Business professor says he’s optimistic about corporate boards

Canada’s largest companies have made major improvements to their corporate governance practices in the past year, driven by new US regulations and growing pressure from shareholders for greater accountability, reported The Globe and Mail Oct. 23. Richard Leblanc, a consultant on corporate governance and a business professor at York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, said he believes good board processes are critically important, and companies must move beyond adherence to formulaic standards. Leblanc said he has become optimistic that many companies are keen to go beyond meeting a check-list of governance reforms, and are trying to find ways to ensure their boards operate better and make better decisions. “I think the tide has turned and a lot of companies want to make substantive change and they want to make changes to board culture,” Leblanc says. “The better companies and the better boards go beyond compliance. They see that board structure is a minimal level of compliance.”

Longtime love of politics fuels alum’s mayoral bid

Alumnus John Papadakis (BA Glendon ‘88), 43, has 26 years of political experience under his belt, wrote Niagara Falls Review Oct. 24 in a profile of the candidate for mayor of Fort Erie. “Politics is a job where you actually get to see results you are capable of producing. It’s one of the best jobs in the world if you’re dedicated and passionate about it, which I definitely am.” Papadakis earned a political science degree from York University and was elected as a councillor in East York from 1991-1994. He also served as deputy and acting mayor and as a consultant on municipal government issues, working with former prime minister Kim Campbell, as well as past provincial and federal cabinet ministers.

Retired Osgoode professor runs for council in Mono Township

An active member of the community since his arrival nearly 14 years ago, Jean-Gabriel Castel, professor emeritus at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, decided the time was now right to take the next step and run for councillor, wrote the Orangeville Banner Oct. 24 in a profile of the local candidate for town council. The retired law professor feels his experience would be useful at council, and his presence would help diversify the background of decision-makers. “I just fell in love with Mono. It’s a green oasis, a beautiful place. I became quite taken by it, so I felt I wanted to keep it that way,” he says. “I just retired and felt I could devote more time.” He retired last year from Osgoode, though he continues to maintain an office there and works on a freelance basis. If elected, he says he will stop freelancing and dedicate his attention to “the local scene.”

On air

  • Sutama Ghosh, urban studies professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, spoke about her new study “Vertical Neighbourhoods”, which looks at immigrants from Bangladesh who now live in Toronto highrise buildings, on CBC Radio’s “Here and Now” program Oct. 23.

  • David Noble, professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, spoke about “corporatization” of universities on Ottawa’s CKCU radio Oct. 23.

  • Michael Mandel, professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and a member of Concerned Jewish Canadians, spoke about the group’s rejected application for membership in the Canadian Jewish Congress on CBC Radio (Ottawa) Oct. 24.