I began university with the intention of becoming an accountant, but quickly learned that math was not my strength or passion. While I was sorting out what to do next, I enrolled in a course called Industrial Relations. It was about labour policy, labour laws, collective bargaining, and employment relations. It had everything--history, sociology, political science, law, psychology and public policy--all tied up in one course. It dealt with real life practical issues, but did so in a manner that drew on deep academic theories and important public debates. I immediately switched my major to Industrial Relations, and the direction of my life forever changed.
I went on to law school and became a labour lawyer, yet I always felt the pull to return to academia. Now, many years on from those undergraduate years, I find myself as Director of the largest university department in Canada devoted to the study of work and all it entails. With 15 full-time faculty and over a 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the School of Human Resource Management (SHRM) at York University is Canada's leader in the field.
At the School of HRM, students are learning to become future leaders in human resource management, organizational behaviour, industrial psychology, industrial and labour relations, work law, and labour policy. The School offers Bachelor's degrees in HRM, as well the very popular executive Masters of HRM (MHRM) and Ph.D programs. Our mix of theoretical, conceptual, and practical education ensure our graduates are in high demand in the labour market.
A great strength of SHRM is its exceptional faculty. My own background, as I noted above, is in labour and employment law and industrial relations. I look at the world of work through a legal and critical lens. Some of my SHRM colleagues do the same, however a great benefit of working at SHRM is that our award winning, nationally and internationally recognized faculty, examine work from a wide range of academic perspectives and disciplines. SHRM faculty have academic backgrounds in fields as diverse as psychology, organizational behaviour, industrial relations, gender studies, management studies, human resource management, critical management theory, economics, and law. What ties the faculty together is their interest in the relationships through which work is performed.
This diversity of expertise has produced an exciting environment for learning and the exchange of ideas. Few academic programs expose students to such a wide range of ideas, disciplines, opinions, and research methodologies. A result is that students graduate armed not only with a vast arsenal of practical skills and knowledge, but also with critical problem solving skills needed to excel in the modern labour market and in a complex world.
As I enter the second year of my term as School Director, there are plans to hire more faculty and to continue to grow the programs to ensure SHRM remains a national leader in the field. I am excited about the years to come. Please take some time to learn about the programs offered by York University’s School of Human Resource Management, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Dr. David J. Doorey
Director, School of Human Resource Management