May 26, 1933 – Ted Dreier to his parents

  • May 26, 1933 – Ted Dreier to his parents –

Dear mother and father,

Thank you ever so much for your wonderful birthday letters and presents. It was awfully nice to hear from all the family on that day – especially when things have been so troubled down here.

The Investigating Committee of 2 turned out to consist of the ablest kind of men one could wish for, and men of outstanding fairness and integrity in my judgment. Dr. Lovejoy, Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins was the senior and more experienced of the two. At the very end, they did evince a marked degree of friendliness and even sympathy toward us, but until that time you couldn’t tell what they thought, except that you could tell by the questions that they knew exactly what they were about and were getting a very complete picture of the whole place. Although they spent morning, afternoon and evening until 11 and 12 o’clock every night for about a week, seeing people, they were unable to finish the investigation and it will be conducted by correspondence until completed.

We have been thoroughly disgusted with what seems to me to be disgraceful behavior on the part of Dr. Holt throughout the hearing, before the committee, although this was held in strict secrecy with two witnesses on each side and I only know in confidence.

He refused to pay any attention to the suggestions of the visiting committee (tho’ he may have to, to some of them, not that the minimum has been referred to in print.) about academic tenure, the right of hearing, and the suggestion that we have an academic council to sit with him in deciding matters relating to promotion, dismissal, and academic policy.

The committee issued a statement to the press for local consumption, a copy of which I enclose. One of the Trustees and Dean Anderson tried to stop Dr. Lovejoy from having it published by saying that the chances of getting anything done were much poorer if anything came out in print. After getting more evidence, the committee judges that just the opposite would be true. They sent Dr. Holt a copy ahead of time to give him a chance to reply. What do you think of his reply?

We have been very distressed because Bill Oldham, who as you know is almost our best friend on the faculty, has resigned because of the whole business. He has decided there was no use in coming all the way over from England to such a place anymore. I don’t blame him, but of course it is a great disappointment. We are giving him a farewell party with beer tonight.

I can’t imagine staying here more than one more year myself – at least not at the rate at which things are going. The alternative is, as yet, not at all clear, although there are a number of things we would like to do, Of course things might change next year, but a very thorough cleaning-up and change of heart will be necessary, I’m afraid.

We finally did decide to take the house. We had to pay $600 for it, which is $330 more than this year, and will have more expensive public service bills as the water is heated electrically. However, I have a small gasoline stove to help with that, and the main stove is kerosene. The house is fine, however, and has 4 bathrooms and lots of closets – unheard of luxuries for us Dreiers. We are making a $60 deposit and signing a lease.

We leave here on Friday, June 9th and arrive in New York about 3 days later, I think. We’ll let you know if plans should have to change. We ought to arrive in New York early Monday morning and drive right out to Sunken Meadow, where I hope we can stay a week. My, it will be grand to see you! Now I must stop.

Ever so much love

from Theodore.