Ohio Christian University to Receive $700,000 for Logistics Management Program

Ohio Christian University is in line to get a big chunk of federal money to help fund its new logistics management program.

Congressman David Hobson, R-Springfield, is working to get $700,000 for the project in the 2009 federal budget. The funding has been approved in committee but still needs the approval of both chambers of Congress.

"This funding will help support OCU's development of its new logistics management program," Hobson said. "I'm pleased that it was included in this bill, and I will support it throughout the appropriations process," Hobson said.

OCU hopes to supplement the federal money with additional private donations to raise about $2 million for the project, which will include hiring faculty, constructing a 20,000-square-foot facility to house the university's center for logistics management and to purchase hardware and software for the facility, according to OCU President Mark Smith.

"This is big news for the community," Smith said.

OCU has added the logistics management program to capitalize on the expected growth in the logistics sector in central Ohio as a result of Norfolk Southern's Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal in northern Pickaway County.

The intermodal is expected to create up to 20,000 jobs over the next 25 years in the area, according to a 2004 study commissioned by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority

"We're wanting to become a venue to retrain the workforce in the county," Smith said.

Smith said the program will focus as much on experienced workers changing careers as it will on first time college students.

The university has hired Dr. David Garrison, a recently retired corporate executive who has held key management positions at Aetna, Haliburton, Brown & Root and Celotex during his professional career, to direct the logistics program.

Garrison is developing the curriculum for the program, which will be offered as a specialty option to the business program already in place. Students pursuing a degree in business will be able to select the business management or logistics management track to complete their degrees. The program will be available online and in the traditional campus program starting in September.

"We're very excited about the possibilities for the logistics program and we believe it will go a long way to helping the people of Pickaway County," said Rob Hartman, OCU's Vice President of Finance.

Written by Waylon Strickland, Staff Writer of the Circleville Herald.[see original article]