IOWA CITY - The Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa has passed a milestone celebrating 150 years and is looking to the next step of growth.
''I'm always keeping one eye on the future,'' said Dean Curt Hunter. And his future plans include the world.
Hunter visits area businesses across the state once a year to keep everyone up-to-date on the college's plans and events. He passed through Fort Dodge recently before heading home.
For the past five years the college has expanded to include an overseas program in Hong Kong. Now an international studies program in Italy is available. For the future? Hunter said he is working to get a program in Beijing and South Korea in the next five years.
''In my vision of the future, we will have an exchange program on three continents,'' he said. ''Exchange students from China could take classes in Iowa. Iowa students could take classes in Italy. Italian students could take classes in China.''
Hunter said the future of business is in the international economy, and global experience is vital to a person's success.
''Students that experience classes in another culture come back and want to be better students,'' he said. ''It lights a fire. They realize that business elsewhere is aggressive. They realize, 'they're out there to eat my lunch.'''
He said students are more focused on learning and come to appreciate the value of knowing another language.
''Everyone comes back hungry for knowledge,'' he said. ''They know they don't have time to waste.''
A graduate program has also opened up in Italy, and the entire graduate program will be getting revamped, he said.
The courses will become shorter to allow for a more customized degree.
''Why take a 16-week course when you're only interested in half of what is discussed,'' Hunter said.
The classes will also focus on leadership and real-world projects. Students will work in teams to learn to work with others.
''Each student in the team comes from a different background and each one has something different to bring to the table,'' he said.
Undergraduate students are also given opportunities to work on projects that work to develop solutions for real business problems.
''When I went to get my first job I talked about the classes I took or a professor I had,'' Hunter said. ''Now businesses want to know what you've done, and our students can tell them they have real-world experience.''
Contact Katie Williams at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org