It is truly an honour to be the Dean of the Mihalcheon School of Management during the centennial year of the university.
Although we are currently in the COVID-19 pandemic, we have carried on with instructors and students successfully engaging together online. That courses did not miss a step when we abruptly went from face-to-face course delivery to online (in March, 2020) is an example of how the Faculty of Management seizes opportunities and pivots when needed. All those who work in the Faculty of Management–the faculty, staff and sessional instructors–make a significant difference to how things run. Faculty who balance their teaching, research and service responsibilities contribute to our successful accomplishments.
As Dean, I take pride that the Mihalcheon School of Management is student-focused. From meeting potential students at Open House events, to ensuring that classes are offered, to supporting the lifelong dreams of students, is paramount. Our students’ success, even as alumni, is how we measure how well we in the Faculty of Management do our jobs.
I have been fortunate to work with Concordia Management Union (CMU) executives, the Concordia Student Association (CSA) executive and the Graduate Students Association (GSA). It is noted that the CSA President has been a Management student for the last several years. Similarly, for the GSA, many of the executives have been from the Masters of Information Systems Security Management program and the Master of Information Systems Assurance Management program. Student-led initiatives, like undergraduate students attending case competitions and graduate students hosting a table tennis tournament (one of my memorable GSA events), come to mind. Similarly, I get inspired by our student athletes, not just watching them compete, but watching when they are in the classroom working on an assignment, or representing the university in other ways.
I have helped create and have watched students enroll in new programs such as the following:
- CUE-BFSU (Beijing Foreign Studies University) Dual Degrees in Management (4-year)
- Dual Degrees Bachelor of Management & Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
- Master of Information Systems Assurance Management (MISAM) – new 33 credit program
- Master of Information Systems Security Management (MISSM) – new 33 credit program
Students are the ones who comment on the programs we offer and how they may become better. We are currently working on a dual degree program with Fine Arts and possible international degree opportunities.
Our Educational Alliance membership with AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools in Business, as well as our accreditation with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta (CPA-AB), the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of Alberta (CPHR-AB), and Business Schools Association of Canada (BSAC), opens doors. For example, students completing a Human Resource emphasis are eligible to waive the National Knowledge Exam (NKE) and move straight to the Experience Validation Assessment portion of the CPHR path. We continue to develop other similar professional relationships that will benefit our young professionals.
The Bachelor of Management Internship (MGT498) and Consulting (MGT440) courses are notable in the Faculty as students work for businesses and organizations in Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). As the internship is a requirement for the undergraduate program we have been at the forefront of ensuring students receive hands-on training for years now. Developing connections with business professionals, allowing students to be hired for 13 weeks (or more), and then keeping them on for full-time employment is remarkable. We are now seeing alumni from the program hiring interns looking for jobs! We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate those who have taken and continue to take on internship students and projects for our consulting groups. Our program coordinator has been instrumental to the success of our internship program. We have worked on preparing students for the “real world” and continue to do so by building connections with others.
The Government of Alberta (GoA), the Campus Alberta Quality Council (CAQC) and the Ministry of Advanced Education, have provided immense support to our programs. This includes considerable financial support from the GoA with a Technology Talent Initiative grant, for example. Even smaller financial donations from our partners going towards student scholarships have been much appreciated.
The Mihalcehon School of Management Advisory Board has also provided the Dean’s office with guidance and support. Stakeholder engagement allows us to better understand the direction, such as adding new areas of emphasis – like Data Management and Conflict Management.
On a daily basis, as Dean, I work with at least one of the following: CUE’s President; its Vice-Presidents and in particular the Vice-President Academic & Provost; the Registrar and Associate Vice-President of Enrolment and Planning; the other Deans; the Assistant Vice-President Research; the library Director; and the University Secretary. From the Faculty of Management, I work closely with an Assistant/Program Coordinator, an Assistant Dean, Chairs, Faculty members, contract sessionals and sessionals. There are many more individuals that could be listed here who I have witnessed care for students and the institution as a whole. It is a pleasure to work with those who truly care about students and each other. Day-to-day operations (and sometimes evening, weekend and vacation day tasks) are made easier because of so many helpful individuals at CUE.
Where do we go from here? Well, we are thrilled to be hosting a golf tournament in honour of Concordia’s centennial and (re-)connecting with others. We are always moving forward. We reflect on our past, pause to think about our present situation, and prepare for the future. It is an exciting time- as I have been known to say, we need to seize the opportunities. We need to continue to offer excellent classes and opportunities for students and that means as a community, we continue to care and work together. Cheers to the milestone of 100, and here’s to many more successful and memorable years!