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Date: April 11, 2012

UVic Historian Receives CUFA 2012 Award

University of Victoria historian Dr. Eric Sager, who has worked tirelessly to communicate the relevance of history to daily life, will receive the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC’s (CUFA BC) 2012 Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award tonight at a special awards ceremony in Vancouver.

Sager is particularly well known for his efforts to promote research in the public sphere and connect historical research on census data to public policy decisions. He has produced as many popular and critical essays in newspapers and magazines as he has academic articles in journals and books, and has made frequent use of national radio and television, including a two-part series on CBC's Ideas. Sager has also worked with professional organizations to prepare briefs for parliamentary committees in a relentless effort to emphasize his common refrain that history is always with us.

Sager has devoted himself to highlighting the importance of education. In a September 2009 discussion paper entitled “Universities and the Knowledge Economy,” Sager and UVic President David Turpin outlined the need for a new era of collaboration among universities, government and the private sector. Sager has demonstrated a similar level of commitment to high school education as a constant visitor to local classrooms and an ambassador on the merits of a history degree.

“Yes, universities contribute to the knowledge economy,” says Sager. “But let’s not sell ourselves short; universities are places where society stores and shares its arts and sciences, for their indispensable value to us all.” Sager has also worked extensively with information from Canada's censuses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and was director of the Canadian Families Project (1996-2001) and a co-investigator with the Canadian Century Research Infrastructure Project (2003-09).

The CUFA BC awards are presented annually to honour faculty members from BC universities. The career achievement award, introduced in 1999 in special tribute to academic, community builder and international development consultant Dr. Paz Buttedahl, recognizes sustained outstanding contributions to the community beyond the academy.

Nine UVic researchers have already been honoured since the CUFA BC distinguished awards program began in 1995, including most recently Jessica Ball (2009), Elaine Gallagher (2008) and Andrew Weaver (2007). CUFA BC represents approximately 4,600 university professors, instructors, academic librarians and other academic staff at five BC universities.

For more on the CUFA annual awards, visit http://bit.ly/Hc0kAU. For details on Sager’s research, visit http://bit.ly/HWHE8e.

Media advisory: Dr. Sager is attending the gala awards event in Vancouver, and will be available by cell phone today from 1 p.m. till 6 p.m. at 250-884-8713. He returns to UVic on Thursday.

A high-resolution photo is also available on request.

Media contacts:

Tara Sharpe (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6248 or tksharpe@uvic.ca

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