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Jewish scholars contributing to the nation’s store of knowledge, Jewish musicians whose work keeps us on a respectable level with other nations, Jewish merchandisers sipping martinis on Fifth Avenue and passing around the latest packaging device for catsup, little fat Jewish vendors on the lower East Side of New York selling bagles and thinking only of whether the kid will make it up in America, Jewish mothers trying to make a decent lawyer, doctor, or merchant out of junior who insists on bringing home socialist claptrap he vious occasion twelve years ago, I told him, a White Russian who had fought with the Germans and worked for the CIA had subtly indoctrinated me with a similar line of thinking, and for awhile I emerged antiSemitic ; but I had troubled myself to learn something about the people of whom so many have always entertained such dark suspicions with such grim results. Well, he would send me a certain newspaper which printed the truth, and I should pick up certain books at the American Opinion bookstore at 712 Brazos here in Austin. I did. One pamphlet concerns the use of psychological techniques by communists to produce records which undermine the courage, will to fight, and morality of American youth, and it is partially documented from British psychiatrists by someone outside the mainstream of academic practices. The Beatles, it seems, are part of this whole monstrous plot. A Guest Essay Higher Education in Texas Denton Higher education in Texas is a mess. At the top is the University of Texas struggling out of the mess that resulted from the firing of President Homer P. Rainey more than twenty years ago. Many of us now tremble as we watch the University knocking at the threshold of distinction, knowing how precariously it poises above the abyss of state politics. Let the bigots get to Arrowsmith or Silber, and here we go again. On a considerably lower level, A&M, Tech, Houston, and North Texas State, each in its own narrower sphere, copes ineffectually with its own difficulties. A&M cannot solve three problems: women, Negroes, and compulsory military; it has got to accept the first two, and reject the third. Tech has been on the American Association of University Professors blacklist since 1958; it has got to get off. North Texas State “University” is still smothered by Educationists who have so far succeeded in keeping it a Teachers College in everything but name. Houston seems to be trying hardest and doing best; it may yet become a university. Further down, such misnomers as Midwestern “University” at Wichita Falls, West Texas “University” at Canyon, and East Texas “University” at Commerce cry This issue, with this essay, the Observer inaugurates a series of guest essays that will run for some time. Martin Shockley has been professor of English at North Texas State University since 1950. He holds degrees from the University of Richmond, Duke, and the University of North Carolina, and taught at South Carolina, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Indiana before coming to Texas. He has served as president of the Texas Conference of College Teachers of English, the American Studies Assn. of Texas, the Poetry Society of Texas, the Texas Folklore Society, and the Texas Conference of the American Assn. of University ProfesHays Professor of American Literature at the University of Cape Town. In this essay he speaks, of course, for himself only. Martin Shockley out for re-classification as senior colleges. Among the Teachers Colleges, Sam Housr ton at Huntsville recently joined Tech on the AAUP blacklist, giving Texas the distinction of having two of the 19 institutions blacklisted as of this summer. And at the bottom, way way down, are proliferations of junior colleges, most of which offer two more years of mediocre high schooling. Among the private universities, SMU probably rates second to the University of Texas; Rice is still a good second rate technical institute; Baylor has a good school of medicine, but sacrificed Paul Baker to bigotry; TCU is merely mediocre; Trinity University in San Antonio and the University of Dallas are both trying; too many others are complacently inferior. As an index to acedemic quality, there are three chapters of Phi Beta Kappa in Texas: at the University of Texas, SMU, and Rice. No Texas university has achieved national leadership in any field except football. The lack of money is not the root of all evil, but fiscal non-support has crippled -Texas institutions, public and private. Texas, I like to say, is a poor little state; she cannot afford to educate her children. Too often educational funds have been unwisely spent: on stadiums instead of libraries, on gymnasiums instead of art galleries, on punters instead of professors. Beyond money is morale. The morale of Texas professors is lamentably low. They have been abused so long that they have become apathetic; they have lost professional self-respect. When I recently returned from a visiting professorship in a foreign university, I was often asked hoi 7v I liked it. “I liked it,” I replied. “For the first time in my life I was treated as I think professors should be treated; I know damn well it will be the last.” For the past ten years, I have encouraged colleagues: “Things have got to get better; God knows, they can’t get worse.” And for the past ten years, thing have got worse. Are the prospects for more mess? We shall have a pretty good indication when Governor Connally announces his appointments to the new Coordinating Board. Texas professors are watching apprehensively. Will the governor appoint first rate educators or second rate politicians? And will the board coordinate? Texas needs a coordinated system of public higher education in which there would be at the top one university of the first rank. It should be centrally located, and should compare favorably with such first-rate state universities as Michigan and Wisconsin. This is what the University of Texas can and should become. One firstrate university should be surrounded and supported by four universities of the second rank, north, south, east, and west. These should compare favorably with such second-rate state universities as Oregon and North Carolina. This is what A&M, Tech, Houston, and a combined North Texas State-Texas Woman’s University can and should become. Two state “universigious duplication. Below university status, Texas should support at least a dozen good senior colleges from El Paso to Beaumont. Present teachers colleges might be promoted to this rank. And then there should be, under state control, perhaps thirty or This state system should cooperate closely with the private institutions. Most of this proposed system already exists; it just happened to grow that way. It needs to be coordinated and developed. Our opportunity is obvious. Unhampered by regional_ politics and sabotage by the governing boards of individual institutions, vigorous educational leadership might possibly coordinate public higher education in Texas into a coherent system comparable to those now operating in California and New York. Supported by ample appropriations, such a system might even, after a decade or so, achieve some measure of academic quality. What are our prospects? On the basis of my fifteen years’ experience in Texas education, I consider them dim. August 20 ., 1965 7