The University of Colorado Denver has been recognized as a Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) by the U.S. Department of Education. As a recipient of this distinguished designation—one that CU Denver has maintained since 1993—the university was awarded more than $1.25 million for the 2022–2026 term. The grant will be used to support global education and international business programs at CU Denver, making it a significant and sustainable source of talent, innovation, and expertise that will benefit both the university and broader business and academic communities for years to come.
“The CIBER program allows us to expand our efforts around international business, international studies, and foreign language education while strengthening the U.S.’s position as a global competitor,” explained Manuel G. Serapio, PhD, principal investigator of CU Denver CIBER, faculty director of the Institute for International Business (IIB), and associate professor of international business at the Business School.
Out of the 16 centers awarded the prestigious designation, CU Denver is the only one in Colorado, and one of two in the Rocky Mountain region. It is also one of an even smaller pool of recipients to hold the title continuously for over 30 years. During that time, the program has generated more than $10 million in federal funding and other sponsored grants, and assisted thousands of U.S. students and faculty, and dozens of American businesses with their internationalization initiatives.
CU Denver’s forward-looking approach to global education coupled with the Institute for International Business and Business School’s impactful programs—plus university-wide interdisciplinary programs in foreign languages, international studies, and related fields—all played a role in securing the CIBER grant.
Serapio acknowledged the IIB team and colleagues from the Business School and other departments for CU Denver CIBER’s success. He particularly credits the university leadership and its legacy of supporting the CIBER’s endeavors. “A very important reason that we’ve been successful is the strong support of our Institute for International Business and CIBER from our university leaders over the years, including our chancellor, provost, and deans,” remarked Serapio. “We are excited to have Provost Nakuma as our global education leader.”
Serapio joined CU Denver 32 years ago when he recognized an opportunity to build the international business program from the ground up. With experience in grant administration and international entrepreneurship, he has been integral to the growth of the CIBER and CU Denver’s international business programs.
In addition to meeting the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Center of Excellence, CU CIBER is also closely aligned with the 2030 Strategic Plan, including the university’s goals aimed at tackling the grand challenges facing our society and making education work for all. Through the CIBER program, for example, CU Denver has partnered with several minority-serving institutions, helping tribal colleges and universities enhance their programs’ international business content. Another program is poised to match first-generation and diverse students with academic programs and career opportunities in international business.
It’s these and other initiatives that speak to the power of CIBER’s true purpose: to prepare current and future business leaders for the opportunities and challenges presented by our dynamic global economy and advance U.S. global competitiveness.