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Appalachian receives $169,000 grant to study global outsourcing and develop programs in India

BOONE-Appalachian State University has received a $169,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education to study global outsourcing and promote student and faculty exchanges with partner institutions in India.

The two-year project will be co-directed by Dr. Jesse Lutabingwa, associate vice chancellor for international education and development, and Dr. Philip Witmer, assistant dean for graduate and international programs in the Walker College of Business.

Other key project personnel include Dr. Al Harris, professor in the Department of Computer Information Systems, Bryan Toney, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, and Nancy Wells, program director in the Office of International Education and Development.

“This grant will allow Appalachian to build valuable relationships with educational institutions and businesses in an increasingly important part of the world,” Lutabingwa said.

“Faculty, students and members of the regional business community will all benefit with a deeper understanding of issues related to global outsourcing and strong connections in India.”

Projects planned as part of the grant include new course development, student and faculty exchanges, faculty development and research, and assessment of outsourcing in the Carolinas.

New courses are planned in global outsourcing management, business study in India and international entrepreneurship in India, some of which will be offered beginning in spring 2008.

Other courses in computer information systems and management will be enhanced with modules on global outsourcing.

Opportunities will also be provided for students to study for a semester in India, as well as participate in internships with companies there. Scholarships of up to $3,000 will help support the study abroad opportunities.

“All of these activities will add great value to programs in the Walker College of Business,” Witmer said. “We already have a strong presence in China through the Holland Fellows Program and relationships with Fudan University and Nanjing University.

New relationships in India will provide great opportunities for our students and faculty to better understand the dynamic global business environment.”

Support in the form of $3,000 mini-grants will be available for faculty to develop expertise related to global outsourcing, conduct research on outsourcing in the United States and India, and develop related papers and case studies.

Two scholars from India will receive travel, lodging and teaching stipends from the grant to spend a semester at Appalachian teaching and partnering with faculty members on global outsourcing research.

Faculty members from Appalachian will also collaborate with the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Small Business Center and the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center to conduct an assessment of outsourcing in North Carolina and South Carolina and develop workshops and seminars to help businesses better understand outsourcing.

“We will be able to expand our initiatives in international entrepreneurship with this grant,” Toney said. “It will allow us to build on programs already developed with three partner universities in Spain and Germany to allow Appalachian students to work on business plan projects with students from India and hopefully also travel as part of the course.”

For more information, contact Lutabingwa in the Office of International Education and Development at (828) 262-2046 or lutabingwajl@appstate.edu or Witmer in the Walker College of Business at (828) 262-6232 or witmerpr@appstate.edu.

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