Skip to main content

College of Business Revamps

Executive Leadership Program


Feb. 5, 2020— Northern Kentucky University’s Haile/US Bank College of Business revamps its graduate level change leadership program to emphasize innovation as a tool to enhance professional leadership skills.

The Master of Business Leadership and Innovation (MBLI) is unlike traditional graduate business programs that focus on generalized skills, the new program dives into understanding the human side of businesses- which isn’t normally emphasized.

“Businesses are looking for employees who have these soft skills, in addition to the general knowledge base. They can teach broad skills like reading a budget, but not everyone can motivate colleagues during change,” Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, dean of the Haile/US Bank College of Business. “That’s what sets our program apart- the curriculum focuses on transforming levels of leadership. We help businesses meet their needs by developing professionals who can become sustainable leaders.”

The program begins with individual leadership assessments to discover each students’ leadership identity. Professionals use the assessments to develop soft skills and understand their role in managing the ever-changing dynamics within organizations. Along with the core competencies courses, MBLI also develops multicultural understanding on a global scale. 

“In reviewing the current business environment, there’s a growing need for professionals who have an international perspective. To cultivate this, each MBLI cohort will take a trip abroad to learn business challenges and pressures from a variety of organizations and educational institutions. The study abroad experience is built into the program cost and curriculum,” said Dr. Sandra Spataro, program director of MBLI.

The Haile/US Bank College of Business developed the MBLI from its successful Master of Executive Leadership and Organizational Change (ELOC) graduate program. MBLI’s hybrid curriculum consists of a two-year cohort in sessions that last up to 16 weeks— both face-to-face and online.

“It’s about being responsive to business demands while staying true to what we know provides a transformational learning experience. These adjustments continue and complement the ELOC program’s strengths with a more adult-learning oriented framework,” said Spataro.

The MBLI joins the College of Business’ nationally acclaimed graduate programs with its first cohort this fall. All business programs at NKU are accredited by AACSB-International, a distinction earned by fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide. 

Applications are currently being accepted for the inaugural MBLI class, with a priority deadline of April 1. For more information, visit here.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 15,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit