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Murphy, Thomas H. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Vol. 72, Number 7 (May 1971)

Are Americans losing faith in their colleges?,   pp. [9]-[24]

Page [10]

                           D AM WRITING TO EXPLAIN my resignation from the
Alumni Schools Co.
    D       e C  a r       mittee and the regional committee of the Capital
                                          I can no longer make a meaningful
contribution to the
                                        programs. To be effective, I must
be totally committed. Unfor.
                                        tunately, as a result of changes
at Z University over the past few
                X   Y                   years, I can no longer conscientiously
recommend the university
                       W   to students and parents. And I cannot with enthusiasm
ask my fellow alumni
               9            to make financial contributions when I personally
have decided to withhold
                           my support.
                              Like many alumni and alumnae, I have been increasingly
concerned over
                           the manner in which the university has permitted
the student body to take
                           over the "running of the store." Even
worse, our colleges and universities
                           seem willing to have them take over the country.
I am not anti-youth, but I
                           do not believe that there is something magical
about being 18 or 20 years
                           old that gives students all the correct answers
and an inherent right to impose
                           their views about everything on the rest of us.
The faculty has clearly demon.
                           strated that it is unwilling or unable to exercise
moral leadership and, indeed,
                           has often guided the students into actions that
are irresponsible at best and
                           dangerous at worst.
                              The university, it seems, is easily intimidated
by the students into support.
                            ing strikes, canceling classes, disregarding
academic standards, and repressing
                            individuals and groups who speak for the so-called
"establishment." By fail.
                            ing to take a stand and to discipline those who
violate campus rules, you have
                            encouraged an atmosphere in which laws, traditions,
and basic moral values
                            are held in contempt by growing numbers of our
young people.
                              I fear for the existence of Z University as
a forum for the free discussion
                            of ideas. A great chorus of anti-establishment
rhetoric has issued from a
                            vocal left-wing group on the campus, supported
by ultra-liberals on the
                            faculty. I am afraid the university has abandoned
its role of educator, to be-
                            come a champion of partisan politics. And this
bodes ill for our democratic
                              All of this may sound like the rantings of
a hard-hat conservative. But it is
                            the measure of the situation on the campus that
one who has always been
                            rather liberal politically can sound like a reactionary
when he takes issue with
                            the radical students of today.   Sincerely,
                 a       I   AM VERY SORRY to lose the services and support
of an alumnus who has
                           r worked so hard and so successfully for Z University.
I am equally sorry that
                                        you seem to have lost confidence
in the university. An institution
                                        of higher education depends on its
alumni and alumnae for
Alumnus understanding and support even in the quiet times. In troubled
                                        days like these, there is nowhere
else to turn.
                       **     I won't try to persuade you to accept any assignment
or even to continue
                       o   your financial support. But I do feel compelled
to comment on your loss of
                           faith in the university.
                              Your concern obviously centers on such perplexing
and basic questions as
                           the rights and responsibilities of students and
faculty, the problems of campus
                           governance, and the danger of politicizing the
university. We certainly share
                           your concerns. It is tempting to long for the
good old days when problems

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