Community Report on
Sobey School of Business Strategic Plan 2018
In 2012, the Sobey School undertook a collaborative, consultative approach to developing a new mission statement. Emerging from that process, then-Dean Patricia Bradshaw released a strategic plan in 2013 with three key pillars: Internationalization, Engagement and Innovation & Development. Over the past five years, the school has experienced significant culture shift and change, in large part due to strategic initiatives related to this plan.
Our students and faculty are more culturally aware and integrated than ever. There are international aspects embedded in our curriculum, research and service learning.
Engagement with the business community, the alumni and donor community and students has surged, culminating in the measurement of our impact in Nova Scotia, conducted in 2016. Our scholars have been tracking and reporting on their knowledge mobilization efforts, while continuing to produce high quality pure research.
Sobey School has demonstrated commitment to innovation, growth and development, particularly in our academic programs and structure, but also in facility plans, faculty complement and in our approach to enrollment management.
During the time period of the strategic plan, two cross-pillar themes emerged that were aligned with our mission but not specifically identified in the plan. These concepts of responsible management and impact represent such significant mission-driven action that they are noted separately in this report.
Mission and Strategy development process initiated.
Sobey’s Co-operative Management Education group is a regional leader celebrating the UN’s Year of Co-operatives.
Saint Mary’s University is thriving in the global context. With students coming from 119 countries and a faculty complement that is equally diverse, it is easy to see why Saint Mary’s University President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray has noted with pride that Saint Mary’s is one of Canada’s top international universities.
The Sobey School of Business, with its student population comprising 50% Canadians and 50% international students, is a large part of the university’s success. Since 2012, Sobey School has strategically pursued activities to further ensure the school’s successful internationalization.
The Sobey Experience has grown over the last five years, with now-regular rituals such as the Welcome Week session for undergraduates and the joint orientation session for all graduate business students. Student engagement has grown steadily. Through active societies like Enactus Saint Mary's, the Impact Fund and Venture Grade Student Fund and the Net Impact group (founded by MBA students), work with Career Services and our service learning initiatives, our students gain more access to engage with community.
Innovation & Development
Standing still is not an option in any area of business, and this is true as well for business education. Throughout the five years of the Sobey School strategic plan, the school has continued to innovate, grow and develop across many elements. New programs have debuted, existing programs have seen significant renewal, a new building houses the former Sobey School Business Development Centre, now the Saint Mary's University Entrepreneurship Centre, and the university’s plans for an Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Discovery hub point to future development. Our reputation and brand have evolved from staid and dated to a dynamic, living embodiment of Impact with Purpose. New faculty have infused the scholarship of the school with new directions and approaches.
Beyond the Strategy
During the term of a strategic plan, sometimes mission-aligned priorities emerge that do not fall within the plan due to an unforeseen confluence of time, change of circumstance and energy. Such an opportunity arose when Sobey School’s faculty voted unanimously to sign on to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) in 2014. This action aligned with the spirit of several elements in our mission, and fulfilling our commitment to PRME has added a new dimension to other work we have undertaken within the plan. A second opportunity arose with our acceptance into EFMD providing access to an impact framework, and an opportunity to measure what we increasingly recognized was our crucial contribution to Nova Scotia's prosperity.