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Mark Selman, director for the new executive MBA in aboriginal business and leadership at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. (SFU)
Mark Selman, director for the new executive MBA in aboriginal business and leadership at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. (SFU)

Beedie to offer an aboriginal executive MBA Add to ...

The Globe's weekly Business School news roundup.

In a 40-year history of executive MBA education at Simon Fraser University, only 10 aboriginal students came to the program. The abysmal record is typical of the under-representation of First Nations, Metis and Inuit students in higher education in Canada.

Seeking to improve its standing, the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University this week announced a new executive MBA in aboriginal business and leadership for September, 2012.

“People see increasingly that the economic success of the region and the country are somewhat dependent on the success of aboriginal as well as non-aboriginal people,” says Mark Selman, director for the new program, who consulted with aboriginal leaders for several years on its development.

Priced at $48,000, the three-year program aims to meet a growing need for senior-level management education for aboriginal managers and entrepreneurs as First Nations communities take greater control of their land and resources and establish new businesses. The program is also open to managers of non-aboriginal businesses increasingly keen to learn how to interact effectively with First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.

Through in-classroom and online studies, students will learn core management concepts and principles and examine issues from a First Nations perspective.

About 70 people have expressed interest in the program, but the first class will be limited to 30 students, most from the Vancouver area, says Prof. Selman.

Students accepted into the program typically will have an undergraduate degree in a non-business discipline and seven to 10 years of work experience, but there could be exceptions for candidates with significant work experience and no undergraduate degree.

Prof. Selman hopes to attract corporate donors to fund scholarships for the program.

Schulich gets top billing in EMBA ranking

For the second time this month, York University’s Schulich School of Business has won top billing among Canadian schools in an international ranking of business programs.

In this week’s review of executive MBAs by the Financial Times of London, a program offered by Schulich and Chicago-based Kellogg School of Management led schools in Canada for the fifth year in a row. Internationally, the program tied for eleventh, up from number 23 in 2010.

Earlier this month, in a survey by The Economist magazine, Schulich was the only Canadian business school to crack the top 10 MBA programs in the world.

In the Financial Times ranking, four other Canadian schools made the top 100: the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management (28), the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business, (36); Queen’s University School of Business (44) for its program with Cornell University; and a program delivered by the University of Alberta School of Business and the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business (73).

The shocker was the sharp drop for the Alberta schools, whose program tumbled 25 spots from 48th place in 2010.

“The joint degree with the U of A has always done well and we don’t know what happened,” said Haskayne dean Leonard Waverman, whose school fared well in other rankings this fall.

He speculates that last year’s downturn in the job market may have depressed the results, which include measurements of salary growth after an executive MBA. He plans to review the data just received from the London-based business paper.

Seeking accountant PhDs

As accounting professors at Canadian business schools near retirement and student demand rises for their courses, alarm bells are going off in academic and industry circles over a shortage of PhD-trained instructors.

At its annual meeting in Calgary this week, the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans set up a task force (with accounting industry representatives) on recruitment of a new generation of scholars.

“We want to study how to facilitate the process of getting more PhDs in a way that is attractive to students [who want to teach]and is not a burden on a few universities,” said federation chairman Bahram Dadgostar, dean of Lakehead University’s school of business.

Some explanations for the shortage include higher salaries in industry than academe, accreditation rules, and the time it takes to earn doctoral credentials after acquiring the necessary professional designations to meet industry standards.

“The thought of going on for another 4-6 years for a PhD program is daunting,” says Jylan Khalil, director of CA qualifications for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, who attended the meeting.

Also present was Lynda Carson, vice-president of education for the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, who said her organization is “delighted” to work with the deans. This year, her organization awarded scholarships of $30,000 each to two doctoral candidates.

Daphne Taras, dean of the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, issued a “manifesto” to her fellow deans to underline the urgency to find solutions.

“If we address the situation today, it will [still]take 5-6 years before we see an appreciable difference,” she warned.


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