College of Business and Economics News
Eight Boise State students participated in the Asia Global Biztech Summer program in Taiwan spending nearly two months abroad.
The program, the first of its kind at Boise State, was hosted by the College of Business and Economics with collaboration from the College of Engineering and the School of Public Service. Students studied history, political economy, business, culture and language at Providence University in Taichung, Taiwan, then fanned out across the island. They served month-long internships at Taiwanese firms specializing in a range of fields, from robotics, to artificial intelligence and research.
“It’s been a great honor and privilege to watch students gain life experience over the course of the program,” said Jack Marr, program founder and a clinical associate professor of international business who directs COBE’s global projects.
“The Eight,” as Marr likes to call the group of students who participated, came from a variety of academic disciplines. They ranged in age from freshmen to MBA students. They spoke a scattering of languages.
“We found strength in diversity,” said Marr.
For many of The Eight, he added, the summer in Asia was transformative.
Amy Bennett, an accountancy student minoring in Chinese language, came to the Biztech program having attended a summer language program in Taiwan in 2017. At first, she saw Biztech as an opportunity to hone her language skills. She plans to live and work in Asia in the future. But she soon realized the value of studying history, culture and business outside the “vacuum of my home culture,” she said.
She spent her internship with Pemay, a biotech manufacturer.
“I am gaining more confidence in talking to Taiwanese professionals, which is different from before when I had only communicated with students and teachers,” said Bennett. “I have a better understanding of Taiwan’s business and governmental world, and now have experience working within that world.”
Marr designed the program with several Asian partners, including the university and the Taiwan Thinktank, which advises senior officials on economics and political issues.
“I had a vision of this based on my past experience establishing New York University’s Business School in Shanghai,” said Marr. “I thought that with Taiwan, everything aligned: academics, government, business and cultural sponsors. Our Taiwanese partners responded to this vision, so we wanted to make it happen quickly. And we did.”
The program earned praise from many in Taiwan.
“We are grateful for you bringing such a group of talented students from Boise State to Taiwan,” wrote Carol Huiling Pan, section chief from the U.S. Academic Cooperation Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “What you are doing with Taiwan Thinktank is a really down-to-earth and helpful program, a key for deepening U.S.-Taiwan relations.”
Marr already is looking forward to next summer when the next group of Boise State Biztech students will travel to Asia. Recruiting for the 2019 program will begin early this fall.
Learn more about Boise State and Asia: Listen to The Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs podcast featuring Marr on China’s presence on U.S. campuses.
Jonathan Krutz, a lecturer in the Department of Marketing and a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Public Service, appeared on Boise State Public Radio’s “Idaho Matters” show on August 14, to discuss concerns about the Idaho ballot proposal that would legalize slot machine casinos in order to subsidize Idaho’s failed horse racing business.
COBE faculty and staff gathered in the Jackson Commons on Wednesday, August 1 to welcome Mark and Melanie Bannister to Boise.
Mark Bannister, interim dean of COBE, comes to us from Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University.
“It was exciting to meet so many people and to receive a very warm welcome,” said Bannister. “Melanie and I are very pleased to be in Boise and at Boise State University.”
Troy Hyatt, chair of the Department of Accountancy attended and appreciated the event.
“It was great to welcome Mark Bannister to Boise State as the new dean for COBE. I believe his many years of experience as a dean and his very warm and engaging approach will serve the college well and help us take a positive step forward,” said Hyatt.
The eight students participated in the inaugural cohort of Asia Biztech Summer in Taiwan 2018. Cohort #1 wrapped up their internships on Tuesday, July 31st and are preparing to return to Boise. Asia Biztech, which began on June 11, brought the students to Taichung, Taiwan, for three weeks of intensive study of history, political economy, business, culture and Chinese language. This part also included field trips to meet with the leadership of top government, technology and business entities around Taiwan. Following the classroom work, the diverse group of students from COBE, the College of Engineering and School of Public Service went into various internships around the island.
“We are extremely grateful to our many excellent partners, particularly our hosts Providence University and the Taiwan Thinktank. It has been a great honor to watch the students gain deep life experiences over the summer, and we look forward to Cohort #2 next summer,” said Jack Marr, COBE faculty and founder of the program.
The Asia Biztech website, which contains reflections, pictures, video, and partner information will go live soon. Recruiting for Cohort #2 will begin early in fall semester 2018.
Mark Buchanan has been selected as the new chair of the Department of Management.
Mark Buchanan is a long-time faculty member, joining the college in 1996 and serving twice as director of International Business Programs. He is a licensed attorney and professor of international business law, ethics and corporate social responsibility.
Prior to coming to Boise in 1996 he was a tenured member of the faculty of law at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He has twice been awarded overseas Fulbright Professorships. He has focused his research interests on corporate social responsibility in the international context, including interfaces with World Trade Organization related policies with an emphasis on international labor standards. He was a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility project culminating in 2010 and has also worked with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). He is a member of the International Law Sections of both the Idaho and American Bar Associations. He is a Certified Global Business Practitioner under the auspices of NASBITE and a Certified CSR/Sustainability Practitioner under the auspices of the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence.
Another change in the Department of Management is the appointment of Jim Wanek as an associate chair.
Jim Wanek came to COBE as a faculty member in 1996. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the area of human resource management. Wanek has also provided service to the college in numerous ways, such as helping to hire and mentoring faculty. He has been developing and teaching online courses since 2001, and is a certified peer reviewer in the Quality Matters Rubric Standards for online courses. His research interests include employee selection methods and processes including pre-employment testing and interviewing, and issues of diversity and fairness in the workplace.
Kirk Smith is the new chair of the Department of Marketing.
Kirk Smith has a strong history of leadership in the College of Business and Economics, serving previously as department chair for 6 years and associate dean for graduate programs for 10 years.
Prior to joining academia, Smith spent nearly a decade in the industrial work world. He introduced new products and led the successful turnaround to profitability for two companies. A mechanical engineer converted to business strategist, he specializes in marketing strategy, professional selling and critical thinking skills.
Smith has provided programs and services for numerous local companies including Biomark, Closed Loop Marketing, Extended Systems, Hewlett-Packard, MotivePower, Stellar Dynamics, and Washington Group International.
He has won teaching awards at both the University of Houston and Boise State University. His published research has appeared in the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Asia-Pacific Business, and the Journal of Marketing for Higher Education.
Susan Park, former chair of the Department of Management will return to faculty. Park is beginning her second year on the editorial board of the American Business Law Journal.
Former interim chair of the Department of Marketing, Karen Corral, will continue as chair of the Department of Information Technology and Supply Chain Management.
Mark Bannister has been named interim dean of the College of Business and Economics, effective Aug. 1.
Bannister currently serves as dean of the Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University (FHSU), where he has led a rapidly growing college.
“Mark’s strong vision and leadership style make him an outstanding choice for the college at this time. He brings a wealth of experience from Fort Hays State, and I know that he’ll respond very well to the many exciting initiatives in COBE. It’s a great fit,” said Interim Provost Tony Roark.
“We wish outgoing Dean Ken Petersen the very best in his new role as the Helen Robson Walton Endowed Chair in Marketing Strategy and Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the University of Oklahoma.”
The search for a permanent dean of COBE will commence in the 2019-20 academic year with guidance from the incoming university president.
Bannister was a finalist for the COBE dean position four years ago. Based on his experience and his familiarity with Boise State’s programs, the university initiated discussions with him in May. Bannister visited Boise twice in June to meet with COBE leadership, faculty and staff.
“I am very pleased and excited to join an outstanding group of faculty, staff, alumni and other supporters who are dedicated to providing students with a high quality education. I am also impressed with the research, thought leadership and service of the faculty,” Bannister said. “Boise State’s growth and innovation are important factors in drawing me to the college and university. I look forward to building on an outstanding base and working together to continue to build a truly notable college of business.”
The Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship has significant traditional on-campus instruction, domestic distance-learning programs and on-the-ground international programs in China.
Bannister has received Fort Hays State University’s Pilot Award, its highest teaching honor, and has been recognized repeatedly for his teaching by FHSU student groups. He initiated the “Entrepreneur Direct” speaker series that has brought a series of entrepreneurs to campus to present and to interact with faculty and students, and also has worked with the FHSU Foundation to increase private giving to the college and its departments.
He is a senior policy fellow of the Docking Institute of Public Affairs and a principal in Bannister Capital. He teaches course work on legal issues and management of information technologies, as well as supervises and participates in research and programming on entrepreneurship, telecommunications, strategic planning and community development.
Bannister holds a juris doctor from the University of Kansas as well as a master of science in communications studies.
Chris Loucks, chair and professor in the Department of Economics, wrote “Is Idaho the Next Oklahoma for Educators? Take steps Now to Preserve Public Education” which was published in the Idaho Statesman, May 4, 2018.
“Tax cuts may be attractive, but only until folks have to decide what programs they want to cut. Since education takes up the majority of a state’s general fund, schools end up bearing the brunt of revenue cuts – whether or not that’s what voters intended,” said Loucks.
An article by Loucks on the same subject was published in the Post Register. Loucks wrote, “Short-sighted policy choices in states like Oklahoma and Arizona paved the way for their teacher strikes. The Idaho Legislature has painted our state into a similar corner,”