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Bill Wilkins Oral History Interview, October 9, 2019

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CHRIS PETERSEN: Alright, today is October 9, 2019, and we're in a different room in the Valley Library with Bill Wilkins for our second interview, following yesterday's conversation. I have a couple of, well, I have one fairly general thing I want to ask you about and then we'll start to get into more specific moments in your career. But the first thing I want to ask you about was teaching and how you feel like you evolved as a teacher over the years.

BILL WILKINS: Yes, in our department, the Department of Economics, everybody taught the beginning course, the Principles of Economics. It didn't make any difference who you were, we taught that. My specialty when I came here was international economics. I taught that as a 3-term course in the early days anyway. It eventually turned--it was three hours, three terms. First, 00:01:00international trade was the first term. The international financial thing was the second term. The third term I would tell the class members that they're now among the most educated people in the world, and it's time for them to start giving back and get them into a research project of some kind. Then I'd finish up with the stuff that I'd hadn't got to in the first 2 terms and turn it over to the students for them to do their research projects. That produced some very interesting results. A fair number of international students, non-U.S. citizens, took that course. In that case, each of them I asked, I limited their project choice to something about their own countries, international trade. Because we 00:02:00don't expect U.S. citizens, kids, students here to know much about the United States economy and especially the international part of it, so why should we expect the foreign students to know much about their international economy? That worked beautifully.

It helped me, for example. I learned a fair amount from them and the only time that didn't happen was I made that assignment and one of the students was Iranian who came to me privately in my office and said he couldn't do that. He was afraid of it. He was afraid his people would take umbrage at that. I let him do something else. I don't remember what he did. But he didn't do something on the Iranian. It's the only time the whole time I taught that sequence that 00:03:00happened, but I enjoyed that. Beyond that, I taught the upper division, mostly macroeconomic theory, which was fun to teach. That was an exciting course for me. Occasionally I would teach the upper-division. Those days were G-courses, graduate courses, that could be taken by graduate students and I taught microeconomics there a little bit. That one was a chore for me. I didn't much care for microeconomic theory as a theory of consumers. Then beyond that, I did economic history courses occasionally, and as I mentioned yesterday, did history 00:04:00of economic thought when Dr. Friday thought. Chuck Friday died. He had taken that responsibility. I moved in and taught that, which I enjoyed doing. One particular time I remember because I made an assignment pretty extensive one on the first day of class and I asked everybody to learn something about the methodology of the history of economic thought and a week later came back and asked them to talk about it. A Ph.D. student had done the work and knew about it. The only other one that had done the work was an undergraduate named Bill Enyart, who was a football player, and I think maybe an all-American, at least an all PAC-10. Very bright guy. Billy Mayne was also in that class, both of 00:05:00those. So, I had the back field of the football team in class, but Bill Enyart was a really good student. Anything else you want to know about?

CP: Well, I do know, and this is getting ahead a little bit, but when you were dean you still taught.

BW: I did. I thought that was something I should do. I didn't teach every year, but when I felt like the workload in the dean's office was light enough, it wasn't so busy, I would teach one course. Never more than once a year, I think. Often that was a course that we did for the college of business. In those days, the college of business was doing an MBA program and they tried to attract 00:06:00non-business majors in that program, so engineers, scientists, people with engineering degrees or science degrees or some other kind of degree would go into that course because they had no economics in their background. That was really fun to do because you could teach it just as fast as you wanted to, and they'd pick it up. They were smart and bright and dedicated. That was a good course to teach. I enjoyed that. The assignment I made every time, I would take some book other than the textbook. We used really advanced principles textbook for that course, one of the better, more difficult ones. But I would pick something else and ask them to write a book review of that and required them to 00:07:00find reviews of the book, professional reviews of the book, and report on the reviews that they found. That was to get them into the journals. Students don't ordinarily get into the journals unless there's some motivation to get them into the journals. I enjoyed that. I taught that one after I was dean. I taught an international trade course only one time after that I can remember. Then I taught principles from time to time. I'm not sure other deans taught or were teaching or not. And I didn't teach when Ballot Measure 5 happened, and we started cutting people. I didn't go into the classroom that year at all. Which 00:08:00brings up another thing about the university. When I became dean, acting dean, the summer of 19--what?

CP: '82, I think.

BW: '82, yeah. The summer of '82. The previous dean, Dave King was his name, left to take a job at George Mason University, became provost there. And he gave President MacVicar two weeks' notice. That's unusual in academic communities. So, Mac was upset about that short notice. He made himself acting dean. So, he became active dean. So, I really succeeded MacVicar as dean rather than Dave King. Mac took over the deanship for 2 months while he did an interim search 00:09:00which resulted in me becoming acting dean while national search went on. When I got into the dean's office I had two things waiting for me that Dave King had left, and Mac didn't touch. One was the decision had been made to close the Architecture and Landscape Department. But nothing had been done. So, I had to take over immediately and close out the affairs of those departments. Also, a guy, let me look at his name, Eric Swenson, who sometimes taught in the English Department.


He was an academic entrepreneur of sorts, he had taken it on himself to go meet Linus Pauling and propose to Linus, without anybody authorizing him, to propose to Linus Pauling that a peace lecture be created in the name of his wife that died: Ava Helen Pauling. He came back and committed the college to that. Didn't tell anybody about it until he came back and said we got this, and nothing had been done with that. Dr. Pauling had been invited to come and speak but no arrangements had been made. I had those two things to do immediately when I moved into the dean's office: set up the first Pauling lecture and close those departments. I reached out to a guy in history, Darold Wax. We put together a 00:11:00three-person committee to start the Pauling Lectures and it turned into being a very big thing for us. We had a string of excellent, excellent peace lectures.

CP: I want to ask about faculty senate involvement. I noticed in my research that you were a part of the faculty senate when there was an academic freedom/tenure dispute. I'm interested to know more about that.

BW: Yes. Soon after we came here, got back from the first time in Mexico, I guess, is more accurate. So, '84 or thereabouts. George Carson, who was chair of the History Department needed somebody to sub for him on the faculty senate and he didn't reach into the History Department, he reached over to me and asked me 00:12:00to sub for him in the faculty senate. So, that got me involved early on in the faculty senate. I became interested in that. Then, the senate in those days, the first time I went President Jensen was chairing the senate, the president of the university chaired the senate and the deans, academic deans council were automatic members of the faculty senate. When Jensen got his feet on the ground here pretty much, he created two positions in the hierarchy of the university: the Dean of Faculty and the Dean of Undergraduate Students. There was a dean of 00:13:00men and the dean of women, and he created the Dean of Students. But the Dean of Faculty, he gave the job, the chair of the senate, to the Dean of Faculty and the senate elected a vice chair to be the highest-ranking faculty member in the senate structure. I eventually ended up serving in that position. After our time in Mexico when I taught at the University of the Americas when Caroline took her master's degree, I became very conscious of the need for protection of academic freedom. It hadn't been an important issue in my mind, I hadn't thought of it as being something at risk until I experienced through observing the Mexican 00:14:00faculty, members of the faculty who were Mexicans in Mexico, I observed their concern about it. I came back and became active in AAUP, American Association of University Professors. Eventually became president of the local chapter of whatever it was called, the local chapter of AAUP. During my years of presidency there were two issues that came up: one AAUP had guidelines for faculty and tenure they set a time period on how much advanced notice you had to give to faculty before you could terminate them if they didn't have tenure.


One of the faculty members in the Science Department was terminated without having that, so I sat in for him in his case of fair treatment. Then a second case came along, a full professor without tenure in the Mathematics Department named Papadopoulos was terminated. That case started during my year, but fortunately for me my year was up before it matured into a full-blown case and Rob Phillips, professor of speech and journalism, became president. So, Rob actually caught most of the action of the AAUP in that case. That's probably the case you were thinking of.

CP: Mm-hmm.

BW: The academic freedom case that came along. That hung on for a long time. It 00:16:00was a very difficult time, I thought, for the university.

CP: How did it resolve?

BW: Pardon me?

CP: How did it resolve?

BW: I don't really know whether Papadopoulos was compensated or not. His termination was finalized. He didn't get back on the faculty. He's still in town, I understand. I inquired about his presence and understand he's in town, but I don't know if he got the compensation or not. That part I simply don't know. I think it did result in fewer appointments as professor without tenure. It certainly did when I became dean. I simply wouldn't take on somebody in the 00:17:00senior rank without tenure. If I couldn't offer even at the associate professor level. If we couldn't offer tenure, I wouldn't approve the appointment. I just think that's a bad policy to continue a thing like that. Then the faculty senate, back to the faculty senate now, I went off to Washington, D.C., to work on Ways and Means Committee for a year and that was the first year that Al Ullman, a congressman from Eastern Oregon, primarily Eastern Oregon district, became chair of the Ways and Means Committee when the long-term chair, a man named Wilbur Mills from Arkansas, had some difficulties that resulted in him 00:18:00having to give up the chairmanship.

Congressman Ullman became chairman and we were active in Oregon politics at the time. He invited me. I had asked him before. He invited me to join the staff. So, he appointed three people that held the title of staff economists in Ways and Means. He appointed a PR guy. The two of us worked together very closely writing speeches for Ullman and helping direct his public. He appointed a political guy, the man who had been his office manager became the three of us. The rest of the staff were all Arkansas-ers, from Wilbur Mills leftover days. Anyway, I came back from that year back to the Economics Department and there 00:19:00was a movement to organize the faculty into a union. I once again became active in the AAUP. The union vote was about the campaign of whether to be a faculty union or not. The AAUP chapter couldn't decide whether it wanted to be pro-union or not, but there were two parts of the ballot: yes or no union and then who do you want to represent you? AAUP chapter didn't take position on the first part of the ballot but it sure as heck did take position on the second part of it. If you're going to have a union, it has to be AAUP, not the same union that represents the classified people, which was the other choice.


That vote, the University of Oregon had a vote about the same time as we did. The vote here included the staff all around the state, the extension and research people, and a percentage of faculty voting yes it failed. The vote failed. But the percentage of Oregon State University faculty that voted yes for union was higher than the percentage of Oregon faculty that held an election about the same time. In my view that caught President MacVicar's attention, and he offered to change and create a different kind of academic senate, help create a different kind of faculty senate. So, the structure of the faculty senate changed. The deans were already gone, except for the Dean of Faculty who was 00:21:00chairman. Then the structure changed. So, the current structure where the faculty chooses a faculty senate president and president elect: Warren Hovland, who I think we mentioned yesterday, became the first president of the faculty senate. I became the second president of the faculty senate. I enjoyed that work. I thought it was fun. Before my term was over as president, I had the opportunity to join to the FAA: Associate Administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration. I became not only the second president of the faculty senate, I became the first one not to complete a term.

CP: I want to ask you a bit about political work. We talked a bit yesterday about your intersection with politics and political campaigns a little earlier 00:22:00on in your trajectory through academia. I talked to Caroline a lot about her intersection with Benton County Democratic Party. You were involved as well, and certainly one major piece of that was the RFK campaign, but perhaps there was more to it than that.

BW: Yes. Yes, it was. The Democratic party in Oregon had what it called pre-primary conventions and each county party was expected to do that. I ended up chairing the local pre-primary convention and hat we went down to Eugene for. The state convention had become the delegate down there. After the state pre-primary convention came back we became the local delegation, I got a call 00:23:00from one of the women in Benton County in Corvallis, a faculty wife, saying that we needed to start something for Bobby Kennedy, the spring of 1968. She and I called a meeting of people to come together to see if we could put together a local campaign for Bobby Kennedy. Four of us, or five of us, showed up at that meeting and I became the de facto chair of the local Bobby Kennedy campaign. That got me an invitation to attend the state-wide effort for Bobby Kennedy, 00:24:00which was just going together. Congresswoman Edith Green, who represented Multnomah, the congressional district, basically Portland, Multnomah County. I became a part of that whole effort then. Bobby Kennedy campaign then go together, and we'd open an office down here downtown. Of course, the other campaign that was going strongly too was the McCarthy group, Eugene McCarthy. Our effort included Bobby Kennedy showing up at Gill Coliseum, a delegation of his national campaign came in and met with Caroline and me in our home.

By that time, she was chair or vice chair of the congressional district 00:25:00Democratic party. As a party official she took no part in the Kennedy campaign except as my wife. The people met, and we came up here and went to Gill Coliseum as the place to have Mr. Kennedy come in, the Attorney General, Foreign Attorney General then Senator Kennedy come in. We booked Gill Coliseum for his appearance, set up the floor and stands. We had probably 8,000 people come on out for Bobby Kennedy. I remember walking in with Van den Heuvel, who was the head of the group who was here. William Van den Heuvel from New York, was with 00:26:00that group. He looked at the coliseum and said, "I hate venues like this," because the television cameras would look at the empty seats. So, we had to find a way to fill the seats as much as possible. We ordered the floor of Gill Coliseum with the chairs. Set up about a yard between each one of them so it wasn't packed together but you could fill the lower floor and it would look full. We did not put the extra, there used to be fold-out chairs. I think we still got about 8,000 people in there.

The Kennedy campaign came in--the podium was set up on the west end where Kennedy and Bergen--Candice Bergen was traveling with him at that time. She and 00:27:00he and some others were on the podium. They set up. They put in 25 telephones under that thing. I think it was 25. About 25 telephones were put in under that podium for the press. Nobody used them. the guy was out of Portland handling the finance for that campaign commented to me afterwards that they were spending money like it was going out of style, but it seemed to be well-planned. The campaign went on and on and we ended up having the campaign headquarters downtown here had a bank of telephones and we were doing telephone canvassing for the student volunteers, had full student volunteers became the heart of the 00:28:00campaign. That is, OSU student volunteers. Some high school students too. Toward the primary date our polling began to show that Kennedy was falling behind. That caught the attention of the national campaign. Larry O'Brien who was running the campaign at the time, the former postmaster general and eventually chair of the national democratic committee, called me and said he was going to send Bobby Kennedy back again. I told him that I didn't want Bobby Kennedy back again, because we would have to pull all our workers off of everything and try to turn out a crowd for him. He said prepare, the candidate's coming. They eventually 00:29:00landed a 727 out here in Corvallis Airport, which was a feat in itself. They had to have special permission to do that. We borrowed a Lincoln continental convertible to bring the candidate in and we had him on the steps of the courthouse. That was the night before the election. We have pictures of me and Caroline and me holding our 3-year-old son at that time with this one security person sitting down on the corner like that [imitates person falling asleep] absolutely worn out.

He lost the election here. Ran second, we had by that time we were running five counties here in this area: Benton, Linn, Lincoln, Yamhill, I don't know how we 00:30:00got to Yamhill, but Yamhill was sort of in our purview too. And one more, and I don't remember--Polk, Polk County. I have always told people that we won two, lost two, and tied one. But the vote went against Kennedy. Then a week later he was killed. We sent a copy of that picture to my mother. I mentioned her yesterday about Malewitz's book and when she got the picture with O'Brien there she called and said, "Don't you ever put my grandson in that kind of danger again. If you and Caroline want to put yourself in danger, that's okay. You're grown. But don't put my grandson in that kind of danger." And then of course 00:31:00from that point on the democratic party of 1968, you may be old enough to even remember that was in disarray which led us, Caroline, to more intensive involvement in national politics and action reform movement of the Democratic party that came out of 1968 and 1972 campaigns. We didn't attend the '68, neither one of us were involved in the '68 convention, thank goodness.

CP: Well, Vietnam was the theme at this point in time. I'm curious to know what your memories of OSU was like or Corvallis was like during that time period.

BW: Well, let me add one more thing on the political thing.

CP: Okay.

BW: I became County Chairman of the Democratic party in 1974. That was just 00:32:00before I joined Al Ullman's group. I took that job of chairmanship because Cliff Trow was running for the second time as senator. He had lost the election four years earlier. He was running for the second time, this time not against an incumbent. I wanted to be sure that the party was, the local party, was well-organized and set up to help Cliff win that election, which he did. One of the things we did, I think for the first time ever in local politics, we had a get out to vote campaign, organized a get out to vote. It was primitive by modern standards of course, but we did make an effort to get turn out to vote and I think probably helped some. Now, back to what was the university like, you 00:33:00had a question.

CP: During the Vietnam era, yeah.

BW: The Vietnam era. Well, relatively peaceful here as opposed to some campuses. We had demonstrations. We had some student unrest. I was a member, as I mentioned yesterday, I was a member of the Air Force Reserve Unit, which met on campus. We wore our uniforms to campus every Monday night during the school year. That never caused any, me personally, any problems. Showing up in military uniform was not popular, but it didn't cause any particular problems. There were rallies on campus and some marches that took place. The university, OSU I think, 00:34:00was peaceful relatively so. There was one time when we were operating, and Portland State was closed and University of Oregon was closed and an effort said what was underway that they were going to, that people from those two places would congregate here had closed our university. The acting president at that time, Roy Young, closed the university for one day. I think that's the only time we were closed is that one day. He did it as a precautionary, I think did it as a precautionary measure. In other words, in my mind we were conscious of the problems and the unrest but not terribly disturbed by it.


CP: You mentioned the Ways and Means job. Let's talk a little bit more about that. My sense of it was that the economy was not doing well at all and they were looking for some creative thinking.

BW: My role in that was somewhat different. That was Nixon, President Nixon had already resigned and so we had President Ford and Mr. Rowland as congressmen as head of the Ways and Means Committee. It's typical in the press when you talk about that position it's always accompanied by the powerful chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Well, it was an important thing. But we had also had the experience of the gasoline shortage, the boycott, the OPEC people, 00:36:00the OPEC countries boycotted to refuse to sell petroleum to the United States. So, Oregon felt that very deeply. There were long, long lines for gasoline. McCall started alternate dates, depending on the last number or first number of your license plate you could buy gasoline only on the odd days or the even days, that sort of thing. Owen decided that something had to be done. There had to be a national fuel power, national energy policy. Only instrument he had at bringing that around was tax code. They decided to use the tax code to create a national energy policy for the United States and that threw me back to my 00:37:00dissertation days and interest in national petroleum, oil things. I spent what most of my time working at Ways and Means Committee helping write the bill for the tax bill that would be the basis for a national energy policy. We wrote it. It came out eventually. He was able to get it out of committee. It basically had a tax structure that would tax every gallon of gasoline sold by some amount. I've forgotten, 5 cents a gallon, 10 cents a gallon or 15 cents a gallon in increments. One cent in those days, nationally, would produce an estimated 00:38:00billion dollars of tax revenue. The bill, the gimmick in the bill, was that the revenue would be used to fund energy research and to find alternative energy resources and that sort of thing. Part of it would be used and the rest of it would be refunded back to the citizenry. So, they paid taxes. Some of that, a portion of that, thirty percent or something like that, would be used for research and development of alternative energy sources. The rest of it would go back to people, every person 18 years or older, would get a refund, a tax refund. It would increase the price of oil, price of fuel, therefore under 00:39:00economic theory decrease the amount that people would drive and what not. At the same time, it would increase their income. They'd lose income through whatever they spent on fuel, but people without regard, whether they drove or not, would have income. It managed to do two things: make fuel more expensive and therefore less used at the same time fund people, everybody. When he got it to the floor house everybody voted against it [laughs]. Everybody was against it: the oil industry was against it; the automobile industry was against it.

Ralph Nader was against it. So, he got about, I don't know, a third of the vote 00:40:00from the house I think, and it died. That's about the time I left to come back to Oregon State. That was a great year. We had a great time doing that. I continued my Air Force Reserve duties there too. By that time I was what the Air Force Academy has a system, what they called liaison officers, that is assigned to every high school in the country and all those overseas where there's an American presence has an Air Force officer assigned to it by the Air Force Academy to represent the Air Force Academy with those high school kids that could possibly become cadets and also to represent them and their parents to the academy. I had that job. I was here. I had done it here, was doing it here. Then 00:41:00I was able to do that again in Washington, D.C. I had five downtown high schools in Washington, D.C. and that was quite an experience.

CP: I'm sure.

BW: One of them was a Catholic High School and there were actually some people there who could potentially qualify. The rest of the high schools no way, not even in an affirmative action sense could you get in to the downtown high schools. I continued in that position and doing that kind of work for the Air Force Academy until I retired. But when I went back again to Washington, when we went back when I went up to the FAA, Associate Administration--that time the guy 00:42:00in charge of that program in the Washington, D.C., area gave me the military bases instead of high schools. He did that I think because I had a position in the government hierarchy, the associate administrators about the same level as a major general or a lieutenant general, two or three star, and that meant I could deal, I could work with the parents of the young men. They were all young men in those days who were applying for the Air Force Academy, even if they were flag officers. The task in that case was to be sure it was the young men who wanted to go to the academy, not papa who wanted to go to the academy. That all worked very nicely for me.


CP: Tell me more about that FAA position.

BW: Associate Administrator for Policy and International Aviation. It was the sort of the liberal arts, science portion of the FAA. We did policy, planning, environmental work, international work. We had an office in Belgium representing the American Aviation interests in Europe and Africa. Latin America was not part of us, Asia was not part of our offices. We had about 200, 250 people budgeted about $12 million, something like that. We ran an insurance program, a billion-dollar insurance program where loans would go out for aircraft, for 00:44:00commuter airlines. Let me backup just a little bit. I had wanted to be--in the summer of 1967 I did a course in the summer term which I called Aerospace and Society, and we looked at the aviation space industry. It was listed as a graduate-level course. We had about 10 or 12 people in the course, I think, then. The Air Force supported it. One of the students in that course, a man by the name of Olmstead, Clark Olmstead, wrote the best undergraduate paper I'd ever seen until that time.


He wanted to go to law school. He had been accepted at George Washington. They ran a night program and he needed a job. I was able to get a hold of Vern Norton, who was working with a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and Vern took Clark into that area. Clark had a job in consulting, aviation consulting, while he was going to law school. Before he graduated he joined a firm. He was hired. He had not yet graduated from law school or got the bar, but he had an office at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue before he graduated from law school. He became an attorney. I wanted to be, there was a position open on the civil 00:46:00aviation board that controlled the airlines in those days. The deregulation of the airlines had passed congress and Carter was committed to that. I got as far as the White House personnel office for the empty seat on the CEB. The lady that interviewed me there asked me what I thought about deregulation and what would happen, and I told her the airline industry was going to end up like a differentiated oligopoly. It would be like the automobile industry or petroleum industry: a few very large firms and a bunch of little ones, sort of on the side. That wasn't the answer she wanted to hear, so I didn't get that 00:47:00appointment. It went to another person. By that time, we had helped Clark through Al Ullman's connections. He was still chair of the Ways and Means Committee. Helped him get the job of chief counsel at the FAA and when an opening came up, a Carter person resigned from the association administration, I got the offer to take that position for the last year and a half of the Carter administration. It was great. It was like being paid to go to Disneyland for me. Got to combine aviation, economics, policy all in one job.


CP: Sure.

BW: It was great. Caroline was part of that too, of course. Our son was in high school at that time. He went to one of the high schools back there.

CP: This was from '79 to '81 and then in '82 that's when David King left apparently. You have some context for the opening there. Was becoming the Dean of Liberal Arts something you'd ever considered?

BW: Oh, not really. I had not wanted an academic administrative position. I had systematically avoided trying to become chairman of the Economics department. We had a very good chairman: Ken Patterson was a long-time chair there and Ken did 00:49:00a beautiful job. But when I came back from being in Washington, D.C., and Dave King resigned the policy committee for the CLA faculty governance, interim faculty governance, submitted three names to MacVicar. I was one of them. And Mac, you didn't know Mac probably, but Mac was an interesting guy because he came in during the Vietnam period and his reputation was this tough man, tough guy, but in fact he was not. He never fired anybody.

When people weren't doing their jobs very well, he'd just take it over. He had 00:50:00about 40 people working for him. Therefore, nobody reported to him. Nominally about 40 people did. Some people just didn't perform. Thankfully the deans were basically all competent and they didn't report anybody. They were embarrassed. So, when the acting dean position came open, Mac came to our home to interview me. Not calling me in. He came to our house to interview me. His choice was limited. He thought, as he put it, he took a chance on me and named me acting dean. When I got here, as acting dean, I pretty soon decided I really liked it and the staff was quite good. The staff was small, as it was everywhere. Mac was 00:51:00parsimonious in allowing people, so there was no associate dean. The staff person named in those days Caroline Davis was a single mother. Husband had died. I think he actually committed suicide but I'm not sure of that. She had two kids. She was the chief staff person for the college. She did the budget. She did the personnel work and all that. An extraordinary competent person. We hit it off very well. She later remarried Tom Marsh, who was the graduate dean of the graduate school. So, she's Caroline Marsh now. We began to work the thing 00:52:00and I became a candidate in the national search, and eventually was appointed by MacVicar to be continuing dean. We started off trying to do something with the college.

Dave King's view of the College of Liberal Arts, the previous dean, had been the small liberal arts college inside of the big research university. That was not my view of it at all. I wanted Liberal Arts to be a major player on equal footing with all of the other colleges in the university. I wanted us to be a major part of the university. That meant structural change in the character of 00:53:00the department. The character of the college and its departments. I started out trying to go in that direction.

CP: Tell me more about that vision. You talked about Landscape Architecture needing to be winded up, but there were other ideas that you had it sounds like for structural change.

BW: We had to go from undergraduate teaching mentality to research and graduate as well as not neglecting the undergraduate. Everything else had to go under budget pressures, undergraduate teaching would stay, so that was not a good, but what had to be done and I knew for the college was to find ways to move toward 00:54:00equality, equity across with the expectations of a research university, which Oregon State is. So, I began to move in that direction. We recruited faculty with that in mind and department chairs with that in mind. MacVicar retired. John Byrne became president. The deans by that time, the deans council led by the Dean of Forestry, really, Carl Stoltenberg. I think it was unanimous to the new President Byrne, you need to restructure the central administration.


We need a vice president, a provost, an academic vice president, rather than the guy who controls the money. The budget administration, him being the second in command. We needed an academic person to be second in command in the university. John did that. John created the position of academic vice president provost, and I became the acting first one. So, I moved over to the sixth floor with return rights to the Liberal Arts. What I did over there was I sat at the provost office. I commandeered the space. I hired staff. Associate vice president, 00:56:00assistant vice president. I hired the person who ran the finances of that part of the university and the person who controlled the schedules of all of us: Nancy Hoffman, now her name's not Hoffman, and set up the reporting relationships. That did not endear me to the deans because they did not, under MacVicar, they didn't report to anybody. And with the provost you did have a reporting relationship. I was there a year and a half, 17 months something like that, until Graham Spanier came in as a continuing academic vice president provost.

CP: My understanding is he was a champion of the liberal arts, he was a champion 00:57:00of the CLA.

BW: Yeah, he was. That's true. When he came John Byrne and I, John had said to me that he wanted Spanier to take a month or six weeks and learn about Oregon, move around Oregon, go visit around Oregon and learn about the state. Well that wasn't in Graham's program. He wasn't interested in that. He was interested in being provost. I stayed around maybe a month after he began. I had planned to stay there six weeks or a month while he did the other thing. Then I took an assignment instead of coming straight back to liberal arts, I took an assignment 00:58:00which took us to Colorado Springs, to Boulder, Colorado, where I became associated with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, WICHE. I did a survey of the research universities in the western United States efforts to internationalize themselves. visited most of the research universities: New Mexico, New Mexico State, Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley, Washington, Washington State, and interviewed their managers, their presidents and provosts and what not on what they were doing to internationalize themselves. Learned a lot. It's amusing. At Stanford I asked about their international efforts and the fellow I 00:59:00was talking to said well we teach 80 languages here at Stanford. A month or so later when I was at UCLA and I repeated that to the guys at UCLA, they said oh well we teach at least that many [laughs]. We taught four here, sometimes five. So that was a good interview for us that time. We took the only cruise we ever took in our lives, so far anyway, in our lives. We took a cruise during that time through the Panama Canal from Puerto Rico from the Panama Canal and then came back and finished my time here at the college.

CP: Right. So, you get back. You have a provost. You're in the dean's position. 01:00:00You're solid there and the idea is to try to grow the college?

BW: Yeah.

CP: And there's lots of recruiting and marketing that's part of this? That's the sense that I have.

BW: Well, one of the things that MacVicar had required, I think every college, was that they maintain a 2% buffer in their budget. For us, that meant about $200,000-$250,000, which at the end of the fiscal year you had to use. That's a powerful instrument, because you use it to fund no-recurring things, things that the next year you spent $200,000-$250,000 but the next year you have $250,000 01:01:00again because you're spending it on things that don't come back up. Well, when I got back that 2% had disappeared.

Spanier had offered to the active dean to help fund reduction of the teaching load in Liberal Arts and we all taught 9 hours at that time. Everybody else in the university is teaching 6 or something like that. The deal was the provost office would match Liberal Arts to reduce teaching loads of people but not everybody. So, that was a double-whammy, a triple-whammy there because it used up most of the walk-around money, most of that money. I had then in my mind had 01:02:00to find ways to recreate that buffer. Also, it created a situation where some faculty got 6 hour teaching loads and others didn't. That made it look like we punished people by making them teach. If you weren't performing something you had to teach. That's the wrong attitude for people to have. I had to find a way around that. That time after coming back was beset with those kinds of problems, management problems. We worked through it very well and then shortly thereafter I think I might have said yesterday that while I was dean I signed retirement agreements with all the remaining lower-division faculty, and the way we did 01:03:00that was offer to buy out their tenure.

Under MacVicar's guidance we could offer a 5% increase in pay, I think it was 5%, maybe 6%, in return for giving up their tenure, signing a 3-year contract. So, we paid them 5% more a year for three years which would increase their retirement kitty and the PERS--Public Employment Retirement System--viewed that as a legitimate buyout in exchange for their giving up their tenure. In a 3-year period of time we could give them extra money and hope that would take that. I 01:04:00did the same thing for me with Spangler, I signed a 3-year retirement contract with him in return for the buyout of tenure. I knew I was going to retire. Nobody else knew except Caroline Davis, by that time Marsh. No one in the dean's office knew about it. Only Caroline and Caroline Davis and me knew about it for the whole time until I announced my retirement a year before. I didn't do what Dave King had done. I gave John Byrne a whole year, or actually, Spanier had left by that time and Roy Arnold was provost at that time. I gave him a whole year to find a replacement. I'm still continuing my Air Force service during 01:05:00that time period.

CP: How did you go about boosting enrollments within the college? What was your strategy for boosting student enrollment in the college?

BW: Enrollment?

CP: Yeah.

BW: Oh. Well, it was clear to me that we needed to have more presence in the mind of high school people. With the help of the head advisor at Liberal Arts, a man by the name of Jerry O'Connor, Dr. O'Connor, we created the strategy of posters and meetings with high school people across the state and the community colleges. I personally visited all the community colleges. MacVicar did that too and I was part of that but then I continued it for Liberal Arts so we made an 01:06:00effort to plant in the minds of high school advisors that Liberal Arts existed at OSU as well as the University of Oregon. We made a major effort in that regard. I guess it helped payoff, because it did increase our enrollment, quite a bit in fact. Jerry O'Connor was a very creative guy in that regard in helping the propaganda that we sent out to the high schools and the community colleges. One poster that I remember tried to answer the question what do you do with a Liberal Arts Degree?'' What we did was we collected the business cards of 24 I 01:07:00guess it was alums and made a poster: What do you do with a Liberal Arts Degree? Anything you want. And we circulated that and others across the whole state, every high school in the state got a mailing from us or a visit from us or both, and I think it helped. It certainly helped me.

CP: What are some key faculty hires that you made or the college made that you feel like--

BW: Well you have a question on here about that [pulls out a print-out]. Let me go back to that. [Shuffles through papers.] Oh yeah, there was one non-faculty hire. I became the active dean of liberal arts, I became active in a national 01:08:00organization called Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences. It's an organization of the deans of Arts and Sciences Colleges across the nation. My first year as acting dean after one of MacVicar's meetings I asked for the chance to talk to him and I said I'm thinking about going to the meeting of this organization, Council of Colleges of Arts of Sciences. It's in Atlanta, Georgia. His answer was I don't know much about that organization and what not. I said that's not my question, Mr. MacVicar. My question is should I conduct myself as a dean or as an acting dean. And he said as a dean. So I went. One of the sessions I went to down there was on development, fundraising. It was presented 01:09:00by the dean of Arts of Sciences at North Carolina and by the, called Vice Provost at Berkeley and UCLA the deans are that. Well, the vice provost of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UCLA was the other presenter and they talked about their fundraising organizations which blew me away. We had nothing like that at Oregon State and I came back dead set that we were going to create, we had to create a fundraising organization. About that same time new deans of business, a man by the name of Spruill, and a new dean of Home Economics, Kinsey 01:10:00Green, came in.

Both of them came from organizations where they had some fundraising efforts. The three of us teamed up and went to MacVicar and said can we start fundraising at the constituency level it was called. At about that same time the college got a bequest of $50,000 from somebody I had never heard of. A woman who lived in the Bend area had left $50,000 unrestricted money to the College of Liberal Arts.

Against my own instincts I didn't ask the faculty of council of the Liberal Arts what to do with that money. I took it to start us a fundraising organization. I hired the first fundraising person outside of Agriculture. Agriculture long had 01:11:00their own fundraising organization. No other college had had one. I hired Harold Connor as the first fundraising organization. Harold was modestly successful, and he desired to retire. He was a former pastor. He decided to retire and play golf and I hired Jeff Hale. Jeff was magnificently successful. One instance he came back from a trip to Texas and called me on Sunday, which is against the rules. He said Bill I just have to come talk to you. He came over and showed me a check for $1,500,000 that he brought back with him from Texas to start an endowed chair. I forgave him for making the call on Sunday [laughs]. That set up 01:12:00Marc Borg, the chair that Marc Borg filled in Religious Studies.

CP: The Hundere Chair?

BW: Yeah.

CP: Yeah.

BW: The other one, what's it called?

CP: The Horning endowment?

BW: Horning. Horning had learned about when I first became acting dean it was said that there was this big hunk of money out there that would someday come to the college because this person had made that, but they wouldn't tell me who it was or how much it was or anything like that. They were waiting for the death of him or his widow or something. That one we didn't raise. That one just came to us. But it came to us at an opportune time. it came to us as we were into the fundraising business. For me that was a key change that we made in the college 01:13:00and as it turned out in the university. But you have asked in here about special faculty members and you have ones like William Appleman Williams. Of course, Bill Williams had a reputation, a magnificent history reputation. He brought that with him. I think it's fair to say he did not enhance his reputation while he was with us. He lived on the coast. He was rarely around the college except on days when he actually had classes. So we didn't see much of him, actually. Marc Borg was our product. Marc grew up here, as it were, and I think we could 01:14:00take credit for producing him. He was a splendid, splendid scholar. He was a spokesman for the Jesus Society, which gave him national notoriety and he was famous. The Stater, the publication Stater, in those days was a tabloid and one of the Staters ran a stylized picture of Jesus on its full page, front page, my telephone began to ring. Not all of it was positive. But Marc Borg, he was homegrown.

Gordon Gilkey of course had a reputation, he was retired but his reputation was 01:15:00splendid. He had the vision for what's now, LaSells Stewart, what became the LaSells Stewart Center. In his view it was the Grand Hall. It turned into being not so Grand Hall but a very nice one anyway. He took his collection with him, his print collection with him when he left. That was too bad. But Gordon Gilkey was a major force.

CP: Previous dean as well, correct? Dean of CLA?

BW: Yeah.

CP: Did you consult with him at all? Because Dave King was gone.

BW: Not really. But he and I had not been adversaries, actually, but we had different visions of how a dean should work and what to do... Gordon did great 01:16:00things for the college, most of the undergraduate degrees were attained while he was dean, but he didn't push for that. Also, he and MacVicar did not get along and that didn't help the college. Mac was big enough not to punish the college I think because of that but it didn't really help the college. Then Henry Sayre. You know Henry. Henry Sayre was home grown. He turned into a major, major college - Tracy Daugherty turned into a major home-grown product. Bill McClanahan. Do you know about Bill McClanahan?


CP: I don't think so.

BW: Bill McClanahan was a professor in political science. He inherited McGregor's Civics textbook. He had been an undergraduate with McGregor here. That's the textbook was the most widely-used civics textbook in the whole United States and Bill McClanahan inherited it, improved it, carried it forward for 20 years or more abouts. Most high school kids across the country learned about government organization from Bill McClanahan. He did not have a scholarly reputation per se, but he was very influential across the nation. He's pretty 01:18:00much lost, I don't know what happened to the textbook after he left. Among other things, McClanahan had a political memorabilia collection if you could imagine. I don't know what's happened to it. At one point he paid for the remodeling of a couple of rooms in what's now Gilkey Hall, the Social Science Hall, on the third floor to be an office to display his magnificent college. He built shelves and display cases and all that sort of stuff in that office. It was a profoundly comprehensive collection. He even had a George Washington cloak button as part of it.

CP: Wow.

BW: I really don't know what happened to that collection. I wish we could find 01:19:00it. It would be wonderful to have it here in this office. But I don't know what happened to it. I suppose he had family that took it. It's too bad. The university doesn't have it. It doesn't match Gordon Gilkey's print collection, but it would be a valuable asset to the university. I guess those are the faculty that sort of stand out in my mind. Notice the absence, except for McClanahan, of anybody from the social sciences. All those are humanities faculty members. Barnie Carlson's another one that could be put in that list, I think.

He built the symphony into a major force for music in the state. Working with 01:20:00Jeff Hale, the fundraiser, he did something which is revolutionary in that the musicians around here, they're in the symphony, largely are not music majors. They're engineers and scientists and others like that because he recognized he couldn't compete with the University of Oregon's School of Music and he began to give music scholarships to engineers, which is unheard of, but it's the basis for what's now a major symphony here. So, I guess Marty Carlson should go on 01:21:00that list too. But no social sciences. We lost Tom Hogue. We lost Tom. He was killed while hunting. I called it an accident yesterday. I'm not sure it was. Never have been. Law enforcement did not pursue it as anything other than an accident. What else?

CP: You talked about the unusual beginning of the Pauling lectureship. I'm sure you met Linus Pauling at some point. Do you have any memories of--?

BW: Oh yes. We hosted Dr. Pauling. He did that first lecture. We started a tradition of having dinner ahead of time at the country club or somewhere. We 01:22:00did the first one here on campus, I think in the MU where he was and then we took the auditorium downtown, down in the Austin auditorium and packed it. It was so packed that when we got there after dinner we couldn't find a seat. We ended up in the balcony upstairs. It was just packed. That was the pattern: that he would come and spend time at the university and we would host him, and I honestly believed that helped cured the schism between Oregon State and Dr. Pauling. There had been a schism going back to some firing of a faculty member 01:23:00that he took exception to under A.L. Strand's leadership and I think the peace lecture helped cure that and eventually of course you guys get the collection here and one of the reasons the collection came here is we were willing, you were willing, Larry was willing, to take her papers, her collection as well as his. Nobody else apparently made that offer. One of the quirks there, which is kind of fun, is when the Nobel prize medals came they were delivered and just put out on the loading dock all by themselves. somebody could have come along and picked them up and got cash for them, but they were just left out there in the open by the deliverer. Thank God somebody found them and brought them in. 01:24:00You know, as he got older he would come to lecture. He came to lecture every year for a number of years. We would introduce him, whoever was the master of ceremonies and it was me a couple of times, anyway. Introduce him and he would sit in the audience and he'd go to sleep [laughs] during the lecture. Using his name we got a whole series of people. You must have that list some place. A whole series of Nobel prize winners came to campus. My vision of that lecture is that was the start of the school year on a note of peace, to commit the university to peace at the start of the year.

The McCall lectures, which is another one that we set up, came about because one 01:25:00day, McCall after he was governor came here to teach for a while. He had a suite of office in what's down Gilkey Hall down the stairs where the faculty senate offices are now. That was the McCall suite. He didn't last very long, and he went back to Portland to go back to the television business in Portland. He used to say that he discovered students didn't get up and applaud when he came in. There was money left over from the fund that he had started that funded him when he was here. There was money left over in the president's office. Caroline one night she said why don't you do something with the McCall money. So, I went to 01:26:00MacVicar if we could use that money to set up a lecture in his honor. Then I called the aide who was his chief aide which we knew because of our political connections. Caroline by the way had been appointed as an original member of the Oregon Ethics Commission by him while she was chairman of the Democratic Party of Oregon she became a McCall appointee to one of the many boards she served on over the years, so we knew his people too. I called him asking if he would get the permission from the governor who, by the way, was dying at the time, for us to set up the lecture. He called back in a day or two saying he agrees. So, we 01:27:00voted to go ahead and set it up and start using that money.

MacVicar had told me, as he did with Pauling also, that the name won't attract much money. Turned out to be the case. I had learned the hard lesson that death does not produce large amounts of money for memorial lectures. It will produce some but not a lot. The McCall lecture became, we set it up to happen on February 14th, or as close to there as possible, because that's Oregon day, that's Oregon's birthday.

We had a whole string of people, including every governor and that's still going on. I met the guy who was running it. Saw the guy yesterday while I was in the coffee shop who is running that lecture now. He said the only governor we have 01:28:00not had here is the current governor. She's turned him down. I asked if he would like us to try to talk to her and he said no, don't do that. We're still working on it. Don't do that. But that lecture turned out pretty good too. I don't know what's happened to it, really. He said it's still running but it's running in a different kind of way than what it was when I was dean. I think the successive deans, they didn't know McCall, they didn't know the magic that Oregon felt under his leadership. His and Bob Straub's, who succeeded him as governor who did wonderful things for the reputation and actual things happening in Oregon.


CP: I understand you were part of making the Martin Luther King Day celebration an entity on campus?

BW: Yes. When I became dean, acting dean, I had already made arrangements. When Reagan came in as president of the United States, one of the things they did was fire all the political appointees, that include me as associate administrator of the FAA. One of the things I did to fill the income gap, because I wasn't coming back here immediately after that happened. Our son was in high school in the Washington, D.C., area and we had commitments there that we needed to fulfill--I took a 6-weeks active duty tour to Air War College in Mobile, Alabama.


That resulted in me being appointed as an adjunct professor at the Air War College. I did textbooks for their correspondence course for the Air War College. While I was down there on one of those, down in Mobile, in the BOQ--Bachelor Officer Quarters, they called them--I one night was working on the project and had the television on to something called Black Entertainment Television--BET--which I had never heard of before. They ran a film, a documentary, called Martin Luther King: Montgomery to Memphis. From his start at the boycott in Montgomery to his death in Memphis, it did that. I came back 01:31:00here, by the way while I was down there on that assignment, one of those assignments, we had none of the, under MacVicar's leadership, none of the writing classes. You mentioned the writing classes here. None of the writing classes were funded until after they were enrolled. So, we had 25-40 classes unfilled, un-facultied until after enrollment. That was the first year I had an Air Force assignment down there, Caroline Davis and I filled those positions with money that she got while I was down there, and we filled them over the telephone. Amazing way to do business. I had that continued as long as MacVicar 01:32:00was here. We just didn't have any tenured; that money that was handed out to us there at the last minute. But anyway, I saw that film and thought about Dr. King and I came back and said we needed to show that here. I asked Frank Shaw, who was a professor of history, a graduate Harvard Ph.D. professor of history, who had taken the trouble to go teach at a traditional black college. He took a year off leave here, a sabbatical I guess, to go teach at one of the historically black universities. So, he was heavily into that, into the African American 01:33:00culture and history and whatnot. I asked him to find a way that we could show that, get that film and show it here. He consulted around, put other on it, and consulted with him and he came back and suggested let's do it on his birthday, which is January 21st or something like that. That's what we did. We got the film and we showed it; still for the acting dean we showed it and so that's '63, January of--

CP: '83.

BW: '83. In January of '83 we showed a film in the Home Economics auditorium. It's now called Milam Auditorium or something like that. We drew a crowd of 01:34:00maybe 200 people and the film was cut up. We had at least 4 breaks or 5 breaks in the film. I thought we were sabotaged. Some of the other people think we were too. That started it. Then the next year the woman who was in the affirmative action office called me and MacVicar could we do a breakfast. We did the breakfast the following year as well as--we didn't try to show the film again, but we did something, other things. That was the start of Martin Luther King and it grew exponentially.

CP: I have several bullets here from what I think matches up with your time as 01:35:00dean from Liberal Arts and the first is the international degree program.

BW: Yes. The international program was George Keller was the vice president, the vice provost, vice president then vice provost for the research in international affairs and he set up a committee of which I was a member. Diane Hart, senior instructor in Spanish, tenured senior instructor in Spanish, was working with George Keller as part of her job and it was her idea. We just bought into it. 01:36:00The committee was charged with finding things to help internationalize, and I had already done that survey of things that were happening around the country, around the west. I was part of that. Diane came up with the idea of the international degree and I became a champion of it. I thought we should do it and George agreed and we got it in place, put it in place. I thought it was, and national... When I became president of the CAA at the College of Arts and Sciences, that was part of my presidential speech was I thought that was the future of higher education in the United States. We needed to be more internationally minded, not less. I said that's the kind of future as part of 01:37:00the presidential speech. By the way, CAA when I first started going to those meetings the hierarchy of that organization, there was not anybody on the board of directors, president and board of directors, of the organization no dean from west of the Mississippi was in the leadership of that organization. It was dominated by people from Milwaukee east. By the time I left I had been president we had some other westerners. But anyway, that was Diana Hart is the person who gets credit for that. I'm so sorry that it was put on hold here and I don't understand yet. I met with Diane and some others on this visit and she thinks a 01:38:00version of that will be coming back to life, but less rigorous as she put it, a less rigorous version of it. I guess it was kind of burdensome for many students to have to have that kind of experience that they require.

CP: A similar program, I think, the foreign language across the curriculum program.

BW: Yeah.

CP: It sounds like a duel immersion--

BW: Yeah, I thought we should, well, the Latin American thing came back into play with that. It was one of the things I had a confrontation which involved a Spanish instructor with the affirmative action officer at the time because some Spanish-speaking students had objected to him correcting their Spanish. The 01:39:00affirmative action officer got involved with that wondering whether or not he was discriminating against people because he was requiring them to speak proper Spanish, just as the English department expects English-speaking students to use proper English. I had a showdown with the affirmative action officer and I basically said keep your nose out of our business, we're going to teach the language the way it should be taught. He later told me I was pretty, I got to him pretty bad. Anyway, that occurred to me that we probably had the capacity on the faculty to teach courses in languages other than English.

One of the Pauling lectures I had arranged for Dick Clinton to, a professor of 01:40:00political science, who was fluent in Spanish and arranged for him to do the toast for Pauling and the lecturer, whoever the lecturer was that week, and he did it in both English and Spanish, the toast. Afterwards, the chair of the Spanish department from the University of Oregon who was in the audience came to me and said who is that guy? He speaks beautiful Spanish. I said ask him if he would teach a political science course in Spanish. So that's what we did. I looked around and I think it turned out that he was the only person who actually did it. Had I continued as dean I would have tried to find others because we had 01:41:00an economist who spoke Korean. I use the economics department at that time as an example. We had an economist who spoke Korean, another one who spoke Brazilian Portuguese, another one who spoke Japanese. We had Japanese-speakers in religious studies. We could have taught courses not entirely across the curriculum but we could have taught courses in languages other than English in numerous places. Deans across the country when I talked about that would go [facial expression of shock] because it's expensive. The classes tend to be small. It's a special kind of thing. I don't think it continued after I left at 01:42:00all. I thought it was something we ought to try.

CP: A couple of entities I suppose that I think existed before you became dean, but they certainly grew during your tenure--the Center for the Humanities and the Women's Studies Program.

BW: The what?

CP: The Center for the Humanities and also the Women's Studies Program.

BW: I didn't get the second one.

CP: Women's Studies.

BW: Oh, Women's Studies. Yeah, the Center for the Humanities actually wasn't created during my time as dean.

CP: Okay.

BW: It was under, the drive to get it done was underway when I came into the dean's office, but it had not matured. The fellow who was leading in that effort 01:43:00at that time went on leave or something and I asked Paul Farber, the chair of the History department, when General Science had been cut Farber moved over to History where he taught History of Science. I asked him if he would take over the effort to create the Center for the Humanities and when John Byrne came in he funded it. He found a donor who funded it. So, it got set up and endowed and Byrne had a donor who simply said where do you want the money to go? And John put it in the humanities. So, it came into being at that time. Farber went back to full-time in the History Department and the guy who was running the Center 01:44:00for the Humanities came back and ran the office and had an endowment income. I think it was a great institution. The year I was provost I left all the, well, acting provost, I left all the other institutes like water and transportation with George Keller, but I put that one into the academic building because I thought it was more appropriate there. It went back when Graham came in. It went back to George's purview, which is where I suppose it should be. But I think it has become a grand addition to the university. Having it off-campus troubled me 01:45:00at first, but I came to believe that was a good move, divorced from the main body of the campus as opposed for example to the water institute and the transportation institute who are all here.

Women's Studies was around. An economist, Jeanne Dost, had insisted that something needed to be done, so Jeanne, whose personality was challenging, became the mother of the Women's Studies program. At first it was not really an academic program. It was more like an institute if you want to call it that or 01:46:00whatnot. Then we managed to create a small department out of it and then from that also came the ethnic studies department. It was one of the last things that was done while I was dean and Roy Arnold funded that, provided the funds for that. Now I think they're combined now: Women's Studies and Ethnic Studies are combined into one organization. Is that right? Do you know?

CP: I don't think so. I think they're in the same school. The departments have sort of ceased to exist.

BW: Okay. My contribution to the Ethnic Studies part of it was to hire a consultant to come in and help us. It was an African American dean from California who I had come to know and respect on the college of Arts and 01:47:00Sciences council and hired him to help us figure out how to do that, what to do. Then Roy picked it up and brought it into being. Women's Studies--my major contribution to that I guess as a department was I put it into the space right next to the dean's office, so they would be close to the dean. It was an experiment, as it were. They were housed right next to us. When we closed Religious Studies as part of the cutting--that's Ballot Measure 5 during my last year. We cut Journalism, we closed Journalism. We closed Religious Studies. We 01:48:00closed some of the languages. A bad year. We moved Women's Studies into what had been religious studies. Moved Philosophy out of Gilkey Hall. We put the remaining religious studies faculty, Marc Borg for example, went into Philosophy and we moved Philosophy over to another building.

CP: Hovland Hall.

BW: Yeah, right. In Hovland Hall, which got named after him. I think that and Burt Hall are the only buildings on campus that were named for a living person.

CP: Were you part of that naming process?

BW: Yeah.

CP: How did that happen?

BW: We assured John Byrne that Warren Hovland wasn't going to do anything to embarrass the university while he was alive and that we ought to name that 01:49:00building where Philosophy and Religious Studies were going to be the main occupants, we ought to name it for one of them. He agreed and let us do it. And the board did, the state board of education did.

CP: A tremendous honor.

BW: Yeah. I thought so.

CP: Let's talk more about Measure 5. The background of course was this Measure was passed, property taxes were cut and higher ed is--

BW: Yeah that was a bad time. The way Spanier handled it was every dean was required to present a 5% or some such number of what you would do if you had to take that cut. John Byrne's direction was that, or maybe it was from the state 01:50:00board, was that we had to also do less, that is, we had to cut entities, not just at the margins. That's the way that we did it. The University of Oregon didn't. They took their cut just wherever they could get the money. Under John's directive we cut whole departments. Religious Studies went away, and Journalism went away. That was a very difficult time, especially Journalism because it had like 150 majors in it and we had to find a way to let those kids finish their degrees while we didn't have a department anymore. That was not a happy time.


CP: Was it on you to make that decision about Journalism and Religious Studies or did that come from above you?

BW: Journalism was, I have to be unkind--the question that was asked at one of the dean's meetings... let me go back again. There's an organization or was an organization called the PAC 10+2 deans of Arts and Sciences that met once a year on campuses around, the two being Alaska and Hawaii joined the PAC 10. That was before Colorado and Utah joined the football team. The dean up at University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences, which had 50 departments in it. It was the size of Oregon State that college was as--Berkeley and UCLA, their student 01:52:00body and faculty was the size, the budgets were the size of whole university here. It was a different ball game. The dean at a meeting we were hosting over at a coastal facility of the PAC 10+2 the dean of Washington, the dean of that college up there in Washington, wanted to have an executive session of the deans only which he called what do you cut after you cut sociology? We talked about that then and that really came down to be the question. What department are you going to cut? I had to recommend, and I did not recommend journalism, cutting journalism was not my first priority to cut, that was a decision made at central 01:53:00administration. John Byrne said in my presence a number of times afterwards that was the worst decision he ever made. I'm not sure he made it. I think maybe Spanier made it. We lost Geography at that time too. Geography, Earth Sciences, folded into Geology and Earth Sciences and eventually it ended up in Oceanography course and then College of Oceanography. We lost several departments. The college had I think it was 17 departments when I first became dean. It had about 12 when I left. We closed programs. Also, we closed programs 01:54:00in Art. We closed speech pathology and audiology was closed. We closed television, the television program in the speech department. If you want to be gross about it you could say we, everything that would train a student in liberal arts to go to a particular job we closed it. We closed fabric in art. We ended up not closing sociology.

CP: I know that one of the ambitions had been to grow the graduate offerings in CLA. I'm sure this didn't help.


BW: No it didn't. That proved to be a very elusive kind of thing. The hybrid that we crated was the graduate faculty of economics. The groundwork was there because Economics Department had had the association with Ag Econ. Emery Castle came back from his job as being president of resources for the future of Washington, D.C., think tank operation. He came back with Merab, his wife, and wanted to rejoin the university and we were working on doing something with graduate degree in economics and he took on the task of helping us create the graduate faculty of economics, which 4 departments: Economics, Ag Economics and 01:56:00Agriculture, Forest Management in Forestry, and something in business was the fourth college. Anyway, four colleges were involved in creating that finance, maybe, in business was the creation of graduate faculty. It worked pretty well for the first 2 years, 2 or 3 years--it worked well while Emory was running it and it did not work well after that in my view. But that was our first increment. I remember going to the state board of higher education. Carl Stoltenberg, Dean of Forestry; Roy Arnold, dean of agriculture; and Stoltenberg 01:57:00chartered an airplane to take us to La Grande, I guess it was La Grande where the state board was meeting, to testify in favor of the creation of the graduate faculty of economics. The chancellor said to me and maybe the other dean, but I think I was maybe the only one there at the time, he said, don't come back for any more graduate programs. I said, no we're going to be back. That probably did not endear me to the chancellor [laughs]. We didn't really come back and by the time we left the dean's we hadn't come back for any more advanced degrees. We had the master of Arts, the Master of Science, MAIS, Master of Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies and the graduate faculty of economics. We had hired 01:58:00faculty who were fully capable of doing graduate programs across the college. In my view a great waste of talent not having them. I don't know exactly what the college is doing now but I do know they are creating Ph.D.s now and should have been doing that 25 years ago. I guess some of the people, faculty over in English wouldn't agree with that because Ph.D.s in English have a hard time getting jobs anyway.

CP: Your years as dean also coincided with the early years of distance learning, is that correct?

BW: I'm sorry?

CP: Distance learning?

BW: Distance learning--I didn't really have much to do with the distance 01:59:00learning thing except the Bend program. The Bend program had started under Gilkey. We were offering upper-division courses for students at the community college there in Bend. It was staffed by people from Liberal Arts who skied. There was a real bias in that, but Jerry O'Connor, the head advisor, helped run that program, enrolling students over there in upper-division courses. That began to mature some, and we got larger amounts of interest over there and toward the end of that we had 2 faculty members who had residences interests 02:00:00over there: Rob Phillips, whose name I mentioned earlier, and Sorensen. I can't recall his first name right now, he was chair of the English department and successively I gave, I funded them to help build that program in Bend. They both became acting directors of the Liberal Arts programs in the Bend area because they were going to live there anyway, and we were able to help them do that. Eventually the program became pretty self-perpetuating. That's the only thing 02:01:00that I... the whole business of internet came after I left. I was very wary of that. It seemed to me that there was no way to assure quality in what I understood about the internet program, but I know that Oregon State's reputation in that is now world-wide, so it turned out to be something that I should have known more about than I did at the time. But we do take some credit for helping build a program in Bend.

CP: You mentioned the three-year buyout at the end of your career. Tell me about the decision to retire.

BW: Well, I continued to have an office on campus. I moved it as far away, I 02:02:00moved it to what became Strand Agriculture Hall, Stag Hall. I took an office that had been full of journalisms, which was empty and then became part of the honor's college, so I had a little corner office looking right down on the quad, down the covered area. I had that corner office there. So, I kept that office and I came to the campus regularly, usually, but I stayed the heck out of social science hall, pretty much to not get in the way of the new dean. She did very well on her own, I think. She didn't need me around, but I maintained a presence 02:03:00at the university that way. Enjoyed it. It got me out of Caroline's hair and let me have a computer, telephone, and an office and dedication things with the university during that time.

CP: You've talked a lot about MacVicar already, but I have on our sheet some memories of different presidents. You interacted with many of them.

BW: Actually, when I arrived A.L. Strand, who had been president for what 20 years, something like that, was still around. The economics department had the suite of offices on the west end of Bexell Hall, first floor. The main floor, not the basement. The main floor. The other end was the president's office. In 02:04:00the middle there was a little office where A.L. Strand and two other people were doing some kind of program with the Warm Springs Indians, but it let me get to know President Strand, Dr. Strand, and over the years we knew him as county commissioner. We were involved with that as county commissioner. So, I knew Strand pretty well. I came after having come back from Mexico and getting active at AAUP, for the calendar year of 1970, I represented the federation of AAUP chapters around the system at the state board of higher education.

I attended every meeting for the calendar year, every meeting of the state board 02:05:00of higher education and every meeting of their committees that they would let me come into. I made them refuse me entry to the committee if they wanted to. They did once, maybe twice, because of secure information of some kind that they were talking about. I was at one of those meetings. I was the first faculty people at university to meet President MacVicar because he came in to a state board of higher education when he was brand new as president so I met him quite early. I came to like him a lot. Jensen had been president when we arrived, and I talked about Jensen some. When MacVicar was retiring I had reason to be in Washington, 02:06:00D.C., on other business and John Byrne had been appointed, and was not yet, we knew he was coming in and so I contacted him and took the subway out to the area where he was and had lunch with he and Shirley as he was coming into university. John and Shirley and Caroline and I had met, he was in his second year and we were in our first year here. He and Shirley were in their second year here. The English department ran a series of foreign films, and we first met them, Caroline knew Shirley from newcomers, and they were sitting in front of us at one of the foreign films thing and she tapped them on the shoulder and 02:07:00introduced me to Shirley and John, so we knew the Byrne's from 1962 on. I retired before John did. John was 2-3 years after I left. I knew Risser only as a retiree. I did have a contact about him when he was, after he had been here a couple years, three years, through the aviation contacts from Washington, D.C., because he had applied for a job at the Brookings Institution. Through the aviation thing, not through the academia, but through the aviation thing I had a chance to evaluate him as a secret reference as it were, for the institution. 02:08:00What I told them was he had a great wife, and she was. She was spectacular. Who else was after John Byrne?

CP: Ed Ray.

BW: Ed Ray. I was almost out of everything by the time Ed came in. I underestimated him. Two years ago, when we were here I made it a point to go by and pay a courtesy call and I told him I had underestimated him when he came in. I thought he came here to retire. Through CCAS I had real good contacts with Ohio State. I knew about him from the deans at Ohio State, because Ohio State 02:09:00had been the headquarters of the CCAS when I first got involved with it. The secretary and the executive secretary of the organization were members of the faculty and administrators at Ohio State, which we call OSUE and OSUW and OSUS for Oklahoma. I made a comment to Ed when I met him last year, two years ago, that I had grossly underestimated his capacity when he first arrived. I think he's been a great president. And he's revolutionary. Never in the past had there 02:10:00been a Liberal Arts-trained administrator in the presidency. He's the first I think in the history of the university, modern history anyway. The early ones probably had some religious background or whatever. I think Ed Ray has been excellent for the university from what I observe.

CP: I agree.

BW: One of the things I meant to say to you, maybe you or Larry, because that year where I represented the Federation of the AAUP with the state board I wrote a report every month about what happened at the state board and circulated it to the chapters and the members of the AAUP throughout the state. I don't know what happened to those reports. I have wondered if they somehow ended up in the 02:11:00archives here. One of the members of the state board in those days was a former governor of Hatfield, a man by the name of Holmes from Astoria had been governor and Hatfield unseated him and then appointed him as member of the state board higher education and he and Becky Johnson, a number of people from Redmond were forceful members of the state board of higher education. Holmes one time commented to me that they looked forward to getting my reports, so they know what they did [laughs]. I don't know what happened to those reports. I don't 02:12:00have copies of them. I don't know whether you do or not.

CP: I'm not sure, no.

BW: That's too bad, because that would be an alternative history of the actions of the state board of higher education. One of the things I remember vividly there was that Gilkey had managed to get the university to make priority funding request for the great hall. It was $5 million, and it was all or nothing from his point of view. $5 million. When that came to the state board of higher education the chairman of the state board committee said to Popovich, who was 02:13:00representing the university, the president of the university was not there, Popovich was leading the university, said we can't swallow $5 million in one month. We can't do that. Do you have some alternatives? On the spot he pulled that back and went with smaller pieces to get them funded. I was blown away by that. It was a terrible mistake on Gilkey's part to demand all or nothing I thought. That was the one time I spoke out to the board. I spoke how that destroyed hopes and the board was sympathetic. They just couldn't fund it.

CP: We've talked about your scholarly engagement with aviation and your 02:14:00continuing connection with the Air Force as a member of the reserve. But have you been able to continue to fly planes?

BW: I was a member of the Oregon State University flying club for 40 years and held a commercial license with an instrument rating. I never went to the highest level, which is airline transport pilot is the highest level you could go. I didn't go to that. But I flew regularly. When Caroline became chairman of the state Democratic party of Oregon, one of the things we did soon after that was make a car trip to Columbia County. Do you know where Columbia County is?

CP: Mm-hmm [yes].

BW: We went to Columbia County and then out the river to Hood River to The 02:15:00Dalles, to Pendleton, to Umatilla County, down to Baker City, well it was Baker then, back to Deschutes County, Bend, Redmond--she was visiting the Democratic county officers at that time which were her constituents. I was just driving. I said to her, you know this is crazy. Oregon's a big state. We're losing all this time driving around the state. We had to make a separate trip to Medford and Klamath Falls to get to that and Brookings. I said I'm going to do what I want to do and I was going to get my pilot's license. The club was in Albany airport 02:16:00in those days and I did go, was able, because of my Air Force background was able to ace that program, got a private pilot license in a minimum amount of time and then I had leftover GI Bills from the Korean War. That financed the commercial pilot, because GI Bill could be used for commercial pilot... for the private pilot you had to pay for it on your own, but the GI Bill would finance a commercial pilot and instrument rating. I used that and then was a member of the flying club for forty years. At one point along the line we had 9 airplanes: Cesna trainers, two-seated trainers, moonies, low and high performance complex 02:17:00airplane adjustable prop and all that sort of retractable gear which I loved to fly. I thought it was like a P51, an F51, a 200 mph airplane, almost 200 mph airplane. Took an active part in the club and its future. Helped bring it over to the Corvallis Airport, where I guess it still is out here. I had in my own mind had planned to fly until I turned 80, because there's a national organization called they flying octogenarians. What you have to do to become a member is do a solo flight after your 80th birthday, at least one solo flight. 02:18:00But we moved when I was still not 80. We moved away. I went out to the Arizona airport nearby and looked at their airplanes and talked to what's called a fixed base operator and decided that no, a strange airplane, a strange mechanics, people I don't know, and I decided I'll have to forego that ambition. So, I quit flying. Along the line though basic flying skills are like riding a bicycle. Once you know it, one you do it, you can do it. It's no problem. Instrument flying is quite different. Instrument flying you have to be proficient. You have to both legally and both safety if you want to live and fly an instrument you 02:19:00have to be current in that. So that's a whole different task, because you have to believe your instruments not yourself. You can't believe your own sense of what's happening around you. You have to believe your instruments. Over the years I have a series of flying partners to stay current. The last one was Dalrymple, by that time retired dean of Oceanography. I asked him, my previous partner had quite flying. Over the years I had a series of them, Thurston Doler, for example, who was in the speech department and president of the faculty senate along the way. A World War II B24 pilot. He was my partner for many years.

Then Dalrymple. I asked him if he would go along as a safety pilot. Because if 02:20:00you're flying practice you cover your eyes and go under the hood as they say. The only thing you can see is your instruments. You can't see outside. You have to have a safety pilot with you. I had a safety pilot who could see outside, and he agreed to do that, but he was not instrument rated and the safety pilot did not have to be instrument rated. He watched and flew with me a few times like that. I think said to himself well if Wilkins can do that I sure as heck can. He got his instrument rating after he was 70 years old. There's a guy, I think he's something of a genius. As you may know he's a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and what not. He became a very, very skilled instrument pilot very 02:21:00quickly. That was an important part of my life.

CP: Yeah for sure.

BW: I would take off instead of going to play golf like many faculty members and administrators do, I would take off and go flying. Flying was all encompassing. If you're a pilot, especially if you're an instrument pilot. You can't think of anything else. It has to be all that. That was a great relaxing. The attention involved there is a different kind of attention and greatly relaxing for me. I really liked it. I was lucky enough not to kill myself and my family.

CP: Well, the last question I have for you is you retired 25 years ago. OSU's 02:22:00changed a lot during that time period. Your reflections on change at OSU and where you think it's at at this point.

BW: I think the university has gotten better, certainly more complex, a bigger force than ever. When I was dean and made some efforts to fund a position as provost or president elsewhere, I interviewed a number of places like that, and I would go and say that the budget, the research budget at Oregon State is bigger than the academic budget and they'd go [shocked expression]. That remains the case. I haven't seen the figures recently, but my guess is the research budget here is quite a bit bigger than the academic budget these days. So, I 02:23:00think Oregon State has matured into a major force. I'm very proud to be associated with it. I proclaim myself dean emeritus and professor emeritus with great pride and enjoy coming back, this being part of it.

CP: Well, it's been great to have you back. I really appreciate this.

BW: Thank you. It's been a great time with you, glad to meet you and be part of your program.

CP: Thank you, Bill.