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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Frank Daniels Jr., September 11, 2002. Interview R-0320. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Distaste for company board's effort to escape scrutiny

Daniels recalls "two things you could never do as a public official": buy an airplane for the governor or the state, and hold an out-of-town retreat. Daniels himself became chairman of the Board of Directors at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, but he never took the board out of town, a move that he believed cut against the board's volunteer status.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Frank Daniels Jr., September 11, 2002. Interview R-0320. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

KATHLEEN KEARNS:
Well, I guess we could go back to the issue of public openness. There were a series of articles that I read about the board's retreats at Hound Ears and other locations.
FRANK DANIELS, JR.:
I'd forgotten about that. And not just Hound Ears. They also went to Pinehurst, I think.
KATHLEEN KEARNS:
That's right, and also somewhere up in Virginia.
FRANK DANIELS, JR.:
And it was a waste of money, and the only reason they did it was to get away from the newspaper coverage. And so then the newspaper started going, and they didn't want to let them in. I remember that. I'd forgotten about all that. You know, it was an automatic thing with the newspaper. There were two things you could never do as a public official. You couldn't buy an airplane for the governor or for the state. And you couldn't have an out-of-town retreat. The newspaper just automatically jumped all over that. Whether they had any reason to or not. So they were all over the retreats.
KATHLEEN KEARNS:
Did Rex's board always meet in town?
FRANK DANIELS, JR.:
Yes. Rex never had a retreat. I think the first retreat we had was after I became chairman. No, I guess maybe it was when Sherwood was chairman. We stayed here in town. We just moved off-site. See, retreats became popular along about then. Wake also used to take all of its trustees to the annual hospital meeting, which was usually someplace like Phoenix or Hawaii or someplace like that, and they would consider that compensation. We always looked down our noses at that.
KATHLEEN KEARNS:
Compensation for the board members? A little perk?
FRANK DANIELS, JR.:
Yes. And they'd take spouses along.
KATHLEEN KEARNS:
What's the norm? I mean, do board members of a hospital—I'm talking nationwide—would they normally get any kind of recompense?
FRANK DANIELS, JR.:
No.
KATHLEEN KEARNS:
It would be strictly volunteer?
FRANK DANIELS, JR.:
I think it's always been. UNC Hospital is volunteer. Wake is volunteer. Rex is volunteer. I don't know that many other hospitals. But I would be surprised. Now, I think if you're on a community hospital board, like that's owned by a private corporation, then you get compensation.