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over some horrendous changes in a university system he earlier had directed towards academic excellence. One might look at just one change in the UT system as an example. This was something which at an earlier period Ransom surely would have fought against, and the whole business illustrates the evil effects of mixing politics and education. THE SCANDAL OF SCAS About 1960 there was set up at Richardson, some 20 miles outside Dallas, a private institution that was later to be known as the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies. It was financed by such Dallas worthies as Mayor Erik Jonsson of Texas Instruments and was strongly backed by the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. Its aim seems to have been to attract, in the manner of the famous Brookhaven Institute, various federal and perhaps industrial research contracts; to provide assistance to local industries; and eventually to turn out a supply of higher-level “mill-hands” in the shape of scientific PhDs. In the long and short runs, the venture was a disaster. Since the center was founded there has been a 25% turnover in faculty and most of the few advanced students were foreigners who will go anywhere! By 1965 contracts were expected on the order of $7.9 million, but only $3.6 million had been placed. The best figure was $9 million in 1966 but it then dropped to about $3 million in 1969, largely because there were superior institutions available such as Brookhaven itself and Oak Ridge. Correspondingly, the income from private gifts Dallas people are not fond of losers despite their commitments dropped by $1.4 million 1968, and, even worse, the income from the sale of securities and “gifts in kind” decreased over 80%. To say that the original concept was over-ambitious is to put it very kindly. In 1961, 12 senior chairs were predicted; by 1968 there were none. There were to be 33 tenure chairs; by 1968 there were none. There were to be 35 visiting professors by 1965; by that year there was one, and even by 1968 there were only eight, although visiting professors are \(I speak from academic world to hire. Sixty research students were planned for 1965; 17 were in fact installed. The real crunch, of course, was the contracts, for which I have already given the figures. Other and similar statistics could be produced. What they add up to is that even now the number of scientists and technical staff is a mere third of those expected by 1965. Even the current budget for 1969 is only about half of that projected for 1965. I adduce these dreary digits to drive home the monumental failure of SCAS. How then were the moguls of Dallas to unload this white elephant? What better than to unload part of it onto the state, and best of all onto the UT system, which had some national reputation and whose regents, some of them anyway, might have some sympathy for the financial and political interests of Dallas? The partial gift would amount to about $11 million. The cost to the state, had the original proposition gone through, would have been $54,645,000 for 1974, and for 1980, $65,208,000 money, one need hardly add, that might be better spent in other ways. The offer was not new. Rumors that it had been offered to SMU and other places may be discounted, as there were many reasons against a small university accepting such an offer. SCAS is poorly located in relation to other elements of the university system. The faculty, neither large in numbers nor exceptionally distinguished, was often in exotic disciplines, useful for space research, say, but hardly for undergraduate teaching. The Coordinating Board set up to oversee’ all the educational needs of the state was strongly opposed to engrafting SCAS onto the UT system as an undergraduate school. It might make a possible addition to a multiuniversity in the Dallas area but the multiuniversity was only the CB’s pipe-dream, largely because the Coordinating Board was given only advisory powers, and it has steadily lost every important fight it has had with the UT regents, whose leader has much more political clout and -is presumably prompt in the payment of his political debts. Not surprisingly, then, the center was offered to the UT board of regents a couple of years ago. It was refused, despite the advocacy of Chairman Erwin. The offer was again made when two liberal regents, Mrs. J. Lee Johnson III and Rabbi Olan, both from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, had been retired. This time the board accepted the offer in principle. Fortunately Sen. Don Kennard of Fort Worth can recognize a boondoggle when he sees one, and he filibustered until he at least ensured \(through Carrollton Rep. Jack Blanton’s junior and senior undergraduate program would be grafted on to SCAS. He also tried, with less success, to have SCAS hand over its entire 1,200 acres rather than the measly 250 acres it had earlier proposed. Ransom’s part in all this, if he wasn’t buffaloed into it by political pressures, I cannot understand. He may have thought that any money injected into the UT system by the state was a good thing, but he must also be aware that this Dallas tar-baby may in fact leech off money that could better be appropriated for the central university, which Ransom once envisaged as The University, a university which might one day, as Harry’s Boys argued in the early sixties, rival Harvard and Berkeley. O N REGENTS IN GENERAL Ambrose Bierce once remarked of the regents in his state of California that most of them “understand running a university as the pope does playing a bagpipe, and they go about their business with a sweet consciousness of not knowing how to do it, delightful to contemplate.” Texas, it would seem, has been at least as unlucky in most of the regents selected for its main university system. It is a pity that governors still pay off political debts by this means without bothering toinquire into the qualifications of some of their appointees for this office. It would surprise me somewhat to find that Regent Josey, for instance, had read Rickover on education, let along John Stuart Mills. One does not, of course, have to see any cheap parochial publicity-seeking in his offer to pay Larry Caroline’s salary through the tax-exempt Josey Foundation on the grounds that the money of the good people of Texas should not be used to pay such a free-thinking professor, but, in my opinion, 8 his announcement constituted an adverse public reflection on Caroline’s fitness as a university teacher. Unless it was made with the full consent of the board of regents and the implication of that would bear some thinking about then it probably violated Sec. 8.8 of the Rules Governing the University of Texas System. Certainly in the news reports of the offer there was no suggestion that Josey was speaking as a private citizen rather than as a well-heeled regent. The rule and section, to which we shall later be referring, runs as follows: “No regent, officer, or faculty or staff member shall make or issue any public statement on any political or other subject of an obviously controversial nature which might reasonably be construed as a statement of the official position of the University of Texas system or any institution or department thereof without the advance approval of the board of regents. . ..” Such things need not surprise us. In 1956 Frank Dobie wrote that the then board of regents at UT “are as much concerned with free intellectual enterprise as a razorback sow would be with Keats’ `Ode on a Grecian Urn.’ ” This was written when Willie Morris, as editor of the Daily Texan, still one of America’s better college newspapers for all its faults and the pressures upon it, was running stories on the various scandals in Texas involving natural resources, which, then as now, were not difficult to turn up. The regents, representing business and politics, felt that such investigations were improper and unseemly after all, would one find the Austin Statesman \(probably one of the such a thing? Morris soldiered on, ran blank columns, fought the censorship in every way he could, and secured some sort October 10, 1969 5