Skip to content

Global Access Partnership Visits Iceland

Global Access Partners in Iceland

Posted July 9, 2018

The UT Sykes College of Business Global Access Partnership (GAP) is an educational travel program designed to provide a platform for University community partners to experience the nuances of global markets and cultures firsthand so that they can confidently navigate the global business landscape. The June 2018 program visited Reykjavík, Iceland. The distinguished group included members of the Board of Trustees, Deans Advisory Council and University leadership including President Vaughn. The group of 23 executives experienced the culture and business environment within the land of fire and ice.

Highlights of the trip included a visit to the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant, presentations on renewable energy and climate change by Dean Daði Már Kristófersson and Professor Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir at the University of Iceland, and a tour of the Golden Circle where the group experienced the black lava landscapes, waterfalls and natural hot springs of Iceland. The GAP delegation also visited a sustainable community and Ocean Cluster House, a company offering networking, incubation and consulting to entrepreneurs of the Icelandic marine industry.

For more, visit UT's GAP program website.

At 10-Year Milestone, Dean Ghannadian Has Witnessed Massive UT Growth 

Posted May 8, 2017

Following my recent executive profile feature in the Tampa Bay Business Journal, I reflect on how the Sykes College of Business has grown along with the University of Tampa. More outstanding students, along with outstanding faculty and new learning and teaching facilities make us a prime university.

UT's Full-Time MBA Program Ranked in Bloomberg Businessweek's Best Graduate Business Schools of 2016 

Posted Nov. 18, 2016 

I am so proud that in my 10th year as dean of the Sykes College of Business, the college is ranked for the first time in the list of Best Graduate Business Schools of 2016 by Bloomberg Businessweek. The full-time MBA program is ranked 78th, ahead of many major business schools in the country.

Ten years ago, our only ranking was in the Princeton Review’s Best 294 Business Schools. Since then, the Sykes College of Business’ enrollment has more than doubled and the number of faculty members is continuously growing. We are finally receiving the recognition we deserve and have worked hard to achieve each and every day.

Our business school has become a force to be reckoned with, and we are all honored to be a part of it.

Cuba Expedition

Posted March 29, 2016

It was a momentous time last week when the President of the United States visited Cuba for the first time in over 80 years. Approximately a week prior, The University of Tampa’s GAP (Global Access Partnership) program visited Havana with over 30 individuals including prominent business leaders of the Tampa Bay region, members of UT’s Board of Trustees and UT faculty. Havana is less than an hour away from Tampa by flight (closer in miles than Atlanta, GA). During this trip, our group visited the University of Havana, met with an economist, met new entrepreneurs of art, visited and talked to farmers growing tobacco, and met the U.S Ambassador, Charge D’affaires. This year’s GAP trip was an educating experience for those who had never visited Cuba to see firsthand the potential of this large island nation.

For 50 years, U.S. sanctions have kept Cuba struggling to make ends meet. With the dawn of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the support of the Russians quickly came to an end, and Cuba had to stand on its own two feet. The gradual opening of small businesses, such as restaurants and other types of homespun activities, became necessary for survival. Education is another key priority for the country’s 11 million inhabitants and is one of the reasons why The University of Tampa and the participants of this mission were interested in visiting. The most important lesson learned from the trip was how people from the United States and Cuba could be friends even though the countries have their differences of opinion on politics and on many social issues.

The Global Access Partnership Program is the Sykes College of Business’ international program that promotes the connection between The University of Tampa and the businesses of Tampa Bay, and to the world economy by embarking on a different location each year!

A Look Into Sykes College of Business' New Initiatives

Posted Sept. 3, 2015

New Programs:

We are delighted to have many curricular changes in the past year and new programs forthcoming. The new cybersecurity major in the College of Business undergraduate program, the new business analytics concentration in the graduate program and the approval of the Master of Science in Global Business, which will be launched in 2016, are just a few of the new exciting programs to come.


The John Lowth Entrepreneurship Center and the cybersecurity laboratory located in the new Innovation and Collaboration Building are great additions to the Sykes College of Business and will help the college meet its mission of serving the community and students well into the 21st century.

Upgrades in the College:

There are 12 new Bloomberg stations being deployed for student use in the trading room and the library. Two additional digital directories have been added to the building, and many upgrades are coming to the College.

Another Successful International Visit for Sykes

Posted April 3, 2013

In March 2013, the Sykes College of Business took a group of 28 individuals to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Through the Global Access Partnership Program (GAP), the college has become the connector of businesses overseas with the Tampa Bay region.

President Ronald Vaughn along with four University of Tampa trustees, a number of the college’s advisory council members and several alumni and friends of the University participated in the trip. Among visits to businesses and other organizations, the group stopped at Dubai’s International Financial Centre, the Dubai Small and Medium Enterprises, Dubai Silicon Oasis Incubator and the Khalifa Fund.

In addition, The University of Tampa signed a memorandum of friendship with Abu Dhabi University and visited Zeyed University in Dubai. At the present time Frank Ghannadian, dean of the Sykes College of Business, and several of his colleagues are discussing possible joint master’s degree programs with Jacob Chacko, dean of the College of Business at Abu Dhabi University. There is a lot of potential on both sides to cooperate on efforts such as these, which will benefit both students in Tampa and the UAE.

One of the present trustees of the University, John West said, “It takes a lot of planning and execution to put together something of this magnitude.”

We are truly proud of all our international activities at the college and know we will advance in our reputations in status in the years to come.

New International Initiative

Posted Jan. 22, 2013

Last March the Sykes College of Business embarked on a new initiative to connect the business sectors of the Tampa Bay region with our network around the world. We call this new initiative the Global Access Partnership (GAP), which provides business executives access to contacts, culture and education abroad.

With our global network, it would be a missed opportunity to allow only our students to experience a trip abroad. Our aim is to include our University friends and businesses in the region in these experiences, rather than just cheering us on from the sidelines. With UT’s college and faculty connections to businesses in China, India, Europe, South America and the Caribbean, we can bring more of our friends and supporters into the picture as a way of giving back to the community for all their support.

Our inaugural trip to Beijing and Hong Kong in March 2012 included businesses, high-tech industrial firms, and the Hong Kong port and terminals. On this trip we took several members of the College of Business Advisory Council and other supporters of the College of Business. These individuals, who were executives and business specialists, got to experience the nuances of global markets and cultures firsthand and interact with our top faculty. The trip also included sightseeing activities, such as visits to the Great Wall and Forbidden City.

Our March 2013 trip will open the doors to the Middle East, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. These two cities have become the hub of trade and commerce in that region of the world. Participants will visit businesses that regularly work with companies in the Tampa Bay area.

Through this effort to educate and assist local businesses to move into the international arena, we are making the U.S. more competitive globally and making our college brand more recognizable than ever. In addition, this initiative supports our strategic mission of placing more of our students in the global arena and in leadership positions outside the U.S.

For more information about the GAP, please call (813) 258-7230.