As we embark on a new academic year, it is appropriate to reflect a bit on what’s behind us and what lies ahead. The institute has now been at work for six complete academic years, and it is gratifying to report that a total of 133 students have been awarded the Certificate in Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) thus far. This represents a key benchmark in the accomplishment of our mission of providing a comprehensive and innovative program of RMI education in support of a financial sector critical to the economic future of not just Iowa, but of the country and globally as well.
The academic year ahead promises to be one of continued strength in enrollments in the institute’s RMI courses; continued solid enrollment in the RMI certificate program; healthy membership in our student organization Gamma Iota Sigma; sustained growth and success in the signature student mentoring program; and, the continued pursuit of our goal of expanding and strengthening our many partnerships with the RMI industry.
On other fronts, we will actively explore the feasibility of offering an RMI course at the MBA level as well as the viability of adding another undergraduate course to the RMI certificate program. A corollary to this activity would be determining the additional faculty teaching resources that might be needed. Whether there is an opportunity for the institute to expand its reach by offering an online RMI course(s) is actively under consideration. This latter effort is in keeping with a new initiative recently announced by the Tippie College of Business (TCOB) of offering an online business degree to students across Iowa. Also to be considered will be the utility of developing a social media plan and assessing the value of forming a young alumni board for the institute comprised of certificate program graduates. All of the foregoing activities will be incorporated into the institute’s updated strategic plan, a project which we will be completing over the next few months.
In closing, we will continue to solicit and utilize feedback from our graduates, our RMI faculty, the institute’s advisory board, and from our colleagues in the TCOB throughout the coming academic year and beyond. Such feedback is invaluable helping make sure the institute is meeting it objectives in the areas of education, research, outreach, and industry partnerships. We are eagerly looking forward to another productive and rewarding year for the Vaughan Institute.