Gleason Partnership Expands Educational Opportunities for RIT Business Students

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SAP Expertise Made Available Through Unique Arrangement

Rochester Institute of Technology is teaming up with Gleason Corp. to create a first-of-its-kind educational venture. Gleason has agreed to make its SAP expertise available to faculty and students at RIT’s College of Business (COB).

SAP provides computer applications that are designed to support business transactions. Competence in these types of enterprise systems is increasingly in demand, and COB faculty can now incorporate hands-on access to SAP software into courses that nurture technology and process management capabilities.

"We’re grateful to the people at Gleason Corp. for making this significant opportunity possible," says Thomas Hopkins, COB dean. "It allows us to help students better understand the nature, application and limitations of enterprise resource planning and related new forms of business processes."

Most business schools that incorporate SAP into their curriculum must bear the expense of both installing hardware on campus and maintaining the highly complex software. In this case, SAP donated its complete software package to RIT. The software has been installed and is being maintained pro bono by Gleason technicians on RIT-owned hardware, located on the company’s premises. The software is accessed electronically by faculty and students from COB computer labs.

Hopkins says this type of educational partnership may be unprecedented. Gleason’s president, David Burns, calls it a logical extension to a century-old relationship between his company and RIT. He states that Gleason, a worldwide supplier of gear production technology, looks forward to employing graduates with SAP training.

"You have to go a long way and spend a lot of money to find knowledgeable personnel out there," Burns explains. "With that in mind, I think the community at large will benefit from this relationship."

RIT’s business faculty is already incorporating SAP software into their curriculum.