Forum: Epic

silhouette of state of Arkansas with epic overlay

TUESDAYS, 5-6:15 p.m., FALL 2019
RCED 232

The deadline to apply to our Honors College Forum courses (via this application form) is 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 29, 2019.

EPIC. Excellence, professionalism, innovation and collegiality. These Walton College values lie at the heart of successful business, and this course will offer students the chance to experience, through discussion and interactions with successful businesspeople from across the state, everything that is EPIC about Arkansas. We will cover what has been epic in the past, what makes the state epic in the present day, and what's forming on the horizon to perpetuate this state of excellence in the future. We will concentrate on dissecting epic endeavors and results from a business standpoint, but will also dedicate time to the history, culture, landscape and industry that has shaped our state through the years. 

This course will combine class discussion of the history and background of business in Arkansas with talks by men and women who are working today at the visionary Arkansas companies that will shape the state’s tomorrow. Students will come away from this class inspired to go out and further the epic-ness of the state in their own way.

What's in it for you

  • Meet and discuss what is epic about Arkansas with successful people from throughout the state
  • Practice your networking skills with top-tier Arkansans
  • Learn first-hand from the successes and failures of business leaders 

What's expected of you

  • A willingness to learn and develop both in character and in academics
  • Active participation in class discussions and networking events

About Matt Waller:

man stands in front of brick buildingsMatt Waller has his eye on epic goals as dean of the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business, which continues to be a business leader in the state. Prior to becoming dean in 2016, Waller served as interim dean, as Walton's first associate dean for executive education and as the chair of the college’s Department of Supply Chain Management. He also held the Garrison Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management.

In his time in the dean’s office, Waller has started many new initiatives, reached out for interdisciplinary programs across the university, and laid plans to push the Walton College to even higher accomplishments and accolades. For example, in 2016 the college opened the McMillon Family Retail Innovation and Technology Lab with a gift from Walmart Chief Executive Officer and Walton College alumnus Doug McMillon and his wife, Shelley.

Waller received a B.S.B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Missouri, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. His business experience includes being partner and co-founder of Bentonville Associates Ventures in 1996-2002 and chief strategy officer and co-founder of Mecari Technologies in 1998-2002. 

He is co-inventor of U.S. Patent No. 6,341,269 B1 for a System, Method and Article of Manufacture to Optimize Inventory and Merchandising Shelf Space Utilization. He is co-editor-in-chief of Journal of Business Logistics, the leading academic journal in the discipline. His opinion pieces have appeared in Wall Street Journal Asia and Financial Times and he has been an SEC Academic Leadership Fellow. His research and teaching focus is on retail supply chain management. A paper he co-authored on total quality management is one of the most cited in 40 years in the journal Decision Sciences. His paper regarding vendor-managed inventory systems is third place for the most citations in the Journal of Business Logistics.