William Friday (part 2)


William Friday (part 2)


William “Bill” Friday served as president of the UNC system from 1957-1986. Friday has 25 interviews as part of the Southern Oral History Program. In this interview, Friday talks about being very involved in the Vet School debate and the problem of recruiting black students for the program. (pg. 21-22)


Southern Oral History Project


Interview with William Friday by William Link, February 20, 1991. L-0151, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/sohp&CISOPTR=2861&CISOBOX=1&REC=14






oral history




William Link


William Friday


Back in the Ford administration, there was once a brief period of HEW intervention that — although not directly — well, it was directly related to this case—the Vet School question. And Mr. Thomas came from Atlanta, arrived, I guess, at your doorstep, more or less. He came into a board meeting. Well, I think, in retrospect, there was really no case there. You saw what happened. We went about that analytically just the way we did when we were confronted with applications to establish five different law schools in the system. And I think that the proof of this was that when we got the program established openly, we had to work very hard to find one minority applicant. And I watched over that situation myself. Because I'd heard all these allegations about the state not
providing opportunity for young people in veterinary medicine—black or white, male or female. Well, as you know, we had to phase the thing in. And I got the new dean of the school. I talked to him once the program was created, after all of this was over. I said, "Now I want to know how many minority students apply. I want to know how many we accept." And I did a television program last month with an assistant dean over there. All of these months now have lapsed. I said, "Tell me how many minority students
are enrolled." "You can count them on one hand." And he said, "We had to go and recruit every single one of them." Now, you see, when you run into a situation like that what it really tells you is that if you could find something above and beyond baccalaureate instruction, that's what was
really desired out there. Veterinary medicine looked good. But they had not done their homework. The homework was, "Where is the demand?" And, you know, what kind of demand
is it? Boys, girls, black, white, young, old? Because most of these people are post-baccalaureate students. All of
them over there now are. And so you begin to ask these questions and you begin to see that there has been no work done. And when then Dr. Dawson and I did it ourselves, and we began to look around this thing, that's what you found.
There was really no demand. And it was really the truth.

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Southern Oral History Project, “William Friday (part 2),” The State of History, accessed May 20, 2024, https://soh.omeka.chass.ncsu.edu/items/show/235.