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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2009

CAUT Honours Guy Rocher with Award for Distinction

CAUT’s Distinguished Academic Award winner Guy Rocher addresses council delegates April 24 in Ottawa.
CAUT’s Distinguished Academic Award winner Guy Rocher addresses council delegates April 24 in Ottawa.
Guy Rocher, a sociology professor at the UniUniversity of Montreal, is the fourth recipient of CAUT’s Distinguished Academic Award. CAUT’s highest award recognizes excep­tional teaching, research and service in Ca­na­dian higher education and gives its recipient a $1,000 honorarium and an opportunity to address CAUT’s Council meeting. CAUT also publishes the lecture.

Rocher obtained a PhD from Harvard University and after teaching for eight years at Laval University moved to the UofM in 1960 where he served for a term as chair of the sociology department and vice dean of the social sciences faculty.

He has had a diverse career, including two leaves from UofM to work for the government of Quebec, as deputy minister for cultural development (1977­–1979) and as deputy minister for social development (1981–1983). Now in his mid-eighties, he still maintains an active research program and teaches a graduate seminar in the sociology of law.

Rocher is known worldwide for his significant theoretical and analytical contributions to the study of Quebec society and more recently, the sociology of law. A member of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has published more than 200 articles and book chapters and 20 books.

In addition to his research work, Rocher has served on the boards of more than 50 professional and educational initiatives, including the Parent Com­mission, whose recommendations drastically altered Quebec’ educational system and led to the creation of CEGEPs.

In 1971, Rocher was named to the Order of Canada and in 1991 was decorated with Quebec’s highest civilian honour. He has also received honorary degrees from Laval, Moncton and University of Quebec at Montreal.

“Hailed as the dean of Quebec sociology, Rocher has been at the forefront of profound changes in Quebec for almost 60 years and formed whole generations of sociologists,” said Greg Allain, past president of CAUT and member of the award nomination committee.

“Rocher is an inspired and untiring researcher, a consummate teacher in every sense of the word, and his service contributions to his institution and the wider community are exceptional and enduring. We recognize this great scholar and humanist with CAUT’s 2009 award.”