Online with
Louise Ripley

Teaching Policies
Ground Rules
For all courses taught by M Louise Ripley

Joe Carter
The basic ground rule for all courses I teach is READ - texts, course materials, the business press, journals, and other material related to your course, novels just for fun, the daily newspaper, magazines, and this website and all instructions. Just about anything you want and need to know about courses I teach is here on the website. This is important for students in on-campus sections; it is crucial for Internet students. At the top of each page is a link to a comprehensive alphabetical INDEX to the entire website.

Teaching Policies

Ground Rules






Academic Honesty Level Playing Field
Attendance Libraries
Behaving Properly Margins on Papers
Binding Papers (staple only) Make Up Tests
Catching Up Using Internet Site Money Spent on Presentations
Communications Policy Page No Means No
Counseling Centre Objectives
Counseling for Specific Issues One Paper for Two Courses - Don't Do It
Course Materials Outside Preparation Time
Cover Sheet For On-Campus Courses Overloading Classes - I Don't Do it
Cover Sheet For Internet Courses Participating
Dates, Official Passwords (I use none)
Deferred Standing Peer Evaluation
Disabilities Permission to Enter forms (I don't sign)
Double or Single Spaced? Point Form
Early Handing in of Paper Preparation Time for Classes
Enrolling Late or in a Course That is Full Prerequisites
ESL Resources Presentations
Ethics Readings
Exam Substitute - Late Reappraisal of Work/Tests/Exams
Excuses References in Academic Work
Extensions Registration
Final Exam Substitute - Late Sexual Assault Survivors' Support Line
Font Size Spacing for Papers (double/single)
Format for Submitting Work Special Needs
Frequently Asked Questions Page Star Trek Business Rules
Full Course, Entering One (you can't) Starting Class Late
Group Work Structure of Classes
Grading Policy Page Submitting Work
Groups That Don't Meet (Internet) Taping Me When I Speak
Handing papers in early Teaching Objectives
How Long to Spend Preparing for Class Teamwork
Internet Course Groups Test - Taking It Late
Internet Submission of Course Work Test and Exam Policy Page
Interviews Textbooks
Language - Help with English for ESL Students Theory and Practice
Late to Class Time Limits: None on my Web Pages
Late Entry to Courses Visiting?
Late Work Warranty on Courses
Lectures Waving Hand Exercises
Learning Objectives Where to Submit Papers
Length of Paper

See also the Policy Pages on Communicating Grades  Tests, Warranty, and FAQ

Learning Objectives in Courses I Teach

Students should be able
in a global and interdisciplinary context, to do university level
critical reading thinking & writing
analysis synthesis & logic
finding organizing & evaluating of information

as shown by
Scoring at least a passing mark on tests and assignments

Students should be able
to work in the context of the subject matter
to relate theory in the field to practical situations
to function as leaders and team-members

as shown by
Scoring at least a passing mark on a team-created practice-oriented project
Being awarded full marks in peer evaluations

Students should be willing
to accept the basic principles of ethics
to accept responsibility for their own success

as shown by such things as
Exhibiting respect for fellow students, group members, the professor, and the University
Properly preparing course work
Meeting deadlines
Accepting marks as assigned (unless in error) 

Teaching Objectives

In addition to a good understanding of the course subject, I also want students to finish courses I teach with a lifelong love of and ability for learning and an understanding, gained in a safe and non-threatening classroom, that as human beings in any setting, if we don't learn to treat each other with justice equity and compassion, nothing else we do will matter much.


A Bit of Encouragement:
A crucial point about university level education to remember is that for the most part it is based on work rather than talent; if you work hard, you can achieve, maybe not at the level you did in high school at first, but you can succeed


Neither AK/ADMS2200 nor AP/ADMS/WMST 3120 which I teach has a formal prerequisite, but in order to take AP/ADMS/WMST3120 you must be able to write an essay, and in order to take either 3120 or AK/ADMS2200 by Internet you must prepared to participate in the Discussion Group and the Team project and you must agree to activate and access regularly the Discussion Group account and your email accounts
For all 4000 level ADMS Marketing courses I teach, you must either
Be in an Honours programme and have passed Introductory Marketing
Have passed Introductory Marketing with a grade of C+ or better
For all other courses I teach, there are no prerequisites
For AP/ADMS3210 Consumer Behaviour you must have passed Introductory Marketing with a mark of C+ or better
To take the course I jointly teach with Claudio Duran from Philosophy
AK/PHIL/ADMS 4295, you must
Be an Honours Level student, in any discipline
Explanation and Examples
You may take upper level Marketing courses at the School of Administrative Studies if you are a fully qualified Honours student in Marketing, have the proper grade average for Honours, have completed at least 78 credits, and earned a passing grade in Introductory Marketing (or its equivalent at another school)

You may take upper level Marketing courses at the School of Administrative Studies if you are a fully qualified Honours student in Accounting or Finance or Human Resources or any other ADMS major, have the proper grade average for Honours, have completed at least 78 credits, and earned a passing grade in Introductory Marketing (or its equivalent at another school)

You may take upper level Marketing courses at the School of Administrative Studies if you are a fully qualified Honours student in Humanities, or Science, or Psychology, or Ancient Etruscan Art, or any other Honours programme, have the proper grade average for Honours, have completed at least 78 credits, and earned a passing grade in Introductory Marketing (or its equivalent at another school)

You may take upper level Marketing courses at the School of Administrative Studies if you are a fully qualified Honours student in any area even if you only earned the lowest passing grade (D- 50%) in Introductory Marketing (but you may wish to consider whether you will be able to keep up with the material)

You may take upper level Marketing courses at the School of Administrative Studies if you don't yet qualify for Honours but earned a grade of C+ or better in Introductory Marketing (or its equivalent at another school)

You may take upper level Marketing courses at the School of Administrative Studies if you are working toward an Honours degree and have slipped out of qualification status but earned a grade of C+ or better in Introductory Marketing (or its equivalent at another school)

You may take upper level Marketing courses at the School of Administrative Studies if you have no intention of ever being an Honours student but earned a grade of C+ or better in Introductory Marketing (or its equivalent at another school)

You may take AK/ADMS4295 Philosophical and Ethical Issues in the Mass Media if you are a fully qualified Honours student, have the proper grade average for Honours, and have completed at least 78 credits

You may NOT take upper level Marketing courses at the School of Administrative Studies if you have not taken Introductory Marketing (or its equivalent at another school),

You may NOT take upper level Marketing courses at the School of Administrative Studies if you are not an Honours student and earned any mark less than C+ in Introductory Marketing (or its equivalent at another school). 

The prerequisites do not apply to FES graduate students or to Communications Studies students taking the Social Marketing course

Official School Policy on Prerequisites: Students are personally responsible to ensure that they have the required prerequisite as stated in the course syllabus or in the course calendar. Students who do not have the prerequisite are at risk of being dropped from the course at any time during the course. The School will not be responsible for refunds resulting from students being dropped from a course due to a lack of the appropriate prerequisite.
Do not doubt the seriousness of that responsibility; the administration can and does regularly de-enrol students who do not have the prerequisite, even in the twelfth week of classes. 
Do not ask me to waive prerequisites; I don't do it. 


You must be registered to attend the School of Administrative Studies classes or participate in online courses. If you are not on my registration list, I cannot mark your work or give you a grade. Enrol through the online enrollment process (from York Home Page, click on "Current Students", then on "Add/Drop A Course" to get to the Registration and Enrolment Module - REM). Do this before the "Enrol Without Instructor's Permission" date (see Registrar's Page for specific date). If the course is full, keep trying up until that date, as students do drop. I do not give permission for any student to enrol after that date for any reason.

Why You Can't Enrol Late  or in a Course That's Full

Many students ask me each term about enrolling in a course that is already full, or enrolling after the "Enrol Without Instructor's Permission" date if students have dropped. I do not ever overload my classes and I do not accept any students in any course for any reason whatsoever after the "Enrol Without Permission" date. 

We have literally hundreds of students trying to get into full courses and there is no way that I can fairly judge who needs the course most. But it's more than that; this is a union workload issue. Our classes are already ridiculously large: 100 to 250 students in third-year classes that used to be limited to 35, and 60 or more students in so-called Honours Seminars that should be limited to 12. When YUFA went on strike in 1997, one of the issues we went out over was class size, and my union, rightfully, tells me that I cannot fight for smaller class sizes and also simultaneously voluntarily overload my classes. So I do not ever overload classes I teach. 

As to entering after the "Enter Without Instructor's Permission" date, this date is three weeks into the course, and in a 12 week course that means you have already missed one quarter of the course. It's not fair to you, to other students, or to me as the professor to let you enrol then and try to catch up. 

If you still think that you are "special" and deserve favours that no one else gets and insist upon trying to enrol in a full class or in a class I teach after the "Enrol Without Permission" date, do this: Find five other students who are also trying to get into this class and have them accompany you to see me in my office where each of them will explain to me in detail why you should be allowed to enrol instead of them; if they are convincing, I may consider reviewing your request. This is all I have to say on this matter; if you email me or talk to me to try to take the matter further, I will simply politely refer you back to this page. 

You cannot join a class, do the work and take the tests, get it all graded, and then later enroll. If you are not on my registration list, I won't mark your papers. This goes for whether you do this deliberately or whether it just happens to you. Even if I wanted to let you do this, I am not allowed to. REGISTER FOR YOUR COURSE AND REGISTER ON TIME

Starting Late in a Course 

In a traditional course, it may be possible to repair the damage of one missed week, but beyond that, catch-up football is a tough game. If you miss the first class, it is up to you to catch up and to find other newcomers with whom to form a group where group work is required because you cannot join a group already working. If you arrive late for whatever reason, there is no provision for making up work already handed in, and no extension of any deadlines. If you have missed the first two weeks of class, I seriously recommend that you drop the course and take it at a time when you can give it the attention it deserves. Do NOT miss the first class of Consumer Behaviour in the Summer S1 short six-week version.  

Dates, Official in Calendar
See the Calendar for Academic Dates for each term, including the dates by which you must drop a course to obtain a refund and withdraw without a failure recorded on your record; you are responsible for meeting these deadlines. 

Academic Honesty
Work submitted for individual credit must be the work of the individual student and work submitted for group credit must be the work of the students in the group. I encourage you to discuss any work done outside of class with anyone else including other students, fellow workers, or experts in the field, but ultimately the work handed in or written in-class must be your own. Work submitted to one course must be prepared solely for that one course, unless you have obtained prior permission from all the professors involved to submit the same piece to more than one course; while I am supportive of interdisciplinary study, I do not encourage the use of material for assignments submitted to me that has previously been used for another course. Violation of these premises is grounds for prosecution under the rules of the Faculty and the University, and will be dealt with under the rules regarding breaches of academic dishonesty, described in the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty, which you are requested to read and which forms part of the conditions you agree to by staying registered in any course I teach. Remember that the greatest crime in plagiarism is the loss to the plagiarizer of the opportunity for learning. It's basically simple - Always your own work; if not, cite the source.  


Come to Class on Time
I know it's hard to get to York from anywhere and that you may occasionally arrive late to class. Just slip in quietly, don't walk between me and students if I'm speaking, or in front of the overhead projector (people DO these things!). I won't yell at you or make fun of you (ask me about my U of T Finance professor and the "cup of coffee"). In an Internet course, there is really no such thing as coming late to a class, one of the intriguing aspects of Internet teaching, but be careful you don't abuse this - don't wait until the last week to start the work (people do this too).

Speak Up in Class/On Line
What you get out of a course is highly correlated with what you put in. Your learning is dependent on your active participation in learning opportunities offered to you. I do not give participation marks in large classes and all my classes are large so I don't take attendance per se. Recognize, however, that participation is one of the best ways to learn material and get the most out of a course. This goes for Internet courses as well. We don't meet physically but we meet in the online Discussion Group. Participate in discussions, whether or not it earns you points; it will help you learn the material and do better on tests and assignments. It also makes it easier for me to find that extra half point you may need or to write a good letter of recommendation for you, if I know you from your participation.

Note that, regardless of your reason, if you contact me for the first time in the last two weeks of classes to tell me you have had difficulties that prevented you from attending regularly, there will be nothing I can do for you at that late date 

Waving Hand Exercises

Watch for the Waving Hand in the learning units; it signals an exercise for you to do and prepare to answer, either in class or in the online Discussion Group. In some courses there are specific assignments based on these questions. In all courses, the material covered in them shows up on tests. There are lots of questions; true to my own liberal arts undergraduate education, I teach more by asking questions than by instructing. Not every question has a waving hand. If you find a question you'd like to address in class or in the Discussion Group, ask it. If you have a question that isn't in the book or the notes, ask it. I consistently find that students who participate fully in these kinds of exercises do better on tests. Read more about the Waving Hand Exercises in the Communications Policy Page.

Submit Work Properly
Cite the source of any information you obtain directly, from anywhere, particularly statistics, and including people you speak to (see Interviewing). This applies to direct quotes (this should be obvious), but it also applies to concepts outside the realm of common knowledge, original ideas, unusual ways of describing something. If you don't cite your source, including using as your own an idea you heard from someone else, it is plagiarism. Use the APA format; it is simpler for the writer than the old-fashioned footnote and easier for the reader. Immediately after the segment you are quoting, right in the body of the paper, put the author, date of publication, and page number in parentheses; then be sure to include in your section called "References" the full reference to any work you cited in the body of the paper. Here are some examples of what needs to be cited and what does not.  

Colouring one's hair has long been a favourite method of cosmetic change. No citation is needed; this is a fact in common knowledge.  
Studies found that people with green hair lived three times longer than those with blonde or brown hair. (Smith and Singh 2007). You are referring to a specific piece of information that not everyone knows, something that was discussed in an article or book; you are not quoting the authors' actual words so you do not use quotation marks but you do cite the source, without page numbers.  
After interviewing more than ten thousand people with green hair, Smith and Singh concluded that, "people with green hair just seem to have it more together." (Smith and Singh 2007:23). You are not only referring to a specific piece of information that someone found out in a study, you are quoting their exact words in the place where you read about their study. 

Then in the "References" section at the end of the paper, list the work:

Smith, John and Irma Singh (2007) "The Marketing of Hair Colour," Journal of Cosmetic Improvements 25 (2):136-147.

When citing a work that is contained in another work, include both works in the Reference: 

Singh, Irma and John Smith (2007) "The History of Hair Colour," in Cormorant, Jane and Bill Puffin (2007) Hair-Raising Tales. Toronto: Wildlife Publishing Company. 

When writing for a course with a textbook, try not to cite too often from the textbook; your professor has already read it (we assume!). Do cite it if you have taken a direct quote or statistic from it, but you should generally avoid taking direct quotes from course textbooks such as that in Introductory Marketing. You are more likely to quote from a book used in Gender Issues, but still, don't overdo it.

For interviews, list the person's name, title, company, and the date and location you spoke with them

Smith, John (2007) Interview with John Smith, Head Research Associate, Smith and Singh Research Associates, Toronto, March 26. 

For material obtained from the Internet, include a Webliography: list the URL so that someone reading your paper (including you later) can find the same place. 

Smith, John (2007) "Making Life Better One Hair Colour at a Time." Online Article:, March 26. 

Use the term "References" because you are listing only sources you have cited (sources to which you "refer"). This is different from a "Bibliography" which may list related works whether or not you cited them in your paper. Do not include a Bibliography unless specifically instructed to in the course Assignments Page. 

In some course Assignment Pages I have said that "references may be informal;" This means you may include most of the reference in the paper itself without having a "References" section:  

A recent article in the Globe and Mail (2/14/07: B14) pointed out that hair colouring is among the most significant issues covered by their reporters in the last twenty years. 

Format for Submitting Papers 
Also important in proper submission of work is the skill of producing what you are asked to produce in terms of both content and format. At least part of your mark depends on following instructions on format and on putting your assignment together.

Formal Outline - Some assignments will require you to submit a "formal outline." This refers to the classic outline you learned in elementary and high school. For an example, click here or use Google or any other search engine and do a search on the Internet under "outline for paper".

Point Form - Some assignments will require you to submit in "point form." Point form is not achieved simply by putting a bullet in front of each full sentence in what would otherwise be prose. Point form involves writing as succinctly as possible while still making yourself understood. Here is an example (taken from the Solomon text that we use for the Consumer Behaviour course)

Original Prose NOT Correct Point Form Correct Point Form
Self-esteem is influenced by a process where the consumer compares his or her actual standing on some attribute to an ideal. A consumer might ask, "Am I as attractive as I would like to be?" "Do I make as much money as I should?" and so on. The ideal self is a person's conception of how he or she would like to be, while the actual self is our more realistic appraisal of the qualities we do and don't have.
  • Self esteem is influenced by a process where the consumer compares his or her actual standing on some attribute to an ideal
  • A consumer might ask, "Am I as attractive as I would like to be?"
  • "Do I make as much money as I should?" and so on.
  • The ideal self is a person's conception of how  he or she would like to be
  • The actual self is our more realistic appraisal of the qualities we do and don't have
  • Self esteem influenced by comparing actual to ideal

           -- as attractive as would like?
           -- make as much money?

  • Ideal Self - how would like to be
  • Actual Self - how really are

When preparing assignments, unless otherwise stated in a course Assignments Page, all assignments must be 

In Microsoft Word or compatible format
Double-spaced unless specified (e.g.: the Marketing Plan is single-spaced; almost all other work is double-spaced)
Typed in nothing smaller than 11-point type (in type size, 11 is smaller than 12)
In standard font only - Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Ariel (NOT Ariel Narrow)
and in only one font
In black print only

In Portrait orientation only, not Landscape (i.e.: printed vertically not horizontally)

In single column format (not double-column, like a newspaper or magazine)
With 1" margins all around
Without fancy graphics, charts, pictures, or colour - just writing.
Of the length specified in the assignment; length limits are maximums; you may always write less but you will lose points for writing more, even one word more
With a Cover Page (see separate instructions for in-class cover sheet and internet course cover sheet below)
With your name(s) ONLY on the cover page, so that I may mark fairly, without knowing whose paper it is
Always keep a copy of any assignment you submit to anywhere in any course

Instructions for Submitting Papers for Internet Courses

If submitting electronically in an Internet course, send to the Website to Upload Assignments of the Office of Computing Technology and e-Learning Services . Use the Cover Sheet provided at that Website.

Sometimes you will be asked to send the assignment to the professor's email address instead of to e-Services. Check your course syllabus to see which is required.

SEND SUBMISSIONS ONLY ONCE The Centre will eventually send you a receipt; it may take a day or two as there are three staff members and hundreds of distance courses of which our course is only one.

Always keep a Back-Up Copy of any assignment you submit to anywhere in any course

Additional Instructions for Submitting Papers in an On-Campus Course

If submitting in an on-campus course, or by hand or courier for an Internet course to the Office of Computing Technology and e-Learning Services, 2120 TEL (drop slot for after-hours delivery):
Type on ordinary typing paper (no coloured paper, no watermark, no expensive rag bond, no stiff paper, no laminated pages, nothing enclosed in plastic). Papers handed in anywhere other than where directed in the Course Syllabus will not be counted as handed in and will not be graded.
Staple ONLY, in the upper left hand corner USE NO BINDERS 
with a Front Cover Sheet listing: 
Title of Paper The Marketing of Death
Course Number & Name AK/ADMS3210.30A Consumer Behaviour
Individual Student's Name
(for individual assignment)
Group Number & Product Name
            followed by 
Alphabetical list of group members
            LAST NAMES FIRST
Theodore L. Bagnasty
Group 13 - Customized Coffins
Alastname, Onemember
Bagnasty, Theodore L.
Clastname, Threemember
Professor Paper is Submitted To Submitted to: Professor M Louise Ripley
Due Date March 30, 2012

Use no student numbers on Group Work papers
We post grades by the last 6 digits of your student number
If you don't want me to do this, inform me by email by the end of the second week of classes

Always keep a copy of any assignment you submit to anywhere in any course

On Proper Format

If all this seems like a lot of fuss over font size, margins, and spacing, realize that I do not read beyond the required pages, and I deduct marks for papers that are too long; it is unethical to hand in a paper that tries to squeeze in more words than you are allowed to write. It's also unfair to other students; in any course I teach, you will NOT get extra marks for adding more, and in fact, you will lose marks, so do not worry about someone else writing a longer paper and getting thereby a better grade; they won't. Consider these facts for a 3-page paper: 

If you type your assignment as requested, double-space, with 11 point type and 1" margins
you will produce a paper with roughly
1200 words 
If you stretch the truth and hand in a paper with lines at 1-1/2 space rather than double
you will produce a paper with roughly
1600 words
 (the equivalent of roughly one more full page than those who followed requirements)
And if you flaunt the requirements and hand in a paper typed single spaced
you will produce a paper with roughly
2400 words
twice the length it's supposed to be

Every organization has expectations of how a report should look. This affects the success of your final product and how it will be received by your target market, whether it's a marketing plan for Nestlé, a critical analysis paper for a course, a bid for a freelance contract, an application for government funding to unearth Etruscan relics, or your résumé in a job search. Content and theory are obviously important, but so is the organization and appearance of your work. The final paper must look professional, and will be marked accordingly. Use bullets, make judicious use of white space, and avoid clutter and long passages of unbroken prose.

Using the required format

follows business practice of standard report formats 
makes sure your target audience will read it; a clearly written document with judicious use of white space and bulleting will get read while the solid block of twenty pages of unbroken rambling prose in single-spaced type will sit at the bottom of the pile until your reader has nothing better to do  
makes it easier for you to check that you have done everything that was asked for and thereby guarantees you a higher mark; I deduct marks for things that are improperly submitted and I can't give marks for things I can't find
makes it easier for the grader, and for me, to grade consistently & fairly
is the ethical thing to do. Ethical standards include not only ensuring that work is done by those whose names appear on the cover sheet and that the work of others is cited, it also requires that you follow the rules. If everyone else is limited to 3 pages double-spaced, it is not ethical to print it in single space in order to hand in the equivalent of 6 pages

And if you're still not clear on why I insist on strict page limits, read on:

The Level Playing Field

Students sometimes write to say that my policy of "earn the lowest mark given if handed in one week late" is a harsh policy. Here is a the reason I have it, taken from an email to a student.

In the "real" world, there are no late penalty clauses at all. Mature responsible people do what they have to do and they get on with their responsibilities. They don't waste time bleating about how unfair life is. Students write to say that my policy is not fair IN THEIR SITUATION, which leaves me to conclude that my rules seem fair for other people, just not for them. This is what the Level Playing Field is all about.

The Level Playing Field is an important part of feminist pedagogy. The concept arises out of the fact that without strict policies, it is too easy for some people, privileged people, usually male people, usually white people, to weasel their way into special considerations that female people and black people, and disabled people, and people who don't look like us and who don't have our privileged backgrounds aren't able to talk us out of. That is why I have what may seem to be a harsh policy - so that it is evenly applied, so that I am not likely to listen more sympathetically to a reason that might strike more closely on my heartstrings because it is a situation with which I am more familiar than one with which I am not.

Before you write me to tell me that your situation is special and that you deserve extra time that someone else in the same class is not going to get, think through the concept of the Level Playing Field and try to understand why I find these requests offensive. Realize that while you have had your difficult times, every student in the class has in their own way had a difficult time as well. Perhaps your grandmother died, but a single mother during the same time perhaps had to work and tend a sick child. Perhaps your boss asked you to work until 2:00 in the morning to finish a presentation, but a full time student during the same time may have had to take three tests and hand in two lengthy essays. Each student has their own set of problems. It is your responsibility to find a way to balance all your responsibilities and get your work in on time. That said, there are some small number of cases where special consideration is merited, but I can assure you that those times are extremely exceptional. In those rare circumstances, do approach me for consideration for extenuating circumstances.

Another place where I work hard to guarantee a Level Playing Field is length of papers. Students sometimes seem to feel I am being irrational when I tell them that they will lose marks for even one line beyond the length limit. But the issue comes down to not only "how many lines over?" but also who gets to go a few lines over? If I allow one student to write four pages plus one line, what do I do with the student who writes four pages plus two lines? And if I allow four pages plus four lines, what do I do with the student who writes four pages plus five lines?

But more insidious, and deep in the heart of systemic discrimination, is the question of who gets to write more. Let's say we're a company of pretty traditional senior management, white, male, and either heterosexual or at least still in the closet. Suppose there is a competition, let's say for a job posting, and the instructions say "write one page only" (describing your strengths, qualifications, etc.) John Smith, W.A.S.P. (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) heterosexual, might write 1 1/4 pages, but we know him, he's worked for the firm for a long time, he's white and male like the rest of the management team, but we don't actually think about that, we only think, hey, John knows how things work, we'll let his 1/4 page slip by.

Then we look at Mary Jones, also W.A.S.P. but female. She's written a page and two lines. We don't really like the idea of Mary becoming an executive because she just wouldn't fit in with the golfing outings and what about that men-only executive washroom, but we aren't thinking about that consciously; it just seems that day that we're going to enforce the application rules more strictly.

Then let's take the case of Randir Singh, graduated a while ago from Harvard Business School top of his class, bright and capable, and wrote by far the most impressive summary of whatever it was we asked for, but we KNOW he won't fit in; we've never had a person of colour in the upper ranks before. Well, look at that - he wrote one word over the page limit. We can toss his application in the circular file.

This is a slightly exaggerated story for the purposes of explication, but sadly not all that much of an exaggeration of what goes on all the time in organizations, including schools. The point is that if we're going to treat people fairly, we have to have some standard on which to fairly judge them. If the length of their description does not matter (as it didn't with John Smith), then say so and let each candidate write however much they want. If we say it does matter, then how do you justify allowing a certain amount of length over the limit for one candidate but not for others, or put even more simply - at what point do you decide that "over the limit" is too far over the limit?

The really sad thing is that Randir Singh and Mary Jones will never know the real reason why their application was rejected. They will be told they did not follow directions or did not meet requirements. The even sadder thing is that many people who practice this kind of inequality every day of the year may have no idea whatsoever that what they are doing is discriminatory. They won't have thought through Mary's gender or Randir's race; they figure they had good reasons for letting John talk on a bit more and they never recognized what they were doing.

Hence, in classes I teach, when I say FOUR PAGES DOUBLE-SPACED IN 11 POINT TYPE WITH ONE INCH MARGINS that's what you have to submit or you lose marks. Period. I don't care what colour you are or what race or what gender or social class or sexual orientation you are, or who your parents were or weren't. You must follow the directions.

Note that any description you are given for submission of an assignment is the basic outline which, if you follow it precisely, should yield a mark of C+ or B. If you want a better mark, show some originality, some extra effort, some particularly innovative thinking, some especially thorough analysis or research, some clever new ways of viewing things and phrasing things. Remember too that you are being graded in comparison with your peers. What you might think is a superb paper (on which you worked very hard) may not be as good as what someone else produced and you may not earn the A you thought you would. In an education system based on grades and averages, I cannot give all A's. 

Where to Submit Papers/Handing in Early
If the instructions on your course syllabus or assignment sheet say to hand in a paper by a certain time in in the classroom (usually within the first 15 minutes), the paper must be handed in at the classroom. With large classes now I often have the luxury of a marker, and she comes to pick the papers up in class. A paper handed in at the ADMS office at 5:00 pm or 7:00 pm will not make it into the pile of papers s/he picks up. If you cannot get to class, send it with someone, or contact me directly ( about a way to submit the paper early enough that I can take it to class with me. 

You may see PowerPoint in many of your business courses and at work, but I no longer require formal class student-presentations. For too many years, the only people who turned up that day where those who were presenting, while the rest of the class was off practicing their own PowerPoint show. I also got tired of trying to give marks for presenting. When people do well they automatically expect an A and it's hard to differentiate between a B+ presentation and an A one. When they don't do well... well, I just never did find a polite way to give a group a mark of D and say "you put me to sleep." 

That doesn't mean you won't get practice presenting. I frequently ask for impromptu on-the-spot presentation of material relevant to that day's topic that you've learned from your project or your readings. I'll call on you for a verbal explanation. I might hand a group an acetate and a marker and give you five minutes to create a presentation. I'll send groups away for 15 minutes and ask for a skit when you come back. I regularly ask you to get up without a single visual aid and tell us in everyday English what you're working on. I almost always ask that you speak without notes; this is a crucial life-skill (I'm still practicing myself), and these techniques will be far more valuable to you in the long run in a business career than knowing the latest technology which is always going to change soon anyway. 

Spending Too Much on Presenting

Whether you are presenting live, or presenting me with a finished assignment in person or over the Internet, alone or in a group, you may spend no more than $10 total on it, per group, and you should not spend anything. I started this rule after a well-meaning group in Introductory Marketing did their project on a bakery and, without checking with me, spent $420 to bring cakes for a class of 120 the night of their presentation. It was a sweet gesture (pun intended) but simply not appropriate. I request plain paper without binders because it's easier for me to grade and carry. Don't spend money on gadgets or props or products or paper; instead put your efforts into content and creativity that comes from the mind. 

Readings, Course and Research Materials

  Courses I teach have a fairly normal workload for a business course, and a light reading load compared to Humanities courses in which you might read at least a book a week. See the individual course syllabus for specific texts and reading assignments.

When preparing for my part in a course, I assume you have read the readings and I don't regurgitate textbook material. A major part of my role as professor is to help you sort out what is most important in a subject at the level at which you are studying it and to see the links between theory and practice. I plan almost all course activities to achieve these goals. In Internet courses, I have made an effort to ensure that my web materials closely follow the text book, something that is necessary when you don't have me in a classroom to help make the links between what might otherwise seem like disparate material.

You need the material specified for the course in the term that you are taking it. If it's only recommended and not required, you'll be told that. In cases where there are many textbooks and editions in an area (e.g. Introductory Marketing), you need to have the same text as the rest of the class and the same edition. If you were learning Marketing on your own, you could use almost any textbook, but in a formal class, particularly a knowledge-intake course such as Introductory Marketing, you must have the right book and the right edition. This is particularly important with respect to tests which are prepared using the computerized test banks for a particular text and edition, and textbooks which contain CD-ROMs. 

There are many ways to obtain the texts needed for your courses. The main one is the York Bookstore but if you can't find what you need there, you can also try UTS Bookstore, right across Keele Street from the main entrance to the University, and a new Used-Book Link where you can purchase C2C (customer to customer) from other York students. Like many professors, I put a copy of the text I use on Reserve in the Library and in some cases you can find the book you need at your local or online bookstore. In all courses I teach, your course syllabus and often lecture notes are available on the web. Go to my Teaching Page and click on the course name. 

Keep Current in Assigned Readings
A rule of thumb for university work suggests approximately two hours preparation for every hour in a traditional class. For internet courses, add the normal in-class hours (3 per week) to the combination of your outside preparation time and the time you spend on the Discussion Group. I warn you that if you like e-communication, you may find yourself spending more than three hours a week in the Discussion Group. I certainly do, but interacting with students is my favourite part of any course.

Reading Beyond the Assigned Readings

Read the newspaper and the business press for practical day-to-day examples of what we study. You will learn and teach others by bringing what you have read to course discussions. You will need to read more specifically in the area you have chosen for any project or paper. You are encouraged to read more. Additional reading will help you better understand the material and perform better in course work and ultimately to succeed in your career. Read material that is not assigned if you have a particular interest in the area, or if you miss a class that deals with that material. Read also for enjoyment and remember that Reading improves your Writing.   

York has excellent libraries; see General Library Information. The Schulich School of Business houses the Peter F. Bronfman Business Library, in S237, Seymour Schulich Building. There is a librarian there, Sophie Bury, whose time is specifically dedicated to the School of Administrative Studies. 

Bronfman Library Hours

Building Hours Reference Hours
Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 pm 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm
Friday 9:00 a.m. to 600 pm 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm 10:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Key Contacts

Telephone Circulation or Reference Queries 416-736-5139
email Reference Queries 
Liaison Librarian 
for School of Administrative Studies
Sophie Bury
ext. 66951


Library Collection:

Print Resources include
Business Books (a circulating, reference, and reserve collection)
Microfilm Resources include primarily
Some journal titles
Electronic Resources include
Full-text e-journals
Journal and newspaper article databases (many full text) supporting keyword searching, e.g.: ABI, INFORM, Global, CBCA Complete, Expanded Academia, Factiva, and more
Databases featuring company and/or industry information, e.g.: Financial Post Investor Suite, Mergent Online, Investext Plus
Market Research Databases, e.g.: Datamonitor and Reuters Business Insight
Sources of financial data including Bloomberg and Datastream, CRSP, TSX/CFMRC, WRDS
Access online resources by:

To Get a Library Card:
Bring your current York sessional identification card to the circulation desk of any of the York Libraries. 

Web Materials
All courses have an online course kit that includes the Policy Pages like this (taupe stripe), the pages listed across the top, and the pages specific to that course (colour coded):

You have permission to download, print, or photocopy these course kits for your own use, or for the use of someone in your class who may not have easy Internet access, but beyond that, they are copyrighted material and you must treat them as such. You particularly may not reproduce them in any form for sale or profit. 

Do NOT print materials from the web in their entirety on the first day of class expecting they won't change. Certain things like weights of course elements and test and assignment dates that we are requested to confirm within the first two weeks of a course and stick to, do not change. I do, however, add to the course materials as we go, just as I update my lectures each time I teach. This is particularly important in an Internet course. Do not print out the Policy Pages; you won't find a binder large enough to hold it all! Reference it on the web as needed, using the Index or the Search Engine on the home page. 

No Time Limits
I don't put any time limits on any of my course materials on the web, so you may use them at any time during the course and you may always return to them afterwards. See After-Sales-Service-Warranty.

When your studies involve interviewing people as a source of information, (and they are a marvelous source), ethical research standards and York's policy on research state that you have an obligation to inform them clearly of who you are, what you are doing and why, to guarantee them anonymity if they wish it, and to inform them that they have the right to withdraw their participation at any time. List your interview with them in the References section, including the person's name, title, company, and the date and location you spoke with them. 

Taping Me When I Speak

When I speak in class, I do not mind if you wish to audio-tape me, but I ask that you put the recorder where I can't see it, those things make me nervous! You may use the tape only for your own study purposes, and you may not sell tapes of my lectures. You may NOT video-tape me. 

No Passwords

I use no passwords on any of my material. I recommend you access my page directly rather than through a York platform; it looks better and works better. Bookmark the course syllabus page and go to it directly at any time. Because I don't use password protection, anyone anywhere may access my web pages at any time. Only officially enrolled students can sign up for the Discussion Group and have papers and tests graded, but beyond that, if you are reading this as a visitor from away, you are welcome to read! York "sells" credits leading to a degree, not the content of the subjects I teach. I have no use for the concept of so-called "confidentiality," often cited as a reason for putting password protection on materials. In the first place, it does not exist: nothing is truly confidential; anything can be found out if you know how or who. But worse is its abuse. In one of the Amanda Cross* mystery novels, the heroine states her belief that confidentiality is just something used to keep undesirables (like women and Blacks) out of the old white boys' networks, and I tend to agree. I honour confidentiality of student information and I honour someone else's confidentiality if they ask for it, but I do not ask for confidentiality because I don't believe it exists. I do ask that you respect copyright because that is a case of law: cite the source if you quote it, and do not use it to make money, but I don't keep anything under lock and key.  

*Amanda Cross - pseudonym of a noted feminist scholar at Columbia University, Caroline Heilbrunner. My favourite of her murder mystery books is Death in a Tenured Position

I came fully to my decision that confidentiality does not exist when I was writing my novel about the American Civil War. As I sat reading letters from General J.E.B. Stuart to his wife about his commanding officer, General Robert E. Lee, letters which were not always flattering to Lee, I realized that Jeb as he wrote those letters to his wife could have had no idea that 130 years later I would be sitting at my computer desk reading them. Write anything that you write as if you expected the world to read it; eventually it might happen.  

Behaving Properly
In the classroom or online, classes I teach start with the assumption that we will not treat each other improperly on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, class, money, or power, or academic ability. Those who do not adhere to this practice are subject to the penalties called for in the York Senate Policy on Disruptive Behaviour. From  recent classroom experience, here are some basics

Address each other politely and properly and in an orderly way, making any challenges with respect for the person being challenged, stopping when asked to stop, and allowing the other person to stop if they wish. 


Know the difference between questions for information and statements of opinion. Both are valid, but taking ownership of our words means we don't do the latter while pretending to do the former.


This applies when a woman or man says s/he doesn't want to participate in sex with you, it applies when someone in your class tells you they don't want to talk about something any more, and it applies when a professor tells you that the answer is No. I find it a measure of great disrespect to be asked by a student to meet with them so they can argue further against an answer of "NO" that I already have given (as in "please change my mark"). NO MEANS NO. Read more on this in Reappraisals

Check out also the Policy on Communications on "Netiquette"

Ethics is an important component of business and you are expected to consider it in everything you do, including but not limited to: 

How you think through course readings and analyze cases

How you treat people 


fellow students

group members

anyone you talk to in your research

university staff

striking workers on a legal picket line

How you write and submit work

submissions must be the work of those submitting it for credit
use proper citation to give credit for the work of others
submit required lengths: it is unethical submit a paper with narrower margins or smaller type than those specified in a paper of limited length

How you do research with live respondents - inform respondents of 

who you are and exactly what you are doing

their right to anonymity if requested

their right to stop participating at any time

Special Needs Students (Learning Disabilities)

Years ago, a student with dyslexia taught me the concept that we all have "learning disabilities;" I had expressed my admiration of his ability to remember so much of what was said in class discussion without taking a single note. My own disability has to do with learning by ear, and as I came to realize my difficulties in this area, I finally came to understand why as a student I had to take down every word in lectures and why I hate the telephone. I am supportive of students with learning disabilities and of York's programmes to help. 

There are, however, limits to what what we can do. In our highly competitive business programme, there are certain levels of knowledge which you must demonstrate in particular ways before proceeding to higher levels of study. I strive to maintain a level playing field for everyone, and while that means that I'm willing to compensate for your learning disability, I cannot simply excuse you from parts of the evaluation process that are pedagogically necessary or required to maintain the integrity of the course and the programme. Hence

You can have more time in which to take a test, but I cannot excuse you from a test 

You can take your test in the Learning Disabilities Centre, but you cannot have a take-home test instead of an in-class test

You can take the test at a slightly different time, but not much before or after the rest of the class 

You can use the services and equipment provided by the Learning Disabilities Centre, but you cannot bring your own computer to a closed-book test

You can expect your group, in a course with group work, to cut you a little slack (if you ask them or ask me to speak to them) but you cannot be excused from all your obligations to them as a group and you cannot expect them to accommodate you without some explanation of why 

You cannot substitute assignments for tests. There are pedagogical reasons for particular kinds of measurement of particular skills and learning, and a take-home assignment, while an excellent test of many kinds of learning, does not cover all kinds of learning acquisition 

You cannot ask for special consideration only a day or a week before a test date or before an assignment is due. It is your responsibility to take care of these things early in the course so we can help you 

These alternatives and prohibitions are not all-inclusive. The Learning Disabilities Centre may have further things they can provide you or you might find yourself asking for something which I cannot give. If your main problem is with multiple choice tests, recognize that most students have problems with them and this may not be a learning disability. Much of the problem arises from the mistaken belief that all multiple choice questions are just memory exercises; mine are not. See examples on the Test Policy Page of the kinds of questions I ask. Not all students with learning disabilities know they have them, and not all students are willing to declare themselves disabled. It was not an option when I was a student and I'm not sure, thinking about it now, whether, given the opportunity, I would have declared. This is your choice, your decision. But to obtain consideration as an student with learning disabilities, you must officially register as one. For further assistance, contact the Counselling Centre. There are also numerous organizations on the York campus that can offer help with specific problems, including the Sexual Assault Survivors' Support Line. See the main York website for a list of other facilities.

ESL Resources
York has an ESL (English as a Second Language) resource centre open to all students registered in degree programmes; it is free of charge, and offers

A regular workshop series on topics related to the language needs of ESL students
Individual tutoring on specific language needs
Small group English language learning
Independent language learning using print and multimedia materials
Social interaction opportunities, such as English movie nights

Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome, and student may request help in any aspect of English: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Contact them at 

Structure of Classes
Traditional Classroom Sections
I am not the only source of knowledge and information in a course. I don't do a lot of formal lecture; when I speak alone it's short and as interactive as possible. I ask a lot of questions and have learned how to wait in silence for your answer, so come prepared to talk. The usual structure of a traditional in-class meeting in a course I teach is a combination of my speaking interactively with the class, group work on projects, case studies, formal and impromptu student group work and presentations, additions such as film and video clips and guest speakers, and learning techniques like pair-and-share, one-minute-papers, and small group discussions that draw the focus of learning away from the professor onto the students. We go the full three hours each meeting, with a 15-20 minute break about half-way through. Anything we do in class is likely to show up on a test.

I aim at a balance in classes between highlighting the most important parts of readings, providing additional information and insights on the course material from my own and others' research and experience, and giving you a chance to try applying the concepts to your own experience and to practical examples. 

In-class work relates to the readings assigned for that week, but does not follow page-by-page. We do not always follow the order of chapters in a book, and we do not always read the entirety of a book. If you have an interest in a part of a book that we do not cover, there is no rule anywhere in the university which says you may not read chapters that are not assigned. Coming to class or working through the web pages is NOT a substitute for reading the material, and reading the assigned material is not the sole component of a course. Everything we do in a course is important. I have taught for more than a quarter century and if something has proven unimportant or ineffective, I've removed it. If we do something in a course, you can be assured that pedagogically, it has worked well for learning. 

Group Work
Group work, team-work, is an essential part of business. Done right, it can be a rewarding learning experience, but in an abusive group, it can be worse than non-productive. Successful team-work doesn't just happen; you have to work at it. You also have to be aware that there will be users and slackers out there who will try to take advantage of the rest of a team, and you have to plan for how to deal with them. One of the things I do to help you deal with this is to start peer evaluation early in the course, instead of waiting until the end, when it's too late. I also do pop-evaluations in class or on the Internet - on any given day, without warning, you may be asked to rate each others' performance. Except when someone abuses it, group work is usually worth the effort it takes, but it does take work, and it takes commitment from every member of the group to work at making it work. One of my students pointed out recently that learning how to make teamwork work is good practice for jobs in management.

Group Work is different from working alone. That sounds like a simplistic and obvious statement, but many students forget that skills and talents that they have developed for individual success are sometimes not only not useful but counter-productive in group work. The tendency to work-best-at-the-11th-hour-deadline comes immediately to mind here. I'm great at that. I've always perpetrated that myth about myself - I delay starting to work on a paper because I genuinely believe that I work best when under the pressure of a deadline (to some extent it is true, as it is for most perfectionists: it gives us an excuse to do less than perfect work). But when I'm working with a colleague on a joint paper, I can't do that; it's just not fair to the colleague. It's also not really the best way to do any kind of work, as I find out when I do start things early. We need to start early so we can have enough time to re-read and revise. 

Some students don't recognize when they are being abusive. One student wrote to me, "I didn't even know there was a problem in our group; I sent my stuff in for Joe to type up, I don't know what the problem is." Think through the implications of that statement - the student is doing the bare minimum, only their own work, then handing it off to someone else to do their part. It's called group work or team-work because we do it as a team. Keep aware of your group members and the way the group is feeling and working. Students regularly tell me that although all the other members of their group see them as not participating, they thought they were doing fine. Participation is a whole lot more than just showing up for meetings. You must come prepared, which means reading all the assigned material BEFORE the meeting, coming on time, speaking up, staying awake, contributing original ideas and structuring comments, but it also means confronting those who are not carrying their fair share, and being willing to do whatever it takes to make a group work.  

A group project is exactly that -- a group project. It's teamwork, not an assembly line task to be parceled out as piecework to each worker and put back together the night before it is due. If you choose to do that, I have the option to grade each section separately and assign to each group member the lowest mark awarded to any of the sections. Work together as you progress through the project. In traditional classroom sections, I give you some time in class for group work with me present. I expect you to stay for these workshops. Groups that do stay, consistently score better on papers than those that don't. During this time I answer any questions and consult with students on proper format, content, etc., offering many suggestions for improving your work. If you are working with your group in another room or the coffee shop nearby, you are not taking advantage of all that is offered to you. Internet classes have the general Discussion Group with the professor, and students also regularly form smaller discussion or study groups with people they meet online. In Internet courses, all group work is done by email, so there is no excuse about having trouble getting together.   


Use your time and facilities wisely. Be sure that all group members are working on and aware of all parts of the project, even if it is just to exchange parts and have others read it. Everyone should have a copy of all the work done by the group. Consider assigning one group member the task of pulling the whole thing together at the end and coordinating its production and editorial style. That person would then do somewhat less of the ongoing work, but should not be entirely excused from other work; with today's computers, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to pull together a project. This does NOT mean that you give the assembler poorly written English expecting him or her to edit it for you; be sure that the material you submit to the person who is assembling the team's submission is well-written. Try as much as possible to assign tasks according to people's abilities. If someone is good with numbers, give them the calculations. If someone is good with graphics, give them the charts. Get your best English writer to do a quick editing of the final piece. I don't grade for grammar and spelling but even if only due to the Halo Effect, well-written well-structured assignments do tend to earn higher marks. Remember too that a class project is a good place to try out skills that are new to you; if you have had trouble in the past with numbers or charts or English, volunteer to work with someone who is good with those elements and learn through having the responsibility for them how to do them properly.  

Peer Evaluation
There is a need for a method of telling group members when you are not happy with their performance. It can be difficult for many to do this face-to-face, and so we start the process through written peer-evaluation (hand-written or typed in on-campus courses and through email to me in Internet courses). I do pop-evaluations during the course; on any given day you may be asked to do a rating of the members of your group. I do this at least once before the drop date, and after you have received back an assignment. I then compile and present the results to all the group members without names attached to each comment (do realize that students tell me they usually can figure out exactly who wrote what). This gives the group a chance to let the person know they need to shape up before they ruin their GPA with a grade of F in a group project where they are cheating their fellow group members by not pulling their weight. 

This is your chance to tell group members what you think of their performance. You owe it to them and to yourself to do this honestly. We do no one any favour if we allow them to think they can go out into the business world and cheat on team-work and still expect to receive the same rewards (i.e.: bonuses, or keeping their job), and a university is a safer place to learn this than on-the-job. You also have to recognize that if a group member is not performing to standard and you fail to do anything about it, you are de facto agreeing to allow them to do this to you and you will have no grounds on which to complain to me at the end of the course that someone did not carry their weight. 

Groups in Internet Courses do not meet in person; these are "Distance" courses and any group work is done by email. Even if you are living right on the York campus, you may have a group member who lives in Egypt or France or Florida. For many years students in our traditional on-campus courses have been doing most of their group work assignments by email just for convenience; the Internet courses make it possible for you to do it all by email. You are of course allowed to meet with each other if all team members wish to do so, if you live near by, to have a coffee and get to know each other, even to do work, but you are not required to do so and I strongly urge you to do the project by email where so much of today's business is conducted, in E-Teams. In courses where there are no formal groups assigned, you may wish to form your own online study group with students you have "met" online. 


Traits of Effective Teams

Collective Decision Making In effective teams, decisions are discussed and agreed to by all. In less effective teams, one person strongly asserts a position and others do not object verbally, even though their opinions differ.

Collaboration/Interchangeability On effective teams, members do whatever is needed to get the job done. They are not afraid to tackle unfamiliar tasks in areas outside their expertise. On less effective teams, members work independently and do not do work outside their area.

Appreciation of Conflicts/Differences Productive teams expect conflict and disagreement. They openly discuss their differences and see them as means to improved decision making. Less productive teams work to avoid conflict, preferring instead a superficial kind of agreement that results when issues haven’t been tackled substantively. 

Balance of Participation Effective teams recognize that people do have other demands on their time, and as a group they are willing to help a member who may for a time need to decrease the amount of effort devoted to the team. This is different than what happens on ineffective teams, in which one or two members do more than their fair share of the work, resent it, but never confront members who do not contribute what they should to the group. ("For a time" in a three credit course means that there might be at most one week or one group meeting in which a member falls below par; not more). 

Focus Good teams keep their ultimate goals and objectives in mind. If they fall behind, everyone pitches in to help the group get back on schedule. Teams run into trouble when they do not partition their time well and, having spent way too much time on early tasks, have no time left for the final push. In those teams, everyone notices the group's error, but no one is willing to raise the issue or offer helpful solutions.

Open Communication Members of effective teams keep each other informed. They discuss individual work in progress. They let others know when they may be late or missing. Lack of communication hampers the effectiveness of other teams. They work too much on their own and do not share progress or collaborate on how their individual work relates to and fits with what others are doing.

Mutual Support On good teams, members support each other and verbally let that support be shown. They compliment one another on work well done and publicly thank others who have contributed to the group's success. On poor teams, the focus is on individual work, with little awareness, interest, or appreciation of what others in the group are doing.

Team Spirit Effective teams develop pride and loyalty in their group. They stand up for the group and speak positively about it. When teams aren’t working well, members feel no commitment to the team and may even see the group as an impediment to accomplishment of individual goals.

Reference: Panitz, Beth (1997) "Team Players." ASEE Prism (December):9.


Teamwork - A Story

The American and the Japanese corporate offices in a large multi-national corporation decided to establish a yearly competitive rowboat race. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach peak performance, and on the day of the big race the Japanese team came in a full hour ahead of the Americans.
The American team was greatly discouraged by the loss and morale sagged; corporate management decided they had to find the reason for the crushing defeat. They hired a consulting firm to investigate the problem. After months of study and thousands of dollars in fees, the consultant reported back that the Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering while the American team had one person rowing and eight people steering. The consultant recommended that the Americans restructure their team and they did.
Going into the race the following year, the Americans had four steering managers, three area steering supervisors and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat in order to provide work incentive. This time they lost the race by three hours. Humiliated, the American office laid off the rower for poor performance and gave the managers a bonus for their efforts in trying to solve the problem.

Catching Up Using the Website If you're taking a course on-campus that I also teach on the Internet, you get the best of both worlds. We meet in person in the classroom and you're also welcome to access the full materials that Internet students use. If you are a traditional student in an on-campus course and you have to miss a class, you can use the Internet Learning Units as a starting place for catching up, but be sure also to get classroom notes from a friend because the classroom experience often brings out new ideas, new information, new ways of thinking about something and these do show up on tests. The Internet units along with the Discussion Group are designed to replace to a large extent the in-class experience for Internet students, but they are not supposed to be an exact substitute. 

Internet Sections
In an internet section of a course, you will replace most of the time traditionally spent in class with work done independently and sometimes in groups. In an Internet course, instead of Lectures, there are Learning Units provided on the web, and ftextbook companion websites provided for additional learning experiences. All work in Internet sections is sent by Uploading to the Office of Computing Technology and e-Learning Services .

Sending email Assignments If you are taking an on-campus course with me, send an assignment by email ONLY if the course syllabus specifically requests it or in the rare circumstance that you have conferred with me beforehand and obtained permission to do this, or if you are taken ill shortly before the deadline. Papers submitted by email without permission will not be graded. 

Theory and Practice

Success in any area of business is part art and part science, and requires attention to both theory and practice. Even if you have worked in a field for  many years, you can learn from an academic study of it. Do not doubt the value of learning from other students; I regularly learn lots from my students, even in courses I've taught for twenty-five years. We examine theories and apply them to practice in the business world, usually through a project involving a real organization, examining where the theory fits and explains practice, and where it fails to do so. 

Reappraisal of Course Work, Tests, Exams, Exam Substitutes
Any requests for re-marking of any work must be done through the official petitions process. Read more about this on the Grades Policy Page under Reappraisals

Deferred Standing: Late Course Work, Late Exam Substitutes, Make-up Tests & Exams

Deferred Standing Policy of the School of Administrative Studies

Deferred Exams: Deferred standing may be granted to students who are unable to write their final examination at the scheduled time or to submit their outstanding course work on the last day of classes. In order to apply for deferred standing, students must register at Followed by
handing in a completed DSA form and supporting documentation directly to the main office of the School of Administrative Studies (282 Atkinson) and add your ticket number to the DSA form. The DSA and supporting documentation must be submitted no later than five (5) business days from the date of the exam. These requests will be considered on their merit and decisions will be made available by logging into the following link No individualized communication will be sent by the School to the students (no letter or e-mails).

Students with approved DSA will be able to write their deferred examination during the School's deferred examination period. No further extensions of deferred exams shall be granted. The format and covered content of the deferred examination may be different from that of the originally scheduled examination. The deferred exam may be closed book, cumulative and comprehensive and may include all subjects/topics of the textbook whether they have been covered in class or not. Any request for deferred standing on medical grounds must include an Attending Physician's Statement form; a “Doctor’s Note” will not be accepted.

DSA Form:
Attending Physician's Statement form:

The deferred examination date is stated on the course syllabus for each term.  

On Avoiding Lateness

Don't fall into the trap of thinking you are not subject to the deadlines that others must follow. This is a kind of elitism that I don't encourage. Whatever your reason for not being able to get something in on time, there is someone in your class who has those same reasons and more who did get their work in on time. I learned this in my early years of teaching at York. I was collecting case studies in an Introductory Marketing course from students lined up to hand them in. When it came one man's turn, he said he had been unable to finish it. Wanting to be nice, I said, "Oh that's okay; bring it next week." The man who had handed in his paper just before this (it happened to be two men but the story repeats itself in all combinations of gender, race, age, etc.) said to me, very politely, "Excuse me, professor, I could have used some extra time to do a better job but I got it in on time. Now you're giving someone else an extra week that I didn't have." I looked at him for the longest time, then said quietly, "You're right; I won't do it again." And I have not. 

Plan ahead 

Don't start a term project a week before the due date
Don't get a group together for the first time two weeks before the due date
Don't print your paper two hours before class
Don't, absolutely don't ever work without a back-up file 

If you are in a group, assign two different people to each bring a copy of the paper to class in case someone gets held up (we used to do this with bids on municipal bond issues in Chicago). If you're working solo and you're taken ill, email it to me at If you're sick early, you know you won't make it in so send it to me; and if you fall ill at 6:35 pm on the night of a 7 pm deadline and realize you won't make it to class, you've still got time to email it to me before the deadline. 

Don't write me in the last week and tell me that someone has suddenly taken ill or that you've had a car crash or suddenly have to fly to Ames, Iowa, and can't meet your deadline. You have supposedly been working on the paper all term and it will be nearly finished; if you have left everything until the last minute, don't tell me that - get it done and get it in and hope I won't notice (ha!). Don't use computer-versions of my-dog-ate-my-homework excuses; we expect you as business students to know how to handle a computer. Don't ask for last minute extensions based on Learning Disabilities; that's not what those policies are for - if you have a learning disability, plan from the start of term for deadlines. 

If you have serious on-going problems, contact the Counseling Centre Office for formal Special Needs consideration, or a similar programme in your home faculty. Many of us don't like having to say we have a problem, but we can't have it both ways: I can't refuse to admit to my problem with depression and also expect to use it as an excuse to not meet my obligations.  


Thus, I have finally become the ogre that a group in Introductory Marketing portrayed in a case presentation years ago, from which this overhead comes. I don't accept late work. If this seems unkind, realize that while I am supportive of your problems, I am also an employee. My union contract says I have to get my grades in, and my School says I have to get them in on time. There are no extensions in the rules by which I am bound. 

Get your work in on time
If you can't, then file a Petition for Deferred Status

Years ago in an Introductory Marketing class, a former student, John Furtado, brought these to class; they are still relevant today. 
1. Always obey the prime directive, except when it gets in the way.
2. Logic is never enough.
3. Very few conflicts can be solved with a phaser.
4. Anyone can do warp 14, but not for long. 
5. No matter how advanced we think we are, there is always someone who's faster, stronger or smarter.
6. The unidentified crewman always gets killed.
7. Engineering can always get things done faster than they say they can.
8. Never judge anyone by their ears.
9. “Boldly” is the only way to go.
10. Being captain is the best job there is.

York University, Toronto
© M Louise Ripley, M.B.A., Ph.D.