Page 12


pushing for their adoption. The truth of the matter is, we had no objection whichever way the legislature wanted to put this Section 11. “I very frankly don’t know the origin of the amendment,” Temple concluded. FIFTEEN MINUTES after the House convened Tuesday morning Eckhardt did rise and speak; Cory answered him. Both spoke on “personal privilege”; the members were hushed and attentive. His point, Eckhardt said, “relates to .the integrity of the proceeding of the House” and “candor and truth about the content of amendments presented to that House.” He voted for H.B. 1 on Feb. 15, he said, because he believed its provisions carried out its purpose as specified in Section 1, excellence in higher education “through the efficient and effective utilization and concentration of all available resources and the elimination of costly duplication in program offerings, faculties, and physical plants.” “I read the bill carefully. I had doubts about that sectionI don’t like a governing board to dictate what should be taught. But Section 11 was limited to duplicate and multiple offerings. I thought it was good.” Eckhardt said that according to his “best information,” Larry Temple of the governor’s office delivered to one of the sponsors an amendment to Section 11 “that actually provided that every governing board submit its entire curriculum yearly to the coordinating board and that the coordinating board . . . might delete any offering. It also providedand this is what the authors of the bill told us it would dothat they could appeal.” The amendment was not before them in typed form, he said. “We were told that this amendment simply and solely provided a method of appeal. . . . I believe the authors of that bill were sincere in saying that was what was in the amendment. Yet the amendment completely reversed or extended broadly the purpose of the board,” making it “a board to review the course offerings of every higher institution in Texas” with “power superior to faculty and the regents .. . “If a professor of economics at the University of Texas seems to be inclined toward Keynesian economic theory, or some otheror that of John Stuart Mill for that matterthis board has the right to delete that course.” He had understood the amendment only added to the bill, whereas, Eckhardt said, it “wholly eliminated the only limitation placed on that board that prevented it from becoming a dictatorship in higher education in the State of Texas.” “I assume, and I shall continue to assume until evidence convinces me to the contrary, that the broad, sweeping effect of this amendment was inadvertent. “The governor should correct that deficiency. There’s a drastic thing, he could veto the bill, although I rather doubt that the governor would follow that course, though he could,” Eckhardt said in a lowered voice. But there was another course open, said the Houston representative”The governor could support an ancillary bill that the board is limited to duplication . . . and is not involved in dictating the educational system of Texas. I have prepared such a bill and shall introduce it this morning. “I do not wish to anticipate the result of this case. At the present time I think the governor was acting in good faith, that it is inadvertent and will be corrected. But if this is not done the result will be that the power will be given to censor higher education in Texas. “I think I might quote ‘Measure for Measure’ It is great to have the giant’s power But it is tyranny to use it like a giant.’ And -I might paraphrase it: It is great to have the giant’s power But it is worse than tyranny to use it like a card shark.” Rep. Bill Hollowell, Grand Saline, sought to ask a question of Eckhardt but could not under the rules regulating personal privilege. C ORY SPOKE BRIEFLY in a voice filled with feeling: “The privilege of personal privilege is often abused, sometimes to make political speeches, which is necessary for home consumption.” Yet he rose this morning “to defend .Charley Wilson, my good friend, and myself. “Mr. Wilson offered this amendment. I co-authored it and agreed with him in the presentation of these amendments. “The explanation was written out. The amendment was explained in full. “I want to mention one more thing: After this bill passed second reading with only three or four votes against it, we did not attempt to pass it the same day, we had it printed and it was available for Mr. Eckhardt or anybody else. “There was no attempt at concealment. There was no attempt at fraud. There was no attempt at deceit. If a man doesn’t want to read the bill he shouldn’t come back and pick on his fellow members and say they attempted to sneak something by, because that’s the essence of his speech.” Eckhardt’s ancillary bill, a rough copy of which he had on his desk, says that “the following criteria, and no other, shall be observed in determining whether such deletion or consolidatidn of courses shall be made: that the proposed course is in fact the initiation of a new degree or certificate program; or that the same results in undue duplication, fragmentation, or proliferation of courses in the indicated subject matter. The said coordinating board is hereby specifically prohibited from ordering the deletion or consolidation of courses where the purpose thereof is to eliminate from the curriculum of all institutions of higher education a field of learning or a subject on the basis of philosophical, educational, or academic predilections of the coordinating board. It is the purpose of this act to Betty Brown Governor John Connally When the House finally passed the governor’s superboard bill Feb. 16, he said this was “a high-water mark in the history of higher education in Texas.” When the Senate passed the House bill without amendments, the governor said the event was “a milestone in the history of higher education in Texas which will benefit its development and progress for years to come.” place within the power of the coordinating board such matters as will afford efficient and economical machinery and organization in the higher educational field but to leave with the boards and faculties of the various institutions matters related wholly to academic and educational policy.” What had Rep. Hollowell intended to say? “This bill completely destroys academic freedom,” he told the Observer hotly on the House floor. “It gives a political board complete control of academic freedom. The basic provisions of the bill completely destroy academic freedom, because this board, with none of the customary restraintsall of its 18 members appointed by one governorIf they don’t like a professor or a course offering at any school they can delete that course and thereby delete that professor from the school.” The Observer, closing this issue at 6 p.m. Wednesday of this -week, does not know what the governor’s position will be on this matter. He was scheduled, as we closed this issue, to sign H.B. 1 into law Thursday, March 4, at 2 p.m. R.D. 10 it is excellent To have a giant’s strength; but is is tyrannous To use it like a giant. Measure for Measure Act II. Scene 2 March 5, 1965 5