New executive director seeks program growth

The new leader of the Executive MBA program at the Neeley School of Business said she plans to diversify, expand and improve the program’s reputation.

Nancy Nix, former director of the Supply and Value Chain Center, officially began her role as executive director of the EMBA program June 1, she said.

Nix said the EMBA program is a weekend program for executives to obtain an MBA. The classes, which meet every other weekend over a 16 month period, are designed for experienced executives who are currently working full-time, she said.

“We really want to be the top of mind EMBA program of choice for the executives in the region,” Nix said.

O. Homer Erekson, John V. Roach dean of the Neeley School of Business, said the program needs to deepen its relationship with companies and go to them to identify the current and future leaders to enter the EMBA program.

Nix said the target audience for the program is individuals who have worked their way up in a particular industry and would benefit from having more leadership skills

“The EMBA is already a very strong program, so we are starting with a good, strong base,” Erekson said. “We need to take what we’re already doing and build upon that.”

Nix said the program prides itself on having small classes, but she would like to see the program grow.

According to Brenda Daraiseh, the associate director of the EMBA program, there are 44 students currently enrolled in the EMBA program. The most recent graduating class included 32 students, Daraiseh said.

Erekson said the role of executive director of the EMBA program called for a passionate individual who could provide leadership and vision for the program.

“She has a depth of experience,” Erekson said. “She is both an outstanding teacher and scholar.”

Nix said focus will be on recruiting candidates of different experience levels, genders, and ethnicities.

“We really need to build a program that is attractive to a diverse set of candidates,” Nix said.

With her new position, Nix will continue to teach and remain a member of the supply chain faculty, she said.

“It seemed a really good opportunity to expand my role,” Nix said. “I’m working across all the departments, with all of the faculty and reaching out to businesses in a very different way.”

Nix said she came to the university in 2001 with a colleague from the University of Tennessee to create the Supply and Value Chain Center.

Erekson said the executive director position has been vacant for one year. During that time, Daraiseh held the interim position, he said.