U of W business dean transfers to Asper School of Business
The University of Winnipeg has lost the founding dean of its business program.
On Nov. 15, Dr. Michael Benarroch, founding dean of the University of Winnipeg’s faculty of business and economics, took up a new post as dean of the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.
Benarroch, who has worked for the university for 21 years, and has been dean for almost four years, said he gave U of W his notice in September.
“The University of Manitoba made a request to the University of Winnipeg if I could come a little bit earlier, and we tried to find a good compromise to allow both institutions to be in a good place regarding the move,” Benarroch said.
The Asper School of Business has been without a dean since March of last year.
Benarroch said the U of M asked him to start the new position so soon in the school year because he was needed for the annual planning and budgeting process in the fall.
The U of M’s school of business is much larger than the U of W’s, with approximately twice as many undergraduate students, an MBA program, a PhD program, an executive education program and strong links to the business community.
“I believe it is a step up,” said Benarroch. “I wasn’t on the job market, but you never close the door if a good opportunity comes up.”
Benarroch said the U of W made a “strong effort” to convince him to stay, but he could not pass up the new opportunity.
According to Benarroch, the U of W’s business and economics programs are well established, and he is confident they will continue to be competitive with the Asper School of Business program.
Joanne Keselman, vice-president (academic) and provost at the U of M, said the university chose Benarroch after an international search.
“Dr. Benarroch has demonstrated through his work at the University of Winnipeg that he is an outstanding leader, responsible for establishing the school and bringing it to where it is,” Keselman said.
Dan Hurley, associate vice-president of external affairs at the U of W, said Benarroch’s departure was not unexpected or sudden.
“I wouldn’t say he just disappeared. We’re sad to see him go but we’re happy for him, too, because it’s a sign of what a high quality academic he is,” Hurley said.
The faculty hopes to have a new dean by the summer of 2012. In the meantime, Dr. Michael Percy has agreed to act as interim dean, and assist in the process of selecting a new dean, Hurley said.
Alain Beaudry, a U of W economics student, said the economics and business programs are in a good place right now, and won’t be hurt by the change.
“As much as (the faculty) rely on the dean to make broad decisions, the day-to-day goings on can be handled,” Beaudry said.
Beaudry added he has not heard any students expressing bitterness towards Benarroch’s decision.
“I think we’re all hoping that it’s a good move for him,” Beaudry said.
“We’re competing for the best talent. The U of W promoted Dean Benarroch because he’s good at what he does. It’s no surprise the U of M would recognize that too.”
Published in Volume 66, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 17, 2011)