Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Arrangement of the Papers

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I: Background Materials, 1969-1977

Series II: Oral History Interviews, May-October, 1969

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Dr. William H. Masterson Controversy records, 1969



Descriptive Summary

Title: Dr. William H. Masterson Controversy records
Dates: 1969-1977, bulk 1969
Abstract: Oral history interviews (tapes, cd's, transcripts), news releases, photographs, color slides, publications, campus directories, student papers relating to the five-day controversy which arose on the campus of Rice University in February 1969 following the appointment of Dr. William H. Masterson by the Board of Trustees as the university’s new President to succeed Kenneth Pitzer, who had resigned in August 1968.
Identification: Rice U.A.: Masterson Controversy
Quantity: 5.5 linear ft. (11 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Historical Sketch

A five-day controversy rose on the campus of Rice University in February 1969 following the appointment of Dr. William H. Masterson by the Board of Trustees as the university’s new President to succeed Kenneth Pitzer, who had resigned in August 1968. Members of the faculty and student body protested in particular the method by which Masterson had been appointed, which was perceived as a unilateral decision by the Board without sufficient consultation with the committee of faculty and students appointed earlier by the Board to assist in suggesting and screening candidates’ names. A variety of personal objections to Masterson himself were also voiced, along with concern about appointment of a President from within the university (Masterson was a former graduate of Rice who had joined the faculty in the Department of History in 1951 and served later as Dean of Humanities before leaving Rice in 1966 to serve as President of the University of Chattanooga). As a result of the pressure created by the protests and by a campus-wide poll conducted among students and faculty (results of which were made known to Masterson), the controversy ended with Masterson’s resignation as President on February 25th, five days after his appointment had been announced.

The Masterson controversy can be seen within the context of a decade of nation-wide turmoil resulting from (among other things) the Civil Rights movement, the war in Vietnam, the emergence of feminism and women’s rights, and a general rebellion against authority among many of the nation’s youth. (Notable among other campus disturbances of the period was the confrontation between students and National Guardsmen at Kent State University in Ohio in May 1970, in which four students were killed and nine injured).

Within two weeks of the Masterson controversy, a committee was formed to sponsor an undertaking called the Oral History Project on the Presidential Crisis of February, 1969 at Rice University. The project sponsors were Joseph Cooper, Associate Professor of Political Science and Chairman of the Department; Harold M. Hyman, Professor of History and Chairman of the Department; and Richard H. Lytle, University Archivist and Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, who was appointed as Administrator of the Oral History Project. An outside consultant and an interviewer were also appointed. The purpose of the project was “to collect data for scholars doing research in social and economic change in the university,” and funding was provided by a grant awarded by Rice University’s Center for Research in Social Change and Economic Development.

Interviews were conducted between May and October 1969 and were recorded on reel-to-reel magnetic tapes, from which transcriptions or abstracts were then made. (See list of interviewees, pp. 4-5). Since interviews were begun close to the end of the school year in May, students were scheduled first, followed by faculty interviews in June.

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Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews (tapes, cd's, transcripts), news releases, photographs, color slides, publications, campus directories, and student papers dating primarily from 1969 and relating to the five-day controversy which arose on the campus of Rice University in February 1969 following the appointment of Dr. William H. Masterson as President of the university. The 69 interviewees include faculty, staff, residential college masters and leaders, and students of Rice University.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged in two series:
Series I: Background Materials, 1969-1977, 1 box
Series II: Oral History Interviews (Transcripts and Recordings), 1969, 10 boxes

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Because of the sensitive nature of much of the material, the collection was initially closed for five years from 1969-1974, and five interviews remain restricted from access, as noted on the inventory.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from the Dr. William H. Masterson Controversy records must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Quotations or citations of otherwise unrestricted interviews may not be published during the lifetime of the interviewee except with his or her written permission.

Reproductions of any recordings or transcripts may not be made without the interviewee's written permission. This provision is not intended to restrict bona-fide note-taking by researchers.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Alexander, Buford.
Beckwith, Dave.
Berman, Mike.
Bozman, Ron.
Blanton, Bill.
Brannon, Jack.
Brotzen, Franz.
Chapman, Alan J.
Church, Jackie M.
Craig, Hardin, Jr.
Curl, Robert.
Daniels, Mary K.
DeBremaecker, J. C.
Dessler, A.J.
Dietz, Nancy.
Dowden, Wilfred S.
Downey, Margaret.
Estes, Leland L., Jr.
Feustel, Ed.
Forristall, George.
Frank, Elaine.
Fulton, James Street.
Goodman, Mary Ellen.
Graves, Joe.
Grob, Alan.
Gruber, Ira.
Guthrie, Dan.
Horstman, Lee.
Hyman, Harold.
Johnson, Jeff.
Kahn, Robert L.
Kaplan, Bari (Mrs.)
Kaplan, Barry (Mr.)
Karakashian, Steve.
Kendrick, Karolyn.
Levin, Don.
Lytle, Richard H.
Masterson, WIlliam H.
Martin, William C.
Matusow, Allen.
Myers, Charlie.
Norbeck, Edward.
O’Keeffe, Richard L.
Parsons, David G.
Pfeiffer, Paul.
Plant, Tom.
Porter, Carolyn.
Price-Williams, Douglass.
Rath, J. John.
Read, Clark.
Rogers, John J. W.
Salsburg, Zevi.
Sass, Ronald.
Skaaren, Warren.
Sorte, John.
Talmage, Roy V.
Terrell, George.
Tomlinson, Christopher.
Topazio, Virgil.
Tsanoff, Radoslav A.
Wann, Trenton W.
Ward, Joseph A.
White, James.
Windham, Lelia.
Subjects (Organizations)
Rice University - History.
Rice University - Office of the President - Interviews.
Rice University - Hanszen College - Interviews.
Subjects
Universities and collecges - Presidents.
Formats
Oral histories.
Photographs.
News releases.
Directories.

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Related Material

MS # 46, Donald N. Levin Papers

MS #335, the Floyd S. Lear Papers

Rice Thresher, February 1969

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Dr. William H. Masterson Controversy records, Rice University Archives, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Acquisition Information

The collection was given to the University Archives by the Oral History Project Sponsors: Joseph Cooper, Harold Hyman, and Richard H. Lytle, 1969, and 1983.

Processing Note

The oral history interviews in this collection, originally captured on reel-to-reel magnetic acetate-based tape in 1969 were digitally copied onto cd format in 2003, in an effort to preserve the recordings. This work was sponsored by the Rice Historical Society.

Accruals

No future additions are expected for this material.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I: Background Materials, 1969-1977
0.5 linear ft. (1 box)

Series I consists of background materials including news releases, photos and slides, publications, campus directories, student papers concerning the Masterson crisis and other pertinent university documents.
box folder
1 1 News releases, memos, correspondence
2 Newsclips
3 Photos, recording reformatted onto cd in 2003, and slides of Masterson and faculty meeting, 2-21-69
4 Publications, posters
5 Campus phone and address directories, 1968-69, 1969-70
6 Rice faculty Statement of Principles, 1969
7 Student papers re: Masterson crisis
8 Events at Rice University, Feb. 21-25, 1969
9 Will Rice College Communications Chairman records, 1969-70

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Series II: Oral History Interviews, May-October, 1969
5 linear ft. (10 boxes)

Series II includes material on interviewee selection, correspondence, transcripts, and original 1969 reel-to-reel audiotapes and year 2003 preservation cd’s of the interviews.
Subseries A: Interviewee Selection and Correspondence
box folder
2 1 Interviewee selection
2 Correspondence with interviewees
3 Interviews pending
4 Oral history transcript: R.H. Lytle’s comments on project
Subseries B: Restricted Oral History Interview Transcripts
Arranged in alphabetical order by the interviewee's last name, and indicating the presence of a full transcript or simply an abstract of the interview. Also noted is the original 1969 reel-to-reel tape # and the quantity of preservation copies in cd format for each interview.
See Woodson Research Center staff for further information on access.
box folder
2 5 Anonymous student
See original tape #s 6-7 (3 preservation cd's)
box folder
n/a n/a Bayer, Karl (no identity listed) (no transcript)
See original tape # 7 (1 preservation cd)
n/a Braden, Gordon (no identity listed) (no transcript)
See original tape # 7 (2 preservation cd's)
box folder
2 6 Dessler, A.J., Professor of Space Science and Department Chairman (full transcript)
See original tape #10 (1 preservation cd).
Restriction information: First 14 pages may not be viewed unless Dr. Masterson makes his statement availabale for comparison.
7 Dowden, Wilfred S., Professor of English (full transcript)
See original tape #10 (2 preservation cd's)
Restriction information: Researchers must obtain Dowden's written permission to access interview.
8 Downey, Margaret, graduate student organizer (abstract only)
Original tape #2 (2 preservation cd's)
Restriction Information: Researchers may access and use only amended version of interview transcript; for that version, general access rules apply.
9 Kahn, Robert L., Professor of German and Department Chairman (full transcript)
Original tape #13 (3 preservation cd's)
Restriction Information: Researchers may access and use only amended version of interview transcript; for that version, general access rules apply.
10 Porter, Carolyn, graduate student organizer (abstract only)
Original tape #20 (1 preservation cd)
Restriction information: No release form exists for this interview; researchers should seek written permission from the interviewee for access.
11 Topazio, Virgil, Dean of Humanities (full transcript)
Original tape #28 (2 preservation cd's)
Restriction information: No release form exists for this interview; researchers should seek written permission from the interviewee for access.
Suberies C: Unrestricted Oral History Interview Transcripts
Arranged in alphabetical order by the interviewee's last name, and indicating the presence of a full transcript or simply an abstract of the interview. Also noted is the original 1969 reel-to-reel tape # and the quantity of preservation copies in cd format for each interview.
Quotations or citations of otherwise unrestricted interviews may not be published during the lifetime of the interviewee except with his or her written permission.
Reproductions of any recordings or transcripts may not be made without the interviewee's written permission. This provision is not intended to restrict bona-fide note-taking by researchers.
box folder
3 1 Alexander, Buford, President-Elect, Will Rice College (abstract only)
See original tapes #5-6 (2 preservation cd's, both marked as "Tape 5")
2 Beckwith, David C., reporter, Houston Chronicle (abstract only)
Original tape # 15 missing, no preservation cd.
3 Berman, Mike: President, Baker College (abstract only)
Original tape # 6 (2 preservation cd's)
4 Blanton, Bill: President, Weiss College (abstract only)
Original tapes # 4,5,8 (3 preservation cd's)
5 Bozman, Ron: Vice President, Student Association (abstract only)
Original tape # 25 (2 preservation cd's)
6 Brannon, Jack: Hanszen Cabinet, H.U.N.O. (Hanszen Underground Night Owls) (no transcript)
Original tape # 5 (2 preservation cd's)
7 Brotzen, Franz: Chairman, Faculty Advisory Committee; Professor of Material Science (transcript)
Original tape # 14 (2 preservation cd's)
8 Chapman, Alan J.: Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Vice President of Administration (transcript)
Original tape #28 (1 preservation cd)
9 Church, Jackie M.: Secretary, Dean of Humanities (transcript)
Original tape #20 (2 preservation cd's)
10 Craig, Hardin, Jr.: Professor of History (abstract only)
Original tape #27 (2 preservation cd's)
11 Curl, Robert, Professor of Chemistry, Master of Lovett (transcript)
Original tape #20 (2 preservation cd's)
12 Daniels, Mary K. (Mrs. J. H. McClintock): President, Brown College (abstract only)
Original tape #6 (2 preservation cd's)
13 DeBremaecker, J. C.: Professor of Geophysics (transcript)
Original tape #15 missing, no preservation cd.
14 Dietz, Nancy: President, Jones College (abstract only)
Original tape #7 (2 preservation cd's)
15 Estes, Leland L., Jr.: Director of Public Relations (transcript)
Original tape #21 (1 preservation cd)
16 Feustel, Ed: Assistant Professor of Computer Science (transcript)
Original tape #11 (2 preservation cd's)
17 Forristall, George: graduate student member (transcript)
Original tape #1 (1 preservation cd)
18 Frank, Elaine: member, Committee on Minority Admissions (abstract only)
Original tape #4 (2 preservation cd's)
19 Fulton, James Street: Master of Will Rice College, Professor of Philosophy (transcript)
Original tape #24 (portion of 2 preservation cd's)
20 Goodman, Mary Ellen: Professor of Anthropology-Sociology (incomplete transcript)
Original tape #19 (1 preservation cd)
21 Graves, Joe: member, Baker College (abstract only)
Original tape #4 (1 preservation cd)
box folder
4 1 Grob, Alan: Associate Professor of English (transcript)
Original tape #14 (2 preservation cd's)
2 Gruber, Ira: Associate Professor of History, Master of Hanszen (transcript)
Original tape #17 (2 preservation cd's)
3 Guthrie, Dan: KOWL broadcaster (abstract only)
Original tape #5 (2 preservation cd's)
4 Horstman, Lee: Student Association President-Elect (abstract only)
Original tape #16 (2 preservation cd's)
5 Hyman, Harold: Professor of History and Department Chairman (transcript)
Original tape #15 missing (no preservation cd)
6 Johnson, Jeff: Weiss College, Aims Committee (abstract only)
Original tape #4 (3 preservation cd's)
7 Kaplan, Bari (Mrs.): student member, Faculty Advisory Committee (transcript)
Original tape #19 (2 preservation cd's)
8 Kaplan, Barry (Mr.): student leader (transcript)
Original tape #19 (2 preservation cd's)
9 Karakashian, Steve: Associate Professor of Biology (transcript)
Original tape #7 (1 preservation cd)
10 Kendrick, Karolyn: member, S.D.S. (Students for a Democratic Society) (transcript)
Original tape #3 (2 preservation cd's)
11 Levin, Don: Professor of Classics (transcript)
Original tapes #12-13 (2 preservation cd's)
12 Lytle, Richard H.: University Archivist (abstract only)
Original tapes #1 and 26 (2 preservation cd's)
13 Martin, William C.: Instructor in Sociology (transcript)
Original tape #12 (1 preservation cd)
14 Matusow, Allen: Associate Professor of History (transcript)
Original tape # 26 (2 preservation cd's)
15 Myers, Charlie: Student Committee for Presidential Selection (transcript)
Original tapes # 3-4 (2 preservation cd's)
16 Norbeck, Edward: Chairman, Anthropology-Sociology (transcript)
Original tape #14 (2 preservation cd's)
17 O’Keeffe, Richard L.: Librarian (transcript)
Original tape #27 (2 preservation cd's)
18 Parsons, David G.: Associate Professor of Fine Arts (transcript)
Original tape #29 (no preservation cd's)
box folder
5 1 Pfeiffer, Paul: Dean of Students, Professor of Electrical Engineering (transcript)
Original tape #17 (2 preservation cd's)
2 Plant, Tom: President, Will Rice College (transcript)
Original tape #2 (2 preservation cd's)
3 Price-Williams, Douglass: Professor of Psychology, Department Chairman (transcript)
Original tape #24 (portion of 2 preservation cd's)
4 Rath, J. John: Professor of History (transcript)
Original tape #8 (2 preservation cd's)
5 Read, Clark: Professor of Biology and Department Chairman (transcript)
Original tapes #7-8 (3 preservation cd's)
6 Rimlinger, Professor of Economics and Department Chairman (transcript)
Original tape #18 (2 preservation cd's)
7 Rogers, John J. W.: Professor of Geology, Master of Brown (transcript)
Original tape #26 (1 preservation cd)
8 Salsburg, Zevi: member, Faculty Student Advisory Committee, Professor of Chemistry (transcript)
Original tape #22-23 (2 preservation cd's)
9 Sass, Ronald: Professor of Chemistry (transcript)
Original tape #16 (2 preservation cd's)
10 Schnaars, KOWL broadcaster (transcript)
Original tape #2 (1 preservation cd)
11 Skaaren, Warren: President, Student Association (transcript)
Original tape #25 (3 preservation cd's)
12 Sorte, John: KOWL broadcaster (transcript)
Original tape #3 (2 preservation cd's)
13 Talmage, Roy V.: Professor of Biology, Master of Wiess (incomplete transcript)
Original tape #21 (1 preservation cd)
14 Terrell, George: Student Committee on Presidential Selection (abstract only)
Original tapes #5 and 9 (5 preservation cd's)
15 Tomlinson, Christopher: member, S.D.S. (Students for a Democratic Society) (abstract only)
Original tape #2 (2 preservation cd's)
16 Tsanoff, Radoslav A.: Trustee Distinguished Professor of Humanities (transcript)
Original tape #28 (1 preservation cd)
17 Wann, Trenton W.: Professor of Psychology, Master of Jones (transcript)
Original tape #20 (2 preservation cd's)
18 Ward, Joseph A.: Professor of English and Department Chairman (transcript)
Original tape #19 (2 preservation cd's)
19 White, James: student member, Faculty Advisory Committee (transcript)
Original tape #3 (2 preservation cd's)
20 Windham, Lelia: student dissenter (transcript)
Original tape #22 (2 preservation cd's)
21 Windham, Lelia: student dissenter (transcript)
Original tape #22 (2 preservation cd's)
Subseries D: Original reel-to-reel auido tapes, 1969
box
6 Tape 1: Side 1 – George Forristall, 1.5 hrs. Side 2 – Richard Lytle (re: project), 1.1 hrs. (see also tape 26)
Tape 2: Side 1 – C. Tomlinson, 2.0 hrs.; D. Schnarrs, 1.5 hrs. Side 2 – T. Plant, 1.5 hrs.; M. Downey, 2.0 hrs.
Tape 3: Side 1 – John Sorte, 2.0 hrs.; C. Myers, con’d tape 4 Side 2 – J. White, 2.0 hrs.; K. Kendrick, 1.7 hrs
Tape 4: Side 1 – J. Johnson, 3.0 hrs.; B. Blanton, con’d tapes 5, 8 Side 2 – C. Myers (con’d; 2.1 hrs. total); E. Frank, 2.0 hrs.; J. Graves, 1.4 hrs.
Tape 5: Side 1 – D. Guthrie; G. Terrell, con’d tape 9; B. Alexander, con’d tape 6 Side 2 – B. Blanton, con’d; J. Brannon, 1.5 hrs. D.; Guthrie, 2.1 hrs. total
Tape 6: Side 1 - B. Alexander, 1.5 hrs. total; M. Berman, 2.8 hrs.; M. K. Daniels, 2.5 hrs. Side 2 – M. K. Daniels; Anonymous
Tape 7: Side 1 – Anonymous; K. Bayer, 2.4 hrs.; G. Braden, 1.5 hrs. Side 2 – N. Dietz, 2.0 hrs.; S. Karakashian, 1.5 hrs.; C. Read, con’d tape 8
Tape 8: Side 1 – C. Read, con’d, 2.7 hrs. total; B. Blanton, con’d; 3.3 hrs. total Side 2 – T. John Rath, 1.5 hrs.
Tape 9: Side 1 – G. Terrell, con’d Side 2 – G. Terrell, 2.8 hrs. total
Tape 10: Dessler, Dowden Side 1 – Dr. A. J. Dessler, 1.5 hrs. Side 2 – Dr. W. Dowden, 1.7 hrs.
Tape 11: Side 1 – E. Feustel, 1.7 hrs. Side 2 – C. Herr
Tape 12: Side 1 – W. C. Martin, 1.3 hrs. Side 2 – C. Herr; D. Levin, con’d tape 13
Tape 13: Side 1 – R. Kahn Side 2 – D. Levin, con’d, 2.7 hrs. total
Tape 14: Side 1 – E. Norbeck, 2.5 hrs.; A. Grob, 2.7 hrs. Side 2 – F. Brotzen, 2.0 hrs.
Tape 15: (box empty, dated 4/1/77) [Side 1 – (“defective”) D. Beckwith; Side 2 – H. Hyman; J. C. DeBremaecker]
Tape 16: Horstman, Sass Side 1 – Lee Horstman, 2.0 hrs. Side 2 – Ronald Sass, 1.9 hrs.
Tape 17: Side 1 – Paul Pfeiffer, 1.7 hrs. Side 2 – Ira Gruber, 2.3 hrs.
Tape 18: Side 1 – Gaston Rimlinger, 2.2 hrs. (nothing listed for Side 2)
box
7 Tape 19: Side 1 – Mary E. Goodman, 1.5 hrs.; J. A. Ward, 2.3 hrs. Side 2 – Mrs.Bari Kaplan, 3.5 hrs.; Mr. Barry Kaplan, 2.0 hrs.
Tape 20: Side 1 – Jackie M. Church, 2.0 hrs; Robert Curl, 1.5 hrs. Side 2 – Trenton Wann, 2.3 hrs; Carolyn Porter, 3.2 hrs.
Tape 21: Side 1 – Roy V. Talmage, 1.2 hrs.; Lee Estes, 2.2 hrs. Side 2 – (nothing listed)
Tape 22: Side 1 – Zevi Salsburg, con’d tape 23 Side 2 – Lelia Windham
Tape 23: Side 1 – (Nothing listed) Side 2 – Zevi Salsburg, 3.3 hrs. total
Tape 24: Side 1 – James Street Fulton Side 2 – James Street Fulton, 1.2 hrs. total; D. Price-Williams, 1.8 hrs.
Tape 25: Side 1 – Warren Skaaren, 3.0 hrs. Side 2 – Ron Bozman, 2.0 hrs.
Tape 26: Side 1 – John Rogers, 1.3 hrs.; Allen Matusow Side 2 – Allen Matusow, 1.8 hrs. total; Richard Lytle, 1.1 hrs. (see also Tape 1)
Tape 27: Side 1 – R. L. O’Keeffe, 1.5 hrs.; Hardin Craig, Jr. Side 2 – Hardin Craig, Jr., 2.1 hrs. total
Tape 28: Side 1 – Alan J. Chapman, 2.1 hrs.; R. A. Tsanoff, .5 hrs. Side 2 – Virgil Topazio, 2.3 hrs.
Tape 29: Side 1 – David G. Parsons, 2.3 hrs. Side 2 – nothing listed
Tapes 30-33: KOWL radio recordings
Subseries E: Preservation copies of original reel-to-reel recordings
Preservation copies created by Woodson Research and associated preservation professionals as noted.
box
8 Audio cassette tapes, reformatted from magnetic reel-to-reel tape #s 14 & 18 (reformatting date ca. 1985, by Woodson Research Center)
box
9 Audio reel-to-reel tapes, reformatted from original 1969 reel-to-reel tape #s 24 (2 copies each of 2 reels, reformatted in 2002 by Vidipax)
box
10-11 CD copies created from original 1969 reel-to-reel tapes, in order by original tape # with individual interviewees on separate CDs, for ease of access, since original reels have multiple interviewees on each reel. (Digitization was made possible by a gift from the Rice Historical Society, and was completed in 2003 by Cutting Corporation.)

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