news releases

2006.05.05 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

Students from India to Arrive at UNO on May 7

Omaha - Fifty students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Kharagpur will have a week packed with classes, field trips to metropolitan area businesses, and even a night out at a Triple A baseball game during a visit to Omaha starting Sunday, May 7.  The group is also scheduled to listen, ask questions of and learn from the world's best-known investor—Warren Buffett.

"It is a real tribute to Omaha regarding the way the business community is rolling out the red carpet to welcome our colleagues from India," said Louis Pol, dean of the UNO College of Business Administration (CBA).   "These students have access to leaders of firms respected world-wide."

Nebraska-based businessman Vin Gupta is the driving force behind the student visit.  Gupta, a 1967 IIT Kharagpur alumnus, created both the IIT Foundation and the Vinod Gupta School of Management at IIT Kharagpur.

"This will be a very special week for these students.  They get to meet faculty with great expertise in a variety of areas, see in-person how American businesses operate and meet an absolutely legendary business leader," said Gupta, infoUSA, Inc. chairman and CEO.

All of the IIT students are enrolled in MBA classes in the Vinod Gupta School of Management.  Ten IIT faculty members are also part of the group traveling to Omaha.  UNO entered into a sibling university agreement with IIT Kharagpur last year.

"In a high technology world, it's more important than ever to make face-to-face connections," said Tom Gouttierre, dean of International Studies and Programs at UNO and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).  "We hope this will be the first of many, many exchanges with IIT."

All of the UNO class sessions will be held on the university's south campus at either the Scott Conference Center or the Peter Kiewit Institute.  UNO faculty from CBA and the College of Information Science and Technology (IS & T) will be giving presentations on a variety of topics, including strategic leadership, global business, innovation management and e-commerce and marketing.  

"We know these are extremely bright and talented students," said David Hinton, UNO dean of IS & T.  "The professors involved with this project are looking forward to a great dialogue."

For the seven IIT campuses in India, over 200,000 applicants each year take the entrance exam to fill just 3,000 entry spots.  Last year, in an unprecedented gesture of goodwill toward a foreign university, the U.S. Congress approved a house resolution honoring the IITs and their alumni for "significant contributions to the American society in every profession and discipline."  IIT Kharagpur, founded in 1951, is the oldest IIT.

In addition to class time, the IIT group will visit Gallup University, Conagra Foods, infoUSA and Union Pacific.  On top of the visit with Warren Buffett, the students will also tour the Nebraska Furniture Mart, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway.

"Warren Buffet has always stressed the importance of education," said UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck.  "We're excited to have him take part in this far-reaching exchange."

For more information, call Tim Kaldahl at (402) 554-3502 or Rakesh Gupta at (402) 593-4564.

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