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New Business Dean Adds International Flair

Published: February 26, 2007

The new dean of UT’s John H. Sykes College of Business brings a wealth of international experience to The University of Tampa when he takes on his new role this fall.

“Globalization is becoming one of the major thrusts of the world economy, and students need to learn that we’re all connected,” said the new dean, Dr. F. Frank Ghannadian.

Ghannadian serves as associate dean and chief operating officer of the Stetson School of Business at Mercer University’s Atlanta campus. In his tenure at Stetson, he has directed the studies abroad program, initiated an international business concentration and an executive MBA program, and has developed relationships with more than 130 multinational companies. He also has forged partnerships with three universities on different continents, including Hong Kong Baptist University.

A native of Azerbaijan, Ghannadian speaks four languages, including Farsi and Turkish. He would like to focus on expanding the international component of the business school, he said, and create more international connections and opportunities in Europe and Asia for the Sykes College of Business.

“The mechanism is already there to be able to do that,” he said. “UT has outstanding international programs, and I would like to see all business students be a part of the Study Abroad program.”

In addition to establishing the executive MBA program at Stetson, Ghannadian shepherded the school through the accreditation process for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This experience prepares him for Sykes reaccreditation, he said, which comes due in the next two years.

“The No. 1 one goal is to make sure we get reaffirmed with AACSB,” he said. “That takes priority over everything else, and everything will be faculty-driven.”

In addition, Ghannadian said he would like the faculty to have more time to do research and publish articles. He hopes to offer more executive programs and either expand or consolidate the centers and institutes already in place.

“As a long-term goal, I would like Sykes to be the premier business school in the Southeast,” he said.

Ghannadian holds a doctorate from Georgia State University, a master’s degree in business administration from Queens College and a bachelor’s degree with a major in industrial management from the University of Tennessee. He was chosen after a nearly year-long search.

“Dr. Ghannadian was recommended unanimously by the hard-working and exceptionally thorough COB Dean Search Committee, chaired by Dr. Cheri Etling,” said UT provost Dr. Janet McNew. “His international background, as well as his education, informs his scholarly work, which includes over forty peer-reviewed articles in business journals.”

The selection process included about 120 applicants, according to Etling who said Ghannadian was the best fit for the position.
“He understands the importance of both graduate and undergraduate education,” Etling said. “He also understands the faculty and the students, and wants to make an excellent environment and experience for both.”

Etling, chair and associate professor of finance, added that Ghannadian’s administrative experience will help with the University’s transition to a four-college model this fall.