A flowering symbol of goodwill

A photo in the Toronto Star May 29 featured Takashi Koezuka, Japan’s consul general in Toronto, walking with wife Reiko and York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden, past flowering cherry trees after a ceremonial planting May 28 on York’s Keele campus. The University will plant 250 of the trees, known as sakura, as part of a project that celebrates warm relations between Canada and Japan.

Ivey dean calls for business-school funding overhaul

In his parting shot as Ivey Business School dean, Larry Tapp is calling for an overhaul of Canadian management education that would focus funding support on about six elite schools, reported the Globe and Mail May 29. His idea would be to cut back 24 other management faculties, whose existence, Tapp argued, scatters and weakens the effort of attracting top business students and academics to Canada. Besides his Richard Ivey School at the University of Western Ontario, Tapp’s favoured elite would include the University of Toronto’s Rotman School, the business schools of Queen’s University, McGill University and the University of British Columbia, and École des hautes études commerciales (HEC) of Montreal. He made the provocative remarks leading up to a speech at Toronto’s Empire Club, at which he was to urge change to the funding model of business schools, which, he says, faces a potential crisis. In a hotly contested global market, Canadian schools are hard-pressed to counter the top U.S. institutions, which can tap huge private endowments in paying for high-priced teaching talent. York’s Schulich School of Business led a list of what the Globe called “notables” not on Tapp’s list.

Sex-assault charge against judge a rare event

A judge in Barrie, Ontario, was charged yesterday with one count of sexual assault, based on a complaint of “inappropriate behaviour,” after a five-month investigation, reported The Globe and Mail May 29. “This is a rare event,” said Allan Hutchinson, a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. Hutchinson said he could not recall many cases in recent memory of a judge being charged with sexual assault. He said in these types of cases care would be taken that no special treatment was accorded to the judge being charged.

YWCA’s Women of Distinction includes president and grad

Two of seven Toronto YWCA Women of Distinction awards give on May 28 went to women with affiliations to York University: Lorna R. Marsden, York University president and vice-chancellor, for education; and Beverley McAleese, executive director of StreetLight Support Services, which helps sex trade workers get off the streets, for social action and justice, reported the Toronto Star May 29. McAleese was a high school dropout whose life was changed when she took a women’s studies course at York, said the Star. The annual awards were created in 1981 to recognize the achievements of Toronto-area women who demonstrate excellence in their chosen field and a commitment to women.

Pot law confusing

A Cape Breton Post editorial May 29 on the proposed marijuana decriminalization legislation highlighted confusion on both sides of the issue. From the pot law liberalization side, the Post said Alan Young, professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, sees “a very confused scheme which creates the appearance of movement but really is business as usual.”

Mortgage rates drop below five per cent

Five-year mortgages are dropping below five per cent to compete with the 4.95 per cent offered by Dutch-owned bank ING Direct, an unusually low spread of 1.3 per cent against the long-term bond market, Toronto Star business columnist Ellen Roseman wrote May 28. She cited a report done a year ago by Moshe Milevsky, a finance professor at York’s Schulich School of Business. He looked at spreads between bond yield and bank interest rates and found they had widened to about three percentage points. He also found that customers who knew how to bargain could get the kind of cheap rates currently available at ING. However, he said, because some customers don’t know how to bargain, the banks usually win.