University of Calgary

Richard Sigurdson

  • Dean

About the Dean

Dr. Richard Sigurdson is Dean, Faculty of Arts, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary. He has published on a variety of topics, from the history of political theory to the Charter of Rights in Canada, First Nations, nationalism and immigration. His research has often taken him abroad, including to Germany where he served as a visiting professor at the Free University, Berlin. He is an active 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.

As Dean of the Faculty of Arts, he has focused on promoting internationalization, indigenous teaching and learning, and student experience. Sigurdson was instrumental in the reorganization of the Faculty of Arts, which included the creation of the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures.

Prior to his time at UCalgary, 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, he chaired the Political Science Department at the University of New Brunswick.

Throughout his career, Sigurdson has made students’ university experience a priority. He is an inspiring teacher, and continued to teach a large survey class in Political Science while Dean at the University of Manitoba. He has been recognized for teaching excellence and was also cited by Maclean’s magazine as a top teacher at the University of New Brunswick.

Sigurdson has a long-standing commitment to public service, volunteerism, and engagement with the community. He has served, for instance, on the Manitoba Electoral Boundaries Commission and co-chaired the University of Calgary’s United Way campaign. Currently, he is Vice-Chair of the Calgary Police Commission and serves on the Board of Directors for Education.

His leadership style is that of a facilitator ensuring students make the most of their student experience; a champion for celebrating the achievements of students, faculty, staff and alumni; and a communicator.

Photograph of Richard Sigurdson
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