A legacy of growth and community: Dean Daniel F. Muzyka

Dean Daniel

On June 30, the Dean of UBC’s Sauder School of Business, Daniel F. Muzyka, will step down after 13 years of transformative leadership.

Dean Muzyka led the school on a journey of tremendous growth.

When he arrived at Sauder in 1999, he had a vision for turning one of Canada’s strongest business schools into a global leader. After more than a decade of revitalization of programs, teaching, research and infrastructure, the school has emerged as a dynamic institution with a reputation for excellence that spans the globe.

“The greatest accomplishment Dan brought to the school was raising its ambition,” says Stephen Toope, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia. “Collectively, he worked with all of his colleagues to change the dynamic and set a tone for the school that was about achievement at the highest level.”

From the beginning, Dean Muzyka emphasized the importance of community, constructing strong networks in British Columbia, Canada and around the world. At home, he embraced the business community, becoming Chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade and recruiting top business leaders to the school’s Faculty Advisory Board.

“One of Dan’s great contributions to the business community was accepting the role of Chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade,” said current Board Chair, Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia. “In the 125 years of the board’s history, he was the first and only academic to take on this role.”

Internationally, he led initiatives for multilateral cooperation, greatly expanding business and academic partnerships to support educational and research exchanges and collaboration. He worked to increase engagement in international markets and was instrumental in establishing a presence for the school in China and India to position it for success in an increasingly global business world.

Understanding the fundamental importance of Sauder’s alumnicommunity, Dean Muzyka put new emphasis on the school’s relationship with its 32,000 graduates in over 70 countries.  Developing business clubs at home and abroad, the school is now on track to ensuring the alumni community stays connected through Sauder’s Global Alumni Network.

“The contributions that Dan made not only touched the students, but also touched us alumni,” said Sheldon Trainor, Managing Director of PacBridge Capital Partners. “As a result, I think the connection between past, present and future grads will continue to be stronger than it has ever been.”

A leader who inspires others to share in his vision, he encouraged the generosity of countless donors, including Bill and Marjorie-Anne Sauder, whose landmark gift led to the rebranding of the business school, and Robert H. Lee, whose substantial support resulted in the establishment of the Robert H. Lee Graduate School.

Under Dean Muzyka’s visionary leadership, Sauder also harnessed enthusiastic support from the business, donor and student communities to complete a $70-million expansion and redevelopment of its facilities on UBC’s Point Grey campus.  A state-of-the-art learning environment, the school’s new building will sustain and inspire innovative teaching and research for decades to come.

“In a time of the most serious economic trouble we have seen in our lifetimes, to have pulled off a renovation and expansion of the building is amazing,” said Tracey McVicar, Partner, CAI Private Equity, describing her admiration for Dean Muzyka’s unflagging dedication to building Sauder’s new home.

Along with its facilities, Dean Muzyka built on the school’s strong academic foundations. His work to enhance Sauder’s core faculty with vital new expertise and energy, led to a 50 percent renewal of its academic staff. New research centres substantially increased the school’s engagement in important areas such as sustainability, social enterpriseand health care management

Programs were introduced and revamped to ensure student success in and beyond school, and a new policy of Broad Based Admissions for enrolment was developed, allowing for the full spectrum of students’ skills and accomplishments to be considered. The result is an engaged student body that takes part in student organizations and government in far greater numbers.

The success of the school under Dean Muzyka’s leadership has boosted it into a position of international prominence. Sauder is now recognized by the two leading international accrediting bodies for business schools – AACSB and EQUIS – one of only 66 institutions in the world holding this respected status. The UBC MBA competes in global rankings, where it consistently rates among the top 100 programs worldwide.

“Dan, more than anyone, helped us to see the potential of the school, and then engaged us to realize it. That was his unique gift,” said Paul Hollands, Chair of Sauder’s Faculty Advisory Board, and President and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.

Now an international hub for business education and research drawing students from around the globe, the success of the Sauder School of Business is a reflection of Dean Muzyka’s energy, vision and leadership. His impact on the school has been profound and his legacy will be felt for generations to come.

“We have gotten the school back on its broader mission, a mission that was set by generations of faculty, students and alumni through the decades that preceded my term as Dean,” said Dean Muzyka. “That said, I don’t think that the mission is ever accomplished. If we were successful, we have put the institution on a course that will allow it to continue to transform in order to meet the needs of business, the economy and society for generations to come.”