John W. Egerton Papers, 1961-1965, Box 2 Folder 21

Material Information

John W. Egerton Papers, 1961-1965, Box 2 Folder 21
Added title page title:
Correspondence Part 13
Egerton, John
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Florida
University of South Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box 2 Folder 21


Subjects / Keywords:
Academic freedom -- Florida -- Tampa ( lcsh )
History -- Tampa (Fla.) -- 20th century ( lcsh )


General Note:
This collection consists of materials relating to the 1962-1964 Johns Committee investigation of the University of South Florida. The collection includes correspondence, press statements, statements to the Florida legislature, editorials, various newsletters and newspaper clippings, as well as the typescript of "The Controversy," John Egerton’s unpublished 300-page study of the Johns Committee.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University Of South Florida
Holding Location:
University Of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028802325 ( ALEPH )
50648262 ( OCLC )
E02-00029 ( USFLDC DOI )
e2.29 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

John W. Egerton Papers

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Mixed Material


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J. .. Mr:. Ckayclou Department of hblic llelattou Uui ver ty. of JC.eutucky LexiugtOD, .... # ., Dear ".'. lo -<, I "I> i was to you Ue .orkinl .at UK aiicJ are no lonaer with the you are eujoybti your ibeV ,Job. .-.. .. J:J uov yoo probably bave read in the Leader a tory froG. 'tUJPa,, OOilcft'niD& Dr. Crebatin. the AP called yeater4a1 aayioa. they.: hacl &11 1Qqu1ry fr'* Lexington for a atory; ad the they already' bad toiether With !tfhat little aclclitiOGall"c.oulcJ:giv tbia probablJ baa etta pwtot "there by aov. 'lbewe ia 1)0 queatf,Oil that Shelcloo 18 iG a tOup apQt aQCl aO 1a ch Whole Ucl1Y.'t81ty. 'the bUic iaau ie ooe of v)lethv or llOt he acted reapOilidbly h{a rtgb.ta, but the 1-.rsr .baue ia whether ripttliQ8 preeaur the UDiveraity -ayat-WiU be allowd clc:ait it :Ill Qa the atory cloea tell you, thl ta what happened:.' .. a. to hi advaucacl wt1t1na cl.,, a of a book revtew wich ttrc apJ>eat:e4 the ru:c:t!fztantew (s,pt.>, 1mtch : baa rec:ently ill a colls tat&ook .callecl A Cttbook of Beat_ (Crowell, Y. 1961) The revie11 a troas of beat aa4 tuc1uct.4 1a.e quotea bout 1ex tra. a book by JackXeroU&c. A atuclent '-:D Grebtella aeuc th terial to the legblati-ve i1Westipt1ug c.a.attt mel the ca.tttee iu. tUZ"D aeut it to ,the toar4. of Co11trol, which .. a,._.ently 'forced rr .. t.cleilt Allen co auapen4 Ttila a coatlllUtiou of har .. at:aa tact1c1 the .;taht vtua baa beea t-.a qalaat -the lloiv.ta_ity-atoce laet winter aDcl it app4tara th;at a abovclow 11 .m.n' 1Q. thte Gi'el;ttu, of courae, b aupporucr cOIIpletely by the .faculty aD4 1 feel sure that Wbep the. faculty co..tttee hi1 retnatat ... the' fteaideut will ao alooa Vith" even thoup_ f.t cot hia job. 'there ia ach aore iDVolved; t : .ua sorry 1 clou't baVit 'the d .ao'iato,any Clautl now., I ... .. ;. .. 1 will ap_prect.ate if you will thia't04 cql\fttJentlel, for liy .a 11 for :. .. : hear \ let t 1"&8atcl'a tO &Del tO your fr.c:a you ain eoou. i I' ,,. colleague ln the r .. a. of.fice.


UNIVERSITY OF KEN UCKY LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC RELATIONS October 30, 1962 Dear John, I just heard the unpleasant rumor that Shel Grebstein has been suspended because he read an obscene book review to one of his classes. No one in the Department here seems to know mnch about the situation so I would appreciate it if you would send all the press clippings, board of action, if any, and all the pertinent jazz--as soon as possible. You may know that Shel is a personal friend and I have a great deal of interest and confidence in him and his work. Frankly, I think he is one of the best-qualified teachers ever Not because he gave me As but because he made me think. I do hope that the matter will be dropped and that he will be completely supported by the school. In case you haven't heard, I am now with the P. R. department at ux. covering the medical center, pharmacy and law. It's interesting and challenging work. Please give my best regards to Ann and and let me know how the whole family is getting along. wishes, P. s. information will be confidential; I don't plan to do a story on it. /


Dean M. K. White College of Art and Science University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky Dear Dean White: I apologize for not having kept better informed of Y mlaadventurea during the pelt or three years. NoWIaaat laatwritiDg, but .. thele'ttar if one 1 would rath r not have to send. Activities of the pelt week .are so full of irony that I can hardly they are real. Very briefly,. here ia what baa happened1 Dr. Grebatein hae become involva4'tn a controversy surrounding hie uae of a book re\fiev in one of his classes. You uy not be avare that during the past aevaral monthe we have been UDder fire of a legislative inveatisating l cosaittee, and thit ao1t recent ephode has a .part of it. The preaa clippings which I aa closing are rea1onably accurate and give a pretty good picture of what ia takina placahowever, there is more to The book review (which 11 identified in the articles) ... distributed by nr. Orebatein to his advanced writina Clas the first week in October. lt,s best as we can determine, the material was sent by one of bil ltudauts to the coaaittee and they in t\IZ'Il presented the ta'(ial to the BoiU"d of Control. 'l'ne Bo&&"d. et1ll haken by attacke of the Johria Coaaittee; confronted Praei.clent Allen with book l'eview When be at"rivecl for a regular meeting of tba Board in Gainesville_ laat 'l'bUI'aday. They (very foolishly in my opinion) that Dli. Crebsteia be di..t11ed 1aaecliately. Preeident Alleo wet able to evert that draa tic action but after euaaoniaa Dr. Crebatein and tlu'ee of our adadniatration to Gainille for a conf(!reilce with him, he auepen4ftcf Dr. Grebstein in order. that be might receive e heuioa before a faculty Apparently hb action in suspending him was all that averted a. C:iiaai11af. The President has now appointed a nioeman' faculty committee to conduct a hearing and uke raca..endatton to him. He will tben have to decide ttither to r-einatate Dr. Grabat in or reco.aead that he be diiaed by the Board of Control. OG the haela of our earliet difficulties, the_aituation is now a very grave one. The President ia in an axtr ... ly difficult position beeauae if he racommenda 41smiaaal, he is likely to loaa his already tnceGaea faculty; aa4 if he recommends reinatatement, he could loe bia own jobin Which caae all 'of U8 would be leosers, for replac ... nt would undoubtedly be unpalatable to us Dr. GrebateiD, you would expect, has cQUductad himself with dignity, although his poaitioa 11 a ou .anci hi1 re)hltation 11 in. jeopardy. He hal atood up well under the lttain and haa r..aiaed at laaat outwardly calm and patient awaiting the result of the faculty The book revi.-itaelf appeared origiaally in Partisan Review in 1958 and WBI reprinted laat year in A caaebgok on the :Beat, a textbook publilhed by the crO..ell COilPa4ly.'


, ,. J)eao M. M. Whit-e Page 2 It is now in use .in 109 colleges, aceordi'ft8 to the publisher, and Kentucky is Hat d aa one of tbose. the furor still J:&ges and the outcome ia vef'y uncertain. Knowing th t these storiee have gone out poslibly on the out-of tate vires and knowing also that the faculty cammittee will undoubtedly be cootaettog v.arioue IDelllbera of the University of Kentucky faculty and .admiDistration:, 1 felt it was elsenttal that you be given a COII!:Plete ttory of what hat taken plaee. so that you v111 know as well aa possible the circumstances and iaaplication T O say that it 1 unfortunate that J)r. Grebstein should be c.-ught up in this controvarey 10 soon after his arrivf.l here iJJ a under.tataaant. While it could .perhaps be argued. that he would have been W>re prudent to have eboaen another illustration leas likely to disturb uneasy peace here, the. faet remaiu that he, and all .of us, are in great jeopardy if we aust live in fear that any statement taken out of .context can precipitate such violent reaponae fr0111 uninfonted radicals and such pre.cipiUtlve action as the Boari of Control has taken in tbia c ee. 'l'he real issue is whether a professor is allowd .to choose the manner an teriaU for teaching hie classes, and whether the University adainiatration.. or an outside bo

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES OFFICE OF THE DEAN Mr. John W. Egerton News Bureau LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY November 1, 1962 The University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Dear John: Many thanks for your letter, but it certainly did contain a shock. It is very difficult to believe that a person of Dr. Grebstein1s standing would get criticized for the selection of his books or in the way he conducts his classes. After all, he stayed here ten years and we never had a serious criticism of Dr. Grebstein. Since receiving your letter, I have asked several English instructors rate Dr. Grebstein as a teacher in comparison with other instructors in the Department. In every instance they rated him higher than the present ones that I asked them about. I have talked to Dr. Ward and he has received from Professor Stovall, of your staff, a questionnaire. Dr. Ward has given it a general answer. While we did use the book several years, we have not used it during the last two years the instructors who used it have gone elsewhere. The new instructors did not select the book to be used. Please give my regards to Dr. Grebstein and tell him if he knows of anything that I could do to help him, to please let me know. Both he and the President are certainly on the spot. I hope some equitable solution can be worked out. MMW:bc Sincerely yours, M. M. White Dean


C t .J 1:6; EAST 56th STR E E T ommen aryl Nov c 1 19 6< 23 November 1962 Mr. John W. Egerton, Editor News Bureau The University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Dear Mr. Egerton: Thank you very much for sending me all that material on the Grebstein case. I'm certainly glad that he was reinstated, but it seems to me scandalous that the President felt it necessary to administer a rebuke. People like Senator Johns can' t be fought effectively with tactics of that kind. NP/jm Sincerely, __ r Norman Podhoretz Editor


. Mr Jor... Joclhoretz lcl1tOJ", *zlu l6S a..tJiftySixth Mew York, l am encio 'it.ig 4 .Wa S"lle.,e ,a;. a sut._t trOll upivetaity of &Outh lla Preaiclent Joha s. 'Allen, Which 1 hope will explain t o you of the .Jcoatroverty w. crebete1n.1 1 lk,o' 11111 b.e vritiDJ to you socm. :. :. revtew- va read tnt9 tba record of the flor. 14a State. uca l .. t aad I aa enclaiD& a clippiq coac:enal that. ,.. ,r -, fla let kiloV 11 dl.ra 1 f\lt'tber iafomaC"ln J aiaht he able to pr td to you tbi -Mttet.


( UNIVERS-ITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA Tempo, F l orida Office of the Pres1deni Or. Sheldon N. Grebstein Univenity of South Florida Tampa, Florida Dear Dr,. Grebstetn: October 22, 1962 .As I ad-vised you in our cor)ference Friday, J suspended you from your duties at the University of South Florida on that date. The Board of Control policy &tatement of September 14, 1962, con cerning readings assigned to dasses is os follows: "All material considered fer teaching purp060S sfull be: o) Pertinent to th3 subiect being hllJ9ht b) The best motorial available and obtainable c) Within the purvtew of good tosw and common decency." You ore ch.:Jrgad with fu'ling circuJoted for assigned reading in your class in English 221, Advanood Writing, on or about October 51 1962, a mimeographed copy of THE KNOW-NOTHING BOHEMJANS by Norman Podhoretz, published in the Partisan Reviaw, Vol. XXV, No. 2 (Spring 1958}. You are charged further wivh {laving stated to your class that this material should not be shown to the Johns Committee. You are coorged with hlving wilfully violated the intent and the spirit of the Board of Control policy q u ot3d above, end which hod besn s ta ted and published three weaks earl iar. In accordance with your request far a hearing before a Unlvenlty comm;ttee, I om moving promptly to set up a heartng committee. cc. Dr. J.D. Culpepper Mr. Ralph Odom Bayo M. Harrison, JrJ .A. Chambers S .J. French