New Exec Dean gets down to business

5 Feb 2009
UQ's new Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law is committed to enhancing student experiences and outcomes, and to ensuring Faculty's financial future. Professor Tim Brailsford commenced his position as Executive Dean in January and said that in the increasingly competitive environment of higher education the Faculty would need to focus on the specific advantages that students derived from studying at UQ. "What this means in practice is enhancing the student experience by drawing upon the existing high reputation and academic excellence of our degree programs and looking at greater integration of academic programs with industry internships, an expansion of international exchange programs and opening further opportunities for students to become engaged in practical research projects," Professor Brailsford said. "The combination of these initiatives will enable our graduates to possess the rigorous academic skill for which UQ is renowned but simultaneously have a deeper appreciation of industry in practice thereby enhancing the relevance of the graduate skill set." In 2002 Professor Brailsford was appointed the foundation Head of UQ Business School - a merger of UQ's Schools of Commerce and Management. During his time as Head, UQ Business School became the first business school in Australia to achieve dual accreditation from AACSB International EQUIS accreditation - the world's preeminent business school accrediting bodies. The School also achieved a five-star MBA ranking from the Graduate Management Association of Australia (GMAA). Professor Brailsford said the current economic situation meant the higher education sector and the employment market would only become more competitive and the Faculty needed to position itself to continue to be productive during this period. "We recognise the current economic environment is challenging and the effects are likely to last several years," he said. "We are also cognizant that we need to equip our graduates with the right skills to allow them to better represent the University. This will involve, for instance, an emphasis on ethical decision making and an appreciation of social responsibility. One of the first moves in this direction has been the recent launch of a postgraduate specialisation in business sustainability. "Tied to this is the recognition that the Faculty needs investment in infrastructure and this is unlikely to come about via the traditional revenue streams. We will work with the University's recent initiatives to reach out to friends and supporters of the Faculty's disciplines who may wish to give something back." Prior to joining UQ Professor Brailsford was the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Commerce at the Australian National University. His personal research interests lie in the field of finance, and particularly investments. He is currently involved in an Australian Research Council Discovery Project on complexity, risk management and dynamic portfolio selection in investment management.