May 6, 2021

In Memoriam: Haskayne School of Business mourns loss of David Lertzman

Valued senior instructor made a lasting impact; campus flag lowered May 6, 2021
David Lertzman
Marnie Burkhart, Jazhart Studios Inc.

David was a friend to all, and a brother to many,” says Dr. Jim Dewald, dean, Haskayne School of Business. “David was a valued senior instructor who had worked with Haskayne since 2000, but truly he was so much more. He was our spiritual leader, our Indigenous connection and our sustainability hero.”

His energy made a lasting impact at the school.

Since 2004, David led the wilderness retreat, a week-long leadership immersive experience in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains that has been transformational for many Haskayne School of Business students. He lovingly invested over 100 hours to convert this retreat to Zoom to provide a rich experience for students to learn how to overcome challenges, build resilience and how to embody ethical leadership.

At the wilderness retreat, Lertzman focused on leadership topics in the larger context of sustainability, helping students clarify their core values, sense of purpose and call to service as leader.

He was deeply committed to ii’ taa’poh’to'p, UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy. He brought to the forefront the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations, particularly resolution 92 — the role that business has to play in healing the past. Haskayne students learned in his classroom from the survivors of the residential school system and UCalgary benefited from his close relationships with local Elders. Future Indigenous business leaders were nurtured under his watch as the UCalgary liaison for the Ch’nook Scholars program.

He took his call to leadership seriously, but met the challenge with unbridled energy and positivity.

His contributions to scholarship over his academic career have helped influence best practices for the ecological, social and cross-cultural performance of both industries and communities.

The Haskayne School of Business has established a memorial page to share your memories, which will also be shared with his family. The school is also reflecting on additional recognition in his memory with his family and will connect with our community when we have an opportunity to celebrate how Dr. David Lertzman lived.

The UCalgary flag will be lowered to honour Dr. David Lertzman on May 6, 2021.

Students can request mental health support through Wellness Services via the online form, or can call 403-210-9355, which includes a link to after-hours crisis support through the Distress Centre and the Community Resource Team.

Faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars can find mental health support through Staff Wellness by emailing or calling 403-220-2918, or through Homewood Health, which provides a variety of resources and supports 24/7. Visit them online or by calling 1-800-663-1142.