CUIB’S ACADEMIC ENTREPRENEURIAL PHILOSOPHY
CUIB has adopted 5 major elements in articulating its academic entrepreneurial philosophy namely:
Establishing a Business Institutional Culture and Steering Base:
This first element involves recognizing that universities, especially Private universities in Cameroon, cannot continue to be managed in the conventional way that public universities are run with government funding and subsidies if they wish to respond effectively to the overload of demands placed upon them. Private universities must develop a strong Business Organizational culture and base to steer themselves financially if they have to function into perpetuity. Some universities such as Government owned often ignore this imperative and continue to rely on their outstanding reputations and political clout for maintaining resources and status.
All others, like the emergence of Private Universities in the country do not have the benefit of this luxury. By declaring itself as an Entrepreneurial University CUIB right from inception established a strong Institutional Business Base to enable her respond more quickly, flexibly and consistently through adopting a Business model organizational structure with the Board of Trustees as the Managing board of the University as you find in most US universities. The University also runs an office of Advancement and Development both at the National and International Level. The university also has a web of committees such as the President’s Steering committee made up of internal and external stakeholders and the Vice President of Personnel and Administrative Services working with Line managers to manage the non-academic affairs of the university. Schools have Board of Advisors who are selected external experts, practitioners, CEOs of Companies, innovative entrepreneurs, leaders of Not for Profit and government organizations who support the mission of the School and contribute experience and wisdom to its ongoing development. There is also the Academic and Pastoral Board that runs various committees to enhance relevance and quality in the university’s academic programs and Pastoral initiatives.
Fostering and Enhancing the Schools “Advancement and Developmental Periphery”:
This second element derives from the belief that Schools, Colleges and academic departments by themselves can no longer do all the things that a contemporary university has to do and therefore must make up the difference: namely, by reaching across old university boundaries and seizing the initiative to develop links between itself and the wider world. This activity has, in CUIB typically focused on the establishment of professionalized outreach units – on knowledge transfer, industrial contact, intellectual property development, continuing education and working closely with the University’s Business Park. The “ advancement and developmental periphery “ of the School of IT for instance, embraces an IT Certification Academy that runs CISCO and Oracle programmes both for its students and the outside world. These project-based activities act as “Practicum” centres where the students develop hands-on skills. The School of Business also works in Collaboration with CUIB-CERI to manage the Diocesan Bookshop at Molyko. Students of the School of Business use the Bookshop as a “Practicum Centre” to develop hands-on skills.
CUIB’S CATHOLIC ENTREPRENEURIAL PHILOSOPHY.
As a Catholic University, there is something that CUIB brings that you will rarely find in most entrepreneurial universities – the soul of Entrepreneurial Education which is about Character, Ethics and spirituality. A Catholic entrepreneurial university will be fulfilling its proper mission, which includes acting and teaching in a way that is recognizable as Catholic if it embraces the following five foundational Pillars to sustain and orient its entire program of studies, activities and practices as articulated by Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (See Journal of Catholic Higher Education, Vol 31, Number 2, Summer 2012, pp. 151-167). These pillars are:
Anthropological Foundations and Catholic Social Teaching:
The basis of all business or entrepreneurship from the Christian point of view has its origin and basis in the Book of Genesis in the account of Creation. In Gen. 1: 26-28, man is endowed with intelligence and Freedom to share in the work of creation (Job Creators). In addition, besides the dominion granted Adam and Eve over creation, they must till the earth (Gen. 3:23). Humanity is to make creation serve its needs through the transformative power of work. In its exercise of business or entrepreneurship, therefore, humanity would become a rock that sustains creation through the practice of love and justice. And this is truly the vocation of the Christian Business Leader or entrepreneur: to practice love and justice, and to teach the business household for which he or she is responsible to do likewise, for the sustenance of all creation, beginning with his or her brothers and sisters. Thus, from a Catholic viewpoint, we trace our human dignity, our stewardship, and our responsibility for the common good, back to creation, the originating mission event of humankind. CUIB embraces this pillar through its Catholic Studies programme. Working in close collaboration with the University of St Thomas in Minnesota, students are expected to graduate with a minor in Catholic Studies, an interdisciplinary programme which embraces all faith units.