Richard Sigurdson joined the University of Calgary as Dean, Faculty of Arts on August 1, 2012.
Prior to his appointment, Richard spent 25 years in academic and administrative roles in universities across the country. Most recently he served as Dean, Faculty of Arts and Acting Provost, University College at the University of Manitoba where he also held the Duff Roblin Professorship of Government. His administrative life began at the University College of the Cariboo (which later became Thompson Rivers University) where, as interim Dean of the Faculty of Arts, he led the creation of the first Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Journalism degrees during that institution's transition into a degree granting university. Following this, Richard took up an academic appointment with the University of New Brunswick, where he chaired the Political Science Department.
As a graduate student at the University of Toronto, Richard studied political theory and enjoyed the opportunity to work with some of the leading figures in the field. But he also became interested in Canadian politics, which led to his subsequent publications on political parties, leaders, and issues of multiculturalism, first nations and immigration. Most recently, his research focussed on the politics of nationalism, specifically on national identity and how it affects public policies on immigration in different countries. He remains active as a political theorist and, as author of Jacob Burckhardt's Social and Political Thought (U of T Press, 2004), was the first to study Swiss cultural historian Jacob Burckhardt as an influential political thinker.
Throughout his career, Richard has made students' university experience a priority. He is an inspiring teacher, and continued to teach a large survey class in Political Science while in the position of Dean at the University of Manitoba. Thompson Rivers University recognized him in 2005 when it awarded the Dean Richard Sigurdson Award for Excellence in Teaching in his honour and he was cited by Maclean's magazine as a top teacher while at the University of New Brunswick. He is a natural facilitator and is dedicated to engaging students to participate within their institution.
His leadership style is that of facilitator ensuring students make the most of their student experience, champion for celebrating the achievements of students, faculty, staff and alumni, and communicator. Above all, he says, success comes down to communication at the one-on-one level, within the faculty and among the community we serve.