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Program linked to Department of Foreign Affairs scrapped

Jesse Mellott | Fulcrum Staff

THE UNIVERSITY OF Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management has eliminated its leadership program. The Canadian Orientation Leadership Program allowed students from across North America to come to the U of O to study Canadian industrial and financial practices. The funding for the leadership program came directly from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). François Julien, dean of the Telfer School of Management, said the program was scrapped due to cutbacks at DFAIT.

“It is not a program that has ever been funded by University of Ottawa resources,” said Julien. “From day one this program has been offered thanks to significant contribution from DFAIT. This is one of the programs that [DFAIT] were no longer able to provide funding for.”

Dean Julien became aware of the cessation of funding to the leadership program during the spring when the 2012–13 federal budget was tabled.

Professor and Telfer Director Mike Miles provided further details about the structure of the program itself, which involved both the U of O and McGill University, in collaboration with universities from the United States and Mexico.

“The real purpose of the program was to give [students] insights into management of economic and trade issues that related to the areas of the North American Free Trade Agreement,” said Miles. “We had a maximum of 15 students that got into the program [from Telfer each year]. It was about a four-day program here in Ottawa, and about two days down in Montreal.”

In addition to the 15 students from Telfer, Miles said  roughly the same number came from the United States, and three to four students from Mexico.

“We have actively promoted that particular program as one of our leadership programs, because it was just such a phenomenal dialogue between very senior people and students,” continued Miles. “I would predict that it will be back. It is simply a matter of who is going to fund it, that’s all.”

The Telfer leadership program was created in 2004 by the former Dean of the Telfer Michael Kelly, who held a position at DFAIT before coming to the U of O.