Supply chain management professor Arash Azadegan

Faculty Snapshot: His favorite class is the one most relevant to his students

Professor finds it rewarding when students can apply new information to their work and use it to land new jobs.

Arash Azadegan, associate professor of supply chain management, co-director of the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management program.

Expertise: Supply chain disruptions, response and recovery from disruptions, inter-organizational creativity and innovation.

Research: In an expansion of his work on the role of leadership in managing supply chain disruptions, he’s examining how humanitarian supply chains operate, comparing the efforts that occurred after Hurricane Irma and Superstorm Sandy. Working with the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, Azadegan and his colleagues are looking at such things as communications and cross-sectional trust to find out more about how government entities, companies and non-government organizations form relationships before, during and after natural disasters. “We know a lot about how buyers and sellers work together, but these guys are not just about money and profits,” Azadegan said. “They’re motivated differently.”

What drew you to academia? “I started teaching once a week then twice a week at a local university in Oregon. The dialogue and discussion led me to want to do more of it. When you teach, you get to develop young talent and you learn as you teach. To be involved in knowledge sharing and knowledge development seemed a lot more beneficial than working in industry.”

In addition to your research, how do you influence the field: “I attend a fair number of professional conferences related to purchasing, logistics and operations management. We’ve presented our ongoing work and even conducted exercises that help inform managers and executives on how to consider risk- related decisions in managing their supply chains.

Favorite class to teach: Supply chain risk and disruption. It’s readily applicable. I can see the rewards immediately in terms of how it helps my students in their positions and makes them more marketable.

Outside the classroom: “I make a point of taking my teen-age daughters to see the world so they can learn more about other people and how they live. As much as New Jersey is lucky to have diversity, it doesn’t mean we are educated about different cultures.”

What do you most miss about the Northeast? “I don’t miss the rain. I do miss the summer. It’s a great place to go biking and hiking. Not that the East Coast doesn’t have that, the Northeast is much more culturally enriching, but in terms of nature, Oregon wins hands down.”

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