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Advertorial: New Leadership

Joseph Doucet is committed to training leaders from Alberta for the world at the Alberta School of Business

Dec 2, 2013


When Dr. Doucet talks about his vision of “Leaders from Alberta for the World,” he says it with an understandable sense of confidence. Doucet knows as well as anyone the potential the Alberta School of Business has moving forward. That much was evidenced when the school was recently named among the top research institutions on the planet by The Financial Times of London. And Doucet knows the rich history of the school.

Approaching its centennial, the Alberta School of Business was the first business school in Canada to receive accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). More recently, the school began offering the University of Alberta’s first international degree – the Master of Financial Management (MFM) – in China. Doucet knows the faculty members, too, and he grows animated as he lists off the internationally-renowned professors in the various departments that make the school a key player in the provincial, national and global economies. And he knows the alumni, many of whom have fulfilled his vision and gone on to become leaders around the globe. But, when Doucet talks about leadership, it’s not just in the business world. It’s leading academic innovation, community leadership within the student body, and the school’s role as a leading institution in the world. “I’m talking about leadership at all levels,” Doucet explains.

As the new leader of the Alberta School of Business, officially becoming dean this summer, Doucet will rely on his own academic background and experience to further establish the school’s vital role in the business community.

Doucet came to the Alberta School of Business 13 years ago after spending a decade teaching at Université Laval. In Alberta he helped grow and champion the MBA specialization in Natural Resources, Energy and Environment as well as the Centre for Applied Business Research in Energy and the Environment. He was also the first director of the University of Alberta’s School of Energy and the Environment, which – along with entrepreneurship and international business – is one of the three main focuses he’s identified for the school moving forward. He obtained his bachelor of management science in his hometown at the University of Ottawa before achieving his master’s and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.

Today, Doucet doesn’t teach as much as he used to but he still takes on one course, a leadership class as part of the new Leadership Certificate in the undergrad program. He still makes a point to connect with students, whether it’s by speaking French with students in the bilingual BCom program or participating in the Five Days for the Homeless funding event, which was kick started by Alberta School of Business alumni and has gone on to raise nearly $1 million for Youth Empowerment & Support Services. “Involvement goes a lot further than a handshake,” he says. His responsibilities transcend academia as his various roles on numerous boards and committees across the province allow him to speak as a contributing voice on public policies to both the provincial and federal governments. Still, Doucet wants students to receive as much applied experience as possible and he never hesitates to lead student groups on trips to other cities to give them first-hand knowledge of different business environments and to meet both business and community leaders outside Alberta.

Doucet believes that real-world interaction and networking, blended with academic integrity makes the Alberta School of Business a flagship faculty of the University of Alberta. He also attributes the school’s connection to the outstanding university, and its various disciplines, as one of its greatest assets.

And while students benefit from external relationships set up through the Alberta School of Business the school itself uses its strong foundations to stay connected and relevant with the business world. Doucet is quick to praise initiatives like the Business Advisory Council (BAC), which offers leadership and advice to the Alberta School of Business and its leaders. BAC members are respected members of the North American and international business communities and their efforts are invaluable in helping the school establish and maintain strong connections to the wider community.


It’s this external network along with the school’s powerful alumni that helps attract world-class faculty members. “We have amazing teachers and researchers at the school whom we are able to attract internationally because of our fabulous (economic) environment, and that translates into our successful programs,” Doucet says.
Doucet speaks highly of all the programs throughout the school; Alberta BCom, Alberta MBA, PhD, Executive Education, and the MFM, which is now offered in China and Calgary. The same goes for the faculty members.

One who comes to mind is David McLean. McLean, who teaches in the BCom, MBA and PhD programs, has had his research published in The Financial Times, The New York Times and taught at MIT before returning to the Alberta School of Business. McLean is also the Dianne and Irving Kipnes Chair in Finance and Development where he develops effective policy options for raising living standards in low income countries. This position came after a substantial donation from the Kipnes Foundation and is just one example of how the school is able to use its strong reputation and deep connections to secure private funding and further the school’s vision. Donation plays a large role in the school’s operating budget and is one of the reasons that the Alberta School of Business operates on nearly 50 per cent own-source funding. With a PhD in finance from Boston College and a master’s degree in economics from Arizona State University, McLean, like most faculty members, has an academic history that speaks for itself, but Doucet says he always hears from students how outstanding the school’s professors are in the classroom, too.

“I always tell our new students that they are students for a few years, but they are alumni for life,” Doucet says. “And no matter where they’re from, whether it’s Shanghai or Mumbai, or where life takes them post-graduation, they are Alberta’s ambassadors for life, too.” The Alberta School of Business is fortunate to have an alumni body of 24,489 that remains involved in the school’s global alumni network. Many alumni come back and contribute as guest lecturers or allow students to take part in strategy sessions within their organizations. “Since becoming dean,” Doucet says, “meeting as many alumni as possible has been one of my top priorities and this will not change.” Doucet can easily list the school’s alumni. There’s Greg Abel, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holding Company in Iowa who recently received the University of Alberta’s highest honour earning the Distinguished Alumni Award and has a strong business relationship with Warren Buffett; Scott Gilmore, CEO and founder of Building Markets in Ottawa; Jared Smith, co-founder of Incite Marketing in Edmonton; Janet Wood, executive vice president of SAP in Vancouver – the list goes on. These alumni returned to speak this past year for the 25th anniversary of the Business Alumni Association. “When you combine leadership and excellence, then you get relevance,” Doucet says. These alumni demonstrate the school’s excellence as it expands its programming and relevance at home and around the world, with leaders from the Alberta School of Business paving the way.

As he says, it’s about leadership at all levels – including the top.

Dave Lede of Ledcor to receive leadership award on March 12, 2014

On March 12, 2014 Dave Lede, ’70 BCom, will be in Edmonton to accept the Alberta School of Business’ 33rd Canadian Business Leader Award (CBLA). Lede is the long-time chairman and CEO of Leduc-founded Ledcor Group of Companies, a leading construction company, now headquartered in Vancouver. The CBLA Dinner, the School’s signature event, is attended by over 800 members of Alberta’s business community.

To purchase a table, contact: Susan Robertson

Executive Training

Innovative and Customized

Dr. Marvin Washington

Executive Education is tied to world-renowned research presented by internationally-recognized business leaders like Dr. Marvin Washington. Before joining the Alberta School of Business he was a strategy professor at Texas Tech University. Prior to that, he was an operations manager at Procter & Gamble. Washington was attracted to the Alberta School of Business to teach in the MBA program, where he’s received the MBA teaching award two years running. But, after missing some of the immediacy that comes with working in the business world, he added Executive Education courses to round out his schedule. It has been the perfect fit. “These are people coming to us to solve real problems,” Washington says of his learners. “They come to become more effective and more successful.”

Executive Education students are as diverse as the program’s courses, but Washington says one constant is that the information is practical. “I’m always focusing strategy and research on how it pertains to the people in the program – it’s a partnership,” he says. “It’s also my job to coordinate the program and bring in other professors and external experts,” he says. Thanks to the Alberta School of Business’ international network and active alumni body, finding the right speakers is never a problem; neither is finding relevant research. Washington focuses on leadership and change, drawing in part on his 12 years as an advisor to the Government of Botswana.

Global Research

Rigorous and Relevant

To Dr. Michael Lounsbury, principal investigator at the National Institute of Nanotechnology at the University of Alberta and the Alberta School of Business’ associate dean of research, effective research involves building connections and translating theory into practice. “With regard to entrepreneurship, we reach out to students in all faculties – whether it’s science, medicine, engineering, arts – and we connect them with our business students to form entrepreneurial teams to get products to market,” he says. Lounsbury, who received his PhD from Northwestern University, believes that the Alberta School of Business’ world-renowned research contributes to the school’s entrepreneurial spirit.“We’ve worked to build bridges between business and science. It allows us to leverage our research and contribute to the development of a more vibrant entrepreneurial culture.”

Other examples include bridges to market, innovative course offerings and top researchers. The Technology Commercialization Centre and eHub bridges young and experienced entrepreneurs, accelerating Alberta’s entrepreneurial capacity. Capitalizing on this momentum, the school will be offering Entrepreneurship 101 to all undergraduates, further connecting various faculties on campus with the Alberta School of Business. This spirit is paying off for alumni as a recent report by professors Tony Briggs and Jennifer Jennings found that there are currently more than 70,000 organizations founded by University of Alberta alumni, contributing $348 annually to the global economy.

Reading Room

The Retail Value Proposition: Crafting Unique Experiences at Compelling Prices
Kyle Murray

Markets on Trial: The Economic Sociology of the U.S. Financial Crisis
Michael Lounsbury

Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research
Jennifer Jennings and Karen Hughes

Capitalizing China
Randall Morck

Successful Organizational Transformation: The Five Critical Elements
Marvin Washington, Steven Hacker and Marla Hacker

Executive Programs

Organizational Transformation
March 11, 2014

Governance Program for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
March 28, 2014

The Executive Program
March 31 – April 2, 2014

Program Dates

BCom Application Deadline
March 1, 2014

MBA Information Sessions
Jan. 15, Feb. 26 and Mar. 19, 2014

Upcoming Events

Canadian Business Leader Award
Dave Lede, CEO & Chairman, Ledcor
March 12, 2014

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