May 27, 2010
Jean-Marie Toulouse has been appointed a Professor Emeritus at HEC Montréal. The official announcement was made by HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry, at the undergraduate convocation ceremonies on May 30, at Place des Arts in Montréal.
The appointment of a professor emeritus is a rare event in the life of a university. Only a small number of retired professors, nominated by their colleagues, are honoured with this title, conferred on them after a secret ballot and with the approval of the School’s Honorary Doctorates and Emeritus Committee and the Academic Council.
This emeritus status comes as clear recognition by Professor Toulouse’s peers of his exceptional contribution to the institution where he spent his career from 1973 to the time of his retirement in 2008, after serving as Director, in particular, from 1995 to 2006.
In all his functions, Professor Toulouse exhibited unflagging devotion and a broad vision of what the School should be. He strongly influenced its development and shaped its current identity.
A few highlights of his career at HEC Montréal:
Director of Research (1975-1979).
The first to hold this position, he developed the School’s research activities and established various research support and dissemination activities and tools.
Director of the joint PhD program (1977-1979).
The first Director of this joint program offered with Concordia University, McGill University and UQAM, considered a bold initiative at the time and still one of the leading PhD in Administration programs in Canada.
Director of the Department of Administration and Human Resources Organization (1979-1984).
He promoted the importance of “soft skills” and management skills for future managers, throughout the School. This approach helped to distinguish the training offered at HEC Montréal from that offered by other North American business schools.
Holder of the Maclean Hunter Chair of Entrepreneurship (today the Rogers–J.-A.-Bombardier Chair of Entrepreneurship) (1988-1994).
Thanks to Professor Toulouse’s influence and hard work, one of the six Maclean Hunter chairs created in Canada in 1988, and the only one in Quebec, was devoted to entrepreneurship. It was the first chair established in the country in this field, and one of the first in the world.
Director of the School (1995-2006).
Jean-Marie Toulouse set out to position HEC as a leading business school of international calibre.
His first step was to increase and internationalize the recruitment of faculty and students. Some programs were reworked to take account of the global dimension of business. In 2005 the School launched a trilingual BBA, a first in North American business schools. HEC was also the first in North America to be granted three prestigious international accreditations: AACSB International, AMBA and EQUIS. It also featured in a number of rankings, including the BusinessWeek Top 10, for its MBA. The School modernized its signature and became “HEC Montréal” in 2002.
Professor Toulouse was also very much aware of the importance of new technologies in teaching and in the business world, and was committed to integrating them and using them widely at the School. The Côte-Sainte-Catherine building had a fibre-optic network right from the beginning, in 1996, and the use of laptops became mandatory in some programs.
The third noteworthy aspect of his time as Director was his focus on developing research and pedagogical development. Many chairs, research centres and professorships were created and research benefited from new commercialization systems.
Professor Toulouse’s name is also associated with entrepreneurship, a field that he helped to win recognition for as a subject of university study. He was responsible for creating Quebec’s first MBA course in entrepreneurship, in 1976, along with many other courses and programs in this field. He also actively participated in various initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship. All these achievements earned him the award of excellence for a professor-entrepreneur from the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship, in 1991.
Jean-Marie Toulouse has won many other awards and distinctions. The most important:
Professor Toulouse has also penned a great many books, scientific articles and case analyses that have shaped research in the field of entrepreneurship, and sat on many boards of directors, juries, committees and organizations. His work as a consultant kept him in contact with the business community. He has also been recognized for his work teaching and directing the research of graduate and post-graduate students.
Since retiring, he has continued to serve the School well. In particular, he took part in organizing the Forum national sur le management held at HEC Montréal in fall 2009.
Jean-Marie Toulouse holds a BPh in Psychology and a LPs and a PhD in Social Psychology from the Université de Montréal. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Business Administration at the University of California in Los Angeles.