Thanks to Partnership Illinois, UIUC's flagship program for community service — which provides points of contact with people and organizations at local, state, and even national levels — CBA is more involved than ever with the world that begins just beyond the edge of campus.

The Office of Research is a major, multi-faceted vehicle for outreach efforts on the part of Commerce administration, faculty, and students. Similarly, the Business Advisory Council, composed of business leaders from around Illinois and the U.S., helps the college keep in touch with the changing face of world business. Moreover, the world is also being drawn to CBA's own doorstep, through executive lectures and programs that put a new spin on the term "business-to-business" — i.e., corporate leaders meeting with undergraduate and graduate students.

THE COMMERCE OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND ITS TWELVE RESEARCH AND LEARNING centers provide a range of services to academic and professional constituencies on the regional, national, and international fronts. Activities include the publication of such highly regarded academic journals as the Academy of Management Journal and the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. The Journal of Product Innovation Management is the latest publication to come under the wing of the Office of Research. The publication, now under the editorship of Abbie Griffin, professor of business administration, moves to UIUC from Indiana University. The Office of Research also publishes the Illinois Statistical Abstract, a highly valued source of information about the state. Services of the office include production and distribution of faculty working papers, grants consulting and editing services, and the coordination of CBA's Research and Learning Centers. Using seed money from the UIUC Critical Research Initiative, professor of business administration Michael Shaw is leading an interdisciplinary team to establish the Center for Information Systems and Technology Management (CISTM). Shaw says the center is being established "in recognition of the need to integrate critical technology and business strategy for the emerging field of electronic commerce." A team of faculty members from CBA, engineering, computer science, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, is studying proposals for research in this area. RESEARCH CENTERS ADMINISTERED BY THE OFFICE OF RESEARCH

Focus on Research


In 1996, CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research) received its second three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, funded for each year at the level of $220,000. Professor Lee Alston, economics, is director of the center, one of twenty-six established nationwide to promote the competitiveness of U.S. business abroad. CIBER sponsors academic research and outreach, and interdisciplinary programs, including:

  • The study and discussion of inter-national business issues in other UIUC colleges
  • Education and training for the business community in international business, foreign language, and culture
  • Teacher training and curriculum design for institutions and individuals
  • Research programs
  • Conferences and workshops
  • Graduate student support
  • Support for CBA International Trade Center activities

Rising to the challenges of international business communication, CIBER has been exploring various modes of language instruction, including:

  • Developing a model program for teaching languages across the curriculum
  • Helping the UIUC Spanish Department revamp its business language course
  • A pilot module for a course in business Japanese
  • Student scholarships for studies abroad
  • A Web-based course in business Chinese

Lee Alston and Lori Williamson

"We have gotten a tremendous response to our language initiatives," notes associate director Lori Williamson, observing that there's particular interest in Web-based courses and business language modules for MBA students. "With today's emphasis on the global economy, there's a real need for CBA students to become proficient in other languages."
CIBER-sponsored conferences and workshops during 1997-98 include:
  • Legal and Cultural Challenges to International Business, an invitation-only conference, February 27-28, in Chicago. The roster of twenty-five participants included representatives from The World Bank and top U.S. and foreign universities. Cosponsored with the UIUC College of Law, and CIBER, University of Chicago.
  • International Economics Workshop for Secondary School Teachers, March 16, Oak Brook, Illinois. Cosponsored with the UIUC Center for Economic Education.
  • Workshop in International Business for Foreign Language Specialists, August 17-19, 1997, and August 2-4, 1998, UIUC campus.
  • The Annual Conference of the Association of Japanese Business Studies, May 29-31, Chicago.
  • Agribusiness in Africa, June 18-19, 1998, with African Studies Center and ACES.

International Trade Center

The distant horizons of foreign markets have drawn closer to the Illinois business community, thanks in part to the efforts of the International Trade Center (ITC). Initially established at Commerce by CIBER and continued through a matching grant of $50,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, ITC offers resources to help area businesses evaluate export markets and identify opportunities. Functioning in cooperation with five sister centers in Illinois, the center's mission is to promote exports by Illinois businesses, by providing advice on finance, marketing, and logistics, and offering workshops and access to research materials. Under the direction of Tess Morrison, the center has built a client list totaling more than 100 companies and is reported to have had an economic impact, to date, of almost $3.5 million in sales. And, between 1995 and 96, growth in exports from Champaign-Urbana doubled — at 107 percent, the second highest gain of its kind in the U.S.

Seminars dealing with issues raised by international trade — particularly exporting — are offered on an ongoing basis and have covered such topics as: quality and environmental standards, marketing internationally on the 'net, and NAFTA documentation. The center also supports quarterly meetings of Kankakee's International Trade Round Table, where "companies know they can talk about problems without giving away trade secrets," says Morrison. "People don't have to feel as though they're reinventing the wheel — they're not alone."

One key to successful exports is financing, according to Morrison, who notes that the ITC is now an official City State Liaison Partner for the Export-Import Bank of the United States. "We're looking at low-interest financing for long-term projects and insuring accounts receivable. This allows local bankers to finance exports when they don't have the expertise to do so in-house. We're changing the ground rules to even the playing field."

Tess Morrison


The source for everything you always wanted to know about Illinois but never thought you could find.

You thought things seemed jammed up at O'Hare the last time you flew out. Well, no wonder. Almost thirty-eight million other travelers boarded planes at the Chicago airport in 1996 alone.

Such observations are the stock in trade of the 1997 Illinois Statistical Abstract, an 864-page volume published by the Commerce Office of Research (and also available on CD-ROM and diskette). Edited by Susan Hartter, Carole Amidon, and W. Thomas Whalen, this year's abstract garnered an AP wire story about its comprehensive array of data on the state of Illinois. Taken from more than forty different sources, information covers the state's 102 counties and ten metropolitan areas. An excellent resource for comparisons and trend analysis, the Abstract features charts and maps that identify trends in Illinois and nation-wide, and includes data not published anywhere else. A sampling of information:

  • Industrial machinery — $6.3 billion of it in 1996 — is the state's top export.
  • Illinois also exports more than $607 million in agricultural crops and $1.3 billion in food products each year.
  • Per capita income is 9 percent higher in Illinois than in the nation as a whole, but varies widely within the state. Top counties are Lake ($35,927), DuPage ($34,480), Cook ($27,153), McHenry ($26,204), and Kane ($24,796).
  • Firms owned by women total 35,809, and employ 315,615 for an annual total payroll of $5.89 billion.

Latest in a series begun in 1990, the current volume is the eighth annual edition. This is the second year that the Abstract has also been available on CD-ROM. The 1997 CD is comprehensive, containing all the data sets carried by the abstract from 1990 on. Data is formatted in accessible files, allowing the information to be not only viewed on computer, but manipulated as well. With a printing of 500, the 1997 Illinois Statistical Abstract is being used in libraries and local and state government agencies, as well as law and accountancy offices, banks, chambers of commerce, and marketing firms. "The data come from many different government agencies," observes Hartter. "Most people would not have the resources to search it all out and put it all together."

FORMED IN 1968, THE BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL, A GROUP OF MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED business leaders from around the state and the country meets with CBA faculty and administration twice a year, sharing ideas, learning from one another, and discussing college issues. The image of the college remains a key issue for the BAC, which is focusing on how to apply its considerable clout and resources to enhance perceptions of Commerce in the public and business sectors. One important component of the council's work is being done by the Corporate Relations Committee, which is work-ing to compile information from groups with contacts in the business community.

Officers of the BAC are:

Lester McKeever (BS Accountancy 1955), managing partner of Washington, Pittman & McKeever, served as chair during 1997-98;
George Morvis (BS Finance 1989), president and CEO, Financial Shares Corporation, vice chair, will be chair during 1998-99;
Howard Engle (BS Accountancy 1972), tax partner, Arthur Andersen L.L.P., has been tapped for the position of vice chair for the 1998-99 fiscal year. He will serve as chair for 1999-2000. Engle served as president of the Commerce Alumni Association from June 1995-May 1998.

Pat Worsham (right), senior vice president and CFO of Coca-Cola USA Operations, enjoyed visiting with his old prof, Ken Perry (left), during his visit to campus as an E-I-R. Perry brought his old grade book to the reunion.
CORPORATE STARS SHINE ON THE UIUC CAMPUS THROUGH VARIOUS COMMERCE PROGRAMS, EACH DESIGNED TO BRING company executives (many of them alums) to visit with Commerce students and faculty. Typically, executives visit for anywhere from one class hour (visiting executives) to two or three days (E-I-R), conducting special classes and giving lectures and otherwise sharing their knowledge and experience of the pressures and rewards that lie beyond the ivory tower. During the 1997-98 academic year, the following visits were made through our formal programs. Many more executives shared their expertise with students through student organizations and career services programs.


Fran Anderson, CPCU, Bridge Communities, Inc.

Monica Badlani, CIGNA

Madelynne Brown, Assistant Director, Illinois Department of Insurance

Phil Engel, FCAS, FSA, MAAA, President, CNA

Marla Friedman, FSA, MAAA, Vice President, Allstate

Millard Grauer (BS Commerce Curriculum 1949), CLU, ChFC, President, Chartered Financial Services, Inc.

Terry Hennen, Director of Training and Communications, Arthur J. Gallagher & Company

Scott Hurt, CIGNA


Barry Anderson (BS Finance 1969), Assistant Director for Budget, U.S. Office of Management and Budget

Lawrence B. Bloom (BS Marketing 1963), Senior Credit Officer, LaSalle National Corporation

Richard Frank (BS Marketing 1965), Chairman and CEO, C3

John Lassiter (B.S. Economics 1959), CLU, ChFC, President & CEO, Financial Designs of Illinois, Inc.

Martin McNair (B.S. Finance 1992)

Lissa May Mudrick (LAS, AB French 1980), CLU, State Farm Insurance

Jeff Myers, Risk Manager, Central Illinois Light Company

Mike Myers (B.S. Finance 1995), Liberty Mutual

Mark Strauch (BS Finance 1977), Treasurer, Arthur J. Gallagher & Company

Al Wohlers (LAS, AB General Curriculum 1939), Chairman, Albert H. Wohlers & Co.

Michael J. Muhney (BS Finance 1974), Founder and CEO, CelebritySoft, Inc.

Patrick M. Worsham (BS Accountancy 1971), Senior Vice President and CFO, Coca-Cola USA Operations

Managing Change

Van Dukeman (LAS, AB Political Science 1983), President, BankIllinois

Ron LaBow (BS Finance 1958), Chairman of the Board, WHX Corporation

Greg Lykins (BS Accountancy 1969), Chairman of the Board and CEO, BankIllinois

Michael J. Muhney (BS Finance 1974), Founder and CEO, CelebritySoft, Inc.

Robert Reynolds, Vice President, Illinois Power

Mike Tokarz (AB 1971, MBA 1973), General Partner, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts

Professional Lyceum

William Bax, Managing Partner, Chicago Office, Price Waterhouse

Ronald S. Cohen, Managing Partner, Crowe Chizek; Former Chairman, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

H. John Gilbertson, Vice President Investment Banking, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Thomas M. Good (B.S. Accountancy 1974 ), Partner, McGladrey & Pullen

Gregory J. Jonas, Managing Director, Professional Standards Group, Arthur Andersen LLP

Norma Lauder (B.S. Accountancy 1971), Senior Vice President and Director of Taxes, First Chicago Corp.

Jeff Rohr, Managing Partner, Illinois Practice, Deloitte & Touche

Arthur R. Wyatt (B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Accountancy 1949, 1950, 1953), Adjunct Professor of Accountancy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Retired Partner, Arthur Andersen & Co.


Visiting executives bring the world of business to CBA students. And the benefit flows both ways.