Dybenko to step down as dean of SBE

In a statement issued by Wilfrid Laurier University earlier today, it was announced that the dean of the School of Business and Economics, Ginny Dybenko, would be ending her term prematurely in order to pursue other opportunities within the university.

According to Dybenko, Laurier president Max Blouw has asked her to take on a new position that is yet to be created.

“It’s an amazing time for Laurier. Here we are sitting at our centenary and we have to prepare for the next century… and [Blouw] has asked me to be part of a transformation to become a real leader in this university in the twenty-first century,” she said.

Although Dybenko will step down before her term expires in August, she will remain at her current position until an acting dean is selected to hold the job before the hiring of a new dean.

A committee consisting of senior administration, faculty members and vice president: academic and provost Deb MacLatchy will make a decision in the coming weeks on Dybenko’s interim replacement.

“An acting dean is appointed and that acting dean is generally a senior qualified person within the faculty,” MacLatchy explained.

MacLatchy described the search for a new full-time dean as “very defined” and explained that the timing of Dybenko’s departure could make the process a little difficult.

“One of the challenges of looking for people to fill academic positions is that there is a cycle associated with them,” she said. “Right, now we’re in the worst part of a cycle to start a recruitment process. The best time to do that is really in the late summer and the fall.”

Dybenko’s legacy

After successful stints with Bell Canada and technology firm Syndesis, Dybenko was appointed dean of business in 2006. Throughout her term she has overseen the implementation of several new degree programs and other initiatives.

However, when asked about which moments of her era stand out most, it was her work with students and faculty that initially came to mind.

“Certainly one of [the standout moments] has to be sleeping outside with the ‘Five Days for the Homeless’ kids. And of course two years in a row it had happened to be on the night of St. Patrick’s Day, so you get to see a different side of the university entirely…I had no idea that this school never slept,” she said.

Dybenko said she’s not worried about her successor. She thinks they are coming into a situation with “terrific direction.”

“I don’t think any successor of mine at such a great business school needs any words of advice at all, other than to listen to the great faculty that are there today and to listen to the fabulous students,” she said.

“There’s a ton of people out there and each one will bring their own individual characteristics to the job.”