Entertainment lawyer signs on to teach at Schulich

Doug Barrett has a new gig lined up and, as his time as chair of the Canadian Television Fund winds down, is set to take a teaching post at York University, wrote Playback June 9. Barrett has joined York’s Schulich School of Business as visiting scholar in the CTV Professorship in Broadcast Management, taking over for Trina McQueen.

“We are extremely pleased to add a businessperson of Douglas Barrett’s calibre to our faculty,” said Schulich Dean Dezsö J. Horváth, in a release. “He will bring vital real-world experience to the position and in-depth knowledge of the industry.”

Barrett, a noted entertainment lawyer and president and CEO of equipment supplier PS Production Services, has been chair of the CTF since 2004, working alongside president Valerie Creighton, and will step down at the end of June. The CTF plans to elect a new chair at its June 10 board meeting in Banff.

At Schulich, he will replace television grande dame McQueen, who was first to hold the job. McQueen will remain attached to the school and its arts-minded MBA program as an adjunct professor.

“I am deeply honoured to have been asked to continue the work commenced by Trina McQueen four years ago,” Barrett wrote in an e-mail. “CTV’s generous endowment of this position within the Arts & Media MBA Program has given senior business students an opportunity to acquire specialized media management skills in the new environment.”

York team finishes third in Mars Rover Challenge

A new team from York University’s Faculty of Science & Engineering ranked third in the two-day University Rover Challenge held by the Mars Society at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, wrote InformationWeek June 11. A team from Oregon State won the competition, defeating the defending champions from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Seven teams from across North America built “Mars rovers” to compete in a series of tasks that explored geology, biology, basic engineering, and construction, as well as emergency navigation.

Alan Spencer, a judge from Raytheon, said all of the teams displayed professionalism. “These students are going to make really excellent engineers and scientists as they enter the workforce, and I think that they’ll all be in better shape because of their participation this year,” he said.

Osgoode prof questions idea of shareholder primacy

Much of the debate around the BCE case centres on when, if at all, shareholder rights should give way to stakeholder rights (of which the bondholders are only one variety) , wrote Allan Hutchinson, Distinguished Research Professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in The Globe and Mail’s online edition June 11. However, little attention is given to the soundness of the traditional assumption that ‘the corporation’s best interests’ are synonymous with the interests of its shareholders.

While there can be little doubt that shareholders have property rights over shares which can traditionally be treated as ownership, it does mean not that they, therefore, have similar ownership rights over the corporation; buying a lottery ticket does confer ownership in the lottery corporation.

Furthermore, in an economy of relatively diffuse shareholding, many shareholders are decidedly passive by preference and have no interest in being involved in the management of the corporations in which they invest; the self-image of the average investor is not one of corporate owner.

Waterloo school board approves funds for York’s EcoSchools program

Public school board trustees have passed the budget after two meetings, wrote the Waterloo Region Record June 12. Catherine Fife was pleased her fellow trustees approved spending $50,000 to get every school certified under EcoSchools, a province-wide program run out of York University. “EcoSchools puts into action…the curriculum focus on recycling, reducing, conservation and stewardship,” said Fife.

Players pick up sticks to fight abuse

The Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness will receive a helping hand from a group of 120 lacrosse players in Aurora who will play a record 25-hour game on June 13 to raise funds and awareness, wrote The Toronto Sun June 12.

The Determined to Oppose Violence Everywhere (DOVE) game was organized by Jim Zacher, project scientist-system administrator of York’s Center for Vision Research, who has been playing since he was a toddler. So far, the players have about $60,000 in pledges for the centre. “It’s ironic because lacrosse is seen as a violent game. We want to support anti-violence and help people who deal with violence every day of their lives,” he said.

Former York student is honoured by his high school

Former York student Richard Underhill was among the latest inductees to be enshrined on the Wall of Fame at BC’s Salmon Arm Secondary School, which recognizes some of the best and brightest who have attended the school over the years, wrote BC’s Salmon Arm Observer June 11.

Underhill has had an impressive musical career, playing with a number of stellar musicians such as Taj Majal, Amos Grant and Tom Cochrane. In 1990 he performed with Blue Rodeo at Massey Hall and, in 2002, joined the popular band. In 2003 he won a Juno for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year and, in both 2007 and 2008, was nominated for Junos.