Commerce beyond the profit motive

York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto has long been a magnet for students interested in human rights, health care, environmental protection, education, culture and other not-for-profit fields. Schulich bills its Social Sector Management program as one of the few MBA degrees in the world “with a specialization in the social sector and the management of social-sector organizations.” Business Professor Cameron Graham, acting director of the program, says there is a growing need for graduates with such expertise as non-profits look for more sustainable methods of financing, beyond charitable donations and hard-to-obtain government funding. “There has to be a lot of creativity brought to bear on the problem of how do you do something that’s worthwhile, yet attract sustainable funding for it,” said Graham in The Globe and Mail Nov. 6. Read full story.

Frosh perspective
Shari-Ann Baker, who was born and raised in Jamaica, moved to Toronto in 2010 to attend York University. Her first assignment was an essay for a Canadian studies course. Baker got a B, a mark she was able to improve after learning about the school’s Writing Centre. Her next assignment, for a sociology course, received an A. York’s various facilities, programs and clubs, such as the Community of United Jamaicans, were invaluable in helping her get settled. “People say you’ll get worse grades than in high school,” said Baker, now in her fourth year of a linguistics degree, in Maclean’s Nov. 5. “If you take advantage of resources on campus, I don’t think it’s a problem.” Read full story.

Schulich takes a chance on India
York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto was set to launch its $100-million Indian campus in Hyderabad this fall, but the ambitious plan was put on hold when the Indian foreign universities bill – which would have allowed foreign universities to confer Indian degrees – was delayed yet again. So Schulich launched its back-up plan and welcomed students this fall in India to a twinning program offered in conjunction with GMR Business School. The program coaches students in the first year in Hyderabad and the second year in Toronto. “It’s not ideal,” said Schulich Dean Dezsö Horváth in The Globe and Mail Nov. 6. “But you expect to run into some challenges when you’re trying something new in a different country, so that’s why you have a Plan B.” Read full story.

They’re rivals at home, but allies abroad
Canada’s top business schools decided this year that they’ll have to work together to attract international candidates rather than compete. They have, quite literally, formed an alliance, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 5. The Canadian MBA Alliance is made up of representatives from six business schools – University of Western Ontario’s Ivey, York University’s Schulich School of Business, University of British Columbia’s Sauder, Queen’s School of Business, University of Toronto’s Rotman and McGill’s Desautels. The group travels the international MBA fair circuit trying to drum up interest for Canadian business schools as a whole in foreign markets. Read full story.

Is an MBA still worth it?
The earning power of an MBA degree is often a selling point for business schools, especially when they do well on international rankings, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 5. Every two years, Forbes Magazine measures participating schools on the salary growth for MBA graduates five years after earning the degree compared to what they gave up in lost pay, tuition and other expenses while at school. This year, three Canadian schools made the magazine’s “return on investment” list. HEC Montréal ranked 12th among one-year programs, while York University’s Schulich School of Business and the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business placed 10th and 11th, respectively, among two-year programs. But does that tell the whole story? Read full story.

MBA students: They’ve got game
Now a second-year MBA student at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, former Olympic sprint canoer Andrew Russell is preparing for a tough match against some of the brightest business students at the 2014 MBA Games national competition, being held in January at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto. Last year, 22 teams of close to 650 students competed in a range of academic, sporting and spirit events at the annual competition that was started in 1988 by Queen’s University in Kingston, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 5. Read full story.

Tories’ right-to-work motion marks ‘shift to the far right’: critics
Delegates at the Conservative party convention in Calgary last weekend nearly unanimously supported policy proposals that would require enhanced financial transparency from unions and allow members to opt out of contributions to political and social causes. But the most troubling resolutions for union brass were two successful resolutions that indicated Conservatives support controversial right-to-work legislation that might one day find its way into the government’s platform. “The Conservatives, at both the federal and Ontario level, have taken a hard shift to the far right, adopting some of the most extreme US Republican-style labour policies,” said York University labour law Professor David Doorey in the Huffington Post Nov. 5. “This plays well to the Conservative base, and I suspect the government will carry through with much of the platform.” Read full story.

Ford Nation: Three takes on why they’re so loyal to Toronto’s troubled mayor
Dennis M. Pilon, a political science Professor at York University, said what Ford Nation really likes about Ford is that he “doesn’t appear to play by the political rules. . . . You’ve got a mindset out there of people who are alienated by what they see as the elite culture and elite politics – what they identify with about Rob Ford is he’s a plain-speaking guy,” said Pilon in Metro Nov. 5. Pilon argues that when Ford misspeaks and makes mistakes it actually endears him to Ford Nation, which he compares to American support of George W. Bush. Pilon said there’s an irony that, like Bush, Ford is seen as a defender of “the little guy,” when both are sons of politicians who come from privilege. Read full story.

Mongolia Copper Mine at Oyu Tolgoi Tests Water Supply and Young Democracy
The South Gobi is a frontier of economic development and a laboratory of environmental consequences and social responses. It’s the sort of place that attracts people like Sara Jackson, a young American who is a human geographer and doctoral candidate at York University in Toronto. Jackson has travelled often to the South Gobi to study the effect of the Oyu Tolgoi mine on the region’s residents. “I spend time thinking about how people feel,” she said in Circle of Blue Nov. 5. In preparing her dissertation, Jackson conducted 80 interviews and held five focus groups to understand how Mongolians in Ulaanbataar, Khanbogd, and several more communities perceive Oyu Tolgoi. The idea, she said, is to promote communication between stakeholders. Read full story.

Sophie the Giraffe vendor faces a big pain in the neck
Bug in a Rug Canada Inc., a baby-products importer, is the country’s exclusive distributor of Sophie the Giraffe, a wildly popular eco-friendly teething toy from Vulli SA of France. . . . Owner Jane Wood should be happy that her hard work is paying off. But here’s the rub: She could be selling more Sophies and making more money on each of them if cash flow were not such a headache. . . . “The most obvious solution for Ms. Wood is to obtain special trade financing from a bank. This should not be a problem as there is not a risk that these products are not going to be sold. It is a timing issue,” said Marcia Annisette, director of Schulich School of Business’s Master of Accounting program, in The Globe and Mail Nov. 6. Read full story.