OCUFA Awards of Distinction

OCUFA’s annual Awards of Distinction recognize the exceptional contributions that university faculty, academic librarians, and other academic staff members have made to improving the quality of higher education at Ontario’s universities and to their faculty and staff associations. OCUFA also recognizes exceptional graduate student work and media reporting in the area of higher education in Canada.

The deadline for nominations and applications for the 2023-2024 OCUFA Awards of Distinction is March 8, 2024.

Watch highlights from our celebration of the 2022-2023 awards recipients:

Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards

Each year OCUFA recognizes outstanding teachers and academic librarians in Ontario universities through its Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards.

Since 1973 OCUFA has presented over 400 awards. The recipients are selected by the OCUFA Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards Committee. Approximately 7 awards are presented every year prior 2021. On a go-forward basis up to 3 Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards will be awarded annually.

Service Award

The Service Award was established to honour individuals who have done, or continue to do, exceptional work on behalf of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and its Members.

Equity and Social Justice Award

The Equity and Social Justice Award celebrates the outstanding contributions of OCUFA members whose work has contributed meaningfully to the advancement of professors, academic librarians, and/or academic staff who are Indigenous, women, racialized, LGBTQ2S+, living with disabilities and/or belong to other historically marginalized groups. It honours and recognizes dedicated members whose leadership has improved the lives and working conditions of equity seeking university faculty and, by extension, their families, friends, and colleagues. The Award venerates exceptional OCUFA members who have worked tirelessly, and frequently without recognition, to advance a sophisticated, lasting and effectual consciousness of equity that is both particular and intersectional as it pertains to the improvement of the profession within local university settings and/or across Ontario universities.

The Henry Mandelbaum Graduate Fellowships for Excellence in Social Sciences, Humanities, or Arts

Established in 2011 to honour former OCUFA Executive Director Henry Mandelbaum, the fellowship is awarded to two full-time graduate students (one master’s, one doctoral) at publicly funded Ontario universities. Candidates should have demonstrated academic excellence, provided significant community service, and shown exceptional academic promise in their university careers. The financial needs of candidates may also be taken into consideration.

The successful doctoral candidate will be expected to write a short article for Academic Matters about their research within one year of receiving the fellowship.

Lorimer Collective Bargaining Award

The Lorimer Collective Bargaining Award is established in honour of Joyce and Doug Lorimer of the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association and is instituted to honour and recognize outstanding contributions to improving the terms and conditions of employment of Ontario university faculty through bargaining.

Le Prix Lorimer a été créé en hommage à Joyce et Doug Lorimer de l’Association des professeurs de l’Université Wilfrid-Laurier et a pour but d’honorer et de reconnaître les contributions exceptionnelles en vue d’améliorer les conditions d’emploi des professeurs d’université et des bibliothécaires universitaires de l’Ontario par le truchement de négociations.

The Mark Rosenfeld Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism

This fellowship was established to help address the shortage of informed investigative reporting on Canadian higher education issues in the Canadian media. Open to full-time, part-time, and freelance journalists, including students, the fellowship is designed to support those wishing to pursue in-depth and innovative journalism on higher education.

OCUFA Grievance/Arbitration Award

The OCUFA Grievance/Arbitration Award was established to recognize the often invisible, yet crucial work of individuals who have done, or continue to do, exceptional work on behalf of Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and its members in the area of grievance and arbitration. OCUFA recognizes that both Collective Bargaining and Grievance and Arbitration are the twin pillars that shape the relationship between Faculty Association members and their Employers.

The award is presented biennially. The next Grievance/Arbitration Award will be given in 2024-2025.