Seaports Magazine - Summer 2016 - (Page 41)

» GUEST VIEWPOINT Port Community Outreach: A University's Role I n his book, The University and its Community, written over a quarter of a century ago, Dr. Sheldon Hackney, then University of Pennsylvania president, described new models for partnership and cooperation more closely linking "community involvement with the educational mission of the university." Dr. Hackney continued, "...the results of academically-based public service will promote lasting progress (as ways are) found to institutionalize achieved goals that mutually benefit the urban university and its neighboring community." Background Lamar University (LU) is located in Beaumont, Texas, on the Sabine-Neches Waterway (SNWW), home to three deepwater public ports and numerous private terminals, mostly petrochemical, forming the backbone of a vibrant waterway industrial community, generating $10 billion in economic impact and over 100,000 permanent jobs for the region, according to the Sabine-Neches Navigation District. President Kenneth Evans came to Lamar University in 2013 and asked how LU can make a difference. Through his community engagement, he realized the importance of the SNWW to the vitality of surrounding communities, the region and the nation as a whole. What might then be the role of Lamar University? President Evans assembled a team of LU industrial engineering and business faculty to reach out and better understand the needs of the Sabine-Neches ports and broader waterway community. That outreach led to a proposal to create a Center for Advances in Port Management that would blend the University's academic strength, its focus on online education, and the port industry's need for the next generation of well-trained executives to fill the shoes of current port and marine terminal managers. His vision was appreciated by the State of Texas Legislature, which in 2015 By Brian Craig, PhD, PE, CPE, and Erik Stromberg funded the Center to develop a port-management curriculum and relevant research. Center for Advances in Port Management Institutionalizing LU's partnership with its port community began with the establishment of a Steering Committee comprised of private and public sector port managers, waterway operators, trade facilitators, the U.S. Coast Guard, among others. The Steering Committee would assure that the Center's mission would be fundamentally and critically joined with the real-world issues, challenges, and opportunities facing ports and related industry interests. LU soon realized it had tapped into a long-standing and heretofore underserved industry need. For decades the port industry has been concerned that there were few if any academic institutions where you could 'learn' how to be a port manager. Training was 'on the job.' The full range of competencies required to become a senior executive were simply not practically accessible in an academic setting to the large number of 'up-and-coming' professionals in the port and marine terminal industry. The Center for Advances in Port Management serves this need. The Center will fundamentally depend on experienced port and related industry professionals, accessed throughout the world remotely online, who will create and deliver the robust, industry-relevant curriculum that, in combination with LU's on-campus faculty, effectively integrates theory and practice. The Center's master's degree program is available to students in traditional classroom and online formats, for whom the Center will serve as an effective and relevant introduction to the port and marine terminal operating industry. One of the Center's primary goals will be realized through its online course delivery that will meet the needs of working professionals by providing an asynchronous educational option that essentially eliminates the time and expense associated with travel. Mid-career students will constitute the largest cohort of the Center's student census, emerging from the Center's master's degree program with expanded capabilities, better prepared to assume their role as the next generation of industry leaders. Conclusion Through its new Center for Advances in Port Management, Lamar University identified an opportunity to leverage its capabilities and internal resources to the benefit of its surrounding waterway community. In so doing, LU opened up a new field of long acknowledged but underappreciated academic focus that is truly global in its impact. LU enters this arena with an understanding that collaboration and partnerships are essential. The Center's practitioner-oriented, academic program will succeed to the extent there is ongoing, tightly knit coordination with industry. In addition to its practitioner-based Steering Committee, LU and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) are exploring a cooperative relationship to the benefit of ports throughout the western hemisphere. Collaboration with other U.S. and international universities will also more effectively deliver industrybased curriculum and research. It is LU's intent that its Center for Advances in Port Management will provide lasting progress, mutually benefitting the University, its surrounding community, and the global port and marine terminal industry. ● Brian Craig, PhD, PE, CPE is professor and chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering, the director of academics and research for the Center for Advances in Port Management and the director of the Mariner Safety Research Initiative at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Erik Stromberg is the executive director for the Center for Advances in Port Management at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. summer 2016 * WWW.AAPASEAPORTS.COM 41 http://WWW.AAPASEAPORTS.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Summer 2016

AAPA Headquarters
From the President's Desk
Ports Strengthen Partnerships Via Community Outreach
The Slippery Slope: Ethical Considerations in Port Business Decisions
Community Outreach Toolbox
Symbiotic Cooperation Leads to Success for Everyone
Community Relationships: Build Them Now
Port Community Outreach: A University's Role
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Summer 2016