Award for Distinction in Outreach & Engagement - Fall 2003
The Award for Distinction in Extension and Public Service honours faculty members who have made an outstanding effort to further the University's public service and extension mission. This year's recipient is Murray Scharf, Professor of Educational Administration and Director of the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit (SELU).
Dr. Scharf has a long history of service to the teaching profession and to the public education system in this province, and much of the Saskatchewan's public policy on education over the last several decades has been influenced by his work. He is widely respected among professional educational organizations across the globe for his leadership, research and community work.
A University of Saskatchewan Alumnus, Dr. Scharf earned his PhD from the University of Alberta in 1967. He joined the University of Saskatchewan that same year, and served as Head of the Department of Educational Administration from 1982-1985 and as Dean of the College of Education from 1986-1996.
In 1974 Dr. Scharf completed what has come to be known as the Scharf Report on the Declining Rural Population and the Implications for Rural Education. Educational professionals and government utilized this report for many years as the authoritative statement on the condition of rural schools. A consequent 1991 report authored by Dr. Scharf dramatically influenced school system restructuring in Saskatchewan.
Dr. Scharf created the SELU in 1985. The Unit, now in its 18th year, has become a model for other provinces to follow. In his current role as Director, Dr. Scharf has spearheaded a number of valuable international training initiatives.
In 1992 Dr. Scharf initiated a focus on rural education among faculty, resulting in the creation of the Congress on Rural Education, which has been held annually for the past eight years and attracts educators and community leaders from across Canada.
During the course of his career at the University of Saskatchewan Dr. Scharf has delivered lectures on a wide variety of issues related to community and rural education. He is extremely well known for his lively, challenging and creative ideas on contemporary issues critical to Saskatchewan communities.
Dr. Scharf's dedication to public service is reflected through his ongoing involvement with a number of organizations. Most recently he has served as a member of the Inner City Pre-School Foundation, President of the Saskatoon Chapter of the United Services Institute, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Corps of Commissionaires and President of the Rotary Club of Saskatoon. Since 1989 he has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Congress on Education for Teaching (an affiliate of UNESCO).
Dr. Scharf's career has been one in which extension and community service have been paramount, and he has been honoured with a number of prestigious awards from both local and international organizations.
The quality of education in the broader community has been substantively enhanced by Dr. Scharf's work, as has the reputation of the University of Saskatchewan. He is a very worthy recipient of this award.