Queen’s community mourns loss of Professor C.E.S. Franks

Colleagues describe Professor Emeritus as ‘amazingly intriguing’

Professor Ned Frank passed away at the age of 81.

Former professor in the Queen’s department of Political Studies and the School of Physical Health and Education, C.E.S. (Ned) Franks passed away peacefully on Sept. 11. He was 81.

Franks was a professor at the University for 35 years. The loss of his presence and easy-going demeanor has been felt throughout the Queen’s community. 

On Tuesday, Principal Daniel Woolf tweeted his condolences, saying he was “saddened to learn of the death today of one of our star political studies emeritus professors, C.E.S. (Ned) Franks. Long after retiring he continued to contribute to Queen’s and the country’s well-being.” 

Franks began his education in his hometown of Toronto, attending Upper Canada College. He came to Queen’s for his BA in 1959 and later, his MA in 1965. Franks then travelled to Oxford for a Doctorate of Philosophy.  

Franks returned to Queen’s in 1967 as an assistant professor, with a knowledge and presence beloved by many over the course of his time at the university.  

In an email statement to The Journal, Associate Professor David Haglund said Franks’ intellect and personality played a unique role at Queen’s. 

 “I always found [Ned] to be an amazingly easy—and intriguing—colleague to talk to,” Haglund said. “Ned was a real ‘Renaissance’ character, with few topics ever managing to escape the ambit of his vast intellectual curiosity.”

In addition to publishing more than 100 scholarly articles, Franks made his mark on the political community by editing and writing 14 books and monographs—including Dissent and the State, The Parliament of Canada, and The Canoe and White Water.

Franks was also active in the media, authoring op-ed articles in national media outlets like The Globe and Mail.

“Such was the richness of his knowledge about his particular scholarly passions—especially the study of parliamentary regimes in the western world and beyond—that he was regularly sought out by domestic and foreign media outlets.” Haglund said, recalling his colleague’s scholarly talent.  

Haglund also referenced Frank’s success in the media. He wrote, “I recall with especial happiness those frequent moments when I read Ned being quoted in the New York Times and other top-flight newspapers.” 

Frank’s contributions to the field of political studies made him not only well known by colleagues, his work was also recognized and awarded on both the national and international stage.  

In 2002, the former professor was granted the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, awarded to individuals who played significant roles in shaping Canada.  

In addition to his 2002 award, Franks was awarded the 75th Anniversary Medallion by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society only two years later.  

Franks contributions will continue to be remembered throughout the Queen’s Community. 

“He will be missed,” Haglund said.   

Funeral arrangements for the professor will be announced shortly. 

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