U. of Iowa takes over study abroad program

The University of Iowa has taken over administration of a study abroad program to Italy previously overseen by Kansas University.

Each year, more than 150 KU students head to Paderno del Grappa, Italy, to study business, journalism and communications.

Tim Shaftel, professor of business and faculty adviser for the KU study abroad program, said the effect of the move on students should be minimal.

Credit for all courses taken during the program now will be awarded through the University of Iowa and will have to be transferred to KU, Shaftel said.

“Our Study Abroad office has a real good process for making sure that works, so there’s no major changes for students,” he said.

Since Iowa took over administration of the program in August, about the same number of KU students have participated, he said.

He said the decision to move the program’s administrative functions was a result of a mutual agreement between KU and a consortium of universities participating in the program.

“It’s a burden. It’s a lot of administration,” he said. “They just felt it was time to move it somewhere else.”

Gary Gaeth, a professor of marketing at Iowa, is the faculty adviser for the program at that university.

He said that a goal of the program at Iowa is to ensure that KU students can enroll, as KU has provided the most students of any of the other universities in the consortium in the past.

“I think we all wanted to do this in a way that didn’t hurt the students, and I think we did that,” Gaeth said.

Gaeth said KU was the only other university in the consortium that maintained an office to help students enroll in the program.

KU had four staff members overseeing the program, Shaftel said, including himself. He is remaining on as an on-site adviser for KU. Two other staff members shifted to the University of Iowa, and a fourth person took another position at KU, he said.