Campus: CSU Chico -- December 13, 2002

CSU Chico Establishes Exchange Program with German University

An exchange program between California State University, Chico and Germany’s Pforzheim University is officially in place. Chico students could go to Germany as early as Pforzheim's summer semester, from March through July, 2003.

Professor Stan Gardiner, Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems, collaborated with Karl-Heinz Rau, a colleague at Pforzheim, in establishing the exchange training in classroom use of SAP’s enterprise software.

The German company SAP is the largest enterprise software company in the world and a recognized leader in e-business solutions. CSU, Chico was recognized as SAP’s first University Competency Center in the fall of 2000.

Gardiner, who joined the faculty of CSU, Chico in August, developed a similar exchange program at Auburn University in Alabama. Chico’s program is modeled after that one.

The exchange will allow some of Pforzheim’s best business students to take classes in Chico for a semester. In return, Chico students can take courses at Pforzheim (located in the northwest corner of Germany’s Black Forest) for the same tuition they would pay at CSU, Chico.

Students proficient in German can take any courses at Pforzheim for which they meet the requirements. An option for those not proficient in German is to take an intensive course in German, gaining credit for the first two years of German in one semester. Following the German course, students could take selected business courses in German. In addition, graduate students have the option to take classes in the English MBA program.

Gardiner, whose expertise is in the areas of operations management and management information systems, met Chico professors Ray Boykin and Gayle Corbitt at SAP training meetings several years ago. He, Boykin and Corbitt are SAP distinguished scholars. SAP’s distinguished scholar program recognizes individuals for their expertise in a particular area and provides them with stipends for education and travel, enabling the scholars to train others.

Gardiner attended training meetings in Chico taught by Boykin and Corbitt, on how to integrate SAP software into MIS courses, so he was familiar with CSU, Chico when Boykin and Corbitt encouraged him to join the faculty.

Pforzhiem’s Rau plans to visit California during Germany’s Pentecost holidays, May 29 to June 14. In addition to traveling with his family, he will come to Chico to meet faculty members to understand what they are doing in detail, to learn about the university and town, and perhaps to teach an SAP case-study session.

Gardiner worked with Bob Jackson, dean of graduate, international and sponsored programs, in putting the agreement in place. “I appreciated Bob’s enthusiasm for the program and his help with moving the agreement along so rapidly,” said Gardiner.

CONTACT: Kathleen McPartland, 530-898-4263
Stan Gardiner, Accounting and Management Information Systems, 530-898-6747

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