Students ask board to change name of school

A group of students at Vincent Massey secondary school want officials to consider a name change for the 45-year-old institution, claiming Canada’s former governor general may have been anti-Semitic, reported the Windsor Star in a story picked up by CanWest News Service Feb. 16.

Principal Elver Peruzzo said the issue “stems from a discussion in history class” dealing with the Second World War and how Canada responded. Students found a book written by Irving Abella, a history professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, titled None Is Too Many, which discusses the policies of former prime minister Mackenzie King’s government to exclude Jews from Canada. Abella has publicly described Massey as someone who “did not like Jews,” they told the Star.

Arthritis never stopped filmmaker

A Charlottetown Guardian profile Feb. 12 about award-winning television and film director Michael Kennedy said he became the youngest member of York University’s faculty when he walked into a teaching job in the University’s film department almost immediately upon graduating from Ryerson in the early 1980s. He literally hobbled into the job. Arthritis that first struck him at age 10 had progressively beaten him down physically to where he could barely walk. During his three-year teaching stint he made some films by holding a cane in one hand and a camera in the other.

Instructor on probation for visit to child-porn site

A Winnipeg university instructor has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges, reported the Winnipeg Free Press Feb. 16, in a story that could be cautionary to academic researchers. Roy Dudgeon, who has a PhD in anthropology and is a sessional instructor at both the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg, admitted buying a subscription to an illicit Web site. “I had really no abiding personal interest in viewing that material. It really was just academic interest,” Dudgeon, who earned his MA in social anthropology from York in 1996, told the court . “But I know what I did was wrong. That’s why I am pleading guilty and want to get on with my life.” Dudgeon, 41, paid $24.95 on his credit card for one month of access to a site that showed nude girls as young as six engaged in various sexual activities with adult men, court was told. Crown attorney Jill Duncan said Dudgeon visited the site just one time, in 1999, but wasn’t detected until April 2001 when RCMP stumbled across his name and credit card information during an ongoing investigation.

Dudgeon was sentenced to 18 months of probation under a joint agreement between Crown and defence lawyers. Duncan said there are several mitigating factors for Dudgeon, including the fact he didn’t download any images or attempt to distribute them. In fact, police found no illegal materials on his computer during a thorough search.

York uses new financial-processing software

Actuate Corp. has begun shipping Actuate Financial Performance Management, a new application that integrates data from disparate financial, human-resources, budgeting and forecasting systems for reporting and analysis, reported Information Week Feb. 15. It said York University already uses Actuate’s reporting software to provide financial reports to some 1,500 employees and managers, who use the reports to send budget and spending forecast data back to finance managers. The University is reviewing Actuate’s new application. Steve Dewar, financial reporting manager at York, says the app’s ability to create an audit trail of back-and-forth communications could be a major benefit for the University.

On air

  • Trina McQueen, currently CTV Visiting Professor of Broadcast Management at York, has been appointed to the CBC’s board of directors, reported CBC Radio’s “Here and Now” Feb. 15. McQueen, who started as a journalist, rose to become VP at CBC, president of CTV, and VP and general manager of the Discovery Channel.
  • Economist Bernie Wolf, a professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, discussed the bidding for Stelco, in an interview aired on CBC Radio’s “World Report” and national news programs Feb. 14.