Former Sauder professor returns from UC Berkeley to take helm as Dean


After a year-long search, the University of British Columbia has announced that Professor Robert Helsley will return to the Sauder School of Business as its new dean on July 1. Prof. Helsley, currently at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, will replace Sauder’s outgoing dean, Daniel Muzyka, who steps down on June 30, after 13 years of service.

A senior associate dean at Sauder from 2002 to 2008, Prof. Helsley also served as the director of the UBC Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics, and as chair of the Urban Land Economics division.  At the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley since 2008, Helsley served as a professor and chair in Real Estate Development, and was the co-chair of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics.

“We are extremely pleased that Robert Helsley is returning to the UBC community as Sauder’s dean,” says David Farrar, UBC Provost and Vice President Academic. “The close connections he fostered at the university and in the business community during his more than 20 years at the school, as well as his recent experience as a senior academic at one of North America’s premier business schools, will be tremendous assets for Sauder as it continues on its dynamic trajectory of growth.”

Prof. Helsley was an influential leader at Sauder during his previous tenure from 1984 to 2008.  As senior associate dean, Faculty and Research, he worked closely with Dean Muzyka on initiatives leading to a significant renewal of the school’s academic staff and played a central role in the initial phase of the expansion and revitalization of Sauder’s teaching facilities on UBC’s Vancouver campus. As director of the UBC Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics, he helped build Sauder’s academic strength in this key area.

“I look forward to returning to Sauder, renewing my relationships and building on the remarkable growth the school has experienced in the past several years,” says Prof. Helsley. “It will be a great pleasure to lead Sauder as it continues to build its international reputation for research and teaching excellence.”

Before coming to UBC, Prof. Helsley was a consultant with ECO Northwest Limited, which provides public- and private-sector clients worldwide with expertise in economics, finance and planning.  He completed an MA and PhD in Economics at Princeton University, and a BS in Economics and Mathematics at the University of Oregon.  He has published widely in the areas of urban and public economics, real estate and public policy.

Prof. Helsley was selected as dean after an intensive UBC recruitment process, including consultations with Sauder faculty, staff, students and members of Sauder’s Faculty Advisory Board.