Obama’s tactics break old-school liberal view, says York commentator

US Senator Barack Obama’s fiery Father’s Day speech has put the contemporary American family front and centre in the presidential campaign agenda, wrote The Globe and Mail June 18. “He’s breaking open these sacrosanct structures to see how what’s inside them has, in some ways, resulted in the fractured, disconnected and disinterested aspects of society in general. The family is where we get our values,” says Elizabeth Dauphinee, a York University political science professor, who specializes in US elections and ethics.

Making this link is a new tactic, one far removed from what Dauphinee calls the “old-school liberal view” that if you just pour money into a problem it will go away, she says. “He is putting this out in the public sphere and saying, it’s not women’s issues…. These are issues that link into these larger questions about nation, community and social responsibility on the individual level,” she says, adding that this approach may appeal to the white working-class women who support Senator Hillary Clinton.

Education prof hails school board plan to cut black dropout rate

Canada’s largest school board is poised to set tough targets to chop the alarming 40 per cent dropout rate among black students to 15 per cent within five years, wrote the Toronto Star June 18.

Through mentors, teacher training and close tracking of the most needy students, the Toronto District School Board’s sweeping new Urban Diversity Strategy – to be voted on tomorrow by a board committee and by all trustees next week – would aim to make all intermediate and high schools across the city more sensitive to the demographic roadblocks often facing students of differing backgrounds.

Education Professor Patrick Solomon, who founded the Urban Diversity program at York University’s Faculty of Education, hailed the plan to train teachers to be more sensitive to the community, a process he said is best done by having teachers design community projects in the neighbourhoods where they work.

Judges in BCE case ‘will take their time’, says Schulich prof

The Supreme Court of Canada declined to offer a quick judgment Tuesday on the $52-billion leveraged buyout of BCE Inc., leaving anxious investors on both sides of the dispute eyeing a June 30 deadline, wrote The Canadian Press June 17.

“My understanding is our wise judges will take their time,” said Theo Peridis, professor of strategic management at York University’s Schulich School of Business.

Arts alumna remembered as ‘extraordinary’

To those who knew her, Carol Marie Eyre (BA ’87), was extraordinary, wrote her friend Natalie Rowe in a story for The Globe and Mail’s Lives Lived feature June 18. Eyre, 42, who died of colon cancer on Nov. 13, 2007, graduated from York University’s Faculty of Arts and Seneca College. Her work ethic and commitment quickly propelled her up the career ladder to become human resources manager at London, Ont.’s Children’s Connection.

Thumbs down on Durie’s digit

The 2008 football season was shaping up as a good one for York University product Andre Durie, who was cleared to play without a brace after tearing up his knee three years ago, wrote the Toronto Star June 18 . That was until the second-year running back broke his thumb in the Argonauts’ pre-season opener. The Argos confirmed yesterday that Durie will undergo surgery on the thumb next week and will be out from six to nine weeks. “I’m disappointed for him,” said head coach Rich Stubler. “He was coming along well.”

Changes urged for refugees, conference hears

Immigration workers want Ottawa to prevent genuine refugees from being scooped up with bogus immigrants and returned to their homelands where their lives are in danger, wrote The Toronto Sun June 18, in a story about the "Refugees and the Insecure Nation: Managing Forced Migration in Canada 2008," conference being held at York University’s Keele campus.

Thousands of refugees fleeing troubled African and South American countries are among an estimated 10,000 visitors and immigrants yearly refused entry on Canada-bound flights by 35 migration integrity officers, the conference heard yesterday.

On air

  • Fred Lazar , economics professor in York’s Schulich School of Business, spoke about Air Canada’s decision to cut 2,000 jobs due to high fuel costs, on CBC Radio June 17.
  • Amin Mawani , professor in the Health Industry Management Program in York’s Schulich School of Business, spoke about his report on corporate pandemic planning, on Kitchener’s CKGL Radio June 17.