Globe and Mail: Beedie selects veteran Ali Dastmalchian as its new dean

Sep 25, 2015
Ali Dastmalchian 1

Professor Ali Dastmalchian will begin his tenure as dean of the Beedie School of Business on January 1, 2016.

The following article was published by the Globe and Mail on September 18. 

By Jennifer Lewington.

Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business has tapped a veteran dean, international researcher and award-winning teacher as its next leader, effective Jan 1.

Ali Dastmalchian says the opportunity to lead a school with Western Canada’s largest business undergraduate program, a fast-growing menu of graduate programs and a focus on entrepreneurship and sustainability proved irresistible.

“In my view, Beedie has always been a nimble, innovative and very connected-to-the-business-community school,” he says. “What they are trying to do is very interesting.”

Currently a professor of organizational studies and international business at the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, Dr. Dastmalchian served as its dean for 10 years until 2012. During his tenure, he secured donors to name the school and graduate programs, introduced new graduate-level programs and oversaw successful efforts to gain international accreditation for Gustavson. Previously, he was dean of the faculty of management at the University of Lethbridge for five years until 2001.

At Gustavson, growth was an underlying theme for Dr. Dastmalchian. But he says Beedie is at a different stage of development as an internationally accredited school that has seen the introduction of five graduate programs, including an international executive MBA, aboriginal leadership and technology commercialization, over the past five years.

“They have grown tremendously and developed new programs under previous deans,” he says. “It is time now to position these programs in a way that allows Beedie and Simon Fraser to shine.”

With the Burnaby, B.C., university’s stated strategy to engage with the broader community, says Dr. Dastmalchian, “that gives me a lot of room to work with the faculty and the university to create a better identity for the school and better branding in terms of a business program that is different and fully engaged with stakeholders.”

He hopes to build on Beedie’s track record of working with industry, including Vancouver’s vibrant startup sector, by raising the profile of existing programs such as the recently introduced certificate in science and technology commercialization. But he also hopes to build on the school’s international activities.

Currently, he is the president and chair of the board of Global Leadership and Organizational Behaviour Effectiveness Research and Education Foundation, a research project on culture and leadership in 62 countries.

When a job recruiter called this year about the deanship at Beedie, Dr. Dastmalchian had recently returned from a leave to continue his research and teaching activities on the Gustavson faculty.

Then he remembered what he liked about being a dean.

“The idea of engaging the community, students and innovative faculty and taking it to a higher level is something I like doing,” he says. “I believe in business education.”

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail’s Business Education Report.

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