Last fall was a banner season for the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, which received landmark gifts from major donors totalling $28 million. The Rotman School will use the money to construct a new facility and bolster a range of new and existing programs.
Sandra and Joseph L. Rotman contributed a total of $18 million, from which $10 million will help establish the new Lloyd and Delphine Martin Prosperity Institute, a research centre headed by urban theorist Richard Florida. The new institute, named in honour of the parents of Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School, was created last year with a $50-million grant from the province of Ontario. Professor Florida, an expert on economic competitiveness, demographic trends, and cultural and technological innovation, joined the school as a professor of business and creativity.
The remaining $8 million will support the University of Toronto’s undergraduate commerce program (offered jointly by Rotman and the Faculty of Arts and Science); Rotman, the school’s award-winning magazine; the new building fund; and ongoing academic research. An expansion of the Rotman School is expected to open in 2011, and will house the Martin Prosperity Institute and other research centres and programs. The Rotmans have previously given $18 million, and in 1997 the school was renamed in Joseph’s honour. Marcel Desautels has contributed an additional
$10 million to the Rotman School to support The Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking.
The school also received a $10-million donation from Marcel Desautels, president and CEO of the Canadian Credit Management Foundation, to support the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking. The money will enable the school to hire additional faculty and staff, extend the integrative-thinking curriculum across all teaching programs, and pursue research projects, conferences, and other events based on this new approach to business education. The Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking will also be housed in the new building. Desautels has previously given $21 million to establish the Desautels Centre and support student scholarships.
Rotman is training integrative thinkers to build new business models rather than choose between existing ones; consider problems as a whole, rather than breaking them down into smaller parts; and creatively resolve tensions without resorting to costly trade-offs. “The world of business education has been fundamentally changed for the better by the emergence of integrative thinking,” says Desautels.