The Telfer School of Management was founded in 1969 as the "Faculty of Management Science," when the Arts Faculty's Department of Commerce, the Public Administration Department of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the School of Hospital Administration joined to create a new academic unit. The first dean, Joseph Debanné, former Director of the Operations Research (O-R) Branch at the National Energy Board, oversaw the integration of these academic units. In 1970, he added the Department of Operational Research and Planning to the School. In 1972, the Faculty’s graduate programs were accredited by the Government of Ontario.
During the 1970s, John Carson, formerly president of the Public Service Commission, the largest employer in Canada, reorganized the School and gave it a new direction. It was during his tenure that the Faculty of Management adopted the name Faculty of Administration. Several structural changes were also made, such as abolishing departments in favor of programs, appointing assistant deans to oversee undergraduate and graduate programs and replacing the School of Hospital Administration with the Health Administration Program (MHA).
By 1980, enrolment had grown to more than 3,000 — with more than 400 students registered in graduate programs — and the number of full-time members grew to more than sixty. During that year, Gilles Paquet became Dean. In 1984, further growth led to the creation of undergraduate co-operative programs and new graduate courses, as well as the move to the School's previous home in Vanier Hall.
David Zussman was appointed Dean in 1988. He established an advisory board made up of leaders from business and government to provide advice and guidance about the kind of educational initiatives essential for responding to a rapidly changing environment. In 1992, Dean Zussman launched the Executive MBA program and the International MBA program.
During the same year, Jean-Louis Malouin became Dean. Under his leadership, the School began to concentrate on the development of international management and business, which today, still remains a key focus at the School. This has spawned an extensive network of international contacts, most notably through institutional co-operation, student and staff exchanges, joint-venture projects, and consulting assignments. In 1994, the School launched an Executive MBA in Hong Kong similar to the North American model but adapted to the local culture and conditions.
The School’s International Exchange programs give business students a more global orientation by allowing them to complete their academic and professional endeavours in foreign business schools. Students thus discover other countries, new cultures and different customs. Still, despite its international focus, the School pursues its commitment to excel in research and teaching and to serves as a valuable member of the business and government communities.
As former Dean Malouin said: "Our mission is to advance management science practice in the public and private sectors by teaching not only high-quality management but also social and ethical values. We do so in both official languages, while promoting the highest possible standards of integrity, an international perspective and thorough, in-depth research."
In the year 2000, we welcomed Dean, Micheál J. Kelly, to the School. It is during his second year in tenure that the Faculty of Administration adopted the name School of Management.
The School of Management received AACSB accreditation in 2003. AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide.
In 2005, The School of Management was accredited by The Association for MBAs (AMBA), a UK-based organization that promotes high-quality graduate education in business. AMBA accreditation confirms that a school's MBA is both of the highest quality and relevant to the changing world of business.
On May 8, 2007, School of Management MBA graduate Ian Telfer, Chairman of Goldcorp Inc., launched an exciting new chapter in management education at his alma mater with an unprecedented $25 million donation. In honour of his contribution, the School of Management has been renamed the Telfer School of Management.
The donation—the most generous ever pledged to a Canadian business school—will support and expand the learning experiences of students and the research opportunities of faculty. In doing so, this powerful and intensely personal expression of giving will touch the lives of countless business students and ensure that the Telfer School remains in the top rank of national and international business schools for generations to come.
In September 2007, the University of Ottawa’s state-of-the-art Desmarais Building became the new home of the Telfer School of Management. The building was named in honour of Paul G. Desmarais (BCom 1950), a University of Ottawa alumnus and one of Canada’s most distinguished corporate leaders.
The 12-storey structure offers Telfer School students an unparalleled learning environment. Noteworthy features of this impressive facility include: breakout rooms; four computer labs; six conference rooms; student lounges and club offices; wireless connectivity throughout the building; four classrooms specially designed for the graduate program; six lecture theatres with capacity for more than 700; and a multipurpose room suitable for hosting a multitude of events, conferences, seminars and celebrations. It is all in the Desmarais Building—the new home for management at the University of Ottawa.
In 2009, the Telfer School of Management receives EQUIS accreditation. The Telfer School became one of only 50 business schools in the world to have achieved the triple crown of accreditations.
In 2011, François Julien was appointed as Dean.