CSCR Past Leaders

The Center for Supply Chain Research is honored to celebrate and recognize previous leaders of the center for their roles and years of service.

The leaders who oversee the Center for Supply Chain Research® are responsible for maintaining the center's promise of top-tier supply chain research, executive education, access to emerging talent, and networking opportunities. CSCR® has a history of dynamic leaders who have helped build one of the earliest and most reputable supply chain knowledge centers in the nation.

Founding Director

In 1989, long-time business professor John. J. Coyle founded the Center for the Study of Business Logistics as part of the Smeal College of Business. Coyle chose William “Skip” Grenoble, then a rising Ph.D. student, as the center’s administrative director, in charge of corporate relations. As the discipline adapted, so did the center, officially renamed the Center for Supply Chain Research in 2001. Dr. Coyle served as Executive Director for the center from 1989-2000 until passing on this prestigious position to his successor, by then Dr.  William “Skip” Grenoble, who served in that role until 2014.

Executive Directors

  • 2000 – 2014 William “Skip” Grenoble
  • 1989 – 2000 John J. Coyle

Associate Directors 

  • 2015 – 2021 Terry P. Harrison
  • 1990 – 2014 John “Gene” Tyworth

Administrative Directors

  • 2013 – 2023 Robert Novack
  • 2000 – 2011 Sue Purdum
  • 1990 – 2000 William “Skip” Grenoble 

Directors of Research

  • 2017 – 2022 Aydin Alptekinoglu
  • 2013 – 2016 Christopher Craighead

Directors of Development

  • 2011 – 2022 John Langley

In Memoriam

John J. Coyle

John J. Coyle passed away on January 16, 2023 in State College, PA. Highly respected as a founder of the Penn State Smeal College of Business’s Business Logistics major, John joined the faculty in 1961 and was instrumental in the development of Penn State's business logistics and transportation programs.

John served as the founding executive director from 1989 to 2000 as well as director of corporate relations from 2000 until 2010. John also held important leadership roles in both the college and the university throughout his multi-decade career. He remained Professor Emeritus of Business Administration and continued to publish thought-provoking research right until his passing. 

Throughout his distinguished career, John received many accolades, including 12 college and university awards for outstanding teaching and advising; the Distinguished Lion Paw Award for outstanding service to the University; and the Council of Logistics Management’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.

William “Skip” Grenoble

William Luther Grenoble, IV, familiarly known as “Skip,” passed away peacefully at home with his family on May 22, 2022 after an extended illness.

Grenoble joined the Smeal College of Business in 1987 as a Ph.D. candidate after an extensive and highly successful career in wholesale distribution. He went on to serve as the CSCR® Administrative Director from 1990 until 2000, and then as CSCR’s longest-serving Executive Director from 2000 until 2014, succeeding Dr. John Coyle. His research interests included customer service, benchmarking, the use of information technology in supply chain management, logistics complexity, and the role of transportation policy on logistics performance.

He was a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Council of Logistics Management, the Warehousing Education and Research Council, and the Distribution Committee of the National Defense Transportation Association, among other professional affiliations. Grenoble had also served on the executive board of the International Customer Service Association, and on the board and the North American leadership team of the Supply Chain Council. He held a Ph.D. from Smeal, an M.B.A. from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University.