EMBA Faculty Feature: Michael Sullivan, Ph.D., Professor - EMBA 710 Business Finance and EMBA 720 International Seminar
Michael J. Sullivan, Ph.D. is not simply a great teacher, he’s a great faculty member, a virtuoso in both the classroom and academic research.
It can never be said that this gregarious professor of finance doesn’t give his all. A UNLV Lee Business School faculty member since 1991 and current UNLV Graduate Program Advisor, Sullivan has taught 16 EMBA cohorts. He participates in prospective EMBA student interviews; he teaches one of the Business Finance courses; and he accompanies the cohorts on their international seminars. On one memorable occasion, he danced the Tango in Argentina, but in Berlin, he left the ballroom dancing instead to Nikkole Liesse, EMBA director and program alumni, who is a competitive ballroom dancer.
“The Executive MBA international experience is more than just an overseas trip,” said Sullivan. “It’s an opportunity for cohort members to be immersed not only in the business world of an unfamiliar place, but the culture as well. That’s exactly the reason we select the locations we do – to create a transformative experience for our EMBA students.”
Sullivan has witnessed the growth of UNLV’s Executive MBA program from its early days sharing classrooms in the elementary school across the street from campus - to today’s ranking as one of the best EMBAs by CEO Magazine.
“I can’t say enough about Nikki Liesse’s leadership of the program,” said Sullivan. “Under her guidance, the program has gained an international reputation and the diversity of professions and experience within cohorts has enriched the educational experience for EMBA students,” he said.
Bringing to the classroom the same level of energy it takes to master the Argentine Tango, Sullivan’s goal isn’t to convert EMBA students into finance experts, but to make finance practical and to spark lively and informative conversations as a conduit to sharing knowledge. “I am very lucky to be able to work with EMBA students,” he said. “It allows me the opportunity to gain the perspectives and insights of talented professionals.”
Sullivan’s passion for teaching and research has garnered him high marks for excellence. He is the recipient of the UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award and the College of Business Master Teacher. Sullivan is also a twice recipient of Fulbright Scholar appointments, first traveling to the Philippines in 1998 to teach finance and research the Filipino stock exchange and the effects of government deregulation on the banking market. While there, meeting his future wife was an added bonus. In 2004, Sullivan returned to the Philippines once again as a Fulbright Scholar to continue his investigations into Filipino finances at the De La Salle University of Manila.
Sullivan’s enthusiasm stems from his research and interests in the fields of international corporate governance and international finance. His research has been published in such prestigious publications as the Journal of Banking and Finance, Financial Management, Financial Review, Journal of Empirical Finance, Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Journal of Business Research, and Journal of Accounting, Auditing, and Finance.
In addition to teaching in the UNLV EMBA program, Sullivan teaches in the MBA and undergraduate programs. He has also taught classes at Auburn University; University of Hawaii; La Salle University – Philippines; Thammasat University – Thailand; Rangsit University - Thailand, and the University of London.
Sullivan received his Ph.D. in Finance from Florida State University; MBA from the University of Florida and B.S. in Accounting from St. John Fisher College.