CSU Stanislaus -- October 8, 2003
Finance Degree Program Agreement Signed
Dr. Marvalene Hughes, President of California State University, Stanislaus,
and René Lasserre, President of Universite de Cergy-Pontoise
in France, signed an agreement on October 7 at CSU Stanislaus that moves
the two universities closer to the goal of developing a joint international
finance master’s program.
Designed for highly motivated students, the one-year program will feature
a semester at CSU Stanislaus, another at the Cergy campus on the outskirts
of Paris, and a summer internship to provide graduates with practical
President Hughes paid a visit to Cergy-Pontoise in June to initiate
the collaboration. In early August, Dr. Jocelyn Martel, past chair of
the Department of Finance at Cergy, visited CSU Stanislaus with Michel
Garcin, president of the Franco-American Foundation and a successful
entrepreneur and teacher. It was during this visit that representatives
from both universities formally agreed to collaborate on academic exchanges.
“This was a very productive visit from our partners at Cergy-Pontoise,”
President Hughes said. “I am very pleased that we are able to
keep the momentum going for the new program.”
CSU Stanislaus Global Affairs Director Linda Bunney-Sarhad, who is taking
an active role in seeing the program to its completion, said that the
program will enable students to recognize and take advantage of global
patterns that affect business. She added that it will prepare graduates
to work comfortably with partners from other business cultures, whether
in the U.S. or outside.
A focus group of regional business leaders guided faculty in shaping
the program to ensure that students develop the qualities sought by
“Businesses in this area are looking for people who are problem
solvers, who can communicate, and who have experience. This program
aims to create experienced problem-solvers, ” Matt Swanson, Vice
President of Associated Feed and Supply in Turlock, said.
Other participants in the planning process noted that to increase trade
opportunities between firms on both sides of the Atlantic, companies
must be able to function cross-culturally and know how to conduct business
internationally. Participants besides Swanson included Ernie Gemperle,
owner of Gemperle Enterprises; Marty Grynbaum, Vice President of Morgan
Stanley; Duncan Reno, General Manager of Del Rio Country Club; Kal Sundar,
Vice President of E. & J. Gallo Winery; and Tim Walsh, Vice President
of Human Resources for Foster Farms.
Besides the opportunity to create long-term professional relationships
that span the Atlantic, the program offers a rigorous series of finance
courses at both universities. CSU Stanislaus faculty members who huddled
with the French representatives to create the academic plan included
Dr. Andrew Wagner, Dr. Dan Vellenga, and Dr. Rao Cherukuri of the Department
of Accounting and Finance; Dr. Tahi Gnepa of the Department of Management/Operations/Marketing;
and Dr. Eungsuk Kim, Dr. Kelvin Jasek-Rysdahl, and Dr. Elaine Petersen
of the Department of Economics.
Another participant in the ongoing program preparation process is Dr.
William Crist, a recently retired CSU Stanislaus economics professor
and former board member and chair of the California Public Employees
Retirement System (CALPERS), the world’s largest pension fund.
Media Contact: Don Hansen (209) 667-3997