Champion of higher education

Humanities, Law

Cassels. Photo: Nik West

University of Victoria Professor and President Emeritus Jamie Cassels was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for his contributions as a university administrator, law scholar, and for his commitment to improving access to higher education.

President Emeritus Cassels, who served as the seventh president and vice-chancellor of the University of Victoria from 2013 to 2020, is among 85 new appointments to the Order of Canada announced today by Governor General Mary Simon.

As president, he was instrumental in shaping UVic’s strategic direction and was a strong advocate of excellence in teaching, research-enriched and lifelong learning. Cassels is a legal scholar of international stature, a nationally recognized master teacher and was known to be a talented university administrator noted for his leadership and vision.

"This honour really reflects the fact that I’ve been lucky to be in positions where I could enable other people’s great ideas and see those ideas come to life," says Cassels. "I’ve seen firsthand how universities can truly make an enormous and positive impact in the lives of individuals and on societies."

Master teacher

Prof. Cassels also served as dean of the UVic Faculty of Law and as vice-president academic and provost. He is the author of numerous books and articles and has received awards for his scholarship and teaching, including a 3M National Teaching Fellowship.

While dean, Cassels dedication to accessible legal education was evident in the development and implementation of the Akitsiraq Law School Program in Nunavut. The program, developed in partnership with the community, provided legal education to Inuit students in Canada’s far North, incorporating both western and Inuit legal concepts and traditions.

Cassels is a member of the British Columbia bar, was a founding member of the BC Law Institute and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2004 for his scholarly and service contributions to the legal profession.

The Order of Canada honours people whose work has shaped Canadian society and led change.

“Those being appointed today come from a variety of sectors, have achieved national and international success, and have shown ingenuity, innovation and generosity,” says Simon in a press release.

“They have made a difference in their communities and for Canada with their outstanding dedication and commitment.”

Read about the 2022 UVic Order of Canada appointments.


In this story

Keywords: award, research, writing, reconciliation, education, arts, community, international, sustainability, Indigenous, administrative, philosophy, law

People: Jamie Cassels, Marion Buller, Jan Zwicky

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