Late this summer, a four-person group from the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU), went to China for four days as part of the evolving relationship between the Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business and Southern Medical University (SMU) in Guangzhou.
Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam, Associate Dean Christos Koulamas, Nancy Borkowski, director of Health Management Programs, and Weidong Xia, who teaches information systems courses, participated in the opening ceremony of the 2010 Healthcare MBA Program as part of the Dual Degree agreement between the FIU and SMU.
“Twenty students will begin their studies at SMU and travel to the United States in the fall of 2011 to complete the Healthcare MBA program at FIU,” according to Borkowski, who previously visited the university with Xia, the individual who brought the idea of the partnership to Elam and Koulamas. “In addition to the opening ceremony, we had the opportunity to personally welcome the students to the joint program.”
American officials in China lent enthusiastic support to the program.
Two members of the U.S. Consulate General from Guangzhou as well as the Minister of Health for the province joined in the ceremony and congratulated the students on being members of the first class enrolled in the MBA in Healthcare Management Dual Degree program.
“The American representatives from the consulate joined in the ceremony to express their delight that universities from China and the United States were joining together to help address the country’s educational need for professionally trained healthcare managers,” Borkowski said.
In addition to the opening ceremony, the group visited two health systems to discuss with senior healthcare executives their needs regarding the students’ graduate education to lead China’s future health delivery system.
When the agreement began to take shape, SMU thought it would appeal to their sixth-year medical students. However, following the publication of information about the Dual Degree program, others with diverse educational backgrounds also applied.