Janet Wardlaw

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Interview Date


F. Partridge

Call Number

RE1 UOG A1340022


Janet Wardlaw interview


Florence Partridge (00:00:01):
This interview with Dr. Janet Wardlaw is being recorded by Florence Partridge on April the 23rd, 1990, from the University of Guelph Alumni Association, Alumni in Action group. Dr. Wardlaw came to Guelph in the summer of 1966. She was dean of the College of Family and Consumer Studies for 13 years, then became associate vice president academic of the University of Guelph, and retired in 1987.

Florence Partridge (00:00:36):
Janet, let's go back to the beginning of things. Can you tell us where you were born, what brothers and sisters you had, anything of your family makeup?

Janet Wardlaw (00:00:47):
Well, yes. I was born in Toronto, and, uh, actually I'm a twin. I have a twin brother. And we were the oldest in the family. And we had a younger brother three years younger than we were. And, uh, that was, uh, we had, uh, grandparents nearby, so on a rather normal family setting.

Florence Partridge (00:01:10):
Uh, where did you get your primary and secondary education?

Janet Wardlaw (00:01:14):
Well, my very early primary education was in the city of Toronto, an elementary school there. And when I was nine years old, we moved to Islington. Islington then was a small village on the outskirts of Toronto. And so, I think we gained by attending the small elementary school, and then a, the high school in Etobicoke.

Florence Partridge (00:01:37):
You, you do feel that that was an advantage, to- to be in a sm- a small school.

Janet Wardlaw (00:01:44):
I, I think there is an advantage in the smaller school. I think perhaps I misstated that, in a way. I think one of the real advantages of living in Islington, which was truly like a village then, with the mail at the post office and so on, and, uh, some of us with parents who commuted to Toronto, but you were in a much more heterogeneous grouping than you would've been if you'd been in a suburb of Toronto.

Florence Partridge (00:02:12):
Hm. Uh, when you were, um, attending high school, um, did you take it for granted that you would go on to university?

Janet Wardlaw (00:02:25):
That's an interesting question. I think that I did, but it wasn't discussed a great deal at home. And as a matter of fact, my mother told me years later that she had realized when I was about 14 that I would want to go to university, and that my father, who was not a young father, had the expectation that I would stay at home as his sister had done with the parents. So she... and I think she was a very clever person... she said that she just began, uh, helping him to see that I would go to university, because that was not his expectation. And I was never aware of that.

Florence Partridge (00:03:06):
I see. Then, um, when it came time then to go to university, uh, how did you choose which university you would attend?

Janet Wardlaw (00:03:18):
Well, in those days, eh, you know, if you lived in or near Toronto, if your parents did not have a university loyalty to Queens or whatever, then I don't think we thought very much of, of any other place but Toronto.

Florence Partridge (00:03:34):
It was a matter of proximity.

Janet Wardlaw (00:03:35):
It was proximity and just a sort of matter of course.

Florence Partridge (00:03:39):
And what about your choice of course?

Janet Wardlaw (00:03:42):
Well, that's a, an odd one, I think. Um, I didn't h- you know, all through high school have a very clear idea of what I might do. I think I was more inclined to know what I didn't want to do. (laughs) And, but, eh, at that time, a number of the girls went to home economics at the University of Toronto. Some of them were not successful, and we were always made very aware that you had to enjoy, be able to cope with physics and chemistry.

Janet Wardlaw (00:04:15):
Well, I really liked physics and chemistry, so, and that was a, that was seen as a prerequisite to home economics at the University of Toronto. And I had always, with my mother, enjoyed cooking and sewing and that sort of thing. And so, I would put it together. I liked physics and chemistry. (laughs) I also liked these, doing these things that I'd done with my mother. Interestingly enough, though, she had had... and obviously didn't really keep bringing this forward to me... but she had had in her mind Macdonald Institute, because a friend of hers had taught there. And so, she thought this would be a very nice place to go. But of course, when I was ready to go it was closed because of the war.

Florence Partridge (00:05:00):
Hm. You, you didn't feel that your choice of course was influenced by the sort of stereotype, uh, that's, there were certain things that girls did and other things girls didn't? For example, if you were interested in physics and chemistry, you might have chosen quite differently.

Janet Wardlaw (00:05:24):
Well, I have, I've don't think so. Well, for one thing, we did not have a guidance program in those days at that high school. My parents did not have a university background. And the several uncles that I, who had had, you know, university training were either a Latin and Greek scholar or a veterinarian or a lawyer. And I must admit, I hadn't thought of any of those as something I was going to do. I, I suppose in a sense that it was, because if I'd been a little more daring, I think, I, I really was interested in animals. And in another 15 years, I might have decided I would go to veterinary college, but I don't know.

Florence Partridge (00:06:15):
Then, when you graduated from the University of Toronto, uh, did you go on immediately to do graduate work?

Janet Wardlaw (00:06:26):
No. I went to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal to do a dietetic internship. And then, and I think I was very fortunate in, uh, my first job. Um, I came home from that, and my mother was quite ill at the time, so I was sort of in a situation of not rushing into the first thing that came along. And, uh, an opportunity came with the Canadian Red Cross Society to fill in in the school meal study that they were undertaking at the time because of a very severe illness of the dietician. And so, I worked in that situation for the remaining two years of that rather major research project.

Janet Wardlaw (00:07:14):
And I've often said one of the best, um, things about a first job is, in those days, when you weren't expected to move very often, was to have one that ended, (laughs) because I indeed had one that ended. And also, it was a very rich experience for a brand new graduate. It was a research project, I think, ahead of its time. It brought in many disciplines. And so, I was just fortunate in that job.

Florence Partridge (00:07:45):
Would you backtrack a little bit and comment about your internship at, uh, you- you VIC In Montreal? Um, were dieticians accepted in the, um, role of the, of, of, um, professionals in the, in the, uh, hospital?

Janet Wardlaw (00:08:09):
I have to give kind of a double-edged answer to that. Yes, I think they were. They were still very defensive. And I think that led them to feel, in managing people, that they had to be very tough. You know, sort of the way they thought men would be. Uh, and so, the management style is something that, when I look back on it, provided some negative learning, let's say. (laughing)

Janet Wardlaw (00:08:34):
Um, also, the... You know, I, I think they were more accepted than they themselves recognized. But, on the other hand, while it was a good experience, uh, much of what the students did did not contribute to, um, kind of either therapeutic clinical work they should be doing or management work. And indeed, we did tasks that were inappropriate for-

Florence Partridge (00:09:07):
It, it was kitchen work.

Janet Wardlaw (00:09:08):
It really was, yes.

Florence Partridge (00:09:10):
And how-

Janet Wardlaw (00:09:10):
Not all of it, but just a very great deal. And it was very evident to the rest of the community that that's what was happening.

Florence Partridge (00:09:16):
How were you accepted by the nurses?

Janet Wardlaw (00:09:19):
Um, again, I- I think reasonably well, you know. Uh, but again, I think the dieticians were still at a defensive stage.

Florence Partridge (00:09:29):
Hm. Then, after your work with the Red Cross, your, your research project, uh, what did you go on to then?

Janet Wardlaw (00:09:38):
Well, again, I was very lucky (laughing). Um, just as that was finishing, uh, you remember Dr. McHenry, who was the nutritionist at the School of Hygiene at Toronto, University of Toronto. And he was on the Rockefeller General Education Board that was involved in programs to provide master's training to community nutritionists, primarily in the South, but, uh, because that's where the Rockefeller Education Board was focusing its interest. But there was a fellowship available that had not been filled. And so they, the trustees or the school involved, had come to him to propose someone.

Janet Wardlaw (00:10:22):
And, uh, it happened that the fact they've hustled science people, it was Doreen Smith who was there at the time, suggested that I might like to go. I had never really thought of doing a master's degree. You know, I had a notion you had to be a genius practically to do this thing (laughs), but, um, it was a master's program in community nutrition at the University of Tennessee. And it was a very good exp- you know, sort of ex- experience and with lots of field experience that was just very valuable in moving into that field.

Florence Partridge (00:11:07):
And having completed your master's, then?

Janet Wardlaw (00:11:10):
Then I went to the University of, uh... pardon me... to the Michigan Department of Health. And I was a public health nutritionist in one of the regions in Michigan for three years.

Florence Partridge (00:11:24):
Did, did that involve a good deal of traveling around the neighborhood?

Janet Wardlaw (00:11:28):
It, well, it did in a way. Although, I, I was located in the region that surrounded Detroit. Detroit had its own nutrition staff, so I worked in the counties around, and then lived in that area, but didn't do nearly the traveling of, say, a nutritionist who was involved with the northern part of Michigan.

Florence Partridge (00:11:51):
What was the, the state of nutrition in, in, in the, in the schools or in the homes at, at that time and in that neighborhood? Was it reasonable good? Was it terrible?

Janet Wardlaw (00:12:02):
Oh, well, there was a great range, especially, certainly in the area that I was in, because we were not in Detroit, but surrounding Detroit. And so, there were townships with, um, upper middle income groupings with typical, uh, sub- suburb... actually, I shouldn't say suburb, that a range of levels from very modest on up. There were also were settlements of migrants from the South, uh, people would call them poor whites. And then, many negro communities. Actually, the saddest groups, in terms of nutrition and understanding of child development and so on, were the, the white migrants. I suppose that the, um, uh, that, that the sort of child care and so on in the negro groups was much superior.

Florence Partridge (00:13:04):
How long did you stay there?

Janet Wardlaw (00:13:06):
Three years.

Florence Partridge (00:13:08):
And what was your next move?

Janet Wardlaw (00:13:11):
Well, then I came back to Toronto. I, I, the, um, uh, Toronto City Health Department had been seeking a nutritionist, actually for several years, and there weren't very many people in those days with a specific master's program in community nutrition. And they had asked me if I would come back, I suppose, about a year before I had actually went back. And we had just started in the state an apprenticeship program for young nutritionists. And I had one who was to be with me for a year, and I felt I should carry forward with that commitment.

Janet Wardlaw (00:13:51):
However, finally I did go to the interview. And you know, as things evolve, I was being interviewed just at the time that, again, my mother was very ill. And, uh, uh, if you want to be very relaxed in an interview, just be interviewed in that situation, (laughs) because the interview is sort of secondary.

Janet Wardlaw (00:14:11):
But, uh, anyway, it evolved that it, that I came back in another six months to Toronto. So I came back in the fall of, uh, '53 and became the nutritionist for the Department of Public Health in the city of Toronto.

Florence Partridge (00:14:32):
And that position, um, lasted for how long?

Janet Wardlaw (00:14:36):
Well, I, three years. (laughing) It kept moving.

Florence Partridge (00:14:39):
That's your period of time.

Janet Wardlaw (00:14:42):
Until I came to ground.

Florence Partridge (00:14:43):
But when did you do your, uh, doctorate?

Janet Wardlaw (00:14:47):
Well, there's a little bit... I went from, uh, the City of Toronto Health Department to the University of Toronto. Uh, and the, what was then the Faculty of Household Science. And I, that was from '56. And in, um, in three years after I had begun teaching at the University of Toronto, I went on, was given leave and, and went to Penn State University to begin my PhD program there in nutrition.

Florence Partridge (00:15:24):
And you completed that and came back to Toronto?

Janet Wardlaw (00:15:28):
Yes, I came back to Toronto in, uh, January '63.

Florence Partridge (00:15:35):
And stayed there for another three years.

Janet Wardlaw (00:15:37):
Yes, I guess I did. (laughing) Yes.

Florence Partridge (00:15:41):
So then you came to Guelph in the summer of 1966-

Janet Wardlaw (00:15:46):

Florence Partridge (00:15:47):
... as a professor of foods and nutrition. Uh, how had you become aware of that position? Was it advertised? Or...

Janet Wardlaw (00:15:57):
No, I had decided that, that I would like to consider a move into another situation, so I actually contacted Dr. McCready, because I was in contact with people in the United States, you know, as happened in those days. You know, sort of the all girl/boy network. And I felt it was only fair to let people in... that, that's presumptuous... but that I should let people in Canada know that I-

Florence Partridge (00:16:26):
That you were ready for a change.

Janet Wardlaw (00:16:26):
... might move. Yeah. Yeah.

Florence Partridge (00:16:29):
So Dr. McCready was dean then. Who was president of the university at that time?

Janet Wardlaw (00:16:33):
Dr. McLaughlin.

Florence Partridge (00:16:37):
Were you already familiar with the, um, course of study at Macdonald Institute?

Janet Wardlaw (00:16:44):
Reasonably familiar. We've had, um, I had, on a few occasions, taught at a, a department of education summer courses for home economics teachers in the days when they were giving summer courses to increase the supply of teachers. And I had contact with one or two faculty members in that way. And we had visited the college as a group, the faculty from Toronto. So I was somewhat familiar with it.

Florence Partridge (00:17:16):
Uh, can you remember what your expectations of the position were? You had come from a teaching position in Toronto. Uh, did you expect this to be rather similar? Did you expect it to be, um, a growth, uh, situation? (laughing) or...

Janet Wardlaw (00:17:38):
Um, well, I knew that it would be similar, uh, of one thing, of course. The undergraduate program at Guelph is much bigger, so the classes of the faculty now wouldn't think they were big, but were bigger, and, and there was just a, a bigger body of people involved. I suppose what I saw as an attraction was that they, the graduate program was just beginning. And, uh, there certainly was an opportunity for someone interested in nutrition, and particularly community nutrition. And I realized more and more that a focus on those aspects of nutrition were, just had to evolve.

Florence Partridge (00:18:30):
Did you feel that you were a part of the, uh, University of Guelph as a whole? Or was your interest, uh, pretty much restricted to Macdonald Institute?

Janet Wardlaw (00:18:43):
Well, interestingly enough, I s- I was very quickly put onto university committees. Uh, perhaps this was the fate of many new people. But in retrospect, it, that was very useful because I did get a feel for this, you know, emerging university.

Florence Partridge (00:19:06):
Was the, um, had the hotel and food administration, uh, course, was that already in, uh, uh, the consultation period when you arrived on campus?

Janet Wardlaw (00:19:21):
Uh, it, it was at the stage where, um, uh, a pro- an undergraduate program was being put together for presentation to senate. And so it, it was that far along with a, a committee that I believe Jim Stevens was perhaps heading up. I'm not certain of that. And, s- that, then, uh, moved fairly quickly. And actually the, um, director of the hotel school, the first director, George Bedell, uh, really began his term almost at the time that I became the dean.

Florence Partridge (00:20:07):
The, uh, new building to accommodate them then was under construction, uh, at that time?

Janet Wardlaw (00:20:16):
No. No, it wasn't. They, uh, actually, it was under construction when I was on leave in '74. And-

Florence Partridge (00:20:24):
Not until then?

Janet Wardlaw (00:20:25):
Not until then. And the first... remember, for a very short period we had Mr. Greenawess as director, but that was before we had students and before it had actually started. He started out in the old library office at Macdonald Institute. And then Mr. Bedell and his one faculty member and one secretary had offices up in what had been the dean's apartment at Macdonald Institute.

Florence Partridge (00:20:50):
I see. Then, um, you were, you followed Dr. McCready as dean in 1969? Eh, and then 19-

Janet Wardlaw (00:21:03):
No, no, in... actually I was appointed... it was an odd date... the first of December, 1967.

Florence Partridge (00:21:10):

Janet Wardlaw (00:21:11):
And I, oh, I was appointed. I'm sorry. I was appointed as dean designate at that point. And you're quite right. I succeeded her in January of 1969 as the dean. Yeah.

Florence Partridge (00:21:24):
Then a number of interesting things followed fairly quickly. Um, the association with the University of Ghana was initiated in that year. Would you like to talk about that a bit?

Janet Wardlaw (00:21:41):
I, yes, it wa- it was very quick, because we were, of course, in the winter of '69, we were just moving toward implementing the, you know, the program and family and consumer studies, the bachelor of applied science program. And it was in that winter that the university was asked formally to become involved in a collaborative effort with the University of Ghana. And I can remember thinking that indeed we, we had to... given what Ghana was asking in terms of home science... get involved, but that we were certainly, uh, sort of developing on two fronts at the same time.

Florence Partridge (00:22:27):
Um, would you like to comment further on the development of that, um, Ghana association?

Janet Wardlaw (00:22:35):
Eh, it's, uh, been a, a, you know, a very long-term association. And we, right now, in, um, in 1990, are involved again with funding from CETA and working with the Department of Home Science at the University of Ghana. So the links are very strong. Um, I, Dr. McCready, as you know, went over for a year as the acting head of home science, uh, right after her retirement. Uh, and she sort of paved the way for Lila Engberg to become involved. She had been on the faculty at Macdonald Institute but had been away for some time, and was just completing her doctorate at Cornell.

Janet Wardlaw (00:23:20):
I often think of that program at, in Ghana as quite remarkable, because rather than the program evolving as a reflection of a North American or a Canadian home economics program, it really evolved as a Ghanaian home science program. That might happen more nowadays, but it was unusual in those days. And credit goes both to the young faculty there and to Lila Engberg for having that happen.

Florence Partridge (00:23:56):
That, of course, was the, um, the desire, I believe, uh, wh- when the program was introduced, that, that it should be, sh- should develop as a grass roots, uh, program, in, in Ghana.

Janet Wardlaw (00:24:12):
Y- y- uh, certainly. I'm sure that, um, that may not have been the express desire. And as I say, it was, I think it was ground breaking at, you know, when I, I was on leave after that, in '74, and visited Columbia and the Caribbean and had an opportunity to see some home economics programs. And sad to say, in those days they were still using as models the British system or the North American system. So I think Ghana led the way.

Florence Partridge (00:24:44):
That and, of course, uh, it has been typical through the years that Westerners impose their, um, ideas and, and way of life on, on the third world.

Janet Wardlaw (00:24:55):
Yes, and of course, it was perhaps timing. I mean, it, there was period when, um, this was accepted. And I can remember on my second visit, you know, when we were there, having young faculty tell me that they weren't sure if the program would meet their needs, and saying, "Well, then, you're the ones that have to say this." And this is, this was hard for them, because they were saying it to much older people. And in their society, you didn't make those kind of comments. So they were very, very good at stating their, their thoughts.

Florence Partridge (00:25:31):
A revision of the courses and departments within Macdonald Institute had, I believe, already been started before you were appointed dean, but this obviously continued.

Janet Wardlaw (00:25:46):
Actually, the reason that I was appointed as dean designate a, a year before the dean's retirement was so that I could, uh, work with faculty, with students, in looking at the current program and evolving a program which as Dr. McLaughlin had said, "would meet the needs in the 1980s." He kept talking about what we could contribute to families and society in the 1980s. And so, we had had the great advantage of a year to study the current situation, and look to the future, and evolve a program that we thought would be appropriate.

Janet Wardlaw (00:26:31):
And so, the restructured curriculum and the changes in the departmental organization within Macdonald Institute had all been presented to senate and had been approved by June of '68.

Florence Partridge (00:26:46):
These changes also involved a change in name, from Macdonald Institute to the Commune-

Janet Wardlaw (00:26:56):
College of Family and Consumer Studies.

Florence Partridge (00:26:59):
Um, what was the reaction of alumni to this name change?

Janet Wardlaw (00:27:08):
Uh, the, actually, the program changes and the structure changes went ahead of the name change. And it was the following year when the university was looking at the nomenclature for all the colleges that the, it was decided that the Macdonald Institute name should, eh, indicate the role of the college, just as was happening in Wellington College where they were evolving into social science, biological science, and so on. And so, it was at that time that this name was adopted.

Janet Wardlaw (00:27:49):
I, I've always admired the alumni because there were some traditions held dear, and, and it was a very, very loyal alumni. And they, uh, I'm sure not always with great ease, but certainly never gave up their support of the college. We, um, eh, I think it will be a long, long time before the college is not referred to as MAC by many people.

Florence Partridge (00:28:19):
I think the solution to that problem was probably quite a clever one, when the acronym MACFACS was adopted. That seems to have solved the problem of maintaining the, the Mac portion, as well as including the, um, the new name.

Janet Wardlaw (00:28:41):
I thought that was very fortunate, and I ke- I, at this point, can't recall just how that evolved. But I'm reasonably sure it evolved within the alumni association itself.

Florence Partridge (00:28:55):
When did the University of Toronto give up it's courses in household science?

Janet Wardlaw (00:29:02):
I can't be exactly sure of that date, but my guess would be, eh, uh, somewhere about '71 or '72.

Florence Partridge (00:29:13):
Uh, how did you feel about this? Did you feel that you were being a traitor to your alma mater in the more or less usurping for Mac-, for this FACS, the, the, uh, function which had been served by the University of Toronto?

Janet Wardlaw (00:29:32):
Uh, no, I didn't really, because Toronto had had opportunities to, you know, uh, reconsider its program and how it, itself, might move toward the 1980s, as Dr. McLaughlin had said. There would have been different opportunities at Toronto, um, and that there could have been two complementary groups, I always felt, here in the academic brief to point out that there was room for more than the program at Guelph.

Florence Partridge (00:30:08):
Uh, would you care to, um, talk about further developments within the, um, school, within the college, uh, during the time you were there as dean?

Janet Wardlaw (00:30:22):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Uh, the various areas m- began developing further their graduate studies and child studies and family studies, consumer studies, as well as in the foods and nutrition area. And that was a, a really major im- major development over the next 5 to 10 years, getting the master's program well-established. In the family studies area now... I'm saying now, and I really mean the present... they're just at the stage of getting final approval of a PhD program in the family studies, and that was evolving while I was there.

Janet Wardlaw (00:31:06):
Uh, we cooperated with the department of nutrition, and early on gave a PhD in nutrition, eh, in that broader program. Um, on other developments, uh, quite early in the history of family and consumer studies, the program in human sexuality evolved. We were fortunate with Professor Harold's leadership to get a grant from Health and Welfare Canada, three-year grant, that was designed to assist the university in developing some specialization in the human sexuality area. And we have, ever since those first years of the college, presented a conference on human sexuality that, from the very beginning, grew over 600 participants, and really was a very major, uh, influence in opening up the field of education and human sexuality in Ontario and even in Canada. It was recognized nationwide.

Janet Wardlaw (00:32:20):
Uh, I, a little later, after that development, we became involved with the Center for Educational Disabilities, which had in- initially not been associated with the college. And that center evolved into the Center for Manage- for Marriage and Family Therapy under the direction of Dr. Claude Goldner. And that now is a very major program with a, a graduate program that has been approved by the American, uh, Marriage and Family Therapist Association. That is the first program in Canada to receive that accreditation, and as such, gives great, uh, leadership in Canada in that field.

Janet Wardlaw (00:33:12):
Um, we also, in speaking of centers, uh, began, eh, to focus on gerontology and to do some recruiting in that area, I would say in, um, the early '80s, and were in a position, then, to give leadership on the campus for a proposal submitted to SSHRC for the development of the Gerontology Research Center. The group presenting the proposal were successful in an open competition for a strategic grant from SSHRC, and uh-

Florence Partridge (00:33:53):
What is Shirk?

Janet Wardlaw (00:33:53):
SSHRC is the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.

Florence Partridge (00:33:58):
Thank you.

Janet Wardlaw (00:33:59):
And, uh, that grant was renewed and the center is indeed in a very strong position now. Uh, what other developments might I mention? I'd like to mention a development in HAFA that's important, Canada wide. When professor Tom Powers arrived as director, he was very interested in providing management training for senior managers in the hospitality industry. And his interest led to the development of what we call AMPHI, the Advanced Management Program for the Hospitality Industry. And this has continued... now, I suppose, it's getting on to seven or eight years... bringing senior managers from across Canada into a three-week intensive management training program. Not only has this been valuable in terms of management, but it certainly has increased the visibility of the school. And actually, now they offer, uh, um, another level of training at a more junior level is us- designed in somewhat the same way.

Janet Wardlaw (00:35:13):
Uh, I, and evol- something that I think would demonstrate a real change... although it, perhaps, isn't as obvious in terms of terminology... is the development within child studies, where the, we were fortunate that a nursery school had been established in Macdonald Institute, and one of the first of it's kind in the country. But it had been used as an observational unit, primarily. And as we moved into programs and early childhood education and, uh, we needed opportunities for students to interact with the children, and to have some experience in a early childhood setting.

Janet Wardlaw (00:36:00):
And so, the nursery school as we knew it evolved to meet those needs. We've added a, what we call the toddlers program, for younger children, where students can be involved in practice situations as well as observation and research situations. We've expanded that whole area to consider infancy and to consider adolescence, so that we can truly say now that we do cover, in that department, this span from infancy to old age.

Florence Partridge (00:36:33):
The, um, news, uh, daycare center on campus is under the, um, jurisdiction of the college?

Janet Wardlaw (00:36:43):
No, it is not. I- I- I- we are very pleased that one of our graduates is a director. I, I'm not certain, but I think it may be under, um, administrative services. I'm really not certain. And I'm sure they have an advisory board that will involve some of our people.

Florence Partridge (00:37:04):
But it is a daycare center rather than a school.

Janet Wardlaw (00:37:07):
That's right. Uh, I, I can see different relationships developing. But, uh, the difficulty with the school setting is that, um, or with a rural daycare setting, is that you need, eh, that where students have a very major involvement in the program, is that students aren't here on all the working days of the year.

Florence Partridge (00:37:31):
Yes. Uh, would you care to comment, also, on the, um, changes in, in teaching and research methods? The, the use of computers, of, uh, fax, of, uh, electronic mail. Um, some of these things which have been introduced within the past 10 or 15 years.

Janet Wardlaw (00:37:53):
Let me... yes, I'd be happy to, but let me do that a little later, and go back to what I said about HAFA and the AMPHI program, the advanced management program, because that program uses the case method. And until I met Tom Powers, and I wasn't very sure what the case method was, but, uh, many people will be. And, of course, to teach in that way, you have to learn how to write cases, and you have to write cases. And we used some of the hospitality industry founding money to support, and some grant money obtained for this advanced management program, to support, uh, summer workshop sessions for faculty, not only in our college and the school, but across the university. First on case writing, and then on case teaching.

Janet Wardlaw (00:38:49):
And so, the college made a very real contribution across the board to that style of teaching. And it, while it evolved in business schools, it is used more and more in some of the social science areas, for example. Uh, you were asking me more about the, um, computerize-, eh-

Florence Partridge (00:39:11):
The use of computers.

Janet Wardlaw (00:39:12):
... use of computers. Well, again, uh, the hotel school was interesting in that regard, because very early in the days of that... and it really let us, we, we realized after the fact that we were pioneers... Betty Upton and Jim Ladue, two faculty members in the School of Hotel and Food Administration, got involved in, uh, developing a simulated program that related to front-desk operation in hotels. And because, of course, not many faculty members were asking for this kind of help, they got wonderful cooperation from the computer people, and evolved a model that students could use in their learning in relation to hotel management. And it really turned out to be rather pioneering.

Janet Wardlaw (00:40:05):
And I think in the college, we were fairly well ahead in, in using computers, both in the administrative side, and then in teaching. And, and we always got great cooperation from the computer experts, no matter which of their, their, uh, organizational structure changed over time. Uh, and we now have, uh, a number of, uh, computer rooms, so to speak, open to students for utilization. Of course, everything moved so quickly. Not only were we doing the, uh, sort of computer learning and simulation and so on, but, uh, students, uh, are using them for their statistical processing for writing. And they take them, our beginning let, uh, many of them just take them as a given.

Florence Partridge (00:41:00):
Take them for granted, yes. Um, let's-

Janet Wardlaw (00:41:07):
I should say, oh. Can I interrupt? One of the things that the students, you know, many were coming out ready to do this, but one must hand it to the faculty, because we had, many of them, and even those much younger than I am, grew up without computers, and they can be rather frightening. And, and, uh, I admire the way they were game to plunge ahead. And, and as I say, I think we were pretty well off the, upfront in, in utilizing the computer technology.

Florence Partridge (00:41:41):
Hm. Well, let's leave the academic halls for a few moments and talk about, um, social life in connection with the university, the travel which, uh, it has brought for you, and, um, um, that sort of thing. Um...

Janet Wardlaw (00:42:09):
Well, you mentioned social life, and I must admit it was a very different social life than that at the University of Toronto. Um, I came, of course, just as the university was expanding. I mean, I was always very glad that I got here when it was just in its second year as a university, because I could then appreciate the development. But shortly after I came, Dr. Winegard and his wife arrived. And he, at least as one method of pulling the university together, did a great deal of entertaining of faculty members. And, uh, uh, I think the deans were invited very frequently to assist in these operations, so that you almost had a weekly event. (laughing) But it led to, in the early days, you feeling you knew nearly everybody on campus.

Janet Wardlaw (00:43:02):
And, uh, it was a, it, I realized that that couldn't continue, couldn't have been continued forever, but it, I think it was a useful means of pulling the people in the university together. I think some of the more recent presidents have also...and Dr. Winegard, too, but he couldn't, you know, enough was enough, I guess... but have worked very hard at bringing community people into some of those events. And I think that's an important aspect, too.

Florence Partridge (00:43:33):
Um, would you like to comment on travel? Or shall we leave that for a later time?

Janet Wardlaw (00:43:41):
Well, I didn't in, I guess, you're probably thinking of the travel I've been doing lately with the International Development Research Center.

Florence Partridge (00:43:48):

Janet Wardlaw (00:43:48):
My early travel was, I, I did have opportunities when we were planning the program to travel and visit other colleges of home economics, or whatever ones I felt would be appropriate. That was very helpful. And then, of course, on leave, I, I did have some interesting opportunities, too, for travel. And I don't know whether you want me to elaborate on that or not.

Florence Partridge (00:44:13):
Well, um, perhaps we could move to your association with the, with the Community of Wealth, with the, with the city. Um, I know that you've been actively in church work. Um, would you like to comment on that, or any other, uh, context which you have within the city?

Janet Wardlaw (00:44:33):
Well, I must admit that, as I, you know, in those early days, it was very, very busy. And coupled with Dan... Oh, I, when you say travel, traveling began a, a reasonable number of times, I forgot that, as a part of travel... Uh, and I used to feel that I hadn't got very involved with the community. I, I did get involved with the, with Knox Church, uh, and that was probably my only sort of community involvement (laughs), so that the, the university and the st- stage it was at, and all of the interactions that, both committee wise and socially, I, I didn't do a lot of getting involved with the community.

Florence Partridge (00:45:17):
There just wasn't time. But I think you have mentioned some time that when you first came to Guelph you roomed or boarded with a Guelph person who had lived here for some time and who more or less introduced you to, (laughing) to Guelph social life, ev- perhaps not actively, but at least, uh, in some ways.

Janet Wardlaw (00:45:42):
Well, that was very interesting, yes. I was so uncertain as to exactly where I would live and whether my father would come to Guelph, and so on. And I was really commuting on the weekends to Islington. And, uh, so I sort of, as a first start, had a room with this lady who indeed was part of the, I guess you could say, Guelph establishment. Had been born and brought up here, and her husband had been in a banking position where she was, knew Guelph in her terms, at least, or in her social setting very well.

Janet Wardlaw (00:46:15):
And it was interesting, because I, I used to say I very soon knew what was on the right side of the tracks and what was on the wrong side of the track, and I felt that I got a picture of Guelph with its biases in a very different way than those who had moved into an apartment in one of the few high rises that we had in those days.

Florence Partridge (00:46:37):
In 1983, you were appointed Associate Vice President Academic for the University of Guelph. This was, I suppose, in some ways a continuation of your work as an administrator, but a departure from household science. Would you comment about your feelings at undertaking this new venture?

Janet Wardlaw (00:47:00):
Well, actually, I su- what made it seem a reasonable possibility was that when I finished as dean, uh, or when I was about to finish, that we knew that President Forster was going to Toronto, and that-

Florence Partridge (00:47:16):
Excuse me just a moment. Uh, Dr. McLaughlin was president when you came here.

Janet Wardlaw (00:47:21):

Florence Partridge (00:47:22):
He was followed by Dr. Winegard, then by Dr. Forster.

Janet Wardlaw (00:47:26):

Florence Partridge (00:47:26):
And you also worked with Dr. Bert Matthews.

Janet Wardlaw (00:47:28):

Florence Partridge (00:47:29):
So you worked with four different presidents of the University of Guelph.

Janet Wardlaw (00:47:32):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Florence Partridge (00:47:33):
That's all right. Continue.

Janet Wardlaw (00:47:34):
And, and it was when President Forster was to go to Toronto that it was recognized that we would need to have an acting president and an acting vice president, so they had asked if I would consider being the acting vice president while the vice president acted as president. And unfortunately was struck with Don Forster's death, we began that a little earlier. But I had then, uh, through sort of August to December, been the acting vice president academic. And I had, it had been very interesting to see the university from that perspective. Uh, I had thought that I, I had looked forward at various stages to going back to the department and to teaching and graduate work-

Florence Partridge (00:48:19):
This was through the department-

Janet Wardlaw (00:48:21):
Department of Family Studies, I would have belonged with nutrition.

Florence Partridge (00:48:24):

Janet Wardlaw (00:48:24):
Uh, but nonetheless, I had enjoyed this administrative experience. And so, when the position of associate vice president academic was evolved, uh, I had to do some hard thinking as to whether to be an applicant for that position or not. But I finally decided that I would be, and I did not regret it at all. I, it was interesting to see the university from a broader perspective.

Florence Partridge (00:48:55):
When did you become involved with the International Development Research Center?

Janet Wardlaw (00:49:02):
I became involved in the spring of 1985. Uh, and at that time, I was appointed chairman of their board of governors. Uh, I had always been interested in IDRC, and had thought for a long time that an appointment to the board would be something I would welcome. I must admit, though, I was taken aback when I was appointed chairman without any prior experience. But that has, indeed, been their practice.

Florence Partridge (00:49:33):
Now, you retired from the University of Guelph, I think, in 1987. Uh, have you any comment about that?

Janet Wardlaw (00:49:43):
Uh, well, yeah. I'd retired, again, after serving that position for about three years. I, uh, took advantage of the early retirement window that was offered at that time. And when I say that, I always feel that I must point out that I was enjoying my work, but I saw it as an opportunity to deal with my IDRC responsibilities in a little more relaxed manner.

Florence Partridge (00:50:15):
So you are still, uh, associated now with IDRC, and your work with them, uh, requires you to travel throughout the world to evaluate the effectiveness of the IDRC programs in third world countries. Um, do you have any comments about this work?

Janet Wardlaw (00:50:36):
Well, let me first tell you, in terms of my continuing involvement, the chairman's appointment is four or five years. Uh, it happens that we're in a situation now where our, we are searching for a new president. And the timing is such that I was asked if I would continue for another two years. So I will be involved for that little while longer.

Florence Partridge (00:51:01):
You, you say a new president. You, you mean the position of chairman which you hold now?

Janet Wardlaw (00:51:06):
No. I hold the position of chairman, but the president is kind of like the president of the university.

Florence Partridge (00:51:12):
I see.

Janet Wardlaw (00:51:12):
The CEO. And those appointments are also term appointments. And Ivan Head finishes his, actually, he's been appointed for, he's in a third term right now, so we're in the midst of searching for his replacement.

Florence Partridge (00:51:30):
Now, with your traveling throughout the world, does, are you evaluating principally, uh, projects which are concerned with foods and nutrition?

Janet Wardlaw (00:51:43):
Uh, n- no. And actually, in a way, my traveling is not a sort of formal evaluation but an opportunity to become familiar with the programs and to see them in the different settings. Because the development is so varied and so different, let's say, in India than in Africa than in Latin America. So that certainly it's an opportunity to become aware and think in terms of policy of the appropriateness of the various programs.

Janet Wardlaw (00:52:22):
We have a, I have done and been fortunate to do some traveling sometimes for special events in one of the regions. We have six regional offices around the world. And in that kind of traveling, I've usually gone with the president. But every other year, the board of IDRC meets in one of the regions. And this is, they have their meetings, and then they, we as a group visit various projects trying to get a representative sampling. So I have to be careful not to be seen as only interested in the nutrition projects. And, uh, there's, that that would be difficult. Not because there's such an interesting range of projects.

Florence Partridge (00:53:08):
In your travels with the IDRC, there must have been many situations which were interesting, amusing, disastrous, educational. Uh, would you care to comment on, uh, perhaps some of these events which have occurred?

Janet Wardlaw (00:53:28):
Well, perhaps in a more serious vein to begin with, IDRC, of course, has as it's mandate the, eh, to increase the research capacity in the third world, particularly as it relates to the basic human needs in the third world. Uh, and so, when we visit projects, we're visiting projects that are conceived, planned, managed by third world researchers. Often they relate to very grass roots issues. So as well as meeting those researchers, we're out in very primitive settings quite frequently. Sometimes not. You know, there's a range of what we're doing. We may be looking at, uh, the problems with Bangkok and it's sinking situation. You know, the water table changes. But often, we're in, in pretty primitive settings, too, and village water pump projects, and so on.

Janet Wardlaw (00:54:30):
And I guess what I come away with the really a very impressed by the commitment of both the researcher who's working with the beneficiaries, if you like, of the research project, and the enthusiasm of, of we would call the beneficiaries, whether they're small farmers or village women, or, uh, uh, sub-professional groups. And very much with the enthusiasm of the young researchers, who just are committed to what they're doing, really, outside the university walls in many cases. Not in all cases, but in many cases. Some of them, and I shouldn't just say university, because very frequently, they're with governmental agencies or s- some with non-governmental agencies.

Janet Wardlaw (00:55:23):
Um, in a, in a little lighter vein, especially when we travel with the board, yes, things do happen in that kind of travel. And, uh, usually out of any set of any board travel experience we end up with stories that are funny, and they go on forever. Like the Jordanian board member who was petrified because in, at Morogoro in Tanzania, he found a huge black bug in his bed. Well, he's the recipient of black bugs in plastic form in many places. But the, or we really, people become ill, as you do in those settings, and that gives another kind of relationship. So I've felt as a secondary pas- uh, support or secondary outcome of the board travel is a very, uh, much a contribution to the collegiality of the board.

Janet Wardlaw (00:56:22):
And the board is an international board. 21 members. 11 must be Canadian, but never more than 11 are. And about 7 are from third world countries. And they truly function as a collegial group.

Florence Partridge (00:56:37):
Are the board members, uh, all appointed for a five-year term? And this, of course, some would be going out as others are coming in. So it is a changing composition.

Janet Wardlaw (00:56:51):
Yes, it's very much a changing composition. For some reason, the act, the parliamentary act, has board members appointed for four years and the chairman appointed for five. Don't know why. And very frequently, much more so than is the case with a chairman, because there hasn't been a pattern of a second five-year term there, uh, the board members are appointed for a second term. But we, they become so committed, and the group becomes so strong. But we do have to keep evolving, and, and so, the members do change.

Florence Partridge (00:57:28):
Well, have, are there any further comments that you'd like to make about, um, the evolvement of your career from, uh, its initial stages in household science up to your association with the IDRC?

Janet Wardlaw (00:57:46):
Well, you know, I know we talk about planning one's career, and I don't really think that I could say that I had planned mine. (laughs) I think I've been very fortunate in the situations that I have been in and the opportunities that have been presented to me. Uh, and yes, it's been interesting.

Florence Partridge (00:58:08):
Considering, um, the way your career has developed, and also considering the choices available to students today, do you think that, if you were applying to university today, you would choose household science?

Janet Wardlaw (00:58:26):
Well, uh, mind you, I might find it, eh, whether I would find a household science that looked like the household science of the past, or I would be looking at the various options, which are broad and in each one of them are kind of a separate choice that we find in the bachelor of applied science at Guelph. And, uh, I th- I think I... this is, I never really put this in words before... I would have been very tempted by the child studies major, I think.

Florence Partridge (00:58:59):
But it would have been an aspect of household science.

Janet Wardlaw (00:59:02):
Well, you see, on many of the child, the child studies, when we're just oh- we can't cope with it now because they don't see it as household science.

Florence Partridge (00:59:11):

Janet Wardlaw (00:59:11):
They, they, they would see it as something that stood on it's own as child study. I mean, a few of their mothers might, but especially in that major, they, they wouldn't see it that way.

Florence Partridge (00:59:24):
Well, it's obvious that, um, by following your initial studies at the University of Toronto, uh, you have, um, made for yourself, or been the recipient of (laughing) a very interesting, uh, career and, uh, uh, a very rewarding career. And this has been recognized by the University of Penn State when it awarded to you it's Distinguished Alumni Award, its highest honor awarded to an alumnus who has made outstanding contributions to his or her profession and community service. And this, I think, has been very well deserved.

Florence Partridge (01:00:14):
This is probably just one of many awards which you have received. Uh, would you care to comment on perhaps others which have been co- which have come your way?

Janet Wardlaw (01:00:26):
Well, yes, I, I would say that I surely I have appreciated the recognition by Penn State, and it, my graduate experience there was just a wonderful one. Uh, but one award that means a great deal to me, uh, is the, uh, the, the one in where I became a University of Guelph fellow, just about a year ago. That meant a lot to me because I was joining a group of people, many of whom I knew very well, had worked hard with in the developing years of the University of Guelph. And that fellowship, I really do hold dear.

Florence Partridge (01:01:06):
Well, thank you very much, Janet, uh, for this interview. And, uh, we certainly hope that in your busy retirement, you will still have time to keep in touch with the University of Guelph alumni.

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