Claude Bissell

Claude Thomas Bissell, cultural administrator and author (b at Meaford, Ont 10 Feb 1916; d at Toronto 21 June 2000.). He was educated at Toronto public schools, University of Toronto (BA 1936, MA 1937) and Cornell (PhD 1940).

Bissell, Claude Thomas

Claude Thomas Bissell, cultural administrator and author (b at Meaford, Ont 10 Feb 1916; d at Toronto 21 June 2000.). He was educated at Toronto public schools, University of Toronto (BA 1936, MA 1937) and Cornell (PhD 1940). He was president of Carleton University (1956-58), president of U of T (1958-71), and professor in the department of English at U of T 1973-83.

Claude Bissell's tenure as president at Toronto coincided with widespread agitation for a more democratic form of administration, and concluded with the adoption of a constitution that incorporated substantial student and staff representation. He placed great emphasis on the development of graduate studies and was largely responsible for the university's decision to build a major research library.

Bissell was the chairman of the Canada Council 1960-62, and the first Mackenzie King professor of Canadian studies at Harvard 1967-68. He is the author of The Strength of the University (1968), Halfway up Parnassus (1974), The Humanities in the University (1977), and a 2-volume biography of Vincent Massey: The Young Vincent Massey (1981) and The Imperial Canadian (1986).