Business Program Partners Moscow With Denmark’s Aarhus School of Business

Wednesday, January 19 2011

MOSCOW, Idaho – The journey between Moscow, Idaho, and Denmark is a familiar one for statistical sciences department head Rick Edgeman. And that path is on its way to become a well traveled one for students interested in global business.

Edgeman and colleagues in the University of Idaho’s College of Business and Economics are creating a new joint graduate-level certificate program with the Aarhus School of Business at Aarhus University in Denmark that will connect students from both countries for a greater learning opportunity.

The program, enterprise-wide process and performance excellence, will focus on developing strategy and tactics throughout all levels of processes and relationships in business. The American portion of the program primarily will be marketed to those on the mid-management to upper-management track.

“We’re really preparing students to be successful in their company while deepening their world perspective,” said John Lawrence, Idaho business professor. “Building contacts in a program like this gives students a richer experience, a broader education.”

Forging this partnership, Lawrence, Edgeman and Scott Metlen, associate professor of operations management, recently made the trek to Denmark to work on curriculum for the new program.

Beyond Aarhus School of Business being a top-rated business school, the relationship with Idaho started with Edgeman, who spent a year at Aarhus on sabbatical leave from Colorado State University. He brought that connection with him to Idaho in 2004, as he continues to foster the academic and personal relationships he created.

The partnership is strengthened by Idaho’s current relationships with northwest businesses, like Boeing, which have similar interests and structure to Danish companies, like Vestas (wind energy).

“We’re known by the company we’re keeping, and professionally, we’re in good company with this new program,” said Edgeman.

Though Edgeman, Lawrence and Metlen currently are laying the groundwork, the program is not expected to begin until spring of 2012. They anticipate the initial class to be Danish students, but plan to tweak the program to maximize it for American students as well.

Designed for full-time employees, students will start in Aarhus for two weeks in the spring, spend two weeks in Idaho in the summer and finish up with a week in Aarhus. Edgeman said sessions will be intensive, learning in the classroom, visiting companies to reinforce lessons and then debriefing all in a 10-hour day. The program will culminate with a project. He adds the Danish version may become a module in their MBA program.

“The program needs to be flexible, as we’re working with working students,” said Metlen. “The company and the employee will have to be very committed to this.”

This program is the first of its kind in the world, but if it is successful, Edgeman said this could become a model for others to follow.
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About the University of Idaho

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to be classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as high research activity. The student population of 12,000 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For more information, visit