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Dean’s Message

Dean Sharon HodgsonIvey Next – Innovating for Impact

For nearly 100 years, Ivey's reputation has set a standard respected in Canada and around the world. We take pride in our legacy. But we know we must evolve and adapt. Ivey Next, our new strategic plan, answers that challenge.

Prior to the pandemic, business education was already experiencing disruptive market, social, and technological forces. COVID-19 added to this disruption and highlighted critical workforce issues that are further shaping the future of business. At the same time, there was increased attention and dialogue around critical social issues like climate change and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).

This unsettling time collided with our strategic planning process. It prompted us to reflect on the role of business schools, and Ivey in particular, in creating a better world. We also took inspiration from our community, along with the larger institutional goals established in Western’s “Towards Western at 150” strategic plan. This led us to articulate a new purpose statement for the School – “Inspiring leaders for a sustainable and prosperous world” – which reflects Ivey’s strong legacy of preparing leaders with an evolving view of responsible prosperity.

Our new strategic plan, Ivey Next, builds on our legacy of real-world leadership. We will remain a school focused on the development of leaders, with case-based and experiential learning at the core of our curriculum. We will also continue to contribute to knowledge creation and application through the scholarly and practice-oriented work of our faculty and through the support and outreach of our Research Centres and Institutes. The strategy includes significant investments across the research cycle to stimulate, accelerate, and amplify research. We will implement best-in-class processes and support systems for our researchers to pursue their chosen topics and to amplify their work.

While legacy is important, we are excited about what’s new and what will further differentiate Ivey as a world-class business school. One of the most significant changes is embedded in Ivey’s renewed mission, setting a challenge for us to, “address critical issues facing business and society.” We aspire to be a place to understand and address the critical issues of the world and bring our unique expertise to transform individuals, organizations, and communities to thrive and prosper.

The three critical issues we are taking on in the coming years are the i) Evolution of Work, ii) Global Citizenship, Competitiveness & Innovation, and iii) Sustainability. These three critical issues are top of mind for boards, CEOs, entrepreneurs, government, and community leaders. We will engage with these constituents in the development of thought leadership addressing these issues, and create the podium for meaningful dialogue to share and discuss these issues. These topics will be embedded in our program curriculums, preparing our graduates to address these issues when they enter or re-enter the workforce.

The second significant change will be advancing innovative technologies and approaches to our teaching and student experience. We often refer to this as Case Teaching 2.0. Our goal is to be best in class in leveraging new inductive pedagogical approaches and technologies to deliver a more connected, effective, and engaged experience for our learners and our faculty. 

The third significant and exciting change will be the launch of an entirely new service offering of curated learning and support for our alumni. We will foster a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and support for our alumni, through a newly developed robust ecosystem that will provide a personalized journey for alumni and other learners at different stages of their career. To achieve this, we will build upon our innovative learning approaches, career coaching, and latest insights through research – making Ivey a true lifelong partner for our community’s success.

Attaining these ambitious goals requires an engaged team executing best practices and processes. Our people and culture are what will make this strategy a success. We are committed to fostering a community where members feel they belong and contribute to a supportive, inclusive, and accountable culture that pursues excellence. And, we will enable them with efficient and agile processes and appropriate technology. We will also purposefully invest in changes across our functions to build a global mindset for our community and leverage partnerships​ as a critical way to increase our reach, adaptability, and engagement with an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Our work is just beginning. As our future direction comes into focus, we now turn our attention to bringing our strategy to life through actions.

We invite you to follow our continuing journey and contribute to our collective success.

Dean Sharon Hodgson,
Lawrence G. Tapp Chair in Leadership