Ontario unveils deal with universities, colleges agree to specialize programs

The Ontario government has signed a sweeping set of agreements with universities and colleges that will oblige them to choose areas of speciality and avoid overlapping programs with one another, reported The Globe and Mail Aug. 9. York University wants to eventually open a medical school, but such a program is not on the list of expansion areas in its agreement with the province. This is because the province wants to steer York away from medicine in the near term and encourage it to instead look at expanding in other areas – engineering and digital media, for instance – that it has agreed to focus on. York President Mamdouh Shoukri said the deals are a “welcome step” that will make the process for approving program expansions more efficient by sorting out ahead of time which universities will focus on which areas. “This really serves as an affirmation by the government of its support for the priorities York has identified,” he said. The university will still pursue its longer-term objectives, such as a medical school, but the agreement sets out what it will focus on expanding in the near term. Read full story.

Schulich to Offer MBA Specialization in Global Retail Management
Beginning this fall, Canada-based York University Schulich School of Business will offer a new MBA specialization in Global Retail Management, reported FindMBA.com Aug. 11. Despite the industry’s size and transformative nature, few business schools have, until now, offered dedicated MBA concentrations in retail. Read full story.

Probe catches comet after historic 10 year journey
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe made history Aug. 6 when it entered orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in deep space. “Comets are left over hunks of rock and ice from the original formation of the solar system. They are the volatile chemicals that were pushed to the furthest reaches billions of years ago. Every once in a while we get a chance to study a comet up close…so we may study solar system evolution,” said Jesse Rogerson, a PhD candidate in astrophysics at York University, in a Sun News Network story Aug. 7. Read full story.

A sampling of the words of wisdom relayed by the 2014 honorary degree recipients, from coast to coast
The recipient of an honorary degree is a very accomplished person. The speech he or she offers is often the centrepiece of the ceremony, with words that are meant to inspire new graduates on the cusp of the next stage of their lives, reported University Affairs Aug. 6 in an article featuring excerpts from memorable speeches from convocation ceremonies across Canada that included those by York University honorary degree recipients. Read full story.

From chips to donuts, consumers dictate latest flavours
Denise Vella says she fell in love with Greece twice in her life: once when she went backpacking through Europe after university, and years later when she lived on the Danforth. The third time could be the charm though, now that Lay’s Canada has chosen her tzatziki-flavoured kettle cooked potato chips as one of the four finalists in its second annual Do Us a Flavour contest. But does inviting customers to add weird ingredients to chips really do much for an established company? “It engages customers and it gets a lot of buzz going,” says Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto. “Customers making up products is in keeping with the new age of communication. The power really is now with the crowd,” he says, referring to social media and new phenomena like crowdfunding. Read full story.

Canadian contribution
To call Jack Granatstein a prolific author does not do justice to the dozens and dozens of books he has authored during his long career. At 75, he is now retired and a professor emeritus at York University. The Greatest Victory: Canada’s Hundred Days is his contribution to the growing list of books marking the centennial of the Great War. By 1918, the Canadian Corps had developed into one of the best fighting units on the Allied side, and Granatstein shows how its performance during the last drive to victory from August to November of that year deserves to be remembered as an important moment in Canadian history, reported the Winnipeg Free Press Aug. 9. Read full story.