Retired business prof named dean emeritus


Dr. Gary Gorman has been named dean
emeritus at Memorial University.

March 18, 2014

A former dean of Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration will now retain the title in perpetuity.

Dr. Gary Gorman became only the fourth dean emeritus in the history of Memorial University when the title was approved by the Board of Regents on Feb. 6. Three other former administrators have been named dean emeritus at Memorial: Dr. A.C. Hunter in 1957; Dr. G.A. Hickman in 1974; and Dr. Ian Rusted in 1989.

“I was overwhelmed, to tell you the truth. I was quite shocked,” he says.

Dr. Gorman retired in September 2013 after 36 years with Memorial, all of which were spent in roles at or associated with the business faculty. He started his career at the university as a co-ordinator in the Division of Co-ordination in 1977 after a few years in the private sector.

“I have to confess: when I came to the university in that role, I didn’t imagine it to be anything long term at all. It just looked like an interesting opportunity,” he says. “But then the opportunities just seemed to develop. The university is an incredible environment because you can get involved in so many things. That was something I didn’t really recognize until spending some time here, just the scope and range and variety of opportunities that are available.”

The title of dean emeritus is conferred upon retired faculty members with at least 10 years as a regular full-time faculty member. The prime criterion for nomination is a sustained and superlative record as an academic administrator.

Dr. Gorman filled many roles at the business faculty, including assistant director of the Division of Co-ordination, chair of the management committee at the Centre for Management Development, assistant dean, associate dean of graduate studies, associate dean of undergraduate studies and associate professor of entrepreneurship.

However, his greatest contributions came during his years as dean, a role he filled from 2002-2009.

“One of the areas that I was really pleased with over my years as dean was the hiring side and the ability to attract a number of new faculty,” he says. “And also to be able to retain the faculty that we had because we’d gone through a difficult period where we were struggling to hire and also struggling to keep faculty. So the efforts that went into recruitment and retention I’d put very high up on the list [of achievements].”

Watch Dr. Gorman’s retirement video.Dr. Gorman personally recruited 25 new faculty members in his role as dean.

“I actually hit the road and started visiting doctoral programs across the country. Everywhere I went, I got the same reaction from the PhD students who were enrolled in the programs and from the PhD program directors, which was ‘This doesn’t happen. We haven’t seen anybody come and do this,’” Dr. Gorman says. “None of my peers at the time, none of the other deans, were doing that. So I think we got a little advantage out of that.”

Dr. Gorman’s most notable achievements under his leadership were in the areas of research, internationalization, community engagement and student support.

During his tenure, research output by faculty members doubled, a PhD in management degree was developed and the role of associate dean of research was created.

He created the business faculty’s international bachelor of business administration (iBBA) degree as well as an office for international business studies and a fellow in international business. He built relationships with international universities that saw increased enrollment from international students in business programs.

Dr. Gorman spearheaded a redesign of the business faculty’s advisory board, increasing the involvement of board members and enhancing the board’s responsibilities. He reinvigorated the Associates Program, a membership-based program for local businesses, and led the evolution of the business faculty’s outreach unit, the Gardiner Centre, to better meet the needs of the local business community as a leader in management education and professional development.

A strong advocate for the business faculty and its role in the community, Dr. Gorman helped strengthen its reputation through his involvement in various community-based boards, professional associations and government bodies. His focus on alumni and community engagement helped secure a significant donation that lead to the opening of the White Trading Lab, a state-of-the-art securities’ trading lab that is today a highlight of the business faculty’s facilities.

However, it was Dr. Gorman’s support of student activities that endeared him to students and alumni and helped ensure student success on provincial, national and international stages.

“That’s something that’s always been important to me. I’ve always felt that the students are our number one priority, so I put a lot of effort into that area over the years.”

Dr. Gorman was particularly supportive of Enactus Memorial (formerly SIFE Memorial), a group that has one of the best winning records in the country and which took home the SIFE World Cup in 2008.

However, it takes a concerted effort from a large group of people to be successful in leadership, he says.

“None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the support of so many wonderful staff, faculty, students and members of the business community that I have been fortunate to work with over my 36 years at Memorial.”

Dr. Gorman will receive his title during convocation ceremonies on May 28.

Susan White-MacPherson