Remembering a business school pioneer

January 5, 2016

The first dean of York University’s Schulich School of Business passed away last month at the age of 91, leaving behind a legacy that a Globe and Mail contributor describes as one of “grand vision.” The commemorative piece outlines the career of Jim Gillies, from his service in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII to his professorship at UCLA and eventual role as Dean of the business school at YorkU. Gillies is credited with helping to create the business school largely from scratch, incorporating curriculum that included study of the public, private, and non-profit sectors; a separate non-profit leadership MBA; and a part-time MBA. He was also one of the pioneers of the now-essential “strategy study” component of the MBA, in which students create reports on real-life businesses and present those reports to company executives. Globe and Mail