Critics say U of T $200 library charge will pose hardship to students

Beginning next month, the University of Toronto, home to one of the largest academic collections in North America, will ask scholars from other schools to pay up if they want to visit and borrow a book, wrote The Globe and Mail Sept. 16. The annual $200 fee ($95 for seniors) is outraging academics who say it is an attempt to limit access to a collection that is of national importance and was built with public funds.

Nathan Cecckin, president of the York University Graduate Students’ Association, said he is working with students from several campuses to try to stop the fees. “Essentially, graduate students at smaller universities are being left in the lurch,” he said.

Canadian academic libraries have a long tradition of cooperation, and the move by U of T has some fearing long-standing reciprocal agreements may be in danger. “I understand the position that they are in. All universities are in trouble. What’s to stop others from doing the same thing?” asked Marlene Shore, a history professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. “This is a systemic problem. It would be good if they could find another way to get funds than from charging users.”

Celeb McAdams got start at local school

Forget US Ivy League schools – the truth is plenty of Canadian success stories start right here at Toronto’s own centres of higher education, wrote Toronto’s Metro Sept. 16 in a story that featured York grad Rachel McAdams (BFA Spec. Hons. ’01).

As one of Hollywood’s most respected and universally loved “it” girls, Rachel McAdams is well-known not only for her down-to-earth kindness and outstanding talent but also for being an out-and-about proud Canadian.

McAdams graduated from York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts with a bachelor of fine arts degree and quickly set to work conquering Hollywood with lead roles in huge hits like Mean Girls, The Notebook, Wedding Crashers and Red Eye. Maclean’s magazine touted her as the most watched actor of 2005, and she has become somewhat of a poster-girl for York’s drama program.

McAdams’ acting coach at York, Professor Emeritus David Rotenberg, has said casting agents were already chasing after McAdams before the end of her final year performance and that her education at York was a big part of her grounded approach to acting.

“We teach up at York that you’ve got to know where you come from – it’s a big part of the training,” Rotenberg said in a 2005 interview.

G20 should help resolve US-China trade dispute, says York prof

China warned Tuesday that US tariffs on Chinese tires would damage the mutually beneficial trade relationship between the two economic powerhouses, wrote China Daily Sept. 16.

“The G20 could make a major contribution if it were willing to take on some of the tough issues,” said Gregory T. Chin, a political science professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, adding that if these trade matters between the US and China are not properly addressed, “we all risk heading toward a world of increasing geo-economic and interstate rivalry.”

Do-it-yourself investing

“The financial world is getting exceedingly more complicated. And the knowledge that you need to succeed as an individual investor today is a lot more than it was a few years ago because of the wider selection of products you have to choose from,” says Moshe Milevsky, a finance professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University, in the Toronto Star Sept. 16.

“Ten or 20 years ago, it was about stocks, preferred stocks, maybe some bonds and options…. Now you have exchange traded funds, leveraged exchange traded funds, structured notes, exchange traded notes…the list goes on and on,” Milevsky says.

If you aren’t familiar with economics, finance, accounting and financial statement analysis, consider if you have the time to educate yourself.

“People must understand the time cost will be enormous to bring themselves up to speed on how this process works,” Milevsky says. “In many cases, the time involved will probably cost just as much as the fees you’re paying when someone else is doing it for you. It’s not something you pick up a manual and you do overnight. It takes time to learn.”

Once you begin directing your own investments, set yourself a six-month deadline, Milevsky suggests. At that point ask yourself, are you having fun?

“If the answer is no – I’m doing this out of necessity, it feels like taking out the garbage or cleaning the kitchen – stop. Go back to the old way of doing things because you are going to have to do this for the next 20 or 30 years.”

Theatre lands jazz great to mark 25th

American jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, the 88-year-old legend who often enters to a standing ovation, will grace the stage of the Markham Theatre for the Performing Arts for the first time, Oct. 7, wrote the Newmarket Era-Banner Sept. 15.

Brubeck’s October concert is his sole performance in Canada for the period. He was last here for the Toronto and Montreal international jazz festivals in July, when he was joined by his youngest son, Matthew, a cellist who lives near Toronto and is on the music faculty of York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, the University of Toronto, and Humber College.

Nederveen this year’s Wismer winner

Lately, York grad Jos Nederveen (MA ’88) has spent more time than Taylor Swift accepting awards, wrote The Hamilton Spectator Sept. 16.

Last night, St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School skipper Nederveen was named the winner of the Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence. “It’s an honour beyond belief to be selected from a great group of people,” Nederveen said. “This award has got to be at the top. I got into coaching because of high school.”

Nederveen started coaching volleyball at the club level when he was a graduate student at York University in 1982. He was the assistant coach of the Ontario women’s provincial silver-medallist team at the Canada Games in 1987 and since then has coached a variety of club teams of both genders to eastern Canadian championship medals.

On air

  • Jose Etcheverry, professor in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, took part in a panel discussion about the potential for the Ontario hydro grid to become more green, on TVO’s “The Agenda” Sept. 15.