University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Dean Waller's Vision of Walton College

Dean Waller's Vision

November 12, 2018 | By Mathew Waller

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Thinking about joining the Walton College as a student or faculty member? Before you do, make sure you buy into our vision. Here’s why.

The vision of the Walton College is “through our research, teaching, and service to be thought leaders and catalysts for transforming lives.” The two critical parts of our vision are thought leadership and transforming lives.

Thought Leadership


We want to be leaders in research, teaching, and service. That means that when it comes to research, we value quality over quantity. A leader sets the direction. If you’re a senior research faculty, being a thought leader in research means being a mentor/co-author to doctoral students or an editor in a journal. You are leading everyone involved. Here is a short video of research thought leader Varun Grover, David D. Glass Endowed Chair and distinguished professor in the Department of Information Systems.


Samuel Moore Walton, Walton College;

Regarding teaching, thought leadership can be exemplified by Molly Rapert, associate professor in the Walton College marketing department. Her upper-level marketing course has an advisory board that brings projects to the class. These projects help students apply the concepts of the class with a real-world project and help improve the instruction. For service, thought leadership means things such as serving as chair at an academic conference. This allows the faculty member to become a thought leader for the academic community as a whole. Thought leadership in service can also be accomplished through management consulting, among a number of areas.

Transforming Lives


We believe we can positively change the lives of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and others. This can occur through teaching, research, and service. For example, our research can transform lives based on the results it produces. Our faculty can take students with a master’s degree and turn them into great researchers. Here is a video about a student’s life that was transformed. On the other end of the spectrum, we can transform a life by taking first-generation undergraduate students and introducing them to our EPIC values. Study abroad can serve as such a catalyst. Watch this short video of Amy Farmer, University Professor in the Walton College economics department and Margaret Gerig & R.S. Martin, Jr. Chair in Business.

Post Author:

Matt WallerMatthew A. Waller is the dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, Sam M. Walton Leadership Chair, and professor of supply chain management. His opinion pieces have appeared in Wall Street Journal Asia and Financial Times.

Waller is an SEC Academic Leadership Fellow, and coauthor of “The Definitive Guide to Inventory Management: Principles and Strategies for the Efficient Flow of Inventory across the Supply Chain” published by Pearson Education.

He received a B.S.B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Missouri, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. He is the former co-editor-in-chief of Journal of Business Logistics.