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Tiff Macklem, dean of the Rotman School of Management.Gordon Hawkins

The Globe's biweekly business-school news roundup.

Nine months after taking the reins at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, dean Tiff Macklem has recruited from within for an expanded leadership team he hopes can build on the success of his predecessor Roger Martin.

"Rotman has been a fabulous growth story for the past 15 years," says Dr. Macklem, citing the school's increase in student and faculty numbers during Dr. Martin's term. "The school now has reached a globally competitive scale and quality and the new structure reflects the scale and success of the school."

Citing the school's growth, Dr. Macklem opted to increase the roster of vice-deans to four (up from two previously). They are: Susan Christoffersen (undergraduate and pre-experience programs); Kenneth Corts (faculty and research); Brian Golden (professional programs); Mihnea Moldoveanu (learning and innovation).

Four directors, some named to new positions, are: Stéphane Cóté (PhD program); Mara Lederman (research resources and centres); Jan Mahrt-Smith (full-time MBA); Joanne Oxley (faculty recruiting).

"There is a new generation of strong faculty leaders ready to take on new leadership roles," says Dr. Macklem, a former deputy governor of the Bank of Canada. Reflecting on his strategy since arriving at the school last July, he says "an important first step was to get to know the faculty and then build a strong team to take the school to the next level. I am thrilled."

The new position of vice-dean for learning and innovation, he says, recognizes the role of technology and other factors in redefining what happens in and outside the classroom.

"It is an exciting time for learning and education and I want to make sure we are well-positioned to seize the opportunity," he says.

While he has no plans to expand the current cohort of undergraduate and graduate students, Dr. Macklem anticipates some new curriculum offerings and other changes to enhance the learning experience.

In the works is a one-year master of financial risk management for undergraduate degree holders with commerce and finance backgrounds but little or no work experience.

"Canada's brand for financial risk management has been recognized coming out of the global financial crisis and it is a particular area of expertise for us," says Dr. Macklem, who expects future graduates would head into financial services.

With an almost four-fold increase in faculty over the past 15 years and a full-time MBA class of 350 students, Rotman is ranked as the top business school in Canada (and 53rd in the world) by the Financial Times. What are Dr. Macklem's aspirations to climb the global rankings ladder?

"What gets you up in the morning is building the impact of the school, which comes down to the impact the students have after graduation and the impact of the thinking and research that comes out of the school," he says. "If you get those two things right, the rankings will look after themselves."

Emeritus UBC professor co-winner of global prize for shipping

When Trevor Heaver was named a co-winner of this year's $200,000 Onassis Prize for academic contribution to the field of shipping – his share of the award is $100,000 – the professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business says a friend described the honour as a crowning achievement of a distinguished research career.

But Dr. Heaver, who at 78 still plays soccer, had a different assessment.

"I view this [award] more as fuel in the tank," he says.

Retired from Sauder since 1997, Dr. Heaver continues to campaign for a boost in government-funded transportation research and development and increased collaboration between academia and industry on shipping issues. He is also an advocate for Vancouver as a centre of innovation in maritime logistics.

He hopes the prestigious award – sponsored by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation and awarded every three years in co-operation with London's Cass Business School – will turn the spotlight on transportation research. Last December, he urged the federal government committee reviewing the Canada Transportation Act to recognize transportation as a "strategic sector of the Canadian economy warranting a targeted research program."

He cites federal research funding cutbacks in the 1970s and 1980s as "one factor leading to a substantial reduction in interest among faculty members and the attraction of the best graduate students to transportation and logistics."

In Canada, he adds, "we only worry about logistics being important to our economy when there is a closure of the port or a strike by the railway. At other times, we gladly ignore it from a public policy standpoint."

A former director of Sauder's Centre for Transportation Studies and a past president of the World Conference on Transport Research, Dr. Heaver shares the Onassis prize with Martin Stopford, a leading British maritime economist.

Real estate entrepreneur donates to his alma mater

Camille Villeneuve, who earned a bachelor of commerce from what now is the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, has pledged $1.5-million to support entrepreneurship and other initiatives at the business school. A former member of the dean's advisory board, Mr. Villeneuve's lifetime giving to the school now stands at $1.85-million.

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