To study the feasibility of a center for retailing excellence, H.E.B. provided a $50,000 contribution Thursday, March 29 to The University of Texas-Pan American College of Business Administration.
"This is a great opportunity for us to be here and pursue the possibility of developing a retailing program," said Greg Souquette, H.E.B. vice president and general manager, at a morning news conference. "It's wonderful that UT Pan American is taking this challenge, and I hope other retailers in the area can join H.E.B. in making this possibility a reality."
Souquette was joined by Sam Diaz, H.E.B. human resources director; Roland S. Arriola, UTPA vice president for External Affairs; Dr. John Emery, College of Business Administration dean; and COBA professors Drs. Michael S. Minor and William W. Thompson.
"We see this as the first step in developing a program others will want to follow," Emery said. "We hope this will become a model driver of the economic engine that will cascade into other opportunities for retailers and the University."
The proposed center for retailing excellence would promote superior performance in retail practice through research, internships and education programs. Through its efforts, the center promotes student interest in and preparation for careers in retailing and closely related businesses.
The center for retailing excellence also would work to develop strategic alliances between business academics and industry by focusing on interdisciplinary issues and concerns of retailers and vendors through activities and research programs.
Initial work for the UTPA study will involve visiting retail centers at universities in California, Florida and elsewhere to develop a blueprint, Thompson said. Final results should be available at the end of the year.
"I looking forward to our investigation into the potential for having a center for retailing excellence," Minor said. "We're well on our way to being a great university, and this is just another step in the process."