USF Muma College of Business Opens New Fintech Center, Appoints Director
By Elizabeth L. Brown
TAMPA (February 10, 2022) – The University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business
is opening a new center specializing in the rapidly evolving financial technology
industry — one that will serve as a “hub of excellence” for all things fintech-related.
The Fintech Center at the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance will be a hub of engagement and activity where academic research, world-class teaching, business engagement, and innovations surrounding the expanding financial technology sector, or fintech, will be under one roof.
The college has appointed Michael D. Wiemer as its inaugural director. Wiemer is a C-level executive with more than two decades of progressive leadership in business education. Most recently, he was chief officer of the Americas for AACSB International, the world’s foremost accreditor and largest association of business schools.
“As a research-intensive university, our goal is to make the Fintech Center at the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, and the Tampa Bay region, a hub of excellence for fintech,” said Wiemer. “We endeavor to be the leading university-based fintech center and entrepreneurial ecosystem for fintech education, research, and innovation.”
The school is located on the St. Petersburg campus and is one of six schools within the USF Muma College of Business.
Wiemer sees the center as a place to harness the growing energy from tech startups and entrepreneurs in the Tampa Bay area and weave it together with the high-caliber research, teaching, and innovations coming from USF faculty researchers.
“Fintech is a rapidly emerging multidisciplinary space that embodies a broad range of traditional subjects and concepts,” he says. Fintech is transforming entire industries, from banking and financial services, to insurance, real estate, health care, and many more.
“One of the goals for the center is to provide the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for current and future students to successfully navigate and lead in today’s rapidly changing high-growth environment,” he said.
Wiemer says he anticipates a wide range of USF business students interacting with fintech and the Fintech Center.
“Students, whether traditional or lifelong learners, will have opportunities to gain valuable knowledge of fintech through industry internships and experiential learning, exposure to cutting-edge research, world-class teaching, and by engaging in the center’s business incubator and accelerator activities as part of their educational journey with USF,” he said.
He also believes that the center’s combined activities will provide USF business students with highly competitive skill sets and experiences that align with the current and emerging needs of the fintech industry. Fintech encompasses an expanding range of technologies and concepts, including cryptocurrency, blockchain, decentralized finance and applications, smart contracts, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and algorithmic trading, among others.
Wiemer said he is excited to help lead the Fintech Center.
“I am honored to join this impressive team, and to help create and lead a university center that is positioned to take advantage of one of the most significant shifts for business education in many years,” he said. “The Center will provide transformative fintech learning, market leading research and high value engagement with the rapidly expanding fintech business community. It’s an exciting opportunity that will have a positive impact on many lives and organizations.”
Wiemer’s career in higher education includes leadership roles at the institutional and industry levels, including working closely with hundreds of the world’s leading business schools while with AACSB. He has worked extensively developing cross-sector partnerships that bridge the academic and business communities, and creating transformative learning experiences at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive education levels.
He also served as the director of international programs at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he led the international MBA degree and international business exchange program. Before that, he held leadership positions at the Dominican University of California where he launched a Latin American executive education program and formed a new university center for international programs.
Wiemer earned an MBA in international business from the Dominican University of California and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Minnesota.