Business School

Our History


Close up view of the university sun dial

The Business School has played a significant role in the history of The University of Western Australia.

Since the first intake of Economics students in 1913, UWA has developed its Business School into an internationally competitive Faculty. It has prospered from the school's dedication to growing partnerships and networks within the external business environment while delivering quality learning experiences.

From a single area of study in 1913 to a student enrolment of over 5000 in 2014, the Business School has experienced a varied and interesting history.

A Rich History
1911 Economics is one of the foundation subjects offered by the newly formed institution, The University of Western Australia.
1913 - 1920 UWA sees its first intake of economics students, later followed by Accounting intakes. Edward Shann is appointed professor of History and Economics.
1941 Professor Frank Mauldon is appointed the first Chair of Economics within the Arts Faculty. He researches in the area of the State's's economy and community income and introduces the study of public administration.
1944 - 1949
Large numbers of returned servicemen and servicewomen are educated through the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme (CRTS) post World War Two. They are knowledgeable in the social, political and economic issues facing external business environment and demand an education experience that can be applied to the real world.
1954 Professor Mauldon is appointed as the first Dean of the newly separated Faculty of Economics. There is a growing demand for business education as the economy booms.
1961 Under the new leadership of Professor Ian Bowen, the Faculty of Economics is reconstituted as the Faculty of Economics and Commerce. A debate forms regarding the evolving nature of business education, as commerce enrolments accelerate far beyond that of economics.
1966 Peter Longton is appointed the first Chair of Marketing and becomes one of the first two Professors of Marketing in Australia.
1968 Professor Reg Appleyard is appointed to the Foundation Chair of Economic History and later Head of Department. He seeks to create close connections with local business groups. The degree programs taught within the Faculty are adapted to be more relevant to the Western Australian economy.
1969 Richard Court graduates with a Bachelor of Commerce and will become the Premier of Western Australia from 1993-2001
Professor Bernard Key is appointed to lead Japanese Studies, established as a response to developing Western Australian trade relations with Japan. The idea puts UWA on the map globally.
Geoff Gallop, who will be Premier of Western Australia from 2001-2006 graduates with a Master of Economics.
The Masters of Business Administration is introduced. There is a huge demand for the course.
Colin Barnett, the current Premier of Western Australia, graduates with a Bachelor of Economics (Honours).
In response to a new need in the specialisation, the Department of Industrial Relations is created.
The growing demand for the Master of Business Administration sees the Graduate School of Management (GSM) separate from the Department of Economics and Commerce. Professor Andre Morkel is appointed as Head of School.
Professor Tracey Horton is appointed as Dean to lead the UWA Business School strategy towards achieving an internationally benchmarked top 50 university ranking.
The Business School Campaign, Tomorrow Starts Here, is officially launched with $12 million support pledged towards the $25 million target.
Professor Tracey Horton leads the integration of the School of Economics and Commerce and the Graduate School of Management to form the UWA Business School, to facilitate the vision of becoming a leading institution in the Australasian region.
UWA Business School gains accreditation through the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).
The new UWA Business School world class facility is officially launched May 3, 2009 by Premier Colin Barnett. The fundraising target of $25 million is achieved.
Professor Phil Dolan is appointed Dean of the UWA Business School following Professor Tracey Horton's resignation. The School gains accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the only Business School in Western Australia to hold both EQUIS and AACSB accreditation.
Professor David Plowman awarded Chancellor's Medal for his outstanding contribution to the MBA program.
  The UWA Business School becomes a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education, recognising the School’s commitment to corporate sustainability and social responsibility.
Deputy Dean, Professor Izan retires after nearly 30 years at the Business School. Professor Alison Preston is appointed to the role. The Business School renews its partnership with BHP Billiton with a further $5 million contribution.