Libby Nelson: A Campus Activist-Turned-Administrator Remembers 1969Roundup: Talking About History
During homecoming this year, the University of Pittsburgh marked the 40th anniversary of a campus protest in 1969, when black student activists occupied the computer center and called on the university to increase the enrollment and hiring of African-Americans, provide support for black students, and recognize the significance of black culture. One of the negotiators was a former student leader and new assistant professor named Jack L. Daniel, who later became vice provost for academic affairs, vice provost for undergraduate studies, and dean of students. Now a professor of communications, he joined in recent celebrations of Pitt's advances in diversity.
Q. What was the University of Pittsburgh campus like at the time of the protests?
A. In 1969 we had a very, very small number of African-American students on campus. I think at that time about three other African-Americans were on the faculty. I don't believe there was a single African-American administrator. Pitt was what most people back then would have referred to when they say a predominantly white campus.
Q. What was your role in negotiating the protests?
A. What a lot of people tend to ignore was the safety of those young students. It would have been very easy for an administration to call in police. It would have been very easy for an officer to get carried away, or a student to do something that he or she shouldn't have. You could have a Kent State very easily. So that night my primary concern was to bring the"negotiation" to a positive conclusion, but to do so without any kind of damage to university property and without any kind of harm to any of those students, and to do so without armed intervention. And we succeeded in doing that.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Soviet Politburo Discussed CIA Billion Dollar Spy Adolf Tolkachev
- Pentagon withholds Iraq War photos showing detainee abuse
- These Rebels Have Amassed A Library From Syria’s Ruins
- Was 1916 fire at Canadian Parliament set by German saboteur?
- United Nations Calls On U.S. To Pay African Americans Reparations For Slavery
- Juan Cole says America’s inclination to turn to the military started with Manifest Destiny
- History Jobs Drop
- Paul Krugman gives credence to Robert J. Gordon's pessimism about American economic growth
- Harvard President Drew Faust Condemns Free Tuition Proposal from Outsider Overseers Ticket
- Andrew Roberts says Trump is the Mussolini of America with double the vulgarity