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People and Places: August 17, 2021

The University of Guelph launches the Institute for Sustainable Commerce, and University College London opens the Global Business School for Health.

Transitions

Paul Ambrose has been named interim dean of the College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. Ambrose joined the information technology and supply chain management department in 2005 and served as department chair for nearly four years. As associate dean of graduate programs since 2015, he has been responsible for the administration and oversight of seven master’s degree programs and one doctorate program. He takes over from John Chenoweth, who has become the new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW–Whitewater. Both men assumed their new roles on July 1.


The new professor-in-residence for the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) will be Laurie Burney, an associate professor of accounting and the holder of the J.E. Bush Professorship in Accounting at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business in Waco, Texas. Her three-year term will begin on September 1. In in her new role, she will serve as the liaison between the IMA and the university communities to work toward expanding the profession. She also will support the IMA’s Certified Management Accountant Scholarship Program.


Collaborations

The Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria in Johannesburg is partnering with the Embassy of France in South Africa and the African Farmers Association of South Africa to provide programs supporting women farmers. Their goal is to strengthen the country’s farming community as well as help empower women’s emancipation and economic empowerment. Starting in September, 30 women will embark on a three-month program titled Developing Women Towards Inclusive Agribusiness, which will cover themes such as leadership development and entrepreneurial and managerial competencies. Participants also will receive virtual group coaching support through peer-to-peer engagement. The program will be delivered in a blended format, which will facilitate the inclusion of participants from rural South Africa.


Competent Boards is partnering with the University of Oxford Saïd Business School in the U.K. and the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University in Phoenix to offer the Climate Competent Boards Certificate Program. The six-module online program is designed to give board members, senior executives, business professionals, and investors an in-depth understanding of the threats and opportunities that climate change presents. It also will prepare them to deal with issues such as the race to a net-zero carbon economy, new climate regulations, and recent catastrophic weather events. Participants will be introduced to a range of tools and approaches, including scenario analysis, disclosure expectations, adaptation, mitigation, and transition strategies.


The University of Reading in the U.K. and Cambridge Education Group (CEG) have extended an agreement that allows international students to take foundational education programs through CEG’s ONCAMPUS program. The partnership between the organizations was first established in 2017 with the aim of supporting international students seeking degrees in art, design, and communication. The agreement has now been extended to international students looking to obtain undergraduate or postgraduate degrees at the university’s Henley Business School. International students interested in studying at Henley will be able to enroll in the full-time foundation programs starting in September 2021; the programs will take from nine months to one year to complete.


New Centers and Facilities

The University of Guelph’s Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics in Ontario, Canada, has launched the Institute for Sustainable Commerce at Guelph (ISCG) to advance research in corporate social responsibility and business goals related to sustainability. The ISCG also will disseminate knowledge on business sustainability and sustainable organizations, provide graduate and undergraduate student research opportunities, and house a repository of teaching resources and best practices for business sustainability curriculum development. Rumina Dhalla will be the inaugural director of the institute, which will be built on the three pillars of collaboration, impact, and inclusivity.


University College London is launching the Global Business School for Health (GBSH) with the goal of equipping professionals with the skills needed to address the challenges in today’s healthcare systems. These include rising costs, inefficiencies, new technologies, and demographic and societal pressures. The new school, which will be led by Nora Colton, is inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal that focuses on universal health coverage. The school will offer a range of master’s-level and executive education courses that blend the classic healthcare disciplines of health economics, epidemiology, and behavioral sciences with public policy, law and regulation, the management and organization of public and private healthcare systems, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Many courses will be offered both in-person and online.


Grants and Donations

The Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at The University of Tampa in Florida has again received a grant from the TD Charitable Foundation for its Spartan Incubator Program, which will assist more low- to moderate-income individuals in advancing their early-stage businesses. Since 2015, the Lowth Entrepreneurship Center, which is part of UT’s Sykes College of Business, has offered the Spartan Incubator Program to early-stage Tampa Bay businesses. The program is a free service that allows business owners to receive guidance from faculty, investors, entrepreneurs, and experts in the Tampa Bay region and beyond. The grant primarily will fund the cost of bringing in consultants, subject experts, coaches, and training sessions to enhance the program.


The Florida International University College of Business in Miami will use a gift of 150,000 USD from the freight payment platform PayCargo to support its logistics and supply chain management programs. A team of professors will use the funding to conduct research on supply chains for air cargo shipments and the management of natural disasters and pandemics. They also will collaborate on future curriculum development, student recruitment, and community and corporate engagement. Five FIU Business professors in the areas of information systems and business analytics and marketing and logistics have been named PayCargo fellows. Sushil Gupta, professor of information systems and business analytics, will lead the faculty team as PayCargo Professor.


Other News

OpenStax, the educational technology initiative at Rice University in Houston, has selected 13 companies to participate in the organization’s new equity in courseware training program. The training will help these companies learn about and develop educational technology platforms that provide better outcomes for all students, especially those from historically marginalized and underserved communities. The program, which began this month and runs through spring 2022, will demonstrate how courseware can be designed with an equity-first approach. Participants will also work to implement equity-minded improvements, features, and models into their existing educational technology platforms. Lrnr, Classavo, ecoText, Book It Zambia, XanEdu Publishing, Gradarius, Visible Body, The Expert TA, Squarecap, Lumen Learning, Lyryx Learning, Hawkes Learning and CogBooks will all be part of the program.


Online learning platform Coursera has announced its adoption of a new fee structure to support universities that plan to scale online degree offerings. Under the new tiered structure, service fees will step down from 40 percent to 25 percent of the cost of tuition for courses delivered on the platform as universities grow their programs on Coursera. Among the first institutions to use the fee system are the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which offers five master’s degrees on the platform including its iMBA, and the University of Colorado Boulder, which offers two master’s degrees. The number of full degrees offered by universities on Coursera has grown by 55 percent over the last year.


The Martin V. Smith School of Business and Economics at California State University Channel Islands is piloting a program designed to support transfer students through academic and financial interventions. The academic portion of the program launched in July with a class called Business Discourse for the 21st Century, which was tailored specifically for transfer students. The five-week class focused on oral and written communication, introduced students to faculty mentors, familiarized them with student support services, and linked them with business-themed clubs and other opportunities. During the fall semester, some students will receive a scholarship worth 1,950 USD. Over the next two years, every business major will be randomly assigned to receive just the five-week academic intervention, just the scholarship, both the intervention and the scholarship, or neither. The final group will act as a control group that allows the school to measure the effect of the other interventions. The project is made possible by a 300,000 USD grant from ECMC Foundation, which works to improve postsecondary educational outcomes for students from underserved backgrounds.


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