Globe and Mail lauds Schulich’s plan for a campus in India

A Canadian business school took an important step toward a truly global orientation on Thursday in agreeing to operate a campus in India, beginning in the fall of 2013, wrote The Globe and Mail June 10 in an editorial. A huge world market exists for a commodity that Canada has in abundance – quality education – but entering that market in a productive way is tricky. York University’s Schulich School of Business, of Toronto (and soon Hyderabad), has taken an approach that could produce large, intangible benefits.

Those benefits may not be immediately apparent to the naked eye. After all, Canadian universities are not profit-making institutions. Is the expansion to Hyderabad just ego, empire-building? The University makes a credible case that it is no longer enough simply to offer students a chance to learn from international faculty, as Canadian business schools already do. It is important to have a presence abroad, especially in the emerging economies.

Dezsö Horváth, Schulich’s dean, put it this way: "The real benefit for Schulich is that we will have a presence, a hub in Asia, the fastest-growing market, and some of the largest economies in the world will be around us. So we will have expertise, knowledge. We will be able to provide students an opportunity to learn about this."

Schulich expansion sounds very corporate – refreshingly so. "Why do corporations go abroad? To make a stronger base at home. To create a larger market. Reduce risk. If North America is declining in demand, we have to be in this part of the world." Dean Horváth also says Canadian companies are too dependent on the US and not willing enough to venture out to China and India because "Canadian executives have not been trained to deal with a global market."

Mamdouh Shoukri, York’s president, suggests another benefit; the graduates of Schulich’s Hyderabad campus (drawn not only from India but from around the world) will spread Canada’s influence far and wide.

With a young population and a bottomless appetite for educated managers, India needs what Canada has. In return, an Indian developer gives Schulich a $1- a-year, 20-year lease on a new, $25-million campus, and India offers itself as a classroom. A good deal for everyone.

  • Schulich Dean Dezsö Horváth also spoke about the plan for a new campus in India, on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” June 9.
  • Numerous business news websites also reported on Schulich’s Hyderabad campus

Embracing film’s next dimension

And as the film world continues its rapid transition from traditional 2 D celluloid film to 3 D digital, a weekend conference at the TIFF Bell Lightbox is aimed at boosting the Toronto film community’s chances of capitalizing on the next wave in film – 3-D, wrote the Toronto Star June 9.

The conference is co-sponsored by York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts and the 3-D Film Innovation Consortium (FLIC), a group of GTA-based film companies.

Ali Kazimi, professor in the University’s film department, said the three-day event will bring together an “eclectic mix” of filmmakers, artists, academics and theorists. “It’s a truly interdisciplinary event. We believe it’s not just a first in Canada, we believe it’s the first time anywhere in the world that these…fairly disparate groups of people have been brought together to discuss the future of 3-D cinema,” Kazimi said.

“I think this is going to be a very special event for the city. Our project has really put Toronto on the map because with this incredible sharing of knowledge,” he added.

Until the debut of Avatar in December, 2009, there was little interest in 3-D as a new frontier in film, Kazimi said. “Now everybody is jumping on the bandwagon. As a filmmaker, I feel it’s a very exciting time because when used properly, 3-D offers a whole new language for filmmakers,” Kazimi said.

A community that enriches the Canadian perspective

Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies focused on South Asia and issues of human development, was interviewed by The Globe and Mail June 10, in a story about the Day of Overseas Indians conference in Toronto. The conference is the first of many large events planned for 2011, declared the Year of India in Canada.

What’s the conference about for you?

What I really like is that it’s not totally about only diaspora issues. It’s about the issues of the day: youth issues, gender issues, which are not the issues of one diaspora or another. Our country should be looked at not only as isolated communities. We should have a say in policy-making. People doing jobs they’re over-qualified for is not an Indian issue, it’s an issue for all of Canada. If not, we lose the sense of Canada as a whole.

How would you describe the Indian diaspora in Canada?

In Canada, we have representation from all over India, with the dominant group being the Punjabi community. In the last few years I’ve seen more of an effort to have a pan-Indian presence. We do tend to have more engagement with the mainstream, partly because of our prominence in the professions and our facility with English. We had the right colonizers.

Health prof points out real causes of child poverty

Please spare me the Globe’s crocodile tears over the fate of poor children in Canada, wrote Dennis Raphael, professor in York’s School of Health Policy & Management in the Faculty of Health, in letter to The Globe and Mail June 10 responding to an editorial. The reason that 15 per cent of Canadian families with children are poor is the public policies that the Globe so strongly supports: a weak welfare state that does little to interfere in the unfettered market economy.

The results are one of the highest rates of income inequality and wealth, and one of the largest proportions of low-paid workers among wealthy developed nations. The bandage solutions proposed by the Globe will do little to promote healthy child development.

FES prof wins Molson prize

The other 2011 Canada Council Molson Prize for social sciences was awarded to renowned environmental economist Peter Victor, who the council said paved the way for a new discipline called ecological economies and helped direct new ways to manage economic growth that is easier on the planet and population, wrote Moncton, NB’s Times & Transcript June 10.

Victor is currently a professor in [the Faculty of Environmental Studies] at York University and is a member of a number of boards and advisory panels.

"We are privileged to be honouring…Peter Victor," said Robert Sirman, Canada Council director and CEO. "Mr. Victor has shown us that advancing our country’s economy can happen hand-in-hand with preserving our nation’s rich environmental assets."

Schulich prof defines financial mania

York University’s Brenda Spotton Visano describes financial mania as a "gradual spreading of speculative euphoria" where "optimistic uncertainty" becomes a "swell of speculative excitement" and eventually, when things go wrong, distress and panic, wrote Portfolioist forum June 9.

City’s history comes alive under York grad’s tutelage

Architectural historian Marta O’Brien [MES ’99] is best known for her year-round Citywalks tours (, where she takes groups as small as two or three to one of 11 different areas of the city, from the Financial District and Corktown to Cabbagetown and the Annex, wrote the Toronto Star June 10.

Long ago, O’Brien worked for an insurance company, was fast-tracked for senior management. But she was unsatisfied with that life and had always been interested in architecture so she got a bachelor of technology (architecture) at Ryerson. She held a few junior positions in architects’ offices and often paid the bills working in retail. Meanwhile, she was studying the city, attending public lectures, taking and cataloguing photographs of buildings. In the late ’90s, she got her masters in environmental studies at York University and began giving the occasional lecture for local historical societies. This led to her part-time career teaching architectural history courses.

In June 2006, she launched Citywalks. Today it’s a thriving business, in part because O’Brien is engaging and utterly passionate about the city, but also because few guides who run city tours have anything approaching her deep knowledge of architectural history.

TorScots want to ‘dig into’ community: CO

The Toronto Scottish Regiment has a new commanding officer at its new home in south Etobicoke, wrote June 9. Community outreach ranks among career reservist Lt.-Col. Fred Moore‘s top priorities.

"We’re really proud we’re here. We were the first to put our hands up at the opportunity to come into the neighbourhood. We jumped at it," Moore [BA ’00] said. "We’re excited and happy to make it our home. I definitely want us to dig into the community. I want us to make a great impact."

Moore, 41, has spent his entire reservist career with the TorScots. He joined fresh from the demanding Reserve Entry Scheme Officer training at CFB Gagetown, NB, that helped put him through a York University liberal arts degree.

Moore served as a platoon commander with Charles Company during his first deployment in the former Yugoslavia. Some 70 per cent of his platoon was regular force members from the First Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment based in Petawawa, Ont. About 25 per cent were reservists.

Fine Arts grad’s work selected for Italian exhibit

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry for cultural heritage & activities have launched a special event, wrote Tandem News in its June 12 edition. For the first time ever the Padiglione Italia at the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale has been extended over the national boundaries to include the Italian Cultural Institutes in the world.

Each institute has elected a number of Italian artists or artists of Italian descent living and working in its own jurisdiction, active in various disciplines, from painting to sculpture, photography, video, design, graphics. Over 400 artists’ portfolios have been submitted to a special commission made up of art historians and critics…and 219 have been chosen.

The artists selected for Toronto [include] Tony Calzetta [MFA ’77]. Over the last 30 years, since graduating from York University, Calzetta has exhibited continually in solo and group exhibitions. He works mainly on canvas and paper and occasional in the areas of sculpture and printmaking.

Documenting Canada’s ‘war on terror’

For any documentary filmmaker, gaining the subjects’ trust is a challenge, wrote June 10. But how do you break through to men who are still in the midst of a Kafka-esque ordeal of torture, secret trials and constant surveillance?

Director Amar Wala [BFA Spec. Hons. ’08] and producer Noah Bingham [BFA Hons. ’09 ] are grappling with these issues as they film The Secret Trial 5, a crowdfunded documentary that takes a personal look at Canada’s "war on terror."

Their subjects, five Muslim men, have been held for over a decade using security certificates, a controversial measure of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) that allows non-citizens to be detained indefinitely.

Wala, who moved to Toronto with his family from Bombay when he was 11, first learned about security certificates from one of his professors at York University. "It’s something I never would have believed existed in Canada," he says. His award-winning narrative short, The Good Son, told the true story of Mahmoud Jaballah’s young son Ahmad, who was asked to translate for his father during a CSIS (Canadian Security and Intelligence Services) interrogation in their home.

He was relieved in 2007 when the Supreme Court declared security certificates to be unconstitutional. "At the time, I naively thought, maybe I don’t need to need to make another film on this, because [the certificates] will be gone soon," he recalls. But the Conservative government re-introduced the process as Bill C-3 a few months later, with few substantial changes. Meanwhile, the men were slowly transferred to house arrest, under the harshest conditions in Canadian history.

Wala then teamed up with Bingham, who he had met when they were both film students at York. Together, they have been working for the past two years to capture the unique stories of these men. "We decided it was really important to include all five stories – we think it creates a holistic picture of the total impact of security certificates," Bingham says.

Their innovative crowd-funding approach "evolved out of necessity," Wala admits, after trying the traditional method of hobnobbing at film festivals and pitching to funders.

So far, they’ve raised $15,000 – about 13 per cent of their final goal of $114,500. "It’s more than enough for us to keep going. It keeps us from having to use the old independent film method of maxing out credit cards," Wala jokes. He’s clearly excited to see their approach working as planned. "Crowd-funding is a great tool for young filmmakers, especially in Canada, where it’s getting harder and harder to get a documentary made."

Film grad wins $15,000 Premier’s Award

The $15,000 Premier’s Award for new or emerging individual talent recognized York University Fine Arts graduate Robert Kingsbury [BFA Spec. Hons.’06], who screens multi-disciplinary films and composes dance works, wrote the National Post June 10.

Albertan headed for Lions men’s hockey team

The Estevan Bruins [of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League] announced this week that Ryan Andersen, the left-winger from Wainwright, Alta., has committed to playing at York University in Ontario, wrote The Battlefords News-Optimist June 10.

On air

  • Tanya Gulliver, PhD student at York, spoke about the need for funding to cover costs of mental health services to those affected by disasters, on CBC Radio’s “The Current” June 9.
  • Ian Roberge, political science professor at York’s Glendon College, spoke about the report by Canada’s interim auditor-general on spending for the G8/G20 conference, on Radio Canada’s “Au delà de la 401” June 9.