Dean Mohsen Anvari gave a presentation to a special meeting of Commerce and Administration Faculty Council last Friday in which he described five years of growth and consolidation, and laid out ambitious plans for the future.
Anvari is the only candidate for the next decanal term (2000-2005) on the short list recommended by the advisory search committee.
Speaking in the DeS¸ve Cinema to about 50 people, he recalled the severe budget cuts and dipping enrolment figures that prevailed when he took office in February 1995. Since then, the Faculty has overhauled curriculum, raised entrance standards, intensified marketing and recruitment efforts, achieved AACSB accreditation, and enriched relations with friends outside the university.
However, great challenges remain. "Other business schools have not been idle," he warned his colleagues. The University of Athabaska, an Alberta institution that is a Canadian pioneer in distance education, has 1,000 students enrolled in its MBA program. The University of Western Ontario's budget has jumped in four years from $12 million to $48 million. The Montreal business school HEC has a new building with 60,000 square metres of space to our 3,500 metres.
Anvari enumerated his goals for the next five years. A priority is to increase space and improve resources with a new building, probably on the southwest corner of Guy St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd., a vacant lot owned by the university. He also wants to increase the Faculty's budget by about 15 per cent annually over five years, to a level of $20 million.
Hiring and retaining faculty members is a major problem in a highly competitive environment beset by tight budgets, and Anvari expects that a series of academic chairs and distinguished professorships, now in preparation, will be of major benefit. "We have been very shy about research, too modest," he added.
Staff, who have seen their numbers decline as their workload increased, would get more incentives, more educational opportunities, and more consultation, he promised. He responded favourably to a staff member who rose during the question period to point out that none of the Faculty's decision-making bodies have any staff representation, and information is slow to filter down to the ranks.
- Barbara Black