François Julien, Dean
This year’s report is my first as Dean of the Telfer School of Management. So let me start by saying how honoured I am to serve as Dean, and how excited I am to lead Telfer School students, faculty members, managers, alumni, donors, advisory board members, and individual and corporate friends and partners as we all work closely together to ensure our school becomes and remains a leading international institution for management education and research.
In the preceding paragraph, I chose deliberately to use the words “lead” and “work closely together”. I chose them because I’m convinced that my foremost role as Dean is to create a workplace culture that enables everyone at the Telfer School to use their unique strengths and realize their full potential. I also know that we put our strengths to best use and reach our true potential as individuals when we collaborate in harmony with others.
We reach our true potential as individuals when we collaborate in harmony with others.
I arrive at this knowledge honestly. As the musical director of a local choir, I know the power and beauty that can be created when many distinct voices—different in pitch, volume, timbre and tone—come together to produce one rich, resonant sound. One person alone cannot produce this sound. It is the unique product of many individually talented voices united—and thereby enriched and amplified—under the orchestration of a leader.
Working together—steadily, systematically, generously
The same principle holds true for us and for our school. When we work together—steadily, systematically, generously—we generate results we could never hope to achieve on our own. This selfless yet powerful spirit of harmonious collaboration has been clearly apparent at our school during the past year. Although I can point to more instances of this joint action, I believe five examples stand out and merit special mention:
- Several members of our faculty and management team have made great progress toward extending our school’s research capacity and renown by developing a proposal for the launch of a PhD program at our school by 2013.
- A committed group of Francophone faculty members are spearheading efforts to revitalize the French version of the Telfer MBA, focused to curriculum integration, increased flexibility and accessibility for working professionals.
- A team of professors created a course for our Telfer BCom students to enrich their first year learning experience by helping them gain broad appreciation and knowledge of how advanced IT applications can be used in business.
- A focused committee made up of Telfer professors and members from the management team is moving ahead on its study to propose ways to improve how our school governs itself.
- A wide-ranging team of Telfer School leaders, faculty members, alumni and students is preparing our latest strategic plan, which will guide the direction and spur the growth of our school for the next five years.
I’m confident that, in the year to come, we’ll all work diligently to see these initiatives through to successful ends. At the same time, progress on these five projects will generate many exciting opportunities for us to create new research activities, enrich students’ experiences, enhance executive education programs, and expand our school’s reach and influence internationally.
Showcasing the strengths of Telfer students and faculty members
In fact, one of the ways in which I’ll measure my success as Dean is by how many people and organizations participate in initiatives that emerge in the months to come. To cultivate widespread involvement, I’ll take advantage of every chance I get to meet with men and women to persuade them and their organizations to become closely involved in the life of our school—mentoring students, hiring graduates, serving on advisory boards, speaking at events, supporting activities, partnering in research projects, organizing visits to their businesses and supporting us financially.
Our school’s efforts to nurture this kind of vital participation must never be a one-man show. As such, my foremost priority will be to make sure Telfer School students and faculty members—our school’s greatest assets—have every opportunity to showcase their strengths, reach out to potential partners and, above all, work together. For when we work together in harmony, there’s nothing we can’t achieve.