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Title: Oral History Interview with J. Carlyle Sitterson, November 4 and 6, 1987. Interview L-0030. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Sitterson, J. Carlyle, interviewee
Interview conducted by Dean, Pamela
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 148 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-09-13, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with J. Carlyle Sitterson, November 4 and 6, 1987. Interview L-0030. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0030)
Author: Pamela Dean
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with J. Carlyle Sitterson, November 4 and 6, 1987. Interview L-0030. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0030)
Author: J. Carlyle Sitterson
Description: 166 Mb
Description: 46 p.
Note: Interview conducted on November 4, 1987, by Pamela Dean; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Kelly Bruce.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series L. University of North Carolina, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with J. Carlyle Sitterson, November 4 and 6, 1987.
Interview L-0030. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Sitterson, J. Carlyle, interviewee


Interview Participants

    J. CARLYLE SITTERSON, interviewee
    PAMELA DEAN, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
PAMELA DEAN:
This is Pamela Dean. It's the fourth of November, 1987. I'm going to be talking to former Chancellor Carlyle Sitterson in his office in Hamilton Hall.
So let's start with the fall before you became Chancellor in February of '66. There was this controversy where the president of the student body and his girl friend had been charged with…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
They were charged with spending the night in a fraternity house, which was presumably closed at that time.
PAMELA DEAN:
It happened during the summer?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
During the summer, that's right. I don't remember what month, but I think August sometime. Now wasn't she a student at Greensboro during the regular year?
PAMELA DEAN:
I believe so. She was here during summer school.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. That's correct.
PAMELA DEAN:
This came up before the various judicial…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
It came up before the various student agencies. At that time, the University, as you know, had separate councils, procedures, and so on for female and male students. It was separate, and that was just a part of the tradition. I expect that all southern colleges, and maybe colleges everywhere at that time [had this]. I think it was probably general. Now, when that happened, it meant, of course, that these two offenses went before different bodies. The Women's Council disciplined this young woman, and it resulted in, as I recall, a rather serious penalty for her at her own institution, Greensboro.

Page 2
PAMELA DEAN:
Well, she was expelled from here.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, suspended, I guess, what it's now called. Whereas the male involved, who happened to be the president of the student body here, received little or no—I don't remember what is was…
PAMELA DEAN:
He got an official reprimand.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
A reprimand.
PAMELA DEAN:
Which meant that it was just a notice written on his record.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Exactly.
PAMELA DEAN:
A slap on the hand.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Now in the discussion at the Chancellor's level, and there were a number of people involved. Students were present, and I was present, of course. The Dean of Students was present.
PAMELA DEAN:
You were Dean of the College at that time, is that right?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I was Dean of the College, that's right, and my view of it from the beginning was these were two people, to be sure, one happened to be male, one happened to be female. They were both charged with precisely the same offense at exactly the same time under exactly the same circumstances, as I saw it. Thus, it seemed to me to be elemental justice that they should both be dealt with in precisely the same manner. Now, that did not prevail. That view did not prevail, and…
PAMELA DEAN:
This was in part in response to students who said that this was a student justice affair, and the administration should not be dictating…

Page 3
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Exactly.
PAMELA DEAN:
However, a lot of the students agreed that this was not a fair disposition of it.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Oh yes, I'm sure a lot of people did.
PAMELA DEAN:
And there was a recall?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Yes, that's right.
PAMELA DEAN:
There was a recall petition to recall him from the office.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Yes, that's right. It didn't prevail. That's correct. Well, I think this is an illustration of one of things that could come out of one kind of structure that reflects a different age with different mores and different practices, and a new age in which new groups would not perceive things in precisely the same way that they did earlier. For example, under the double standard of a long time ago, people would say, well, it's quite all right for a man to do what he wants to but a woman's got to pay the price, you know. So I think that this was a period, in a way, in which you had new mores emerging. People were beginning to see the injustice of that kind of double standard. I think that's really about all I had to say on that subject. I felt very strongly. I remember that I was so incensed by the obvious, it seemed to me to be. Trying to find a solution to it wasn't easy but the injustice of it was just to me, just almost unbearable.
PAMELA DEAN:
I think this is really typical of the immense changes that were going on in this period. As you say, you've got an archaic system on one hand which deals with women differently;

Page 4
you've got the growing pressure for autonomy on the part of the students…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Exactly, that's right.
PAMELA DEAN:
Your position on this, in favor of equality, was putting you at odds with some students who wanted to say, "It's our business."
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Exactly.
PAMELA DEAN:
The administration should have nothing to do with it.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right.
PAMELA DEAN:
But other students were not in disagreement with you because they were saying, "Yes, equality is important."
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, it's one of those things that there wasn't any clear-cut way it could be resolved to the satisfaction of everybody.
PAMELA DEAN:
Right. So you became chancellor in February.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I became chancellor the first of February, 1966. That was right in the middle of the Speaker Ban. That was another factor that in a sense kind of, it would have been probably a lot better for my chancellorship if I could have come in at a time of tranquility in which there wasn't any…
PAMELA DEAN:
Certainly.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
But that just wasn't to be. The Speaker Ban thing had been, of course, a major source of tension for the preceding two years. There was an intensity about the thing. As you know we had the governor set up a special commission. We had a special session of the legislature. They had modified but not repealed the Speaker Ban Law. They had then put the responsibility on the

Page 5
institutions to develop various kinds of procedures for dealing with visiting speakers, etc. which we were in the process of doing at that time, just as I came in. One thing that ought to be clear about this, and it's confusing to a lot of people, that is, in the fall of 1965 when I was still vice chancellor, just before the change, just before Sharp resigned, the invitation came from various groups to invite the same two speakers who had already been turned down under the original law. The petitioners claimed that it was a new situation because they said this special session had now passed amending legislation that put it in the hands of the institutions. So what we did, and I participated strongly in that with Sharp, was to recommend to the executive committee of the Board of Trustees that these two speakers be permitted to come and speak. In fact, I prepared, at the chancellor's request, the presentation of the kind of structure that we would do, in which we would have somebody on the other side, and we'd have a panel discussion that would assure… A lot of people said, you know, that you'd just let these people come in and indoctrinate people, see. That was one of the…
PAMELA DEAN:
Right.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
So we said we'll obviate that by having both sides present for discussion. Well, the trustees were very wary of this. They were very wary of immediately taking action as soon as the thing was amended to overturn the decision which had already been made. So they were sensitive. I think it's hard for us in Chapel Hill, we're kind of insulated. It's hard for us

Page 6
to realize how sensitive they are to forces, you know, around that get to them and that kind of thing. When we presented this proposal to the executive committee, they debated it. Oh gosh, they debated it for hours. Then they recessed and came back again but they said no. The reasoning was they had not formulated the various procedures which they were authorized to do.
PAMELA DEAN:
And they didn't want to jump in and make decisions without the basis of…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. So then they made all these, that's when the trustees did establish all these procedures. That would have been between February and May. All this was going on. Well now, soon as they got all of the procedures, and under that procedure you had to have a faculty-student committee to review all persons who fell in this category of speakers who were either communist or had taken the Fifth Amendment, those two categories, of which both Aptheker and Wilkinson, they fell into that category. Now, the interesting thing to me was my view of Aptheker. Well, Aptheker had come here on the eve of World War II, and I had appeared on a penel with him at that time. I mean it was no big deal from my point of view with Aptheker or Wilkerson. The absurdity of the thing was just so overwhelming but that didn't mean it was unimportant to those forces because it had become blown up into a great issue in the public mind. I've forgotten the exact date when the invitation came to me. I was then Acting Chancellor, you have to remember, so it came to me again. So we put it in the procedures. It went through the faculty-student

Page 7
committee. The faculty-student committee voted by a substantial majority to reject these two. The president, the incoming president of the student body was on that. He was Bob Powell, a very able young man, and a person with whom I got along very well.
PAMELA DEAN:
This was the one who was going to be president in the fall of '66?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's correct, that's right.
PAMELA DEAN:
This is not…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Not Paul Dickson anymore.
PAMELA DEAN:
Not Paul Dickson who was the one who we were discussing before.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. Now, he had not, I don't think, I'm trying to think of whether he had already taken office by May. I can't remember. Anyway, he was known to be the major figure for the student body. They recommended that it not be approved. Well, I then took it to the Advisory Committee, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee, which is a faculty committee. They likewise recommended that it not be approved. I didn't approve, setting forth what I thought was my basic reasoning. Mainly that the issue was whether or not I, as a subordinate official at the University, should override the Governing Board, which had already turned down the same invitation. During all that time I tried to get the students to invite, in fact, we announced that we would be glad to entertain invitations to communists to come, and various departments did invite several to come during that time. But that didn't deal with these two. So I don't know at

Page 8
exactly what point the students had decided they had had enough of all this. It had been going on now for a couple of years. Let's get it in the courts. At some point in the discussion Mac Smith, an attorney in Greensboro, also perceived this as a troublesome thing for the University and an infringement on rights and so on. How he and the students got together that I don't know, but they did. I think it was their reasoning that they said the only way this thing can be put behind us is by judicial action.
PAMELA DEAN:
How did you feel about that? What did you think of that idea?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, to tell you the honest truth, I think that's correct. My only complaint about it is why it hadn't started a couple of years before then, and I have raised that question. If you go back to '63, right after it was passed, I joined with a group of people here called the Friends of the University. We met privately, and we raised some funds, and we put out a documentary critique of the thing. That was in the fall of '63 and through '64, during the time that Chancellor Aycock was Chancellor. The tactics at that time were to educate the public so that the public would understand this, and then the Legislature would repeal it and so on. Well, that's very good ideally, but I guarantee, you get out in the public domain and try to educate in an environment, mental environment, that was present at that time and try to educate them to this… Another thing I think we have to recognize is that this University, this state, and the South were going through some

Page 9
very profound changes. Many people were fearful of what was… And of course, there's a certain kind of paranoia about communism in America anyway, and they say "Well, maybe communists are involved in all this kind of change." It was startling, startling to them, you see, and I just think trying to get the public at large to take a position, that you and I deem to be really hardly controversial, is not quite so easy, and we didn't really succeed at it. We succeeded to a certain degree, but we didn't get to the point where the legislature was willing to actually repeal that. And they never did. The courts overturned it, and that's what happened.
PAMELA DEAN:
Chapel Hill has always been seen as the hotbed of liberalism in North Carolina and seen with both a mixture, I think, of pride and fear, anxiety.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Pride and also uneasiness. That's right, that's correct. It's always been that way.
PAMELA DEAN:
And this was another example of it.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
It doesn't really mean that Chapel Hill as the University is so far out in left field at all. It just means that in the society and environment in which it functions, it's always been ahead of the society at large, and it would be very sad if it were not.
PAMELA DEAN:
Well, it's function is to educate, not just students, is what your suggesting, I think.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. Take the history of Chapel Hill and the University together. That's been true. Well, let's see now, have we, do we need to…

Page 10
PAMELA DEAN:
One point I want to clarify. The way you saw your role in this was, and your objection to permitting these two speakers to speak, was a matter of procedure and hierarchy of the University. It was not on the issue itself in any way.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
No, that's correct. That's absolutely right. So far as those two were concerned, again, as I intimated, I couldn't put all this in writing, but as I intimated to them, I said it isn't even these two speakers that I object to, it's the timing of the thing. What action I take would be clearly perceived to be a conflict between me and the Governing Board.
PAMELA DEAN:
And you're just coming into the position of Chancellor.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Exactly.
PAMELA DEAN:
That's not the way you start off if you want to get anything done.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
It couldn't have happened, the Dean of the Law School (a member of the Advisory Committee), said. I proposed to the Advisory Committee, I said, "What if I just do this and just overrule these trustee decisions?" And he said, "You're talking about anarchy. It won't prevail." He said, "If you take this action, what you've done is taken on your superiors, in structure, in code, and so on." And the reason I remember that so well is because I had gotten so sick of this, I went home at lunch, and I said to Nancy (my wife), "You know, I just can't stand going through this anymore. I think I'm just going to go ahead and admit these speakers, and I'm going to tell the Advisory Committee this afternoon I've considered it finally, and I've had all I'm going to deal with this." That's when these

Page 11
comments were made, and it made me take a second look at this. Well, is this going to accomplish anything, or will it be a lot worse?
PAMELA DEAN:
What would have happened if you had gone ahead and done it?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I don't know.
PAMELA DEAN:
Would you have been fired?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I don't know that I'd have been fired. I hadn't been made Chancellor yet.
PAMELA DEAN:
You would not have been made Chancellor?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, I probably would not have been made Chancellor. I think that's, although I don't know. There's no way to really know what would have happened. Let's put it this way, it would have created a crisis in the working relationship between the Chancellor and the Board which would have been really untenable. I think that's the thing we'd have to say. It might well have been that I would still have been made Chancellor, but I can tell you this, from some later episodes I had, if you get yourself in this kind of relationship with the Board, it's impossible to function.
PAMELA DEAN:
Let's go on and look at some of these additional issues that came up during this period, particularly the ones that focused on women again. The self-limiting hours issue, the question of closing hours in the dormitories for women, came up about the same time. This came up in…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
There were some interesting, and retrospectively they seem amusing, but they were hot issues at the time. One of the

Page 12
interesting things involved the young woman who was editor of the Tar Heel, and she had been late coming in a couple of times. The old curfew time, the Women's Council, I'm trying to think exactly what, whether I was Chancellor then or whether I was Dean then. Anyway, it came forth that they had a rule whereby a student could not hold certain campus positions if that student was under certain types of disciplinary action. So when the Woman's Council disciplined this young woman, technically she would have had to have been removed as editor of the Tar Heel. Well, I refused to do that, regardless of the structure, because I said that was a case in which a certain type of offense had an undue adverse impact upon that recipient, and I just didn't think that that made any sense at all. But that made a lot of people furious. Again, that was during a time when women went before Women's Court and men went before Men's Court. The question of visitation which of course…
PAMELA DEAN:
Let's stay with this closing hours because there's one specific thing I want to ask you about here. In February of 1968, the Women's Residence Council had already, let's see exactly when it was, proposed that women over 21 and seniors with parental permission be permitted to come and go without closing hours. The Administrative Board of Student Affairs approved this in general. I think they were suggesting that one dormitory be set aside with this arrangement. You, however, said at that point that closing hours had to be maintained.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I don't remember this at all, so I can't…

Page 13
PAMELA DEAN:
Quote, "University residences assigned for occupancy by women students must maintain set closing hours." The Women's Resource Council appealed and shortly after that in late March…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
This is '68?
PAMELA DEAN:
This is '68. You set up a joint committee of students, faculty, and administrators to consider this question of closing hours. Do you recall that process at all?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I don't recall that because, one reason I can't recall it is because we had so many different things going that I can't remember which was which.
PAMELA DEAN:
Your initial impulse, despite the recommendations of the Women's Residence Council and the Administrative Board of Student Affairs, was to say, "No, the rules have to stand."
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Maybe so.
PAMELA DEAN:
Okay, I was hoping we could recall some of your thought process.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I just don't recall that. I know the Dean of Women, the then Dean of Student Affairs, and so on were dealing with this, but I don't know how many times I looked at [it] or under what circumstances.
PAMELA DEAN:
Okay. Well, when the Residence Council appealed your decision, you did set up a committee and charge them with coming up with a policy.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Okay.
PAMELA DEAN:
Committees were something you resorted to frequently.

Page 14
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, I did it for two or three reasons. Number one, at that time, students were not involved in much protest, although we had a great tradition of student government. The student government would operate here, and the rest of the University would operate here, and they didn't really have…
PAMELA DEAN:
Student government could only decide those very narrow things that the University had decided.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Exactly. We had virtually no students on any committees to speak of. About the only ones that I know of that had any students on them were scholarships and student aid.
PAMELA DEAN:
Did you come into the chancellorship with the intent of including students or was that a response to student pressure?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, I came in with an idea that things were changing on American college campuses and university campuses. Among those changes would be a greater involvement of students in the life of the University. Now, I did not have a clear perception of how that involvement should take place. In other words, I didn't have any structures in mind but an obvious early area, as I saw it, was student affairs because that, in a sense, was the life of the students. They should be involved in all those processes. Again, I wrote a letter at some stage—you'll find that I sent out a letter to all the University committees in which I pointed out the change in past traditions, the change in mores and so on and suggested that they take under consideration the addition of student members to all of these committees. That, I thought, was a very important symbolic step about the directions that the University should go in. But I did not have

Page 15
a clearly designed goal as to what I thought they should achieve. I thought the first thing to do was to get them involved in all these processes. I think one thing you'll find is that the campus changed drastically, ultimately as a result of all that. It established the tradition of involving them. They were then involved in curriculum decisions, the whole evaluation of undergraduate education. They were major factors in it. So I think that would explain my view of it. Now, I didn't always agree with everything they did but I didn't have as much basic disagreement… The problem basically is when you're making changes… Sharon Rose (student leader) and I used to, we had some extensive discussions about it because I have great admiration for her. She was a person of tremendous ability and sensitivity and so on.
PAMELA DEAN:
She was, among other things, a representative to student government from the Residence Council, if I remember rightly?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right.
PAMELA DEAN:
She was very active and a leader among the women advocating these changes.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's correct, and she could perceive the complexity of the process of change and the different clienteles that were involved in all this. One of the particulars is it got more sensitive in respect to visitation because that was…
PAMELA DEAN:
Yes, let's talk about that main factor.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
My view of visitation was that certainly there ought to be an opportunity for men and women to have social relations with

Page 16
one another and so on. There should be facilities that would facilitate that. Unfortunately, the campus at that time, in its various physical arrangements, didn't have much, there really wasn't much opportunity for that. But then when you come to the question of students visiting one another in rooms, then you begin to face the question of, well, does that mean under all circumstances, etc? Today, that's what we would say.
PAMELA DEAN:
That the University has no role in setting controls on…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. See, we get the whole questions of in loco parentis. In loco parentis was the accepted doctrine under which women went to college at that time, universal, as far as I can tell, throughout the whole country, not a particular southern phenomena.
PAMELA DEAN:
No, you're right.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
But probably more entrenched maybe in the South in the sense that the South has always been a little reluctant to see women and men treated exactly alike and may still be, I don't know, in some areas. All you've got to do is look at the attitude of the southern states on women's suffrage. I mean, even that thing, how far…
PAMELA DEAN:
Was it '72 or something like that before North Carolina passed it?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
North Carolina, exactly. I mean that's an illustration of what I'm talking about. On the visitation, my view of that, and it still is to this extent, that visitation is certainly all right at any day and time, but there has to be some kind of rule

Page 17
of privacy. Either as a result of practice by the individuals involved… If they abuse it so that it actually jeopardizes and interferes with the student's educational process or opportunity to sleep, then the University has a responsibility to do something about it. Now, I don't know the best process about it, today, I'm talking about right now. But, for example, some parents would come to me and say, "Well, I don't care what my daughter's roommate does but she ought not to be forced out of her room so that this visitor can spend the week-end." Well, you can't answer in a way in which you say, "Well, I'm sorry but that's just the way it is." I mean that just won't wash.
PAMELA DEAN:
But what can the University, what is a legitimate role for the University?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That was it. At that time, what we attempted to do was to say you can have visitation up to a certain time of the night. During the week, up to twelve o'clock, maybe, the week-end, one or two o'clock. I've forgotten the exact time. And that was simply an effort to try to find a way to deal with this practical question. If we were trying to keep men and women away from one another, there're plenty of times for them to be together between, all day long up until one or two o'clock at night.
PAMELA DEAN:
You suggested that Sharon Rose was one of the student leaders who could see the complexity of those kinds of issues.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Exactly, and as I said to Sharon, I said, "We are an educational institution, and if we're truly one, this is one of the greatest changes taking place in our society. It's our responsibility to try to educate people, not to say you're just

Page 18
dumb and therefore we'll ignore your views about it." That's not the way to educate people. We don't educate students that way. Sharon, I think, perceived the complexity of the problem. That didn't mean that she agreed with me. Don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to put words in her mouth. I wouldn't do that. But I think she perceived the multiple facets of the problem.
PAMELA DEAN:
How about some of the other people that you had to work with on this? You had multiple constituencies here as in everything you did.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, one of the interesting things about this, when we set up these various regulations for visitation, the students did not like it. They requested that they be permitted to present their views to the Visiting Committee of the Board of Trustees when the Visiting Committee came here. I said, "Well, sure, I'll be delighted for you…" Of course, no Board of Trustees is going to issue a statement in which they would approve unlimited visitation of the sexes, not in North Carolina at that date.
PAMELA DEAN:
One of the issues maybe we should mention here is the open door rule which was part of the complexity of this.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Yes.
PAMELA DEAN:
That doors should remain open during visitation.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, a lot of those details, of course, what it illustrates is the difficulty of trying to write down things like that for what should be normal relations between male and female undergraduates. The details and how they were written down at different times were really written down by the Board or special committees of Student Affairs, but I don't really think I had any

Page 19
active role in making these. I defended them and tried to explain them and interpret them and etc. I don't even, can't even remember the specific—I do remember a lot of arguing about that question of whether doors should remain open, [and] if so, how far should they be open. There was a lot of, you know, Bob Bennett at Housing, whether if the door's cracked, does that satisfy the rule that it's open? I think one of the very interesting things in all this, we're celebrating the new status of women in the University, and I don't know anybody that had a harder time addressing that than Katherine Carmichael. She was a great defender of the "southern woman," but the southern woman in the traditional sense, not the new southern woman.
PAMELA DEAN:
Yet she herself is a professional woman who is like, in some ways, a new [southern woman].
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, that's true, but it's… Katherine took a great deal of pride in what, I think, she would perceive as the ideal of the southern woman. That is an ideal that included education, a profession, but nevertheless, still that traditional lady. That's the way I perceive it. I never saw anything about it that didn't correspond with that. Thus, a lot of the new things were coming in. There was a time in which the women had regulations about what they could wear. It even went that far.
PAMELA DEAN:
And she… ?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
She was a great subscriber to that, as far as I could remember.
PAMELA DEAN:
No shorts, no slacks?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right, that kind of thing.

Page 20
PAMELA DEAN:
It's about ten thirty.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I've got an engagement, that's the reason I've got to leave.
PAMELA DEAN:
Fine, fine.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
If there's something else…
[End of interview taped on November 4, 1987]

[Beginning of interview taped on November 6, 1987]
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Do you want to go over that other incident that we were talking about?
PAMELA DEAN:
Yes, why don't we talk about that, the role of faculty in the…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
You asked about the role of faculty in some of the crises of the sixties. Off the top of my head, I can remember several, I think, that we might talk about. One was their role in the food workers strike. The Faculty Council appointed a committee to represent the faculty and provide its good offices to try to mediate whatever problems had been unresolved and were keeping the strike going. The Chairman of that committee was a professor in the Department of Economics, Paul Guthrie. That committee—I don't remember the other members, but they would be on record somewhere—and they were meeting with representatives of the food workers. One night about one or two o'clock in the morning I got a telephone call, and it was from Paul Guthrie, and he was calling from one of the restaurants. I think it was The Pines, but I'm not positive about that. And he said they'd been meeting for a number of hours, and they'd finally reached a

Page 21
settlement which involved a certain adjustment in wages and working conditions and that kind of thing. He had said that he had indicated that that was the agreement that his Committee was going to recommend to the University, and so he was putting the thing before me at that time in the morning to decide whether or not the University would support that or not. And I said to Paul, "Now, you're presenting this to me, and I'm in a position where I, there's no explicit authorization that I can provide these funds, but I don't have any time right now to find ways to do it, and I either have to say yes or no." And Paul said, "Well, that's right, but if you say no, you must recognize that you will be perceived as the one who has stopped this settlement." I said to Paul, "I can see that very clearly." I finally said, "Well, Paul, I think we'll take the risk. I don't know exactly how I'll find the way to get this done, but we'll take the risk. You can convey my good wishes and congratulations that you people have resolved this." So, we did indeed, I don't even remember now exactly whether we used some non-state funds temporarily or whether we eventually got some authorization from Raleigh, but I don't know whether it was right at this time or not. That's one illustration. I think the Faculty Committee did perform a useful service because, in a sense, they were not parties, they were not responsible for… It's much easier sometimes when things get emotionally involved, that people who are not engaged in any of it can bring some good offices to the situation, and that would be an illustration. Another illustration of the faculty, which involved the faculty's

Page 22
problems as distinct from the administration's problems, was the difficulty after Kent State on campus when, you will recall, the—I can't think of it now—the SDS had as its objectives to bring, as they said, to bring down the University, stop the University.
PAMELA DEAN:
Right.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, as I said, I had as my responsibility as Chancellor to keep the University going. We did have a lot of demonstrations and so on, and people went to Washington, as you know, to protest the invasion of Cambodia and so on. As that went on many classes were not meeting regularly, and the faculty took, there was a big meeting of the faculty. I went to that meeting and addressed the faculty in the beginning of the meeting, but then, so that I would not be involved in their discussions or present, I left the meeting. They went on, and in the course of that they also set up loud speakers. They met over in Hill Hall, which holds about 800, and there must have been a thousand or two students outside…
PAMELA DEAN:
Really?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
They had loud speakers out so they could listen to all the debates. A lot of the debate revolved around a critique on national, all of this was really national policy involving the Nixon policies in Vietnam. So that went on, and eventually, at that meeting, they resolved one issue, and that was the question of whether the University should have its full spring term, finish it, and under what conditions. The faculty finally voted to say that classes would continue. That the term would be finished, but that students could elect to either take final

Page 23
examinations and have that as a regular part of their course grade and so on, or they could choose to not complete but not have any penalty and they could be graded on what they had done up to that point. There were a combination of different choices that they could select. The faculty members were invited to subscribe to this general agreement. I happened to have been teaching that semester, so I simply told my class that they could all do whichever they wanted to do, just let me know which they wanted, and we did that, and there was no trouble. A few people chose, elected to take the examination later on in the summer, not many, but a few, and so far as I could tell, that ended all right. The University, unlike many universities, never lost a single day of classes during all that period of time, and we had no real destruction. The only incidence was the turning over of some tables, which started, precipitated the food strikes in Lenoir Hall. But again, that really involved no substantial… And there was a fire in one of the temporary ROTC buildings at one stage. Again, nobody was hurt and no serious damage was done, so…
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

Page 24
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
So, in that respect, we came through that all right.
PAMELA DEAN:
Quite remarkable. There weren't very many other major universities that came through with as little…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Yes, it was remarkable. I think that two or three things that explain that… I think a lot of people really had a role in it. I think traditions in student government on campus were important in that. The power structure of student government, while in many instances critical of University policies, at the same time was a positive force in trying to keep the students involved in the processes of orderly consideration of things, rather than departing from that and damning the whole system.
PAMELA DEAN:
They shared your commitment to procedures?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. That's correct.
PAMELA DEAN:
To maintaining the basic structure?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right, and so I think that was one thing. I think the second thing was that when I came, I came in first in the midst of a crisis, as we've already seen in the Speaker Ban crisis. And I knew that one of the major tasks that I would face in the years immediately ahead was to maintain an orderly examination of the things with which the University was concerned. I recognized that there would be a lot of dissension, a lot of difference of opinion. My goal, that I kept above all else, was that when this was over, and I knew it would be over in some years, how many nobody knew, but I knew the period of the

Page 25
sixties would not last forever. I mean, anyone who studied history would know that. So my goal was that when that was over that we would still be a University in the sense of recognizing free inquiry, right of dissent, treating each other civilly, and being a University community.
PAMELA DEAN:
Why were you able to do that when so many other places weren't? Is this something unique to you and were you particularly fortunate in the student leaders you worked with? Is it something endemic to the University?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I think a combination of all those. I was going to say this, one of the things in pursuing this goal, that I just indicated, I maintained all the time personal communication with all elements of the campus. My door was open all the time, day or night. Any student who wanted to see me or to give his protest, what was going on, could come in my office and do so.
PAMELA DEAN:
You had been a very popular teacher. You had a reputation for that. Do you think that contributed to the students believing that you were, in fact, open?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, I think, I'm not sure of that because, actually, one thing we should not forget is that the number of students who were activists, in the sense of actively doing something as distinct from watching on the sidelines, was always a very small percentage.
PAMELA DEAN:
Was it smaller here than at some of the other campuses?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Not necessarily smaller in force. I think it was smaller probably than at Columbia, for example, or Berkeley, let's say, but it was a small percentage. Here, I would guess

Page 26
certainly not over ten percent at any time. Now the other ninety percent weren't actively opposed to them. They were just simply apathetic observers as happens, you know, most of the time. But I think, I continued to teach all this time, so, in one sense, I was involved in a relationship to students that was extra-administrative, outside the sense of my… For example, one of the interesting things you see in all this protest about the Vietnam War—well, probably I was one of the first and most vocal critics of our intervention in Vietnam, even before 1960. I warned my colleagues in the History Department—I had virtually no support at that time—that we would be there for ten years, and people thought I was crazy. So in that sense, but again, when people criticized me for not making speeches against the war and so on, my answer to that was, "I discuss the war as a phenomenon in history in my courses." But I did not think it was appropriate for the Chancellor of the University to commit the University to a policy. This was a national policy about which there was disagreement.
PAMELA DEAN:
Certainly within the state there would have been considerable disagreement.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Oh yes, and when I decided to leave the Chancellorship, however, I did join the Committee to End the War and allowed my name to be used publicly.
PAMELA DEAN:
But as Chancellor…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
As Chancellor, I still have a feeling that the Chancellor is invited to undertake a certain role and responsibility in the University, and that he should not, in

Page 27
matters such as this, appear to commit the University to one side or the other in this kind of issue. That he should try to maintain the University as a place where you can examine both sides. I recognize that's not easy to do, but it's a… I thought retrospectively about it from time to time, whether or not in the case of Vietnam, I should have departed from that. Even though I was known to be a critic of the [war], I didn't proclaim that from the pulpits. But I don't know, I guess, I'm just not sure whether it would have been wise if… This is another one of those illustrations in which there is no perfect answer. You've got to choose which is the preferable [choice]. I'd probably still stick to the one that I chose.
PAMELA DEAN:
Some would say that you had a higher moral obligation to speak out and use your power…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Use the power and prestige of my office. That's quite true, and that's a valid point. As I've said, I have considered that from time to time, but I don't know, again, whether that would have made any real difference or not. It might have done harm, I don't know.
PAMELA DEAN:
Basically, you were taking as your prime responsibility, at that time, your primary loyalty to the University and to the Chancellorship. Conceivably, if you'd taken a more public stand on the war, you could have alienated supporters of the University.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, I don't think there's any doubt that it would have caused some tension on that point. But whether or not it would have been fatal is a different question.

Page 28
PAMELA DEAN:
But that had to be one of the kinds of things you had to weigh.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Yes. Now let me give you another illustration of the relationship of faculty members. The period, and it happened also to be the period in which integration really became a force on campus. To be sure, the Brown decision had occurred long ago, more than ten years before I became Chancellor, but little had really been done between 1954 and 1965 so far as the number of blacks was concerned on campus, and so far as black faculty were concerned. Not a single black faculty member. Well, I recommended appointment of the first black faculty member, and of course, I was the one who had to take the cases to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. Very few members of the Executive Committee were really sympathetic with what had to be done. And of course, let's recognize that as far as southern institutions were concerned, not a single fundamentally white one had any black faculty. They had a few black students, but not many.
PAMELA DEAN:
Now, normally, you would not take a faculty appointment, that issue would not go to the Board of Trustees?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Oh yes, all appointments to the faculty from the rank of Assistant Professor up had to be approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
PAMELA DEAN:
Oh, I wasn't aware of that.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
They all, that is, most of them were just automatically approved by the Executive Committee. They'd be reviewed internally, and we'd recommend them. When letters of appointment

Page 29
go out, they would say, "Your appointment is so and so, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees."
PAMELA DEAN:
I see. I wasn't aware that you had to go to that level. So you had to go to them and make a case for this specific individual who happened to be black?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, what I would do… Well, I would, of course, inform them. If I were keeping it a secret, that would be a terrible thing to do. If the Administrative Office said I wasn't informing [them]… Because this was a clear-cut issue. This wasn't something that people weren't aware of. The first appointments weren't at the rank of full professor. They were at lower ranks. The first one was at the School of Social Work which is not so surprising. Then we had some in the medical area. The first black full professor who was appointed to the faculty was Blyden Jackson, professor of English. He was appointed as a full professor. We never got many, as indeed you can see right now with all the discussion that goes on, and there are a lot of reasons for that. One, and the most important reason quantitatively, frankly, is the shortage of qualified black professionals, particularly in certain fields. Another one is the faculty's own determination to be absolutely certain that when they appoint a black faculty member that that black faculty member is one who really qualifies in a competitive way. Whether or not they're completely unbiased in that is a different question. It's something you can't, can't get into their minds. I think on the whole we've been kind of fortunate in history in some of the black faculty we've had, but again, we have had, in a

Page 30
sense, to do sometimes injustice to whites in respect to salary and status because the plain fact of the matter is that if you want highly-qualified blacks, they're in very short supply. We have to beat the market. I was amused last night. I was looking at television; I was looking at L.A. Law. Do you ever look at that?
PAMELA DEAN:
Yes, I watch that also.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Do you see that this is exactly, I thought to myself, there it goes, the same thing over again. In order to get this black lawyer, they would pay him ten or twelve thousand more than people who are better qualified.
PAMELA DEAN:
Or at least who didn't happen to be black.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. That's correct. So that's an illustration of what I was talking about. Probably one of the biggest hassles I had with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees involved the appointment, well, there were two. One involved the appointment of Howard Lee to the School of Social Work faculty. Howard was a public figure. At that time he was running for mayor I believe, and the School of Social Work, the Dean, came in to talk to me about making an appointment for him. He did not have a Ph.D degree, a doctorate degree, and first the school proposed to appoint him at a rank above people who were already there and who had superior qualifications. Well, I said I wouldn't agree to that because I thought that was unwise policy, but I would agree to appointment at an appropriate rank and salary, and so we agreed on that. Then that got into the public domain, somehow or another, before it was even

Page 31
accomplished. I don't know who put it in the public domain. I don't know whether some people in Social Work did or somebody got it and decided they'd put it in the public domain, you know. These things go on in universities all the time. So one of the members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees came to see me and told me that I should not take that to them and not make this appointment. Well, you see, that's the kind of thing that you really shouldn't have at a university, an individual member of the Board trying to…
PAMELA DEAN:
To dictate.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Yes, to dictate, or that kind of thing. So then I talked to another member of the Executive Committee who, while not particularly approving of the decision to do it, was cognizant of the situation and wanted to try to find a way that we could… So finally it really got down to the point that it was known that it was going to come before the Executive Committee at a given time, and I decided myself, in this case, that rank was, I think we would make a rank of lecturer or something like that, would not have been required, but I decided that it was prudent for me not to bypass them since it was in the public domain. So I put it before the Executive Committee. Now, I didn't know what the Executive Committee would do about it. But, of course, I presented it and defended the appointment. But it was all in the public domain, over radio and television and press and everything else while this was going on. Because that illustrates what I was just saying about the process of integration. The desegregation of institutions was a complex one

Page 32
involving different elements and different stages and so on that went on over a period of time and is still going on, of course, and changing mores and so on. That was one illustration in which, in a sense of the faculty, in this instance the faculty of the School of Social Work, had in a sense presented the University with, as they saw it, no problem at all. I mean, this was a man who, as they saw it, qualified to do this and would be a valuable staff member, and these other instances that were matters of the public domain were not their concern. Now, another incident, again involving the School of Social Work, involved a black activist. Again, this shows how my memory, I can't call up these names so quickly. Howard Fuller, I think Howard was his first name, anyway, his name is Fuller. He was a professed black activist, but nevertheless, he had certain qualities and experience that would make him useful for the School of Social Work. The Dean, again, did me the courtesy, I guess you would call it courtesy, to come in and tell me that they had decided they would like to make this appointment, and they wanted to know what the University would do about it. Well, I said, "If the School decides to bring that appointment to the Chancellor, we will consider it on its merits, just as we would any other appointment." And I said, "But you must be aware that this is not an appointment that will be viewed by everybody as just like any other appointment."
PAMELA DEAN:
It's not just going to be routine.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. It's not going to be routine when some other people get to examine it. Lo and behold, the Department

Page 33
did come to me, and as I do with any, and as I presume Chancellors still do when we want to get some faculty consideration, we take it to the Advisory Committee and let them examine the ramifications and so on of it. We did that, and then we took it to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. And I'm telling you, it precipitated one of the [most] bitter discussions on that issue.
PAMELA DEAN:
Was it because he was black or because he was an activist?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I think it was primarily because he was an activist but the association of the two certainly didn't help it any. But again, that went through.
PAMELA DEAN:
Did they ever turn down?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Never turned down. But the thing is, I said, "Nobody knows how much prestige and influence I lost by that." See, that's not something you can put, it's in the public domain. In other words, I knew good and well that the Executive Committee, or that many members of it, let's put it that way, I don't mean to imply that it was a unanimous view because that certainly was not true, but certainly in the view of a substantial number, they didn't have much use for what I was going to do from that point on.
PAMELA DEAN:
This had been a white man's University since it was established…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
As most all American universities were.
PAMELA DEAN:
Exactly. And you were involved, you had to be the point man for the changes.

Page 34
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I happened to be there at a certain time when certain great social changes were under way.
PAMELA DEAN:
This was ceasing to be both a white man's University and a man's University. [Laughter]
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
We did a lot of things to try to speed up the process of integration. We really started, I read with some interest now these people who think they're doing something in order to increase the black presence in Chapel Hill. Well, all these things we've done years ago, and they just fell into disuse, apparently. For example, inviting black Merit seniors here. Well, the Black Student Movement and the Chancellor's Office together started that way back in 1967 or '8. I wrote letters and these students went out to visit the high schools. At that time, you must remember, the schools were not integrated. I mean, in the sense…
PAMELA DEAN:
Theoretically they were, but…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I mean, they were in the sense that there were a few good [unknown], but they were essentially black high schools and white high schools, not so designated, but, in fact, that's what they were. So these students went out to these, and they were getting no contact with the University, the black high schools. So no recruiting was going on, no information and so on. So we started several, and I appointed, as you know, I appointed Ben Renevick to the staff of the Admissions Office to establish contact with these, with our black high schools, to inform them about the University and the opportunities for them here. We also sent students out to them, and I wrote letters to

Page 35
all the principals, all of them in the state of North Carolina, telling them that we wanted to do this and urging them to welcome these students who were coming through, explaining the University. All of that resulted in a very substantial increase in black enrollment. When I came in as Chancellor, the black presence in the freshman class… Now, that's really the only place to measure it because that's the place where you, the measure, the number totally at one time doesn't measure what you're accomplishing anything like as much as, because the freshman class, you're projecting several more years for it. We went from an entering class of thirty-five black freshmen to more than 250, and we did that in those six years. Since then, we have gone from 250 to 350, and that's all.
PAMELA DEAN:
At the same time, the student body as a whole has grown at a much higher percentage than that.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. So I, retrospectively, given the realities, I think we accomplished far more in a short period of time and under circumstances that were not near as propitious as they are now. So while people might not think we accomplished very much because they don't recognize where you were and how far you had to go. I think we did. Let's see what else…
PAMELA DEAN:
There's one little follow-up. You said that advocating to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees the hiring of black faculty cost you in…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
No, no. I said that instant involving Fuller, particularly, because one, Fuller had been known to advocate going beyond the use of discussion and so on and to use whatever

Page 36
means were necessary. In that sense, he was not regarded, let's say, by people in positions of responsibility as a responsible person.
PAMELA DEAN:
Wild eyed radical.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's correct. And an active radical, not just a person who spoke but a person who was willing to act. To give Fuller his credit, he did say to the University that he intended to fulfill his responsibilities in his position, did not intend to engage in any agitation, and if he ever did decide to do that, he would resign his position. So he dealt honorably. But at the same time, as far as these people, the Trustees looking as they were looking at it from their responsibility, they felt that they had a responsibility, in a sense, to look at all these proposed appointees and to see whether or not they met, as they saw it, all of their judgment about qualifications. And this instance, their view was that this was a questionable appointment. I'm not particularly criticizing them. I don't know whether I would have done it had I been in the position they were in. I was in a different position. So what I said was that, what I meant to say certainly, was that, in a sense, when that kind of thing happens, persons who have a wholly different view of it then tend to have reservations about your judgment in the decisions that you are making at your level. Am I…
PAMELA DEAN:
I understand perfectly. Were there any subsequent issues where you had to go to them that you felt that they were less ready to take your recommendations because of this? Is there anything specific you lost?

Page 37
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, let's put it this way, I wouldn't say less ready to take, they always took the recommendations. They never turned one down. That's not what I meant. It wasn't that they turned them down, but they had reservations about the judgment that I was exercising.
PAMELA DEAN:
You had to make your case. It was a little harder to make your case?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That's right. Let's put it this way, I was just one of the four, after all there was State, Greensboro, no instances of, nothing of any kind was going through them from any other campus except this one. Suppose you had been a member of that board. You would be bound to have said, "Why is all this coming here from one campus? We don't have any problems with anybody else?"
PAMELA DEAN:
How about your relationship with President Friday when all these things that were going on?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, Friday. In fact Governor Scott said that when he was in a big hassle with the structure of higher education because we were undergoing, said that everybody knows that President Friday runs the Chapel Hill campus. In respect to all these things we've been talking about, President Friday was involved in all of them. I always involved him. In other words, because, after all, who knows, any one of them might come to an instance in which he's either got to overrule me or affirm it. So he was kept, well, he kept well-informed about every one of these, and of course, he was involved in the Speaker Ban controversy all the way through and a party to the suit, as I was. I didn't take any position on these issues that I hadn't

Page 38
informed him that I was going to take. Again, we did not, as I recall, openly disagree about any one of those positions.
PAMELA DEAN:
There was no time when he said, you know, "Let's not do that. It's not going to go."
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
No, I don't remember that. I don't remember that. He was not the person who was personally identified with the policy because, unless he was going to overrule it or do something else, it was something that had been decided by this campus. That was true even of the Speaker Ban, except less true of that because that involved passage of procedures by the Board of Trustees and all that kind of thing.
PAMELA DEAN:
It was a system-wide policy. This happened to be the place that was testing it.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Right. But these other things, he was not the person who was identified with presenting it and justifying it and so on, even though he had been informed and consented to it before… Because I don't recall, I don't think Friday would cut off if the Chancellor and he got into a disagreement about an issue, and this Chancellor wanted to take it to the trustees anyway. I don't believe Friday would cut it off. I think he would say to the trustees that he did not agree with that, but he wanted the Chancellor to have an opportunity to present it. But I didn't have any instances of that kind, so I don't know. Didn't have that problem at all. People talk about the relationships between the President and the Chancellor. In one sense, the problem here is that the President's office and personal presence is here, and this is a small town, and the plain fact is, I've said all the

Page 39
time, you can't have two number ones in the same place, and that's essentially the position of the Chancellor in this system. The Chancellor doesn't have that problem if he's the Chancellor in Greensboro or the Chancellor in Raleigh because the President is clearly not there. Students and faculty too take advantage of that and did over a long time during the Friday [regime]. Now what will happen in the new regime, I don't know.
PAMELA DEAN:
But did, I don't recall, were the student marches for various issues, did they march on your house, or did they march on President Friday's?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Both, both. But I'll tell you one instance. One night, they came to my house—hundreds. Now, it happened that Nancy and I had gone to bed, and the lights were out, and they were chanting and what not and so on.
PAMELA DEAN:
Do you remember what the issue was in this case?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I think it was in the wake of the Kent State thing. Really, the campus got more incensed over that. There were more people who were involved.
PAMELA DEAN:
Yes, it was a very hot issue.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I said to Nancy, "I'm not about to turn on the lights or get up and go out. This is not a time that I want to because they were probably not in a state of mind to engage in a rational discussion." And Chief Beaumont, do you know who Beaumont is? [Arthur Beaumont, Chief of Campus Police].
PAMELA DEAN:
Yes.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Beaumont apparently came up and told them that the Chancellor was out for the evening. So I could hear them

Page 40
discussing it back and forth because they were right outside the house, oh, by the hundreds. That same night, they went to Friday's house and poured paint, red paint, on the porch steps. That's just an illustration of coming to two houses. You may or may not remember that over at Duke… A lot of the Duke activists came to President Knight's residence, and Knight invited them in. They never left. They occupied his house, day and night. That led to Knight's, the end of his tenure as President of Duke.
PAMELA DEAN:
Very fine line, then, that you had to walk between being accessible and maintaining a position.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Exactly, because if you get in a certain position, then you're placed in a position in order to correct that, you have to take unacceptable action. Again, I don't want you to leave with the impression that I didn't do things that some people sometime didn't like at all. I'll tell you one of them right now. You saw in the paper where some people were arrested over here for blocking the way to the CIA interviews?
PAMELA DEAN:
Yes, right, just recently.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
That happened in respect to Dow Chemical, Agent Orange.
PAMELA DEAN:
Right, that was the big…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
All right, so the students didn't, at least the activists, did not want Dow Chemical to be permitted to come to this campus to interview. I took the position that there were students on this campus who had a right to be interviewed by Dow Chemical. Again, they wanted to keep them from coming, and we made clear to them that they were perfectly free to picket, to

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express their views, but they were not to obstruct the doors so that students couldn't get in. When they did, I had a dozen of them arrested. A lot of people didn't like that, but I felt that I had to recognize the rights of all students. That didn't last very long because it seems to be fairly obvious that a university can't be in the position of denying the regular recognized rights of the overwhelming majority of students in order to pacify a very small group of people.
PAMELA DEAN:
If you're going to let Communists speak on campus, you have to let Dow Chemical recruit on campus.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, as you well know, one of the dilemmas of American universities is this—that American faculties are great advocates of freedom so long as it's freedom on the left. We might as well be honest about that. We, this campus right here, we could not keep the student group from obstructing the speaking of a Ku Klux Klan… And his speech was terminated. He couldn't speak. That wouldn't happen for a leftist speaker. Now, I have no [unknown] at all, don't misunderstand me, but I just think if you really believe in the freedom of speech, you have to act on it regardless of how objectionable the person may be to you. That happened fairly recently on this campus. And of course, we know that the notable cases are Jean Kirkpatrick and her speaking around at the universities where she was not permitted to speak. Students just wouldn't permit her. I don't know how you answer that question, how you resolve it. I know how I think it's going to be answered, but how do you make that effective when you don't

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have the support of all elements on the campus in order to do that. It's a difficult thing.
PAMELA DEAN:
What would you say, within the University as a whole over your whole tenure, the main sources of resistance to the changes that were going on?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I think the main sources of resistance in respect to food workers and maintenance workers came from what I would call low-level managerial positions at that time. I think that's one of the most difficult things to accomplish—not to persuade people who are at the faculty level or the student level, but at the non-academic. I think they're the most difficult, and I spent lots of time personally trying to educate low-level management to the changes that were underway and that had to come and trying to teach them how to do that. To give an example, the mere matter of addressing people by Mr. or Miss or Mrs. if you were not personal friends of theirs.
PAMELA DEAN:
Now that goes against the basic southern pattern that had been for years the way…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Whoever would have heard twenty years ago a white employer referring to a black person by Mr.?
PAMELA DEAN:
Right.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
For example, in our house, I can give you an illustration of it. We had two blacks who worked at the Chancellor's house, and what we did, we asked the person how would you like for us to [address you]. One of them wanted to be called Mrs. So and So. The other wanted to be called by her

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first name. So right in that same relationship… It never caused a problem.
PAMELA DEAN:
Two different responses.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
We're very close friends of both of them, but they had a slightly different relationship to us by their own choice.
PAMELA DEAN:
How about in the case of the changes for women? What would you say were the chief sources of resistance there to the increased presence of women and all the changes that went on?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
We didn't have any resistance to the increased presence of women. I think that what you've seen…
PAMELA DEAN:
How about the changes in the social rules and so forth?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
What you've seen recently about how many should be in the university and that kind [of thing]. You see, at that time, we didn't have that big a percentage of women. So the number of women was not an issue. We wanted more.
PAMELA DEAN:
How about the changes that went on in the rules for women—the housing rules, the limitations on where they could go and what they could wear and closing hours and so forth? All of that was being challenged and changed.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
It was. I'm not sure, I may be wrong about this, but my guess is that the structure, the institutional structure involving the Dean of Women, would have been the main… I may be wrong, and Katherine was a good friend of mine, but I don't think Katherine was a great advocate of changing all these patterns of identification of the southern woman at all. Now she was, from the standpoint of the southern woman's access to career opportunities and that kind [of thing], but not these little

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things. I call them little. Some of them are kind of ridiculous, particularly about the curfews and things of that sort, but I…
PAMELA DEAN:
How about the faculty and students?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I don't think, in fact, I never detected that there was any resistance on the part of the faculty and students. I think there was resistance at the Governing Board, trustee level, to certain aspects of things, like visitation, which we've already discussed. But I don't think about the wearing slacks or shorts, or whatever, I don't think there was any.
PAMELA DEAN:
How about the community as a whole? When you were passing on these things, did you feel you really had to think about the…
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
The Chapel Hill community much?
PAMELA DEAN:
The state?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Or the state?
PAMELA DEAN:
All those parents out there. [Laughter] Did you think if they changed the rules, that some parents would not want to send their daughters here?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I don't think there's any doubt that the changing of things like the residence halls, you know, co-ed residence halls, things of that sort, that parents, some parents, were concerned about that and didn't like it and so on. I'm certain of that. They would have been resistant, but I don't think the University, I think the University tried to explain and to justify what it was doing. No doubt about that. But I don't think the University failed to do things because of the…

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PAMELA DEAN:
Perhaps things went a little slower?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Maybe, but the women, of course, up until, and as far as student government is concerned, they were involved in student government. But for the most part, women didn't hold the top post until fairly recently. The one exception was the editor of the Tar Heel. We had a woman editor of the Tar Heel, the Hardin girl. But that came much earlier.
PAMELA DEAN:
We're getting real close to the end of this. Let me ask you the same question in terms of sources of support for the changes, for the racial changes, the changes in the rules for women, the student activism?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
I think the faculty was always generally supportive of that kind of thing. Student government, structurally, always generally positive support on all these changes.
PAMELA DEAN:
How about other people in the administration?
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
Well, yes, I'd say most of the, of course, there was diversity of those you would expect from a large administrative structure, although we didn't have the big administrative structure that we have now. I would say that our top administrators in the campus would probably not be one half in number what you have now. One of the problems we had, in fact, was educating the trustees to the fact that we needed a kind of restructured personnel and so on. That's a whole story in itself, and a big one to get the University staffed and equipped so it could do the job it would have to do for 20,000 students and so on as compared with the university of five or six

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thousand. One of the things during the time I was Chancellor, we added one thousand new students every single year.
PAMELA DEAN:
Made a real difference.
J. CARLYLE SITTERSON:
So we went from 12,000 students to more than eighteen when I left. So the University hasn't grown much in…
END OF INTERVIEW