Dean Williamson is facilitating new partnerships in Asia, opening up new opportunities for Merage School students and international alumni, and launching the Merage Global Initiative.

Dean Ian O. Williamson connects with alumni and students in Taipei and Singapore

September 18, 2023 • By The UCI Paul Merage School of Business

Becoming a part of the Merage School community means being a member of a global network of industry leaders. In particular, the Merage School has strong alumni connections and university partnerships across Asia.

In celebration of these relationships, Dean Ian O. Williamson traveled this summer to Taipei and Singapore to visit with current and future members of the Merage School community.

In addition to reconnecting with the international Merage community, Dean Williamson also learned about exciting business developments and developed new partnerships that will open up opportunities for students as they think about their global careers.

“Our mission at the Merage School is to provide students with access to a world class education,” Dean Williamson said. “For that to happen we have to be a global business school. That is why I am so excited to have visited these great communities in Asia.”



An essential part of maintaining a global network is hosting students on campus from around the world. Dean Williamson knows that it can be a difficult transition for students who travel thousands of miles to study at the Merage School, so to ensure that new students and their parents received a warm welcome, he hosted new student gatherings in Taipei and Singapore. The events provided an important opportunity for the transfer students and their families to feel like a part of the Merage School community before the year begins.

“We had fantastic gatherings in Taipei and Singapore with our alums and incoming students,” he said. “It’s very important to invest in the Merage community around the world. We have a phenomenal group of alums who have achieved the highest level of success in their professions. Not only are we proud of our alums, we greatly appreciate their willingness to support the development of the next generation of Taiwanese and Singaporean Merage School students. At our Taipei event it was wonderful to watch a senior Taiwanese executive mentor an incoming master student on how to get the most out of her Merage School education. It is the willingness of our alums to support those that come after them which truly illustrates the Merage School culture.”

As part of his trip, Dean Williamson visited Taipei Medical University (TMU), recognized as one of the top three universities in Taiwan. During the visit, Dean Williamson finalized a partnership agreement with the TMU College of Management. The partnership will support student-faculty exchanges in the domain of healthcare, an area of focus and strength for both institutions. The partnership will also open up new opportunities for research collaborations that leverage the Merage School’s expertise in data analytics with TMU’s extensive repositories of health care data.

“It was wonderful to see this world-class institution in person,” Dean Williamson said. “A highlight of the trip was touring one of TMU’s four world-class hospitals. TMU is at the cutting edge of integrating new technology, such as a new $80 million proton cancer therapy center, with patient centric care. It’s clear that TMU is at the forefront of innovation in the healthcare industry.”

Like his work with TMU, Dean Williamson has spent a great deal of time advancing the Merage School’s global footprint and fostering important relationships to benefit the business school’s students and alumni.

Within the last year, he visited South Korea along with students from the Merage School Flex MBA program. Before that, he went to Brazil and took part in a special networking event for young Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous professionals. He facilitated a partnership with TalentoTotal, which seeks to expand opportunities for Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous students to pursue master's degrees in business and thus expand the pool of business talent in South America.

“These partnerships raise the global standing of the Merage School and open up new experiences for our students and alumni,” Dean Williamson said. “We want the Merage School to be a vehicle that allows the world to see the amazing things happening in the Orange County business community while at the same time creating a platform for our students to launch successful global careers.”

This fall, the Merage School will be launching the Merage Global Initiative (MGI), a group aimed to provide opportunities and resources for our international students to develop skills for their professional growth and to build community. Representing over 30 countries, international students comprise a significant number of Merage’s student population, which adds to the diversity of perspectives and knowledge on campus. MGI plans to hold events on campus that will connect our international students with one another, as well as the Merage School and business community of Orange County.