In Texas aftergolf beer’s the one… for good taste, good fun y After a hard-played 18 holes, it’s good to settle down on a soft chair in the club house and add up the score with friends. What better time for the drink that scores with almost every golfercool, thirst-quenching beer? Yes, beer’s great to relax with, great for refreshment, great for taste. So whatever your sport boating or baseballswimming or tennisrelax afterwards with the zestful taste of beer. UNITED STATES BREWERS ASSOCIATION, INC. 905 International Life Bldg., Austin 1, Texas T HAT THIS IS SO needs very little documentation. Our little schoolboard elections show us time and time again the reality of things. I live in a small town outside Austin. In that township the percentage of professors rises to somewhere near twenty percent of the total, yet there are no professors on the school board. This is not because professors do not run for office, but because they are invariably defeated by the contractors, brick manufacturers, real estate agents, and other businessmen who actually control the town. Education, it is locally felt, is something which professors are too impractical to understand. That is, education is business. When one professor ran and won, it was immediately discovered that the Texas Constitution \(in which anything from serving on the local school board, so he was disqualified. When Governor Connally appointed his group to study the needs of higher education in Texas, he appointed a majority of businessmen, making his selections, it would seem, on the same 22 The Texas Observer principle. If the group perhaps contained a few businessmen who might be called enlightened, it is nonetheless clear that the governor’s board represented the conventional Texas attitude toward culture and educationit’s finally all a matter of business. In the recent scandals in the state college system, the principle was the same. It was on behalf of the moral and political consensus of the business community that governing boards intervened grossly and stupidly in what should have been academic matters. They thereby injured the prospects of the state elsewhere. It is, for instance, very difficult to bring outstanding teachers and scholars to Texaseven to the University of Texas where academic freedom is now respected or at least permitted when there are invariably one or two state supported Texas colleges on the list of colleges censured by the American Association of University Professors. The fact confirms all the country’s worst stereotypes of Texas life, and especially the suspicion that it is dominated by an unenlightened business community. The subject here is not only academic freedom, but also the disparity between the reality and the image in Texas culture and education. Our politicians and civic leaders talk education and cultureeverybody is for itbut in practice it is almost always a matter of business, or civic pride and civic pride and business are very often merely different faces of the same coin. There is thus about culture and Texas a pervasive air of unreality, and often of downright hypocrisy. And this hypocrisy is positively fatal to culture, since it teaches cynicism about public goals and political programs. At the University of Texas, there is widespread student cynicism about “excellence in education” and “an institution of the first class” simply because students note the frequently gross disparity between the ideal and the actuality. Who among the students can take seriously the notion of excellence in architecture after the recent scandal involving the governor and one of the Regents?* The *Editor’s note: The events in question came to public notice in a four-day period late last yearfrom Tuesday, Dec. 8, through Friday, Dec. 11. Here is their brief chronology: Dec. 8: John S. Redditt of Lufkin, a University of Texas regent and former state .senator, resigned, charging Gov. Connally with “dictation to the board of regents” and the regents with “bowing to pressure.” An architectural contract for a new science building at Texas Western College had been awarded to the El Paso firm of Nesmith, Lane, and Associates. Rea Nesmith of that firm is an active Republican who has opposed Connally. A 1963 legislative “rider” had given the governor a veto over the selection of architects for state buildings. Connally had not vetoed Nesmith’s firm, but had not approved it, and the regents on the preceding Oct. 24 had rescinded the contract by a 4-3 vote, with Redditt, Rabbi Levi Olan of Dallas, and A. G. McNeese of Houston voting in the minority. Dec. 9: Redditt told the Daily Texan, the U.T. student newspaper, that W. W. Heath, chairman of the regents, had informed his fellow regents before the vote on the contract on Oct. 24 that Connally had indicated that he would not approve it. The HOuston Chronicle quoted Redditt that two unnamed regents had said, in advance of the vote, that Connally would not approve the contract. This same day Connally held a press conference at which he fierily denied Redditt’s charges. He said the accusation that he dictated to the regents on any subject was “untrue, unwarranted, and unfair.” He stressed repeatedly that he did not ask the legislature for the veto power, but that he had been given the authority and he intended to “live up to it.” Dec. 10: Redditt sent two letters he had received from regent Frank Erwin to W. R. Beaumier, editor of the Lufkin News. Redditt told Beaumier in an attached note, “I’m sorry that I am compelled, as a last resort, to use these personal letters, but they will prove to any reasonable and fairminded man that I am telling the truth.” In one of the letters, dated June 10, 1964, Erwinwho is Democratic national committeeman from Texas and a Connally ally, as well as a regenthad written to Redditt: “The present Governor, however, approved the inclusion of the rider in question in the appropriation bill and intends to exercise the power given him therein. “Right or wrong, it is his [Connally’s] view that since architectural contracts are not let on a competitive bid basis, they simply constitute valuable gifts that are awarded by the state government. “It is also his view that there are a number of architects in Texas who can do an adequate job in designing state buildings, and that while he would be opposed to awarding contracts to incompetent architects, he is also opposed to awarding contracts to competent architects who have not been friendly to him and his administration. “By a process of elimination, that rationale necessarily means that he wants the state architectural contracts awarded to competent architects who have been friendly to him and his administration.” Dec. 11: Connally went to a board of regents meeting on campus and denied applying
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.