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Oral History Interview with J. Carlyle Sitterson, November 4 and 6, 1987. Interview L-0030. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Former University of North Carolina Chancellor J. Carlyle Sitterson recalls the dramatic changes the university underwent during the 1960s. Appointed chancellor in 1966, Sitterson was immediately faced with a variety of student issues, including student visitation, dress codes, and privacy issues. Additionally, Sitterson cites the Speaker Ban law, Jim Crow facilities, and the Vietnam War as flashpoint topics for student activists. To maintain communication with students, Sitterson employed an open-door policy for student advisory committees, which brought concerns to him. Sitterson notes that UNC officials used open forums with university administrators or state politicians to preempt violent student riots. The proliferation of radical student activities on campuses nationwide produced fears of student sit-ins at UNC. Desegregating the university student body and faculty were additional changes facing Sitterson. The desegregation of faculty, Sitterson argues, was a more difficult proposition, since black faculty cost more due to the limited number of skilled applicants. Sitterson says that he walked a tightrope between his superiors and his faculty and that his support of hiring black staff further distanced him from the Board of Trustees.
    Excerpts
  • Beginnings of equalized gender relations at UNC
  • Tensions between the UNC student body and administration over the Speaker Ban
  • Impact of UNC professors on campus life
  • Lack of violent social unrest at UNC
  • Complexities of faculty desegregation at UNC
  • Strategies for recruiting black students to UNC
  • Sitterson's relationship to President William Friday and the student body
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.