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COB announces new research center and degree program

Ralph Nader
Famed consumer advocate Ralph Nader spoke at RIT and took time to sign his books.

RIT’s College of Business announced plans on March 24 to establish a research center and academic major in consumer financial services under the direction of Robert Manning, professor of finance and nationally known economist.

“We are creating an innovative curriculum for students to obtain a bachelor of science degree in consumer financial services,” says Manning, who expects the major to be in place by spring 2007. Manning, author of Credit Card Nation and a recent Lending Tree.com-commissioned study, Living With Debt, says the new research center will be all-encompassing.

“I think we’re strategically positioned here in Rochester so that we’re not so tied in to New York City that we can’t see the forest for the trees,” Manning notes.

In conjunction with announcing the new program, consumer advocate Ralph Nader visited to speak on banking deregulation and consumer interest.

“Credit cards increase the price of the goods we buy,” said Nader, the three-time Green Party presidential candidate who was named one of Time magazine’s100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century. Nader believes RIT’s new business curriculum will allow students to become more educated about credit-card debt. “We are losing control of our money relentlessly, year after year, and not even mobilizing against it. We must become more informed and educated about financial matters.”