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Proposals for new York campus underway
May 21, 2014
By Ashley Glovasky

Over the summer, the university will be working on a proposal for a new campus, which is currently shortlisted for Vaughan, Markham, and Richmond Hill. According to Joanne Rider of York media, the proposal should be submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in September 2014.

The confirmation of the proposal comes after a plea made in February to president and vice-chancellor of York, Mamdouh Shoukri. Shoukri was caught offguard during a luncheon when the mayor of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua, pitched an idea for a new York campus in his city.

Shoukri confirmed his plans to propose a new York campus in the York Region in response to the MTCU’s Call For Proposals during the March 27 York senate meeting.

Rider says it is currently too early in the planning process to provide information on approximately how big the new campus will be or what programs will be offered.

In a February interview with Excalibur, Bevilacqua explained how placing the new campus within Vaughan would be beneficial to York, as he said Vaughan offers everything a university campus would be looking for.

He pointed out Vaughan’s population growth, language diversity, and connection to arts and culture.

Bevilacqua also stated how a new campus would be vital to the city’s development.

“As you know, we have a subway coming, we are building a hospital, we are building a downtown core,” Bevilacqua said.

Meeta Gandhi, director of communication services for the town of Richmond Hill, believes a new campus in Richmond Hill would benefit the town and the town would benefit the campus.

She describes the community of Richmond Hill as vibrant, and points out its transit system and balance between urban amenities and green space.

“The infrastructure is there, so we are campus-ready [...] we are very diverse, so there is a mutually supportive environment there,” says Gandhi.
Markham is currently not in the position to answer questions regarding the potential new campus.

Robert Castle, vice-president finance and administration at York, says there are many benefits to having a new campus both for the university and the shortlisted municipalities.

“A new campus will help meet the demand for increased capacity at the post-secondary level and it will provide direct and indirect economic benefits. It would contribute to the regional and provincial economies and would be seen as an important component of a vibrant urban centre,” says Castle.

He adds the university has developed a rigorous process to identify the best partner location.

During the senate meeting in March, Shoukri outlined how a new campus within one of these municipalities would benefit the university.

“The potential for a new York University campus in York Region is one more significant development in the university’s overall York Region strategy, to forge strong connections between the university, Seneca College, and all of our surrounding municipalities,” he said.

Rider says the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has indicated results of the proposal will be released early 2015.