University News

Supply Chain Management at Western Established as Degree Program

April 28, 2005

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University is now one of just five universities in Illinois to offer a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management.

According to John Drea, interim chair of marketing and finance at Western, supply chain management (SCM) has been offered for several years at Western an option with the bachelorÂ’s degree in marketing and as a minor. WesternÂ’s Faculty Senate and Provost Joe Rallo approved the departmentÂ’s request to offer SCM as a separate bachelorÂ’s degree, and the Illinois Board of Higher Education formally approved the request April 22. The program will begin Fall 2005.

”Establishing supply chain management as a degree program really makes our students more employable in this field,” Drea explained. “Employers told us that they were quite interested in supporting the SCM program at Western, but their corporate policies only allowed them to support programs with supply chain management as a major.

“SCM students have the opportunities to obtain internships that pay as much as $3,000 a month, and when they graduate, they can start a career with a lucrative salary and benefits. We often hear from Fortune 500 companies seeking employees and interns. The possibilities are unlimited,” he added. “We’re excited and pleased to offer our students with yet another degree that prepares them for successful careers in a challenging and exciting field.”

The marketing and finance department will not offer additional courses in supply chain management at this time, Drea said; however, Bart Jennings, originally from the University of Tennessee, has been hired to teach various SCM courses at Western. In addition, the department is changing the introductory SCM course so students can take this at the sophomore level to get an earlier start on a degree in SCM and complete two internships before graduating, he added.

“Thus far, 2005 has been an exciting year for our department. In addition to getting approval for the SCM degree, our department received two $2,000 scholarships from the Warehouse Education and Research Council for two WIU supply chain management students,” Drea said. “We recently held our inaugural ‘SCM Day’ where company representatives from Deere & Company, Caterpillar, Rockwell Collins, Trinity Logistics, Dot Foods and Hilton Corporation met with our students to discuss various career opportunities within their respective organizations.”

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing