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Title: Oral History Interview with William C. Friday, November 19, 1990. Interview L-0144. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Friday, William C., interviewee
Interview conducted by Link, William
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: 136 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
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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.
2007-10-16, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with William C. Friday, November 19, 1990. Interview L-0144. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0144)
Author: William Link
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with William C. Friday, November 19, 1990. Interview L-0144. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0144)
Author: William C. Friday
Description: 162 Mb
Description: 20 p.
Note: Interview conducted on November 19, 1990, by William Link; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Karen Brady-Hill.
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 William C. Friday, November 19, 1990.
Interview L-0144. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Friday, William C., interviewee


Interview Participants

    WILLIAM C. FRIDAY, interviewee
    WILLIAM LINK, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
WILLIAM LINK:
Last time we were talking about Frank Porter Graham. And I have a couple of questions about Graham, and I wonder if you could clear them up for me. You have mentioned that you had worked with him as a student at North Carolina State, had you met him before?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
No. That budget hearing was the first that I knew of him, of course, but the first time that I ever encountered him. I was president of class at N.C. State, and that through me into this kind of public adventure. And so I went merrily on downtown and sat there in the budget hearing, along with the president of the student body, and some others.
WILLIAM LINK:
The president of the student body's from all over, well, of the three?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
There was three at that time.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
He rallied student support.
WILLIAM LINK:
Did you, as a law student, have contacts, or —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
No. But we were in touch, of course. But we were all too busy trying to get out of law school. And see, we all came back the average age of that class, at that time was about twenty-seven. That was Bill Aycock, and Judge Dickson Phillips, and William Dees, and John Jordan, and L. P. McClendon, Jr., a whole group there that, it was really five classes that telescoped into one, because of the war. And most of us were married, that wanted to get on with it, and we went to school around the clock. Two sessions in the summer right straight through. A very hard grind, to be honest about it. I wouldn't do it again. But it was where we formed the friendships that lasted for forty years there.
WILLIAM LINK:
When would you say your first extensive contacts with Frank Graham were?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
When I came back when I went to work here in September 1948. I was upstairs in the Dean of Students office with Fred Weaver. And few people were as close to Dr. Graham as Fred was. That was ages old. And when Fred, when I went to work there Fred wanted to finish his advanced work, so I filled-in as acting dean, while Fred went to Harvard, and then to Columbia. And he never did finish his Ph.D. work. And later after I assumed office, he came down and was with me for a while as vice president. And then he wanted to go abroad, so he took a Ford Foundation appointment to India, and died there, unexpectedly, playing tennis one day of a heart attack. But that was a friendship that reached back to 1939. Because I had known Fred, in those days, when I was at N.C. State, and he was here. But it was probably primarily through that relationship and Billy Carmichael, who was vice president of the University, with Dr. Graham. I had known him before World War II, also. And when I came back he pulled me into his work orbit and that meant Dr. Graham and Mr. Claude Teague. That was Dr. Graham's team that he put together. I was certainly the minor junior member. I carried the books, and did all of that. But, then that just led to a succession of things, where you watched Dr. Frank operate, you knew what he did. He was a good teacher. And I used to, I'd drive, you know, do whatever was necessary to accommodate. Because it was a real learning process. None of that is in the textbooks anywhere. And then when he went to the Senate, of course, that appointment was made. I never will forget that occasion because, that very afternoon, which was March 22, 1949, I

Page 2
believe, Governor Gardner's birthday, and about three o'clock Billy Carmichael called me into his office and said, "I've got to tell you something that nobody else in this State knows." And I said, "What's that?" And he said, "Well, tonight Kerr Scott is going to appoint Frank Graham to the Senate." And I said, "You've got to be kidding?" I was so shocked by it. He said, "Now, don't you go out of here and say a word to anybody, because it's just got to be that way." So, he and I went into the Lenoir Hall for the first Oliver Max Gardner Award Dinner, of which that wonderful teacher from UNCG, Louise Alexander, was going to get the very first award. And we went through all of the ceremony, and all of the ritual, and just as casually as he would say that tomorrow is Wednesday, Governor Scott got up and said, "Now I have an announcement that I want to make. And that is, I have asked Dr. Graham to go to the Senate, and I'm appointing him tonight." And, well then the roof came off the building. You know, it was such a shock.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was there much, I gather he had a lot of hesitation about accepting it? Frank Graham did.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, he told me that he had been asked three different times. Jonathan Daniels was really the pressure, generator on this. He wanted Dr. Graham up there. And, he then called, I think he had all of the Chancellor's together, Mr. Harrelson, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. House, and talked it over with him. But I don't think anybody, at that time, could have anticipated what ultimately happened, when he had to run for election. But it was one of those cases of a Governor having to convince somebody that that was the next thing he should do. Dr. Graham had been President of the University for what, about nineteen years, I think, at the time. I think he was ready to move on. He was ready to move up to that level of national involvement, and he did. Had he been re-elected, he would have been one of the historic members of the Senate. But he moved on over to the United Nations, after he was defeated, and did equally well.
WILLIAM LINK:
Did you have much involvement in the campaign? The 19 —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
It was purely secondary, because I was working in the University then, and state employees could not do that. But I would do things that were on my time, like driving and working to get up material, and stuff like that. No. That was all done by Judge Johnson, who was his campaign manager. He kept control over everything. And I would more or less respond to Dr. Graham personally. When he would ask me for something, or, I was not out trying to get votes, in the formal sense, or in the organized sense, because I knew that was against the law. But, I stayed close to him, and then that little scene that I described for you happening on the steps of South Building, that's when it ended. From that moment on, it was sort of at loose ends. And the next time that I ever got involved with him in any closeness, was when he asked me one day about someone to go to India-Pakistan, and I characterized that episode for you, and that's when I discussed Chancellor Aycock with him. And then he would come in and out, and then the United Nations. And then when I took office, he came down and spoke and took part in the ceremony with me. And it was that way, and then he moved back here eventually, after Marian's death, which was a terribly, terribly hard blow to him. Because I met him at the airport. Brought him home. And I could tell he could hardly move, he was in such a state of shock. They were an inseparable pair. It was really very sad.
WILLIAM LINK:
When was this, that she died?

Page 3
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
I've forgotten. But it was thereafter they'd gone back up to New York, and they were living in New York. And she became ill up there, sometime later.
WILLIAM LINK:
How did the Senate race of 1950 affect you? In your view, did it affect you, at all?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Yes. Well, I, like anybody else, at that age, at that time, I didn't become bitter about it, I just knew that that was no way for a state to make a decision. The racial hatred part of it, to me, was just a disaster. But it drove me away from political involvement, as a participant. I said, "I don't want to waste my life fooling with that kind of garbage and trash." And I haven't regretted that decision at all, because I learned that someone in an administrative position in a university, at the level that I was privileged to serve, can do so much more than a governor or senator, when it comes to getting lasting things done in a state. And I've often said that being President of the University was a much better position than being Governor of the State anytime, because for that reason. Now, you don't go out and gain a lot of notoriety, and they don't do this-or-that. But, if that's what you want to do you ought to go on and get in politics, and take your chances. But, more than that, I really did not approve of what happened there, in any way personally. And that influenced me as much as anything in this most recent Senatorial decision. And it's a terrible commentary on our State, but it has to acknowledge it, it's true.
WILLIAM LINK:
So, it sort of affected the way that, subsequently, when you, the possibility of political involvement, [unclear] .
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
I worked through other people. I worked to help Terry Sanford. And then I think I've been involved with nine different Governor's. And in each of cases, my—I felt my opportunity was to show them how effectively the University could serve the State, but not be dominated by the political process. Keep it cleaner and [unclear] . And that was why I did it that way. But, no, I will acknowledge, at this time, when I saw what was happening, and I don't mean it was going to be, and I knew that Harvey Gantt couldn't win, with the way they were doing in the last two weeks. There was a moment or two when I wished I had done it this time. But, they would have done the same thing to the University all over again. And one of his—one of the people working in his office who'd been a life-long friend of mine, came to me and said, he was just not going to let what they planned happen to me, without telling me. And he told me of the accumulated files they have over there, at the campaign headquarters, of the Speaker Ban law, the medical school, the homosexuals, the community church, first one thing and another. Well, you know, what you come down to say to yourself is that what right do I have to drag the University through all that again. So, I went outside the State, and then I've known Lou Harris for a long time, I sent him the results of a poll that had been run by the AFL-CIO, did I tell you this before?
WILLIAM LINK:
No.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
And that poll showed that in the first series of questions, and that's pollster's way of doing things, they asked eight questions right out, and then they discuss several areas of crisis in a given situation, and then they ask another series of questions. Well, the first question, of course, is just a flat-out: If you had to vote between these two people, who would you chose? Well, two percentage points separated us on that question, and he was first. When they finished the interview, the thing shifted and forty-two

Page 4
percent would have voted for me, and twenty-two percent for him. And I said, "Louis, what this says is that a) he can be beaten this time, and b) it'll take somebody who is not controversial, but who's firm and clean to beat him. And Louis answered, "All of that is correct," he said, "What have you got when it's over?" He said, "You'll know what he'll do." And said—I said, "If I were you I'd ask myself what right have I got to do this to the University?" I just said, "I just don't want to be responsible for it." And I'd done what I considered a harder days work as I could do, every day I was in there. And I didn't feel that I had failed in any way, to do that, whether I succeeded or not, is another question. But, after that, and thinking about it was when I decided I wasn't going to be tempted. But, everyone that looked at that, and everybody that called, and everyone that studied those things, said, "You can remove him." And I said, "But, at what price?" So, you know, it's a personal call at that stage.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. You mentioned several people that were important in Frank Graham's administration, that continue to be important all through the '50s, at least, even after Frank Graham had left. Could you describe in a little bit more detail the administrative set-up, that the people, key people, what kind of function they played in Graham's administration?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, the University, at that time, structurally was very small. Only three campuses: Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Greensboro. Dr. Graham, I don't know how he ran the University in the mid-30s, because I was still at Raleigh. But he had a very small staff. Ms. Billie Curtis was with him for a long, long time. She just died out here at Carol Woods. She was his secretary, records keeper, travel arranger, she did it all. Perfectly, wonderful woman who dedicated her entire life to him. And she kept the records of the Board of Trustee's meetings. She looked after him in the professional sense. The Chief of Finance was Vice President Billy B. Carmichael, Jr., who came back here from his own firm on Wall Street; Carmichael and Carson. And he became the legislative liaison, the finance chief, the man who organized all public occasions. He brought public television to the State. And he initiated the notion of raising large sums of money for public institutions, and he did it well. He's one of the unsung people, in the history of the place. There was no chief academic officer in those days, because Dr. Graham envisioned himself as being the chief academic officer, really. Then, Mr. Buster Shepherd, was an Assistant Treasurer, but he was not a member of the—Dr. Graham's office team, but he was pulled in by Mr. Carmichael all the time, to help develop the budget proposals, and everything that had to go to the Legislation. I didn't get involved as a member of Dr. Graham's team, having been put on his staff, I was always pulled from upstairs, in the local administration. Once Dr. Graham left, Mr. Gray brought in a firm from New York; Cresap, McCormick and Pagett, and they did a thorough going study of the University structure. And it was completely revamped. And that's when Logan Wilson became the Chief Academic Officer, and Mr. Carmichael the Chief Finance person, and then the Assistant to the President, and that's the job I had. And it began to grow then, to its present posture. But, Dr. Graham ran it himself.
WILLIAM LINK:
You have, I gather, a fairly close working relationship with Billy Carmichael?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Very close. He and I were good friends. And working partners, and that stayed that way everyday.

Page 5
WILLIAM LINK:
You knew him, you mentioned earlier that you had first met him when you were a student at State? Is that right?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
That's right.
WILLIAM LINK:
What was the contacts there?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
The same thing. Legislative things. Although, he was more involved in the life of an institution at the time, and I remember very well, that one time Kay Kyser was over there with him NBC radio show, and Mr. Carmichael brought him out to the Riddick Stadium, where we were having this huge pep rally between State and Carolina, and WRAL Radio, at that time, had opened lines between the two campuses, and they'd do one thing on this campus, and it would be answered over here, and then vice versa it. It worked up quite a forbear. He brought Kay out there, and that was my first exposure to him, which developed into a reach and deep friendship forty years later. But, he was very sports oriented. And loved to get out and meet people, and get involved. Billy Carmichael had a very tender spot in him. A lot of people didn't know that. He was an exceedingly sensitive person, in a lot of ways. He was a very gentle man. I've never seen him hurt anybody. But, he'd work himself to the point of exhaustion. And he would not let anybody drive the car. He'd always had to. And only one time, in all those years, we were down, we were down in Kinston, at some occasion and he got very sick, and I just put him on the back seat and let him go to sleep. And I drove his car all the way home. He did a lot to position knowledge about the University out in the State. He worked hard at organizing the foundation and structure you see in North Carolina right now at all of our campuses. He got the major wealth in the State to start giving to these institutions. And he built buildings, and [Phone ringing] I'm sure that he was the man that got William Neil Reynolds to give the initial money for the Reynolds Coliseum. And he was just that kind of person. I don't know of a man that loved Chapel Hill, [unclear] than he did. And he and Dr. Graham complimented each other. Mr. Carmichael never was the kind of person that would do anything to suggest undercutting, or anything like that. No, that wasn't in his nature. But he knew how to interpret Dr. Graham, to people like the money-structure, and the textile industry. But some people were just completely unreconstructed, so he just didn't work with it, just went on, because there's nothing you can do with them anyway. They didn't want to learn. They didn't want to grow. They didn't want to understand. They just were very rigid in their position, and Billy understood that so awfully well. But he was a great one for laughter. He was a great influence with his humor. And I don't think he loved any place any more than the Woman's College. He'd go over there, he'd just love to be invited to come over there to speak, because he had so much fun with people like; Professor Barton, and Professor Shaeffer, and Mark Freelander, and Gregory Ivey, and all that wonderful crowd that had been over there for, I don't know how long, how many years. And so he was appreciated by a small segment of society, but most people never understood really how much he did do. The Good Health Program that built the big hospitals all over the State. Converted this to a four-year medical school. And built clinics around it. He was as much responsible for that, than any one person in the history of the State. And it was a very dramatic thing cause North Carolina led all states at the end of the war, in the numbers of youth rejected for physical disability. That was a terribly, terribly incriminating fact. And we set out to change, and I think have, I rather consider. But I say I brought television here, that was a long, long struggle, but he raised the million dollars, virtually by himself. And he saw to it there was studios on each campus, to keep everybody involved.
WILLIAM LINK:
That is the foundation of the public, what became public television?

Page 6
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
That's right. We got the allocation of the channels and kept them, and went on from there.
WILLIAM LINK:
He was a very key figure in the lobbying efforts?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
He was it. Nobody could touch him. He was that good. And he was very effective. He worked his way through all of his contemporaries at the university were then power structure of the legislature. And he organized them. It was really amazing to see the man work. And he didn't know any of that till he came here. He had never made a public speech until he came back here to work. And when his career ended, he was probably the most sought after speaker ever here, because he was a good entertainer. Very, very close to Charlie Justice, and Kay Kiser, and that group. All of the great athletes were his buddies. He enjoyed them. But he moved in the circles of economic power, which were very important to Chapel Hill. And State, and Woman's College, at the time.
WILLIAM LINK:
So he was able to push the University out there?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
And did. Very much so. A rather remarkable achievement, in the end, it really was.
WILLIAM LINK:
What about Teague? Tell me —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, he's a quiet, a contemporary of Dr. Graham's. They were classmates, as I remember it, or close to it. He used to be the business chief at Greensboro, when it was the Woman's College. I know Dr. Jackson. And Dr. Graham was so fond of him that he brought him to Chapel Hill. And he dealt in the legislature with the people Mr. Carmichael couldn't touch. Because there was a block then of men who came out of the school houses, and off the farms that Claude Teague knew, because they were all his contemporaries. But Billy never got to know them, because he came back from New York, and his world was Robert Hanes, and Charlie Cannon, and Spencer Love, or that group. Mr. Teague's world were the little fellows. And his greatest asset was that he was a superb listener. He could walk into a Legislative Session, and walk through, and never say much to anybody, but he'd pick up more information and sift through it, and tell you which way the trend looked, or what the current rascality was, or who was involved, and all that. But he was a man who worked at it systematically, and knew what he was doing. He was an old school man. And he was a great compliment to Dr. Graham in another way. So, he really had two major field officer's in those two guys. And Mr. Carmichael and Mr. Teague were very compatible people and got along handsome.
WILLIAM LINK:
And they have a kind of division of labor when they would go through lobbying, say he would cover one area —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Always had a strategy, you know, he'd go into the building, you knew exactly who you were going to see, and you'd bide a certain amount of time, and when that was over, you came back and rendezvoused, and said, "What have we learned?" And then when you knew there was a weakness somewhere, you went over and tried to plug it. And that's the way you did it.
WILLIAM LINK:
And you would, a number of these quarries, you'd go with them?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Most all of them. Yeah, Mr. Carmichael was very generous with me. He was sort of wanting to raise me up. I think he wanted me to help him, until Mr. Gray came. And he was a great teacher. And I still

Page 7
don't think he will ever get credit for what he did, which was very, very remarkable. Really, all over the State, Bill. His mark is everywhere. He did as much for N.C. State, as most anybody I know, but yet no one has given him credit. Except that they named the gym over there for him. But that was the athletic group that did that. Not the people that knew what he did substantly(?). He helped create all of those Foundations over there, that have raised millions of dollars. He helped install the Alumni Annual Giving Program. The nuclear reactor was the reactor building. He got single handedly from Burlington Industries, I was there the day it happened. But it was just one thing after another like that. Truly, well, they don't make people like that anymore. Mr. Teague or Mr. Carmichael. Uncommon devotion to the place.
WILLIAM LINK:
Let me ask you about Gordon Gray. [unclear] who of course followed President Graham. Tell me more about the selection process. How the Board of Trustees —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, the University Board had a rather large Committee that was chaired by Victor Bryant. There were nine members of it. From time to time I did some staff work for them. They got interested in President Stewart at West Virginia. They had three names they were looking at. One was the dean of the college at Yale, Dr. Devane. He'd became Mr. Bryant's obvious choice. He wanted to move on and get Dr. Devane to move in. It developed into a contest between those who felt that bent, and those who felt more administratively public oriented people, which is Mr. Carmichael's accent. He won. And Mr. Gray became President. He had been here at the school as an undergraduate, of course. And led his class here. And at Yale in the law school. He made the highest score in any recruit made in the United States Army, in that competition in World War II. Enlisted as a private. When he came here, he had been Secretary of the Army. His heart was just where it should be. He was totally committed to the place, as was his family. And I've never known anybody who worked harder at trying to learn how to be a college president, than did he. The decision process within an institution was not anything like he'd ever experienced before anywhere. Because here it's persuasion. Rank, authority, those things really don't make any difference. If you want to be an effective university president, you have to lead people into decisions, and help them see what the options are, and hope that you see it together. And he became very unhappy about this. He didn't seem to think anything was moving. But then he hit on the idea that we would have a State of the University Conference. And we'd talk about: Where are we? What do we need to do? And, Where are we going? And he got some very strong people to head those groups. Dr. Howard Oldham, for example, was the first, I believe, the very first Chairman of the very first one. And Mr. Gray would work hard at getting some very prominent figures to come and talk. We'd bring the representatives together from each campus, and really worked at it. The companion to that was his pretention of Cresap, McCormick and Pagett, to do this big, thorough going management study, which got into some arguments with the faculty's, because they didn't want to see this kind of thing happen. I don't think they ever really understood what Mr. Gray had wanted to achieve. Always fearful of structure, in those days. And I think some were afraid of him, because he represented big business, big government, bureaucracy. He was not a man who came up through the academic ranks to be President. And before he really had solidified what he'd set out to do, Mrs. Gray died. And that was just an utterly devastating thing to have happened. Because he had young sons. And I used to go down and get those son's, and take them to basketball games, for them night after night. Because, he was not physically strong in those years. He'd always come up with all kinds of pulmonary problems. And he smoked an awful lot, and I don't think he ever got that behind him. But, I am devoted to him because I think several things

Page 8
that must be said about him. He did bring administrative order into the University. He did try to have the University look at itself critically, and it did. He was the, he helped Mr. Carmichael substantially, with that adding the public television, because the President had to. He gave form to University development, as you know it today. He raised the money to create the job positions for chief of development, or, they did for the Annual Giving Programs. He raised those dollars himself, because I remember quite well what he did. And it was on and on. Things that don't have a lot of public appeal, but are terribly essential to the on-going University. But, he then, somewhere along in there, I can't remember which campaign, which vacancy it was, but he was, they contemplated looking at him to be appointed the United States Senate, but he said he didn't want to be considered. And then later, after he had been here four years, a vacancy arose again, and he asked me to meet with him one day, and he said, "If anybody should ask, I'm willing to talk with them, but I'm not seeking anything." And he said the same thing to Mr. Carmichael. So, Mr. Carmichael came and got me, and said, "Let's sit down and talk about this. What do you think this means?" And, well, at that time Mr. Carmichael's classmate, Governor Umstead, was in office. So I said, "I think you should go and talk to the Governor about this. If you want my opinion." He did. And the Governor Umstead reminded Mr. Carmichael that Mr. Gray had voted for a Republic, and that ended the chapter of any further discussion about Mr. Gray being considered for a Senatorial appointment, the second time. But he had then got an invitation to come back from the present, to come back and head a particular program, and it was after his wife Jane had died, and he just knew his enthusiasm for this area had ended. And it was a painful thing for him, because he was basically, one of the finest people I've ever known. A man who, with a sense of commitment and dedication to this job, was just enormous. Very contagious. And I don't think there was a day, in four years of working with him, wasn't a day that we didn't stay twelve hours, at least. And he would go back to Washington on assignments on particular Commissions, and I'd try to keep things moving from Monday to Thursday. And he'd come back on Friday and that meant we worked Saturday and Sunday. So it was working seven days a week, in those days.
WILLIAM LINK:
He still had his hands in a lot of things going on in Washington?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, it was just inevitable. He was too bright a person. Too well connected a person. And a few people had the intellectual power that he had, and just [unclear] intelligence. He was really a very able person. I'm glad to say that his son, Boyden, is now Mr. Bush's Legal Assistant. And he and I correspond with each other all of the time now. I get him to do a little things to help us out down here. And he's a fine young man.
WILLIAM LINK:
He was one of the boy's that you took to basketball games?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
One of the four. Yeah. Gordon, Boyden, Bowman, and I've forgotten the fourth one's name. But they were great young men.
WILLIAM LINK:
What were the circumstances in which you first met Gordon Gray?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
After he had come here. I didn't know the man, at all. And my appointment there was strictly at the behest of Mr. Carmichael. There isn't any doubt about that. And it took some doing for us to learn to work together, because he came out of the prep school, Yale, you know, Chapel Hill, great wealth. And I was the exactly opposite. I came from a high school that had twelve graduates from the senior class. And poor as we could be from a cotton-belt of Gaston County. But we soon became very compatible people. And I sensed that what I could do for him was to help him identify with people, in my

Page 9
world, and that's what I set out to do, help him as much as I could. And I tried to help him understand faculty people, and why you had to do it this way, and not that way. And why you couldn't go here, you had to go here. And he was a good listener, he learned. And there's never been a more generous person. To me. And I owe him a great debt, because, if not for him I would not have been here at all. I was getting ready to leave, because I'd run out the time, and didn't really see much of a challenge. And he pulled me down there, and then the whole world turned around. Someday I hope somebody will do an analytical study of what he did, because he deserves a lot of credit, even in the short time span.
WILLIAM LINK:
How would you describe his relations with the Board of Trustees? I gather that was one of the things you became involved with.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Yes. I did. I arranged all of the meetings for him. Set the agenda for him. And did all the pre-meeting work. Quite good. They respected the man for his intelligence and his ability. The saddest part of the whole experience was when he and Mr. Carmichael began to fall out. And that occurred over intercollegiate athletics. And it was specifically over Jim Tatum's return to the University. I never will forget on New Year's Day, one year. I was at home, during the morning, Mr. Gray called me and asked me if I could be at the office at 1:30, and I said, "On New's Day?" And he said, "Yes, on New Year's Day." So I went. And he and Mr. Carmichael and I sat there, and they got into a discussion about Coach Tatum coming back to Chapel Hill. And it was in someway a very unfortunate kind of confrontation. And Mr. Carmichael was very—he wanted to have a big, strong athletic program. And Jim Tatum was kin to Mr. Carmichael, distantly. Most people had no idea that that was so. And then soon after that visit, that conversation, Mr. Carmichael was driving to the Greensboro Campus one day, and he developed this nose bleed, and had to go over to the Alamance Hospital for packing; stopping it. He was a hypertension case, by that time, and he had to be tended, and that was a signal to Mr. Gray, in some ways, I think. He was fearful that he would cause him to have physical dislocation. [interruption] [Recorder is turned off and then back on.]
We were on Mr. Carmichael and Mr. Gray?
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes. Talking about the athletic [unclear]
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, it was after that that Mr. Tatum came. And I knew then that, while he never said it, I felt that Mr. Gray would leave when it was appropriate for him to do so. He did his best, as I'm sure you've noted, every university president has to face the question of athletics sometime. Sooner or later. Dr. Graham raised it and lost. Gordon felt that he raised it and lost. So when my time came, although I'd say this, he—Mr. Gray did set up a way of handling intercollegiate sports that's still there today. He put it in the hands of the chancellor. And he did, this, this, and this. I appropriated that, because I helped him write it. But he did so many other good things, for example, the Atlantic Coast Conference was formed right here up in the Faculty Lounge in the Morehead Building. Because I helped him arrange the meeting with he, and H [unclear] The Southern Conference had become very unwieldy and distorted. And too many institutions trying to play with a bunch of rules that were really unenforceable. So, right there, that day, this decision was made. That was Gordon's handy work. There's no doubt about it.
WILLIAM LINK:
And that was an attempt to network control over the situation?

Page 10
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
That's right. To bring some order into it among comparable institutions. And those kinds of things he did, and he didn't get a lot of credit for it. But when the invitation came from the President, to come back to Washington, he decided to leave. And then Mr. Carmichael, well, Mr. Gray had brought Dr. Harris Purks here, from the Rockefeller Organization, to be the Chief Academic Officer. And at the time of Mr. Gray's departure, the President's office was composed of: Mr. Carmichael, Mr. Gray, I mean, Mr. Carmichael, Mr. Purkes, and then myself. We were it. But Miss Curtis, and some others that were there in a different role. Mr. Carmichael had been acting president and didn't want to be again. Dr. Purkes felt that he would rather be the Head of the new Board of Higher Education, which was being created. So, in January the succession was worked out. And he left, I think it was the first of March, and I took over as the acting President. And no one expected me to be there more than ninety days, or whenever the Committee got through. Mr. Bryant was Chairman again. And this Committee had some very powerful Trustee's on it, like Virginia Lathrop, Kent Battle, Mr. Harvey Mann, and Miss May Thomas, and so on. And I had a couple of conversations with them. One was a very interesting point. I was asked by the Committee if I would be willing to say, where I invited to be the president, would I be willing to say to them, that I would agree that Dr. Bethea would be Chief Academic Officer, and I said, "No." Because I don't think any President ought to take the job with any prior commitments of any kind. Because if you do, then you aren't your own man. And you can't function that way. And the rest of the Board was not in on any agreement like that. And, the day I was asked to take on this arrangement, we were meeting over in the Capital. And Governor Hodges was presiding over the Executive Committee that day, and there had been some discussion among the members of the Executive Committee, about the state of the University, so to speak. There was a lot of unrest, about the uneasiness in Administration. Mr. Gray's departure and people who were just worried. And there had been some other people invited by the Committee to appear, just for conversation, and probe. I didn't know who they were. And then I was invited in, and after about the sixth or seventh question, I could tell that all that I was saying was in direct contradiction of what had been said just before. Meaning that I was for, I was trying to outline some options for progressive action. That is, "Let's get on." "Let's move." The others were more conservative. "Let's pull back." "Let's regroup." This kind of talk. And I walked out of the Governor's office, and I never will forget, I walked around to the Worth Bagley Monument. It's [unclear] out there on the Capital ground, and I stopped. And I turned around to go back in there to tell them I didn't want to be considered for anything. And I literally did that. And I walked back to those big 'ole double doors, at the edge of the Capital, and I got on the second step and I stopped. And I don't know why I stopped, except I had the thought, "Well, who am I to go back in there and tell them how to run their business?" I said, "You've had your say, now get out of the way." So, I went on back to N.C. State and was sitting out there working with the Chancellor, and Hodges called me, and said, "Come on back down here." And I went. And that's when they asked me to be the acting President. And then Mr. Bryant took over and that led to his Committee's work. And then they made their report —
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
But the Board of Trustee's of the University, at that time, was in, for my perception, easily, the most cherished public service appointment, anybody could have in North Carolina. Men and women worked hard to be elected that Board. A mark of great distinction in the State. It had, in

Page 11
its membership, what you would really call the leadership of the State. All former living Governor's were members. The day that I went there, the first time, as an Officer of the University, I looked out in the audience, there was the Head of every major banking system, the Head of every major corporation in the State. The political leadership of the State. The agriculture leadership of the State. And some very strong women. As a power base, nothing equaled it. In the sense of getting things done. It had grown up out, of the constitutional arrangement, that there would be 100 members of that Board. It was not, at that time, so politicized that it showed. Oh sure, people swapped off, and did this and that. The General Assembly would always wait until the very last of the session, before they ever elected these people, because they kept it as a point of negotiation. The Governor of the State was the Chairman. By action of the Board. And it carried that kind of prestige. And that kind of role playing. And I served in that relationship from 1957 to 1972. And we did some great things in those times. But like everything else in society, change had to come upon it. And then we had that very stressful session, where the Board of Higher Education had to be absorbed into the University. And then that had to be absorbed into a new structure. And I never will forget when that special session of the Legislature came, and later Congressman Ike Andrews, who was then a member of the Board, well, he was in the General Assembly at the time, rose to his feet, on the pivotal Saturday session, and made an impassion speech about the Institution, the Board, the reason for its remaining its integrity. And he prevailed. I think he collapsed physically afterwards, because he was so exhausted for what he had done. But he deserves a lot of credit, personally. For the structure the State had, but more importantly, the program that had emerged out of there. The good aspect of it. It doesn't occupy that role today. It's, of course, a much smaller Board. It's, in my view, a highly politicized Board, now. Which is regrettable. And it just doesn't reflect the leadership of the State the way it did to start. Maybe it shouldn't. I don't know. But I know that things happened in North Carolina, in those days, and everybody was working toward: What can we do to make the State better? Stronger? More aggressive? And so on. I don't get that feeling today. I don't have that sense of power and momentum. And maybe that's just old age, or whatever. And I'm not, I say that with some concern, not in any sense of wanting to—wishing I had stayed in there. I was there too long as it was. But it still though the premiere agency for the State of North Carolina to ride itself, and to move forward. Nothing equals the capacity, and therefore the ability the University to deal with social issues in this State. And give the State a course of action to follow. And that was certainly what Edward Kelly Graham meant, back then in 1919—1915 when he said that, "the University's boundaries are coeternimous with the boundaries of the state." And, that is, the boundaries of the campus. Frank Graham did that. He followed that philosophy. Certainly Gordon Gray tried to. And I certainly did. The '72 decision, though, did something to that mechanism. It was inevitable. And it took some of the drive out of it, regrettably. Maybe it was necessary to stop the warring factions. There was so much of politicalization, at that time, with Dr. Jenkins. And what he was doing. The divisiveness of the whole business was beginning to loom large. And I'm sure there was no alternative but to do what was done. Once it was done I set out to try to preserve all that we'd done the previous sixteen years. And in the sense of not building a big bureaucracy. And once when we took over all of the institutions, and if you compared that office with the presidency of the University of California, or any of these other systems, we were one-fifth the size. Because I never conceived that the president's office as an operational base. I looked upon it as a leadership role. A public role. An interpreter role. A planning role. Allocating functions kind of role. But the only thing we operated at all was the Public

Page 12
Television System. And that was of necessity.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was the Executive Committee, I guess, did —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
It was the all-powerful body. It ran things. Because it had to. There was no way you could function with a hundred members, except as advocates, interpreters, people who stood by the Institution when the issues were drawn. People have looked in horror at me when I was telling them I had a hundred trustees. But I have said, "That's the best insulation I saw a president have." Because nobody ran over the place. No one. No Governor. Nor anyone. Because they just wouldn't tolerate it. As long as the motivation was pure, and high, and simple, that works very well. And it worked that way.
WILLIAM LINK:
You mentioned there's a kind of restiveness that was apparent by the time you were named acting President.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, I think it was because there was some people who were a bit angry at Mr. Gray for leaving out so soon, in their view. Secondly, there was some animosity toward Mr. Carmichael, over why over this thing. And thirdly, I was too young, too inexperienced, and scared of them. I was just thirty-five years old then. And they just felt like, you know, the thing's at lose ends. And there was trouble on the Greensboro campus, the then chancellor. And there was argument here about retiring the chancellor here who was getting to be sixty-five. So, all of these problems were looming large, and there was nobody holding the helm, so to speak.
WILLIAM LINK:
Tell me a little bit more about the manner in which the University was desegregated in the 1950's? Or was it before? Were you involved in that, at all?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, I was not early on. I've been doing a little reading about that lately, for another reason. And I asked Carlyle Sitterson the other day, and John Sanders, if Dr. Graham ever really openly advocated the integration of the University. And he did not. And then that led me to say, "Well, where was he, when it came to a hard position?" I knew where he stood, because I had read the 1948 Civil Rights Commission Report, in which he took the position that you don't ever use Federal fiscal power to course action in an institution. That was precisely the position I took twenty years later. And didn't know it. I just didn't know what he'd done. I suppose it's much like we said the last time, that once the issues begin to be drawn, you went to litigation, so that you had the protection of the federal court decision. That took a little more time, but it also prevented all disruptiveness afterwards. And you noticed this place never had one semblance of that. There was some tense days here. People didn't know, you know, where anything was going to land. Special session of the legislature to decide the Brown decision. Public television aired every word of that debate. But it was so sensitive, that we had an arrangement with the then Speaker of the House, that if it got out of control, and people started using the camera for publicity purposes, that he would give the signal, and we would've taken the cameras out of the building. We're just not going to allow demagoguery. He didn't want it that way. But that was the beginning of something very important, I thought. Sharing with people what really does happen in the public process, as it happens, raw, unedited television. But when you look back on it now, and people are so willing to criticize, you know, everything that was done then, it's so unfair. Because if you're not caught up in it, and faced with it twenty-four hours a day, you don't understand it. Because you realize the enormity of social change that was taking place. But you couldn't destroy every social institution you had to affect change, in that process. There were people who were willing to do

Page 13
it, alright. And they cast you in the role of being an opposition to them. But one of the things you find out as a university president, is there's no more lonelier job in the world, than that one. You have to eventually come to that point of decision, and then make a decision. But happily, I like to work on a team basis. And I had the benefit of all the bright minds that I could draw from. So when my time came, that was the process that we used. But these separate, but equal case, which was tried over in the Federal Court over in Durham, and Thurgood Marshall was Counsel for the NAACP, when I heard that I asked if I could be allowed to go over to every appearances. I wanted to watch this thing. Because I knew it was very significant. And he was just as skillful. Just as thorough, an exceedingly well-prepared man. And he knew he was going to win the case. It was just a matter of process. Because Judge Hayes ruled with us in that decision, and when we got to Richmond, it didn't take but just a few minutes for the Federal Appeals Court to wipe it out. And then that was the pattern from then on. Every undergraduate admissions; law admissions; graduate admissions. The whole cycle. And I think the University has been fully accountable here. It done its job. But, there is a long, long story about the relationship of Title Six. That reached all the way back to John Gardner, then David Matthews, then Elliot Richardson. All of these people took a turn at it. But no one was willing really to dig into it. Mrs. Patricia Harris, who was, she, I think in a way, her own good way, she and I had worked together on the Carnegie Commission for years, you know. And when she became Secretary she asked us up there one day, did I tell you that story before?
WILLIAM LINK:
No.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
And she was very abrasive, and very hostile, when we first got in there. And I had the Chairman of the Board, and all of my team with me. I was really caught by surprise. I didn't expect her to do that. I thought she would be straightforward with me. In fact, it was so hostile, that I had something to happen that never happened before or since. But that night when I got home, I had a call from somebody in the Bureau, who had been there that day. And the voice said, "Mr. Friday, I'm not going to introduce myself, because there's no point in it. But I want you to understand, and I want you to tell all of your fellows, that what happened there today [Phone ringing] , all of us regret. And we want you to know that most of do not agree with that. That we don't understand this kind of conduct, and we felt so deeply about it, we wanted you to know." Now that was a very interesting thing coming out of the Bureaucracy in Washington. But it just went on and on, until the Reagan days. And I think I've gone over that with you. So, it took eleven years to work through that cycle.
WILLIAM LINK:
I know with the case, back to the '50s, that in the case of Greensboro, the first black students came to Woman's College about 1956, or '57?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
I don't remember.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. Similar things were happening at all three campuses at the same time.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
All orchestrated. All planned.
WILLIAM LINK:
I gather there was a great deal of planning involved in terms of putting the students in the right place and avoiding —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Yeah. You knew it was happening and it was wiser that it happened that way. But you wanted to avoid, at all cost, was confrontational tactics that led to guns, and that kind of thing, which was so disastrous, at

Page 14
the other places. I didn't want, I hoped and prayed that the Universities that there name would not be damaged. And we came out of as well as anybody could expect. And today I think we enroll more minority students than any public university in the south. But that was a long, long struggle. And, you know, the interesting thing about it, when you got into this, and you began to look at the historically black schools you, the only way I knew there peace about it, was that I retained an architectural firm, and said, "You're an impartial body. I want you to go into every building, on each of these five campuses, and give me an analysis and report. One campus at a time." And now, that cost some money. But it laid the ground work, and I later got with Governor Hunt's intervention, and he was wonderful about this. Forty million dollars to correct what had been a very bad neglect on the part of the State. Now, I don't think anybody ever really asked. I guess they were afraid to ask. And I'm not saying that I was heroic about it, but there was the opportunity. We set out to correct these things. And we've done it. And it pleases me very much when I read that black students now take so much pride in their campuses, that they say, "I don't really want to go anywhere else." Well, that means the quality is up. And that's what you've got to hope for, that in the process, at least at the undergraduate level, there is a growing relationship that shows there's quite a bit of parity here. And we've put minimum standards in, and salaries, and library financing, and building construction that I don't think that it can be said now, anybody can show under the law there is any kind of discriminatory practice. It's just not there. But Frank Graham always believed, and he's eternally right about it, you never achieve the ultimate objective of the Brown decision. In other words, without changing the hearts of people. And regrettably for us, we just saw in an election that we still have a long way to go in our state. That's a deeply saddening experience.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. We can talk later, I've got a whole set of questions about what happened in the '70s, and up to the early '80s, but that will take another afternoon —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Sure.
WILLIAM LINK:
Let me ask you about the Woman's College. This seems to have been the first substantial crisis that you faced, or substantial challenge perhaps, that you faced as acting President—you were acting President?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
That's right.
WILLIAM LINK:
Can you tell me more about the origins? This is really a very unusual thing, where you have a chancellor whose been this much trouble. You don't see it happen that often, do you?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, when I got into office, the first thing I learned was that the then established so-called Visiting Committee, had been holding hearings in the basement of some church over there. And Mr. Robert Hanes was from Winston-Salem, was the Chairman. And he came to see me and told me what he had been doing, and how he was doing it, and that they were going to do this, and this, and this. And I said, "Now, Mr. Hanes, I'm here and this is the way I think that we've got to do it." And I asked Vice President Carmichael, and Vice President Whyburn, and Whatley Pierson. A three-member team, to go over there and listen to everybody. And then tell me what there judgment was. Now, that's easy to say that, but that process took weeks, and weeks, and weeks. In the end, the Chancellor knew what had to happen. So he brought his resignation to me. I didn't have to ask. And that meeting was in Gerrard Hall. And Ed Graham had been a good friend of mine all during my time with Gordon Gray. And it had

Page 15
a particularly traumatic affect on me, because he was the son of a great President here. A really wonderful man whose never gotten credit for what he did. And I found it very difficult to deal with that issue. But Ed, in my view, did the wise thing. And the right thing. It didn't come to any confrontation. It didn't come to any stand-off, or anything like that. He saw that this was the only option opened to the University and to him. So he submitted his resignation. I had the meeting in Gerrard Hall, we announced it. And he and I walked out of building and I walked with him toward the parking lot, and I put my arm around his shoulder—I never will forget it, and a photographer took a picture of us from the back. And Paul Green tore that picture out of the paper and sent it to me. He was in such a state of consternation about the whole business, he just couldn't resist. But I was trying to demonstrate there was no ill will about this. It was just something that had to happen. And Ed finally left, and it was really a very sad thing. And he went on off to another job. But, periodically after that I would see him. And one day I was walking down Franklin Street, and I wasn't paying attention to anybody on the street, I was thinking about something so hard, and I heard this voice and there was Ed leaning up against the brick wall, down there at one of the stores, watching the traffic go by. Because this is where he spent his childhood, you see.
WILLIAM LINK:
He was well known around Chapel Hill?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Oh, yes. And then I got the dreadful news that he had died. And I was walking, my every Sunday morning early walks, and I walked through the cemetery the other day, and went by their family plot up there, to be sure that it was cared for. And it was just a terribly sad thing. But a lot of damage got done there. Stand-offs, and people hardened in opinions before they should have. They got bitter. And it serves no purpose when that happens. You really do create all kinds of difficulty and stress. But it couldn't be avoided.
WILLIAM LINK:
I gather the faculty was divided right down the middle, or at least, as you say, completely at odds over —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, it got so that it split the Alumni Association. It split the Board. It split everything. And Ed knew that he couldn't ever heal that. You know, there's no way that you could ever come back from that. And he had had sort of a charmed life, you know. He was Assistant to the President of Cornell. And then Mr. Gray brought him here to be Chancellor. And he could have been president of the University. And, in fact, he should have been before I became President. His turn was then. But it didn't work out. His dear wife Elizabeth, I think she's still around here, somewhere. She used to work at Duke University Library. I'd see her up here, at lunch, at the Carolina Inn every once in a while. But as to where his children are, I just don't know. But it was a sad day in the life of the Institution.
WILLIAM LINK:
I guess in the aftermath of that crisis, one of your objectives was to heal those divisions?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
And happily Dr. Pierson was available. And his wife, Mary [unclear] , was a woman who loved to create a happy, social occasions. And they didn't have any family, except the two of them. And Dr. Pierson was an unchallengeable academic leader. He had built the Southern University Conference. He was Head of all the graduate school organizations in the south. He was just a man who had an impeccable credentials. And he appealed to the older group at Woman's College. They all knew him. So, I asked them to go over there and they —the waters quieted rather quickly. And he really did do a first-rate job. And he enjoyed it. I think the first time that some of those

Page 16
people saw him sitting there in McIver Hall puffing on a cigar, when smoking was verboten in those days, you know to anybody. But he, that was his great enjoyment in life. He bought Cuban cigars. He was a great Latin-American scholar. A wonderful scholar. And a great teacher. And he did a great thing there. And I took him back over there a few years later, a second time. But I'm not sure I was as wise the second time, as the first. Now, no damage was done but, that brought on Gordon Blackwell. And he left us to go to Florida State. And he went back and that was when Otis Singletary regime began. And then Otis went in and out, and then I got Jim Ferguson to be the acting Chancellor. And then Chancellor. And he was very much like Dr. Pierson. But the people over there loved him. And he was one of the finest, most decent people you'll ever know anywhere, really. And a man you could grow to admire very deeply. And I did. The Institution, from my point of view, was really one of the really, one of the fine undergraduate curriculum's anywhere in the country. Great, great teachers. And people enjoyed going to school there. And when the time came to argue about structure in the State, and the enrollment pressures and to convert that institution into a coed school, that was the time I think, I don't whether I've ever felt hostility as much as I felt it then from the Alumnae; the older ladies. But, I walked into a meeting over there, at one commencement, and I've never felt such a chill in the middle of June, in all my life. But I could understand it. And I explained it to them. I told them why the State couldn't afford to keep it that way. If can't keep on building campuses all over everywhere. It didn't have the money. And they took it in good spirit. And then Mrs. Jester helped me a good deal. The Alumnae secretary. And it worked its way through. And I think it was a very wise decision. And we started doctoral talk after that, to give it it's own free-standing credibility. And I think it now has it.
WILLIAM LINK:
I gather the first Chancellor you appointed was Blackwell? Is that right?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, Bill Aycock was the first Chancellor. I appointed both the same day. Aycock here, and Blackwell there.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
And Mr. Gray had already replaced Chancellor Harrelson at N.C. State, which was in the older generation of chancellor. And Gordon, I think, did a good job over there. They liked him. Elizabeth, his wife, was a very charming lady. They still are. I didn't think he'd go to Florida State, but he got down there and got interested, and it was his own world. And you can understand that, when somebody wants to be a president. And I'm sure he was a real asset to Florida State. He followed behind Pierson. They had known each other for years. Were great friends. And Gordon was a very sensitive man. He'd take everybody's view, and let everybody have a chance to be heard. But a great thing about him too, was he pulled that community back into the life of that school. And that was terribly important, because that same divisiveness reached out into the community. There's no doubt about that. And it very harmful, in a lot of ways. So —
WILLIAM LINK:
So, you think by the time he left, these divisions were smoothed over?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Yeah. We had other issues, in our minds after that. And we're going on.

Page 17
WILLIAM LINK:
Tell me about the Board of Higher Education. First of all, how was it created? And then let's talk a little bit about the evolution of this agency as a Coordinating Board. An early form of the Coordinating Board.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
I'm not absolutely certain of this, but I think it first generated in the minds of Governor Hodges planning. And he enlisted Major McClendon and Hayden Ramsey, and Bob Lassiter, and people of that stature, and it was created in the hope that it would work as a companion agency to the board of trustees, although the board of trustees should participate all under its overall umbrella. And I think we did. The mistake in it was that you cannot have two board's governing the same institutions, and not have divisiveness. It don't make any difference who the actor's were. And it was just a matter of time, and a succession of decisions to let kind of a confrontation. It started a chain of things. And first of it was amended little statute, it gave it this authority. And Governor Scott put himself on the Board, along with the Chairman of all the money committee's to try and strengthen it that way. And it's not a personality problem. It was a function problem. There is no governing board that I know of, anywhere in the country, that has ever survived with that kind of structure underneath it. When you are going to put the authority to decide something, its got to be explicit, clear, and free-standing. And that led to all the '71, '72, very, I think, regrettable arguing and debates, and fuss, which didn't help the University, or them, or anybody else, in the public confidence factor. But it was resolved by absorbing it into the University structure that emerged in '71.
WILLIAM LINK:
Did the Board originally, I have heard that the Board originally was created as a protective device for the University.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
It was never looked upon, by us, as that, at all. No, but I can understand that, because what it really was trying to do initially was to set some discipline amongst the other institutions that the Board itself did among the three institutions. And no one wanted to see the University umbrella spread over it at all at that time anyway. And, at bottom, that was really, on the educational grounds, that is really what they were trying to do. And that way it was commendable, because this business of institutional aggressiveness was just bursting out all over. And you remember back there in one of those years, by statute, every institution was authorized to award the Ph.D. degree. And, you know, when you get that kind of indiscriminate legislative intrusion, you're going to have trouble. And it was embarrassing to some of the institutional heads, because I actually had one come see me, and say, "I want you to know that I know I'm no university, and never will be. But, I can't stop this tide that's running." And I said, "Well, I don't expect you to." But it was a kind of task that I'm glad that I didn't have to attempt to do. Because there was no way you could succeed in it.
WILLIAM LINK:
And this dated back to the '50s, the expansion in enrollments?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
'57. The post-war year's, is when it burst open like that.
WILLIAM LINK:
So the Board of Higher Education was a representative attempt to have more rationale control over all of these —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
And it was happening all over the United States. War's were cropping up all over everywhere. Because legislature's, the wive's leaders of legislature's knew they couldn't reconcile the differences. They didn't understand if a medical school was needed at Greenville, or not. Or a school of

Page 18
veterinary medicine at A&T, or whatever. And they had to have somebody to rely upon. That's why these things started popping up. And now today, in the United States, I'd guess of the fifty States, there must be forty of them that have something like the Board of Governor's now. We've gone through the cycle of—what do they call them? Not institutions with delegated power, they're coordinating boards. Well, that's the surest way of disaster. In what I've seen in the Country. And interestingly enough, after I got out of office, I was invited to Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Iowa, Tennessee, Alabama, to come and talk to the governing people about these kind of conflicts. It got to the point where I just stopped it all, because I realized that you could get identified as an expert, when that's what your not. You don't know the State. You don't know the personalities to be up there saying this or that. There are people who are quite willing to do it, but they're making a big mistake. I think each State should solve these problems themselves, with their own traditions in history. Clearly, no State can have a whole plethora of Ph.D. granting institutions. You can't afford it. And do it right. I think you can allocate functions, however, and give opportunities to people. But, what we did saying to twelve institutions, at the time, "All of you go and see what you can do, and put this label out there with it guaranteed second-rate performance." There was just no substitute for that. So, it had to be dealt with and that's why the merger took place.
WILLIAM LINK:
One of the—I think it's the two key personalities in the early history of the Board of Higher Education; Major McClendon and Hayden Ramsey.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
That's right. They were two very strong men.
WILLIAM LINK:
How did they happen to end up in the Board? Major McClendon used to be on the Board of Trustees —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
He got defeated for reelection in the Legislature, and I'm sure that was one motivational factor.
WILLIAM LINK:
What were the circumstances of his defeat?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
I don't really know. He was perceived, at times, to be an arrogant man. To talk down to people, when that was not fair at all. But that was the way people viewed him. Because he was a giant of a man, you know, he had a booming voice you could hear all over. And he was a truly devoted University man. But, Major was just a picturesque fellow, if you want to put it that way. I guess Governor Hodges persuaded him that he was the man to come in there, and do what he did. Mr. Ramsey was exactly the opposite. A very quiet, piercing kind of editorialist. Just united the western part of the State. And Mr. Carmichael and I always had to go and visit with them, and you could feel the tension begin to grow, though. And we knew what was going to happen. In just a matter of time. It's sad, in the sense that progress has to come sometime, in dividing people that have been together for so long. But that actually happened.
WILLIAM LINK:
Otherwise, you and Major McClendon and Hayden Ramsey would be —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, we'd been friends for years, and years, and years.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.

Page 19
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
And still, we're not enemies, in any sense of the word, but we're dealing in a situation that's just on its face, was not compatible. You couldn't do it. And I think everybody tried very hard. Really tried. Watts Hill, Jr., William A. Dees. Bill was Chairman of that Board. It had some wonderful people on it. But they all knew, eventually, the issue had to be reconciled.
WILLIAM LINK:
One of the major early conflicts between the Board of Higher Education, and Board of Trustees involved the question of married student housing.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Yeah. Self-liquidation. Who's judgment was right?
WILLIAM LINK:
The issue —
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
They felt they had one view and we felt we had another. And we gave our reasons and they gave their's.
WILLIAM LINK:
And you seemed to have, in a way, just looking at it from the perspective of thirty years, thirty-three years later, we seem to be talking about two different things.
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
That's right. That was the very point. We were talking from the responsibility that we had. They from their's. And there's no way you can bridge it. Because there were two different operations entirely. We were the people who carried the responsibility for the quality of the Institution. We had the authority. We also had the burden. They didn't. They didn't have to be accountable for the excellency, at either one of those schools. And that's where you get the irreconcilable problem. You had a president, and a chancellor over there, and they had separate boards, too. So, it was always confrontational. There was an inherent confrontation in that structure arrangement. Everybody knew it, if they knew anything about it. We just made some serious efforts to try to make it work. It just couldn't be made to work. From my point of view. I don't know what they'd say.
WILLIAM LINK:
What was the position of Luther Hodges, in all of this?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
He didn't interfere very much. He created the Board. He got all the actor's together, and he went onto other things. He was trying to build a community college system. He was stimulating that in every way he could. And he was really rolling on the industrial development, even then. And, at least I've never, he'd ever call me about it. He would not inject himself into the discussions we were having. Because he was Chairman of the University Board, you see. And that got him into some stress, too. Because the University Trustee's were looking straight at him every time an issue got called. And I stayed one step back. Because that was there problem to work out.
WILLIAM LINK:
How would you describe your relationship with him? As a working relationship?
WILLIAM C. FRIDAY:
Well, as far as I—I know, in the beginning it was quite good. And I worked hand and glove with him. And we kept going all along. When the integration issue came up, he called me one day, and I could tell he had something on his mind but he just wouldn't come right straight at me, and finally he said, "Just had a legislator in here. What are you going to do with the University President who goes to a church where that fellow Charlie Jones is a preacher?" And the Governor sort of laughed. And I said, "Well, it's true

Page 20
Governor." That ended the conversation. He didn't have anymore to say about it after that. I had a friend of mine to call and tell me that at the end of the time, and this he never discussed with me, but he got very put out with me, I guess, because I wouldn't move the office to Raleigh. And I took a very hard position on that, because I've always viewed the Presidency as an academic educational position. If it were nothing but an administrative position, then you should have abolished the presidency and kept the Board of Higher Education. It's a bookkeeping thing, and an allocating kind of formula-based existence, as some State's have. And that's okay. But that's not a job for me. I didn't want to be involved with anything like that. I wanted to be where the action was. Where people were doing things, and working up plans, and really doing something about the State's future. But he apparently didn't, now, this is all hearsay, so you'll have to check with somebody else, but he apparently had wrote some letters that were caustically critical of me. I haven't seen them. And I regret that, because he died soon after that. And I never had any sense of anything but the most cordial relationships with him, but maybe something did happen. I just don't know.
Whew, my voice is about to give out on me.
END OF INTERVIEW