California State University, Long Beach

Show simple item record Wilde, Richard (1920 - ) Briegel, Kaye, interviewer 2021-08-31T22:47:37Z 2021-08-31T22:47:37Z 2021-08-31
dc.description SUBJECT BIO - Richard Wilde was an early faculty member who helped shape governance and curriculum on the campus as an administrator and faculty activist. He served as Associate Dean, Dean of the School of Letters and Science and Associate Academic Vice President. In these four interviews, he discusses his background and education and what he found when he arrived on the Long Beach State campus. He found a campus where the President made all of the decisions so he joined the fight to make the campus into a liberal arts and professional college in which governance was shared by the faculty and administration. After serving on faculty committees, then in the administration, he returned to teaching and scholarly research. This interview was conducted as part of a project to document the history of California State University, Long Beach TOPICS - professional career; career opportunities; teaching; campus facilities; P; Victor Peterson; Hugh Brown, Howard Kimball; Ed Walker; Carl Gregory curriculum development; Social Science Division; and governance politics;governance politics; faculty grievances; Division of Social Science; Ross Hardy; Mike Garver, P; Victor Peterson; Robert Wyler; Black-Martin case; California legislature; Employee Council; Faculty Council; FARC; and ACSCP;Faculty Council; governance politics; P; Victor Peterson; Carl McIntosh; and curriculum development; en_US
dc.description.abstract INTERVIEW DESCRIPTION - This is the second of four interviews conducted in Wilde's office in the CSULB History Department. The audio quality is good, but there is some background noise as people talk as they pass by in the hall. 11/7/1980 en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents *** File: uhrwilde3.mp3 Audio Segments and Topics: (0:00-3:36)... Brief introduction. Wilde was surprised when P. Victor Peterson interviewed him at the University of Wisconsin in 1951; Peterson seemed more concerned about Wilde's personal life than his scholarly record. There were not many job available at this time, so Wilde considered himself lucky to get a job in Long Beach. His starting salary was about $4,300 a year. When he arrived in Long Beach, he couldn't find the campus; only Long Beach City College was on his map. This, coupled with Peterson's lack of interest in Wilde's scholarly record and teaching skills, made him a little insecure about a position at a college he was not sure even existed. (3:36-10:35)... Wilde and his wife decided to drive to California and camp along the way. When they arrived in Long Beach, Wilde set out to locate the campus. When he found it, he was shocked by the lack of facilities. He wondered where his students were going to get books since the library had few. The first person he met at the college was Hugh Brown, who was somewhat perturbed by the fact that Peterson hired faculty without any concern for their specialties; he had just hired 2 English historians, Wilde and Howard Kimball. They discussed the curriculum with other history professors and divided the courses according to their interests. In addition to English history, Wilde also taught US history, and he prepared to teach 7 or 8 classes during his first year. Those preparation were difficult since the only useful libraries in the area were USC and UCLA. (10:35-15:00)... Wilde's wife was pregnant when they arrived in Long Beach. They rented a house and eventually purchased a home in a new housing tract. There were still still bean fields around the campus. His parents drove out to California to visit them. Wilde used to joke about getting a job in California and didn't especially want to move here to work. He thought California was hot, dirty and miserable in August. Kimball and his wife were kind to him and his wife and told them California's "not that bad." (15:00-21:49)... At the time Wilde started teaching, the college only offered upper division classes and his students were older than traditional college students. Many of them were studying to become teachers. College administrators tried to institute a generalized social science curriculum and faculty members trained in traditional disciplines didn't appreciate the administration's idea. The head of the Social Sciences Division, Carl Gregory, instituted a general curriculum to prepare students for public school teaching. In general, President Peterson's concept of a social sciences curriculum was different than faculty members experienced in their professional training. (21:49-25:39)... All of the faculty in the Social Sciences Division had desks in one office. Wilde had a desk in this facility, but he couldn't prepare for his classes there and there were not enough books in the library. So he often worked at home. He taught evening courses at Wilson High School which attracted older students who were studying to become teachers. He also taught recent US history to teachers, most of whom were older than Wilde and had been teaching US history for years. (25:39-27:41)... Registration for classes in the early days tended to make Wilde feel like he was advertising himself. Although the administration dictated the curriculum to the faculty, they did not supervise faculty closely in their classrooms. So faculty members generally were free to chose their course content and teaching style. As an historian, it was difficult for him to follow the social sciences curriculum because it was present oriented which history is not. (27:41-30:02)... Students and faculty interacted on both a social and professional level. Classes were small and there was a close and informal atmosphere. Students had to rely on textbooks and books of readings because the campus library was so limited. The students were eager to learn and, considering the primitive conditions, they did pretty well . (30:02-31:17)... When the college began to offer lower division courses, they converted the upper division English history survey course to lower division. They began teaching more classes that were similar to one offered at the University of California. For example, they began teaching the history of Western Civilization and upper division English history courses. (31:17-38:21)... Some faculty members didn't believe the college was getting off to a good start because President Peterson didn't understand the concept of a university. So they organized to challenge Peterson for control of the campus. During this conflict, some professors were dismissed for challenging the administration. Initially, Wilde was not involved in this struggle because he had a heavy teaching schedule and was a new to the campus. Over time, however, he became more involved and played a larger role in the "revolution." The struggle on campus ultimately led to an investigation by the State Board of Education and Wilde testified about a faculty member's dismissal. There was also an accusation of anti-Semitism against Peterson. The battle lines were drawn between the administration and the faculty. Anyone who gave testimony was essentially considered an enemy of the administration. (38:21-44:30)... Carl Gregory, the chair of the Division of Social Sciences, supported Peterson, and Kimball was recruited to challenge him for chair. Gregory regarded the college as a "practical training institution" and had little use for historians. Another issue that upset faculty members was Peterson's tendency to hire people with interesting life experiences, but without academic training. The social science courses Gregory favored were not the same as inter-disciplinary program begun in the 1970s. Wilde was initially hesitant to support these programs when he was Associate Dean of the School of Letters and Science, but came to appreciate them. (44:30-45:59)... Peterson survived the State Board of Education hearings and kept his position as president. Several faculty members who opposed him left. Wilde and others who testified against the administration but stayed on, occupied a precarious position. End of tape *** File: uhrwilde4.mp3 (0:00-6:07)... Interview begins with Wilde continuing the discussion on the early conflicts between the administration and the faculty. Those who opposed the administration during the investigation by the State Board of Education felt insecure about their jobs. Wilde thought Peterson and others tried to push him out. Wilde was a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin in 1955-56 and when he returned to Long Beach, he was granted tenure. More than anything, the initial confrontation with Peterson led the faculty to unify in its opposition to the administration. (6:07-12:00)... Wilde's mentor at the University of Wisconsin warned him about getting involved in campus politics and was not sympathetic to Wilde's struggles at Long Beach. Wilde did not discuss the problems at Long Beach when he was teaching at Wisconsin. He hoped that the Wisconsin might offer him a permanent position and he did not want to be perceived as someone who complained all of the time. As a graduate student, Wilde wasn't aware of campus politics and his major professor didn't talk about it. . (12:00-15:14)... Peterson hired all of the new faculty members and didn't consult with existing faculty about what areas of expertise might be needed. Exiting faculty didn't learn about new faculty until they arrived on campus. Peterson also had a tendency to hire people who were natives of the areas about which they were hired to teach. These personnel policies were a factor in the faculty's opposition to Peterson. (15:14-18:50)... As the campus and student body grew, faculty members began to think about organizing academic departments. When Gregory fell out with the administration, he was finally replaced as chair of the Division of Social Sciences. When the Division of Social Sciences moved "up the hill" into new offices and classrooms, they enrolled more students and Wilde was able to teach a few specialized courses in English history. The number of classes he taught stayed the same, but the class sizes decreased. (18:50-21:28)... There were accusations against Ross Hardy and these accusations added to the tension between the faculty and the administration. Other conflicts continued, including those in the Division of Social Sciences, over curriculum. (21:28-25:09)... Peterson created an Employee Council after the faculty's first "revolution" against the administration. The members of the Council were both administrators and faculty, and it did not accomplish anything notable. Peterson tried to improve his relationship with the faculty by holding meetings with faculty groups. The meetings didn't improve his campus relationship, however, partly because he told ethnic jokes that appalled the faculty members who heard them. (25:09-29:23)... The Employee Council and the Faculty Council were two different faculty organizations. Peterson agreed to form a Faculty Council after the Black-Martin controversy. The Association of California State College Professors (ACSCP) was the real voice of opposition on campus. The faculty investigated the governance structure at other state colleges and found that they varied widely. Most, however, were largely dictatorial like Long Beach. The ACSCP led the movement to organize the Faculty Administration Relations Committee (FARC), of which Wilde was secretary. The objective of the ACSCP was to organize investigations and solve faculty problems by changing the state legislation under which the colleges operated. (29:23-33:54)... Mike Garver was the first chairman of the Faculty Council and Wilde and Bob Wylder wrote the organization's constitution. The Council intended to be a representative body to deal with campus wide issues. The constitution developed policies to allow the faculty to deal with issues similar to the Black-Martin case and set up a committee system independent of the administration. (33:54-38:01)... Wilde discusses the faculty organizations developed as a result of the conflict between the administration and the faculty. The Faculty Administration Relations Committee (FARC) was created by faculty at Long Beach. They also cooperated with other statewide organizations that lobbied the legislature to change the laws under which state colleges operated. (38:01-40:47)... The Black-Martin affair was one of the many incidents that illustrated the problems that were caused when the faculty was excluded from involvement in personnel matters and the development of educational policy. The Ross Hardy case is another example and its handling was among the grievances during the first faculty uprising against the administration. (40:47-44:00)... The faculty attempted to gain the support from people off campus, including the Dean of Students at UCLA, members of the state Board of Education and members of the legislature. Richard Hanna was instrumental in the efforts to get an investigation and hearing into the conflict at Long Beach. Wilde was nervous about speaking at the hearing as a faculty representative. The group who fought against Peterson grew close and supported each other. They were "Romantic Revolutionaries" who dreamed about what they'd do with power on the campus when they won it. (44:00-46:01)... FARC continued struggle against the administration. One of their goals was faculty participation in campus governance, and eventually the Faculty Council was organized. Ultimately, the Council was transformed into the Academic Senate and various Senate committees worked with the administration when Carl McIntosh became president End of tape. Interview ends as Wilde is discussing the chronology of the faculty's fight against Peterson that eventually led to his resignation. *** File: uhrwilde5.mp3 (0:00-2:31)... Brief introduction When the Faculty Council was organized, those who wanted to make faculty governance work formed groups to concentrate on specific problems. Wilde served as the first chair of the Budget Committee and worked closely with new president, McIntosh. McIntosh was experienced in working with faculty on college governance and cooperated with the faculty organizations at Long Beach. Peterson, on the other hand, was an authoritarian leader who couldn't accept the concept of faculty participation in campus governance. (2:31-8:47)... The confrontation between the Long Beach faculty and president Peterson was one manifestation of a statewide movement among state college faculty to establish an academic senate on every campus. Wilde was a member of a planning committee that worked toward incorporating an academic senate into Long Beach's governing structure. These activities at Long Beach were the most aggressive in the state and some other campuses followed Long Beach's example. The Chancellor discussed establishing university like governing structures in the state, but backed off when it became clear the state colleges were not, at that time, likely to become universities. Long Beach, however, brought in Hiden Cox to the campus to lead Research activities. (8:47-11:19)... Once the Faculty Council was operating, some of the issues it was asked to confront seemed rather petty. There were, for example, accusations of misuse of funds. But those involved were motivated by idealism and attempts to be true to their professions. In retrospect, sometimes their actions seemed to be overreactions, such as the time they impulsively decided to drive to Sacramento and meet with the State Board of Education. End of tape en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights This repository item may be used for classroom presentations, unpublished papers, and other educational, research, or scholarly use. Other uses, especially publication in any form, such as in dissertations, theses, articles, or web pages are not permitted without the express written permission of the individual collection's copyright holder(s). Please contact the CSULB Library Administration should you require permission to publish or distribute any content from this collection or if you need additional information or assistance in using these materials: en_US
dc.subject Development of California State University, Long Beach en_US
dc.subject Long Beach Area History en_US
dc.title Wilde, Richard (audio interview #2 of 4) en_US
dc.type Recording, oral en_US

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