Sabbatical report from professor Patrick Smith

September 19, 2017

Professor Patrick Smith was on sabbatical for a year, starting Sept. 1, 2016. Here's his account of what he did.

My sabbatical started at 12:01 a.m. at a Gulf Islands cabin. At 7:30 a.m., I got up to take a daughter’s dog for an early airing and did a summersault over his bed, breaking my shoulder. After four days of self-medicating with baby aspirin, I was convinced by my spouse - a doctor in education - that seeking out a REAL doctor was the recommended next step. Six months of physio allowed for a good deal of reading – to make up for some cancelled trips. My family doctor has recommended limits on tumbling. 

From January to June, I was occupied by administering B.C.’s Legislative Internship Program, some research trips, and observing the provincial election. I wrote a short article on that election for the Canadian Political Science Review. 

Sabbaticals are also about sparking new ideas. For me, this involved working with my MP and other Canadian colleagues, as well as talks with urbanists at the Dublin Institute of Technology, and a paper and seminar on Canadian, American and British changes in local governance for the University of Swansea (Wales). I also delivered a paper at meeting of the British Association of Canadian Studies in London, England. 

In other writing work, I co-authored the 9th edition of Local Government in Canada (Toronto: Nelson 2017), wrote an extended piece for The Rise of Cities (Montreal: Black Rose, 2017), and a chapter on Gordon Campbell’s contributions to local governing reform in The Campbell Revolution? (Montreal: McGill Queen’s University Press, 2017). Sabbatical time also allowed the beginnings of a book manuscript: Burnaby: The Politics of a City – an examination of the federal, provincial and local politics of B.C.’s third largest city. A proposal for a third volume of Urban Public Policy (Oxford University Press) is also under consideration. 

So, any new adventures in sabbatical tumbling aside, I feel re-invigorated and ready to be back in the classroom in January 2018.