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Veteran journalist Jennifer Lewington offers a weekly roundup of business education news.

After a two-year international search, the Desautels Faculty Of Management at McGill University had only to look at home to find its first director for the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management.

The appointment this month of Steve Maguire, an associate professor of strategy and organization, signals the faculty's growing focus on interdisciplinary business studies and expanded collaborations with other researchers at McGill and the business community.

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The mandate of the IIM, formed in 2008, is to have faculty, students and industry take a more holistic approach to management by combining disciplines such as marketing, accounting, finance, information systems, operations management, organizational behaviour and strategy.

"The challenge is to equip students with the skills they need to solve real-world problems," says Dr. Maguire. "And real-world problems, except at entry-level positions, don't come well-structured into neat disciplinary boundaries."

As director, Dr. Maguire hopes to break down barriers between disciplines to encourage interdisciplinary management research and curriculum development, echoing changes already in place for the master of business administration and executive MBA programs.

A winner of several prestigious teaching and research awards, Dr. Maguire practices what he preaches about cross-disciplinary approaches to solving business problems.

A chemical engineer from Queen's University with an MBA from the University of British Columbia and a PhD from École des Hautes Études Commerciales, Dr. Maguire joined McGill's faculty of management in 1998 and soon after was named an associate member of the university's school of environment.

He is part of a team of professors that teaches core elements of the MBA program. For one of his research interests, toxic substances, he collaborates with professors from chemistry, environmental engineering and management to help companies retool using cleaner technology.

"The most pressing problems with which business wrestle have to do with social unrest and social responsibility and addressing the serious environmental challenges that face the planet," says Dr. Maguire.

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Sauder-Copenhagen partners pool money for teaching and research

As Canadian business schools seek to become more global in reach, they are establishing a variety of formal partnerships with their counterparts around the world.

One recent example is a new $400,000 venture fund announced by the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia and Denmark's Copenhagen Business School, which have a 16-year history in faculty and student exchanges with each other.

The fund, with equal contributions from both institutions, is meant to encourage collaboration on new approaches to teaching and learning and on research projects of mutual interest.

"What we are really looking for here is to tap both our communities' entrepreneurial instincts and say 'Let's look at the things we can do,' " says Sauder dean Daniel Muzyka. "In terms of learning programs, we have to come up with new initiatives that provide value to students and we also want to develop research programs that have a significant impact."

Why Denmark? In addition to the long-standing relationship between the two institutions, Dr. Muzyka says Canada and the Nordic countries are "compatible" in their socio-economic outlooks and share common challenges in competing globally.

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Sprott school offers course for budding entrepreneurs

Carleton University's Sprott School of Business is the latest institution to offer entrepreneurship studies, tapping into the ambitions of members of the 'Millennial generation' to start their own companies.

"There was a clear need for this," says Mike Hine, associate dean of undergraduate studies, citing demographic trends, offerings by other schools of business and a changing economy. "We didn't have anything directly speaking to entrepreneurship in the curriculum."

Despite little time to market the new program (approved by Carleton's Senate only last summer), 80 students registered this fall for a course that blends theory and practice and includes mentoring by members of Ottawa's business community.

In third year, students will be expected to work with others across various disciplines to develop a plan for a potential new business. The following year they have to demonstrate how they would implement the plan. "We want to see tangible results, whether they are successes or failures," says Mr. Hine. "We want these students to be able to drive economic growth and drive innovation locally and internationally," he says.

Ted Rogers school earns new kudos

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Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management has earned accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, joining 18 other business schools in Canada.

New fellowship named after John A. Tory

A fellowship named for the late John A. Tory has been established at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, with a commitment of $180,000 from Thomson Reuters.

The award will provide $40,000 to a full-time MBA student who, prior to the final year of studies, will have the opportunity to participate in a competitive 10-week paid internship at Thomson Reuters.

Mr. Tory, who died earlier this year, was a founding partner of the law firm now called Torys LLP and served as an adviser to the Thomson business family. He was president of Woodbridge Co. Ltd., the Thomson family holding company (The Globe and Mail is majority owned by Woodbridge).

jlewington@bell.net

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