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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 66, Number 2 (Nov. 1964)

Provost Fleming tells the faculty society's problems are our problems,   p. 6


Page 6


Provost Fleming tells the faculty
Society's Problems
are Our Problems
U NIVERSITIES "do not live in
    splendid isolation-the problems
of society are our problems," the
University's first Madison campus
provost, Robben W. Fleming, told
the UW faculty in October.
  "The Wisconsin farmer who finds
himself in economic difficulty, the
industrialist who must diversify and
find new products in order to sur-
vive, the worker who finds himself
displaced by the progress of a new
technology or unemployed in an af-
fluent society, all are of concern to
us," Prof. Fleming said in his first
appearance before the Madison
faculty.
  "We will prosper as a university,
both internally and externally, to the
extent to which we are able to see
one another's problems and address
ourselves to them," he said.
   No longer, the provost stated, are
the boundaries of the state the
boundaries of the campus. He con-
tinued:
   "Today the boundaries of the cam-
pus reach the shores of the nation,
many foreign countries, and even
into outer space.
   "Almost one quarter of our total
budget comes from federal grants,
and some of our programs are al-
most wholly supported     by  such
funds. This is as it should be. Heart
disease and cancer do not recognize
,6
state or even national boundaries.
The exploration of space transcends
all national interests.
  "The adequacy of the world's sup-
ply of food to meet the requirements
of a runaway population is our prob-
lem as well as that of the rest of the
world. Poverty is not just a political
slogan in the United States, but the
scourge of our planet. In our own
highly industrialized society, work
is no longer the benchmark to which
all else must be tied, and we are
challenged to find constructive ways
to use our leisure.
  "These problems of society are
our problems."
  Prof. Fleming who took over Sept.
1 as first Madison campus provost,
noted a few of the highlights of the
current record-breaking registration
of students on the UW's 11 cam-
puses. He said that less than half of
the total freshmen are on the Mad-
ison campus, and that during the
past 10 years, the enrollment of men
has doubled, while that of women
has tripled.
  Graduate enrollment, he said, has
increased by 17.4 per cent over last
year compared with a 5.1 per cent
climb in undergraduate registration,
with substantial increases in first-
year classes in law and medicine.
  These trends, he said, will neces-
sitate some changes in budgetary
planning because instructional costs
are higher than anticipated.
  If Wisconsin is to have vigorous,
dynamic departments, schools, and
colleges, then "ardent advocacy in
the cause of one's own professional
needs is not only defensible, but
necessary," Prof. Fleming said. He
added:
  "But when we must at last make
choices, it is the welfare of the Uni-
versity which must come first.
  "This suggests that compromises
must and will be made. There is
some danger in speaking of com-
promise. It will suggest to you that
all of our internal differences will be
settled by finding a convenient half-
way point between the contending
forces.
  "This is abdication, not compro-
mise. No one need apologize for the
virtues of true compromise. It is in
the very fabric of our lives, whether
within the home, or elsewhere. True
compromise in our case will simply
represent our collective judgment as
to the best course which the Uni-
versity can follow."
  Prof. Fleming, a UW alumnus and
former member of its faculty, was
on the University of Illinois faculty
for 12 years before returning to Wis-
consin this fall. At Illinois he served
as professor of law and director of
the UI Institute of Labor and In-
dustrial Relations.
Wisconsin Alumnus


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