The following is a letter from York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton to Schulich School of Business Dean Dezsö J. Horváth on the eve of his retirement from York University following more than three decades of inspirational leadership:
Dear Dean Horváth,
When looking at a career like yours, with so many accomplishments and contributions, it is hard to know where to start. So perhaps I will simply start at the beginning of your time with York.
Having been a faculty member at the University since 1977, I can only imagine how it must feel to think back to your first day here: how much has changed, and how much of that change was created by your efforts. Today, you are the longest-serving Dean of any major business school in the world.
Under your leadership, Schulich shifted its focus to global business, one of the first schools to do so. In addition to a campus in Hyderabad, India, we now have satellite centres in Mumbai, India; Beijing and Shanghai, China; Seoul, South Korea; Mexico City, Mexico; and São Paulo, Brazil.
During your tenure, the school developed and launched many groundbreaking programs, including North America’s first-ever cross-border Executive MBA degree, the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA. Schulich was a trailblazer in the field of Responsible Business and created first-of-their-kind degrees and specializations like Global Mining Management, Business Analytics, and Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure.
All of these accomplishments have brought the school and the University much acclaim: Schulich’s MBA program is ranked #1 in Canada and among the world’s leading MBA programs by The Economist, Forbes and CNN Expansión.
Your own leadership in these achievements has also not gone unrecognized, having been named Dean of the Year by the Academy of International Business in 2004, being made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2008, and being selected by The Toronto Star in 2014 as one of the 180 most important people, past and present, who helped shape the City of Toronto.
Beyond the countless and well-deserved awards and recognitions, your work has created lasting real-world impact, improving the lives of many around the world. Under your leadership, Schulich helped open up the economies of the Eastern European bloc after the fall of the Soviet Union by assisting new businesses and entrepreneurs to become more globally oriented. Similarly, following financial crises in South America and Asia, Schulich stepped forward with a practical plan to help establish the Toronto Centre. In the two decades since, the centre has trained thousands of securities officials from 190 countries to provide greater financial sector stability.
This is the kind of impact we strive for as York students, staff and faculty. For three decades, you have exemplified our shared commitment to creating positive change, while inspiring thousands of graduates to go out and make a better world through community-engaged, ethical and transformative business leadership.
Dezsö, for the past 32 years, the Schulich School of Business, York University, our city and the world have benefitted from your visionary leadership. In honour of your service, a tribute fund has been launched by alumni and friends. Donations to the fund will support the creation of two prestigious awards for Schulich students who, like you, demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, innovation and a commitment to their community – the Dezsö J. Horváth Visionary Leadership Award and the Dezsö J. Horváth Emerging Leader Award. Furthermore, as a result of the generosity of several major donors, we will also be renaming the Schulich Executive Learning Centre in your honour. I look forward to sharing more details with you and the community once our campuses are back in full operation.
On behalf of everyone at York, thank you for your dedication to Schulich and the University. You are leaving a community that has been undeniably strengthened and enriched by your contributions.
My warmest congratulations on your career and my best wishes for the next phase of your journey.
Rhonda L. Lenton
President & Vice-Chancellor