Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 763

Or maybe I might have said, “Oh?” or something like that.

And he went on saying -- by the way, by this time I had tenure and I was secure in that fact. And he said something about the fact that I owed some responsibility to the students, not only in terms of the classroom but in terms of extracurricular activities. I think he was raising some questions about the extent to which my involvement with the NAACP lawyers was at the expense of my serving on faculty committees or things of that sort.

And I listened to him, and somewhere in the discussion, I said something to him about, “well, Dean Gottschalk, are you suggesting that I make a choice between my work with the NAACP lawyers and my work at the College?” Which was sort of hitting below the belt, because I knew that he couldn't really ask such a thing.

He said, “Oh no, no. I just thought that maybe we ought to get a little more balance,” or something of that sort.

Well, I made it clear to him that I had made my choice, in terms of this kind of commitment and involvement, and that I really knew that it would have to be at the expense of the kind of thing that a young assistant professor, associate professor had to do in order to be promoted, etc. But if this were going to delay promotion and what not, so be it.

That conference -- which was the only one I had with him, by the way -- ended with a sort of an understated impasse, with each of us understanding the other, but not giving very much either way. And I realized that if Gottschalk had his way, that I would pay for

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help