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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2006

McGill Prof Lands Top CAUT Award

First CAUT Distinguished Academic Award winner Bernard Robaire addresses CAUT Council.
First CAUT Distinguished Academic Award winner Bernard Robaire addresses CAUT Council.
CAUT honoured McGill University professor Bernard Robaire with the 2006 Distinguished Academic Award during a special ceremony at the CAUT Council meeting last month.

First CAUT Distinguished Academic Award winner Bernard Robaire addresses CAUT Council.
Robaire won the award for his exceptional record of excellence in teaching, research and service to the university and the community.

“We congratulate professor Robaire for receiving this prestigious award,” said Loretta Czernis, outgoing CAUT president. “He admirably personifies the type of academic the award was designed to recognize.”

Robaire is cross-appointed in the department of pharmacology and therapeutics and in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. He has developed an international reputation in the area of reproductive biology and published more than 100 articles and edited or co-edited nine books.

“His work has earned him many honours, including the James McGill Professorship in 2002, the Award of Excellence in Reproductive Medicine and three Wyeth-sponsored awards from the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Andrology and a Distinguished Service Certificate from the International Society of Andrology,” Czernis said.

Robaire is a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and the Delta Omega Society at Johns Hopkins University. In 2002, he was selected to deliver the Ernst Schering Foundation Lecture. He is a sought-after speaker and has lectured to audiences around the world. He has created and led several research networks within Quebec and beyond.

As a teacher, he has demonstrated excellence as recognized in the consistently high evaluations of his pedagogy as well as from the large number of graduate students he has supervised. In recommending Robaire for the award, one of his referees remarked, “I have yet to encounter anyone as talented and accomplished in so many areas as Bernard ... He teaches at all levels, undergraduate, graduate, professional and post doctoral. He puts as much effort, imagination, and enthusiasm into an entry-level lecture for undergraduates as in an advanced topic presented to graduate students. His love of learning and fascination with science are infectious.”

Robaire is renowned for the collegial and mentorship role he has played in support of academics at McGill and in other institutions. He has demonstrated his innovative approach to teaching through the creation of a precursor to the current Life Cycle Course in McGill’s faculty of medicine as well as in other courses in the faculty of science.

Robaire has attained significant career milestones and leadership roles both within McGill and outside its gates. He was associate vice-principal for research at McGill for a number of years and served as first director of McGill’s Centre for the Study of Reproduction. He has served as a board member on numerous provincial and national bodies. He is currently vice-president of the Conseil supérieur de l’éducation (an advisory body to Quebec’s Minister of Education). In 2003– 2004, he served as president of the McGill Association of University Teachers. Since 1988 he has served on the board of directors of Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing.

“At a time when pressures are mounting in universities to separate teaching, research and service, Professor Robaire reminds us that the three are vitally interrelated,” Czernis said.

Following presentation of the award, Robaire delivered a lecture, partly autobiographical and partly reflective, on the challenges faced in universities today. Delegates responded with a standing ovation.

Robaire is the first recipient of CAUT’s Distinguished Academic Award. He won a trip to Ottawa to accept a certificate and a personal award of $1,000, and participate in celebratory events April 27. CAUT is shortly to publish his lecture.

Robaire was selected from among 15 distinguished nominees across the country by a panel of three past presidents of CAUT: University of Manitoba professor Tom Booth, Saint Mary’s University professor Victor Catano and University of Toronto Professor Emeritus William Graham.

The CAUT Distinguished Academic Award will be presented annually.