New BSAD dean Talks Reforms

Less than three months into the job, and Sanjay Sharma, Dean of the School of Business Administration (BSAD) has already gotten down to business.


Sharma was appointed dean last March after raising $50 million for the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University and earning its MBA Program a top 100 world ranking from The Economist.


In order to help the BSAD find its potential, Sharma said he has spent the early part of his role as dean trying to understand the challenges, strengths and capabilities of the current business school’s model.


“The main strengths of the school are its faculty and staff,” Sharma said. “The main challenge is that the school does not have a strategic focus, brand or distinction in any particular area and has a curriculum that has not been revised for a long time.”


It all comes down to finding considerable resources in order to retain world-class faculty, to build student experiences and to provide the information technology, he said.


“I am hopeful that we will begin to attract the resources from our alumni and the business community to build excellence at this school,” Sharma said.


When asked if any plans had been made for a curriculum overhaul, Sharma said he had created a committee of faculty members who will review the curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate programs.


“They are looking at the courses, the majors, the content, the format, the student experiences and all other components,” he said. “They will benchmark against the best and most innovative business programs in the world, and invite input from students, employers and alumni.”


Sharma said he was also working on bringing in a panel of experts to campus to talk about the financial crisis and future solutions, according to University Communications. 


 “These are experts who will be spending the day diagnosing the financial crisis and discussing what we need to do to make sure this does not happen again,” he said.


The panel will be held on Dec. 2 and there will be time for students to engage in one-on-one conversation with the panelists, Sharma said.


Future employment opportunities for BSAD graduates have become a major focus for the dean as he tries to find ways to effectively prepare students for the real world, he said.


“We have hired a talented career development professional who is working on advising students, bringing employers on campus and working with students on career planning and placement,” Sharma said.


Reaction to Sharma’s first few months on the job has been mostly favorable in the eyes of some of Sharma’s colleagues and students at the BSAD.


“I’m excited that Sanjay has joined us,” Rocki-Lee DeWitt, professor of management, said. “We have a wonderful opportunity to leverage our faculty talent and alumni connections to provide exciting, compelling programmatic offerings that are informed by solid research and outreach.”