Special Topics courses in Fall 2016: Global Sourcing & Logistics and Islamic Banking and Finance

If you haven't set your fall schedule in stone, consider some of the college’s special topics courses, which provide intensive study of business topics not regularly covered in the course offerings. In this post, we feature Professor Arslan-Ayaydin’s Islamic Banking and Finance course and Professor Liotine’s Global Sourcing & Logistics course.

FIN 494: Islamic Banking and Finance

A few years ago, Professor Arslan-Ayaydin started looking into the steady double-digit annual growth of the Islamic finance sector, growth that was largely unaffected by the 2008 crisis. Since then, in her words, “the more I research the topic, the more dynamic it becomes.” This will be her third semester teaching Islamic banking and finance. In previous semesters, the class has been one of the department’s most popular offerings.

Islamic banking and finance go hand in hand with key innovations in today’s financial markets. An Islamic insurance system has been established, Islamic funds are being traded, Britain and Luxembourg have become centers for Islamic debt securities, and General Electric Co. became the first major U.S company to sell an Islamic bond. Understanding Islamic banking and finance is about understanding alternatives to conventional banking and exploring alternative means of raising funds. An important part of the class is learning how Islamic institutions make money without charging interest, without any guaranteed return from the perspective of the bank, and with parties sharing both the risk of a joint investment and the returns. The alternative practices in Islamic finance become a lens through which to examine moral hazard, adverse selection, and agency costs in financial relationships.

A disclaimer: the materials and topics in this class do not deal with religion, nor do students need knowledge of Islam to take the course.  

IDS 594: Global Sourcing & Logistics

Professor Liotine’s Global Sourcing & Logistics course is an essential primer for MBAs who intend to work at firms that do business internationally. “Globalization is nearly an epidemic in business,” Professor Liotine says. “Most companies today transact within networks that transcend national boundaries. No matter your field–management, finance, even IT–you need to understand what’s happening when goods and services cross borders.”

The course will cover a lot of ground. Professor Liotine will touch on the data-driven supply chain analysis typical of his other courses, but will devote the bulk of the semester to the rules and regulations, the taxes, insurance, and terms of trade that make up global markets. Finance students are encouraged to enroll in the class, which will study the role banks have in international trade, including letters of credit and guarantees, exchange rates and complex currency arrangements, and the logistics fees that, in high volume, create considerable costs. Students will get plenty of practice with case studies and exercises designed to prepare them for international trade.

To register for FIN 494, IDS 594, and other special topics courses, visit my.uic.edu/common/.