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Professor Ronald C.C. Cuming presented with Master Teacher Award

College of Law professor Ronald C.C. Cuming was presented the Master Teacher award during the June 5, 2014 convocation ceremony held at TCU Place.

Ronald C.C. Cuming joined the College of Law in 1966, having received a B.A. and LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan and a graduate degree in law from Columbia University. During his time at the college he has become an internationally recognized expert in secured financing, leasing, and insolvency law, and has shared this expertise with countless law students as well as many national and international organizations. His reputation as a teacher and scholar has been described as “legendary,” and he has received numerous awards for both teaching and research.

 Mr. Cuming exemplifies the best attributes of the teacher-scholar model. A leading expert in his field of commercial law, he has played a key role in the development and analysis of the areas of law that he teaches. Students in his classes know that they have the great good fortune of learning from a true master of the subjects. His enthusiasm for these subjects is also apparent and infectious. Words like "excitement," "passion," and "engagement" are often used to describe the experience and effect of his teaching. Mr. Cuming has inspired generations of students to pursue careers in commercial law, including some who have become leading scholars and jurists in the field.

The many letters written by former students in support of his nomination for this award speak to Mr. Cuming's exceptional ability to explain complex, technical, and difficult material, and to make it accessible to students whatever their background or prior knowledge. He encourages critical analysis by exploring the limits of the law and its interpretation, and has been using various forms of "active learning" since long before that phrase became a popular buzzword in teaching and learning. His approach is effective in fostering students' ability not only to understand the current law as it applies to practical situations they will encounter in their legal practice, but also to become independent critical thinkers who can themselves contribute to the analysis and progressive development of the law.

An expert of Mr. Cuming's stature might often be intimidating to students, but he is also known for his approachable, patient, and compassionate manner. His willingness to support both current and former students as they wrestle with challenging areas of the law is deeply appreciated and extends his influence well beyond the classroom. With this outstanding combination of personal and professional qualities, this Master Teacher continues to make a lasting impact on our students and our community.

The Master Teacher Award was established to recognize faculty members who make outstanding contributions to the learning and working environments of the university. The award honours faculty members who excel in their profession, and emphasizes the importance of good teaching at the university.