Indiana Daily Student

Kelley school to team up with Mongolian university

The Kelley School of Business is teaming up with the American University of Mongolia to bring an MBA program for global executives to the region.

Beginning in September, the program focuses on four themes: leadership, managing global resources, innovation and entrepreneurship, and applied projects.

The economy of Mongolia has been predicted by the World Bank to grow exponentially for the next 15 to 20 years, said American University of Mongolia’s
Director of Marketing and Development Ruth Pulaski. Much of the growth is due to the expansion of the mining industry in Mongolia, she said, though other, more typical business opportunities are also growing.

“It goes across the spectrum,” Pulaski said. “Mining is a major business here, but for terms in opportunities in business, it is not just related to mining and mining support, but to retail and all other standard business opportunities in terms of financial services and audit programs.”

According to the press release, the MBA curriculum seeks to build upon these opportunities by offering a blend of classes taught on the campus both in Ulaanbaatar and online.

“This program was set up to respond to the need for internationally recognized degrees for Mongolian students who don’t really have that opportunity,” Pulaski said. “Many programs in Mongolia are not internationally recognized.”

The program includes a one-week residency at IU-Bloomington and a one-week program at the campus in Washington, D.C. The IU residency is a required part of the
degree, while the Washington residency is not compulsory, Pulaski said.

The international residencies, particularly the one in Washington, give students insight to how businesses operate and how legislation is created that affects business, Pulaski added.

Currently, the American University of Mongolia is home to the English Language Institute, offering courses in business English and everyday English to the general community. These programs were established to address the future academic need of the university for its Mongolian students, Pulaski said.

While this program is set to begin in September, IU has had ties to Mongolia since the era of Herman B Wells.

IU’s Department of Central Eurasian Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences is the only university department in the U.S. staffed with faculty specializing in Mongolian studies, including the Mongolian language, according to a press release.

“It all began with Herman B Wells,” Christopher Atwood, chair of the department of central Eurasian studies, said. “We had a strong language program that dated from World War II.”

Wells invited Denis Sinor to teach at IU. Sinor was a specialist in Uralic and Altaic languages, a family of languages that includes the Mongolian language, Atwood said.  Later, in 1963, Wells invited a scholar of Mongolian literature, John Hangin, to teach as well. Hangin is a native of Inner Mongolia. Since his arrival, Mongolian studies have been taught continuously at IU.

“We have a lot of students who do a little bit of the program,” Atwood said.
He is currently teaching a class on the history of Mongolia that includes over 100 students.

Interim Dean of the Kelley School of Business Idalene Kesner said that Mongolia retains a strong alumni presence due to IU’s many language programs.

While the program is more suited for students living in Mongolia, IU students will also see benefits of the partnership, she said.

“The real benefit for the IU student here is that many of our faculty members will be traveling to Mongolia, getting to understand more about their region, and take that learning back into our classrooms,” Kesner said.

Kesner noted that due to the growing relationship between IU and the American University of Mongolia, IU may be able to facilitate student exchanges and allow students to complete their projects in the region for credit.

Pulaski expressed excitement for the future between the two schools.

“We are so excited and happy to have this partnership,” Pulaski said. “We have a very warm relationship established. A very good foundation has been laid for this program.”

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