Schulich MBA ranked first in Canada by Forbes

The Schulich School of Business at York University led all Canadian business faculties and ranked No. 6 outside the United States in a Forbes magazine survey comparing the return on investment attained by masters of business administration graduates, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 27. The York MBA earned a five-year payback of US$97,000 – the average 1998 graduate’s post-MBA compensation minus costs of attending school (tuition and foregone salary). York was also No. 20 in North America. Harvard Business School ranked No. 1 in the US.

 York law student calls for export of generic AIDS drugs

“A simple amendment to our patent legislation could authorize the manufacture of generic drugs by Canadian companies for export to those developing countries that cannot make their own,” wrote York law student Richard Elliott in an op-ed piece in The Globe and Mail Sept. 23. “It would also send a strong signal, from a wealthy country, that the health of the developing world will not always be sacrificed to placate multinational corporations. We call on the prime minister and his government to respond to the urgent global need for more affordable medicines,” wrote Elliott, an Osgoode Hall Law school student, a lawyer with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and a founding member of the Global Treatment Action Group. “Amend the Patent Act. Treat the people. Do it now.”

Election notes

York faculty members are sharing their expertise – and students are running for office – in the Ontario provincial election:

  • Ernie Eves’ Tory manifesto, titled “The Road Ahead,” lumps together immigration policy with “crime and terrorism.” And it hints that Ontario has had a raw deal from the federal government in matters of immigration, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 29. “It’s a fear thing,” said Robert Drummond, dean of arts at York University and a noted political analyst. “It’s reminiscent of the 1995 attack on welfare people in Ontario. It’s based on the idea that a segment of the population may disapprove of immigration, but until now has been quiet about it.” But, he said, “in Greater Toronto, Eves is going to encounter a large number of people who are either immigrants themselves, or have relatives they’re waiting to bring over here. So it’s a risky strategy.”
  • Robert MacDermid, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, says his research shows that although money can’t deliver a victory, it sure helps, reported The Ottawa Citizen Sept. 28. “That doesn’t mean that in every instance you can buy an election,” MacDermid said. “There is some skill in spending money usefully.” MacDermid has done the math, said the Citizen. In Ontario ridings they won in 1999, the Progressive Conservatives spent an average of $81,143, MacDermid said. The Liberals spent an average of $58,012 in ridings they won. The New Democrats, who knew they weren’t competitive in every riding and targeted their spending, spent $60,624 in ridings they won.
  • In another article, this time in the Toronto Star Sept. 27, MacDermid critiqued the ad campaigns of Ontario’s provincial parties. Of NDP Howard Hampton’s prop, a block of cheese, he asked, “What is that about?” It is meant to stand for holes in Tory policy. “If you’ve got to explain it, it doesn’t work.” Of Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty’s use of a family theme prop, he said: “He’s relentlessly offering up his personal life, and all aspects of it, in a grasping sort of way. To me, it’s inappropriate, and it sends a message, ‘Please love me,’ rather than ‘I am a leader you should respect.'” But “the debate was the biggest prop of all,” said MacDermid. “It was a message convention, and nothing more.”
  • Mark Fuller, a doctoral student at York’s Schulich School of Business, is running for the Liberals in the provincial riding of Burlington, reported The Toronto Sun Sept. 29.
  • York University students are also taking time out to run for the New Democratic Party: Michael Miller, who is on his way to finishing a political science degree, is running in Mississauga Centre, where the fight is between Tories and Liberals, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 29. Matthew Norrish is running in York Centre; Cesar Martello, in Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale; Stacy Douglas, in Scarborough-Agincourt, reported The Toronto Sun Sept. 29.
  • Provincial parties have plans to fix GTA transit woes, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 29. The story opened with an example of York University students who take the bus from nearby Vaughan and have to pay double fares. It’s one of many seemingly short-sighted policies – little turf wars between 416 and 905 politicians – that frustrate commuters and contribute to gridlock, wrote the Star. It said the Liberals and Tories have pledged to create a region-wide transportation authority that would end such situations.

Doors are closing for world’s refugees

Doors are closing for refugees everywhere in the aftermath of 9/11, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 28. “There’s a serious and alarming restrictiveness” to Canada’s current immigration system, said Michael Lanphier, deputy director of York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies. It ignores a 1985 Supreme Court ruling that refugees are entitled to due process under Canadian law. “Canada is violating its own traditions set out in Supreme Court decisions,” said Lanphier.

Down and dirty with the Criminal Code

The Globe and Mail’s Lisa Taylor reviewed law professor Alan Young’s new book Justice Defiled: Perverts, Potheads, Serial Killers & Lawyers Sept. 27. “It’s clear,” she wrote, “that Alan Young is no ordinary ivory tower academic; he’s a challenger, a rabble-rouser who wants Big Brother to step back.” And in this book, Young, a professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, “takes on a monolithic adversary: the entire criminal justice system, including the ‘the power-hungry cops, the abusive crown attorneys and the uncaring judges’ who function within it. His criticism is both political and personal…. The reader is much better served by Young’s insights into systemic hot-button issues such as parole and plea-bargaining, and his frustration with a system of criminal justice that he argues extends well beyond what a society should truly be concerned with criminalizing.”

Redraft labour policy, says Vosko

The nature of work has changed dramatically in Ontario throughout the past decade and we have been slow to recognize the consequences, said Leah Vosko, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, in a Toronto Star story Sept. 27 on minimum wage earners. “It’s not just wages. It is precarious employment,” said Vosko, who heads the Community University Research Alliance on Contingent Employment. The word “job” itself is not accurate for many workers, as the number of self-employed has risen dramatically in Canada, said Vosko, who is lead researcher on a national study of non-standard employment released this week. Also Canada Research Chair in Feminist Political Economy, she said governments have to redraft labour policy to include those in unstable jobs with no benefits and little regulation.

‘Surprising’ twist to Air Canada’s restructuring, says Lazar

In a surprise twist to Air Canada’s restructuring, the airline has said Cerberus Capital Management Inc. and a Hong-Kong-based property development company headed by Canadian Victor Li will compete in a bakeoff to give the carrier at least $700 million to aid its exit from bankruptcy protection, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 27. “It’s very surprising because I thought Texas Pacific was not just a candidate, but the front-runner,” said Fred Lazar, an economics professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business who follows the aviation industry. “They had more than cash; they had the expertise and a track record.”

On air

  • Therese Brisson, a member of Canada’s gold medal hockey team and currently working on her MBA at York University, participated in a panel discussion on sports spending, overhauling the Canadian training infrastructure and bringing back a ministry of sport, on CBC Radio’s “The World This Weekend” Sept. 27.