FAYETTEVILLE — A $250,000 gift from a retired Dillard’s executive will establish an award that will go to a University of Arkansas, Fayetteville faculty member working in data science.
Kent Burnett is making the gift to help UA faculty members with their teaching and research. A new bachelor’s degree program in data science will begin in fall 2020 at the university.
“We can compete with anyone in the world in analytics and big data, and I’m excited about the opportunities there,” Burnett, a former chief information officer for Dillard’s, said in a statement released by the university. "Corporations have a need for more and better data, as well as people who can use the software. The U of A can be competitive in this area.”
Burnett, who retired from Dillard’s in 2016, grew up in Mena and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from UA. He and his wife, Deborah, live in Greenbrier.