NET Journal; 231; To Calm a Troubled Campus
it's The following program is from NET the Public Television Network as Trouble on the campus is the story of more than fifty American colleges today. Tonight NET examines this vital issue in New York Peter Schrag for NET Journal The way things are on the campus today a college president is a man for whom confrontation has become a way of life. Tonight we'll talk with three men from whom this has been especially true: the presidents of Columbia, Wisconsin, and Duke. They're going to join us now while we watch one such confrontation and its unique solution. It unfolded in the weeks just past on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
This board has been a tradition at the university of Pennsylvania since 1872. The scene is much the same as it was a century ago. It is one the few comfortably familiar activities on a camp undergoing dramatic change. polls but the My name is Philip ? I teach Sociology here at the University of Pennsylvania. I was a member of the negotiating committee of students and faculty involved recently in a major development here at Penn. NET has asked me to help tell what happened. [Schrag]: The story is simple one really: it's about a successful campus movement that achieved its end without
violence. There were a few tense moments, but reason prevailed. The students' civility, but unwavering commitment set the tone. A few things you should know about them. They are a bright bunch: nearly half in the undergraduates have whole or partial scholarships. Most of them work hard. They don't go in for fraternities that they used to there was a time when antics like these would not have seen terribly out-of-place [Laughs] Let's go, Penn! [Schrag]: Sports aren't quite as big as the used to though it's hard to tell that by looking around after school. [sounds of basketball game; whistle] [basketball coach]: Hey! Okey doke. Now when you throw that out, you have to ... just don't throw it out and get all off balance, come real hard with it. okay? that's all for today, Mark
forget it. it's been the point this lampoon is of the grading system it's kind of old hat and what distinguishes students today is that they are far out you're concerns
this is what really got the movement moving at Penn, a black ghetto developed along the borders of the University after World War II. Penn at one point considered moving to the suburbs. Then a few years ago, a redevelopment plan was devised under which the university could expand by displacing the black community. The redevelopment operation prove to be drastic. "The black community bordering Penn has been nearly bulldozed out of existence as you can see. Former residents blame the University for forcing them out. Penn is associated with much of the building going up where ghetto homes used to be." [noise] A group of the residents told a Penn seminar what happened. "They are up every hour to the night with this pencil drawing for you. Now that's what they have been doing every since 19 and 50 for the people in Area 3. Now you can't blame the University of Pennsylvania for something that's
something that was promised to them 40 or 50 years ago by the, uh, Republican administration. When they started to leave this area and go out into Valley Forge, they were promised that if they would stay here that they would soon have this whole area. Understand? Now, they were made to, they were made a, uh, they were made a committment." [2 voices talking over each other] "You can blame the University or, of Penn and any other institution that decides to stay in a community, it owes something to that community, and I want to emphasize something John Grow said. He went to school at 38th and Chestnut and stoled across Penn campus everyday and it was as fine to him as Africa. So that a university, a hospital, any institution owes something to those people and especially people who cannot speak for themselves or do not have the power to be a part of this society. They do owe something." "The kind of relationship that existed prior to the thing you call Area 3, I
think that's what it was called, Area 3, well, where almost a hundred acres of land, uh, was taken from some 5 to 8 thousand people, residents, social beings, human beings in that area, predominately black or those parts that were all black, as I can remember it very well. The area out where which, which, uh, used to be, uh, 34th and Market Street had a place around the corner called Robert's Bar, oftentimes frequented by, uh, students who came from the University of Pennsylvania and there was little or any friction that existed between the two groups out there, little as black people at that time realized that that was only the beginning for a kind of deterioration between the groups at the University had, had plans probably designed some 10, 15, or 20 years, uh, before to take Robert's bar and start a thing called the University Science Center." The students made the University City Science Center, which Penn owns major stock in, their target for two reasons. Besides displacing a huge chunk of housing in Area 3, the Science Center was controversial because of the type of work it does. It gets a lot of defense
contracts, and Penn students established a tradition 2 years ago of successfully protesting University complicity in war related research. An already sensitive student body and two burning issues, the ghetto and war research. And waiting to crystallize dissent on these issues, this group of Students for a Democratic Society, SDS. "What I'd like to recommend and maybe I'll take it upon myself with a couple of other people to get some, several, uh, city planners and architects together to have a workshop as to what is possible on this amount of land and, you know, what would be desirable, yeah, you know. Other people want to, want to work on." "Why don't we, why don't we start doing this on a new piece of paper and we'll start, like, the workshops." Can you do stuff like, when you have them planned for, and when they're gonna be? When, when" [people talking over each other] [people talking over each other]
"Maybe it'll, about a half a week or a week. I'll ask so we can get some publicity out on it." "So, what you're saying is that when we come back to school, have it'll happen, like, Thursday of that, of that week" "Yeah. I think that would be better, because Monday, you're not going to get people there." "Seriously?" "You know, you know, I was thinking we could get people back ..." "? they talk about getting people back. I think it's really important for us to decide what we want to do, and then, you know, work on that, and, you know, if if we decided the right thing, I think, you know, people will, will, you know, come around." Not all Penn students are radicals these days. Most are apathetic. [car horns honking] But opposition to Vietnam, the University's growing involvement with the military industrial complex, and rejection of the values of the affluent society make potential activists out of a lot of people. [background noise] [background noise] [background noise]
[background noise] ... that's what my mother said....go into army or into jail [background talking] you can get into trouble for that [background talking] Students are one of the few bodes in the university who are free from this monetary compulsion... few groups in society that can influence the society to be humane and thats why the university determined by independent students, by independent faculty who can set values in a humane fashion and then if the influence of
the University, which will be more humane than the rest of society, affect the rest of the society and make it still more humane." "We're not restrained by having to maintain a position in business or a position in a firm, or even a position within a faculty. We're very free. We have, we have time ..." "? can turn that around on you, though, Bob, and say that's perfectly free, you're unconstrained by responsibilty and you're unconstrained by responsibility ..." "But if the responsiblity in our society corrupts the values of that responsibly, in a corrupt society means that your values have to be corrupted, then I don't want to be responsible. I want to be responsible for humane values." "Beyond that, I mean, the question is, is it, you know, we're the folks, you know, you're going to ask to, you know, lay down our lives, you know, in Vietnam. You have to realize, the draft plays a primary importance, and the war plays a, you know, a very primary importance on this whole question. But right now you know we're faced with the opportunity of saying that you either split from this country, go to jail, or become a murderer, and with that type of choice, we're building a movement. When you put us in a box like that where our whole value
system is defined in a square where we have to either leave or become you know tools of the society, we say no." [background noise] [background noise] There was a lot of indignation around Penn as the work of illuminating the black community continued. Indignation but little action until SDS decided the time had come to get the movement off the ground. They zeroed in on USC, the University City Science Center. "Over the summer, we saw that the UCSC would to be a very good thing to build a radical basis on, a radical base on campus. We did a heck of a lot of informational pamphlets and leaflets and articles." "We started doing our research over the summer." "Yeah, and we started doing research in, in terms of connections." "Community contacts, we made community contacts, and that slowly grew it up. And then we planned for something big, where we would really start saying we were committed to changing this, you know, specific injustice." "When these students had proposed the, the sit-in, and they came to us and said, you know, what does the community think of this? They
came with their arms, like, saying, we're going to fight it all the way through, you know, will you stick with us?" With the groundwork laid, SDS organized a protest march last February 18th that grew into a good-sized demonstration outside the Science Center construction site. The demonstration consisted of skits, songs and speeches. A suggestion that the site be blocked as an act of civil disobedience was overruled. Instead, the demonstrators went to present their grievances to University President Gaylord Harnwell. "Wait, wait just one minute. I want to make a quick announcement for the press. press, really. Uh, a guy made a good point to me, which is this, it should be clear that what we're doing now, the movement we're building, represents much more than simply SDS, that is, I mean, we called the demonstration, obviously, but it is now beginning to include a whole number of different sections of at least the campus population." [background noise] That spirit of openness affected the nature of the confrontation we're about to see.
Joe Mc[?Culiak?] spoke for a large cross-section of the student body. "So, these are the 7 demands: 1, that the University disclose all matters relating to the origin and purposes of the University City Science Center." "The, the essence of the demands are, are given here as well as one can, actually, with this kind of a demand. What do you mean by, for instance, uh, number 1 here? This is on a public record for years back. There is no question of disclosing." "The meetings, the minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees are not public. I know that because you told me that yourself." "That's right." "That is, for example, one of the things that people like to have." "That is really not relevant to the ... " "We have no way of knowing that." "No, that's true." [laughter and applause] "What about the housing for the people who are being cleared out of the ghettos and not being relocated into any kind of, there or even the same kind of housing that they had before?" "Yes they have been. They are, uh, have been moved into various places. We can give you the details on where they are, which will take a little time." "Dr. Harnwell, we're allowed to get the information. We'll stay here and wait for it. And then we can continue our discussion right now." [crowd noise] "I'd like you to say publically
whether the demands can be accepted or whether you reject the demands....Our public replies which are... thoughtful and responsive to the questions are given here." "You must really take us for gigantic fools. What you call reasonable, considered answers is a pile of double talk, which amounts to, in the end, saying no to every single thing that we've asked." [crowd chanting:] "Now vote, now vote, now vote, now vote." "The sit-in is open-ended right now. We will stay at least until some kind of reply comes from the Board of Trustees about our demands." "There seem to be a lot of people who want to make speeches, and I've been listening to them." "Can there be any action in the urban renewal problems that they were talking about?" "The urban renewal problems are being taken care of by.... This is not a very constructive way of going about it.
That was the beginning of the most remarkable six days. Up to a thousand students settled in, caucusing, formulating demands, confering with members of the black community. The slept in corridors or classrooms by night, left free passage by day so classes could be held, and offices opened. Some faculty joined with the protesters. Everything was done in an impressively democratic way. Penn's guidelines for demonstrations were observed. When the student factions agreed on a position, they met with the trustees and this was the result. "You're listening to exclusive live coverage of the plenary session going on in College Hall 200 on the University of Pennsylvania campus. This is WXPN Philadelphia." "A very large group has just come on to the stage. I see Joe Mc[Culiak] [?] SDS. Leaders from the black community, faculty members, all of them part of the negotiating team. I think we will hear a statement now." "The negotiating team and the trustees have agreed upon
a set of proposals to be presented to this plenary session for final approval. The negotiating team unanimously and enthusiastically feel that we have won more than any other college movement in history." [applause] "We have not only won all our goals, but we also are now in a black student coalition that is the greatest to my knowledge and that is still on the move." The administration agreed to establish a committee of students, faculty, community leaders, and trustees, a committee exercising veto power over all future University plans for expansion. The Administration contributed 75,000 dollars for the operation of the committee. The trustees also pledged themselves to raise ten million dollars to be used for community redevelopment. This was a tacit admission that the previous unilateral policy with regard to the ghetto was basically misguided and that major amends were required.
The upshot of all these changes in policy towards the community is that Penn is now a pioneer among urban universities and substituting a policy of coordination with it's neighbors in place of the classical pattern of expansion and destruction. Additionally, the demonstrators unanimously adopted an integrity statement drafted by the black community which recognized the dehumanizing aspects of the University and its particular neglect of the needs of black students. As for the Science Center, the Administration promised to end the Center's involvement in military research. This in effect halts Penn's association with any research that is not oriented towards humane ends. The science part of the settlement took on added significance a few days later. The day, March 4th, had been earmarked as a day of protest against the anti-ballistic missile system. It had later been broadened into a Day of Conscience, in which the University would examine the uses and misuses of all knowledge. [background noise]
[horns honking/traffic noise] On March 4th, the idea of the Day of Conscience was promoted throughout the campus by faculty members. "Um, I'd just like to introduce to all of you here tonight Mr. Ted Hirschberg, one of the main originators of this March 4th date and has worked very hard with several undergraduates to coordinate and develop this program. And I guess tonight he's going to tell us what went into it and some of what's going to happen." "Thanks. The situation, or the dilemma of American education, if I may characterize it, goes something like this: No place, no place in the educational structure or set up is there an opportunity for individuals--that's you, me, all of us--to stop and find out what we're all about. We're too busy jumping the hurdles, picking up that little package of education, of conventional wisdom, that passport to success that feeds us out into the society, where become very polished social, social organisms. We know how to talk to people, we know how to dress, we know how to say the right things and so on and so forth. And in a way, the system rewards the master opportunist in this way along the
line. No place, no place, do students get a chance to stop and say, wait a minute, what am I all about? let alone, what my major is. What are my own needs as an individual? What about the people? What about the people that I seek approval from? What are their values? What are their purposes, what are their goals, what are their aims? I don't even know what I'm about. How can I go on, uh, and continue my education? And I think that, that this concern showed itself in the sit-in. It was non-disruptive, it was non-violent. The sit-in was a way of approaching a problem that people had been talking about for a long time. In that case, the questions had been asked and people were trying to find ways of implementing policies. And it's these questions that have turned off quite a few people. And it's questions of self-examination that, that sort of electrified the sit-in. The experience of people, for those of you that participated in that day after day. That sense of community, that sense of sharing, that sense of working together instead of just sort of drifting apart in on a a library or in and out of [?drug?] or wherever you're going to be. Breaking out of the old habits and saying, what are we all
about? What are our purposes?" The Day of Conscience reached the more conservative fraternities and sororities as well. "You know, when I said to you I thought the most important ? Administration was the promise to change structures, of attitudes between, uh, University people and the community. And that's a long-term thing, and much more important than any amount of money [inaudible]." "But I think the goal was [inaudible]" [people talking over each other] " ... they placed demands upon the University." They had demands that had to be answered. Demands, not a, you know, it's not an opener for, like, Let's sit down and talk." [inaudible speaker/talking over] "It's a very important point, you see. If you, if you, if that's what the demand said. Now if the demand had simply said, We will stay here until the University gives 106 acres back to the black community, that's not negotiable. But if you say, We will stay here until we have some positive assurance that these demands about the return of the land they've, research policy of the Science Center and so forth on that, uh, you have allowed a point of negotiation. And the trustees were very sensitive to that."
the...uh problem is, what do you really want to talk about? What is it that excites you most and interests you most? And it's far better for you to raise these questions than for me to think I know what interests you. Here, as far as Penn goes, we had a sit-in that engendered a lot of real dedication. A major resolution occurs such that even the Trustees took the view that they welcomed it. That what was decided was not pressed on them by a dissident group of students, but that they had just learned that the thing they wanted to do was that getting involved with the community. The students were saying, we want more concern, we want the University to take a greater care and a greater interest in the rights of the local community." "What I'm wondering is, does, does this structured committee, the, the communication that's been set up now, does everyone have the power to carry this forward? I mean, it, it's really nice that it's existing right now, but how long is it going to work and what are the chances of it accomplishing
what it's set up to do?" "Well, 3 times at that meeting, I got up and answered the questions like that and said the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. freedom is eternal vigilance." The climax of the Day of Conscience was a speech by nuclear physicist Ralph ? on the growing role of defense contracts and industry in the University. "It may surprise you--it did me-- to look down the list of prime military contractors and find on the list Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a 124,000,000 dollars last year in prime military contracts. This incitement to an exercise of conscience started at the right place. [applause] Let's hope that they carry through. Let's hope that we really get at the
job of dissociating our universities from the weapons business. You here at Pennsylvania have pioneered in this. Let's ... " [prior speech continues in the background] I think it's fair to say that ?'s tribute to Penn is in reality a tribute to its students. [prior speech continues in the background] The kids at Penn prodded the University into a pioneering position, [prior speech continues in the backgrond] both with regards to war research and relations with the ghetto. [speech moves to foreground:] " ... the day when scientists crawled out the classified compartments. A day when conscience and concern came to science and to the campus and we began to point science in the direction of man. Thank you very much." [applause] The fact is, [applause continues in the background] the students, with their new awareness, have taken to heart exhortations like ?. They're [applause continues in the background] acting as the conscience of the University in reminding it of its obligations and it's ideals. [applause continues in the background] It is to Penn's credit that it has begun to accommodate the students' can demand for participation. [applause continues in the background] It has accepted the pattern of decision-making established by the sit-in, a pattern that means that [applause continues in the background] students and faculty will eventually take part in all University matters. The sense of
[applause continues in the background] participation brings with it a feeling of concern for others that we detected after the sit-in [applause continues in the background] on every corner of the campus. "You students were able to achieve much [background noise throughout] more than any revolt in any other campus was unable to do through much more violence." "I'm really glad to see what they got, 'cause I, I think the redevelopment and the, uh, those people did need homes there, I think. I was really glad [background noise continues throughout] just, the University of Pennsylvania had just absolutely no concern for the black people in the community around it, and finally the black community and the white students got together and demanded what they wanted and [background noise continues throughout] finally we got our demands. Peacefully." The University does not consider its problems over. classified research continues at the science center
[background noise continues] at least until April 15th, and the Director of the Center still indicates resistance to [background noise continues] cancelling contracts. As for the [background noise continues] ghetto, the committee of students, faculty, administrators, and neighborhood leaders is meeting weekly, [background noise continues] mapping plans for the community that will be truly responsive to the wishes of local residents. [background noise continues] There's only the slightest sign so far of the 10,000,000 dollars pledged by the Trustees [background noise continues] Watching closely to see that all parties fulfill their obligations is Penn SDS, [background noise continues] still seeking to mobilize as broad a base of support as possible. [background becomes foreground] "... start. But, I mean, we've got it started. And we've got it, we've got to start saying to these people, we've got something started, we've got it now, like, it's not over with." "The more moderate or liberal [inaudible] demands or their action ...um... then a lot of us would like them to have been. Um, but if nothing else, whether they were moderate and we disagreed with them, um, they became active for the first time, and we might have the beginning of something." "And I think most of us who are realistic realize that we didn't really win anything coming out Sunday unless we make it that we want it, unless we hold on to it.
Couldn't expand it, we haven't won anything. But the point is, at the same time, we haven't been defeated. So if we stay, if we stay and get ourselves informed, and keep pushing there's a very good chance that we'll will win very substantial things. And I think that, that the way we look at the sit-in was this is sort of the preliminary to a big victory." Also watching are SDS allies like Ira Harkavy. [fades in:] " ... that mechanism wouldn't, the University can no longer be destroying a black community. It's going to have to pay for the destruction that it's done, that that's part of it..[crowd chanting"Now Vote"[?]] [crowd chanting continues in the background] "As long as the society generally has a policy of, of destruction rather than construction, if it's up to us in this University to influence the people within our University community providing human alternative leaders to the inhumane alternative that this society has adopted." "The kind of thing that's going on on campus ? today is going to be, uh, channeled effectively by the peers on campus, and not by legislations, and not by outside bodies, and not by an irate citizenry, all of which we have now, uh, but by students, who will take seriously the democratic forum and use it
to come to answers. And I think they did this." "What, uh, I have learned and what I think that many of the faculty administration certainly agree with me on, is that that it is essential that order be maintained, that one has rules, because the tendency for a gathering to turn into a crowd is a very easy transformation which has to be avoided." "I think the better way to handle it is for the colleges to control it from within, to control it by, eh, uh, with the use of guidelines which have been adopted after consultation with the faculty and the students. Uh, we were very fortunate in that the faculty worked with the students, ah, the faculty moderated their views, um, the more moderate students in the final analysis prevailed
over the extremists, and we came out with the result that was unquestionably in the best interest of the entire community, and by that I mean the black community around the University, the faculty, the students, the administration, the Trustees and everybody. It was really a victory for all. For Pennsylvania it seems protests lead to reconciliation, which isn't always the case. Our guests, our guests tonight know this very well. Dr. Andrew [?Cordier?], Acting President of Columbia University, where student disorders last year became a national issue. Dr. Fred Harrington, President of the University of Wisconsin where clashes between students and National Guard troops made headlines last winter. Our guest from Duke University is Dr. Douglas [?Knight?] where camp, where the campus became a battleground and students, between students and police in February. Gentlemen, you've all Gentlemen, you've all seen the film and the way I read the film one of my impressions as it's stated on the film. is that it takes the students to save university from his
transgressions. Would you like to start on that note? "Well, it's an interesting question, and at first, I would dissent from that to a considerable degree. I've told the students [unintelligible] university repeatedly that the policies that I'm following are not as a result of shock treatment. They rise of my sense of right and justice for the University, my sense of what the University should do, my sense of University-community relations, my sense of what movement the University should engage in with respect to its present and its future. I think, uh, I think there's a very basic factor here, that is, if you assume that, uh, it takes a shock treatment to pull the University out of its lethargy, it will be a short-lived growth, a growth that will not last very long. And what I hope universities can do across the country and on other
parts of the world, indeed, is that they can develop a progressive policy which will be continuous, unending. Because we're in a world of ever-increasing change. And this change means that the universities must adapt themselves to change. And that means in turn that we have to be very flexible. I used the expression last fall, and I think it's quite true, that we have to be in our way revolutionaries." "This Pennsylvania film was an interesting one, rather slanted, rather slanted, uh on the side of the students, and particularly slanted on the side of the left wing students. They did not suggest that the moderates had won, but rather that the radicals had won. Well, I don't know the Pennsylvania situation. But it was sad on the film uh, that this was a non-disruptive and non-violent action. A good many of the actions through the country organized by the New Left have been violent and have been disruptive. Here is the dividing line that we
all want to ?, but, uh, we don't want to have University disrupted and, uh, universities have been lately. We're all pleased of course to have, uh, university students showing some interest in the world and universities have long been interested in the world, faculties been interested. But until quite recently, most of our students were indifferent and apathetic. Uh, it's pleasant to see them waking up and we hope they'll be responsible too, now that some of them are beginning to wake up." "And yet the, the way you, you talked just now, you talked about, uh, left-wing students, New Left, moderate students and so on. Are University decisions anything other than the consequence of power, of pressures from different power groups, uh, and if so, uh, why didn't the universities anticipate, uh, some of the problems and, so-, apparently some of the, uh, shortcomings to which they now confess as a result of student protests." "Well, of course, there's always things wrong with universities, but universities have done things. For example, uh, we got rid of classified research at Wisconsin years ago, not because
of students. Students didn't know anything about it. Uh, it is true that there always are issues, but these issues've been faced for a long time. But we're glad that students are beginning to face some of the issues too." "I think when we really come, though, to document the national pattern of student unrest a year or 2 from now, when, when we do it a little more reasonably then we can at the moment, we're going to see the many, many cases where universities had moved and moved imaginatively, and I think with some courage and nerve, and where, in a sense, students rode the wave that the University as a whole was already creating. I know that I can point some examples of that in our own situation. I suspect my colleagues can, too. We had moved in the area of helping with public housing, for instance. And yet this was made an issue later on, long after we had made the first gesture, I think, in the country of selling university housing for public housing.
An example of the sort of thing I mean, where universities really do move and do have a conscience is not always recognized." Are there instances, gentlemen, in which a university per se should say no to the society, should say no to the demands that are made on it by particular groups or by all of society, whether it's classified research or any kind of defense research, uh, whether it's no to certain kinds of policy, uh, or certain kinds of programs that are demanded by particular groups. Is there, are there, and has the University said no sufficiently often in the last couple of years or has it been too ready to exceed to certain kinds of, of pressures from, uh, and I'm not talking about students. "You're not talking about student pressure, if you're talking about pressure from what you might call, uh" "I'm not talking about pressure from anybody, uh, from the outside" "from the out or from the inside." "The university, uh, has pressures on it from all sides. My university is a public university. We have pressure from the Legislature, we have pressure from the public, and we have pressure from the students.
The University has these pressures on all occasions. Uh, it does say no, uh, but normally it does not say no like that. Uh, normally, uh, it, uh, handles the situation by working with it, uh, with some care. And it's very easy to oversimplify and say the University has made all the wrong decisions. It's made some wrong decisions, certainly, in the last generation, but some right ones, too." "Kind of like this pressure back then now, but, uh, I think the important parts of it are the pressures that you discriminate with regard to the various kinds of pressure so it who just objected and i learned and purpose must enter into decisions. As to your selectivity, with respect to the kind of things you accept, and those that you reject." "Well now, let's take a a particular instance which I don't, I think excludes all present company. Let's take the instance of ROTC for example. Uh, was it principle in the first instance that led certain universities to give credit for ROTC, ROTC, and if so, uh,
what has led them, uh, to abandon that principle, uh, at a, at a moment when they were under pressure against ROTC, or is this, are these simply responses to particular social pressures and demand at a particular moment? "Uh, on the question of ROTC, uh, there are a number of considerations. One is this, of course, that ROTC came into being immediately after World War II, in fact, almost at the end of the War, and have been in existence ever since. There is, on many campuses, and that's true on our campus, a feeling that, uh, a department in the University, set up from an external source ought not, in fact, to have the same status, or a status, uh, alongside other universities' departments that in
fact are determined by a faculty decision, by faculty standards, and faculty criteria, and therefore to have a department in a university, uh, which is injected from the outside, is one of the factors that has been a matter of concern for faculty, to faculty members for some considerable time. It hasn't happened in the last year. It's an older, an older ? than that." "We at, Wisconsin have had military training for a 100 years. We were established as a Land Grant school in Lincoln's day, and that was one of the conditions for establishing the state universities. Wisconsin pioneered in making military training voluntary back in the 1920s. World War II, and we made it compulsory. And now we've gone back to the voluntary. Students participated to some extent in those decisions. So did faculty. So did our Trustees. So did the general public. I think all questions have to be faced in this fashion. I think they are being faced." "Well, now, excuse me, go ahead." "I wondered if we could
come back to your very basic question about the power of universities to say no to certain kinds of requests society makes, because that is a, the big one, it seems to me, And I'd say in the last 20 years that there've been a good many times when we've said yes far too easily and uncritically. Departments have said yes, individual researchers have said yes, and there's been very little University control over what an individual faculty member has done, for instance, when research money was easy to get, maybe too easy to get. I can't make judgments about that, but I suspect so. Now I think we have to take a much harder look at what this does to the whole University life. Does it detract from, uh, a student's education? If it does, then we have to take a very hard line on it, maybe harder than we took 10 years ago." "Do you foresee this kind of thing happening more broadly in universities where they are going to become more discriminatory or discriminating, uh, in certain kinds of activities." "Well, I do." "I don't know how discriminating you want to be. Uh, the American university is a teaching institution. It's for undergraduates and
professional and graduate students. It's a research institution, but it's also a service institution. Our American universities, and particularly the public ones, have for a very long time been involved, as in helping the farmer. We feel, many of us in the public sector, that it's a good thing to serve groups, as they come to you to be served. And it's this tradition of the involvement of the American university, rather different from universities abroad, uh, that might serve us very well now, and that will enable us to get into the ghetto and do some constructive work. And it's in our tradition. It's not all that new." "Well now, is there, can you make a distinction between service when it means agricultural research, and service when it means research on napalm?" "Well, of course you can make, um, this distinction. A great deal of, um, military research comes out of basic research, uh, which, uh, may not have an application at the beginning. But, uh, the university still has the right to make a decision, and it isn't necessarily right or necessarily wrong that
the university involves itself in military research. After all, the university is a part of the country, and the country does have to defend itself, and if we're in a major war almost certainly every university will be involved in military research. But there are plenty of reasons why some types of research, such as military research, can best be done in government laboratories, rather than on university campuses." "I don't quite understand how the distinction is made. Uh, you say certainly in time of war, all universities are going to be involved in military ?." "In the all-out time of war, the, uh, practice has been in the past that universities have become involved. This has been the, this has been the pattern in the past. It is not necessarily the pattern for the future, but I suppose it's likely to be." "Well, is this really just a, a result? Uh, how is this kind of decision made? We, uh, Dr. [?Corrier] spoke earlier about principle and about how decisions are made on principle. I'd like to know on what kind of principle, and how that principle operates in that particular realm. Is this" "Yes, you have to face, uh, a question as it arises.
Your governing board, your administration, your faculty, and perhaps now your students will be involved in making decisions of this sort. They are not necessarily clear cut. During World War II, when there was enormous public enthusiasm for our participation in that war against Hitler, a public discussion of this question would certainly have yielded the answer that the university should participate in the research that would end the war. In a, uh, less popular military situation, like the one in Vietnam, very unpopular indeed, uh, you may have quite a different answer. It's all right to talk principle, and we must talk principle, but it's to be remembered that in particular situations, uh, we have, uh, different answers depending on the circumstances." "A reference was made, then, to the word 'service.' I was rather astonished, then, some months ago when I discovered that the word 'service' was interpreted as meaning 'subservience,' uh, in other words, uh, the abdication of universities to
external decisions, the abdication of the universities to the wish of outsiders, whether it be government or other, uh, other parties. Well, of course it seems to me that, by and large, certainly, the universities should, uh reserve, uh, in these days, the right of free choice as to what its research programs should be, and, uh the, the research programs ought certainly to be related first of all to uh, flow of truth into the channels of instruction, and of course for the revelation of new truth for general use. Uh, if research, in turn, occupies the attention and the time of faculty members to the degree that they're teaching is neglected, it really becomes a rather serious matter, because I think that one of the problems on the university campus today has been, uh, attributable, has been due to the fact that
some faculty members--I would not say that this is widespread, but some faculty members--have been so much engaged in either external responsibilities or excessive research to the degree that their instruction has been neglected. And that is regrettable. Uh, on the question of service, I think of course the university should serve society. I think that it's necessary for it to serve society, uh, whether that's decided to be limited to the local community, or to the city, or to the nation, or to the world. There's a very broad platform of service which, uh, a university should take into account." "It, it seems to me, uh, and I may be wrong, is it conceivable that as a result of the student demonstrations and all the resulting discussion and so on the last 2, 3, 4 years, that our entire definition of what makes a good university, that the criteria of a good university have subtly changed--subtly, not suddenly--subtly changed" "Subtly changed."
"over the last, over the last several years. Uh, it's not been so long when universities publicly, and I think almost exclusively, prided themselves, some universities at least, on the number of Nobel laureates, on the, uh, Ph.D production, on, uh, the number of, um, uh Woodrow Wilsons they produced, on a whole series of graduate research-, uh, oriented programs. Has that changed in the last ? ?" "Well, it's changed somewhat, uh, and, uh, properly, the student unrest and the student demonstrations have certainly made a number of our professors more interested in undergraduate teaching. Now this is a plus. You can thank the students for this, uh, their showing of interest has, uh, made the professors show interest. But obviously we're not going to be giving up our research in consequence of that. Our students include graduate students. Our students are the students who are going to be making the discoveries of the future. The research revolution is quite recent too, it's only the last 50 years. That changed the universities. Now perhaps we feel that they were
changed a little too much and we should go back and give a little more attention to our undergraduates and perhaps to this question of university involvement in the world." "Is the problem, uh, really, uh, uh, it's, uh, we've come up from this whole thing of research versus teaching, which is one of those, uh, much-flayed horses. Is it really a question of research versus teaching, or is it partly a question of what kind of research and what kind of teaching? And of what, and of whom?" "Oh, it's both. It's both ? that. That is, there's a question of reverse, er, research versus teaching, although I'd rather not put it in that context, because, uh, any good teacher is to some degree, and must be a researcher, otherwise he'd become very arid as a teacher, I think, in due course if he were not, uh, if he didn't have the gift and the, and the practice of research. And I think that, uh, it is of course a question on the kind of teaching and the kind of research. Uh, I think that there needs to be, um, greater attention given to the quality of
instruction on, on the, on the American campus. I think that that has been inadequately covered in past years and attention has now again drawn to it, as it should be." "Here's a case where I think we have to look very hard to graduate school, and be honest and almost ruthless with ourselves, because graduate schools haven't in the last 50 years taken teaching seriously as one of their major obligations, even though a large proportion of their graduates went on into the professions. And I'm sure that here is something we're just beginning now to come alive to, as we ought to be alive to it." "I should say though it's very easy to attack American education, and we should be careful about that. American higher education, uh, is extraordinarily good, and the astonishing thing is that in the last generation we have, uh, tripled, quadrupled, and more the number of young people we have trained. Not only that, but we've done this right along with increasing research and we've done it extraordinarily well. So well, in fact, that many of the student
revolutions in other countries are trying to bring their higher education, uh, into a pattern like ours." "Well now." "Yes." "Uh, gentlemen, I, I'm, I'm a little, uh, concerned, and that's partly my job here, to, to prod you and be nasty, but I'm still concerned by this problem of, of faddishness, uh, suddenly, for a while, ROTC was a virtue and then it isn't, uh, for years, uh, nobody payed any attention to, uh, black studies or urban studies, and suddenly everybody's out beating the bushes for black studies and black professors, and so everybody's going for this, and yet it's all being done in the name of academic criteria and impartial standards and so on. Uh, why is it that suddenly, uh, uh, when, when Harvard drops credits for ROTC, it, just to use it as an example again, suddenly, uh, Dartmouth follows and Yale follows and everybody else is, is going with, suddenly they, they've discovered that the criteria are not, uh, what they thought they were or they're different, and the same thing is true now for certain kinds of research. Everybody prides themselves on the defense contracts they got and now suddenly everybody's
embarrassed by the defense contracts. Uh, what's, what's happened?" "I think you're making a statement that, uh, falls somewhat short of being correct. There are changes and the newspapers and the mass media generally, uh, feature these changes, uh, but the changes are not as great as you suggest, even though they are changes. We want them to be changes. Uh, we have been accused in higher education of not changing. We do change. Uh, we change, uh perhaps cautiously, perhaps not quite as cautiously as we should have done sometimes. But we should pride ourselves on our changes, rather than on being changeable. Of that, on, on that, uh, be ashamed of being changeable." "Dr. Cordier, this afternoon, uh, if I understand correctly, the Trustees of Columbia, uh, voted to give up an option on a piece of land in Rockland County, uh, which I understand, or which I guess the students had, uh, complained was going to be used for certain kinds of research. And my information may be incorrect about this, but, uh, if it is, when responding to that complaint" [people talking over each other] "Yes, that's probably incorrect, as a matter of fact." [laughter] "The, uh,
the story is, rather, that the people in that area up in Rockland County wanted to maintain this particular plot of ground, 500 acres, as a conservation area. And it is they who brought, um, uh, pressure on us, uh, to avoid the development of it in any other way than to allow it to be, uh, regarded in the future as a conservation area. An action that is taken today in giving up the option, option means that, uh, the University has pulled out of it completely, and the community is able to the county, the officials will be carry through with another party that is there to purchase the property as a conservation area." "To what extent, uh, without going into a long cycle of analysis of, uh, undergraduate, uh, motivation and what bugs the students, for which, uh, about which too much has already been said, but to what extent
are the students rebelling, or the minority of students who are rebelling, against the majority of students who are using the system and using the University in a way that, uh, is perhaps careerist, uh, opportunistic, and we congratulate ourselves on the successes you, uh, did earlier, uh, Dr. Harrington, uh, of the numbers and the training that we, we produce in universities, but to what extent is partly the whole student protest movement a rebellion against precisely that kind of training, that kind of numbers, and for some perhaps muddled, but yet I think honest vision of a more pure and even, if you will, traditional view of the university." "That's a complicated question, but protest is in the American tradition and we're glad to see it, provided it is not violent and it does bring change. We're glad to see the students, uh, showing an interest. Uh, it is of course correct that there's lots of things wrong with American society. Why shouldn't there be unrest? You've got to expect it. Uh, we want to have, we want to change things and" [some talking over, unintelligible"
"we will change America[?]." "We've always had that in American life." "We hope the students can help us do that." "I think perhaps what we need to understand as a corrective to the idea that, that students have discovered this--uh, they have--but the rest of us have been discovering it at the same time. I would say about 15 years ago, this country woke up to realize it was in the middle of a world revolution, and the university's a part of that world revolution. And it's not just undergraduates who are questioning our motives. We're questioning it, and we're a long way from being undergraduates. But we look into our own hearts the way they do. We can't always show it, perhaps, in quite the same dramatic way, but I think we feel it as keenly." "Yes, but is part of the complaint, uh, Dr. Knight, uh, the fact that the universities, and particularly the, uh, senior administrators at the universities, that they have not perhaps asserted themselves, or let's say screamed loudly enough about some of the
travesties in the society, that they have been too acquiescent, too quiet over the years, and especially the last, uh, 3 or 4 years, and particularly in regard to Vietnam." "Uh, I think on Vietnam, there's no question about it, that, uh, well, first of all, all of us, uh, are most hopeful that that war can be brought to the earliest possible conclusion. Second, is that the conclusion of that war would have a cooling effect, not only on American campuses, but on, uh, American society generally. I think that the, that the, that it's no longer a question of, of any other alternative solution, but the solution is one which must be sought in the field of bringing the war to a close as quickly as possible." "Yes, we have been complacent. We have not done enough. We should do more." "That's right." "Now gentlemen, uh, I think our time is almost up, and I think that this has been a very fruitful and fascinating discussion. Uh, I wish, uh, there's one question I want to leave
with you which you can't answer, but when will be the time when major college presidents will declare themselves on things like the Vietnam War? I know you can't, don't have time to answer it, but I'll leave it with you." "We do have many questions, as a matter of fact." [people talking over each other, unintelligible] "I was going to say, I did that a year and a half ago in the New York Times publicaly." [laughs] "Gentlemen, our guests this evening have been Dr. Andrew Cordier, Dr. Fred Harrington, and Dr. Douglas Knight. Thanks very much, gentlemen. This is Peter Schrag for NET Journal. Good night." [music] [music plays over] This is
NET, the public television network. [music plays over] Nationwide distribution of the preceding program is a service of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
- NET Journal
- Episode Number
- To Calm a Troubled Campus
- Producing Organization
- National Educational Television and Radio Center
- Contributing Organization
- Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
- Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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- Episode Description
- This episode examines a break in the inflammatory campus scene at the University of Pennsylvania, where agreement was reached after demonstrations just two weeks ago. The protest at Pennsylvania centered around government contracts for research that would foster the war effort, and expansion by the University into neighboring ghettos. One solution reached by the administration, with the aid of faculty mediators, involves the suspension of all research deemed destructive to human life. In addition, the University settled on a $10 million indemnity for damage already done in the ghetto and arranged for local residents to sit on a board that will consider any future expansion. Administrators, faculty members, students, and local residents are interviewed on the episode. There is also footage of the University's Day of Conscience, at which the uses and misuses of knowledge are discussed. For the second half of this episode, a panel of college presidents will address themselves to the issue of campus demonstrations. Panelists are Dr. Andrew Cordier of Columbia University, Douglas Knight of Duke University, and Fred Harrington of the University of Wisconsin. Interviewer is Peter Schrag, editor of Change, a journal of higher education, and author of "Village School Downtown" and "Voices in the Classroom." The panelists appear live in New York City. NET JOURNAL TO CALM A TROUBLED CAMPUS is a production of National Educational Television, produced by John Richard Starkey with Gordon Thomas. The episode runs an hour and was shot in color. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
- Social Issues
- Published Work: This work was offered for sale and/or rent in 1972.
- Media type
- Moving Image
Executive Producer: Schnurman, Ned
Interviewer: Schrag, Peter
Panelist: Cordier, Andrew
Panelist: Harrington, Fred
Panelist: Knight, Douglas
Producer: Thomas, Gordon
Producer: Starkey, John Richard
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: wnet_aacip_2500 (WNET Archive)
Format: 2 inch videotape: Quad
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Identifier: 2311076-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
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Identifier: 2311076-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
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- Chicago: “NET Journal; 231; To Calm a Troubled Campus,” 1969-04-07, Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-43nvx4g1.
- MLA: “NET Journal; 231; To Calm a Troubled Campus.” 1969-04-07. Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-43nvx4g1>.
- APA: NET Journal; 231; To Calm a Troubled Campus. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-75-43nvx4g1