Lysa Porth, New Dean for Lang School of Business and Economics
Lysa Porth

An award-winning academic with an international reputation for excellence, innovation, and business leadership and collaboration has been named dean of the University of Guelph’s Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics.

Lysa Porth will begin a five-year term Oct. 1. She is the associate dean of strategic partnerships and administration in the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba and the director and department head of the Actuarial Science Department in the school’s Warren Centre for Actuarial Studies.

The announcement was made today by Charlotte Yates, provost and vice-president (academic). The decision follows an extensive international search by a hiring committee composed of faculty, students and staff, and chaired by Yates.

“Our Lang School provides a different kind of education for a new kind of future business leader, with a focus on sustainable, ethical practices, community and entrepreneurship, and making the world a better place by using business as a force for good,” Yates said.

“It requires a dynamic, engaging and forward-thinking leader who has the passion, enthusiasm and reputation for doing things differently and effectively. Dr. Porth is that person.”

Last April, U of G announced the naming of the school following a $21-million donation through the Angel Gabriel Foundation from long-time benefactors Stu and Kim Lang. The name honours Stu Lang’s late father, Gordon, whose family and business ethos was grounded in humility and community service.

“These are important and exciting times for business education at U of G,” Porth said.

“There is incredible momentum at U of G as a result of the recent transformational gift from Kim and Stu Lang, as well as support from other donors, such as John Wood, whose gift established the Centre for Business and Student Enterprise. Combined with many other initiatives, I am confident the school has a bright future.”

A respected scholar, industry liaison and administrator, Porth is known for being strategic, inclusive and results-oriented, and is an advocate for teaching, mentoring and research.

“Dr. Porth’s experience and vision reflect the Lang School’s mission and values,” Yates said. “Lysa understands the role and importance of ethical business in making a positive impact and is known for uniting people around common goals. She is an excellent choice to lead our business school forward and position it for future growth.”

As associate professor in U of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business, Porth holds the Guy Carpenter Research Chair in Agricultural Risk Management and Insurance, which encourages and strengthens national and global public- and private-sector partnerships.

Cross-appointed to the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics at U of Manitoba, she is also an adjunct professor in the University of Waterloo’s Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science.

Her wide-ranging research includes a focus on insurance and reinsurance applications for agriculture and weather risks, including product design and pricing, as well as risk modelling and business analytics.

Porth has received more than $10 million in current and pending funding support from private and public agencies, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Mitacs, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In addition, she has been appointed by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers to serve as one of eight experts on a national Advisory Committee for Canada’s Agricultural Business Risk Management program

She has advised graduate students, worked extensively in private industry, published research in prestigious journals and spoken at dozens of international conferences.

Porth earned her bachelor’s, MBA and PhD degrees from the University of Manitoba, and also has worked for Canada Life and the City of Winnipeg.

“I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students and members of the community to make a significant and meaningful contribution to the advancement of the school and the University, particularly around the shared mindset of community, sustainability and entrepreneurial spirit,” Porth said.

In making the announcement, Yates thanked members of the search committee and the University community for input during the search.

Prof. Sara Mann, who was named interim dean last May, will continue in the position until Porth’s arrival. Yates said, “Sara has done a tremendous job in this interim role while also continuing to serve as associate dean (academic). “I appreciate her creative decision making, hard work and commitment.”