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$3-million gift to advance research on the evolution of work

Nov 16, 2023

Rob Austin And Sylvia Chrominska

Rob Austin and Sylvia Chrominska receiving applause at Ivey's The Future We See Symposium at the Toronto Board of Trade

Ivey recently announced a donation of $3 million from corporate director Sylvia Chrominska, HBA ’75, LLD ’14, during its Future We See Symposium held in Toronto on November 9, 2023. This generous gift is the first of its kind for Ivey that specifically addresses one of the Ivey Next strategy’s Critical Issues – the evolution of work.

“In order to continue to be successful, organizations will need to fully understand how the nature of work is evolving and how they will need to adapt," said Chrominska. “I am very pleased to support this important work.”

Pushing the boundaries of tomorrow’s workplace

Chrominska’s contribution has established a new Chair position, along with funding for a postdoctoral researcher, a teaching scholar, student fellowships, and outreach focused on advancing research on the evolution of work. During the Symposium, Ivey’s Rob Austin, a professor of information systems, was officially announced as holder of the Chair.

Austin has been studying the hiring practices for neurodiverse people since 2006. His work focuses on how some pioneering companies are breaking down barriers for people with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and dyslexia.

In his newly appointed role, Austin will lead research that addresses the challenges faced by leaders, organizations, and institutions, including changing technology, increasing understanding and focus on equity, and shifting organization-worker relationships.

“Rob asks employers to rethink how to manage people and talent,” said Dean Hodgson. “And I personally look forward to Rob asking questions that will push the boundaries of tomorrow’s workplace, and push it in a good way.”

Honouring Chrominska’s incredible generosity

Chrominska is a long-time, dedicated supporter of Ivey and has been an active volunteer since 2005, when she joined the Ivey Advisory Board. She served as a member of the Development Committee, Vice Chair of the Ivey Campaign for Leadership, and was the key driver behind the Scotiabank Case Competition, which has been an annual event for more than 30 years. In recognition of her many contributions, Chrominska was awarded the Ivey Distinguished Service Award in 2010 and an honorary degree from Western in 2014.

“We are humbled by and grateful for your incredible generosity and it is our honour to name the grand hall, the heart of the Richard Ivey Building in London, Chrominska Hall,” said Dean Sharon Hodgson during her address to Chrominksa at the Symposium.