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UVU’s Dishman Brings Economic Ideals to Emerging Montenegro

13 July 2010 No Comment

July 13, 2010
For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Brad Plothow (801) 863-7149

Beginning last January, UVU Marketing Chair Paul Dishman taught the people of Montenegro about capitalism and free enterprise during a prestigious six-month Fulbright scholarship. The tiny Baltic country is one of the world’s youngest autonomous states, having declared independence from Serbia in 2006, and its search for a viable economic model has been focused on some form of free-market commerce. It’s a major transition for Montenegro, which has historically operated under socialism and communism, and experts like Dishman are essential in bridging the gap.

“When we speak [sic] with embassy about having Fulbright professor, I tell them we need professor who specializes in marketing,” said Veselin Vukotic, dean of the University of Donja Gorica (UDG) and one of Montenegro’s most influential figures. “It is a new transition for Montenegro. Marketing is very important for us.”

Coincidentally, Vukotic’s discussion with the embassy occurred at the same time that Dishman — a renowned expert in market and competitive intelligence — was applying for a Fulbright scholarship to lecture in Montenegro, the land of his ancestry. Dishman’s grandfather, Philip Tomo Radovic, lived in a centuries-old stone home on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast before leaving to find opportunity in the U.S.

Today, Montenegro’s leaders are trying to help the rising generation learn about business and competitive commerce, which is a challenge considering the country’s long history under a centrally planned economy. Scholars like Dishman — who lectured at UDG and developed plans and partnerships in connection with his Fulbright activities — are essential because even the country’s educators have very little context from which to draw when discussing capitalism.

“It probably won’t work to just install capitalism the way we know it in the U.S., but you do get the sense that the people of Montenegro are excited about the idea of private enterprise,” Dishman said. “They all study economics, but they don’t really understand business yet. They don’t know how to take a concept and make it work in the marketplace. My task was to help the current generation learn how to do business in an economy much different from the one their parents lived under.”

Dishman returned from Montenegro in June to teach at UVU for the second summer block and begin his tenure as a department chair in the AACSB-accredited Woodbury School of Business. Though his Fulbright activities are concluded, Dishman will continue correspondence with the many contacts he made in government and industry, and he will leverage his Montenegro connections to provide learning opportunities for his students at UVU.

“I know that my experience in Montenegro will provide some really excellent global context for my students at UVU,” Dishman said. “My Fulbright scholarship provided a tremendous opportunity for UVU, the people of Montenegro, and for me personally.”

About Montenegro

  • The country, which was part of the former Yugoslavia, declared independence from Serbia in 2006. It is situated on the east shore of the Adriatic sea, across the water from Italy’s “boot,” and is bordered by Albania to the south, Serbia to the east and Bosnia-Herzegovina to the north.
  • Montenegro is Italian for “black mountain” and is at the epicenter of much of European history. Over the past 2,000 years, Montenegro was founded by the Romans, conquered by the Turks, settled by the Slavs and named by the Italians.
  • The nation is about 5,400 square miles, or about the size of Connecticut.
  • Montenegro’s population is roughly 678,000, or approximately 25 percent higher than Utah County’s mark of 530,000.
  • Although not in the European Union, Montenegro uses the euro currency in anticipation of joining the EU.
  • Real GDP per capita: $3,800 (U.S. is $45,800).

Note: UVU can provide professional-quality video and photo assets of Dishman in Montenegro upon request.

For more information visit the Spring 2010 UVU Magazine >

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