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David E. Smith, OC, FRSC is adjunct faculty in the Department of Politics and Public Administration and a member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University. He was appointed as a
Distinguished Visiting Scholar in 2013, following a long and distinguished career at the University of Saskatchewan (1964-2004), where he is Professor Emeritus, and at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina (2005-2012), where he was a Senior Policy Fellow.
Dr. Smith earned his PhD and Masters degrees in Political Science at Duke University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics and Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. The University of Saskatchewan honoured Dr. Smith with an earned Doctor of Letters in 1995, and a Distinguished Researcher Award in 2003. Ryerson University conferred on Dr. Smith a Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa at the 18 June 2010 convocation ceremony.
Dr. Smith chose to make his contribution to education in Saskatchewan by shaping the thinking of thousands of Saskatchewan post-secondary students; through his writing he brought national and international attention to scholarship in Saskatchewan. Dr. Smith used his writing to advance Saskatchewan’s voice and drive home the realization that to know the West is to know Canada. His work is deeply rooted in the Prairie, bringing Saskatchewan political history into the mainstream of Canadian political science. He is credited with producing the definitive works on each of the major institutions of the Canadian government, such as the Crown, the Senate and the House of Commons, and recently completed a book on the history of the Official Opposition in this country.
A “lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree” was recognised on July 1, 2013, when Dr. Smith was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC), the highest academic accolade in Canada that is available to scientists and scholars. Two of his University of Saskatchewan colleagues, Hans Michelmann and Cristine de Clercy, edited a festschrift, Continuity and Change in Canadian Politics: Essays in Honour of David E. Smith which was, like so many of Dr. Smith’s own books, published by the University of Toronto Press (2006).
During his forty years at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Smith supervised numerous graduate theses, served on many thesis committees, and taught a full range of undergraduate courses. He has also lectured in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and Korea, and held a visiting professorship of Canadian studies in Japan. His passion for knowledge, good scholarship and excellent writing has been a lasting influence on a host of students.
Throughout his career as an outstanding researcher, scholar and teacher, David E. Smith has also served his University, many professional organisations, his province, and his country. At the University of Saskatchewan, he served on all manner of University committees and as Department Head. His service to the profession includes a term as chair the management board of what is now the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program of the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. He has served on or chaired numerous committees of the Royal Society of Canada. For five years (1979-1984), he was book review editor of the Canadian Journal of Political Science; and he served the Canadian Political Science Association as President-Elect (1993-94), President (1994-95), and Past President (1995-96). Outside the world of academe and his profession, he served for many years on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. He has testified before parliamentary committees, done briefings for the Canadian Senate, and briefed a former Governor General on the role of the Canadian Crown. He served as a Commissionaire on the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Saskatchewan in 2004.