by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Ulster University Business School (UUBS) has announced the appointment of four new Visiting Professors. Tina Mc Kenzie, CEO, Staffline Recruitment Ireland and Chair of Northern Ireland Federation of Small Businesses; Jennifer McKeever, CEO, Airporter; John Stapleton, International Entrepreneur and Investor, and Stephen Kelly, CEO, Manufacturing NI, have taken on the voluntary roles for a four-year period.


Professor Mark Durkin, Executive Dean of Ulster University Business School explains,

“Industry engagement is at the heart of what we do at the Business School and our Visiting Professor network allows us to bring the latest research, teaching and industrial experience to UUBS whilst further enhancing the student learning experience across our campuses in Belfast and the North West. We are delighted to welcome Tina, Jennifer, John and Stephen to UUBS as Visiting Professors, at a time when university-business collaboration will play a fundamental part in driving innovation, entrepreneurial effort and economic recovery.

“Highly experienced and knowledgeable leaders in their respective fields, I am confident our newly appointed Visiting Professors will contribute to our teaching, research and external engagement activity. They will add value in various ways, to classroom theory and curriculum design, particularly within the areas of Talent Management, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Enterprise, Leadership, Supply Chain Management, International Business and Tourism. Having that critical business insight will underpin the work we are doing to support skills, entrepreneurship and SME growth and development in the region.”

Tina Mc Kenzie, a multi-award winning Managing Director with 25 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, has a wealth of knowledge and experience within Northern Ireland, GB and international markets. Commenting on her appointment, Tina said,
“As an alumna of Ulster University, I am deeply honoured to receive such an accolade and I look forward to working with Professor Durkin and other colleagues in the Business School over the coming years. The business community will play a pivotal role in the economic recovery of Northern Ireland post-pandemic and I hope to use my experience to assist and inspire the next generation of business leaders while contributing to the future of educational policy on behalf of the University.”

Speaking about his new role at UUBS, Stephen Kelly, CEO, Manufacturing NI, said: 

“It is a great privilege to be a Visiting Professor with UUBS. The relationship between business and academia has never been more important as we rebuild our economy and reach our economic ambitions. I hope to be able to provide a greater understanding about the needs of business both from a research and a teaching perspective, to make connections and ensure that the best thinking from UUBS is shared with our exporters and employers, and the needs of these firms helps to direct teaching.”

Jennifer McKeever sees the opportunity as a chance to support the workforce of the future,

“The next decade will be transformative, and it’s imperative that both our indigenous and FDI business leaders have the skills and knowledge to survive – and thrive – in a global marketplace. UUBS connects our future workforce, our emerging innovators, and our ambitious business community to create an ecosystem that promotes entrepreneurship and sustainable economic wellbeing, and I am proud to be a part of the team.”

“I’m delighted to be associated in this way with Ulster University Business School. It’s a pleasure to act as a champion of the School and raise its profile in any way I can,” says John Stapleton, an International Entrepreneur and Investor with over 30 years’ experience in the FMCG sector. “I’m looking forward to bringing industry even closer to the School, to supporting students’ understanding of the Food & Beverage industry at large and supporting the faculty to drive even more relevance in the courses the School offers.”

UUBS has a cohort of approximately thirty Visiting Professors representing a wide range of competencies and industry expertise. Appointment is based on personal business achievement and the active contribution which the individual can make in helping the Business School to provide the optimum educational experience for its students.

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