Meet the New Management Chair: Bryan Ashenbaum

July 2017

Elizabeth Jenike

After eight years at the helm of the management department, Byron Finch has turned the reins over to 11-year Farmer School veteran Bryan Ashenbaum.

Bryan is a scholar of supply chain management - most notably, he said, in the area of integration.“That’s a pretty broad term, but integration is how well different corporate functions (or buyers and suppliers) execute their mission together, or how well supply chain partners collaborate with one another,” he noted. “You’ve got specialized functions - accounting, marketing, finance etc. Integration stresses the importance that those ‘silos’ can’t be too separated, they must work together to execute the company mission.”

Integration isn’t his only passion within the supply chain management arena, and he’s been able to spread his academic wings during his time here at FSB. He’s had papers published on how purchasing and logistics business functions integrate with one another, how purchasing and engineering functions work together, outsourcing, buyer and supply relations, and supply chain governance.

“I’m kind of an eclectic researcher,” he laughed. “The beauty of my job is that I can pursue the questions that pop up in my mind.”

Dr. Ashenbaum has enjoyed his time at Miami so far. This was where he landed after completing his Ph.D., at Arizona State University, and he has so far been pleased with his choice of institution.

“My experience here has been phenomenal,” he said. “When I was on the job market, I was looking rather purposefully for a few things. I wanted a place that cared about research and teaching. One of the wonderful things about Miami has been that it has that dual emphasis, the teacher/scholar model, which informs how our faculty are developed. And so for 11 years I’ve been able to pursue my interests in both, and not have to choose one over the other.”

“Teaching has enormous intrinsic rewards,” he said. “I teach a lot of seniors, and I get to see them start to take their first steps into what comes after Miami. It’s awesome to see that happen. They’re excited about it. They seek me out for a lot of advice. In the classroom, maybe thanks to their internships, they suddenly light up - they get it! I love watching them develop as professionals and see how what they’re learning is going to apply to what they’re going to do.”

When asked what his goals were for the management department, his response was encouraging.

“I want to grow the majors,” he said. “They’ve both been doing well, and I’d like to see them grow even more. I also want to help develop faculty. Tenure-track faculty are given a lot of help and guidance toward making tenure, but afterwards you carve your own path. Maybe it would be helpful to have some development help along the way for the folks that are mid-career.

“I also want the management department to be the gateway to the Farmer School of Business for the rest of the university,” Dr. Ashenbaum noted. “The reality of 21st-century education is that almost everyone is going to go work for some organization, and regardless of what that organization is, the principles that we teach at the Farmer School are probably going to be helpful.”

In other words, it’s critical to take students with passions outside the business disciplines and help them understand business principles and what’s needed in leadership roles. Dr. Ashenbaum has already taken on that role as the director for the PRIME program - a four-week summer program designed to introduce non-business majors to fundamental concepts in business.

It sounds like the management department is in capable hands! To get in touch with Dr. Ashenbaum, check out his directory page, and don’t hesitate to stop by the management office this coming fall.

Bryan Ashenbaum