Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

June 18, 2003

U of G establishes first-ever academic chair in work, families

An endowed academic chair dealing with work and family issues has been established at the University of Guelph through a leadership gift to the University’s campaign from the Jarislowsky Foundation, which is headed by Stephen A. Jarislowsky, chair of the investment counsel firm Jarislowsky Fraser Limited.

The Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work will be the first such academic chair in Canada addressing the healthy integration of work and family responsibilities as critical economic and social policy issues. The chair will be held by Prof. Donna Lero, co-founder of the University’s Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being and a faculty member in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition.

“The establishment of this academic position at Guelph provides a unique opportunity to capitalize on innovative research, policy analysis, teaching expertise and collaborative activities in an area of profound significance for all Canadians,” says University of Guelph president Mordechai Rozanski. “It is equally significant that the endowment is being created by one of Canada’s most respected business leaders, who has spent a lifetime counselling business clients on financial strategies that promote corporate health and well-being. There is growing recognition of the importance of individual and family well-being as a foundation for both economic growth and strong communities.”

An outspoken proponent of business ethics and the accountability of corporate governance, Jarislowsky is president of the Jarislowsky Foundation, which was established to support university chairs and medical equipment and research. The Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work will be the 10th Canadian university chair funded by the foundation.

The Guelph chair will be housed in the Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being, which was created in 1998 with a mandate to promote individual and family well-being, responsive and productive work environments, and strong, sustainable communities.

“Changes in family patterns, paid work and broader economic and political structures bring to the forefront the importance of research, policy development and progressive practices in order to provide employees with the flexibility and support they need to succeed in multiple roles,” says Lero, a research director of the centre. Her own work focuses on parental- and family-leave policies, workplace support for families and the quality of child-care services. She played an active role in the federally funded You Bet I Care! studies on the quality of child care in Canada.

“As the Jarislowsky chair, I see my role as providing leadership in visioning and implementing a rigorous and policy-relevant program of research, developing courses and instructional resources, and promoting the application of best practices in private, public and non-profit sectors,” she says. “My work will dovetail with other investments to increase the capacity of the Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being to function as the premier facility for such work in Canada.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338 or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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