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UI Offers New Certificate Program in Risk Management and Insurance

With the start of the spring semester, University of Iowa students will have a new program in place to help them land jobs in the growing field of risk management and insurance.

UI officials have approved a Certificate in Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) offered through the Emmett J. Vaughan Institute of Risk Management and Insurance, in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

As part of the Department of Finance, the RMI certificate will prepare students for careers in corporate risk management, risk management consulting, employee benefits management and insurance consulting, insurance brokerage and underwriting.

"The goal of the RMI certificate is to help meet the need for highly qualified and educated future leaders in the fields of risk management and insurance, particularly by providing a steady stream of high potential employees for Iowa's vibrant and diversified insurance industry," said Larry Hershberger, director of the Vaughan Institute.

The certificate requires students to complete 10 courses, including core courses in insurance and risk management and electives in finance, marketing, management, actuarial science and accounting. To enter the certificate program, students must be enrolled in an undergraduate program at the UI with 60 semester hours of credit and have a 2.75 grade point average. To complete the certificate, they must maintain a 2.0 GPA in all courses including the certificate courses, and meet grade requirements in the core courses.

The RMI certificate will be beneficial to a variety of student interests. While finance majors and other business majors in the Tippie College are likely candidates, the RMI certificate will also be relevant to students majoring in actuarial science, economics, engineering and human resources.

Spring semester RMI classes seem to be popular with students. As of Jan. 17, there were 84 students enrolled in two Principles of RMI courses, 29 in the Employee Benefit Plans course and 20 in a Property and Liability Insurance course.

"Business students in other majors and students from other colleges at the University of Iowa can take RMI courses to gain an understanding of the important issues in this area of financial services as well as employment opportunities in the industry," Hershberger said.

The insurance industry is an important segment of the Iowa economy, and it promises to become more important in the future as companies continue to expand their operations, he said. During the past 17 years, the State of Iowa has added 12,200 net new jobs in the insurance industry, which currently employs about 41,000 people. From 1988 to 2005, employment in Iowa's insurance industry has increased four times faster than the rest of the state, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

According to the Iowa Insurance Division, there are 55 property and casualty insurance companies headquartered in Iowa and 25 life and health insurance companies. The total assets of the insurance companies with headquarters in Iowa exceed $318 billion.

The mission of the Vaughan Institute of Risk Management and Insurance is to provide a comprehensive program of innovative education, research and leadership in the field of risk management and insurance by educating students and augmenting the professional skills of Iowa's insurance employees. The Institute is named for Emmett J. Vaughan, J.E. Partington Professor of Insurance at the Tippie College of Business, who passed away in 2004. Vaughn played a pivotal role in establishing the Institute that was approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa in 2002. In addition, naming the Institute in his honor recognizes the impact he had on an extraordinary number of students during his 40-year tenure at the University, his international reputation in the insurance industry and his preeminence as a scholar and author of insurance textbooks.


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