MF: Missy Foy, it's the 7th of February 1990 and I'm in the office of Jim Lancaster.If you could start, I guess, by telling me a little bit about your education and career.
JL: Okay. I'm the assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, been in thatposition for about a year and have worked here at the university in one capacity in students affairs or another since I graduated with a master's degree in 1974. [I] got my undergraduate degree here in 1972 in history, and I concentrated predominately in Asian history as much as I could. And [I] got my master's in '74 and tried to concentrate in social and intellectual history as much as I could. [I] sort of liked Latin American. And then I waited and went to work and finally decided, career-wise, that I would get my doctoral degree here. And [I] got that in educational administration with a focus in higher education; and I 1:00got that in 1985. So I've been here consistently since 1968 in one way or another.
MF: All right. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about what it was like tobe an undergraduate student here, then what it was like to be a graduate student.
JL: Well, I came from a very small, rural high school in Guilford County. Wehad a graduating class of about sixty-eight people, and so life was very structured and regimented. And when I got here as an undergraduate I thought I'd died and gone someplace better. I was amazed at the scope of offerings that were available and the freedom that one had at college, and I just thought everything was great. And I couldn't imagine not being happy. Academically, it was a pretty interesting place because it was a very liberating experience. The faculty was excellent, and the quality of the faculty - the level of people that I was 2:00dealing with - were very impressive. But as an undergraduate student I was really pretty much hampered by my secondary education, and I think I still expected college to function pretty much like high school. And so it took me about two years to figure out that that really wasn't the way it worked at all. When I moved on to graduate school in history here - I had planned to go to law school and got caught in the great glut of '72 when everybody wanted to be a lawyer. And [I] decided since I wasn't going to get into law school, at least at the schools of my choice right off the bat, I'd try for a master's in history. So I went in the master's program, and it was really probably at a good point in my development to do that because I had sort of liberated myself from those earlier limitations And I think [I] had begun to understand that inquiry was sort of the nature of the beast, and history was an awfully good preparation for that. We had just an outstanding faculty at the point I was here. I think we still do, but I was working with people like Allen Trelease and Richard Current, 3:00Richard Bardolph [all history professors] and just really had a good time. You know, read a lot and got into a lot of issues and ideas and the whole concept of historiography in a way that I hadn't before. So it was a good experience. And between that graduation and sort of poking around and looking at career options and working and deciding what I wanted to do, when I finally decided that I wanted to stay in education and decided I would go ahead and pursue a doctoral degree here, then it really was a different experience. By that point, I was out and had a family and was paying for it myself. And my value system had changed a lot with regard to what I wanted out of the degree. And so it really was even more liberating. And I spent a lot of time in classes that fit what I wanted to do, doing things that fit what I was interested in and really working hard, probably academically for the first time in my life. And again, at that point I felt we had a good faculty here that I was working with. They were attuned to the kinds of things that I was concerned about. And so I just found that to be a 4:00very beneficial experience, probably as beneficial career wise as my other two degrees had been intellectually. And it was beneficial intellectually as well, but it was so specific to what I wanted to do with my career that it was very, very helpful.
MF: Yeah. Was there much difference between the two departments, seeing thatyou were in the history department for so long?
JL: There was indeed. The education department, especially the area that I wasinterested in, I think was much more vocational in its orientation. That's not to say that there were not several professors who were very academically and intellectually inclined. All of them were. But the focus of the courses tended to be more field specific and useful to my employment. In the undergraduate and graduate programs, especially in the master's program, the faculty and the 5:00pursuit and the way the program was laid out were obviously much more inclined toward the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake. And the undergirding of that, which I accepted then and I accept even more now, was that the study of history was a way to teach yourself to learn. It was a way of designing a way of inquiry for yourself about the world. And when I be - when I came here as an undergraduate and was thinking about a law degree ultimately, everyone said, "Well, history is a good field to study because - " But they never told me why. And it's a good field to study because what it teachers you is to ask questions and to ask intelligent questions and to look for ways to answer those questions. It's sort of a field in matter of inquiry. And so that was very different. The education degree, as I say, tended to be much more employment oriented in terms of - this is kind of the career you're pursuing, and this is technically how you do some of those things. And there were inquiry courses, but in higher 6:00ed[ucation] administration there tended to be much more practical sorts of courses in that regard. So in summary, I guess the two fields were really complementary. I had got a good undergirding for - sort of methods of inquiry and ways of thinking about problems. And then I had a good applications sort of program in my doctoral degree to help me apply all of that towards specific areas that I wanted to pursue. So it was happenstance, but I think it turned out really well, in my field anyway.
MF: Yeah. As a student with a social life, what was social life like on campusat this time?
JL: Men were still pretty rare when I got here. I think the ratio at the pointI came here was about thirty percent men, so we were still a) reviled or b) revered, depending on which viewpoint people took. And there was plenty of each to go around. It was a very good experience for a person from my background, and 7:00I think has had a good, a good impact on my subsequent development because it was the first time I, as a male, had been in a predominantly-female environment. And at that point, UNCG [The University of North Carolina at Greensboro] was still predominantly ruled by women. There were still a number of women in administrative positions of authority. I think that people like Mereb Mossman who was here and was equivalent to the vice chancellor of academic affairs at that point, Katherine Taylor who was the dean of academic services, both remarkably strong women, very strong careers and very strong wills. And their imprimatur was still on the institution in a major way. The leadership of student government was predominantly women, very strong women who were well prepared for their position and exercised authority in a way I had not been familiar with seeing women exercise authority. A lot of those people - I think Randi Bryant was the president [of the Student Government Association] when I 8:00was a freshman, Pam Greer was the vice president. It was a very great learning experience for me to realize that those people were interacting with me specifically on what I knew and what they knew, and my gender had absolutely nothing to do with the equation. Subsequently, as that changed, gender had more and more to do with the equation. And I have no doubt that some women later on deferred to what I was doing as a student leader because of gender issues and had nothing to do with the quality of what I was doing. That's a very disturbing aspect. I think we've recognized that and we're making a lot of efforts today to try to deal with that. But I think that's a reality of most traditional coeducational institutions, and I think I was simply fortunate to see UNCG at a different stage of development. I'm not sure that you could sustain that kind of thing given the way the world it today. I'm just saying that from my viewpoint, it was a very positive development. I don't think we could sustain that institutionally today given the market that we find ourselves in as an 9:00institution. But it was an awfully liberating experience. If you could bring that kind of experience to people without worrying about the gender makeup of the institution, but simply by the strength of having men and women compete on an equal basis, I think that would, that would be an awfully exciting sort of institution. And I think in a lot of ways we're trying to get to that in some ways here. I don't know how successful yet, because it's sort of a long-term view. But I think we've - we're at least asking some of the right questions. And because of our heritage, I think that's very appropriate.
MF: What about black students, foreign students, what to you remember about them?
JL: When I was an undergraduate, the most remarkable minority aside from menwere the black students here on campus. And that was the end of the sixties, beginning of the seventies. So we were still coming off of some of the sixties 10:00racial tensions and playing into the tensions of Vietnam, and so those two were working dynamically as very critical forces. There were a lot of noticeable tensions here, students striving to do things. Things like the Neo-Black Society were created during that period of time when I was here. A lot of questioning on both sides - the white student:, "Why are you doing this? Why is this necessary?" You know, why are you essentially being racist, from their viewpoint? Black students trying to have the white community understand why they needed to have some sort of a center for their being here, why being a minority student in essentially a different culture was so difficult for them. There was a black cafeteria workers' strike, I think in '68 or '69, that really crystallized this for a lot of people. And I think overall the racial tensions weren't so much between blacks and whites at that point on campus. There was a lot of support for black students. In fact, I remember a lot of the white 11:00students being out picketing with the black students about this cafeteria strike. But there was a lot of misunderstanding emerging from why - here we are trying to back you up, in theory. Why are you still doing the separatist thing with the black student organization? There was a misunderstanding of what being in a minority or in a majority culture as a minority really meant. I think there were a lot of people stumbling around trying to do the right things but not necessarily understanding the motivation for doing all the things that were going on. There really wasn't a major international presence. One didn't encounter international students in the way one does today. The international students association, I don't even recall that it was in existence, but certainly wasn't anywhere near as visible as it was. International students, when you came upon them, were remarkable, whereas today it's a very commonplace thing to see an international student here and really not think about it. I remember in the international house there was a student from Vietnam, and of 12:00course because of the political situation, that was remarkable in itself. But everyone was always fascinated by her background - where she'd been, what she knew, where she was going. There was a student from China in Phillips-Hawkins, and Phillips was the first male residence hall, so that was remarkable, and his presence there was remarkable. And he was always sort of a visible sort of presence. But you didn't see as many international students. There simply wasn't the presence that there is now. With regard to minority students, there was one black leader here who was very remarkable, and she's gone on to continue to be remarkable. Her name was Ada Fisher, and Ada was kind of a social conscience for the student government at that point. She was a very smart person, very bright, very quick. She was in the student legislature, was very vocal and a gifted speaker. And I think made a lot of people think 13:00about things, and not by being pedantic but simply by both the way she conducted herself and the causes she chose to represent. And then on occasions, by being pedantic, by saying, "You people need to stop and listen to this." And because at that point that was such a remarkable sort of presence amongst a bunch of white students predominantly, I think she got a lot of attention that was very good and very well deserved. And she's gone on to remain an advocate. I think she's a physician in eastern North Carolina now. But she's - she - every time I have seen her since then, she is the same person, and she has a moral center that was very unusual for an undergraduate student and probably is unusual in adults today.
MF: You were talking about - with the Neo-Black Society starting, it created alot of tension with some of the other students on campus. Could you go into that a little bit more, like what were some of the things that you remember people 14:00saying or doing or - ?
JL: Well, I think there were some roots to problems that we still grapple withon and off today. At that point there were black students here who - well, we've always said UNCG was about five years socially behind whatever else was happening. It's a result of the conservative nature and, at that point, first-generation college students, which isn't necessarily the case now. But we weren't really, had never gotten to the militancy point here in a major way. And part of that I think was due to Jim [James] Ferguson, who was the chancellor at that time, being a very humanistic and person-oriented individual. And part of it was just the character of the campus. So we had a lot of white students who were being, I guess what you would call today, good liberals. You know, they were trying to be sort of rebellious. They were trying to be supportive of liberal ideas, both anti-war and pro-civil rights. And so they felt they were backing black students in a lot of ways. In point of fact, in a lot of ways they 15:00weren't. I mean they were being - they were being rather - I can't think of the best word to describe it. It wasn't cavalier because it wasn't intentional. But they were being sort of -
MF: Paternalistic - ?
JL: Paternalistic, or benignly paternalistic, trying to do all the right thingsbut sort of dehumanizing people by doing that, taking away their right to make decisions. And nothing conscious but just, "Here, let me help you." And the black students were at the point of saying, "Fine, but we want to help ourselves, and also you don't need to help us. What you need to do is treat us like equals." And there were enough black students beginning to accrue on the campus that it was increasingly obvious that it was necessary for them to have some center for their culture, some reaffirmation of who they were as black students, some way to sort of focus with one another on a lot of the issues that 16:00were pertinent to them, and in ways that, frankly, white students weren't always going to understand. So the Neo-Black Society began, and a lot of similar organizations were coming up around the country at that point. Well, the white students simply didn't understand it, and it could not be explained to them. You could talk all you wanted to to the white students about the importance of understanding the black culture, the importance of blacks having a sense of who they were and of having support for that. But when you came right down to it, the Neo-Black Society would come to the student legislature for funding, and the student legislature would have all these other organizations competing. And their inclination was to treat the black students like everybody else in terms of an organization's funding. The black students kept saying, "You know, this is not just fun and games. This is who we are. This is important to who we are." And so there were recurring tensions, especially around the area of funding, of trying to set up this separate organization that eventually, as this went on and on and on, into the mid-seventies, the questions began to be more focused on, 17:00well, this is a black organization for black students, and all of our organizations are supposed to be open to white students. "Well, we are open to white students." The white response was, "Well, we don't see that happening." So a lot of misunderstanding, and it all went back to the establishment of this organization. And it wasn't the organization per se that caused the misunderstanding. But it became a focal point for really having white students probably voice some things that their liberal platitudes earlier had allowed them to sort of pass off. That goes on today. I was talking with a student leader recently about some of the concerns that black students have expressed on campus, which are very real concerns. There's a whole wave emerging in the country here. And this student said to me with all sincerity, "Well, we've solved those problems. I don't understand what the problem is." Well, that's what the black students have been saying to us since the sixties and the 18:00seventies. And that's what was happening then. "You haven't solved the problem. And simply saying, "I haven't done anything to anybody, you know, today or yesterday,' doesn't solve the problem that I'm dealing with as a black student." And that's what NBS [Neo-Black Society] was trying to say. And that was where the discomfort came from. And so everything that NBS became as a focus was another occasion to raise that whole discomfort up. In retrospect, it's probably a very good thing, because discomfort's not a bad thing at all. But I think it disturbed people from a complacency and, you know, from a comfort level that they felt they had really dealt with that and solve some problems. So I think that's where the tensions really came from. But it certainly hasn't been resolved, even today. I think it has been broadened though. There are many more black organizations that serve as an outlet for black students here. There are no organizations that are strictly black in terms of you can - you must be a black student to join this. But there are many more organizations that are historically or traditionally black in their focus, and they give black students 19:00many more centers of power and belonging and community. And as that happens, probably, I would hope what's going to happen is that that discomfort we saw earlier is going to broaden and broaden and generalize and be basically liquidated. It will be so diffused that eventually we'll come to accept all of that with a great deal more comfort.
MF: What are some of the major complaints that black students have on campus today?
JL: I don't think they're a great deal different than they were when I was astudent here.
MF: That's what I was getting at. Yeah.
JL: I think the intensity is different, and the focus is different. But some ofthe same root issues are there. White students tend to say, "We've made progress, and we've done this and we've come so far." And black students will acknowledge that. But the fact of the matter is - what you did ten years ago for my cousin or my parents in some cases really hasn't any impact on where I am and 20:00who I am today. "I still feel as a black student," they will say, "that I'm discriminated against, that organizations and institutional policies don't take into account the needs of the minority." A recurring theme today is that there's an insensitivity to black concerns. And that's probably worse in some cases now than it was in the past from either perspective, white or black, simply because we have come remarkably far as a society. But having come so far we do tend to say, "Geez, what does everybody want? You know? You can go get a job, you can use the same facilities, you know. You can do whatever you want to do." And that's really not accurate. Black students are looking at that and saying, "Yes, but the underlying attitudes are still there, you know? A lot of this is 21:00happening in spite of the interest and intents of society. It's happening as a result of laws and legalization, but society itself isn't comfortable with this. And that comes through to us as black people in a lot of different ways, subtle ways, frequently." Ongoing policies or programs they perceive are simply not sensitive to their needs and do things that are insensitive. You know, we just had all the incidents at Page High School here in town, which I think a lot of black students would say, you know, is probably a good example of what they're talking about. The way the newspaper here may express something may not be overtly racist in that it is suggesting somehow that blacks don't belong or blacks shouldn't be here or blacks are inferior. But black students feel it may be subtly racist in that it doesn't take into account how perceptions of events or depictions of events can, without meaningfully intending to, say racist 22:00things, make racist statements. Students have been concerned about the newspaper using the names of accused students in rape cases. We had a case earlier in the fall where there were two black students involved in a date-acquaintance rape. The paper used the name of the student who was accused. A lot of question about why you would do that. Do you do that just because they're a black student? The paper says, "No, we don't." We just had another date-acquaintance rape between two white students. The paper didn't use the student's name. Now the paper has a policy now and had a policy then that says they'll only use it if it's a matter of public record. Unfortunately, enough things shifted between the two cases in terms of the police having to review what was an institutional record protected by Buckley [v Valeo] versus a criminal record. Criminal charges weren't filed in the second case; they were in the first case. Criminal records are public information; disciplinary records are not. The newspaper technically is right, 23:00you know. They've done the correct thing according to their policy. But procedurally, they've probably created a real problem. And unless you wanted to understand all the technicalities and go through all the details, from the viewpoint of a black student, here we are doing exactly what we said. Black students are bad, and they get named. The white students are bad, and they don't get named, you know. So there are a lot of tensions - some of it is valid; some of it is invalid. But the tensions are still there.
MF: Okay. Also I want to ask you some stuff about - what do you remember as faras the atmosphere on campus with Vietnam?
JL: Again, less radical than what we were seeing around the country but sort ofpockets of intensity. I think the fact that we were predominantly a women's campus at that point still - you know, seventy percent women probably - gave it less intensity. Women had brothers or boyfriends or other male acquaintances who 24:00were going to get shipped off, but they themselves weren't going to get shipped off. So they were morally outraged about the war, but it didn't take on in many cases as direct a crucial sort of personal consequence as it did for men on other campuses. Some men here were, and they were very concerned about it. The campus as a whole was intellectually aware. And I remember still when [President Richard] Nixon made the incursion into Cambodia that there was basically a day-long strike on campus and an auditorium program and two faculty members debating the relative merits of that. So there was political awareness but it tended to be much more intellectual and much less out on the streets. And that's not all a result of it being predominantly a women's campus. The women were just as fervent intellectually as anyone else was. But I think that the direct threat to a male made some difference. I think this is a more intellectual campus in a lot of ways than other campuses were at that point anyway. I mean, we tended to 25:00intellectualize and talk about things more than act on them. The administration was fairly humanistic. They tended to be more radical than the students did in terms of providing opportunities for an outlet for passions. This - the shutdown of campus really wasn't a student move; it was the students talking to the administration and the administration agreeing, Yeah, we'll cancel classes for a day and have sort of a teach-in. So a lot of the intellectual ferment that was going on throughout the country was happening here, but I think - because of a variety of factors - the presence of women and their role in the top administration we had - that tended to come out in different ways. But it was a very obvious and aware campus concern.
MF: Okay. Backtracking, I forgot there was another thing I wanted to ask you asfar as black students went. It slipped my mind just a second here. You mentioned the cafeteria workers' strike. What do you recall about the attitudes on campus with the cafeteria workers' strike? 26:00
JL: Basically supportive. I think, at that point, a lot of students sawthemselves as liberals. and this was an opportunity to be involved in something they perceived as a liberal cause. I'm not sure a lot of students grasped the underlying - the economic - issues that the workers were concerned about at that point. And I really don't remember the specifics of the strike. I remember it was a strike between the cafeteria workers and their employer. But I think the students saw it as a cause that was liberal, and it was supporting black people and that was a good thing to do. I don't thing they really understood.
MF: It was right here on campus.
JL: Yeah, it was here. It was a demonstration you could get involved in. Idon't think they ever understood clearly en masse - I'm sure some did - en masse the intellectual and the economic concerns that those workers were trying to bring to the surface. But generally, there was support for it. I don't recall any groups being unsupportive of it. It was kind of "the" thing to do. I think it was probably the right thing to do. I'm not arguing with that. I'm just 27:00saying I don't think the students really internalized what it was all about. I think it was more a cause than it was a cause with some real vivid roots that needed to be addressed.
MF: Sort of a convenient cause.
JL: Well, perhaps. And I don't want to blanket indict everybody. I don't thinkwe were as politically aware a campus as many campuses were. I think there were people who were key in that leadership who probably did know what was going on and were very concerned about it. But I think overall, yeah, it was kind of a convenient cause for a lot of people. It was convenient, it was safe, it was a way to make a statement and then you could go back to your room or back home if you were a commuter and you know you'd done something nice. And I'm not arguing with that. You know, educationally, that's probably not a bad experience for people. But I simply don't think it had a lot of the intellectual foundation that some of the protests at other campuses had. I just don't think developmentally a lot of our students at that point were there to be able to do that. 28:00
MF: What kinds of things did students do to support the strike?
JL: The biggest thing was picket lines. There were several occasions forpickets, and students were out there. The newspaper, as I recall, took a fairly strong editorial stand about it. I think student government made several resolutions about it, the kinds of things that students organizationally have always done when they support a cause. Nothing all that different from something that may happen today that would gain student support. And there was never really an occasion to be out on the battle line. You know, there were never police called in to break up a riot or something. So they were all pretty much the pro forma things that you see students doing. It was an exercise, sort of, for a lot of students. Not a lot of difference between that and what might happen today over some kind of concerns. Again, though, there really wasn't the opportunity to make any other kind of a stand. It never got that far, partially because of the kind of administration that was here, and the kinds of students 29:00that were here and the issues involved. So it's impossible for one to say with any certainty what might have happened. That's all that really the occasion offered.
MF: All right. As far as student life was going at the time when you were here,there were a lot of changes going on. Parietal rules in, I guess, the mid-sixties had sort gone out the window. Alcohol came on campus, I guess, '68 or '69. And how were some of the changes perceived? What do you remember about that? Did it seem like a lot was happening all at once or - ?
JL: Oh yeah. We thought we were in charge. [laughs] And it, you know, it's trueof a lot of students today. Our ego was in the driver's seat more than our brains were. I mean we thought if there were something going on, then we were in the position to ride it. You know, if it was the Vietnam War or if it was black cafeteria striking or - lighting on campus I remember being a big issue; this 30:00isn't a safe campus. We had these nice decorative sort of Victorian looking lamps around campus. And I remember being in a legislative session where we were just yelling and screaming and had the business vice chancellor up on the podium and some other folks in and, "Why aren't you doing this?" And you know, we just, we were insufferable. We were terrible. And we really weren't looking at anything except the outcome. We really didn't look at the organizational sorts of problems that might have been there - budget problems, the fact that certain things had or hadn't been done. We were pretty insufferable. I mean, we were interested in the results, and that's all that counted. And I think we took that attitude in a lot of things. I remember keys and access to buildings and visitation was a big issue. Men had keys to their dorms. They could come and go anytime that they wanted to. Of course, there was only one dorm at that time. But women didn't, and women still had to sign in, sign out or check in and check out. And the only visible reason for doing that apparently was that they were 31:00that worried that women were going to lose the keys to their halls and create a safety problem. Well, weren't men going to lose the keys to their hall? No, or apparently, if they did it didn't create a big safety problem. You know, we were fairly parochial in our concerns there. I can remember during the key debates having raised that question in the legislative assembly and having a bunch of guys from Phillips Hall waiting at the back of the room to discuss with me why I was trying to take away their keys. You know, that wasn't the point at all. The point was: Why do men have keys and women don't? It doesn't make any sense. Those kinds of issues - how are you treating men, how are you treating women - were pretty major. I'm trying to think of other issues that changed. The alcohol on campus was the same thing as the lighting. You know, it's our home. Why can't we do what we want to do here? And at that point, everybody who was eighteen could drink. The big counterpoint became, "Well, you can draft us at eighteen, 32:00you know, why can't we drink in our in our rooms?" The drinking age, I think, was twenty-one then, and it came down later to eighteen later on. But why can't we drink here, and who's going to drink and what not. But alcohol was finally allowed on campus, and that was a big victory everybody thought. We weren't really looking at the liabilities of it. We didn't look at whether it was a good thing for students, whether there were any problems associated with drinking. We just wanted to know why, you know, why we can't be treated as adults. Being treated as adults was a big recurring thing. It still is, but not nearly as much as it was then, because there was so many sort of countervailing forces. The alcohol tied in to the draft, you know - that you're old enough to fight and die, but you're not old enough to drink. Key issues in visitation - well, why can't we come and go as we want to? You know, we, we're adults here and you're telling us what we have to do. And at that point we had a system of house mothers rather than residence directors, and they tended to be very paternalistic, maternalistic. It all sort of came back to that issue of, you 33:00know, what can adults do and what can't adults do? And I suspect about every day we were demonstrating why we weren't adults. But we kept acting like we were, and we kept advocating as though we were. And I - you know, students aren't a lot different from that today. I'd like to think some of the students today perceive themselves a little better than we did, but maybe not. But a lot of issues on the campus turned about rights and responsibilities and freedoms, and I think we looked at the outcomes more than we did the real antecedents and causes and, you know, what the processes were.
MF: What about some of the traditions that were going on on campus like thedestruction of Charlie [statue of Charles Duncan McIver] in front of the library?
JL: We were, the institution was just coming to grips - and this was '68 when Icame here - with the presence of men on campus. And a number of the 34:00institutional traditions had to do with basically sisterhood props, if you will. They had been devised in ways that spoke to women and didn't really speak to men. And what eventually happened with all of that, during the time that I was here, was a lot of those rituals just got rejected out of hand because men didn't see the relevance to them. And to some extent the institution was very eager to try to give the campus some relevance for men, you know, try to be a balanced campus. Looking back on it, it seems to me there were a lot of things that I - you know, I was very vocal about wanting to dump - that we could have modified and strengthened that long tradition that was a part of them and brought that up now. One of the things we're trying to deal with today is reestablishing traditions, sort of reinventing an organizational saga for this institution. And we go back and look at some of the roots. Things like the class ring was a very ma[jor] - the whole class structure was a major aspect. The 35:00class ring - there was a big dance around the obtaining of the class ring. The class jacket - there was a big social activity around obtaining of that, the status that was associated with that. Initiation of freshmen from being rats, you know, the first six weeks to being fully accepted members of the community. Some of it was silly, and some of it was kind of benign. But overall, all of it was part of the institutional fabric, and we tossed out a lot of the babies with the bathwater. Daisy Chain was a ritual that was maybe discarded right about the time I got here. You made chains of daisies - it's the school flower - and people walked between those chains of daises during the commencement ceremony. Well, we got rid of that, you know. We got rid of the daisy as the class flower, that was part of the thing. We didn't really deal with that as a university emblem. I guess from an alumnus standpoint it's still present. But you know, it died. Class colors were sort of - that went out with classes. So all of those 36:00traditions sort of just went south. And there were probably, in retrospect, some good traditions. Some of them might have died a natural death. But some of them, if we had all been a little more cognizant and if the administration had been a little more cognizant of the importance of those kinds of things ultimately to the institution, we might have built on those rather than having to reinvent them. The Charlie business - that's probably one of the few positive things that we've held on to. Everybody kept decorating Charlie's statue for all purposes. The reasons for decorating it changed as we got rid of classes and colors and special sorts of days related to that. But people still decorated it for various celebratory purposes. And when they decided that it was eroding the statue, the first men's service fraternity APO, Alpha Phi Omega, went out and sponsored the bringing of this three and a half tone rock into the campus. And at first everybody thought it was a pretty silly idea, but it was remarkable how quickly people began using the rock. And it's remarkable to me today how integral a part of the campus that's become. And the whole renovation down in front of the 37:00dining areas, where the rock is going to be ultimately, has been a major issue with students because they really see that as a focal point for their lives. So that's the kind of extension of one tradition and sort of grafting it onto another - the Charlie statue onto the rock - that we probably could have done in some other areas and didn't do and probably now regret that. I'm not sure a lot of them could have sustained, but I think a lot of them could have sustained in a different way than we did. So we wandered around for a few years without a whole lot of traditions.
MJ: Yeah, supposedly there are some unspoken rules about the rock, like whensomeone paints it, a certain amount of time before someone else can paint it.
JL: Yeah. The students have this nice hierarchy. It's - I tell parents about itin the summer orientation program because it's such an interesting exercise in self-restraint and democracy. Apparently you paint the rock, and your message is supposed to stay there for twenty-four hours. And there is no reservation period, I mean there's no way to sign up for it, and there's no official body 38:00that enforces it. But it's just an understood thing. And if you violate that, then you're sort of persona non grata for everybody else. And people, by and large, observe that. You know, they paint it and leave a message up, and twenty-four hours later somebody else may paint it. When there has been some controversy about where the rock's going to be or some concerns from the administration about how the area around the rock is treated - people painting trees and chairs and anything else in sight - a group of student leaders were called together and none of them could take responsibility for the rock, but the word went back out and they all stopped doing it, you know. So there's this kind of unseen but clearly perceived mafia that surrounds the rock, and it basically is made up of every student and every student organization who has anything to do with it. They sort of adhere to the rules, and that's a really honored and handed-down sort of tradition. So again, I just feel real strongly about the value of the rock as an extension of campus tradition here, and the way it works 39:00is, I think, is a good testimony to that.
MF: Another thing I wanted to ask you about as far as the fraternitiesdeveloping - I know they didn't start while you were an undergraduate here but while you were a graduate student. I suppose that's right about the time that fraternities started.
JL: Yeah, just about the time I was - about '74, so about the time I was comingon staff they were getting started, '74, '75. There had traditionally been a lot of resistance here to organizations like fraternities and sororities, organizations that were seen as somewhat elitist or separatist. You probably know that historically we had debating societies early on on campus. That's where the Coraddi magazine's name comes from, the names of three of the debating societies. And the students sort of made the decision on their own to disband those - this was back in the turn of the century - because they felt they were elitist. They felt they were separatist; they felt they didn't foster the goals 40:00of the community. So there was a long tradition of resisting fraternities and sororities here. The faculty long had resisted them because they felt there were a lot of sort of anti-social, anti-intellectual things that fraternities and sororities fostered that we didn't need to be about because there were other ways we could address the things they did that were positive without having them. So the struggle went back and forth, and honoraries like APO - service groups like APO - came in sort of as a midpoint. Well, we'll bring in APO. They're really not a fraternity or sorority; they're not a social group, they're a service group. Then we brought in Gamma Sigma for women. And in those days, APO was men and Gamma Sigma was just for women. We'll bring those in, and they'll fill a lot of those needs that students have for social, but they won't do a lot of the negative things because of their service orientation. Well, of course, what was happening was, the students who were in APO were pretty much masquerading as a fraternity. They did all the things and said all the things that a social group would do, but they also went there because they wanted a 41:00fraternal sort of atmosphere. And the same thing is true of Gamma Sig[ma]. And I think the proof of that is that when we finally did instate fraternities and sororities here, for a while those two organizations had a real uphill struggle. I think they've recovered now to some extent, but, you know, they were the only game in town, and they were the total outlet for students who wanted this kind of experience. When the university finally accepted that fraternities and sororities were probably going to be something we needed to try, based on the kind of student body we were emerging with - a more balanced student body, a more mainstream sort of coeducational institution in that sense - that that was something to try, that students were very interested in it, obviously were continuing to be interested in it. And it was a way to build social fabric that, perhaps because of our lack of traditions or our split identity as a women's and then a coeducational institution, we just didn't have for whatever reasons. So 42:00they tried it, and I guess the experiment is still in progress. You know, a lot of faculty still feel that social fraternities and sororities are basically negative in their focus. I think a lot of us in student affairs say, "Yeah, there are some negative things about any Greek system, but there are negative things about any student organization, any student social group." There are a lot of positive things and if you can manage the system appropriately and set up the right kind of boundaries; there are some awfully good things they do in terms of creating community and creating a sense of belonging for students. I guess the jury's still out. I know institutions around the country have debated this from the point that we were debating it up to now. The difference is most of those institutions have a strong Greek tradition. We don't. We're just emerging, in fact. So we're sort of in the enviable position of being able to determine what that tradition's going to be, and I think we're working very hard at that. It's the same thing we're doing with athletics. We don't have a strong history of the kinds of athletics that large institutions around the country 43:00that have problems in their programs have. So we have an enviable sort of opportunity here to go to Division I and have athletics, but to make a statement up front about what that tradition going to be like. So I'd like to think that that debate for fraternities and sororities is going to be resolved in a fairly positive fashion. But it would be, I think, disingenuous to say that all the faculty concerns and some of the student concerns about establishing them were wrong. They're not. And it would also be fallacious to say that there's no benefit to them. There is. And they have done a number of good things for the student life on campus that probably couldn't have happened any other way. But I think the jury is probably out ultimately as to how necessary it was to do that versus something else.
MF: What about the relationship between students and faculty? What do youremember about that, or has that changed since you were an undergraduate versus 44:00up --til now?
JL: I think when I was an undergraduate, for one thing, it was a smallerinstitution. And, of course, that would mean we had less faculty and staff. But being smaller and still coming off of the more women's college model - I think Woman's College was a more collegial institution because it was a more homogeneous institution. And basically you were talking about the predominant population of white women, probably middle- to upper-middle class, a lot of whom were strong achievers. Their basic reason for being here was to be in a single-sex college setting with a strong academic record. A lot of faculty were here for that same value - the values were common. That's not to say that we don't share a lot of those values now, but there was a much more common group of 45:00people sharing those values. So I think the opportunity for interaction there was stronger, and some of that was holding over when I came here as a student. I think there were a lot of men who were made uncomfortable by that environment when they came here. And I think there were some faculty who were uncomfortable with men being here when I was here, so that there was that detriment to the environment. But there was the opportunity to be, to have that kind of relationship. And I think the further I got into my experience and then as I went on as a graduate student that got harder and harder to sustain, because we were becoming more diverse, and the faculty were becoming more diverse. They were coming in for different reasons. And I think today that's even more so. We're obviously a more diverse population overall, not just with regard to race or gender, but age and part time versus full time and commuters versus residential. The whole value set of the people that are here is much more diverse. I mean, we know that from the kinds of student organizations that we have. The faculty become - are here for a more diverse range of reasons. The 46:00role of research has become much more emphasized so that every faculty member that's here doesn't view teaching as the thing they most want to do. That's not to say they're not good teachers. I think we have an exceptionally good teaching faculty. But many of the faculty who are here also view research as a major aspect of what they're doing. So there is less of a time commitment for that kind of interaction with students, and the institution accepts that among some faculty as one value that we're emphasizing. So I think the size, the diversity of the place, the difference in the mission of what we're doing all contributes to making it more difficult to sustain that kind of community interaction. And yet there are a lot of things we're doing that are aimed at trying to sustain that - lots of emphasis on things like the honor's program, lots of debate now about the international house and what role it has with regard to international study.
[End Tape 1, Side A - Begin Side B]
JL: We're talking about the student center now, in regard to how faculty andstudents interact. We want to build a new student center. We want to have one that will be a place that faculty may come in large numbers to eat lunch or they meet there for their faculty senates. We'll create areas in that building where it's more likely that faculty and students will have casual interactions. So we're looking institutionally at ways to make that happen again, and I think 47:00institutionally that's perceived as a value that we really want to cultivate. But there are a lot of forces pulling on both - both the students and the faculty. When you have a population that is, that is - I think we're forty percent or so of our people, maybe higher than that, work, they're part time. Those people have a tough time kind of being a traditional student and being here for five or six hours a day and really being a part of the fabric of the campus. Non-residential students have a tough time doing that. So there are less obvious opportunities for them to have interactions with one another as well as with faculty or staff, other university people. So I think it's different, and I think there is less opportunity than there was, but I think there is more institutional intent to make that happen. And so maybe that balances out in the long run.
MF: Okay. You mentioned the non-residential students. What kind of role didcommuting students play at the point when you were here at school? 48:00
JL: I think when I was here, when I first came here in '68, they were still - Idon't recall what the numbers were. I think we were still larger than the residential population at that point. But I think we were still kind of an oddity. People didn't quite know what to do with us. There was a strong - there were two rooms in the student union [Elliott University Center] called commuting student lounges. And interestingly enough, one of them had been originally for women and one for men. There was a men's club room upstairs and a women's commuting student lounge downstairs. By the time I got here, they had been merged. But there was still a little of that holdover, basically a lot of men were upstairs, and a lot of women were downstairs. The institutions - student organizations, student government - didn't quite know how to do deal with them. The commuters were dominating the student legislative assembly, what was the legislature at that point, because it was still apportioned on a head-count basis, and so we had more people and you know, we'd have fifteen or sixteen 49:00representatives in there, and we'd vote as a bloc. Well, that created sort of a problem for residential students, especially the ones who had a specific concern relative to one or two residence halls. So they didn't know how to deal with us on that basis. Parking was, of course, a problem then as it is now. It's a worse problem now because we have more people. But the university's approach to parking then was a lot more naive. The police department was a lot more naive and small town. It was kind of a security department, and we had a jovial chief of police who was kind of everybody's friend. But they were still accustomed to dealing with a fairly paternalistic - dealing in a paternalistic manner with a fairly quiescent and again homogeneous campus. And there were more men coming in; there were more commuters coming in. That's not to say those are bad people, but the kinds of problems they created, just in parking alone, were different. So you'd have parking regulations nobody paid any attention to. You'd have people parked all over the place. Towing, you know, was done but not like it's 50:00done today. People just didn't quite know how to cope with the influx of commuters. I think probably at that point, historically, the institution hadn't done a real good job of anticipating what it meant to have a commuter campus. I think we were growing faster than we really could deal with. And, of course, everybody in higher education was growing faster. And basically the response to that growth here and everywhere around the country, if you look at the history, was to say, "Well, you know, there are more and more people coming in, there's more and more money coming in. We'll just build more and more, you know? We'll do more and more." We didn't really think about where does that all end, and we didn't think about dealing more with today and what today's problems mean - are reflective of what's going to happen. So commuters just kind of dodged around. They were sort of on their own. There really wasn't a lot of thought about that. And I think really it's only been the last five or six years that we've begun to grapple with that problem the way we needed to grapple with it. We're still not there. But now we are really addressing what does it mean to have a campus that 51:00is one-third residential and two-thirds commuter. And what are the breakdowns like among those commuters, and what are their needs and concerns? And what does that say about the institution as a whole? And what is this going to do to the institution in the long term, and how does the institution need to develop as a result of that? Obviously, we look at parking differently. It's much more regulated. It's - there's a plan for how we're going to have parking and vehicular traffic on campus. We've looked at the impact of driving around on campus, on a pedestrian resident or just commuters who are out of their cars walking around. What does that do to the campus? What do intervening city streets do to a campus? So we're looking at a lot of those issues as well as the sort of social issues of what does the commuter as a student bring into the fabric, and what do we need to do to that fabric? And I think we're also looking academically at what kinds of students are commuters. What are their concerns beyond the campus that affect how they are as a student here? When I was here in '68, I didn't perceive much if any of that was going on. You know, we were just more students. And I'm not sure we perceived as commuters how different we were. 52:00We knew we were different, but, for example, during what used to be called Fall Charlies - kind of equivalent to our homecoming weekend now - they'd have Fall and Spring Charlies. That was a big concert weekend - social activities and dances and whatnot. There would be dorm decorating contests. We all decorated a thing outside of the Elliott Center and got judged on it. Got - as I remember, one year we even got a prize for it. You know, we really didn't recognize how different we were. And I think part of that was we were trying real hard to be college students as opposed to being students who happened to be coming to college. So that's, I think that's a difference too.
ML: Okay. What about the resident students and the relationship to thesurrounding community? Like for instance, now there's, of course, the infamous Tate Street, and was there much relationship to the outside community?
JL: No. Finding rental property was still tough. Again, a lot of the people who53:00owned real estate had been accustomed to having those nice young ladies from Woman's College. And what are all these men doing here? And they got some other students, men and women, who were different. You know, they weren't the same mix of folks. Not bad people, but from the viewpoint of the community, these folks were different. Some black students coming, you know, where do we put them? Some international students coming in, older students coming in, Vietnam veterans coming back, you know, what are we supposed to do with these people? Tate Street was this quiet little sleepy neighborhood village that had a couple of stores, like The Corner was still there, and that was a soda fountain. I mean, they were accustomed to having women who came down and got things that women will buy, but they didn't have a lot of things there for men. They didn't think about being a service center for commuters. They didn't have a lot of things that a commuter might want to buy at Friendly Shopping Center that might, you know, be 54:00convenient to buy there. There weren't a lot of restaurants there. There was one restaurant down there - did a booming business, but it was the only one down there. I mean, people hadn't intellectualized, "Well, gee, where are all these people going to eat? They're not all going to eat on campus. You know, what should we do?" There was another place called the College Shop that was down there I think until recently, two or three years ago. And it was this little old lady who had a very nice little shop that, I guess from my viewpoint - you know, very sexist viewpoint - would appeal to nice young ladies. But they didn't have a thing in the world that would tend to appeal to a more rigorous sort of academic environment. They tended to have postcards of UNCG [The University of North Carolina at Greensboro]. You know, they didn't have banners and buttons and hats and sweaters and whatnot. They tended to have a very narrow line of things that were very nice and delicate but, you know, it didn't look like a college shop. There weren't things like New York Pizza. There was a cinema theatre down there, and it was a nice little Greensboro movie theatre that college students used to come to with their dates. Well, the cinema began changing as the environment began changing. During the late sixties, early 55:00seventies, when hippies sort of really became popular, Tate Street sort of went through this real crisis. They didn't know how to deal with this influx of people. Some of them were hangers on to the campus. Some of them were just attracted to a campus environment without having any involvement here. And some of them were UNCG students. The hill beside the [Brown] music building became a big hangout. Hippies would sit down there and play guitar and talk. I mean, they weren't hippies. That's what the paper would call them, I don't know if they were hippies or not. They had long hair - we all had long hair - and they were wearing jeans. Well, the university got real uncomfortable with that, and the Tate Street merchants got real uncomfortable. And then bikers began to come in, and the hippies and the bikers would have words and it - "Gosh, we can't have this at our university." Never mind what's going on on Franklin Street down in Chapel Hill. So the university's response was we planted pyracantha bushes on that hill. Pyracantha bushes have long thorns on them, so we stopped the hippies from sitting on the hill. We didn't really deal with the problem, but that's kind of, I think, symptomatic of what was going on on Tate Street. It was going 56:00through this real metamorphosis. And there, too, I would say only in the last five or six years have we seen Tate Street really starting to address the fact that it's as close to a college street as we've got in a commercial area. And they're sort of starting to build on that now. You know, you see Addam's Bookstore down there, really eating up the fact that having a bookstore, whether we like it as an institution or not administratively, on the fringe of campus is a fairly logical response to having a large-scale university here. Having record shops down there, having a pizza parlor down there, having more restaurants and a Laundromat and a copy center. And you know, The Corner is still there but The Corner is very different in a lot of ways than it was. They look the same but a lot of what they carry is very different. If you look at their card selection today versus their card selection in 1968, you'd notice a lot of differences in the kinds of things they carry. So they've gone through a real metamorphosis too, and it was a painful one. I - you know, again, I don't think anybody anticipated - it's kind of like, you know, they talk about China as being a 57:00sleeping giant? It's kind of like having a sleeping giant next door. I'm not sure Greensboro has yet appreciated that they have a major university here as well as at [North Carolina] A[gricultural] & T[echnical] [State University] I don't think they appreciate either one of them yet. I think A&T, the community around A&T - because that has been historically a black institution and because the black community was enveloping, I think there was maybe more community there than there was at UNCG. But I don't think the city has ever really realized what having two major state-supported institutions in town means. And Tate Street's kind of starting to do that now. And I think some of the rest of the city is. But, you know, we still don't have the availability of rental property around here that I would have guessed would be profitable for someone. There's more now than there was, but Sherwood Forest up here was the first commercial, large-scale rental property that opened around the university that really was focused on college students, and it didn't open until '74, '75. And we have the one condo development that's over off Tate Street now. But we still haven't seen 58:00any other major large-scale apartment settings on the perimeter of the campus, and that's surprising to me. I'm surprised that the private enterprise hasn't grasped that more fully. Maybe they don't want to deal with it, you know.
MF: When you were an undergraduate compared to, say, when you were working onyour doctorate, other than the fact of the difference between being an undergraduate and a graduate, what - were there any really major differences that stood out to you as far as the campus, the social life, academic life?
JL: Between being an undergraduate and a graduate student? Master's or doctoralor - ?
MF: Well, from the time that you started as an undergraduate to the time, say,that you finished your doctorate, where there any really major changes?
JL: Yeah. One of the major ones, I guess, would be that when I was a master'scandidate here, I don't think the institution viewed us as much different from 59:00the undergraduate population. I mean, we paid all the fees and we - you know, that was kind of it. There was no organization like a graduate student council that was particularly focused on our needs. When meetings were held with - concerning student involvement - if there was a charter that said, "Well, we've got to have two graduate students, two undergrads and whatnot," there'd be someone there for the graduate student population. But otherwise, there wasn't any great shakes - that if you were going to get a group of students together to talk about a problem, you'd better include a couple of graduate students. Whereas today, we don't hold any meeting about a student concern that we don't invite graduate students to, as a rule, unless it really is demonstrably predominantly an undergraduate concern, and that's rare. There's a graduate student council today. There wasn't then. There was no grouping of graduate students that really sought to get together and say, "These are kind of common problems and concerns we have." A lot of departments have strong graduate student councils or groups now. There was none of that. There was an academic 60:00honorary group of graduate students, but you only found out about that if you got inducted into it. And that was kind of a mystery to folks, too. I think there was a strong graduate center among a lot of the students in terms of - people in the writing program stuck together and were very cohesive. But, for instance in history, I didn't feel that there was a real strong center there, which was a real loss because in a history program, especially, that would be a very valuable sort of thing for a - for graduate students. And at that point there wasn't. I don't know what their community life of the history program is today. My perception has been there's a great deal more involvement among undergraduate and graduate students with the department. But I don't think we really, we really had gotten there at the point that I was here as an undergraduate. There was a history club, but I just don't think it was nearly as active as the one today is. I - you know, graduate students really - we hadn't really grappled with what a graduate student was in '74. Now when I was a doctoral student, you know, we were just beginning to get to that consciousness 61:00more and more. There was more and more conversation about graduate student council and having a separate student government or why graduate students paid fees and what they get as a result of those fees. And that's still evolving to some extent. But today the institution is much more aware of its graduate population, its obligation, and graduates as consumers and what their needs are than it was then. You know, a graduate student today may say, "Well, gee, they still don't do a whole lot." But my perception is we're a lot more aware of it than we were when I was a student.
MF: Okay. Are there any other things that you want to make sure you don'tforget to mention? I know that's a kind of a - let's rack your brain real quick, right?
JL: You know - well, two things. One's anecdotal and humorous, and the other ismore serious, I guess. The anecdotal part is that we used to jokingly say that the - it came home to you what kind of campus you were on in '68 if you were 62:00male and you opened the door for women, because you'd be going to class, and you'd open the door and you'd just stand there. And you'd keep standing there because there'd be this flood of women coming through. And you know, here you are, this genteel southern lad, and you were taught you were supposed to open doors for people, so what do you do? Do you let go of the door, you know? What do you - and that really wasn't a big problem. I mean the first couple of times you did it, you recognize it and then you go, "Hmm, well, I'm just - well, I'll open the door, and then I'll go on." Or you got accustomed to people opening the door for you or something. But it was a, you know, social adjustment for people that were coming here. And not, again, not a bad thing - a good thing, a good thing that people dealt with differently than they maybe had dealt with in the real world. But I think the thing that I saw as a real value - and I said this when we started - I think back on the number of women administrators and faculty that I saw who were really capable and creative and scholarly. And I had come from a fairly women's centered environment anyway. My father had died when I was 63:00younger, and I had been raised in a matriarchal home. So it wasn't a big shock to me, but it was kind of building on that. So I thought that was a real benefit, and I think not necessarily just with regard to women, but that kind of diversity which we're talking about a lot now as a university - wanting to be more culturally more diverse and encouraging minority faculty and more women faculty and so on. That kind of diversity is a real important thing. And I guess that's one reason I really support that notion here today, because I benefitted from it in a different way when I was here. We weren't diverse in the sense that we're talking about today. But we were diverse in the sense that the roles of men and women were very different perceptually than they had been where I had come from educationally. And I guess that's why today I, I'm just fairly supportive of that whole idea of diversity on the campus. I think it's a real strengthening sort of thing. The big buzz word is empowerment. I don't like that 64:00word, but it's true. I think it does empower individuals to deal more realistically with the world around them when they see that. So I - that was a real benefit to me as an undergraduate. And I'd like to think we're trying to construct a similarly sort of diverse environment today for students.
JL: Is that it?
MF: All right.
JL: I go on too much.