David Blackwell PhD
Professor of Finance
David W. Blackwell is a Professor in the Department of Finance and Quantitative Analysis at the University of Kentucky. He served as the Provost and Chief Academic Officer of the University of Kentucky (UK) from 2018-2021, overseeing a budget of over $1 billion; enrollment of 31,000 students; 3,000 faculty members and 5,000 staff members. As Provost, Dr. Blackwell oversaw record enrollment growth while maintaining academic preparation and increasing diversity. UK also saw record first-to-second year retention and graduation rates during his tenure. He oversaw the launch of UK Online, which created 26 new online degree programs and certificates in 2020. Since inception of UK Online, the number of online programs at UK has increased from 37 to 88 and online enrollments have increased by 132 percent—from 892 to 2,066 students.
Before being appointed as Provost in January 2018, Dr. Blackwell served as Dean of the Gatton College of Business and Economics at UK from 2012 to 2018. Under his leadership, the college increased overall enrollment by 36 percent; increased freshman enrollment by 67 percent; and achieved record rates of retention and graduation. He led the fundraising efforts toward a $65 million expansion and renovation of the Gatton College facility, considered one of the premier business education facilities in the country. The initiative was funded completely with private dollars. The college raised over $100 million in new private funds during his tenure.
Before joining the University of Kentucky in 2012, he served as James W. Aston/RepublicBank Professor of Finance and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in Mays Business School at Texas A&M University from 2008 to 2012. Dr. Blackwell served as Head of the Department of Finance at Texas A&M from 2002 to 2008.
From 1998 to 2002 he served as a Director in KPMG’s Forensic practice and as a Director in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Financial Advisory Services practice. Before his consulting career, Dr. Blackwell served as a Finance professor for 13 years at the University of Georgia, the University of Houston, and Emory University.
Dr. Blackwell has a national reputation as a finance scholar and his published work establishes his expertise on a broad range of topics, including corporate finance, commercial bank management, executive compensation, and securities underwriting. His papers on these topics have appeared in the leading scholarly journals of Finance and Accounting such as Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Accounting Research, and Journal of Accounting and Economics.
Dr. Blackwell has consulted with major companies and organizations on a broad range of issues. In a litigation setting, he has consulted or testified on matters such as securities fraud, breach of contract, and patent infringement. His other experiences include consulting on corporate financial policies with Shell Oil Company; closed-end fund governance issues with Morgan Stanley; asset-liability management issues with Quantum National Bank (Atlanta, GA); and financial structure issues with Sumitomo Corporation. He designed and implemented training programs for bank executives in Poland and Slovakia; served as Assistant Academic Director of the Georgia Banking School (sponsored by the Georgia Bankers Association); and conducted financial training programs for executives of Halliburton, IBM, Chemical Bank, Southwire Company, and the People’s Construction Bank of China (PRC).
Dr. Blackwell currently serves on the local advisory board for Truist (formerly BB&T) and has served on the board of directors of Commerce Lexington (Lexington Chamber of Commerce) and The Washington Campus, a Washington DC-based organization that educates graduate business students and executives on navigating the public policy process. He also served on the board of The Twin Cities Endowment, an organization that provides funding for economic development projects in the Bryan-College Station, Texas area. Dr. Blackwell was President of the Southern Finance Association (1998-1999) and served on its Board of Directors through 2000.
He earned his Ph.D. in Finance in 1986 and his B.S. in Economics in 1981, both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.