The Front Man

Whether it’s teaching a class about integrated supply chains or singing lead in a rock ‘n’ roll band, Ted Stank is comfortable serving as the “front man.” He leads the way in the Department of Marketing and Logistics in UT’s College of Business Administration as the Henry J. and Vivienne R. Bruce Chair of Excellence—one of only four chairs of excellence in the college.

When I was younger I wanted to bea fighter pilot and then an astronaut—that’s a big reason why I went to the US Naval Academy.

But I’m glad I became a business professor becauseit has afforded me a much greater opportunity to satisfy my intellectual curiosity and my passion for teaching and having an impact on people to help them hone their talents (which I discovered later in life). And to do so in an environment that enabled me to be with my family as my wife and I raised our children.

As the Bruce Chair of Excellence, I am able todo something I really love, which is to work with very talented people to form effective teams that generate knowledge used to help organizations improve, and to pass on that knowledge to the next generation of organizational leaders.

I learned the power of giving whenI first began teaching. I realized sharing knowledge about something which one is passionate about can be an extremely rewarding experience.

Logistics is likethe blood that flows through your body, bringing the required materials needed to sustain life to the cells in the most efficient and effective way possible. We have expanded to supply chain management, which includes logistics, but goes beyond that to also include purchasing—finding the best sources of food to sustain those cells, and manufacturing and service operations—the conversion operation in the stomach that converts the raw materials into something the body can use.

The supply chain program at UTis one of the best programs in the world, bar none—including programs at institutions that have much more brand recognition, such as MIT and Stanford. First, we are deeply engaged in new research programs that will create cutting-edge knowledge on the interfaces between different organizational functions—between marketing and the supply chain, between different supply chain functions and partners, and between different regions of the globe. These insights are being used to drive knowledge into all of our programs. Specifically, in the last two years we have revised all of our programs—undergraduate, MBA, PhD—to reflect our belief in the need to facilitate a broad understanding of a range of supply chain elements while also maintaining a depth of knowledge. In addition, we have launched a new program, the Global Supply Chain Executive MBA, to highlight our belief in the need for rising executives to develop not only the broad and deep supply chain knowledge required to drive success in their organizations, but also to do so in a global context.

Most people don’t know that I ama frustrated rock star who sings in a rock cover band. I also was head coach of a local high school lacrosse team. I love my job, but have to have other diversions to help me have a balance in my life.

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