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CHI Health Logistics Director Brings Expertise to Adjunct Role

Will Henley has grown up alongside Bellevue University, earned two degrees from the school and is now sharing the knowledge he acquired as an adjunct professor at the school. Henley is the Director of Supply Chain Operations at CHI Health, a regional health network headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, and brings that experience into the learning experiences for his students.

Bellevue University spoke with Henley recently to find out more about his Bruin experience, including recently being awarded the Lou Soukup Award, which recognizes Bellevue University’s best adjunct faculty members.

What do you enjoy most about your job as Director of Supply Chain Operations at CHI Health?

I have always enjoyed logistics, planning, and strategy. The idea that operations can always be made more efficient makes work like a strategy game in which we are always trying to set a new high score. Outside of the logistical component of my role, I am truly honored to be part of and support a team of men and women who bring their talents and knowledge to the table every day to provide healing to the mind, body, and spirit of all those we serve.

What do you enjoy most about teaching as an adjunct at Bellevue University?

I enjoy the student interaction and the ability to influence the next wave of business professionals that will be entering the job market. But from a purely educator perspective, it is an awesome experience to see someone have that “aha” or “Eureka” moment. Having a part in someone understanding something they previously didn’t is always rewarding, no matter how big or small the concept.

I see you earned both your bachelor’s degree and your master’s degree at Bellevue University. What first interested you in the University and what led you to enroll?

I grew up in Bellevue and had some familiarity with the university, but what really helped me get over that last hurdle was when one of the University reps visited one of my classes at Metro (Metropolitan Community College) and explained the ease of transferring my associate degree into an accelerated bachelor’s program.

Was it an easy decision to continue on to get your master’s degree at Bellevue University?

Absolutely, I loved the cohort concept that I encountered in my undergraduate degree, and when I found out that several graduate programs has the same setup I didn’t hesitate for a moment.

Who impacted you during your time as a student? 

Brian Bunce and John Patterson both played a huge part in my success as a student.  I had tried several times to obtain my undergraduate degree, but had failed each time.  Brian did a great job of making the material easy for me to understand, use, and apply right away on the job. He made finally finishing that degree possible. John provided a great role model of how higher-level education should be done; engaging the students with the information and not just lecturing.  These gentlemen helped me to be successful and I owe them a great deal for their time, talent, and most of all patience!

What was your reaction to winning the Lou Soukup Award?

I was incredibly humbled. To be honest, I didn’t get into to teaching for notoriety, but to help people; to be the kind of teacher that I wish I had when I was struggling through a course.  There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers and those you serve, and being selected for this honor is very meaningful to me.

What has been your impression of the growth of the University over time?

I grew up in Bellevue for most of my childhood, so I clearly remember when it was Bellevue College on the corner of Galvin and Harvell, and when there was a K-Mart on the hill instead of a beautiful administration building. It is truly impressive to see an organization like Bellevue University take an idea like “Real Learning for Real Life” and grow into a leader in so many different areas of academics.  I can say that with absolute certainty that I am very proud to be part of the University, both as an alum and a member of the faculty.

Who have been some of your biggest supporters of your academic and career endeavors?

There really are too many to name all of them, but there are few that I would be remiss if I did not call out. I would like to thank Trish for all the support at home while I was working on getting through school. And my old boss and friend, Keith, who got me to give school one more try because not having my degree was inhibiting my career.

I would also like to say thank you to Delta who helped me transition from student to teacher, you are a great friend, role model, and educator. Lastly, I would like to thanks John Patterson for taking a flyer on an ambitious student who kept harassing him about wanting to give teaching a shot.

I appreciate everyone’s contribution to making me successful and I promise that I will always do my level best to pay that forward for as long as possible.