Employer lauds Schulich’s MBA in real property

When Rob Goodall, president of Toronto-based Canadian Mortgage Capital Corp., last went looking to hire a new employee, he knew exactly where to go. He didn’t bother with traditional MBA programs. He went to graduates of the specialty MBA program in real property development at York University’s Schulich School of Business, wrote the National Post July 15.

“We need sharp people,” said Goodall. “What we find about MBAs is that they don’t have much in the way of past working experience, which is fine with us. But what we’ve also found is that they didn’t know if they were committed to real estate or not. So we had turnover. We like Schulich [graduates] because they’re committed to real estate enough to get an MBA specializing in it. It’s a big indication for us.”

A regular MBA is no longer a guaranteed way to hit a home run in the business world, said the Post. Over the past decade, as the demand for specialized knowledge and skills in the business world has become more of a necessity, universities across Canada and the United States have followed suit, creating specialty programs for many sectors of the marketplace. As a result, the traditional MBA degree has begun to look more and more like a liberal arts degree – too general to be of much value.

“The traditional model was really focusing on teaching theory and developing the decision-making process,” says Dezsö J. Horvath, dean of York’s Schulich School of Business. “What happened, however, is that the world became far too complex and you had to add the context in which the decisions were being made.”

York was an early pioneer of specialized MBA degrees, wrote the Post. In the 1970s it introduced an MBLLB, a joint degree with business and law. It also introduced an international MBA. “It gives everything that a regular MBA would give, but much more explicitly develops knowledge and skills to function in the global marketplace,” said Horvath. Other specialty MBA-degree programs available at York are in the fields of financial services, arts and media administration, health industry management and business and sustainability.

He says it is less likely that universities will continue to offer the kind of MBA that he himself earned decades ago. “I believe it will be very difficult to deliver only a generic MBA,” he said. “The world is too complex and there is no competitive advantage [to the traditional MBA].”

Informers can both help and hurt prosecution case, says Young

An RCMP informant’s decision to go public with how he infiltrated a group accused of plotting terror attacks on Canadian soil has infuriated the lawyer of one of the accused, who says the group was set up, reported Canadian Press July 14. Mubin Shaikh’s apparent involvement in a police operation that resulted in 17 men and youth charged last month shows there is “no terrorism in Canada,” lawyer Rocco Galati said.

The use of informants is commonplace in police investigations, as they are often the only ones who can “penetrate the inner circle” of a suspected criminal group, said law professor Alan Young of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. “If we were taking the threat of terrorism seriously since 9/11, what we should have been doing is cultivating as many informer relationships as possible,” said Young. “It’s very effective.” Still, he said using informants can also hurt the prosecution during a trial – if it is found that the mole entrapped the accused. “The sins of the informant will be visited upon the police,” he said.

Transit is the better way 

All things considered, public transit is indeed the better way, wrote the Toronto Star July 17 in an editorial . And steps are being taken to improve it. Such initiatives free transit vehicles from being stuck in regular traffic. And the province has set aside money for a new subway line to York University and, beyond, to Vaughan. That should provide a far faster alternative to the buses in use today. Much more must be done, said the Star. The federal government hasn’t covered its share of the bill for the proposed subway line. And investment in public transit, in general, remains well short of what’s needed.

Increase in 2006 grants at University of Guelph; Clarifications

The University of Guelph has increased its entrance scholarship for students with a final average of 85 per cent to $2,000, which is $500 more than last year’s grant. For first-year students with 90 per cent, the university increased its offering to $3,000 from $2,000. In Thursday’s story about higher enrolments at colleges and universities, the new grant amounts were correct, however 2005 grant totals were wrong, wrote the Toronto Star July 15.

Can these Angels fly?

With 38 homicides in Toronto and the year only a little past the halfway mark, it’s understandable that residents of the city’s most afflicted neighbourhoods might want more help than police have been able to provide, reported The Globe and Mail July 15. But are the Guardian Angels the answer? Not according to York criminology professor James Sheptycki of the Division of Social Science, Faculty of Arts. “My view,” he says, “is that the GA are a symptom of the fear of crime. They are not a solution.”

 Author, author

Christopher Dewdney is the author of four books of non-fiction and 11 books of poetry. He has been nominated for a Governor General’s Award four times, including for his most recent bestseller, Acquainted With the Night Excursions Through the World After Dark (HarperCollins), wrote the Toronto Star July 16. Dewdney, 55, teaches writing at York University and is working on a non-fiction book about time for HarperCollins.

A real-estate bubble is hard to see until it bursts

As we shake our heads at the exorbitant price paid for the dump down the street or calculate what our own fixer-upper might fetch, there’s a nagging sense that, in the real estate market, what goes up must come down here, too, wrote the Ottawa Citizen July 16. The question is when, and how far? Economists and armchair analysts have been chewing over that question with intensity during the past year or two. “The stock market crashes and you know it because it’s on the 5 o’clock news. The housing market crashes and you only know it three years later,” says Moshe Milevsky, professor of finance at York’s Schulich School of Business. “This is not something that happens over trading hours. It’s more regional, more subtle, it takes time.”

  • Boomers have had it good most of their working lives. How good they’ll have it in retirement is another question, one too few have considered as the first of their ilk turn 60, wrote The Sault Star July 15. For those who fall short in reserves, or opt for early retirement, the key to making the nest egg last is not to spend too much: money withdrawn from savings no longer contributes to annual returns. “Spending money in retirement is akin to creating your own pseudo bear market, since each year the withdrawal process reduces portfolio growth by the spending rate,” notes Moshe Milevsky, professor of finance at York’s Schulich School of Business. “Canadians have to take a part in providing for their own retirement.”

York helps with youth program’s money woes

The plan for a children’s camp was this simple: rent a space at Downsview Park, hire counsellors, and give kids from Jane-Finch a meaningful summer learning about art and photography – and making a hip hop CD, reported the Toronto Star July 16. Jamal Clarke, 21, has done all that. The 17 counsellors are trained, and the camp is scheduled to open tomorrow. Twenty kids from ages 7 to 14 are registered, though there’s room for 50.

One thing is missing, however: the money. Every two months, starting in January, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty made a series of announcements freeing up millions of dollars – for a total of about $127 million – for programs to divert young people from guns and gangs and beef up law enforcement. That money, combined with funds from the city, adds up to $161 million to silence gun violence in Toronto. Though it is already mid-summer, little of that money has found its way to the grassroots groups that hoped to start making a difference this year.

Clarke, who heads a youth-run volunteer agency called Friends in Trouble, said, “I have a camp that’s supposed to start and the Youth Challenge Fund was supposed to help us – if not that fund, some other. It’s already the middle of summer and there’s still no money.” He raised the $6,000 for two months’ rent of indoor and outdoor space at Downsview from private donors and York University. He’s promised some of his volunteers he’ll be able to pay them by the end of the summer. But he is suffering. “I’m frustrated as a leader. Imagine how kids on the street are frustrated, if I feel like this because of the bureaucracy and lack of funding. Imagine – they’d last a week before they’d say, f*** the world. “Excuse my language.”

If he is sounding desperate, there’s a reason. His mother, whose husband was stabbed to death in their house near Jane and Finch last year, is struggling to keep the place. Not sure of the money, Clarke has not enrolled in York, where he is studying criminology.

Caleb Marshall, York alumnus, is making a name for himself

He’s an actor, a writer and a director, but at his core, York graduate Caleb Marshall (BFA ‘01) is a storyteller, wrote The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton) July 15. “I love to tell stories,” he says during a recent interview. “And it’s not that I don’t trust writing my own,” he explains, “I just feel like I’ll start writing my own when we’ve run out of the ones we have that need to be told.”

Marshall is preparing to tell two different stories this summer, each as part of his role as artist in residence with NotaBle Acts Summer Theatre Festival. He has a lead role in Lutz by National Theatre School playwriting student Ryan Griffith. As well, Marshall is directing his own adaptation of Nights Below Station Street, the Governor-General’s award-winning novel by David Adams Richards, his uncle. He worked with Characters Incorporated and Calithumpians, then attended St. Thomas University briefly before going off to theatre school at York’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Damaged Cormorant helicopter arrives in Halifax for investigation

The mangled hulk of a Cormorant helicopter arrived Friday as investigators began the search for clues as to why one of Canada’s newest military purchases could crash, killing three crew members, reported the Cape Breton Post July 15. The crash leaves the Atlantic region short one search-and-rescue aircraft. The remaining 14 Cormorants are restricted to only essential search-and-rescue missions until more information is available on the cause. Martin Shadwick, a defence analyst at the York Centre for International & Security Studies, said the loss of one aircraft compounds a problem that grew worse when two of the helicopters were transferred in 2005 from CFB Trenton, Ont., to the East Coast. “The crash, at least indirectly, will complicate a pre-existing situation, which was already a problem,” he said.

Theatre student works at family restaurant while he studies

You have to do more than just flip hamburgers to be successful in the restaurant business for more than 40 years, wrote the Newmarket/Aurora Era-Banner July 15. No one is more aware of that fact than the Doria family – owners of the popular Golden Star Restaurant, famous in Thornhill for its charbroiled burgers and other diner fare. Operating on Yonge Street just north of Steeles Avenue, not much has changed from orange and brown moulded seats and formica tables to the large framed portrait of the restaurant’s 87-year-old founder, Frank Doria. Sons Joe and Frank Jr. run the day-to-day operations at Golden Star. Grandchild James Doria, 22, can also be found behind the counter several days a week. James has done some acting as he completes a degree at York’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

10 men wanted in killing of Guyana’s agriculture minister

Ten men are being sought in connection with the April killing of Guyanese agriculture minister and York alumnus Satyadeow Sawh (BA ‘82), police said Friday. Assistant police commissioner Ivelaw Whittaker said police were offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to each man’s arrest, reported Agence France Presse July 15. Sawh, 50, was gunned down by heavily armed men on April 22 at his home near Buxton Village, along with his brother Rajpatri Sawh, 62, and sister Phulmattie Persaud, 54. All three were Guyanese-born naturalized Canadian citizens.

Sawh served as Guyana’s ambassador to Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador from 1993 to 1996. Prior to that, he lived in Canada, where he earned a degree in economics from York University and headed a support group for Guyana’s ruling Marxist-Leninist People’s Progressive Party.

Osgoode grad and former teacher makes detailed ruling on contract case

An Ontario Superior Court decision released earlier this year provides a textbook example of how – and how not – to prepare a home renovation contract, reported the Toronto Star July 15. What was intended to be a renovation of “about eight weeks” dragged on through the summer of 2004 until the homeowners ultimately called a halt to the job. The renovators sued the homeowners who counterclaimed for $50,000 in damages to repair what they claimed was faulty work.

An eight-day trial of the action was held before Osgoode graduate Justice Paul Perell (LLB ‘74, LLM ‘89, Djur ‘98) earlier this year. In his ruling, the judge wrote, “In my opinion, the events that took place between January and August 2004 at the [owners’] home provide an illustration of many, if not all, of the major mistakes and misadventures that can occur during a home renovation and also they are an illustration of the causes of those mistakes and misadventures.” In the end, the renovators not only lost their court case, but wound up having to pay the homeowners more than $93,000 – and their own lawyer’s bill.

Before his appointment as a judge, Justice Perell was an accomplished real estate lawyer and author, said the Star. He taught real estate law at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and was the recipient of many awards including the Law Society Medal. His decision is a classic example of his superb skills as an author and teacher, since it provides a checklist of the minimum requirements necessary for a home renovation contract. In future, homeowners and renovators who ignore Justice Perell’s lessons in this case do so at their own risk.

York history graduate plans book on 1939 royal visit

A presentation on the 1939 Royal Tour takes place Thursday, July 20 at Abbotsford, BC’s MSA Museum Annex. The talk begins at 6:30 pm and is presented by York history alumna Molly Ungar (PhD ‘03), whose interest in the Royal Tour of 1939 is connected to the research she undertook for her doctoral thesis, reported the Abbotsford News July 15. “I discovered that one of the people I was researching had been the organizer of a state banquet for the King and Queen when they visited Montreal,” Ungar said. “This led me to start a project on the Royal Tour across Canada, which I hope will eventually result in a book on this topic.”

Last year, Ungar and her husband settled in Abbotsford, where she teaches full-time at University College of the Fraser Valley. She teaches courses in Canadian history and Quebec history, with an emphasis on intellectual and cultural history.

Drama teacher to debut

Hailing form Toronto, Amanda Fortuna is very excited to be teaching drama at Kirkland Lake’s JSANO School of the Arts this summer, said the Kirkland Lake Northern News July 17.  Amanda is currently at York University completing a BFA in Theatre in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, specializing in production design. Aside from training, Amanda has been an actor and director in community, semi-professional and many educational settings of theatre.

She was the artistic director for the company One Small Candle Productions which produced theatre from the youth of the Niagara region and raised just under $10,000 for local charities in two fully mounted productions. Amanda’s drama course at JSANO will focus on learning how to exercise and manipulate the body, the voice and the creative imagination.

On air

  • David Dewitt, York associate vice-president research, social sciences and humanities, and former director of the York Centre for International & Security Studies, spoke about the conflict in Lebanon on CTV News, July 15.
  • Paul Delaney, professor in York’s Department of Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science & Engineering, spoke about the flight of the space shuttle Discovery on CTV’s National News July 15.