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Sobey School Builds Reputation for Impact Measurement Expertise

Date Published: November 23, 2018

Sobey School Builds Reputation for Impact Measurement Expertise

For Immediate Release
November 23, 2018

(Halifax) With yesterday's release of a report examining the global reach and impact of the school’s co-operative management education and research activities, Sobey School of Business has further extended its growing reputation as an expert in the measurement of impact.

In the last two years, the Sobey School has been approached to offer consultation and advice to a variety of academic institutions and organizations. Led by Director of Strategy, Jane Mulatz, the school has presented at AACSB’s Assessment & Impact Conference in March 2018 and Annual Accreditation Conference in September 2018; facilitated a two-day faculty development session with the University of Western Connecticut; provided leadership to colleagues at Canadian business schools through the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans and internationally through the BSIS Steering Committee. In 2019,  the School will participate in the first BSIS Symposium in Belgium.

In 2016, the School was the first in North America to undertake the Business School Impact System (BSIS), a process developed by EFMD and FNEGE. The process measured impact in terms of seven parameters. The report had a catalytic effect on the school, which was distilled in a new brand statement, “We make an impact with purpose.”

Demonstrating the school’s impact in areas across different dimensions has become an important differentiator, and thrust the school onto the edge of a movement that that is gaining momentum.  The school’s accrediting body, AACSB, has also reframed its mission around impact.  

Jane Mulatz had led the BSIS collection process and worked closely with then-Dean Pat Bradshaw to identify priority areas for impact measurement.

“As we carried out the BSIS, it became apparent that there are innumerable metrics that can be measured, but for each school, some will be much more relevant than others,” said Ms. Mulatz. “We realized that capturing our impact was an enterprise-level initiative, and that this activity needed to be, and could be embedded across our regular operations. Critically, we wanted to be certain that what we were measuring reflected our strategic priorities.”

“It became obvious that we needed to develop our own process.”

Ms. Mulatz conducted workshops with stakeholders across the faculty and staff of the school to develop a robust index of measures that would reflect the school’s strategic pillars. She has worked with departments to develop their individual dashboards and to identify their key measures.

One unexpected offshoot of this special project has been the interest from other institutions and associations.

“We knew we were onto something—the growing interest in measuring impact has definitely permeated business and academia,” said Ms. Mulatz. “It is an honour to be recognized as a source of expertise – in customizing a process for our institution we have developed a process that is transferrable. Other institutions seeking to create their own frameworks can lean on our experience.”

Under the leadership of Dean Harjeet Bhabra, the School looks forward to building measurable impact into its future projects, including the upcoming strategic planning process. 

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