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The Path from Industry Professional to Assistant Professor

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1561.1 - 26.1561.13



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Paper Authors


Mark Angolia East Carolina University Orcid 16x16

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Mark Angolia, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Industrial Distribution and Logistics degree program in the College of Engineering and Technology at East Carolina University (ECU). Prior to entering academia in 2005, he held industrial positions in engineering, manufacturing, quality, materials, and operations management for manufacturing companies within the automotive supply chain. Dr. Angolia’s teaching focuses on Enterprise Resource Planning with SAP software, Distributor Sales and Branch Management, and Transportation Logistics. His research interests include improvement of supply chain efficiency through the application of technology and best practices for logistics and inventory management. Dr. Angolia is highly engaged with regional and national companies in recruiting students from ECU for both internships and full time positions. In addition to a PhD from Indiana State, he holds a Master of Engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and professional certifications of CPIM and CSCP from APICS, The Association for Operations Management, and a PMP from the Project Management Institute. Dr. Angolia also conducts consulting projects and professional development seminars for local industry on topics including forecasting, inventory control, production planning, project management, transportation logistics, procurement, and supply chain management.

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Leslie Pagliari East Carolina University

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Dr. Leslie Pagliari serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and Technology and Associate Professor in the Department of Technology Systems. Her research interests center on STEM initiatives, leadership, global supply chain issues, and new technologies in the distribution and logistics sector. She was one of three professors in the United States recognized in an Inbound Logistics Article featuring leading professors in today’s supply chain curriculum.

She has worked with a team of colleagues throughout other colleges at East Carolina University to plan a STEM initiative for 8th grade girls. This initiative helps bring more than 100 Pitt County girls to campus to engage them in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. She has also worked with ECU’s Global Academic Initiatives to collaborate with other institutions throughout the world.

In addition, Dr. Pagliari collaborates with many external organizations. She is past president of APICS (Association of Operations Management) and past Education Chair for the CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals). She also served as a board member for the Museum of the Marine in Jacksonville, NC and the Eastern Carolina Safety and Health School. She continues to serves on multiple organizations with the University, College, and Department. Dr. Pagliari was selected and completed the BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women hosted by UNC-Chapel Hill and was recently nominated for the Women of Distinction award at East Carolina University.

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James Kirby Easterling Eastern Kentucky University School of Business

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James Kirby Easterling is currently Executive-in-Residence in Management at Eastern Kentucky University. Easterling is in his first year as a faculty member at EKU following 22 years in the Supply Chain Management profession. Easterling has worked for three large multi-national firms, including the last 14 years with Corning Incorporated, and the last six years abroad in Japan and Singapore, most recently serving as General Manager & Director-Corning Singapore Supply Management Services. Easterling repatriated from Singapore in June 2014 and transitioned to EKU in July where he is now assisting in the launch of a new Bachelor's degree program in Global Supply Chain Management, the first amongst the Commonwealth of Kentucky's eight public universities. Easterling holds dual Bachelor's degrees in Economics and Accounting as well as an MBA from EKU, as well as a Masters degree in Supply Chain Management from The Pennsylvania State University.

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The Path from Industry Professional to Assistant ProfessorTransitioning from an industrial career to an academic faculty position takes on the challenges ofany significant career change but has added complexity of adapting to cultural and organizationalmission drivers that are generally significantly different from profit driven companies. Thispaper establishes a model for industry professionals considering a move from the industrialworld to a faculty position within a state sponsored four year university. Success criteria areidentified through research into the organizational, cultural, and professional developmentrequirements of higher education that industry professionals will need to navigate should theyconsider a career move into academia.The data for the research is developed from case studies at two different four year universitiesfrom different states where industry professionals have successfully transitioned into academiafrom industrial careers. The first case study chronicles the pathway and success criteria frommanagerial positions in publically traded companies into an adjunct faculty position, then fulltime lecturer, and on to assistant professor. The second case study is a mentored relationship ofa colleague from an international industrial leadership position to a full time lecturer. Both casestudies involve career changes from industrial management to academic faculty positions at stateuniversities, but involvement of different state university systems allows for comparativeanalysis and evaluation of success criteria.The cultural differences between public companies within a profit driven environment and thegovernmental organizational structure and culture of state universities will be assessed.Additionally, the differences in personal education and development between industryprofessionals and academics will be defined. Comparisons between personal evaluations andmetrics between industry and academia will provide insight into adapting to an academicinstitution’s triple objectives of teaching, service, and research.Results will be presented as model demonstrating academic career progression encompassingteaching, service, and research responsibilities, along with personal educational requirements,and a timeline for successful advancement. The research will also define options available forfull time lecturers to pursue continuing education toward a terminal degree. The objective of theresearch is to define personal development requirements and alternatives to allow for making thetransition into academia a career rather than a job.

Angolia, M., & Pagliari, L., & Easterling, J. K. (2015, June), The Path from Industry Professional to Assistant Professor Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24898

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