CIBER Programs

The University of Florida CIBER achieves its mission through a variety of unique programs.

Latin America: Meeting Hemispheric Challenges in International Business

In its current and previous funding cycles, UF-CIBER has developed a comprehensive, premier Latin American (LA) IB program with a focus on South America that integrates business-related LA expertise across disciplines, including area studies, journalism, food and resource economics, business, and law. In the area of curriculum, UF now offers a joint master's degree in management and LA Studies (MSM/MA LA); an LA concentration in the MBA program; courses across departments and colleges with LA business content; business Spanish and Portuguese; and multiple business FLACs (see Section II for more information). Partnerships with the Levin College of Law and UF's Center for Latin American Studies have expanded LA-related course offerings and increased focus on business, investment, and trade in the university's law publications and conferences.

Students have also taken advantage of a wide range of off-campus opportunities: our flagship Business in Brazil summer program, also open to non-UF participants; WCBA's short-term study abroad programs, which have toured LA financial markets and businesses in Brazil; and job-placement and internship support through the biennial LA Corporate and Careers Conference. For professors, UF-CIBER has co-sponsored a Faculty Development in International Business (FDIB) tour with Florida International University to the MERCOSUR nations.

UF-CIBER supports a variety of publications, including LA-related scholarly articles focused on trade and integration issues; the annual Latin American Business Environment Report, a host of IFAS EDIS publications for agribusiness practitioners, and lesson-plan materials for high-school instructors. Given UF-CIBER's depth and breadth of expertise in this area, it is no surprise that our faculty are regularly invited speak on LA-related topics, whether at business conferences around the state, in testimony to the U.S. Senate or at the Summit of the Americas.

African International Business in the 21st Century

As Africa becomes more integrated into the global economy, a corresponding need for African IB training in the United States has emerged. UF has exceptional resources to respond to this need: its Title VI Center for African Studies, one of the country's oldest and the only one in the Southeast; WCBA's Public Utility Research Center (PURC), which has trained hundreds of government and industry officials from Africa; and faculty, which have produced considerable research on African topics in the social sciences, law and science.

UF-CIBER has collaborated with these cross-campus partners to form an IB-Africa strategy that engages faculty, students and regional resources, resulting in a large group of programs that include academic and business conferences: UF hosted the 9th Annual Conference of the International Academy of African Business and Development (IAABD) and the first Business Opportunities in Africa outreach program to assist Florida firms interested in African markets.

UF-CIBER has also supported new courses, in African economic development and African business culture, as well as faculty members who are creating Africa modules for already existing classes. CIBER funding has allowed both faculty and students to conduct fieldwork and research in Africa, through Research Tutorials Abroad and travel grants for research on microfinance institutions. In addition, UF-CIBER co-sponsors an annual Africa FDIB, with participation by both business and non-business UF faculty.

Languages and Culture: A "C & C" Approach

UF-CIBER language and culture programs focus on "Content & Communications." The content component integrates foreign-language training with substantive courses in business and other disciplines, while the communications element enhances business-language instruction through improved technology and pedagogy. By intertwining the university's extensive language offerings with other academic areas, UF-CIBER allows students to gain valuable expertise even if they choose not to devote years of study to a complex language.

UF's popular FLAC (Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum) program has become a core successful model for integrating foreign-language training with business content. A "FLAC section" is a one-credit discussion section conducted in a foreign language in conjunction with a content course, such as political science. Current offerings have pushed the frontier further by introducing more FLAC sections in languages the U.S. government has designated as "priority" (Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic) and by offering FLACs in more colleges (Design, Construction and Urban Planning; Public Health and Health Professions; IFAS; and Health and Human Performance).

For business students unable to study language and culture extensively, a one-credit Culture Across the Curriculum (CAC), delivered in English, explores the business culture and protocol of a foreign country. CACs are offered in conjunction with a broad set of upper-division business classes. Pilots for Japanese, Chinese and African business were so popular that these courses have been expanded into three-credit CACs for 2010.

Combining elements of both FLAC and CAC, Arabic Business Culture is a one-credit course for Arabic-language students and heritage Arabic speakers that introduces students to the complexities of interacting successfully in the Arab business environment—communication and meeting styles, greetings and the influence of religion, among other topics.

Supported by all 31 CIBERs, the annual CIBER Business Language Conference is the premier meeting for the field broadly known as "Teaching Languages for the Professions." Attracting approximately 150 to160 attendees, the conference's combination of keynote presentations and breakout workshops covers 10 languages and the latest best practices in the field, as well as fostering networking and collaboration among participants. UF-CIBER hosted this conference in 2008.

Research: New Perspectives on the Global Competitive Environment

For U.S. businesses to maintain global competitiveness, they must look beyond the structure of today's international markets to the structure of future markets as suggested by current trends. Business models and practices created after a new competitive regime is in place are often too late to be effective. As a top IB research institution, UF is in a unique position to contribute to this critical forward-looking component of sustaining U.S. competitiveness.

Two research programs funded under this initiative prepare Florida and U.S. farmers to do business in a different world—one with less protectionism, where using marketing to achieve food product differentiation matters much more than government intervention. CIBER support encourages IFAS researchers to pursue these topics and provides them with complementary resources from around the university, such as content-analysis skills in the College of Journalism and Communication and WCBA's world-class marketing department. Other competitiveness-enhancing research currently being funded includes: international standard-setting in agriculture, information security and global supply chains, the mobile communications industry, and food-origin issues.

Faculty from more than 18 departments and seven colleges across UF attend the Multidisciplinary IB Research Workshop, a monthly luncheon seminar series. Funded by WCB and organized by UF-CIBER, the workshop provides opportunities for the generally dispersed UF IB faculty to discuss new research topics and teaching innovations and to learn from presentations by leading IB scholars and business practitioners.

Combining elements of both FLAC and CAC, Arabic Business Culture is a one-credit course for Arabic-language students and heritage Arabic speakers that introduces students to the complexities of interacting successfully in the Arab business environment—communication and meeting styles, greetings and the influence of religion, among other topics.

Supported by all 31 CIBERs, the annual CIBER Business Language Conference is the premier meeting for the field broadly known as "Teaching Languages for the Professions." Attracting approximately 150 to160 attendees, the conference's combination of keynote presentations and breakout workshops covers 10 languages and the latest best practices in the field, as well as fostering networking and collaboration among participants. UF-CIBER hosted this conference in 2008.

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Warrington College of Business Administration
100 BRY
PO Box 117150
Gainesville, FL 32611-7150
Phone: 352.392.2397
Fax: 352.392.2086

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