Faculty Profile: Yanan Xu

Faculty Profile: Yanan Xu

Yanan Xu first came to City University of Seattle as an MBA student. After she graduated, she was a program manager with the task of prospecting business partners in China. Fifteen years later, she is a distinguished faculty member who is been key in expanding CityU’s presence and partnership in China.

City University of Seattle (CU):  What brought you to CityU 15 years ago?

Yanan Xu (YX): I came to CityU first as a student in the MBA program. After graduation, I worked as a program manager for a Seattle-based company to explore business partners in China. Later I joined CityU to run the China MBA program.

CU:  While you have been here, what organizations and/or universities have you worked with to expand education for students in the U.S. and China?

YX: During these years at CityU, I have developed several business partnerships in both the U.S. and China to expand educational programs for CityU.

  1. After we completed the agreement with CIBT, our first partner in China, I helped establish a partnership between CityU and the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) to transfer our MBA program from Beijing University of Technology to UIBE. I was able to secure the approval of our CityU MBA from the Chinese Ministry of Education in December 2010.
  2. To expand the student exchange program, I explored a 2+2 program with Shenzhen Polytechnic (SZPT) in 2009 and expanded the 3+1 program with SZPT in 2011. We launched the first 3+1 program in the fall of 2012. We now have over 150 students in the program as of today.
  3. In order to increase the positive image of CityU in China, I have developed a 1+1 MBA program with Wuhan University, a top-10 university in China.
  4. In the U.S., I successfully coordinated a corporate MBA program with Boeing. Boeing sponsored our China MBA program in 2003 for the aviation community and the National Development and Reform Commission in China. This Boeing-sponsored MBA program has generated 320 MBA students for CityU from 2003 through 2008.
  5. In 2013, I helped establish another corporate program: an AMECO-sponsored MBA program.

Here are the China milestones for your reference.

  • 1996       Launched the first joint venture MBA program with Beijing Polytechnic University and CIBT Business School.
  • 1998       Received accreditation from the Office of Academic Degrees Committee of State Council in China.
  • 2001       Launched corporate MBA program for the managers of Schneider Electric of China in Beijing and Shanghai; 40 students graduated from this program.
  • 2001      Received a positive evaluation for our joint MBA program from the Ministry of Education of China.
  • 2003      Launched the Boeing-sponsored MBA program for the Chinese aviation community and the National Development and Reform Commission.
  • 2004       Received a top 10 ranking as a most influential joint MBA program provider in China by the World Manager Weekly.                              
  • 2005      Established the CityU China Alumni Association in Beijing.
  • 2006       Hosted the CityU China Program 10-year anniversary in Beijing.
  • 2008       Established a new partnership to offer the joint MBA program with University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing.
  • 2009       Established partnerships to offer student exchange programs with Shenzhen Polytechnic.
  • 2010       Received approval for MBA program from the Ministry of Education of China to offer joint MBA with UIBE.   
  • 2012      Received the approval from Guangdong Education Bureau and Pricing Administration Bureau to offer 2+1+1 programs in Shenzhen.
  • 2013      CityU was selected as a provider of AMECO-sponsored MBA program.
  • 2014      CityU/UIBE MBA passed the overall evaluation by MOE.

From 1996 until now, CityU has offered MBA programs to 52 cohorts with CIBT and 7 cohorts with UIBE. We have alumni consisting of more than 2,000 students all over the China.

CU:  How have you leveraged your professional experience to serve CityU’s mission?

YX: CityU’s mission is to change lives for good by offering high quality and relevant lifelong education to anyone with a desire to learn. In our China MBA program, I have fully used my 25-years’ knowledge and professional experience in education to explore partnerships in China and have successfully developed both joint venture MBA programs and exchange programs for Chinese students.

In our joint-venture MBA program, our delivery model allows Chinese professionals from all industries to learn up-to-date management knowledge and skills and achieve higher level management positions. Our China MBA program has helped change the lives of many MBA students in China. Through our student exchange programs, our students can receive U.S. education in China from American professors at a reasonable tuition and then move to Seattle to accomplish their bachelor or master’s degree in the U.S.  The student exchange programs have created opportunities and opened doors for our program students who desire to learn, which helps them achieve their life goals.

CU:  What is one of your favorite CityU memories?

YX: One of my favorite CityU memories was launching our first Boeing-sponsored MBA program in China. This program helped to train 320 professionals from the Chinese aviation community. As of today, many graduates have been promoted to important leadership positions and they have been contributing tremendously to the development of the Chinese aviation industry.

CU:  What is something you often tell a prospective CityU student?

YX: When I give a speech at an opening ceremony or a new student orientation for our perspective students, I like to share with them my experience at CityU. Exploring partnerships and programs for CityU in China is very challenging due to the competitive market. No matter what difficulties I have encountered, I’ve always persisted in my beliefs. So I often tell our students to keep faith, be persistent and achieve your goals.

CU:  What do you think differentiates CityU abroad?

YX: I like CityU’s vision of providing education access worldwide. This strong vision has motivated CityU to innovate educational programs in over 11 countries and make our programs accessible to all students.  Concerning the China market, for example, many foreign universities try to recruit students directly from China to study at their headquarter campuses. Besides recruiting students from China, CityU also recognizes the niche market for those working professionals who cannot leave their jobs but who strongly desire to improve themselves. The on-site programs we developed and have run for so many years allows our Chinese students to receive an equivalent U.S. education without losing their jobs. Through our MBA program, CityU has helped to shape some 2,000 business professionals and leaders in China and contributed greatly to the growth and development of China.

CU:  What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time here?

YX: My proudest accomplishment is seeing our Chinese graduates grow with our MBA program and contribute to the growth and development of China.