Kelley School Creates Manufacturing Research Center

Kelley School Creates Manufacturing Research Center

The Indiana University Kelley School of Business is creating a new research center at IUPUI focusing on the changing landscape of manufacturing in Central Indiana and across the nation with the support of a $1 million endowed gift from alumnus Gregg Sherrill and his wife, Sabine.

The directorship for the IU Kelley School Center for Excellence in Manufacturing is being named for Gregg and Sabine Sherrill. The new center will provide strategic and leadership training for Kelley Evening MBA and undergraduate students to develop executive talent ready to lead globally competitive enterprises.

“We recognize the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy and here in Central Indiana. Our goal at the Kelley School of Business is to help U.S. manufacturers stay competitive,” said Idalene “Idie” Kesner, dean of the Kelley School and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management. “There is a need for specialized programs and courses that train the next generation of executive talent to make U.S. manufacturing globally competitive.

“We are grateful to Gregg and Sabine Sherrill for their generous gift, which allows the Kelley School of Business to stay at the forefront of this emerging manufacturing revolution.”

The center’s mission is to help develop skills in competitive strategy so that midcareer professionals make better executive decisions, motivate organizational excellence and enable globally competitive enterprises.

“The success of the American economy has been driven, in large part, by manufacturing, and throughout my 40 years in the manufacturing sector, I’ve seen time and again the need to adapt and change as manufacturing changes. Business leaders today face increased competitive pressures globally, challenging economic conditions, a dynamic political landscape and an unprecedented rate of technological change,” said Gregg Sherrill, executive chairman of the board of Tenneco Inc. and past chair of the National Association of Manufacturers board. He received his MBA from Kelley in 1991.

“This endowment recognizes the need to help companies create strategies that support long-term business success,” Sherrill said. “We also know the next generation of managers will have tremendous opportunities in the manufacturing sector, and we want to help them prepare to take advantage of those opportunities.”

A $75,000 grant from the National Association of Manufacturers helped build the curriculum for courses on business strategy for manufacturing firms. The course for Evening MBA students, “Strategic Management and Leadership,” begins this summer. An undergraduate course will be offered in spring 2019.

In addition to offering manufacturing strategy courses to students, the center’s staff will also work directly with Indiana companies and conduct research in the field to drive new strategies for managers in manufacturing. From this research, the Kelley School will deliver executive skills training to help guide companies and managers as manufacturing continues to change in coming years.

“Indiana is responsible for billions of dollars’ worth of output a year,” said Mark Frohlich, the Gregg and Sabine Sherrill Director of Excellence in Manufacturing and an associate professor of operations management at the Kelley School. “This center will serve as a resource for local and national companies as they look to compete both here at home and across the world.

“With 3-D printing and the ability to digitize and automate, we can design and build products that have never existed before,” Frohlich added. “Companies are investing in technology and rethinking their products. Current and future business leaders are moving to upgrade their skills and be ready for these dramatic changes. The Kelley School will now offer the tools to get them there.”