Society Magazine - page 36

Dr IvanNinov, newly-appointed ExecutiveDean of
StendenUniversityQatar, speaks about his role and
the future of higher education
Could you shed some light on
your background and academic
I recently joinedStendenUniversity
Qatar fromtheEmiratesAcademyof
HospitalityManagement inDubai, where
Iwas anAssistantDean. I spent almost ten
years at theAcademy, andwitnessed the
transformationof theuniversity frombeing
a regional provider of hospitalitymanage-
ment education tobecomingoneof the
premier hotel schools in theworld. Prior to
joining theEmiratesAcademy, I taught at
TexasTechUniversity, where I completed
myPhDdegree inHospitalityAdminis-
tration. I alsohave twoMScdegrees in
Restaurant andHotelManagement and in
TourismManagement, andaBScdegree in
TourismManagement. Inaddition I have
heldvariousmanagerial roles in thehospi-
tality industryandhave livedandworked
on threedifferent continents.
What made you originally
decide to pursue a career in
education sector?
Honestly speaking, I had never im-
agined that one day I would be pursuing
a career in higher education. Everything
startedwhen I went to the US to get my
secondMSc degree in Restaurant and
Hotel Management. Duringmy studies,
I was lucky enough to be able to study
and teach at the same time. This is when
I realised that I really have a passion for
teaching andworkingwith students. After
receivingmy degree I went towork for a
big hospitality company but did not enjoy
it asmuch as I enjoyed the university
environment. That is why I decided to
go back to university, get my PhD, and
become a university professor. And I
have never regretted this choice — being
a professor is an extremely rewarding job
and I amvery happy that I have chosen
this career path.
What was your path to the
position of Executive Dean of
Stenden University Qatar?
I do believe that we all have a path
whichwe are supposed to follow, and
we rarely knowwhat this path is until we
experience it and have an “aha” moment.
Becoming an Executive Deanwas a
long and systematic process, including
many different steps. I started off as a
teaching assistant andwasmostly in
charge of delivering tutorial sessions,
administering assessments, invigilating
exams, and supporting professors with
their teaching and research assignments.
Later on I was promoted to an instructor
and started teachingmy own courses.
This was a very important step inmy
university career as this is the timewhen
you realise that you are by yourself in the
Dr Ivan Ninov
Executive Dean
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