Support Scholarships and Strategic Priorities

Assistant Dean Alain Doucet outlines how we use the Dean’s Strategic Priorities Fund to make direct, focused investments.

Alain Doucet
alain doucet

Immediate support for what matters

People can be forgiven for thinking universities are awash in money. We’re big places, full of smart people, doing amazing things. So it’s natural for schools such as ours to be perceived as institutions that can draw on virtually unlimited sums of money to support scholarships and take action on strategic priorities.

Yet much of the funding supplied to schools is restricted to specific uses. University leaders—including those at the Telfer School—have surprisingly few resources to invest in strategic opportunities, seed-fund initiatives, recruit top professors, upgrade facilities and launch programs.

The Dean’s Strategic Priorities Fund, which is made up of versatile non-restricted donations, is our school’s way to make sure we can provide immediate financial support to emerging priorities and thereby strengthen our competitive advantage. In 2016, we used the fund to back several important initiatives:

Ongoing support for student competitions

I think competitions are the best ways for students—especially undergraduates—to experience the discovery, challenge and camaraderie of academic life. We use the Dean’s Strategic Priorities Fund to make sure students can enjoy this vital experience. In the past year, the fund helped Telfer students take part in three competitions: the 2016 MBA Games at the Schulich School of Business at York University; the CPA Ontario Intopia Strategy Simulation, which is the capstone activity for fourth-year strategic-management students; and Top Five, which identifies the best student businesses across campus and then sends them to Silicon Valley on a curated trip that introduces these emerging entrepreneurs to key people in the Valley.

Start-up funding for the Health Care Transformation Exchange

Lack of integration among all aspects of our healthcare system is the most persistent barriers to better and less costly services. Telfer Health Care Transformation Exchange is a partnership between Telfer School researchers and clinicians to promote healthcare integration. The exchange began with start-up funding  from the Dean’s Strategic Priorities Fund.

Start-up funding for the Telfer PhD program

As Silvia Bonaccio points out, the new Telfer PhD is the most important change at our school in the past decade. Having PhD students at the Telfer School means we will be in a much stronger position to create and disseminate knowledge that contributes to academic excellence and influences strategy and decision-making in industry, government and non-profit organizations. Development of the program received a financial boost from the Dean’s Strategic Priorities Fund.

Start-up funding for the Telfer Capital Fund

The Telfer Capital Fund is a real value-based investment portfolio managed by students. They use the fund as a vehicle to hold weekly stock pitches, present sector updates, and perform portfolio and company analyses in the Telfer School’s Financial Research and Learning Lab. It makes for excellent hands-on experience, which will help them land internships and jobs with major firms in the capital markets. Students work on the fund for three years, starting as analysts then working their way up to portfolio managers—all while completing their Canadian Securities Course and first level of CFA certification. The Telfer Capital Fund received initial seed capital  from the Dean’s Strategic Priorities Fund. We want it to grow to the fund steadily so that each incoming group of students can invest new capital each year and, in doing so, experience the discovery, challenge and camaraderie of academic life.