Criminology professor Rob Gordon has stepped down as associate dean for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences after six years in the role.

FASS News, Faculty, Criminology

Rob Gordon returns to Criminology

October 21, 2019
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Rob Gordon is definitely not retiring, at least not yet, which he made perfectly clear at a recent luncheon to celebrate the completion of his service as associate dean for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). Instead, professor Gordon is returning to Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) School of Criminology where he served as director for 15 years until being lured away to the Dean’s office by the then FASS Dean John Craig.

“He came bearing whiskey as an inducement,” Gordon says. “John Craig swore the position would not be beige; after six years at the coal face I can say, with confidence, that it was neither beige, nor vanilla.”

Gordon began his new role by delving into a number of strategic initiatives including a reorganization and consolidation of FASS programs at SFU’s Surrey campus, and the start-up of FASS-One. Gordon also took over the Language Training Institute in order to reposition the unit so its future would be assured. The new Department of World Languages and Literatures, which Gordon worked tirelessly to create and shepherd through Senate approval, is a product of that repositioning.

As associate dean, Gordon held on to the directorship of the applied legal studies program he’d developed before taking the position.

“It was too young and too important as a new professional MA program to be cast adrift,” he explains. “I eventually secured significant funding support in the form of the B.C. Notaries Chair in Applied Legal Studies. The first Chair has just been appointed.”

Gordon was also a member of the group that established the Terrorism Risk and Security Studies Master’s Program and now serves on its management committee. His second tour as associate dean, which started in 2016, involved dealing with issues surrounding academic integrity, as well as allotting space, a task that he says guaranteed him low popularity rankings.

“Meanwhile, my research program was sliding but I did receive a boost when the Governor General of Canada passed along the Monarch’s greetings in the form of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for services to Canada,” Gordon says. “I had been working for many years in the field of adult guardianship and adult protection, and had drafted legislation in B.C., Yukon and other Canadian jurisdictions in these areas. I had also been working on similar reforms in Eastern Europe with different groups, on behalf of the Council of Europe.”

Now on study leave at SFU’s Surrey campus, professor Gordon will continue to conduct legal and criminological research. He is working with the B.C. Notaries Chair on establishing the Applied Legal Studies Research Group. Gordon also intends to devote time to completing his next book which looks into adult guardianship and health law, and the issue of medically assisted death in Canada.