The straight arrow
has no choice except to tilt the rewards system toward faculty and
departments that can generate the most money. And that's bad."
Frank Gregg, head of the
BLM under President Jimmy Carter, was a U of A professor from
1981-1992. For four of those years he directed the school of
renewable natural resources. In the mid-1980s, when it appeared
imminent that the Mount Graham red squirrel was going to be listed
as an endangered species, Gregg met with an adminstrator and an
attorney hired by the university. Gregg's advice, which he'd
discussed with a senior wildlife faculty member, was that the
university should make the first
"We said we shouldn't
wait to be told it's endangered. We should just announce that we
think it's endangered, and we're not going to proceed with the
Mount Graham thing until we can satisfy ourselves that a realistic
recovery plan can be developed. Let's announce that, and everyone
will be astonished with our integrity.
"We're going to play it absolutely straight ..."
"They thanked us, were gracious, and turned
"My faculty said, "You horse's rump;
we'll never get another dollar." Which was true. But we'd never
been treated generously in the past - I mean by the college of
agriculture, not by the university. We were trying to run an
environmentally sensitive natural resources school at the ag
school. Which is an oxymoron, because modern agriculture is
organized around the high-tech, scientific, chemical fertilizer
production model. There are plenty of good scientists in the ag
school, but the political atmosphere there is about the 1883 model.
About the same as the repeating rifle ...
Mount Graham controversy) wasn't a particular failing of the
University of Arizona. What's going on here is typical of almost
all public universities that had a serious interest in research ...
The university has an imperative, and that is to maximize the
generation of extramural research dollars. The university has no
choice except to tilt the rewards system toward faculty and
departments that can generate the most money. And that's
"The administrative model that came to be
admired is an authoritative top-down model, not a collegial model
in which (the dean is) elected by colleagues. This worked some
centuries ago. The authoritarian model is much stronger in the
public universities, and perhaps especially in the land-grant