Kohl’s partnership to pay for course books

Kohl’s partnership to pay for course books

Kohl’s partnership to pay for course books

By Leah Nicolini

DeKalb | Kohl’s will pay a $65 textbook fee for Marketing 365, a course available in the fall semester, due to an annual pledge with NIU.

The pledge, established in 2011 between the retail store and the marketing department, was made to find talent management, said Mark Rosenbaum, Kohl’s Corporation professor of retail marketing. Part of the pledge requires the retail store to give financial support to the department which is spent toward classroom development like purchasing textbooks, professor expenses and student scholarships, Rosenbaum said.

“[Working with Kohl’s provides] real world, up to date information and knowledge that a top retailer is interested in the talent in the class,” Rosenbaum said.

The course, Principles of Retailing, has students study retail institutions by analyzing store organization, location strategy, merchandising, inventory control, customer communication, price determination and the management of retail salespersons, according to NIU’s website.

Rosenbaum said he finds about 10 students each semester that become interns at Kohl’s, which can lead to a management position, and an additional five to 10 students bypass an internship for an immediate job offer prior to graduation, Rosenbaum said.

Rosenbaum said he looks for a sense of professionalism, leadership, enthusiasm about the topic and hard work ethic when seeking students with talent.

“… I do keep the company abreast especially given the change in retail and decline of the physical store because retail is quickly changing,” Rosenbaum said.

Part of the financial support from the annual pledge is used for professorship, which includes money spent toward research-related travel to conferences and faculty bonuses.

Without financial support to conferences, presenting research like the research Rosenbaum conducted on the interaction between gay salesmen and straight female consumers in retail settings would be nearly impossible, Rosenbaum said.

“Corporate professorships are critical for keeping faculty at [NIU], especially given the latest budgetary issues,” Rosenbaum said.

The state budget impasse has left Illinois as the only state without a budget for Fiscal Year 2016 and has caused NIU to plan to cut $30 million from its budget in case NIU does not receive state funding.