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        Faculty, Supply Chain Management

        Richey to lead college's newly-created Department of Supply Chain Management

        August 10, 2020 By Joe McAdory

        All News



        “What makes the Auburn SCM program different? “When it comes to our undergraduate program’s reputation, it has to do with a history of contact, support, and personal relationships with students and valued companies.”

        The newly created Department of Supply Chain Management at the Harbert College of Business is pleased to name Dr. Robert Glenn Richey as its first Chair.

        Dr. Richey, who has served as the Raymond J. Harbert Eminent Scholar in Supply Chain Management since arriving at Auburn University in 2015, takes the reins of a program that is ranked among North America’s Top 10 according to Gartner. His vision as department chair includes growing graduate  programs, increasing research impact, and supporting regional government and industry.


        gr“We have a very strong undergraduate program with a special history,” Richey said. “We have a massive opportunity with this faculty to grow and work more in graduate business education. We launched our first graduate certificate in 2019 and it has been pursued with very large enrollment numbers.”

        Why is the Harbert College’s Supply Chain Management Program ranked among the best? Richey didn’t pause ... “Obviously, it’s the faculty and staff. It is a bit hard to explain what we do and that makes it hard to duplicate, we are all motivated to help our students land that first job and then excel in their careers. One of the things that isn’t talked about enough is our lecturers and clinical faculty. They are some of the most experienced in the country.”

        What makes the Auburn SCM program different? “When it comes to our undergraduate program’s reputation, it has to do with a history of contact, support, and personal relationships with students and valued companies. Our faculty are heavily involved in students’ progress, what they’re learning, and where they are placed ‘prior to’ or following graduation. We believe our approach is the future of higher education.”

        Richey expanded on the program’s future, “We will work to support students pursuing executive certificates, a master’s degree, and perhaps a unique Ph.D. Our faculty already directly impact industry thanks to Dr. Brian Gibson’s leadership in the Auburn Center for Supply Chain Innovation. Plus, we live in a world where students can come to Auburn, connect with us online, or have us come to their company for a specialized program.”

        Richey, who was recently named co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Business Logistics with Dr. Beth Davis-Sramek, the Gayle Parks Forehand Professor in Supply Chain Management, believes the journal and “a strong and active research-minded faculty will move us to a new level.” Richey also pointed to the faculty’s opportunity to work with state and regional leaders in terms of providing service and consultation, particularly as supply chains become an increasingly transparent part of everyday life. He noted that Harbert College’s culture has been the key to attracting the field’s top teaching and research talent over the last decade.

        Richey previously served for more than12 years as a marketing and supply chain management professor, researcher, and associate dean of international business at the University of Alabama, where he also received his undergraduate degree. He earned an MBA from Middle Tennessee State University and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma’s highly respected Price College of Business. His time in academia, and 10 years in industry, provides him with a skill set to lead a department suited for working closely with industry and providing solutions to real-world problems.

        “In all honesty, my success should be attributed to investing in people, listening to them, having them heavily involved in developing all policies, strategies, and decisions.

        “When you are working with a highly intelligent and entrepreneurial team, it is important to be an advocate leader,” Richey said. “Any success I’ve had in my management career has been directly related to investing in my team, making sure we perform at a high level, and remembering that people want to enjoy their jobs. We are one of the best supply chain management groups in the world. I believe culture is the reason why.”

        Harbert College Supply Chain Management students must hold a paid internship in the supply chain management field to graduate. “Our faculty and staff can always say, ‘I helped these students get these jobs and I know where their careers are headed,’” he added. “It benefits the school, the faculty member, and of course the student.”

        For more about Harbert College's nationally-ranked Supply Chain Management program, visit