Friday, February 9, 2007

All hail the chief

In somewhat of an unprecedented move, York as selected its new president, Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri, who is muslim. This is pretty significant in that there aren't many visible muslim leaders in Canada's public offices. It's not unexpected that this kind of action is coming from York because this is a very multicultural university; as well, York is a pretty young school, so new approaches are pretty much par for the course. In terms of what this will mean for the university, well, the outgoing president wasn't exactly loved by the York populace, but the marked improvement to York's infrastructure during her tenure cannot be discounted. After having someone who's brought York's physical plant to one that is conducive to higher learning, the focus must now shift to enhancing York's academic competitiveness. This is an area where York reputation might not match its potential, but York must not subsribe to traditional systems in order to improve its standing. If the individual characteristics of the new president are any indication, this should not be a problem.

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