Today, Algoma University launched the School of Business and Economics in a ceremony involving a range of senior university officials, including Chancellor Shirley Horn, community supporters including Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano, Rory Ring, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, and Pramod Shukla, Chief Operating Officer of Algoma. Conceptual drawings for the school, planned to be housed within what is currently the first floor of the Arthur A. Wishart Library, were unveiled to those present.
This comes as part of a major transformation taking place at Algoma U, which President and Vice-Chancellor of AU Asima Vezina described as “bold, innovative, and futuristic.”
In addition to moving into the future, Vezina also highlighted that the launch of the School of Business and Economics will work symbiotically with the other $5 million upgrade at Shingwauk Hall and the Reclamation Project, creating “a wonderful blend of acknowledging our history while celebrating and looking boldly into our future.”
“Algoma University is proud to establish the School of Business and Economics in Sault Ste. Marie and in Brampton,” said Vezina. “It is logical that this is the next phase of development for the most highly subscribed program at our University. Our business program attracts students locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally, and we are ready for the increased enrolment the School of Business and Economics will bring to both sites.”
Algoma has been offering quality business programming in Sault Ste. Marie since 1990 and in Brampton since 2010. The foundation for the School of Business and Economics builds on years of successful programming in the areas of Business Administration and Finance and Economics. The current Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program includes specializations in Accounting, Economics, Human Resource Management, and Marketing. Graduates of the program are well prepared to complete Chartered Professional Accounting (CPA) and Canadian Human Resource Professional (CHRP) designations. The School of Business and Economics also offers a four-year degree in Finance and Economics and a three-year degree in Economics.
But this was no small undertaking for staff and faculty.
Mark Nogalo, Chair and External Representative of the Algoma U Board of Directors, explained “The faculty and administration’s hard work and collaborative efforts have ensured that the School of Business and Economics programming would be in place both in Sault Ste. Marie an din Brampton this September… That is an amazing feat considering this initiative really got kicked off only in the last few months… I know the team has been working feverishly to move this initiative forward.”
The School of Business and Economics is forecasted to bring significant enrolment increases in both Sault Ste. Marie and Brampton. 300 students are expected at the Northern Ontario campus and another 500 in Brampton within the next three years.
All programming in the School of Business and Economics will also play an important role in helping the University fulfill its special mission. “Our faculty are committed to working with Anishinaabe communities to provide students, as part of their degree completion, with a deeper understanding of business processes and governance matters related to these communities,” said Cathy Denomme, Director of the School of Business and Economics.
Students will benefit from expanded opportunities to participate in co-operative education, experiential learning, and research activity, which will continue to ensure that graduates are well positioned to meet the evolving needs of today’s competitive business environment.
“Graduates of the Algoma University business program already hold a range of leadership positions within our community and this exciting new phase will accelerate talent development to support business growth and economic development activity that will benefit Sault Ste. Mare and Northern Ontario,” said Rory Ring, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce.
Future plans for the School of Business and Economics include expanding the number of one year certificate programs, specifically designed to enhance career readiness. The University plans to seek ministerial consent to introduce a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, offered in conjunction with another university in the future.
The University is also in dialogue with a range of potential industry partners regarding the delivery of management development and other business related training. Discussions leading to a formalized partnership agreement with steel producer Algoma, the largest employer in Sault Ste. Marie, are currently underway.
The School of Business and Economics is committed to working with the university’s Anishinaabe partners on a range of enhanced programming as well as other post-secondary partners on the establishment of ‘two-plus-two’ diploma-to-degree pathway agreements. University officials are also in dialogue with a range of international institutions that have expressed interest in partnering with the University.
And finally, school officials are also in dialogue with a range of international institutions that have expressed interest in partnering with the university. The University will also work closely with industry partners, including Algoma, one of the largest industries in town, on a range of employee training and executive development opportunities that will be available through the School.
Stay tuned, as President Vezina has promised there are more announcements coming up to improve the institution.