In this May 29 photo, Dr. Mahmoud Haddad (top facing row, right) addresses a meeting of representatives from both universities that includes Dr. Phil Cavalier (right, head of the table). Haddad is a UT Martin professor of finance, and Cavalier is the university’s provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. Others visible in the photo from UT Martin are (top facing row, third from left) Stephanie Butler, coordinator of international student services; (fourth from left) Jennifer Killebrew, MBA program and student success coordinator; and (third from right) Erica Bell, director of UT Martin Regional Centers and Online Programs.

UT Martin faculty and staff visit Nile University

Five members of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s faculty and staff recently visited Nile University to strengthen and expand the new collaborative relationship between the two universities.

During the fall 2021 semester, UT Martin announced the collaboration with the university located in Giza City, Skeikh Zayed District, Egypt. Students participating in this program will have the opportunity to earn a dual MBA-EMBA from UT Martin’s College of Business and Global Affairs and the Nile University School of Business Administration. Both parties agreed that it was important to establish the personal connection with both the faculty and potential students enrolling in the program.

Those who participated in the May 27 to June 3 visit included: Dr. Phillip Cavalier, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; Erica Bell, director of the Regional Centers and Online Programs office; Jennifer Killebrew, MBA program and student success coordinator; Stephanie Butler, coordinator of international student services; and Dr. Mahmoud Haddad, professor of finance. Each plays an important role in the success of the partnership and in creating a lasting connection with Nile University and potential MBA students.

UT Martin’s hybrid MBA program engages students using both online and distance-learning technology. Nile University students will not only be able to directly interact with UT Martin faculty members but also connect with United States peers through distance-learning technology.  Bell is currently working with Nile University to develop and establish its own distance-learning room that will directly connect with UT Martin’s main campus and five regional centers.

“I think it will bring on a whole new dynamic for all the [MBA] students to have this connection with those halfway across the world,” Killebrew said.

Both UT Martin and Nile University students will be able to learn from one-another and see varying viewpoints in business and ethical situations. Several of the potential students UT Martin’s team met during the visit have well-established professional careers and can bring a fresh perspective to the nationally ranked Online MBA program.

The collaboration begins in the fall 2022 semester and will potentially open the door for more ways to partner with the university in various other areas of study.

“During our meetings with our Nile University colleagues, it became clear that there are several other opportunities for us to work together, particularly in the areas of agriculture and agricultural economics. I’m excited to see how the UTM-Nile University partnership grows over the next decade,” Cavalier said.

As the collaboration develops, UT Martin would like to strengthen the relationship further by having both Nile University faculty teach courses for the hybrid program and for UT Martin faculty to travel to Egypt to conduct a final lecture in person for the dual-degree students.

“Two of Nile University’s faculty members will be guest lecturing this fall in my online undergraduate management class. This will help not only the students presently, but also serve as a promotion for the MBA degree,” Bell said.

Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi, dean of the UT Martin College of Business and Global Affairs, is excited to see the partnership between the institutions grow and is thankful for the hard work by the college’s faculty and staff.

“Globalization of business education is an important goal for our college, and the recent visit by Dr. Cavalier and the team, was just a beginning,” Tootoonchi said.

UT Martin’s Online MBA program was recently ranked 68 out of 108 programs the U.S. by and the highest-ranked Tennessee university on the list. This is the most recent of numerous national and regional rankings of the growing program that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB International.


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