York speakers join debate about media and higher education

Several speakers from York University will join some 50 others from around the globe at the inaugural Worldviews: Media Coverage of Higher Education in the 21st Century conference, examining the complex relationship between media and higher education.

The conference will take place from Thursday, June 16 to Saturday, June 18 at various University of Toronto locations, including the Campbell Conference Facility at the Munk School of Global Affairs, the MaRS Discovery District and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. A few sessions will take also place on the campus of Ryerson University and at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto.

Scholars will look at how higher education affects every aspect of people’s lives – from the economy and the environment, to culture and communications, and how media plays a critical role in shaping public understanding of higher education institutions. It will provide an opportunity for discussion Paul Axelrodabout how that influence is manifested or about how, in turn, higher education uses the media to mould how the public perceives it.

Left: Paul Axelrod

The York speakers will include University Professor George Fallis, educationProfessor Paul Axelrod, Prof. Lisa Philipps, associate dean of research, graduate studies & institutional relations at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer in the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, .

Axelrod (BA ’72, PhD ’80) has published widely on the history and politics of schooling and post secondary education. He is the author and editor of several books, including Values in Conflict: the University, the Marketplace and the Trials of Liberal Education (2002); The Promise of Schooling: Education in Canada 1800-1914 (1997); Making a Middle Class: Student Life in English Canada during the Thirties (1990); and Scholars and Dollars: Politics, Economics and the Universities of Ontario, 1945-1980 (1982).

He is also editor of the journal, Historical Studies in Education/Reveue d’histoire de l’éducation. His current research is a collaborative project on policy-making in Canadian post secondary education, from 1990-2007. His primary research interest is in the history of schooling and higher education, the political economy of education, educational policy, and adolescence, youth and student life. George Fallis

Right: George Fallis

A professor in economics and social science, Fallis has published widely on housing policy and urban policy, and has written on constitutional reform. His current research deals with universities, their roles and responsibilities in the 21st century, the place of an undergraduate liberal education and the role of university-based research in national innovation.

His most recent book is Multiversities, Ideas, and Democracy (University of Toronto Press, 2007). In February, he delivered the annual Giambattista Vico Lecture at York, “Democratic Deficit: Universities and the Future of Democracy”.

Lisa PhilippsLeft: Lisa Philipps

Philipps (LL.M. ’92) has published widely in the areas of tax law, fiscal policy and feminist legal studies. She is co-editor of Tax Expenditures: State of the Art (2011) and Challenging Gender Inequality in Tax Policy Making: Comparative Perspectives (2011).

She is a regular media commentator on taxes, budgets and women’s legal issues and has worked with the National Association of Women and the Law and the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action to inform community groups and parliamentarians on fiscal policy issues. Philipps has led the development of Osgoode’s first strategic research plan and the growth of its international partnerships.

Elizabeth Monier-WilliamsRight: Elizabeth Monier-Williams

Monier-Williams will be one of the panellists in the session looking at the implications of social media and new communications technology for public perceptions of universities and the democratization of coverage. She has worked in Toronto’s education sector for nearly a decade, and currently manages research communications at York. Previously, she has worked in media relations at the University of Toronto where she also led the inaugural build of the Ulife website.

Monier-Williams’ professional interests include content development, communications strategy, blogging, the news cycle, privacy online, social media and disintermediation. She also writes theanalyticeye.com, which provides communications, social media and marketing analysis.

Conference sessions will look at issues including:

  • Do rankings drive university priorities?
  • Creating bridges between academia and the media
  • The uncertainty of science research and the certainty of “news”
  • Muted voices in higher education coverage, the research “arms war” and the battle for researchers
  • The globalization of higher education coverage: impact and trends,
  • “Hollywood goes to college”: Images of higher education in film and television
  • How media coverage of higher education has changed over the past two decades and where it’s headed
  • The impact of social media
  • The role the media play in influencing public policy debates on public education

The conference will be organized around five broad themes, each with a range of topics to be discussed and debated – media depictions of higher education; wagging the dog: the media as the driver of higher education policy; seizing the initiative: the role of higher education in shaping media and public perceptions; the dawning of a new age: new media technology and new types of publications; and cross-dressing media and academy.

There will be cafe discussions and salons, interviews with leading thinkers, readings and workshops, in addition to keynote addresses and panel debates

York University in one of the sponsors of the conference.

To register, click here. For more information about the conference, including a list of speakers and the agenda, visit the Worldviews website.