When I joined this group almost 10 years ago it felt like a startup. The university had a base of corporate partners but nothing like the scale we have today. Each day I have freedom to work with a great set of colleagues to try new things, to experiment in new directions, and I love being a part of that innovation.

Nick MillerDirector, Business Engagement Center

The number of schools who have come through to kick the tires and learn from U-M is astounding. Many have rolled out similar offices - even calling themselves the BEC. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Daryl WeinertAssociate VP for Research, U-M

Things continue to get more and more complex in terms of what companies want from the university. The structure of corporate philanthropy has changed and the process of educating faculty is also never ending. The BEC continues to thrive and handle it all in stride.

Marvin ParnesDirector of ISR, retired

From engineering and computer science to finance and marketing, we have the opportunity to connect with the best-of-the-best. We are grateful to the Business Engagement Center for helping us make these connections.

Katie GrauStryker, Inc.

This talented team has a fierce passion for the University's education, research, and service missions, and for helping our students, faculty, and industry partners be more successful.

Umesh PatelSenior Director, Business Engagement Center

People of the BEC:

Serving as a model of innovation for 10 years

August 10, 2017 in 10 Years of the BEC

10 Minutes with Jack Hu

Though Jack Hu has been involved with the Business Engagement Center (BEC) since participating in the exploratory committee that developed BEC a decade ago, he is only looking forward. When he does, Hu sees the future of corporate engagement, and it is full of diversification. “After years of declining federal funding, industry has stepped in to fill a very critical gap. I see this trend continuing and see opportunity for industry – both domestic and international – to connect with U-M for comprehensive student support and dynamic research,” Hu says. He highlights the BEC’s successful corporate engagement model in two…

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July 5, 2017 in 10 Years of the BEC, Success Stories

Big Blue + Maize and Blue = Computer Innovation

A rich 200-year history is cause for celebration and for recognition of the many valued relationships that have endured for so many decades at the University of Michigan. Throughout this bicentennial year, the Business Engagement Center will highlight the University’s collaborations, innovations, and connections with their steadfast business partners, giving a historical perspective of today’s achievements. By Chris Colaner Even in the early years when the computer industry was just coming of age, the alliance between IBM and the University of Michigan had all the hallmarks of a winning team. They were both willing to take on the uncertainties of…

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June 28, 2017 in 10 Years of the BEC

10 Minutes with Daryl Weinert

Back in 1999, one of Daryl’s first projects at U-M was a road trip. He was newly hired as the Director of Corporate Relations at the College of Engineering and admits he was “naive”. He had come from working in industry in Chicago, and to get a handle on the task in front of him, he took to the road, visiting corporate relations departments at peer academic institutions around the country. What he heard was intriguing: a whispering of opportunity that was unexplored by any university he visited. Universities had been working with corporations for years, but the efforts were…

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June 26, 2017 in 10 Years of the BEC

10 Minutes with Marvin Parnes

The university is no stranger to committees. We spend a lot of time and effort in this space. We banter around an overwhelming number of great ideas, many of which are challenging to implement in our decentralized academic environment.  Some ideas are worth the effort. Marvin found that to be true, and he is proud to have been involved in the committee that recommended the establishment of the first comprehensive university-wide Business Engagement Center in higher education. “We realized we needed to have a clearinghouse for industry relations. We needed one point of contact, like a portal. We needed to…

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Horizontal logo showing BEC Celebrating 10 Years