James Cassels (2002)

casselsAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Victoria.

Citation: Jamie has had a profound impact on the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria and on how law is taught at the institution. He has been a leader in the areas of teaching and learning since his arrival at UVic in 1981 and his legacy is the educational milieu for which that faculty is nationally renowned. It is no coincidence that graduates across Canada have ranked the Faculty of Law as number one in Canada for the last six of seven years and that Jamie Cassels was in a leadership position during that period. As both Associate Dean and Dean, he was a strong promoter of teaching excellence and he pioneered a number of innovative teaching initiatives. Jamie has cited his role in the development and implementation of the Akitsiraq Law School Program in Nunavut for Inuit students as the curriculum development effort of which he is most proud.

Jamie is an extraordinary teacher who is exceptionally well organized, clear, insightful and knowledgeable. According to a former student, “he was the exemplar at the University of Victoria Law of how to be an effective, challenging and ever inspiring professor.” It is no great surprise then that he has been the recipient of multiple teaching awards at the faculty, university and national level. He has also been identified as one of the relatively small group of regular faculty members who has had a consistent and supportive affiliation with the Learning and Teaching Centre. In summary, a very important part of Jamie’s educational leadership has been his contributions to the learning culture at the University of Victoria.