University waits for acceptances from double-cohort students

June 16 marked the deadline for students graduating in the double-cohort class to respond to admission offers, and university officials are nervous, reported The Globe and Mail. York University has sent out 30,000 offers to students for just over 8,000 spaces. “I hope it goes smoothly for everybody,” said Sheila Embleton, York’s VP academic. If York University has fewer students accepting admission than expected, Embleton said, the University would have to do some recruiting over the summer to fill the gap. However, the prospect of too many double-cohort students accepting admission to a certain program is a scary one. This may result in offers to other students (from college transfer students to those who have been out of school for a few years) being somewhat restricted. “That might be the only tap you’ve got to turn off at that point,” Embleton said. “If we made an offer [to a double-cohort student], well, we’ve made an offer. There’s no such thing as not keeping our word.” Embleton added: “It’s a year unlike any other for all sorts of reasons, and so people are just nervous.”

Upholding free speech

In response to an editorial in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record entitled “Free Speech, Live In Waterloo,” Richard Fisher, York University’s chief communications officer, said in a June 16 letter to the editor that the piece seemed to convey “mixed messages” about York’s protection of free speech. The University, wrote Fisher, “has a solid tradition of defending the right of free speech on campus and supporting vigorous, open debate on critical issues. During the conflict in Iraq, this commitment was demonstrated when York ensured that the lecture by pro-Israeli academic Daniel Pipes took place. In this respect, York’s principled position was a precursor to the University of Waterloo’s similar response to uphold the value of freedom of expression on campus.”

First Somali-immigrant doctor went to York

A feature June 14 about a Somali immigrant family, part of a Globe and Mail series on the success of second-generation Canadians, focused on the Osman children who have attended, are attending and will attend York University. The story centred in particular on Fahima Osman, who just graduated as a medical doctor from McMaster University after studying kinesiology and psychology at York, and will become her community’s first Canadian-trained doctor. The Globe says that while the three eldest Osman offspring remember being virtually alone in their first years at York University, they now see a crowd of Somali-Canadian freshmen. Hodan, 23, is completing her administrative studies degree and plans to get her MBA, and Hibo, 22, is taking statistics. Fahima’s story was also mentioned June 16 by host Andy Barrie on CBC’s “Metro Morning.”

Heppner and Goldfarb honoured at York

The Toronto Star noted June 15 that Canadian opera star Ben Heppner and arts volunteer and philanthropist Joan Goldfarb would be awarded honorary doctor of laws degrees at York University June 16 and would address convocation ceremonies.

Commercialization of research creates tension

In a June 14 story about university research that is increasingly privately funded, the Toronto Star described York University’s attempts to build bridges with industry. York set up a new technology transfer office just last year, said the Star. Suzanne MacDonald, York’s associate vice-president of research, said the decision to formalize its links with the marketplace was made after the federal government made it clear that commercialization was going to be a key component of its over-all strategy for postsecondary institutions. “This in an area that’s definitely growing,” MacDonald said. “Many federal grants now require an industrial partnership.” While MacDonald said the emphasis raises new problems and questions, she argued that the trend is ultimately a good one because it helps to link the university’s ivory towers with the people that pay for their upkeep. “The ultimate goal is to benefit the larger community,” she said.

Manhattan buildings go green – like York

Compared to New York, Toronto buildings – with a handful of exceptions – are not nearly as “green,” reported The Toronto Star June 14. One of those exceptions is York University’s Computer Sciences and Engineering Building, said the Star.

Small business facing e-biz challenge

In a story about a Canadian E-Business Initiative report on the impact of Internet commerce and e-business in the Canadian marketplace, the London Free Press noted June 16 that the report was produced by York University’s Schulich School of Business in collaboration with government and industry partners. The study compared Internet use by small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada to competitors in the United States, Britain, France and Germany.

On air

  • York and Ryerson universities have eliminated hand-shaking at graduation ceremonies to reduce the risk of SARS, reported CFRB radio news in Toronto, June 13.
  • York University awarded an honorary doctorate to business guru Seymour Schulich, reported CFTO-TV in Toronto, June 13.
  • Six Nations chief and aboriginal advocate Roberta Jamieson was awarded an honorary doctorate at York University, reported City-TV and CP-24 in Toronto, June14.
  • Patrick Monahan, associate dean, York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, talked about Supreme Court Justice Charles Gonthier retiring today after 14 years, on CBC Newsworld, June 16.