The Globe's weekly Business School news roundup.
Unfinished business is why Schulich School of Business dean Dezso Horvath, now nearing the end of his fifth term, has agreed to a three-year extension to June, 2016. That makes him the longest-serving dean in Canada – he became dean in 1988 – and one of the few business school deans in the world with such staying power.
"It is a transformed world, with very different challenges and very different opportunities," he said after the announcement this week. "I am engaged in some that are not completed."
Chief among them is a new $100-million campus in Hyderabad, India, set to open in 2013. Despite delays in India, Dean Horvath remains confident about passage of the Foreign Educational Institutions Act that would permit Schulich and other overseas universities to operate stand-alone, degree-granting facilities.
He also plans to deepen Schulich's international roots, with new offices recently opened in Mexico and Brazil. He sees opportunities to work closely with resource-rich Chile (in part through the school's new specialty MBA in mining) and Peru.
Having been among those who lobbied for a subway extension to York University, he wants to be on hand for the opening in late 2015. He expects an expanded school facility to open in September of 2014.
"I have the best job in the world," he says. "I have never had to work because it is something I am passionately engaged in."
He joined the Schulich faculty in 1977.
A dean's 3 Rs
After a 13-year run, Daniel Muzyka steps down June 30 as dean of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia to become president and chief executive officer of the Conference Board of Canada.
His tenure at Sauder coincided with the global rise of business school education, with his school raising its international profile through student and faculty recruitment, overseas partnerships and offices in India and Hong Kong.
Sauder students from abroad accounted for 23 per cent of undergraduates and 40 per cent of MBAs in 2011 compared with five per cent and 18 per cent respectively in 1998, with 81 per cent of an already-international faculty of 98 professors from abroad in 2012. Over the same period, Sauder raised more than $160-million from donors, generated $1.3-million a year in faculty research grants and recently completed a $70-million building renewal.
As he leaves, Dean Muzyka was asked what Canadian business schools (a third-place global destination for prospective MBA students) need to do to strengthen their international position.
His answer is a version of the three Rs: resources, research and recruitment.
"If we want to compete in international markets, we need to be internationally competitive in our faculty, the kinds of services we provide to students and in our research," he says. "That is not to suggest we should be over-funded, but to have consistent funding and appropriate models that deal with the real cost of doing this."
He argues that tuition caps and budget cuts, sometimes in vogue for politicians, are a "toxic combination" for business schools.
Not surprisingly, coming from a school that ranks high internationally on research productivity, he argues that business schools need to exert "constant pressure and persistent effort" to generate new ideas to fuel Canada as a globally competitive economy.
"The world is changing so rapidly and we need continuous updates on our insights about the world," he says. "The research that leads to new ideas is really critical and you need persistent effort in that area if you want to compete globally."
Finally, he argues that attracting top students from abroad is a net benefit for all. "We need to continue to have our graduates and international students out there knowing our [Canadian] perspective on business," he says.
At a farewell gala earlier this month, Sauder announced an endowment of $100,000 in honour of Dean Muzyka for scholarships for students who demonstrate interest in entrepreneurship (one of his fields of interest) and leadership.
He says he had no inkling about the endowment, summing up his reaction in one word: "gob-smacked."
Over the past year, half a dozen business schools have filled openings for deans.
The most recent to take office is Patricia Bradshaw, who became dean of the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary's University in Halifax on June 1.
As a newcomer, she has to grapple with intensifying business school competition worldwide and a maturing of the MBA market. Her strategy is to build on the school's track record for local and international partnerships and offer more niche programs of study.
With a delegation arriving from Beijing in August, she says "part of the job is to nurture those international relationships." The largest business school in Atlantic Canada with 3,065 students, Sobey recruits 38 per cent of its enrolment from abroad.
Meanwhile, faculty are developing proposals for new specialty degrees, with a new master of technology, entrepreneurship and innovation and a master in applied economics in the works.
"They [the faculty] are bubbling over with enthusiasm to expand the offerings," she says. "It's perfect from a strategic point of view."
While global links are vital, so too are local partnerships, the dean says.
In response to a 20-year, $25-million shipbuilding contract for Halifax, Sobey is planning a new centre for retail and management. "With shipbuilding the spin-off is retail growth and services – another opportunity that matches exactly with what the community will be doing over the next decade," says Dean Bradshaw.
The school is also repatriating a business development centre to the campus, enabling students to earn credits for consulting to the local small business sector.
As a new dean, she says her role is to provide encouragement and support. "It is more about channelling energy than trying to generate energy."
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