Evening M.B.A. Program takes education directly to business
Great leaders know exactly when to seize opportunity. They dont
wait for board meetings. They broker deals at backyard barbecues,
while jogging, and at neighborhood cafés. In this case, it
was on a bus headed back from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City.
It was 1994. Gary Fethke, dean of the Henry B. Tippie College of
Business at The University of Iowa, had taken the colleges
advisory council on a tour of the new Cedar Rapids facility for
the Tippie School of Managements Evening M.B.A. Program. It
was state-of-the-art: sleek and spacious, with the latest classroom
technology, a computer lab, student lounge, and a professional-quality
Leonard Hadley, then CEO of Maytag in Newton, was so impressed
he decided on the spot that his region needed an Evening M.B.A.
site of its ownand The University of Iowa business education
that went along with it.
"On the way back, Len started hammering on me about wanting
M.B.A. classes offered in Newton," Fethke recalls. "As
soon as we got back, he called up Hunter Rawlings [then president
of the University] and, with a little help from the governor, they
pushed that initiative through. Hadley even made a personal gift
of more than $100,000 to help us get started on the classroom. Thats
how much he believed in our program and what it could do for his
A year later, the Evening M.B.A. Program began offering classes
in its new facility on the Newton Polytechnic campus.
Created to serve mid-career professionals seeking an M.B.A. in
the Quad Cities, the Evening M.B.A. Program has a rich history of
working with Iowas business community since 1966. Today, the
nearly 700 students attending classes represent 260 companies, and
the majority have their tuition paid by their employers.
"We are providing the gold standard business education for
middle management in central and eastern Iowa," says Gary Gaeth,
associate dean of the business college. "Were helping
the state of Iowa retain its best people by providing a nationally
recognized M.B.A. that can be obtained right here in a convenient
Convenient because the program actually brings education directly
to students. Faculty travel to five sites in Davenport, Newton,
Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines to conduct classes in the evenings
and on weekends. The program is designed to be flexible and to conform
to the schedules of people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who are busy
cultivating their careers and raising families.
The Tippie School of Managements M.B.A. is the only ranked
M.B.A. program in the state, consistently placing in the top 50
on lists published by Business Week, U.S. News & World Report,
"Of all the M.B.A. degrees offered in the state, this is the
one with prestige," says Abram Tubbs, president and CEO of
Tri-County Bank & Trust in Cascade, and a 1999 graduate of the
program. "Prospective students tend to know that an Iowa M.B.A.
is a real asset."
Over the past 35 years, the evening program has expanded steadily,
always in response to demand. The creation of the Newton site, for
example, had one unanticipated outcome: by 1997, Gaeth says, they
realized 60 percent of M.B.A. students were driving there from Des
Moines. So in 1998, the program began offering classes at the Krause
Center for Entrepreneurial Study in Des Moines. During 1999, they
added a second site, in the newly developed downtown Des Moines
Higher Education Center.
Hadley, who has retired from his post at Maytag but still consults
with the company, remains a strong supporter of the Evening M.B.A.
"As a Fortune 500 employer, Maytag seeks to provide first-class
benefits," he says. "One of those offerings at our corporate
headquarters is the Iowa M.B.A. Program, ranked among the top 35
business programs in the country. Our alliance with the University
supports our mission of seeking the best talent and retaining tomorrows