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ODU Ranks Eighth in World for Port Research

Old Dominion University's expertise in port research stretches back decades, in part because of the university's location near a major, deepwater port, but also because of the work of ODU faculty researchers.

Now this expertise is being recognized worldwide.

At the recent annual meeting of the International Association of Marine Economists (IAME) in Santiago, Chile, worldwide university rankings for port research over the past 30 years were presented. ODU was ranked eighth in the world in these prestigious rankings, second only to the University of Washington in the Western Hemisphere.

"This is a very significant recognition," said Wayne Talley, Frederick W. Beazley professor of economics and director of ODU's Maritime Institute. "IAME is the top-ranked maritime academic organization in the world."

The history of scholarship in maritime issues at the university has also been accompanied by an effort to train more professionals and grant more degrees in the field. The ODU Maritime Institute has taken the lead in the creation of the College of Business and Public Administration's (CBPA) undergraduate maritime and supply chain management major (available since fall 2006). There are currently 90 students majoring in maritime and supply chain management, and ODU remains the only university in the United States to offer this program as an undergraduate major.

In the M.B.A. program, the maritime academic roots go deeper. Since 1994, ODU has provided a 12-credit-hour maritime ports and logistics management concentration in its M.B.A. program, making it the only university in the United States to do so.

There is also a proposal, currently under review, to create an M.S. in maritime trade and transport through the CBPA.

Shanghai Maritime University officials, including the school's president and four deans, will visit ODU in April to re-sign a 2007 memorandum of understanding between the two universities, which is aimed at sharing knowledge in the field of maritime studies.

Talley said ODU plans to submit a bid at the annual IAME conference this September in Taiwan to host the 2014 IAME conference in Norfolk. "That would be an incredible honor for Old Dominion University and the local maritime community, to host the world's leading researchers in maritime issues and have the opportunity to showcase the scholarly maritime research that is being done at ODU."