York prof wants mandatory family law mediation applied more widely

During the past 17 years, I have completed a number of research projects on the effects of participation in adversarial and collaborative family law proceedings, wrote Desmond Ellis, sociology professor emeritus in York’s LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence & Conflict Resolution, in a letter to the Toronto Star Sept. 21. The results strongly support Chief Justice Winkler’s call for mandatory separation and divorce mediation.

At the same time, I would like to go beyond the “less costly in time and money than going to court” reason he emphasized by identifying additional reasons and specifying the minimal conditions under which mandatory family law mediation should be implemented.

First, mandatory mediation has been found to be safe, effective and efficient in a number of countries (Australia, United States), including gender-egalitarian countries such as Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Compared with participation in conflict-escalating, parent-alienating adversarial proceedings, participation in collaborative proceedings such as separation and divorce mediation is less likely to increase the risk of lethal and non-lethal conflict-instigated domestic violence and suicide.

Additionally, such participation is more likely to yield durable, mutually satisfying parental plans and financial support arrangements because parents themselves determine the terms included in mediated agreements.

The specific conditions I have in mind are mandatory participation in family information sessions, the mandatory use of an empirically validated domestic violence risk assessment-management instrument, more effective mediator training on the dynamics underlying domestic violence and power balancing, as well as regulation of the mediation profession.

Schulich Arts & Media MBA is only one of its kind in Canada

For more than 40 years, the Arts & Media Administration MBA program at York University’s Schulich School of Business has trained leaders in arts, wrote Metro’s Toronto and Edmonton editions Sept. 21.

The unique program – the only one of its kind in Canada – counts people like Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall director of operations Colleen Smith (MBA ’02) and CTVglobemedia senior vice-president Tracey Pearce (MBA ’96) among its alumni.

The program’s director, Joyce Zemans, says the degree’s success stems from its unique mandate to give candidates a strong management foundation in the arts. As the Internet continues to meld with traditional media and mould it into something new, the need for skilled leaders is growing, Zemans says. “Without question there’s recognition across the board that more and more people in the cultural sector are coming with management and leadership skills and there’s more demand for those people as well,” Zemans said.

The program attracts students with a surprisingly wide variety of backgrounds and skill sets, with the one thing in common being each one usually has spent some time working in the arts or media industry and now want to take a commanding role. “Most of our students come from solid experience in the arts sector. They may be from all forms of media, but what they all want is to develop the management skills they require to become leaders in the sector,” Zemans said.

Schulich is among top business schools that venture into green pasture

Top engineering institutes and business schools across the country are going green with a vengeance, wrote India’s The Financial Express Sept. 21. Seeing a growing market for green managers in the country, B-schools and universities are learning fast to offer management lessons in environment-related disciplines.

The Aspen Institute ranking of 100 MBA programs with green content is dominated by North American universities, which offer 68 of the top 100 programs. The toppers include the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Karkwa wins Polaris Music Prize 2010

The winner of the fifth annual Polaris Music Prize (Canadian album of the year) was announced last night in Toronto, wrote Ireland’s State.ie online music magazine and the Montreal edition of Metro Sept. 21.

Quebec’s Karkwa turned out to be the eventual winners for their album Les Chemins.

The Grand Jury this year included Rob Bowman, professor of ethnomusicology in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and Jian Ghomeshi (BA ’95), host of CBC Radio’s “Q”.

On air

  • Glendon students Meliane Etien and Buddhika Bellana and Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts spoke about the groundbreaking for the campus’s new Centre of Excellence for French-Language & Bilingual Postsecondary Education, on Radio-Canada’s “Le Téléjournal Ontario” Sept. 20.