Business Drivers

Dean Jim Brodzinski Leads the College’s Global Strategy

The hallways and classrooms of Urschel Hall are bustling with students and professors from around the world. A student who hails from Munster, Ind. may have a group project with students from Chicago, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and China for a course taught by a professor from India. And this is not a coincidence.

“Global business permeates our entire curriculum,” says Jim Brodzinski, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business. When Valpo students graduate, they are prepared to collaborate with and lead colleagues in businesses and corporations worldwide. The College prepares students to be ethically and globally engaged leaders as students and professors discern global challenges in the classroom.

“Our international students comprise a significant portion of the College’s student body. This helps facilitate discussion about issues that face businesses on a global scale,” Dean Brodzinski says. “It is not simply a theoretical classroom exercise.”

Recently, the College hired five additional faculty members with international experience and perspective.

While the College of Business has intentionally shifted to be more global in nature, its strategy to amplify its impact in Northwest Indiana is also a key priority, especially as the region continues to flourish.

“We are well-positioned here in Northwest Indiana, with close proximity to Chicago as well as a plethora of thriving businesses and exciting start-ups in the region,” says Dean Brodzinski. “These opportunities make it the perfect time to study business at Valpo.”

Students in the College of Business have an opportunity to intern at top businesses in the region, and as a result, many choose to stay in the area after graduation to launch their careers. In addition, Valpo students get hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology like SAP, a world-renowned enterprise software, to fully prepare them as leaders and analysts.

New programs launched under Dean Brodzinski’s leadership have continued to expand. Most recently the College added a business analytics major to meet the demands of the ever-expanding data analysis field. Students learn to explore and critically analyze past business performance and customer habits to gain valuable insight to predict future behavior. Additionally, a revamped MBA curriculum focuses on project-based learning, where students work closely with companies in the region to learn valuable and practical skills. MBA students serve as business consultants and lead projects to provide counsel to local organizations and businesses.

“We hope to extend the successful MBA’s project-based model into the undergraduate program to continue to enhance the experience for all business students,” he says. On campus, the College of Business is implementing changes to grow and enhance its programs and reach. “We are looking forward to future partnerships with the College of Engineering to develop an entrepreneurial program designed to strengthen both colleges,” says Dean Brodzinski.

This program will strengthen ties with the community and help grow local businesses while providing real-world experiences to students. It is clear that Dean Brodzinski’s vision is to ground the College in the local community, yet widen its focus to be global in nature. The changes underway in both the MBA and undergraduate programs lay the foundation to set the College apart as a driver in business education.