"Our team is dedicated to the companies we work with and very collaborative with our internal faculty and staff to find win/win partnerships. Most of our team has been here for the BEC's 10 years which speaks to the fact that we love what we do. We have a great team, we work hard, and we've had growing success year over year.”

Stella WixomExecutive Director

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

I’m proud to be one of the original staff members since the BEC’s founding 10 years ago. We’ve created a culture that is supportive, trustworthy and transparent; it’s simple, we are a family.

Christine VladuAdministrative Specialist

People of the BEC:

Serving as a model of innovation for 10 years

December 11, 2017 in 10 Years of the BEC, Success Stories

BEC reports record corporate research expenditures in FY 2017

Corporate expenditures on existing University of Michigan research rose to $100.8 million in the past fiscal year. The U-M Business Engagement Center reported that total corporate investment in U-M — research expenditures coupled with philanthropic contributions — rose to $142.8 million.  The first-time BEC Annual Report comes as the center celebrates its 10th year serving as the university’s front door for industry wanting to connect with the U-M community. The BEC connects companies with research, recruiting, faculty and philanthropic opportunities across campus. Since the BEC’s inception, corporate philanthropy to U-M has increased 53 percent and corporate research expenditures have nearly tripled. “After…

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October 19, 2017 in 10 Years of the BEC

Celebrating Success

Staff of the BEC were joined by their executive leaders, Vice President for Research Jack Hu, Vice President for Development, Jerry May, Associate Vice President for Research, Daryl Weinert, and... Read More
October 13, 2017 in 10 Years of the BEC

10 Minutes with Stella Wixom

U-M’s corporate partners say that it’s the people of the BEC that provide the biggest benefit to working with UM. That definitely starts at the top, with the Executive Director, Stella Wixom. Having served as the University and Campus Manager for Nortel Networks, Wixom brought industry experience in technology, sales, and marketing when she joined U-M. Her experience and expertise sitting on the industry side of collaborations represented a valuable perspective in building the newly structured BEC. A core part of the BEC since nearly its inception, Stella played a pivotal role in developing some critical industry/university partnerships before taking…

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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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Horizontal logo showing BEC Celebrating 10 Years