December 17, 2001
F. G. Woodward, who served as dean in the 1940s and 1950s, was known as a stern taskmaster as well as a devoted University supporter and dynamic teacher. The stern side of his personality is revealed in a story of an encounter said to have occurred in 1955 with a part-time instructor. What was that story?
Answer: In 1955, Dean Woodward noticed that a part-time instructor was giving her class a break during a long class period. The instructor explained that the break was to allow for smoking and visiting the restroom. The next day she received a memo from Woodward stating that if she suffered from such extreme kidney distress and desire for nicotine that she couldn't meet a class for the appointed time, perhaps she should not be teaching in the first place. And so, the story goes, the breaks were brought to an end.