The Globe's biweekly business-school news roundup.
At McGill University, a new generation of entrepreneurs is sprouting up across campus, supported by the business school.
Starting this month, students from five faculties (arts, science, engineering, music, and agriculture and environmental sciences) can pursue minors in entrepreneurship, with finance, accounting, marketing and other business fundamentals taught by professors from the Desautels Faculty of Management.
"It is really a program that is long overdue," says Simon Aldrich, an associate professor at McGill's Schulich School of Music and a solo clarinetist with Montreal's l'Orchestra Métropolitain. "Of all disciplines, musicians need to be the most entrepreneurial yet ironically they come out the least entrepreneurial. They sit and wait for the phone to ring."
McGill's move is part of a wider movement to teach entrepreneurship to non-business students. At the University of Rochester, the Eastman School of Music has proposed a new master of arts in music leadership being developed in collaboration with the university's Simon Business School. If approved, the new degree would be offered next summer and count as a concentration for those who go on to earn an MBA from Simon.
"We see that many students are, by design and by necessity, creating their own musical arts organizations from which they develop their careers," says James Doser, director of the Institute for Music Leadership at Eastman. "There are many ways for them to get arts administration degrees but not so many ways for them to focus exclusively on musical arts organizations and bring an entrepreneurial mindset."
At McGill, the non-management minors were developed for those who want to start or manage a new venture or bring a startup mentality to large organizations. The new offerings are part of a broader plan to expose students across campus to entrepreneurship.
"You might call it responding to market demand and customer service and sensitivity to customers," says Steve Maguire, director of the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management and a co-chair of a McGill innovation steering committee that recommended the new options. "There is great demand from students, and enrolments have been very encouraging for the ones just created."
Just from the music program, about 20 undergraduates have signed up for the minor, says Prof. Aldrich, which is seen as positive, as university approval came only last spring.
Non-management students will take two specially designed courses to learn the fundamentals of business before joining regular upper-level courses taught by Desautels faculty. Business undergraduates would collaborate with students from other disciplines to explore startup ideas and learn to work with those from different backgrounds.
"Diverse groups are more creative, and startups often require someone who is a technological expert, someone who understands how to procure financing and someone with a flair for marketing," says Dr. Maguire.
Industry leader tapped to lead business school
In her career, Alberta's Tracey Scarlett has made a name for herself as co-owner of an electrical contracting company, later as chief operating officer of a biotech startup and, for the past decade, as an advocate for female entrepreneurs. That she is not an academic was no obstacle to being recruited as dean of the JR Shaw School of Business at Edmonton's Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
She is the school's third dean since 2012, succeeding Russell Currie, who resigned after less than a year in the position, according to NAIT officials.
"I wasn't looking for this," says Ms. Scarlett, former executive director of Alberta Women Entrepreneurs. A member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, she earned her MBA from the University of Alberta's School of Business. "As my résumé would tell you I definitely have not had a career in academia."
Her "very eclectic" career – her description – is seen as an asset by NAIT as it looks to grow enrolment and deepen ties to industry.
"She is an entrepreneur," says Neil Fassina, provost and vice-president academic of NAIT and a former dean of the business school. "One of the strategic directions for the Shaw School of Business is to become a hub within Alberta and Western Canada for entrepreneurial and new-venture learning and opportunities."
Ms. Scarlett in well-known to NAIT: She graduated from its medical laboratory technology program in 1987 and was named a top-50 alumnus in 2012.
Last month, on her second day on the job as she and her colleagues moved into NAIT's new Centre for Applied Technology, Ms. Scarlett reflected on the task ahead.
"For the students, our future business leaders, we have to help them to a different way of thinking because the world is changing," she says. Given NAIT's focus on applied education, she says, "I thought I would be able to add some perspective that would be complementary to the academic training."
Over the next five years – the term of her contract – and in line with goals set by NAIT, Ms. Scarlett hopes to double the school's enrolment of 4,000 full- and part-time students. "We can create a really amazing education institution that creates the business leaders who are going to be able to take us through the next change, that is happening right now."
Interim director appointed to policy institute
The University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School has named assistant professor Mike Moffatt as interim director of its Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management following the retirement of Paul Boothe.
His appointment is "interim," but Prof. Moffatt has been asked "to review the centre's research priorities and develop its long-term strategic vision," according to a press release from Ivey.
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