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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 61, Number 9 (Jan. 1960)

Regents, rabbits, and elephants,   p. 4

Page 4

Regents, Rabbits, and Elephants
                                           at their December meeting
                                 the regents discussed many topics
                     important to the future of the University
  At their December meeting in Mil-
waukee, the Board of Regents engaged
in a heated debate, made an appeal on
behalf of the University faculty, and
took significant actions to solidify the
position of the University of Wiscon-
  The debate occurred over a resolution
voicing Regent opposition to the affa-
davit and oath provisions of the Na-
tional Defense Education Act of 1958.
This Act stipulates that all students ap-
plying for a loan of federal funds be
required to sign a loyalty oath as evi-
dence of their allegiance to the govern-
ment of the United States. The Regent
resolution of opposition feels that the
"oath provisions of the act are sugges-
tive of a trammeling of inquiry by sub-
jecting thoughts, research, and learning
to political restrictions and are, there-
fore, contrary to the sound principles
of academic freedom upon which the
leadership of the University of Wiscon-
sin, in independent research and in
scholarly learning, has been grounded."
   In a carefully delivered assessment
of the resolution, Regent Robert Bas-
sett, Milwaukee, termed such a statement
as the "height of pseudo-intellectual-
ism." He argued that this oath was, in
spirit, the same as the one taken by
those who hold a public office or serve
in the armed forces. The student recipi-
ents of the loans are "participating in
the largess of the government," he
pointed out. In opposing the Regent
resolution, Bassett argued that it would
"protect the very people who would de-
stroy the United States."
  Bassett's remarks brought a counter-
argument from Regent Arthur DeBar-
deleben, Park Falls. "These students are
not mendicants or beggars," he said. "I
don't think they should be degraded by
being described as the receipients of
largess. It would be a shocking thing,"
DeBardeleben went on, "if this Board
of Regents were to say, by rejecting
this resolution, that the colleges and uni-
versities of this country are suspect and
that the students of those colleges and
universities are suspect."
  Siding with DeBardeleben on the is-
sue, Regent Wilbur Renk, Sun Prairie,
said, "I think that we are comparing
rabbits and elephants when we compare
administrators and students."
  Regent Oscar Rennebohm, Madison,
opposed the resolution   becaus e he
thought that it should contain some
mention of thanks to the government
for making the funds available. When a
vote was taken on the question, the res-
olution was adopted by a 5 to 2 margin.
Those voting for the resolution were
Regents DeBardeleben; Renk; A. Matt
Werner, Sheboygan; George Watson,
Madison; and Carl E. Steiger, Oshkosh,
president of the Board of Regents. On
the opposition side of the ledger were
Regents Bassett and Rennebohm.
   After the smoke had cleared from the
debate over the loyalty oath question,
the Regents adopted a resolution show-
ing their concern over the failure of the
Joint Committee on Finance to recom-
mend an 8% faculty salary increase to
the Legislature. The Regents, as a re-
sult, resolved:
   "1. That the joint Committee on Fi-
nance and the Legislature be, and they
hereby are, respectfully requested to re-
store to the budget the 8%  salary in-
crease for faculty members as recom-
mended by the Governor.
   2. That the citizens of Wisconsin give
serious consideration to the relative ex-
penditures for education and for other
activities, both public and individual,
keeping in mind the serious conse-
quences resulting if our institutions of
higher education cannot maintain qual-
ity and at the same time meet the heavy
demands which will be placed upon
them in the next four years. For if the
quality of our faculty is impaired it will
take many years and many additional
dollars to build it back to the stature
that our citizens want."
  In other actions, the Regents ac-
cepted two federal grants to the UW-M
totalling $85,500. One of the grants,
for $39,400 will support a six-week
long institute in field biology for 40
high school teachers, beginning June 20.
The other grant, in physics, is for
$46,100 and is similarly designated for
an institute for high school teachers.
   "These are the first major federal
grants to be received by the University
of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and naturally
we are pleased and gratified," UW-M
Provost J. Martin Klotsche told the
Regents. "We are confident that this
marks the beginnings of a broad pro-
gram, in addition to current class offer-
ings, in our summer sessions."
   After the adjournment of the formal
meeting, the Regents, in an informal
session, were shown a plan for the fu-
ture development of the UW-M. The
plan, similar to that for the lower cam-
pus in Madison, explained by Kurt
Wendt, dean of the College of Engi-
neering, and chairman of the campus
planning committee, was the result of
exhaustive research by Leo Jakobson, in-
stitutional planner for the University
and his staff, including Thomas Dyck-
man, Richard    Tipple, and   Thomas
  In an appraisal of the plan, Karel
Yasko, state architect, said that it was
an "exciting challenge."
  Wisconsin Alumnus, January, 1960

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