Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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History of the Rotman School

Changing the face of business education since 1901

The Rotman School's history of transforming business education goes back to 1901, when a diploma program in commerce was established at the University of Toronto. 

How we got here

The Rotman School has been training future business leaders since 1901, when the diploma program in Commerce was inaugurated at U of T's Faculty of Arts. The School of Business became a faculty in 1972, and was renamed in honour of graduate and donor Joseph L. Rotman in 1995. Over the past 15 years, the School has quadrupled its endowment, and tripled its physical footprint, its faculty and its student body.   

Below in reverse order are some further milestones of our historic journey:

2018  The school introduced several specialized programs, the Commerce program increased its enrolment and breadth of programming and professional services, and investment in faculty recruitment and retention increased.
2016 Rotman Catalyst Fund established with the transformational gift of $30 million by the Rotman family.
2014  On July 3, 2014 Tiff Macklem joined the school as dean. For more information about Dean Macklem, please visit the Rotman dean area of our website.
2013  On December 5, Tiff Macklem, a leader in national and international financial systems, was named the new dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Macklem was formerly the senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, sharing responsibility with the governor and four deputy governors for monetary policy and the Bank’s role in promoting financial stability. In that role, he is also the Bank’s chief operating officer and a member of its board of directors, overseeing strategic planning and coordinating the Bank’s operations. 
2012 On May 1, 2012, the Rotman School opened the doors to our new expanded facility, Rotman's South Wing and students began taking 2 week intensive electives courses in our state-of-the-art new classrooms. The formal opening of the Rotman South Wing was on September 5, 2012.

The undergraduate Commerce program at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus announces its new name – Rotman Commerce – thanks to a $2.5-million gift from Sandra and Joseph Rotman. Rotman Commerce will continue to be offered jointly by the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Rotman School. In addition to the new name, a new curriculum is being offered.


The Province of Ontario announces $50 million in funding to the School for construction of an expansion that will house the new Martin Prosperity Institute and provide space for a 50 per cent increase in the size of the School’s graduate programs. The addition space will also house the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking, other research programs and centres of excellence, classrooms, study space and event facilities. An additional $10 million in funding from the federal government is also allocated for the expansion project.
Noted urban theorist Richard Florida joins the School as inaugural academic director of the Martin Prosperity Institute.
The School introduces an exciting new graduate degree for finance professionals: the 20-month, five-term Master of Finance program.
Marcel Desautels, founder, president and CEO of the Canadian Credit Management Foundation, once again supports the ongoing initiatives of the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking with a gift of $10-million, bringing his total gifts to the Rotman School to a remarkable $31 million. His earlier donations founded the Desautels Centre and supported student scholarships.
The School receives a gift of $18 million from Sandra and Joseph Rotman. $10 million will go towards the Martin Prosperity Institute. The remaining $8 million will support various projects including the undergraduate Commerce program; the School’s award-winning magazine; the construction of an expansion of the School; and ongoing academic research activities.

2005 The Rotman School receives a significant boost to Integrative Thinking and its mission to revolutionize business education with a $10-million gift from the Canadian Credit Management Foundation (CCMF) and its founder Marcel Desautels

Rotman School completes a $4-million expansion with an addition to the 4th and 5th floors, providing space for faculty offices, meeting rooms, research offices, administrative support, and the Marcel Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking.
A $10-million gift from Michael Lee-Chin establishes the AIC Institute for Corporate Citizenship at Rotman and pushes the U of T’s collective campaign over its $1-billion milestone.

2000 $10-Million Gift Creates Marcel Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking
The Rotman School develops a new model of business education for the 21st century. 
1998 Former management consultant Roger L. Martin is appointed Dean. A new vision and graphic identity are launched.
1997 The Faculty of Management receives a $15 million donation from Sandra and Joseph Rotman to support its vision and goals. The gift is matched by U of T, creating a $30 million endowment fund. The School is renamed the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management in their honour.
1995 The Joseph L. Rotman Centre for Management opens, establishing a new home for the Faculty of Management.
1971 The Faculty of Management is officially established after the launching of a doctoral program in 1969.
1951 The Institute of Business Administration is founded, a predecessor of the School.
1938 A Master of Commerce degree is introduced.
1901 The University of Toronto begins offering undergraduate courses in management.

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