013 SERVER [Ti A Journal of Free Voices 500 A Window to the South F-14 Feb. 15, 1974 The Emperor of The University By Ronnie Dugger 01974 Austin In Frank Erwin the Texas Establishment presented, it seemed, one of its lithest native cats. Powerfully connected politician, corporation lawyer, wheeler-dealer, Phi Beta Kappa and Kappa Sig, lion of the Legislature, bete noire of the left lord, what a fellow! Spinning about in his Cadillac painted the school colors of orange and white, tilting gaily with the socialist student president in the statewide press, sporting around in an orange blazer at the regents’ parties before the big games, putting the knuckle on his administrators, he could be witty, shrewd, entertaining, and mean, profane, and abusive. In each of these ways he was like his friend Lyndon Johnson. From a personal complexity no less interesting than Johnson’s, Erwin said when fired UT Dean of Arts and Sciences John Silber was hired as president of Boston University that he had told the members of its presidential selection committee “that Dr. Silber was intelligent, articulate and energetic. … I recommended him for his newly announced position.” Erwin is a formidable regent because he works full time at it. “Dudley Woodward gave half his time to the internal affairs of the university. W. W. Heath spent eight hours a day at it. Erwin works at it 24 hours a day, or possibly 36,” said one UT administrator. At the regents’ meetings Erwin is efficient and quick as he speaks in a high, rough-edged pitch. … The question is exactly what orange should be used in the The Observer’s brilliant publisher Ronnie Dugger has written a brilliant book, from which this article is taken. The masterwork is entitled Our Invaded Universities; Form, Reform and New Starts, which will be published by W. W. Norton & Co. in April. We won’t beat up if you don’t buy it, but it is a good book.
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