For many, September marks a new start. The chance to reset after summer vacation, get back into familiar routines or springboard into a new adventure. This year, Haskayne students aren’t the only ones settling into their new campus life, as the business school officially welcomes Dr. Gina Grandy, PhD, as its new dean.
While she officially began her term on Sept. 1, Grandy introduced herself to Haskayne staff and faculty, as well as to Calgary’s business community, at an internal event and a special edition of Haskayne Hour held on May 30. During both events, Grandy expressed her enthusiasm to join Haskayne and lead the business school, and spoke about her passion for working in the equity, diversity and inclusion space and her intention to come into the role with an open mind – and open ears.
“It’s very early days for me and I intend to listen a lot over my first couple of months to students, colleagues at Haskayne and across campus and the business community, to better understand where they see opportunities,” says Grandy. “My job is one of a catalyst to support and create meaningful change, but it is important not to jump without listening intently first.”
A wealth of experience paired with an excitement for the future ahead
Before joining Haskayne, Grandy served as dean of the Hill and Levene Schools of Business at the University of Regina beginning in 2018. She is a full professor with expertise in strategy and leadership and previously held the role of associate dean of research and graduate programs at the Hill and Levene Schools while also serving as the Royal Bank of Canada Women in Leadership Research Scholar.
Outside of her years in the Prairies, Grandy has participated in numerous international teaching and research stints at schools in the U.K. and Ukraine. Born and raised in Atlantic Canada, Grandy is used to adapting to new cities and environments but notes that she sees a lot of similarities between Calgary and Regina.
“While I am a new resident to the city, Calgary is familiar to me,” says Grandy. “Having lived in Regina for the last 10 years, the connections between Regina and Calgary are extensive. Calgary’s population is young, diverse and growing – this is a city full of opportunity. I see Calgary as a city that has grit and its business community is resilient.”
When asked what attracted her to join and lead the Haskayne School of Business, Grandy notes there are many reasons – particularly the School’s and university’s exceptional national reputation.
“Haskayne is one of the top business schools in this country, and the institution has been recognized as one of the top-five research universities,” says Grandy. “World-class researchers, transdisciplinary collaborative opportunities across campus and a highly engaged business community all stood out for me. To be part of building the future for a school and institution of this calibre is indeed exciting.”
Putting a spotlight on Haskayne’s competitive strengths for greater community impact
Based on first impressions, Grandy sees a lot of Haskayne’s strengths and is quick to highlight the areas that differentiate the school from other business schools in Canada.
“Haskayne’s collective of centres that focus specifically on community and student engagement is remarkable,” says Grandy. “This network is grounded in a synergy generated from continued philanthropic generosity, business mentorship, transdisciplinary student engagement and faculty expertise. They operate both distinctly and tied to the academic programming of Haskayne. The novel leadership programming such as adventure leadership and various entrepreneurship programming such as the MBA entrepreneurship consulting requirements, Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies (and) embedded entrepreneurship certificate stand out as clear differentiators.
“In addition, these community and student-engaged centres are complemented by a number of research-based centres at Haskayne. This networked approach built over many years, and which bridges business practice, research and teaching, is very difficult for other business schools to replicate — and it has real impact.”
Beyond having strong leadership, research and teaching experience under her belt, Grandy comes to Haskayne with a collaborative leadership style, a steadfast focus on inclusivity, a strong willingness to learn and a desire to forge authentic relationships.
“I value the relationships with the business community and fully appreciate how business schools need to be relevant,” says Grandy. “My style is one of collaboration and I already can see that inside and outside the University of Calgary, people are eager to collaborate with Haskayne. I am eager and excited to become part of the Calgary community.”