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Title: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, February 22, 1991. Interview L-0064-5. 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 22, 1991. Interview L-0064-5. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0064-5)
Author: Ann McColl
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, February 22, 1991. Interview L-0064-5. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0064-5)
Author: Daniel H. Pollitt
Description: 104 Mb
Description: 25 p.
Note: Interview conducted on February 22, 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.
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Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, February 22, 1991.
Interview L-0064-5. 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 the continuing series of interviews at the UNC law school. Today's date is February 21, 1991. The interviewer is Ann McColl.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
There is an aspect of my activities which is recurrent and it takes a lot of time, but I feel it's very important, and this is to be sort of the unofficial council advisor to the faculty people on this campus and on other campuses who have academic freedom problems. So I've done this at least every other year. There is a concern that comes along. And it started the first year I was here. I had been very active in the American Association of University Professors at Arkansas where I was before I came here. So when I came here, I made myself known to the AAUP and I was put on the Committee A which was the academic freedom committee of the AAUP here. Wayne Bowers of the physics department was the chair of that committee and he's a great fellow. He'd been here some years and was well-respected and was very well-respected in the physics field. He's a big shot. He worked at Los Alamos on the atom bomb with Oppenheimer. He was a very nice guy, well-regarded on the campus. They had a Committee A and I was the staff, the other member. And we got a complaint from some professor in the dental school. A lot of these complaints are just personality issues if you come right down to it, but the dean of the dental school didn't like him and was going to discipline him in some way or maybe suspend him or fire him or something. He told the guy what he didn't like about him, he said…. The guy had a beard

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which was very unusual in those days and he wore a dirty lengthy raincoat like the British lords do and he had a beard and he rode a motorcycle. He thought he conveyed the incorrect impression of the UNC dental school when he rode around on a motorcycle with his dirty raincoat and his beard. So he told the guy to shave off his beard and to sell his motorcycle and to get his raincoat cleaned or something like that. Also, the guy was well-regarded in whatever his field was. The dental school was fairly new at that time, in 1957 or thereabouts. They had a group practice so that if you had teeth problems you'd go to them and they'd fix your teeth. They'd charge you for it and then they would divide the proceeds or something. But this guy could go down to Fort Bragg in Fayetteville and fix the teeth there and make more money than he could doing it here. He also did something at the VA Hospital in Durham. So as far as his income was concerned, he knew things that most dentists didn't know and he could command a higher price and he didn't want to share it on a cooperative basis with his colleagues in the med school. We didn't find out about that part of it until later. We just knew the beard and the motorcycle. So Wayne Bowers called the dean of the dental school and we went to see him about this.
ANN McCOLL:
The two of you went?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes, the two of us. You can't fire a guy or you can't correct him. If you have something against him you have to file charges and give him a response and you have a peer group. Deans are not dictators, you know. And that was our message to the

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dean which he received with ill grace. He told us in effect that he was not only the dictator of his faculty but of us as well.
ANN McCOLL:
Did you have written policies at this time at the University?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No, we didn't. There were none. There were no policies at the University, but there was an AAUP policy. Most universities abide by AAUP policy. The fact is, I met Wayne Bowers at the physics department and we got into his car and we drove to the dental school and we parked in what we thought…. There were a lot of parking places. Parking was not a problem in those days. But we parked in a place reserved for dental school faculty and the dean had obviously been waiting for us, so we got in there and he told us that we were irresponsible and not respecting signs and go out and move the car out of the place. You know, that's an old tradition that you start off by finding fault with the other people if you can. It didn't bother me a bit and I said, "Fine, we'll go move the automobile."
ANN McCOLL:
So did you?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. We went and had to move the automobile. And he told us nothing. You know, I mean absolutely no. He was going to do what he wanted to do and he didn't appreciate our interference; that he was trying to get a good med school, a dental school, and that appearance was important and that this guy was demeaning the dental school with his riding around on a motorbike of all things. So we said, "Okay, thank you," and we were going to go see the Chancellor. So we drove over back to the physics department where we'd parked the car and then walked

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across the street to the Chancellor. Bill Aycock was the Chancellor. He saw us and knew we were from the AAUP and we told him we had just seen the dean without getting anywhere and we don't want the University to get in trouble because of that dean. What I remember about that the most is what Bill Aycock told us. In effect, he said that he had to support the deans. He didn't say that, but that was what I heard. The message that was conveyed was that unless the dean's really goofed something terrible he was going to support him and certainly he wasn't going to act on us. He might tell us to forget it, but then he wouldn't forget it. He might see the dean later, but he wasn't going to embarrass the dean by acting on our complaint. So he told us he wasn't going to act on our complaint. But while we were there the phone rang and it was the director of the Carolina Inn. Up to that point the Carolina Inn had been segregated and blacks weren't allowed in except to be waiters and cooks or something. The guy told Chancellor that there was a black person there and what it was, there was a high school swimming meet going on and this fellow was a member of a prep school on the swimming team that was competing. So I heard Bill Aycock say, "What's he doing?" And the guy told him he was watching television and Bill Aycock said, "Well let him watch." And hung up and that was it.
ANN McCOLL:
And then Carolina Inn was now integrated?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Carolina Inn was now integrated. But that's what I remember of that episode. And he said, "No." Well, the dental

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teacher retained a lawyer in Durham who was the chairman of the Board of Trustees to represent him before the Trustees.
ANN McCOLL:
That wasn't considered a conflict?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I thought it was a conflict. So what he did is they worked out a sizeable settlement and the guy rode off on his motorbike with a large sum of money in his pocket and that was how it was resolved. But that was my first episode where I tried to help out professors and tried to help the University abide by the recognized procedures of academia. Then it continued a long, long time.
Every other year there was some episode. A fun one, sort of, was Michael Paull.
ANN McCOLL:
When was this? What year was this?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
This was 1967. Michael Paull was a graduate student in English and he was a teaching assistant. There they have large freshmen courses and then one day a week they break into smaller groups and meet with teaching assistants who are graduate students working on something. Michael Paull was a very nice young man, married, and he'd come here from I believe Cornell and was in his second or third year being toward his Ph.D. degree. At that time we were starting the Upward Bound program where in the summer time we would recruit juniors and seniors in high schools, blacks, minorities, and bring them to the campus for five or six weeks. They'd live in the dorm and they'd see college life and they would have various courses which would sharpen their skills in English and math and whatever. Hopefully they would be interested in health matters. The med school was big on this to try to encourage people to take pre-med types of

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courses. Michael Paull, the graduate student, was very interested in that and he worked with the Upward Bound. It was started by the Y. It wasn't started by the University. It was started by the YMCA and got private support and then eventually the University adopted it. But Michael Paull had also one summer gone to Texas to work in their Upward Bound when they decided they should have one modeled on ours. He had been in ours, so he went down to Texas to show them how we had done it and to get it started. You didn't make a lot of money when you work for the YMCA on a volunteer project. So he was a very altruistic person and well-regarded by everyone. Now what happened was that they had…. He was from Detroit, Michigan and he had assigned a poem, "To His Coy Mistress" was the name of the poem. It was written by Andrew Marvell.
ANN McCOLL:
That was a very old poem.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Very old poem. I was just trying to find it. I have my file here. I have a big file. Here's the story in the Sunday New York Times of October 23, 1966.
ANN McCOLL:
So this is being reported?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Oh, boy was it reported. What happened was that Michael Paull who was this young graduate student, assigned his class to write a theme on Marvell's poem, "To His Coy Mistress" which is, you know, like twenty-five lines long or something. Well, I can't remember what it said, but there was a misinterpretation and one of the freshman coeds told her mother that she had to write a poem on "my first seduction" which was not true. At least that's what the mother reported at a dinner

Page 7
party to Jesse Helms who was then a radio commentator in Raleigh, now our Senator. And the mother told Jesse Helms that her daughter had told her that she had to write on "my first seduction" and the assignment was given by a young male graduate student.
ANN McCOLL:
Nothing was said about it being about this poem?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No. So Jesse Helms called the University and asked what was going on. "Are your young male graduate students trying to seduce the freshmen coeds this way?" And they didn't know anything about it, you know, and they said they'd call back. But in any event, Jesse went on the air.
ANN McCOLL:
During his editorials?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
During his editorial and complained that the University was assigning…. That the freshmen coeds had to write about their love affairs to the young graduate students who naturally were trying to seek out what was doing around. So that was the thing. And as soon as Jesse…. And he said, "What are they doing about it?" Well, immediately Carlysle Sitterson, the Chancellor, removed Paull from his teaching assignment to a research assignment, so he was no longer a TA, a teaching assistant, he was an RA, a research assistant.
ANN McCOLL:
Did they investigate what was going on?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No they didn't investigate. The problem was that the head of the English department was visiting. He was visiting at Texas. Maynard Adams was the acting head and he's a great fellow, but he teaches Thoreau and he lives in a world of his own. A good fellow, but in a world of his own, and he thought he

Page 8
was doing them a favor by giving him more time to be a research assistant than to be teaching. In any event, it happened. So here's the New York Times: "A poem arouses university storm," is the headline. Subline is, "Teacher transferred over theme on seduction." It starts off, "To his coy mistress. A poem about seduction written more than three hundred years ago by Andrew Marvell, one of the great poets of the Puritan period in England, has risen to stir a tempest on the campus of the University of North Carolina." That's the lead paragraph and it goes on to say that "An instructor has been transferred from teaching to research duties. Students are mounting protests." And that's true. They then went to investigate his students. There were twenty-two in his class and they all signed a petition asking that he be returned and many of them said that he was the best teacher that they had at Carolina and they liked him and they wanted him back. What had happened again, was that Michael Paull had read and asked the students to read their essays and one or two had exaggerated and so on, and Paull told them that that's not what he had had in mind when he had asked them to…. Their assignment was to discuss the poem in terms of what they had been learning in poetry writing; onomatopoeia, alliteration and rhyming and whatever. And that's what they were supposed to do. They weren't supposed to give their personal experiences at all, but one or two had, you know. After they did the other, they went on and added things. Then when he was transferred, the students were upset and the twenty-two students signed the petition. "We want him back." All of them. One hundred

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percent. And then the graduate students in the English department said they were going on a strike and they were no longer going to teach until he was reinstated. The Tarheel got involved and had editorials saying, "Put him back. What kind of a University is this?" And the President of the student body, Bob Powell, a great fellow, said that the student council was going to have an investigation. We have a lot of graduates in the press media. Brinkley and Tom Wicker and a whole bunch of them.
ANN McCOLL:
The big names.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
The big names. So they were writing editorials. The Wall Street Journal had a lead editorial on academic freedom and they all made fun of it and Life magazine had a full page reprint of the poem and sort of made fun of Southern institutions that can't stand up to having students comment on a three hundred year old poem. Again, from the New York Times, "An instructor has been transferred from teaching to research duties and students are mounting protests. Faculty members are disturbed. Chancellor Carlysle Sitterson, who recommended the transfer, has had to issue an clarifying statement and justification. And then the clouds began to gather when Michael Paull, an instructor in freshman English, assigned his class to write a theme on the subject of ‘To His Coy Mistress’, a poem that appears in many college textbooks and anthologies used in classwork. The resulting themes were read aloud and some of the students found them embarrassing. At least one regarded some of them as vulgar. The instructor also was embarrassed and asked that the themes be

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rewritten. One of the students apparently wrote her parents about the incident and the parents brought it to the attention of WRAL T.V., a television station in Raleigh with right wing views that has been a frequent critic of liberalism at the University. All twenty-two of Mr. Paull's students signed petitions requesting his return to teaching duties. Between two hundred and three hundred students and faculty members organized into the Committee for Free Inquiry and asked that Mr. Paull be reinstated and that a review board be set up in the English department. Some newspapers expressed concern. The Greensboro Daily News declared, ‘The spectacle of a great University reassigning its instructors at the behest of a bullying television station is hardly believable.’ The Daily Tarheel campus newspaper headed its editorial, ‘Who's afraid of Jesse Helms? The University, that's who."’ So it went. They did appoint a committee in the English department to review the whole situation. There are five members; five tenured senior members of the faculty were appointed to look into it and this was a fig leaf. You can't just put him back and acknowledge you were wrong. So you have a committee and the committee…. Another report here is nineteen pages long and there were distinguished people on the committee and they recommended that he be reinstated, that it had all been an misunderstanding. And he was reinstated.
ANN McCOLL:
Now did you talk to Michael Paull during this process?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
He came to me right away.
ANN McCOLL:
How did he know about you?

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DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Because I had a reputation around the campus and I was fairly active in a number of things. The war was going on, the Viet Nam War, and I was very active in the anti-war movement. We'd had the strike and I had been the President for the AAUP, so he came to me.
ANN McCOLL:
What did you advise him?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, I advised him to lay low. I told him, "You're right. Lay low and don't do anything." CBS came to him and NBC came to him and Donahue came to him. They wanted him to be on the talk shows. This was a big deal. A major Southern University rolls over and plays dead, you know, all because of a three hundred year old poem which is in all the anthologies, you know. So it's sort of unique. I told him not to do any of these things. What he wanted was his reinstatement and to be cleared. He was finishing his thesis. He was ready to go and get a job and he should not be a controversial figure for his own good; and not to seek the momentary exposure on T.V. and everything. There was a Canadian television that wanted him to come on. I told him that might be okay, but that it ought to be all sides. We arranged it in my office and I got Mr. Adams who had suspended him to agree to come and give his side. He apologized there on T.V. for acting precipitously, that he had thought…. He had been told by the Chancellor's office that he had assigned a seduction essay on "my first seduction", which is why he had removed him. Had he known it was Marvell, the great poet, he would never have done that. So, they were broadcasting from my office for Canada consumption. I did arrange with Life magazine,

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I knew the editor from high school days, they send somebody down to take pictures. They ran the centerfold, so to speak; they had a picture of Marvell and all that. But they didn't mention Paull except in passing. One thing that happened was that the photographer…. There was a photographer and a writer that came down and they wanted to interview the young woman who had sparked the whole thing by telling her mother and she was in a women's dorm. You can't go in a women's dorm after eight o'clock or something like that. And these two guys from New York wanted to see her so they went right in, "What's her room number?" And went upstairs in the women's dorm and knocked on her door and they were thrown out. Then the University was incensed at these people and they blamed Paull somehow for doing this. Then they found that he'd shortchanged his account somehow in the summer at the Upward Bound by a couple of bucks, you know. He was not a bookkeeper. He passed up all sorts of opportunities to work for fifty dollars a month for them. So always you try to denigrate the opposition to justify your unjustified actions and that was going on. What I did was I counseled him. We'd meet every day and he and his wife came to dinner and his good friends and all the English graduate students. And I told them not to go on strike. Threaten to strike, but don't do it, you know. I went to the…. Croyden Spruill was the Provost then and he was a great old man and he had been the dean of the business school and then he'd been the Dean of Arts and Sciences and then he was the Provost and a good fellow. I had known him on a number of projects and liked him and trusted him. So I got the AAUP to

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introduce a resolution that we amend the University by-laws to create rights for graduate students. They had been not mentioned. Joe Sloane, who was the head of the art department and ran the museum, and I were the committee and we went to see Croyden Spruill and told him that we ought to change the by-laws so that this would never happen again. And he agreed that that was a good thing to do. So this was an out and the department and the investigating committee and the English department thought this was a good recommendation, so that we did get the by-laws changed so that you cannot remove a teaching assistant from his teaching duties without first giving him notice and an opportunity to be heard with an appeal in the graduate school.
ANN McCOLL:
That's good.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. So that was an achievement. So Michael Paull was reinstated and then when he graduated, I wrote Ted Ethrington who was the President of Wesleyan and to some other people recommending him. I said, "He's a nice guy. He's not a trouble maker at all. He was just an innocent victim. You don't have to worry about his making waves or anything," which was important. He did get a job at City College in New York teaching Beowulf. Now how many people need a Beowulf teacher? He could do other things, but that was his love; and part time on their Upward Bound. So he got exactly what he wanted. His wife taught autistic children and she got a job doing work with the autistics, so that was a very happy ending.
ANN McCOLL:
A good story.

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DANIEL H. POLLITT:
So that was Michael Paull. He was better than that dentist. Another case I worked on…. Do we have time for another one?
ANN McCOLL:
Yes.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
All right. Let's do another one. This was not so much fun. I mean, you knew ultimately that they are not going to fire a guy for assigning Marvell's "To a Coy Mistress," and you knew there'd be lots of jokes and humor. It was an important matter. It was very important. You shouldn't fire a guy for that reason. It just came to me another young man, who was a little bit earlier during Bill Aycock's chancellorship, was a graduate student in something to do with sports. We have a graduate program in sports. And this guy had been assistant coach on the tennis team. That's sort of like a TA; he's teaching tennis. They had lost a game, a match, and the press asked him, "What about it?" And he said, "We had a great game. We had a great game. Everybody played well, you know, and we're improving." And they said, "Yes, but you lost." And he said, "Well, winning isn't everything," whereupon the coach fired him. The coach said, "He's wrong. We want somebody to whom winning is everything, you know. We don't want these guys that, ‘As long as you play the game well."’ So he came to me and I went to see Bill Aycock and in the meantime the guy had been assigned from being an assistant coach to being a research assistant doing research on sports of some nature. I saw the Chancellor and the Chancellor said, "Well, nothing's happened. His being a research assistant is even better than being a teaching assistant and he's

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getting the same amount of money and he can finish his Ph.D. that much sooner and he's not harmed." So he didn't do anything to help him. This was before the Michael Paull situation and I was afraid they would pull that again. I mean, you ask the guy, "Would you rather be the assistant tennis coach or would you rather go to the library and do research?" There is a difference.
ANN McCOLL:
To him he was hurt.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
To him, he'd been disgraced. Well in any event, in 1965, the same year, I guess…
ANN McCOLL:
Was that 1967?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
1967 was when I wrote my letter to Fred Ethrington and here's a picture of him. This is 1966 in the Chapel Hill Weekly. "Faculty committee report on the Paull affair."
So a little bit earlier we had the Freymann controversy.
ANN McCOLL:
What was the name?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
This was Moye Freymann. He was the director of the Population Center.
ANN McCOLL:
And what is that?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, it's birth control, family planning. I guess HEW at one time in the early Kennedy years decided there should be family planning around the world. So they made money available to universities to set up family planning centers. We set up one. The Population Center it's called. It's like the Institute of Government or the Early Learning Center. We have a bunch of centers and institutes on this campus. This was the Population Center. Some people in the med school thought this was important

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and they put in for the grant. They got Moye Freymann who had been at Harvard in their public health school to come down and head it and they made him a Kenan Professor or something in the School of Public Health. His job was to create and develop the Population Center which he did. It became one of the foremost population centers of the world for study and advice and library and research and everything. You know, you sort of grow, you feed on what you have. So since we were the best, when the Carnegie Foundation wanted to get something done they would give it to us to do because we had the resources. Then we would expand and then we would be even bigger and better and then somebody else would give us money. Freymann was the heart and soul. He was just like Albert Coates who developed the Institute of Government. Freymann developed the Population Center and it expanded its bounds and it grew. I don't know; there were a hundred people working at the Population Center. They had projects all over the world. The way I first became acquainted with Mr. Freymann was when an Iranian came into my office and said he had just been fired from the Population Center and he was an Iranian from Iran who had come here to get a degree in sociology and population control and was really working for the Population Center and not in the Department of Sociology. There was a large grant from the government of Iran to the Population Center to work on population control in Iran. This was the guy, I think he was related to the Shah or something, who had come over there. Well, Freymann didn't like him for some reason and fired him summarily. Well, the guy had come to me and I went to

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see Freymann and I told him you can't fire people summarily. He said, "Well, this guy is in research on contract and he's not a professor and he's a graduate student in sociology. He's not really in the Population Center except we hired him to do a special job. He didn't do it well and we're not going to renew his contract. We're not violating academic freedom." And I said, "Well, tell him why and give him a chance to respond." He said, "He knows why." And I said, "Well, put it in writing." He says, "I don't have to bother with the likes of you." So I didn't know what to do. The Iranian was ready to go back to Iran or something, so he didn't want to file a law suit and that was about the end of it. That's how I met Freymann and I didn't like him, you know. I thought he had no feelings for his underlings. He took a concept and built it into concrete and bricks and bank accounts and libraries and everything. He was a great administrator and maybe that's what you have to do to be a great administrator. Then he himself went on a trip around the world to check on all the various projects that were going on. And it was a two month trip or something; maybe a month to visit all the projects. When he was in India he got a telegram saying that he was removed from the directorship. There was a board on the Population Center and it consisted of maybe six people. And the med school and the School of Public Health and the Department of Religion and sociology, you know; that was the board. They had decided they didn't like the way he was managing things, so they sent him a telegram and removed him from the directorship while he was in India. So he came back immediately and came to see me.

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So I looked at the telegram and I looked at the board. I know them all. Most of them are good friends of mine and allies in most things. One of them was John Graham who had been a real leading light in the med school; great reputation for his work and real concerned with social aspects of the world. He had been the Vice President and I had been the President of the AAUP. So all the people on this Population Center board I'd always thought of as very close friends. So I wrote them all a letter and I said, "Hey, you've gone overboard here and you forgot what we're all about and that decency and democracy and due process require that you tell him why you did it and give him a chance to respond. He doesn't respond to you first, but then there ought to be another group because you're his accusers and you shouldn't be his judgers." So they wrote me back and said, "Well, that's true for professors, but he's still a Kenan Professor in the School of Public Health. Directors have to earn their keep every day and they have no rights." They weren't going to tell him why they fired him.
ANN McCOLL:
Did he have any idea?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
He never told me any idea. He told me he had never done anything that was not a hundred percent perfect. So I never did find out. So then I went to see the Chancellor and that was Ferebee Taylor. I told Ferebee Taylor that you can't remove directors summarily by telegram. You have to have a process for removing them. And in the meantime Freymann wrote to all the contributors. One of them was Belk, Mr. Belk of the department store. They had an advisory committee which was all Mr. Bigs,

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fat cats, who contributed a lot of money. About ten or fifteen of the very wealthy prominent North Carolinians were…. This is a good thing to do to worry about population growth in the third world or whatever. So they all wrote a letter to the Chancellor saying, "Hey, Freymann is a wonderful guy. What are you doing?" That sort of made the Chancellor angry at me so I saw him and I had the letter, a copy of the letter and everything and said, "You know we're antagonizing a lot of the donors and supporters and besides the only right way to do it is to give the guy a chance to respond before an impartial group, a noninvolved group." And the Chancellor said, "That's not true for administrators." So he wasn't going to do anything. He wasn't going to provide a forum. So then I went to the Faculty Council and I was on the Faculty Council. I made a motion that we amend the by-laws to require that administrators are given the same rights that professors are given in terms of discharge. They have a hearing before the standing committee on hearings. So I made the motion to the Agenda Committee and they weren't going to put it on the agenda. So I stood up and they said, "Does anybody have any concerns?" There's a period for concerns and I had a concern and I wanted this discussed by the Faculty Council and they said, "Well they didn't think it was appropriate." I appealed the decision of the chair and you need two-thirds and we got two-thirds, so it was on the agenda for the next meeting. It was on the agenda for three consecutive meetings and we'd always extend the time. There is a compulsory closing time of 5:00 or something. We'd extend the time for another half hour and then

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for another half hour. Then no more because people had left and we didn't have a quorum anymore. But the Chancellor who presides at these things said, "I am entitled to earn my job every day that I go to work. I get up in the morning and if I don't do a good job that day there's no reason why Bill Friday down the hill can't fire me. And I want the opportunity to serve my job every day." So here we are sitting and there he is up on the platform and he's expressing the view and to amend the by-laws I need three-fourths. I'd get up and I had cases where professors…
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]


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[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
So at the same time, there was a case involving Earl Peacock who is now a first year law student. Earl Peacock had been on the medical school faculty and during the Korean war he had been at Valley Forge Hospital and he had been assigned to burns on the hands. He had done three or four thousand operations on hands. His father had been in the business school. So he came back to Chapel Hill where held been born and bred and started a hands department over at the med school and a burn center. That still goes on, The Burn Center and the hands. And he got a lot of money from HEW to do his thing. He was very competent, very well-regarded, writes well, does research, writes papers, does operations. Arizona was looking for a dean of their medical school and hired him to be the dean of their medical school. So he left and went out to Arizona as their dean. Two or three years after he went there he had some altercation with the president and the president fired him as the dean of the medical school. So Earl Peacock is not one to take this lying down, so he filed a suit saying, "You can't fire me without due process," and asked for judgment. He got something like a million and a half dollars from the jury against the University and the governor and everybody else. Well, that was appealed and the court said, "That's too high," and sent it back. At the time that we were having our dispute, Earl Peacock had won the million and a half verdict. You can't fire a dean of a medical school without due process. Earl Peacock had been here ten or fifteen years and a lot of people on

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the Faculty Council knew Earl Peacock. So I was relying on the Earl Peacock case and a couple of others involving college presidents and said, "I have the law on my side and I have justice on my side. There's no reason why you should stab a man in the back. Come out front and tell him what you have against him and let him respond. Let the decision be made by an impartial peer group and if he's doing something bad, remove him." And the Chancellor and others were arguing, "No, directors are different." So I lost on Freymann, but we reached a compromise. Directors are not to be protected as are professors, but department chairmen are. The reason for that distinction is that the faculty recommend department chairmen to the Chancellor for appointment, but directors are appointed by the Chancellor without consultation with the faculty. Directors are the creatures of the Chancellor and department chairmen are creatures of the faculty. So that was the compromise. And so with three-fourths vote we had gotten the department chairmen protected. I had more than a majority, but not the three-fourths majority for directors. I was talking about retroactive, you know, ending cases. So Freymann lost there.
Then you can appeal to the Trustees which I did, which I lost. Then you can go to the governors and I took it to the governors. They appointed a subcommittee to hear my appeal. I went there and there was a case…. I was arguing constitution and if there is a liberty interest, you're entitled to due process procedure. There had been a Supreme Court case out of Wisconsin where Wisconsin law says that the sheriff can go around at every place where they

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sell liquor and post the names of known alcoholics and the sheriff up there had posted the name of this woman as a known alcoholic and she sued him and the Federal Court saying she had been denied Constitutional rights. She wanted a chance to respond before he publicly identified her as a known alcoholic. And the Supreme Court said she had a liberty interest in her good name and therefore, that triggered the requirement of a due process hearing. I had that case. That was my prime case; easy to understand the feeling. I'd written my brief and it centered around that case. The week before we had our argument before the governors the Supreme Court came down with another case where the Chief of Police in Louisville, Kentucky around Christmas time had sent out mug shots of known shoplifters and had their name and a picture of them all and sent them to all the retail outlets so they could watch out for these people. Well, he had mistakenly included a guy who worked for the Louisville Courier Journal. So he had filed a suit relying on my known alcoholic case and the Supreme Court reversed and said that it's something that's protected by the state. Your good name is protected by the states, but not by the Federal Constitution, so I was arguing that Freymann, you know, you remove him summarily, obviously he raped somebody or he went off with some money or he did something bad and he has a chance to defend and that's his liberty interest in his good name. I lost on that case, so the governors ruled against me.
ANN McCOLL:
So they knew about the new case, too?

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DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I had to tell them. [laughter] I forget who was on the other side. They didn't know about it. It had been the law a week so you have to tell them. Freymann lost. So he went to the School of Public Health. Harvard had offered him a job when all this happened and he turned it down because he wanted to vindicate himself here and then he went to file a law suit. I told him not to because I said, "Now you're a trouble maker and all that and you'll be stuck here." And he said, "Well, I haven't done anything wrong. I want to know," and all that stuff. And I told him, "You never win these cases and if you do win, it's just a [unknown] victory because you lose over all. You're going to spend two or three years and all your emotion is going to be devoted to that; you have to spend a lot of money on that. It's best to let bygones be bygones." And he said, "Well, it's easy for you to say that." So he did bring the law suit which he lost and in the meantime, they didn't treat him well at Public Health. Originally, they treated him well. They gave him a corner office and an office for his secretary and then some research space. Then gradually they took away his research space and then they took away the room for his secretary, so his secretary had to move in with him. Then they took away his secretary. So I see him occasionally.
ANN McCOLL:
He's still here?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes, he's still here. He's a Kenan Professor of the School of Public Health and he's very bitter. He reacts the way anybody else would. But that was not like the Michael Paull case

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which had a happy ending. This had an unhappy ending as do a lot of my projects.
ANN McCOLL:
Has this distinction continued as far as between directors and….
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. It's in the by-laws. We got the by-laws so that the chairman of history, which is much larger than the law school…. They have fifty or sixty professors and two thousand history majors or whatever. That guy or woman cannot be removed without a due process hearing. But the Dean of the Journalism School or the Dean of the Law School or the Director of the Frank Porter Graham Center for Retarded Children, they can be removed tomorrow for no reason——whim, caprice, whatever. So that's not been changed. So that's an aspect of my career. I could give you ten more stories, you know, but this is representative.
ANN McCOLL:
Thanks.
END OF INTERVIEW