Having made enormous strides in ushering Ivey Business School into its next century, dean Sharon Hodgson has announced she is retiring next year to prioritize family and personal passions.
“COVID gave us all time to reflect. My reflections were focused on the value and importance of enjoying my family to the fullest,” Hodgson said. “I have reached a point in my life where I am proud of my career contributions and fortunate enough to be able to retire and spend more time with my husband, adult sons and extended family, while also continuing to participate on a few boards.”
Hodgson’s current term as dean began May 6, 2019 and concludes June 30, 2024.
Provost and vice-president (academic) Florentine Strzelczyk pointed to Hodgson’s success over the last four years in evolving the Ivey brand nationally and internationally and strengthening its business and alumni connections.
“Sharon has been an incredibly strategic colleague and leader whose counsel has been invaluable. In particular, her work to champion innovative Ivey-led initiatives that benefit our students and faculty across disciplines will leave a lasting legacy at Western.”
Earlier this year, Hodgson kicked off Ivey’s centennial celebrations, an impressive milestone and opportunity to share the early success of Ivey’s new strategic plan, Ivey Next: Innovating for Impact, that Hodgson led the launch of in 2022. Aligned with Western’s strategic plan, Towards Western at 150, Ivey Next is an ambitious and inspiring plan outlining a renewed mission to address critical issues facing business and society. The plan’s purpose statement – “Inspiring leaders for a sustainable and prosperous world” – reflects Ivey’s legacy of preparing leaders with an evolving view of responsible prosperity.
As dean, Hodgson oversaw Ivey’s successful business continuity plans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Ivey prioritized strong student experiences and outcomes including world-class hybrid learning environments and a significant number of “in-person” experiences.
Under her leadership, Ivey launched the Accelerated MBA, Master of Management in Analytics, the Sustainability GDip, and expanded the HBA program. Known for her accessible and open communication style, she supported significant improvements in collegial governance and the School’s culture. She also helped create a comprehensive equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) strategy and an EDI Advisory Council, and led the implementation of several programs targeting equity-deserving groups including Women in Asset Management, University Pathways Program, and improved representation at Ivey of equity-deserving faculty and students.
Ivey has both thrived as a faculty and deepened its partnerships across Western’s campus under Hodgson, said Strzelczyk.
“Western as a whole benefited from Sharon’s leadership, not only as the proud home of one of Canada’s top business schools, but as a place where multidisciplinary programs abound and where anyone in our community can be part of a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Hodgson reaffirmed her commitment to drive Ivey’s strategy forward over the coming year.
“We have completed some good work against our new strategic goals, however there is still much to do. I am fully committed to ensuring we continue this strong trajectory – it is an exciting time to be implementing our plans,” said Hodgson.
The university will establish a committee in the coming weeks to search for Hodgson’s successor.