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Release: May 16, 2000

UI, Iowa State to offer dual MBA/ME program for engineers

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa Henry B. Tippie School of Management and the Iowa State University College of Engineering have joined forces to create an integrated 26-month dual- degree graduate program for practicing engineers.

For the first time in the history of the two state institutions, graduates can earn a dual degree in Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the UI and a Master of Engineering (ME) degree in systems engineering from ISU.

Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, a key partner in this program, will likely supply about 20 of the 36 students. The remaining 16 students will be recruited from other eastern Iowa sponsor companies. Classes are scheduled to begin in October at the UI's Town Centre facility in Cedar Rapids.

Brian Wright, vice president of integrated architectures and director of business and regional systems engineering at Rockwell Collins, said, "As Rockwell moves into the 21st century, we need innovative engineering leaders with a broad business background to effectively lead in new market-driven industries. The dual-degree program will provide participants with the vitally needed foundation, tools and leadership skills necessary to be successful in today’s highly competitive international marketplace."

Gary Fethke, dean of the UI Tippie College of Business, said, "The dual degree faculty are focused on providing a return on investment for the student as well as for the sponsoring organization. They will take great pride in consistently delivering relevant and immediately applicable concepts and models in the classroom."

Students will attend daylong classes on alternating Fridays and Saturdays, enrolling in four traditional semesters and the equivalent of two eight-week summer sessions. The dual-degree experience will include two five-day residency periods, one on the UI campus in Iowa City and one on the ISU campus in Ames, as well as a ten-day international seminar during spring break 2002.

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.

"The systems engineering component of the program will teach working engineers the analytical skills required to efficiently manage complex systems. Engineers will also have the ability to work effectively across disciplinary boundaries," said James Melsa, dean of the ISU College of Engineering. "The College of Engineering at ISU is very excited about this new partnership with the Tippie School of Management at the UI. We believe that this joint program will meet the needs of many engineers in the state of Iowa."

"The Executive MBA portion of the program will help transform the functional manager into the exceptional business leader who develops a strategic perspective on complex organizational issues and international business challenges," said John Fraser, director of the UI Executive MBA program. "This program will enhance the career engineer managers' technical ability as well as their business background. In turn, this will make the company more competitive the marketplace."

To enroll in the program, students must have an undergraduate degree in engineering, a sponsor letter from their employer, and Graduate Management Admission Test scores. Applications are available via Fraser at the Tippie School of Management, (319) 335-1043 or