As part of organizational renewal, the members of the Odette School of Business have been engaged in sharpening the purpose and effects of our activities. In support, our mission and vision have been revised, and, from them, key initiatives set out in the form of a strategic plan. Our mission, vision, and strategic plan reflect input from key stakeholders both internal and external to OSB, such as students, faculty, and staff, as well as alumni and the business community. The key aspects of Odette’s main guiding documents reinforce a balanced approach to our research and pedagogy, and to our regional and international activities. We are seeking a particular, focused impact that is integrated across our mission, vision, and plan.
The Odette School of Business develops innovative and socially responsible business leaders who thrive in a changing world. As scholars, we produce meaningful research that benefits our regional and global communities.
Our ambition is to be an internationally recognized business school, known for the quality of our graduates, the impact of our scholars, and the contributions to our regional and global communities.
The Strategic Plan (2021 to 2026) of the Odette School of Business is comprised of five major categories of priorities and initiatives. They are: Sustaining World-Class Faculty and Research; Offering Innovative Educational Programs and Instruction; Increasing Internationalization; Fostering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and Achieving Institutional Recognition. The pursuit of these initiatives will be the means by which we will train tomorrow’s responsible and innovative leaders and make a valuable impact in our region and internationally.
Our Strategic Initiatives
Faculty Recruitment and Retention is the first area of focus in Odette’s2021-2026 Strategic Plan. We emphasize our people because our faculty and their intellectual contributions are at the heart of what we accomplish at Odetteand, indeed, at any university worthy of the name. To meet our priorities, the school will continue its commitment to hiring world-class faculty. There will also be a continuation of efforts in creating and maintaining a balance between teaching and research for faculty. Selection and recruitment practices will be re-assessed with a focus on improving them and making them more meaningful and effective. The last element is maintaining a collegial environment, which we consider integral to fostering a culture of learning, scholarship, and teaching.
Scholarship is another important emphasis for sustaining world-class faculty and research. Continuing to foster a research culture at the school is paramount. To this end, financial and administrative support for conducting research and writing grants (where appropriate) will be a priority, as will the focus on research productivity. To encourage and support the latter, incentives and course releases for faculty will be continued and improved. Creating and filling the position of Associate Dean of Research is also central to the Scholarship initiative. Finally, collaborations across disciplines will be encouraged. Activities will include research partnerships across the academic areas within Odette, but collaborations across disciplines throughout the university, and outside our institution, will be accentuated.
Pedagogy is the focus of the second major category of initiatives informing our strategic plan. Student success is core to our identity, with forming tomorrow’s leaders our primary objective. We believe that innovative programs and instruction will be the way in which we achieve our enrollment goals, despite the current challenges. Supporting innovative educational programs and instruction will require attention to programs, instruction, enrollment, and the learning environment.
Our educational programs are crucial. In the undergraduate area, our goal is to complete our ongoing review of undergraduate and joint programs. As a result of the review, we have developed and launched new specializations and increased the number of joint programs available to students. At the graduate level, we have recently completed a full review of our full-time and weekend MBA offerings. We are also assessing the feasibility of an online MBA program. As well, a full review of the MM Program will be conducted with the goal of offering a version of the MM to the domestic market. Finally, we will continue to explore the feasibility of introducing a doctoral degree, including the development of a program proposal and funding model. A go/no-go decision will be made by July 1, 2023.
The Odette School of Business is also committed to cultivating a variety of innovative teaching methodologies. Moreover, our efforts will be supported by maintaining small class sizes, enhancing opportunities for student/faculty interaction, and increasing options for experiential learning (along with other High-Impact Practices (HIPs)). The goal is to create an “Odette Pathway” that offers students the opportunity to engage in activities that incite their passions. In addition, the school will continue to support and expand its cooperative education program. Increased emphasis will also be placed on eLearning/online courses, when they are pedagogically appropriate, to attract new students and to foster expedited progress in our current students. Internationalization will be emphasized as well. Our goal is to increase student exchanges by 10% per year in a post-Covid world. In an effort to improve the faculty experience, a faculty international exchange program will be launched in tandem. And, as stated, the emphasis on a balanced approach to teaching and scholarship will be reinforced. A commitment to Assurance of Learning in all programs will continue to be the focus at the Odette School of Business. We are firmlycommitted as a faculty to the continuous learning and improvement at the center of our accreditation by AASCB International. Finally, student success will continue as by-words at Odette, with student employment rates and salaries providing key measures of our effectiveness.
Enrollment is another important focus, providing key measurable objectives. For example, a crucial goal is to increase undergraduate enrollment by five percent per year for the next five years. With respect to undergraduate international student enrollment, the goal is to achieve a 15% to 25% mix of international student enrollment over the same five-year period. In the MBA Program, the aim is to have enrollment at approximately 50 students per year. In the MBA-PAS Program, the school will strive to increase enrollment to 80 students per year by 2023. And, in the MM Program, the objective is to increase annual enrollment to 250 students per year by the 2021/22 academic year.
The learning environment is inseparable from what is being learned. Special consideration is placed on the classrooms and informal spaces frequented by our students to make sure that instruction and interactions can be enhanced as much as possible. Technology will be updated, within budgetary constraints. Room configurations will also be analyzed, with an eye to maximizing flexibility and facilitating multiple teaching techniques. Updating the learning environment will take place ceaselessly at OSB.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion make up the fourth major category of initiatives in our strategic plan. The process for improvement begins with reaffirming our commitment to EDI, especially as they apply to faculty and student recruitment and to the day- to-day interaction of everyone at the Odette School of Business. In our opinion, collegiality must be informed by values espousing EDI. For instance, a commitment has been established to improve the percentage of students, faculty members, and staff from under-represented groups. As well, Odette is committed to continue its early steps towards indigenization.
Achieving Institutional Recognition provides the fifth and final major category of initiatives in our strategic plan. In many ways, garnering institutional recognition will mark the culmination of our work, allowing us to take a reading of our success and to identify opportunities. The activity includes the main pursuits of maintaining AACSB International accreditation and engaging in much greater participation in global rankings.