York’s Schulich School of Business is the third best MBA school in the world in providing students with grounding in social and environmental responsibility, a new global survey says, reported The Globe and Mail Oct. 20. Schulich trailed only top-ranked Stanford University and No. 2 ESADE of Spain in the ranking of almost 100 participating schools by the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute. Other Canadian schools in the top 30 are: the Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario, No. 14; McGill University, No. 22; and University of Calgary, No. 25. Other Canadian participants are the business schools of Concordia University, University of Alberta, University of Toronto, and Wilfrid Laurier University.
The apple of York’s eye
When York students want to come up with groundbreaking scientific discoveries, they can now go to Newton’s apple trees, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 20. That’s possible because five years ago, University biologists managed to plant three tiny trees, which had been grafted with cuttings from the Newton original, in a quadrangle on the Keele Street campus. One of those trees recently sprouted an apple for the first time. Biologist Michael Boyer, professor emeritus in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, said York’s fledgling trees, the first to flourish in Canada other than in research settings, take their place among other descendants of Newton’s famed tree in the United States, including at the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, and in England. “We hope this might act as a stimulus [to discovery],” Boyer said, noting it took York almost a decade to acquire and successfully plant Newton’s tree. “Sometimes great ideas flow from simple things.”
Tailored sales pitch works best
Reaching the top decision maker and retaining current customers are the key challenges for business-to-business marketers, according to a recent study by Forrester Research Inc., reported the Toronto Star Oct. 20. Unlike traditional business-to-consumer marketing, where a business is selling a product to an individual customer, B2B marketing involves businesses selling items to other businesses. B2B purchase decisions are often made by teams and involve higher volume and higher value purchases, but there are fewer transactions made overall.
Don’t assume a B2B decision will be more rational than a B2C (business to consumer) decision because businesses require a request for proposal and have more people providing input on the purchase decision, says Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business. Over half of the final purchase decision is based on an emotional response to the product, such as a favourable response to packaging, rather than a rational reason, he says. Because of the element of irrationality, a B2B pitch should be targeted to those who will have the most influence on a purchase decision to ensure it reaches the top decision makers.
Michael Redhill‘s new play at the Tarragon Theatre turns our accepted notions of good vs. evil on their head, wrote the Toronto Star’s Robert Crew in a review Oct. 20. His first play, Be Frank, was just that. Written in 1991 and staged at the Fringe theatre festival, it featured bottles of excrement on a mantelpiece. Nowadays, the 39-year-old, who studied film at York from 1986 to 1988, is something of a CanLit star, author of the award-winning novel Martin Sloane, of several collections of poetry and of the theatre script Building Jerusalem, which scooped Chalmers and Dora Awards for best new play.
And it’s a safe bet that his latest play, Goodness, which opens at Tarragon Extra Space on Tuesday, will be remembered for very different reasons. Goodness is a story about genocide and memory. It opens with a playwright called Michael Redhill confessing that what he meant to do was write a play about Poland and the Holocaust. The Redhill character ends up in a bar where he is told that meeting a certain someone will help him better understand the true nature of evil. He meets Althea, who turns out to have been a prison guard and is responsible for an old man who claims to have Alzheimer’s. The old man has been accused of helping carry out genocide in Althea’s country.
- York student Shamini Selvaratnam, an executive member of the York Federation of Students, discussed student debt, in an item aired Oct. 20 on CBC Radio’s “Info Morning” in Fredericton.
- Alan Young, a professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, discussed a high profile manslaughter case involving a prominent native family that recently ended in mistrial in Thunder Bay, on CBC Radio’s “Morning North Oct. 19. Cory Wesley was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of Daniel Beardy, the only child of Stan Beardy, grand chief of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation.
- Thabit Abdullah Sam, history professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, joined a panel on TVO’s Studio 2″ Oct. 19 to discuss Saddam Hussein’s reign over Iraq and his not-guilty plea to charges that he ordered the executions of 143 men and boys in 1982.
- Scott Fielder, who teaches chemistry in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, discussed the science of how every autumn, the leaves change from green into various shades of reds, yellows and oranges, on TVO’s “More to Life” Oct. 19.
- Host Michael Coren and guests discussed the York co-habitation study by sociologist Anne-Marie Ambert stating that living together prior to marriage may be deleterious to the relationship, on “Michael Coren Live” on CTS-TV in Toronto Oct. 19.