Inbound Logistics | June 2022

sustainability, and the resiliency of a company’s supply chains are critical to success. It’s not only about optimizing costs, but also enhancing the revenue side of the equation. Strategic management of the supply chain can give companies a competitive edge. Richey: During the pandemic, we launched both an online and an on-campus supply chain management Masters program and have about 35 students. Some students come with a supply chain background, but many ended up in supply chain, even though their background is in something else. Fugate: We see massive growth at the undergraduate level. We actually need more teachers and professors. It’s so attractive to work in supply chain, the cost of giving up, say, four years to become a supply chain professor is steep. Those who choose to become a supply chain professor never regret it. Richey: Seven years ago, about 180 students were in our program. Now, at least 550 students are in the undergraduate supply chain program. It’s a massive adjustment. Many are transitioning from accounting programs; in supply chain, you’re not behind a computer screen all day. We also see growth in the number of women in the program. Nagurney: The pandemic increased the general public’s awareness of supply chains. Now parents and family members understand that supply chains are extremely important, so they know that if their children are interested in the topic, it can be a great future professionally. Demand for classes has grown by about 40%. At the same time, CEOs and company boards understand how critical supply chains are. That helps when I invite guest speakers in my classes or when we ask for funds for development. I honestly can’t think of a more relevant or a more exciting subject to be teaching now or learning about than supply chains. n

Meet the professors who participated in this roundtable discussion. Robert Glenn Richey, Jr., Ph.D. Harbert Eminent Scholar and Chair Department of Supply Chain Management Auburn University Raymond J. Harbert School of Business

Tobias Schoenherr Hoagland-Metzler Professor Purchasing and Supply Management

Kelly Lynch Director of Corporate and Student Relations Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business

Brian S. Fugate, Ph.D. Chair, Department of Supply Chain Management Oren Harris Endowed Chair in Transportation and MIT Fulbright Scholar The Sam M. Walton College of Business University of Arkansas

David Fisher Executive Director, Transportation & Supply Chain Institute University of Denver

Anna Nagurney, Ph.D. Ph.D. Coordinator in Management Science Eugene M. Isenberg Chair in Integrative Studies Director, Virtual Center for Supernetworks University of Massachusetts Amherst Isenberg School of Management, Department of Operations and Information Management Edward G. Anderson Jr., Ph.D. Professor of Management, Operations Management Group Mr. & Mrs. William F. Wright Centennial Professor for Management of Innovative Technology University of Texas McCombs School of Business

June 2022 • Inbound Logistics 67

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