John W. Egerton Papers, 1961-1965, Box 3 Folder 11

previous item | next item

John W. Egerton Papers, 1961-1965, Box 3 Folder 11

Material Information

John W. Egerton Papers, 1961-1965, Box 3 Folder 11
Series Title:
Florida Legislative Investigation Committee (Johns Committee)
Added title page title:
The Controversity Part 2
Egerton, John
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Florida
University of South Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box 3 Folder 11


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editorials, various newsletters and newspaper clippings, as well as the typescript of "The Controversy," John Egerton’s unpublished 300-page study of the Johns Committee.
Original Version:
Box 3 Folder 11

Record Information

Source Institution:
University Of South Florida
Holding Location:
University Of South Florida
Rights Management:
This item may be protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. The user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law.
Resource Identifier:
028802325 ( ALEPH )
50648262 ( OCLC )
E02-00036 ( USFLDC DOI )
e2.36 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
John W. Egerton Papers

Postcard Information

Mixed Material


This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


101 did not authorize it to delve into such matters as the private lives of individuals, these authorizations would be given retroactively by a Legislature afraid to question such activity for fear of being labeled "subversive" or "queer." In 1959 and again in 1961, the committee was recreated by the Legislature, and its appropriation was increased to $75,000. Charley Johns enjoyed the power his committee brought him, but two'other persons were even bigger beneficiaries of of the group's scare tactics. Mark Hawes, committee legal counsel, and R. J. Strickland, chief investigator, :were called "the highest paid (public) employees in Florida" by the American Civil Liberties Union after the ACLU1s encounter with the .committee in 1958. Hawes, said the ACLU, received $30, 249.78 in $861 in per diem, $1,100 in travel reimbursement and $566 for "payment to confidential informants whose names are known to no during the three-year period ended June 30, 1960. Strickland, in the same three-year period, got $21,642.74 h.: $ per diem, more than $8,000 in travel expenses and $5,476.97 for payment to informers, the ACLU said. Thus Strickland, the former Leon County deputy sheriff and sometime gumshoe for a string of enforcement agencies, made almost $36,000 spearheading a three-year, state-sanctioned witch hunt; in the ensuing three years, his "take" would be even higher By the spring of 1962, wh9n the Johns Committee took on the University of South Florida, it was unchallenged as the Legislature's most powerful committee, a virtual Frankenstein's monster beyond the control of anyoneo Legislators and other public officials who raised objections to its tactics or its


activities ran the risk of being branded "subversive" or "deviate;" victims faced possible public pillory for acts they had not in fact engaged in; and Johns, his fellow committee members and his staff disposed of close 102 to a quarter of a million dollars in six years while into the most private thoughts and acts of hundreds of unsuspecting c:!. ti zen a. It is difficult to understand how seven men and their hired assistants could so completely intimidate any. and all persons who opposed them, but the Johns Committee, between the time of its creation in 1956 and the start of its siege at the University of South Florida in 1962, managed to do just that. With the exceptions of the American Civil Liberties .Union in 1958 and three Pinellas County school teachers in 1961, no one challenged the authority of the even though it continued to extend in the confidence that each succeeding Legislature would give its ex post facto blessing. Even the Governor and his Cabinet were not immune from the pressure, s of the committeeo When the 1961 legislative appropriation of $75,000 dwindled rapidly, the Cabinet pledged in January of 1962 to make additional funds available to the committee when needed. Thus, in June of 1962---the same month the committee departed from Tampa and its and criticized investigation of the University of South Florida---the State Cabinet, with Governor Farris Bryant presiding, approved an "emergency" appropriation of $67,150 to the committee to tide it over in .. the last year of the biennium. A grand total of --two years beginning July 1, 1961---most of it a; t in the


f'utile search f'or Communists, deviates and atheists at the University of' South Florida---and no one except a handf'ul of citizens and a f'ew newspapers dared to protest or even to question the committee's authority. When the Johns Committee lef't the campus early in June the of the University, other than 103 members of' the University community itself', were three newspapers--the Tampa Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times and the Daytona Beach Journal-News---a television station---WTVT in Tampa---and about persons who wrote letters of' support the newspapers and signed their names to ttem. The committee, with a slick shady dealing criminal lawyer and a discredited ex-cop in the driver's seat, had a big budget to be spent without the scrutiny of the state auditor, and it also had.unfettered license to probe virtually anywhere it wished wlthout fee. r of protest. With five investigators---one of them a woman---and a state-wide network of' secret inf'ormers, the committee was at the height of' its power whenit came to the University of South Florida and conf'ronted, f'or the f'irst time, an institution that defended itself in the open.xgamxxxzkE Faced with the Johns Committee's assault which Thomas Wenner, Jane Smith and others had inspired, the University of .South Florida had to choose whether it would submit silently to a secret probe or lay open its entire campus to public investigation. On the aasurnption.tnat the committee would conduct itself' properly only if it were being watched, the University chose a public defense, feeling it had to hide in a f'air and responsible inquiry. Whether it chose wisely is a moot point, but one thing is sure: given the power of the


I I') 'J .,, '\ .. \ I /t \ \ \ 104 committee, the fearful silence of Governor Bryant and his cabinet, the tim1.di ty of the Board of Control and other public officials, and the inherent .vulnerability of the young university, a secret probe without restraints of any kind .would have allowed the committee to destroy the institution without proof of fault. As it was, the two-month battle between the new University and the feared committee ended in a blaze of publicity, with the committee seemingly eager to get out of .towri and back to secrecy and the University battered but unbowed, its faculty and student body-ironically more united than ever before. But the University, if it had gained a decision in the first battle, had not war. '\!lL!_%2--') ""' $. <-.:::::::::: During Allen turned his attention to the case of Dr. D. F. Fleming, the Vanderbilt professor of political science whose approaching appointment had so stirred the wrath of the right wing. The President had approved a news release announcing Fleming's appointment before he had signed his appointment papers, but then he discovered that the proposed salary for the professor---$6,000 for half-time teaching---would require Board of Control approval. The total salary did not exceed the $10,000 figure at which Board approval was required, but the rate of pay---equivalent to $12,000 for rull-time---was above the approval line, and Dr. Allen decided to wait for. a more advantageous time to seek the Board's approval. \the) Repeatedly duringxxx investigation, Johns Committee attorney Mark Hawes ad abo,ut Fleming, and Allen, when he was asked, had the answers. He had checked with the u. s. Attorney General, the House Un-American Activities


105 Committee and. the Senate Internal Securlty Comrn:l.ttee, a .nd all of them reported unequivocally that they had no record of Communist or subversive affiliations on the part of D. F. Fleming. Hawes and the 6ommittee seemed unconvinced. the University's appointment procedures were already in motion. University policy from the beginning had specified that the deans merely recommend new faculty for appointment, with the president actually making the formal appointment, but practical necessity had evolved a more loose-knit and unwritten procedure whereby prospective faculty were virtually assured of positions by the time the deans nominated them to the president to be confirmed. At the time of the Fleming case, President Allen had never refused to confirm the of a faculty member recommended to him. Consequently, Dr. Fleming had visited the campus, met with Dean Russell Cooper and other chairmen and faculty members, and been told, for all practical purposes, that he was hired. Fleming proceeded to make arrangements for purchasing a house and some and later settled with Cooper the courses he would teach. Cooper then submitted Fleming's appointment papers to Allen for rubber-stamp approval, confident that the president's statement of praise for Fleming in the press was assurance that no difficulty would be encountered. ersistent question of the Johns Committee and the continued attacks on Fleming by Lowry's Coalition and Wickstrom's Zephyrhills News made Allen hesitate before he signed the appointment papers and sent them into the Board o:f Control's red tape mill for approval. Fleming's long and distinguished career at was ammxa his two-volume work on the Cold War, while


106 .o.l \ !'or ; attacked by the right by such papers as the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Star and the Atlanta Constitution; his loyalty was unquestioned by even the most vigilant agencies; yet the attacks and the questions continued, and President Allen, the timidity or the Board or Control, chose to wait I until the committee wascgone before .submitting Fleming's papers ror.v approval. / the University treated B in the ., same other new appointees. He 'received letters ),. or welcome from several divisions, and the personnel office mailed him packets or materials acquainting him with the University and the And, on the fiscal 1963 line-item budget of the University, Fleming was assigned a position. Every conceivable step to bring him into the University community was taken, with the lone exception of JohnS. Allen's signature and the Board of Control action that would follow it. Finaily, on June 21, President Allen sent Fleming's papers .to the Board of Control, preparatory to placing his name on the agenda for approval at the next meeting. Flve days later, the president received in the mail a copy of a letter addressed to Mrs. Mary Low Weaver of Orlando and signed by.Dr. Harvie Branscomb, chancellor of Vanderbilt University. The letter said: "I read with interest the copy of News & Views which you sent me, and was very much interested in it. I do not think Dr. Fleming is, or has been, a Communist, but I think he is an individual who has gone sour over the years, and has lost his perspective and his balance of judgment. Vanderbilt University,


107 of course, does not subscribe to the views of all of its 750 professors; neither do we defend them against criticisms which they bring on themselves. Professor Fleming was retired a year ago in spite of his request for continuation. You will be to know that he is transferring this next fall to Tampa, Florida, where he.will teach in some institution there." -.-:. Fleming's, and, department chairmen, and .......... : -.. .. ... : r t : :. : -: <(.... > :' > .... J> .. :-._: : "': .. 't. : ; : :. ... : !',\ : ... :...-/ -: ; -k __ :f ., ... from Branscomb, whose was i .rnrnlnent and whose dislike for Dr. Fleming spanned many years. President Allen, knowing the conservatives who objected to Fleming would not fail to send the chancellor's letter to the Board of Control, had until the July 19 Board meeting to decide wh t to do. C'l\_ J The president called Branscomb on the phone'and the chancellor reiterated orally the opinions expressed in his letter. During with members of the Board, at which they indicated their fear of Fleming their disinclination to approve his appointment, Allen decided not to put the professor's name n the agenda for formal approval. 1>-\A. Co Instead, he asked Dean Cooper t inform Fleming that his appointment would not be asked of the Board of Control. The president's position was indeed an uncomfortable one. While Fleming's loyalty and professional competency were beyond question, there was no doubt that he was a controversial person whose liberal views had often aroused opposition. Furthermore, the pressures of the right wing, the persistent doubts of the Johns Committee and the damaging statements of Chancellor Branscomb


I 108 made it certain that the Board of Control, in its fearful anxiety, would seize on the chancellor.1s letter as justification for refusing the .The president was as much as tol9. that by members of the Board. But on the other hand, a clear connni tlment );lad been made to Fleming by Cooper, and the University 1 s chapter of AAUP had already gone on record urging the president to consummate the agreement. And 1there was the all-important news release, now two months past, announcing Fleming's appointment Dr. Allen, in choosing between loss of Fleming and an open. fight with the Board of Control, took what appeared to him the path of .least resistance. He rejected any admission of a moral. to Fleming and stuck to the the could not exist in fact until he signed the papers and g ,ot them by the Board. (Actually, the presence of Fleming Is name on a line item in the University budget made it necessary for termination papers to 'be quietly processed through the Bca r at a later date.) In rejecting Fleming, Dr. Allen g appeared to give .,. in to the demands of extremists who had nothing more substantial against theprofessor than a dislike for his personal views, and in the process the president gave more support to the University's I conservative detractors than to Dean Cooper and the faculty. It was a. decision that was to cause him much grief in the months ahead. During the summer, the University's fortunes rose and fell in the balance of events. On the positive side was a .laudatory report from a gro''l,lp of educators conducting an informal evaluation for the ....


109 body for Though the University would not be eligible for formal accreditation until it had graduated three classes, the visit6rs had come to new institution's progress, and their report was full of praise. They called the faculty j "young, excellently qualified, and in training equal if not superior to that of any university in the region." The University also received a tentative approval or its proposal for an educational television channel, and in a formal r ,eport to the Board of Control requested approval J in future years of an engineering school, a medical school and a branch campus in St. Petersburg. These hopeful signs of expansion and growing strength seemed to indicate that the University was moving beyond its painful trials to a new plateau of development. But beneath the surface, the institution's health was far from1 good. President Allen attempted in vain to gain support from the presidents of the other state universities for a resolution asking Board of a more clearly defined statement of the Johns Committee's specific responsibilities or its abolition at the next'session of the Legislature." Al.len 1 s proposed specifically charged the committee with secretly questioning unchaperoned,. students at a Tampa motel, offering money to students to inform on faculty members, probing beyond authorit; into matters of curriculum and personal beliefs of professors, and failing to comply with its promises with regard to the conduct of the investigation.


110 Far from agreeing to such forthright behavior, the Board and its executive director, Dr. J. Broward Culpepper, instead asked Dr. Allen to answer to a number of questions and charges the Johns Committee had submitted secretly following t' investigation. Among the things which Allen and his staff were required to do by the Board were to explain the University's policy and proc.edure on dissemination of news and publicity and to "consider and take steps to build publicconfidence in the University end suspicions in the Tampa area of atheistic, anti-religious activities; p oor counseling; and the like in the University." In addition, Allen was given the names of half a dozen or more faculty and staff members about whom unproved suspicions of sexual deviation xu and various kinds of "dangerous" thinking existed.. Clearly, the Board had no intention of defending the University against the corrnnittee; on the contrary, it seemed A more direct show of no confidence in the president and the institution could hardly have been possible. Further compounding the president's woes was a series of articles in the Tampa Tribune covering various aspects of the development of the University and Tampa's two private schools, the University of Tampa and Florida Christian College. In one of the articles Allen was quoted as saying, "Private .iJOEtitN:Ki..mml schools these .days are not examples of free enterprise at all. They're closer to charities." That unfortunate statement brought down the wrath of the presidents of both private schools, as well as a flow of critical letters to the editor. At a time when the University needed all the help it could get, Presi.dent Allen's


111 statement succeeded only in adding more enemies. The fact that he intended no criticism in his remark became lost in the furor. He meant that private schools depend upon the generosity of voluntary donors; his critics interpreted the remark to mea n that they were beggars. Late in July, President Allen left for a month's vacation in Canada, where he and his wife had had a secluded island cottage for many years. They customarily went there during the summer, and since they had no children the respite from the pressures and demands.of a presidency in academia was for them !. peaceful and The trip was perhaps their most welcome one, for the preceding months had been trying and often agonizing for them both. With his rare facility for .disciplining his thoughts and emotions, Dr. Allen was probably as successful as any. man could be in leaving.the trials and conflicts of his office behind him, and for four weeks he lived at peace in the Canadian wilds, virtually out of touch with the University of South Florida and all the world. The battered ship he left behind, however, was still being buffeted by waves of discord in the aftermath of the storm. Shortly after the president left the campus, a letter from Johns Committee attorney Mark Hawes to Board of Control chairman Baya M. Harrison provided the answer to the persistent attacks on Dr. Fleming, and also added a sad and ironic footnote to the president's unfortunate decision not to approve his appointment. That letter, which aptly illustrates the committee's reckless and dangerous disregard for accuracy, is worth presenting here. It said: "OnJune 6, 1962, while taking the testimony of Dr. John


112 s. Allen, of the University of South Florida, I gave him, on behalf of. the Committee, certain information we had, allegedly showing a record of Communist-front affiliation of the above named individual (D. F. Fleming), along with certain book reviews of Dr. Fleming's book, The Cold War and Its Origins, and other information in our possession in regard to his attitude toward the Soviet Union and his method of teaching. The information concerning"'(alleged Communist-front affiliation of Dr. Fleming, appears in Dr. Allen's testimony beginning on Page 171. I gave this information to Dr. Allen after he had informed us that the House Unamerican Activities Committee had given him a clean bill of health on Dr. Fleming in this regard. The information I gave him included the original .source which supposedly supported the alleged affiliations. "On double checking, I confirmed this morning, that the Committee's source of information was in error in attributing these affiliations to Dr. Fleming of Vanderbilt University. It appears there is a Dr. D. J. Fleming, also in education, to whom these. affili-ations are rightfully attributable. The clear result is that the Committee has. no information that Dr. Fleming of Vanderbilt University, the author of The Cold War and Its Origins, has any public record of Communist-front affiliations. "I am writing you in this regard, so that the Board will know the true facts and will not expend any time seeking to check further on this information For the same reason, I am sending a copy of .this letter to President Allen and Dean Russell M. Cooper, in whose college it was proposed that Dr. Fleming teach. 11As you know, this testimony was taken in Executive Session by the Committee and the record is not public property and cannot


113 become publicproperty without action by the Committee. For your information, I am recommending to the Committee that they take the necessary action to see to it that this of this record may never be released publicly. I think, in all fairness, that Dr. Fleming is entitled to this protection. Accordingly, I would appreciate your advising your fellow members and your staff ot the Board, as well as Dr. Allen and Dean Cooper, in this negard.". The testimony to which Hawes referred included an exchange Dr. Allen in which Hawes, in implied that the president was lying about Fleming's Hawes was certain he had evidence of Communist-front activities on the part of the professor, but when he learned he had the wrong Fleming he wanted the record kept secret, "in all fairness" to the Vanderbilt professor. That Hawes himself might be open to prosecution for false accusation, should the record of testimony ever become public, might also have influenced his recommendation that it "never b e released publicly. 11 The letter, dated July 27, came too late to correct the wrong that had been done to Fleming, and in fact Hawes implied that the professor's views were still radical enough to warrant his rejection. But, in a style reminiscent of Joseph McCarthy's list-waving Purge attempts of a decade before, the Johns Committee had succeeded in forcing the President of the University of South Florida to compromise a principle and sacrifice an innocent man to appease the thirsts of a militant band of witch hunters. The president rationalized that he was actually doing Fleming a favor by sparing him the embarrassment of a public fight, but it was the president himself, not Fleming, who so feared such an


lll.j. open confrontation. Realistically, he knew it would be a fight that neither he nor 'Fleming nor the University itself could win, even though their cause was right. The power of the Johns Committee and-the ultra-right wing, the Pilate-like lack of resolve of the governor and his cabinet, and the submission of the Board of Control all indicated that victory was not pbssibleo Open resistance would not have brought approval of Fleming's appointment, and in all probability would have cast Allen his job. But silent surrender meant cutting Fleming loose to drift, repudiating Dean Cooper and others who had recommended Fleming,;alienating the faculty, and 1Q1 laying the University open to further extremist assaults in the future. of circumstances not entirely of his own making, Dr. Allen found himself in a position which offered no satisfactory solution. lt is one thing to say that the decision he made was the wrong one; only someone who has found himself in. such a position can know the difficulty of it. But whatever the cost, a fight for beenj the appointment would appear honorable choice. The shadow of the Fleming decision over President Allen and the University,sin:e '*""' and to stand for many years as one of the most damaging wounds inflicted by the Johns Committee and the extremists who aided it. Since the decision on Fleming was not immediately announced, Presi.dent Allen's departure for eanada was followed by a few weeks.of quietude. News commentator Edward P. Morgan of the American Broadcasting Company sympathetically discussed the University's long ordeal on his July 2/.j. network program, but except for that there was little publicity during July and early August. Before the battle began again, though, one other related


matter of interest resolved itself. Thomas J. B. Wenner, whose lengthy complaint to the Sto Petersburg Times had first lifted the lid on the entire 115 controversy, had disappeared from sight when the Johns Committee left early in June. But late in July, a story from newspapers in Kentucky announced that he would teach that fall at Western Kentucky State C ollege, and the 'story found its way backto the University of South Florida campus. It developed that Wenner had been hired at the Kentucky school on the recommendation of a of Kentucky political scientist who was xXXk a long-time friend of Wenner's and was familiar with his adventures of the year before. The political scientist supported Wenner's story that he had been in retirement at Palm Springs, California, -hd the department head at Western Kentucky, being unaware of the truth, quickly hired him. When Wenner's actual exploits and the deceptive recommendation became known, it was too late for Western Kentucky officials to withdraw their offer, and they permitted Wenner to teach under conditions of a written which gave them clear authority to terminate his contraxt on short notice in the event of any :t:; l,U-0-4 C-1 ., I "li4 o ;:, lt! On August 1, Dr. John Hicks sent to President Allen 1 s .oft ice a letter from the University'!? American Association of University Professors chapter, of president. The letter protested Allen's decision in the Fleming case, saying that a "clear moral contract" existed and some reimbursement was in order.


116 Asking ror clarirication or the University's policy on hiring, the letter added, "your seeming reluctance to admit eit},ler a legal or moral obligation to Dr. Fleming is a source or grave concern to ua." The Fleming case clearly was not over. But one other development was causing the raculty just as much concern. One or members or the raculty about whom the Johns. Committee had registered complaints was 'RE'Ei'EES:llm.X John w. Caldwell, an associate professor or theatre arts. At the urging or the Johns Committee and with the knee-jerk agreement or the Board or Control, President Allen suspended Caldwellerfective at the end of the summer term August llo University policy stipulated that suspension ror cause w6uld be rollowed by a raculty committee hearing ir the person under suspension requested it, and when Caldwell rerused to accept Allen's vaguely-warded letter or removal, Dean Sidney J. French, actting in the president's absence, appointed the five-man committee to conduct the hearing. The AAUP soon learned of action, and sent Dr. Hicks to attend the hearings. Hicks subsequently complained in an August 9 letter to Allen that Caldwell had never received written charges specirying the grounds ror his suspension. Still, Allen was incommunicado in Canada and no public mention of the Fleming or the Caldwell matters had been made. But that condition was short-lived. On August 14, a Tampa Times reponter called the University News Bureau to confirm a tip that professor has beep fired and another.failed to get appointed'because he was suspected of being a Communist." Shortly, the News Bureau issued a statement approved by French conrirming Caldwell'. s suspension (but not stating the reason) and saying


117 that because he had been denied re-appointment at Vanderbilt. The Times, feeling an implication of moral or political deviation hung over Caldwell, added in its story a sentence saying "it was understood the suspension was not based on any moral or political reason." Allen still was away; and Caldwell was also out of town and unavailable for comment. In the week that followed, news of the suspension and the rescinded appointment reverberated aroundethe state. But the biggest surprise of all was yet to come, and on. August 25, in some twenty full columns of space, the printed word for word a fifty-three-page summation provided by the Johns as a digest of the 2,468 pages of testimony taken during the investigation of the University. Though Charley Johns' final public statement in June had included a promise to present its findings privately to the Board of Control, he chose instead to let the Tribune print the report even before copies had been given, to the Board or to Presiderit Allen. Late in the afternoon on August 24, the Tribune's managing editor, V. M. Newton, told a University staff member who was visiting the paper's offices that he had gotten the report from Johns twenty-four hours before it was released to anyone else, in return for a promise that the entire document would be printed. Newton boasted that he had been after the report for monthso It was rumored that the Tribune also agreed to stop an investigation of some allege d wrongdoings by Johns Committee detective R. J. Strickland, but that was never confirmed, although some of Strickland's questionable activities did eventually come to light in papers. Newton's obvious glee at landing the report seemed to


-jwoU:ld surre r -t-he b=gai-n. Appearano$ of the report could not have come at a more nopportune time for the University. Not only President Allen Dean French and all other top-level administrators were I 130--, of town, and the University, in its period of rest between was all but closed dow n o Baya Harrison, the Board of in disbelief' when he was told that Friday n ght a t the next morni n g s paper would c arry the report, he still could not bring himself to make a public protest. \_Siescribing storm of controversy which followed the report, a review of the contents of the repnrt itself should be enlightening. The 53-page.typewritten document was addressed to the Board Control and the State Board of Education. opening paragraphs defensively supported the activities of the committee, saying it ad acted within the law which guided it and denying that it had, Tribune editorial charged, set itself up as a for the state university system. The had conducte d its investigations in executive ession so as not to harm innocent persons. It then proceeded o quote out of context from the testimony of faculty w itnesses---


119 i \ 1/ To demonstrate fairness on the part of the committee, the report said a Board of Control observer attended all questioning sessions, and also said no witnesses were compelled to testify \all/ and none were to answer XE:J! questions unless they ;anted to. Furthermore,la court reporter took down all testimony, and an employee of the University tape recorded all sessions of the interrogation. No mention was made of the unrecorded questioning of stuaents in the committee's motel headquarters, in Thomas Wenner's home or elsewhere, and the only reference to Jane Smith and her group of supporters simply denied that had instigated the probeo A briefl sentence praising the vigilance of Mrs. Smith and her was followed oy a statement saying their testimony would not be needed, since the committee would rely solely on the testimony of University officials to make its case. Finally, the report promised not to make suggestions to the Board of Control, but only to point out facts it felt were deserving of attention. Then came the substance of the report---such as it was--beginning with the Jero me Davis incident. Objectivity soon was discarded, and the tone of the prosecutor began to seep in. Davis, the report said, was sympathetic to Communism, yet the people who invitedhim to lecture at the University wanted him just the same: "It is perfectly obvious from the testimony of each of these men that they thought it was perfectly proper for a man with a long and extensive Communist-front record to deliver a lecture on the campus and, as a matter of fact, that they still think so." The committee obviously did not approve of that much freedom of speech. Said another passage: "It is an established fact that some of the people I who are presently responsible for hiring regular teachers and procuri


120 outside lecturers believe it is proper and permissible5under academic freedom, to have identified Communists teaching and/or J.ect\.l ring o n the c a.mpus." T o furthe r support the point, the report said a member of the Russian Embassy staff in Washington had spoken to a class at the University. Dr. Allen was quoted from his testimony as saying that under certain circumstances he thought a public lecture by an identified Communist would be permissible, other members of the University staff were quoted as saying essentially the same thing, and that section of the report ended with the implication that plenty of USF personnel favored hiring was a pparently no policy to stop them. The Johns Cormnitte e (throug h the words of attorney Mark Hawes, who wrote the report) thus indicte d the University for attempting to practic. e unfettered free speech instead of indoctrinating its students in carefully charted directions. In a further effort to show a softness toward Communism, the report then brought up the Fleming case, quoting at length critical of the professor's two-volume work on the Cold President Allen was quoted as saying Dr. Fleming's appointment had not been final. ized, and this was followed by quotes from Deans French and Cooper indicating the appointment was complete. The letter of Vanderbilt Chancellor Branscomb saying Fleming had "gone sour" was also presented, and a Tampa engineer, Kendrick c. Hardcastle III, was quoted as saying he had taken two classes under Fleming at Vanderbilt and knew him to be an apologist for the Soviet Union. There was no mention of Hawes' admission that he had confused Dr. Fleming with another


121 man having the or o f the fact that no agency of the government had any record of C activities on the part of the former Vanderbilt professor. In short, _the report presented all the unfavorable testimony it could find on Fleming---most of it vague and incon-clusive---and left the inference that he was 3 ?U pro-Communist. The committee had thus attempted to prove the University of South Florida was "soft on Communism" by basing its entire case onthe beliefs of Jerome Davis and D. F. Fleming, neither of whom were guilty of anything more than holding the orthodoxy of the extreme right wing. The fact that neiP:her of them actually came to the University is not an indication of or of the'Johns Committee's correctness, but only of Moving from Communism to another area, the committee report said "The record is pregnant with evidence that the University of South Florida raises serious questions of the validity of orthodox religious beliefs in the minds of the students, both through text materials and through some of the professors." Anti-religion, then, was the next area of attack. The report said, somewhat incredulously, that most administrators and professors at the University seemed to think such questioning was a legitimate educational procedure, and then it implied that any discussion of religion in a public institution violated the principle .of separation of church and state. Some books vJ..k.M critical of orthodox religion then in use at the University were mentioned, and a member of the faculty was quoted as saying there were atheists among his colleagues. With more quotes from faculty and students, the report sought to reinforce its charge


122 that challenging of religious beliefs and exposure to new approaches and thoughts on religion was commonplace in the classrooms of the University. The clear inference here was faculty and that the beliefs ul of some students had cr1tical analysis. No testimony was presented, however, to indicate that any members of the faculty either compelled or prohibited any religious In short, there was no evidence of indoctrination, but only of exposure to ideas in the educational process. Undaunted, the committee turned its attention to a third area---obscene literature. Admitting that none of the books they examined were obscene under the "very strict and narrow" legal definitio.n of that term, the committee said many of them nevertheless contained "coarse, profane, vile, and vulgar language." The report said pocket books and other "literary garbage" full 0f sex, alcoholism and homosexuality were being used in classes, and quoted at length from a short story by J. D. Salinger, which according to the tabulation following it, contained the words "god-dam," "bastard, 11 "hell," and "son of a bitch"' a combined total of 45 times. Such literature is forced on the students despite complaints from their parents, the report said. Finally, the report took up the fourth area of its inquiry: homosexuality. "The Committee believes this problem not to be of great magnitude at the University of South Florida," the report said. One faculty member (identified as Professor Blank) was reported to have performed a homosexual act on a student, and the report noted that the professor resigned from the University the day after he was confronted with this accusation. Another


123 allegation against a faculty member was mentioned vaguely, but the report said the faculty member was in the hospital and could not testify. And a third incident was mentioned, allegedly involving a University employee and a student, but the report said when the student reported it to a faculty member and to a dean, no action was taken. The report.was critical of the fact that there was no policy requiring employees to tell on their colleagues. "This attitude of administrators wanting what they refer to as irrefutable proof before they act to discharge an educator homosexual conduct is one the.committee has been confronted with over and over in its investigations," the report said, adding critically .that courts and juries decide every day between conflicting can't educators d o the same? b ux.<:.AU..cL its report on homosexuality the committee tLu.L O,.M_ t 3' rtestimony from Proresor John Caldwell that he had been arrested public drunkenness and resisting arrest in September of 1961. Caldwell admitted he had been drinking, but denied he was drunk or resisted arrest. He testified that he pleaded guilty to the charge, and would not comment on whether or not he had cursed the arresting officer and hit him. A final paragraph on Caldwell said he took a girl student into his for several days and advised her not to return home to her parents, who sought her return and who disapproved of the boy she was dating. No mention was made of the fact that Caldwell's wife, child and mother-in-law were also in the home when the girl was there, and the implication was that Caldwell somehow was guilty of leading the girl astray. The fact that he convinced the girl


124 not to elope with.her boy friend was also not mentioned. Thus ended the report. It was a fatuous and inane compilation of vague charges and indictments that bore the mark of a prosecuting attorney rather than an objective observer, and on close examination it contained nothing of substance to justify its having been written. But it filled three full pages in the Tampa Tribune, and it contained four unproved but emotional char.ges that were sure to get the desired response: anti-religiori, obscenity, and homosexuality. Like something out of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" or a Franz Kafka novel, these vague needed no confirmation to evoke a reaction. The four charges themselves were enough to permit the committee to accomplish i t s purpose, and the truth or falsity of them became secondary. The Johns Committee had given its report to the Tribune for publication at a time when President Allen, his three major administrative colleagues, and most of the faculty members were out of the city. The faculty committee inquiry into Caldwell's suspension was still underway, and publication of the report finally made public the charges against him. President Allen was on his way back from Canada, unaware of what had taken place in his absence. The University stood accused of varying degrees of vaguely behavior regard to Communism, religion, tV> obscenity a!'lnomosexuaj}y-The nad fired all its weapQns at the University. It was now the University's turn to respond, time for the people to take sides.


Deans Russell M. Cooper of the College of Liberal Arts and Edwin B. Martin of the College of Basic Studies reacted first to the report with brief statements to the afternoon 125 Tampa Times. Before the Tribune's next press deadline, Cooper had analyzed the report carefully, and his detailed response was carried. in full in the Tribune 1 s August' 26 f:idi tion/: Saying he spoke not for the University but for himself, Cooper blasted the committee for breaking its pledge to turn its report over to the Board of Control. "The University has been maligned and several i,ndividuals attacked by name without adequate opportunity to defend themselves," he said, adding, "It (the report) is in effect the case of a prosecuting attorney presenting his indictment." Cooper said the committee had called no witnesses friendly to the University, offered no opportunity for cross-examiniation of critics, and made no attempt to study both sides of the issues which arose. On the contrary, he said, it had gleaned from the 2,468 pages of one-sided testimony "those passages which it felt would give it the strongest case, just as any prosecuting attorney would do in a court of law." Then, taking the general charges of Communism, homosexuality, vulgarity and anti-religion in turn, the dean refuted each allegation and questioned the committee's authority to inquire into these areas in the first place. Finally, he concluded with these words: "As one reviews this entire episode, one wonders what the committee's objective has been. Clearly, it has not sought to help the University with its administrative problems, for its methods have only sown suspicion and fear and its report, both the typewritten transcript and the committee's summarized statement, have been


126 withheld from the University to this date. "Two ominous questions, however, must be faced by the thoughtful citizen as he reviews this astonishing episode. Is the Johns Committee seeking to replace the Board of Control as the supervisor ofeducatieln in this state, since it apparantly went far beyond its legislative mandate in inquiring into the internal teaching and administrative operations of the University? Moreoyer, does the fact that it released its report to the press the same day that it presented it to the Board of Control indicate that it has no confidence in the Board's work with administrators in straightening out whatever problems exist? "Even more serious is the question of whether the Johns Committee is seeking to fasten upon the universities of Florida a particular brand of orthodoxy in political, religious, and literary thinking which would destroy the spirit of free inquiry now prevailing on these campuses. is an issue in which the entire has a vital interest. Does the state wish to develop distinguished universities where all aspects of the truth may be pursued without fear or favor? Or does it wish to develop a group of glorified finishing schools in which scholars are unable to pursue their honest lines of inquiry or to stimulate students into creative and unfettered thinking? Such institutions could never attract or hold any .but third-rate faculty members and the whole program of higher e .ducation which the people of Florida have so magnifi'cently begun could be brought down in ruins." Cooper's statement was well-received on the campus, and the ._. basic questions he raised seemed to reach to the heart of the matterG By contrast, the Board of Control remained all but silent, with chairman Baya Harrison managing only to say that the Board


127 was "concerned," and "It hope:3 that the unfortunate publicity will not inl,jure a potentially great university:" Harrison had been more outspoken when he was informed by a University of South Florida employee on Friday night that the report would be in the Tribune the following morning. "Oh, nol" he had said, "Charley Johns promised me this wouldn't happen! He promised mel" This difference between the public and private utterances of Harrison and other Board members illustrates one of the basic weaknesses of the University of South Florida's position. If, as Dean Cooper.oharged, the committee was "seeking to replace the Board of Control as the supervisor of education in this state," it was at least partially because the Board showed no inclination to resist such usurpation. The Tribune reached others for comment the day after the report appeared, among them Sam Gibbons and John Germany. Gibbons was more forthright than he had been during the investigation, saying he supported Dr. Allen and the University and urging the community to do likewise. Judge Germany would only say, "I haven't fully digested the report yet." 0. Neil Smith, one of the original complainers, also was quoted by the Tribune, saying the report was a good one and adding, "Apparently there is no control at this school." In quick succession, the. Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Temple Terrace Ministerial Association, and the USF chapter of AAUP replied to the committee's charges. The Chamber of Commerce called the report "biased, unfair and improperly handled," and urged the community "to unite behind the University" and President Allen. The ministerial group expressed "complete confidence" in the president and the staff of the Univer si ty, commended it


128 for "its.cooperative attitude" toward religious bodies, and deplored the conduct of the Johns Committee. The AAUP, in a two-page statement, accused the committee of "a startling intention to injure the University and members of the faculty and administration." The statement concluded: "The major difficulty at the University of South Florida is not Communism, nor atheism, nor homosexuality, but a system which permits perversion of the true goals of education by irresponsible and uninformed investigations, and which allows untruthful charges to be made against a fine educational institution A Tribune editorial on August 26 was less supportive of the University1s position than earlier editorials iri that paper had been. It seemed to share the committee1s distaste for Jerome Davis Fleming, but averted any discussion of whether "free speech11 and "the search for 'truth" were ideals to be earnestly sought or merely platitudes having no relation to reality. The St. Pe'tersburg Times, however, carried what was perhaps its best eaitorial of the long episode, defending the University on each of the specified charges and adding, "It is a disgrace to the State of Florida that such a shameful document could issue from an official body. 11 Other papers, including the Tampa Times, the St. Petersburg Independent, the Lakeland Ledger, the Gainesville Sun, the Daytona Beach Evening News, and the Sarasota HeraldTribune, came to the University1 s support. A few, including. the Orlando Sentinel and the Sarasota News, supported the committee. It was into this atmosphere of emotion-charged debate that Presmdent John S. Allen returned. Taking less than twenty-four hours to absorb the impact of the events that had taken ylace in his absence, he called a press conference on Monday afternoon1


/ 129 August 27, and made one of his strongest defenses of his fadulty and the University. H e praised Dean Cooper for his response to the peport, and then made this statement: 11The Johns Committee has generated an endless flow of and harmful publicity. It has probed beyond its legislative mandate into University's curriculum, its choice of assigned reading material, the religious and political beliefs of its faculty, the professional judgment of its administrators, an_ d even into the private live s of its staff, seeking to build the most one-sided and damaging case it could againstthe institution.o "Universities are complex institutions. When they are performing their proper functions faithfully, they accurately reflect the diversities of thought and action which characterize our society in its search for truth. Controversy is born out of the differences which make us interesting and useful human beings, and universities must examine these differences dispassionatelyo Our purpose is to educate, not indoctrinate; students learn how to think, not what to think; and, to this purpose the UnlLversity of South Florida must remain dedicated." To the four general charges, Dr. Allen gave succinct rebuttal: 11The committee found not one member of the faculty who is or was ever affiliated with an organization advocating or even sympathetic to Communism .' The committee found noreqgired or recommended reading material that could be proven obscene or pornographic in a court of law It produced allegations,.but no positive proof, of homosexual activity on the part of just three staff members among the more than 450 who work for the Universityo" To the final charge of anti-religious activity, Allen said more than a dozen faculty members frequently occupied pulpits in the community


130 and he added that the University was one of the few in the country to make land available for religious centers on the campus. "These could hardly be the actions of a faculty which is anti-religious,".he said. The Board of Control was silent to President Allen's statement of defense, and Governor Bryant reacted without comment both to the committee report and to Allen's rebuttal. The day after Dr. Allen spoke, though, Governor Bryant and the State Cabinet approved the Johns Committee's request for a $67,150 "emergenqy" appropriation. Press reports on the Cabinet's action ; said the. committee had been promised the additional funds some months earlier when its $75,000 biennial appropriation began to run low. Martin Waldron, writing in the St. Petersburg Times, ,about/ said the committee had $30,000 to $35,000 in its investigation at the University of South Florida, and had increased its staff from three to seven persons. The Tampa Tribune, following Dr. Allen's statement, editorialized again on the controversy, and if it had wavered in its first. res.ponse to the committee report, that uncertainty was soon dispelled. After a point-by-point examination of the now-famous "four charges," the editorial said: "Any citizen who has read the committee report and the very able replies of Dr. Allen, Dean Russell M. Cooper, the chapter of the American Association. of University Professors and the Temple .Terrace ministers must wonder why this investigation was held. "We do. We have wondered ever since xu committee investigators suddenly set up headquarters at a fancy Tampa motel last April and began taking testimony.


131 ,, [Every matter which the committee spent so much time and tax money investigating rightfully should have been handled by the Board of contrpl, and would have been disposed of wlthout smearing the University in .the manner the committee report does. "If Senat:on Charley Johns of Starke and his colleagues had been sincerely concerned with improving the University of South Florida, they could have best shown that concern by referring complaints (from sources not yet fully identified) to the B9ard of Control. "Now the committee has simply handed the Boardthe mountain of teati.mony and its own summa.:r.y---without n slne;J.a It says, in effect: 'Here it is. po something.' "The first thing the Board of Control ought to do is issue a public statement expressing its own confidence in the general soundness of the University of South Florida. It has better reason than any other official body to know how much progress has been made in the University's brief life. "The second thing the Board ought to do is to reassert its own authority as the agency charged by law with directly supervising the state university system; with hiring and firing, choosing textbooks and establishing philosophies of education. the Board does take a positive stand in behalf of the established .system---which was specifically designed to protect higher education from political meddlers and fanatics---its authority will pass by default to Senator Johns and his fellow usurper "Then, it will not be merely the University of South Florida which suffers; the whole state will pay the price in a system of education which meets the Space Age with its head in the sand."


132 Others spoke out on one side or the other. Tampa television station WTVT called on the Board of Control to assert its authority, several college administrators at nearby institutions defended :::t::::; ::i ::r ::: y :r::: :e::d p: ::0:::::: y o;a :::::c over the objections of Stockton Smith and two others, passed its _:solution of support.:/" Governor Bryant, when reporters at B. j J r' press conference tried to pin him down, evaded the issue by saying that while there may have been some bad effects from the J d "'P': investigation, ur think that the purposes of the cO.mnii ttee. were constructive." The Zephyrhills News, after a long silence, once again trumpeted its accusations against the University, and the _{. J Coalit.ion of. Patriotic Societies in its newsletter praised Senator 'Johns for issuing the report "directly to the people" through the ('oo. press, saying, "This was a refreshingly American way to handle J.i the matter. In a day when such information often is left J moldering in 1 official' files, we salute men with the courage to 1 give the facts directly to the people." The Coalition bulletin then ; Kahn o singled out USF English professor Sy M. for allegedly leading students astray with anti-religious and pornographic literature. More ominous was the Coalition's closing statement: "We wo1;.der at the attitude of the President of this University in supporting the situation. We wonder further at the attitude of our elected officials in retaining this man as President." allthe comment which followed the operi clash of the committee and the University, however, none was more enlightening .thanthat of the Reverend Carroll Eo Simcox, rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Tampa. S:p9 aking to a congregation that included


133 some of the University's most vocal detractors, Father Simcox: said flatly, "President Allen is right in his conception of the proper function of a University, and the Johns Committee is wrong. The Johns Committee and hosts of others believe that an American university exists specifically to propagate Ameri,canism, anticommunism, Christianity, heterosexuality, and a knowledge of books .as harmless as the Bobbsey Tw5_ns and Peter Raboi t We have to face this: if by the time our children go to college we have ,not taught them the way of life which we think is right, we have failed, and they are not ready to face the world as it is.There are atheists; there are communists, and 1comsymps1 ; there are homosexuals; and .there are not only books with dirty words in them but even people who use those dirty words. Somehow a university has got to teach its students how to live and to deal with these factso Father Simcox: went on to say that "Behind the report of the Johns Committee we see one of the saddest and most ominous phenomena of present-day American life, and that is fear of the intellectual. Why are so many people convinced that our co'lleges and universities are infested with atheists. and comrimnists and moral I wish I knew the whole answer to But one big part of it is this: that many of us are afraid to examine honestly and intelligently the foundations of our religion, our morality, our way of life; and a university ia of necessity devoted to the task of examining and exploring everything." It would have been hard for the University of South Florida to have a more eloquent defense than that.


In stark contrast to the words of Father Simcox was an editorial in the Orlando Sentinel; if the minister's words clearly expressed what the University was fighting for, the Sentine+'s position showed what it was fighting against: "We .cannot conceive private industry permitting such practices to prevail. If it was tried, the stockholders and the board of directors would move rapidly to straighten matters out. "If you think that the analogy does not hold good, let us remember that education is an industry, perhaps the greatest that we have in our scheme of survival. It too has stockholders in the taxpayers and a board of directors in the state officials elected or appointed by the stockholders. nwi th all the side issues raised by the Johns Committee report, this one issue appears paramount: Are our state-supported institutions of higher learning to be operated on a basis in keeping with the ideals, religious and civil concepts of our people?" Here, beneath all the sound and fury, lay the real. bone of contention. The University, without much support, was trying to become what great universities throughout the centuries have been: places where mature and responsible thought is given to to the whole spectrum of life, and truth is separated from falsehood by a meticulous process of exploration into all manner of thoughts and ideas. Its opponents wanted instead a super l industry where policy and procedure emanates from the top and l all who labor there adhere to these mandates. The University, to them, was simply another branch of the state government, to be regulated with economy and efficiency like any other business;


the creative processes, the marketplace of ideas, the dispassionate examination of unpopular thought---these sounded good onpaper, but they were disruptive in a big organization, and they could not be allowed to rock the ship of state. What fanned the fires of controversy, in short, was a basic ideological dispute over the purpose of a university. Within the ranks of Florida officialdom, few voices were heard in defense of the University of South Florida's position in that dispute. On September 4 the University prepared for the opening of its third year with an orientation program for old and new faculty. As he had in the past, President Allen addressed the group, and Dean Sidney French drew on a long and intimate friendship with the president for these insightful words of introduction: "The man who has led us through (the investigation) is a modest man, a quiet man as behooves one of his Quaker ancestry. He is. a simple man in his tastes. There's no pomp around hlm, and ceremony is confined to academic garb. In thirty years I have never heard him swear outwardly, and I seriously doubt t .hat he does so inwardly. I have never'heard him raise his voice in anger---at any time or to anyone---and there have been some occasions when justification was more than sufficiento He does not smoke; indeed, he s uffers in a smoke-filled room, but freely tolerates smoking by otheri: I have seen him on social occasions hold one filled highball glass for several hours for the sake of lending tolerance to others who refilled theirs much more fraquently. Tolerance,. in fact, is one of his greatest virtues and strengths.


136 "He is a gentle man in every sense of the word. But do not misunderstand; he is also a firm man, and at times where a principle is concerned he can be downright stubborn. There is neither wishy nor washy in his makeup. He is a fair man, and understands the meaning of listening to reason; then he makes up his own mind. He is a man of very great integrity, morality, decency, and kindness. He is, in fact, the very last man on to lead, devise, support, or subscribe to any of the viciousness which the Johns C ommittee report by implication has tried to connect him with." Dean French's introductory remarks told much about the man who stood at.the center of the storm over the University. For he was indeed:, all those things---modest, quiet, tolerant, gentle, firm, stubborn---and during his time of trial those same qualities were both a help and a hindrance to the conduct of his office. His Quaker background and his personal character made him, in effect, not one man but two: the first was the smiling, charming person who worked quietlywith people in an easy-going way; the second was the intense individual who revealed himself and his thoughts to no one and made his agonizing choices in solitude These two John Allens shared one thing in common: a vision of the University of South Florida decades in the future. That vision was of a University bigger and stronger and more productive than anything even his closest colleagues dreamed of, a large and sprawling multiversity-..:-to use Clark Kerr's term---that had as much quality as quantity. Toward that goal the two John Allens worked, and the individual, day-to-day decisions which were an integral part of the overall task were made on the basis


137 of logic and reasoning often known only to the John Allen who resided alone in the inner shell. Jerome Davis required such a decision, and so did D. F. Fleming. Reflecting on those choices in a rare moment of candor, President Allen told an associate the decisions of a man in such a crisis are like those of a general at war. "Every crisis makes you decide, 11 he said. "Do you win the battle, but lose the war? Can you win both? You have a goal, and you stay to fight for that until you lose, until you're defeated and the goal is destroyed." In the fiavis and Fleming cases, the "We might conceivably win these battles (though it was doubtful), but instead of being strengthened we will be weakened by the assaults of our opponents, and we will lose the waro" I:osing the war would not only mean losing his job:...--something many people'incorrectly thought was what he really treasurt::d--but also losing .the vision. And he saw himself, with impersonal detachment, as an essential part of the vision, not because of any unique qualities he p ,ossessed, but simply beca-qse he knew whoever the politically-dominated Board of Control chose to replace him would be much worse. To keep the vision alive, he paid the price of surrendering a vital principle in the case of D. F. Fleming, and whil e the official John Allen---the one who smiled---announced the decision and stuck by inner. John Allen---the one who agonized---knew how RRXX4 much it had cost, and even he could vision would ever be the same.


138 Early in September, almost six months after the conflict had begun, the first legislator who dared to speak out in support of the University made his views known in a speech in Tampa. Representative Fred B. Karl of Daytona Beach,told the Tampa Kiwanis Club he thoroughly disagreed with the cormnittee and its tactics, and said he was astonished that the executive branch of government had not spoken o u t in protest. He said the Board of Control was responsible for the protection of the universities as well as their administration, and he asked, "Why then does the Board stand silent? "Actually, is not their failure a greater stain upon the conscience of the state than the original action of the committee? Is not their silent condonation of this report and the method in which it was handled as damaging to the morale of the faculty members and the prospective faculty members as is the report itself?" Karl asked. No other member of the Florida Legislature, not even the members of Hillsborough County's delegation, had ventured to express such views. Representative Karl stood alone, and his stand took no small bit of courage. While Karl was speaking, a defrocked Presbyterian minister named Carl Mcintire was praising the Johns Committee report on '\. I m a JI!J-station radio hookup. Collingswood, New Jersey, on his daily program called "The Twentieth Century Reformation Hour," Mcintyre repeated theytharges of the Florida Coalition of Patriotic Societies and other right-wing groups and said the University of South Florida was guilty of the now-famous "four charges" .m:f made by the com.mi ttee.


139 And so, with the extended dispute between the University and the committee still festering, a new school term began and the proponents and opponents of the institution continued to debate. On September 14, three weeks after publication of the Johns Committee report, the Board of Control finally spoke. The Board's position was contained in a four-page report drawn up by a three-man subcommittee and adopted bythe entire Board. The press headlined it as a defense of the University, but in truth it was an equivocating document clearly intended to appease both sides. The nearest to support of the Unlversity was a sentence, "Th:l.A comm!tttoe feell!l that in the total perspective President Allen, the faculty, and the staff of the University of South Florida have performed well in developing the beginnings of a great university." On the other hand, it credited "the alertness of private citizens, members of the Legislative Committee, members of the Board of Control and its staff" Jerome Davis and D. F. Fleming from lecturing or teaching at the University. It said that although selection of teaching should be left in the hands of the faculties, the Board should adopt a policy requiring that all teaching materials should be "pertinent to the subject being taught, the best mm material available and obtainable, and within the of good taste and common decency." And it also referred to its 1961 "Policy on Morals and Influences," which requrred careful screening of employees and students for detection of "any antisocial or immoral behavior, such as Communistic activities or sex deviation." The nearest the report came to criticizing the Johns Committee was a sentence


saying the Board of' Control "is the proper body to receive, investigate, and take action upon any and all complaints directed toward or against the institutions under its authority." The Board .1 s statement resulted from a study its three-man subcommittee had been engaged in since July, before the Johns Committee report had been published. As a compromise;vit was a failure, for the faculties at the University of South Florida and the other state universities as well resented the suggestions stringent policies on selection of' teaching and screening of employees, and Charley Johns said he and his committee'had no apologies to make to anybody. Not mentioned specifically in the Board statement was an "implementation" document being prepared by the Board staff' which in effect made the "recommendations" in the September 14. statement no-c recommendations at all but rather binding procedures covering selection of faculty and students, obscenity in books and teaching materials, homosexuality, and challenges to basic religious beliefs. The "implementation" document applied to all universities under the Board, and required, among other things, the following: {r Extensive screening of the loyalty and morality or all prospective employees and students; Approval by the president of all visiting lecturers and speakers; Fingerprinting of' all university personnel; -1

and subjects in the classroom. '-!;hen/ the University of South Florida had received no support from the faculties of its sister institutions. The implementation that condition, however, for it represented an attempt by the Board to assert its authority, and as a result all the universities felt the pinch. What had been a fight beteen one institution and a legislative committee become a struggle between all the universities and their governing board, and in the months ahead this involvement of all the universities would a vital asset to the survival o the University o South But lr 2 e the implementation statemen J,.s sue iJA 'laa "'-1A..G( decision faced President Allen and the University. On the same day the Board of Control made its initial public response to the Johns investigation, President Allen was intently searching for the right choice to make in the case of Professor John W. Caldwell. The five-man faculty committee, after almost a month of deliberation, had unanimously recommended Caldwell's reinstatement, and the president.had to decide whether or not to support the recommendation. After private consultation with the Board at its weekend meeting in Tallahassee, he made his move on Monday morning. He had said no to Jerome Davis and D. F. Fleming; to John Caldwell, he said yes. "I have accepted the committee's recommendation and reinstated Mr. he said in a brief statement. The Tampa Tribune's managing editor, V. M. Newton, was obviously displeased with the decision. Under his direction, the Tribune .story announcing the reinstatement dwelt


a word-ror-word repeat or the Johns Committee's unproved and unspeciric charges against Caldwell, and on the rollowing day a lengthy rront page story gave the angry reaction or Senator Charley Johns "It has been apparent rrom the very rirst public reaction or President Allen and several or his deans that they intended to resist the taking or any corrective action at the University or South Florida," Johns said. He then repeated the charges against Caldwell, and threw in a new one: "It is a matter or record that when Proressor Caldwell appeared berore the committee he was surrering rrom an extreme case or alcoholic hangover and shakes." Johns concluded that Caldwell's reinstatement "by Dr. Allen and his administration amounts to a public nullirication or the Board or Control's announced policy on morals and inrluances." Board chairman Baya when asked to comment on the newest conrrontation or the University and the Johns Committee, placed all responsibility ror the reinstatement on Allen and added; "Ir any citizen of Florida has. any additional evidence that should be presented, it is.urged that the same be brought to the attention of' the Board of Control." It sounded almost like a plea ror the citizens or the state to join in the assault on the University he was supposed to be upholding. Another crisis seemed inevitable, and once again the University was the weakest .of the contending parties. On September 20, the day after Johns's new blast, Caldwell averted the crisis with a bang He resigned from the Uni:versi ty, and in a two-page letter to President Allen he gave his reasons Because or "the extended and continued harassment inflicted upon me" by the Johns Committee, he said, "I am not at this tim Jhysically or emotionally


143 able to perform my teaching duties." He said the brief history of the University "has been indelibly marred by this fruitless investigation which has continued in a steady sequence too precise to be coincidental." During this time, he said, "I have been prominently attacked and vilified in what has been an obvious attempt to destroy me and my career, though for what reason I am still unaware." He then specifically denied that he had failed to look into an alleged incident of homosexuality reported to him by a student, that .he had been drunk or drinking when he testified before the committee, and that he had encouraged a young female student to defy her parents. "These are but three of the attempts of the Johns Committee to defame my character," he went on. "They are indicative of the manner in which the entire investigation was carried out, and they explain the low level of morale to be found among the people who were, subjected to this degrading performance. These police state methods have made me and my colleagues almost physically ill, \" and I cannot tell you the contempt I .feel as a result. Caldwell also said his attorneys had told him Johns, as a public official, was immune from prosecution for libel, and thus, he said, "I have no choice except to resign from the field of higher education in Florida." In closing, Caldwell said, "I am a native of.this state, and have long loved it and worked in it and for it---often, I hope, to its credit. I leave it sadly, but with the fond hope that the citizens of Florida will again make it possible for their universities to be governed through the Board of Control in a dignified and intelligent manner, free of political interference. Florida'sstate unj.versitics cannot hope to attain greatness


under the withering scrutiny of reckless investigations, for no teacher of any.stature will be willing to subject himself to such irresponsible attacks." Thus departed John W. Caldwell. The 38-year ... old theat:re "renutati on__.director took with him the remains of a he had earned in Florida, and the St Petersburg Times, among others, lamE?nt ed his departure. "The secret and otherwise fruitless investigation has thus produced a victim," said the Times. "But we are really all the victims. When personal persecution is allowed to override orderly, responsible procedure, just men.everywhere must cringe." Even beyond Florida's borders the Johns Committee's activities were attracting On September 24, the Washington Post related highlights of the committee report in an editorial and said it was "marked by a succession of solecisms which pretty well revealed the intellectual qualifications of its authors. Perhaps it will be accorded no more attention than it deserves attacks of this kind do grave damage. They undermine confidence in higher education and they tend to intimidate teachers. Education is a profession which cannot be subjected to this kind of reckless interference by self-appointed campus cops. The best that can be hoped for from this Florida incident is that it may I serve as an object' lesson to other legislatures in how NOT to handle a university." In Tampa, Caldwell's resignation brought a sudden, if temporary, relaxing of pressure. During late September and early October no new incidents occurred to stimulate the flow of publicity, and with the of a few resolutions by local organizations backing Dr. Allen and the University, the only public reminder of


145 the diepute was a rumor---quickly branded ae false---t hat t h o oommi tteo ronewod 1tn 1nvoNt1gat1 o n or tho Then, on October 17, the l ampa Bay Baptiet Aesooiation, apparently not entirely eatiefied with the Johns Committee's report, issues one of its own. Signed by an eight-member committee headed by John s. Wimbish, the 're:port said the associati on had been secretly investigating "the flood of coll').plainta" against the University for nine months--.since January 22. It was later learned that Mr. Wimbish had a group of students secretly reporting to him and his committee on the t .eaching method e and rna:terials of professors at the University, and these "intelligence". re,port s were added to the files of the mini s .ters. Their report also said the aid of the Johns Committee had been solicited early in their investigation (a fact later confirmed by revelation that committee investigator R. J. Strickland had spent more than a week in late in January), and added that the Baptists had conferred with members of the Board of Control in July when the Emard was privately etudying the testimony from the Johns investigation. The remainder of the report bit the Baptists eimply repeated the Board of Control's "recommendations' of September 14, and conclud t;d with the "sincere hopeand confident belief" that they would be carried out. The Tampa Bay Baptist Association, said the report, consisted of 82 ministers One of the eight signers of the Baptist document wa. s Guy Stoner, pastor of the Temple Terrace Baptist Church a.nd a signer of the earlier statement by the ministers of Tetnple supporting the University. When questioned about this contradiction, Stoner denied having signed the statement of support with the other ministers of Temple Terrace. .. r One other occurrrnce of note was an October 19 ruling of the Florida Supreme Court which reinstated three Pinellas c ounty school teachers whose certificates had been revoked after allegations of homoeexuality had been made against them by the Johns Committee. In its five-to-two decision, che court said the committee was not empowered to investigate homosexuality at the time of the three euapensione in 1961. Furthermore, the court added, committee investigator R. J. Strickland had not only exceeded the law by making his inquiry, but had extracted statements from the teachers


.146 nunder a threat of publicity,n and nthe only evidence as to ac,ts of homosexuality on the. part of the, petitioners was the testimony of Strickland n 'l'hat p owe r which Strickland assumed for the committee was instituted retroactively by the Legislature, and at the. time of the University of South Florida investigation WaS in the WOrding Of the COmmittee IS enabling act. The court's decision, h9wever, raised hopes thatnew suits against the Johns Gommi ttee 1 s activit.tes might stand a .chance of success, Still, no one who been mentio,ned in the report on the Universi1ty showed any inclination to submit to. the long and expensive test prooesso Sing. /'' ma .... "Board's \ of English 3 name Norman -. --(.


147 The uneasiness and preoccupation of the University community in the fall or 1962 was in a .multitude of ways. In spite of the emphatic and unanimous denial of the rumor that the Johns Committee had returned, the atmosphere of concern and uncertainty prevailed, and morale was at a lob ebb. The good effect'of Caldwell'. s reinstatement was cancelled out by his resignation, and the-?' entrance of the Baptist Association into the open struggle added to the dismay on the campus. In an effort to ,improve communications, President Allen scheduled i a series of "Know Your University" lect1,ires for the faculty, but when he stepped to the rostrum to give the first talk, barely a fourth o f the auditorium was filled.; He gave a lacklustre performance, showing not only the strain he was under but also his inabili.ty to stir his audience, and the effect, if anything, was to add to the pessimism 'of the faculty. Dr. Allen was awarded .the University of Minnesota's alumnus award for outstanding achievement later that month, and two of his deans spearheaded 'formation of a national association for. general and liberal studies, ,but these .two accomplishments outside the state did little toimprove mattersat home. Word continued I circulate .that the University was in bad condition, and rumors that Allen's in also were discussed repeatedly, in downtown coffee shops well as on the campus. It was another fall, a new school year, and the tribulations of the University of South Florida were being experienced in varying degrees on other 'campuses around 'the nation. C. Vann Woodward, writing in the October issue of Harper. s, told of reactionary attacks on academic freedom at more than a dozen Southern colleges and universities, but such intrusions were not


) I 148 confined to the South. The president of the University of Colorado was locked in a heated controversy with Senator Barry Goldwater over an article that had appeared in the student newspaper, and the. president, Quigg Newton, ultimately resigned; professors' jobs were being threatened or taken away in and Illinois fpr participation in peace marches and racial demOnstrations; and on other.carnpu8es, from New England to Californ:l.a, II\ wave of conaervatism was 'mounting againststudents and professors alike. Clearly, what troubled the South Florida was by no means an isolated virus but a disease that was reaching epidemic proportions. Still,. the: University of South Florida's difficulties had someth:Ln'g of" a 'distinctive appearance, in a negative sort of way, and to many they appeared sadly unique. ,What set the University apart, in its malaise was its almost total vulnerability to attack, for while 'other schools in similar positions ma:e: had some vestiges of support, the had no alumni, no sympathetic community power, no governing board to defend its cause. Only a few a battle-weary student body' and faculty, and a relative handful of citizens. joined the administration in its and even in these ranks there was dissenflort. A s r'or the University Foundation, the single contribution of its ?resident, John Germany, during the long months of trial was x his procurement'or a pair of porcelain birds to gather dust in a museum showcase. Judge Germany's bird gift i:x'representative of the almost total lack of genulne committment on the part of the University's so-called supporting organization. That a small nmnber of Foundation members gave sincere encouragement to the University behind the


149 .i. scenes was little consolation.when the desppate need was for a clear voice of support and defense from the leadership of the This, then, was the lonely and almost helpless mood of the University when, on the Board of Control convened in Gainesville for its regular monthly meeting. It was Homecoming at the University of Florida, and the Board met .in solemn' session while satirical skits put on by students lampooned Senator Johns and his investigators, Governor Bryant, the Board and others. The crowds roared approval at the .._paricl\. e:fr"il!taAture of Johns in search of pervert a and aubventa, but there was no levity in the Board room, where two deadly serious matters of business wereattended to. The first was the release of the document implementing the suggestions it had made in September, arid with its appearance the.seeds of a system-wide. facuility revolt were planted. If. the .faculties of the four state 'Wi ties had known at the time.yrun:-loving college fl!unk-out \) / Jl:llJ.M' the Board staff at the behest of Governor Bryant,; was the author of stringent new set of regulations, their revolt would surely have been immediate.. As it was, the regulations themselves---:-on hiring, visiting speakers, fingerprinting, teaching sex deviation and religion---were I enough to make immediate concern over their seem secondary. But. the. implementation statement, serious as it was, did not produce the biggest fireworks at that Board meeting. Another action, taken privately, erupted into the headlines three days later---October 23---and once again the University of South Florida


. 119b;l' i I \ : \ \ I CL \ I I \ --'' \... \ \ L .. ;.,-. I'' I,. was plunged into a struggle for survival. The action MX.X involved what was to become the first .test. case against the I implementati'ori document itself, and thecentral figure was an assistant professor of English at the University of So uth Florida who, just seven weeks after joining the faculty, was suspended by President Allen" "'came [ Sheldon N. Grebstein wxxxxppNNaa to the University of South Florida faculty on September 1, 1962 as an assistant professor of English. A specialist in American literature, he held a master's degree from Columbia and a Ph.D. from Michigan State---both with had taught for nine years at the University of Kentucky. The 34-year-old professor's publications included a biography of Sinclair Lewis and a casebook on t h' e Scopes "Monkey Trial;' as well as I a long list of literary criticisms and scholarly reviews. \ Among he as assigned to teach was English 221, Advanced Writing. Primarily for upperclassmen, the class incl_uded a few sophomores and, according to the University ) I catalog, emphasized "practice in the personal essay, critical review and narrative sketch.11 Grebstein met the class_of 31 students for the first time on September 10 and distributed an assignment first two months. One of those assignments---for October 5---included these words: "Podhoretz essay on the Beats distributed for future use.11 The 11Podhoretz essay" was an article which appeared in 1958 in an issue of the Parti_s?Jl Review. The article was called


1.51 "The Know-Nothing Bohemians," and was written by Norman Podhorets, editor of Commentary, another highly regarded literary journal. In it, Podhoretz analyzed the literary efforts of the so-called ) "Beat Generation" in._, and of their leading light, Jack Kerouac, in particular, and with admirable intellectual finesse -he systematically disassembled the fatuous framework around which the justifications of beat writing were wrapped. Podhoretz said I "the spirit of hipsterism and the Beat Generation strikes me as I the same spiri t whlch an1.mates the young savages in leather jackets who have been running amuck in the last few years 'With their switch"':'blades and zip guns," and he called their "worship of primitivism and spontaneity more than a cover for hostility to intelligence; it arises:from a pathetic poverty of feeling as I Vfell." To illustrate these and other of his scathing he quoted several particularly coarse and offensive passages, each one an example -of .the empty and purposeless spewings of "the spiritually underprivileged and the crippled of soul," outpourings "from the guts rather than the brain." Grebstein reproduced and distributed the' l?odhoretz essay to his class as an out standing example of a professionally written review and as a responsible criticism of Beat literatureo He had used the essay numerous times in his classes since its I appearance-four yea.+s earlier, and.his high opinion of it had been confirmed '-by its appearance in 1961 in a college textbook I -being used by more than 100 colleges and universities. I Having come to the University of South Florida soon after the appearance of the Johns Committee report, Grebstein was certainly aware of the controversy, though he not have fully grasped the impact or the implications of the investigation


rr he had any reservations about distributing material that might be used out o' context to reinro:r.ce the committee's charges against the University, they were overshadowed by the unmistakable tone and quality of the essay as a whole, and he assumed---incorrectly, as it turned out---that it would be v ,iewed objectively 'brhLB ii!iLd&t::s not as an exercise in vulgarity but as a polished and professional piece or critical writing. There was no discussion or the lurid portions. or the essay in subsequent class meetings, and the assignment passed without comment or reference to them. It was later said that Grebstein remarked as he distributed the essay, "Don't show this to the Johns Committee," but he did not recall having made that.remark, and if .he did hewas not unlike a majority or the faculty who, like the student body,and the administration, were preoccupied with past events. was unaware that one of his students was the daughter of C. Neil Smith, whose dissatisfaction with \took f the University was well known. Smith's daughter the essay to her father, who in turn gave it to Mark Hawes, the Johns Committee's counsel. By.the time the Board of Control assembled in Gainesville on October 19, Charley Johns had shown each Board member the essay and demanded Grebstein's dismissal, and the Board, properly shocked and sufficiently intimidated, shared wholeheartedly the senator's indignation. President Allen was confronted with the Board's demandsas ./ .; soon as he arrived for the meeting, and the firsttime he saw the essay. Dismayed by the eruption of a new crisis and by the vulgar of the essay as he hurriedly ski1nmed over them, w-o....a-"1\ () / he Noe!idtA.eas Uae iiie defend the judgment. Stalling for time, he summoned Grebstein


153 a.nd three o.dmini s t r ati ve oi'l'ic er s t o Ga.:tne s vJ.lle, and by t ht, time they arrived the he would do. Though the angry Board wanted a summary dismissal of the. professor, Allen pointed out to them that Board procedure specified that suspension and a hearing must precede dismissal, and after a brief and unproductive meeting with Grebstein and the deans, the president imposed the suspension. \ Things happened quickly after that. On Honday, the president sent Grebstein a letter the s uspension "as I advised you in our conference Friday." He distributing the essay and thus "having w ilfully violated the intent and bhe \ spirit of.the Board of Control p olicy" relating to selection of teaching That policy---requiring all materials "pertinent to the subject being_ taught, the best material available and and within the purview of good taste. and common decency"---had.originated in the Board's. September 14 respon3e I to the inves:tigation and ..;as .formally established in the implementation .document adopted by the Board on October 20, the day after I Grebste'in 1 s suspension was imposed. Grebstein immediately asked for a hearing, and when the story broke in the papers the next day he was quoted as saying "I am totally convinced that I acted wholly within my rights and responsibilities as a college professor." The Division of Languages and.Literature, in which Grebstein taught, denounced the suspension and called for a meeting of the faculties of all the University's and the campus chapter of AAUP also condemned the suspension. The AAUP said the action would "subject every'clas s and every professor to the biased or immature censorship.of anyone who choose s t o complain to the Board," and


154 called.on the professors of Florida's other "to study the. implications of this act as an encroachment on their own future responsibility as teachers." demand for all-University faculty meeting brought to a head a festering grievance of m13-ny faculty members that ,no such meetings had been held. They pointed to the inconsistency of having an abundance of and interrelate d ties among the colleges on one hand, but refusing formal faculty meetings on the other, and_they complained that the all-Uniyersity approach seemed to extend to everything except such meetings. 'I'o the unrest created by Grebstein's suspension and the dissatisfaction over the implementationstatement was thus added a third complaint---'that Dr. Allep would not deal directly with his faculty and would not demonstrate a willingness for communication on the campus to flow up to the top administration as well as down to the faculty. The president's formality and aloofness seriously harmed (L. his relations with the faculty atOtime when the rieed fo.r understanding was critical. He was unwilling---perhaps unable---to deal.effectively with those who sought to help him, and in his precarious position in the vise between the Board and the facuil:t'y. did not give leadership to the : :men' -LWhe tri@d to inject .. :.'" .. some reason int6.the emotional struggle. His silence was interpreted as fright by some and as agreement with the Board by others, and a small group of faculty members unacquainted. with his predicament became for awhile the dominant voice on the campus. These faculty members, most of them English professors, had remained silent, for the most part, while Jerome Davis and D. F. Fleming and John Ca ldwell were under fire,


the assault ,._ reached into their area ihey reacted strongly. Some of them, with a dogmatism as absolute and as narrow as the University's extreme adversaries, unconsciously aided the Johns Committee by blaming the suspension entirely on Allen and agitating for his ouster. -Nothing could have pleased the committee more, and it is likely that the Board of Control also welcomed this faculty criticism of Allen, for it diverted attention from the intrusive role the Board. i i n the Strangly enough, one of the calmest and. most rational faculty members the campus during the height of the emotional drama j was Sheldon Grebstein himself. W11ile some of his colleagues neared revolt, he left his fate in the hands of the fa.culty committee appointed b y Allen to hear his case, and his only beyond the brief statement issued through the AAUP was a calmly written explanation of his choice of the Podhoretz -1 It ended with these words: "I agree without reservation that the article contains language and description which are not suitable for children. However, I do not regard university as children and I do not regard'myself a.s a teacher of children, but as a member of an adult .intellectual It was with this attitude that I came to the University of South Florida a few weeks ago. It .. was with this att i tude that I brought the article into my classr.oom. It was with this attitude I thought it would be regarded by all concerned. The article can stand on its own merits. It is a scathing attack written by a reputable writer upon a corrupt literary cult, and it i s a w arning that we mus t not follow the kind of behavi c 1r that the Beat Generation a dvocates. I cannot in all conscience feel that such a piece of writing has


156 been harmfulto my students at the University of South Florida." The nine faculty members appointed by President Allen to hear Dr. Grebstein's appeal of the suspension began'their deliberations in an atmosphere of emotional confusion. On the campus, the AAUP :insisted on the faculty's right .to petition for a faciulty meeting, but urged postponement pf such meeting until the Grebstetn committee had concluded its hearings. An administration officia.l counseled patience, saying "time is on the side of due process, C')th for the faculty member concerned and for the University." Students, through meetings and resolutions, denounced. the Johns Committee and the Board. On:e faculty.! me:rp.ber \ j (!rebsteip was !':rp.arked for destruction by the right wing11 beforehe.ever set.foot on the USF campus. "He edited '!!The Monkey Trial,' he's a Jew and a liberal,11 the professor said. 11They must have ha.d him pegged from the beginning." Off the campus, Charley Johns made news with the admi.ssion that a student had turned the essay over to the committee, and that he in had given it to the Board. And while speaking of the Board, Johns praised the implementation document highly. "I think it's mighty nice," he said. "I think we've got a fine Board of Control---they're, all fine men who want to give our children the best education, and that's not what all these University men would do. It's a pretty serious situation." Three other developments beyond the confines of the University also found their origin in the heated after 'math of the suspension, and all three were significant to the survival of the University of South Florida. One of these---the editorial response in the actually not a new development but rather a continuation, particularly in the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times,


157 of the, indispensi'ble support the University had received in the / past. The Tribune spoke of "the lengthening shadow of political meddling in the state u n:i ver t3 u;y syst em," and warned that i f it continued "the enterprising and i maginative teachers v.,rill depart at the first opportunity.", Asked the Times: "Are Florida's public universities to have the academic freedom essential to g!1eat educational institutions? O r is a legislative committee, with no qualifications for the task, going to intimidate the, State Board of.Control and the administration of the state universities. to the point where qualified and superior professors i will shun our campuses, or---far worse---the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities will no longer accredit our un:i,.versities?" The second s ignificant development was the unpublicized formation citizens' group to work in support of the University Started by three ministers who earlier had been outspoken in the institution's defense, the group ha,d about a dozen pe0ple as its nucleus, including six ministers, a lawyer, d b k d d h a banker, a octor, '(a ro ur1ng t e next SlX montc1s about a hundred influential people actively Only a handful were members of the USF Foundation. deliberately sought to avoid .t.u discussion of Grebstein as an individual or the essay he used---rational discussion of these was no longer p ossible---and concentrated instead on the fundamental issue: Does a profes s or have the right and the responsibility to choo-se the materials he will use to teach his courses, or should this be screened by the Board of Control worse---a legislative committee? The citizens' group quietly sought to use its influence in support of the professor's rights,


their help was considerable. The.third, and probably the most significant, of the developments following Dr. Grebstein's suspension was the support of public and private college faculties around the state First to speak was the University of Florida AAUP chapter, which condemned the "ill-advised and groundless attack" on Grebstein and linked it with the new Board of 158 Control directives. The chapter also asked the national AAUP office and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to investigate both matters, and urged formation of a committee of presidents, AAUP members and Board of Control members to review the new policies. Four days later, the AAUP chapter at Florida Presbyterian College, a private instituti?n ''J 'Scna:.k begun operations in St. Petersburg the same year as.__ ep ored "the irresponsible investigations and loose charges of 'obscenity' by the Johns Committee,". and urged Governor Bryant to put an end them Soon thereafter, Grebstein spoke in Gainesville to some 200 faculty attending a University of Florida AAUP meeting. He carefully avoided any criticism-of Allen, and and relaxed voice said he would take his case into the courts'{f all else failed. The following day, Florida State University's faculty senate and its AAUP chapter both leaped into the fight. The senate confined itself to the Board's implementation "-;, document, calling it and "unlnforcible," and declared that "we will not collaborate in the destruction of our university." The implication -was clear that the Florida State University faculty did not intend to comply with the directives, and within hours, while the threat still reverberated, an announcement came out of the Board's offices that "a clearcut definition of academic.


freedom" was being worked on for possible consideration at the November 9 meeting of the Board. What had begun as an assault on one university thus spread thr.ou ghout the system, and the lines o f battle were cle a r l y drawn. 159 While all this was going on, the riine-man faculty committee reviewing the Grebstein case was hard at work. Between October 2.3 and November 9 '_., the committee devoted more than 1,300 man hours to its deliberations and the compiling of. a 73-page report, by more than 200 pages of docwmentation in seven appendices The members of the committee were among the U r :iversity' s best faculty members, and the thoroughness of their report was indicative of their competence and their objectivity. The nine were Battenfeld, associate of hlimanities;. Dr. Jesse S. Binford, associate professor of chemistry; Harrison w. Covingtoti, associate professor of art; Dr Robert H. Fuson, associate professor of geography; Dr. Robert A. Goldstein, assistant of history; Dr. Hans Juergensen, assistant professor of humanities; Dr. Donald s. Wakefield, assistant professor of marketing; Peter Wright, assistant profes'sor of social sci'ences; .and the chairman, Dr. Thomas F. Stovall, I associate professor of education. The committee took up, in order, the "general competency of Dr. Grebstein1 to judg e and evaluate instructional materials," the pertinency of the Podhoretz essay for use in his advanced writing.class, whether the essay was the best material available, it was .within the purview of good taste and common d.enency .as it was used in the class, and whether Grebstein warned the class not to show it to the Johns C ommittee (thus indicating a wilful violation of the policy on t eaching materials).


160 To get at these questions, the committee communicated by h 1 t t \ 1 t th ht t p one,:mx e er persona 1.:-1 erv1ew Wl e1g een pas and present supervisors and associates of Grebstein's, and a number of present and former students; it interviewed ten recognized literary experts on the professional quality of the Podhoretz essay, and processed fifty completed questionnaires from colleges and universities using the textbook containing the. essay; and finally, it or obtained written statements from all thirty-one members of the class. The committee concluded that Dr. Grebstein's "qualifications to competently judge, evaluate and select materials" for the class in que"stion "are unquestionable and unimpeachable." It found that the essay was pertinent to the subject being taught, I adding, "As a matter of record, not a single objection to the material's use for reasons of non-pertinency was made." (All thirty-one students, including C. N(\jl Smith's daughter, agreed that the mate.rial was pertinent to the course.) To the question of whether the material was "the best available and obtainable," the committee concluded)'it was "impossible to determine whether the Podhoretz essay is the single best piece of writing for the assignment;" but was in agreement that "it is among the very best," and presented overwhelming testimony to support that view. The question of "good taste and common decency" was dealt with at length by the committee, and the conclusion---based on affirmative responses from all but five of more than a hundred that the essay clearly met these standards. Only two of the thirty-one students had qualified reservations abfuut the taste of the material, and only two of the fifty and universities responding to the questionnaire felt the material


161 was in poor taste. Next, the committee reached the conclusion that Grebstain's use of the essay WRB followed an earnest professional decision on his part and was in no way a wilful attempt NN to violate Board of Control policy. And finally, the committee concluded that Dr. Grebstein1s use of the essay conformed to Board policy on pertinency, quality and taste; that he in no way iniended to violate the policy; and that he was a man of responsible judgment capable of selecting his own material.. "The Committee therefore recommends immediate. reinstatement of Dr. Grebstein to xhE his the University of South Florida." In an addendum the committee made other recommendations, including a change in Board policy to prevent suspension of a faculty member before the charges against him I investigated, and rescinding of the implementation document in favor of one drawn up with faculty assistance. The testimony and evidence in support of Grebstein was so completely overwhelming that there appeared no wa y Dr. Allen could reject it. Still, t h e essay had become such an emotional issue that the Board of Control remained as adamant as ever in its opinion both of the and of Grebstein himself. Allen received the report j ust before leaving for the November 9 Board meeting, but he did not take it with him. Another.meeting was scheduled for November 16 in Gainesville, and the showdown would come there. Before the November 9 meeting, there were more developments. New editorials supporting the protesting professors appeared around the state, and the AAUP at privately-owned Jacksonville University added its voice to the debate. The Jacksonville


162 institution's president, Dr. Franklyn A. Johnson, said in a statement that he supported the position of his AAUP chapter, and he added these conclusions, based on his experience as a professor, administrator, businessman and American patriot "preserving Americal} freedom": "Responsible academic froedom is a key part of the heritage our nation's vigilantly fought fbr since colonial days. I did not fight in order that some crippling form of -political, social, religious or literary party line and indoctrination might be fastened upon this state's young peopilie and the. teaching them I d o not share the lack ofconfidence in our young people by men of little faith. Our Florida university students will not be corrupted by new ideas, or by what is called "literature," or by an occasional speaker with whom virtually all of us would disagree. If we have not confidence in these young Floridians, all talk of building 'a great university .system' is hollow, and we may as well resign ourselves to state and private universities .alike of mediocrity and decline." A statement of such outspoken indignation from Dr. Allen or any of the' other state. uni versl ty presidents would probably have cost l).im his job. President Johnson himself stayed only a year or so longer before &nswering the call of a more fertile academic vinejnrd in Crilifornia. clearly was not far enough out of the to keep a man of such forthrightness. On the ca.nlpusesof li!!if the University of Florida, students were having their say. The whose vice president was the 8op of Jape and Stockton passed a strongly-worded creativity and intellect to politicians' policieliJ," and asking for "the right


163 and t:'reedom to be challenged and i 'orced to use our minds to the utmost of our capabilities." Young Stockton Smith Jr. did not support the resolution. At Ge.inesville, the University of Plorida newspaper said the Board of Control had "bungled irresponsibly" in forcing Grebstein's suspension, and had shown 11an extreme lack of knowledge of their charge---our universities." In Tampa the ci tiz.ens 1 group organizing .to support the University sent a telegram signed by ten of its members to the Board of .Control at its meeting in Jacksonville. The telegrain said it was "not the function of the Board to teach classes or to tell others how to teach them," adding, "It that a group of laymen should reach into the classroom andtell a professional person how to teach as it would be for the board of directors of a hQspita l to stand over the shoulder of a surgeon and try to tell him how to carry through an operation." 'I'he l.t._he!}J the' Board to support the faculties of the universities and their administrators against outside pressures. In Tallahassee, a visi ti,ng team of ev,aluators .for the South 1 s ting agency looked askance at Board's implementation directives and even more critically at the .Johns Committee, and the official senates of the University of South Florida and the University of Florida joined the Florida State University senate and the AAUP of the faculty senate at Baptist-run Stetson University, protesting Grebstein's suspension. In uneasy response to the growing the Board met in Jacksonville November 9 and announced that. the presidents of the universities and two representatives from each school would meet with the Board at a;n to.discuss the question of academic signs pointed to ,1 ,... "' ......


164 the Board's November 1$ meeting in Gainesville as the battleground for the revolt, for the "sumniit conference" on academic freedom would begin there, and the now-celebrated Grebstein case would be resolved, one way or the other. In the week leading up to that meeting, the Tampa Junior Chamber of Commerce added its backing tOAtJni versi ty in a tement urging President Allen to accept the recommendations of the faculty committee on Grebstein and criticizing political meddling Committee. Johns himself, looking ahead to the told Bob Turner the Tam a Times that. of the Legislatur$, the life of h1s committee definitely should be extended as a continuing investigative tool in the state university system. The Legislature was then meeting in It special session to seek a s olution to its own malapportionment, and Johns was joined by Senator W. C. Herrell of Miami in a successful effort to get the Podhoretz essay made a part of the Senate's permanent record so the people ."will know first-hand why the University had to let him go." Behind the Sam Gibbons and Tampa Mayor Julian Lane._--the latter very reluctantly---asked Governor Farris Bryant to put an end to the attacks on the University. Lane 'agreed to ask for the gover>nor' s help only on the grounds that Tampa's economy was suffering as a result of the attacks, but it was all to no avail a 'nyway, since the governor to become involved. So the months of crisis had built to a climax, and the crucial date finally


165 Since the Board of Control was a public :body, its meetings were required to be open to the press. The tense meeting on R:zd Mll7r night, November '&', was nn exception, however. Sinco the conference on academic freedom involved participation by the university presidents and their faculty representatives as well as the members of the Board, the press was told it was an informal and unofficial gathering and no members of the press would be admitted. Reporters would not have known of the meeting at all if it had not been for an anonymous tip that the long-awaited confrontation would place the night before'the formal Board meeting. The private session was held in the paneled board room next to University of Florida President J. Wayne Reitz's werE:) all seven Board members; Dr. J. Broward Culpepper, executive director of the Board; the presidents of the University of Florida, Florida State University, Florida A & M and the University of South Florida, and two faculty representatives from each; and the president of the newly-founded but unopened Florida Atlantic University. At theregular Board meeting the next day, chairman Baya M. Harrison issued a statement saying the group had met .for four hours "in a constructl v e discussion of academic freedom and its related responsibilities." The statement said nAn atmosphere of complete cooperativeness prevailed," and added that "a smaller group would continue the discussions at the earliest possible time." The "atmosphere. of complete cooperativeness11 was hardly that. 8 p.m. and midnight the more than.twenty persons in attendance spoke in turn for specified lengths of time about


166 academic freedom in general and the implementation document in particular, and the chasm that separate d the Board from the faculties was painfully apparent. One Board member, Dr. Charles Forman-of Ft. Lauderdale, spoke at length about the past troubles of the University of South Florida, and his sentiments were unmistakable. "I would.never send a son or daughter of mine to that University," he said in a startling admission of distrust and dissatisfactio n with one of the institutions he helped to govern. Other Board members were less dogmatically negative, but their statements and those of the j faculty representatives s t ill revealed little a greement. One of the most astounding comments of the evening came from Dr. Kenneth Williams, the new president of Florida Atlantic University. While his fellow presidentS and the facu1ty members stared with open-mouthed disbelief, Williams defended the document. stnongly, saying he saw nothtng wrong: with the hiring and that none of the faculty he was seeking for the new had raised the slighte-st question .about it. The other policies on visiting speakers, fingerprinting review of t eaching materials and the r est were sound, he said. selection of Williams to the new university for juniorsi seniors and graduate made an interesting story itself, arid served as a prime illustration of the political vulnerability of the state university system. \.fuen the Board was seeking 'to fill the presidency it narrowed a .long list of candidates t o two men, one the dean of a strong graduate school at an Eastern university and the ot,her the president of I Dade County Junir College---Kenneth Williams. Dr. \ ,Tilliams ;vas formerly presitlent of the j unio r college i n Ocala, hometown of


167 Governor Farris Bryant, and he was a longtime friend of the governor's. His experience as a university administrator---particularly the type university Florida Atlantic was to be---was n :l.l, however, and tho Boa.o: d after long dol:l.beration, unanimously selected the graduate school dean from the East I to take the post. When the Board privately made its choice known to Governor Bryant, the governor flatly refused, whereupon the Board reconsidered, unanimously selected Williams, and enthusiastically announced their, choice at the next formal meeting. acceptance of the much-disputed implementation directives, Williams's counterparts from the other uni ver si ties spoke forcefully against them. Even more outspoken were the faculty representatives, who called the tions oppressive and uni?'nforci ble. The Uni ver si ty of S6uth Florida's represeritatives were Dr. Thomas F. Stovall, who had chaired the Grebstein committee, and Dean Russell M. Cooper. At the conclusion of the unproductive session, Stovall and one fac1+lty member from each of the other three operating universities were named to meet the next afternoon with Board vice chairman Frank Buchanan and Gert Schmidt, another member of the Board, to begin drawing up a statement on academic freedom thnt might servo as a starting poj.nt for revision of the implementation document. The Board members had by that time been given copies of the Stovall committee's report on Grebstein, artd arrangements. were made for them to meet privately the next evening with President Allen, at which time he would make known to them his decision on the suspended professor.


168 On the afternoon of November 19, while the Board of Control was in session, members Buchanan and Schmidt met separately with the four faculty representatives to begin drafting the statement on academic freedom. With them was the state's assistant attorney general, Ralph E. Odum, who brought with him forty-five mimeographed pages of carefully researched background material, including historical definitions, laws and court cases on academic freedom. President Allen, meanwhile, quietly prepared for his night meeting with the Board. He had had the Stovall committee report for a week, but he had not discussed its contents, though word had quickly spread that it r .ecommended Grebstein' s reinstatement. in the afternoon, the president made his move. With an eight-page statement in his hand, he placed calls to the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times to tell their editors he would Grebstein; Allen said he would have the entire Stovall cormnitte e r eport deliver ed to them the following morning, and he got---pledges from both papers that they would P P print the repo!'t in its in their editions of Sunday, November 18 With this groundwork iaid and his committment to ......... a course of action finally made, Dr. took his eight-page stateme'nt summarizing the report and removing Grebstein' s suspension into the fateful meeting with the Board. From seven until ten o'clock that evening, the president debated alone with the Board members and their executive director in the second-floor conference room of the Univer s ity of Florida administration building. The secret of the meeting had been weil kept, and no repnrters or television cameramen waited in the hall outside. Across the campus, cheers and singing echoed from a pep rally, and few lights burned in the ivied halls that had been


169 desepted for the weekend. Occd.sionally a figure could be seen rising to pace the floor in front of the conference room windows, and then, when it was over, all of them stood, and one by one .. they drifted out ofthe room. President Allen emerged smiling, but the smile could not hide his fatigue or his disappointment. 11I1ve reinstated him," he said, nwith a censure for bad judgment. And we won't be printing the report." No one except those who were present went at that tense confrontation of President Allen and the Board of Control. That the president had committed himself to full reinstatement without pr_ejudice is that the Board, almost to a man, wanted Grebstein fired is equally clear. Behind closed doors Dr. Allen had faced seven men who not only held Grebstein's fate l'l< but his own in their Perhaps he volunteered the ,compr'fmise; perhaps it was forced upon him. Whatever the case, Dr. Allen wore the official smile that cloaked his true feelings. He knew full well that no one would be satisfied with the decision: ;fut the Board, or the Joh:r.s Co mmittee, or Jane Smith and the other militant conservatives, for all of them wanted Grebstein dismissed; not the faculty, or the AAUP, or the Stovall committee, or. .Grebstein himself, .for all of them felt the overwhelming evidence demanded full reinstatemerit. "In this job there are always two major groups I have to answer to," he said, '"the faculty and the Board of Control. I can't afford to completely alienate either of them." So he chose instead only alternative course---partial alienation .of both groups, and of all the other principals in the conflict. Thenext morning in Tampa; after only a few hours of sleep, the president revieed his reinstatement explanation to include the reprimand and censure ".Cor poor judgment .in this instllnce,"


170 and before issuing it he called Dr. Grebstein to tell him of the decision. The two newspapers had to be notified that they i would not get copie_ s of the Stovall committee report, and that the dissatisfaction. Instead of 'report, the papers got Allen's revised statement and a four-page news which tried to soften the censure b y burying it in the third paragraph. Ruby Hart Phillips, Miami-based r eporter for the New Ydrk Times, was on hand to get the story her paper, her .. report in the next day's Times played down the censure, as did the account in the St. Petersburg The Tampa ribune' mentioned the censure in its headline and. quoted as saying the reinstatement "now proves to all concerned that I am completely .innocent' of. the 'charges against me," and on the other side, Baya Harrison said for the Board that "Dr. Allen is in obvious disagreement .. .. : ....... '. .. ...... ., ... : :::_. > .. of the committee in that .. .. : \ ... : :; .=.: .,.., .. : .;.': he had set Unyereity. n ,..Jorr the campus, the nine members of the Stovall committee met on Sunday night for the last time. Staring in shocked disbelief at the day's newspaper accounts of the reinstatement and censure, they showed bitter 'disappointment. The censure seemed to them not only a rebuke of Grebstein ?ut a rejection of the report they had so dili-gently and laboriously PI!epar.ed. Said one of the111:, "He (Allen) gave in to. save his own job, and the irony of 'it all is that he'll probably lose it anyway. Maybe -Millican will be our next pres:i,dent The -reference was to Dean Charles Millican of the University's College .of Business Administration. Because of his side interests as a Southern Baptist minister, his close friendships with some of the State Senate's powerful Pork Chop Gang, and his own very conservative nature, Millican was often mentioned in campus gossip as a likely


o e ltDO-members_, and administrators as well, suspected the ambitious Millican of working quietly behind the scenes with opponents of the University to. bring about just such an eventuality, but no concrete evidence was presented to support that contention. Whatever the case, there I was no doubt that President Allen's decision had placed him in danger of being toppled from any one of several directions, even without a push from inside. The matter was far from closed---as the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times once again pointed out editorially of the State .Senate. Senator B ernard Parrish of Titusville, in a defense of the Johns Committee, said the committee 1 s charges ,. l .: } had.heen "established" in voluminous testimony, yet "atheists" and others on the faculty were criticising the committee for such conditions. To the protesting faculties he ':nlet them leave if they don 1 t like it," and he added, "I hope that when they go home their mothers will run out from under the front porches and bite them."


171 For the first time, Hillsborough County's Senator Tom Whitaker rose to the Un iversity's defense. Calling it "an institution in "'r h:' _ch we all should take pride," he condemned "the further unwarranted attacks" on it, saying they had caused "greater unjustified embarassment to the faculty." He said the University's problems were "no greater or any J,.ess" thar. other institutions he knew of, and pointed out that no prosecutions had b een brought to any law officials o f the county. Parrish, apparently realizin g the crudit y o f his r e marl < w ith an apology. The Tribune, in an editorial, called Parrish's statement "a shocking demonstration of legislative irresponsibility" and warned once again, "Unless responsible leaders in the executive .and departments begin to lift indignarit voices against these petty assaults on Florida's academic fraternity, many of its memb .ers will do as Senator Parrish suggests and leave. But it won't ba the departing professors the whole future of higher edu c ation in of South Florida faculty responded to the fenator's remarks with a telegram to Governor Bryant d emanding public x of Parrish. The telegram, borrowing a phrase from the Board of Control's own controversial policy statement, said the senator's statement was "beyond the purview of good taste and common decency." The governor did not reply. Less publicized but far more indicative mfxkR was another resolution of the facuility members. Universit Since there could n.o official meetings .of tlle full .faculty, h'tlu. o :r!:! arBf"riJtll!4\=tqscrls1'xl oH and some other two colleges also attended. The informal


\ 172 g roup hotly debated Allen's r e p r i man d of Grebstein, and there waB strong sentiment for a mass resignation or a demand that the president be fired. Such intemperate reaction might well have resulted in a disast]rous public resolution had it not been for the calm reason of one man. The man was Sheldon Grebstein, and his courageous plea for caution and maturity averted a disaster. Grebstein was. far from happy with the censure, but he kept his displeasure under disciplined control,. In public statements following his reinstatement, he expressed his gratitude "for the overwhelming support and encouragement which has been to me by my colleagues," and though he said "I may be dogged for the rest of my life," he had no public cri.ticiam of Allen. "I hop e the president's displeasure with my judgment will have no permanent effect o n me or the Universl.t y," he sai.d, and he would ;:say)no;.morei,than'.that. ._ .. :;;_ '. ,::,' > irl.',.J: 1 .j The :S9ard of Control's pppressive, implementat-ion documenif and the suspension o f Dr. Grebstein had both issu e d out of the mid-Octo b e r m eeting o f t h e Board, and for six weeks---until the beginning of Decemb er---they had been a constant s o urce o f and unrest i n the state, and in educational circles l sewhere. Faculty membe r s att e nding mee t i ngs outside the state ere beseiged w i t h questions, and p ress accounts o f suc h new arnssments as t he remar k s o f S e n a tor Parrish kept t he fires Association of Colleges and State University duri n g the Grebstein affair, had taken,unofficial but highly critical n otice of the sta t e's troubles with political eddlers; and when the association placed the Uni v e rsity of Mississippi on probatio n late in N ovember it warned that "any en,croachmemt by pressure groups, investigating connittees or upon the freedom o f t h e faculty, the dministration o r the stu d ents to learn a n d t each" would be looked u pon with s tron g disfavor in any of the s tates under its jurisdictiori. Plainly Florida's higher education system was staggering under the Height of a controversy that threatened to r11in its modeut but grow :ln g re>uLntlun, uml r :lp it u:.r und e r in t he process. The fig h t between the Johns Committee and the uni v ersi ties,


173 with the Board of Control (franticslly\_tryingjto. stay on both sides, had reached critically serious proportions, and people throughout Florida were begiri.ning to speak out on one side or the other. Here newspapers, including the Miami Herald, the the Herald Tribune, the aytona and the Pensacola Journal, added their editorial voices in support of the uni ver si.ties. Student newspapers at the University of South Florida, the university of Florida and Florida State University were unanimous in their defense of the faculties, and the faculties themselves continued to stand firm in their opposition to the of Control's policies. Evidence of the nature of the protest was seen in the fact that the most widely quoted statements made by faculty members were those of Dr. c. K. Yearley of the University of Florida and Dr. Michael I\:asha o'!': Florida State, both of whom were eloquent in their defense of academic freedom. Less publicized but nevertheless open criticism of the Joh:ns Committee and the Board of C:_;ntrol was expressed by a growing number of-professional organizations and by such groups as the Tampa: citizens' of ministers and others. Letters to the editors increased significantly, and were overwhelmingly in support It is interesting to note that during the letters supporting the institution which appeared in the Tampa Tribune included one signed by the father and brother of Stockton Smith Sr. arid one signe. d by u.::d:xxXd4 the female student whom Professor John Caldwell was accused of misleading. 'Against this growing body of defenders, though, stood a still-powerful coalition of conservatives. Though a small voice


174 in support .of; the universities was beginning to be 'heard in: the State Senate; that body was :5till dominated by Charley and the Pork Chop Gang, and Senator Johns' cormnittee retained overwhelming Sl;lpport there. Jane and Stockton Smith, armed with an updated version of their indictment of the University of South Florida, were / busily soliciting support of their position from conservative groups in the Tampa area. In a long and rambling talk to the Plant City Conservative Club, Jane Smith included not only the University but the the United Nations, the so-called "peade race" and the Tampa Tribune in her denunciations. The smal l audience sat at rapt in the back room of a Plant City restaurant, listening as Mrs Smith wove a mixture of facts, distortions and outright untruths into one loosely connected The gist of it was that she was on a crusade' ("I know my Maker has led me to this fight") ; and the audience, for the most part, joined it with her. Three USF students who were present tried without success to defend their institution,. and, Tarnpa Times Ward Sinclair, whose factual account of the meeting was carried in the next day's editions, soon found himself left on a limb by the timidity of his managing editor, who succumbed toright wing pressure much of Sinclair's report the following day. Another. opposition statement was issued early in December, on the eve of another' Board of Control meeting, when .62 well-known Tampans sent the Board and the Governor a letter condemning Dr. Grebstein, the Podhoretz essay, academic freedom and the Tampa and calling on the Board to adopt regulations to insure "that decency, high moral standards and a respect for the beliefs of others prevail" at the University of South Florida. Virtually all of the signers of t letter lived within a mile of the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, ; ;-.'


i l1-4o.. --------------"'Xioio.(;-c:;-::t_ Ct. ba-se of'; Tat-----.__-line conserv ative ruling 't. the now-familiar names of the University1s harshes t critics -were included, along with some surprising additions. Amid all this struggljr:g there arose one other voice, and that of the B o a r d o f Contro l it was vague and equivocal. il:1:J the voice of Governor Fa:ris Bryant, who af-teryriring homas Wenner more than six months earlier had spoken only once, then 'the authority of the Johns Co:rrimi ttee. The governor, as a graduate of the University of Florida and the School, should have had a better than averag e understanding of academic freedom, but his remarks did not reveal it. Speaking in the h eate d a ftermath'of Gregstein1s reinstatement, he said the ]Legislature had a right to investigate the state universities, which he viewed a s agencies 11in the administrative


1?5 branch of government." Academic freedom is not "the end-all and be-all," he said; "It doesn't rise to any higher leY:els or sink to any lower depths than other elements of freedom." The governor' in' a lengthy discourse' tE;lked of freedom and responsibility, but he avoided any discussion of whether or not Grebstein had properly exercised his responsibility, and he gave no indication at all that he supported the universities or the Board of Control against outside of any kind. He did not, he said, see any in.dication that the state university syst,em had been hurt by investigations. The weakness of the state university system was illuminated clearly in the governor's remarks, for as the man who appointed members, to the Board of Contrc,l. and as head of the all-powe:r>ful State Board of Education, he was the final authority on all matters of public education in the state. When he left the gate open for zealots and other with concealed motives to dabble in the educational structure, his colleagues on the Board of Education and his appointees on the Board of ContrOJ.Ybardly defy him by slamming that gate. And far down the line of power and \ authority were the presidents of the universities, caught between intruders.who had been invited in on the one hand and faculties who resented the intrusions or_ the other. While all this was going on, the committee of Board members and faculty representatives held several meetings to draft the document that hopefully would end the fight. The product ,of their deliberations w&s presented to the senate s of the four universities for modification and disoussion, and it was then ready for by the Board at its December ? meeting in B oca Raton. On the night before the meeting, a rumor swept the University of South


176 Florida and the surrounding community that Jane and Stockton I Smith and their compatriots would appear at the meeting to ask for kxXENXKXMxmxxxXxxNMxx: the dismissal of President Allen "the continued harrassment of the University" by "pressure groups censorship, if strictly followed, would suppress the BihJ.e and Shakespeare from print." One member of the Board, Dr. Ch arles Forman of Ft. Lauderdale, threatened before the meeting to publicly censure Dr. Allen and others at the University of South Florida, in pnotest the reinstatement of Grebstein. He was finally prevailed upc: n to keep silent, and his only comment on the matter was a charge that the st. Petersburg Times had lied when it said in an editorial that the Board was being intimidated. Thus, once again, the of dispute were drawn, and a confused and dividedBoard was called upon' to return peace to the The controversy had badly friendships and political ties; as well as family and professional relations, not only in the un:lversity system but in the communities and in the Board itsel.f, but the worst damage had been inflicted upon a system of higher education whose Achilles heel was almost severed by a political axe, and the gaping wound lay bare for all to see. The academic freedom document which went before the Board on December 7 was adopted without comment. The statement superseded .the much-contested implementation document of October 19, and


177 it dealt in different terms with the same issues. It said. each institutio n would "exami:;-te carefully ,the qualifications and records of those individuals who are to be employed by it, not onlywith to their professional and academic competency but also with regard to their general character and thei r moral conduct." It als o sn:l.d "religion may be prop' erly discussed and analyzed" in the classroom, so long as it was done 11wi thou, t advocacy or indoctrination, 11 and it said "the individual scholar11 had "the right and responsibility to cho.ose his 11 and that the materials shou:::.d P be "among the best ... and in good taste within the-context of the educational or scientific purpose." Gone were the references in the implementation document to guest speakers, the extensive screening procedures for prospective employees, the written process of selecting teaching materials, and the required quarterly reports on homosexuality. In short, while the new statement covered essentially the matters, it did soin a much more general way, and it returned the responsibility fbr these matters to the and faculties. The statement asked each institution to prepare its own procedures for implemenying the regulations and to submit them to the Board for approval. And it prefaced these with the follow{ng statement on academic freedom and responsibility: "'rhe Board of C ontrol a s the legally constituted agency for policy making and supervision of the state universities


''- 178 development of knowledge, research endeavors and creative activity, auniversity f8cp.lty and student body must be free .to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism and to examine ideas in an atr.10sphere of freedom and confidenceQ A similar atmosphere is required for university teaching. Consistent with the exercise of academic responsibility, a teacher must have freedom in the classroom in discussing his subject. The university student must likewise have the opportunity to study a full.spectrum of ideas, opinions and beliefs, so that he may ac,quire maturity for analysis and judgment. Objedtive and skillful exposition of such matters is the duty of every Along with this carefully-worded docwnent, the press received _statements from Baya Harrison for the Board and from Dr. Drew Hartmann 'of the University of Florida; who spoke for the four .faculty representatives who helped to prepare the document. Both statements commenting on the report were favorable, indicating that all concerned were generally satisfied with the result. No one said the obvious: that the difference between the implementation and the new policy on academic freedom was one of semantics, and that polished phrases and admirable principles embodied in the new version were still subject to interpretation, as any statement must inevitably be. The unanswered question I remained: Whose interpretation would b e used when the next crisis arose---the faculties', the administrations', the Board's, or the. Johns Committee s? But the relief that followed the Board's approval of document all but overshadowed any remaining skepticism. Hef:\dllnes the next. day said the academic freedom issue was "resolved:1 and


179 editorials called the new policy 11a fair one. 11 Dr. Thomas F. Stovall, the University of' South l <'lorida' s representative at the policy-drafting conferences, called the statement "more than a change in words," saying it handed back to the universities the job of policing and promoting academic freedom and responsibility. in their. own ranks. "fhere had of motives and attitudes on both sides," he said, adding, "The Board has now clarified its policy. The task of implementation has been correctly assigned to the administrators and. staffs of t4_, .; each unlversity. 11 \AMu..,l G. w-f>.JL tkt., 1 ,Sq,.x.t._ 7e.M. .... ... co !4 .. ol '?> c.__;.ju_cf.. "t. A s Stovall conceded iJn his statement', hovfever, some facnlty members would not be so hopeful. Said one: "We've bad it for awhile---five or six years at least. _Sure, able to sell our nice weather, but this Grebstein thing has. hurt those of us who are alreadyhere, and it's going to keep the really good .:fx prospects away. All t;his talk about a university is just so :inuch bunk..;:,--we're .not even near the point where we could be great. And we never will be if we have a few more like this one. 11 In short, the hew policy helped, and Grebstein's the helped, but these things did not repair the _damage that had been.done. The Johns Committee still enjoyed unrestricted .freedom; the Governor 'S\'S'tatement on academic .freedom was no cause for encouragement; the Board's statement was an expression of good intentions, but not a demonstration of them; and Grebstein's censure stood as a warning to faculty members that their judgment was still .subject to outside evaluation. President Allen's unpopular decision left him in a precarious and.lonely position,. and few people understood or appreciated how difficult the choice


180' had been. As the Christmas season approached and the universities slowly settled into a quiet but uneasy routine, one member of the Stovall committee laid the passions of the crisis aside to reflect on what had transpired. To a colleague, he gave this insightful evaluation: "Dr. Allen did the most courageous thing. He had three choices: to recommend,dismissal, to recormnend reinstatement with censure, or to recormnend reinstatement without prejudice. I think he deliberately retreated to the middle ground, after first attempting the choice most unacceptl:lble to the Board. The middle position was bound to be unpopular with himself,, but he saw it as the only way out. The protected the University first and hurt him the most. Had he chosen either of the other alternatives he would have destroyed the University while retaining for himself the support of at least one faction. In his of hurts' he placed himself, Grebstein, and the University, in that order. He's not very popular around here now, but I think he qeserves a better fate for what he did. : t And while several of his colleagues continued to demonstrate I their disgust for the president, Grebstein himself remained on cordial, if somewhat formal, terms with the administration. He felt that a more determined and courageous president could have engineered a reinstatement without prejudice, but at the same time he saw the limitations the system imposed on the office of president and he had more :.k.lrJ.E Dr. Allen as a person than did his disturbed colleagues. While he could not bring himself to approve of what the president had done, he was nonethel.ess unwilling, even in private conversations, to be harshly critical of him.


181 In the University of South Florida student newspaper1s last edition before the Christmas holidays, the editor presented a series of pro and con letters on the extended along with the Board or Control1. s new academic freedom statement and an editorial intended to to clear the air for all concerned." Saying the end of.the year and the end of the school term was a good time to bring the to a conclusion, the editorial said "further debate can only result in hard feelings." But two. bther developments or note were recorded before 1962 bowed out. The first was a ten-part series or articles on the Johns committee in the Daytona Beach Morning Journal; and the second was a parting shot from Governor Farris Bryant. The Daytona Beach series, written by associate editor Mabel Norris Chesley, was a detailed study of the personnel, expenditures, objectives and techniques of the Johns Committee. Mrs. Chesley transcribed, from records in the Treasurer's Office in Tallahassee, every voucher issued in the name of the Florida Legislative Investigating Committee since its formation in 1956, and from these records she presented an amazing story that included these facts: .;:In six years, the committee spent well over $200,000 in tax A total of $8, 840. 38 was paid to "coni'ident ial informants." .;:-Of the more than $200,000 expended, $133,092 of it went to the committee1s attorney, Mark Hawes, and its chief. investigator, R. J. Strickland, for "salaries, travel and hotel, miscellaneous expenses and 1confidential informant fees. 111 .;:Hawes drew a monthly retainer of $916.66, plus expenses, whether or' not he did any \..fork, and Strickland' s pay increased


182 over the years from $625 to $700 to $750 a month, also plus expense s In the first three years of the corrunittee 1 s existence, Hawes was "the paid public employee in Florida," on of hours worked, receiving $32,776.78 even though his per diem pay of $861 indicated that he days during the threeyear period. Strickland, during the same three year period, received more than $21,000 in salary, over $8,000 in travel expenses and $5,47q.97 for dispensation to unnamed informants. Mrs. Chesley's series reviewed the activi.ties of the committee and the makeup of its membership, in addition to its paid employees, over the six years of its existence. She said Senator Charley Johns, its chairman during most of that time, was "a fire-eating .segregationist, states' righter and foe of progressive education," and that most of the past and present .members were "his kindred in spirit." Since the .committee "made a laughing stock" of race agitator John Kasper in 1956, said Mrs. Chesley, the committee had extended its authority without legislative approval to probe into activities of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People! and then had branched off into a search for homosexuals and Communists in the state's universities. The exposure of Kasper, she said, was the committee's lone worthwhile contribution to the state. Mrs. Ches-ley reviewed. the. committee 1 s 1958 investigation at the University of Florida, which she said led to the resignations of fifteen unnamed professors, all of whom were threatened with


' 153 public charges of homosexuality. One of them said the secret interrogations he was subjected to were "like the Inquisitions must.have been. Every word I said was distorted. I came away with the feeling of the noose on my neck because of the thoughts they yanked out of me." The series also dealt with suits filed against the committee by-three Pinellas County school teachers and by the Niami chapter of the American Civil Union, and with the long investigation of the University of South Florida. In an editorial at the conclusi-on of the series, the paper called on the Legislature to ''end this ridiculous, wasteful travesty" at its 1963 session. the Daytona Beach paper had a circulation too small to influential, and no part of the series was picked up by any of the state's larger papers. Thus the only detailed examination of the Johns C ommittee and its activities to reach print during its controversial year of f)Xistence passed almos' t totally unnoticed in the state. The finai episode or 1962'was, in its way, a fitting climax to a year of events that often bear more resemblance to fiction than to reality. It took place in Tallahassee at a meeting ofthe State Cabineton December 1 8 and a ppropriately enough, the central figure was Governor Bryant. The Cabinet h a d befor e l t a reconiJTlendat :l.o n from the Bonrd of Control that it approve a low bid for construction of a physics building at the University of South Florida. At the same time, a report was received from Board of Control architect Forrest M. Kelley covering the nature of, rock formations beneath the .campus. Pointing out that limestone cavities had necessitated


special preparations for the foundations of the buildings, Kelley said a grouting devised for the fbundation of the 'physics building would cost than $10,000 and 184 was included in the total bid before the Cabinet for approval. Bryant misinterpreted the report as a warning that the University's 'buildings were in danger of sinking. 111 just wonder if this calls for r e-evalua.tion of the whole program, 11 he said. "Someday they may have as many buildings at the University of South Florida as they have at the University of I would feel awfully foolish if a building went down one end. ,What I 1m really thinking about is if it would be better that we take our beating at an early date, or go along and take our beating on the next .forty buildings. Every time we build we are taking an uncalculated risk that we are going to build over a sinkhole. May b e we should give some thought to a re-evaluation of our position. It might be better to take -clo._ our beating and move on." Clw-o....t..c:t c)_ t.e..l < ............ J.. No one could be sure, in spite of his statement, what the Govern9r was "really thinking." Perhaps he was genuinely concerned. But if .his words were in reality a trial balloon to see if a suggestion to move the University would pass unchallenged, he soon got his answer. \Vi thin hours, arc hi teet Kelley had issued a statement saying "There is no danger of any of the campus buildings collapsing," and Sam Gibbons was equally reassuring. "I don't think there's any reason for anyone to get upset," he said. "I told the Governor that this same thing


185 h a d come u p back in 1956 a n d tho wh o l e area h a d been core bored under Board of Control supervision." Paul H. Smith Sr., whose company had constructed one of the University's earli,er buildings, said the Cabinet was "unduly alarmed" about foundation, problems at the University. "There is not the slightest danger of any of thEl buildings c ollapsing on account of the foundation," he said. Kelley's report had also said that engineers and geologists had experienced subsurface on the campuses of the University of Florida and Florida State University, but BryaJ.1t did not take notice of these. He also missed in the report to the histor y or the problem on the University o f South Florida campus, and the various methods that had been used to compensate for it.-Kelley 1 s report said "the situation at the University of South Florida campus is not an unusual one since most of that area of the state has the same subsurface conditions. We will explone each building as it comes up and decide on the least ,expensive method consist E a t with structural so1.1ndness. 11 The TampaTribune reacted to the Cabinet's action with alarm. 11Precisely what the Governor meant was not clear," the paper said in an editorial, and it concluded, "The University badly needs the b u ildings. It also needs a solid foundation of I public confidence---and this is hard to construct amid the loose talk in Tallahassee which raises fears that the campus is unsafe or th!t the University's construction money may be spent The St. Petersburg Times, which five years earlier had opposed :tU selection of the University's site, recognized that "we have long passed the stage at which moving the University of South Florida to. a better site could be considered." The Times also


186 expressed its concern with "the thought that behind this sudden decision t nere may be some thought or bobtailing the University or South order to divert finances to the dream of a 'space age institute' near Cape Canaveral." Tampa station WTVT said in an editorial that either the Cabinet's rears "are greatly exaggerated," or else "somebody made one of the biggest mistakes in the history of the state. There is a third possibility, which WTVT does not want to believe, that the whole arfair was politically motivated," said .the editorial. Had the matter not been so serious, it would have been funny indeed. But in addition to the funds allocated for the physics building, the University had a $205,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for construction of a research -to wing, .the the end of the yearo Since the Cabinet had no more meetings scheduled. in December, the danger that the grant would be lost became the paramount concern of the University adminj_stration. Prompted by the widespread disapproval of the contract postponement and the implorings of Dr. Allen and several concerned Tampans, Governor Bryant called a special meeting on December 22 to approve awarding of the contract in time to save the Federal grant. Once again, Forrest Kelley assured the Governor and his associates that the buildings on the campus were firmly founded and in no danger of sinking. This time, the Governor got the message. G.overnor Bryant had first visited the University o'f South Florida in March of 1961, when half a dozen buildings' starkly \in/ .mXXxm:f the sand. Despite. its unfinished look, he called it 11the most functional and attra:::tive arrangement I can imagine.


G o '! .. J 1<1 b 3 187 I o \. l I ... \I'm really pleased A month later, he asked the Legislature to reduce the University's $6.5 mi llion capital outlay r e quest---already approved by the Boar d o f C ontrol---to 8 million. Such puzzling inconsistency was apparent once again in the ."sinking campus" episode, but happily for the the end result was not as disappointing. -Thus closed 1962, the stormiest year inthe brief history of the University of South Florida, and surely one of the strangest an institution anywhere could experience, whatever its age. While therUniversity was undergoing its trial by fire, the state of Florida was rocked by an encephalitis epidemic and a crippling freeze, reapportionment of the Le gislature was a ballooning issue of tremendonc:: im portance, and John F. Kennedy called Khrushchev's bold hand over Cuba. It was a time of change, and an infant university, learning to fend for itself in the school of hard knocks, sought persistantly to adjust to the>environment it found itself iri. -)i--!i-if "' In the University's wars of 1962, most of the headlines had gone to the men who became causes to be fought for---Jerome Davis, Thomas Wenner, D. F. Fleining, Stockton Smith and hie wife, Sheldon Grebstein, John Caldwell---and each victory or defeat_of these protagonists obscured the larger issues and the mightier powers who struggled behind the scenes. The real combatants were institutions---the University of South Florida, the Johns Committee, the Board of Control and the office---and though the .period is remembered in terms of the Davis affair,


188 the Fleming case, the Grebstein incident and their relationship to each other, t h e centrE}.l issues were not these but other larger and more basicmatters for which the incidents served as examples. Davis,. Wenner, Fleming, the Smiths, Caldwell, Grebstein and the others who a ppeare d on the battlelines ..... rna fundamental struggle that p i t t e d a university and its governing board against a legislative committee,and the goyernor. of.the state. The basic issue was this: How much power and autonomy actually rested in the hands of the Board of Control, and by.extension, in the youngest university under it? And while .. the four principal institutions locked in a power struggle to thi. s to tell the relative positions of the combatants. Charley Johns, with his eye on the upcoming 5ession of the Legislature, began 1963 with the confidence that his committee would be extended for. another biennium. Baya Harrison, after having reache d an accord with the cautious faculties over .the issue of academic 'freedom, entered the new year with his thoughts on the April meeting of the Legislature. Farris Bryant, in a reflective mood at the halfway point of his four-year term, said he "coulld enjoy being a professor" when h e left office in 1965. "I lov.e the he said, and added that educational advances were his major achievements a s governor. And John s. Allen, his vision o f a great university battered and tarnished but not destroyed, his Quaker self-discipline to the task of repairing the image. He avoided at all costs the showdowns, the confrontations that evoked emotion and reaction and that were sudden and irrevocable; it was his nature to rise above these fights, to detach himself from the unpleasant


189 (.\. in-fighting, and to use stubborn,patience and perseverwnce as hie weapons of defense. He did not confront and conquer hie but enemies, he simpl. y out-waited he .retained the presidency of the University through such tactics, he lost the support and the respect of much of his faculty, who interpreted his silence as timidity. President Allen was not the man to lead a cause; he was not a and he had no taste for martyrdom. So he suffered criticism and abuse from without within, and the University---the political child he fostered---drifted in heavy seas into another year. But if Dr. Allen would not rally his University for an all-or-nothing public showdown, he nonetheless recognized clearly_ quietl and anonymousl his enemy, an he ent xix the weight of his office to every offer of help. A member of his staff had worked closely with i the small nucleus of ministers who formed the Tampa citizens' organization to support the University, and Allen was aware of the involvement of University personnel in the subsequent efforts of that group. Through lower level negotiations in the university system the president also explored the possibility of joint institutional resistance to the Johns Committee through alumni and foundation groups, and when these negotiations bore no fruit. he tacitly approved a marshaling of forces to acc.omplish the same t .hing. The American Association of University with twenty-nine branches in Florida, appointed a special committee to study the operations of the Johns Committee, and an emissary of President Allen's immediately began work with that group, supplying mimeographed copies or the Daytona Beach paper's series on the committee and a 200-page scrapbook of clippings on its activities. Other organizations, including the League of


190 Women Voters, the Anti-Defamation League of Bnai B1rith, the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the American Association of University Professors chapcers in public and private institutions throughout the state, were supplied with background information on the committee and other information soliciting their support of a movement to abolish the investigative unit at the approaching session of the Legislature. During the first three months of 1963 these efforts by University of South Florida personnel to organize grass-roots resistance to the Johns Committee were intensive and extensive, and they were undertake. n with the knowledge and approval of Dr. Allen. Legal opinions were sought on the advisability and practicality of taxpayer suits agaii,lst the committee, and copies of the law .,. pertaining to the c 'ommi ttee were reproduced and distributed in large quantities. Legislators were sounded out on their feelings about continuance of the investigative body, and a University of Florida law professor initiated a study of legislative investigating committees in other states, P nrticularly with regard to higher education. And finally, a sixteen-page report on academic freedom for 3lil tafiii' 'g the American Alumni Council was procured by the University of' South Florida, and more than a ,thousand copies of the report were distributed across the state. The alumni associations of' the University of Florida and Florida State Univiorsity also made extensive use of' the document. [While these activities were going on behind the scenes, a period of relative quiet prevailed on the surface, and few incidents marred the welcome lull. Stockton Smith Jr. left the University to join the Marines, Dr. Grebstein announced his resignation to take effect in.June, and Board of Control member Charles Forman refused


191 to join h 1 a oix i n v otlng tonuro to twolvo at the University, but these drew none of the wide attention that had accompanied the incidents of the past. The Grebstein came after President Allen and the professor's superiors ha' d offered him a raise and a promotion to stay on, and Dean Sidney J. French said publicly the resignation was accepted "with regret." G ..... t i hi 1 e n mae f acknowledged the attractiveness of the University's offer, but said his appointment at Har.pur College in New York would him not only a salary raise and a promotion but a lighter teaching load and more time for research as well. His loss was a heavy one .for the University, and was illustrative of the harm the Johns Committee encounter .. h&d :intlioted.. '' Another faculty member whose resignation coincided in time with Grebstein's was Dr. A. Hood Roberts, an assistant professor of English and specialist in linguistics. He had been one of the administration's severest and most outspoken critics during the Grebstein controversy, and was recognized as a leader of the group o.f dissident members in English and related disciplines who threatened revolt when Grebstein was suspended, and again when he was censured. Roberts had had little to say when the Davis and Fleming and Caldwell matters arose, but the suspension of his colleague in English made him a serious convert to the causa o f academic freedom. It is likely that an overwhelming majority o.f the faculty shared Dr. Roberts' dissatisfaction with the censure of Dr. Grebstein, but few of them accepted his extreme proposals for rectifying the Furthermore, Roberts grew steadily more embittered with the University and its administration as time and complaints were often petty in the extreme. He criticized the all-University approach, the general-education program and the lack o.f faculty meetings---as did many members of the faculty---but the validity of these objections was often negated by his carping tirades against coffee lounges that were open to all.University employees,-against identical parking stickers for both faculty and staff members, anc. against the absence .of special parking s paces for faculty. He '_ wanted, in short, system, in which the teaching faculty m ombor wa.l'.l a uper i o r J n evoPy roapoot ond i n which t h e r e wao no connection or relationship between faculty and other employees e xcept the minimum essential to the operation of the institution.


191 a Robe rte protests at first rallied a great many faculty members to his side, but as he drifted from the legitimate points. of I disagreement to more petty irrelevancies he became not. a .spokesman for the faculty opposition but a quibbler whose utterances were not only extreme but as well, When the student newspaper interviewed Grebstein and Robert: 3 on their reasons for leaving the University and printed the two stories side by side, the contrast between Grebstein's mature and r a .tional etateme nt1:1 of f ranknes s and the r ambling tirades of Roberts was starkly revealing. That the words of Roberts in the end bore an ironic resemblance to those of the Untversity' s severest outside critics was an indication that the months-long f ordeal was no simple black-and-white matter but a complicated and irregular cleavage thatYproduced a maze of contradictory .-.. : 1 : .. ,and :_ . . concern with the Johns Con uni ttee took place in the final weeks before the Legislature convened, and each of these was highly ,significant in the total context of the "war" that was being fought. The developments involved a new "censorship" policy of the Board of Control; an AAUP investigation of the University, the Johns Commi:ttee's entrapment of a newspaperman, and a much-publicized report on Florida's future in higher education. Each of these needs to be considered in some detail here. On January 14, four days before a Board of Control meeting in Tallahassee, Secretary of State Tom Adams was thumbing through a copy of the Board's agenda which had routinely. come across his desk. He saw there a statement called "Proposed Policy on Dissemination of Information," and after reading it he walked into a meeting of the St.ate Cabinet and asked his fellow members 1 m:fxxmu in effect, "What's this all about?"


,.\ 192 Governor Bryant and other members of the Cabinet took a look at the proposed po.licy, as did the 'press representatives present, and there was general agreement among all concerned that it appeared to be a move toward censorship 'oj(utterances universities unaer it. Bryant called for a clarification of the matter, and the papers the next day spoke.of "Board censorship," "gag rule," and "chancellor-type of the universities. The Board of Control thus found itself in another controversy, this one created by a statement which had been written by someone on its staff and which had not even been acted upon by Board itself. The disputed statement said in part: "Each of the Board of Control and the personnel under its jurisdiction shall consider carefully and exert extreme caution in disseminating information, making statements or expressing opinions pertaining to a decision or established policy of the Board of Control or the institution." Following that was an equivocating sentence saying the Board and'the personnel under it should, on the other hand, "be alert to .opportuni to disseminate information which would contribute to public understanding" and enhance the "respect and influence" of the university system, and this 'Paragraphs I was followed by these "The chairman of the Board of Control shall authorize the dissemination of information and the establishment_of liaison with governmental agencies, organizations, or other groups not a part of the university system prior to action by the Board. "The executive director shall be the official liaison officer with the State Board of Education and all agencies of the state governmento Under policies of the Board of Control he shall work


193 in close coordination with these bodies on matters pertaining to the university system. "All personnel under the jurisdiction of the Board of Control shall not contact directly or indirectly the said agencies on matters affecting programs or projects of the university system without'expressed consent of the chairman or executive director of. the Board of Control." The Board of Control never gave formal consideration to t}?.es.e proposals. In the four days between their first public J. at the Stfite meeting and the m scheduled meeting of the Board, so much furor waa raised over the intent of the proposals that the Board's executive director, Dr. J. Broward Culpepper, removed them from consideration. Culpepper denied that he sought a chancellorship for himself or that he had intended,. through the proposed policy, to censor the public statements of the'university presidents and their .staffs. He said it was all "a misund:3rstanding," and added, "We have been gifted in that regard lately." The true intention, he said, had been simply to reaffirm 11E:istablished procedures in transacting official business" between the university system and the agencies of government. Board chairman Baya Harrison said the Board had not passed on the proposal; !lor even considered it," and he added that he was against censorship. "If it involves censorship, no member of. 'the Board or I would appro:ve such a .thing," he said. of Florida Presidept J. Wayne Reitz quickly sided with Harrison .and said he was pleased that the chairman "has sta'ced that the Board would not support the policy proposal of the Board staff."


When the Board finally met, Culpepper said the proposal had been removed from the agenda. "Our experiences in the last several days," he observed, "have led us to conclude that this subject is too an area and too close to our American inherent rights of freedom of speech torisk further misunderstanding." The purpose of the proposal had been "the establishment of lines of communication within the university system," he said. Harrison responded by saying he did not believe the Board should approve anything which could be construed "as censorship or infringement on the rights of any individual to make public h i s view s without olearo.nce by the B oard o f Control." The matter was then laid to rest. Dr. Cutpepper and the staff of the Board had been accused of preparing the way for his appointment as chancellor of the system; of limiting the contac.t. s between the universitieS' and the various agencies' of state government; of settirig up a clearing house in the Board office for prior approval of university news releases; and of curbing all public expressions by members'of the university communities. These unjustly harsh. It is certainly conceivable that the proposals might have been well-intentioned but carelessly-worded versions of existing procedures which were being re-written for an updated Board policy manual. But,it was no secret that Culpepper had long wanted to be made chancellor in name, as he virtually was in fact, and it is ,likely that the academic freedom disputes of the past had made him wish for some semblance of control over the public lobbying efforts of the presidents and professors in the system. The Board, though, having just negotiated a truce over the issue of internal freedom of expression on the campuses, showed no


195 inclination to negate that by limiting beyond those campus boundaries. A few days later, Grebstein's resignation was announced, and stories began to circulate that a great many other professors at the University were looking for positions elsewhere. Eight members of the faculty appeared before the Plant City Conservative Club to rebut the charges of Jane and Stockton Smith and warned that only those who could not find jobs elsewhere would remain at the University "unless academic freedom is permitted." Then, in March, the next development to confirm the presence of festering discontent placed the University once more in the news. When Dr. D. F. Fleming had been denied appointment to the University faculty, both the campus AAUP chapter and Dr. Fleming himself had requested an investigation of the matter hy the national office of AAUP. On March 21, a two-man committee came to the University to conduct the inquiry. The two men, Dr. William Heywood of Cornell College in Iowa and Dr. Robert Wallace of the University of Alabama, spent two days gathering information on ,the Fleming affair and the related incidents that preceded and followed it. Thair presence made real the possibility that the Univ of placed on the AAUPis censure list, distinction so early in its history was disturbing to contemplate. Indications were that the report of the two AAUP representatives would be submitted to the organization's committee on academic freedom and tenure, and if .that committee authorized its publication the report w 9uld national journal. Following its appearance there, the natlonal convention of the group would vote on censure of the University,


196 and if censure were imposed, the University would be listed with other institutions which, "as evidenced by a past I violation, are not observing the generally recognized principles of academic f'reedom and tenure endorsed by thisAssociation" and a long list of' other prof'essional organizations in the field of ed}lcation. The censure list, which prominently displayed in each quarterly issue of the AAUP national journal, carried with it the explanation that publication was "f'or the primary purpose of' inf'orming Association members (total:62,000), the profession at large, and the public that unsatisfactory conditions of' academic f'reedom and tenure have been f'ound to prevail at these institutions." The damage inflicted upon the reputation of' a university by censure from the AAUP v.rould be difficult t o measure,-" but there was no doubt that such public criticism affect the University of South. Florida in its annual search for. new faculty; When the two AAUP representatives left the campus, they left the faculty and administration there with the sobering realization that censure was likely to come, and the slow process of recommendation and deliberation and majority vote that would bring it about would give the University a year or more to contemplate what effect it. would have. The .third noteworthy of the spring of 1963 I was the publication of something called the Florida Space Era Education Study. Floridas rapid growth, its development as a center f'or the Federal government's space program and its conversion from an agricultural to an industrial state had led 1XmxiKXmm several public and private agencies m to seek

PAGE 100

197 new ways to stimulate this growth. These agencies---the state Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Council of 100, the Florida Development Commission and others---came to realization that industrialization is inseparably bound to high quality educational programs, and they began to press for expansion and improvement of, the state university system. Governor Bryant eagerly joined in this movement, and in fact' originated and led much of it, for it was he who found the private funds to finance the Board of Control's comprehensive Space Era Education Study. That the basic motivation of Gove:-nor "Bryant and the who initiated it was economic rather than educational in nature was a point that became obscured. Beginning in November of 1962, the Board put a number of widely-recognized outside consultants and a team of faculty members of the universities to work .on the study, and four months later they presented the Board, the Governor. and the people of Florida with the most penetrating compilation: of appraisal;j and reconnnendations since the famous Brumbaugh Report of 1955. The study was intended to deal primarily with the sciences, and it did indeed give special attention to the findings of specially-formed task forces in engineering, science in.formation storage and retrieval, oceanography, and space sciences and research. But Dr. Ralph w. McDonald, the outspoken former president of Bowling University who headed the overall study and wrote the final probed much deeper to find the basic weaknesses of the system itself. In what was tc become known as the McDonald Report, the chief consultant wrote these disturbing facts:

PAGE 101

198 The percentage o:f Florid,a' s 20and 21-year-olds enrolled in the state's colleges and universities was only hal:f the national average. {} For the nation as a whole, 42 out o:f every 100 college-age persons were in school, while in Florida only 31 o:f every 100 were enrolled. Mississippi spent a smaller percentage or its total personal on higher education than did Florida .. And to. correct these shortcomings, Dr.McDonaldand hi5 colleagues recommended, among 'other things: {!An immediate outlay o:f $26.5 million :for upgrading the quality o:f the professorial sta:f:fs, the students and the racilities o:f the state's existing graduate institutions. {!An all-out e:f:fort to speed up development o:f the Univ'ersi ty o:f South Florida and Florida Atlantic University, so 1970 and 1975 they could join the older universities in the system in top-level graduate instruct1.on, particularly in the sciences. {!Establishment o:f a sixth degree-granting university in the Orlando-Canaveral-Daytona area, and an additional ten or more state colleges in population centers. {!A bond. program to :finance expansion and upgrading, to be

PAGE 102

199 repaid by. future taxpayers who would reap.the economic benefits of the system. But the most important section of the report dealt with politics. Though the study had been undertaken primarily for economic reasons and though its emphasis was supposedly on science, a fourth of McDonald's summary report concerned what he called "Organizational and Administrative Obstacles." So pertinent were the insightful observations of this section to the basic weaknesses that made the University-of South Flori4a's ordeal possible that they need reproducing here: "One of the major obstacles---in fact, the chief obstacle---to the achievement of and economy in the ,state universities is the present system of control and administration at the level of State Government. Study consultants, familiar with plans for control and administration of state university systems in other states, have been surprised to find the, many extraneous obstacles beyond the authority of the Board of Control that reduce efficiency in the operation of .the institutions. Most important, however, is the \ adverse effect of these obstacles upon the strength and quality of instruction and research. "In no other state does the state's governing board for its. higher education system have such weak status in state government, such an uncertain role of leadership, such lack of authority, such fluid membership, such unrealized susceptibility to political personalities and politice.l_ pressures, such to other state administrative agencies, as is found in Florida o "Only a fundamental change, from the roots and throughout, will provide Florida with a sound governing str.ucture at the State level for its rapidly growing system of degree-granting institutions of

PAGE 103

200 higher learning The present awkward and ine.f.ficient plan has been made to work after a .fashion by personal contacts, compromises, adjustments, and good will,in many quarters. The toll upon-the universities has been grec-,L, however "A few illustrations re.flect the destructive impact of the .. present system. The University of Florida is the only university in the United States with an enrollment above 10,000 that pays its president a salary anywhere near the low figure paid in this' state. The given for this amazing fact is that a salary would exceed the salary paid to a Cabinet member. There is no relationship whatever, except possibly political, b etween the salary.of the President ofthe University of Florida and the salary o.f a State Treasurer, of a. Secreta:;.>y of State, o.f an Attorney General, of a Governor, of the president of the Atlantic Coast Line, of the Presiaent of the States the personal income o.f Dr. William'Menninger or the pay received by the treasurer of DuPont. Such a comparison is made in Florida because it seems logical under the present politically oriented system. The small salary of a Florida university president is much more than a matter o.f money It is deeply, devastatingly, ..__ and disasttrously harm.ful to Florida, however, and to its higher education .system. The low salaries of the State University presidents in Florida show plainly what is tru6: Under the present political plan of University control at the State level, a complex institution of higher learni:n. g 'the president of which guides, advises, and inspires hundreds o.f highly trained scientists, artists, and historiams, is just another state agency There is only one set of that should govern the determination o.f tne


Download Options [CUSTOM IMAGE]

No images are available for this item.
Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.