Earl Ingram, Texas State University
Title: Patron Board Member
Employer: Texas State University
“The strength of the CIM curriculum is that it was developed through a partnership between industry and academia to provide meaningful and useful knowledge to its students.”
What is your involvement in the CIM program? Why did you get involved with the program?
I am a Patron board member for the Texas State University CIM Patrons’ Foundation. I have been involved with the TSU program since the initial discussion pertaining to possible expansion. Prior to moving back to Texas, I was a civil engineering professor at the University of Tennessee and was somewhat familiar with the CIM program at MTSU. The idea for a CIM program in Texas originated from a Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association board meeting discussion. With knowledge of the high level of industry and university enthusiasm regarding a TSU CIM program and my familiarity with the Middle Tennessee program, I viewed the possible expansion as a great opportunity for our industry.
Why have you and your company made the commitment to the CIM program? What benefits do you think it will bring to your company?
Ingram Ready Mix, Inc. is of the opinion that the CIM program is the leader in management education for the concrete industry. We recognize that this is the first four-year degree program that is solely dedicated to educating the workforce for the entire concrete construction industry. The CIM program provides a talent recruiting pool for our company that previously did not exist.
What are your thoughts about the industry/academic partnership between CIM and its industry partners and patrons?
The concrete industry includes ready-mix, concrete construction, manufactured concrete products, cement, aggregates, admixtures, and related equipment. We are an industry that did not have a classical educational path that led directly to our businesses. The CIM NSC has developed a partnership between academia and industry that allows businesses to communicate their managerial and technical education needs to the educators.
Why should other companies in the concrete industry get involved in the CIM program?
In the business world, the value of educational programs is often measured by the demand of the knowledge gained. Through involvement in the education process, companies can ensure that their future employees possess the knowledge that is valued by the company. The strength of the CIM curriculum is that it was developed through a partnership between industry and academia to provide meaningful and useful knowledge to its students.
How can they get involved?
Each of the five CIM institutions has a local patrons’ group that interacts with the faculty. The patrons’ groups assist in facilitating needs of the program. Requests often include locations for educational field trips (such as plant tours and construction site visits), providing guest speakers that are experts on certain topics, and financial assistance for educational activities. Involvement allows companies to become familiar with the educational process, faculty, and students.