Successes,Challenges, and Changes
The academic year 1996/97 was my first year as dean, as well as the first year of the new undergraduate curriculum. I've enjoyed leading the College into this new phase, and look forward to meeting the challenges of maintaining and improving what is already a first-rate learning institution.
In times of change, it's important to recognize what works. Our College will continue to be a leader in business education. Last year, we had 1596 students in our undergraduate program; this year, 1656 students are registered.
The Masters of Business Administration program was also well attended. Last year, forty percent of the graduating students participated in an international experience in either Japan or Ukraine. As one participant explained, "The cultural and business exposure I received has proven invaluable as I move on with my career." The College's small but high quality MSc program, another element in our graduate program, offers students the choice among Masters of Science in Accounting, Finance, or Marketing.
We continue to be very pleased with our certificate programs in Business Administration, Health Care Administration, and Labour Studies, and are particularly proud of the Certificate in Indigenous Business Administration (CIBA). CIBA was designed in consultation First Nations' representatives, exemplifying the College's ability to build new partnerships in response to community needs. Another exciting new program for Aboriginal students, Masters of Business Administration with a Concentration in Aboriginal Business, began this September with seven students.
Other new initiatives are a Masters in Professional Accounting, a Masters of Business Administration in Agribusiness (in cooperation with the College of Agriculture), and a Masters of International Marketing Administration (MIMA) for middle managers in Thailand. The first two programs will begin in fall, 1998, while MIMA starts in early 1998.
The College's academic excellence is consistently proven by its graduates. Our most distinguished College graduate at Fall Convocation, Trevor Lung, also received the coveted President's Medal. We're very proud of the College undergraduate team that placed second in an international marketing competition in Singapore. We're also delighted that our team came second in the Manitoba International Marketing Competition. Team members told me that their intense preparation for this was one of the most significant learning experiences they'd had in four years at the College. The College entered an entrepreneurship competition at Queen's for the first time, where one of our teams came first for the best written business case.
Since June, 1997, the College has been in a strategic planning process to help us meet financial and other challenges, while building on our commitment to excellence. While change can be unsettling, it also provides opportunities to look anew at our College. It is this vigorous process of assessment and renewal that will enable us to lead the College into the new millennium.
Preliminary site preparation is now complete for the PCS Centre addition. Construction is expected to begin in early 1998 and the PCS Centre should be ready to welcome students in 1999ts in Saskatchewan's history and the remarkable achievements of our faculty and staff in our first 90 years.
Both Dr. Suresh Kalagnanam and Dr. Gary Entwistle know the College halls very well. No getting lost on the way to class for them! Kalagnanam and Entwistle completed Master's degrees here, before venturing out to do their doctoral studies elsewhere.
Suresh Kalagnanam (MBA'89, MSc'91 from the U of S and PhD'97) is Associate Professor in the Department of Accounting. He completed his PhD at the University of Wisconsin in 1997 and is now back where he began his life in Canada. Shortly after marrying in India, Kalagnanam and his new wife settled into the rhythms of life in Saskatchewan. "The cold was a shock," Kalagnanam admits, but he and his wife quickly grew to love Saskatoon. "This where we made our first home, where our first child was born," he smiles.
And now he is back again, looking forward to the joys and challenges of teaching and research. His research is an extension of his doctoral thesis, which explored the relationship between nonfinancial performance measures such as quality, delivery, and customer service, and long term growth in terms of sales and income. He has more than one project on the go, but is particularly excited by a collaboration he's undertaken, with colleague Dr. Murray Lindsay, Department of Accounting, on the relationship between continuous improvement and management accounting systems.
Kalagnanam is also keenly anticipating the challenges the millennium will bring. "A lot of new developments are taking place, developments which seem piecemeal, without any cohesive framework," he says. "We will have to come up with a framework to incorporate these changes and we will have to decide when and how to introduce students to them."
The new partnerships between companies, one of the recent developments in business, particularly interests Kalagnanam. "How much information sharing will take place?" he wonders. Companies will need to decide how much accounting information, which is always of a sensitive nature, to reveal, and how
much to withhold.
All in all, Kalagnanam is delighted with his work in the College. What's it like to be teaching where once you were a student? "I have high regard for the faculty here, many of whom were my teachers. They are great people." And the students? "They have a very good work ethic and are very sincere in what they are doing. When the chance to teach here came, I just couldn't say no," he says.
Dr. Gary Entwistle (CA'86, BComm'89, MSc'91, both from U of S and PhD'97) has been teaching at the College as an Assistant Professor since 1995. Like Kalagnanam, he recently completed his PhD (University of Western Ontario). At first Entwistle found it "a little odd" to be standing in front of the class instead of sitting among the students. "But I'm glad I was an undergrad here," he says. "I know what the students face. The program has always been intense. Students have always had to work hard if they wanted to do really well."
Entwistle's specialty is technological companies such as biotech companies, firms in software development or computer hardware "companies that spend a lot on research and development," he explains. He intends to continue to expand on research he did for his doctorate. "I'd like to keep researching issues related to technology companies, how they communicate value to the marketplace, and how accounting fits into that equation."
Entwistle sees a few challenges ahead for Accounting and for the College in general. "Issues of technology, globalization, the changing nature of the work itself all these are challenges." He sees that accounting is changing many firms increasingly include consulting and the auditing of information outside traditional financial statements as part of their main focus.
Of course, funding is a universally recognized challenge facing the College. Entwistle is animated when he discusses how the College is implementing new curriculum, strives to attract and keep first rate faculty, as well as pioneering full cost programs (where students and employers pay the full cost of a course). "An example of this in our department is the Masters of Professional Accounting program," he says, "a full cost program designed to prepare accountancy students for the business challenges in the new millennium, and to help solve funding problems."
Dr. Entwistle is equally excited about his teaching. "I'd like to try more cases (examples of how companies have dealt with real life situations) in the classroom." Traditionally, accounting has not been taught in this way, although professional exams are designed around case studies. "We do use cases to some extent," Entwistle adds, "but I believe it would be effective to bring more of them into the classroom, so that the material I teach is placed in a real world context."
Entwistle spent a stint working for more than one accounting firm, including at the national office of KPMG in Auckland, New Zealand. "In January I often think fondly of summers in New Zealand," he smiles. But, he says, "Saskatoon is home."
Through our Centre for International Business Studies, College of Commerce students are able to participate in international learning programs. Ten undergraduate students were chosen for the '97 Experience Malaysia: Student Exchange Program. Following an orientation program at the University Utara in Malaysia in July, our students completed work placements in Kuala Lumpur before returning to the College in September for their final academic year. In the spring, Malaysian students were hosted by our business, government, and not-for-profit partners for a four week work experience in Saskatchewan. Dr. Farouk Saleh (Management and Marketing) once again was the academic head of this vital program.
Selected graduate students participated in two international programs this summer. Six MBA students took part in the Research in Ukraine Business Program. While in Ukraine, the students devoted themselves to research projects of special interest to their sponsoring organizations. Boris Kishchuk (MBA'72), an Executive in Residence for the International Business Centre, again led this program.
MBA students also participated in the Cross Cultural Management: Focus on Japan program. Dr. Graham Links (Finance and Management Science), Joe Vidal, and Dr. Kita (Hitachi Canadian Industries) facilitated the program for the Centre and Hitachi Works. Four students spent six weeks at Hitachi Works (Hitachi City, Japan), working in various departments. In exchange, two Hitachi Works managers participated in the College's Management Development Program. In July, two MBA students also worked in the northern city of Sendi, Japan, with the Tohoku New Business Conference and Professor Shiro Takahashi, Tohoku Gakin University.
One of the MBA students in the '97 Japan programs, Cameron Rizos, has been awarded an MBA Internship in the commercial section of the Canadian Embassy in Quito,
Ecuador. He returns to the College in January to complete his MBA degree.
Thanks to the generosity and commitment of several Commerce alumni and corporate supporters, 92 outstanding students were recognized at the recent Commerce Awards ceremony, when 102 awards were handed out. One of our newest bursaries, the Jack and Clara Milavsky Graduate Student Assistance Program, has been established by Mr. Harold Milavsky (BComm'53), with a matching contribution from Wascana Energy, in memory of Mr. Milavsky's beloved parents. This fund enhances the College's ability to attract and retain outstanding MBA students by providing financial assistance to selected students.
Les Toth (BComm'58) and his wife, Rita, recently retired and moved to Mission, B.C. Enjoy your retirement years!
Tom Brown (BComm'65), a personal financial planner, lives in Lantzville, B.C., where he is a Branch Manager for Money Concepts.
Don Schurman (BComm'69) is has just relocated from Edmonton to Halifax, where he is now President and C.E.O. of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre. Don would be delighted to meet with other alumni in the Halifax area.
Josslyn Latos (BComm'78) moved to Viet Nam this summer. She works for Canadian Petroleum Vietnam Ltd. in Ho Chi Minh City.
Gary Leonard (BComm'79) is living in Moscow, where he works for the international division of an American oil company, Atlantic Richfield. His company has just established a joint venture with a Russian oil company, and Gary is responsible for developing, installing, and managing the corporation's financial and management reporting and control systems.
Keith Eliasson (BComm'81) and family have moved to Edmonton. Keith is now a manager with Esso in ESF Avitats in General Aviation.
Bob Isbister (BComm'81) exchanged entrepreneur and consulting hats for the opportunity to become the first General Manager of the Khowutzun Development Corporation, owned by the Cowichan Tribes, in Duncan, B.C. The Corporation has developed several successful businesses and is now setting up an industrial park, hoping to attract additional light industry companies to the area.
Richard Harmon (BComm'83) recently moved to Regina to accept a position with Human Resources Development Canada as a Labour Market Information Analyst.
Carolyn Tastad (BComm'83) is Director of Customer Business Development in the Fine Fragrances Division of Procter & Gamble Inc. She is in charge of sales in Canada, U.S.A. and Latin America.
Karen Saunders (BComm'85), a great supporter of our College and grads, is responsible for The Mutual Group's university recruiting. Karen and her husband live in Kitchener.
Mike Greenberg (BComm'87) left Bermuda for Grand Cayman Island, and subsequently left the Island for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he is now the CFO of Internet Billing Ltd. Do you think Mike misses our minus thirtysomething winters?
Murray Wolfe (BComm'87) is now a Supervisor, Controls Advisory Group, for the Canadian Pacific Railroad in Calgary.
Mona Csada (BComm'90) lives in Calgary, where she keeps track of your air miles. Officially, she is a Business Analyst for the Loyalty Management Group, the company that manages the Air Miles Reward Program.
Wayne Leek (BComm'90) is Associate Consumer Marketing Manager for several well-known Canadian magazines, including Fashion and Canadian Art. Wayne lives in Toronto.
Trent Webster (BComm'90) is the Assistant Portfolio Manager of International Equities for the investment arm of Florida's state government. His group manages one of the world's largest pension funds and, according to Trent, "I consider myself to be very fortunate. I love getting up every morning and coming to work. I cannot think of anything I would rather do. And it all started at the College of Commerce." Thanks, Trent.
Fi P. Mooi, (MBA'91) lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and is Manager of the Structured and Project Finance Department of the Amanah Merchant Bank. Fi hopes folks will look him up when they are in KL.
Michelle Benning (BComm'92) is now a chartered accountant with Shuttle Craft Canada, Inc., in Saskatoon.
Steven Braun (BComm'92) is now a Senior Consultant for Deloitte & Touche's Business Solutions Department in Sydney, Australia.
Mike Wonnick (BComm'92) lives in Saskatoon where he is a financial analyst with Saskatchewan Research Council.
Deena Denis (BComm'91) is a Senior Project Consultant at the head office of Amoco Corporation, in Chicago. Deena is responsible for a global reengineering project and has begun her MBA studies at Northwestern University. She spent September in Southeast Asia examining the recent handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China.
.John Christensen (BComm'92) has just completed a management buyout of three training companies and is now working out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Congratulations, John.
Jodi (Marken) Kako (BComm'92) was married in Maui last year. This year, she and her husband, Darcy, are discovering if they can successfully run the family's grain farm near Dinsmore, SK.
Dean Lorenz (BComm'93) is now the Marketing Coordinator for Calgary's Parks and Recreation department.
Trevor Maurer (BComm'93) moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in September to become Associate Channel Development Marketing Manager for CIBA (Vision) North America.
Deanna Hunter (BComm'95) recently moved to Regina where she is an Analyst with AON, an international human resource consulting firm.
Rahul Sharma (BComm'95) based in Toronto as an Assistant Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble Inc., has already worked on a national marketing award winning team.
Ron Willms (BComm'95) recently received his CMA designation. Ron, a Financial System Analyst, lives in Chilliwack, B.C.
Ben John (MBA'96), a Project Manager in Belleville, Ont., was recently at the College recruiting for Procter & Gamble Inc.#
Venturing Out: A Global Perspective is the theme for the Commerce Students' Society 31st edition of Contact. This very successful student business community initiative will be held in Saskatoon on January 30th. Mr. Gerry McDoell, CEO of ASTRA Pharmaceuticals, is keynote speaker.
Dean Lynne Pearson, an Executive Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Standards Association, has been appointed Chair of the Certification Board, the certification and testing division of the CSA.
Dr. Bruce Irvine (Accounting) represented Canada as a voting delegate at the recent meeting of the International Accounting Standards Committee in Paris, France.
At fall convocation, Trevor Lung, with majors in both Finance and Computer Science, received his BComm degree with great distinction. Trevor is also the recipient of the Goodspeed Award for the College of Commerce's outstanding graduate, and the President's Medal for the University's top graduate at convocation. Trevor, originally from Lake Lenore, Saskatchewan, is now pursing a graduate degree at Syracuse University School of Management in Syracuse, New York.
Kelly Lindsay (MBA'93), the Scotiabank Director of Aboriginal Programs at the College of Commerce, has been appointed a Director on the Council of the Advancement of Native Development Officers and Co-Chair of their academic Committee.
Dr. Lou Hammond Ketilson (Management and Marketing) and Dr. Mehran Hojati (Finance and Management Science) are Co-chairs for the 1998 Administrative Sciences Association of Canada conference to be held in Saskatoon May 30-June 2, 1998. The theme of the conference, Managing in Concert, focuses on business partnerships. Hundreds of national and international business researchers are expected to attend this multidisciplinary conference.
The Commerce Student Society hosted the '97 Western Business Games in early November. Teams from the six western business schools participated in the three day event.
AIESEC's Western Regional Conference was held in Saskatoon in October. 150 delegates from 8 western universities participated in the 4 day event. AIESEC alumni will be pleased to know the western offices are now connected through a new computer system and it works!
1997 marks the College of Commerce's 80th anniversary of outstanding leadership in business education!
The College evolved from the School of Accounting, which had been established early in the University's history to educate students in the practice of accounting. The Saskatchewan Institute of Chartered Accountants was the first professional body to apply for affiliation with the University. And, according to College lore, we were the first business school in the British Commonwealth!
The School of Accounting was formally established in 1914, but then war broke out; consequently, teaching did not begin until 1917. The first degree in Accounting was conferred to Walter Whittaker in 1923, our first and only graduand in that year. In 1936, the School became a College, and in 1943 was named the College of Commerce, to better reflect the growing demand for professionally trained people in business and industry as well as the accounting discipline.
Since our beginnings 80 years ago, over 14,000 grads have received Accounting, and later, Commerce and MBA degrees from the College of Commerce. Our grads are everywhere in all provinces, the Northwest Territories and in over 150 countries!
Today we have over 1,800 students in the College of Commerce, the largest student body in our history. Over 400 students are expected to receive Commerce or MBA degrees next spring. With ongoing curriculum revisions, new program initiatives, and increased investment in teaching and research support, the College of Commerce continues to be a leader in management education, both in Canada and internationally.
The U of S Student Employment and Career Centre is a valuable resource for any company's recruitment activities, and that is especially true if you're looking for a Commerce graduate. For more information, contact Doug Rain at the Centre:
Ph: (306) 966-5097
Fax: (306) 966-5092
At the U of S Alumni Reunion weekend in June, John McCay and Longie (Hill) Langley, both BAcc'37 graduates, attended their 60th anniversary year festivities, while Norman (BAcc'47) and Eleanor (Winder) Holtby (BComm'47), attended their 50th! During the weekend, Dean Pearson learned that Mrs. Langley had not been able to purchase her degree parchment in 1937. The Dean arranged for Dr. George Murphy (Professor Emeritus, Accounting) to present Mrs. Langley with her framed degree in Victoria, where they now each reside. Congratulations to our "youngest" grad in 1997!
Fred Phillips, Associate Professor (Accounting), investigates the judgments, decisions, and cognitive processes of professional accountants and students preparing to become professional accountants. In a study recently accepted for publication in Issues in Accounting Education, Dr. Phillips examined the beliefs accounting students hold about learning and knowledge. One belief that varied among the students had to do with the uncertainty of knowledge. Some students believe that knowledge is uncertain (i.e. single "truths" rarely exist and that differing perspectives on problems maybe equally valid). An interesting discovery about these students is that they demonstrated superior performance on accounting cases, because they were better able to identify relevant facts when analyzing ambiguous case information. In future research, Fred proposes to examine how educators can enhance the acquisition of such beliefs through emerging technologies.
Fred's current research interests are another indication of why the College of Commerce continues and this is certain to be a leader in management research and education!
For more information about this and other research projects, contact the college.
Send us your news!
Fax: (306) 966-5408
Maureen Somers, Editor
College of Commerce
University of Saskatchewan
25 Campus Drive
Saskatoon SK S7N 5A7
Telephone: (306) 966-4796
Facsimile: (306) 966-5408
Catch us on the Web
For additional College information, visit our site