Once a global business outlook was a luxury; today it is an imperative. Globalization has increased the demand for business professionals who understand and embrace the new global challenges and realities. Meeting this need requires a global perspective in all our academic pursuits and a commitment to supporting a diverse group of scholars--students, staff and faculty--to create a climate of global awareness and cultural appreciation.
This past Saturday, we embarked on a new era of commitment to global leadership. Alumni from the old Nyenrode/UO exchange program met at the Lundquist College of Business for a reunion to rekindle old relationships and begin the job of creating a support network to revive the program. Maurits van Rooijen, the new rector (president) of Nyenrode University, flew in from the Netherlands to participate in this special event. It was a wonderful evening. Guests reconnected with old classmates while hearing stories from others whose careers and lives were profoundly affected by their experiences in the exchange program.
For those of you who may not know, from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s, the Lundquist College of Business had a vibrant undergraduate exchange with Nyenrode Business University of the Netherlands. UO students completed courses for a year in the Netherlands and vice versa. The exchange broadened the global perspective of UO students studying abroad, but also expanded the international awareness of faculty and students in Eugene hosting the Dutch students.
The new Nyenrode/Lundquist exchange program--scheduled to start in the 2012-2013 academic year--will revive and expand this tradition. The only private university in the Netherlands, Nyenrode offers graduate and undergraduate level programs in the fields of general management, accountancy, and control. All of its general management courses are taught in English. Of great interest to the Lundquist College are the international business tracks offered through Nyenrode's International MBA and MS programs. Similar opportunities will also exist for undergraduates as Nyenrode begins to assimilate the curriculum of the New School, Amsterdam, the undergraduate business school it recently acquired.
Nyenrode also operates on a full-year academic calendar, which will permit UO students to attend classes or workshops during the summer and, if desired, even an additional quarter adjacent to summer. Nyenrode's immense network of corporate partners also offers great internship and work opportunities for UO students. Exchange students from Nyenrode (primarily graduate students at the outset) would likewise spend a quarter or two taking courses in one or more of our MBA tracks, availing themselves of the opportunities provided by our centers of excellence to engage with businesses and esteemed executives in sports marketing, entrepreneurship, securities analysis and corporate finance, and sustainable business practices.
The revived exchange program complements our other efforts to further globalize our curricula. For example, the college's Engaging Asia Initiative, launched in 2006, has become a hallmark of our MBA experience. To date, the Engaging Asia Initiative has exposed more than 300 students and faculty to the culture and social context of doing business in Asia through classroom instruction and hands-on learning via study tours in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen. Students return from these trips with a changed worldview. In addition to gaining cultural experiences, they tour companies and factories, participate in marketing events, attend lectures from leading firms in the region, and network with senior executives.
Up to now, we have relied on grants and generous private donations to support our global programs. As part of our new long-term strategy we must set a more ambitious goal: to create a multimillion dollar endowment that will support and grow all our international business leadership experiences for students on an ongoing basis--from exchange programs to study tours and more. The Nyenrode/UO reunion event on April 16 underscored the importance of this goal. Designing and implementing such a fundraising effort will be a cornerstone of our broader development strategy for the future. At this time, I want to thank all last Saturday's attendees for their enthusiastic support and suggestions for this initiative and also express our deep gratitude to all those alumni, sponsors, and organizations who couldn't attend but already have donated and continue to provide funds to support our global programs.
We are off to a great start. I hope you'll join us in shaping the Lundquist College of Business's global future.
Cornelis A. "Kees" de Kluyver
Dean and James and Shirley Rippey Distinguished Professor