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Growth and Change
(1975 - 1990)


“Universities play a significant role in attracting high tech investments and entrepreneurs.  A strong liaison is important so that new research projects and new ideas can be exchanged among scientists and innovators and a common intellectual and social bond established.  In all key ‘high tech’ areas of North America, world scale universities are near these industrial centres.  The maintenance of this liaison is reinforced even further if the universities themselves are involved in technology transfer.”

White Paper, Proposals for an Industrial Science Strategy for Albertans, 1985 – 1990, p. 45


While the White Paper generated considerable disagreement, a number of Faculties, including Business, utilized it as a starting point for implementing a number of activities.  As will be seen below, considerable effort was put into how best to offer Management Education throughout the province.  The development of joint programs, both internally and with external bodies, new graduate programs and the ongoing adjustment of programs were being undertaken.  

The Faculty underwent yet another name change - the Board of Governors approved changing the name of the Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce to the Faculty of Business effective July 1, 1982.  Changing the name of the Faculty involved considerable discussion on a number of occasions.  To illustrate, some eleven years earlier, a motion to change the name from the Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce to the Faculty of Administrative Sciences had been tabled in January, 1971, since representatives on Council felt that the opinion of students should be sought, and there was considerable disagreement over the new name as well as considerable disagreement with the proposed name.

    Then, at the 179th Meeting of FBAC Council, January 26, 1973, a motion to “untable” the motion noted above was considered out of order.  The motion to untable the item was carried, but it was suggested that the question be considered at the next meeting.  Universities being what they are, the motion of January 18, 1971, (which had been removed from the table) was placed on the floor for discussion at the February 20, 1973, Meeting (#180) of FBAC Council.

Discussion on the proposed motion covered a variety of issues, name changes at other Faculties of Business/Management and student objections to a change in name, etc., led to a motion, which was carried, to once more Table the Motion.

A motion to change the name was once again placed on the agenda for the 200th meeting of FBAC Council, December 10, 1975. 
Unfortunately, by the time this particular item was to be discussed, there was no longer a quorum so the item had to be deferred until the next meeting on January 21, 1976.  Again, because of time constraints, the motion was postponed until the meeting of February 18, 1976.
At the February 18, 1976, (#203) FBAC meeting (which required six pages of minutes to consider the change in name) there were a number of factors presented during the discussion of a name change – these included changing part of the proposed name as, for example, changing the word “sciences” to “studies.”  As well, there was considerable discussion as to how additional suggestions for names could be obtained such as a ‘ballot’ on which various constituencies could vote.  When the question was put, the motion to change the name to Faculty of Administrative Sciences was defeated.
The proposal to utilize a “ballot” system was considered at the 204th meeting of FBAC Council, March 24, 1976.  The motion was,
    THAT the Faculty should select a new name through the following guidelines:

i)    By written ballot circulated to all members of Council, two names will be selected.  The following names will appear on the ballot, and other names can be added by any member:  Faculty of Administration; Faculty of Management; Faculty of Business; Faculty of Commerce.
ii)    A second ballot shall be used to choose the new name from the two receiving the most votes on the first ballot.

At the 207th meeting of FBAC Council, May 11, 1976, Ted Chambers reported that 34 votes had been cast, with the “Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce” receiving 20 votes and the “Faculty of Management” 14 votes.  However, the push to change the name did not reoccur until six years later when, at the 241st meeting of FBAC Council, December 1, 1981, a motion
THAT the Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce recommend to the appropriate University authorities that the Faculty’s name be changed to the Faculty of Business, and that this change be effectuated July 1, 1982.
was introduced.

The motion was again subject to considerable discussion and argument.  The student representative from BACUS, for example, indicated that students were not in favour of the name change but preferred either Faculty of Commerce or Faculty of Business Administration.  Eventually, however, the motion was carried.  Some 16 months later (Faculty of Business Council Meeting, #248, April 6, 1983), BACUS “… announced that, to reflect the Faculty’s change in name, BACUS had ratified a name change to Business Students’ Association (BSA).”

The change in name was one of many which had occurred since 1916, when the entity was referred to, initially, as the Department of Accounting, then the School of Commerce, then Faculty of Business.  The name, School of Business, was instituted in 2000 and, by 2005, changed to The Alberta School of Business.  [UAA, 84-136, 27, Box 2]  The major reason for this most recent change was that the name ‘Faculty’ is relatively unknown in Universities outside of Canada.  With the growth in the number of foreign students, it was felt that the title ‘School’ was better known than ‘Faculty’ and could be more expediently used for marketing purposes.

At the 281st meeting of Business Council, March 21, 1988, Council approved a document, “General Objectives of the Faculty.”  The document stated,
        “Two goals are of special and direct importance to the Faculty.  The Faculty should strive to be recognized for its research program as the FOREMOST IN CANADA AND AMONG THE BEST INTERNATIONALLY….Many business schools in Canada and elsewhere are competing in the recruitment of capable researchers and in drives for research funding; competition is formidable.  We believe, therefore, that the efforts to develop and maintain the Faculty’s level of research and knowledge creation should be continued and intensified.
        “The other central goal of the Faculty relates to the transmission of knowledge.  THE FACULTY HAS A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENT INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS…. Management of instructional programs must be given high priority, and recognition must continue to be given to Faculty members who are successful in sharing their expertise with students.”

The Report then went on to state a third goal,
        “To be a vigorous management Faculty, we cannot abdicate responsibility for providing leadership and service to the external community.  We also recognize the potential for joint benefit that exists in many of our external relationships.  A good example of a mutually-supportive relationship is found in the Faculty’s association with the accounting profession and we should continue this collaboration for mutual benefit.  We should, therefore, strive to build solid and lasting links with the external community primarily where our central objectives of research and teaching excellence would be furthered.”

The document continued,
        “Continuing search for external funding is essential if research is to flourish within the Faculty, and must remain a high Faculty priority.  The Faculty should also examine its internal policies for sources of research efficiency; increased flexibility in individual teaching loads is one example of such a potential policy improvement.  Finally, Faculty personnel policies must be consistent with the commitment to success in this endeavor….
        “Excellent instruction is based on high quality research and calls for dedicated and coordinated effort in transmitting state of the art knowledge to the students….
        “To support excellent instruction, the Faculty may have to re-evaluate such matters as admission standards, undergraduate or graduate quotas, and the suitability of courses both within and outside the Faculty, and monitor the career success of students.  Considerable innovation in programs and delivery may be necessary if instructional excellence is to be maintained in the face of budget and personnel constraints.  To this end, it is important to pursue and develop alternatives which achieve both excellence and economy, consistent with the central goals.”

Archival material presents varying dates marking changes in the Faculty’s name, programs, direction, philosophy, etc.  For example, a document (UAA, 99-23, Box 8) with a handwritten date of February 28/90 presents a somewhat different set of dates for various changes and appears to have been prepared for a yearbook with a number of dates and relatively broad comments relating to programs.  The document is as follows:

In the 1983-84 academic year, two major events occurred in the history of the Faculty of Business.  The first was a name change (the most recent in a series of changes going back to 1915) from the Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce, to the Faculty of Business.  The second was the opening of the Faculty of Business Building.  In many ways the new name and building represent the maturation of the Faculty, whose history involves a series of changes in purpose and philosophy mirrored by a shuffling and division of staff from facility to facility.  Beginning as the School of Accountancy, the name changed to the School of Commerce in 1928.  The Department of Business Administration came into being in 1955, and the School of Commerce became the Faculty of Commerce, separating from Arts and Sciences, in 1960.  The School of Accountancy was originally housed in the Arts Building, where it remained until 1962.  This was a period of slow development, with new programs established (such as the four year Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1921) and increasing enrollment at a slow and steady rate.  The period following the move to the Commerce Hut in 1962, on the other hand, was marked by rapid development and change in location, philosophy and curriculum, as well as staff and enrollment.  The curriculum between 1915 and 1940 was mainly an Arts program, with extra courses in Accounting and Political Economy.  The identification of the Commerce student with the Accounting profession became firmly established during this time.  Between 1940 and 1956, under the directorship of Francis G. Winspear, the program became highly specialized with little opportunity given the students to take liberal arts courses.  The year 1960 marked the beginning of a series of changes and developments which revised this curriculum, and culminated in 1984 with a new name and building.  In 1960, the School of Commerce becamse (sic) a Faculty, and under the deanship of Hu Harries the program was broadened and returned to a more liberally-oriented study.  This development allowed the later introduction of the Master of Business Administration (1964) and Master of Public Management (1978) programs, which require a minimum of core business courses and accept students from a wide variety of undergraduate departments.  During the 1960s, as well, the enrollment increased from 150 to 1,000 students, necessitating a quota imposition which has fluctuated throughout the ‘70s and into the ‘80s.  With this expansion came a serious problem finding facilities to house the Faculty of Commerce, which moved into its own building in 1962, and immediately expanded in 1963 into other facilities in the Education Building and on 87th Avenue.  This rapid expansion is reflected in the name change in 1965 to the Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce, and the records show a whole series of movements and divisions from one facility to another.  During the period from 1960 to 1983, the Faculty (or some part of it) occupied space in all of these buildings:  the Commerce Hut, the Education Building, suites on 87th Avenue, the Physics Building, the Psychology Wing of the Biological Sciences Centre, Central Academic Building, Assiniboia Hall, Athabasca Hall, the Athabasca Annex, and the South Laboratory.  1984 saw the end of all this shuffling, however, with the opening of the new Faculty of Business Building.


The era, 1975-1990, is characterized by both ongoing issues and the development of a number of new initiatives.  At the 190th meeting of Commerce Council, several items were on the agenda that, ultimately, had some long-term implications.  Among the items discussed were the following:

a)    The Naming of Buildings
Council was provided with a document outlining the Board of Governor’s policy on the naming of university buildings.  The policy, prepared by a Committee consisting of Margaret Andrekson, Walter Johns and Dudley Menzies stated:
        “The Committee feel (sic) that the University should continue to follow the general practice of naming teaching buildings after their functions and would depart from it only under exceptional circumstances, such as naming a single building e.g. in the Medical Centre after a distinguished Professor of Medicine, or a similar situation elsewhere.”

The minutes note:
        “In reply to a question from P. Winters, the Chairman confirmed that this policy implied that the Faculty’s new building would in all likelihood have the somewhat cumbersome name of “Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce Building”.   P. Winters suggested that the consideration of a name for the faculty’s new building might therefore be cause for reviewing once again a change in name for the Faculty itself.  He asked as well whether the existing policy might be waived for exceptional circumstances. …

        “Aside from the concerns expressed by Professor Winters, those present appeared to be in agreement with the existing policy on naming of university buildings.”

b)    BCom Program with concentration in Food Science

A seconded motion from the USPC (Undergraduate Studies Policy Committee) was presented to Council.  The motion (which led to considerable discussion) was as follows:
THAT the Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce adopt a program of a B.Com. (sic) with a concentration in Food Service Administration, …

The minutes go on to note:
    “Prior to the end of the discussion, Professor Denham drew attention once again to the benefits of such a program, both in providing an opportunity for the Faculty to assist other Departments within the University and in making B.Com. (sic) students more marketable in the business world.”  with the motion being
c)    Deletion of the name:  Executive MBA Program
The following was before the Council as a seconded motion from the Graduate Studies Policy Committee [GSPC]:
MOTION:  THAT the term “The Executive MBA Program” be deleted from the MBA calendar.

RATIONALE:  (as presented by M. Nakamura, Chairman of the GSPC)

    “The spirit of the Executive MBA Program, when established, was in fact a part-time MBA program with no difference in quality from the full-time MBA program.  This term was not an official title that went through the Board of Governors or whatever body would approve such a program.  It came into being for the marketing purpose.  This original objective has been accomplished given a substantial increase in the number of applications to our MBA program….

It is also pointed out that the term “The Executive MBA Program” is misleading in that some people might think that there is a separate Executive MBA Degree which is different in requirements and quality from a regular MBA program.

GSPC thinks that the description of our MBA program in the MBA calendar should be rewritten along the line that our Faculty offers only one MBA program with one set of standards which can be attended either full-time or part-time according to Faculty and University regulations which include the residency requirement.”


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"My own impression is that we should look forward in the not distant future to some organization corresponding to a School of Commerce of which this might very well form a part. Commercial Departments in connection with Universities have so far not been successful in Canada, although I believe that after some years now the one at McGill is making some progress."

- Dr Tory, First President of the UofA
16 January 1919