File B1981-0027 - Sirluck, Ernest (oral history)

Ernest Sirluck (oral history) [audio part 1] Ernest Sirluck (oral history) [audio part 2] Ernest Sirluck (oral history) [audio part 3] Ernest Sirluck (oral history) [audio part 4] Ernest Sirluck (oral history) [audio part 5]

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UTA 5001-B1981-0027


Sirluck, Ernest (oral history)


  • Aug-Sept 1981 (Creation)

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10 reel to reel tapes

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Biographical history

Ernest Sirluck was born in Winkler, Manitoba in 1918. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1940 from the University of Manitoba and continued on to the University of Toronto to complete his M.A. in 1941. Shortly after beginning doctoral work in English, he joined the Canadian Army and served overseas. For his distinguished service he was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (Military Division), and returned to Canada as a Major.

Upon returning to the University of Toronto, he resumed his studies and earned his Doctor of Philosophy in 1948. He was a lecturer during his schooling at the UofT, and then at the University of Chicago as a Professor from 1947-1962. Ernest Sirluck’s area of expertise was in seventeenth century English Literature, especially the works of John Milton.

In 1962 he returned to the University of Toronto and served at various times as Associate Dean, Dean of Graduate Studies, and Vice-President and Graduate Dean. During this time he also continued to work on various boards and committees, as well as continued with extensive academic work. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1967.

The University of Manitoba appointed him President and Vice-Chancellor in 1970, a position he held until 1976. At the end of his time in Manitoba, Sirluck returned to Toronto and, in 1996, he published First Generation: An Autobiography, detailing his life up to that point. He died on 4 September 2013 in Toronto.

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Oral history interview conducted by Paul A. Bator. Covers Sirluck's education in Manitoba in the 1930s through his departure from the University of Toronto in 1970. Topics discussed include his graduate work in the Dept. of English at the University of Toronto and professors in the Dept. of English including E.K. Brown and A.S.P. Woodhouse, and the general state of graduate education in Canada. Focuses on the period of his tenure as Associate Dean and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies (1962-1970), commenting on the administration of the School, university finances and budgeting, the role of the federated colleges, the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, the establishment of University Professorships, the Robarts Library, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Graduate Dept. of Educational Theory, student-administrator relationships, the Americanization of the Faculty and the move to unicameralism.

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