Coleman College of Business names new dean

Building on its commitment to preparing responsible leaders for the business world, the University of Pikeville is turning to one of its alumni to lead its Coleman College of Business (CCOB). The university has named Chris Harris (‘99), DBA, to serve as the next dean of the CCOB and he will assume his duties on July 1, officially succeeding Howard Roberts, Ed.D. 

Harris has served as the vice president of operations at Harris Lean Systems, Inc., (HLS) since 2001. HLS is a network of lean professionals that provides companies and organizations with support in understanding and implementing Lean Enterprise. He also currently serves as a co-owner of the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes, a collegiate-level baseball team located in Central Illinois. 

Harris earned his Master in Business Administration, Doctor of Business Administration and a master’s degree in youth development leadership. 

From 2013 to 2016, Harris served as an associate professor of supply chain management at the University of Indianapolis Business School. He has co-authored five books and published numerous articles about Lean Enterprise Systems, including the Shingo Award-winning book, “Making Materials Flow,” published by Jim Womach and the Lean Enterprise Institute. 

On top of his many accomplishments, Harris hosts a podcast called “Leaning Out with Dr. Chris,” which discusses details of the 12 steps of lean enterprise implementation.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Harris join the UPIKE family. His experiences as an entrepreneur, business faculty, and specializations in supply chain, business logistics and operations management will benefit the Coleman College of Business,” said UPIKE Provost Lori Werth, Ph.D. “In particular, Chris has a heart for student success and supporting student-athletes. We are grateful to add his expertise to our leadership team.”

Harris is excited to be joining the UPIKE family and contributing to its legacy.

“I am excited to come home and carry forward the strong tradition that Dr. Roberts’ leadership has established. I have some big shoes to fill,” said Harris. “I am humbled and honored to be selected as the new dean. My goal is to foster a student-focused and community-minded culture at the Coleman College of Business.” 

For more information on the CCOB, visit