CUFA BC Council established the Academic of the Year Award in 1995 under the Presidency of Ehor Boyanowsky (1994-95), who wanted to create a means to demonstrate to the public the importance of the research and scholarly activity carried out by public university professors.
In 1998, CUFA BC Council adopted the proposal from President Jim Gaskell (1998-2000) to refine the awards by focusing on university research and scholarly activity that contributed to the non-academic community. Council also decided to add the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award, with the inaugural award made in 1999. At this point, the two awards became known collectively as the CUFA BC Distinguished Academics Awards.
In 2009, CUFA BC Council added a new award to the Distinguished Academics Awards series roster in order to recognize the contributions to the non-academic community made by faculty members who are at an early point in their careers. The Early in Career Award was first awarded in 2010.
In 2014, on the twentieth anniversary of the awards, the Academic of the Year award was renamed the Ehor Boyanowsky Academic of the Year Award to recognize Ehor’s dedication to supporting academic research and community interests.
Past and present recipients of the CUFA BC Distinguished Academics Awards cover a wide range of fields and contributions to the non-academic community.