Laurier pushes slogan of ‘best business school’
In anticipation for the construction slated to begin on the new Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) building, numerous signs are plastered around the perimeter that say “Building Canada’s Best Business School.” This is the slogan for the building, which will house Wilfrid Laurier University’s school of business and economics (SBE).
But labelling SBE as “Canada’s best business school” is quite an aspiration, one that the faculty hopes to achieve.
Micheal Kelly, dean of the school of business and economics at Laurier, explained that the new building is merely a component of making Laurier’s business school the best in Canada.
According to Kelly, visibility is a key aspect.
“It’s a great business school. I think we have the best undergraduate business program in the country,” he said. “A lot of what we have to do is build a reputation around the quality that we already have.”
Peter Ansley, the chair of the campaign cabinet which is comprised of university affiliates whose job it is to raise funds for the project, agreed with Kelly’s assessment of the business program.
“I think that first of all the school itself already has an outstanding reputation. One of the things we haven’t done is communicate that properly to the public,” he said.
Ansley continued, expressing how impressed he was by the effort and time Kelly and Max Blouw, president of WLU, have put into the campaign. He believes that Kelly will be able to expand on the quality that the school already has.
“I think Laurier has really developed a unique style over the last several years,” he said. “I think it will continue to evolve and expand to become a number of other things, one being more global than it has been.”
Kelly also attested to this need.
“A big challenge that we’ve got is just becoming known outside of the southern Ontario region,” he explained.
“A best business school needs to be able to attract students nationally and internationally.”
Nila Rosborough, a second-year BBA student, agrees that Laurier needs to build its reputation on an international level.
However, she noted that there are already numerous established business schools in Canada, and that the slogan is “a big statement to live up to.”
For Evan Little, a second year BBA student, what sets Laurier’s business program apart from other schools is the community. His concern is that this won’t be preserved with the new building.
“If SBE is able to maintain the close-knit and community feel that it has right now, it could be Canada’s best business school,” he said.
Little expressed his thoughts on the business program.
“The main thing for me is that it’s not just about the books,” he began. “It’s not about what you learn in the classroom; it’s about what you learn outside of it, it helps you get involved and take learning into your own hands.”
In his eyes, Laurier earning the name of having Canada’s best business program is a definite possibility.
“I sincerely believe that this objective that we have is more than attainable,” Ansley concluded. “I think we will exceed expectations on this. And I’m looking forward very much to that.”