leadership Research at the Rawls College. In keeping with his legacy, the award is presented to an individual who has made important, sustained and current contributions to SMA. Some of these contributions could include serving as an elected officer, holding an appointed position, or providing volunteer service for SMA.

1986 was the first time Williams, then a doctoral student, presented a paper at SMA in New Orleans. Immediately, she saw the value that SMA can provide to all members, no matter their position.

“This is a group of people dedicated to the development of doctoral students who aspire to be management professors,” said Williams. “It is an inclusive group built on a culture of support and professional growth.”

After her initial paper presentation, Williams went on to hold an array of positions with SMA including, author, reviewer, discussant, and program chair.

“As my career has progressed, I have developed different ways to contribute, including workshops and panels on topics including academic administration, leadership, and career development,” said Williams

Williams began a 5-year officer leadership rotation in 2007 that culminated with her serving as the President of SMA in 2010.

As she reflects on the full circle moment of her receiving the Hunt SOSA Award in the same city she presented her first paper as a doctoral student, Williams wants to continue encouraging management professors to get more involved in academic leadership.

“I like to share experiences related to being an academic leader to encourage other management faculty to serve as department chairs, associate deans, and deans,” said Williams. “The skill set of management faculty is well-suited to these roles, and business schools can always use a strong, more diverse, and more well-prepared pipeline of talent.”

Williams is the third member of Rawls College to earn the SOSA Award, joining William Gardner (2017) and James G. Hunt (2003).

Gardner sees Williams' efforts within SMA as continuing the spirit set forth by Hunt.

“Margaret has made substantial scholarly, professional, and leadership contributions throughout her career that serve as an outstanding tribute to the impetus for the SOSA award, Jerry Hunt,” said Gardner.

“SMA is an organization that I love,” said Williams. “Being recognized by and being able to see so many of the friends I have made over the years is very special.”

Learn more about the nomination process for the James G Hunt SMA Sustained Outstanding Service Award and read a list of past Hunt winners on the SMA website.