PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University International Business
Institute has launched the first cooperative MBA program involving an
American and a Vietnamese university.
“We are thrilled to be partners with National Economics University in Hanoi
and look forward to the opportunities this global program will bring to all of
our students,” says IBI Director Jim McCullough.
Thirty-eight scholars — mostly business executives — have already begun
taking rigorous MBA foundation courses at NEU. They will study aspects of
accounting, finance, management, marketing, law and statistics until
September, says McCullough. All of the lessons follow the WSU curriculum.
“In December, we’ll send the first WSU professor to teach a two-week program
at NEU alongside a Vietnamese professor,” he says. WSU professors will
teach five classes in Hanoi with the assistance of Vietnamese colleagues.
“After taking graduate school aptitude exams and tests for competency in
English, about 20 of the original cohort will be selected to come to WSU in the
summer and fall of 2001. They will attend classes in English here to complete
the second half of their MBA studies.” Those successfully completing the
program will earn a WSU MBA.
The joint venture brings closure to nearly a decade of groundwork by WSU,
says McCullough. “It began with us contemplating where our programs would
have a good fit in Asia.”
In 1992, McCullough and WSU marketing and international business professor
Patriya Tansuhaj went to Vietnam to assess academic opportunities. In 1993
and 1995, they conducted small business training there and in 1995 the IBI
sponsored a Vietnamese professor who came to WSU for an MBA.
Subsequent activities led to a cooperative agreement and memorandum of
understanding between NEU and the WSU College of Business & Economics,
academic home of the IBI.
“Since then, we have worked to finalize the joint MBA degree between NEU
and WSU,” says McCullough. “According to Vietnamese protocol, several
government officials had to bless the proposal. When we received word this
spring that the Vietnamese Prime Minister had himself given his approval, we
The joint program is self-sustaining, McCullough adds.
The IBI is known for its entrepreneurial outreach on educational matters. It has
hosted several Certificate in Business programs for visiting executives and
other professionals from Korea, Vietnam, Russia, Romania, Mali and Central
Many educators from around the world spend weeks in WSU classes
facilitated by the institute.
Other IBI joint ventures for graduate education are in the works with
universities in Thailand and China, McCullough says.
For more information about the WSU IBI and its programs, check online at