Image of Business Instructional Facility

Jul 16, 2020 2020-07 Accountancy Faculty

Hobson to lead University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics

Jessen Hobson, professor of accounting at Gies College of Business, has been named the new director of the University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics, effective August 16, 2020. Hobson succeeds Associate Dean for Innovation and Chief Disruption Officer Robert Brunner, who served as the Center’s director since 2016.

“It is an honor to follow in Robert Brunner’s footsteps to head this dynamic and innovative center and to collaborate with the Deloitte Foundation,” said Hobson. “It is thrilling to be a part of something that is creating leading-edge course materials and addressing the demands of not only Gies students, but also students across the globe.”

Hobson joined the faculty at Gies College of Business in 2009 and has risen from the rank of assistant professor to his current position as full professor. He is also the faculty co-coordinator of the Gies Business Research Lab, which supports Gies faculty in performing groundbreaking research on business decision making. Hobson brings extensive data analytics experience to the Center, having served as an RC Evans Data Analytics Fellow in 2017-2018 and a Disruption Fellow in 2019, facilitating and leading the College’s efforts to create both undergraduate and graduate degrees in business analytics, and teaching data analytics. A product of some of the world’s most highly respected accounting programs, Hobson earned both a bachelor’s and master’s in accounting from Brigham Young University and completed his PhD in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006.

"[Creating] life-changing access to in-demand business content"

“The University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics supports our College’s mission to create life-changing access to in-demand business content,” said Jeffrey R. Brown, Josef and Margot Lakonishok Professor of Business and Dean. “The Center provides free access to relevant, impactful courses, case studies, and more that are used by faculty and industry professional around the globe. I can’t think of a better person to continue the success of the Center than Jessen Hobson.”

Gies College of Business and the Deloitte Foundation collaborated in 2016 to create the University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics. The mission is to take the lead in helping schools incorporate business analytics into their curriculum. Thanks to this business analytics curriculum, students can be better equipped than ever for success as business leaders of tomorrow. To date, the Center has released four courses that are free and available to the public. The first two courses, which received considerable acclaim, were downloaded more than 1,800 times across nearly all 50 states and more than 35 countries. So far, representatives from at least 500 unique institutions have requested content from the Center.

“The Deloitte Foundation is proud to help advance business analytics education and tools designed to provide students with the skills that are essential for career success,” remarked Kathy Shoztic, Executive Director, Deloitte Foundation.

“The pace of change in business keeps accelerating. Businesses must extract decision-useful information from increasingly large datasets, and the tools used to do that are continuously evolving,” Hobson said. “The University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics will continue to lead the way in helping faculty prepare students to meet that challenge and to prepare for the challenges of the future.”

Please see for a detailed description of our legal structure.

About Gies College of Business
For more than 100 years, Gies College of Business has intentionally designed its innovative programs, leading-edge curriculum, and experiential learning opportunities to empower and prepare students to turn big ideas into meaningful actions. Today, Gies faculty prepare more than 7,000 future business leaders, including 3,100 undergraduates, from around the world to put their purpose into practice and provide transformative leadership in a global economy.

About the Deloitte Foundation
The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization which supports education in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives that help develop the talent of the future and their influencers and promote excellence in teaching, research and curriculum innovation. The Foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefiting middle/high school students, undergraduates, graduate students and educators.