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York Change Leadership (YCL)


York Change Leadership (YCL) enables leaders, teams and communities across York University to unleash their full potential and thrive in our competitive educational landscape.

Our Values and Guiding Principles

We are service-centered and committed to responding to the needs of our campus leaders and partners with a sense of urgency to further their strategic priorities. We are passionate about building a strong, united, prosperous university. We boldly enable change, and are resilient, evolving, entrepreneurial and creative in generating solutions that contribute to the success of our university. We strive for excellence in all we do and are innovative problem-solvers that lead by example.

We build ecosystems that connect, build trust and fuel collaboration with all our partners and stakeholders. Collective ownership leads to shared success and is critical to building a stronger, more united university. We enthusiastically diffuse our leading practices, expertise, and ideas with each other.

We are accountable to our university and to the university partners we serve. We create a positive, high integrity environment, achieving our mission with success. We are fiscally responsible, transparent, and we operate with cost-effectiveness. We continually review and evaluate our performance and iterate to improve and ensure optimal impact.

We are enriched by the diversity of our university community. We listen and invite every person’s experience and perspective. We cultivate unity, community and build collaborative relationships with our partners fueling the co-creation of positive strategic change.

We take the time to understand the unique needs of every client and customize design and delivery to optimize success and impact. We enWe take the time to understand the unique needs of our community and customize our programs to optimize success and impact. We ensure that every program is applied and provides practical tools, analytical approaches, insights, advice, and tips that are relevant and valuable to our university partners.


YCL partners with leaders across the university ecosystem to uncover untapped opportunities, leverage strengths and tackle challenges, through an inclusive, collaborative, co-creating approach. We enable teams to strengthen connectedness and community as they drive successful outcomes while simultaneously building increased receptivity and capabilities for future strategic shifts.

Our suite of offerings includes Academic Leaders @York, Internal Consulting, and Strategic Leadership Coaching:

Join Our Academic Leadership Community

Are you a new leader, an experienced leader, or simply curious about leadership opportunities at York University? We invite you to be a part of our thriving Academic Leadership Community right here on MS Teams.

Who We Are:

Our Academic Leadership Community is a space dedicated to strengthening leadership skills, fostering collaboration, and providing valuable resources for leaders at all levels. Whether you're a new or seasoned leader, there's a place for you in our community.

Why Join Us?

  • Knowledge Sharing: Gain insights from experienced leaders and contribute your unique perspectives to enrich our collective knowledge
  • Professional Development: Strengthen your leadership skills through skill building workshops, guest speaker events, panels on topics of interest, and subject matter experts offering support
  • Networking and Support: Connect with like-minded individuals, expand your collegial network, collaborate on exciting projects and find the support and mentorship you need to succeed in your leadership role

How to Join:

Click this link to join our Academic Leaders @York community on MS Teams!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Customized support and guidance, workshop/retreat design and facilitation.

Examples of previous YCL consulting projects include:


  • Enhancing Service Excellence
  • Nourishing Communities of Practice
  • Strengthening Pan-University Partnerships
  • Developing Onboarding Best Practices
  • Cultivating a Healthy Workplace
  • Maximizing Our Impact with Organizational Structure

Strategic Planning

  • Shaping Strategic Identity
  • Charting Strategic Advantage
  • Co-creating 5-Year Strategic Plans (University, Faculty, Divisions)
  • Strategic Visioning and Revisioning
  • Succession Planning

Team Skill Building

  • Strategic Change Leadership Development
  • Proactive Leadership Skill Building
  • Optimizing Team Synergistic Potential
  • Enabling a Positive Team Culture
  • Mergers, Staff Integrations, Restructuring
  • Leading Through Ultra-Dynamic Change
  • Navigating Challenging Conversations

We help leaders and/or their teams ignite change and accelerate growth through a thought provoking, introspective and reflective approach that encourages self-discovery, agility, resilience and personal well-being.

About Our Team

Ellen Auster

Executive Director, York Change Leadership

See Ellen's bio

Raluca Lacatus

Associate Director, Strategic Change Leadership

See Raluca's bio

Kaylin Dyal

Associate, Strategic Change Leadership

See Kaylin's bio

Paola Lipo

Special Projects Assistant

See Paola's bio

Ellen Auster is Professor of Strategic Management, Schulich School of Business and Executive Director, York Change Leadership. Previously, she was Founding Director of the Schulich Centre for Teaching Excellence (SCTE) for over 20 years and very active in the Schulich Community supervising PhD students, serving on EMBA and MBA Program Committees, Recruitment Committees, Task Forces and more. Prior to joining Schulich, she was on the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and Visiting Faculty at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. She earned her B.A. from Colgate University and her PhD from Cornell University.

Ellen has more than 30 years of experience as an academic and consultant specializing in strategic transitions, transformations, and turnarounds. Working with executives to successfully tackle a wide spectrum of strategic challenges, she creates a shared leadership, inclusive, value creating approach that enables organizations, teams and leaders to cultivate the short and long-run capabilities needed for continuous Stragility® and success.

A multiple research and teaching award winner, Ellen has been honored with the global, lifetime achievement Academy of Management Distinguished Educator Award, research awards from the Academy of Management and Management Science, and teaching awards including the Kellogg/Schulich Executive MBA Professor of the Year twice, as well as being honored with the Seymour Schulich Award for Teaching Excellence.

Ellen has written four books including Stragility® with Lisa Hillenbrand (University of Toronto Press) and Bridging the Values Gap with Ed Freeman (Berrett-Koehler). She has also published over 50 articles in academic and practitioner journals including: The Academy of Management Review, Management Science, Sloan Management Review, Organization Studies, The Journal of Business Ethics, Human Resource Management, Research in Organizational Behavior, Research Policy, The Journal of International Management, The International Journal of Strategic Change Management, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Women in Management Review, Developing Leaders Quarterly, Leader to Leader Quarterly, The Journal of Management Education and more.

Raluca Lacatus is Associate Director, Strategic Change Leadership at York Change Leadership (YCL), York University and joined the team in 2018. In her role, Raluca supports leadership development of individuals and teams through design, development and facilitation of programs and retreats, as well as individual coaching. She is instrumental in creating and continuously improving YCL foundational frameworks such as: ‘Strategic Change Leadership’, ‘Optimizing High Performing Teams’, ‘Navigating Challenging Conversations’, 'Strategic Planning' and more. Raluca is also working towards her ICF Level 2 Coaching Certification.

Prior to joining York University, Raluca worked for more than 14 years within the social sector where she successfully implemented large-scale transformation initiatives.  Before that, she launched and led an entrepreneurial venture for 6 years.

With a MBA from the Schulich School of Business, Raluca’s passion is to enable positive transformations at personal, organizational and community levels through constructive conversations, the identification of untapped opportunities, and supportive growth.

Kaylin Dyal is Associate, Strategic Change Leadership at York Change Leadership (YCL), York University. In her role, Kaylin leads the planning and execution of the Academic Leadership Program for all Associate Deans, Chairs and Directors, Provostial Fellows and aspiring leaders pan-university.

Prior to joining YCL, Kaylin worked within the sport, media, and entertainment industry where she coordinated and implemented revenue-generating marketing experiences to develop global partnerships and manage client portfolios.

Kaylin has deep York University roots, with an International Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business.  She is also a registered yoga teacher and hosts a podcast on mindfulness and wellness where she shares shortform content on how to live a more mindful and meaningful life. With her combined knowledge and skillset, business consulting experience, and passion for mindfulness and wellness, Kaylin takes a strategic approach toward creating a more harmonious workplace that prioritizes the well-being of individuals, teams, and organizations at large.

Paola Lipo serves as the Special Projects Assistant at York Change Leadership (YCL), part of York University.

Before her role at YCL, Paola gained valuable experience with the Library of Parliament in digital operations and held the position of Bilingual Parliamentary Tour Guide. She also ventured into fintech, interning as a Customer Centricity Intern for Interac Corporation. In this role, she contributed to strategy development within their B2B division.

Currently a third-year Bachelor of Business Administration student at the Schulich School of Business, her strong commitment to fostering positive change is evident through her leadership roles as President of the Jeux de Commerce Central (JDCC) Schulich Case Competition Club and Vice President of Events at the Albanian Association of Students at York. In prior years, she was Conference Chair for the York Business Technology Association and a Corporate Relations Director in the Schulich Entrepreneurship Club.


If you have any inquiries about York Change Leadership programming and events, please contact