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Dr. James Kirby Easterling

Dr. James Kirby Easterling
  • Assistant Professor Supply Chain Management


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Dr. James Kirby Easterling— a proud sixth generation Kentuckian with deep Appalachian roots—worked in progressive supply chain leadership and executive roles with multi-national companies for over 20 years, including long-term international assignments in both Japan and Singapore with Corning Incorporated.  Easterling served as General Manager & Entity Director of Corning’s Supply Chain Management Services hub in Singapore before transitioning into academia in 2014 where he led the establishment of the Global Supply Chain Management program at Eastern Kentucky University. 

Dr. Easterling has a great passion for not only teaching but working with students outside the classroom in securing internships, working with companies in developing strategic alliances, serving on university committees, and hosting special signature events such as the Supply Chain Executive Speaker Series and the Business Analytics Symposium. Dr. Easterling enjoys visiting companies throughout the region and developing symbiotic relationships which benefits employers, students, and the College of Business.  Dr. Easterling is also the author of Supply Chain Simplified, a best-selling book now available on and other book retailers.

Dr. Easterling is very active in the community with organizations such as Ashland Baptist Church, Pregnancy Help Center, Salvation Army, God’s Pantry Food Bank, Richmond Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC), Kiwanis, Special Olympics, military and veteran affairs, disaster relief and cleanup, and supporting children and families in need throughout the community.  Dr. Easterling’s wife (Teresa Adkins Easterling) and daughters (Kourtney, Kassidy, and Kennedy) are all proud EKU graduates.  Dr. Easterling’s mother (Myrtle Marie Bentley Easterling) taught in the Pike County (KY) school system for 38 years, and his father (James Franklin Easterling) worked in coal mines throughout eastern Kentucky for over 40 years.


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)-Information Systems & Operations Management (ISOM), University of Florida

Master of Supply Chain Management, Penn State

Master of Business Administration (MBA), Eastern Kentucky University

Bachelor of Business Administration-Accounting, Eastern Kentucky University

Bachelor of Business Administration-Economics, Eastern Kentucky University


BUS306-Supply Chain Essentials

MKT431-Strategic Procurement


MGT375-Supply Chain Planning

BUS 402-Integrated Strategic Management

BUS 303-Essentials of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources

MBA833-Supply Chain (MBA program)


Easterling, J.K. (2022). Supply Chain Simplified (full book). Kendall-Hunt Publishing. 

Easterling, J.K., & Barthel, L.R. (Summer 2022). Capacity Management: The Intersection of Supply Chain and Accounting.  Business Education Forum, 76(4), 11-14.

Easterling, J.K., Barthel, L.R., & Caviness, T. (2022). A Study on State Budget Allocations to Kentucky Regional Public Universities. Refereed Proceedings of the Appalachian Research in Business Symposium, 60-66.                                            

Easterling, J.K., & Robinson, A.R. (2022). Covid-19’s Impact on Supply Chain: Implications to Meat, Mask, and Medicine.  Refereed Proceedings of the Appalachian Research in Business Symposium, 56-59. 

Easterling, J.K. (Winter 2021). Using Productivity to Enable Higher Operational Performance.  Business Education Forum, 76(2), 26-29.  

Easterling, J.K., & Fatzinger, J.B. (2021). The Progressive Effects of a Robust Supply Chain Ecosystem in Driving Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. Refereed Proceedings of the Appalachian Research in Business Symposium.38-43.

Fatzinger, J.B., & Easterling, J.K. (2020). Community Characteristics as Predictors of Disaster Recovery. Refereed Proceedings of the Appalachian Research in Business Symposium.27-29.  


2016 inductee Eastern Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni

2022 Eastern Kentucky University College of Business Professor of the Year (Beta Gamma Sigma)

2022 EKU President’s Excellence in Engagement Award nominee

2-time Eastern Kentucky University Scholarship Incentive Program (SIP) Research Award recipient

Beta Gamma Sigma faculty recipient (2021)

Karl D. Bays Professorship in Global Supply Chain Management (2017-current)

2018 Finalist for Dr. Jack L. Dyer Excellence in Teaching Award

Eastern Kentucky UniversityGolden Apple Teaching Award (multiple years)

Eastern Kentucky UniversityCritical Thinking Professor of the Year finalist (multiple years)

“Best Paper Award”.  Angolia, M., Pagliari, L., & Easterling, J. K. (2015). The Path from Industry Professional to Assistant Professor. Referred Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition (pp. 26-1561). (research with faculty/peer institution-East Carolina University)


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