Archives

Michael Maher

Doctor of Commerce

Dean Maher has stated that his life time objective is "to successfully contribute to Corporate Canada by building and enhancing meaningful relationships among business, academic, and government organizations." Graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Saskatchewan, he completed an MBA degree at the University of Western Ontario, and five years later, was awarded a Ph.D degree by Northwestern University. He also carries the designation of Professional Engineer in the Provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Dean Maher is the holder of a pilot's license.

Dean Maher began his professional career with DuPont of Canada, first as a Development Engineer, then as a New Venture Analyst. In 1968, he entered the academic world as Research Engineer for the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Science at Northwestern University. Two years later, he was appointed Professor and Research Coordinator in the Faculty of Business Administration and Commerce, the University of Alberta. Six years later, he moved to the University of Saskatchewan to become Dean and Professor of Administration for the College of Commerce; and in 1981, was appointed to his present position which is Dean and Professor in the Faculty of Management, University of Calgary.

He has been Chair of Canada's two business school associations, namely, the Canadian Federation of Deans of Management Science (1982-1984), and the Canadian Consortium of Management Schools from (1900-present). In addition, he has been a member of various committees of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business and a member of committees of the International Management Development Network (INTERMAN). In addition, he has served on corporate boards of directors of such organizations as Pratt & Whitney Canada Inc. Calgary Airport Authority, Computalog Limited, Westronic Inc., Nascor Corporation, Teknica Resources Corporation, Nu-West Group Ltd., National Research Council of Canada, SED Systems Inc., Newberg Energy, and the Canadian Institute for Petroleum Industrial Development. In addition, he has served as a working member for a number of small to medium sized organizations involved in high-level technology, real estate, construction, manufacturing, general insurance and travel from 1970 to the present. In public sector organizations, his appointments have included such boards as the Alberta Economic Development Authority, Theatre Calgary, United Way Cabinet, CNIB, White Cane Foundation, Glenrose Hospital, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Saskatoon Board of Trade, Calgary Economic Development Authority, and the International Labour Organization/United Nations Development Programme (INTERMAN) - Technology Subcommittee on National Strategies on Science and Technology. He has also served as a member of the Visitation Team for the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, Reaccredidation Committee for such Universities as Syracuse, Washington State, California State at Northridge and the University of California at Hayward. In the area of publications, his work has appeared in professional and academic journals on topics from budget allocation to diffuse decision-making in hierarchical organizations through methods that motivate through to improving overall organizational performance.

In all of the above, Dean Maher has had an enduring commitment to management education in Canada which, in his particular case, takes a number of forms. These include an enduring commitment to building a school which followed a generous donation from Ralph Scurfield, which was matched by the Provincial Government. Dean Maher, in turn, conducted a very successful fundraising campaign which resulted in an endowment fund of 20 million dollars. He has also an enduring commitment to excellence through a programme of continuous improvement to quality programmes and service to faculty and students. By continually challenging conventional wisdom, his Faulty has earned the respect of the University, business and student communities. As his own work indicates, he also has an enduring commitment to research and, therefore, has strengthened the research culture within the Faculty of Management, not simply by urging Faculty to achieve greater productivity, but by backing up his commitment in meaningful ways such as the creation of appropriate workloads for them and sufficient funding.

Dean Maher has also an enduring commitment to the University community, actively seeking ways to support other Faculties at the University of Calgary through such new initiative as project management which was undertaken in the Faculty of Engineering. His cooperative efforts extend beyond the University of Calgary as witnessed by the recent development of a joint Alberta Executive MBA programme with the University of Alberta. He has also an enduring commitment to globalization, under which he actively pursues exchange agreements with institutions to create opportunities for students around the world. Recently, his Faculty of Management Science signed an agreement to facilitate sustainable development in the energy sector of Latin America and the Caribbean region.

With respect to the business community, Dean Maher has also made an enduring commitment and has successfully cultivated a strong relationship between his Faculty and the business community in Calgary. Much of this has taken place through the Management Advisory Council, whose role is to advise the Dean of the Faculty, and serve as the liaison with the community. This business community liaison continually offers an industrial perspective which, in turn, contributes, in a significant way, to the creation of new programmes and services in his Faculty. He, in turn, has provided links with the community by his very active participation on numerous boards.

Two other enduring commitments of Dean Maher are worthy of mention, namely, that to programme innovation. He was a key player in the development of the Faculty's new Enterprise MBA programme by which students are actively involved in "clinics" involving dozens of business organizations. He has also had a strong commitment to the development of appropriate technologies to support programme initiatives and the needs of his Faculty and staff. For example, the hardware and software currently in place for his Faculty exceeds 1.5 million dollars. The other enduring commitment is to management education in Canada, which he has demonstrated by his participation on standard setting and governing bodies, as well as authoring a number of scholarly publications on the challenges facing management education in Canada.

The final enduring commitment to be mentioned is his sincere interest in students, both undergraduate and graduate. He established the Association of Management Student Organizations and is an active participant in their meetings. In addition, his commitment to students is demonstrated by the growing emphasis on a "customer focus" in his Faculty of Management.

He and his wife Illa, (who holds a Master of Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University) have three daughters - Allison, who is a Chartered Accountant; Andrea, who is a Medical Doctor (scheduled to return to Halifax next year with her family to complete her 4th year of surgery residency); and Jennifer, who is presently a student in the Faculty of Management at the University of Calgary. He is the proud grandfather of his six month old grandson, Ivan Michael. All the Maher family members have a very warm affection for the East Coast, and especially the Halifax area, as all have spent time here.