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LIVES LIVED: A key player in increasing QSB’s global reach

David Rutenberg, Emeritus Professor in the School of Business, recently passed away while on vacation in Thailand. He arrived at Queen’s University in the late 1970s from Carnegie Mellon University and would remain here until he retired in the early part of this century.

From the beginning, and continuously over these years, David’s publications, his teaching, his doctoral supervisions, and his influence at Faculty Board and through various admission and hiring committees, had a very real and lasting impression on the school.

David Rutenberg
David Rutenberg

Perhaps the greatest of these impacts was in the student exchange program area, no doubt a natural offshoot of his basic interest in International Business. To understand this more fully one has to recognize that when he arrived, the university was a very insular place having one long-standing, but essentially moribund, exchange agreement with St. Andrew’s in Scotland.

Businesses, and certainly professors of international business, were increasingly turning their attention to international matters in what was to blossom into what we now know as ‘globalization’, and David felt that an important part of preparing students for this new world was a) actually getting them out there; and b) having others come here to give us another perspective; in short an exchange.

So into the fray he plunged and working with John McKirdy, Joan Wright and others David began to expand the offerings hoping to entice students to risk taking some time to go ‘on exchange’ somewhere for a term. At the outset most of these exchanges were in Europe but the destinations and participants kept expanding until today, in this year 2014-15, and thanks also to the efforts of Dean David Saunders who sees the world in the same terms as David, the Queen’s School of Business has agreements with 110 schools, in 39 countries, and will send 485 of its students out on exchange, and receive 466 in return. All this started with David Rutenberg.

Following his retirement he became more involved with the local community serving, for example, on the city’s Economic Development Committee (KEDCO) and with the McBurney Park Neighbourhood Association in that area of the city where he lived. He was also active in the life of Chalmers United Church where a Service of Remembrance was held for him just before Christmas. There people also recalled that he was, among all these other things, also “enlightening, motivating, supportive, inquisitive and genuinely such a nice man”.

He is survived by his wife of many years, Sandra, two sons Andrew and Michael, and numerous grandchildren.

Merv Daub is Emeritus Professor at the Queen’s School of Business and was a colleague of David Rutenberg.