Stephen Pitel receives Allan Heinicke Memorial Service Award

Stephen Pitel, former president of UWOFA who has been active with the Association for a decade, is the 2021 recipient of the Allan Heinicke Memorial Service Award.

The award was established in honour of the late Allan Heinicke, a former chair and president of UWOFA. Later in his time with UWOFA he became a financial, technical and policy analyst. This award was developed to honour and recognize outstanding service and achievement in financial, technical and policy development or analysis supporting UWOFA’s aims.

"From what I have heard about Al Heinicke and about his contributions and his approach and spirit, I really do feel like it's my loss not to have ever had the chance to connect with him, and to get involved in the kind of technical and policy development issues that he was so well-known for," Pitel said. "I'm honoured, quite deeply, to receive an award that bears his name."

Pitel, a professor in the Faculty of Law, has taken on a variety of roles within the structure of UWOFA and has completed them with an unerring attention to detail and calm professionalism. He showed incredible attention to detail and commitment in leading the incorporation of UWOFA under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act in 2017. The process of becoming a federal not-for-profit corporation was complex. As a law professor in, Pitel had the technical and professional expertise to take on this project. His diligent leadership and clear explanation to UWOFA board of directors and members aided the completion of this monumental project in a timely manner. The additions to the bylaws addressed the job descriptions for officers, terms of reference for committees, the Librarian and Archivist Stewards Council, the Representatives Council, particular aspects of the two bargaining units, negotiations, and the distinction between bylaws and policies. In all of these documents, he took the opportunity to modernize various aspects of corporate governance while retaining UWOFA’s fundamental structure.

In addition, the corporate name was changed to “The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association” and the financial year-end was moved to October 31 to comply with statutory requirements for the timing of the annual meeting of members.

Pitel was vice-president of UWOFA in 2016-17, president in 2017-18 and past president in 2018-19 and also for the first six months of 2020. He was a member of the Collective Bargaining Committee, Joint Committee where he was very active in developing UWOFA’s positions to the many issues raised by the pandemic in the spring of 2020. He represented UWOFA on the Provost’s Ad Hoc Committee on Freedom of Expression in 2018. Stephen was the Speaker for meetings of members from 2012 to 2016 and ran well-organized meetings with just the right level of humour and good cheer.

He has served on many UWOFA committees including the Policy and Governance Committee, having been the driving force in reforming and revising more than a dozen of UWOFA’s policies. He received the Dedicated Service Award from CAUT in 2020.

Pitel has been selfless in his contributions to UWOFA. He epitomizes the values that underpin the Allan Heinicke Memorial Service Award.