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Muma College of Business Risk Management and Insurance Program is One of Just Two Offered by Florida Public Universities

By Rich Shopes

Steve Miller

TAMPA (September 16, 2020) -- The Muma College of Business’ School of Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) is providing students with new career opportunities while responding to the pressing needs of local employers.

The RMI program became one of the new schools within the Muma College of Business in July when the consolidation of the university’s three campuses in Sarasota-Manatee, St. Petersburg and Tampa took place.

The RMI program started on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus in 2015 as a minor after employers in the region approached campus leaders about launching a program to address an impending industry-wide shortage of qualified risk management professionals. In response, USF created the RMI and expanded the program to include a bachelor’s degree in 2017.

Last summer, USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook helped move the program forward again with the appointment of Associate Professor Steve Miller to oversee the initiative.

Now director of the School of Risk Management and Insurance, Miller is excited about the possibilities as the school comes under the guidance and support of the renowned Muma College of Business.

“Joining the Muma College of Business creates a tremendous opportunity for us because of the resources available and the reputation of the college for collaborating with the business community,” he said. “We look forward to serving the needs of the risk management and insurance industry throughout the Tampa Bay and Sarasota-Manatee region.”

As a member of the college, the school enjoys support of an advisory board consisting of faculty and insurance professionals. This enables the school to tap into a wealth of experience to grow and remain atop industry trends.

The move also makes the school more broadly known to students across USF, instead of just at the Sarasota-Manatee campus. Currently, 22 students are enrolled in RMI and another 88 are taking the online principles course this semester. Miller expects these numbers to grow rapidly as more students become aware of career opportunities within the industry.

“Many students may not think ‘insurance’ when considering future careers, but the industry touches a lot of people’s lives,” he said. “And when you consider new and evolving risks, such as climate change, artificial intelligence, hurricanes, cyber security and so on, these challenges present opportunity for risk management and insurance to play a major role in the health and resilience of business and society.”

The RMI program – designated as a “program of strategic emphasis” by the State University System’s Board of Governors – is one of only two such programs offered by public universities in Florida.

Before joining USF, Miller helped launch an RMI major at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, helping to create one of the nation’s top programs, and he served as an expert in risk management and insurance education under a program sponsored by China’s Ministry of Education.

He also worked as a consultant for Aon and Marsh to help corporate risk managers leverage data and systems to meet risk management objectives. While consulting, Miller was based in Chicago, New York and London, where he gained extensive international experience managing consulting engagements worldwide.

“We are grateful to have Dr. Miller, a great colleague and scholar, at the helm of the School of Risk Management and Insurance,” said Jean Kabongo, campus dean of the Muma College of Business. “With Dr. Miller’s leadership, our RMI program housed on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus is poised to be positioned as one of the leading programs in the country, which strengthens the Muma College of Business in a unique way.” 

For his part, Miller said he has his hands full as he works to grow the new school.

“My priority right now is to get the message out to students and to make sure they are aware of the opportunities and terrific new offerings within the insurance industry, including stability and upward mobility,” he said.

“The insurance profession holds up well in troubled economic times, and with 25 to 40 percent of the workforce projected to retire during this Baby Boomer-retirement period, the industry is going through an interesting new phase where it’s looking for new talent and skills, creating a lot of opportunity for recent and new graduates,” he said.

To learn more about the USF School of Risk Management and Insurance within the Muma College of Business, click here.