In Memoriam: Harvey Shulman

January 2006

Dr. Clive Seligman, SAFS President

Harvey Shulman died in December, 2005 one month shy of his 61st birthday. Harvey joined the SAFS board in 1995 and was always a diligent, caring, and intelligent colleague. We will all miss his wisdom and carefully expressed advice. Harvey was an extraordinary human being who meant a lot to many people, as is evident from the three eulogies that follow:

Dr. Martin Singer, Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs, Concordia University

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I am deeply saddened to report the death of Harvey Shulman, who has been my colleague and friend for over 30 years.

Harvey was an undergraduate at Sir George Williams University and did his graduate work at Carleton University in Ottawa. He was a full-time faculty member beginning in 1971 and had a remarkable teaching career, both in the Department of Political Science and at the Liberal Arts College.

Harvey Shulman was the co-founder and the first Vice-Principal of the Liberal Arts College from 1978-1984, and its second principal, from 1985 to 1991. He was a Permanent Fellow of the College. His colleagues celebrate his dedication, selflessness and sheer hard work in making the College the great success it has become. Harvey made a major contribution to University governance and the Concordia University Faculty Association (CUFA).

He served on a number of major committees and on University Councils. He was a member of Senate in the 1970s, 1980s 1990s and into the 21st century. He was previously Vice-President of CUFA and co-chief of the team that negotiated the most recent collective agreement.

Harvey was an inspiring teacher in part because he was both thoughtful and well read, not only in the literature of political thought, but more broadly in the history of Western civilization. His publications and scholarship are on the Bible and the manner in which it was read by early modern political thinkers, such as Spinoza and Hobbes, and contemporary scholars, such as Daniel Elazar and Emil Fackenheim.

Harvey remained a committed and active teacher and participant in the Political Science Department, where he also pursued his teaching and research interests in American politics, American political thought, and academic freedom and civil rights.

Those of us who knew Harvey were fortunate to have him as a friend, colleague and teacher. His contribution to Concordia University was without equal and he will be missed by all of us. On a personal level, I feel a great sense of loss.

A funeral service for Harvey will be held on Wednesday, December 14th at 11:45 at Paperman and Son (3880 Jean Talon, West - corner of Cote des Neiges). He is survived by his wife Celia and sister, Barbara Shulman.

Claude Lajeunesse, President, Concordia University

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I met Harvey Shulman through his work on the Presidential Search Committee this past year. I did not take a long time to appreciate the exceptional human being he was and how much he contributed to Concordia University.

Harvey was not only a gifted, committed and generous teacher, but he was a concerned Concordian. Harvey Shulman kept us on our toes and never hesitated to share his observations and his views. I will always cherish the memory of Harvey welcoming me at the Liberal Arts College and explaining in detail the accomplishments of “his” students. Harvey truly cared about Concordia and he truly cared about the welfare and the academic development of students.

Nicole and I and the whole community will miss him dearly.

My sincere condolences to his family and his many friends at Concordia.

John J. Furedy and Christine P. Furedy

On Harvey Shulman’s passing: The ‘democracy of intellect’ loses a courageous voice.

Harvey Shulman’s poor health unfortunately limited him in traveling to meetings so we met him only once or twice after getting to know him from his involvement with the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship. But he more than made up for being homebound by a virtual presence through email, a presence that was always vivid.

Harvey was that rarest of administrators, a man of unshakeable principle with great sensitivity and tact, who could thereby hold the respect and confidence of his peers in an important university post.

When SAFS and Harvey’s university, Concordia, came into direct conflict in 2004 over the university’s cancellation of an invitation for Ehud Barak to speak at the university, a cancellation that appeared to be yielding to threats of violence by a pro-Palestinian pressure group (see, Harvey handled the difficult task of balancing his membership on SAFS’ board of directors with his loyalty to Concordia with both tact and courage When Concordia’s president later delivered a keynote address on “Defending academic freedom in a politicized university” to an 2003 SAFS meeting (for a summary, see, he explicitly thanked Harvey for drawing his attention to the academic freedom issues that arose during this emotional and complex affair.

Harvey never hesitated to speak out on politically charged and delicate issues. Two examples from his contributions to SAFS were his thoughts on spousal hirings by universities (see and teaching evaluations. His views on that latter issue were particularly trenchant, as we see in the unedited version of a letter The Chronicle of Higher Education published, but omitted the last paragraph that was apparently judged too uncomfortable for the Chronicle’s readers (see

We were inspired by Harvey’s intellectual courage and steadfastness, especially in recent years, as his health seriously deteriorated. There are not many of us who would persist in the life of the mind when in such poor health.

Harvey was truly SAFS’ primary font of information, providing the board and individual members with many accounts of developments at both Canadian and US universities of relevant academic freedom and scholarship issues. He could be relied upon to come up with insightful comment and relevant information in response to email enquiries. A particularly salient example of this is his report on the case of Jeffrey Asher vs. Dawson college (see

Harvey had eclectic interests and he remembered the scholarly concerns of others. He, more than most of our colleagues, would often send us items relevant to our specialties (e.g., the polygraph and environmental debates). We believe he regarded himself as part of a community of scholars, prepared to discuss topics that fall far outside one’s own special interests. He was a disinterested intellectual, supporting what Jacob Bronowski called ‘the democracy of the intellect.’

We will miss being able to call on Harvey for advice, information and wise and witty insight.