Although managing a global supply chain is clearly a cross-cultural endeavor, it's not always easy to find educational programs that offer a global perspective. The University of Tennessee's Center for Executive Education aims to change all that. With the launch of its Global Supply Chain Executive M.B.A., the school hopes to create the most comprehensive global supply chain program ever offered by a U.S. university.
The program, set to start in the first quarter of 2011 and run until May 2012, is being developed in conjunction with Budapest's Central European University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, according to David Ecklund, a lecturer at Tennessee and director of the program. Classes will be held in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, he says.
The 465-hour curriculum is expected to cover such topics as operations, risk management, international law, and leadership. More than 10 percent of the class time will be devoted to developing strategies to manage supply chains in a transnational, multicultural environment.
These will not be purely theoretical exercises, however. Each student will be assigned a project designed to help his or her company either reduce supply chain costs or boost profitability, according to Ecklund. The goal, he says, is for students to apply the knowledge they gain from their studies when they return to their full-time jobs. In fact, Ecklund says, companies that send executives through the program should expect a $1 million payback over three years.
Enrollment is expected to be limited to 40 students, with about half from outside the United States, Ecklund says. Program fees have not yet been established. For more information, visit http://thecenter.utk.edu.