A message from Dean Yolande E. Chan

Message from the Dean

Yolande E. Chan
Dean and James McGill Professor
Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University

IMPACT Report - 2020

The power of community

As I begin my mandate as the new Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Management, I warmly welcome you to our 2020-21 Impact Report, where we look back over the past year and reflect on the collective challenges we faced and the milestones we celebrated in our mission to shape leaders of impact.

Having spent the last decades in academic leadership roles at Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, I took it for granted that I could teach, mentor, conduct research, and lead face-to-face on campus. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us to connect in new and unexpected ways, the power of community has never been more evident, especially at Desautels—and this is one of the initial attractions for me in coming to this Faculty.

I owe my deepest gratitude to my predecessors, Morty Yalovsky and Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, for laying such a solid foundation upon which we can build an even stronger future. Their predecessor, Peter Todd, was once my Queen’s colleague. I thank him also. After the pandemic upended our world in March 2020, the health and safety of the community was a top Desautels priority. I know that nothing about that transition to remote teaching and working was easy, but our teams at Desautels worked tirelessly to ensure that students received the high-quality instruction they have come to expect, including additional support through:

Expanded course offerings during the summer semester;

  • Personalized health and wellness care, educational opportunities, and group activities;
  • A new equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) unit to ensure that every student feels affirmed and valued;
  • Opportunities for students to work on projects geared toward helping local organizations navigate the pandemic; and
  • Virtual versions of networking and educational events, including the annual Desautels career fair.

We also revamped our Faculty’s strategic plan after considerable consultation with stakeholders. Going forward, we are committed to three core priorities:

  • Students
  • Research excellence
  • Community impact

We have committed to making measurable progress on these three priorities by activating new initiatives and enhancing existing ones that:

  • Harness the power of McGill;
  • Strengthen connections;
  • Champion sustainability; and
  • Advance equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

While I am still new to the role, I am already so proud of the ways in which our donors, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and industry partners have stepped up to lend support throughout this difficult time. In the pages that follow, you will get a sense of the pivotal role this community of talented, dedicated people plays in so many lives.

With your continued support, the Desautels Faculty of Management will enter the post-pandemic era with renewed hope and confidence in our mission.

Yolande E. Chan

Dean and James McGill Professor

Priority 1: Student-Focused >

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