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Open access at executive centre to facilitate knowledge transfer between industry and academia
September 3, 2013
By Yuri Mytko

Staff of the John Molson Executive Centre and its Aviation Management Institute Staff of the John Molson Executive Centre and its Aviation Management Institute (from left): Julie Ricard, Fatima Zohra Makhtoum, Aliya Ahmed, Annick Labrie, Sue Hogan, Marion Abba and Fatima Amelia Grich. | Photo by Concordia University

When Stéphane Brutus was appointed associate dean of Professional Programs last January, he took on a mandate to re-energize and reorient the John Molson Executive Centre.

His plan for the centre, which runs executive development courses, will begin to manifest itself this fall. Brutus — a professor of management at John Molson School of Business (JMSB) — is introducing open enrolment.

He wants the centre’s programs to complement the business school’s curricula. Another aim is to strengthen ties between the academic and business communities. “What we are trying to do is align the executive centre with the JMSB life cycle, and to offer people business training well after they have earned their degrees,” says Brutus.”

Julie Ricard, the centre’s manager of business development, explains. “We used to offer only customized training to firms. Now, anyone can sign up.” The new programs cover a variety of strategic concepts; Ricard believes they will raise the centre’s profile in the business community.

In October, the centre is launching a series of public seminars in project management, finance, accounting and marketing. It will also collaborate with Concordia’s David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise (DOCSE) to offer the Sustainable Investment Professional Certificate (SIPC), an online program that provides basic sustainability training to investment professionals.

The DOCSE has been running the course modules in English since 2011, but participants will now be able to take it in French.

Last year, the SIPC gained CFA Institute Approved-Provider status: chartered financial analysts who are members of the institute gain continuing education credits when they complete the program. Ricard hopes that the United Nations, which developed the Principles for Responsible Investment in 2006, will follow suit and accredit it this year.

"We know there is a demand for training in sustainable investing — particularly in Europe and Australia, where there is currently no online program of this kind."

The centre has earned UN accredition for its Aviation Security Professional Management Course.

While the centre and its Aviation Management Institute have been offering executive education programs since 1989 and 2006 respectively, these units never previously fell within the purview of an academic dean.

Brutus hopes that the new structure will bring education closer to industry .

“JMSB has a great reputation, our faculty is well regarded, our location is unbeatable and we have a huge alumni base to draw on. The opportunities, for us, are many.”

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