Patricia Montesinos
Staff Writer

Harold Black, professor of financial institutions, has been named Honorary Faculty Member of the Month by the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society. The award is given to faculty members who focus on and are committed to their students.
Black comes to the university with a background in finance. He has served on the board of the National Credit Union Association and as chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta. Black has also served as a faculty member of Howard University, American University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Florida-Gainesville.
Born in Atlanta, Black was the first African-American male student to live on campus at the University of Georgia, where he earned his undergraduate degree. He went on to receive his Ph.D. and M.A. from Ohio State University-Columbus.
He has written countless articles for publications including the Journal of Money, the Journal of Banking and Finance and the Journal of Monetary Economics. In addition, Black is also involved in consulting. Among his clients are Chrysler Financial, SunTrust Bank, National Credit Union Administration and Home Savings of America.
Chris Collins, a senior in finance, describes Black as a tough professor that “pushes his students towards excellence.” Collins added that it is rare to find a professor who can teach such a tough class, with the student walking away having learned “so much.”
Collins said Black knows the answer to every question and encourages students to ask them. He is also always exceptionally well prepared for his lectures and is always available to meet outside of his office hours.
A devotion to learning and teaching has roots in Black’s family tree.
“My parents were teachers, as was my mother’s mother. I had no intentions of being a professor when I went to college, but it was a natural fit. When growing up, I read all the time and in college learned that being able to read and think for a living while passing forward what I was learning was what I was destined to do,” Black said.
Much to the credit of his peers’ perception of him, Black said he expects effort and “intellectual curiosity.”
Still, challenging coursework is not popular among all of his students.
“There are certain students who do not like me or my class. They resent the fact that I test using essays. They resent the fact that I take off for misspelled words. They resent that I will not let them use calculators. However, the students I connect with are those who appreciate being challenged in the classroom and by the material,” Black said and added that the results are worthwhile.
“My greatest satisfaction comes from students becoming able to make informed judgments about what is happening in the business world.”
Black’s colleagues describe him as a person with high standards of respect for himself and for education.
Colleagues also said he is not afraid to call his students out for slacking off in his class and expects them to do well.
Even though Black is demanding and rigorous in the classroom, his tough love tactic seems to pay off. In 2001, Black received the John B. Ross Teaching Award for his contributions to UT and its students.
Order of Omega President Jessica Henshaw said their teacher of the month program came to life during the Fall Semester.
“We thought it would be a great idea for the members to be able to say who they have really enjoyed having as a teacher and to give them some recognition for all the hard work they have done,” she said.
Members nominate a professor, state the reason they think the professor is worthy of the honor and then members cast their vote.