Robert G Crawford – Career Summary

(April 2015) 


Dr. Bob Crawford did his undergraduate degree in Engineering Science at Penn State University, followed by doctoral studies in the newly emerging field of Computer Science at Cornell University.   He came to the Department of Computing and Information Science (now the School of Computing) at QueenÕs University  In Kingston, Ontario, Canada in January 1971, and retired at the end of December 2013, a span of forty-two years.  He is currently Professor Emeritus in the School of Computing.


As a computer scientist he was actively involved in research, supervision, publishing and conference participation in the area of Information Storage and Retrieval.  His work on the Relational Model in Information Retrieval was cited for more than twenty-five years. In 1984 he represented Canada at International Standards Organization meetings on ISO/TC 97/SC 5/WG 13 in Geneva, Switzerland.  In 1987 he participated in the first large meeting devoted entirely to hypertext, co-authoring an invited position paper for this workshop.  He continued to be involved in both North American and European workshops on hypertext through 1992, by which time the system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed by the internet had come to be known as the World Wide Web. 


His keen interest in and love for students have been demonstrated in his advising, teaching and administrative roles.  Over the years he taught a wide range of introductory courses, including sections of 200 or more students, in settings such as Dunning and Dupuis Auditoriums.  In the early days of computing at QueenÕs most teaching involved new course development.  He later developed two new courses of general interest, created the DepartmentÕs first correspondence course, and shared in the creation of a new course required of all fourth year students.  He taught QueenÕs courses in the evenings and in Spring Term, and in such locations as Bermuda and Collins Bay Penitentiary.  He spent 1979-80 on sabbatical leave at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  He is the co-author of three introductory textbooks, on Pascal, PL/I and Microsoft Basic, the last having been translated and published in Italian. 


In the School he has been a member of most committees over the years.  He served for five years as Chair of Undergraduate Studies, and more recently spent two years as chair of the Renewal, Promotion & Tenure Committee.  He has represented the School a number of times at the Ontario UniversitiesÕ Fair.


In 1985 he began a period of two decades as part of QueenÕs administration.

For the period 1985-1995 he served as Associate Dean (Studies) in the Faculty of Arts & Science.  For the first eight years, this included the role of Director of Part-Time Studies in the Faculty.  As Associate Dean (Studies) he was fully involved with Admissions, Awards, Curriculum and the Board of Studies.  Although committees and meetings occupied a great deal of time, he was committed to devoting more than half of his time to student appointments; over this decade he meet individually with more than 10,000 students.  In 1985, the Faculty of Arts & Science had one international exchange; he worked successfully with others to foster growth in this area.  In 2011 he returned to this role to fill in as acting Associate Dean (Studies) for six months.  Including times attending Board meetings both before and after his time in this role, he has attended well over a hundred meetings of Arts & Science Faculty Board (and can say the same for Senate meetings).


In 1992, when QueenÕs received the gift of Herstmonceux Castle, he was part of the seminal International Study Centre at Herstmonceux, Planning Committee and its Executive Committee.  In December 1993 he travelled to Herstmonceux to interview and hire the Operations Manager (who served until 2013).  He spent the summer of 1995 as Interim Resident Director of QueenÕs International Study Centre.  BobÕs retirement marks the end of any connection of current QueenÕs people with the origins of BISC.


In September 1995 he was appointed to the newly created position of Dean of Student Affairs and was in that role for ten years.  Responsibilities over these years included Residences, Food Services, Conference Services, Athletics & Recreation, Apartment & Housing, Health, Counselling & Disability Services, Career Services, the International Centre, the Ban Righ Centre and the Aboriginal Centre, along with The John Deutsch University Centre, Town-Gown Relations and the Chaplain.


He initiated the planning and construction of two new residence buildings, along with the renovation of Leonard Dining Hall; Leggett Hall and Watts Hall opened in 2003.  He worked with the AMS to form a joint Committee on Student Life Facilities, which led to the QueenÕs Centre Project. He worked hard on the University Council on Substance Abuse Prevention, fostering the development of a Campus Alcohol Policy.  He created the Trademark Use Review Board to ensure that QueenÕs trademarks were being properly displayed, and were on articles that had been socially responsibly manufactured.


He was principal researcher for The Student Outcomes Working Group, looking at the development of student leadership at QueenÕs.  Over 5,000 surveys were completed by students in three longitudinal studies of leadership development during their undergraduate years at QueenÕs.  Results have been presented at Canadian and American national conferences and published in the Journal of Leadership Education.


Of the more than one hundred committees that Bob has served on at School, Faculty, University, and broader levels, some 65 have been University-wide committees.  He has chaired or co-chaired: the Senate Residence Committee, its predecessor the Ban Righ Board, the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures, the Senate Orientation Activities Review Board, JDUC Council, JDUC Executive Committee, the PrincipalÕs Task Force on Community Relations, the Student Life Facilities Project (later QueenÕs Centre Project) Steering Committee, and the Student-Athlete Academic Advisory Committee.  Over the period 2006-2007 he conducted a review, with Janice Deakin, of QueenÕs University Athletics & Recreation.


His involvement at the Provincial level has included chairing the Ontario UniversitiesÕ Council on Admissions, chairing the Ontario Council on Student Affairs, and serving on the executive of the Council of Deans of Arts & Science, as well as serving on two Committees of the Council of Ontario Universities, and preparing two reports for COU (The Double Cohort: A Discussion Paper on the Legal Issues Concerning Younger Students, May 2002; Disability Support Services at our Institutions: New Challenges Arising from the Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Double Cohort, with two colleagues, April 2003).


Nationally, he served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of College & University Student Services, and Chaired the Canadian Association of College & University Student Services National Conference hosted by QueenÕs University in 2005.  He represented Ontario on the Regional Executive Council of the (US) National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.  He has participated in external reviews of student affairs program at the University of British Columbia and Western University.


Over the years he has served in numerous community roles including co-chairing the QueenÕs United Way Campaign, coaching youth soccer and basketball, and chairing the Board at his local church.  In 2009-10 he devoted significant time over a full year in chairing the Organizing Committee for the World University Cross-Country Championships, a highly successful event held in Kingston under the auspices of FISU. In 2015 he accepted the role as Chair of the Board of Ryandale Shelter for the Homeless.  


Bob has been recognized a number of times for his contributions and achievements.  At QueenÕs University, he was the winner of the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1985, received the Distinguished Service Award in 2006, and was honoured with The Michael J Rodden Award, by QueenÕs University Athletics in 2004.  In June 2005 he received the Award for Service from the Canadian Association of College & University Student Services, as well as a Recognition Award from the Student Affairs and Services Association (of Canada).  He was Honorary President of the Alma Mater Society (QueenÕs Student Government) three times and is particularly proud of the excellent relationship he has had with the AMS over the years.