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[Beginning of Tape 1]
[Unknown Speaker]: We are talking with Dean Guy Marco of the School of Library Science. This is July 8, 1970. The first question would be, what do you consider to be the causes of the violence on the campus?
[Guy Marco]: Well, what are the causes of violence in any place? I don’t think the campus is particularly unique. It seems like a very general kind of question. Could you be a little more specific?
[Unknown Speaker]: Yeah, sure. What role do you believe, for example, outsiders played with the violence that occurred here on campus?
[Guy Marco]: I don’t know. I wouldn’t know anything about that.
[Unknown Speaker]: What role do you believe political figures played with reference to the violence?
[Guy Marco]: Well, now, political figures–what group were you thinking of, presidents, or–
[Unknown Speaker]: Local, state, and national.
[Guy Marco]: Local, state, and national. Well, local political figures I don’t think were involved. I don’t know, I haven’t heard of that. As for the president, President Nixon, [unintelligible] partially, any stimuli for what would have happened in any place, unrest in general. I think, though, you’re trying to identify the unique causes that led to the unique actions here. You’ll probably have to go to the army, because that was the universal cause which did not have the same effect on other campuses as it did here.
[Unknown Speaker]: Do you see in the community, particularly in reference to commercial activities, any causes for dissatisfaction of students? Anything that would contribute to student unrest?
[Guy Marco]: In the Kent Community? Commercial activities that would contribute to student unrest. I’m not sure I follow that. Are you referring to the bars?
[Unknown Speaker]: Well, it could be the bars, or it could be merchants, or it could be rooming houses.
[Guy Marco]: Well, I suppose you’d have to say that any kind of disagreeable atmosphere would contribute to student unrest, and undoubtedly there are many disagreeable features in housing in the community, undoubtedly there are atmospheres in the bars that are not particularly conducive to [unintelligible]. But as I said, I don’t think these are unique characteristics of the Kent community, indeed you’d find it in any college town.
[Unknown Speaker]: Anything special about our students and the unrest on this campus? Any comments you’d have to make? Is there anything unique about these students that’s contributed to the unrest?
[Guy Marco]: I would have no reason to think so. This is of course what you’re looking for–the unique aspects of our situation. I don’t know what they are.
[Unknown Speaker]: What role do you think law enforcement agencies, including the National Guard played with reference to the violence?
[Guy Marco]: Well, I’m thinking now about overreaction, escalation of feelings, or, how do you mean that?
[Unknown Speaker]: Well, if law enforcement groups contributed to the violence–if you believe–if you think they did, in what way did they?
[Guy Marco]: These are very difficult points. The question seems to be leading in the direction that I’m not sure if I follow. Certainly, there would not have been any violence if there was only one party present. Only one man can’t have a fight, and one group cannot fight itself. So, by having the enforcement agency there, you have the conditions for violence. You could interpret that as a cause, but I don’t think that this is necessarily so, because there have been countless other incidents where you have law enforcement groups and student groups confronting each other without violence of this stage–reaching that stage.
[Unknown Speaker]: Perhaps we can move on. What role do you believe the administration has played? What role, if any, has the administration played with reference to violence?
[Guy Marco]: What role has the administration played in reference to the violence. Well, the administration is ultimately responsible, I imagine, for establishing the total atmosphere of the university, within which the unfortunate tragedy took place. In that sense I’d have to say–and as an administrator, I’d have to say it myself, that we are to blame. And as for specifics, of course I don’t know what the specifics are. It would be very difficult to say exactly where we all went wrong. That’s what we’d like to know.
[Unknown Speaker]: From your own situation, do you see any differences between what the administration did this year, as contrasted to last year? Last year, when we did seem to control the violence?
[Guy Marco]: Well, there were certainly differences. I don’t know whether they can be placed as administrators’ responsibilities. The campus was not in our hands this year as it was last year. Once the control went out to the Guard and the Governor, then it’s hard to say that the administration did something right or wrong, in fact they became kind of bystanders. So, again, you have here a different set of factors and it’s quite awkward to try to fit them together and balance them out.
[Unknown Speaker]: There’s some who believe that the–that this campus is over-administered. That we have too much administration–too much bureaucracy. How would you react to that?
[Guy Marco]: Well, too much is a very general approach to it. I would suspect that there could be improvements in the administration which would render that kind of accusation somewhat–would change that kind of accusation. I don’t know whether we have too many administrators or whether we have, possibly not enough administrator functions that could be adjusted, could be changed–people who might be changed. As for too much, I don’t personally think that there’s too much administration. There are not very many vice presidents as compared to other campuses. Even on this side, there are not as many deans as you would find on other campuses. There are not too many departments. It does not seem to me to be over-structured or to be topheavy.
[Unknown Speaker]: Then there’s the other question with reference to the administration–the delegation of responsibility and authority. Have you personally found any difficulty in working through the administration because of any confusion over roles? In other words, do you have any problems in your own operation working through the administration?
[Guy Marco]: By channels?
[Unknown Speaker]: Yeah.
[Guy Marco]: By channels. No, I think the channels are quite clear for action and our [faculty to whom I should go to ask a question?]. On my level, I don’t see that there is any great problem in identifying channels. The problem of getting through the channels–that’s something else there. Then there’s the problem of achieving the communication which the channels should make possible.
[Unknown Speaker]: Are you speaking to structure or–
[End of Tape 1]
[Beginning of Tape 2]
[Unknown Speaker]: Are you speaking to structure in this case or to the process? Or, would it be individuals involved?
[Guy Marco]: Well as I said, I think the structure is not the main problem. We have quite understandable and normal channels for recourse. But, to go through those channels does require the willingness of each individual along the road to act as part of the mechanism–act with reasonable quickness, I’m not too sure that this happens when you get up to the top of the structure. Now, to be a little more specific, my reporting officer is the vice president provost, and if I ask him for something and he is not in the position to give a definite answer, that he should take my request to the president, and the president then reports back to him and he reports back to me. This would seem like a relatively simple chain, like 1, 2, 3. But it does appear to take a very long time to get this kind of response from the president through the vice president to the dean level. In some cases, indeed, there is no response. So, this is not a question of efficiency of structure. Maybe it’s just a matter of certain people having too many responsibilities, not enough administration, possibly. Not enough assistants. Hard to say what the reason is.
[Unknown Speaker]: In speaking to this, there are some people who seem to favor decentralization of the university and greater autonomy on a school or department level. How would you react to this suggestion?
[Guy Marco]: Well, I’m not sure what greater autonomy means. It would depend on your starting point or initial premises. But what autonomy exists and how much is desirable–basically, it’s agreeable to think of greater autonomy for everybody, but maybe we have already enough [unintelligible].
[Unknown Speaker]: Well, what if we were to put it in this kind of framework. A department, for example, given a share of the budget framework that then would be responsible itself for its program, its staffing, and the general use of the budget, that it would have that much authority and also be accountable for its use of the budget.
[Guy Marco]: Yeah, well I don’t think that would be very much of a change from what we have as a matter of fact. The department now receives the budget with certain categories and the categories are not immutable. It’s possible to bring transfers–equipment to supplies and from one line to another. It’s true that it’s necessary to make a request for this, to the reporting officer–the higher officer. In my experience, this has not created any great difficulty. The only unchangeable lines would relate to the faculty salaries and probably nobody would want to interfere with that line. So, I would agree that this would be worth pursuing and possibly one could get a little more budget flexibility. It doesn’t seem to me that we’re very far from that. It may be necessary in order to maintain balance among the departments to have some kind of authority over the expenditures of different lines.
[Unknown Speaker]: Now, in your particular situation, you are called the Dean of the School of Library Science. Do you have any people identified as departmental chairmen under you?
[Guy Marco]: No, the Library School is all one unit.
[Unknown Speaker]: Now, well–let’s get into this question of faculty, and then I think we’ll come back to some questions of structure. With reference to faculty, what role do you see faculty having played in the violence on the campus? Or do you believe?
[Guy Marco]: Well, that’s a hard one, too. Are you thinking about direct action or indirect action, or the establishing of the atmosphere?
[Unknown Speaker]: Well, either.
[Guy Marco]: In the sense, again, of we all contribute to the atmosphere and we all contribute to the basic conditions which led to the tragedy, and we have the faculty as responsible right now. In terms of direct action such as stirring people up, I would doubt that anything like that happened–I haven’t heard that.
[Unknown Speaker]: Now, in line with this we have, I think in speaking of this, tend to put campuses on the negative. What role do you see the faculty having played in attempting to quell the violence?
[Guy Marco]: Well, I don’t know much about that. I’ve heard of certain individuals who were there on May 4th and tried to calm people down. That’s a direct action and very admirable. And in the subsequent days, if we’re going to get that far into it, I don’t think the faculty did anything particularly useful. It seems to me that some of the resolutions passed and the language of those resolutions that the faculty set at a meeting on May 5th was not very helpful to the cause of bringing people back together. But, I don’t think it’s any harm either–just the laying off of emotions primarily.
[Unknown Speaker]: There are some people who talk about student frustration and student dissatisfaction and they relate it to faculty commissions or omissions. Would you comment with reference to this aspect?
[Guy Marco]: Yes, I think students have many frustrations and some of them are legitimate with regard to what faculty ought to be doing. These are the ones that I would be most concerned about. I don’t think that it’s fair for any student to criticize faculty on the grounds that they are not politically active or that they do not support certain causes. Here I believe we have the right to act as individuals and students have, too, and we should recognize each other’s independence. However, I think the students are quite justified if they criticize the faculty as teachers, as scholars, and as the persons who have organized the university and who keep it as it is. And, I know that this is not just fantasy–the students report that the teaching is bad and that the faculty advisors are not available and that there is no apparent attempt on the part of the professors to improve themselves as professionals.
This, I think is really one of the very serious underlying causes for student unrest, generally. They have developed a sense of skepticism about professors as a serious person–a person who really wants to communicate with them. Well, we have countless instances of it, you’ve heard more of it than I have. The whole business of the graduate assistant teaching your class instead of the senior professor; the professor goes off on leave and deserts the class; the professor doesn’t have classes during examination week; the one who just reads from his notes, year after year; the one who makes no attempt to grade fairly; the one who says, “Anybody who wants an A can have it. You just ask for it.” It degrades the whole process of teaching. I think this is what students are most concerned about. They don’t express it inevitably in these terms. Maybe they haven’t quite systematized their reaction to it. But I would believe that if we could improve ourselves significantly in this area, it would take care of much of the student unrest.
[Unknown Speaker]: Now, there are some people who attribute the continuation of incompetent teaching here at the University to our tenure procedures. What do you feel about tenure?
[Guy Marco]: Tenure is good and bad, and I don’t think it is necessarily the cause for incompetent teaching.
[End of Tape 2]
[Beginning of Tape 3]
[Unknown Speaker]: Yes.
[Guy Marco]: We’re talking about tenure.
[Unknown Speaker]: Yes.
[Guy Marco]: Most people have tenure, or are given tenure because they are considered to be good teachers, good scholars, good colleagues. So they know how to do it, and if they stop doing it properly it’s because of the administrators’ lack of [unintelligible]. We probably need more than the correction of tenure regulations as some way of improving teaching and this can be done, I think, through administrative action and through faculty’s self-action.
[Unknown Speaker]: What are the procedures that you have for awarding tenure in your school?
[Guy Marco]: I don’t think we have any unusual procedures. We normally give tenure to anyone as soon as he is eligible for it, according to the regulation of number of years served. We have no reason to withhold it. If a person is not eligible academically for tenure, or we don’t think he’s suited for tenure, we wouldn’t keep him on the faculty at all.
[Unknown Speaker]: One of the criteria has to do with teaching effectiveness. How do you measure the teaching effectiveness of your staff?
[Guy Marco]: Well, we try to measure it here in several ways. For one thing, we have had evaluations of the faculty and evaluations of each course in every quarter for about three years, which are bigger evaluations done by student associations independently of the office here. Well they made up their own forms and they circulate it to every class section every term and they compile the results and publicize them themselves and to the faculty to us. We’re kept alert of deficiencies which the students can notice. Now, this only takes care of that one kind of deficiency. So, if I go to the class and recite from my textbook, they will notice that is bad teaching, but they won’t notice necessarily that I’ve picked the wrong textbook because they don’t know the others, even if we used textbooks often.
So the other approach is kind of an intra-faculty checking, which comes about because several people teach each course at the beginning level and therefore they must convince one another of the desirability of certain units being in the course and certain methods of teaching being in the course. We also have a meeting of judging new courses which is done through complete faculty action. And there the teacher must justify the need for the course and all the content in it. All the changes that are made in any course are carried out through total faculty action. Again, with justifications. Now, one thing we do not do and maybe this ought to be done, is to observe one another in the classroom. Of course, there’s a long tradition against this and as the Dean, I have not made any visits myself to the classroom to see how well people are doing, nor has anyone else. This probably could be done without any real hard feelings, but we haven’t reached that point. As for other means of evaluating teaching, I’d like to know some because I think this is essentially where we have gone wrong.
[Unknown Speaker]: Do we have a problem with reference to “Publish or Perish” on this campus?
[Guy Marco]: Well, it’s a problem–certainly it’s a problem when you come to promotions and such other kinds of status as graduate faculty ranking. So, yes, I think you’d have to say it’s a problem. I don’t know whether it’s a serious problem because I do think that the effective teacher tends to be a scholarly person in his field who will almost naturally be a writer. Although, one could see exceptions to that in certain fields where it would not be appropriate. But I don’t think of it as a great obstacle to teaching effectiveness and the person expected to write an article every now and then, or even a book–I would imagine this would contribute to teaching effectiveness.
[Unknown Speaker]: Do you have any problems with reference to ineffective teaching on your own staff?
[Guy Marco]: Well, we have very good teachers and we have some who are not as good. It’s a small faculty and we can be rather selective about people we take in and people we keep. We don’t have mass sections that must to be dealt with by persons who would perhaps set a lower standard because it’s hard to get anybody to deal with mass sections. So, I think that all of our teaching is improving through the method that I mentioned before. I don’t think there’s anyone on the faculty who could be spoken of as a poor teacher. As far as the student evaluations, everyone is far above average.
[Unknown Speaker]: What’s the relationship between the library itself and the school with reference to personnel. Do you have people who have assignments in both?
[Guy Marco]: No, there is a normal administrative connection. It would be desirable to have some library staff persons available for teaching, however, there is a regulation in the University which says that a full-time contract person cannot be paid any additional stipends for any reason. The library staff people are already contracted the full-time. So, if one of them would wish to teach a class we would have to do it for nothing. This is considerably a deterrent. We’ve been trying to [unintelligible] the library time. We’ve been trying for several years to have this regulation amended so that library staff people could teach Library School, but so far no.
[Unknown Speaker]: Is this one instance where autonomy would permit you to do something that lack of autonomy does not?
[Guy Marco]: Yeah, well it’s autonomy that, in this case, the relation to two administrative units in the library and Library School–well it would seem that someone above would have to make the decision that affected more than one unit.
[Unknown Speaker]: Are you satisfied with the publishing and research activities of your staff?
[Guy Marco]: Yes, we have a very large number of publications.
[Unknown Speaker]: Do you see a problem in your own position with reference to the balance of authority and responsibility in conducting your jobs?
[Guy Marco]: Well, I’m not sure if there’s any problem there, but it seems to me that under the two vice presidents that I’ve worked, I’ve had very good support, no contradictions. I’m allowed to run the operation here as I think best within the obvious limitations that a school or department has. There’s no one who undercuts my authority and I’m satisfied with that.
[Unknown Speaker]: Let’s move into a different level. There is a feeling on the part of some people that the–as faculty increases participation, its participation in the administration–that authority is then taken from administrative positions without the corresponding responsibility being moved. Is this a problem, as you see it?
[Guy Marco]: Yeah, so this is the nature of any kind of participatory democracy, that every individual has a voice in the policy. It’s inevitable that we would not have as much responsibility as those with the administrative power. We don’t have as much at stake as individuals. That’s inevitable. I don’t see it as a problem.
[End of Tape 3]
[Beginning of Tape 4]
[Unknown Speaker]: Any other comments that you would have to make with reference to this question of faculty?
[Guy Marco]: Well, I’d like to comment a word about this question of autonomy. I think that is related here. If each unit can have great freedom in establishing its own policy in each department, spending its own money without much in the way of accountability with other units, or to the faculty at large, this seems favorable in some ways. But, I’m reminded of the danger that might follow. It would be [unintelligible]. And I remember what Ortega says about the basic trouble with 20th-century civilizations, which is overspecialization. The fact that technology forces us to become minor experts in very small fields, and more we would become experts in small fields, the less we understand those who become experts in other small fields. So, there is a constant diminishing of our communication–or potential for communication.
As you were saying while the tape was off, accounting and political science are so different. How can one department say anything about the actions of another? It’s already a difficult gap to get across. But as things are in our structure in the University, there is a necessity for political science and accounting to understand one another in some terms and have to be somehow equal. Now, if we lose that much, then we have destroyed any chance for an accountant to talk to a political scientist or an accounting student to talk to a political science student. And then we’re just little groups, or knots of people grumbling to each other.
[Unknown Speaker]: Now, in connection with the things we’ve been talking about, inevitably the question of academic freedom arises. Do you see problems with reference to academic freedom on this campus?
[Guy Marco]: Well, there’s a problem with defining academic freedom which every campus has. In my own school, this does not seem like a serious matter because our subject matter, library science, does not lend itself much to politicizing or extreme positions of controversial nature. We talk about reference books, cataloging, children’s services. There’s not much occasion for disputes of this sort. However, I would suppose that even in the Library Science curriculum there is opportunity for certain professors, if they so wish, to introduce their own personal views on political issues, ideological issues. I hope that doesn’t happen too often, and if it does happen it is related to the subject matter. But in neither case would I think that if anything we need to step out. It’s better to have it going on than to suffer the consequences of trying to extinguish it.
[Unknown Speaker]: Has your school done anything or does it plan to do anything to make any changes that would reflect the events of the first days of May?
[Guy Marco]: No. We’d like to see some changes in the University, but it doesn’t seem practical in terms of our own subject matter and our own limited scope for the Library School to do anything immediately related to those events. We would like to see the Library School participate in large-scale change, and I’m very disappointed that no large-scale change has so far come forward, but we’re hopeful that the summer is not over and we may still see something.
[Unknown Speaker]: Do you have in mind any particular change that you believe should be affected?
[Guy Marco]: University-wide changes? Yes, I supported very strongly the idea which was advanced almost immediately after the tragedy that the University ought to be dedicated formally and totally to world peace and understanding and that Kent State should become immediately an international symbol of those concepts and we should implement that idea with appropriate programs and conferences and a total action. I know this was suggested through the deans, through vice presidents, through the ombudsmen. It was an idea that got to the president, it got to the senate, but at both of those points the idea appeared to be somewhat illusive; I don’t know whether through misunderstanding or because it struck the senate and the president as impractical. But, so far it has not been announced as any kind of a University ideal. So, that’s just the kind of thing I believe that every department could participate in.
[Unknown Speaker]: Some people have felt that our faculty is too heavily involved with committees and activities of this kind. What is your reaction?
[Guy Marco]: No, I don’t think that it’s too heavily involved. I wouldn’t go along with that having seen lists of committees that’s published every year. I don’t think that there’s a very large percent of the faculty that have committee assignments. I don’t think there are too many committees. It’s probably normal and typical in terms of universities of this size. No, I wouldn’t be worried about that.
[Unknown Speaker]: Do you see any problems in other schools or other areas that should be mentioned that you don’t have here?
[Guy Marco]: Other schools and universities?
[Unknown Speaker]: Yes.
[Guy Marco]: Yeah, the other departments in other schools may be subject to a certain kind of student complaint about procedures and policies, which we are fortunately free of. The reason that we don’t have this kind of difficulty with our students–one reason would be that we don’t have too many students. We have maybe 200 students a quarter. But the other reason is that we have consciously and sincerely involved the students in policy, so that we have in the Library School, what is called the Faculty-Student Council, in which the full-time faculty and four student representatives sit together and determine all policy with equal votes. The students have initiated any policy changes which the faculty has not been too happy about, but we have taken it seriously. So they have affected the curriculum, requirements for graduation, they’ve added courses, they’ve changed the admission requirements. When the students have the sense of participation in the policy, they don’t have a need to be bitter about these policies. If they do, it’s somewhat diffuse and becomes something to be handled inside the system.
[Unknown Speaker]: Do you have any problems with reference to service courses in other areas to your students?
[Guy Marco]: No, it doesn’t come up for us at all. Our students are all graduate students or they are undergraduate minors in their Junior or Senior years, so they’ve already been through that.
[Unknown Speaker]: Do you have any difficulties recruiting faculty?
[Guy Marco]: Recruiting faculty this year would have been very easy. We had no openings. We had no budget. In the last two or three years it was very difficult. In the field of librarianship now, there is developing oversupply of personnel at the teaching levels for library positions. Though it would be no trouble to recruit faculty now with doctoral qualifications.
[End of Tape 4]
[Beginning of Tape 5]
[Unknown Speaker]: Do you have any minority group faculty members?
[Guy Marco]: No, not right now. We had the first Black, full-time faculty member in any accredited library school, except for the one Black library school in Atlanta University. We had that person here three years ago, after a very conscious and concerted effort to find an appropriate individual. Unfortunately she stayed one year and then had a better offer and left. Since then we have been trying very hard to get another Black person. We’ve interviewed and we’ve made offers when we had openings, but we couldn’t get anyone to come here. The major difficulty was that two years ago and even last year, the qualified Black professor was in such demand that we couldn’t match the salary that they were getting elsewhere–that they could get elsewhere. That’s about it.
[Unknown Speaker]: What about–are we doing anything in this school to recruit minority group students?
[Guy Marco]: Oh, yes. Yes, we’ve been working on this for about five or six years. We have a special assistantship which we’ve reserved for a Black student–awarded to a Black student here this year. We have government fellowships for which we give priority to Black students. We have arranged a scholarship program with the Cleveland Public Library so that they will pay Black students to study in Library School. And we’ve been quite active in recruiting by telephone, by correspondence with students themselves and through colleagues trying to bring in Black students. It has not been very successful, but we do have five or six graduate students. Most of them–I think all of them having some financial aid. In the other library schools we found that it’s also extremely difficult to find persons who are interested. Not so much a matter of qualifications. There are plenty of Black undergraduates who could certainly manage the program. And those who can’t manage it easily, we are willing to make adjustments for it, give them a longer time period, private tutoring. I just kind of feel that it’s not very appealing. Librarians don’t make much money, it’s not a glamorous profession. It’s not one that is well known to people of college, undergraduate age. So, we haven’t been able to do so much in recruiting, but we’re still working on it.
[Unknown Speaker]: Are there any other comments that you wish to make with reference to any of the things that we’ve talked about?
[Guy Marco]: Well, we have talked about changes in the University. It bothers me to think that the conditions which led to the tragedy have not been significantly changed. It’s true as we look around us this summer we see only peace and harmony and quiet. But it’s also true that the conditions for the opposite remain. And in a way I think we are trusting to good fortune and good luck, to a change in the national atmosphere and attitude to pull us through. It seems to me that we need a more constructive and positive approach to a change of those conditions that led to violence. Certainly the dedication of the university, which I mentioned, would be a very favorable step. Some other kinds of actions such as the establishment of an experimental college with a great freedom of action and a very flexible program I think would also take care of the frustrations of certain students.
Another simple thing would be to disarm the campus police, which I’ve also been trying to have done to give the students the–not only the impression, but the–a new kind of reality on the campus, that it’s not the same school that they were at in May. That somehow we are better and we mean to be even better. I know that there are 25 commissions working on this and everyone on the faculty is thinking about it and we’re all worried about it. At the same time, we look out the window and there is the sun shining, there are people walking around and it’s so easy to say, “Well, maybe it’s all over.”
[Unknown Speaker]: Thank you very much.
Recorded statement of Dean of the School of Library Science Guy Marco, conducted by the CKSUV.
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|Subcollection||Commission on KSU Violence records|
Commissions, Hearings, Tribunals
Reactions, Responses. Administrators
|May 4 Provenance||
May 4 Collection