In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Negotiating Institutional Democracy   many of the struggles this book has covered can be traced to questions of power, authority, and influence. Who owns a college? Who gets to make the importantdecisions?Whoseauthority,whosesay,counts?Shouldinstitutional governance be top down? Bottom up? Centralized somewhere in the middle? We have seen the answer to such questions at Macalester shift distinctively, even dramatically, from time to time. Edward Neill’s negotiations with the Minnesota Synod of the Presbyterian Church were over whose say counts. In that case, the very founder of the college found himself forced to relinquish his positionasMacalesterpresidentasacondition,ineffect, forthecollegetoopen inthefirstplace.Findinghissayrankingbelowthatof thenewpresidentandthe board of trustees, he spent the rest of his life attempting to influence decisions madebyboth.WithNeillessentiallyoutof power,theboardof trusteespursued new strategies for opening the college. The Presbyterian Synod of Minnesota gained influence, installing Thomas McCurdy as president, a man who saw the college’sfirstmissionaspreparingMinnesotamenfortheseminary.Ashisdecisions and actions regarding scarce financial resources and faculty positions met with increasing opposition from faculty members like James Wallace, he found resignation a more attractive option than remaining at the institution. Beginning with Wallace, Macalester launched a period of strong, not to say autocratic, presidents that would last over fifty years. During these years, the role of the trustees narrowed significantly from what it had been in those early yearsof struggle,whentheyhadassumedfinancialandideologicalleadershipof theinstitution.Theburdensof havingsayrestedwithpresidents:Wallace,Bess, Negotiating Institutional Democracy |  Hodgman,Acheson,andTurck.Whatthesemendecidedwent.Faculty,though meetingdiligently,hadrelativelylittleinfluenceovercurriculummattersandno real say. Indeed, the faculty was viewed by both presidents and trustees in the category of “hired help,” more often than not. Students, even lower on the say scale, had little voice and were easily silenced when their views—for instance, on the question of U.S. neutrality during World War I and II—were considered outof linebytheadministration.Overtime,however,studentsdidsuccessfully lobby for a variety of important amenities that made life at Macalester more bearable: a gymnasium, a skating rink, and the right to hold dances on campus. Moreover, their personal interest in literary societies eventually reshaped the curriculum itself. In the post–World War II period, a new voice emerged, that of DeWitt Wallace , a person who insisted on having say because of the financial support he could provide for the institution. Under a particularly strong president, Charles Turck, Wallace’s efforts to have say could be subordinated—nicely—without rancor. Under a new, less forceful president, Wallace’s say grew. But as much as Wallace wanted say, he was uncertain about wielding it and so turned to a lieutenant, Paul H. Davis, to advise him on what to say. The scheme worked under Harvey Rice, but when a new president with enormous force of will and personality took office, a struggle for power ensued. During these years, other figures also wielded significant say, among them thedeans.Thoughtechnicallymembersof thefaculty,ClarenceFickenandlater LuciusGarvinbothfunctionedmorelikethepreviouspresidents(Fickeninthe absence of the president and Garvin in place of a weakened president) than any earlier faculty members, hiring and firing faculty and staff. Like the deans, a few faculty members, usually holders of PhDs, gained some say, particularly as efforts to strengthen the college’s national reputation were launched. Under Paul Davis’s influence, a small number of trustees, brought together on the Educational Committee, gained significant say over curriculum. These contests for authority within the college occurred within a changing culturalmilieuduringthepost–WorldWarIIperiod,inwhichpreviously“silent” groupsstruggledtoachieverecognitionandinfluence—thatis,say—withinthe public sphere. The civil rights movement succeeded in achieving federal legislation designed to ensure the rights of African Americans and other minority groups. The antiwar movement brought the voices of people from many walks of life to the fore and provided a catalyst for the passage of the Twenty-sixth  | nature & revelation Amendment to the Constitution in 1971, extending the right to vote in federal elections to all adults over the age of eighteen. The civil rights and black power movementscastthevoicesof minoritygroupsstrugglingforsocialandeconomic justice into the public arena. The women’s movement—or what is more accurately known as the second wave of the women’s movement—brought another group into the struggle for influence in the public arena. As a result, the number and variety of groups on campus demanding say in institutional decisions rose precipitously. Students in particular, coming from all walks of life and being pressed into national crises involving war and race, wantedsayincampusdecisions.Yetunlikethesituationatmanyothercampuses, the Macalester administration was quite willing to increase student autonomy and participation in decision making. At Macalester, the students and administration were not in conflict with one another, at least not during the Flemming years, a...

pdf

Additional Information

ISBN
9780816673346
Related ISBN
9780816656264
MARC Record
OCLC
648711615
Pages
424
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.