Donald C. Savage, CAUT’s executive secretary from 1973 to 1997, died in Ottawa on March 13 at age 85. He was associate executive secretary of CAUT for two years before leading the association for the next 24 years as executive secretary. When Don became executive secretary in 1973, no members of CAUT were certified. By the end of the 1980s, over 80 per cent of academic staff were in certified unions or covered by special plans that in effect operated as collective agreements. In recognition of his contributions, CAUT established the Donald C. Savage Award in 1997 to honour outstanding achievements in the promotion of collective bargaining in Canadian universities and colleges.
Throughout his time at CAUT, Don was always a strong defender of academic freedom, and helped write important policy in this area. His expertise was well recognized, culminating in his service to UNESCO in the mid-1990s to draft the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel. Don received his BA and the Lieutenant-Governor’s Silver Medal for History from McGill University (1954) and a PhD from the University of London (1958). He taught at Waterloo College (now Wilfrid Laurier University), Bedford College of the University of London, and Loyola College (now Concordia University, 1961–1970). While at Loyola, Don served as director of the Centre for African Studies (1967–1970) and president of the Loyola Faculty Association (1970). Following his retirement in 1997, he continued to teach as an adjunct professor of history at Concordia University.