The North Texan, Volume 22, Number 3, June 1971 Page: 3
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paign for TCU. The school has raised $19
million in gifts and pledges.
John Kamerick said upon leaving North
Texas in May 1970 that the biggest headache
the new president would face would be find-
ing funds to feed development programs.
"Every school," Nolen says, "is going to
have to manage its resources more efficient-
ly. One problem is that there are so many
more places for philanthropists to give mon-
ey—the ghettos, for example. Our hospi-
tals are in trouble—money's needed there.
We can't seem to find a way to cope with
♦ * *
The 15-man faculty advisory committee,
the same sort of thing used for selecting
Dr. Kamerick, met first last July 8. It took
five meetings to set up the ground rules and
Four of the members—Dr. Jack Scroggs
of history, Dr. Franklin Elder of education,
Dr. Clifford Hutton of business administra-
tion and Dr. H.W. Kampof political sci-
ence—were chosen to work with five regents
as the "traveling committee." This was the
group that screened the large list of original
names, part of them resulting from a letter
the out-going president sent to schools.
After three or four meetings the subcom-
mittee had list of 15 to 20 "solid" names.
The first of eight interviews took place in
early September. And Dr. Scroggs, without
using names, described to the full faculty
committee the type of person being consid-
ered each time. He took back comments
and suggestions from the faculty.
Sometime in October, after four men had
been interviewed, one name stood out—
Bryce Jordan, then acting president at the
University of Texas at Austin. His name
began to crop up in newspaper speculation.
One of Jordan's former classmates at UT,
contacted as a reference, highly supported
Jordan for the NTSU presidency. His name
was Jitter Nolen and even though one regent
mentioned Nolen then as a prospect, neither
Nolen nor the committe was much interested
at that time.
Rumors were wild that Jordan had said
yes and would be here by spring. Then just
before the Christmas break, the word went
out that he had suddenly rejected the offer.
Later he would be named president of the
University of Texas at Dallas.
So the search started again. Even though
most members of the faculty committee are
willing to talk freely about the process, they
don't care to dwell on personnel details.
At any rate, Nolen was apparently the last
of the next four interviewed. Most of the
interviews took place in a posh club atop a
Dallas skyscraper. Some of the candidates
were brought to Denton to see the campus
usually on weekends or holidays when the
campus was more or less empty.
Three of the people interviewed, says Dr.
Scroggs, were from out of state—Ohio, Wis-
consin and Colorado. "But as the process
continued," he adds, "the regents seem to
lean toward a man from Texas." •-*. •-
The committee members say that the work
was harmonious. "By and large, the general
tenor, was one of a harmonious relation-
ship," Dr. Scroggs said. "There were dif-
ferent ideas but these were freely discussed."
Dr. Elder says, "There was never any
strong cleavage, such as regents against
faculty. There were no cliques—never.
There were differences of opinion, but the
lineup was constantly shifting. It was a very
Because of the length of the search there
was rumor that a stalemate had developed
between regents and faculty. But Dr. Elder
says that the search was so long because it
was so difficult to get nine people together
to interview a man. Certain ground-work
could be done, he said, but no serious inter-
viewing without the whole group."
"We were merely an advisory group to the
regents," Dr. Scroggs said. "This was under-
stood from the first. I would say we got our
due hearing, and I don't think our recom-
mendations were taken lightly—though I
don't always say we predominated."
Chairman Willis said of the committee,
"They were no patsys for the regents, I assure
On Monday night, May 3, Nolen and the
faculty advisory committee met—without
regents. When Dr. Don Beck of speech, the
last to speak, finished explaining his
ideas about the prospective president, Nolen
said, "You've got me pegged." p
Dr. Lee said of this unusual meeting, which
Dr. Scroggs described as "more or less a
demand" by Nolen, "At the faculty con-
frontation, we spoke openly and asked hard
questions. He spoke back the same way
no evasion. If he didn't know, he said he
What Dr. Beck said was that large opera-
lions, dependent now on the computer, are
abandoning power hierarchy and decision
by edict. "It's been recognized that this
mode won't work in modern society," he
says. "Because of the success of the com-
puter and the specialists required for it, the
old pattern of decision making won't work
Because a systems man can't have all the
knowledge necessary, he must have a highly
technical team. They must be able to receive
and process data and put it out rapidly.
These are people, Dr. Beck continues, who
can make a contribution regardless of rank.
But the chief must gather about him people
he can trust. "They've got to be genuine,
honest people—if they feed him doctored
information, he may not be able to recognize
it soon enough."
The data, he says, has got to be good
fairly close to objective facts. Dr. Beck added
that this brand of administration depends
of whether the president has the "clout"
to put it into operation.
♦ * *
The Sunday newspapers reported on June
13 that the Friday before one of the univer-
sity's top-level administrators had been fired
and two others reshuffled. Only one, John
Carter, vice president for fiscal affairs, re-
mained intact. William C. Lindley, vice-
president for student affairs for five years,
was fired. And Dr. James L. Rogers, admin-
istrative vice-president and J.J. Spurlock,
academic vice-president, were to be given
other assignments at the school. Rogers
came to North Texas in 1953 and Spurlock
in 1940. Dr. Rogers had served as an assis-
tant to Dr. J.C. Matthews before getting the
vice presidential title in 1965; Dr. Spurlock
had been in roughly his same position since
Nolen had asked for letters of resigna-
tions a common courtesy that high-ranking
officials pay a new president from all the
cabinet level posts. Nolen's acting upon the
letters brought the biggest top-echelon shake-
up in memory.
* • *
Dr. William Glaze of chemistry, another
advisory committeeman, said they knew,
of course, they couldn't find a man who
would please everybody. "I'm very enthu-
siastic about him, that he satisfies what I
consider to be the needs at this time. He has
the desireable traits of leadership we must
have to bring North Texas into the main-
stream of education in Texas which I don't
think we're in."
Another point made by Dr. Glaze that
most of other committeemen mentioned was
that Nolen must choose his own team. "I
think the essential thing is that he choose
a team he can work with people who will
be empowered to make bold changes. We
know that there are certain things that need
to be done."
The thing which most of the committee
tended to dismiss—that seems to stick in
other people's minds is the lack of a Ph.D.
Nolen is the first full-time president of North
Texas since 1934 not to hold an earned doc-
torate. But even that president, R.L. Mar-
quis, had an honorary doctorate. The man
before Marquis, W.H. Bruce, held the Ph.D.
when he came to North Texas State Normal
College in 1906. None of the earlier presi-
dents had a doctorate.
Is the Ph.D. necessary?
"Absolutely not," said Dr. Beck. "The
faculty has the Ph .D.s his job is to create
a climate so we can best use our degrees."
Dr. Glaze, speaking from a field where the
doctorate is essential, says that "people in
the sciences are more than any other area less
likely to demand a Ph.D. of their president.
Because of research we arc probably involved
more in administrative matters than the
average faculty member, so we respect a
person with competence in that area."
Said Dr. Scroggs, the man who worked the
most closely with the regents, "What I regard
as something of a new approach to the presi- ^
dency seems intriguing. Only time will tell
how successful it will be. I envision that it
will be a successful thing, but there's little
The lack of a doctorate, said Dr. Elder,
probably caused the committee to probe that
much more into Nolen's other qualifica-
tions. He adds, "I think you can sum up
the reasons we settled on him this way: his
energy, this enthusiasm and his decisiveness.
And perhaps his success in all previous
• • *
. Texas Christian University announced in
mid-June that it will confer upon Nolen
an honorary doctorate at summer com-
mencement exercises at which the outgoing
vice-chancellor will also speak.
' < * * •
When Nolen spoke to staff and faculty
members in May, he said, "I shall make
mistakes and I know you will help me recog-
nize them . . . . I hope you will help me rem-
edy them." ■
Wife June and daughter Lysa mak ing music together
The North Texas
June 1971, page three
SXS ISS9 x. 3
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North Texas State University. The North Texan, Volume 22, Number 3, June 1971, periodical, June 1971; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98788/m1/4/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.