Pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus led univer­sity’s code of ethics

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS -

‘I

hope, of course, to ‘live on’ in the mem­ory of those

’ that I have loved.

The late Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus Ivan Snook (pic­tured) was awarded the New Zealand Or­der of Merit for ser­vice to ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

He es­tab­lished and chaired the first Massey Univer­sity hu­man ethics com­mit­tee, and led the de­vel­op­ment of the univer­sity’s code of ethics for hu­man sub­ject re­search. He started his ca­reer as a se­condary school teacher, was a re­search fel­low at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois and be­came a lec­turer at the Univer­sity of Can­ter­bury in 1968.

In 1981, he moved to Massey Univer­sity as a Pro­fes­sor of Ed­u­ca­tion, ris­ing to de­part­ment head then dean of ed­u­ca­tion be­fore re­tir­ing in 1993. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doc­tor­ate to which he said he was “very hon­oured to get the recog­ni­tion. Noth­ing could be nicer than to be recog­nised for your schol­ar­ship by the com­mu­nity of schol­ars you be­long to. I’m de­lighted to be part of Massey Univer­sity.”

Pro­fes­sor Snook died in Oc­to­ber 2018. His wife Josie gave the Manawatu¯ Guardian her late hus­band’s Re­flec­tions on a philo­soph­i­cal life writ­ten for the Phi­los­o­phy of Ed­u­ca­tion So­ci­ety. We print ex­cerpts from his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy.

Au­to­bi­og­ra­phy ex­cerpts

”I was born into an Ir­ish-Catholic work­ing class fam­ily in Christchurch, New Zealand, and at­tended pri­mary school at the con­vent in Ad­ding­ton, a work­ing class sub­urb. All our so­cial needs were met within the par­ish: there were Scouts and Cubs; a ten­nis club, a foot­ball club, a box­ing club, card games (Wed­nes­day night for “oldies”), a so­cial club (Fri­day nights for se­condary school stu­dents), a par­ish dance (Satur­day nights for post school youth), and, from time to time, con­certs (Sun­day night). In this ghetto of Catholic be­liefs and prac­tices I some­how ac­quired a par­tic­u­lar view of Chris­tian­ity which, de­spite rad­i­cal changes in out­look over the years, I have been to­tally un­able to shake off. I be­lieved then and be­lieve now that the main mes­sage of Chris­tian­ity is that one should shun wealth and pos­ses­sions and live sim­ply, putting oth­ers first. Sadly, this is not the Chris­tian­ity the world knows to­day and few ever live up to it.

In the mid-60s the Viet­nam War was rip­ping that coun­try apart and he and Josie joined a Catholic peace group and took part in de­mon­stra­tions against the war. He said it was not un­com­mon for some­one to come and take head and shoul­der pho­tographs of each of them as they stood in si­lent protest. Pro­fes­sor Snook went on to say that the 80s was a “time when rene­gade Labour politi­cians set out to de­stroy that fine ideal of a coun­try where its cit­i­zens were cared for, and suc­ceeded in mak­ing New Zealand a much nas­tier place”. He con­tin­ued that he was in­clined to think that “in tem­per­a­ment I am more of an ac­tivist than a scholar. I be­lieve that in­volve­ment in prac­ti­cal ac­tiv­i­ties has en­livened my aca­demic work while my aca­demic work has in­formed the prac­ti­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.”

And fi­nally: “I re­tired in 1993, af­ter a heart at­tack and by­pass surgery. Since then I have had a full and re­ward­ing re­tire­ment. Although I feel well, take my pills, do my ex­er­cise and watch my diet, I can­not ex­pect these veins pos­ing as ar­ter­ies to last much longer. I hope, of course, to ‘live on’ in the mem­ory of those that I have loved, in the genes which some of them carry and (for a lit­tle time per­haps) in my writ­ings. It is enough.”

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