Passing: J. Graham Cogley
It is with regret that we note the passing of Emeritus Professor J. Graham Cogley earlier this month. Colleagues will remember Graham as a highly respected scholar in the Geography Department and dedicated unionist. Over the course of a long career at Trent, Graham held a range of leadership positions in our Association and did much to advance the terms and conditions of faculty employment at Trent University.
In recognition of his enormous contributions, TUFA named Graham one of the inaugural recipients of a new award in 2014: the John Fekete Award, established by the membership to recognize outstanding service to TUFA, its members, and the academic profession.
In the words of one of his nominators, Graham “contributed to the quality of life for every TUFA member, their families and the wider Trent community, rendering service to the academic profession generally by helping to maintain standards and expectations for the working lives of the professoriate.”
Graham first served on TUFA’s Executive Committee in 1979 and at numerous other times during his career (twice as Vice-President, five years as Secretary, and four years as Grievance Officer). He served on four bargaining teams and as editor of the Association’s newsletter. He never shied away from dispute or debate within the Association, but he also understood very well the value of Solidarity.
In times of crisis, Graham was steadfast. During TUFA’s two strikes, Graham seemed to be everywhere: serving on the Negotiations Council, Strategy Committee, and as a picket captain in 1992, and then as a member of the Bargaining Team, Director of Communications, and Editor of “Trent On the Line” in 1997.
Improving the academy may have been Graham’s avocation, but scholarship was clearly his vocation. While at Trent, Graham developed an international profile for his research on Glaciology and Global Warming, authored hundreds of publications and presentations, lent his expertise to international panels and committees on climate change, and edited prestigious journals.
If all this makes Graham sound a little formidable, that’s how we saw him too.
TUFA members closest to Graham will miss the fierceness with which he defended his friends and colleagues and the commitment to fairness and justice that animated it all. Professor Cogley is missed.
At the time of this writing, there has been no announcement of a service or memorial for Graham.