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Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) in Decatur (IL) made a $115,000 contribution to Western Illinois University's Supply Chain Management Program Wednesday, Jan. 16. Pictured, from left, are WIU Provost and Academic Vice President Ken Hawkinson, Vice President of Marketing for the American River Transportation Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of ADM, Kim Ekena, WIU President Jack Thomas, WIU Vice President for Advancement and Public Services Brad Bainter and College of Business and Technology Dean Tom Erekson.
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ADM Supports WIU's Supply Chain Management Program

January 16, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University's College of Business and Technology (CBT) is pleased to announce a significant gift to its supply chain management (SCM) program from Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) in Decatur (IL).

Outlined in a gift proposal submitted to the ADM Cares program, the food processing and commodities trading conglomerate has pledged support of $115,000 to WIU's supply chain management program over the course of the next three years.

ADM Cares is the company's social investment program that directs funds to initiatives and organizations that drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress worldwide.

"The proposal outlines three specific areas of support," said WIU Professor of Supply Chain Management Bart Jennings. "Focusing on student recruitment, online interaction and faculty involvement, the ADM contribution will help us increase awareness of supply chain management as a career option and encourage high school students to take a serious look at this as a degree opportunity."

A key component of the funding initiative is an online video module that will demonstrate various aspects of transportation and logistics to help prospective students better understand the career. This video teaching tool will include information about rail yards, intermodal facilities, barge operations, and distribution centers.

In addition to the recruiting and video components, the funding will allow for the creation of a named faculty position to assist with these initiatives. The "ADM Scholar in Supply Chain Management" will oversee the proposal's progress and will serve as a liaison between ADM and the WIU SCM program. An SCM recruitment coordinator will oversee implementation of the proposal activities.

"This partnership with ADM is an outstanding opportunity to move our SCM program forward over the next three years," said CBT Dean Tom Erekson. "This infusion of funds will create a lasting impact for long-term growth as we continue to develop the best SCM talent in the Midwest."

WIU's Supply Chain Management program was established in 2005 and is one of the University's eight Signature Programs. The program is one of only three of its kind in the state of Illinois, and one of approximately 40 programs nationally accredited by AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).

The number of enrolled students in WIU SCM classes continue to grow and the number of majors has just risen to an all-time high with 120 students enrolled in the SCM bachelor of business degree.
In 2011, both the undergraduate and MBA/SCM degrees became available at the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses, and the program is also established internationally.

Recently, a number of SCM majors participated in international internships in Australia, China and South Africa.

"ADM operates the world's premier crop origination and transportation network, connecting crops and markets in more than 75 countries, so we understand the importance of a strong supply chain," said Kim Ekena, vice president of marketing for the American River Transportation Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of ADM. "WIU has a stellar supply chain management program and outstanding faculty, and we are pleased to make this investment in the next generation of leaders in the supply chain industry."

Ekena, ADM's campus champion for WIU and a 1980 Western alumnus with a degree in finance, added this contribution helps ADM progress toward an important community goal while also building long-term relationships with faculty and students at WIU.

ADM currently participates in multiple activities at WIU including SCM Day in Macomb and Moline, the University and Agriculture Career Fairs and various special events with the WIU SCM Club. In addition, ADM proudly partners with WIU on an SCM Diversity Day, which was established as a cooperative venture three years ago.

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