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New Minor in Business Environment and Sustainability Introduced

Earth’s population has tripled since 1950. In that same time period CO2 emissions from fossil fuels have increased seven-fold. Greater global interconnectedness permits both disease and financial contagions to spread rapidly through the world. Identifying the risks associated with these kinds of trends, assessing their potential for harm, and developing holistic risk management strategies to deal with the challenges is becoming a critical leadership component. To equip future business professionals to deal with these challenges, the Department of Management and Quantitative Methods (MQM) had partnered with nearly a dozen departments across campus to create a new Business Environment and Sustainability minor.

The Department of Management & Quantitative Methods (MQM) is proud to offer a new Minor in Business Environment & Sustainability to Illinois State University students, said Professor Jim Jawahar, Chair of the MQM Department. We are very gratified by the overwhelming support from ISU students and administrators, business community, and industry leaders for this Minor. The Minor will not only help ISU students develop expertise in the area of sustainability but will also help organizations hire trained and competent professionals to champion sustainability initiatives in their respective organizations. MQM chairperson, Jim Jawahar, embraced the concept brought forward by Dr. Peter Kaufman (MKT) and Jim Jones of the Katie School of Insurance.   Kaufman and Jones had met with Chairs and faculty from a dozen departments throughout the university to identify appropriate courses for the minor and built a proposed course sequence.  Additionally,  they had presented the concept to the College of Business Advisory Council, the Katie School Advisory Board, and the Provost’s office and received positive feedback.  Jawahar made several improvements in the structure and content of the proposed minor, and convened a Department committee to review and refine it, organized multiple department meetings to solicit further input and then championed the minor through the College Curriculum Committee and the University Curriculum Committee. Jawahar also developed a way to establish a cohort of students, and criteria for applying to the minor.

 According to Dr. Peter Kaufman (MKT) who helped launch this effort based on inspiration from ISU Alum Jim Mont, stated this new minor is essential. “Based on my research across industries I think in 10 years, all companies will have to have a substantive and transparent sustainability program in place if they wish to remain competitive.  Providing students with this perspective and adjacent skills will make them highly relevant and attractive to employers.  Offering courses and content on sustainability and business ethics is an important way the College of Business can contribute to the broader community as well.” Jones offers further insights on sustainability and risk management which at www.sustainabilityriskmanagement.blogspot.com.

Katie School of Insurance Director Jim Jones began partnering with Kaufman during the early phases of the project. “After talking with the 50 top employers of College of Business students I learned within the next 5 years most will have sustainability outcomes built into employee performance evaluations as part of their overall job evaluation. For that reason taking courses in the minor, if not actually completing the minor, will be beneficial to students.”

Dr. Scott Johnson, Dean of the College of Business noted that “Sustainability is a topic of growing concern in society in general and for businesses in particular.  Customers are seeking businesses that have sustainable practices and policies.  The new minor in Business Environment and Sustainability will provide a relevant and important academic option for Illinois State students.”

According to Dr. Jawahar, students desiring to pursue this Minor should submit an application and be admitted to the program. The fall deadline for submitting applications is September 15th and the spring deadline is February 15th. Information regarding application procedures and forms will be posted shortly. Number of hours required in the Minor and courses that comprise the Minor are listed below.

MINOR IN BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY

—25 hours required.

—Required courses (7 hours): ECO 105; MQM 220.

—Foundation courses (6 hours): Business Foundation (3 hours): MQM 323 or MKT 230; Sustainability Foundation (3 hours): ECO 255 or MKT 236.

—Environmental Systems (3 hours): Choose from: AGR 203; BSC 202, 365; GEO 205, 276; HSC 156.

—Social Systems (3 hours) Choose from: AGR 201; COM 210, 274; ECO 202, 236; GEO 313, 334; PHI 234, 236; POL 236, 254, 357; PSY 223 or SOC 223; SOC 240, 330; TEC 275, 329.

—Applied Courses (6 hours): Choose from: FIL 382.04; MKT 339.12, MQM 340.15, 340.16, 398; MKT 398; or independent study (a maximum of 3 hours of independent study may be used for credit in this minor).

—NOTE: No more than 9 hours of courses may be selected from the student’s first or second major department.

Comments

Congrats to Dr. Kaufman...this is truly a remarkable and proud moment for me to see his efforts result in ISU introducing a Minor in Business Environment and Sustainability! Amazing foresight and vision by everyone involved.