• U of M President and past Asper dean Michael Benarroch.

    Michael Benarroch

    Dean, Asper School of Business, 2011-17
    President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba

  • Michael Benarroch was born in Tangier, Morocco. His family immigrated to Canada when Benarroch was three years old.
     
    Benarroch received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Winnipeg, master’s degree from Western University and his PhD in economics from Carleton University. He was the first generation of his family to go to university and the first in family to get a master’s degree.

    Prior to his term at the School, Benarroch was the visionary behind the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Winnipeg, of which he was founding Dean.

    Benarroch started his tenure as Dean at the Asper School of Business in November 2011. As Dean, he made and endorsed strong links between the campus and city and fostered a culture of innovation in teaching and research.

  • Benarroch also saw the importance in improving the School's physical space. Many renovations to the Drake Centre were completed during his tenure, including the Albert D. Cohen Management Library, the Scotiabank Technology Centre, upgrades to the Commemorative Room and the conversion of several spaces into active learning classrooms.

    In 2017, Benarroch moved to Toronto to be Provost and Vice-President, Academic at Ryerson University and in June 2020 he returned to Manitoba to take on the role as the 12th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba.

 


 

  • Glenn Feltham

    Glenn Feltham

    Dean, Asper School of Business, 2004-11

  • Originally from Alberta, Glenn Feltham brought an extensive academic and professional background to his role as Dean of the Asper School of Business. He had two undergraduate degrees, a Master’s in Business Administration, a Law Degree from Queen’s University and Doctoral Degree in Accounting, specializing in taxation, from the University of Waterloo.

    Feltham was a fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada.

    Prior to joining Asper, was he was Department Head of Accounting at the University of Saskatchewan.

    Feltham served as Chair of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and was on boards such as the Winnipeg Airports Authority and the United Way of Winnipeg.

  • He saw the importance in keeping the School top of mind, and created a Department of Marketing and Communications to be housed within the Dean’s Office.

    Under his leadership, Feltham also developed the James W. Burns Executive Education Centre. The Dean saw this as an opportunity to provide leadership education downtown where businesses operate.

    He introduced the Asper Co-op Program so the Asper School would create stronger, more rounded graduates and further developed the International Exchange Program to provide greater variation in where Asper students travelled during their exchanges.

 


 

  • Black and white photo of a man wearing a suit and glasses.

    Jerry Gray

    Dean, Asper School of Business, 1996-2004

  • Jerry Gray believed AACSB accreditation was key to a successful campaign for funds. The campaign Gray had in mind had a goal of 20 million dollars.

    Gray earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from University of Evansville in Indiana and a Master’s in Management from Southern Illinois University. He also earned a PhD in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.

    He joined the School in 1970 and taught management and organizational behaviour. He then served as Head of the Department of Business Administration from 1974-82, after which he was appointed Associate Dean.

    During his tenure, Gray aimed to build a climate of peace and trust at the School. He created the Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management after he identified the need for this type of education.

  • Under his leadership, the School achieved AACSB accreditation in March 1999. At that time there were more than 1,200 business schools in North America, and only 356 were accredited.

    Gray was characterized as always being in fundraising mode as the Dean. He headed a multi-million dollar campaign which included a naming opportunity for the School. Gray noted that the name needed to reflect entrepreneurship, ethical behaviour, financial success and community-focus. He found everything he wanted in the iconic Israel Harold Asper, who was a graduate of Manitoba and a successful lawyer, former MLA and leader of the Liberal Party in Manitoba, and founder of Canwest Global Television network. Asper would also become publisher of the National Post and a chain of papers he purchased from Conrad Black.

    An endowment agreement and naming agreement were drafted and the I.H. Asper School of Business was officially created.


 

  • Past School of Management Dean, William Mackness.

    William Mackness

    Dean, Faculty of Management, 1988-95

  • William Mackness was a business economist by profession. Before coming to the Asper School of Business, Mackness was Vice-President and Chief Economist with the Bank of Nova Scotia in Toronto.

    Mackness had a traditional, business-focused vision for the School under his tenure. He stressed accountability and teaching, and introduced mandatory teaching evaluations. His goal was to make the School one of the top five business schools in Canada by mid ‘90s.

    To achieve this goal, Mackness developed a plan to increase funding. He created and developed innovative partnership between the students, University, Provincial Government and The Associates that increased the Faculty’s budget by 40 percent over a five-year period. These initiatives elevated the School to the stature and standards of a leading business school.

     

  • Mackness received tremendous student support during his time as Dean. Students remembered him as being accessible, interested in the student point of view and determined to enhance their educational experience and quality of their degree. He also thought ‘Big’ and students liked that.

    In addition to the increase in funding, several key milestones were achieved during Mackness’ term; the first PhD students were admitted to the School, the Career Development Centre opened in 1991, and an executive-in-residence position was created.


 

  • Black and white photo of Roland Grandpré in a suit speaking into a microgphone.

    Roland Grandpré

    Dean, Faculty of Management, 1981-87

  • Roland Grandpré was a graduate of Merrimack College in Massachusetts and Columbia University in New York. He was known for his expertise in business administration, marketing, small business management, organizational behaviour and organizational change.

    Grandpré was the executive director of the Manitoba Institute of Management between 1967-77. Prior to becoming Dean of the School of Commerce, Grandpré had been Associate Dean of Continuing Management Education at the Own Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

    Grandpré was dean during a restrictive period of budget cuts. Despite this, Grandpré had a strong vision for the School, focusing on external relationships with the business community. He wanted a new building, as the School had reached its capacity in its present location, and wanted to cultivate business community. He also wanted to revise the curriculum to provide a broader business education and reduce opportunities for specialization.

  • During his tenure, Grandpré established an endowment fund to support a chair in actuarial science, which would be funded by the insurance industry and actuarial alumni.
     
    The Associates were also formed during this time, one of the most important events in the history of the School. The Associates are often reported as the most effective business support group in Canada.

    The Race for Space, a 10 km run around campus, was created to raise awareness for the need for a new building. Construction of the Drake Centre began shortly after.

    The International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award (IDEA) Dinner, one of the premier events in Canada’s business world, was initiated during his tenure and still takes place to this day.

    At the end of Grandpré’s tenure, the Drake Centre was opened. Much to the Dean’s delight, it was entirely paid for before occupancy.


 

  • John Mundie.

    John Mundie

    Dean, Faculty of Administrative Studies, 1966-81

  • John Mundie graduated from the School of Commerce in 1954, making him the first person to become director of the school after graduating from it. He received an MBA from Ohio State University in 1955, then a PhD from Stanford University. In 1955, he joined the Faculty as a sessional lecturer and became Director in 1966.

    When the School became a faculty in 1970, Mundie became its first Dean. Mundie was named Dean Emeritus in 1985.

    Mundie was known as a “faculty member’s dean” due to his warm and engaging personality that created a family-like culture in the School. Mundie also built a relationship with the business community. His tenure was characterized by the rapid growth of the School and its changing culture in response to the changing culture of business education in Canada. The School of Commerce increased in both student enrolment and faculty members during his leadership.

  • He served on boards of organizations such as the Manitoba Institute of Management, Society of Industrial Accountants of Canada, Canadian Institute of Financial Planners and the Institute of Canadian Bankers.

    Mundie was a long time member of the Bison Men’s Chorus.

    Mundie is the longest serving senior administrator in the history of the School, having served a successful 40-year career with the Asper School of Business.

    Upon his retirement in 1995, Mundie became a Senior Scholar in the faculty.

    Dr. Mundie passed away on April 23, 2020 at 89 years of age.


 

  • Black and white photo of Ralph Harris.

    Ralph F. Harris

    Director, School of Commerce, 1956-66

  • Ralph F. Harris was born in Halifax, but received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from University of Toronto. Harris then went on to receive a PhD from Harvard in economics, taking up a teaching position at the prestigious school thereafter. He went on to lecture at Stanford.

    Harris started as director of the school in 1956, with a starting salary of $7,000. One project Harris was passionate about during his time as director was changing the names of several courses so they would sound more academic and scholarly.

    Harris also tinkered with the School of Commerce logo. At the time, the logo included a cash register super-imposed onto a bison. Around 1960, Harris sketched a more traditionally academic logo for the School of Commerce; a crest with a sailboat in the centre, with the words ‘enterprise’ and ‘integrity’ inscribed at the bottom. This iteration of the logo was rarely used.

  • During Harris’ tenure, the School of Commerce moved into Isbister Building, which it shared with the geography and psychology departments. During this time, the program also shifted from a three year to a four year Honours program, as academic staff felt course material could not be covered in three years.

    In 1966, Harris was transferred to the Department of Economics.

    Harris was known to enjoy playing the Spanish guitar. He famously had cats named Oligopoly and Monopoly.


 

  • First director (dean), J.B. Rollit.

    J.B. Rollit

    Director, School of Commerce, 1949-55

  • On August 1, 1949, John Buchanan (J.B.) Rollit was appointed to the dual positions of Director of the School of Commerce and Executive Assistant to James Gilson. Rollit received his early education in Quebec and Ontario. The Montreal native pursued both undergraduate and graduate degrees at McGill, and received his PhD in 1934.

    He held several teaching and administrative appointments after lengthy service with the Canadian Army during WWII.

  • Prior to becoming Director at the School, Rollit was an Associate Professor of Economics at McGill with a specialty in transportation problems. He was then appointed Special Assistant to the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill in 1947. Rollit then moved on to become Assistant to the Dean of Arts and Science with special responsibility for the admission of students and for the individual courses of all undergraduates of the faculty.
     
    During his time as Dean, Rollit led an active volunteer life on and off campus. He was a frequent guest speaker in Winnipeg and beyond. In 1955, Rollit left Winnipeg to return to Montreal to fill an executive post with the Canadian Pacific Railway.