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Appalachian’s Risk Management and Insurance Program named Global Center of Insurance Excellence

By Haley Childers

BOONE, N.C.—The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University has been awarded the Global Centers of Insurance Excellence (GCIE) designation by the International Insurance Society (IIS) for its highly ranked risk management and insurance program.

View larger imageWalker College of Business’ Risk Management and Insurance Program (RMI) at Appalachian State University was awarded the Global Centers of Insurance Excellence (GCIE) designation. RMI is the seventh largest program in the country.

The designation is awarded to universities with outstanding risk management and insurance programs, and in selecting designees, the society considers such factors as accreditation, curriculum, involvement with industry and faculty qualifications. With 200 majoring students, Appalachian’s Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) Program is the seventh largest in the country.

A formal announcement of GCIE designees will be made at the International Insurance Society’s 2017 Global Insurance Forum in London, England, July 17-20.

“We are honored to be recognized as a Global Center of Insurance Excellence,” said David Marlett, director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center. “The award reflects the commitment to our students from the faculty, staff and administration. The support and guidance from the Brantley Center Board of Advisors is also instrumental to our success.”

The aim of the GCIE program is to encourage universities to play an integral role in advancing insurance knowledge, to enhance insurance research and intellectual capital development, and to build connections between the insurance industry and top-tier academic programs and faculty. The GCIE designation is retained for five years and thereafter extended by renewal.

The college’s Brantley Risk and Insurance Center, founded in 1988 with support from the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, supports research and faculty development, assists the insurance industry in the design and delivery of training and continuing education programs, and facilitates interaction between students, faculty and the professionals in the insurance industry.

“The students in this outstanding program benefit from a variety of experiential learning opportunities, and they’re well prepared to enter the industry and make an immediate impact,” said Walker College of Business Dean Heather Norris. “Our insurance faculty members are active researchers engaged in applied, industry-relevant projects.”

In addition to adhering to criteria including course offerings, graduate and industry employment rates and professional involvement, schools earning the GCIE designation must also demonstrate that students are learning primarily from designated full-time faculty with appropriate academic qualifications and research expertise.

The Walker College of Business Department of Finance, Banking & Insurance houses Appalachian’s RMI Program and the Brantley Center. There are nineteen teaching faculty in the department, five of whom hold a professorship chair, and a large majority of courses are led by faculty members who possess a PhD. Appalachian is well known for its low faculty-to-student ratio as well as close classroom interaction between students and professors.

The IIS initiated the GCIE certification program in 2017.

About the Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling nearly 3,000 undergraduates in 10 majors and approximately 175 graduate students, the Walker College is accredited by AACSB International – the premier global accrediting body for schools of business. Learn more at

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.