The University of Calgary's new Dean of the Haskayne School of Business has moved from the corporate board room to the halls of academia.
Michael Grandin took office Thu., Apr. 1. Since then he has met with faculty members, fellow deans, and recently attended an international exchange student dinner. It is the beginning of a new era for the faculty, and a different culture for Grandin.
So far, he is learning from students and business partners while adjusting to an academic environment.
"In the past, my responsibilities in the business world were to generate profits, raise capital and meet with shareholders," said Grandin. "Here at the university, we are trying to deliver the best education possible. It is very important that we find the right balance between applied knowledge and theoretical knowledge."
Grandin is currently the chairman and CEO of the Fording Canadian Coal Trust. He is also the director of five other public companies includ-ing IPSCO Inc. and EnCana. He decided to undertake the challenge of being dean for a few reasons.
"The business school decided it would be a great idea for a dean to be from the business world," said Grandin. "This will create opportunities to strengthen ties with the business community. I will do just that.
"My background is quite varied, as I have held different executive and management positions in a broad range of companies. Also, this will give me an opportunity to give back to the community."
Grandin hopes to take advantage of Calgary as a city to better the school.
"It is a great city, with the energy sector at the centre," said Grandin. "We need to make use of that advantage. This is a growing vibrant city, which needs to be anchored by a top quality university."
Grandin is proud to be part of the continuing evolution of the university.
"Ultimately, my duty is to make bigger strides to improve the quality of education to be delivered to the students," said Grandin.