Executive in Residence, 2021-2022
The Enron Whistleblower
Sherron Watkins is the former vice president of Enron Corporation who alerted then-chairman Ken Lay in August 2001 to accounting irregularities within the company, warning him that Enron "might implode in a wave of accounting scandals." She has testified before Congressional Committees investigating Enron’s demise from both the House and the Senate. Watkins received national acclaim for her courageous actions — TIME magazine named her one of its 2002 Persons of the Year, honoring "The Whistleblowers."
In recognition of her outstanding demonstration of ethics in the work place, Watkins has received numerous honors, including the Court TV Scales of Justice Award and its Everyday Heroes Award, the Women Mean Business Award from the Business and Professional Women/USA Organization, and the 2003 Woman of the Year Award by Houston Baptist University. Glamour Magazine named her one of its 2002 Women of the Year, and Barbara Walters included her as one of the "10 Most Fascinating People of 2002." In 2003, the National Academy of Management presented Watkins with its Distinguished Executive Award and the Women’s Economic Round Table honored her with the Rolfe Award for Educating the Public about Business and Finance.
Watkins is co-author, along with Texas Monthly journalist Mimi Swartz, of Power Failure: the Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron.
Watkins is a Certified Public Accountant. She holds a master's degree in professional accounting as well as a BBA in accounting and business honors from the University of Texas at Austin. She is available for guest lectures, student organization meetings and events, collaborative ethics research projects, and student mentoring sessions. During the Spring 2022 semester, she will teach MGT 4370: Business Ethics and MGT 5380A: Business Ethics Leadership.