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The Daily Tar Heel

Business School Aids War on Terrorism

The Department of Defense gave the business school $1.08 million in October 2000 to create a Center for Excellence in Logistics and Technology.

The center, in conjunction with Kenan-Flagler, allows civilians in the private sector, the military and members of the defense department to share information on innovative practices in logistics.

Logistics is the coordinating strategy involved in distributing products or men and materials around the globe.

John Kasarda, director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, which oversees the center, said the war on terrorism simply has increased the need for the logistics and technology cooperation that the program develops.

"The war on terrorism highlights not the importance but the need for quick global mobilization because it is a war with multiple fronts," Kasarda said.

Kasarda said those in the program have discussed the implications of new technology and updated logistics practices on the recent war. "In the global war on terrorism the enemy is far more elusive, and the war requires a different type of strategy where logistic processes need to be adapted."

Bill Buzzi, director of Center for Excellence in Logistics and Technology, said that although the program began before Sept. 11, strategies might have been changed to deal with the new situation.

The center is operated by the Foundation for Transportation, Trade and Commerce, which is an affiliate of the Kenan Institute and is partnering with several institutions that include Kenan Flagler, N.C. A&T State University and Research Triangle Institute.

All of the programs are held in the Paul J. Rizzo Conference Center at Meadowmont. The center offers two executive programs in logistics and technology, one for senior management and one for operational level managers. The program aims to build a coordinated system that reduces costs and increases service levels with the aid of new technologies.

Buzzi said more than 200 military personnel, defense department civilians and private sector executives went through the program last year. The military personnel and civilians in defense are funded by the federal government, but all individuals from the private sector must pay $5,450.

Buzzi said the vision for the center was to help the defense department learn private sector practices, but a benefit has been the forum created for all services to talk together. "We just provide the petri dish, put all the people together, and let it grow."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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