Matthew Waller was named interim dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and will assume the duties of dean Eli Jones who is leaving the UA to return to his alma mater — Texas A&M.
Waller was appointed by Provost Sharon Gaber. He serves as the college’s first associate dean for executive education and as the chair of the college’s Department of Supply Chain Management. He also holds the Garrison Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management.
“I am excited about serving the Walton College,” Waller said. “I think Dean Jones has done a fabulous job. I like the strategic direction of the college, and I intend to continue in this direction. We are going to keep going forward.”
Gaber said Waller’s appointment was for one year but could be extended as the college searches for a new dean. A timeline for the search has not been established. The next provost, Ashok Saxena, in conjunction with interim Chancellor Dan Ferritor, will decide on the timeline, but Gaber indicated that a nationwide search is expected to begin this year.
“I am very excited and comfortable with Matt’s selection and pleased that he agreed to serve in this interim position,” Gaber said. “I want to thank Dean Jones for his service to the Walton College,” she said. “ He has worked hard for the college and put a plan in place for continued growth and excellence.”
Waller said his tenure as interim dean would come with the assistance of Walton’s other associate deans, Anne O’Leary-Kelly and Javier Reyes.
“We are going to be leading as a team,” Waller said. “We have really good chemistry. I would not be taking this interim position if not for them.”