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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 63, Number 8 (Dec. 1961)

Medical School crisis comes to head as Dean Bowers is dismissed,   pp. 18-20


Page 19


ported Dean Bowers throughout these
discussions.
  "The action of the department of
surgery involved faculty status of an
individual being considered for the
chairmanship of the department, and
this action was dependent upon the
following generally accepted faculty
regulation:
         The dean of the college or
  school to which a department be-
  longs, after consultation with the
  president, and after receiving the bal-
  lot as herein provided or after af-
  fording opportunity for such ballot,
  shall appoint a chairman from the
  members or professorial rank.. '
  (Law and Regulations Governing the
  University of Wisconsin)
Since the candidate under consideration
did not have professorial rank at Wis-
consin and the department of surgery
voted against approval, no action could
be taken according to the rules."
   Following this impasse, the President
then went on to explain the measures
taken to resolve the matter. An ad hoc
faculty committee, was appointed on
January 24, 1961 "to examine the pro-
cedures employed      by the faculty,
departmental chairmen, executive com-
mittee, and the Dean." On May 24,
1961, another and more dramatic devel-
opment took place. In a confidential let-
ter to President Elvehjem, Dean Bowers
said, "I tender my resignation as dean
of the Medical School to become effec-
tive on a date to be determined.
Although this is done with great reluc-
tance, the present situation leaves me no
alternative."
   "AM you know," President Elvehjem
continued, "this resignation was dis-
cussed thoroughly by the Regents of the
University on June 5, 1961-and Dean
Bowers was given the opportunity to ex-
press his feelings and to present the
views of five supporters. After this pres-
entation by the Dean, he withdrew his
resignation." Following the June meet-
ing of the Regents, President Elvehjem
said that he "hoped that progress would
then be made to settle the difficulties
and that we might proceed in a satis-
factory manner. However, during the
summer there was no improvement, and
in fact the situation deteriorated." He
then went on to state that the Medical
Wisconsin Alumnus, December, 1961
In informal conferences held before the Regents began their' meeting, the
principles in
the Medical School dispute had a last-minute opportunity to confer on matters
relevant
to the affair. In the top picture, Attorney General John Reynolds (center)
and Regent
President Carl E. Steiger (right) huddle while University President Conrad
A. Elvehjem
reads over his formal statement on the matter. In the bottom picture, Dean
Bowers
(center) with two of his three attorneys, James E. Doyle (left) and Edmund
J. Hart.
School advisory committee, continuing
its study, had presented opinion which
recommended: 1) that Dean Bowers
did not have the support of a sufficiently
large number of his faculty and that
he be advised to resign as dean; 2) that
the chairmanship of the department of
surgery be filled by someone from out-
side the department-"This opinion is
based on the conviction that the recent
conflict has involved a contest between
two extreme groups within the medical
faculty and that the best interests of the
Medical School would not be served by
the clear victory for either group."; and
3) that the traditional strong role of
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