Notes from Ken Brown, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs

Welcome to My Blog!

Ken Brown

Hello, my name is Ken Brown. I am the Associate Dean for the Undergraduate Program in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. This blog will share my thoughts on work and life. Feel free to use the comment feature to send your thoughts, questions, and feedback. Happy reading and go Hawks!

Giving thanks at Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Its a time to gather with family and friends, share food, and be in a state of mindful gratitude. I have family traveling here from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and California, and I am grateful for the chance to be with them. I’m also grateful for the great students and staff here at Tippie.

The big news here on campus today is that one of our brightest (Jeffrey Ding) received a Rhodes Scholarship. Working with Jeffrey and students like him is a privilege. Jeffrey has done a lot to make Tippie and the University of Iowa a better place, and we have been challenged to keep up with him. We are lucky to have him here and look forward to seeing what he does with this outstanding opportunity, and others that are sure to come.

In addition to our high achieving scholars, we have students here at Tippie with character and passion. Over the last few days I’ve had outstanding conversations with a student who needs a little help graduating, but has a strong work ethic, and another student who claimed, “I have no idea what I’m doing when I graduate” despite being passionate about helping others. I’m grateful for an opportunity to work with each of those students as well. They are on a journey of discovery and achievement, and I find it deeply rewarding to be even a small part of their lives.

So this Thanksgiving season I have a lot to be thankful for, including family, friends, colleagues, and students. What are you thankful for? I hope you have a chance to rest and reflect over the course of this week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Music! String instrument player, look at MUS:3482

A friend of mine teaches string chamber music here at Iowa. If you play and are looking for a way to stay current, this is an opportunity to meet and play with one of the most laid back yet professional musicians you will ever meet! Along with individualized instruction on specific repertoire, Beth Oakes will help students:

–  Apply targeted rehearsal techniques to improve a group’s ability to play together and in tune.
–  Discuss various ways to improve time-management and group communication.
–  Discuss ways to successfully give and receive feedback.
All students who are enrolled in chamber music also have the chance to work with the internationally-recognized quartets who come to campus as part of the UI String Quartet Residency Program.  Here is the link to an associated blog.
The course is a 1 hour course called String Chamber Music (MUS:3482:001).

Workshop on LinkedIn from top alumni! November 13 at 2:30pm (C231 PBB)

Take a look at this workshop, offered this Friday. Learn from some of our most successful alumni!

LinkedIn Event

Computer Comfort

Calling all good souls who miss their grand-parents! Here is a neat opportunity to get involved and make new friends. If you want to be involved this semester, you must attend one of the two information sessions next week. I hope to see you there!

Computer Comfort (2)

What does it mean to be a “culturally intelligent” leader?

Come find out next month as part of a 1-credit course!

Tippie is offering an exciting 1 s.h. non-business elective course for students in Tippie to interact with area business leaders, in collaboration with the Chief Diversity Office & the Pomerantz Career Center. “Culturally Intelligent Leadership” (LS:3003) is a two week course – it meets on three Tuesdays from 3:30-6:00pm, and one Saturday (November 7 when the football game is at Indiana). Ideal participants are interested in explore new ideas and perspectives and have the desire to work with people from different backgrounds. You will take a Cultural Intelligence assessment, participate in interactive workshops, and experience an employer panel to learn how these concepts apply to the real world. Its a great learning opportunity!

So much…

… has happened since my last blog post. The problem with waiting is that good news piles up: Recognition on homecoming court for two business students (Michael Streit and Katelyn Wheeldon), a 6-0 football team, and recognition of outstanding chapter status to Beta Alpha Psi. That’s just the stuff I can remember! Here at Tippie we see great accomplishments every single day.

Another good piece of news is the launch of a spring course taught by a new member of the Management & Organizations department faculty. See below for information. This is going to be a great learning opportunity.

MGMT:4000 Topics in Management: Strategy, Innovation, and Global Competition, Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:45
The objective of this course is to help students develop the skills for formulating firm strategy in an increasingly complex and technology-driven global economy. Students will learn analytical tools that are essential to any consultant, manager, or entrepreneur facing dynamic industry environments. The course will explore how firms develop and sustain competitive advantage over time by learning how to (i) to design appropriate strategies, (ii) optimize the product mix, (iii) configure functional activities, and (iv) take advantage of both incremental and radical innovation in products, processes and services. The course includes readings, which illustrate the fundamental concepts and frameworks of strategic management, as well as case analyses, which enable students to apply their knowledge to real-world situations and managerial decisions.

Dr. Marketa Sonkova will be teaching the course. Dr. Sonkova received her Ph.D. in Strategy and Innovation from Boston University, her MBA in Finance & Strategic Management from the University of Iowa and her BBA in Finance from the University of Iowa. Her expertise is in International Strategy and Strategic Human Capital, and she has worked as an Equity and Financial Analyst, as well as a Finance and Reporting Officer in several countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

What does this course count for?
• For M&O majors, it can count as your elective in either the HR or the Leadership track.
• For International Business Certificate students in the Tippie College, it will count toward the certificate.

Welcome the stranger

The Old Testament, central to both Judaic and Christian religious traditions, contains a verse that I heard a few times this weekend:

“You are to treat the resident alien the same way you treat the native born among you—love him like yourself, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt” (ISV, Leviticus 19:34).

I thought of this idea a lot this weekend because of the generosity and hospitality of Bob and Christy Walker, who hosted the Global Buddies at their farm house west of Iowa City. Its a beautiful home, and there were many of us there to share food and stories. The Walkers take this “welcome the stranger” idea to heart — they treat everyone they meet just as they do members of their own family. It’s a powerful idea and one that has the potential to bring healing and peace wherever it is applied. That’s not to say that it is easy or that it is a panacea, but I believe in the power of kindness to transform.

Thanks, Bob and Christy, for a great evening. If you haven’t met Bob, follow him on Twitter (@heyprofbob) or LinkedIn (

Young alumni workshops

I can’t say enough about the brilliance and dedication of our Young Alumni Board. They will be here on campus tomorrow (September 25) to give workshops to current students and host a reception. I recommend that any students, first year to senior, consider attending. Here are the details of the sessions:

3:30-4:20         Workshop Session #1: Finance (S107)

3:30-4:20         Workshop Session #2: Marketing (C107)

3:30-4:20         Workshop Session #3: Management (C121)

3:30-4:20          Workshop Session #4: Accounting (C125)

3:30-4:20          Workshop Session #5: BAIS (S207)

3:30-4:20          Workshop Session #6: Economics (W181)

4:30 pm              Reception (Howe Galleria)

Ken Brown has been teaching at the University of Iowa since 1998. Despite being born in Texas and growing up in Maryland, Ken is almost an Iowa native. His parents met here in graduate school back in the 1960's, and married soon thereafter. Without the fantastic programs here at the University to lure people from all over, Ken wouldn't be here today. Or be anywhere for that matter. View Ken's Tippie profile.