Gift strengthens School’s role as a leader in innovative management education

Posted on April 6, 2016

Toronto – The estate of Joseph Rotman is making a landmark $30 million gift to the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. The gift will help the Rotman School, already one of the leading global brands in management education, continue to be at the forefront of transforming management education and research.

This latest gift from Joseph and Sandra Rotman makes them the most generous benefactors in the University’s history, following numerous significant gifts over the past 20 years. This new $30 million gift will be matched by the University of Toronto in order to establish a $45 million Rotman Catalyst Fund as well as provide additional support to the School’s highest priorities such as scholarships, faculty positions and infrastructure investments. The Rotman Catalyst Fund will act as a “venture fund” for the Rotman School, used to fund bold and innovative initiatives to continue to transform management education and to increase the impact of the School’s students and new thinking. The Rotman Catalyst Fund was conceived by Joseph Rotman in collaboration with the leaders of the School shortly before he died.

“The University of Toronto is immensely proud of the rise of the Rotman School of Management to the top ranks of business schools worldwide. We heartily support the School’s aspirations for continued excellence and applaud Joe Rotman’s brilliant vision for a catalyst fund. It will quickly stimulate and drive opportunities for major contributions to national issues such as prosperity, innovation, and leadership development,” says Prof. Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto.

“More than 20 years ago, Sandy and Joe believed that Canada needed a world class management school, which was the beginning of their commitment to the Rotman School and the University of Toronto,” said Prof. Tiff Macklem, Dean of the Rotman School. “With their support, the School underwent a remarkable period of growth led by my predecessor Roger Martin. Today with this new support from the Rotman family, we will take the next leap forward with more intrepid thinking, innovative and transformative programs, and an enhanced commitment to experiential education and lifelong learning. We express our deep gratitude for Sandy and Joe’s vision, foresight and enduring support.”

The Rotman Catalyst Fund will help the School continue to foster innovation to enable students to access previously unimagined innovations in business education, to enable faculty to conduct more ground-breaking research and to spur the delivery of a transformative student experience and lifelong alumni engagement. Specifically, the Rotman Catalyst Fund will support initiatives in the School’s three areas of academic emphasis—entrepreneurship and innovation, a global mindset, and leadership in financial management and good governance. It will seed intrepid thinking on the most pressing problems of our time.

The Rotman School has already reached a tremendous level of success. In January, the School’s faculty was ranked third in the world for its research by the Financial Times. Many of the School’s research centres and hubs such as the Martin Prosperity Institute, the Clarkson Centre for Board Effectiveness, and the new Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman have achieved global prominence in their fields. In addition, the School’s innovative labs including the Creative Destruction Lab, Self Development Lab, DesignWorks, and the BMO Financial Group Finance Research and Trading Lab are delivering unique opportunities for experiential education and personalized development for students. The Rotman Catalyst Fund will allow us to scale up our most successful initiatives and imagine new innovations.

The Rotman School of Management is located in the heart of Canada’s commercial and cultural capital and is part of the University of Toronto, one of the world’s top 20 research universities. The Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables our graduates to tackle today’s global business and societal challenges. For more information, visit