Janet McKinley (’80)

Category: Alumni Service | Awards

For almost 40 years, Janet McKinley has been an avid and active supporter of UT, the Haslam College of Business, the Department of Accounting and Information Management, the Herbert College of Agriculture, and UT men’s and women’s athletics.

A native of Middle Tennessee, she earned her BS in accounting at UT in 1980 and then joined BellSouth Corporation, where she held positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of accounting, finance, budgets, forecasting, and internal auditing. In 1988, McKinley received her master’s in accounting from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and she is also a certified internal auditor.

Her BellSouth career culminated in her role as chief corporate auditor, in which she implemented the sweeping internal-audit changes that followed the Enron and WorldCom scandals and the resulting Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Since retiring from BellSouth in 2007, McKinley has dedicated herself across a wide spectrum of initiatives to her personal goal of helping others build a foundation for success.

She was the founding president of the BellSouth (now AT&T) Women’s Networking Alliance, which served more than 3,000 women in a nine-state area. McKinley also served as board chair for Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta and was a member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association (now the LPGA Amateur Golf Association) Foundation and Executive Boards.

In her continuing and tireless commitment to UT, she has served on the UT System Foundation Board, the Alumni Association Board of Governors, and was a past chair of the Development Council. She currently serves on the Department of Accounting and Information Management Advisory Roundtable, as a member of the 1914 Society, as a member of the Haslam College of Business’s Archways Society, and as a member of the Alliance of Women Philanthropists (AWP). She received the Brenda G. Lawson Legacy of Leadership Award from the Women’s Alliance in 2016.

McKinley has touched many areas within the university. She established the Women in Business Scholarship for female student–athletes enrolled in the Haslam College of Business and the Auditing Excellence Scholarship in honor of her father, Robert, who received his accounting degree from UT in 1948. Because of her passion for the game of golf, she created the Grads to Golf™ program at UT to encourage business students to learn to play golf and understand its importance in the business world. An avid fan of Lady Vol sports, she has provided support for both the Wayne Basler Boathouse and the Blackburn-Furrow Golf Clubhouse. She has also supported the Herbert College of Agriculture by establishing the Bob and Barbara McKinley Student Enrichment Endowment.
Janet McKinley
2014 Alumni Service Award Winner