“The P&Q Conversation with Iowa Tippie’s Dean: The Adaptable and Layerable Prospects of Business Education”

The Biz Hub is a new multi-service space located on the third floor of the Pomerantz Business Library in the Pappajohn Business Building. It offers library services, the business writing center, tutoring services, and a café.

Amy Kristof-Brown, the current dean of the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa, did not expect to become a dean. She joined the faculty in 1997 and quickly fell in love with the university. Over the years, she took on more leadership and committee roles, eventually becoming senior associate dean in 2017. In March 2020, she became interim dean during a transformative period for the business college, which included phasing out its residential, two-year program. She was later appointed as the full-time dean in December of that year.

Under Kristof-Brown’s leadership, Tippie College of Business has made bold moves into the online space. After shutting down its full-time MBA program, the college launched an online MBA that quickly grew in enrollment from about 40 students to over 400. Tippie also launched two master’s programs in finance and business analytics, which are available both full-time on campus or part-time online. The college merged its online MBA with its part-time program so students can take a mix of online and in-person courses.

Kristof-Brown’s goals as dean included strengthening partnerships with corporations and others in the state and region to better meet their needs. To achieve this goal, she established an Office of Strategic Partnerships and initiated a Risk Management and Insurance major for undergraduates. She also announced a partnership with the Global Insurance Accelerator, which is a startup accelerator for insurtech companies.

Kristof-Brown is often asked about Tippie’s decision to shut down its full-time MBA program. She is happy with the subsequent growth in their new online programs and sees a trend toward more flexible education options for working professionals. Online programs no longer have a stigma attached to them, and Tippie’s employers have not questioned the quality of the online program compared to the face-to-face program. Tippie’s transition to online education has helped the college grow and evolve in response to the changing needs of its students and partners.

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