York University

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This article is about the Canadian university. For the British university, see University of York.
York University
File:Yorkucrest.gif
Motto Tentanda via (Latin: The way must be tried)
Founded 1959
School type Public
President Lorna Marsden
Location Toronto, Ontario
Campus size 2.6 km² (650 acres)
Enrollment 43,635 undergrad, 3,339 grad
Campus surroundings Urban, suburban
Sports teams Lions
Mascot Lion

York University (YorkU) is a large comprehensive university, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In terms of physical size, it is Canada's largest university, and third largest in terms of student population. There are almost 50,000 students and 7,000 staff and faculty spread over two campuses.

Once thought of as being in the shadow of the larger University of Toronto, York University has since become a large, diverse and respected university, in Canada and internationally.

History

York University was founded in 1959, by virtue of the York Act, which received Royal Assent in the Ontario Legislature on March 26 of that year. Its first class was held on September 1960, in Falconer Hall on the University of Toronto campus, with a total of 76 students. In the fall of 1961, York moved to the Glendon campus, and began to emphasize liberal arts and part-time adult education.

In 1965, York moved into its permanent home on the Keele campus. The campus, located at the northern edge of the City of Toronto, was regarded too desolate and isolated, in a generally industrialized part of the city. Some of the early architecture was considered to be unpopular. However, in the last two decades, the campus has been intensified with new buildings, including a dedicated Student Centre and new fine arts, computer science and business administration buildings. As well, as Toronto spread further out, York now finds itself in a relatively central location within the built-up Greater Toronto Area.

Academics

York University has been traditionally strong in arts and social sciences. York's Faculty of Arts is the largest in Canada. It is especially well-known for its law and business schools.

York University has the greatest number of humanists and social scientists in Canada. Its history department, especially strong in Canadian history, is viewed by many to be the strongest in Canada. Its political science department, one of the world's leading centers for the study of radical political economy, has been noted in Maclean's annual ranking of universities.

The Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies' School of Administrative Studies is the largest business undergraduate program in Canada. The Faculty of Fine Arts is known to be one of a kind in North America. Its joint Bachelor of Design program with Sheridan College is the first and largest in the province of Ontario.

Its internationally-renowned Faculty of Education (also known as the "Toronto School of Liberal Education") offers its students more teaching experience than any other education program in Ontario.

Osgoode Hall Law School, is Canada's largest, and one of the oldest. Osgoode is one of the leading law faculties in Canada.

The Schulich School of Business is ranked among the top business schools in the world and offers the International Business Administration program which is the first of its kind in Canada.

York University's Faculty of Graduate Studies is Ontario's second largest graduate school offering graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines. There are several joint graduate programs with the University of Toronto and Ryerson University.

The School of Women's Studies at York University is one of the oldest of its kind and offers the largest array of courses in this field in the country, in both official languages.

As well, York is involved in many space projects and has a pair of small telescopes on campus. The university offers the only Space and Communication program in the nation. York’s Centre for Vision Research has developed a ‘virtual reality room’ called IVY (Immersive Virtual Environment at York) in order to study perception of gravity and motion, and how humans orient themselves spatially. The room is the only six-sided immersive environment in Canada, and one of a mere handful internationally. Its walls, ceiling and floor are comprised of pixel maps generated by a cluster of computers running Linux. The entire structure is made of the same glass used in the CN Tower’s observation deck. The floor alone took two years to complete. The research is being used by the Canadian Space Agency and National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) to find ways to help strengthen astronauts’ sense of ‘up’ and ‘down’ in zero gravity environments.

York's libraries, located in five buildings, contain over six-and-a-half million items - books, print periodicals, theses, archival materials, micro-forms, maps, films and music CDs. York has more than 2.5 million books and subscribe to 13,000 electronic journals. The Osgoode Hall Law School houses the largest law library in the Commonwealth of Nations.

Athletics

The university is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the York Lions. The team was formerly known as the "York Yeomen" and "York Yeowomen", but the name was changed in 2003 to be more gender-neutral. However, the real reason, as widely rumoured, was that few students understood what "yeoman" meant, except for the many British history majors.

SportYork offers 29 interuniversity sport teams, 12 sport clubs, 35 intramural sport leagues, special events and 10 pick-up sport activities offered daily.

York U has several athletic facilities, some of which are used for major tournaments. These include: a football stadium, 4 gymnasia, 5 sport playing fields, 4 softball fields, 9 outdoor tennis courts, 5 squash courts, 3 dance/aerobic studios, an ice arena, a swimming pool, an expanding fitness centre and the new Rexall Centre (Home of the Rogers Tennis Cup).

There were plans to build a new football and soccer statium to host the Toronto Argonauts Canadian Football League team and future football tournaments, but a deal was signed by the Argos to remain at the Rogers Centre (formerly known as the SkyDome).

Campuses

Keele Campus, York's main campus, is located in North York and most of the university's faculties reside here.

York also has a bilingual liberal arts campus, Glendon College. Glendon is the only place in Southern Ontario that offers university courses in both French and English.

The Schulich School of Business has a downtown Toronto campus called the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre.

York's Osgoode Hall Law School also has a downtown location, the Professional Development Centre, located in the Dundas West tower at Yonge and Dundas.

Students

York is Canada's third-largest university, with almost 50,000 students enrolled. Most students come from the Greater Toronto Area, but there is a sizeable population of students from across Canada and abroad. To serve this large population, there are 225 student clubs and organizations; two student-run publications and three broadcast programs; two art galleries; 33 on-campus eateries; and a retail mall.

Colleges

York has 9 undergraduate residential colleges:

  • Atkinson 1961- named after The Toronto Star founding publisher Joseph E. Atkinson
  • Bethune 1970 - named after Dr. Norman Bethune
  • Calumet 1970 - a native nations word for "Peacepipe"
  • Founders 1965 - named after the founders of the university
  • Glendon 1966 - a combination of "glen," meaning "valley", and "Don" for the Don River.
  • McLaughlin 1968 - after Sam McLaughlin, patron and manufacturer.
  • Stong 1970 - named after the family on whose land is the main campus
  • Vanier 1965 - named after Governor General Georges Vanier
  • Winters 1968 - named after federal Liberal MP Robert Winters

Faculties and Abbreviations

  • Arts & Sciences (AS)
  • Atkinson, Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies (AK)
  • Education (ED)
  • Environmental Studies (ES)
  • Fine Arts (FA)
  • Glendon College (GL)
  • Graduate Studies (GS)
  • Osgoode Hall Law School (OS)
  • Schulich School of Business (SB)
  • Science and Engineering (SC)

Seneca@York

York also shares the Keele Campus with Seneca College, Seneca@York, and offers a number of joint programs with Seneca College:

  • School of Communication Arts
  • Computer Studies
  • Biological Science and Applied Chemistry
  • Corporate and Technical Communications

Transit

York University is a classic commuter school. Over 85% of the students and 90% of the staff have home addresses in the GTA, and most of them commute by car or transit. Given the size of the main Keele campus, traffic congestion is problematic.

York University's Glendon and Keele campuses are served by Toronto Transit Commission, but the Keele site is also served by York Region Transit buses (both regular and Viva) from the immediate north, GO Transit express buses from several other Toronto suburbs and Greyhound buses for regional transportation. The department of Security, Parking and Transportation Services operates a shuttle service to GO Transit's York University train station on its Bradford corridor, as the station is not within walking distance. Close to fourteen hundred buses move people through the campus each day. A proposed extension of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line beyond its current terminus would run directly under the campus, creating new stations at Keele and Finch (Finch West), at the centre of campus (York University), and at Steeles Avenue, interfacing with York Region Transit (Steeles West).

Controversies

There is a long tradition of activist politics on campus, and that has resulted in vocal demonstrations, particularly concerning issues relating to the Middle East and economic globalization. There have been criticisms of both the activists, for disrupting classes and provoking confrontations with other students, and against the university administration for its response to demonstrators and activists, including expulsion and alleged police misconduct against activists.

As well, a recent (2005) controversy arose regarding the sale of university land for a housing development. The land was sold for C$15.8 million to a developer, Tribute Communities, which has close ties with the university administration. Tribute Communities allegedly did not pay the full market price for the land. York University maintained that the proposal, mostly consisting of townhouses, was the best overall concept. A retired judge, Edward Saunders, cleared York University.

In October 2005, Professor David Noble, in opposition to York's practice of cancelling classes on the Jewish High Holidays, which originated in 1974 in deference to the university's large Jewish enrolment, applied to the university's senate body for review of the policy. On the York senate's affirmation of the policy, he pledged that he would teach on those days anyway, but later said that he would instead poll students in his courses to see if they want him to cancel future classes out of respect for any religious holiday they may observe. He argued: "Look, I have very diverse classes and I want to dramatize the point that we are a multicultural, publicly funded university, so we should either recognize all religious high holidays or none." Noble, himself of Jewish ancestry, believes a secular institution should not cancel classes for religious holidays.

Former Presidents

  • Murray G Ross 1959-1970
  • David Slater 1970-1973
  • H. Ian Macdonald 1973-1984
  • Harry W. Arthurs 1985-1992
  • Susan Mann 1993-1997

Most Famous Chancellor

Noted alumni

Noted faculty

External links

Template:Ont Uni

fr:Université York zh:约克大学