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Arlington’s Rebel Theme Arlington As the number of black students has increased at UT-Arlington, and as the school that not long ago was a junior college has assumed the title of university, there has been increasing concern about the use of the Confederate Rebel, or Old South, theme to symbolize the school and its athletic teams. Black students, and others in the college community here, have been critical of the theme, saying it stands in many minds for bigotry, racism and a discredited and past social order. The matter was brought to a student referendum late last month, retention of the theme carrying by a lopsided margin. The UT regents will have final say in the matter. In the course of the campaign the Collegians for Afro-American Progress, an Arlington group of black students, issued a booklet outlining the previous themes employed at the college there and detailing objections to the present Rebel theme. The booklet says, in part: “The attempt to find new syinbols for the University of Texas at Arlington should not be interpreted as an effort to condemn or destroy the Southern heritage. As an individual, a Southerner can justly be proud of his heritage. He must not, however, allow his pride to blind him to the feelings of those around him. By institutionalizing the traditions of the South, he forces his heritage upon others who may not view it in the same light of admiration. It is no iniquity for a Southerner to cherish his past; injustice begins when he seeks to impose this past upon those who do not wish to revere the memory of the Old South. “The academic community will never be united behind the Southern Rebel theme. The symbols of the Old South carry social and political implications which can neither be overlooked nor forgotten. Unity can be achieved only by the selection of a new school theme which is acceptable to all concerned. . . .” than principle. In this past year within the UT system a prominent member of the board of regents has seen fit to single out and castigate a member of the UT faculty, and this act has made the duties of the faculty to evaluate its members unduly difficult. If higher education in Texas is ever to advance from the darkness in which it is now struggling, it must have the guidance and support of those people who are acutely aware of what an education is. Those people are teachers. Most members appointed to governing boards are noticeably ignorant of the purpose of education; apparently they are only too willing to accept the view of the business community at large that education’s pur pose is to provide cheap skilled labor for the jute mills, and with their piece-goods mentality they actually believe that producing the greatest number of graduates at the lowest possible cost is the ultimate aim in the administration of colleges. To implement such a screw-factory policy requires iron-fisted administrators, and the histories of state colleges in Texas are filled with injustices, indignities and general unpleasantries which follow such a course. The boards have generally seen to it that loyal and devoted gang bosses shall head up our institutions. The results of these administrations, which never oppose a board when it is wrong nor support a faculty when it is right, are obvious. The state of Texas regularly maintains a large percentage of colleges under censure by the American Association of University Professors. If all the instances of violations of academic freedom were investigated, Texas’ representation on this censure list would undoubtedly quadruple. Most of these instances were never reported because faculty members did not wish to cause embarrassment. The teacher has long subsidized education in Texas monetarily. How long must he continue to subsidize it morally? If any significant changes are to be made in education in Texas, changes must first come at the top, with faculty advice backed by faculty organization. How Not to Build a University Arlington When I arrived at UT-Arlington a year or so before its latest metamorphosis into the mega-university, the college looked like heaven to my graduate school-weary eyes. Having recently gained its freedom from A&M and not yet become UT-Arlington, the school drifted in a kind of W. M. Richardson pleasant limbo. It possessed a large and growing student body and a teaching faculty, among whom resided the rough and ready spirit of democracy which exists among those who have a common purposein this instance, the teaching of undergraduate students. In addition, the prospective affiliation with the University of Texas had created a general mood of optimism among the faculty, although there were a few uncultured non-UT Cassandras, who having escaped the UT syndrome which inevitably overwhelms the UT productwere muttering ominously that the spurred boot of the Aggie might prove humane and liberal when compared with the illiberal and sterile noose of the scholarly pedant. With the transformation of the school into UT-Arlington, the happy state of affairs ended. Faculty were warned that terminal degrees and scholarly publication were henceforth the criteria for promotions, raises, prestige and power. In the absence of any other criteria for judging a faculty largely distinguished by its lack of scholarly publication, a newly formulated tenure policy was applied ex post facto to eliminate academic “dead wood” from its midst. This “dead wood” consisted, naturally enough, of all persons lacking terminal degrees and sufficient years of service to qualify for tenure. Being among the more fortunate or unfortunate, I was grudgingly given nine The writer did all his collegiate work at TCU. He has been on the Arlington faculty for several years. months a number which still holds magical significance for the primitive administrative mind to conceive and be brought to bed of a dissertation. , THIS YEAR the school acquired seven new master’s programs. In my department, it was financed by cutof an increased undergraduate enrollment, subsequently increasing the size, not the number, of classes. The size of beginning freshman composition classes was increased substantially. The result was an average class load that would make even a junior college president blush and stammer apologetically. And so we stagger under our burdens while the administration shrills “pub lish!” What is even worse, however, several thousand undergraduates are being robbed to subsidize a few dozen graduate students in an area in which another master’s program in English is about as necessary as certain superfluous accoutrements on a boar hog. But universities need graduate programs as they do journals. It is true that much of the responsibility for this overloading can be placed, as our new masters were quick to point out, on an administration that is now defunct, but to the skeptical mind, such a development bodes no good for the future. For the students did not rebel; and it was once again demonstrated that the classroom hack, like any other broken December 13, 1968 7