Vivek Goel Faculty Citizenship Award for Arthur Ripstein

Published: April 9, 2024

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In recognition of his service to the University of Toronto in a variety of roles, University Professor of philosophy and law Arthur Ripstein, Howard Beck, Q.C., Chair, has received the 2024 Vivek Goel Faculty Citizenship Award.

The Vivek Goel Faculty Citizenship Award recognizes a faculty member who has served the University of Toronto with distinction in multiple leadership capacities in diverse spheres over many years. The recipient of this award is an exemplary University citizen and a senior member of the faculty with a sustained record of contributions in varied capacities outside of research.

Ripstein is an influential scholar and public intellectual and an award-winning researcher with a primary appointment at the Faculty of Law and a cross appointment to the Department of Philosophy. His research and teaching interests include torts, legal theory, political philosophy, and Kant. He has served as chair and acting chair of the Department of Philosophy and on countless committees in both Philosophy and Law, often as committee chair. In 2016, the University of Toronto appointed him to the rank of University Professor, its highest academic distinction. The designation recognizes exceptional scholarly achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge. Ripstein was awarded the Killam Prize for Humanities in 2021 and has been a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 2010.

From 2003 to 2011 Ripstein served on U of T’s Governing Council, as well as on its Business Board. Ripstein also served on the Academic Appeals Committee and assisted in the orientation of new governors by delivering sessions on fiduciary responsibility.

Ripstein was actively involved in the Towards 2030 planning process that former President Naylor launched in 2007 to prepare the University for its third century, quickly becoming one of the task force’s most valuable members. He served on the Special Joint Advisory Committee (SJAC) on the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the University of Toronto Faculty Association in 2013-14. The SJAC successfully negotiated important changes to the MOA between the University and the Faculty Association.

In 2020, Ripstein began chairing a newly established Working Group on Anti-Semitism. Following more than a year of very intense and widespread consultation, this group presented its final report in the Winter 2021-22. Its recommendations have since been accepted by the University administration. Ripstein continues to advise various stakeholders in the University on a wide range of issues.

“I could not think of anyone more deserving of this honour,” says Martin Pickavé, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy, describing Ripstein as one of the University’s “most exemplary citizens.” “Outside of Arthur’s outstanding and award-winning research, as well as his equally successful teaching and influence as a public intellectual,” Pickavé continues, “he has showcased for more than 20 years supreme and sustained dedication to his two home units, Law and Philosophy, as well as to the University as a whole. His insight, focus, brilliance, and enthusiasm have not only laid the groundwork for the Philosophy’s present strength and excellence but also served the larger U of T community exceedingly well. The University of Toronto is fortunate to have such a world-class researcher dedicating himself to its service in so many important ways. I am simply delighted to see Arthur appropriately recognized in this way.”

About the Awards of Excellence

Throughout its history, the University of Toronto has striven to promote and recognize excellence among its community members. The University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) has played an integral role in furthering this mission through its longstanding support of distinguished awards programs that acknowledge outstanding faculty, staff, librarians, and students.

The prestigious Awards of Excellence program dates back to 1921 with the creation of the John H. Moss Scholarship, awarded to outstanding student leaders. In 1990 the Faculty Award and the Chancellor’s Award were added to the program. Since 1990, seven more distinct awards or scholarships recognizing exceptional students, faculty, librarians and administrative staff members of the University have been launched; most recently, the President’s Excellence Award.

Though the criteria differ for each award, recipients all share a commitment to enhancing the university experience of their peers and leave a significant impact on the University through their efforts.