Fundraising in the QED

News Flash! There is now an on-line giving page especially for the Economics Department! You can make donations here.


Why We Need Your Help

Since the late 1980s, the level of government funding for Canadian universities has fallen dramatically relative to that for state universities in the United States. Total funding at Queen's, on a per student basis, is now much lower than at universities of comparable quality in the United States. This has been reflected in sharply increased student-faculty ratios over the past fifteen years.

In these circumstances, the only way that the Queen's Economics Department can hope to be competitive with departments in good U.S. universities, and in other leading Canadian ones, is to obtain substantial amounts of private money. In particular, we need chairs and professorships if we are to attract and retain first-rate scholars. We have already taken a number of steps in this direction, and the University has been very supportive of our efforts. But the University itself simply does not have all the resources we need.

As of 2009, Queen's is facing very severe budgetary problems, which are being downloaded onto Economics and other departments. As a result, our chronic need for financial support has become urgent.

Depending on the interests of the donor, money can be directed to a number of different trust funds within the Department of Economics. These include, but are certainly not limited to, the following initiatives.


QED Initiatives

The QED Initiatives fund is the only endowed fund belonging to the Queen's Economics Department that is not earmarked for a particular purpose. Instead, it is used at the discretion of the Head of the Department for a wide array of student and faculty initiatives. These include

  • filling part of the massive hole in our budget for teaching assistants and adjunct faculty members that has been created by recent budget cuts;
  • supporting activities that bring students and faculty members together, such as "Profs with Beer" and the Fourth Year Dinner for undergraduates, and the Christmas party for graduate students;
  • supporting undergraduate students in the Department who are involved in educational activities, such as conferences, at Queen's or elsewhere;
  • supporting initiatives by various student groups on campus that include significant participation by Economics students;
  • supporting graduate students via supplementary fellowships, funds to defray the costs of attending conferences, and funds to cover research expenses; and
  • supporting initiatives that are primarily supported by some of the Department's other endowed funds when the resources of the latter are insufficient;
  • defraying some of the expenses of visiting speakers to the Department's five active workshop series; and
  • supporting projects that facilitate research by faculty members and students, such as shared computing equipment and the new Statistics Canada Research Data Centre at Queen's.

There are no funds in the University's budget for the Department to support many of these important activities. Thus donations to the Economics Trust play a vital role in the life of the QED.


The Skelton-Clark Economics Fund

Unlike many scientific disciplines, an Economics Department does not need very much physical capital, such as laboratories and instruments. Instead, it needs human capital. Graduate students are critical components of this human capital. Having excellent graduate students makes it easier to recruit and retain excellent faculty members. Moreover, graduate students play key roles in undergraduate education by serving as teaching assistants and, for many senior Ph.D. students, as course instructors. In order for the QED to attract high-quality students to its M.A. and Ph.D. programs, in competition with other Economics departments in Canada and elsewhere, the Department must be able to offer competitive levels of financial support. This has been a challenge in recent years.

Financial aid packages normally consist of two components, a teaching assistantship and a scholarship. The teaching assistantship is usually the same for all successful applicants for the same degree program, but stronger candidates are generally offered larger scholarships. However, because funds from the Graduate School are limited, it is often very difficult to be competitive with the offers to top students that are being made by other leading Canadian universities.

This endowed fund, named after the distinguished professors Oscar Skelton (1878-1945) and Clifford Clark (1889-1952), provides the most flexible way for the Department to provide fellowship support beyond the levels provided by the Graduate School. It can also be used to provide teaching assistantships, funds for which are increasingly scarce.


The Malcolm Urquhart Memorial Fund for Courses in Economic Theory

Malcolm C. Urquhart, known as Mac to his friends, was a leading member of the Queen's faculty from 1945 until his retirement in 1979, and he continued to teach and do research for many years after his retirement. He died in November of 2002, just short of his 89th birthday.

Mac Urquhart was an extraordinary man who made a great many contributions to Queen's and to Economics in Canada. The Mac Urquhart Memorial Fund is intended to provide a fitting memorial to him. It will also directly benefit our undergraduate students by helping to provide funding for courses related to economic theory. There is a lot more information about the life of Mac Urquhart and the Urquhart Memorial Fund available by following the link.


The Doug Purvis Professorship

Douglas Purvis was a remarkable colleague and friend who died tragically in January of 1993 after an accident that occurred over the Christmas vacation. In Doug's memory, the Economics Department has established the Douglas Purvis Professorship in Economics. The first holder of this professorship, Gregor Smith, was appointed effective July, 2000.

Despite several substantial gifts in recent years, the amount of money raised is considerably less than we originally hoped for. In fact, it is less than sixty per cent of the minimum amount currently required to establish a professorship at Queen's. Further gifts would therefore be extremely welcome. More information about the life of Doug Purvis and the Purvis Professorship is available by following the link.


The David Chadwick Smith Chair

David Smith, who was Head of the Economics Department for thirteen years and Principal of Queen's for ten years, died in May of 2000 after a short illness. David's contributions to the Economics Department and to Queen's were enormous. He transformed a small but distinguished department into a major internationally-recognized centre for economic research and teaching.

To commemorate David's accomplishments, we have established the David Chadwick Smith Chair in Economics. This is intended to be the premier chair in Economics in Canada.

Since the spring of 2003, we have achieved a great deal of success, with a gift of one million dollars from an institutional donor leading to a commitment from the University to match all donations on a dollar-for-dollar basis. As a result of these developments, the Chair was approved by the Board of Trustees in May of 2004, and it was filled in July, 2008. The first holder of the Chair is Robin Boadway, who was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada in November, 2009.

Although the David Smith Chair has become a reality, the meltdown in financial markets in 2008 and early 2009 means that it is no longer funded at the level needed to make this the premier chair in Economics in Canada. Further donations would therefore be extremely welcome.

More information about the life of David Smith and the D. C. Smith Chair is available by following the link.


The Don Wood Fund for Undergraduate Scholarships in Economics

The Don Wood Fund for Undergraduate Scholarships in Economics honours the late Don Wood, MA 1953, who taught in the Department from 1960 to 1985 and was the first Director of the School of Industrial Relations. Don was a fine scholar and an exceptional colleague. He died in June, 2003 in his 84th year.

The Don Wood Fund allows the Department to award a variable number of scholarships to exceptional students entering their second, third, or fourth years of study in Economics. These may be based either on overall achievement in Economics courses taken to date or on achievement in specific courses where prizes already exist. The Don Wood Fund is thus much more flexible than any existing scholarship fund in the Department. It will give the Department the ability to reward a variety of types of academic excellence.


Contact Information

Donations may be sent directly to the Department. Cheques should be payable to Queen's University, and the fund to which the donation is directed (for example, "David Smith Chair" or "Economics Trust") should be written on the face of the cheque. Please mail to

   Juanita Dennie
   Department of Economics
   Dunning Hall
   Queen's University
   Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

   Phone: (613) 533-3122
   Fax: (613) 533-6668

Of course, funds can also be donated via the University's Department of Advancement, and this is recommended for on-going gifts, gifts of securities, matching gifts, planned giving, and so on.

News Flash! There is now an on-line giving page especially for the Economics Department! You can make donations here.

If you would like to discuss how you can help the Department raise money, or you would like to make a substantial donation, please contact one of the following:

   Huw Lloyd-Ellis (Department Head),, 613 533-2276.
   James G. MacKinnon (QED Fundraising Chair),, 613 533-2293.


One of the Queen's Economics Department's most distinguished graduates, and greatest benefactors, was Sir Edward Peacock, after whom the Sir Edward Peacock Professorships are named. Read about Peacock's long and interesting life.