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Darla Moore School of Business


Continental establishes endowed chair at Darla Moore School of Business

December 11, 2017

The University of South Carolina announced a new endowed chair position at the Darla Moore School of Business Monday (Dec. 11). The endowed chair will be funded by a $2 million grant.

University President Harris Pastides announced the Continental Endowed Chair in Global Supply Chain Management and Management Science during the Fall 2017 Industry Summit of the Operations and Supply Chain Center, held at the university’s Alumni Center.

“The role of the research university is not symbolic. We actively provide the workforce for emerging economies,” Pastides says. “In announcing the establishment of the Continental endowed chair we reaffirm not only this essential role but also the importance that corporate partnerships, like Continental, play in creating an impactful program that benefits the employers of our state and nation. We are most appreciative of this generous grant.”   

The endowed chair will support the growing demand for teaching and research in operations and supply chain. The position will begin as early as 2020 following a national search.

“The addition of an endowed chair is invaluable to any academic institution, and the Moore School is gratified to add the Continental endowed chair to its educational portfolio,” Moore School dean Peter Brews says. “This new chair is notable because it supports faculty leadership in both research and practice, in line with the world-class researchers and teachers that sustain the top-ranked Global Supply Chain and Operations Program at the school. Continental’s investment will ensure the school both maintains and extends its excellence in global supply chain and operations management, to the benefit of students studying at the school and the businesses that employ them.”

Continental began working with the center in 2013 when seeking input on where to locate a warehouse for its tire business. Since then, Continental and the center have worked on a number of projects together, with students seeing their analysis implemented by the company.

“Collaboration between our business and education communities is critical as South Carolina seeks to remain an ideal destination for industry,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt says. “This partnership between Continental Tire and the University of South Carolina is a great step in that direction, and I congratulate these two organizations for utilizing such a forward-thinking strategy.”

The Operations and Supply Chain Center was formed in 2005 to help companies improve performance and provide students with real-world experience and application of operations management skills learned in the classroom. A driver of South Carolina’s $32 billion logistics industry, the Moore School center has completed 235 student and faculty-led projects that have saved partner companies upward of $200 million.

“At Continental, we saw the center as a cutting-edge educational program that would benefit both students and the company,” says Todd Pearce, vice president of controlling for the passenger and light truck business unit at Continental Tire the Americas.

Pearce, who earned his International Master of Business Administration degree in 1997, serves as the chairman for the center’s advisory board, alongside other corporate partners with global and regional operations.

“The center enables the very best students from a top supply chain program to partner with world class companies to solve real business problems,” Pearce said. “Continental decided to endow the Continental chair because we believe in the cutting-edge research this professor will do and in the mission of the Operations and Supply Chain Center.”

Endowed chairs are established to attract and retain outstanding faculty who have distinguished themselves through teaching, research, scholarship and outreach.

George Jurch, general counsel for Continental the Americas, a leader of three global legal expert teams and a graduate of the university (’88 B.S., ’93 MBA, ’93 J.D.) said the endowed chair reflects Continental’s commitment to the Palmetto State.

“Today’s announcement strengthens our commitment to South Carolina and to the University of South Carolina. We look forward to our continued partnership and to welcoming the Continental endowed chair soon.”

The Continental chair will further bolster the Moore School’s national profile. The program has ascended in the Gartner global supply rankings, currently at No. 7 and No. 15, respectively for undergraduate and graduate education. Since 2008, more than 850 students have earned industry-certified Lean Six-Sigma Green Belts, a prestigious professional accreditation that distinguishes Moore School graduates from others entering the workforce.

By Peggy Binette, peggy@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-7704