A Message from Rafael Gomez, Director – January 2016

With the year 2015 behind us, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for making my first term as Director such an enjoyable and productive one. The Centre’s reputation reflects the excellence of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. This excellence enables us to make major contributions to the world of labour and employment and addressing the great challenges facing governments, employees and organizations. The following are just a few highlights of what our students, faculty, staff and alumni accomplished in 2015.

In late October, we accomplished the first phase of our renewal of the Centre’s physical space. Anyone visiting the Centre after some time away may have noticed the newly exposed wood handrails and front door and the newly painted walls and spruced up look. A lot of thanks should go to Deborah Campbell for overseeing that work and liaising with our colleagues in the University’s Facilities office as well with the contractors involved, all of whom did a fantastic job.

In early November we co-hosted the inaugural Morley Gunderson Lecture in Industrial Relations and Labour Economics. As the title suggests, this is a lecture that honours Morley’s four decades of work in both fields of study. Our first speaker was Stanford Professor Ed Lazear and his talk attracted an audience of nearly 100 attendees. Big thanks go out to our partners in the Department of Economics and Woodsworth College for making this happen.

In early December we celebrated the distinguished teaching career of Lori Riznek, whose outstanding contributions in the Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources and Woodsworth College spanned more than 35 years. To honour Lori the Centre and Woodsworth College were proud to announce the creation of the Lori Riznek Graduation Scholarship. The Scholarship will be awarded annually in the Spring Convocation to the top graduating student in the undergraduate Employment Relations program. If you would like to donate to the Lori Riznek Scholarship please consider making an online contribution. All donations will be matched by Woodsworth College and the Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources: https://donate.utoronto.ca/give/show/7

In 2015 the Faculty of Arts and Science approved our request for a new tenure track position in Industrial Relations and Human Resources and just this week I am proud to announce that we have been granted permission to interview our shortlisted job candidates. Our candidates will be arriving to give their job talks in January so stay tuned for that as well. The job talks will be open to all faculty, students, staff and alumni so I recommend that you keep an eye out for the job talk schedule on our website in early 2016.

I want to thank our student leaders in ERSA, ASIR and the newly formed PhD student body who have been excellent to work with. In addition, a special thanks to past Directors Morley Gunderson, Frank Reid and Anil Verma for being such a valuable resource for my-self and the Centre.

Finally, I want let everyone in the CIRHR community know about our upcoming spring Conference to be held here on campus, celebrating the 50thanniversary of the Centre’s founding and the 40th anniversary of the Master’s program. The date is Friday June 17th, 2016. Registration will be open soon as well details regarding the event forthcoming. There will also be an opportunity for registrants to the 50th anniversary to attend a co-sponsored conference on workplace democracy occurring one day before on June 16th, 2016 . More details to follow.

Rafael Gomez
Director, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources
Professor of Employment Relations
University of Toronto