Experts Guide

Supreme Court Rulings

Bill FoxSales Tax: The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 that states can collect sales tax from internet retailers with no physical presence in the state.

Bill Fox, director of UT’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, is an expert in internet taxation and state tax policy, public finance (operations between government and private sectors), and fiscal federalism. In addition to being a distinguished professor of business, he has served as a consultant on finance, taxation, and economic development in a number of states and developing countries.

Maurice StuckeCell Phone Data: In a high-profile privacy case, the court ruled that government needs a warrant to collect location data about the customers of cell phone companies. Maurice Stucke is an expert in privacy law in the College of Law and available to talk about the implications this could have on personal information kept by companies and other entities.

Denuclearization in North Korea

Howard HallProfessor Howard Hall is an expert in nuclear security, with recognition from the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Science Foundation. He serves as the director of UT’s Institute for Nuclear Security.

He has delivered talks and held seminars around the world on nuclear proliferation, security, and detection, and has worked extensively with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Hall, the joint UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Global Nuclear Security, addressed some of the topics being raised in light of the recent summit between the United States and North Korea.

Net Neutrality and AT&T/Time Warner Merger

Stuart BrotmanTwo major communications issues—net neutrality and the AT&T/Time Warner merger opinion—are making headlines this week, and UT faculty member Stuart Brotman is available to explain what’s happening and how it might affect consumers.

Hurricane Season Begins

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway, and if recent storms are any indication of what’s to come, we may be in for a pummeling. Last year, Hurricane Harvey slammed southern Texas and caused widespread flooding in Houston. And Hurricane Maria became the 10th most intense hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin when it devastated Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean

Kelsey EllisKelsey Ellis is a physical geographer specializing in meteorology and climatology. Her research focuses mainly on extreme and hazardous weather, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and extreme temperatures and precipitation. Read more.


Jon HathawayJon Hathaway, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is a nationally recognized expert in flooding, storm water runoff, and other water-related disasters in urban areas. Topics he can discuss include what measures can be taken to control/mitigate flooding; health concerns in the wake of such events; storm effects on infrastructure; how urban design worsens flooding; why dams release water in the middle of floods; what can be expected when the waters clear; and ideas for how to prevent such issues in the future.

Hathaway has worked with national, state, and local government agencies in flood-related projects, and has been honored by the National Science Foundation for his work.

Contact David Goddard at 865-974-0683 or david.goddard@utk.edu to arrange an interview with Hathaway.

Matthew MurrayGasoline prices are on the rise as supply chains often are disrupted after storms. Matthew Murray, director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and associate director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, is an expert in fuel costs and taxes. Read more.


Ted StankTed Stank, professor of supply chain management and Harry J. and Vivienne R. Bruce Chair of Excellence in Business, is an internationally recognized expert in supply chain strategy, including risk management. Topics he can discuss include what measures can be taken to manage food, water and electrical disruptions caused by natural disasters; how companies structure their supply chains to make sure natural disasters do not cause supply shortages in unaffected areas; and how FEMA and other aid agencies determine the areas in greatest need of basic supplies like food, clean clothing, etc.

Stank has worked with companies like Lowes, Walgreens and Walmart, who are frequently asked to participate in disaster relief, as well as more than 60 others, including the U.S. Marine Corps, on preparing for and preventing supply chain disruptions. Read more.


Gubernatorial Race

Anthony NownesAnthony Nownes is a professor of political science whose research looks at lobbyists and interest groups within the United States at the local, state, and national levels. He can discuss the Tennessee gubernatorial race. Read more

Opioid Epidemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that more than 63,600 people died from drug overdoses in 2016; more than two-thirds of those were due to opioids. It was the worst year on record — and even more families lost loved ones to opioids in 2017, according to STAT News.

Shandra Forrest-BankShandra Forrest-Bank, assistant professor of social work, has expertise in the transition to adulthood, risk and resilience, and positive youth development. Her main focus is understanding how poverty and racism are factors impacting young adult trajectories. Read more.

Aaron BrownAaron Brown, a PhD student in the College of Social Work, is studying opioid addiction and relapse prevention. He has worked as a residential tech at a group home, then as a case manager, and later as a counselor and LCSW. His clinical practice was focused on the treatment of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and substance use disorders. Read more.

David PattersonDavid Patterson, Cooper-Herron Endowed Professor in Mental Health Research and Practice, is the director of the College of Social Work’s DSW program.  He has developed curriculum related to evidence-based substance abuse treatment and is the principle investigator for HUD’s Knox Region’s Homeless Management Information System. Read more