Companies look to leverage universities’ expertise

When American Express wanted to give its 30 top-performing middle managers leadership training, it hired the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) at York University to develop its Distinguished Leadership University program (now called Compass 35), wrote the National Post Aug. 23 in a story about the growth of customized executive education.

"We didn’t have the resources to develop our own program and we thought it was important to bring in experts," says Simon Parkin, director of talent for Canada and Latin America at American Express.

There is also a growing demand for courses on risk management, says Alan Middleton, executive director of the SEEC. Universities meet with human resources representatives and/or senior executives of a company to discuss course requirements. "Either the company knows what kind of training it wants and just needs the university to execute on this, or the company knows it has some challenges and goals but hasn’t thought it through and looks to the university for direction," Middleton says.

York professor in faith-based school group challenges McGuinty

Premier Dalton McGuinty signalled yesterday he intends to make a ballot issue out of his Conservative rival’s pledge to extend full funding to Jewish, Muslim, fundamentalist Christian and other faith-based schools in the run-up to the Oct. 10 provincial election, wrote the National Post Aug. 23.

Some proponents of change, however, disagree with the premier’s position. McGuinty, his wife, Terri, and the couple’s four children all attended Catholic schools. Ms McGuinty continues to teach part time in the Catholic system. Eric Lawee, humanities professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, said he sees “tremendous hypocrisy” in McGuinty’s opposition to extending funding to religious schools.

“As he tells the story, [faith-based schools are] segregationist, regressive and so on – and yet here’s someone whose wife goes off every day and provides this type of education,” said Lawee, a member of a multi-faith coalition pushing for funding. "I think it belies everything he says about faith-based schooling. The fact that we have a premier who’s a product of these types of schools shows that one can not only integrate, having had exposure to faith-based schooling, but can flourish and make major contributions to the welfare of all Ontarians regardless of their faith.”

Lawee’s children attend Jewish schools in the Toronto area. “I bike to work every day and I bike by a Catholic school and I see all the things my kids don’t have because they’re members of the wrong religion, as it were, in Ontario in 2007,” he said.

Local dancer seeks her dream attending school in Toronto

Eighteen-year-old Mariève Aubé is chasing her dream, wrote the Timmins Times Aug. 22. Set to begin dance studies at York University this fall, the Pat Picard School of Dancing student stated, "I couldn’t see myself being happy doing anything but dancing." Continuing her lessons in all disciplines of dance, she began her instruction at the age of eight. "Ever since I’ve been in dance, Pat Picard has helped me and encouraged me to believe in myself," she said.

Kentucky team heads north to play York Lions

A trip north of the border might help prevent the Morehead State University Eagles from going south during basketball season, wrote Kentucky’s Lexington Herald-Leader Aug. 23. The Eagles will play exhibition games in Toronto, Sept. 1-3, against four experienced university teams. Morehead will play York University on Sept. 1.

On air

  • Brendan Quine, director of York’s Space Engineering Program in the Faculty of Science & Engineering, spoke about a proposed campaign to recruit new Canadian astronauts, on CBC Radio Aug. 22.
  • Ian Roberge, political science professor at York’s Glendon College, spoke about francophones and the coming Ontario election campaign, on Radio-Canada (Sudbury) Aug. 22.