The pipeline between Western Carolina University and Kettering University continues as Michael Smith, director of the Kimmel School of Construction Management, has been named founding dean of the School of Management at the Michigan-based university.
Smith will be joining fellow WCU transplants James Zhang, former dean of the unit once known as the Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology, who now serves as Kettering University’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Robert McMahan, also former dean of the Kimmel School and current president of Kettering.
Smith’s first day on the new job will be Monday, Jan. 2. He also will be filling the university’s F. James McDonald Endowed Chair of Supply Chain Management.
“I feel tremendously fortunate to have been selected to lead the reshaping and enhancement of business education at Kettering,” he said. “And it is pretty cool that I will be working with and for James again. I really think it is a wonderful opportunity.”
In this new role, Smith will oversee the School of Management, which offers an undergraduate degree in business administration and a variety of master’s programs including master of science in operations management, master of science in engineering management, master of science in supply chain management and master of business administration.
“I am thrilled to appoint Dr. Smith as founding dean of the School of Management,” said Zhang. “Dr. Smith brings with him a tremendous track record as an administrator, researcher and faculty member at respected institutions in the United States and abroad. His experience offers tremendous opportunities to develop programs and research within the School of Management as well as collaborations with disciplines across the university and with industry partners.”
At WCU, Smith also has served as director of the MBA Program and held appointments as assistant and associate professor of management and international business and professor of global management and strategy. He has been a visiting professor at Michigan State University, Portland State University and the University of Innsbruck in Austria.
Smith is an internationally recognized authority in research, practice and policy associated with supply chain risk management and the wider domain of supply chain management. His research includes supply chain risk management, sources of innovation in the evolving field of supply chain management, the role of supply chain management in economic development, and the need for construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure to support economic vitality.
McMahan, formerly the North Carolina governor’s senior adviser for science and technology, served as dean of WCU’s Kimmel School from 2008 until 2011, when he left to become president of Kettering University. Three years later, in 2014, McMahan hired away his successor, Zhang, to become his provost and senior academic officer.
Kettering University, formerly General Motors Institute, is known for its undergraduate programs in engineering, mathematics, science and business.
By Bill Studenc