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UI and Iowa State begin dual MBA/ME program for engineers

The University of Iowa Henry B. Tippie School of Management and the Iowa State University College of Engineering joined forces this week to begin a dual degree graduate program for practicing engineers.

UI President Mary Sue Coleman and Interim ISU President Richard Seagrave addressed the class of 31 engineers Monday at the Sheraton in Iowa City as part of a residency week intended to introduce the 26-month Executive MBA program to the students.

For the first time in the history of the two state institutions, graduates can earn dual degrees in Master of Business Administration from the UI and a Master of Engineering degree in Systems Engineering from ISU.

"This is institutional cooperation at its best," said Seagrave. "What we are doing is innovative, which is the key to doing well in any business."

"This is a unique program that not only builds engineering managers' business skills and knowledge, but enhances technical ability as well. In turn, this will make their companies more competitive in the marketplace and make Iowa an attractive place to potential employees," Coleman said.

Seven Iowa companies are sponsoring their employees in the dual degree program: Rockwell Collins, Deere and Co., Maytag, Allsteel/HON, Bandag, Square D and Advanced Analytical Technologies.

Also during residence week, the engineers heard about the academic expectations from the ISU and UI professors who will be teaching the classes. The class will also be trained on decision-making, teamwork skills, accounting practices, and statistics and marketing management.

Wolfgang Schoeps, dean of the Business School for International Management in Sao Paulo, Brazil gave an introduction to the international component of the program. During a 10-day seminar in spring 2002, the students will travel to Sao Paulo visiting eight to 10 businesses, including an aircraft manufacturer to study international business practices firsthand.

Subsequent classes in the dual degree program will begin on Oct. 13 at the UI's Town Centre facility in Cedar Rapids. Students will attend daylong classes on alternating Fridays and Saturdays, enrolling in four traditional semesters and the equivalent of two eight-week summer sessions.

Faculty from the UI Tippie School of Management will teach classes in areas such as project and business management, leadership, e-commerce strategies, and corporate finance, while ISU faculty will teach systems and software engineering, creating breakthrough inventions, and artificial life technologies. The students will also integrate course work from both disciplines as they work on group projects in their specific area of interest.

"This is a unique opportunity to combine business and engineering in one place. There's nothing else like it," said Greg Cornish, a senior engineering manager at Square D.

To enroll in the program, students were required to have an undergraduate degree in engineering and engineering experience. Students in the dual degree MBA class have an average of 11 years of engineering experience, specialties with electrical, industrial and agricultural engineering. The average age of the student is 34; the class is 20 percent women.

For more information on the dual degree program, contact John Fraser in the Tippie School of Management, (319) 335-1043.


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