Undergraduate students in Butler University’s College of Business (COB) can select a new major starting in fall 2012 – Risk Management and Insurance (RMI). Also available as a minor, the program will focus on teaching students how to mitigate and manage risks through a combination of insurance and non-insurance techniques.

Butler is the third university in Indiana, and one of approximately 55 universities in the United States, to have a RMI program.

“Competitive advantage was definitely one reason to start the risk management and insurance program at Butler,” said Zach Finn, director and clinical professor of the program.

“Risk management and insurance is much more than selling someone life insurance from the kitchen table. There is a need for talent; and, the existing undergraduate programs only meet about 10-15 percent of that need.”

Graduates of RMI programs can work in the insurance and financial services industry as underwriters, claim adjustors, loss control specialists, risk management consultants, and insurance agents and brokers. They also can work in risk management and employee benefits departments in large corporations, public entities and non-profit organizations

Finn says he hopes to attract about 70 students into the program initially, with a future goal of having 10 percent of the COB’s students declared as RMI majors.

The program’s five required courses will be taught by Finn and assistant professor, Jill Kirby.

Kirby is an actuary, and worked as the actuarial director for CNA Insurance for 17 years before pursuing her Ph.D. Prior to Butler, Finn was the risk manager for The J.M. Smucker Company. He has also held positions at NCR Corporation and Hill-Rom Company, Inc.

“Jill and I complement each other very well, and can bring the “real life, real business” aspect into the classroom,” Finn said.

Helping to advise Finn and Kirby on the program is a 30-person advisory board that includes risk managers and insurance professionals from some of the nation’s top organizations. Finn said he’s looking to this group to develop internship opportunities, influence course content and program initiatives, and eventually hire Butler RMI graduates.

“My end goal, and one that I think will differentiate Butler’s program, is to ensure that students who want to manage risk can get jobs doing just that as soon as they graduate.”

Butler’s RMI program is being funded by a gift from William J. and Bernice J. Davey. William Davey, a 1947 graduate of Butler, enjoyed a long and successful career with the Indiana Department of Insurance, including being appointed Insurance Commissioner in 1955.

Media Contact: Courtney Tuell
(317) 940-9807


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