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New school year and new school for Julia Shin Doi

|Written By Jennifer Brown

After nine years, Julia Shin Doi has left York University to take on the role of general counsel and secretary of Ryerson University’s board of governors in Toronto.

Julia Shin Doi
Julia Shin Doi is the new GC at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Shin Doi will work with all areas of the Ryerson community in interpreting laws, regulations, by-laws, policies and best practices in governance, and will ensure that the board’s administrative needs are met. She will also be responsible for providing advice on legal issues and have operational responsibility for access to information, privacy, and information security.

“I’m really passionate about the business of education and the important role that universities take in shaping students; it’s the entire community and also the role Ryerson has had in the redevelopment of this area of the city that is exciting to me,” she says.

Shin Doi started at York University as assistant counsel, then moved into the role of counsel and assumed increasing responsibilities including privacy when universities went under privacy legislation in 2006. “That role grew with the Access Copyright matters and I soon became responsible for that as well,” she says.

Unlike York, which opted out of Access Copyright effective Aug. 31, Ryerson is not one of the 34 post-secondary schools that has opted out of the Access Copyright agreement. Shin Doi says the school is working with the Association of Universities and Colleges regarding the dispute.

“Ryerson University is working closely with other universities across Canada in supporting the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada in its legal challenge to the increase tariff application made by Access Copyright. We’re working closely with AUCC,” she says.

When Ryerson’s board secretary and general counsel position came up Shin Doi says it provided her an opportunity to move her career even further.

“It’s exciting to be part of an executive team of an organization,” she says.

Shin Doi says one of her first priorities in her new role at Ryerson is to provide legal support to the school’s Digital Media Zone — an incubator for Ryerson students and alumi start-ups located right in downtown Toronto at Yonge and Dundas streets in the AMC building.

One week into her new position, Shin Doi says there is a lot to learn, as with any new job. “I’m reading The first 90 days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michael Watkins and trying to achieve those ‘early wins.’ I’m really thankful I stayed in the same industry as many of the concepts and infrastructure of the organizations are familiar and make that transition so much easier,” she says.

Shin Doi is also an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. After law school she joined Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, then went in-house to Imax Corp., as associate general counsel, and after that joined York University. She was called to the Ontario bar in 1994.


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