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Jim Gentry

Professor Emeritus of Finance

Biographical Sketch

                                                               JAMES A. GENTRY


 Professor Emeritus of Finance and University Distinguished Teacher Scholar

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



A. B., Indiana State University; M.B.A. and D.B.A., Indiana University.  Prior to being a professor, Gentry was a navigator in the Strategic Air Command for four years and was a stockbroker with Dean Witter & Co. for five years.  He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1966.  From 1975-1979, he served as Associate Dean of the College of Business.  He has been the author of numerous articles and chapters in books. His primary research interests are using cash flow measures to predict bankruptcy, bond ratings, loan risks, growth in firm value, and rates of return on equities.  In 1980 he was a Fulbright research fellow at IIM Bangalore and in 1994 a Fulbright Scholar in Japan where he studied Japanese corporate governance.  He was the Fulbright Tuscia Distinguished Chair in Business Administration at Viterbo, Italy for the fall semester 2003.


Currently, Professor Gentry teaches a graduate course entitled Cases in Strategic Financial Management at Illinois. It focuses on assessing a company’s financial health, cash flow analysis, capital investments, capital structure, and a live case on valuation. In 2005 he introduced a new graduate case course on Corporate Restructuring   In May 1985, he was honored by receiving the Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award.  In 1995, Gentry received the first Educator’s Award from the University of Illinois Alumni Association for his extraordinary effort to recognize students’ personal abilities and to help them improve.  He also received the Outstanding Teacher in Continuing Education Award in 1983 and 1986.  In 1988 and 1997, Gentry was the recipient of the College Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award.  He has co-authored three papers that examined the learning strategies and behavior of business school students. In May 2001, Gentry was recognized as a University Distinguished Teacher Scholar, the highest honor presented for teaching at the University of Illinois.  The Midwest Finance Association awarded Gentry its first Lifetime Service Award in 2002.


 Although Gentry retired in May 2002, he and Frank Reilly are currently revising a manuscript--Estimating the Intrinsic Value of an Enterprise with An Integrated Financial System: A Live Case.  He is a co-author of Historic Changes in the High Yield Bond Market with Professors Frank K. Reilly and David J. Wright Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, summer 2009. Also he is updating the original version of The Cash Flow Story.