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Rotman Gets $6 Million Gift For Health Care

Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto

The Rotman family has made yet another gift to the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business. The new $6 million gift, announced today (April 5), brings the family’s total support of the university to more than $77 million, including a landmark $30 million legacy gift only two years ago to create a novel venture fund to support innovative courses and programs at the business school.

The latest $6 million gift provides funding for three new faculty chairs or professorships. It will support research and leadership that focuses on health sector challenges. The donation will also go towards educational and leadership development for professionals in the healthcare and life sciences sector.

The Rotman School has put a focus on healthcare management research through its Centre for Health Sector Strategy within the University of Toronto, which has tackled some of the world’s most pressing health problems. Rotman and the university also interact with Canada’s largest medical research hub, which is one of the ten largest healthcare and biomedical clusters in the world. The Rotman School currently offers a major in health sector management for students in the school’s full-time, morning and evening MBA programs. This year the school is launching an 18-month Global Executive MBA in healthcare & the life sciences (GEMBA-HLS) with classes in Toronto, Singapore and the San Francisco Bay Area.


The Centre, in partnership with Rotman Executive Programs, is Canada’s leading academic provider of healthcare executive programs, and offers health sector programs, which equip professionals with the knowledge and business skills to lead and manage their organizations effectively in a complex field that is constantly evolving. In honor of the gift, the Centre will be named the Sandra Rotman Centre for Health Sector Strategy at the University of Toronto.

“We are enormously grateful for this new gift from the Rotman Family as well as the family’s initial support when we launched our healthcare activities in 2002,” says Brian R. Golden, vice dean of MBA Programs, in a statement.  “This most recent generous gift will enable us to increase the impact of our work in healthcare and life sciences within Canada as well as internationally.”

“The Rotman family have been visionary supporters of the school,” adds Dean Tiff Macklem, also in a statement accompanying the announcement.. “From the moment of their first gift they have been insistent that all sectors of society, including business, government, and healthcare, need inspired leadership, and this gift will help us support the healthcare leaders of today and tomorrow.”


The gift provides funding for three new faculty chairs or professorships in the areas of Health Economics, Policy and Evaluation; Life Sciences Commercialization; and, Artificial Intelligence in Health Care.  It will also be allocated to support Rotman research exploring questions relevant to the health care sector and to support visiting faculty and health system leaders.

The school said that scholarships and bursaries will be created to support students and researchers in a range of Rotman School programs including PhD, MBA, the new GEMBA-HLS, as well as community sector participants in the Centre’s executive programs which are offered in partnership with Rotman Executive Programs. The gift will also create new field-based learning opportunities, including international study tours for MBA students and executives in the health sector.

The late Joseph Rotman began his philanthropy at the school with a rather modest gift, sending in a $50 check to his alma mater, the University of Toronto’s business school, back in the 1980s. The highly successful Canadian entrepreneur added a number of zeros to his next notable donation: Some $3 million in 1993 for the school’s first new building.


Then, four years later in 1997, Rotman gave a $15 million naming gift for what became the Rotman School of Management. And there also was the $18 million he contributed in 2007 to fund the creation of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the school, to help pay for a new modern building which now houses the B-school, and the naming of the undergraduate program.

Though Rotman died in January of 2015 at the age of 80 after heart surgery, his family keeps on giving, including the $30 million gift in April of 2016 and this new $6 million gift. With this latest donation, the Rotman family is now among the top 11 biggest donors to business schools in the world. Only 10 other benefactors have given more money to a business school than Rotman, and all of the other gifts went to U.S. schools.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.