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Any are the national educational radio network presents Clark current on education. I am. Not the cook is currently the chairman and executive director of the Carnegie Commission on the future of higher education. And past president of the University of California. These programs are based upon lectures delivered by Dr. Kerr on the Indiana University campus under the auspices of the Patent Foundation. Now tonight my topic is the actual struggle over power. I want to suggest that we have this struggle because of the loss of consensus on campus. I don't want to set forth briefly what are the peculiar features of our system of governance. To indicate the pressures to change our system and then to show I think what are the inherent
difficulties in change the inherent difficulties in trying to work out a theory about how the campus should be governed. Because the problem is almost impossibly complex in theory and it's difficult in practice. Then I should like to suggest an approaching very complex problem of governance that it's worth taking a look at functions and what can functions indicate about governance and then turn to the question of what are the alternatives really before us and set forth these alternatives. A continuing slow decay of governance on our campuses. An effort at suppression of the difficulties an undertaking as there are some suggestions now here and in other countries of desegregating are great universities and a smaller component parts and then fourth a possibility of building a new consensus as a basis for better governance
and we have by and large to do. And if we choose a new consensus some suggestions I'd like to make as to how we might achieve it. Turning now to the struggle over power. She'd like to know that struggle is overpowering. Apparently very difficult as compared with struggles over interests which are much more likely to be subject to compromise. You talk about power you tend to talk about principles you tend to talk about ideology. You tend to think about exclusive power and so it's difficult to handle I've seen this in the field of industrial ations. I saw something the developments in the 1930s as the trade unions came along and began challenging management. It was often easy to settle the money issues but extremely difficult to settle the issues
over management derogative it was and the rights of the trade unions. And now in higher education we are moving from a period of debates and struggles over interests to one over power. And it would be expected that this would be a difficult period. Now this is not the first struggle of our power in the history of Hargett case in the United States. There was a major struggle after the Civil War when strong presidents came along and gave leadership to the new universities as against the classical colleges. The resent kind of a counter reaction after World War 1 when faculties began seizing power back from the strong presidents and then the other struggle which has been going on for more than a century as a continuing struggle of students against in local paratus. And we're seeing today the last remnants of that particular struggle. But this new struggle this current one is I think
the most difficult one of all. And I think we're having it particularly because the consensus which we've had on the campus for about half a century consensus over what we do and how it is done has been impaired and in some cases ruptured. And why have we lost this sense of consensus to begin with. We've lost the sense of consensus in the surrounding society and the disturbances in the surrounding society come in and help to break the consensus on the campus. Beyond that and more directly related to the campus we're having more and more external authorities come in and exercise their will over the campus. So rather than being a academic enclave living largely to itself and now finds more and more federal agencies and state
agencies and even community agencies wishing to exercise influence or control. And so it becomes difficult for the campus or two to expand the consensus of the campus to include all these other elements than are involved in governance in very sometimes and very detailed ways. Beyond that we have the students becoming more activist than ever before in the past they wanted to run extra curricular activities and now they wish to enter the inner sanctum and help run the entire university. But I think something else has happened. For some the students at least if one looks at student on rest historically generally you'll find that the students were accepting the values of the campus whether in Russia or Germany or Latin
America but they were challenging the values of the surrounding society. They thought the campus had high values in the surroundings society today for the first time on a large scale. Students are chanting challenging the values of the campus itself. And then for the faculty is becoming divided about the nature and purpose of the campus almost as never before with a growth of the descending Academy about which I talked last time as against the older a view of objectivity for the professor an independent action. Now just very briefly on the nature of the system that has come along historically in the United States and I'll just list what
I think are the major characteristics of our system I won't give you the reasons why they developed I think were good reasons for each one. But there are four distinguishing characteristics of our governance system in this country. First of all the importance of the Board of Trustees boards of trustees or regents are almost unknown around the world. Something similar exists in a few countries and nowhere else are boards of trustees so important. Second the president in the United States or the chancellor the head of the campus of the university has a good deal more authority than is true of counterparts around the world vice chancellors in the British system or Rector's in Latin America and France etc.. Third we have integrated campuses which is not true all around the world. Our campuses tend to be much more integrated physically and academically
in some countries as in France the really the University of Paris is broken up into faculties are hardly can be said to be a University of Paris Oxford in Cambridge and some of the other British universities are broken into colleges in countries like Germany and Japan what is really important is the chair of the the full professor holds the one chair in that particular field and the campus is really a series of chairs quite independent from each other. There was a time when a student from Oxford or Cambridge would be asked what college he went to not what university he went to. In France you'd be asked what faculty did you study in. In Germany the question was Who was your professor. The United States. What was your campus. We have a more integrated campus than elsewhere and then for that we have more influence from external but
non-governmental forces than anyplace else from alumni representatives of agriculture and industry and so forth. Now most places around the world. Higher education is either run by the government as in Russia and to a lesser extent in France or by the faculty as in Oxford and Cambridge before the growing power of the university grants committee or by the government and the faculty somehow together as in Germany. So our system is a peculiar one. Now when the pressures to change governments and some of these pressures are quite contrary from the States there is pressure for a much more advanced planning than ever before for more central coordination advance planning is hard for faculties to undertake generally to react better to our current problem than they do looking 10 or 20 or 40 years ahead.
And it also means central coordination that the campus has less of its autonomy. The federal government coming in as we've talked about before one quarter of all the money now from Washington and higher education has had to be reorganized to deal with the federal government. The students demanding participation and faculties in the lesser institutions not the great ones also demanding more authority in the course of these pressures from these terrible sources. There has been a clear loss of authority to trustees and to administrate Horace particularly presidents. There is also I think for a faculties have been strong as at the great universities some loss of authority for the organized faculty know what some notions can there be and what theory can one follow about solutions. I'd like to suggest that the university campus is more complicated
in terms of governance than any other institution I think known to man at least known to me. There are all these different forms we see on a campus and one at the same time parts of a campus are run like a guild where the master is the professors train the apprentices the students and many faculty members while they wouldn't use the term guild to look upon themselves as masters of medieval guilds. The campus isn't part run like a marketplace. Students choose the campus to which they want to go within the campus they choose the courses they want and the professors they'd like to take. It's a market. The campus in part as a representative democracy. There are places where the rule of one man one vote holds the campus is also
a kind of free anarchic society where in many many areas of contact of Conduct people do just as they please without any rules at all. It's also a collective bargaining situation not only formally when trade unions come in but in a way there is a lot of collective bargaining all the time a department chairman and deans in a way are the business agents for the groups they represent. A capice is also made up of a series of independent entrepreneurs running their own businesses getting their own projects out of Washington or a foundation having their consultancies writing their textbooks for sale. The campus in some regard is a corporation with property and investments and a permanent life. The campus is also a bureaucracy
with rules to be enforced and applied equally to all the campus is also in no way an agent of the state or it is a state supported campus that uses state money and it provides services to many elements within the state. So what's all these things and some more and how do you put them together in a sensible way when all of a sudden governance is a challenge. So you look then for an organizing principle among all these forms and what isn't. I do not believe that any one form of governance can be dominant on a university campus in this mixed and confusing situation. I think what we have to have is what we've had in the past. A mixed form of governance rather than one clear cut solution. And then the question comes up what kind of a mixture. And I'd like to
suggest two ways of looking at this question one by taking a look at functions and then second what seems to work elsewhere on the functional approach. I'd like to say that I think of when you started working with the actual problems of governance. That the best way to go out it is to take each of the many functions of the campus break them down into their component parts and then see who has a legitimate interest in this function and who has real competence to make decisions about it and go out in a very pragmatic way. I think the approach in France saying that the student should have one half of everything is just absolutely wrong. And the coming approach in Germany to give them one third of everything make them more pragmatic lawyers to say in some areas students ought to have 100 percent and
perhaps some other places zero. And I believe if one goes at it not from an ideological point of view but rather from this functional point of view it's possible as is proving true in some campuses around the nation to reach agreements area by area which fit that particular moment of time. And out of looking at all of this I come up with these two major suggestions. I'm quite convinced that students need to be more involved in the governance of the campus and particularly in two areas one in the development of the curriculum at the departmental level. They certainly have great interest and they have some competence and second in the development of the community life of the campus and some campuses have almost no community life at all developing the
kind helping to develop the kind of community in which they wish to live. And some of the most important years of their lives. And then the second suggestion I have is this that about governance that we have on most of our campuses. No place to get together. Representatives of all the major segments to talk about the most important problems and I'd like to see they're established on a good many campuses at least advisory councils and I underline the word advisory composed of students faculty and administrators Trustees and Alumni to talk about things which are of concern to all of them. Like rules on dissent to make rules on dissent work effectively. I think it takes a good deal of discussion within the total community on institutional autonomy how much should be kept and how much given up
on a question like the continuity and integrity of operations. What's the position of the whole community on keeping classes going and the work of the university going against destructive efforts. Or the question of governance itself. Who should have what authority. It seems to me whether governance now in dispute that there needs to be some kind of a council for these major matters can be discussed not turning then to the alternatives with which we're faced. One is continue to decay and we now have somebody Kay. Unrest and dissension on campus about governance as well as other matters. We have not gone as far as in Japan. I don't think we will but one third of all the universities in Japan today are either totally are largely closed including the two most famous the
great imperial universities of Tokyo and Kioto. A second is suppression of dissent of the policy followed at San Francisco State where you centralize authority in order to fight internal opponents. The third is to desegregate the university. This is being discussed. Some of the United States. A good deal of discussion in France at the present time point out the research institutes pulled out the service bureaus pulled out the professional schools fast pulled out the residence halls and the bookstores keep them all in the same area but gave each one a separate form of governance. So if there's trouble that's more likely to be confined in one place and not spread throughout the institution and also by it also by disaggregating it you've got yourself a simpler problem of governance
and you can work out more specific forms. The fourth possibility is to get a new consensus and I'd like to turn to that and for just a few moments now and indicate what I think are some directions of possible movement if we are going to try to get a new consensus on the campus. First I think we ought to give careful consideration to advisory councils bringing in all major elements of a campus to be concerned with a policy of policies about matters of universal interest. I think out of that we might get a new consensus. I think also as I just said that students ought to be brought into governance more where they have an interest and competence. I feel that student government should be strengthened in every possible way. So there is a
chance to get a majority view of the students a considered majority view as well as minority confrontations. I feel that for the sake of governance and the whole university we have to protect our corporate political neutrality otherwise the university will be torn apart inside and outside. I think we should accept. The British pattern of dealing with staff associations where they're organized and I know this is becoming a problem on many campuses in the United States where their staff associations to bargain about salaries and conditions. I think that we should accept the rise of these staff associations. We wanted to undertake bargaining with them. I don't see how the campus can be exempt from collective bargaining when it spreads throughout all the rest of
society. I would say however that his staff associations come in every effort ought to be made not to reduce the academic authority of the faculty sentence next. I think it's important to retain the authority of the president or the Chancellor of the campus. And for this reason we're going through a period of change rapid changes after the Civil War. If that changes to be successful it's going to take strong executive leadership in the academic world. If you look at history almost all the successful changes have come about with executive leadership. Without it they die. These changes die in committees and squabbles back and forth. And so if we need changes I think we have to have executive leadership
and know that some of you may be quite opposed to this idea. I also think that the style of presidents needs to change somewhat. They have in recent times with the emphasis upon dealing in the state capital and in Washington and foundations and so forth intended for the president to handle the external relations and they have the internal relations to deans and vice presidents. I think presidents and the current situation need to turn their attention to the internal problems of the campus become more visible on the campus and they need to become more like mayors and less like the corporation heads which a good many of them tended to become. Beyond that I think we need to create mechanisms for fast action
fast consultation on campus to meet confrontations which won't wait. Beyond that I think we have to turn our back clearly on violence as a matter of the policy of the academic community but to make that effective. I think there have to be academic penalties put on people who undertake violence. Violence is not going to be sustained on the American campus. It's either going to be handled reduced internally with academic penalties or campus after campus as happened to the University of California Berkeley last spring is going to be turned over to the politicians and the police to run. Next I think we need to pour a lot more resources into the undergraduate students as in Britain and particularly to lower division students.
That's where you have the most dissatisfaction the highest dropout rate. And it's significant that in every study I've seen of student unrest and dissent that it is the new students just coming in and feeling neglected. Who are the ones who are most active in dissent against the university. I think sometimes with good reason we tend to neglect them until they're far down the road. We ought to be out there welcoming in them and giving them our best service. I think we ought to consciously try to create as many options as possible for students. On the big campuses cluster colleges as diverse as possible a variety of academic programs so they can choose among a variety of living arrangements opportunities for them to drop in and drop out. And then I think we have to give more attention and we have to size that had not become too excessive to rate our growth and not be too traumatic
to internal structure that and not be too monolithic and faced with confrontation. I think one answer is decentralization with the centralization you can have faster action and also more progress more pragmatic action with heavy centralization. There are delays and matters tend to become more matters of ideology and then beyond that I think we have to be more concerned with protecting and this is my final point. We're preserving the autonomy of the campus the academic world has been organized through the American Association of University Professors to a lesser extent through the American Civil Liberties Union to protect the freedom of the individual professor from the domination by the trustees and by the president. But that's not where the problems are anymore.
It seems to me there are greater problems now lie in the reduction of the autonomy and integrity of the campus to external authority and the introduction of violence and coercion and sometimes undue dominance within it seems to me that the AUP and the ACLU with their long experience their high status ought to undertake some newer obligations to draw the new lines necessary to protect the campus from the new types of external and internal attacks. And it seems to me that they could perform an immense service to higher education by turning their attention in these directions. Now let me say in conclusion and I'm all for better governance. I don't want to suggest that having better governance on the campus is going to assure trend quality. We live in a troubled society and so long as it's troubled the campus is going to be troubled.
But it seems to me that with better governance the problems which are inevitable and after all dissent is not only inevitable but desirable. The problem is what you rise with are going to be easier to handle with better governance. They won't be so destructive they won't spread so rapidly through the entire institution and thus they will not leave so often to outside interference. But even at the best I think we have to expect that kept us for a very long time to come to be the major center of dissent and unrest in American society. Clark around education is a series of programs based upon lectures delivered on the Bloomington topis of Indiana University under the auspices of the Patent Foundation. Clocker on education was produced by Carl Hirsch for WFIU radio
service of Indiana University. This is NPR. The national educational radio network.
Special of the week
Issue 27-70 "Clark Kerr on Education 4 of 5"
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Chicago: “Special of the week; Issue 27-70 "Clark Kerr on Education 4 of 5",” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “Special of the week; Issue 27-70 "Clark Kerr on Education 4 of 5".” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: Special of the week; Issue 27-70 "Clark Kerr on Education 4 of 5". Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from