Monday, August 22, 2016

Exciting Times at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst

Today was a picture perfect day - sunny but with a nice breeze and, after working on a supply chain paper with collaborators and finishing up some lectures for my Logistics & Transportation class that I will be teaching this Fall at the Isenberg School of Management, I decided to walk to UMass Amherst. It is about a 2 mile walk via the route that I took which is through the woods and fields and through campus. I needed to submit some class materials for copying and, although classes don't begin until September 6, I like to be prepared (way) ahead of time. This goes with my background in operations research and efficiency and also in emergency preparedness and supply chain disruption management!

The Isenberg School of Management is in the midst of a major new construction project - the addition of a $66 million Business Innovation Hub. We have even received a nice invitation for the groundbreaking celebration, which will take place on September 16, 2016 and will be officiated by our UMass Amherst Chancellor, Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy, and the Isenberg Dean. Dr. Mark A. Fuller.

The construction project has actually already begun and it will be an interesting year since all of my courses are in classrooms alongside of the area where the construction crew has set up equipment and a staging area. Fences blocking the area are put up from the Isenberg School to the Fine Arts Center which is resulting in new pathways and journeys for students, faculty, staff, and visitors and guests to navigate.

But these are exciting times and the project will take 3 years and will add much needed space for our activities. The Boston Globe already had coverage of the project.

And, that is not all that is going on in terms of construction. Today I had the pleasure of checking out our Operations and Information Management Analytics Lab which is on the ground level of the Isenberg School and should be ready for the first day of classes - September 6. Susan Boyer gave me a nice tour and the construction crew was busy with the wiring today.
There will also be a specially made podium in the room and two big screens.  The chairs are nice and light and easy to clean. The analytics lab was made possible by many generous donors, including alums, parents, and faculty.

Then it was time to check out my office which physical plant this summer replaced the flooring of, had my windows cleaned, and cleaned my Oriental rug, so it is sparkling for the students' arrival.

This year there are many events to look forward to, including the publication of my 14th book, Dynamics of Disasters: Key Concepts, Models, Algorithms, and Findings, which I co-edited with Professors Ilias S. Kotsireas and Panos M. Pardalos.
Wishing everyone a GREAT start to the new academic year!