The Department of Finance in the College of Business and Economics established the Center for Insurance Studies (known as CIS) during the 1997-1998 academic year. CIS started in September 1998 under the direction of Dr. Weili Lu. Operation strategies are being developed with the help of insurance industry professionals.
The goal of CIS is to attract and educate talented individuals who are committed to a professional career in insurance or financial services. These areas include property, life, benefits, risk management, and health care components. The emphasis will be on careers in actuarial analysis, claims, financial planning, marketing, risk management, portfolio management, sales, technology, and underwriting.
The vision of CIS is to take insurance and financial services into the new millennium. CIS aspires to bring to focus, to traditional as well as non-traditional students from a variety of backgrounds, the benefits and potential that a career in insurance-financial services has to offer. Our vision is to work closely with the business community, so our students can get a greater understanding of the technology, communication, interpersonal skills, and sound business practices that will allow them to succeed in a rapidly growing and changing insurance industry.
CIS provides not only direct classroom involvement for its members, but also internships, scholarships, and excellent job opportunities for undergraduates and graduates. CIS regularly hosts regional symposiums, as well as domestic and international conferences, for insurance professionals and consumers. In order to update their insurance knowledge and establish our members' exposure to the community, CIS organizes training programs for domestic and international insurance executives and regulators. There are both short- and long-term training programs. The speakers include reputable insurance experts, scholars, senior executives and chief regulators. CIS conducts research-oriented services including domestic and international insurance markets, joint ventures, and actuarial analysis.
Dr. Weili Lu joined the CSUF faculty in 1996 and became Director of CIS in 1998. She received her B.A. in Economics and M.A. in Int'l Business from Nankai University. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Finance and Insurance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, becoming the first woman from Mainland China to receive a Ph.D. in Insurance. Dr. Lu teaches major insurance courses in the CBE Finance program. Her research interests include insurance, pension, and employee benefits.
She served as a financial planning consultant and manager of insurance and pension consulting projects and has extensive contacts with members of the insurance/financial services industry and government officials in China and the U.S. and has raised significant funds for CIS, developing the Actuary, Insurance and Financial Services, and Insurance Marketing Entrepreneur Programs.