How York’s business school measures up

The latest global business school rankings are out, said the National Post Jan. 27, and, while there are some Canadian successes in the Financial Times report, it is generally an unpleasant report card. However, the article went on to praise York’s “surging” Schulich School of Business, which comes second in the report, and the U of T’s Rotman School of Business, which is number 1. Schulich leap-frogged a flagging Ivey School at the University of Western Ontario, and is now second in Canada, said the Post. The other five Canadian schools in the global top 100 don’t have a lot to crow about. “So how many Canadian schools are in the top 25 internationally?” asked the Post. “The answer, of course, is two: just York and the University of Toronto.”

Shouldn’t be free lunch

Politicians and bureaucrats should avoid having their lunches and dinners paid for by people they’re meeting on public business, Toronto’s computer leasing inquiry has heard, said the Toronto Star Jan. 27. “If they’re on public business, it should be paid for by their departments,” the Star said, quoting York political science Professor David Shugarman, director of the University’s Centre for Practical Ethics. “I think the concern is that somehow you’re being influenced. You’re being somehow put in a position where you’re beholden to or you feel now a closer relationship to someone who has taken you out for a $150 dinner,” Shugarman told the inquiry. On the same subject, York political science Professor Ian Greene said public officials should not accept any gift that would lead to a conflict of interest, no matter how small. “When I worked for the Alberta government, I would never accept a free lunch, because people were always wanting to buy me lunch so they could influence me,” said Greene. It is important for public servants to have someone to turn to when in doubt, he added. “There need to be ethics counsellors in city departments.”

TEL building gains praise

The Jan. 23 online edition of Canadian Architect and the Jan. 23 North York Mirror carried articles on the unveiling of the new Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) building on York’s Keele campus.

Students at York University and Seneca College now have the opportunity to learn together in the province’s most technologically advanced teaching facility, said the Mirror. The opening of the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Building strengthens the bond between the two schools, giving students a chance to share common space, learn from one another and network with others. (The new building is a joint project by York University and Seneca College of Applied Arts.)

“If students are in the same building, they’ll have more opportunities to meet each other, so I think you’ll see a lot of new firms and teams being created here,” York University president Lorna R. Marsden said in the Mirror. “I hope people from North York, York Region and around the world see what a great learning opportunity this is and come together here to work on projects.”

John Briggs, York University’s manager of instructional technology, said the classroom cameras will help students who miss class or have difficulty with course materials. “This is the first university in Canada to use Mediasite Live technology, which allows us to stream lectures live to the Web and archive them,” he said. “Students who don’t understand some course material can watch it again. For students who speak English as a second language, they can also go over the lectures to make sure they understood correctly.”

Canadian Architect described the $88-million facility, which opened on Jan. 22, as the most technologically advanced facility in the province of Ontario, featuring wireless communications, multi-media lecture halls and computer laboratories that will be used by up to 4,000 York and Seneca students. The publication credited Moriyama and Teshima Architects for the building’s design, which presents a series of overlapping visual and spatial experiences with copious amounts of natural light. Mentioning the sense of community fostered by the architecture of the building and pointing out the energy efficiency measures implemented, Canadaian Architect said the TEL building aims to promote research and development of new modes of teaching and learning that take advantage of technology.

Shakuntala hits York stage

The Studio Theatre at York’s production of Kalidasa’s Shakuntala, was described as a “necklace of poetic love strung with humour,” in a Metroland newspaper review Jan. 24. Shakuntala is a production set in the 5th century, said the article. It is a simple story of profound romantic love and is intensified by adversity. While honouring the distinctive conventions of Indian theatre, Charles Roy, director of the production, blends in mime and dance elements drawn from western theatre. “This production of Shakuntala is an experiment in merging the theories and cultural practices of ancient Sanskrit drama with contemporary western theatre,” Roy said in a press release carried in Metroland. The newspaper report said Shakuntala runs until Saturday, Jan. 31 in the Joseph G. Green Studio Theatre at York University.

On air

  • Mark Boswell, a popular Canadian high-jump medallist who now trains at York’s Track & Field Centre, was interviewed on CBC Radio 1’s program “The Inside Track”, Jan. 27.