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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with David DeVries, November 23 and December 2, 1998. Interview S-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Concern about a contracting vision at CCL

DeVries worries that the CCL has actually contracted its vision, rather than expanded it, over a period of about thirteen years. While it has earned a stellar reputation, its leaders have not parlayed that into a wider vision.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with David DeVries, November 23 and December 2, 1998. Interview S-0010. 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

ELIZABETH MILLWOOD:
When you say in the way it was acted out, then your concern was, your desire was to see the commerce back and forth across that bridge.
DAVID DE VRIES:
Right. I have found in the last few years in particular, the place has gotten conservative, at a time when it could be even more expansive. When I got there in 1975, it was ridiculously expansive. I was telling you that. This brilliant group of 20 governors would come in every several months and expect us to have sort of materially changed the quality of leadership in the U.S. and there was somewhere around 25 of us. So back then, one reason we did some interesting things was we were given such a hugely expansive agenda. Now in 1998, the place actually now has such credibility among the world in the field of executive help that it virtually could do [unclear] things. And yet as it's gotten all the reputation, all this access to organizations around the world, is extremely well healed in terms of funding, its vision has contracted not expanded. That's what disturbs me profoundly. And I don't know how long an organization like that goes on with a very narrow vision without it deteriorating on a kind of permanent basis. I think organizations like the Center are fragile in that if you lose a certain kind of vitality, regaining it is damn difficult if not impossible.