The University of Minnesota has been awarded a $1.5 million Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish a Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the Carlson School to increase and promote the nation's capacity for international understanding and competitiveness.
The University is one of three new CIBER centers added to the network, which now totals 33. Located at higher-education institutions nationwide, the centers serve as regional and national resources to business people, students, and teachers at all levels.
With a mission to advance the knowledge and understanding of global business issues to transform leaders, markets and solutions, the new center plans to focus on three key themes: emerging markets, environmental sustainability, and less-commonly taught languages. The U of M CIBER will serve businesses and educators in Minnesota and is expected to also become a resource for Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
"Business outreach and collaboration with companies on international issues have long been a hallmark of the Carlson School of Management," said Michael Houston, Carlson School associate dean of International Programs and U of M CIBER director. "This grant will build on and leverage what we're already doing to further benefit companies, educational institutions, and other units within the University."
Houston and Anne D'Angelo, assistant dean of International Programs, spearheaded the grant application which was supported by Minnesota's Congressional delegation and the governor's office. The University will match federal funds it receives over the next four years.
"Being awarded a CIBER adds depth and breadth to the University of Minnesota's and the Carlson School's increasingly diverse international portfolio, and is further recognition of our dedication to introducing students to the world at every opportunity," said Meredith McQuaid, associate vice president and dean of the University's Office of International Programs. "The grant will result in connections and outcomes that will benefit our campus, our community, our region, and our world."
The center expects to introduce several business outreach activities that will better expose regional and national business leaders to sustainability as a competitive advantage and the opportunities and challenges that exist in select emerging markets.
"We have a new full-time MBA curriculum that includes a required emerging markets-focused course within the Global Discovery Program," said Houston. "The students will be split into three groups: one group will go to Chile, one to China, the other to Turkey. They will get direct exposure to and investigate the nature of these three emerging markets. As part of our CIBER efforts, upon their return, we plan to host a symposium where the groups will share with businesses the opportunities and challenges that exist in each of those markets."
For educators, CIBER anticipates providing:
- A summer institute for K-16 language instructors with the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA).
- A summer program for K-12 teachers on an international business topic through the university's Institute for Global Studies.
- Increased involvement of language instructors in study abroad programs.
One proposed language-focused initiative, said Houston, is to include a Chinese language instructor on a Carlson School short-term trip to China. "The instructor will provide language exposure to our students on the trip, while receiving valuable exposure to the nature of business in China that can later be incorporated in their curriculum and better position them to convey and teach Chinese business language in the context of Chinese business."
Officials are currently conducting a search for the center's managing director and will begin operations in the early fall.
Created by Congress in 1988 and administered by the U.S. Department of Education under Title VI, Part B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the CIBER network links the manpower and technological needs of the United States business community with international education, language training and research capacities of universities across the country. For information on CIBER, visit www.ciberweb.msu.edu/.