Research explores financial assistance for organizations during pandemic
New research by Schulich School of Business Professor Gregory Saxton, at York University, suggests that non-profit organizations were more likely to apply for U.S. government aid during pandemic lockdowns – and use that aid to maintain staffing levels – when those organizations had pre-existing, long-term financial obligations to donors.
To help small businesses cover payroll costs and keep employees on the job throughout the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, the U.S. federal government created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in April of 2020. The program issued almost 12 million loans worth nearly $800 billion, and these loans were forgivable if the business kept payroll at pre-pandemic levels.
The program had the potential to be especially beneficial to non-profit organizations; however, not all eligible non-profits participated and not all received loan forgiveness. Saxton’s research sought to shine light on why businesses decided to apply, and what motivated certain businesses to meet the requisites for loan forgiveness.
To examine what motivated non-profits’ participation in the program, Saxton, a professor of accounting, and his co-authors – Paul Wong, from the University of California-Davis; and Daniel Neely, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – analyzed data from over 100,000 non-profits that applied for PPP loans. The results of their study were recently published in Management Science in their article, “Nonprofit Organizations’ Financial Obligations and the Paycheck Protection Program.”
The authors found that only 38 per cent of eligible non-profit organizations participated in the PPP, substantially lower than for-profit businesses.
They also found that non-profits with long-term debt obligations and donor-restricted net assets were more likely to apply for and receive PPP loans. In effect, an organization’s financial obligations – such as debt or promises to donors to use resources in a specific manner – played an important role in determining PPP participation and the characteristics of the loans obtained. Notably, not only did pre-existing financial obligations make organizations more likely to participate in the program, but financial obligations led participating organizations to receive larger loans, relative to payroll costs, and increased the likelihood that their loans were ultimately forgiven.
This study furthers understanding of the PPP by examining the financial characteristics of participating businesses. At a practical level, the study informs policymakers in designing business-focused economic relief programs to maximize societal benefit during economic downturns.
Overall, the study suggests that the PPP played a crucial role in supporting both employment and critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The PPP helped to keep non-profits afloat during a very difficult time,” Saxton said. “It’s clear that the program was particularly beneficial for non-profits with pre-existing financial obligations.”
York takes academic leadership role at Congress 2023
By Ashley Goodfellow Craig, editor, YFile
Upwards of 250 York University faculty members and scholars are among the presenters during the 2023 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, where they take an academic leadership role in sharing their research with colleagues from across the nation.
The flagship event of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences – taking place May 27 to June 2 at York University’s Keele Campus – returns to an in-person format this year, following a hiatus in 2020 and the subsequent virtual format in 2021 and 2022. Congress is the largest academic gathering in Canada, with at least 10,000 participants attending this year. The event was last hosted at York University in 2006.
Congress 2023 provides a platform for critical conversations, including diverse voices and perspectives to create collaborations that help drive the future of post-secondary education. This year’s theme “Reckonings and Re-Imaginings” will guide the direction of discussions and knowledge sharing in presentations, panels, workshops and more.
“I am excited by this theme because it’s a call to reflection on where we (as scholars, activists, artists and thinkers) are and how we got here,” said York University Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Professor Andrea Davis, who is serving as academic convenor for Congress 2023, when the theme was announced. “Rather than simply centering the problems, this theme insists that we imagine otherwise – that we consider what a different set of possibilities might look like and that we come together collectively to create the kind of world we want to live in.”
York faculty and scholars will contribute their humanities and social sciences research and expertise through more than 250 different events scheduled in a variety of programming streams, such as the Big Thinking Lecture Series, Career Corner, Black and racialized programming, Indigenous programming, scholarly presentations and more.
Contributions come from all 11 York Faculties, three Organized Research Units, two divisions and other units, such as the Teaching Commons and York International.
“We took the opportunity to apply York’s strengths as an institution that is known for supporting social justice and social responsibility. At Congress 2023, the University is playing an active role in igniting and sustaining positive change through scholarship, creative practice and conversations that generate new perspectives,” said Lisa Philipps, provost and vice-president academic.
Philipps is also a member of the Scholarly Planning Committee for Congress, which is comprised of York faculty, staff, graduate students and senior leadership, who together have helped to guide and shape the themes and programming for this year’s event through broad consultation with the York community. Learn more about the Scholarly Planning Committee here.
York programming at Congress 2023
The School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design will feature work from faculty and graduate students with topics exploring culturally relevant pedagogy, accessible tech for Canadian artists, film screenings and more.
Diverse programming from the Faculty of Education – which contributes to more than 60 events – includes re-imagining teacher education, book launch events, the risks of queer lives during the pandemic, findings from a Black feminist qualitative study and more from faculty and graduate students.
Both faculty and graduate students from the Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change will participate and explore topics such as the intersectional feminist approach to gathering and analyzing stories that reconsider risk, and a look at ceremonies of mourning, remembrance and care in the context of violence and more.
Glendon College faculty members will consider the ascent of right-wing populism in Canada, the politics of refusal in the Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette novel Suzanne, and more.
Research by graduate students will be the focus of contributions from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, with a variety of presentations on diverse topics, including the impact of the pandemic on intimate partner violence in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, a focus on mental health and the suicide of Black men, female activists and their relationships with their mothers, and more.
From the Faculty of Health, faculty members will explore how academic nursing leaders addressed the complexities of sustaining quality nursing education programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, participate in a roundtable on transnational Black communities and overcoming epidemics and a panel on promising practices that support aging with equity. Faculty will also present research on Indian immigrant fatherhood in the perinatal period, the experiences of immigrant Pakistani youths, and Asian Canadian exclusionary experiences in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to research contributions, a graduate program assistant will perform at the Swag Stage.
Lassonde School of Engineering will have contributions from faculty and an undergraduate student that focuses on designing a more equitable science curricula and York’s Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom (C4), which will be presented in partnership with a student from the Schulich School of Business.
Knowledge sharing from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies will come from undergraduate students, graduate students, teaching and research assistants and faculty, with participation in upwards of 80 different events at Congress. Some of the research will cover racial profiling among Canadian university professors of Chinese descent, re-imagining criminal justice, activism and inclusion, decolonizing transnational human rights engagements and partnerships in Africa, queer rural teacher activists and more.
Osgoode Hall Law School faculty members and a visiting Fellow will present their research on girls and Young Women before the Cour du bienêtre social of Montréal, conflicting interpretations of women in Canada’s thalidomide tragedy and Indigenous laws and jurisdiction for addressing harm.
Faculty members representing the Faculty of Science will share their research on geological fantasies, the stark effect, and offer perspectives during a roundtable on overcoming epidemics and the transnational Black communities’ response.
Schulich ExecEd ranks in Financial Times’ top 30 worldwide
The Financial Times of London, the historic daily business newspaper and premier rankings publisher for executive education programs worldwide, has named Schulich ExecEd the 30th best program of its kind in the world.
This year’s Financial Times ranking serves as a new highwater mark for Schulich ExecEd, which has steadily climbed Financial Times’ rankings for the last few years, reaching rank 32 in 2022. Not only did Schulich ExecEd climb two ranks higher this year, it also defended its prior-attained status as the second-best executive education program throughout Canada.
“We’re very proud of this achievement,” said Rami Mayer, executive director of Schulich ExecEd. “I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the incredibly talented team at Schulich ExecEd and to our wonderful instructors, as well as our amazing clients and participants for their strong vote of confidence in the quality of our programs.”
Last year, the release of the Financial Times rankings followed shortly after the overhaul of the Schulich Executive Education Centre into what is now Schulich ExecEd. The continued ascension of Schulich ExecEd through the Financial Times rankings demonstrates the school underwent more than a name change. This year’s Financial Times rankings similarly arrive on the heels of the announcement of Schulich ExecEd’s new strategic partnership with 5D Corporate Teaching and Learning Centre (5D) based in Halifax, which will expand access to the world-class business program to Canadians across the Atlantic coastal region.
To explore all of the programs that Schulich ExecEd has to offer, click here.
Risk and Insurance Studies Centre receives $11M grant
Contributed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Alliance (NSERC), the funding will go towards developing better ways of managing risk and protecting Canadians from increasing threats, such as pandemics, climate catastrophes and financial crises.
Professor Edward Furman of the Faculty of Science at York University leads the team at the Risk and Insurance Studies Centre (RISC) that will use the grant over five years for a new program called New Order of Risk Management (NORM): Theory and Applications in the Era of Systemic Risk. NORM looks to address an acute need for a fundamental transformation in how people think about and manage that risk.
“Risk management is key to promoting economic growth and improving welfare in Canada and in other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) countries by taming conventional risks, but it has not had the desired results in today’s increasingly interconnected world. In fact, some call it a failure,” says Furman. “We hope to lead a paradigm shift around what constitutes best practices and regulation for systemic risk, one that has a broader view of what risk entails and that encompasses the complexity of its systemic nature.”
Given recent socioeconomic, demographic, technological and environmental changes, the researchers say change is overdue.
Systemic risks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the global financial crisis which started in 2007, often spill across socioeconomic boundaries, disproportionately impacting vulnerable populations and magnifying social inequities. The pandemic has already driven Canada’s annual deficit to $348 billion and its national debt is on target to hit $1.2 trillion, while the global financial crisis resulted in a severe recession with sharp declines in national gross domestic product.
Climate change is creating multiple systemic risks as sea levels rise, wildfire season becomes longer with a greater potential for catastrophic fires and extreme weather events increase, such as flash flooding and storm surges, which can result in widespread devastation to coastal and inland communities in Canada and globally.
A better understanding of systemic risk is needed, says the NORM team, which includes York Professors Jingyi Cao of the Faculty of Science, Ida Ferrara of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Dirk Matten of the Schulich School of Business and Shayna Rosenbaum of the Faculty of Health, as well as professors from University of British, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and Western University.
With their industrial collaborators, the NORM team will develop novel theories, operational tools and regulatory mechanisms to address the increasing systemic nature of risks, while also accounting for unequal susceptibility to systemic risk, pursuing equity and building resilience.
“NORM’s impacts mean not only an academic breakthrough in how we conceptualize systemic risk, but also fundamental transformations in how we manage and govern this new type of risk more effectively through strategies that reflect and consider equity and vulnerability,” says Furman.
Systemic risk is a global threat. NORM brings exceptional depth and breadth of relevant scholarly expertise from actuarial mathematics, business, economics, psychology and statistics together with industry collaborators, including Sun Life Financial, Canada Life, CANNEX Financial Exchanges, Aviva Canada and Wawanesa Insurance, to tackles the issues.
Schulich Sustainable Infrastructure Fellowship 2023 applications open now
Recruiting for the fourth year of the Schulich School of Business Sustainable Infrastructure Fellowship Program (SIFP) commenced Tuesday, May 16.
The SIFP is an International Group of Seven (G7) initiative that coincided with the G7 meeting held in Quebec City, Que. in 2018. The fellowship was launched by the Investor Leadership Network (ILN), representing 13 of the world’s largest institutional investors in infrastructure, with support from the Government of Canada. With the Schulich School of Business at York University as academic partner in Toronto, the first three years of the fellowship targeted emerging economies. That focus has now expanded in 2023 to encompass a broader audience.
SIFP 2023 is designed and delivered by the Schulich School of Business to develop a new generation of leaders in infrastructure, globally. This year marks the beginning of SIFP version 2.0, which is open to candidates from the public and private sectors. The fellowship is designed for mid- to senior-level professionals involved in infrastructure who want to better understand the role of private investment capital in addressing sustainable infrastructure needs, as well as the core tenets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Candidates should ideally be directly involved in the infrastructure sector, within public or private organizations and agencies charged with the development, financing, investing and operation of infrastructure.
The fellowship develops the knowledge and practical skills required to increase the bankability of infrastructure projects by mobilizing sources of private capital to assist in bridging the global infrastructure gap. The curriculum involves lectures, case studies, interactive workshops and assignments delivered by a combination of academic and industry experts in an online format spread over six months.
Ravish Jain, a 2022 Fellow and deputy general manager of IFCI Limited, called the SIFP a “must-attend program for senior professionals who want to acquire a powerful knowledge toolkit to re-energize infrastructure.
“This unique platform provides a holistic shared international learning experience. [SIFP] provides direct access to some of the largest global infrastructure investors and their decision-making processes,” he adds.
Additionally, the globe-spanning fellowship alumni network offers access to a diverse, international cohort of past participants, each collectively contributing to a communal trove of infrastructure investment expertise. In the first three years alone, the program has graduated 67 Fellows from 22 countries, 40 per cent of whom are women.
“The [SIFP] broadened my view,” says Group Chief Business Development and External Relations Officer Mia Mary Sebastian, of Citadel Pacific Limited. “The exchanges of ideas in our sessions highlighted the importance of the enabling environment for infrastructure and its impact on investment decisions.”
For additional information, contact Karen Shlesinger, program director, sustainable infrastructure fellowship program, at email@example.com.
Schulich to launch first-of-its-kind tech MBA in Canada
York University’s Schulich School of Business announced the launch of a new MBA in Technology Leadership (Tech MBA), the first of its kind in Canada, on May 11.
The tech MBA program, launching in Fall 2023, will develop the next generation of leaders for a business world that is increasingly driven by digital technologies. The 16-month, highly experience-focused professional program will integrate leadership development with a focus on strategic thinking, systems design, digital transformation, value creation, and technology management and integration.
The program is designed to equip students with the leadership and management skills needed to succeed in a business world facing major transformational changes, including the rapid application of artificial intelligence (AI) and other technological advances. Key program features include: a guaranteed workplace internship lasting one full term; direct exposure to industry leaders as part of a small, selective class; and career support though the tech MBA’s Professional Development Hive, two professional development courses focusing on employability skills and career readiness.
“Schulich’s new tech MBA will produce graduates who bring cutting-edge managerial knowledge to help companies deal with technological disruption and the ongoing digital transformation reshaping the world of business,” says Detlev Zwick, dean of the Schulich School of Business.
M. Murat Kristal, associate professor of operations management and special advisor, AI and analytics, has been appointed as the inaugural director of the tech MBA program. An expert in analytics and digital transformation, Kristal brings over 10 years of experience in technology teaching and research to his role as director.
“The MBA in Technology Leadership Program offers a truly unique and innovative approach to business education, combining a comprehensive understanding of technology with the critical business skills needed to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace,” says Kristal. “With a focus on experiential learning, real-world projects and personalized coaching, our program prepares graduates to excel in leadership roles in tech-driven industries. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned professional looking to take your career to the next level, the Tech MBA Program provides the tools and expertise you need to thrive in the digital age.”
For more information, including admission requirements, deadlines and class curricula previews, visit schulich.yorku.ca/techmba.
Schulich ExecEd partnership brings innovative upskilling programs to Atlantic Canada
Schulich ExecEd has announced its new strategic partnership with 5D Corporate Teaching and Learning Centre (5D) based in Halifax, N.S., which will offer executive education programs in both leadership and management training, with the aim of providing practical solutions to combat labour force challenges in Atlantic Canada.
Halifax-based programs from Schulich ExecEd will connect local managers, senior leaders, human resource professionals and learning development professionals from various private, public-sector and non-governmental organizations, who look to implement strategies for employee retention, inspiring change in the workforce and building capacity from within their organizations. Executive education plays an important role in teaching working professionals, in a focused and accelerated format, how to effectively empower individuals and teams and create transformational leaders within their companies. This method of education aims to promote positive changes happening sooner and foster strategic foresight to avoid future roadblocks.
The Schulich ExecEd and 5D partnership will extend the reach of the tier-one business school into local provincial communities resulting in increased access to high-quality education; Schulich ExecEd Executive Director Rami Mayer attested to the importance of broadening the Schulich ExecEd scope.
“We are excited to partner with the 5D Corporate Teaching and Learning Centre to create a program that fosters the career journey of Atlantic Canadian leaders,” he said. “By creating opportunities to grow their skills, enhance their careers and enable them to contribute to their local community, we are confident that we will be able to elevate 5D even further.
“Schulich ExecEd has partnered with a myriad of communities across Canada to support local organizations and leaders by upskilling, reskilling and growing their business and leadership capabilities,” Mayer added. “These partnerships with local community organizations are vital in ensuring the relevance and success of these programs by providing insight into the unique needs of these communities as well as offering practical support before, during and after the formal program is completed. This ensures employees are retained locally and further contribute to the health, success and well-being of their communities, municipalities and ultimately, the province and country as a whole.”
Central to this partnership are programs which will be provided to participants in their home province of Nova Scotia, with in-person and hybrid options maximizing accessibility. All programs within this partnership will include additional support that will lead to sustainable changes in local organizations, such as action planning, leadership coaching sessions and sessions from local educators post-program to further participants’ knowledge while they work. The goal is to not only deliver education but to provide solution-based learning to solve real challenges.
As a registered non-profit with more than 23 years of experience in educating corporate leaders and managers in Atlantic Canada, 5D is uniquely positioned to facilitate Schulich ExecEd’s growth in the region. 5D CEO Nancy Thompson offered insight into the impact this partnership will make within the community.
“The 5D-Schulich ExecEd partnership is a powerful combination. 5D’s understanding of the complex real-world challenges that face organizations within Atlantic Canada brings a customized approach to the development of the educational content that will be delivered through this partnership. We believe through the collaborative efforts of 5D and Schulich ExecEd that a stellar leadership program has been created to serve the needs and priorities of the corporations in Atlantic Canada.”
Through this partnership, Schulich ExecEd strives to advance a commitment to expanding accessibility and helping organizations and businesses facing challenges which can be resolved through executive education, thereby building a strong and more resilient workforce with local and global reach.
The Schulich ExecEd-5D executive education program is currently scheduled to launch in Winter 2023. For more information on this program and others like it, see the Schulich ExecEd programs page.
Schulich professor’s web tool detects corporate ‘greenwashing’
Divinus Oppong-Tawiah, a researcher from York University’s Schulich School of Business, has developed a linguistic-based tool to detect “greenwashing” – the growing practice of companies using social media to communicate exaggerated, misleading or outright false claims about their environmental performance.
The findings are contained in an article published recently in the journal Sustainability. The article, titled “Corporate Communication as ‘Fake News’: Firms’ Greenwashing on Twitter,” was co-authored by Oppong-Tawiah, who is an assistant professor of operations management and information systems at the Schulich School of Business, together with Jane Webster, professor emeritus and E. Marie Shantz Chair of Digital Technology at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.
The researchers examined Twitter messages posted by companies in two industries with significant environmental footprints, namely, the oil and gas and automotive industries. Based on their findings, the researchers developed a new automatic deviation-based linguistic tool that is able to detect organizational greenwashing.
Researchers also showed that greenwashing is significantly associated with financial market performance because of its potential to erode shareholder value and damage the firm’s long-term financial health.
Firms are increasingly adopting social media for broadcasting their corporate social responsibility and green initiatives, the study notes. For stakeholders, this can be a positive development in that it exposes firms to greater scrutiny. However, firms suffer significant reputational damage and adverse market reaction in the event they are wrongly accused of faking green claims. Thus, until stakeholders can reliably detect greenwashing, firms remain hesitant to disclose all or part of their environmental performance on social media for fear of wrong accusation, notes Oppong-Tawiah.
“Fake news on social media has engulfed the world of politics in recent years and is now posing the same threat in other areas, such as corporate social responsibility communications,” says Oppong-Tawiah. “Our research work addresses an urgent need to identify greenwashing and measure its effects.”
How non-native English accents undermine women at work
New research from professors at York University’s Schulich School of Business shows that women with non-native accents often get pushed into traditionally feminine jobs with lower pay and prestige, even when sufficiently qualified.
Past research has broadly found that people with non-native accents are seen as less competent, but this research has generally been focused on men with non-native accents. Hideg, Hancock and Shen wanted to specifically examine whether women’s experiences in speaking with a non-native accent, and the bias they face, diverge from the prior documented experiences of men.
The team noted that a lack of consideration of women’s unique experiences at work mirrors broader trends in the natural and social sciences, where men are often perceived as the default or standard among research participants.
“Our findings indicate that women with a non-native accent associated with a more gender-traditional country face subtle biases that are difficult to recognize as bias and hence difficult to address,” says Hideg.
“Although on the surface it may seem that women with non-native accents experience advantages in hiring due to perceptions of warmth, our research shows that they are likely to be stereotyped and funneled into less prestigious positions,” she adds.
York staff, faculty recognized for positive change in accessibility
What does accessibility look like in the classroom? When this question was posed to Course Director Lorin Schwarz, in the Faculty of Education, he answered “inclusion plus access.”
Schwarz, along with Mary Desrocher – associate professor of clinical developmental psychology – were among the many University community members nominated for Student Accessibility Services Awards ahead of its end-of-year celebration on April 6.
Since 2018, students have been encouraged to nominate members of the York community they feel have exceeded the standard expectations of their role for the sake of expanding access to learning opportunities and services on campus. Repeat-nominee Schwarz was most recently among the award winners for the 2020-21 academic year, while first-time-nominee Desrocher received one of the 18 awards handed out at this year’s ceremony.
Desrocher described a “lightbulb” moment that first alerted her to the importance of an accessible learning experience. Over 20 years ago, when she was a newly inducted lecturer at York, a student approached Desrocher after class and disclosed a learning disability to her with some trepidation.
“At that time, we didn’t have Moodle, we didn’t have eClass, we might not even have had Student Accessibility Services,” she said.
Inspired by the exchange, Desrocher decided to pre-emptively provide notes to all of her students, regardless of whether or not they had disclosed disabilities to her or other professors, in order to alleviate the additional pressure of having to do so for those who may have been struggling with ADHD, anxiety or other disorders that could make note-taking difficult. Ever since, Desrocher has reaffirmed that decision time and time again. That first student to privately ask her for assistance eventually graduated from York and followed a career in psychology, a fact which continues to motive Desrocher to help students reach their fullest potentials.
Simple changes can make a profound difference, according to Desrocher. In practice, those changes can look like note sharing; using classroom time to discuss, rather than lecture; and believing her students when they ask to be accommodated. She encourages everyone to remember the ethos of accessibility and reminds her peers that “you are not the expert in someone else’s lived experience.”
Schwarz shared a similar guiding philosophy, explaining that “we’re so afraid of making things personal now… but let yourself care about the students.
“We’re here to increase the joy in the world, not decrease it,” he added. “See people as complicated human beings and not something that you can simplify.”
A full list of 2022-23 Student Accessibility Services Award winners is included below.
Ahmad Firas Khalid,sessional assistant professor, Faculty of Health
Amila Butorovic,associate professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Devin Phillips,assistant professor, Faculty of Health
Ivona Hideg,associate professor, Schulich School of Business
Jeanine Tuitt,supports and services coordinator, Office of Student Community Relations
Jennifer Spinney,assistant professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Katherine Di Lorenzo,student support advisor, Student Support Advising
Lindsay LaMorre,associate director, Experiential Education, Faculty of Education
Lois King,contract faculty, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Makini McGuire-Brown,course instructor, PhD candidate, Schulich School of Business
Mark Thomas, professor and Chair of Sociology Department, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Mary Desrocher,associate professor, Faculty of Health
Matthew Keough, assistant professor, Faculty of Health
Matthias Hoben, associate professor, Faculty of Health
Ruodan Shao,associate professor, Schulich School of Business
Stephanie Pugliese Domenikos, assistant professor, Faculty of Science
Taylor Cleworth, assistant professor, Faculty of Health
Theodore Noseworthy,associate professor and research Chair, Schulich School of Business
Yueting Chen,PhD candidate, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies