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Rotman School of Management in Toronto dropped to No. 51 in the latest Financial Times ranking of world MBA programs.
Rotman School of Management in Toronto dropped to No. 51 in the latest Financial Times ranking of world MBA programs.

BUSINESS SCHOOL NEWS

Canadian schools tumble from Financial Times’ upper echelon Add to ...

The Globe’s biweekly business-school news roundup.

For the first time, no Canadian business schools made it into the upper half of the Financial Times top-100 list of global MBA programs released this week. Moreover, just five Canadian schools made the British newspaper’s cut this year, down one from 2013.

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In order, the Canadian schools (with the 2014 ranking in brackets) are University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management (51); York University’s Schulich School of Business (66); Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia (72); McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management (84); and Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario (89).

The University of Alberta School of Business, in 100th place last year, did not make the list in 2014.

This year, all the Canadian schools moved down several notches from last year. So is this a black mark on their reputations? It all depends on what one values in earning the prestigious degree.

Harvard Business School ranked first globally for the second year in a row, aided by postgraduation salary factors that account for 40 per cent of the FT ranking. For example, the average pay of Harvard MBA alumni three years after graduation was $178,000 (U.S.), with a 113-per-cent salary gain after earning the degree.

By contrast, average salaries at Canadian schools on the list ranged from $88,881 at Sauder to $99,072 at Ivey.

Canadian B-school deans chafe at the strong salary weighting by FT compared with other rankings, such as BloombergBusinessweek, that only measure student and recruiter attitudes and the “intellectual capital” of schools.

The FT methodology “disadvantages a country like Canada where average salaries are a little lower than in the U.S. or anywhere else,” Rotman interim dean Peter Pauly says. His school recorded an average postgraduation salary of $90,304.

Also working against Canadian schools, he adds, is the preference of international MBA students to stay and work in Canada after graduation, as encouraged by federal immigration rules.

“Ninety-five per cent of our students want to stay in Canada, and even in the GTA [Greater Toronto Area], and there are not enough high-paying jobs in this economy,” Prof. Pauly says.

Still, complaints about ranking methodology are often unpersuasive except when made by whoever is in first place.

“You don’t want to make excuses,” Prof. Pauly says. “We can only make sure that students recognize the academic excellence we have in the program and that we market it out there.”

For example, academic research counts for 10 per cent of a school’s score in the FT ranking. By that measure, he notes, Rotman is ninth with the other four Canadian schools on the list among the top 50 in the world.

School named for Calgary builder

As a residential home builder in Calgary for more than 20 years, Trico Homes founder Wayne Chiu knows all about the bottom line. As a social entrepreneur, he sees value in using profits to support community-based investments.

Bridging the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds is one reason why he has pledged $3-million over five years for new programs at Bow Valley College in Calgary, with a focus on social enterprise initiatives at the renamed Chiu School of Business. His donation is the largest in the history of Bow Valley College.

“I hope the college can take this funding to explore education in social innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Mr. Chiu, who believes the for-profit and charitable sectors must forge links. “At the end of the day, these two camps have to come together to make sure the world is a better place in which to live.”

With university business programs moving to incorporate social entrepreneurship into their curriculum, Mr. Chiu says he hopes community colleges can do so as well.

At Bow Valley, the business school is developing several new programs with a social enterprise focus.

“We recognize that business schools have to go beyond the tried-and-true programming focus on accounting, finance, marketing and human resources,” business school dean David Allwright says. “As all business schools do, we are looking to develop a niche and an expertise.”

This fall, a revamped business administration diploma will include new courses in community-based entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and environmental management for the two-year program.

Startup coaching services offered to students

The co-founder of an e-mail services startup that grew to 110 employees before its sale in 2008 has been named the first entrepreneur-in-residence at Schulich in Toronto.

Chris Carder, co-founder of ThinData, has been tapped to coach and mentor a selected group of Schulich students with startup ventures. Now he is one of four co-founders of Kinetic Café, an innovation consulting firm working with Schulich to provide startup advice for its students.

“There is a growing number of MBA students who want to start their own business,” says Rob Hines, executive director of the Career Development Centre at Schulich. He says interested students will have “as much access as they want” to Mr. Carder.

Mr. Hines says he hopes that, in time, Schulich can develop an accelerator centre to nurture budding entrepreneurs.

Student winners

For the fourth year in a row, students from Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management turned in a top-three finish in the Net Impact Case Competition held at Rotman in Toronto. At this year’s competition, sponsored by Toronto-Dominion Bank and The Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at Rotman, MBA students from Rogers came in first and third. MBA students from York’s Schulich School of Business placed second.

Follow Jennifer Lewington and Business School News by subscribing to an RSS feed here.

Contact Jennifer at jlewington@bell.net.

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