Ian MacPherson (Remembered)

University of Victoria Biography: 

Professor Ian MacPherson was born in Toronto in 1939, grew up on an Ontario farm and earned his BA at the University of Windsor in 1960. After teaching high school in Ontario for four years, Ian earned his MA and PhD in History from the University of Western Ontario. From 1968 to 1976 he taught in the History Department at the University of Winnipeg where he also served as the founding co-ordinator of the Canadian Studies Programme. In 1976, Ian joined the University of Victoria’s Department of History. In addition to teaching, he served as Chair of the Department from 1981 to 1989. From 1992 to 1999 he was the Dean of Humanities at UVic and achieved Emeritus status. Ian stepped down as Dean in order to found the Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy (then called the B.C. Institute for Co-operative Studies) at the University of Victoria. The Institute began official operations in January 2000.

University of Victoria’s Dr. Ian MacPherson Scholarship

The Dr. Ian MacPherson Scholarship is awarded to outstanding University of Victoria graduate students working in co-operative studies and the community-based economy. Dr. MacPherson will be sorely missed by many in the academic world and especially in the co-operative world. He has left a great legacy through his teaching, research, writing and the way in which he interacted with everyone he met and worked with. This Scholarship will be awarded annually to one or more graduate students who are working in the field of study that Dr. MacPherson was so passionate about.  https://extrweb.uvic.ca/pages/annual-giving/angv—ian-macpherson-memorial

“Canadian co-operators mourns death of Ian MacPherson”
Donna Balkan. 18 November 2013 http://www.thenews.coop/40261/news/co-operatives/canadian-co-operators-mourn-death-ian-macpherson-0/

Canada’s co-operative movement is mourning the passing of one of its leading lights, historian, educator, author and passionate co-operator Ian MacPherson.

Dr. MacPherson, known internationally for his role in the 1995 revision of the co-operative principles and his work linking co-operatives to peace and social cohesion, died on November 16 at the age of 74.

As both a scholar and a co-operative activist, Dr. MacPherson personified the relationship between Canadian co-operative academics and co-op practitioners.  In Canada, he served as president of both the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and Credit Union Central of British Columbia (now part of Central 1 Credit Union), as well as on the boards of various consumer, financial and health care co-operatives.  He has written dozens of books and articles about co-operatives, including A Century of Co-operation, the commemorative book marking the 100th anniversary of Canada’s organized co-operative movement in 2009.

In 1976, he joined the faculty of the University of Victoria and later served as chair of the history department. From 1992 to 1999 he was the university’s Dean of Humanities and stepped down from that position to found and head the B.C. Institute for Co-operative Studies, since renamed the Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy.  He was also a founder of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC), a multidisciplinary research organization which brings together co-operative academics and practitioners.

“There is no researcher in co-operative studies in Canada who has not benefited from Ian’s large presence and path-breaking work,” said Sonja Novkovic, professor of economics at Saint Mary’s University and chair of the ICA Committee on Co-operative Research. “He was the founder of CASC and a mentor to many students and researchers whose lives have changed because they were influenced by Ian’s passion and deep understanding of the co-operative movement. We will miss him as a friend, a humanitarian, and an inspiration.”

Added Denyse Guy, executive director of the Canadian Co-operative Association:  “Ian touched the lives of many co-operators from across Canada and around the world. On a personal level, he served as an inspiration to many, many individual co-operators; he was a mentor to me for more than 15 years and provided wonderful and insightful guidance that I will always cherish.”

CCA has created a tribute blog where you can post condolences, comments, stories and memories of Ian. Go to www.IanMacPhersonMemorial.blogspot.ca.

Ian MacPherson Legacy Fund 

The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF), in partnership with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) and the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC), has established a scholarship fund in memory of the late Ian MacPherson.

To commemorate Dr. MacPherson’s lifelong contributions to the study and promotion of co-operatives, the legacy fund supports a broad range of activities that are important to co-op education and development. The fund supports attendance at research conferences, direct research on co-operatives, as well as student engagement with co-operatives through activities such as immersive education programs.

The fund is managed by a board composed of representatives from CASC; the CDF and CMC.  The membership of the board will be composed of two representatives from CASC, two representatives from the (CMC) and one member from the CDF.

A committee made up of representatives of all three organizations is responsible for sending out annual calls for applications; evaluation of submitted applications and; administration of the funds.




Ian Macpherson (1939-2013)

Ian Macpherson (1939-2013)