Letter from BGSU President William T. Jerome to E.P. Wolfram, Jr.
Jerome, Wm. Travers (William Travers), 1919-. “Letter from BGSU President William T. Jerome to E.P. Wolfram, Jr.” Digital Gallery. BGSU University Libraries, 18 June 2020, digitalgallery.bgsu.edu/collections/item/17266. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.
|Title||Letter from BGSU President William T. Jerome to E.P. Wolfram, Jr.|
|Subject||Vietnam War, 1961-1975|
|Wolfram, E. P., Jr.|
|Jerome, Wm. Travers (William Travers), 1919-|
|Bowling Green State University -- Administration|
|Bowling Green State University -- Students -- Political activity|
|Description||A letter from BGSU President William T. Jerome to E.P. Wolfram, Jr. attempting to find middle ground on the issue of student Vietnam War protesters.|
|Creator||Jerome, Wm. Travers (William Travers), 1919-|
|Source||William T. Jerome presidential papers; UA-0002f; Center for Archival Collections; University Libraries; Bowling Green State University|
|Spatial Coverage||Bowling Green (Ohio)|
bcc: Mr. Eugene Wilson
Mr. E.P. Wolfram, Jr.
Bell & Beckwith
234 Erie Street
Toledo, Ohio 43624
Your letter of May 12 is both an easy and a difficult one to answer. It is easy in the sense that I agree with all you have said, particularly in connection with your basic addumption that "somewhere in the educational process we have failed to demonstrate to the young that discipline is a parcel of every society." I also agree that we should work for the "early dismissal of any student, faculty member or administrator who sympathizes with violent revolution."
It is the implication of these two statements and perhaps their implementation which causes the problem. You talk about discipline as I do and yet discipline of the individual depends on worthwhile goals, beliefs and values. It also depends on a society itself which is reasonably well disciplined. You certainly have observed that the nation has tolerated strikes galore by the adult population including those of labor teachers and public servants and then, of course, there have been the civil rights demonstrations. Adults often get up tight about dirty speech and vile manners. The young don't see much to boast about, however, in current literature, drama and television. None of this is meant to excuse the obvious failures of higher education but where is the disciplined social consciousness of the adult world?
Also, Ted, I have yet to find anyone at Bowling Green either student or faculty member who preaches violent revolution. On the steps of Williams Hall in the heat of all that took place in recent weeks, I heard only one graduate student urge violence but he was ignored by the rest of the group.
No one understands your frustration better than I because in some ways it is precisely this which has prompted my resignation. The fun of being a university president is largely non-existent today. when alumni and friends like you tend to place a president in a polarized and oversimplified situation, the job becomes a thankless one. Should you analyze a company for your clients in the way that you appear to be analyzing your alma mater and higher education, you would not remain long in business. Indeed I think you have cause to be very proud of Bowling Green and of your affiliation with it since this university was one of the few to see the need to dedicate much of its efforts toward helping both young and old alike to understand and then to do something about man's relationship to his environment.
There is much more I could say, Ted. However, there are miles and miles of letters yet to go. For all your past help my thanks. What you do in the future must be a matter of your own conscience and good judgment. In my book you will always be a great guy. Obviously, too, if there were more with your views, education would be a much simpler operation to administer.
Wm. Travers Jerome III