Documenting the American South Logo
Loading
Title: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, February 15, 1991. Interview L-0064-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Pollitt, Daniel H., interviewee
Interview conducted by McColl, Ann
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, 2008
Size of electronic edition: 84 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2008.
© 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:
2008-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2008-02-19, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, February 15, 1991. Interview L-0064-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0064-4)
Author: Ann McColl
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, February 15, 1991. Interview L-0064-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0064-4)
Author: Daniel H. Pollitt
Description: 101 Mb
Description: 25 p.
Note: Interview conducted on February 15, 1991, by Ann McColl; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
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.
Editorial practices
An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
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.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as "
All em dashes are encoded as —

Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, February 15, 1991.
Interview L-0064-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Pollitt, Daniel H., interviewee


Interview Participants

    DANIEL H. POLLITT, interviewee
    ANN McCOLL, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ANN McCOLL:
This is an interview with Dan Pollitt in a continuing series of interviews at the UNC law school. The date is February 15, 1991 and the interview is being conducted by Ann McColl. Can you tell me something about Charlie Scott?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes, indeed I can. Charlie was the first black athlete to get a scholarship at the University of North Carolina and my impression is that he was the first black athlete in the ACC. So he broke the color bar and it was earlier in the late fifties. I was the faculty advisor to the NAACP on campus and there were then maybe twenty black students on campus. The question was, "How do we encourage people to come here?" We thought there should be some role models and that is sort of a maybe racist attitude, but we thought athletics is…. We'd start there. It seemed like a logical thing to do, so maybe you should have a learned surgeon instead, but the reality of the world then at least, was that the role models were basketball players and football players. So we did the NAACP on campus and the youth group.
ANN McCOLL:
Were most of the black students, the twenty students, in the NAACP?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. I think they were assigned to the same dormitory. They all lived in the same dorm.
ANN McCOLL:
They were required to live in the same dorm?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. And as a matter of fact, when they went to the football games, they had to sit at the end zone in an area next to the field house on the right. That was their place if they

Page 2
wanted to go to the football games. Ken Peniger, who later joined our faculty, was a student leader and he said, "Let's have a boycott of the games until they will allow the black students to sit with the white students." That was an issue. Where were the black students? They were herded together in the dorms. But in any event, I think practically all of them were in the NAACP. That was their social group. So the decision was, "Why don't we try and get black athletes?" So we paid a visit to Jim Tatum who was then the football coach. He was a great football coach and died of hospital disease. He went into the hospital for a routine check up and never came out. But that was in the late fifties. He told us no, he would not recruit a black football player, but he had an arrangement with a coach at Michigan State where if Tatum saw a good black football player in North Carolina he would refer him to Michigan State and the coach up there would refer down here the white football players who were not admissible at Michigan State that might be admissible here. So he told us that he had this arrangement with Coach Duffy somebody at Michigan State. So then we went to see Frank McGuire who was then the basketball coach. He was very pleased and asked us, "Yes", to please help him. There was a high school star named Alcindor in New York and could we please help recruit him? So every other week we used to meet at the NAACP, so one week we all would write letters to Alcindor and invite him to come. His father got a job with the Los Angeles transit authority, so he decided to go to UCLA. Alcindor is…. I don't know his name now, but it's "Mr. Big", you know. So that's the way it was.

Page 3
And then we failed. There was a student who was recruited and he came here. Donny Walsh had been on the football team and he's now a coach for the Denver Nuggets or he had been. He's big in basketball. He came to law school and was on the Law Review; a very bright fellow. But he kept up with Frank McGuire who was the coach and they did recruit this guy and Donny Walsh coached him all summer. Then they decided he wouldn't make it, so that was our second effort which failed.
But then Charlie Scott was "Mr. Big". He was the number one high school star that everybody wanted and he was from New York City, but attending Laurinburg Institute.
ANN McCOLL:
In Virginia?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No, it's in Laurinburg, North Carolina, down on the South Carolina border. Scotland County.
ANN McCOLL:
Is it a high school?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
It's a prep school and it's a very interesting one in that the…. I forget the headmaster's name, but it's something like McLaurin or McDuffy. The founder of the institute had gone down to Tuskeegee Institute when George Washington Carver or Booker T. Washington was the President. What the emphasis was was on how to be good farmers for the men and how to be good housewives for the women and you know, sanitation and cleanliness and promptness and honesty and all the virtues. So Mr. McDuffy, if that was his name, returned when he graduated from Tuskeegee; came up to Laurinburg which was his place and started a little institute to teach the black farmers how to farm better and the women how to do household chores and skills and

Page 4
crafts. In any event, in World War I a number of blacks in the South went north to work in the defense plants and the male, the men, the husband would go and then when he found a place and had some money, he'd send for his wife and then he'd send for the kids. Well, that left the wife and the kids and the Institute became the school for the kids.
ANN McCOLL:
So this was early.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. This was World War I we're talking about now and it was an ongoing thing. Then if there was a depression in the north and the husband was laid off, he would send the kids back to grandma and then the wife, and he'd look for a job. So Laurinburg became the school where the kids from the north came back to grandma and would go there. I guess there wasn't a public school for blacks or it wasn't very good or something.
ANN McCOLL:
What county is this?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
This is in Scotland County. If you just go down on 15-501 you'll run into it just before the South Carolina line. So then that same thing happened in World War II where the blacks went north. The husband would get the job, send for the wife, send for the kids and then if he was laid off, he would send them back. So Laurinburg Academy became the school for a lot of northern kids who would go home during bad times, but it also became in the process, sort of a prestigious prep school for northern kids who would go south to this prestigious prep school. To make it prestigious they would give scholarships to promising athletes in basketball and baseball. A lot of the famous black baseball players went to Laurinburg Academy, and also the

Page 5
basketball players. So Laurinburg Academy had a great basketball team. The year Charlie Scott played for them, and he came down from New York City, they had five of them and every one of them was a scholarship at a top ten basketball school. In any event, Charlie Scott was the best and he was at Laurinburg Academy. They all wore blue blazers and the men wore gray flannel trousers and the women wore gray flannel skirts and a white shirt every day. In the dining room they all stood up and the headmaster would give the prayer and then they would sit down, so it was very proper and had high standards. It was a very attractive campus. So Mr. McDuffy, if that's his name, because they kept on, the son took over from the father, was the headmaster and the coach of the basketball team. And unbeknownst to me, he was in the audience when I spoke to the state convention of the NAACP on Brown against the School Board and what has happened since, or what has not happened since. So he apparently liked my speech. So that's the background. Lefty Drizell was the coach at Davidson at the time and Short Border had built Davidson up into a powerhouse basketball team. He was great at recruiting and they were up there. They were invited to the NCAA annual tournament when they only invited thirty or whatever. So it was announced that Charlie Scott had signed to go to Davidson. So he's gone to Davidson. A few weeks later, or some period thereafter, he had not seen Davidson, so he called the coach or the coach called him and said, "How would you like to come see the campus and look it over. It's an attractive campus." So Lefty, the coach, went down to Laurinburg which is a four or five

Page 6
hour drive and picked Charlie up on a Sunday and drove back to Davidson to show him the campus. Well, at that time at Davidson, and the same thing was true here, they did not have Sunday evening meals on the campus, but they did have them at the churches. Every church had a Sunday dinner, and so the universities cooperated by not serving food so they'd have to go to the church to get a dinner. So the dormitories which were the dining facilities at the University at Davidson were closed when Charlie got there. The coach didn't want to take him to a church. So they went to one of the two or the three restaurants in town and they all told the coach in Charlie's presence, "We don't serve blacks. He can't eat here." So Charlie decided he didn't want to go to a town where he couldn't eat in the restaurants. So he cancelled. He cancelled his letter of intent and no protests were made because how could you defend it, you know? So then McDuffy, the headmaster at Laurinburg, called Dean Smith and said that nobody from Laurinburg had ever been admitted at the University of North Carolina and maybe you would like to start the thing off with Charlie Scott.
ANN McCOLL:
Dean Smith is now the basketball coach?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Dean Smith is now the basketball coach and he suggested that maybe Dean Smith would like to bring me down to interview Charlie Scott. So Dean Smith called me and asked me if I'd like to go down and see Charlie Scott and I didn't know who Charlie Scott was, but I said, "Sure". That's what we'd been trying to do was to recruit a role model. So we drove down to Laurinburg and we took with us…. What the headmaster had told Dean

Page 7
Smith was that Charlie Scott was interested in being a doctor. He wanted to be pre-med. So there was one black medical student at that time, so he went down. So the three of us drove down to Laurinburg, Coach Dean Smith and me from the NAACP, and…. The name will come to me. His wife later became the head of the YMCA here.
ANN McCOLL:
The pre-med student's wife?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. He was a med student. So in any event, we went down and we saw a basketball game and I didn't know which one was Charlie Scott. They all looked so great to me. But then after the basketball game we had steak dinner at the headmaster's house and it was about 8:00. There was the headmaster and his wife and his brother-in-law and the coach and me and the black medical student and Charlie Scott. And Charlie Scott was very deferential and "Yes, sir". All the students are, "Yes, sir," and "Yes, ma'am". So then they invited him to come up to look at this campus. No pains were left undone.
Charlie was about to… So they thought he might want to go to a Baptist church. So Bob Seymour was then the pastor of the Baptist church on the bypass, 15-501.
ANN McCOLL:
Going towards Durham?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. In any event, Bob Seymour was the head of the interchurch council and he had been very active in trying to integrate. He integrated his church and he was very active in school integration and he is a very fine person. But he had a student assistant pastor from the Duke Divinity School who was black. So when Charlie went to church that morning, who was in

Page 8
the pulpit but the black assistant minister from the Duke Divinity School. And rumor has it, and I don't believe it, was that they gave him a tour of the medical school and offered him the knife if he wanted to do an appendectomy or something. So he came here and he was an All-American by his junior year and All-American in his senior year. He was the most valuable player at the NCAA tournament and he was the number one draft pick and played for fifteen years or something in the pros. The one other thing was…. I didn't keep up with him, but I would see him on occasion. We then had Moreheads for law students and Charlie switched from being pre-med because it's pretty hard to play basketball and be a pre-med. But he switched to history which was a rigorous department here and a demanding department. He had a B average in history; an accumulated grade point majoring in history. So I saw him and I said, "Charlie, we have six more heads or something in the law school and if you apply with your record, I'm quite sure you will get one." And I was sure. I had been assured sort of. "Then you're bright and you'll probably be on the Law Review and you'll be one of the unique people and probably the Governor will want to hire you and you can really go a long way in law." And he said something, "Well, they just offered me four hundred thousand dollars to sign with them." And I said, "Well, if you break your knee or something, maybe you'll want to come to law school."
ANN McCOLL:
So he left and signed with the pros. Do you remember anything about the impression of the students or the community when he came here?

Page 9
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. He got married in maybe his junior year and Dean Smith called me because we had an apartment in the basement of our house which was sort of like an English apartment or whatever. It's ground level, but the ground slopes, so it's the basement but it's not underground. So Dean Smith called me and asked me if we could rent our apartment to Charlie Scott and I said, "There's nobody in it. We'd be happy to have Charlie Scott." And he said, "Well, you and Dr. Byne," who was the animal doctor…. That's not what he is. [laughter] But he was the only one in town and was very popular and he said he had an apartment and the two of you are the only people who are willing to take Charlie Scott, the great basketball player. So he came by and looked at our apartment. He went to Dr. Byne's and looked at his apartment and then he decided he would live in Durham where there was a more congenial neighborhood, so he moved to Durham. So that, I think, speaks against Chapel Hill. He couldn't get his hair cut downtown.
ANN McCOLL:
Would people cheer for him at the games?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Oh, yes.
ANN McCOLL:
So all the segregation policies were in effect then. This was the late fifties?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
This was before the sit-ins, so this was the fifties, because we were segregated downtown. He couldn't go to the restaurants and the theater. We had two movie theaters and he couldn't go to either one. So that's why he moved to Durham. He could sit in the balcony. But the interesting thing is a second black might have been named Chamberlain. Bill Chamberlain,

Page 10
maybe. I'm sure a lot of people would know. He came down and he was from Long Island and he had gone to…. I forget the name of it, but it was something like Lutheran High. It was a church related school. And he was sought after everywhere. Princeton was after him and this was the days of Bill Bradley was at Princeton and Princeton was a great basketball school. And Dean Smith was after him. So he came down to visit and he brought his mother with him and his father. Dean Smith asked me to meet with the parents while they took Bill around. I don't know whatever you do when you recruit. So I was with the mother and father and I took them for lunch somewhere; probably the Carolina Inn or somewhere. And they were asking me how their son might get along. And I said, "Well, it's a segregated society down here and he can't get his hair cut downtown. But we've got a very active movement and this is a place where you can holler if you want to and make a difference and protest." And I told her, "Now if he goes to Princeton, he'll be able to get a haircut probably, but they're going to be racist same as we are here, but it will be subtle and here it's out in the open. It's easier to do something about the open stuff than the other." And I thought, "Well, maybe I shouldn't have said that. We'll see." But then Dean Smith called me a week later and told me Bill Chamberlain was going to come here and his mother urged him to come here because I was the only one who had told her the truth in all their goings around. Those were the first two black athletes to come to Carolina and I feel that is one of my major accomplishments at Chapel Hill. Dean Smith wanted the best

Page 11
basketball players he could get, but he also wanted to break the color bar and he's been very good in that. Somewhere in the early sixties, during the war on poverty days, Sarge Shriver was head of the OEO and we were trying to get a hot lunch program at the schools and also a breakfast, with Bob Seymour, the minister at the Baptist Church who was the head of the Interfaith Council. He had made a survey and found out that a large percentage of the minority kids came to school without having had breakfast and that they would get drowsy and they would yawn around 10:00. At 10:00 they would get their milk and cookies or crackers or something. But they would come here hungry and that had an adverse impact on their learning. So we thought, "Let's get some surplus food which was cheese and syrup and ham and have some breakfast and try to get OEO to finance it and everything." And we got a grant for that. Then the school ended and what we thought of was that it's important for these kids to have breakfast and a hot lunch, so why don't we have an expanded summer school? At that time, there was no summer school or no summer school of substance in the Chapel Hill school system. So the regular school year was over, so that was not to be funded and I remember talking to E.D. Smith who was the Vice Superintendent who had been the principal at the black high school and they'd made him the head of administrative problems such as school buses. So they had to make sure there would be a school bus or two to pick people up and he said he could make the school bus, but he couldn't pay for the insurance. We'd have to pay for the insurance. A little technical problem. So there was

Page 12
a committee appointed of which Dean Smith and I were the co-chairmen to raise funds to have the summer program where the kids could go to school, but basically where they could get some hot meals. I'm saying this because Dean Smith did it and there aren't very many basketball coaches who would get real involved in that sort of thing.
ANN McCOLL:
I'm curious with the controversy that they have had on the main campus this year with the statutes that were put out in front of the library and a lot of the controversy surrounding the one that shows a black student carrying a basketball. What has been your feeling about some of this controversy?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I thought it was in very bad taste to do that, to put it where they put it. When I first heard about it I went up there and there were two hundred people around talking. I looked at it and my initial reaction to whoever I was with, I said, "Gee I think the sculptress has done a good job of sculpting." And some young coed there turned to me and said, "Don't you find it offensive? Look at that. There's the man carrying the books and there's his wife and he has his arm on her rump or something and this was called, ‘Putting husband through college’. Don't you find that disgraceful?" That hadn't jumped out at me. And then I looked further and there was the Oriental student carrying the violin case wearing glasses. They were all stereotypical. And I don't think you ought to put it in the most popular walk-through area on the campus. So I don't know where. If you'd break them all up, you know, and you put one here and another there, I'd think it would be fine. But I think that the

Page 13
collection of stereotypical figures right outside the main library is too much. I talked to the Chancellor about it and told him if you should buy a picture that you like and you take it home and you put it in the living room and it doesn't blend, so you put it in the den, you know, or the kitchen or the guest bedroom or some place. So I think they are going to move it if they can find a place. But I thought that the only black male there is tossing the basketball and that's…. Again, when we started this, I was sort of apologetic about I thought we ought to try to recruit more black students here. How do we do it and get a black quarterback? And that's pretty stereotypical, but we did it because we thought it would work.
ANN McCOLL:
You did some other things on campus with the Y. Can you tell me more about what kinds of things the Y did?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I was chairman of the board of the Y before Anne Queen.
ANN McCOLL:
What year was that?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, when I came here. When I first came here the YMCA was not very Christian. It wasn't male. So it was really the Campus Y and it was the center for all social action. So if you wanted to do something socially, not a dance, but you know, socially beneficial, you did it through the Y. The Y was the campus organization that did things. And some of the religions, the Methodists and the Catholics and the Baptists, they all were the do-good organizations. The Y Court was the center of all activities at that building. They had such things as going out to Butner and spending an afternoon with the people in the mental institution or tutoring programs. Crop Walk for Hunger. The Y

Page 14
was the center for social activities, for do-good activities. They'd invite the speakers who would be controversial and have something significant to say and then they usually would have a reception for them which would be open to anybody. Then there would be a reception either before it or after at Ann Queen's house which would only be open to fifty to seventy-five people. As many as could crowd in.
ANN McCOLL:
But did a lot of people attend the events?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Oh, yes. If you were going to have someone like Fred McKissick, or Sloane Coffin used to come down, so there would be controversial people. The Y had that series going. So I thought that was the thing to join in and I did. You know if you're a lawyer you have to draft the by-laws and then you have to interpret them and you're running the place. So it was fun. I was on for three or four years, on the board and the chair.
ANN McCOLL:
Was this in the late fifties?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. The late fifties and early sixties. Then later on during the Viet Nam War, the protest center was the Y. We organized "Washington Witness" where we would hire buses and go to Washington and lobby with the legislators.
ANN McCOLL:
Was this faculty and students?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. I was co-chair of Washington Witness with a guy at the YMCA and I wrote the check for the bus.
ANN McCOLL:
A personal check?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. Then we'd charge twenty-five dollars or up and down or whatever the appropriate amount was, so we always had fifty bucks left over or something. But they always wanted a

Page 15
check in advance before they would agree to have ten buses or something…
ANN McCOLL:
So how many buses would you take?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Oh, three or four thousand people would go up.
ANN McCOLL:
How many times did you go?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I have my files. We had Washington Witness One, Washington Witness Two and Washington Witness Three, so we went up three times. What we did was the first time we went, Nick Galifinikus was the Congressman and he lived in Durham and he was sort of anti-war and Bill Friday was the President of the University and he was helpful. And we met right out here in the law school lounge, a group of about twenty, to plan things the first time or the second time. My memory isn't that good. But we would go up and we met with the two senators and every congressman from North Carolina. Nick Galifinikus and Bill Friday arranged that. We met in a great big room in the Senate and we filled it; a big hearing room.
ANN McCOLL:
So your whole three thousand people or whatever would come and you would have room for them?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, we'd meet in the biggest place they had and people would stand around and everything. The way it was was that we would present our position to them and then they would respond and so we would have three minute speeches by the editor of the Law Review, the President of the student body, the editor of the "Tarheel", the head of the Di Phi or whatever and that would take fifteen or twenty minutes. Then they could respond and then it would be thrown open for one minute rule, so you get

Page 16
on the mike and anybody who wanted to speak would line up at one of the many mikes around. Sam Ervin was then our Senator and the other Senator I forget his name. But he told us right then and there, he said, "Yesterday I voted to support the administration on something, but no more. You've convinced me."
ANN McCOLL:
That's great.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. So that was wonderful. On another time when we went up…. Then we'd break into the afternoon. You would sign up to meet a Congressman or a Senator from 2:00 to 2:30 or something and you'd go see him, say if you were from Wilmington, you'd see the Congressman from Wilmington. Then the buses still had to lay over eight hours before the driver could drive back, so there was time. And so on one of the occasions, we arranged to meet with the new Congresspeople.
ANN McCOLL:
From North Carolina?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No. National. They included Father Dreinon from Massachusetts, Bob Dreinon, Bella Abzug from New York and Ron Dellams from California. It was a great class of entering freshmen and they all agreed to meet with the North Carolina students. I remember Father Dreinon was way, way up on the top floor in the Cannon House office building, on the top floor where they put new Congressmen next to where they store boards or something, and my daughter Suzie was with me and she was ten or something. So he put her in what he called the "Pope seat" which was his big chair and she never has forgotten seeing it. But that's what we did. You know at the time of Kent State we went up and we'd gone up earlier. We met there outside the

Page 17
Planetarium at 5:30 and then got on the bus and we'd stop at Petersburg for a half an hour breakfast or something and then up there. Then the Methodists here were very good. There is a Methodist building right across from the Capitol Building next to the Supreme Court and they arranged to have box lunches for us for a dollar and a quarter or something like that for three thousand people, so the logistics were…. There were a lot of logistics to take care of. This was all done through the Campus Y.
ANN McCOLL:
Is the Y as active now?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Not so much because the Student Union is there and there are a lot of other groups that have come into existence which were not in existence in those days. When I came here we had maybe six thousand students and there were eighty-five entering law students when I came here. The law faculty had nine or ten and now we have thirty-five or forty and this same burgeoning occurred in all the departments, so instead of six thousand students, we have twenty thousand. So the faculty has grown accordingly.
ANN McCOLL:
Did those eighty-five law students tend to do things more on main campus then?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
We were on the campus. We were right there across from Lenoir Hall which was where everybody then ate. Everybody ate at Lenoir and they had a forty cent meal; a meat and two vegetables and bread and a dessert which was chocolate pudding or something and a drink. Bill Aycock was the Chancellor and he wanted to subsidize all the students. This was part of letting everybody

Page 18
come to the University; low tuition and low food. Breakfast you could get the same thing for thirty-five cents or something. Now downtown, it would cost you a dollar and a half. But we were across from Lenoir where everybody ate and I'd have a class from nine to ten and then nothing until eleven. All classes then were in the morning. We didn't have afternoon classes. Then we had eight o'clock classes. So if I had an eight to nine class, I would not have had breakfast and I would go to Lenoir and get my breakfast. There would be a whole bunch of tables lined up where there would be twenty law students eating breakfast and they were the ones I'd just had in class and I'd sit with them. "Hey, I didn't get what you said this morning about that case," or something. Or we'd read the newspapers and talk. So it was a built in congenial meeting place. Then there'd be the English department and the history department and they'd be at the next table, so there was a lot of interchange. Now we're way over here in [unknown]. But in any event, the law school was in the center of the campus and I would think that the great majority of our students then had been undergraduates here and they had been student leaders. They would have been the chairmen of the fraternities and on the golf team and whatever, so there were very close relationships. We do have an apartment in our house and the first ones who rented were three law students. They were Jack Lewis who is now on the Court of Appeals here, and Macky Redwine. We had Jackie and Mackie. He is a big shot in the Department of Justice, and another guy who became very close to Dan K. Moore. He was the assistant to Dan K. Moore and then

Page 19
Dan K. Moore made him a special Superior Court judge and he later was chairman of our Board of Trustees and so on. But Jack Lewis had been very active in the y as an undergraduate. The guy whose name escapes me at the moment had been the President of the senior class. So when they came to the law school, they didn't leave all that behind. The faculty was very active on the faculty council and Bob Wettach was the head of the University Press and had been the mayor of Chapel Hill. Van Hecke was very active and Henry Brandis was the chairman of the faculty. Herb Baer was the head of the major library committee. So there was very active involvement in the University.
ANN McCOLL:
Now you had some positions in the University, too, didn't you? You chaired the faculty?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
When I first came here I'd been from Arkansas and I was active in the AAUP which is the faculty organization.
ANN McCOLL:
American Association of University Professors?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. They look out for academic freedom. That is their main function then and still is. I joined that and got on the Academic Freedom committee. They were having some problems at the Dental School, so I was active there. Then about my third year here or something, I was elected to be the secretary of the AAUP and then the President. I was the President of the AAUP when we had the cafeteria strike. So we had a daily meeting of the expanded AAUP executive committee. Every day we met. The expanded included the Chairman of the faculty and the President of the student body and the head of the strike committee. We put out a daily bulletin on what's doing, so this was to dispel the

Page 20
rumors and so on. So I was high circus. Then I was on the Hearings Committee, and that's the committee that if a professor does not get tenure or if he gets fired, it goes to that peer group.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]


Page 21
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
ANN McCOLL:
So then you were elected to the hearings?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. That's a prominent position and it's very sensitive. I think the general feeling is that if I get a real bad dean who wants to get rid of me and I want to go to the hearings committee, who do I want to have sitting on that hearings committee? [laughter] So that's sort of the way it is. It's that and above that in prestige I think is the Faculty Council. There is a Faculty Advisory Committee to the Chancellor and this is a group of nine; three are elected each year for a three year term and they meet with the Chancellor monthly and review everything. Also, they pass on promotions and tenure decisions. So that's above the Hearings Committee, really, and I was elected to that and was the chairman of that. In the time of turmoil…
ANN McCOLL:
This is around the 1960's?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
The 1960's. Then later on I was on it again as ex-officio when the question was whether we wanted to join with Duke and Tabott and Nixon library and the Faculty Advisory Council advised the Chancellor unanimously to have nothing to do with it. [laughter] But in any event, I was elected to the Chancellor's Advisory Committee and then I was elected to the Chairman of the Faculty. It was a three year term and during my second term somehow they decided to change the provisions or something. Instead of electing at large, elect by division or some changes in the by-laws. The result was that they postponed an election. So I served four years instead of three years. So I was the

Page 22
Chairman of the Faculty longer than anybody else. We had a lot of problems. I tried to make procedural reforms.
ANN McCOLL:
Like what?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, for example, the Chancellor used to preside at the faculty meetings and I didn't think that was conductive to…. When I first came here, they had Coach Tatum of the football team who had his weekly luncheons with the press. They all have a weekly luncheon with the press. And they had it at what was then the Pines Restaurant which wouldn't allow blacks. So the black reporter could not attend the University of North Carolina's official weekly meeting with the press. So I thought that was pretty lousy and so I went to the Agenda committee of the faculty Council and I said, "I'd like to get on the agenda and my proposal is that we don't let the coach meet at segregated restaurants anymore, that they be integrated if they can find one," and that would be the Carolina Inn which I think at that time might have been segregated, too. Then there was another issue that came up at about the same time and this was the radio station, WUNC owned by the University. We carried whatever public radio whatever it was sent us and the only time we didn't do it was when they had a program on the evils of smoking. We decided not to carry that. I though that this was unfair censorship and I wanted to get a resolution before the Faculty Council suggesting that we not do this anymore. That would incur little blame on whoever had done it, which had been Dean Godfrey who was the Provost, the number two man, in the University. So I had to criticize the number two man in the University. Well, he

Page 23
sits on the platform next to the Chancellor who is really responsible. So I had trouble getting seconds for my motions. [laughter] So when I became the Chairman of the Faculty I worked it out with Sitterson who was then the Chancellor, that he would preside and open up the meeting and give this Chancellor's report, whatever it is and take questions and then turn it over to the Chairman of the Faculty who would do all the rest of it. The Chancellor would then go and sit in the front row and be a resource person, so if somebody had some questions and nobody knew the answer except him he could be there to be a resource person. But his job was to be a resource person sitting down on the front row and not on the podium and I thought that opened up more discussion.
ANN McCOLL:
Do you know if they still do it that way?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
The Chancellor sits up there still at the head table and he shouldn't I don't think. But there are other procedures like how you elect people. Then we got a lot of by-law changes, mostly on how you proceed against a faculty member or how you proceed against the student Honor Council is a student affair and not a faculty affair, but there is a faculty committee that deals with students. I tried to arrange a closer reproachment and I know I went to the inauguration of three student body presidents and they'd always be on our program. The graduate students always would have a program. The faculty meetings were pretty dull, so I started a program where people could come and explain what goes on in their department. That was sort of the fun thing. So we'd have the librarian or the Institute of Government

Page 24
or the Institute on Family Planning. Some parts of the University would come and give a five or ten minute presentation of what they do. So those were my…. You know, once you're gone, you're gone and whatever you do of substance may not survive, but if you can make procedural changes it might be helpful. So that's what I did as the Chairman of the Faculty. It was a lot of work. You have to go to lots and lots of meetings. So you sort of give up research and you give up outside organizations to do this. So it's a drain. I'm sure it was a wise thing to do except you can cope with problems better when you're the Chairman of the Faculty than when you're a law professor, you know.
END OF INTERVIEW