Dear Telfer Nation members,
It was with a sense of accomplishment that I stepped down as Dean of the Telfer School of Management last June. After 30 years working in the Telfer community, including almost ten years as Dean, I feel it is appropriate to take a step back and reflect not only on what we have accomplished together over the past year, but also over the past decade.
It goes without saying that the year 2020 will not have been an easy one. The pandemic has forced us to offer our programs remotely. Our professors and students have had to adapt quickly to this new reality, but in doing so, the School has developed useful expertise and experience as we begin serious reflection on how to deliver our programs for years to come. However, despite the adversity, we witnessed the best demonstrations of solidarity, commitment, innovation, and resilience from our community, which we proudly showcased when we launched the "Telfer Acts of Greatness" platform, which was well received by all.
The turmoil caused by the pandemic did not prevent us from renewing two of our three international accreditations (AMBA in February and EQUIS in November), once again confirming the excellence of our School. And what can we say about the efforts put forth by our researchers to support companies, organizations, and workers in the healthcare system? The Telfer School of Management has once again demonstrated its expertise in integrating its research, teaching, and close ties with practice to have a positive and lasting impact on our community and society at large. The community has always been an inspiration to the School, and increasingly, it looks to the School and the bold leadership of its faculty, students, and graduates for innovative solutions to the challenges it faces.
As Dean, my role has always been to facilitate the achievement of the School's vision and ambitions. The work accomplished has been embedded in our most fundamental values. During my first mandate, we established a vision, ambitions, and a ten-year strategic plan, identifying Strategic Areas of Excellence that have since evolved into the four major Areas of Stategic Impact defined by our faculty members. My second mandate led to the implementation of the strategic plan when all members of the Telfer community, its professors, administrative staff, students and graduates, and international and corporate academic partners were called upon to contribute to the achievement of the School's great ambitions. Collectively, we have had the audacity to define a vision of a better, more sustainable, healthier, happier and more prosperous Canada. This vision unites us all in the belief that our School of Management can and must find solutions to today's major societal issues, that in doing so, it will contribute to a strong business community and thus a better Canada, and that a better Canada can in turn contribute to a better world.
The launch of our PhD program, the development and growth of our Areas of Strategic Impact closely linked to growing research successes, the creation of the Financial Research and Learning Lab, the growth of our Centre for Executive Leadership, and its move to modern facilities, and the School's increased international outreach are all important accomplishments for the School over the past ten years. Above all, I am proud of the talent that we have been able to attract to the School during my two mandates. More than 55% of our faculty has been recruited over the past ten years. These new professors bring dynamism, energy, and new ideas that will make the School of Management stand out in Canada and around the world in the coming decades! We have also attracted talented and dedicated administrative staff who contribute to the richness and quality of the experience of our students and faculty. And we continue to attract high-calibre students from around the world who distinguish themselves, both during their studies and after graduation, through their bold leadership and positive impact. This legacy remains my most important one and my greatest source of pride. The strategic hiring of diverse talent contributes to the success of our School today and for years to come.
The contribution I have been able to make to the renewal of the School is inspired by the work of my predecessors, and it would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the members of my management teams with whom I have enjoyed working. As my contribution in this long relay race comes to an end, I would like to begin by thanking my colleague, Wojtek Michalowski, for his work as Interim Dean, and I am honoured to hand over the baton to Dean Stéphane Brutus, who will be surrounded by a team with fresh legs to lead the School in reaching its ambitions.
Better Canada Pillars
In 2019–2020, the Telfer School of Management research community expanded the frontiers of research to help foster a happier, healthier, wealthier and more sustainable Canada.
As a leading research-intensive institution, the Telfer School of Management is developing bold ideas while firmly responding to the needs of society. The Telfer community looks forward to seeing how new knowledge in these four research pillars will be applied to further our goal of building a better Canada.
Learn more about Telfer's bold ideas for a Better Canada in the 2019-2020 Research Report.
My journey as Interim Dean has been rewarding. I'm grateful for the amazing leadership team and incredible support I received from faculty and staff that has made my work much easier. The School has been transformed over the past 10 years and we are ready for new challenges and opportunities.
I see the future of the School in bright colours. We were able to weather the “perfect storm” of 2020 – we are ready to address new challenges of the post-pandemic world. Having established four Areas of Strategic Impact, we are well positioned to conduct research with an impact and brings results of this research into our classrooms, so we educate business leaders of the 21st century. Together we are working towards creating a Better Canada.
Addressing future challenges will not be easy – it will require innovative thinking, interdisciplinary approaches, and resilience. It will require boldness and courage from the Telfer community working together with a common purpose. My experiences as the Telfer School Interim Dean taught me that we can and we will do it and it is why I am very optimistic about School’s future. Our future is bright and I am convinced that the next 10 years will be an excited and rewarding time for the Telfer School.