Global Associates Provide Direction and Insight to School of Business

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The UPEI School of Business Administration's Global Associates advisory group met on July 31 to discuss how the School can best position its program in a broader global context. This was the second annual meeting of the Global Associates, which is comprised of 13 highly accomplished business leaders and academics from organizations and institutions throughout North America and Europe.

"The Global Associates play a leadership role in the development of the School of Business. We are constantly working to deliver a high-calibre education that will equip our graduates with the skills they need to succeed in the global business community. The diverse experience and expertise of the Global Associates will help guide the development of programs that support this objective," says Roberta MacDonald, UPEI Dean of Business.

The members of the Global Associates have an impressive array of credentials and hold senior positions with companies such as IBM, Colgate-Palmolive, General Electric, and Novartis Animal Health. The group is chaired by Tim O'Neill, founder of O'Neill Strategic Economics and former Executive Vice President and Chief Economist of the Bank of Montreal Financial Group.

Discussion at the meeting focused on a global business environment that is becoming increasingly "flat," following up on a speech delivered at the UPEI Business Society's 30th annual luncheon by UPEI graduate Alex McBeath, Global Associates Member and Executive Partner and CEO of Grant Thornton LLP. Entitled "An Island in a and#145;Flat' World," the speech had challenged the Island's business community, educators, and leaders to succeed in a rapidly changing business environment. How the School of Business can tailor its programs to address this change in environment was on the minds of the Global Associates as participants considered the significance of emerging trends such as sustainability/eco-management, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and technology.

"We want to ensure that graduates of the School of Business are equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a and#145;flat' world, that we are providing an educational experience that is valuable to our students and applicable in today's business world," says Roberta MacDonald.

The School of Business has seen rapid growth over recent years and continues to introduce new opportunities and offerings to its students. In addition to the current bachelor's degree and certificate programs, the School is introducing new undergraduate streams in Entrepreneurship and Biotechnology Management, as well as Executive Education programming. To accommodate its continued evolution, a new 50,000-square-foot building is currently under construction and will house the School of Business Administration and Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

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Anne McCallum
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