Stal Boctor Passes Away

It is with the deepest sadness and sorrow that the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science announce the death of our former Dean and colleague Stal Boctor on Sunday, September 4, 2011.

Few individuals have enjoyed as long and productive a career at Ryerson as Stal Boctor. After earning his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, Stal joined the Electrical Engineering Department at Ryerson in 1971. He served two terms as Chair before accepting the position of Associate Dean, and was founding Program Director of the Computer Networks graduate program. It was these last two positions, Associate Dean and Founding Program Director, that were to provide Stalin with the final expertise necessary to step into the Dean's role in 2002, a position he held until 2009.

During his tenure as Dean, Stal oversaw tremendous expansion and quality enhancement of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Faculty launched five innovative and successful undergraduate programs. The growth of graduate studies was remarkable; all departments in the Faculty came to offer at least one graduate program. Under Stal's leadership, the Faculty significantly increased research activity, hired many new faculty, and launched important new student support initiatives. Engineering, Architecture and Science continued to attract and retain high quality faculty and staff, adding 45 new faculty members and 30 technical and support staff to its complement from 2002 to 2009. The number of Canada Research Chair holders increased from two in 2002 to nine in 2009, and the first NSERC Industrial Research Chair was awarded to the Faculty in 2006.

Under Stal, the Faculty launched special initiatives to support students and student retention, including the launch of the First-Year and Common Engineering Office in 2003 and a similar initiative for science students in 2005. The Engineering Transitional Program was redesigned and expanded, remedial language and math programs were implemented in 2003, and an early intervention program was established in 2004. In 2009, Stal was named the inaugural recipient of the Errol Aspevig Award for Outstanding Academic Leadership at Ryerson.

Stal's tremendous contributions extend beyond Ryerson. He was highly regarded in his discipline and amongst his many professional activities, he was a member of accreditation teams for the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, and Chair of the Council of Ontario Deans of Engineering.

Stal has left an indelible mark at Ryerson as a distinguished engineer and leader. He will be deeply missed by all those who knew him: staff, colleagues, and students alike.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his friends and all who were close to him.

Funeral services will be held in the chapel of the Visitation Centre on Saturday, September 10th at 11 a.m. at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 375 Mount Pleasant Road (east gate entrance), Toronto, Ontario, M4T 2V8, 416-485-5572. Burial will follow at the same location.

The Faculty is also planning a memorial for Stal on Thursday, September 22nd between 12:00-2:00 in the Atrium. Further details will follow.

Please feel free to visit the online guestbook and leave your comments or share your favourite memory of Stal.

Mohamed Lachemi, PhD, P.Eng.
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science