Huntsman Alumni Magazine

Spring 2011

Huntsman Students Benefit from the School's China Connection

By Troy Oldham

Over the past decade, China has erupted on the world business stage as a rising global force in both business production and innovation. The higher-education landscape in China is evolving as well, and according to the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, there are more than 2,200 universities and colleges in China, with more than 20 million students.

While interest in China may be new for some higher-education organizations, several years ago the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business recognized the emerging opportunities and began working with three academic institutions in China. Today, the Department of Economics and Finance at the Huntsman School is educating over 800 Chinese students who are studying toward a USU economics degree in International Economics and Trade. The partner institutions include: Beijing Institute of Technology, Northeast Dianli University in Jilin City and the Institute for Advanced Learning in Hong Kong.

Based on the interest of our Chinese students and partner institutions, the degree program focuses on managerial and leadership skills. It also aims to help students enhance competency in navigating the global economy through focused training in the areas of international economics and trade. Throughout the program of study, students are exposed to specialized training in various fields of business to provide a greater understanding of the free enterprise system in a global context.

The Utah State University courses are delivered using a “face-to-face” lead professor/local instructor model. Huntsman School professors from every academic department are assigned as lead professors and are responsible for course content, learning assessment and instructional pedagogy. Huntsman School faculty members are joined by colleagues from across campus in delivering a four-year degree program that includes a full year of intensive English instruction.

“Our model leverages the design and review role of a senior faculty member with a local facilitator who is also a professor,” said Chris Fawson, senior associate dean and a professor of economics in the Huntsman School of Business.

“We think it’s a model that will help foster broader collaboration,” Dr. Fawson said. “While faculty members work together on preparing high-quality instructional materials, we believe it will also lead to collaboration on research interests.”

Class format and content are organized and disseminated to students using local instructors who are affiliated with partner institutions. Local instructors are responsible for learning facilitation through face-to-face delivery of course content. This delivery model enhances the breadth of academic engagement between lead professors and local instructors. It also meets the Chinese Ministry of Education requirement that the primary model of instruction be through face-to-face contact between students and instructors.

As a result of increased connections between USU and its partner institutions, many of the Chinese students in this program transfer to the Logan campus and contribute vitality and diversity to the resident campus experience, Dr. Fawson said.

Further, this program continues to provide the opportunity for Chinese professors to spend time in Logan and for USU faculty to visit and teach in China.

The China Program is administered by Tyler Bowles, department head of Economics and Finance and Dwight Israelsen, professor of economics and finance and director of Academic Programs and Initiatives in China.


The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business aims to make education with China at the Huntsman School is an immersive two-way endeavor.

In addition to partnering with Chinese higher education institutions to deliver courses in China, the Huntsman School also takes the initiative to immerse the Logan campus students in an intensive in-country experience.

In March 2011, 13 Huntsman MBA students, together with faculty and staff leaders and as many as five embedded executives at different points in the trip from the Huntsman alumni community, participated in an intensive two-week visit to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Beijing and Xi’an, China. Below is one of the student’s travel agenda that represents company visits, cultural and academic experiences and networking with alumni friends across China.

China is not the only international destination. During spring break 2011, three other MBA teams visited Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom (see page 14). We also invite you to read about how our fall and summer travel abroad programs take more than 200 students each year to China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Sierra Leone, Guana Island, Turkey, Armenia, Russia, Switzerland, France, Belgium and the Middle East.

My China Journal – Hailey Swenson-Hill (Huntsman MBA Student)

3-4-11 (Friday)

4:15 (a.m.) Depart on Aggie Shuttle to airport – catch the 8:30 flight from SLC

3-5-11 (Saturday)

18:40 Arrive at Hong Kong International Airport. Transport to the Salisbury hotel.
20:00 Dinner with MBA group at the Peninsula Hotel overlooking Victoria Harbor

3-7-11 (Monday)
9 :00 Briefing on bus to Disney University/Hong Kong Disneyland
Meet Alex Chan at front entrance of park. Attend special presentation for Huntsman School students;: “Our Resorts Cultural Journey on Challenges and Adaptations.”
16:00 Park Tour to end visit
20:00 Alumni/Student Reception at the Salisbury Hotel

3-8-11 (Tuesday)

9:00 Briefing on bus to Oriental Overseas Container Line. (OOCL) Andy Tung (just read his bio…Impressive!)

15:30 – 18:30 Institute of Advanced Learning (IAL) in Hong Kong. Professor Oldham and 3 MBA students are going to teach a marketing class

3-9-11 (Wednesday)

7:30 a.m. Bus to Guangzhou to visit Hino Motors and take a plant tour
11:00 Lunch at Hino Motors’s cafeteria with Mr. Shingo!
12:00 Bus to Toyota Plant
14:00 – 16:00 Toyota Plant – company overview and plant tour
16:00 Bus to Guangzhou airport to make flight to Beijing

3-10-‘11 (Thursday)
9:00 Briefing on Bus to U.S. Embassy-Visit Ambassador Huntsman and his staff!
12:00 noon Peking Duck Luncheon
13:00 Marketing and retail tour with Taylor Price from Icon Health & Fitness China
16:30- 18:00 Tour retail district with executives

3-11-11 (Friday)
7:30 Load bus to Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT)
12:30 p.m. Bus to Microsoft Beijing
13:00 – 14:30 Tiannanmen Square & The Forbidden City

3-12-11 (Saturday)
8:00 Bus to the Great Wall!
15:00 – 19:00 Great Wall - Do the Scotsman on the wall!

20:00 Soft-sleeper night train to Xi’an – 11 hours thru the country side of China!

3-12-11 (Sunday)

Exit Train and catch the bus to Terracotta Warriors, Shaanxi History Museum, and city wall.
17:00 Bus to airport
20:50 Flight back to Beijing

3-14-11 (Monday)
9:00 Negotiate the best deal on a new business suit and shoes at Silk Road market
10:30 Bus to Beijing airport to fly home

Watch the Huntsman MBA students do the Scotsman on the Great Wall.