Back to top

CAUT Bulletin Archives

June 2011

York University

The Way Must Be Tried

Michiel Horn. Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009; 328 pp; ISBN: 978-0-77353-416-2, cloth $49.95 CAD.

In 1955 a group of Toronto professionals began discussions on expanding adult education in their city. The outcome was York University, which opened in 1960 with 76 students. Today, with more than 50,000 students in 11 faculties on two campuses, York is the third largest university in Canada. Faculty and staff have grown from less than 20 to nearly 8,000. In York University: The Way Must Be Tried, Michiel Horn weaves archival research and interviews into a compelling narrative, documenting the development of an institution committed to helping professors and research span disciplinary boundaries. He covers the challenges York has faced through the years — from the 1963 faculty “revolt,” to the troubled search for a successor to founding president Murray Ross, to the budgetary problems that led to the resignation of president David Slater, as well as its many innovations and triumphs — including bilingualism at Glendon Col­lege, Osgoode Hall Law School’s Parkdale legal clinic, and Canada’s first con­current Bachelor of Education program. Archival and current photographs complement Horn’s narrative throughout. Prose and pictures chart the creation of an important Canadian institution whose commitment to solving real-world problems has led to important innovations in education and beyond.

Text provided by publisher.