Appointment of Professor Susan Christoffersen as Dean, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management (PDAD&C #67)

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Date: May 11, 2021
Re: Appointment of Professor Susan Christoffersen as Dean, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management (PDAD&C #67)

I am delighted to announce that the Agenda Committee of Academic Board has approved the appointment of Professor Susan Christoffersen as Dean of the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management for a five-year term from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2026. Professor Christoffersen currently serves as the William A. Downe BMO Chair in Finance, and is the former Vice-Dean, Undergraduate and Specialized Programs of the Rotman School (2015 – 2020).

Professor Christoffersen’s vision and leadership during her time as Vice-Dean have been key to Rotman’s success in accelerating its specialized graduate offerings and in re-imagining its undergraduate Commerce program, offered in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts & Science. In the area of specialized programs, Professor Christoffersen took the lead on designing, implementing, and launching three new offerings at Rotman: The Master of Financial Risk Management, the Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting, and the Master of Management Analytics. Across each of these programs, Professor Christoffersen has focused on developing curricula that are built on, and leverage, the research expertise at Rotman, while also resonating with the changing needs and interests of students. The success of these programs has been characterized by a significant growth in applications – in the case of the Master of Management Analytics more than tripling since 2018 – and collectively they are now among Rotman’s most selective offerings. Following on this, Professor Christoffersen’s portfolio was expanded to include the Master of Finance as well, where she undertook efforts to re-structure and update the program to retain its premier status in the market. This involved implementing several changes to the curriculum and tuition model, and as a result it has more than doubled its applications, improved the diversity of its incoming class, and placed a renewed emphasis on machine learning applications in the program.

Professor Christoffersen has been a champion for Rotman Commerce and has worked closely with the Faculty of Arts & Science to improve the program at all levels. Her achievements include expanding the career, professional skills, student life, and academic advising supports available to Commerce students; developing a new curriculum within the inter-divisional teaching framework that allows students greater flexibility to gain both breadth and depth in their undergraduate business education, drawing from the expertise in Rotman and the Faculty of Arts & Science; and securing both short-term and long-term space to accommodate for the program’s continual growth. As well, Professor Christoffersen worked collaboratively with the Faculty of Arts & Science to make diversity a cornerstone of the Commerce program by overseeing strategies to broaden recruitment, to increase scholarships, and to improve admissions processes. Professor Christoffersen’s positive and impactful changes to the program are reflected in the most recent set of student surveys, which highlight a significant improvement in the Rotman Commerce student experience. Committed to collaboration and curriculum innovation, Professor Christoffersen most recently oversaw the launch of a new Certificate in Business Fundamentals in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts & Science, which allows non-Rotman Commerce students to enrol in business courses and develop the skills needed to prepare them for the job market.

Professor Christoffersen’s research focuses on mutual funds and the role of financial institutions in capital markets. Her research has been published in top financial journals, and has been citied in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Bloomberg News Service, and The Wall Street Journal. Professor Christoffersen has received numerous honours for her work, including awards from Q-Group, the Bank of Canada, BSI Gamma Foundation, INQUIRE, and the Swiss Finance Institute. In addition, Professor Christoffersen oversaw the creation of the TD Management Data and Analytics Lab and has served as its Co-Director since 2018. In this capacity, Professor Christoffersen took the lead in securing $1.3 million in seed funding from the Rotman Catalyst Fund to create the lab and has since secured an additional $4 million to support the lab over the next 5 years. The TD Lab has become a model interdisciplinary hub at the University, with a focus on the areas of machine learning and data science.

Professor Christoffersen earned her BA in Economics from Queen’s University, her MA in Economics from the University of British Columbia, and her PhD in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the University of Toronto, she held a full-time faculty appointment at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University and a visiting position at the Copenhagen Business School.

Professor Christoffersen’s dedication to student success and excellence has been exemplary. Her leadership, vision, and passion for interdisciplinary approaches to research and education will be key to Rotman’s continued success in the years ahead. Please join me in congratulating Professor Christoffersen on this appointment.