Business School Dean Reappointed

June 16, 2014 - Campus Bulletin

Prof. Julia Christensen Hughes has been reappointed dean of the College of Business and Economics for a five-year term, effective immediately.

The decision follows an extensive review by a committee of faculty, students and staff led by Maureen Mancuso, provost and vice-president (academic).

“The University has been working hard to establish itself as a leader in business-related programs since the business school opened in 2006,” she says.

As dean, Christensen Hughes has built the school’s reputation for innovation in business education and social enterprise; launched an undergraduate major in accounting and an MBA in sustainable commerce; and better aligned the College's vision with the University's mission.

“It’s now critical that we focus on building the College’s external reputation, especially in academic research and graduate teaching, and Julia understands the importance of this,” Mancuso says.

Expanding the College’s research activity and profile will be front and centre. Mancuso and Christensen Hughes agreed upon a set of priorities for the next five years, including:

  • Establishing an optimal structure for the business school’s graduate programs and research enterprise;
  • Identifying and implementing measures to build the school’s external reputation in academic research and graduate teaching through improved advocacy;
  • Developing concrete strategies to address and improve performance on Integrated Planning metrics;
  • Aggressively fundraising to support renovations to Macdonald Hall;
  • Pursuing accreditation for the business school’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Mancuso also thanked members of the search committee and the University community for their input and involvement.

Christensen Hughes says that she is proud of what the business school has achieved over the past five years and is looking forward to its next stage of development.

“This has been a team effort. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such committed and talented colleagues and students, and for the confidence they have shown in my leadership,” she says.

“Business and economics research and education have never been more important to the well-being of society. Guelph’s business school has a unique opportunity to connect these disciplines with the University’s commitment to changing lives and improving life.”

A U of G faculty member since 1987, Christensen Hughes served as director of U of G's Teaching Support Services for 10 years. She was also president of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and was appointed chair of the Department of Business in 2007.

Her scholarly interests include organizational effectiveness, strategic human resource management, employee and student engagement, academic integrity and curriculum reform. She is the author of numerous book chapters and journal articles and co-edited the 2010 book Taking Stock: Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

In 2008, Christensen Hughes received the University's John Bell Award for outstanding educational leadership. In 2007, her work on academic integrity earned her the Edward F. Sheffield Award for research excellence.

She earned a bachelor's degree in commerce from U of G and an MBA and a PhD in organizational behaviour from York University's Schulich School of Business.

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