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Review of MMPA (Canada) Instructors


MBAReviewer
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The teaching overall is quite good.  However, the excellence of teaching is offset by the high costs for a degree that is essentially a compressed undergraduate degree dressed up as a pseudo-masters program.  Save your money and go elsewhere, like UTSC or Waterloo.  Plus, the majority of classmates are ESL students from China making public speaking presentations a challenge.

A review of a few professors in the program:

Prof Reviews:

Professor Aivazian (Finance) was an incredibly intelligent professor.  A colleague of mine credited him with helping him pass his Level II CFA exam. 

Professor Brooks highlights a concern about the incentive structure at a university - once a professor is tenured, there seems to be little incentive to excel as a teacher and care about undergraduate students' success.   For example, Prof Brooks retained the title and enjoyed the salary of a full professor while not conducting active research or having published an original paper in many years when I took his ethics course.   Prof Brooks has a Masters in Business Administration and was a former partner but seems to lack the academic credentials of most university professors.  I believe ethics is a segment of organizational behaviour (the psychology of management) leading me to question whether Prof Brooks is qualified to be a professor lacking a PhD in any field of study.  Ethics in theory is often different from navigating a situation ethically in the real world, a tidbit of information that was suggested by a professor in psychology.  While the course, professional ethics, is a noble topic of study, the method of teaching was often more high level talk than effective instruction of how business students to be more "ethical." 

Professor Leonard Brooks (Ethics) I felt that Professor Brooks failed to connect with students of this current generation.  His focus was on "professional demeanor".  However, as Professor Brooks work experience was from a long time ago - he left industry in the 1980's, one questions if his perspective of "professional demeanor" is still current.  As such, Professor Brooks had a very poor sense of humour, and in my opinion, seemed to favour well-dressed white males (but then this is business school and there is a noted gender discrimination  in the business profession that has been well documented in research journals).   As this man is well past 75 years old, one wonders if his has worked well past his prime to be truly effective?

Professor Kitunen (tax) was a highly knowledgeable professor who cared about her students.  Professor Kitunen tackled a challenging subject, Canadian Taxation, to a level that while challenging, was accessible to students.  Professor Kitunen facilitated student learning by requiring practice questions to ensure students did not fall behind the course material, in-class exams, and group assignments.  Her textbook, Canadian Income Taxation, by William Buckwold & Joan Kitunen is a fabulous reference that I use to help prepare personal income tax returns to this day.  The book is concise and the layout is organized (easy to find points of interest).  I anticipate I will continue to refer back to Professor Kitunen's text book in the future.

Professor Rotenberg (Finance)Lectures tended to be dry as she reads verbatim from lecture notes. The international students loved her for this. Doesn't seem to care about students as she never shows up while we write the exam (she said we can call her via cell phone in her office if we had questions).  Her grading is odd - if you make a calculation error in the beginning of the calculation, you will lose all marks assigned for further work on the question (rather than losing 1 point for a calculation error and getting points further downstream for work while propagating the error). She insists on doing her own marking rather than hiring a TA.

Professor Schneider (audit, accounting):  Well liked by all students.   Wish more instructors had his level of dedication and commitment.  truly cares about his students.

  

Professor Wally Smieliauskas' (audit):  However, I think Professor Smieliauskas' teaching style highlights that learning and a commitment to our profession is not limited to passing a single exam.  Several of my colleagues felt that his reading assignment were too heavy and unrelated into our professional accounting exams prep.  Smieliauskas' challenges students to explore questions about the fundamental nature of the audit profession, for example exploring the question of how could be make our work more meaningful to the public?  Rather than focusing on passing an exam, Professor  teaching style is unique.
 

Professor Wiecek (accounting):  Professor Wiecek highlights a concern about the incentive structure at a university - once a professor is tenured, there seems to be little incentive to excel as a teacher and care about undergraduate students' success.   The teaching of ASPE was poor in the lectures due to her area of expertise.  While Prof Wieck is considered an expert in IFRS, oftentimes her lectures lacked the big picture relevance of the standards that was much superior in the curriculum of the CFA or her colleagues, Martha Dunlop and Mick Norgrove, leading me to question her competency and knowledge of accounting.  While Prof Wiecek may have excelled as an accountant and instructor in the past, my experience is that she has not remained current in the accounting standards to be truly knowledgeable in the current situation.  As such, accountants have had to continually update their skills.  The accounting standards have changed much over the years in attempts to keep the profession relevant among a sea of audit scandals and a crisis of faith from the public in the audit professional.  As a back up, I preferred to read the CFA curriculum book which was often more succinct."  Furthermore, the textbook, which students rely on as a resource was poorly written and long, focusing too much on mechanics rather than the why.           

Professor Zweig (organizational behaviour):  An excellent and erudite professor.  Professor Zweig incorporates different mediums of study to enhance the student learning experience, for example, lectures, videos and games or activities to apply what was learned in lecture.  For example, having the presentation slides slightly different from the slide deck students print by leaving the slides with blank words to keep students alert during lecture writing in points from the presentation and filling in blanks.  Uses psychology to ensure students learn the material effectively.  knows his stuff!
 

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