New Degree Gets Funding From AHTD

UCA President Tom Courtway received a $3,000,000 check from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) last week. AHTD Director Scott Bennett presented the check in front of a crowd of about 100 professors, faculty and students Aug. 27 in the College of Business lobby.
The endowed share will be applied toward a new supply chain logistics management degree that should be approved by fall 2017.
“It puts us on the map in the area of supply chain management logistics,” Courtway said. “I think it will attract a lot more students into the field, and I think it will also attract some other donations from private companies.”
UCA and AHTD are joining together to create hard workers who care about safety and efficiency when it comes to the movement of people and goods around the state, Bennett said during a short speech.
“UCA has already had an established program in transportation logistics, but this will allow them to add some courses that have a degree program in transportation logistics and supply chain management and to be able to have some courses to train students in motor carrier safety regulations and transportation policy – and that’s something that students in other places aren’t getting,” Bennett said.
In 2013, the legislature passed a registration fee on commercial vehicles that travel in and out of the state. Since then, that registration fee has created a pot of funds that made this gift to UCA possible. The endowed share will fund course development, training, faculty positions and scholarships for the next 20 years using the interest from this donation.
These new programs will open doors for students looking to graduate with a major in logistics instead of supply chain management emphasis degrees. The minor should become available one semester after the major is approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
The program is designed so that supply chain management emphasis students may apply their credits toward the new major.
“This is phenomenal as a student and as a female because logistics is a male-dominated field,” logistic student sophomore Lindsey Gray said. “So I feel that if we had the opportunity to turn this into a major, we can get more students and then this causes even more women in the field and that’s phenomenal.”
Since government funding to the university has been lacking in previous years, donor gifts have been taken with the upmost gratitude, Associate Professor of Marketing Doug Voss said.
“It will certainly change the College of Business because it will allow us to start a new major,” Voss said. “From a fundraising standpoint, when you get a gift like this it shows that there is external validation of the things that we’re doing here at the university. Our funding has been flat since 2007 – 2008.”
College of Business professors said this program will not only boost the College of Business, but will also allow current students to see a positive future for the university.

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