cate program not yet authorized or is outside the role and scope of the institution, the Board may order the deletion or consideration of such course” after notice “with reasons therefor” and a hearing. “I recognize the futility of trying to overcome the will of the senator from Bryan,” Richter began drily. “As a matter of fact I rather expected we might find this bill on the local and uncontested calendar. “I don’t understand the apparent attitude of the Senate in not wanting to even consider any amendments. “I have the approval of the governor’s staff for these amendments. I didn’t want to fly in the face of the governor’s office. This isn’t to say they are endorsing them or that they want them put on today.. . I have been assured by the leadership of the House that they will adopt this amendment,” Richter said. His first amendment was designed to “limit” the superboard’s power over courses, he said. As he read Section 11, it gives the superboard power to delete “any courses,” and while a hearing is required, the bill does not require an open hearing. “I think this kind of control could be very dangerous,” he said. He mentioned J. Evetts Haley, rightwing textbook critic and author of A Texan Looks at Lyndon. The senator visualized Haley on the superboard going through the catalogues of the state’s 22,000 courses in institutions of higher learning. “I think he’d have a field day,” Richter said. For instance, Richter said, he had noticed a course in organic evolution in one Texas college catalogue. “I can see somebody raising all sorts of sand about that kind of a course and trying to take it out.” He read out another course title, “the elements of political thought,” and said, “I can see somebody who might think this is very dangerous.” He named a third course, “organizing Boy Scout work,” and noted it’s a graduate course. He asked Sen. Moore what he thought about that. “Senator,” said Moore, who had been standing at his desk across the aisle, “I haven’t been listening to your conversation.” Almost inaudibly Richter said downward into the green carpet, “Thank you.” Then aloud again he said to Mooregoing ahead and completing his interrupted and aborted coup de grace “Well, you ought to, all these courses are offered at A&M.” Texas A&M, of course, is a short ride down the highway from Bryan. Sen. Martin Dies, Jr., Lufkin, was moved to take up Richter’s argument, which he said had “a great deal of merit. There is some danger here.” On the other side, he said, it’s questionable whether colleges ought to spend tax money for courses in Japanese basket weaving and archery. “When you give somebody power you are dabbling with something that may be dangerous. But on the other hand how are we ever going to be able” to control proliferating nonsense courses otherwise? Richter responded, yes, there has to be order. But, he said, “The really and truly great institutions [of higher learning] of Christianson-Leberman Sen. Franklin Spears, San Antonio “Prohibit the governor’s board or superboard coming in telling institutions how this course is to be taught or how to teach it.” this nation have developed in an atmosphere of relative freedom.” Absurd courses should be deleted and new degree programs controlled, “but now we’re pickin’ on individual courses in the curriculum, and I think this is dangerous.” “In the last analysis the quality of our higher education is going to depend on the quality of the people the governor will appoint to the board,” Richter was saying when Moore stormed to his feet to demand, “Did I understand you to say you don’t have confidence in the governor to appoint the members of this board?” Richter said he had said no such thing and was for the bill. Moore charged him with having introduced another bill “to kill” the one pending. Richter, who introduced a bill to strengthen the powers of the extant Texas Commission on Higher ‘Education, but to leave it intact as a commission, said he thought his bill better than Moore’s, but Moore’s good enough. “What’s wrong with trying to improve it?” he asked. Sen. H. J. Blanchard, Lubbock, agreed with Richter: Blanchard favored leaving questions about specific courses to boards of trustees and regents. He did not want the superboard to “mess with English 27.” Richter said no board could assemble a staff competent to evaluate 22,000 courses. “I feel very strongly about this,” he said. “I think this thing could get out of hand … even to the point that we will be going backward, instead of forward, in higher education,” Richter continued. “This is the sort of thing that will keep the real brains of the country from coming here. I don’t think it will be abused much,” but it ought not be available in law to be abused, he said. “This is course control, pure and simple. What I’m talking about is trying to control specific courses.” On this crucial amendment, no one called for a record vote. On the voice vote, taken with many members standing, the ayes prevailed, Lt. Gov. Preston Smith ruled. Apparently the ayes were cast for tabling Richter’s , amendment, but Moore had voted no, thinking that was the way to kill the amendment. Finding himself then, Moore shouted out “Mr. President that was on a direct vote on the motion to table,” and he said he was a little confused from having been going at it so hard, or some such. Sen. Ralph Hall, Rockwall, called over to Richter, “I thought you’d won.” It was 12:01 then. Richter sat down without offering his other two amendments. SENATOR SPEARS made one more run past the power, and this time he got eleven votes on the record. His third and last amendment would have provided that “nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize or permit the board to approve, disapprove, or regulate the content of any course authorized to be offered by ‘any institution hereunder, or to have any power or authority to hire and/or fire or dismiss faculty or staff members.” This amendment, Spears told the Senate, was intended solely “to prohibit the governor’s board or superboard coming in telling institutions how this course is to be taught or how to teach it.” It “does not detract from the powers given the board to do what it’s supposed to do.” Sen. J. P. Word, Meridian, asked sardonically if Spears had “cleared” his amendment, and Spears answered he didn’t feel a senator had to clear his amendments with anybody. “Senator, you a team man?” Word asked. “I am,” Spears replied; adding, “but you know, my problem is I don’t know whose team I’m on.” Moore said, “He’s trying to kill this bill so let’s kill his amendment.” Spears said that remark was uncalled for. Word, told what the pending amendment contained, said, “That’s a good amendment. How we supposed to vote on it, Moore?” “I would vote no,” Moore said. A record vote was obtained, but just barely: three requests for it are necessary, and Spears, Kennard, and Richter were the three. Sen. Jack Hightower of Vernon, when hearing Word vote “no,” said to him, “I thought you said it was a. good amendment.” “I did, but Moore said to vote no,” Word said. “I wish I could get on your party line,” Hightower said. The third Spears amendment lost, 20-11. 5 Blanchard said to the Senate, “I don’t know why we have to do all of what one man wants. I’ve had about all I want of that proposition.” Richter’s amendment would have improved the bill, the Lubbock senator said. “I think it’s a sad thing when the senator from Gonzales is not given an opportunity to be fairly heard in this Senate, and I don’t think he was given that opportunity.” On final passage of the bill, Aikin, Hardeman, and Andy Rogers of Childress were March 5, 1965 7
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