In 1931 Arthur Currie, the Principal of McGill University in Montreal, dismissed sabbatical leave as unnecessary and extravagant.

‘Seeing that our summer vacations are so long,’ he wrote, ‘the need of a sabbatical year does not arise to the same extent as in those institutions where the terms are spread more generally over the whole year. With us … a professor is given a four months’ vacation. I notice that many of them spend it teaching in summer schools – or in fishing, or enjoying themselves in some other way.’

Currie – who before his distinguished career as a General in the First World War had been a businessman in British Columbia – thought such activity profligate. ‘It would be a farce to give such men one full year’s leave of absence in every seven years’, he concluded.

Yet in 1931 Currie was increasingly alone in holding this opinion… read the rest of this post at