Matthew A. Waller has been named interim dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.
Waller was appointed by Provost Sharon Gaber. He will take over as interim dean for Eli Jones, who is leaving to become dean of the Texas A&M Mays Business School, his alma mater, on July 1.
“I am excited about serving the Walton College,” Waller said. “I think Dean Jones has done a fabulous job. I like the strategic direction of the college, and I intend to continue in this direction. We are going to keep going forward.”
Waller currently serves as the college’s first associate dean for executive education and as the chair of the college’s Department of Supply Chain Management. He also holds the Garrison Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management.
Gaber said Waller’s appointment was for one year but could be extended as the college searches for a new dean. A timeline for the search has not been established. The next provost, Ashok Saxena, in conjunction with interim Chancellor Dan Ferritor, will decide on the timeline, but Gaber indicated that a nationwide search is expected to begin this year.
“I am very excited and comfortable with Matt’s selection and pleased that he agreed to serve in this interim position,” Gaber said. “He is going to continue to move the college forward. I know he is excited about continuing to work with the outstanding faculty, staff and students of Walton. I consulted with Chancellor Gearhart and UA System President Bobbitt and both were enthusiastic about his appointment.”
Gaber also expressed appreciation to Dean Jones. “I want to thank Dean Jones for his service to the Walton College,” she said. “He has worked hard for the college and put a plan in place for continued growth and excellence.”
Waller said his tenure as interim dean would come with the assistance of Walton’s other associate deans, Anne O’Leary-Kelly and Javier Reyes. “We are going to be leading as a team,” Waller said. “We have really good chemistry. I would not be taking this interim position if not for them.”
Waller received a B.S.B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Missouri, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. He first began teaching at Walton College as a visiting assistant professor in 1994.
“We want a smooth transition for the next dean, and we want a college that is attractive to potential dean candidates,” Waller said. “That is one of my main goals. We will also be working hard on the capital campaign, AACSB reaccreditation and our current initiatives such as the retail school, analytics, entrepreneurship, executive education and many others.”
Waller is co-editor-in-chief of Journal of Business Logistics, the leading academic journal in the discipline. His opinion pieces have appeared in Wall Street Journal Asia and Financial Times and he has been an SEC Academic Leadership Fellow. His research and teaching focus on retail supply chain management. A paper he co-authored on total quality management is one of the most cited in 40 years in the journal Decision Sciences. His paper regarding vendor-managed inventory systems is third place for the most citations in the Journal of Business Logistics.
Waller is coauthor of “The Definitive Guide to Inventory Management: Principles and Strategies for the Efficient Flow of Inventory across the Supply Chain” published by Pearson Education.