Newer to the faculty at B&E than most, Dr. John Saldanha arrived to Morgantown to begin teaching at West Virginia University on June 16, 2014.
Saldanha, an award-winning professor who has taught at the undergraduate, MBA, Ph.D. and Executive levels, teaches the business core supply chain management course, the introductory course to logistics and distribution management and a course on supply chain analytics at the College of Business and Economics.
He joined the faculty at B&E to help start the supply chain management area of emphasis alongside Dr. Ednilson Bernardes, the first hire in the supply chain management area.
Saldanha began his supply chain career in the merchant marine where he has a decade of experience serving on a variety of cargo vessels around the world. He completed a BSc (Hons.) in maritime business and transport from the University of Plymouth, and went on to complete a Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration in business logistics and a minor in statistics from the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University.
Before joining B&E, Saldanha joined the Marketing & Logistics Department with the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University, where he spent eight years. He said he enjoys the flexibility that B&E has given him programmatically, from a supply chain curriculum standpoint.
"Although I was publishing and teaching at Ohio State, I really didn’t feel I was pushing the needle much, or got the chance to do anything innovative," Saldanha said. "This seemed like a really great opportunity, and I have so much latitude to do different, innovative things in the classroom at WVU. I am able to continue my research here as well, since Dean (Jose "Zito") Sartarelli spoke so highly about moving the research focus of faculty to a higher level."
In the summertime, Saldanha suggested the creation of a WVU Supply Chain Management Association chapter, which had already been suggested by students as something of interest to them. He had led the SCMA chapter at OSU, and was ready to recruit students to the organization which, in turn, helps inspire students to pursue an area of emphasis in supply chain management.
"Since students coming out of high school aren’t exactly sure what supply chain management is, we like to go to the business core classes to give a 45-minute presentation on SCMA to recruit students to the organization." Saldanha said. "The ranks have swelled from the original 12 students to more than 50 students to date."
WVU’S SCMA chapter brings in biweekly speakers and holds events such as SCM 101 for its members. During the fall semester, the chapter competed in the 2014 International Bowersox Supply Chain Challenge competition at Michigan State University, where the students came in fourth place.
"There is a lot of interest among students in having supply chain management programs, both for undergraduate and graduate students," Saldanha said. "Internally there is a lot of support from the administration as well as from the dean himself, who has a background in supply chain management."
Students interested in supply chain management should stay tuned over the coming months for announcements regarding the program, as Saldanha and Bernardes work to prepare the curriculum for consideration as a full major.