Glendon plays host to the premier and his cabinet

York University is playing a leading role in implementing the Ontario government’s vision for postsecondary education.

That was the key message delivered by York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and members of his cabinet during a meeting held at York’s Glendon campus yesterday.

Above: The president addresses members of the Ontario cabinet during their meeting at the Glendon campus

The premier and the cabinet were at historic Glendon Manor June 23 as part of a retreat in the wake of the Group of 20 (G20) security measures affecting much of downtown Toronto and Queen’s Park. As Shoukri entered the meeting room, the cabinet members, led by McGuinty, gave the president a hearty round of applause. Shoukri spoke to the ministers about the leadership role the University is taking to implement the government’s vision for postsecondary education in the province.

"Over the past seven years, I have had the pleasure of working with the premier and other members of his cabinet on several initiatives, including having been a member of the Ontario Research & Innovation Council," Shoukri said. "I have always been impressed with the premier’s dedication and commitment to education – and often refer to him as the education premier – not an easy role in these difficult economic times. You and your government have shown a lot of courage, so on behalf of the University, we thank you for your investment in postsecondary education.

Right: Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty (centre) and members of cabinet listen to the president’s remarks 

“As Ontario’s second-largest university, we look forward to working with your government on many of our key initiatives as they relate to the Open Ontario Plan. In fact, I see complete alignment between the Open Ontario Plan and York’s aspirations,” said Shoukri. "We have just completed our academic strategic plan – unanimously endorsed by the York community – and I believe that our priorities are consistent with the Ontario government’s plans for growth and accountability."

He outlined to the cabinet some of the many innovations taking place within the University, including York’s work to increase the number of spaces for students and its focus on expanding science and engineering programs. "This is supported by the province’s plan to foster innovation and economic development and to meet the demand of our future students," said Shoukri. 

The president spoke about York’s leadership role in the college credit transfer system and highlighted that 25 per cent of college students transferring to university choose York. He also said York’s bridge training programs in nursing, business and information technology are providing essential opportunities for internationally educated professionals wanting to enter the province’s workforce.

Above: The president is thanked by the premier for his remarks and for the University’s hospitality in hosting the cabinet meeting

"These are exciting times for our University and our future looks very promising. We have just finished convocation and more than 6,000 students walked across the stage to graduate, addint to the human capacity of this province," he said, calling it a memorable event. 

The president thanked the McGuinty government for its investment to transform York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and for helping to fund construction of the University’s new state-of-the-art Life Sciences Building being built on the Keele campus. He also thanked the government for its support of the extension of the Spadina subway line to York’s Keele campus.