Daily Press (Sunday)

Supply chain, maritime school shows success of partnershi­p

- By Brian K. Payne and Wayne Coleman Brian K. Payne, Ph.D., is vice provost for academic affairs at Old Dominion University. Wayne Coleman is chairman and owner of CV Internatio­nal, Inc. (CVI) | Capes Shipping Agencies, and chair of the Maritime and Suppl

Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success.” This quote epitomizes Old Dominion University’s relationsh­ip with industry partners in the supply chain and maritime sector. Three decades ago, industry partners and ODU faculty and administra­tors came together and developed the Maritime and Supply Chain Advisory Council. This council has stayed together since then and today boasts more than 50 members.

Not long ago a group of prominent regional business leaders identified maritime and supply chain as a key area of opportunit­y to diversify the coastal Virginia economy. The same business leaders called upon higher education leaders to work closely with industry to join forces and identify strategies for ensuring the presence of maritime-related education, innovation and research throughout the region.

We are proud to say that under the leadership of ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., ODU responded to this call from businesses and worked with its Maritime and Supply Chain Advisory Council to create the School of Supply Chain, Logistics, and Maritime Operations.

The academic entity was approved last month by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

The new school will be a nexus for training, research, innovation and commercial­ization. It will serve as the region’s primary source to enhance our brand and leadership in the fields of supply chain, logistics and maritime operations. In doing so, the school will help ODU and the coastal Virginia region become internatio­nally recognized for its maritime and supply chain strengths as well as opportunit­ies. These include research, commercial­ization and workforce developmen­t.

A recent study ranked ODU the No. 1 university in the country when it comes to maritime management research. While the ranking instilled great pride, we collective­ly agreed that we needed to do even more to connect our research with our academic, workforce developmen­t and innovation activities.

Combining the strengths of ODU’s researcher­s with insights offered by members of industry serving on the school’s advisory council will help our community become an internatio­nal leader in supply chain and maritime academic programmin­g, economic developmen­t, innovation and research.

Just as roads, highways, trains, waterways and airspace are parts of a successful supply chain and maritime network, academic programmin­g, workforce developmen­t, innovation and research are necessary ingredient­s for the regional infrastruc­ture supporting this network.

Faculty and business leaders have been working closely to identify a curriculum and course material that meets the needs of

industry. Over the past year, advisory council members convened a series of focus groups with ODU alumni and those working in industry to solicit feedback about the types of topics that should be addressed in our maritime and supply chain courses.

Faculty will use the feedback to shape their instructio­n. As an example, one faculty member is already using feedback to develop a course tentativel­y titled “Maritime Leadership, Technology, and Society.” The course will call upon our regional maritime partners to help students learn how leaders use technology to shape maritime and supply chain practices and how these decisions impact all of us in Hampton Roads.

In addition, industry representa­tives

highlighte­d the value of internship­s in making sure that their future employees are prepared for the daily regimen. Along this line, ODU’s strategic plan includes the goal of having every student who graduates from ODU complete an internship by 2027.

The School of Supply Chain, Logistics, and Maritime Operations will provide opportunit­ies to market the connection­s between regional maritime industries and the school. These connection­s demonstrat­e ODU’s commitment to supporting regional industries seeking help with workforce developmen­t and commercial­ization.

Promoting the collaborat­ive relationsh­ip between the school and the maritime community

will show an internatio­nal model for partnershi­ps between higher education and industry. In turn, this will help to recruit new businesses to the region.

ODU representa­tives and maritime business leaders came together in the early 1990s, stayed together and worked together to create the new school. While we can celebrate our work together as a success, we’re not done.

In many ways, we are just getting started.

 ?? STEVE HELBER/AP ?? The Mediterran­ean Shipping Company ship MSC Meline, front, is in the process of being loaded at the Virginia Internatio­nal Gateway Marine terminal in 2021 in Norfolk.
STEVE HELBER/AP The Mediterran­ean Shipping Company ship MSC Meline, front, is in the process of being loaded at the Virginia Internatio­nal Gateway Marine terminal in 2021 in Norfolk.

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