New dean ready to leverage Sprott’s faculty status

January 2 marks Bill Keep’s first official day as the dean of the Sprott School of Business. Since his appointment in August 2006, however, he has been preparing for his new role by mapping out ideas for the strategic planning process that begins this month—a process he is keen to start.

“The new faculty status of the school brings with it so many possibilities, and generally people seem open to change,” he says. “I think that faculty members are re-energized and ready to put into place initiatives that build on past successes, but are somewhat different from what has been done before.”

Two initiatives that are on his “top 10 list” are accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and a review of the Master of Business Administration (MBA). The AACSB, a U.S.-based organization with 528 member institutions worldwide, facilitates voluntary, non-governmental reviews of institutions and programs. Keep believes that the accreditation process will help to focus thinking inside the faculty.

“Accreditation will provide objective feedback as to whether students are learning what we want them to learn. This information, in turn, will help us understand where our programs are strong and where we can improve them,” he explains.

He points out that accreditation will also demonstrate to prospective students, the business community, government and other post-secondary institutions that Sprott offers a program with the standards shared by other first-class schools.

Aarash Rafiaie, the president of the Sprott Business Student’s Society and a third-year student in the Bachelor of Commerce program, agrees. “Competition to hire the best graduates is very fierce among employers. Accreditation will put Carleton’s students in a different league by demonstrating the school’s high academic standards. This will be of real benefit to graduates—past and future.”

The new dean’s most immediate plans for the MBA review include hosting a group of Ottawaarea business and government executives to hear what they, as employers, are looking for when they hire new graduates.

“MBA students could be acquiring many core skill sets,” says Keep. “These executives will be able to tell us which they believe are most critical to long-term success. Being in Ottawa, the school is well positioned to consult some of the most dynamic and demanding employers in the country.” He sees the current MBA material as a strong foundation for the professional world, but thinks that some of the areas need to be addressed more comprehensively.

An MBA could be in Elizabeth Mildon’s future. A fourth-year commerce student, she likes the idea of consulting business and government. “Sprott MBA graduates will be more desirable job candidates if there is a good fit between their skills and organizational needs.”

Keep plans to take a revamped MBA to Senate for approval in time to introduce it in the 2008–2009 academic year. Accreditation is expected to be a four- to five-year process.

This entry was written by Martha Attridge Bufton and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

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