California State University, Long Beach

Show simple item record Wilde, Richard (1920 - ) Briegel, Kaye, interviewer 2021-08-31T23:00:07Z 2021-08-31T23:00:07Z 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 - School of Letters and Science; Hyden Cox; Sam Wylie; Robert Henderson; Carl McIntosh; Faculty Council; governance politics; Ryan Act; curriculum development; credit/no credit grade option; Division of Natural Sciences; Jack Ahment; and Foreign Languages Department;Foreign Languages Department; governance politics; Stephen Horn; Hyden Cox; Robert Henderson; James Robinson; Jerry Mannheim; Dorothy Goldish; William Wresh; Charles Austin; Rod Peck; Bob Tyndall; School of Letters and Science; and curriculum development;Donna Boutelle; Vice President for Academic Affairs; ethnic studies; Black Studies Department; curriculum development; governance politics; David Adamany; and Stephen Horn;David Adamany; governance politics; teaching; and scholarly research; en_US
dc.description.abstract INTERVIEW DESCRIPTION - This is the fourth 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. 2/24/1981 en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents *** File: uhrwilde9.mp3 Audio Segments and Topics: (0:00-4:48)... Brief introduction Wilde served on a committee dealing with the organization of the School of Letters and Science and on a fiscal task force related to the school's development. A committee drafted the school's constitution. Wilde was one of the candidates to become dean of the school. Hiden Cox, however, was selected as the first dean and he chose Wilde as Associate Dean for Educational Policies. The school's offices were in the Humanities Office Building, later named for President McIntosh, on the second floor. (4:48-8:05)... There was a smooth transition between the divisions of Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences and the new School of Letters and Science. On school committees, there was a careful balance of representatives from different parts of the school. (8:05-10:57)... Many hoped that the administrators charged with running such a large school would not be able to interfere in departmental affairs as heads of small divisions had; they hoped for stronger and more autonomous departments. Cox was sensitive to these hopes but hadn't been involved in previous struggles over campus organization. The new school was successful under Cox's administration because he was experienced in working within a departmental structure and his low-key style made it easy for people to adjust to the reorganization. The Associate Deans, including Wilde, were not as reserved. (10:57-21:42)... The biggest struggle the School of Letters and Science faced, before the beginning of student activism, involved a campaign to create more flexibility in faculty workloads and schedules. Many professors wanted the option of teaching only 3, rather than 4, classes so they would have more time for research and campus administrative committee work. As a result of this campaign, and without authorization from the Chancellor, categories of released time were created to facilitate these goals. Under the new system, Associate Deans were responsible for scheduling classes, workload assignments, and faculty allocation. McIntosh and others in the administration were not pleased with the new system because they did not believe it would be accepted by state auditors. And, in the end, budget cutbacks and auditing standards declared the system unacceptable. Faculty in natural sciences also criticized the new workload system because they believed that faculty in social sciences and humanities were receiving more benefits. (26:20-30:28)... There was also a struggle between the School of Letters and Science and the School of Education when the legislature passed the Ryan Bill. Faculty struggled over which school would define and manage the courses that students seeking a teaching credential were required to complete. The bill mandated both breadth requirements and coursework in an academic discipline. Ultimately the campus created a new Liberal Studies degree that fulfilled these criteria. (30:28-33:40)... The School of Letters and Science possessed a large pool of resources, some of which were used to develop new curriculum and experiment with different programs. Wilde and Henderson, another Associate Dean, created an office for interdisciplinary programs and provided the resources for faculty to develop courses. They allocated funds for the development of the Women's Studies program and the ethnic studies programs. When student activists demand changes in the curriculum, Wilde invented an experimental course program to allow them to try out new classes. (33:40-37:36)... There was also a proposal to operate a Weekend College. Wilde and some of his colleagues in the School of Letters and Science opposed this proposal because the content of its courses seemed shallow and it seemed to short circuit the time needed for adequate instruction. (37:36-40:37)... Some professors participated in a movement to give every student in every class a grade of A. These faculty members believed that assigning grades was detrimental to the educational process. This movement led to the development of the credit/no credit grade option. Wilde strongly opposed the practice of giving every student an A and noted that even after the credit/no credit option was created, some faculty persisted in giving all As. When Wilde became Associate Dean of the School of Letters and Science, he denied promotions to a couple of professors because they continued to give all students As. (40:37-44:50)... The struggles within the School of Letters and Science often didn't involve faculty from the natural sciences and they argued that school administrators gave too much attention to matters that didn't concern them. In addition, natural science faculty members had different academic priorities than humanities and social science faculty. Wilde believes that the natural science faculty would never have joined the school when it was organized had they not been desperate to escape the tensions that existed within the division where they previously found themselves. (44:50-46:39)... Jack Ahment replaced Sam Wiley as Associate Dean of the School of Letters and Science. Ahment became involved in problems in the foreign languages programs. Cox, at one point, broke up the faculty into two departments and appointed faculty from other departments to run the departments. End of tape *** File: uhrwilde10.mp3 (0:00-4:07)... Interview begins abruptly with a continued discussion of problems in the foreign language programs. Robert Henderson and Jack Ahment served as Associate Deans along with Wilde. Hiden Cox indicated that he ultimately wanted to retire from serving as Dean and return to classroom teaching. At that point, Wilde became a candidate for the position of Dean of the School of Letters and Sciences. President Horn, however, appointed Jerry Mannheim to the position because he believed that, as an outsider, Mannheim would be able to be a better administrator. (4:07-9:18)... Although Horn's reasons were unclear, Wilde believed that Horn disliked him. When Cox resigned earlier than expected, Horn appointed Wilde as the Acting Dean of the School of Letters and Science and he served until Horn appointed Mannheim to the position. Wilde then returned to his position as Associate Dean and when Jack Ahment died, Mannheim appointed Jim Robinson to be the other Associate Dean. Wilde found Robinson to be a difficult person to work with and he did not mesh well with other people in the school. Robinson attempted to control the ethnic studies programs and this created tension between him and Wilde. Part of Robinson's job was to run affirmative action programs and his aggressive stance on these matters made him unpopular in the school. (9:18-17:16)... Mannheim resigned after only 2 years as the Dean of the School of Letters and Sciences because of departmental and administrative headaches. Wilde became a candidate for the deanship and was appointed to the position. His immediate priority was appointing Associate Deans to the vacant positions and he chose Dorothy Goldish and William Wresh, and replaced Robinson with Charlie Austin. (17:16-21:05)... Rod Peck organized a retreat for the deans and the president in an attempt to improve relations among them. Wilde was asked to write a paper on the responsibilities of a dean, which he presented at the retreat. Also at the retreat, Horn proposed that the faculty constitution be rewritten. Wilde disagreed and David Gray supported Wilde. Wilde was, however, indirect in his opposition because he did not want to exacerbate the tensions between Horn and the School of Letters and Science. (21:05-22:24)... Horn asked the Academic Vice President to inform Wilde that one of his responsibilities as Dean of the School of Letters and Sciences was to divide the School into 3 parts. Wilde refused to carry this out because he believed that, as part of a larger school, the liberal arts and science departments had more leverage in dealing with other schools on campus. (22:24-26:56)... One of Wilde's goals as Dean of the School of Letters and Science was to develop a direct line of communication with the academic departments, particularly on issues related to hiring and promotion. In order achieve these goals, he believed it was important to establish a cooperative relationship with the central administration. While he encouraged departmental autonomy, intervention in departmental conflicts was sometimes necessary. He was relieved when the school eliminated the quota system because it offered more flexibility in hiring and meant that promotions were granted based on merit. (26:56-31:00)... Wilde believed that Horn would be paying close attention to his personnel decisions as Dean. Wilde designed a form to record his notes from reading documents and speaking to candidates. The forms helped him stay organized and he found that his personnel decisions were less often overruled by the president than other dean's decisions. Under Horn's administration, deans' roles in personnel matters were much more significant than in past administrations. (31:00-33:34)... While Wilde was Dean of the School of Letters and Science, many of the documents and administrative policies developed in his office were adopted by administrators in other parts of the campus. The school's standards for faculty appointments and promotions were well defined. Wilde's also tried to promote scholarly research and make the school operate in a more professional manner, but the function of the school did not undergo any radical changes during his term. (33:34-39:18)... The campus held a second retreat and Horn used it to outline his goal to reform the general education program. He asked Wilde to coordinate the program, which was a subtle reminder that Horn intended to break up the School of Letters and Science. Roger Bauer from the natural science departments was Horn's ally in arguing for separation. Wilde's attempts to keep the School together failed and he ultimately decided to make the split with a peaceful one. (39:18-42:19)... On personnel matters, Deans had to work closely with the Associate Vice President for Academic Personnel. Wilde believed he worked well with Bruce Carpenter and June Cooper. In contrast, his relationship with Bob Tyndall was much more adversarial. (42:19-46:36)... Wilde opposed the separation of the School of Letters and Science because it threatened the stability of the liberal arts core of the university. He believed it was important to support a liberal arts program because skills in this area prepared students to cope with the changes in the job market. The Academic Vice President believed he had more responsibilities than he could handle, so he proposed a new Associate Vice President. Wilde proposed this Associate Vice President be assigned to Liberal Arts. Horn disagreed and assigned this new position to coordinate changes in the general education curriculum. End of tape *** File: uhrwilde11.mp3 (0:00-1:35)... Brief introduction Wilde believed Donna Boutelle was disappointed when he didn't appoint her Associate Dean of Fiscal Affairs in the School of Letters and Science. Instead, he appointed her to deal with special projects. Eventually, Boutelle was appointed Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. (1:35-8:58)... Confrontations with activist students over interdisciplinary programs and ethnic studies occupied a large proportion of Wilde's time when he was Associate Dean for Educational Policy in the School of Letters and Science and Cox was Dean. Some schools held out against creating these departments, but the Black Student Union at Long Beach apparently overwhelmed President McIntosh and he approved the creation of a Black Studies Department. Then he assigned the program to the School and Wilde was responsible for its personnel, curriculum development, and budget. After that, it would have been hard to deny Mexican Americans, Asian Americans and American Indians their own programs. Wilde urged students to get certificates in ethnic studies and major in more established departments. He believed that would make it easier for them to find jobs. (8:58-11:24)... Wilde was not very involved in the split up of the the School of Letters and Science. When Boutelle resigned as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Wilde was asked to take over the position. He reluctantly agreed to do it for only 1 year, while he taught 1 class. After that he planned to return to teaching full time. (11:24-14:24)... When the School of Letters and Science was split up, some departments had trouble deciding which school to join. Mathematics, for example, ended up in the School of Humanities. There was also controversy over whether History was a Social Science or one of the Humanities. One of the arguments for keeping the School of Letters and Science together was to avoid these controversies. (14:24-26:15)... As Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Wilde's responsibilities involved curriculum development including general education requirements. His relationship with the Academic Vice President David Adamany was very formal. Adamany's priorities were fiscal and personnel matters, not curriculum. Perhaps more progress in academic development would have occurred had Wilde been enthusiastic about his new role as an administrator, and had Adamany been interested in academic development. Wilde often found it difficult to develop the general education requirements because he never knew what the president's perspective was in this area. And since he only had a 1 year appointment, he had little leverage to make faculty do things they were not otherwise inclined to do. (26:15-31:12)... As Associate Vice President, Wilde developed a utopian scheme for general education requirements that promoted the concept of a broad education. He approached Adamany with this idea, but Adamany was not interested. Wilde also believes that Horn was not a fan of a broad curriculum. End of tape *** File: uhrwilde12.mp3 (0:00-4:13)... Tape begins abruptly with a discussion on Wilde's experiences working with Academic Vice President David Adamany. Adamany, unlike Wilde, was a formal administrator who had run a state government agency. He set up barriers and procedures that discouraged direct communication. Wilde's method of administration and communication did not mesh with Adamany's. The 2 men, however, did not dislike each other. Wilde believes that his relationship with Adamany may have been different if Adamany had been more interested in curriculum development. (4:13-15:43)... When he returned to teaching, Wilde was amazed at how the library had grown and he realized that he hadn't kept up with the literature in his field. Many of the books he'd assigned when he was teaching were out of print and one of his upper divisions classes didn't draw enough students to continue. At first he didn't have good rapport with students and found that they were not interested in questions that interest historians. But as he began to relax, things got better and he enjoyed teaching. It was a welcome transition from his frustrating years as an administrator. (15:43-26:39)... He revised and published his doctoral dissertation, a study of Joseph Chamberlin and the South African Republic in the late nineteenth century. It was reviewed and got into other scholar's bibliographies. He decided to revise it using materials he gathered from the archives as a doctoral student and documents that the English government had released since his original research. He also had to read scholarly works published in the field while he as an administrator and write a new introduction. (26:39-31:11)... When Wilde returned to teaching, he also began to conduct research again. In this process, however, he was attracted to peripheral subjects and couldn't resist taking notes, ordering more microfilm and reading about related subjects. If he were training graduate students, he might suggest some of these peripheral subjects to them as doctoral dissertations. When Wilde started studying Chamberlin, no one else was interested. By 1965, there were seminars focusing on him. 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 #4 of 4) en_US
dc.type Recording, oral en_US

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