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The Year at Smith

Dean's Message

Welcome to Smith’s first fully digital Year in Review! This retrospective of our 2019-2020 fiscal year includes many highlights—from celebrating 100 years of Commerce to launching a global master’s program in analytics and starting a sustainable finance institute to lead Canada toward a low-carbon future.

In early March, along with most of the world, we quickly pivoted how we do things to manage around COVID-19. With the safety of our students, staff and faculty top of mind, we tapped into the school’s considerable expertise in delivering business education in dynamic and engaging remote formats—and, within a few weeks of shifting to operating remotely, we saw a 25-fold increase in the number of Zoom meetings we host.

To support the business community in responding to the pandemic, Smith’s faculty provided expert perspectives and analysis in the form of articles, commentaries and webinars through Smith Business Insight, as well as through Smith’s partnership with the City of Kingston and Kingston Economic Development to form a regional business support network. Queen’s Executive Education at Smith also quickly adapted programs to meet market needs, including new offerings, shorter remote formats and lower fees to help organizations manage the crisis while being mindful of the financial impact of the pandemic.

As we look to the year ahead, there are two key initiatives underway that will shape the near-term future of Smith.

Search for the new dean

Queen’s Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), Mark Green, recently announced he is beginning the search for the next dean of the business school. I will continue to lead the school as interim dean until the new dean is appointed, which we anticipate will be July 1, 2021.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity & Indigenization (EDII)

It has been a challenging time at universities and business schools across Canada as issues of inequity, discrimination and systemic racism have been brought front and centre. At Smith, we have shared accounts of negative experiences reported by students and alumni and reflected on our processes and curricula. In response, we have accelerated and expanded our EDII initiatives. We are taking action and working toward meaningful change that is both sustainable and impactful.

In Spring 2020, I established a new Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity & Indigenization (EDII) Task Force to help us cultivate a vibrant, diverse and inclusive academic and work environment built on respect, dignity and equity. This is not only a top strategic priority for the school, but it is vital for our success as a leading and influential business school.

The task force will focus on advancing EDII across several areas of operations, including recruitment, admissions, curriculum, services, support and administrative processes with associated metrics and performance indicators. Open dialogue, communication and reporting on progress are essential elements. Please follow our progress and activities at:

In closing, I would like to thank the Smith community for your ongoing support. We are incredibly fortunate and very grateful to have alumni, students, staff and faculty who care so deeply about the school and who are committed to its future success.

Brenda Brouwer, PhD
Dean, Smith School of Business