University of Saskatchewan

September 21, 2014   

Distinguished Researchers - 1998

Ronald C. C. Cuming
   Spring, 1998
Ronald C. C. Cuming
Professor of Law, College of Law

Professor Cuming, who is a native of Saskatchewan, holds a BA (1962) and an LLB (1963) from the University of Saskatchewan and an LLM (1966) from Columbia University in New York. He joined the College of Law in 1966. Professor Cuming was appointed Queen’s Counsel for Saskatchewan in 1982. He served as Chairperson of the Saskatchewan law Reform Commission during the period 19780-81.

Professor Cuming is the leading architect of modern secured financing law in Canada. The legislation which he drafted has been adopted in all provinces except Ontario and Quebec. His writings frequently have been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada and lower courts.

He took a disparate mess of laws and registry systems that existed in Saskatchewan and created a single statute that was more efficient and provided better protection for borrowers. It was passed into law in 1981 as the Personal Property Security Act. This became the model that has since been adopted by all provinces except Ontario and Quebec.

An internationally acclaimed scholar in the area of personal property security law, he has published several books and numerous journal articles in national and international publications in the areas of secured financing law, leasing law and bankruptcy law. he has been advisor to the governments of several provinces and the Government of Canada. He has prepared several reports proposing changes to Canadian bankruptcy law.

Professor Cuming’s research and reform activities have not been confined to Canada. he has worked extensively at the international level. He drafted secured financing law for the Jordanian Government and Palestine National Authority. He has also served as a technical advisor on World Bank projects in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Georgia, Armenia, and Ukraine, as well as secured financing projects for Bangladesh, Uruguay, Mexico, and Nicaragua. he is highly regarded for his skill and sensitivity in drafting laws that respect the legal traditions of various countries and different cultural concepts of property.

He has represented Canada in international organizations including the Hague Conference on Private International Law, The Hague, Netherlands and the International Institute for the Unification of Private law, Rome, Italy. He has acted as a technical advisor to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Vienna, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London, U.K.

He identified the need for and helped draft what promises to be one of the most important trade conventions ever made in a new international convention on security interests involved in the financing of aircraft, satellite, oil drilling and other large equipment that is moved from one country to another. The new convention is likely to be approved by the year 2000. Professor Cuming served as a member of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) Arbitration Panel established to consider the validity of Canada’s marketing board system.

In 1992-93, Professor Cuming received a teaching excellence award from the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union. Through his research and law reform activities, Professor Cuming has broken new ground and has played an outstanding role in the development of commercial law in Canada and elsewhere. P> 


Larry C. Fowke
     Fall, 1998
Larry C. Fowke
Professor of Biology
College of Arts and Science

Professor Fowke holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honors (1963) from the University of Saskatchewan and a Ph.D. in biology from Carleton University in Ottawa. He joined the U of S faculty in 1970.

Professor Fowke is one of the world's most distinguished plant cell biologists. He is widely recognized for his major contributions to both cell biology and biotechnology. He has played a key role in the establishment and recognition of Saskatoon as an international centre for agricultural biotechnology.

His basic research has advanced the world's knowledge of how plant cells divide and how they take in materials. In 1982-83, his lab was the first in the world to isolate plant coated vesicles and show how they take material into plant cells. He has done ground-breaking work on the biology of plant protoplasts, cells rendered exceptionally fragile by enzyme digestion of their walls. He has contributed significantly to the study of tiny protein fibres call microtubules that pull chromosomes apart when cells divide.

In 1997, he co-authored an article in the prestigious journal Nature on the isolation and cloning of a gene that codes for an inhibitor of cell division in plant cells. This work could play a significant role in crop biotechnology.

His research in plant cell biology and plant tissue culture has led to a promising new tool for forest biotechnology. His lab has pioneered and patented new methods for propagating spruce and other coniferous trees. Using an embryo-cloning technique involving tissue culture known as somatic embryogenesis, one conifer seed can be used to produce thousands of identical offspring. These propagation methods are not only of great significance scientifically, but represent a major contribution toward developing a technology that could lead to genetic improvement of conifers and more efficient forest tree propagation.

University of Saskatchewan Technologies Inc. (UST), the University's technology transfer arm, has licensed the new conifer propagation methods to a Western Canadian tree nursery company.

Prof. Fowke has published more than 100 papers in refereed journals, co-edited a book and written numerous review articles and book chapters. He has been an invited speaker at dozens of international conferences.

Currently chair of the Department of Biology, Fowke has served on many scientific committees and journal editorial boards. From 1978 to 1982, he was the Canadian Correspondent for the International Association for Plant Tissue and Cell Culture.

Colleagues say his willingness to collaborate with other research agencies and with researchers internationally is a model for the science community. He displays enthusiasm and dedication in the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Experts in his field say few researchers can match his career for sustained high quality, originality and impact.