‘In Ontario, we have been letting our students down badly,’ says Marsden

They share students and a new building on York ‘s Keele campus. Now the presidents of York University and Seneca College have shared a podium to call on the provincial government for a commitment to reforming higher education in its spring budget, reported the Toronto Star and Metro April 1. “In Ontario, we have been letting our students down badly. Highly talented faculty have fled to other jurisdictions, to better research facilities, smaller class sizes and greater public interest in their work,” said York President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden at an Empire Club lunch Thursday. She called a February report on post-secondary reform by former premier Bob Rae “a miracle for us. Now we are awaiting the budget from Ontario and a response from the federal government.” Seneca’s Rick Miner was reluctant to put a price tag on his expectations, but he said implementing some funding immediately would indicate the province was serious about reversing its neglect of colleges and universities.

Press Iran for tribunal over Kazemi case, says prof

Federal government officials were told last November that Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi had been brutally tortured and raped by Iranian security officials but that didn’t prevent Ottawa from restoring diplomatic ties with Tehran, reported the Toronto Star April 1. Canada dispatched ambassador Gordon Venner to reopen the embassy in Iran, four months after Ottawa pulled its ambassador to protest the decision to bar Canadian observers from attending the trial of a man accused of killing Kazemi. Saeed Rahnema, an Iranian-Canadian author and a political science professor at York University, said Canada’s insignificant efforts have made it easy for the Iranian government to ignore its demands. “Canada can do more and should do more in pressing Iran to create an international tribunal in this case,” Rahnema said.

On air

  • Jamie Cameron, a professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, was a witness before the Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act, which convened March 15 to review the act. The meeting was broadcast on the Cable Public Affairs Channel’s “Morning” March 30.
  • Debra Pepler, psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, commented on cyber bullies and bullying by e-mail, on Toronto 1’s “Toronto Tonight” March 31.