Rowland Smith has been Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Calgary since August 2004. From 1994 to 2004 he was Professor of English and Vice-President: Academic at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. From 1967 to 1994 he was at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he went through the ranks from Assistant Professor to McCulloch Professor. From 1977 to 1983 he was Chair of the English Department and from 1988 to 1993 he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Dalhousie.
He has taught at the University of Natal, the University of the Witwatersrand, Pembroke College, Oxford, Université de Rouen, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III and the University of Western Sydney. Born in South Africa, he moved permanently to Canada in 1967. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg and moved from there to Lincoln College, Oxford as the Transvaal Rhodes Scholar for 1960.
He has held a number of roles in the field of scholarly and academic work outside his own institution. He has been Secretary-Treasurer of the Association of College and University Teachers of English, President of the Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, President of the Canadian Association of Chairs of English, President of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents.
His academic field is in twentieth-century British literature and in Commonwealth/Postcolonial writing (four books, authored and edited, and approximately one hundred book chapters, articles, review articles and reviews).
He has long been interested in international academic exchanges and co-operation among universities in countries other than Canada. As Chair of OCAV (Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents) he led the OCAV Executive on a formal visit to Germany to discuss the Ontario/Baden Wüerttemberg exchange program with Rectors and Vice-Rectors of the universities of Baden-Wüerttemberg in May 2003 in Konstanz and Tubingen. As Vice-President: Academic at Laurier he supervised the whole international program and negotiated with institutions in several countries. He was a “Rapporteur” on “Internationalization of the Curriculum: Why and How,” at the Internationalization Association of Universities Conference at the University of Claude Bernard Lyon I in Lyon, France in 2002.
He is particularly interested in the ways academic program requirements affect international exchange and co-operation.