New Vice-Principal, Special Initiatives envisions ‘comprehensive’ university

Professor Ulli Krull
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 4:04pm
Kimberley Wright

A premier business school with a sector-specific focus; a complementary program in engineering; and experiential learning that is part academics, part community outreach and part keen business sense.

This is Professor Ulli Krull’s vision for the University of Toronto Mississauga in 2022 and beyond.

Recently appointed as the campus’ first Vice-Principal, Special Initiatives, Krull intends to drive this vision toward reality.

“There are 1.4 million people living in Peel region,” Krull says. “We need a comprehensive university; one with a full breadth of programs, including medicine, engineering and business, to service that population. Even with all the expansion taking place at UTM, we still have gaps.”

With a medical academy already well established, and the early discussions of engineering collaborations between St. George and UTM flourishing, a new business school has been identified as UTM’s—and Krull’s—top priority through the Boundless campaign.

The Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI) will offer sector-specific graduate degrees, as well as experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students. “If you put everybody into the same hopper and provide a general business context, you don’t get any traction,” Krull says.  “IMI offers a different mindset based on a different skill set. That’s the power of sector-based programming.”

As Vice-Principal, Research since 2003, Krull has been the architect of many significant UTM initiatives, including the Centre for Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology and the Master of Biotechnology program. He also plays a key role in regional organizations, such as the Research Innovation Commercialization Centre and Advantage Mississauga.

Krull’s talent lies in bringing academia, industry and government together to collaborate, problem solve and address the needs of the community—which helps UTM’s students now and in the future.

“Many students settle in and around the city after graduation,” Krull says. “They will be looking for employment and a good quality of life right here in our own neighbourhood.”

In his new role, Krull will build on these critical relationships and forge new ones, pushing for a “holistic integration of what our university does with the local community.”

Given the stable, supportive government in Mississauga and the success of past university-city collaborations, Krull feels UTM is poised to address this fundamental question: How can we contribute to the lifeblood of our city and all its citizens?

A head-scratcher for some, but for Professor Ulli Krull—it’s just part of the vision.