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March 21, 2007
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
ward.mullens@emich.edu 734.487.4400

EMU Regents approve new academic program in supply chain management

YPSILANTI — The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved a new major and a minor in supply chain management at its regular meeting March 20.

Supply chain management  (SCM) is a broad subject area that focuses on the flow of materials, information and facilitating services from the raw material sources through all the organizations necessary to develop, produce and deliver a finished product or a service to its ultimate users.

“It’s important to the University because we are offering something we have not offered before. It is important to the community because, as more products and components are being built overseas, the demand for well trained SCM personnel increases,” said Hugh McSurely, supply chain management program coordinator.

“The development of this major and minor are our response to a huge need in the market in southeast Michigan and the state,” said David Mielke, dean of EMU’s College of Business.  “There is an increasing demand for graduates with this expertise.  These also are programs that fit well with the applied focus of the College of Business.”

“Supply chain management has been an emerging field and there was few universities in the world that offer the SCM curriculum. We now have that. This is a great opportunity for EMU to be recognized as a benchmark in a field that is recognized globally,” said Tom Sidlik, EMU regent and head of procurement and supply chain management for Daimler/Chrysler.

McSurely said that EMU’s new SCM undergraduate program is different from some others for three reasons.

“First, in its development, we used a competency-based approach,” McSurely said. “We identified 200 things that an undergraduate student in this field should know or be able to do.

We called these things competencies. Then, industry professionals reviewed these competencies and helped us decide what should go in the program.  It’s more of an applied than theoretical program.”

 Second,  McSurely said, the program has a global orientation.

“We wanted to take advantage of the international expertise within the College of Business (where the SCM program resides). We have an international business program in the college and we have a large number of international students. One of the required courses is international business and another, the capstone course, is a global supply chain management course.  Conducting business in a global environment is a common theme throughout the program.,” said McSurely.

“The third thing that differentiates this program is that it’s an integrated program with a sufficient number of electives, allowing students to pursue different career paths such as international business, retailing, purchasing, logistics, operations management and information systems. We also find that students interested on foreign languages can use supply chain management as a foundation to enter businesses in other nations,” McSurely said.

“With so many companies downsizing, the demand for these types of jobs increases to manage the flow of these materials throughout the world. We are providing skills to take advantage of the globalization of business,” McSurely said.

For additional information about this program, go to the supply chain management Web site at www.scm.emich.edu. For questions related to the graduate program, call the College of Business Graduate Advising Office at 734.487.4444. For undergraduate information, call the COB undergraduate advising office at 734.487.2344.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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