Schools form insurance education partnership

Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Olivet College have formally agreed to establish coordinated curriculum programs aimed at supporting job growth in Michigan’s insurance industry. 
Representatives of Cooley and Olivet signed a partnership agreement during ceremonies Wednesday at the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“Today, we publicly launch the implementation of Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s new Master of Laws in Insurance Law program,” said Don LeDuc, President and Dean of Thomas M. Cooley.  “Our goal is simple, to make Michigan and Lansing national leaders in the insurance industry, a goal shared by the Lansing Regional Chamber and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.”
Don Tuski, Olivet College president, said the partnership “will further strengthen Olivet College’s position along with Cooley Law School as national leaders in insurance education. Furthermore, Lansing can now be known as not only the home of top insurance companies, but top insurance schools.”
The partnership agreement will join Olivet College’s risk management and insurance program with Thomas M. Cooley’s juris doctor and master of law programs, creating only the second such educational program in the nation. 
In addition to the educational programs covered under the agreement, the two schools also committed to considering creation of additional joint bachelor’s/juris doctor programs in the insurance area, and opened the possibility of establishing a paralegal program with an insurance emphasis.
“This landmark agreement between Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Olivet College is a significant step forward in our community-wide efforts to make Lansing the Insurance Capital of Michigan,” said Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. 
Insurance companies are responsible for close to 8,000 jobs in the Lansing region, according to those involved in the partnership,  and are expected to create another 1,300 jobs by 2014. 
Expansion projects are underway at Delta Dental, Jackson National Life and Accident Fund Insurance Company of America.  Auto-Owners Insurance recently purchased 132 acres in Delta Township to accommodate future growth.
Olivet College is a private, liberal arts institution located in south central Michigan. Cooley Law School operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.