sealPurdue News

February 26, 2003

Schools of Liberal Arts, Management form partnership in Italy

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University has joined more than two dozen American universities in an international consortium in which students learn about business and communication while studying in Italy.

Representatives from the schools of Liberal Arts and Management traveled to northern Italy earlier this month to officially make Purdue a part of the Consortium International University. Purdue is already taking a leadership role by hosting several universities at a March conference to develop more communication opportunities with the consortium.

"We see the meeting in March as the first step in building a bigger consortium of major communication programs that will work with the existing business consortium to fully utilize the facilities in Italy," said Howard Sypher, head of the communication department. "This Purdue-led effort also is designed to give more communication and journalism faculty members opportunities to teach abroad."

Purdue, via the Krannert School of Management and the School of Liberal Arts, is joining the consortium to offer undergraduate and graduate programs just north of Venice, Italy. Programs are coordinated through the University of Kansas – the consortium's designated credit-granting institution. The consortium began 15 years ago and is supported by 30 large public universities.

Sypher, who taught at the consortium campus in a previous position at the University of Kansas, received a grant from Purdue's International Programs to facilitate Purdue's involvement and enhance the communications component.

On March 2-3, Purdue is hosting representatives from 14 universities' communication programs to discuss expanding the communication curriculum in this study abroad program. Representatives from the universities of Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, University of California at Santa Barbara and others will be joined by Big Ten members University of Illinois, Penn State and Michigan State.

The deadline for students – juniors and seniors – to apply for this program's summer 2003 and fall 2003 sessions has been extended from March 3 to March 28. The first Purdue communication faculty members will be teaching there this fall, and a Krannert faculty member will be involved in teaching in the undergraduate program this summer.

"The consortium contains classes geared toward international topics in business," said Gerald J. Lynch, a professor of economics and associate dean at Purdue's Krannert School. "The experience in Italy is beneficial because it represents the growing global marketplace, which is increasingly more competitive. Students will attend Italian executives' lectures and tour local companies to learn how businesses work in different settings."

Current course offerings include global entrepreneurship, international marketing and public relations. Business etiquette, European culture and Italian survival courses also are offered. Students who take a sequence of four international courses will be awarded a certificate in international business. All classes are taught in English by professors from consortium universities.

"In Italy, communication and journalism students can take business classes that they are not able to enroll in on their own campuses," Sypher said. "And the same applies for business students."

The consortium campus is located in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains about 50 miles from Venice. A 17th century monastery houses the graduate program in Asolo, while the undergraduate program is housed a few miles away at a private high school facility modernized with computer labs and a fitness center.

For more information, contact the Study Abroad Office at (765) 494-2383, visit the web site or contact Sypher at (765) 494-3300,

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Howard Sypher, (765) 494-3300,

Gerald J. Lynch, 765) 494-4388,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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