Dean of Management appointed to UBC Okanagan

The University of British Columbia Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Blaize Horner Reich as Dean of the UBC Okanagan Faculty of Management, effective January 1, 2006.

“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Reich is joining UBC Okanagan to lead our new Faculty of Management,” says Barry McBride, Deputy Vice Chancellor of UBC Okanagan. “She has an outstanding international reputation as a researcher and business consultant. Her wealth of experience, research interests, and insightful global perspectives will help to establish UBC Okanagan’s reputation as a centre for innovative management education.”

After 15 years as an information technology (IT) professional and consultant to Canadian and Asian businesses, Reich earned her PhD from UBC in 1993. She is currently a professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University, and a visiting associate at Oxford University’s Templeton College.

As a teacher of IT management, Reich says, “I endeavour to ensure that students see both sides to any issue -- the business and the technical. I focus on the management challenges of technology so that students can be successful IT innovators in their organizations.” As Associate Dean at SFU, Reich used this balanced perspective to administer graduate and executive programs and build unique programs for the high tech and biotech sectors.

Collaborating with colleagues from Oxford and Ohio State University, Reich has been investigating how knowledge management theory might improve IT project success — research supported by a three-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Initiative on the New Economy.

Reich received the Canada Trust Distinguished Teaching award at SFU. She is an editorial board member for several leading IT research journals, including MIS Quarterly, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Database, and Information Systems Management. Reich is currently a corporate director of Thrifty Foods Ltd., and Industrial Alliance Pacific Life Insurance Company. She is also a former vice president and founding board member of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Association of British Columbia.

Although her position as dean doesn’t officially start until January 1, Reich says she will visit UBC Okanagan frequently through the fall, preparing for her full-time role.

“I am truly excited to be part of creating a unique educational experience for students — working with talented faculty and students who have chosen UBC Okanagan’s Bachelor of Management program,” says Reich. “The Faculty of Management will foster a collaborative environment between faculty, students and the business community. Our students will graduate with the knowledge, practical skills and world view needed to make a difference locally and globally.”

UBC Okanagan will welcome its first students in September. The Faculty of Management will offer a four-year undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Management degree. The program’s first two years will be committed to developing multidisciplinary skills in critical thinking, communication, analysis and problem solving. The final two years are devoted to honing business and leadership skills applicable to today’s constantly changing world.

Further announcements on key appointments will continue as UBC Okanagan moves toward its official opening on Sept. 8, 2005.

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