Award for Global Engagement

2012 Recipients

Michael Houston

Dr. Michael Houston, associate dean of global initiatives and Ecolab-Pierson M. Grieve Chair in International Marketing at the Carlson School of Management, has demonstrated exceptional leadership of global activities for the Carlson School and innovation in international education, institutional development, and teaching and research.

His leadership has been a key factor in the increasing global engagement of the school’s students, faculty, and staff. As a result of his efforts, the Carlson School is recognized nationally for its leadership in international education. Under his leadership the Carlson School’s global activities have experienced tremendous growth in program offerings and student participation in education abroad. The quality and quantity of education abroad programs was a key factor in the decision to require all of the school’s students to have an international experience during their time at the University.

Dr. Houston established the “live case” program, which has grown to be a hallmark of Carlson School education abroad programs. He has also introduced other unique education abroad programs including Business and the Environment in Costa Rica, Business Ethics—A European Perspective, and Outsourcing in India, all of which remain popular programs. Additionally, Dr. Houston established the virtual team project program, which integrates executive MBA programs in Austria, China, Poland, and the U.S. and gives students the opportunity to work virtually in teams before meeting face-to-face in Minnesota to make final presentations. He also introduced the international marketing course to the Carlson School curriculum and taught it for multiple years. These experiences have allowed Dr. Houston to recognize that staff should also be globally engaged, so he initiated the opportunity for staff to participate as coordinators in short-term study abroad programs.

Dr. Houston was awarded the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) grant from the U.S. Department of Education, serving as the principal investigator and now the academic director. Through CIBER, he has collaborated with international units across the University, such as the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA), the Institute for Global Studies, and the Confucius Institute.

Dr. Houston serves as academic director for several of Carlson School’s offshore degree programs. At the University level, he serves on the International Programs Council and a number of international center advisory boards, including the China Center, CARLA, and the Center for Austrian Studies.

His expertise spans beyond the University of Minnesota. He was a distinguished visiting professor at the National University of Singapore and was invited back to serve on a review committee for the business school. He served a similar role at the Nanyang Business School in Singapore. He has been sought out to present his research multiple times at foreign universities and has contributed to several publications with international focus.

Dr. Houston’s scholarly record combined with his extensive global engagement show an abiding commitment to international activities at the University and abroad.