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Day 1: R+B: adidas + University of Portland, Oregon, USA
12:30pm - 1:15pm
What We Didn’t Know We Didn’t Know Industry-led Collaboration for Developing Design Curriculum: The adidas and University of Portland, Oregon, USA Experience
Ian Parkman1, Pete Stolpe2
1Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Portland; 2Senior Category Manager, adidas, USA
Traditionally the relationship between academic institutions and businesses has been seen as largely transactional—universities provide students with knowledge and skills that are valued by industry as new hires and in return business partners often deliver funding support for specific programs and institutions. In this session, we provide a discussion of our experiences creating a pioneering partnership between the University of Portland (UP) and adidas, who has their North American headquarters located less than two miles from the UP campus. This partnership involved an industry-led collaborative process that resulted in a new design curriculum for the UP business school, starting from a largely blank slate. While the university recognized prior to partnership the need to develop more design-related courses and programming the institution understood that it did not-- at that time-- possess the requisite background or expertise to confidently define the right learning objectives, course content, or key skills to embed in the curriculum. Accordingly, UP made the conscious decision to work their curriculum develop process backwards by engaging adidas as an industry-leading partner to help identity, define, and develop the hard and soft design-related skills valued in their marketplaces that would be mapped onto new classes and programs at the university. We will discuss our experiences in the process and provide some insight into our key strategies and tactics that may help other universities develop similar partnerships with industry in their campus contexts.