Suppliers, retailers and business leaders, take note: The new associate dean for executive education and outreach for the Sam M. Walton College of Business is Dr. Brent Williams, a man on fire with ideas, vision and plans. He wants the Walton College to be known as a global leader in retail and to be reflective of its innovative and world-changing namesake, Sam Walton.
Dr. Williams, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, has been a faculty member at the Walton College since 2011 and most recently served as chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management.
His new role — associate dean for executive education and outreach — gives him responsibility for the college’s seven outreach centers, its executive education programs and the McMillon Innovation Studio — and he is passionate about them all.
The opportunities associated with this new role inspire Dr. Williams. He is particularly passionate about retail.
“I am truly excited and eager to help the Center for Retailing Excellence craft its vision for its future,” he said. “After all, this is the Walton College of Business. Walton! Having Walton in our name means we should be world-class. We owe it to Mr. Sam to ensure that the CRE is a global leader.
“I am also excited about the McMillon Innovation Studio,” Williams added. “I believe that the studio will be able to showcase the creativity and passion for technology and innovation that exists on the University of Arkansas campus. It will create an environment where students and faculty from the entire campus can test and apply new technologies that will change the future of retailing.
“I want retailers and suppliers to view the Walton College as the place to source premier talent for the retail industry, and I want students to view the Walton College as the premier location to prepare for a retail career. The CRE and the McMillon Innovation Studio are critical to achieving these objectives. The CRE has always provided a bridge between academics and industry and worked to identify and cultivate students who could be future leaders in the retail industry,” Williams said. “I look forward to seeing the CRE go to the next level. I want more retailers and suppliers to be eager to cultivate relationships with our students, eager to mentor them, and eager to hire them. And I want the CRE to be known for its thought leadership. I would like our conferences to be so valuable — with participation from more retailers, more suppliers, more students — that no one dares miss one.”
This is unquestionably an exciting time for retail at the Walton College.