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University of Arkansas was recently ranked the best undergraduate program in the supply chain industry according to Gartner’s Supply Chain University Top 25 for 2020. The state university beat out over 59 other programs for the prestigious spot atop Gartner’s list. This is quite the feat for the university who didn’t clear the Top 10 in Gartner’s 2018’s ranking. Rounding out the top three are Rutgers University and Pennsylvania State University who garnered the #1 position as the best graduate program in the supply chain industry. “Gartner provides an unbiased report, and this No. 1 ranking recognizes the outstanding work and excellence of our faculty, staff and students,” said Matt Waller, dean of the Sam M. Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas. “The ranking also is highly respected throughout industry, which helps our students as they look for internships and move into careers.”

When asked about the ranking, Brian Fugate, department chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management at the University of Arkansas stated, “It’s an honor to earn such outstanding recognition.” He went on to say, “Northwest Arkansas has become a hot-spot for the industry with all the great supply chain companies located nearby. It’s important that we do our part to add to that excellence.”

Gartner, the global research and advisory firm ranked each university in five categories - program scope; industry value; industry size; global content; and diversity and inclusion before making their final decision. The organization released their rankings in a webinar hosted by Gartner analysts Dana Stiffler and Carolyn Chumakov on June 24, 2020.

The rest of the universities ranked in Gartner’s Top 10 undergraduate programs for supply chain include the University of Texas at Austin, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, Auburn University, Northeastern University, Michigan State University and Georgia Tech. While narrowly missing the Top 10, Howard University was ranked #13 after not making the list in 2018.

During the webinar Stiffler and Chumakov didn’t just recite the top 25 universities but shared insight on the diversity of the field, salary expectations, and what universities can do to make their programs more desirable. Among their findings – students who attend Gartner’s Top 10 undergraduate program can earn an average of five thousand dollars more per year than their counterparts. Those who graduated from one of Gartner’s Top 10 ranked Graduate supply chain programs earned up to nine thousand more than their counterparts. The analysts’ records show that the supply chain industry is getting more diverse. They found that 24% of professors were female, while 30% were minorities.

The Top 10 Graduate Programs that Gartner listed as having the best supply chain academic program below Pennsylvania State includes University of Tennessee, Georgia Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, University of Texas, Austin, University of Michigan, Arizona State University, University of Minnesota, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and North Carolina State University. Like Howard University in the undergraduate rankings, Purdue University ranked at number 12 for the Graduate program after being left off in 2018. Stiffler and Chumakov recommended that graduate programs looking to attract students should redesign their internships and highlight their role in pandemic response.

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 Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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