FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The U.S. Department of State has awarded the Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas, a $100,000 grant to partner with the Central University (Université du Centre) of Tunisia at Sousse.

The purpose of the grant is to develop executive education programs in business management, strategic retailing and supply-chain/logistics. In addition, the grant will support the creation of a unique core business curriculum for undergraduates that integrates all aspects of business education.

"Business is becoming increasingly globalized. The major focus of our partnership with the Central University will be to develop future leaders in business management and strategic retailing," said Joseph Ziegler, chair of the Walton College department of economics and director of its International Programs. "The partnership will also include a faculty exchange in order for Tunisian academics to implement a path-breaking undergraduate integrated business core curriculum program as a pilot project in the Central University."

This fall the Walton College launched an "enterprise approach" to business education for its undergraduate students that integrates the disciplines. By connecting accounting, economics, finance, information systems, management, and marketing and logistics, students see the big picture instead of silos. To develop the courses over the past year, Walton College faculty created new interdisciplinary courses in business foundations, data analysis and interpretation, principles of microeconomics, principles of macroeconomics, markets and consumers, acquiring and managing human resources, production and delivery of goods and services, acquiring and managing financial resources, and business strategy and planning.

The agreement between the Walton College and the Central University will establish a framework for collaboration in the areas of faculty/student exchanges and program development. Walton College faculty and students will also benefit from this international exchange of expertise.

"Central University is one of Tunisia’s flagship universities. The programs developed through the grant will have a wide impact across the nation," added Ziegler. "Because of the growing globalization of the overall business environment, especially in the fields of strategic retailing, future leaders in Tunisia need to understand new tactics and practices when managing dynamic organizations. This 'enterprise approach’ to undergraduate education programs and the implementation of innovative executive education programs will help provide the foundation for such necessary change in Tunisian organizations. We will continue to modify these programs to meet the needs of Tunisian business managers."

The Central University of Tunisia is located in the city of Sousse, a Mediterranean seaport of 125,000 people approximately 100 miles south of the city of Tunis. The Central University employs 2,535 faculty members who serve approximately 51,000 students and is made up of nine faculties at Sousse and the nearby cities of Monastir, Mahdia, and Kairouan. The Walton College will work closely with the faculty in the Economic Sciences and Management at Mahdia and the Institute of Advanced Business Studies at Sousse.

In the spring of 2002, UA Provost Bob Smith led a University of Arkansas delegation to Tunisia to sign agreements in cooperation with four Tunisian universities and one institute. In October 2003, the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, the Fulbright Institute of International Relations, and the Department of Political Science at the U of A won a $190,516 grant from the U.S. Department of State to develop graduate programs in public administration and public policy for the University of Tunis (Université de Tunis I).


Joseph Ziegler, chair of department of economics and director of International Programs, Sam M. Walton College of Business, (479) 575-3266,

Dixie Kline, director of communications, Sam M. Walton College of Business, (479) 575-2539,



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