Special section on MBA programs features York’s Schulich School of Business

The Toronto Star published a special section on MBA programs Sept. 21 and York’s Schulich School of Business featured prominently in many of the articles. Below are several stories that included comments by York faculty members and information about Schulich’s MBA Program.

  • While a business school’s reputation remains its key draw when it comes to attracting new MBA students, the various ranking systems offered by publications such as Business Week, the Financial Times and The Economist seem more about selling newspapers and magazines than helping would-be MBAs make career choices, suggested the Star.

Charmaine Courtis, executive director of student services and international recruiting at York’s Schulich School of Business, is more bullish on ranking systems. In fact, Schulich’s standings in the polls have become a major marketing strategy, complete with glossy 32-page brochure. “I think they are important because they help students prepare a short list of schools they might like to attend,” she says. “They can help give insights into where students come from, what the specialties are and how they compare with other schools.”

  • Students with roots in South Asia are flocking to Canadian MBA programs – and transforming the culture, wrote the Star in a story on the changing demographics of business students. What’s driving it all is profound economic change half a world away, says Ashwin Joshi, professor of marketing and director of the MBA Program at York University’s Schulich School of Business. “There’s been a dramatic increase in the prominence of India. The world has come to recognize the economic powerhouse that the region is becoming and that really is at the bottom of all of this – a fundamental recognition that the global economy has shifted and that South Asia is a major player.”

Schulich Professor Steve Weiss offers a course in international business negotiation using the real-life case of a US software company that set up an outsourcing operation in India. Divided into teams, students participate in an intense, weekend-long simulation in which they go through all the bureaucratic hoops necessary to get permission to launch a corporate campus in Hyderabad or Bangalore, the cities known as India’s Silicon Valley. The course, offered once a year for only 36 students, has a long waiting list.

  • Some of Canada’s top business schools are opening up branch schools in exotic locations around the world, with local schools or on their own, wrote the Star in a story on international campuses. York University’s Schulich School of Business, has embarked upon an ambitious program of international expansion. It opened a school in Beijing in 2004, followed by two more in Mumbai, India, and Seoul, South Korea, last year. Schulich is currently in discussions to establish three more dual-degree programs overseas.

“We are, in North America, the most internationally oriented MBA program,” says Schulich Dean Dezsö J. Horváth, citing a Financial Times survey of international business schools that found 70 per cent of Schulich’s students came from outside Canada. “The next Canadian university is maybe 50 to 55 per cent; US schools are typically 30 or 35 per cent,” he said.

Horváth acknowledges that opening branch sites outside Canada, whether they be exchange partner arrangements or dual-degree programs with schools such as Kellogg, serves to recruit students for the Toronto program. It also builds the Schulich brand in emerging industrial powers such as China and India. Horvath says his school’s strategy mirrors the borderless business world today. About 75,000 multinational corporations control 80 per cent of global competition today.

“To follow those companies, business schools need to do the same” and work across national borders, says Horváth, who was named international dean of the year in 2004 by the Academy of International Business, for “outstanding leadership in various aspects of internationalization, including programs, research and curriculum development, and outreach.”

  • The Star also noted it was hosting a virtual round-table discussion on choosing an MBA program, Sept. 21, that included Matthew Wallace, a second-year MBA student, specializing in finance, at York’s Schulich School of Business. He has an honours bachelor of science degree in molecular biology and worked as a business development specialist in the mutual-fund industry before starting at Schulich, wrote the Star.

  • In an item titled “Finding the right school”, about QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd., which bills itself as the world’s largest post-graduate education information resource, the Star included a photo of a class at York University’s Schulich School of Business getting down to business.

Grad schools get $240-million boost

Ontario’s universities plan to increase the number of graduate-school spaces by more than 50 per cent as they prepare to accommodate the double-cohort class, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 21. Premier Dalton McGuinty announced Sept. 20 that the government will provide $240 million for the expansion of graduate schools, although university officials expressed concern about the tight time line they have been given. Under the plan, universities will add 12,000 new spaces next fall, and another 2,000 by 2009-2010, bringing the total number of grad students in Ontario to around 39,000. McGuinty’s announcement comes as the so-called double-cohort class enters its final year of undergraduate studies. Toronto, Ryerson and York University will be creating about 4,500 new slots by next fall.

  • The Toronto Star noted Sept. 21 that, for the 2007-2008 year, York University will be allocated 1,135 masters and PhD spaces.

Attorney-general calls for review of legal aid

Rejecting allegations that his government has plunged its legal-aid plan into a deep financial hole, Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant nonetheless pledged yesterday to appoint a noted expert to find ways to end the program’s dependence on the whims of cabinet funding, reported The Globe and Mail Sept. 21. He said the review will be conducted by John McCamus, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, who undertook a similar task in 1999 and produced a blueprint for the future of legal aid.

Writer says don’t just ‘ask why’, ask York prof ‘who

In a series of articles examining the issue of poverty, the Toronto Star challenges its readers to ask themselves a sobering question, wrote Avvy Yao-Yao Go, director of the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, in the Toronto Star Sept. 21. Why, asks the Star, is it that, in one of the richest countries in the world, a mother working two jobs cannot afford to buy a sofa and has to ration food among herself and her two children. To complete our journey, wrote Go, let’s pose a second question: “Ask who?” Who are the poor? Just ask scholars like Ryerson Professor Grace Edward Galabuzi or Michael Ornstein, director of the Institute for Social Research at York. They could tell you that there is a large income gap between members of racialized communities and the rest of the population.

Second-generation leaders are sometimes judged unfairly, says Schulich professor

In a story Sept. 21 about Galen G. Weston, who is replacing his father as executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited., the Toronto Star looked at second-generations in family businesses in a story Sept. 21. Succession issues can be very difficult in family businesses, particularly for children coming into the company, said Eileen Fischer, director of the Entrepreneurial Studies & Family Enterprise Program at York’s Schulich School of Business. “They’re often going to be [judged under] a set of assumptions that may not be fair, like ‘you got this job because you’re a family member,’” Fischer said. The challenge is balancing the needs of the family against those of the company.

Students fear security backlash

Amid the shock, grief and sadness following shootings at a downtown Montreal college, Toronto students are guarding against a heavy-handed response to safety on their campuses, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 21. “If you put too much security in a learning environment people aren’t going to want to come here,” says Chelsea Gallagher, 18, of Oakville, a first-year arts student at York University. “High school feels like an armed camp and that takes all the fun out of it,” she says. “One of the charms of university is that it’s an open environment.”

At least one parent called York University immediately after the shootings in Montreal to ask about campus security, says Alex Bilyk, York’s director of media relations. He says there are no plans to add to the University’s 180 security officers. It’s a response favoured by fourth-year York kinesiology student Shyn Huh, 21, who says the way to combat the act of this madman in Montreal is not through a show of force. “I don’t know what more we can do from a security point of view,” says Huh, of Scarborough. “It’s a much bigger problem – making a guy who’s this alienated feel more a part of society.”

NASA sees more debris floating near orbiting shuttle

Seamus O’Regan, host on CTV’s “Canada AM”, asked Paul Delaney, professor of physics & astronomy in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, to speak about unidentified debris that delayed the landing of the space shuttle Atlantis, on its broadcast of Sept. 20, before the shuttle landed successfully the following day. Below is a partial transcript of the sometimes light-hearted interview.

Delaney: NASA will probably never know exactly what it was that floated away. We didn’t get very good imagery. There is no scale in space. It could literally be as small as a second plastic bag.
O’Reagan: What are we looking at here?
Delaney: Well, that’s a real good question…. The fact that material floats out of the payload bay on a reasonably regular basis – and they actually saw a plastic bag float away yesterday – gives people a lot of confidence that it was just a little piece of debris that didn’t get picked up.
O’Regan: Is that the second piece of debris that the astronauts saw through the window but didn’t necessarily get picked up by the camera?
Delaney: That’s correct.
O’Regan: That was a plastic bag?
Delaney: That’s correct.
O’Regan: It’s amazing. But they can’t take any chances on this.
Delaney: Well, you don’t know.
O’Regan: You don’t know, exactly.
Delaney: But, you know, the other thing to remember is that the shuttle had a lot of consumables on board. They had a crew that worked very hard for the space station for the whole week that they were there. The crew is delighted to hang around with just about nothing on their agenda for an extra day in orbit.
O’Regan: A little R&R.
Delaney: That’s right. Well, [York alumnus] Steve MacLean, this is his last flight, he’s going to love being up there for an extra day, floating around.

York announces appointments of new governor and deans

Marshall Cohen, Chair of the York University Board of Governors, and Lorna R. Marsden, York president & vice-chancellor, announced several appointments in The Globe and Mail Sept. 21.

Mark Lievonen to the University’s Board of Governors. Lievonen is president of Sanofi Pasteur Limited and a member of the company’s North American board of directors. He holds BBA (1979) and MBA (1987) degrees from York’s Schulich School of Business, and received his chartered accountancy designation in 1981. Lievonen is the Chair of the Board of the Ontario Genomics Institute and Vice-Chair of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and YORKbiotech. He is also a member of the board of directors of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. and BIOTECanada, and has served on several industry and community boards, including chairing the United Way of Greater Toronto Cabinet. For his exemplary achievements and service to the health sector in Canada, Lievonen received a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medallion in 2002.

Harvey Skinner, inaugural dean of York’s new Faculty of Health. Skinner received his PhD in psychology from the University of Western Ontario and is the author of more than 100 articles and seven books. He is a pioneer in eHealth, linking behaviour change and information technology. Skinner has a special interest in global health including peace building initiatives in the Middle East and is a board member of the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO), an NGO leading peace through health initiatives in the Middle East. Previously, he was a board member of the Canadian Public Health Association, an expert adviser to the World Health Organization, US Institute of Medicine, National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Fogarty International Center, and Chair of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Nick Cercone, dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering. Cercone holds a BSc in engineering from the University of Steubenville, Ohio, an MSc in computer & information science from Ohio State University and a PhD in Computing Science from the University of Alberta. Cercone was formerly dean of the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University, Chair of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, associate vice-president research, dean of Graduate Studies and international liaison officer for the University of Regina, and director of the Centre for Systems Science at Simon Fraser University. He has served on the Canadian Genome Assessment and Technology Board and the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS) Research Committee, and was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2001.

BMO gives $1.25 million to Glendon

BMO Financial Group has donated $1.25 million to York University’s Glendon College, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 21. The gift will be used to fund a conference centre as well as public affairs programming for graduate students, in addition to $5,000 scholarships for 10 first-year students. Glendon’s School of Public Affairs is a Canadian first and, like the college, offers bilingual education. The school plans to offer graduate degrees, professional courses and a research centre on public and international affairs.