The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the Wisconsin School of Business recently organized a faculty development program to Indonesia for 18 business professors from 14 different universities. The goal of CIBER is to increase the international knowledge and expertise of U.S. faculty, students, and the business community.
(View a slideshow of the trip here.)
CIBER Managing Director Susan Huber Miller said Southeast Asian destinations are important for the program because more international companies are investing in the region as the cost of doing business in China increases.
“The purpose of the faculty development program is to expose business professors to emerging markets across Southeast Asia so that they can incorporate what they learn into their teaching and research activities. Indonesia is a complex and rapidly transforming developing market and a place with which few Americans are familiar,” Huber Miller said. “Our goal is to expose business faculty to these markets, which ultimately enhances the knowledge base of future U.S .business leaders.”
Indonesia is a former Dutch colony that gained independence in 1949 and is now the world’s third most populous democracy, as well as home to the world’s largest Muslim population.
The program, which took place January 2-13, 2013 and was organized in cooperation with the University of Hawaii CIBER, included visits to the U.S. Embassy, Bank Indonesia, the largest stationary manufacturer in the world, a palm oil processor, a sheet metal factory, as well as cultural sites like the Al-Akbar Mosque and the temples of Bali. The group visited the cities of Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali.
Among the stops during the trip was a visit to the Polygon Bicycles factory and testing center, which is part of the Insera Sena group, a company founded by Wisconsin School of Business alumnus Soejanto “Yanto” Widjaja (MBA ’86). The group also met with University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus Dr. Adrianus Mooy (MS ’60, Ph.D. ’66), who has worked for the World Bank and has been both the ambassador to the European Union and the governor of Bank Indonesia (the central bank). Mooy currently serves as the rector of the Universitas Pelita Harapan in Surabaya.
Participant Frank Montabon, who is associate professor of supply chain management at Iowa State University, said the trip ranks among the most valuable moments of his career.
“A supply chain is a big puzzle where the pieces constantly change shape. Explaining how these pieces work—or don't—to students is a lot easier when you have actually seen the puzzle pieces firsthand,” Montabon said. “The Faculty Development in International Business (FDIB) trip to Southeast Asia allowed me to see a great number of puzzle pieces.”
The Wisconsin School of Business and the University of Hawaii have offered the FDIB program to business faculty for every year since 2009. Previous travel destinations include Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia.