Schulich offers menu of people skills

One of the most comprehensive menus in “people skills” is with York University’s executive programs at the Schulich School of Business, where everything from supply-chain management to dealing with diversity has been available in short, intensive courses, reports The Globe and Mail Oct. 29 in a story on soft skills education. “What it takes to lead,” comments Alan Middleton, the school’s director of executive education, “is no longer as simple as divvying up the work and telling Jane and Fred to do it.” Middleton allows that training for abilities previously thought innate, such as leadership, will not “bring everybody toward brilliance” but can make a constructive difference.

Little political will

“Since there has been no effort by elected officials to consider the use of [my] in-depth study into the pretrial process, I can only conclude that there is little political will to address the systemic racial discrimination that is taking place daily in Ontario courts and remand centres,” wrote Gail Kellough, social science professor, in a letter to The Toronto Star Oct. 29. She was referring to letters sent to attorneys general and solicitors general in 1995 and 1997 about her 1994 study of pretrial decision-making in Toronto bail courts.

Moscow fiasco could have been worse

“The Russian government now stands stronger,” Sergei Plekhanov, political science professor at York, told Ben Chin in an interview on “CBC News and Current Affairs” Oct. 26 in the wake of Russian troops gassing a theatre of hostages in Moscow. “Even though quite a few lives were lost, it could have been much worse. And at the same time, the terrorists have not been rewarded, so that sends a message to other terrorists around the world that it doesn’t always work.”

Celebrity justice diverts from real justice

“I wish I could dismiss Celebrity Justice as a harmless frivolity on par with most everything else found on network television,” wrote Alan Young, Osgoode Hall Law School professor, in his Toronto Star column Body and Soul Oct. 27. “I wish I could sit back and relax while I watch commentators analyze the significance of Winona Ryder allegedly stealing $6,000 worth of merchandise from Saks, but the sheer vacuity of the analysis distresses me. Endless commentary on the Ryder shoplifting fiasco diverts attention from serious justice issues.”

And the Synergy Award goes to….

An outstanding R& D partnership between York University and Toronto-based Optech Incorporated has earned the participants one of six national innovation prizes to be awarded Oct. 28 in Winnipeg by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and The Conference Board of Canada, reported CCNMatthews Oct. 28. The 2002 Synergy Award of Innovation recognizes their joint activities for extending the applications and three-dimensional imaging capabilities of laser radar (also known as lidar).

Schulich’s MBA places sixth

York University’s Schulich School of Business placed sixth among Canadian MBA schools in a poll of 400 Canadian senior business executives and 100 human resource executives commissioned by Canadian Business magazine and conducted by the Strategic Counsel, reported Canada News-Wire Oct. 28. University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business was first, Queen’s second, McGill third, University of Toronto’s Joseph L. Rotman School of Management fourth and HEC Montreal fifth. This is the 11th year for the magazine’s MBA issue, but the first to take an ‘outside-in’ view of the value of an MBA.

Student film wins Barrie awards

Nate Mills, 21, a third-year York University film student, and Tyler Grace, 20, won the New VR’s People’s Choice Award for their short film Pack My Bags and came in second in the competitive short film cateogry at Barrie’s Film Festival over the weekend, reported The Orillia Packet & Times Oct. 28. The film features a search for a lost ventriloquist doll.

Studies and more studies

In the wake of its series on race and police, The Toronto Star listed previous studies on racial profiling, including a survey by Gail Kellough, a York University sociologist, and Scot Wortley, a University of Toronto criminologist, of white, black and Chinese adults for the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Justice System in 1994.

Beating the bully problem

A 1995 study from York University by Debra Pepler, York psychology professor, and Wendy Craig, Queen’s University psychology professor, found that peers observed bullying 85 percent of the time and reinforced the bullying in 81 percent of episodes, reported The Vancouver Sun Oct. 28. They actively joined in 48 per cent of the time but tried to stop the bullying in only 13 percent of cases.

More women believe fortune tellers

In a new opinion poll by Leger Marketing, women appeared more willing to believe in the ability to tell the future — 46 per cent vs 33 per cent of men, reported The Ottawa Sun Oct. 28. “In almost ever poll of this nature…females are much less skeptical in this sense,” said Michael De Robertis, a York physics professor and a member of the Ontario Skeptics Society for Critical Inquiry.

Client is king

Paul Hoffert, fine arts adjunct professor at York and Sheridan, sketches the landscape of the new information-based economy when clients come armed with far more information than ever before, in his just-released book The New Client: How Customers Shape Business in the Information Age, reviewed in The Ottawa Citizen Oct. 26. Canadians would know him better as the found** of the rock group Lighthouse.

Jamaicans poorest of poor

Jamaican Canadians are among the poorest immigrant groups in Toronto, according to an ethno-racial inequality report prepared by Michael Ornstein, director of the Institute for Social Research at York University, reported The Toronto Star Oct. 26. Commissioned by the city and released in May, 2000, it also found that more than 13,000 – nearly 65 per cent – of all Jamaican Canadian children in Toronto were living in poverty.