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The Globe's weekly Business School news roundup

Last September, in a freshman week sport event that stirred instant outrage, some students at HEC Montréal painted their faces black pretending to be Jamaican Olympic runner Usain Bolt. The multicultural business school affiliated with l'Université de Montréal issued an immediate apology, vowing to turn the ugly incident into a teaching moment.

Last week, the school made good on its promise, announcing a series of awareness-building measures around intercultural issues. HEC Montréal is working with Haiti-born Vivian Barbot, a teacher, women's advocate and expert on intercultural education. The former federal Member of Parliament is currently interim president of the Bloc Québécois.

This month, she organized training for the students who took part in the 'blackface' incident. HEC's student associations will be required to take the training.

In a statement, HEC secretary general Jacques Nantel said his school also will introduce an awareness-building campaign for the entire campus in the next several months. Referring to the September incident, he said "HEC Montréal views these matters seriously and I am confident that the measures we are taking will bear fruit."

Sauder signs agreements with Indian school

India, a fast-rising global market, is becoming a hot destination for Canadian business schools.

During a British Columbia trade mission to South Asia this week, the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business signed agreements with the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, to promote a two-way flow of students and faculty and collaborative research. The move follows an announcement last week that the university will open its first two offices in India – one in Bangalore spearheaded by the business school and another in New Delhi.

"What we are doing is opening representative offices in a country that is going to define the next 50 years," says Sauder dean Daniel Muzyka, reached by phone in Bangalore. He adds: "What we are seeing in India in terms of scale and speed [of development]is something that has never been achieved in human history."

On the same trade mission, Simon Fraser University also signed agreements, including with the Indian Institute of Management Indore and the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar for exchanges and research projects.

Other universities are raising their profile in India, a trend Dean Muzyka says should strengthen Canada's international education brand.

The most ambitious move comes from York University's Schulich School of Business, building a satellite campus in Hyderabad set to open in 2013.

Last year, the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business and Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, recognized as a top-100 management school, agreed to work on research and expand training of PhD students. Ivey also opened an office in Mumbai last February.

UBC's New Delhi office will operate in partnership with the University of Toronto, enabling them to collaborate on projects with Indian organizations in the capital city. At home, U of T recently set up its India Innovation Institute, a multi-faculty research centre.

A key focus will be "what can we learn from innovation in India that we can embed into our practices," says inaugural director Dilip Soman, a professor of marketing at the university's Rotman school of business. In contrast to the West, he says India tends to market new products without a lot of bells and whistles, making them affordable to the middle class. It's a strategy that holds lessons for Canada, he says.

Kalyan Sundaran, executive director of the Canada-India Foundation, welcomes the growth of academic partnerships as the two countries negotiate a possible free-trade deal by 2013.

"Now the business school component is taking off, we will have the expertise in business management to take the [economic]potential that exists and turn it into reality," he predicts.

Accounting scholars named

With a greying of the professoriate, business schools and accounting firms are concerned about stoking the supply of industry-accredited, doctoral students who could eventually become teachers for the next generation.

As one response, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada offers up to three awards a year for students to fund their academic research projects.

This week, the association announced that two winners will receive up to $10,000 a year for a maximum of three years for their PhD studies in accounting and auditing-related fields.

Muriel Dufour, a member of l'Ordre des CGA du Québec, is pursuing a PhD at Quebec City's École nationale d'administration publique. She is researching the transfer of financial resources between organizations in the face of natural disasters.

Esther Maier, a member of CGA Ontario, is studying for a PhD in general management at the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ont. A former finance executive in the film and television industry, she is exploring how accountants and non-accountants use budgets and other financial practices to co-ordinate day-to-day activities in a sector characterized by multidisciplinary teams.

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