This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


News Bureau Schofield Hall 201 Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout Form Partnership
To Offer MBA Students New Opportunities

MAILED: April 18, 2002

         EAU CLAIRE  Graduate business students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with an interest in the hospitality and tourism industry can now take select courses from UW-Stout thanks to a newly created partnership between the two universities.
         The Partnership to Advance Online Interdisciplinary Graduate Study Between UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout allows students at the two universities to share online graduate credits.
         UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Donald Mash and UW-Stout Chancellor Charles Sorensen will sign the agreement during an April 23 ceremony, celebrating the spirit of collaboration that exists between the universities.
         "This agreement capitalizes on the strengths of both institutions," Mash said. "UW-Eau Claire has the only AACSB International accredited MBA program in western Wisconsin and is a leader in online graduate business education. And UW-Stout - home of one of the largest hotel, restaurant and tourism management programs in the world - offers an online master of science degree in hospitality and tourism. Graduate students at both institutions can enhance their degrees by taking classes that were not previously available to them."
         MBA students want to take classes that match their interests, said Mary Kerg, a regional administrator for Luther Midelfort's Bloomer Medical Center and a UW-Eau Claire MBA student who completed two UW-Stout classes through the partnership. Since a single university can't offer everything, collaborating with other institutions gives students opportunities to better tailor their programs to meet their individual needs, Kerg said, noting that such partnerships also demonstrate the university's commitment to making the most of its resources.
         "Hospitality and tourism is a great complement to UW-Eau Claire's MBA offerings," Kerg said. "I took two online courses in hospitality and tourism and both were incredibly interesting. I'm now thinking about how I can apply some of those concepts to health care."
         Tourism in Wisconsin is a $10 billion-plus industry, with more than 4,800 people employed in tourism-related businesses in the Chippewa Valley alone, said Robert Erffmeyer, director of UW-Eau Claire's MBA program.
"We have a lot of people who work directly or tangentially in the hospitality and tourism industry," Erffmeyer said of the 100 students in the MBA program. "This partnership allows them to be part of our MBA program while benefiting from Stout's world renowned program. It's a great opportunity to take two winning programs and make them both better."
         "This is a super collaboration with the students' interests at the forefront," Dennis Heyde, president and owner of the Heyde Companies, said, noting that the partnership benefits students at both institutions because each university offers a high-quality program.
         Combining business and tourism in one advanced degree program will attract people from throughout Wisconsin who recognize the value of a strong business and tourism education base, said Linda John, executive director of the Eau Claire Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
         "I'm looking forward to sharing this information with my constituents throughout the state," John said. "With classes online, people outside the Chippewa Valley can take advantage of what this partnership offers. They can build their careers while continuing their education."
         UW-Eau Claire's MBA program requires students to earn 30 credits, 14 of which are electives. Under the agreement, students can take up to six credits of electives from UW-Stout's hospitality and tourism graduate management courses. And UW-Stout students can earn nine credits by completing MBA Foundation courses, offered by UW-Eau Claire and three other business schools in the UW Internet Business Consortium.
         Examples of courses available through UW-Stout include "Issues and Trends in Hospitality and Tourism" and "Quality Assurance and Customer Service." Examples of UW-Eau Claire courses include "Economic Foundations" and "Marketing Analysis Foundations."
         "Some folks who might not have thought about hospitality and tourism can pick up electives that will be helpful to them in their jobs," Erffmeyer said. "For example, someone working at an insurance company may benefit from a course that focuses on customer service."
         For more information about UW-Eau Claire's MBA program and/or the partnership agreement with UW-Stout, contact Erffmeyer at (715) 836-4644 or

UW-Eau Claire Home  News Bureau
Judy Berthiaume
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: April 18, 2002