Dezso J. Horvath: Celebrating the career of a pioneer in management education

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He turned Schulich School of Business into a global business school and expanded its reach and influence around the world, earning him an International Dean of the Year award. He spearheaded the development of first-of-their-kind management degrees and programs and helped make Schulich a world leader in the field of responsible business.

Dezso J. Horvath

Dezsö J. Horváth, who stepped down June 30 after 32 years as dean of York University’s business school (including the Schulich Executive Education Centre), has left a lasting legacy in management education. His tenure makes him the longest-serving dean of any major business school in the world – a remarkable feat.

His most significant achievement was transforming Schulich into a truly global business school by making it one of the earliest to focus on international business and expanding its global footprint. He extended the school’s global reach and influence through the establishment of satellite centres in India, China, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil, and fostered academic exchange agreements with more than 80 leading international business schools in close to 40 countries. Under his leadership, Schulich became the first leading international business school from outside India to deliver an MBA degree in that country, and in 2014, it opened a new campus in Hyderabad. For his achievements in this regard, the Governor General’s office awarded Horváth the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours, and proclaimed his pivotal role in cementing “the school’s reputation as one of the leading educational institutions in the world.”

During Horváth’s tenure, Schulich created a number of pioneering programs, including Canada’s first International MBA and International BBA degrees, as well as North America’s first-ever cross-border Executive MBA degree, the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA, which was ranked as the No. 1 EMBA program in the world in 2015 by The Economist magazine.

Claiming that innovation was part of Schulich’s DNA, Horváth also oversaw the launch of numerous ground-breaking specializations and programs, including one of the world’s first-ever specializations in global mining management, as well as degrees such as the Master of Business Analytics and the Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure.

The school became a trailblazer in the field of responsible business, as one of the first business schools in the world to incorporate business ethics and environmental sustainability into its curriculum and programs. Under Horváth’s leadership, Schulich attracted funding to establish a Chair in business sustainability and a professorship in business ethics at a time, during the early 1990s, when responsible business was not considered mainstream business practice.

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