Business dons cross the border for richer pickings

September 8, 2000

Canada is struggling to keep its business gurus from relocating to rich American business schools, according to a report.

Paul Beamish, from Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business, has identified a slide in the number of Canadian research papers published in top business journals. Surveying 32 international titles, he found a 9 per cent drop in Canadian articles between 1995-99 compared with the first half of the decade (excluding Western Ontario and Toronto universities).

Although the overall decline was less than 1 per cent, Professor Beamish says this was a growth period with more Canadian business professors and more journals.

He blames a national brain drain for the lack of research growth among the 41 programmes he surveyed. "If we do nothing, we will continue to quietly lose people," Professor Beamish said.

Even business faculties with strong alumni networks and regular grant-winners are finding it difficult to retain faculty.

Figures show two Canadian university faculty moving to the United States for every professor moving to Canada.

The average salary for a full-time business professor in the US is $92,800 (Pounds 63,700). The average newly hired full-time professor is now being offered $119,000. Compare that with Canadians, who earn C$64,200 (Pounds 29,800) and whose most recently hired dons are paid on average C$68,600 (increased to compete with the US).

Charles Dhanaraj, an Indian-born professor, was educated in Canada and wanted to stay. But when he saw the difference between the offer from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University and those from Canadian business schools, he packed his bags.

Professor Beamish admits that salary differentials are inevitable because America is such a rich country. But he says that greater support from government, corporations, alumni and increased tax incentives for private donations are needed.

"This is not just a Canadian problem. This hit the UK in the last decade... If we don't line up our resources to support professors at all business schools, folks will exercise their options and move to places that pay better."

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