Paul Fox

Paul Fox
Place of Birth: 
Orillia, ON
Year of Death: 
Graduation Years: 
1944 (BA)
1947 (MA)
First Year Employed at Erindale College: 
Department / Division: 
Political Science

There are not many jobs in which you have the opportunity to work with young people almost exclusively and where you’re paid to learn. When you think about that, what most of us don’t realize is how lucky we are – we are paid to learn. That’s a fantastic privilege.

Paul Fox

Paul Fox’s academic journey began as a University of Toronto student, earning his BA from Victoria College in 1944 and his master of arts in political science in 1947. Subsequently, he received his PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1959. He was especially interested in the Canadian political process and leadership theories.

Fox returned to U of T as a professor of political science, a position he held for 25 years. For two years, during the early days of Erindale College (later U of T Mississauga), he was cross-appointed to campus to teach one political science course. It was during this period that a U of T search committee, convened to recommend a new principal for Erindale, asked him to apply for the position. Fox was surprised as he had never considered putting forth his name. However, he was selected and accepted the offer, becoming the fourth and longest-serving principal of Erindale from 1976-1986. In his final year as principal, he stated that it had been “a very exciting experience. Probably the best in my life.”

Fox played an influential role in the creation of community partnerships between Erindale and the City of Mississauga. Those connections ultimately led to major fundraising initiatives which, at the time of severe budgetary cutbacks, were essential to the survival and prosperity of the college. He was also known for his campus spirit due to his involvement in student events, including riding on homecoming floats each year.

During his life, he served on numerous advisory committees and boards, and was very active in Canadian public broadcasting as a commentator on major social and political issues. Among his many contributions to political science are the various editions of the popular textbook Politics: Canada, which he edited, first published in the 1960s. He received numerous awards including the University of Toronto Faculty Award and U of T’s Arbor Award for volunteerism. In 1987, he was honoured as an officer of the Order of Canada for his profound impact on students, the community and Canadian politics at large.

In recognition of his dedication and service to Erindale, the college established the Paul W. Fox Award in 1980. The award is presented to a member of the community who best represents the distinguished voluntary service to UTM that was demonstrated by Paul Fox, himself.