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Title: Oral History Interview with Martin Gerry, August 28, 1991. Interview L-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Gerry, Martin, 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: 152 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-10-17, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Martin Gerry, August 28, 1991. Interview L-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0157)
Author: William Link
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Martin Gerry, August 28, 1991. Interview L-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0157)
Author: Martin Gerry
Description: 114 Mb
Description: 24 p.
Note: Interview conducted on August 28, 1991, by William Link; recorded in Washington, D.C.
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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The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Martin Gerry, August 28, 1991.
Interview L-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Gerry, Martin, interviewee


Interview Participants

    MARTIN GERRY, interviewee
    WILLIAM LINK, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes, this is William Link at History Department at UNCG. I have an appointment to speak with Mr. Gerry over the telephone.
MARTIN GERRY:
Hold on.
WILLIAM LINK:
Thank you.
MARTIN GERRY:
Dr. Link?
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes.
MARTIN GERRY:
Hi. Sorry to keep you waiting.
WILLIAM LINK:
That's okay.
MARTIN GERRY:
We're just finishing up a meeting.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. I appreciate you giving me the extra time here.
MARTIN GERRY:
Do you mind if I just put you on the speaker phone for a minute?
WILLIAM LINK:
That's fine.
MARTIN GERRY:
There's nobody else here. [pause] Hi.
WILLIAM LINK:
Okay. The last time we were talking about some things that I wanted to kind of follow-up on them. First of all, I really didn't have the opportunity to ask you to tell me a little bit more about your background, how you got to be director of OCR.
MARTIN GERRY:
Oh, sure. I'm a lawyer, and graduated from law school—I graduated from law school in '67, went to work for a Wall Street law firm. The name of the law firm then was Nixon Montrose[?], Guthrie, Alexander and Mitchell.
WILLIAM LINK:
Oh, yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
And then in '68 Nixon got elected president. '69, I came to work fully in March right after the inauguration, in the Office for Civil Rights as the executive assistant to the director, who was then Leon Panetta, now a California congressman.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
And then Leon was there for about a year. He got fired by Nixon. I went to work as a special assistant to Elliot Richardson, who'd become the secretary, and did that for—during Richardson's tenure, which was I recall, was about two and a half years, maybe three years. Then Wienburger[?] became secretary and I worked again for about a year for Wienburger as a special assistant. And then I became deputy director of OCR during Wienburger's tenure in 1974. And I became acting director in '75, and director in late '75.
WILLIAM LINK:
What were the—was—Holmes had back trouble and that's why you —
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah. Holmes went out in '75 with some pretty serious back trouble and then left.

Page 2
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. So he went out and then you were deputy—you were acting director?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah, for about nine months or eight months.
WILLIAM LINK:
And then he came back briefly and then —
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah, for about two months, and then—I'm trying to think of the exact timing—I guess my nomination went up in the fall, I guess, of late '75.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
I was appointed, effective sometime like November of '75.
WILLIAM LINK:
Okay.
MARTIN GERRY:
I think he was back for like maybe two months late summer, early fall, something like that. [unclear] go back to the Hill.
WILLIAM LINK:
Sorry. He went back to the Hill?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. Okay. Tell me a little bit about your—from the period that you first came to work with Panetta, to the time that you became director.
MARTIN GERRY:
Sure. Well, when I worked with Panetta, as I said, I was really his executive assistant, so I kind of got my fingers into a lot of things. I was somewhat involved in early discussions on higher education. Sol Albrighter was then the division director for our higher education. Burt Taylor was his deputy. But most of my work for Panetta was on Hispanics. I wrote something called the May Twenty-fifth Memo, which became the vehicle for civil rights investigations focused on discrimination against Hispanics, particularly related to language. And then I ran, from 1970 into the—my tenure with Richardson, I kind of ran a whole project that dealt with eliminating language barriers in public schools.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. And then you came back at OCR to —
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, I was really never—I mean, I was technically away from it, but, you see, the director of OCR is the secretary's special assistant for civil rights. And after Leon left they kind of divided up the functions and so I sort of ended up doing that—something like that job. So I was always involved with OCR. When Stan Pottinger was there and even when Peter took over. But I was—I tended to get assigned to things that were less just OCR related and more department related. For example, I worked on the Human Subjects Regulation that was done on, you know, experimentation on human subjects?
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
I was on a task force on the classification and assignment of exceptional children, so I got into educational policy quite a bit. And then I did some special work for Richardson. I did the Boston school case for Richardson, which was a desegregation case.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.

Page 3
MARTIN GERRY:
And, you know, sort of—I wouldn't call it trouble-shooter. Some might say it was more like trouble-maker. But, that was more like the work I did there. I worked a fair amount with Dick Darmon on what was called Allied Services, which was a coordination of services to families. During Wienburger's tenure, well, for a lot of it I was acting or upstairs, because Peter was having health problems. And I tended to do—he and I tended to do more sort of sorting out of the work. He always did higher education. But I did a lot more of just sort of management of education civil rights, even though I wasn't technically in the office. But Pottenger, he ran all that.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
And then, of course, I sort of, you know, when I was deputy director, I was sort of the operational head. So, it all —it's hard to describe—but the areas—I did a lot of work on in-school discrimination issues like discipline, ability grouping and tracking, assignment of kids to special education classes because of race. And then I did a couple of large health cases: California, welfare discrimination against Hispanics in California and in Connecticut. And, you know, it was more—I was really the policy development person, is probably the best way to put it. And in fact from 1970 to 1974, or '5, plus some new stuff that we did.
WILLIAM LINK:
OCR included, I gather, a good number of attorneys?
MARTIN GERRY:
Oh, yeah. We had our own division actually. And then there were a few people who actually worked for OCR, too, directly. But there were about, at one point, thirty, thirty-five lawyers in the general counsel's division that was assigned to civil rights. And then our staff probably, oh, we had eleven hundred people, I'd say, probably at the time. Maybe a 100 lawyers, spread around the country.
WILLIAM LINK:
And that would include the regional offices?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Tell me a little bit more about the setup at OCR and particularly with regard to Higher Education. There was an office of higher education?
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, that changed. So let me just take you through the—as far as I can remember—the structures. When I first got there, there was a Division of Higher Education which was at the level right below the deputy and director, and that was ran by a guy Sol Albrighter, and he'd been put in place by the Johnson administration. He left relatively soon after—not under any pressure from us, but—and Burt Taylor was the deputy of the division. And I don't remember the exact years here. Then we had—first we had Mary Berry came in as the division director, later to gain fame at the Civil Rights Commission.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
And then after her we had a woman named Mary—oh, what was her name? Another Mary. I can't think of her last name. She was there during most of the rest of the period and then she left and Burt—I'm trying to think of my years—probably from my '70—say Sol was there maybe '69 and '70, and part of '70. And then Mary Berry came—well, I think Burt acted for a year or two and then Mary Berry came in maybe '73, stayed for about six months, she

Page 4
left. Then this—the woman whose last name I can't remember came in and stayed from maybe late '73, '74, to about '76, and then Burt acted again. Now, within that period of time there was at least one reorganization when Higher Education was put under Education, so it was, in effect, lowered a level. But then it was put back. And these things tended to have—be personality-related between the directors and the division directors. And I wasn't that much a party to them but that's my perception. And part of that was that the Affirmative Action part of Higher Education was taking on greater and greater significance. You know, the whole question of goals and time tables and universities' hiring?
WILLIAM LINK:
Uh-huh.
MARTIN GERRY:
And so there was—that function was first put in contract compliance as a separate division. Then it was merged with the other part of the, you know, the higher education issues that you're familiar with, and that was made a new division. And so that part of this business was going in and out of being in Education and not being in Education.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. One of the people —
MARTIN GERRY:
I'm sorry I can't be much more specific. But that's roughly what happened.
WILLIAM LINK:
No, that's very helpful. I appreciate that. One person that—Burt Taylor, must—seems to have been the key person?
MARTIN GERRY:
Absolutely. Burt can tell the story from the beginning to all the way through.
WILLIAM LINK:
And he started in—it must have been the Johnson years, I suppose?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yes. He came in—his brother is Bill Taylor. I don't know if you know him. But Bill was probably the—one of the two or three leading civil rights lawyers in the country, and ran the civil rights program at Catholic University in Burton. I think, through his brother, started off very early in the civil rights movement. So I'm sure it was the Johnson's years.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. Did you find a sort of unity of opinion, or—I mean, there must have been a diversity of opinion within the bureaucracy about how to approach higher education desegregation?
MARTIN GERRY:
Oh, there was a difference of opinion. But it was mostly outside of the division. Lloyd Henderson, who was the division—the education division director, and I, who were frequently at odds on a lot of other things, I think, tend to approach higher education more like elementary and secondary education than the people who are in the division, the higher ed. division. Within the higher education division I think there was more unanimity. Because Sol Albrighter and Burt Taylor were really the architects of the—uh, well, let's call it, for want of a better term, "magnet school approach." The reorganization of curriculum. The kind of "attract students of other races" idea?
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
Obviously that's not the approach we were using in elementary and secondary education.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.

Page 5
MARTIN GERRY:
So there was a difference of opinion there. But it never got anywhere because the decision-making didn't involve the litera[?]. You know, the higher education division and director, deputy director, would meet, make decisions without us. And I think to the extent that either of us had voiced the opinions that I'm talking about, or that we did. None of the directors had—I mean, Leon, I don't know. But the other two didn't have any—they were very strongly supportive of Burt's approach, or Sol Albrighter's approach.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. And so there tended to be a continuity of approach there, or continuous approach?
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, there always was. Because even when I took over we were far too far down that line to go back and re-visit that. When I came in I never even seriously thought about changing the fundamental approach. I was more concerned really, and stayed mostly concerned, with trying to make the approach which we used actually work, even if I didn't have the greatest of confidence that it would work. But we had enough trouble just getting people to do that, let alone trying to raise, you know, a completely new concept again. So, it's pretty much over by the time I took over.
WILLIAM LINK:
It was already set? The policy was already set.
MARTIN GERRY:
I mean, you know, whatever issues there were, you know, just were gone.
WILLIAM LINK:
Later on, well, after you had left office, the focus of the OCR's approach towards the University of North Carolina came to be to emphasis the elimination of duplication, unnecessary program duplication?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah, that was part of that same concept.
WILLIAM LINK:
But it wasn't advanced that much in the, say, mid-70s, was it?
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, it came up. But, you know, I mean, the key thing is, we talked about before, with North Carolina was the Veterinary School. And that wasn't a duplication issue, that was a location issue.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
So you're right in the sense that—it was discussed with North Carolina and other states. And there probably is some paperwork in which they—most of the states, frankly, made some minimal efforts in that regard, but nothing that would be—was very substantial. And the big point of contest—see, the problem with that argument is that—and I grew up around a university so I'm maybe a little bit more familiar with where it comes from—but the minute you argue that there's course duplication every university will argue with you that what they're teaching is different that what everybody else is teaching.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah, that's right.
MARTIN GERRY:
So, you know, it's like academic freedom. It's a pointless argument. I mean, it may be conceptually right, but in practical terms you getting any university-based administrator to agree to that—and I don't think we probably ever did to any great extent. That's why—see, I had a lot of skepticism with the—much of the approach we were using. I suppose to some

Page 6
extent I drew a lot of guidance from John Dunlap who was the Secretary of Labor. And I don't if you're familiar with Dunlap?
WILLIAM LINK:
No.
MARTIN GERRY:
But he had been—he came to the job having been, I think, twenty years the dean of the faculty at Harvard. And I worked very closely with Labor on an Affirmative Action side. And Dunlap is an industrialist economist by background. He and George Schultz, and Clark Kerr, and a few other people formed a little group, about the same age. And Dunlap's approach was don't—you know, "Too much has been made of looking at universities as totally different types of institutions, and we should apply, for the most part, the same concepts." And that's exactly what OCR never did, with respect to desegregation. We really did—we tried to be sensitive, and that would be what would be argued, to the peculiar characteristics of the university without at the same time then being prepared to deal with all the hot-air that comes with it about, you know, "Well, we couldn't change that course because that's part of—" You know, you get arguments like, "If we eliminate a course we couldn't give a degree in sociology." You know, that kind of thing.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
"You don't want us to not give degrees, do you?" So, I mean, you were either driven up against the—I mean, the two horns of the dilemma were that you were going to deal with admissions, or you're going to deal with academic freedom.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
And I personally, frankly, I think it would have been easier to deal with admissions.
WILLIAM LINK:
In retrospect, what do you think should have been done?
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, I think—my own sense would have been that, first, the idea that significant numbers of white students were going to chose to go to formally black colleges because of course enhancement, or strengthening the campuses, and all of that was relatively unrealistic. Probably in the United States the best example I've seen of that happening is actually Howard, right here in the District. And the reason it happened, that is why there are significant numbers of white students at Howard, mostly in the graduate school, is because they created an economically enticing, you know, moderately high quality opportunity, and didn't incur—and within the district in that area there were no other alternatives. And so, in fact, you did get significant increases in a traditionally black institution. But I don't think—but that was because there was no other law school to go to at the time that people could afford. I mean, you could go to Georgetown, or you could go to George Washington, but you're going to have to pay money for that. Do you see what I'm saying?
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
So as long as the state operated a public predominantly white graduate program, the likelihood that any of those kids would, in significant numbers, go to a traditionally black campus, I think, was remote. And, in fact, I don't think it's happened. I would have focused, and there are a lot of political reasons I think that the department didn't, but I would have focused, in other words, on eliminating—first, some of the black colleges needed to be eliminated. And I understand the argument that they were havens and all that, but some of them just didn't make sense from an administrative standpoint, in my

Page 7
book. And I think had we pursued that, which we would have done in other circumstances, at the same time pursued much more involved affirmative programs to attract those black students to white campuses, we would have ended up with better results. Now, a whole lot of black-power people, black higher education people, would have been very unhappy with that approach.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. And early on it becomes—well, the court sort of involves itself.
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, the court's funny. The court never really got a good case opposing a black college, which was accompanied with a good program of what to do about the students. In other words, what happened is you'd say, "Well, okay, let's close this black college." And the easy states—not North Carolina, it was one of the hardest. But, you know, there are several states that just had one black campus. Arkansas, for example, at Pine Bluff.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, you know, the answer is that a very good program could have been put together for the black students that left Pine Bluff. Pine Bluff was not running a good program. It really wasn't a redeemable facility. But the pol—you know, and I think in the long run you could have had at least a relatively decent racial mix of kids in the other Arkansas campuses. They wouldn't do it. And, you know, and what happened—the other thing that goes with this is that the people who were fighting it were able to form relatively unholy alliances with the civil liberties groups, and black educator groups. So you face this weird political mix of, you know, "segregation now and forever" people being joined by groups of black professionals. Or black academicians arguing the same line. So I'm not saying it was ever politically easy to do that. But I do think in retrospect, and this is all in retrospect, that had we started that down the court that way—I mean, you know, in the history of Southern school desegregation, elementary and secondary, we closed hundreds of black schools.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
I mean as a practical matter. And many of them were terribly inferior campuses.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
And in those situations people in the neighborhood didn't like it because their kids had to go further away. But there was a history of doing that. And why we just chose to ignore that whole approach in higher education, I don't know. If you look at the financing of institutions now—and, of course, people are closing schools right and left. But, you know, as I said, by the time I got there it was well underway and there was certainly no going back and revisiting that. So we were kind of stuck with this making the schools more attractive. Now, I think that the key thing that was a waste of time, in some cases, was seriously trying to believe you were going to attract large numbers of white students by simply fixing up the black schools. In North Carolina, for example, that would be totally unreasonable because there are too many choices for those kids. You know, there were plenty of—there's a whole range of predominantly white schools, academic range, for them to chose from, so why would they do that? And there's a statementization[?] that clearly went with—social stigmatization that clearly went with those, you know, the black schools. So, that was—I think, of the things that were more and less fruitful I think that was among the less fruitful things. Yet, when I went to, as I

Page 8
talked to you, when I went to Central there's no question that nobody should have been going to school in buildings that were falling apart.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right. Did you —
MARTIN GERRY:
Again, that campus would have made some sense closing, but then the question would have been, "What do you do with the students?" And there was, I have to tell you, also, frankly, some two-track racism involved here, which is that there was—that in some cases my sense was, and part of this goes with, you know, some of the implied academic snobbery of Chapel Hill, more than the other campuses, was that "These people really aren't our people. They really don't belong here." There's a definite desire to cream the best of the black students, but I think there was, at the same time, a very strong sense of elitism that—and the University of Virginia is that way, too. When you talked about Chapel Hill, as opposed to the whole system, it was clearly there.
WILLIAM LINK:
So the feeling would be that —
MARTIN GERRY:
"They aren't qualified. They're not fit to be here."
WILLIAM LINK:
Right. And you want to maintain the black campuses as kind of nets to hold the ones that shouldn't be here.
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah. And it was really a two-track—now, I think if you'd asked the people at Chapel Hill are they fit to be at North Carolina State they might have said, "Yes."
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
But, you know, there was this very much Chapel Hill—I think of all the institutions I think Chapel Hill in North Carolina and U.Va. are probably the two, well, they are probably the two most elite institutions in the states we were dealing with. I'm not shocked. I went to an institution that's not all that different either.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
But that was behind some of this. And we did at one point, at Chapel Hill, and several places, talk about enrichment programs and special high school programs. Things to actually deal with the qualifications of incoming freshmen that would have eliminated some of these, well, I'm sure were, significant differences. But I don't really think there was a whole lot of interest at Chapel Hill.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
I wouldn't blame it all on Bill Friday, because I think that had more to do with that campus than it had to do with the attitude—and I'm sure that the system people had a lot of problems trying to keep these campuses in any kind of order.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. They still do.
MARTIN GERRY:
Oh, sure. And, I mean, I'm familiar with the California system so I'm sure it can't be totally different.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. Well, it's—yeah, actually —

Page 9
MARTIN GERRY:
I don't envy them, that job. And I'm sure that they had a lot of trouble getting these people at Chapel Hill to even seriously discuss it.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
I think that that—but that, you know, interestingly, in the course of southern school, college, desegregation, really I think outside of the some of the other social roles, the only two institutions that probably faced that problem that much in terms of admissions criteria were U.Va. and Chapel Hill.
WILLIAM LINK:
Do you think the—to what extent do you think that the secondary and elementary model was useful in attempting to tackle the problem of higher ed?
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, in North Carolina it was interesting because, of course, it's used in the—at the community college, the technical school level. That is to say, it's open admission.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
You know, the usual—the old academic freedom argument. When you look at the back tier, the AA level, North Carolina has one of the most extensive, and certainly one of the better quality, universal higher education systems.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
So in North Carolina, it seems to me, it was already being used. And one of the things we kept trying to do was to talk to the people at the second tier level, if you want to call it that, higher education tier level, about creating some kind of parallel roots for the kids who went into that first level. Now, I think that's very much—it follows what we did in many cases in elementary and secondary education. I think it was a quite feasible approach. At least it appeared to be. Now how politically real it was in North Carolina, I don't know. But there seems to be a very strong community-based system in North Carolina, more than any other southern state, of these higher education institutions. Now, whether you could have ultimately done what was proposed for awhile in California, and is still being played around with, which is to be getting this sort of sorting out, you know, of the first two years of higher education from the last two. There have been proposals for quite a long time that, you know, turned Berkeley, for example, into a sort of an upper undergraduate institution and let some of the other colleges provide the first two years.
WILLIAM LINK:
Oh, yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
Create that kind of model. That might have been the beginning of an answer in North Carolina, I think. Because I think California actually is the other state with North Carolina. California and North Carolina probably are two of the most extensive systems. You could have, in other words, have begun to channel black and white students through some of these institutions by—that are quite numerous and community-based, and created at least an alternate route into higher education. It's the place—you know, the University of Minnesota, there are a couple that they do something called the general college. But there are several models that could have been probably been pursued. How much I knew about that at the time I'm not sure. But I think that in retrospect, if I had it to do over again, I think I would have probably spent

Page 10
more time pursuing that sort of approach. In fact, it may well have happened in North Carolina. I don't know whether there have been some significant progress in that area. But it seemed like a natural.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. Well, one of the contradictions surely that must have faced you about North Carolina was the appearance of absolute central control.
MARTIN GERRY:
Right.
WILLIAM LINK:
I mean, legally the Board of Governors at the University has total control over everything and yet matched against that is a very strong traditional of local, campus-wide —
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, you know that sort of—that sounds a lot like California to me.
WILLIAM LINK:
California, too?
MARTIN GERRY:
Because California has a very strong, you know—a local control pretty well—though I suspect they don't even have the rhetoric that they have at North Carolina. But, yeah, you're right. Well, especially when—I thought Bill Friday—well, first Bill Friday himself frankly, in terms of style and approach, was uncommonly skilled, given his counterparts in other states. And the staff were—they looked like people who were in charge and running things. I agree with that. And I'm sure that that papered over very thinly a whole lot of major problems they had. But —
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, I can tell you that as a faculty person at a campus that there's very little central involvement with campus affairs, even though to an outsider —
MARTIN GERRY:
Not now but at the times—I mean, part of this is, you know, had I had—and I suspect it would have been helpful—if we'd had more staff that we had, more experience with these institutions, it probably would have been helpful to understand that. Although, even if we'd understood it we had little choice but to deal with the systems anyway.
WILLIAM LINK:
Sure. Yeah. Did you—you must have made a lot of trips to North Carolina?
MARTIN GERRY:
Three, maybe.
WILLIAM LINK:
Three.
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, it wasn't that, I don't think. Well, you know, as I told you, I made—I think the last of the three—Mr. Friday was anxious to find someone else to deal with. So, while he, in fact, didn't get me fired, I don't think I ever went back to North Carolina again, although my staff did.
WILLIAM LINK:
This would have been the fall of '75? Thereabouts?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yes, that was the fall of '75.
WILLIAM LINK:
Fall of '75. Tell me about how you think your approach, once you became director of OCR, differed from that of Peter Holmes, with regard to higher education?

Page 11
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, you know, Peter's not a lawyer.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
And I have a lot of regard for Peter. He's a friend and I liked working with Peter. But he's just not a lawyer and Peter—Peter was the congressional relations director in the office before he was director.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
So Peter's background is much more focused on the congress, public relations. And my background at the time, and I think maybe even now is much more focused—I see this job—I see the OCR job as more of a prosecutor's job and less of a sort of social arbiter's job. So, you know, the first thing I did was I moved against Maryland to cut off federal funding. Now, of course, we hadn't moved against anybody up until then. So my approach, I suppose, differed in that regard. Judge Norford[?] played it up, enjoining us.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
But my sense was that we had to fish or cut bait. We'd been—when I took over we'd been through several rounds of negotiations. And, of course, as you know, we were under the Adam's court order.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
And I talked excessively with Secretary Wienburger about that and, ultimately, later on with people from the White House during the Ford administration. And my sense was, you know, was that we had to either agree and get it over with, or go ahead and take—do enforcement. But otherwise this thing was going to drag out as a kind of festering wound and everybody was going to have to keep paying massive political prices as we went through round after round of these negotiations, and round after round of court orders telling us that we weren't doing a good job. So, does that give you a kind of a sense?
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
I mean, it wasn't so much as it was different from Peter. I was later than Peter, and my sense was we had an election coming up in '76, which the president lost, of course, and we ought to get the damned thing done.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right. So you wanted some kind of resolution?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah. I wanted either to negotiate out a plan that we thought was good and then go defend it. Or, if we didn't think we could get that, cite them and have a hearing. And if they wanted a hearing, then fine, it'd be okay. If they lost a hearing then, you know, we'd have a much stronger legal hand that compelled what kind of relief that we wanted. I didn't pick North Carolina. I picked Maryland, however, as the place to start.
WILLIAM LINK:
But in the case of North Carolina that—your handling of the vet school case was sort of related to that kind of approach, in other words —
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.

Page 12
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, mainly because, you know, once they made the decision and did it, you can never undo these things.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
So you had a kind of enforcement problem. Part of the problem is that administrative enforcement is an incredibly slow process. So if, you know, if you're going to create this veterinary school and I tell you, "Well, I'm going to withhold your Title VI money if you do that," by the time you get a final decision on the administrative report, you'll have three graduating classes.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
And you'll keep running the school because I can't hold up your money while the hearings are going on.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
That was a very good example of where the judicial approach and the enforcement approach was a—perhaps even a—I was very strongly in favor of some kind of an injunction. You know, where you go to court quickly before somebody does that and says, "Look, before you locate this veterinary school, judge, let's talk about it." That's one of the real weaknesses of the Title VI process, is that rarely can you do that.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah, especially so with regard to universities.
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, I don't know. My problem was that the assistant attorney general at the time was Stan Pottenger.
WILLIAM LINK:
Oh, yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
Who had a whole history with North Carolina of his own. So, Stan was certainly not interested in doing that.
WILLIAM LINK:
What was his history with North Carolina?
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, he had been director of OCR, you know, before Peter.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
So, you know, I don't know what exactly with North Carolina, but Stan was part and parcel of the whole, you know, "play it out over a long period of time approach." Peter and I had considerably—considerably closer in our opinions of the higher education system than Stan Pottenger and I ever were. Stan represents much more—well, frankly, I don't want—well, it is critical. Stan was looked at it, I think, much more politically. He wanted to get through it, you know, get all the way through it. So, as a result, of course, none of it ever got resolved.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. Going back to the vet school case.
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
That first came to your attention at the initiative of the regional office?

Page 13
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, you know, Peter was director when that came up.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
And I'm trying to think of how those meetings were—let me just think for a minute how that works. Probably, although it could have very easily came from Julius Chambers, through Jean Fairfax at the Legal Defense Fund.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
So it was a pretty open line of communication with Jean. I like Jean very much and I know Peter did.
WILLIAM LINK:
To your office?
MARTIN GERRY:
I kept seeing them in Judge Pratt's court every other week so.
WILLIAM LINK:
They'd keep you informed.
MARTIN GERRY:
They did keep us informed. They were very effective. And they were very concerned about that issue. I think justifiably.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes. It was initially presented by the—by William Thomas, who was the —
MARTIN GERRY:
Right. The regional director.
WILLIAM LINK:
— the regional director, presented to the Board of Governors.
MARTIN GERRY:
I can't remember the name of the division director down there. But Lamare Clemmons, as I recall, was involved quite a bit. But, you know, it was some combination of those two forces. There was a lot of—the regional office was also very closely, you know, in contact with Legal Defense Fund, too. But as far as the discussions there was regional people involved and internally that would have been it, but externally we certainly had discussions with the Legal Defense Fund.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was—at what point did the national office sort of take the case over?
MARTIN GERRY:
I honestly don't remember. I mean, as far as months or anything like that.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
All I remember was that there had been an effort at the regional level to get some kind of an agreement to hold off—at least to hold off on the veterinary school.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
Which had been turned down. But I don't, you know, I can't really tell you a lot more than that. But there was a history. It wasn't—we didn't start at the national office.
WILLIAM LINK:
You said earlier that OCR received a lot of pressure on that case.

Page 14
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, on North Carolina, not so much just the veterinary medicine line.
WILLIAM LINK:
North Carolina generally?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah, sure.
WILLIAM LINK:
And that shaped the resolution of the case? Is that accurate to say? That the vet —
MARTIN GERRY:
That's hard, you know—the point is you get—I mean, it's a political job.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
It's very rare you have any major civil rights case where there aren't political pressures from somebody. I don't really think it had a lot to do with shaping it, in a sense, except in the very large sense that it had shaped the whole approach. But it wasn't a situation where we wanted to do something, we were stopped politically. I don't remember that happening. Not over the veterinary school and not when Peter was there. Now when I was there I was stopped from moving against North Carolina formally by the secretary.
WILLIAM LINK:
On the vet school case?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
But that was later.
WILLIAM LINK:
And do I have this right? The actual resolution of the vet school case was under—was when Peter Holmes came back briefly, is that right?
MARTIN GERRY:
Right.
WILLIAM LINK:
So there was an interlude there where the case was resolved and took a very different turn than it had earlier in the summer of '75?
MARTIN GERRY:
Right.
WILLIAM LINK:
And that was the end of the case. Of course, as you said earlier, once something like this becomes resolved officially you can't bring it up again.
MARTIN GERRY:
Right. Exactly.
WILLIAM LINK:
Once the department officially approves —
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, you know, the thing about it that was so important wasn't just the decision. The decision had some importance. But the symbol—symbolically here was a very prized sort of academic possession. That was what really made it important. Had it been, you know, the School of Social Work or something, it might have been different. But within this sort of hierarchy of, I guess, college administrative snobbery, veterinary schools are pretty prized things. So, it really was a kind of bigger-than-itself issue, if you know what I mean. It was the university system of North Carolina deciding, from my viewpoint, whether they were actually seriously going to consider even putting a program that would unquestionably attract white students to a black site. There

Page 15
are very few schools, it seems to me, you could have put at any black campus that would have had that Howard impact that I'd mentioned, where it really was clear that there would be significant numbers of white students. But I think it's clear the veterinary school was one of those examples. And, you know, the issue you get is how often in any university system do you get to make those decisions. And, of course, as you know there is an unwritten rule that you only do one veterinary school per state. And, of course, they're still some states that don't even have one.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
So it wasn't a situation with one there and one here. It really did come down to an either or.
WILLIAM LINK:
The vet school coincided with the creation of a second state medical school.
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah, I think so.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was there ever any consideration about, say, locating the medical school?
MARTIN GERRY:
You know, I remember it coming up but I don't remember any kind serious discussion of it. I don't know why. I wouldn't have remembered except that you just mentioned that and I do remember that discussion. I remember something about a dental school, too. I don't know what that meant. But I don't think, at least not while I was involved, was there any serious discussion about doing anything about the medical school.
WILLIAM LINK:
Because that's one of the things that UNC people raised was that, you know, why isn't HEW concerned about —
MARTIN GERRY:
A good question and I wished I could give you the answer. Either—it may be that it was a fait compli. I mean, one of the big things about the veterinary school, too, was that it hadn't been done yet.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
Because, you know, once they put the foundation in you can forget it, politically.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
I mean, you're not going to stop and shift the medical—or veterinary school that's literally been built and is starting to open its classrooms. I mean, it's too late. I mean, legally, conceptually you might be able to say you could do it, but politically it would have been impossible. So the timing was a big issue on the veterinary school.
WILLIAM LINK:
Of course, the vet school had a lot of history behind it, too. It was really a political—?
MARTIN GERRY:
Oh, yeah. It was clear. You see, that was the thing. That's why it was so symbolically important. It clearly a political decision, not an academic decision, that was being made.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.

Page 16
MARTIN GERRY:
And it was clearly a political decision, from our view-point, that reinforced the traditional identification of these institutions.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. So the vet school case was of very high importance to you?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
As I said —
WILLIAM LINK:
As a symbolic thing?
MARTIN GERRY:
— simply because of itself, but partly because I thought it was—I think if you'll look at it this way, I think. Had the reverse decision been made, that is, had the system decided to locate the veterinary school at a predominately black campus, and gone ahead with it, the course of higher education opportunities in the state of North Carolina would have changed. I mean, I think that would have been a statement in a political—in political terms, it might have cost Friday his job for all I know, too, but that would have—would have sent a real signal to the people in the state, the brokers in the state, that something serious was about to happen in terms of higher education opportunities in these traditionally black schools. Because it would have, you know what I'm—it was very important in a way that a lot of other decisions that would seem to be as important weren't. Because they didn't carry the kind of punch with it.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
Now, the decision as to where to put a second medical school in the state when it was made, I'm sure, I would have considered it just as important. But all I can recollect is that it already had been made and we let it go, or it was already half-implemented or something.
WILLIAM LINK:
How much, generally speaking, specifically speaking, how much White House contact was there on the North Carolina case? Was there —
MARTIN GERRY:
I got very little. I had a very good relationship with the White House during the Ford years, and I never got any real pressure from the White House. In fact, the White House, you know, ultimately put me in the job over Friday's objections. The secretary was prepared to exceed[?] with them.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
I got very little on North Carolina from the White House.
WILLIAM LINK:
The appointment of the director would be, was that a White House appointment?
MARTIN GERRY:
Technically, it was a secretary's appointment. But all senior level appointments had to be cleared with the White House personnel office.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
Now, if you want me to tell you what was really going on. David Matthews was in a large part a figurehead secretary. And most of the important domestic policy decisions while he was secretary were made by the domestic policy council.
WILLIAM LINK:
Oh, I see.

Page 17
MARTIN GERRY:
Through one, or two, or three people, who were all, obviously, at the White House, and by the deputy director of OMB, who was at the White House. So really, I worked for them in practical terms, and they made the decision on who to hire and fire.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. And so you had, in fact, a great deal of autonomy?
MARTIN GERRY:
Well —
WILLIAM LINK:
Or independence from the secretary?
MARTIN GERRY:
There was somebody who worked here who also was sort of my day-to-day supervisor/mentor, not on paper, who was an assistant secretary here. But, you know, I had in some ways—it was probably about the same autonomy but I just had—I had a lot more distance, is probably the best way to put it. However, on civil rights, I worked very closely with them and stayed in touch with them pretty—because most of the issues I was involved with were very sensitive. But there—but they were mostly Nelson Rockefeller's staff people.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
That he brought into the Ford administration. Jim Cannon, who was the chairman of the Domestic Policy Counsel. But the person I worked mostly with was the general counsel, Dick Parsons.
WILLIAM LINK:
From the Domestic Policy Counsel?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah. And then the other person who was very much involved in making key decisions was Paul O'Neal, who was the deputy director of OMB.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
And they were all three super, first-rate people. The best team I've seen in the government, to tell you the truth.
WILLIAM LINK:
David Matthews —
MARTIN GERRY:
[unclear]
WILLIAM LINK:
In Joseph Califano's memoirs, he quotes David Matthews' advising him when he came in as secretary, when Califano came in as secretary, that he should watch out for the OCR and they're—that they're very difficult to control down there.
MARTIN GERRY:
[Laughter] Yeah, I'm not surprised. That's probably the best advice he gave Califano.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
Califano, from everything I can see, certainly heeded it.
WILLIAM LINK:
He did. Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
I think so. He controlled OCR pretty tightly.
WILLIAM LINK:
And while he says in his memoirs that he was determined, therefore, to exert secretarial control over the office.

Page 18
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah. Well, that's right. That's right. You see, the interesting thing, I think if you—I don't think Elliot Richardson - yeah, I think he's written some. Because, you see, if you read Wienburger's or Richardson's memoirs, you might get a very different statement. You know, it's always attractive to say the secretary ought to tightly control the OCR. But I think, and I know Elliot Richardson's view, and I think Capp's would be, yes and no. At sometimes it's very convenient that the secretary doesn't tightly control OCR. If you know what I mean.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
Because you want the secretary to have some distance. One of the key things of working in government at this level, and I say that's true today, that, you know, the job is to give the secretary the good decisions and you take the bad ones.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
MARTIN GERRY:
But there's some subtleties to it. So want you really probably ultimately—if I were going to give advice it would be put somebody in charge who you trust, but don't stay too close to the action, and always reserve to yourself some flexibility to respond when unexpected political pressure hits you. That's the way I think it was done best by Richardson and Wienburger both.
WILLIAM LINK:
In the case of Califano your perception—you said last time —
MARTIN GERRY:
Oh, he was a bull in a china shop. I mean, he came in here and, you know, banged chairs and yelled at people. You know, I know the people who had my job, the two people under him, quite well, and I think he was—well, you know what happened. Basically, they went out of business during the Califano years. I mean, it's easy now to think of the Reagan administration as the end of the civil rights enforcement era. But the truth is it was the Carter administration.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
And it was mostly Califano. It wasn't Pat Harris.
WILLIAM LINK:
So David Tatel was really the last effective OCR —
MARTIN GERRY:
I think—or even—I did fifty-six—I mean, this is one statistic. But I think I commenced somewhere between fifty and sixty enforcement actions my last year, and there were eight total from that point to the end of the Reagan administration. Just trying to give you an idea.
WILLIAM LINK:
That's interesting.
MARTIN GERRY:
Now that included Carter. And I think in the Carter administration there was something like two. Now, you can believe that everybody just decided to do everything that they wouldn't before and that it was all technical assistance and it was just a matter of creating a climate of good faith. But I'm a little more skeptical of such social changes than that. No, I think—if I were to write the book I think the Carter administration in

Page 19
many ways set up the Reagan administration in a series of areas, somewhat, I think, disastrously. Not by desire, of course.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. Of course, there is a big gap then, if that's true, between the rhetoric.
MARTIN GERRY:
Oh, yeah. Well, you see, I met with Joe Califano for two days. I thought Joe Califano was a super Kennedy liberal who was—I had the same view of him that probably most of my staff did. After two days of talking to the man I knew he was so far from that. I mean, all he wanted to do in everything that we talked about was get out of it. I mean, he wanted to minimize his political risks by minimizing what was done. And I think he believed that because he had such a big reputation as a liberal he could pull it off. And to some extent he did. I mean, there's still people wondering around town talking about Joe Califano as a liberal. I don't know why.
WILLIAM LINK:
And he made that clear? You had a clear impression about that?
MARTIN GERRY:
Oh, it was very clear to me that all he really wanted to talk about was "how do I get out of this, and how do I get out of that?"
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
And, of course, I was busily trying to lock him into everything. So I wasn't trying to help him. And, you know, I made some efforts that were successful to keeping—in effect, lock OCR into some of these enforcement positions, if this was the Adam's case. But he wanted to get out of the whole thing.
WILLIAM LINK:
Such as what?
MARTIN GERRY:
I mean, for example, higher education we talked about. We talked—I was doing a major investigation of the New York City School System. He was desperate to get out of that. We were engaged in some major teacher hiring cases with Los Angeles and Chicago. He wanted to get out of all—you know, look at the politics? You know, Daley, etcetera. I mean, it was all political. Califano—of all the people I saw in my eight years in the government Califano may have been the most blatantly politically person I ever ran into.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
Bar none.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. That's interesting. Did you have any direct contact with David Tatel?
MARTIN GERRY:
I had met him before I took the job and I have talked to him extensively after he left the job. But when he was there I had no contact. I was sort of a poria at that point. You know, when you leave these jobs —
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
— the administrations change, so I had no contact with him.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.

Page 20
MARTIN GERRY:
His deputy was actually a close friend of mine. I did talk to her from time to time. And then she became the director after him.
WILLIAM LINK:
That was —
MARTIN GERRY:
Sue Brown.
WILLIAM LINK:
Sue who?
MARTIN GERRY:
I really had no involvement with him.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
And he never talked to me about any of these issues.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. And so you stayed on actually into the administration and then resigned?
MARTIN GERRY:
No, I resigned effective January twentieth. They gave me a month to kind of get my stuff out and I then took a consulting job in March with the OMB in the Carter administration. And worked for seven months on President Carter's reorganization proposal on civil rights which dealt with EEOC. And so, ironically, I went into what would have been a political job in the Carter administration but only on a temporary basis. Because I knew Father[?] Hesburg quite well and his general counsel was running the president's reorganization task force.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. Let me ask you just generally. This will be the last question.
If there's anything else you'd like to add about Bill Friday specifically, and specifically having to do with this case of desegregation of the university.
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, you know, he's a complicated person. You know, when you asked me before, I've actually thought about it before you came. A very complicated man. And maybe you've found this in doing this piece.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
But to characterize, because I think that—clearly was very bright. He clearly had a good deal of personal charm and a lot of political acumen. What I don't know and what we've talked about a little bit today is to what extent his hands were tied. I really never did understand the, you know, the moccasins he was in, in a sense. So that's why it's so hard to make a judgment. You know, looked at from the Jesse Helms position the man was a radical Bolshevik, probably.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
MARTIN GERRY:
Looked at from a Julius Chambers position he was a reactionary man.
WILLIAM LINK:
Did he play his cards pretty close to the vest?
MARTIN GERRY:
Oh, absolutely.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
And changed vests often. But I'm not sure. I mean I don't want this to be construed as really as critical. I tell you the person that I

Page 21
recall that I sort of view as—let me think about this some, and that's—at the time I knew fairly well a fellow who was the superintendent of schools in Chapel Hill. He had worked at NIE. And he was—during the main desegregation of elementary and secondary schools—he later came up to Montgomery County where I live, in the Maryland suburbs and was superintendent of schools there. And the reason I say that is that in Chapel Hill he was seen as a major liberal mover, shaker. You know, as far as I could see, he basically wanted to do was obey the school desegregation laws. He went up to Montgomery County with, I think, the image of an innovator, reformer, and ended up being reviewed as a kind of a traditional main-line guy. Do you see what I'm sort of getting at?
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
But when you ask about North Carolina as it was in the '70s, it's clear to me that it must be sufficiently different living there from what I recall, say, living here. And this was a southern jurisdiction. That gives me pause in making judgments about people, you know, in what they had to deal with. I don't remember—I don't think I ever met with the board of governors with the University of North Carolina, but I can now begin to imagine who some of those people might have been. And Bill Friday may very well have faced some extraordinarily difficult challenges to even do what he did, which I would not in the abstract say was a great deal, in terms of desegregating or increasing higher education opportunities. That's why it's hard, I think, to kind of come to a judgment on him. Maybe easier for you. And I'm sure the more people you talk to it will be much easier to form that picture.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
MARTIN GERRY:
But I can't really do it.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. Well, you're right. He's still a hard person to figure out.
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah, I mean, in terms of competence, there's no question in my mind that he—what he did and how he handled things, he handled very competently. And I never, ever heard from him anything that I would remotely describe as racist, or stereotypes, or—I mean, there was never any rhetoric, or none of that. In fact, not from his staff, either. They were—they were almost at times—it was almost a sanitary approach. And in some states occasionally you'd get somebody who'll say "goddammit" and then make it at least a racist allusion. That never happened, and certainly never happened with Bill Friday. And, you know, what does that mean? I mean, does that mean that the guy really didn't have any views? Does it mean that he's just very slick and confident? You see, that's just what's so hard. You know, I can report the fact to you but I don't know what it means exactly.
WILLIAM LINK:
Tell me, did you have much—you must have had a lot of dealings with the staff?
MARTIN GERRY:
Quite a few. The guy was the director of planning, I think. His first name, as I recall it, is John.
WILLIAM LINK:
John Sanders?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.

Page 22
MARTIN GERRY:
Particularly.
WILLIAM LINK:
Dealt a lot with him?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Did you deal much with Raymond Dawson?
MARTIN GERRY:
I remember him but, no, I didn't have as much direct dealing with him. I found—his name is Henderson?
WILLIAM LINK:
Sanders.
MARTIN GERRY:
Sanders, right.
WILLIAM LINK:
John Sanders.
MARTIN GERRY:
I found him to be the easiest person to deal with. I think I kind of—that is, personally. So I kind of tended to talk to him.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
As I recall, he was from out-of-state, New York or someplace. But seemed to be the guy with—mainly was able to come up with a lot of the factual information that we wanted.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
MARTIN GERRY:
I think Dawson was the one who talked much more with my staff. I don't remember what the hierarchy was.
WILLIAM LINK:
Cleon Thompson? Did you talk to him very much?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah, I remember him.
WILLIAM LINK:
Okay, well that's—let's see, do you anything else you'd like to add?
MARTIN GERRY:
No. I was just going to ask you. I know what you're doing. I was just trying to figure why you were doing it. Was this part—is this actually something the university is doing for past presidents?
WILLIAM LINK:
No. It's just a book that I'm interested in working on.
MARTIN GERRY:
You just got interested in Friday?
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. And I'm interested in the history of higher education.
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, that's right.
I mean, I think it's a great vehicle —I'm sure you've explored—I will say this: I think North Carolina, in comparison with all of the other southern states that I've dealt with, except maybe Florida, and that's questionable, clearly had the capacity to do the most. And if it didn't do the most, in a sense of really significant—I mean, capacity meaning the human capacity, the financial capacity, the institutional capacity. You know, when you talk about North Carolina in the same breath with, say, Arkansas, they're just fundamentally different. They're not the same thing at all. Where Arkansas had the capacity of accomplishing is, what I'm saying is, tremendously less. And I think in terms of outcome, from what I can see,

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and that's very superficial, they never did that. Now, whether that was because of the politics or the leadership, whatever it was, it wasn't capacity. And that's the one thing that I think I still—it keeps me wondering about North Carolina.
WILLIAM LINK:
All this made North Carolina a special case?
MARTIN GERRY:
In a way.
WILLIAM LINK:
Deserve special attention.
MARTIN GERRY:
Well, had we gone down to Oklahoma or Arkansas and started arguing about veterinary medicine schools, it's kind of like arguing about nuclear fission in the Olympic[?] times. I mean, they were just trying to get the damned university to run. They weren't in this level of detail. They really did have—I mean, the leadership—it's hard to describe this—but if you took the top five people in the leadership of several of those states and looked at them in comparison with Bill Friday's people, you know, there just wasn't any comparison in terms of capability, support systems, and resources. I don't know why or how but, I mean, it's clear to me, obviously, North Carolina put a lot of money into higher education. And Friday had done—and had some extensive investments. That obviously had a lot to do with that. So, to me, there was a lot more to work with. Now, you can argue that that made it a lot harder and maybe it did. But that's the balancing act I would do with North Carolina. Because of the ten states I'd say—and even Florida, Florida might be the other one to discuss. But there just wasn't that much there. Virginia is an interesting case because of Jefferson and the University of Virginia. And, indeed, Virginia at the time put a lot of effort into the University of Virginia. But it didn't system-wide. Now, that's changed some. But North Carolina really had a lot going. That's, you know, just an observation. If you looked at, you know, what happened in the six states I would—had it been a question of just everybody doing the same level of effort I would have expected the outcomes in North Carolina to have been a lot better. Because I think they started from a much better base.
WILLIAM LINK:
And all this meant that you paid more attention to North Carolina to a degree?
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah. Although I have to say, if you're doing a book on a couple of Maryland governors, you might—they might tell you I paid a lot more attention to Maryland. I paid a lot of attention to Maryland, too. For slightly different reasons.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. Just one other matter of bookkeeping. I meant to tell you at the beginning of the interview that I was putting this on tape.
MARTIN GERRY:
Yeah. Well, you did tell me. You did the last time. I knew you were doing that again, I was sure.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. I wanted to make sure you knew about that. Okay. Well, thank you very much for your help.
MARTIN GERRY:
Okay. Sure. Let me know if there's anything else that comes up.
WILLIAM LINK:
Okay.
MARTIN GERRY:
Okay.

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WILLIAM LINK:
Thanks again. Bye.
END OF INTERVIEW