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On Strike! Shut it Down! (Exhibit 1999)

Case 4: Governance


Who makes the decisions about what happens on our campus? Which different bodies make the decisions that influence the various aspects of what we do? This case deals with governance.

From the founding of the college (1899) through the tenure of J. Paul Leonard, the presidents of San Francisco State have been described as 'benevolent monarchs.' Similar patterns of governance prevailed in most colleges throughout the country. After World War II, changes came as student bodies grew in size and maturity, and faculty expressed interest in decision-making and organization. At San Francisco State that interest led to the establishment of a Faculty Council followed by an Academic Senate. Movement toward faculty unionization traveled through various organizations, such as AAUP, ACSCP, CCUFA, and AFT. One must also look at San Francisco State College's governance structure in the late 1960s. The immediate structure was that of a president, vice presidents, other administrators, and deans of various schools. During the 1960s' period of turmoil college administrations, across the country, found themselves squeezed between faculty factions, student protesters, chancellors and their staffs, trustees, and state governors.

At San Francisco State, local administrative leadership was in the hands of the president, vice presidents, and deans. San Francisco State's three presidents, between 1966 and 1969, had numerous confrontations with each of the above-named pressure groups. They responded in very different ways. President John Summerskill (1966-1968)

President Summerskill was sympathetic to student and faculty causes, but was not successful in bringing resolution to conflicts or in persuading the Chancellor (Glenn S. Dumke) and Trustees to participate in peaceful attempts at solutions. President Robert Smith (1968)

President Smith understood the faculty and its goals and had broad support from them. He wanted to achieve what he believed to be rational solutions to the problems raised by student groups. His primary confrontation was with the Chancellor and the Trustees. They did not appear to understand the depth or sources of student and faculty unrest. Realizing that without the CSU System's grasp of the problems, he could not gain solutions. He resigned from the presidency. President Samuel I. Hayakawa (1968-1973)

President Hayakawa was the choice of the Chancellor, the Trustees, and the Governor (Ronald Reagan). He saw his task as quelling the disturbances and getting the campus back to "normal."Like those who selected him, he was slow to realize that "normal" was changing.

Throughout the most turbulent times, day-to-day administration of the campus and the planning of responses to the threats of disruption, or violence, fell to the three vice presidents: Donald Garrity, Vice President of Academic Affairs; Glenn P. Smith, Vice President for Business and Administration; and Fred Reddell, Vice President for Student Affairs. These three men were the primary advisors to Presidents Summerskill, Smith, and Hayakawa. The Chancellor's staff called them "The Troika." They briefed the Chancellor's staff and tried to win from them the support and understanding that was needed. Most every workday ended with the vice presidents in the president's office, discussing the events of the day, planning for the next day, and helping the president 'de jour' cope with the volatile situation. The school deans met often with the vice presidents, bringing information and advice to discussions and helping to implement administrative decisions within their schools. On at least one occasion, the deans gave candid and forceful advice to President Summerskill.

One also must look at San Francisco State College in the larger context of the structure of higher education in California. In 1968, San Francisco State was one of 18 California State Colleges, part of the California State College System. The State College System was a new entity, having been created in 1960 as a result of the Donahue Higher Education Act. Before that time, the state colleges were managed by the California State Board of Education. In terms of budget, they were micro-managed. After the implementation of the Master Plan for Higher Education, the California State Colleges were removed from the control of the State Board of Education and given their own governing board with a chancellor and trustees, paralleling the structure of the Regents of the University of California. The Chancellor was appointed by the Trustees, and the Trustees were nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. So, who the Governor was made a big difference in who would be nominated as a Trustee. And, which political party had a majority in the Senate also made a difference in the confirmation process. And whom the Governor nominated also had an effect, as the Governor most often nominated someone who held similar political views to his own. Also at this time, many of the decisions which previously would have been made by the president, and/or staff of a college now were transferred to the Chancellor's Office and/or the Trustees. Presidents, who had been relatively independent in terms of their non-budgetary decision-making wrestled with the fact that many issues previously decided on a campus-by-campus basis now were decided by a distant central body. Local academic senates and individual faculty faced similar constraints. In addition, although the colleges were no longer under the governance of the State Board of Education, the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, was an 'ex officio' member of the Board of Trustees. The Superintendent of Public Instruction usually represented the values of one of the political parties.

The individual players at this time were most interesting. The Chancellor of the California State Colleges was Glenn S. Dumke. He was a Republican, and had been the President of San Francisco State College from 1957-1961. He had had cordial, but at times not-so-cordial, relationships with the college faculty. So in his position as Chancellor, he already had his own view of San Francisco State. The Republican Governor of California was Ronald Reagan, a former actor turned politician, who was one year into his gubernatorial term. Max Rafferty, the Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction, was a well-known conservative educator. Most of the Board of Trustees had been appointed by Governor Reagan's predecessor, a Democratic governor, Pat Brown. The board members, at the time, were mostly white males, with the exception of Phoebe Conley, the only female, and Edwin O. Lee, an African-American. However, the Trustees did not necessarily hold liberal points of view on San Francisco State issues. Two of the most conservative Trustees during the student and faculty strikes were a Brown appointee, Theodore Meriam, and a Reagan appointee, Dudley Swim. Meriam was a businessman and a former Mayor of Chico, California. Swim was a corporate executive. All of these people, mentioned above, represented various political factions in California's political establishment during 1968 and 1969. The elected officials also felt the pressure from the tax-payers, who did not hesitate to voice their opinions. However, the Governor, the Chancellor, the Trustees and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction directly influenced the decisions handed down to San Francisco State during the student and faculty strikes.

As part of the local governance process, the San Francisco State College administration worked with the San Francisco Mayor's Office, as well as with law enforcement departments from various cities and counties in the Bay Area. San Francisco's Democratic Mayor Joseph Alioto (a lawyer), had a long history of relationships with San Francisco State College. Alioto's relationship began in 1950 with his condemnation of the San Francisco State faculty and staff members who refused to sign a 'loyalty oath' required of all state employees. Mr. Alioto began his term as mayor in Spring, 1968, and during the period of student and faculty demonstrations on campus, he worked directly with the college administration in dealing with student and faculty strike-related issues. He also organized a citizen's committee to help settle both the student and faculty strikes.

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