Title: Oral History Interview with J. Carlyle Sitterson, November 4 and 6, 1987. Interview L-0030.
Interviewer: Dean, Pamela
Interviewee: Sitterson, J. Carlyle
Abstract: Former University of North Carolina Chancellor J. Carlyle Sitterson recalls the dramatic changes the university underwent during the 1960s. Appointed chancellor in 1966, Sitterson was immediately faced with a variety of student issues, including student visitation, dress codes, and privacy issues. Additionally, Sitterson cites the Speaker Ban law, Jim Crow facilities, and the Vietnam War as flashpoint topics for student activists. To maintain communication with students, Sitterson employed an open-door policy for student advisory committees, which brought concerns to him. Sitterson notes that UNC officials used open forums with university administrators or state politicians to preempt violent student riots. The proliferation of radical student activities on campuses nationwide produced fears of student sit-ins at UNC. Desegregating the university student body and faculty were additional changes facing Sitterson. The desegregation of faculty, Sitterson argues, was a more difficult proposition, since black faculty cost more due to the limited number of skilled applicants. Sitterson says that he walked a tightrope between his superiors and his faculty and that his support of hiring black staff further distanced him from the Board of Trustees.