Schulich among top 10 of world’s business schools

York University’s Schulich School of Business has been named one of the world’s top 10 business schools, based primarily on student and alumni satisfaction, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 18.

The business school has participated in the survey, conducted by The Economist magazine, every year since it started nine years ago.

This is the first time Schulich has cracked the top 10, beating out such renowned international institutions as the London Business School (which ranked 19) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management (13).

“The school has established a very firm strategic direction,” said Schulich Dean Dezsö Horváth.

He said that includes a dedication to understanding and participating in globalization, a wide range of innovative programs, and an in-depth understanding of diversity issues.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business was rated No. 1. Others in the top 10 include the Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

The rankings are compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit. The top 100 can be found on The Economist’s website.

The results are obtained through surveys sent out to MBA students and alumni. They are asked to rank how well the schools provide networking opportunities, salary after graduation, career development opportunities and educational experience. Those results are combined with data on school programs and available networks.

Horváth said a strong global network is one area where Schulich excels.

“We have graduates in over 90 countries in the world. We run 86 alumni chapters in 70 countries. So that is obviously one of the dimensions The Economist is appreciating.”

  • York University’s Schulich School of Business came in 10th on a list of the top MBA programs worldwide from The Economist, the prominent business magazine said yesterday, wrote the National Post Sept. 18. Schulich, which had been 12th in the 2009 rankings, is the top Canadian school on the list.

Entering the third dimension

James Stewart, a director and founder of Geneva Films, a Toronto-based company specializing in 3-D commercial productions, is in the first wave of people with a great deal of experience filming in 3-D, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 18. However, his biggest concern with 3-D is keeping the quality up.

Ali Kazimi echoes that thought. A filmmaker and film professor in York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, he is part of a Toronto-based group called 3D FLIC, which teams filmmakers and vision scientists to study the technology and its effects. 3-D requires a new visual grammar that filmmakers are learning and still working out. He says the organization’s work has shown that human brains process a 3-D image completely differently than 2-D.

“With 3-D you actually have the responsibility of the comfort and, to a degree, the well-being of your audience as well,” he says. “To shoot 3-D really requires a fundamental understanding of stereoscopic depth perception, and how the human brain works mechanically and optically. If you don’t have that then you’ll get bad 3-D,” causing many problems such as eye strain, nausea and headaches.

Family law in Ontario

Your article “Legal system slammed for failing families” (Sept. 17) quite rightly identifies the valuable efforts the Law Commission of Ontario has made to pinpoint the shortcomings of Ontario’s family law system, wrote Professor Lesley Jacobs, director of the York Centre for Public Policy & Law, in a letter to The Globe and Mail Sept. 20. But it understates the innovative work the law commission has done in thinking about ways to reform how legal problems faced by families are handled in the province.

In particular, it’s exploring how to integrate better legal resources into the already extensive system of family, early childhood education and social and health services so the needs of families are met in a seamless way. This is an exciting development that may ultimately reshape family law policy in Ontario.

Drug safety system tilted toward pharmaceutical firms, says report

Health Canada’s drug safety system favours the interests of pharmaceutical companies, according to a report that says the department needs to do more to protect Canadians, wrote Postmedia News Sept. 20.

In a paper produced by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Dr. Joel Lexchin writes that while some drugs will always pose risks for some people, it is Health Canada’s job to identify as many potential problems as possible before drugs are approved for sale, to monitor them once they are approved, and to communicate any new safety information about them effectively.

The agency has neither abandoned those responsibilities, nor is it embracing them, the report states. “If we want to ensure that drugs are prescribed and used as safely as possible, then Health Canada needs to reorient its priorities,” Lexchin said in an interview. “There are things it could be doing right now that it’s not doing.”

Lexchin, an emergency room doctor who teaches in York University’s School of Health Policy & Management in the Faculty of Health, said there is too much emphasis on getting drugs on the market quickly, and that the financial penalties levied on the department for not meeting time targets – 180 days for reviewing drugs identified as priority drugs and 300 for non-priority drugs – are problematic. “When you’re faced with that kind of thing, people are operating under pressure and they may not do as thorough a job as they think they need to,” said Lexchin.

The majority of Health Canada employees do a good job, he said, but it’s a lack of political will to make the drug regulation system safer and more effective that is at issue.

Frost set bar for electoral success

Leslie Miscampbell Frost would have been 115 years old todayreason enough to remember the accomplishments of “Old Man Ontario”, wrote Steve Paikin in the Toronto Star Sept. 20.

Frost was one of the most important premiers Ontario ever had, and to be sure, one of the most successful. The building on Queen’s Park Crescent that houses the Ministry of Finance bears his name, as does a library at York University’s Glendon College.

How to ruin – and save – a Canadian city

Get smaller. Much smaller, wrote the National Post Sept. 20 in an editorial about suggestions for reforming municipal government.

Estimates are that up to 30 per cent of the municipal workforce is up for retirement over the next 10 years. It is critical that most or all of those employees not be replaced. Several mayoral candidates are promising a line-by-line analysis of city budgets for efficiency savingsa good idea, though such pledges are an electoral cliché and rarely lead to significant cuts.

The city workforce has grown nearly 15 per cent in the past decade, according to a recent study by retired York University economics Professor Harvey Schwartz. For what?

Why judges’ politics matter

Should the policy preferences of judicial candidates be considered before their appointment? asked James Morton, adjunct professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in an article in the Ottawa Citizen Sept. 20.

Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is yes. In some cases, the law, properly approached, is clear and all competent judges will come to the same conclusion. However, in many cases there is room for discretion and a judge’s background and world view will make a significant difference in the result.

Judges must exercise judgment and so what a judge sees as right and fair and proper is as important, perhaps more important, than a judge’s technical legal acumen…. It is quite proper, indeed it is essential, that the policy preferences of judicial candidates be considered before their appointment.

Voter cynicism; Transparency would ease suspicion

Another proposal worthy of implementation is ensuring early disclosure of campaign donations, wrote The Windsor Star Sept. 18 in an editorial. Voters should be able to assess the weight of donations from developers, business, trade unions and other special interest groups before the election, not several months later.

“It’s better to know beforehand where the money comes from,” said Robert MacDermid, a political scientist in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. “A person should be able to look and see if a candidate is totally supported by the development industry, then judge accordingly.”

Apprenticeship to academe: The history of law schools in Canada

While Canadian legal education has undergone profound change over the past two centuries, the debate continues over whether learning the practice of law is best suited within the halls of academia or at firms in a professional or vocational context, wrote The Lawyers Weekly in its Sept. 24 issue.

That great divide was best illustrated in the control Osgoode Hall Law School long enjoyed in Ontario. Established by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) in 1889, Osgoode Hall was not associated with a university until 1968, when it became part of York University.

“It was no longer run by the law society because the province intervened and said it was not going to be subsidizing single-degree schools, therefore Osgoode Hall needed to find a university,” explains Mélanie Brunet, a University of Toronto PhD graduate in Canadian history, who wrote her doctoral thesis on gender, legal education and professional identity formation in Canada from 1920 to 1980. “The Osgoode Hall building on Queen Street was also no longer big enough to support a full-fledged law school and a Bar admission course.”

York’s acquisition of Osgoode Hall marked “the victory of the university model” of legal education in Ontario to complement the practical skills acquired through articling with a more theoretical knowledge about law and society, according to historian Christopher Moore’s 1997 book, The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario’s Lawyers 1791-1997.

On air

  • Anne Russon, a cognitive ecologist and professor of psychology in York’s Glendon College, spoke about orangutans’ ability to communicate using mime, on CBC Radio’s “Quirks & Quarks” Sept. 18.
  • Sean Rehaag, a law professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, spoke about human smuggling, on CBC Radio stations in Toronto; Sudbury; Gander, Nfld.; Yellowknife, NWT; Whitehorse, Yukon; and Victoria, Prince George and Prince Rupert, BC Sept. 20.