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Controversial College President Interviewed by Student - An Uncensored Talk with John R. Silber

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From the time capsule – 1980 – Cantankerous, stubborn, harsh, tyrannical, dictatorial, bitter, and humorless. Those are some of the nicer descriptions people had for John Robert Silber – a Texan who earned a PhD in philosophy from Yale University and then returned to Texas in the 1950s to serve as a professor and later the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Texas during the late 1960s. In 1971, Silber moved on to Massachusetts to become the 7th and longest serving President of Boston University. Professed liberals, students and even members of the BU faculty despised him. They repeatedly tried to oust him and they presumed, because of his Texas upbringing, he was a bigot and a right-wing conservative. He took great offense at such assumptions because he spent most of his life in academia championing liberal Democratic causes. In 1990, he won the Democratic nomination in the race for Governor of Massachusetts. A race he lost in a close election to Republican William Weld. By the time Silber died in 2012, he had been President Emeritus at BU for nearly a decade. Prior to his Emeritus status, Silber had been President then Chancellor of Boston University for a combined span of more than 30 years. He was unequivocally the “Big Man on Campus.” Or, less flatteringly, “The Bad Man on Campus,” as he was portrayed in a “60 Minutes” profile by correspondent Mike Wallace on the CBS television network in January 1980. A few weeks after that “60 Minutes” report aired, 19-year-old sophomore Boston University broadcast journalism major Marcus Jones sat down with Dr. Silber in his office to conduct a wide-ranging, unrestricted interview, which included such topics as racism, affirmative action, hiring practices, tuition increases, dissident faculty members, disrespectful students, ghetto slang, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the definition of what it means to be a true liberal thinker. The interview, which was recorded on a consumer-grade cassette tape recorder, has been enhanced with still images from the period for the sake of this video presentation. Segments of the interview were first used in reports Jones prepared for WILD-AM during the month of February 1980. The complete interview, which runs just shy of 50 minutes, has never been heard in its entirety until now.
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Text Comments (4)
Gaboseba084 Ps4 (8 days ago)
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Peter Moralov (1 month ago)
Probably could've run this through some noise reduction software lmao
Peter Moralov (1 month ago)
I don't think I've heard someone voice opinions bearing so close in resemblence to mine on these issues
EDEN ETIENNE (1 month ago)
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