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Dean Stéphane Brutus Meets Telfer Students at the Casual Fireside Conversation

The ninth of March marked the first day of Dean Brutus’ journey at the Telfer School of Management. Despite all classes being held online, the new Dean couldn’t wait to get in touch with his new environment: “When I signed my contract I was in Montréal and something was a bit off. The first thing I did on my first day was drive to Ottawa, get the key to my office, and worked from there,” Dean Brutus confessed. “It was important for me to be present and ‘touch’ Telfer and really incarnate the role from day 1. The next step is to get everybody else on campus and get the real feel, give some ‘high fives’ to everybody when it will be allowed, but it was a start,” he added.

Upon officially starting his mandate a week ago, Dean Stéphane Brutus has been looking forward to meeting with the student body at the Fireside Conversation: “I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the students”, he said. “With the lockdown, it is difficult for me to get the pulse of the School and this meeting allowed me to do so. Some of the questions were direct and I appreciate the fact that the students had the courage to ask me.’'

The conversation occurred Monday morning, March 15th, on Zoom with students in various programs and our staff.

Do You Know Your Dean?

Hosted by Isabelle Décarie, Student Experience Manager at the Student Services Centre, the Fireside Conversation event was a great opportunity for any students to ask questions to the Dean and get his honest opinion on important topics at Telfer.

To start the event, Stéphane Brutus had prepared a special video entitled “Do You Know Your Dean?” where he was put to the test and answered general questions about his vision for the School, and even some trivia questions about Telfer and uOttawa. His performance on the latter section was nothing to be shy about. He also had the chance to tell us a bit more about himself through rapid-fire questions about his hobbies and interests.

Getting to Know Dean Brutus’ Vision

Prior to the Q&A portion of the event with the students, Dean Brutus had the chance to talk a bit more about his objectives for the School in the short and long-term: “I want to augment visibility of the School by reinforcing the Better Canada pillars as mentioned in the video (Editor’s note: Greener, Healthier, Happier, Wealthier) through continued support of our research,” he stated. “I want to improve the student experience, that is already excellent, and focus on engagement with Alumni as their involvement is really important just as for any business school.”

Dean Brutus, smiling, winter, outside, snowingDean Brutus had the chance to talk more about his plan regarding student experience: “The Case competitions are really important for the overall student experience. Having worked for 23 years at John Molson School of Business (JMSB), the case competition was a big part of the student experience and I’m a big fan.” He added on the subject by describing the ‘win-win' value he sees in the case competition: “It gives a chance to the students to perform when ‘put on hot fire.’ The Faculty also benefits from the visibility by participating, but also by hosting. The Telfer community can also benefit by being involved as judges or sponsors. It’s a good way to involve everybody,” he explained.

Questions from Telfer Nation Students

Within the last third of the event, Dean Brutus had the chance to answer the questions received through the registration form and some additional ones asked directly in the session chat.

Many subjects were brought up by the participating students, including global recognition of our School, online teaching, the presence of equity, diversity and inclusion in the vision of the Dean, as well as the future of research opportunities for students at the School.

Screenshot videoconferenceDean Brutus showed quickly that he is open to listening to any feedback, suggestions and comments from the student population: “The Dean seemed very motivated and excited to join Telfer,” noted Saida Sambour, a third-year BCom Marketing student. “His answers were always well thought out, and it sounds like he has done his research on the School! Hearing about his experiences at JMSB and his skills, the Dean seemed more than ready to take on his role at Telfer. During the conversation, he had no trouble answering questions. Some were more difficult than others, but he always found a way to answer honestly and conscientiously,” she concluded.

We look forward to the next years with Dean Brutus, and his development of our Vision for a Better Canada.

You can still watch the recorded “Fireside conversation with the Dean” session, in case you missed it. (MS Stream links are available to the uOttawa community only)