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UNB Faculty of Management

UNB hosts Canadian business school deans at a critical time: 2020 BSAC annual conference

Author: Faculty of Management

Posted on Oct 30, 2020

Category: Faculty

“Has there ever been a more challenging time to be a leader in higher education, such as the dean of a business or management school?” UNB’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Paul Mazerolle, directed this question in his welcoming remarks to a recent gathering of business school deans from across Canada and other parts of the world. The gathering was the annual conference of the Business Schools Association of Canada (BSAC) hosted by UNB’s faculty of management last October 26-28 (2020). With industries and businesses all over the world being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has likely never been a more important time for business school deans to come together collegially to discuss the future of business education.

Over 165 delegates participated in the 2020 BSAC annual conference, including some pre-conference sessions, representing 58 business schools and organizations from across Canada, Australia, Europe, the US and New Zealand. The organizations included AACSB International, Graduate Management Admissions Council, CPA-Canada, Indigenous Works, European Foundation for Management Development and the Australian Business Dean’s council.

Presentations over the three days addressed the challenges and opportunities business schools are experiencing because of COVID-19, how the pandemic is shaping the choice preferences of prospective students, recruiting strategies, the role of business schools in the post pandemic world and creating a safe space for dialogue on fostering indigenous participation.

Martin Wielemaker, associate dean of strategic initiatives and professor of strategy, entrepreneurship and data visualization with UNB’s faculty of management was part of a panel that spoke on the topic “Delivering Value and Managing Risks in COVID times: The Importance of Inclusivity and Integrity.”

This was a year of firsts for the conference. It was the first time the conference was hosted virtually which enabled international participation; it was the first time for the organization, formerly known as the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans, to be hosted under its new name – Business Schools Association of Canada (BSAC) which, also for the first time, enabled the conference to be opened to a broader group of administrators, including not just deans, associate deans and directors.

The conference was supposed to take place on UNB’s Fredericton campus, but the pandemic made this impossible. “It would have been exciting to host everyone on campus,” remarked Devashis “Dev” Mitra, dean of the faculty of management, “but hosting it virtually actually enabled a higher than usual participation rate. The majority of participants remained engaged throughout the conference and several delegates remarked on the quality and relevance of the sessions.”

Founded in 1957, BSAC’s mission is to promote quality in management education and provide professional development to business school administrators through events like the annual conference, as well as research, information services and representation. Dean Mitra serves as regional chair on the Board of Directors for BSAC.

Photo: Devashis “Dev” Mitra, dean of UNB’s faculty of management, delivers opening remarks to the 165 delegates from around the world who participated in the 2020 Business Schools Association of Canada (BSAC) annual conference. The conference was hosted by UNB’s faculty of management via MS Teams.

Learn more about UNB's faculty of management.

For more information about this story, contact Liz Lemon-Mitchell.