Norman Ruff, veteran political scientist, dies at age 78
“One of B.C.’s most respected political scientists, whose classes influenced a generation of politicians and whose commentary shaped decades of media coverage, has died.
Norman Ruff, a professor emeritus at the University of Victoria, died Saturday evening from esophageal cancer at a hospice facility in Victoria. He was 78.
Ruff spent 36 years as a professor of political science at UVic, barely slowing down after his retirement in 2005. His classes, including undergraduate courses in B.C. and Canadian political science, helped inspire numerous students to go on to become MLAs, cabinet ministers and political staffers.
“He was a thoughtful and unique commentator, whose opinions were respected by all sides. His close study of B.C. politics gave him insights few others could match. He helped regular people understand the unique and tumultuous nature of B.C. politics. He will be missed by many British Columbians and members on all sides of the legislature.”
“Norm was brilliant at what he did,” added George Abbott, a former Liberal cabinet minister who was Ruff’s teaching assistant in the 1970s. “Just a super guy. Wonderful sense of humour, very sharp analytical mind, and obviously was a highly-favoured pundit in the province for that reason.”
“It would be very difficult to emerge from a Norman Ruff political science class without being just a little bit more excited about politics.”