I was going to ask you that question. What was a job description for a dean of women in 1963?
Well, of course that was while the campus was still in loco parentis. The law had not passed that made students that age accountable to themselves or to their parents. We stood in place of the parents. And so the job was to keep them in line. They had to sign out when they left for the weekend. When they signed out, they had to sign out to go out at night. We controlled their dress, their behavior. It was a total kind of parental control, and it began during that period in the 60's and the 70's. In my opinion, those two decadeschanged the face of American campuses and the concept of in loco parentis. The death of it was one of the major ones, because I remember when I wrote parents a letter simply because I felt it was the responsibility to do so in 1967, saying to them that no longer is the university standing in place of the parent. Your children, you and your children will determine what they do and do not do. They will not be signing out for the weekends. Well, of course, we had an outcry from some of the parents when that happened, but it was a change. Every relationship between the university and student was tested in that period between the 60's and the 70's. It was a period when we had the civil rights movement and a lot of that started on campuses where students sat in at lunch counters and so on, and then the Vietnam war, the free speech movement, Title IX, which brought federal legislation that had to do with athletics for women, so in my opinion, there will be no two decades, at least to this point, in higher education where there have been more changes between the relationship of the institution to the student.
The world did turn upside down.
It turned upside down.
We are going to talk a little bit more about that in a minute. I want to ask you about Governor Carl Sanders during the mid-60's. He appointed you to the commission on the status of women. It was obvious, and I think that underscored the fact that women's issues were beginning to rise to the attention of certainly the state's political structure. Could you tell us a little bit about that group, and how…was that a first opportunity for you to connect with some of the folks…
Well, it was to connect publicly and statewide…there was controversy when… women were beginning to step out. It was…you know…Betty Friedan had written her book. That really was a kick-off for the women's revolution, and that was at the same time that things were changing for students. Everything in society was in a kind of turmoil, and he set up this commission, which was done in states across the country and we met. They were some outstanding women in the state, many of them from higher education, but also from business and industry. And it was a way to say to the state and I thought it was a good thing for the governor to do and subsequent governors did it as well, appointed those commissions up until…you know after the 80's it was not needed. But they worked along with husbands and newspapers and society in general in helping bring about the acceptance of women in a new role. Betty Friedan, as I said, had kicked it off and that helped, I think. It was a time when there were a lot of speeches made about women's roles and there was, of course, the bra burning aspect of it, the radicals that hurt the movement in many ways rather than help it, but that was a part of it as well. Some of those took place on the campuses.
You were doing great. We had burned some bras, but I think we are through with that.
We even had a national conference on this campus, and I ended up getting a book out of it about women's changing role. It was not met, of course, with total acceptance, and I continued all the time I was at the university to fight for women. When I came here in 1963, there were two women on the administrative council, the Dean of Women, and the Dean of Home Economics. When I left in 1988, there were still two. I remember on the last day I was there in fun I took an administrative chart and colored it pink and blue and passed it out. The next vice president came in, you remember was Virginia Trotter, after that, so and women began to take increasingly roles of dean, but we are not there yet. Women still make $. 75 cents for every dollar that the men make. I think young women now see fewer inhibitions and barriers and are willing to tackle anything as you know in Law, Vet medicine, Ag, and Pharmacy. Half of the students are women, sometimes more than half. So they see now that they can go into any field, but there are still a few barriers that they have to overcome, but I expect this ten-year period, this decade will probably see the end of that. I think the next breakthrough is in politics. At this point in Georgia there are 21 percent. There are fewer this year than in previous years, about 40 women out of 256, which is not very many, but we are now hearing about the possibility of a woman president, and it is interesting when we see ourselves as a nation that is ahead of everything, that we are one of the few countries in the world that have not had a woman president. It started with Golda Meir in Israel and there were three this last two or three months in Chile, and Germany, and some country—Liberia I believe it was—in Africa, where they had women presidents. Well, we oughta get to that pretty soon.
And maybe a woman governor.
And a woman governor, absolutely. So politics is going to be…I believe their new frontier, and when that happens, we will see an added interest in education, an added interest in agencies that deal with the poor, with the handicapped, because women have those interests, so that is the kind of legislation they sponsor…things that have to do with the welfare of people. Men are more interested in business, agriculture, industry, and so on, so they bring a different dimension to the political arena.