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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI’s business college focuses on importance of supply chain management

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I., . – August 1, 2007 – Responding to the increasing complexity and importance of the movement of products, the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business Administration, has redefined its operations management major to focus specifically on supply chain management. The shift in focus acknowledges the needs of industry not only in Rhode Island but also around the world.

The major encompasses the strategic planning, design, operations, and improvement of all activities involved in the procurement, manufacture, and delivery of goods and services to meet customer requirements. Supply chain management is the process of controlling all movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory and finished goods from point-of-origin to point-of-consumption.

Through a grant received by the URI Transportation Center, Deborah Rosen, associate business dean and professor of marketing, was able to create the major. Among some of the courses are customer relationship management, supply chain network modeling and international transportation. The up-and-coming major will be available as an undergraduate specialty for entering juniors. Supply chain management will also be offered as a specialty in the masters of business administration program.

An advisory council made up of industry experts has been established to oversee the new direction for the major. The council has been able to help ensure that the supply chain curriculum meets the needs of the industry.

The members of the advisory council are all involved in the industry, including Joseph Estrella, director of transportation and logistics at CVS; Don Schmidt, senior vice president of supply chain operations for Hasbro; and Brett Ryan, president of Newport Storm. “People involved in the industry will help drive this major,” Rosen said.

In the spring, the council met to discuss the new curriculum and heard from Mike Gray, who has been with Dell Computers for more than 15 years and is considered an expert on Dell’s unique approach to supply chain management.

The advisory council is expected to meet a few times a year, most likely coordinating with other career activities. Rosen is also expecting to start a student organization for the major in the fall. “Demonstrating distinct career paths will make this major popular,” Rosen said. “Jobs are out there in this field.”

The other members of the advisory council are:

Pat Canavan, consultant
June Youngs, Ocean Spray, director supply chain
Bill MacKinlay, The Task Force, Inc., president
Stephen Soares, Shaws, manager central transportation
Mark Sotir, Barret Distribution, director of customer relations
Jeff Karrenbauer, Insight, Inc., president
Mark Holmes, AST&L, collaborative consulting
S.L. Ganapathi, LogisticsPlus India, chief executive officer
Frederick Newtion, III, American Signature Inc., executive vice president



Pictured above
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT GATHERING: In front, far left, Deborah Rosen, associate dean of the College of Business Administration, is joined by students and personnel of the College of Business along with members of the Supply Chain Management Advisory Council. In front row from far left are: Mike Gray, of Dell Inc.; Sim Narasimhan, professor, College of Business Administration; and Patricia Canavan, advisory council member. In middle row from far left are: Stephen Soares, advisory council member; Shaw Chen, associate dean, College of Business Administration; Syagnik Banerjee, doctoral student, College of Business Administration; Jerri Paquin, associate director, Research Center for Business Research at URI; and Joseph Estrella, advisory council member. In back row from far left are: William MacKinley, advisory council member; Douglas Hales, assistant professor, College of Business Administration; Greg Couturier, MBA student; and James Kroes, assistant professor, College of Business of Administration. URI URI News Bureau Photo by Michael Salerno Photography.