College Presidents

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    Creating an Experimental College of a State University With Students As Full Partners: The Case of the College at Old Westbury
    (1970-01) Wofford, Harris, Jr.
    Harris Wofford describes the backgrounds of those who planned the college; examines the move from an internationalist “school of the world” to one that would address urban problems, and notes planners’ hope for a British “college of colleges” for the university structure. Planners and SUNY administrators in Albany disagreed on the nature of the college experiment, and ultimately tensions arose between students and administrators, and between faculty and administrators, over the college’s identity. Wofford also details the unraveling of planners’ aspirations—including the spring 1969 sit in, and Frankfurt School theorist Herbert Marcuse’s 1970 visit to the Old Westbury campus.
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    The New College at Old Westbury
    (Educational Record, 1970) Wofford, Harris, Jr.
    An opportunity afforded few men came to Harris Wofford when the chancellor of the State University of New York asked him four years ago to plan and create a new college. In this confessional case study. President Wofford is remarkably candid as he tells of his joys and disappointments, and reflects on what may be the future of his "experiment in college making.
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    How Big the Wave (Draft)
    (State University of New York College at Old Westbury, 1973) Wofford, Harris
    What we failed to achieve - but kept hoping we were just about to achieve - was the minimum mutual understanding necessary to make the partnership of faculty, students and administration work. What we discovered was the depth of our disagreements... and our negative insights were not enough.
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    The College That Students Helped Plan
    (Change in Higher Education, 1969-03) Keyes, Ralph; Wofford, Harris; Grennan, Jaqueline; Landrum, Roger; Resnick, Larry
    Building a college from scratch is among an educators most cherished dreams. Few ever get the chance, and those who do often find the morning-after reality rarely matches their earlier visions. The State University of New York's new and experimental College at Old Westbury is an example of a college that is just being built, and its planning has aroused interest nationwide. Three questions dominate Old Westbury: 1) Can a truly experimental college flourish within a giant state university system? 2) What stamp of character will be imprinted on Old Westbury by a president - Harris Wofford - who is not a seasoned educator, but is a lawyer, a political activist (arrested with Dick Gregory at Chicago), and a JFK New Frontiersman? 3) Is genuine student participation in institutional planning practical and viable? Old Westbury, now in its first year with eighty-five students, was shaped by Wofford and a small staff, several outside academics - and some twenty- five students from such campuses as Goddard, San Francisco State and Antioch. What really happened depends on whether you were Ralph Keyes (one of the student planners), or Jacqueline Grennan (one of the consultants), or Wofford. Their reports, and those of other planners, follow.