The University of Tennessee’s supply chain expertise began in the 1930s with a transportation program that soon grew to become one of the most respected logistics degrees in the nation. In the 1980s and 90s, under the leadership of Tom Mentzer, UT published leading research on marketing and logistics integration strategy and still has one of the nation’s only departments combining the two disciplines.

As companies’ logistics efforts transformed into supply chain management in the 90s, UT’s teaching transformed with it. Around the same time, UT founded its Supply Chain Forum, bringing half a dozen industry leaders to campus yearly to discuss the latest developments in the field. The Global Supply Chain Institute grew out of the forum in 2012 as a means of broadening UT’s contact with businesses through an advisory board, white papers, collaborative research, executive education and recruiting.

Today the Haslam College of Business’ supply chain programs are regularly ranked in the country’s top three, and more than 200 professionals from 60 top companies take part in our twice-yearly forum as sponsors. Countless more download our white papers, read our contributions to trade journals, subscribe to our newsletters and partake in our executive courses. UT’s supply chain graduates are the top executives in their field at the top businesses in the industry like Amazon and Walmart, and these graduates help direct our research, inform our teaching and share their insights with our members.

Tom Mentzer

The Global Supply Chain Institute and supply chain management at the University of Tennessee would not be what it is today without the leadership of Tom Mentzer.

Mentzer approached the business world as a laboratory, enabling him to integrate theoretical insights with cutting-edge practices — a method embodied by the Global Supply Chain Institute. He was one of the country’s leading scholars in marketing and logistics strategy, publishing more than 190 papers and articles and nine books. Mentzer was recognized in 1996 as one of the five most prolific authors in the “Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science,” and in 1999, as the most prolific author in the “Journal of Business Logistics.”

He taught at the University of Tennessee for more than 30 years and changed not only how the Haslam College of Business teaches supply chain management, but how the world sees it. He passed away in 2010.