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New Ryerson B-school dean champions entrepreneurship

The Globe's biweekly business-school news roundup.

When Steven Murphy arrived earlier this month as the new dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, he joined its Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy as a tenured professor.

His departmental affiliation signals his aspirations for the business school to play an even bigger role in helping students – whatever the program of study – interested in starting a new venture.

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"I have done quite a bit of work on the linkage between organizational behaviour and entrepreneurship," says Prof. Murphy, who previously was associate dean, research and external, at Carleton University's Sprott School of Business. "There is a natural fit for me because of the things we would like to accomplish [at Rogers]."

Professors at the business school already provide advice to the university's high-profile Digital Media Zone, a multi-disciplinary incubator space for young entrepreneurs. Prof. Murphy sees scope to deepen the school's relationship with DMZ and other discipline-related "zones," such as fashion and design, emerging on the downtown Toronto campus.

"It's incumbent on us as a business school to step up and say we would like to play a larger role in helping to shape those businesses into being the very best they can be," he says. In the coming year, he hopes to develop more business courses tailored for would-be entrepreneurs who, even if not pursuing a formal business degree, want to learn the fundamentals of finance, accounting and taxation.

"This faculty has a long history of reaching out and offering the non-business student some of the basic business courses," says Prof. Murphy, appointed for a five-year term. "What we have to do is think about how you slightly repackage those as entrepreneurship courses."

On other fronts, Prof. Murphy aims to enhance the research profile of the school and strengthen its graduate programs. He cites the master of management science, a thesis-based graduate degree, as a program ripe for redesign given industry demand for those with the skills to analyze complex issues. But he emphasizes that "stimulating the research agenda" cannot come at the expense of teaching. "It is not an either-or," he says. "It is how do you do both?"

Online recruitment fair

Canadian business schools will have a significant presence at a global online recruitment fair on Sept. 10 and 11 sponsored by the Graduate Management Admission Council, which manages the standardized GMAT entrance test for graduate business and management programs.

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A total of 94 business schools have signed up as exhibitors, with seven from Canada: Dalhousie University, McMaster University, Queen's University, Simon Fraser University, HEC Montreal, University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. Participating schools will have virtual "booths," with an opportunity to refresh material over a 12-month period.

In a new format designed to showcase potential study destinations by region, GMAC invited four geographically representative Canadian schools (UBC's Sauder School of Business, HEC Montreal, U of T's Rotman School of Management and Queen's School of Business) to participate in an online "auditorium" session to sell Canada as a top choice for prospective students.

"It is very encouraging for us as a group of Canadian schools to know that big organizations are starting to understand there is a real value for candidates to consider Canada," says Niki da Silva, director of recruitment and admissions for the full-time MBA program at Rotman.

In their pitch about Canada, the panelists from Canada will highlight the overall quality of business education here, the student experience, the recognition by others of Canada being ranked fifth on Forbes Magazine's best countries for business in 2013, as a stable economy and, not least, with friendly immigration rules (by global standards) that permit graduates to work here for three years after earning a graduate degree.

"The mistake that a lot of our schools make when recruiting international students is to assume they know why Canada is so fantastic," says Ms. da Silva. "In our experience, they don't."

In addition to exploring potential schools, would-be MBA candidates can look at presentations on the GMAT exam and sign in to an online "lounge" for networking. In 2012, the fair drew almost 3,000 participants from 120 countries.

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Interested students can register until Sept. 10.

Professor honoured

A professor at Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business has been honoured for his work on aboriginal issues.

Prof. Mark Selman developed Beedie's executive MBA in aboriginal business and leadership in consultation with First Nation, Metis and Inuit leaders, with the program`s first class of 25 students scheduled to graduate in spring, 2015. The program, a combination of in-class and distance learning, is designed for managers and entrepreneurs of aboriginal ancestry as well as non-natives who want to improve their capacity to work with aboriginal communities.

Prof. Selman received his "business champion" award from the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business, which honours a non-aboriginal who demonstrates leadership and best practices in aboriginal engagement and business relationship development, according to a press release from Beedie.

Follow Jennifer Lewington and Business School News by subscribing to an RSS feed here.

Contact Jennifer at jlewington@bell.net.

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