that the dean will be an apologist for Johnson rather than a person with good academic credentials. Not so, says Livingston. “The director will not be an apologist for anybody,” Livingston tells the Observer. “It’s an academic appointment. But, of course, we’re not going to appoint someone who may have made a political career out of attacking Johnson.” 13 On the other side of the coin the committee appears unwilling to choose someone who has been strongly pro-Johnson. The question often was heard in Austin: why was Rostow not named to the deanship, he seeming an ideal selection for many reasons, both academic and political? It appears that Rostow’s pro-Johnson reputation removed him from consideration as dean. The Observer understands that Erwin, the regents chairman, very much wanted him named to the job but that the faculty committee wouldn’t go along because of the Johnson-Rostow association. Erwin is said to have accused the committee, by letter, of violating academic freedom in this instance. He was told in an answering letter, it is understood, that there was no objection to Rostow’s academic credentials, it simply was felt by the faculty members that it would be better if he didn’t head the new school. Thereupon, a while later, the “I know you’re not anxious to begin teaching … but I can’t wait to beautify the campus.” Rostows were announced as faculty members at Austin. Early in 1967 widely-circulated reports had it that Erwin was pushing for Dean Rusk, the Kennedy-Johnson secretary of state, to head the LBJ School, although Rusk’s name was not on a list being considered by the faculty committee. Erwin denied this was so; saying, “I would have known if he had been.” 14 It is most often heard hereabouts of late that the dean will be David Truman has been interviewed for the post. He is a historian at the University of Chicago and a man of eminence academically. Another name often mentioned is economist Gardner Ackley. BY SEVERAL accounts Johnson has declined the university’s invitation to join the faculty as distinguished professor of public administration or distinguished lecturer on that subject on a fullor part-time basis. At first, when the plans for the new school were announced it had been thought Johnson might join the UT faculty. He himself may well have been toying with the idea for a while. About the time plans were announced for the LBJ Library in Austin Johnson said “[I]t is my ambition to return to my former profession of teaching.” 15 Johnson, on graduating from SWT, taught at Cotulla and at a Houston high school. How much time he plans to devote to teaching is unknown; he has agreed to lecture some at the LBJ School, and Livingston is optimistic about the amount of time Johnson will spend in the classrooms at UT. “Probably every student in the [LBJ School of Public Affairs] will be able to have contact with Lyndon Johnson if they want to,” Livingston 20eleoste ?fame, Pteadeea Austin Lyndon Johnson is back home in the state he loves, his presidency done, the verdict now in the hands of historians, many of them yet unborn. He looks back on 37 years of public service climaxed by serving as the nation’s 36th president. The Observer has, for 13 years and more, quarreled with most that this man has stood for in public life, in Texas, national and world affairs. He has, we have genuinely and in sadness felt, faileda n d in some cases, impededthe movement of men towards a better, freer life. His greatest failures as president were that we the people did not trust him, did not like him much, often were embarrassed by him and grieved at his massive widening of war in this bloody world. Yet even those of us who most opposed the Johnson presidency can feel compassion and sympathy for this man, that he failed to persuade his countrymen to ,his view at a time when he stood at the pinnacle of power. More, we can admire much that Lyndon Johnson stood for, most particularly we can be inspired by his passionate dedication to what he sincerely believed to be in the best interests of this country, by his zest for public service and by his astuteness in mastering and employing this free nation’s political processes. We believe he was grievously wrong in many important matters. But we salute him, too. He gave his best for what he genuinely believed in. We can ask no more. HOME HE IS now, to Texas. We now, we Texans, wonder what this will mean. As set out in this issue’s consideration of the Johnson library a n d school of public service in Austin, there are serious questions now before the Texas academic community, a challenge to higher education in Austin, in this state, which must be met head-on and with continuing diligence. The pride many Texans feel for a retired president who also is our fellow citizen must not endow Lyndon Johnson with more than his due in Texas higher education. That is the danger of the association now being born between the Johnson political dynasty and the university at Austin. Certainly there is a genuine treasure in store for students and scholars at Austin in the Johnson library and school. Many future government leaders will be inspired and trained there. But the LBJ operation in Austin must not be permitted to overshadow the whole of the Austin university; it must be kept in its place as but one facet of a promising and struggling institution of higher education reaching for relevance and quality. As for the roles Johnson may play in Texas politics in the years to come, we must, we who basically oppose what he believes best in our state’s public affairs, continue to fight himhonestly, in good faith and hard. He has, we believe, retarded the development of Texas into a state worthy of the best of twentieth century America. We vividly recall, in 1956, when he snatched control of the Democratic party from the hands of liberals, who had behind his leadership triumphed, then stood helplessly by as he installed a new set of conservatives to rule the party, an act that to this day has not been reversed by those dedicated to a new social and political order in Texas. We recall, too, the freezing effect the Johnson presidency had upon the surge liberals have mustered in the 1960’s inching nearer political control in this state. Now, with Johnson no longer president, there can be hope that the progressive movement can resume its advance that was cut off by Johnson’s ascension to the White House five years ago. WE PLEDGE President Johnson our continued opposition to what he has meant to Texas politics. Liberals shall, one day, prevail, and the implementation of their philosophy will improve greatly the quality of life in this, our home state, advance the standing of the human being in Texas and widen freedom and security. We pledge a continued fight in the face of the prospect of Johnson’s possibly assuming an active, if behind-the-scenes role in Texas politics. The fight must, and will, be won. If he would but join the struggle, good; so much the better for Texas. If not, it will take longer, but change will come. In any case, Mr. President, welcome home. January 24, 1969 3
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.