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Title: Oral History Interview with David Breneman, May 10, 1991. Interview L-0122. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Breneman, David, interviewee
Interview conducted by Link, William
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 120 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
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Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-10-09, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with David Breneman, May 10, 1991. Interview L-0122. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0122)
Author: William Link
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with David Breneman, May 10, 1991. Interview L-0122. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0122)
Author: David Breneman
Description: 98.8 Mb
Description: 47 p.
Note: Interview conducted on May 10, 1991, by William Link; recorded in Unknown.
Note: Transcribed by Karen Brady-Hill.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series L. University of North Carolina, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with David Breneman, May 10, 1991.
Interview L-0122. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Breneman, David, interviewee


Interview Participants

    DAVID BRENEMAN, interviewee
    WILLIAM LINK, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Hello.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes, I'm still here.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
[unclear]
WILLIAM LINK:
I just wanted to make sure—I'm tape recording and that's what we'd said before. I hope that's okay with you. Is that okay?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Okay.
WILLIAM LINK:
You understand that and everything?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah, sure.
WILLIAM LINK:
I wanted to make sure. Okay, you had mentioned earlier that you knew Bill Friday in connection with the Carter campaign and the task force, or —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, that's too fancy of term. It really wasn't a full blown task force. It really amounted to Bill Friday, I think Mike Kinpain[?], myself, and then I guess we probably may have drawn in others as needed. But mainly we just—I forget the name of the young man in the Carter campaign crowd that was sort of our go-between. But he had contacted Bill

Page 2
Friday and then Friday had, I guess, asked Mike to campaign more for some of the elementary, secondary issues, and me for the higher ed. issues. And so we, you know, did a little writing. I don't think the Carter campaign ever made any use of it.
WILLIAM LINK:
Uh-huh. I was going to ask you what kind of presentation you had? Or was it —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Oh, it was, you know, a variety of memoranda, essentially. And, I mean we were, I think, you know, at least Bill Friday certainly was, I think, a designated official, you know. He was not ad hoc[?] to the extent that there would have been no record of it. I mean I'm sure he was—I mean, I think, he was actually, you know, in some considerable contact with the campaign group. And he was kind of official representative of education to that group.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
So there was a certain irony, you know, when the administration got in office that we turned—that we're turned around and we're down there pressing a fairly tough desegregation plan on the very party that had helped us campaign.

Page 3
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. He had sort of understood himself to have close contacts, I guess, with the administration.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, I mean, other people would have to comment on that. I didn't never really discuss that at great length with him. But, I mean, he somehow or another he had been singled out. I suppose as a leading educator in the south he was sort of a born natural.
WILLIAM LINK:
Natural people they would contact. How exactly did you—how and when did you get into the administration work? Did you join the administration? Was it right in the beginning of the —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
It was fairly early. Let me think. There was something like six economists from Brookings that joined the Carter administration. And I was by no means the first. I think I was fifth or sixth. So there must have been several months. You know, as a deputy assistant secretary that comes after the, you know, the array of under-secretaries and assistant secretaries. And those appointments have to be made. And then I was simply was contacted—I forget by whom. I actually—you know, the administration had a small staff of people that were actually doing a kind of personnel round-up for them. And I was contacted

Page 4
and asked and expressed an interest and sent a vita in and then I wound up with the position under Mary Berry.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I was there—I would have been there probably three to four months, or five months after things got going, I guess. It was about that scale. It was early. Early into the first year.
WILLIAM LINK:
How long did you stay?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I stayed exactly, believe it not, ninety days. [Laughter] I was a very strange sort of ninety day wonder. There were really two reasons. I mentioned before there were something like six people that had already left Brookings to go to the government. And it used to be Brookings would allow you to take a kind of indefinite leave and go in and then you always had fall back rights to return to the institution. But I guess, in part—hello?
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes, I'm still here.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
— in part because so many of us were going into the administration, Bruce McCroy[?] had decided he couldn't afford to do that any longer so you really had to resign. And I was very dubious about the

Page 5
position after I had looked into it. And I had decided I wasn't going to take it under those terms. And so I talked to Bruce and he, in essence, we sort of worked out an informal understanding that I could sort of do it for ninety days and if it didn't work out I could return, if it did work out then I'd have to resign. And for a variety of reasons I didn't find that it worked out to my satisfaction. So I left.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. So you had sort of a ninety day trial period?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah. That's right. I stayed ninety days and then—it was just—part of the problem was that the position of the Assistant Secretary of Education, which Mary held, was really a strange and untenable one. You know, it was a brand—a relatively new position. And theory it was the top position in the department on education. In practice it really wasn't. In practice the Commissioner of Education has ninety-nine percent of the budget and all of the history and the tradition and all of the program and everything. But Mary essentially had a small policy staff, was about all she had. So when I joined it I talked to her at some length and expressed my view, which I think is and was an accurate one, that given the circumstances what she could accomplish, if

Page 6
she set her mind to it, would be to pick three or four objectives that would be her's and really go for them. And then basically ignore the rest of it. Let Ernie run the show. Ernie Boyer, the commissioner. And let her, you know, pick her shots and nobody would stand in her way, you know, I thought, on three or four major items. Well, Mary didn't see it that way. I mean, she read the book and the book said she was the boss. And so she tried to do, you know, take Ernie Boyer on in a bureaucratic battle and it was just abundantly clear that she was losing and was going to lose badly.
WILLIAM LINK:
And that was going on from the beginning?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, yeah, that was going on very quickly early on. So, I just didn't—I felt I had—and my position as deputy was I had no independent status other than as Mary's—you know, I was on Mary's team. And I either had to back her or betray her. And I wasn't prepared to betray her and I didn't feel like backing her. So, I went back and wrote books.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. Tell me about the development of the criteria. I know that the criteria—relating that is to desegregation of higher ed. I know that these were

Page 7
developed in response to Judge Pratt's decision, April 1977?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Right.
WILLIAM LINK:
Which specified that HEW draft guidelines or criteria. I wonder if you could tell me about—a little bit about the development of those and particularly who was involved in the drafting of the criteria and how they were drafted?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well again here, I probably should have kept a diary from that period, but I didn't.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah, well, it's been awhile.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
And my memory is a little fuzzy. Oddly enough, the ninety days I was in almost, I think, exactly coincided with the heaviest work on the Adam's criteria. I mean, it was just one of those things. And I got involved with it almost right away. And probably saw through at least, you know, a major part of it in the formative period. My memory of it is as follows. Peter Libassi was on board by that time and had been given, you know, the responsibility to work this out. And I was sort of delegated, almost to an offense to his staff, to help on it. And I don't know,

Page 8
to be honest, whether it was—whose idea it was. I mean, I certainly remember him expressing it. But the idea—and I don't know if it was Joe Califano's, or maybe it came out of Judge Pratt's orders or something. Anyway, the whole notion was that a big change was going to be made in that instead of having a whole series of rules and regulations and kind of process controls on desegregation, which is the way the previous experience was portrayed—you know, people were trying to specify, you have to do this, and you have to do that, etcetera, etcetera. Libassi was suggesting he wanted to shift to an outcomes orientation where the department would back off entirely on procedure. I mean, sort of let the universities and the states do whatever they felt was the most efficient or politically effective way to go about doing it. But set up a series of clear measures, outcome measures, that would be looked at down the road and, you know, you would be judged in compliance if you measured up on those measures. And if you didn't then the weight of the government would come on your back. So that was—philosophically, that was the scheme that we were trying to devise was what would be a set of measures, and what would be a—what would be a reasonable period of time to expect somebody to meet those measures. And I don't remember all the details, but they had to do with the percentage of—of, you

Page 9
know, looking at the black/white population—relevant age group population of the state. Specifying, and I don't remember if it was parity in enrollment rates or, you know, exactly what it was but it was a, you know, series of enrollment related measures. A series of graduation related measures. A series of faculty measures. I think those were the key ones. I'm sure there were others. And so on. But that's what we were working on was, you know, that you would be in compliance when your share of minority enrollment hit some kind of target. And when your faculty ranks hit some kind of target. And I and Arlene—what was her name? Arlene Horowitz?
WILLIAM LINK:
Arlene Mindelson Pact[?].
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Mindelson?
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, it was Mindelson Pact—Pact—what it must have been then, Arlene Pact. Is that right?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
She and I were—at one stage, I remember the two of us working on it. I mean, she was sort of bringing the legal—the legal background, and I was bringing the educational knowledge about, you know, sort of what's possible and what's doable, and how fast can you do it. And we were trying to blend

Page 10
the two together. And I can remember some long weekends where, you know, we were both working. We had our own homes, and then getting together and doing cut and paste jobs. But at one stage she and I were heavily involved. Others were—I mean, others were certainly commencing[?] and doing some writing, as well. But, I remember the two of us being heavily involved for a period of two or three weeks anyway. And then, I don't know, then I think I got out of it, or got let out of it. I was somewhat removed from it. Maybe Libassi got into it. I really am fuzzy on that. I'm sure you can find somebody who knows the exact story there.
WILLIAM LINK:
To what extent did you consult with the states, the ten states involved, while you were drafting? Did you have —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, let's see. I remember we had one or two visitations in Washington. It seems to me, and again this is very hazy, but it seems to me there was a group from Arkansas or Oklahoma that came in and saw us, and we talked with them. And, you know, essentially what we did—what we did in our conversations with the affected party, once we got on to this general strategy, is we explained the strategy to them. And said, "This is the way we're going to go.

Page 11
And we think it's sensible and we think it will be better for you, and for all concerned." And then I suppose we probably got into a discussion about what is a reasonable set of targets. And what are reasonable timings. You know, it was really targets and timing that we—we were dancing around the, you know, the issue that still plagues the government to this day in this arena, which is, "are we talking about goals or quotas?" I mean, how do we interpret the numbers? Are they hard and fast? Are they targets? You know. So, there was a lot of room for question about that.
I remember being down in Florida, in some capacity, I may have—I don't think I took the trip just for that purpose. But maybe I did. But I can't think why else I would have been there. But I can remember meeting with a group of the Florida higher ed. people, at one stage, to go over it with them. Oklahoma, Arkansas, and then the visit the three of us made down to North Carolina. Those are the principle contacts I remember, that I was involved in. There may well have been others.
WILLIAM LINK:
Did you divide—was there a division of labor in terms of some of the people working on the criteria from HEW, who were responsible for certain states? Or was it not divided up that way?

Page 12
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I don't think it was divided that way, really.
WILLIAM LINK:
There was just a general drafting of the criterion, then?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah, as I remember, we had six states that were central to the case. And then there were other—there were several other states that were in some kind of secondary capacity. And I don't remember why exactly. Either they had had separate rulings that put them in a different category. But, as memory serves me, I think we were really focusing strongly on six states. It seems to me it would have been what, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, maybe Louisiana, North Carolina, —
WILLIAM LINK:
Virginia, perhaps?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Virginia, I guess you're right. Probably Louisiana wasn't in there. Virginia, and then it seems to me Oklahoma.
WILLIAM LINK:
Oklahoma, right, that's right.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
They were sort of the big—somehow the big six were the ones that we were really —

Page 13
WILLIAM LINK:
Focusing on?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
— concentrating on.
WILLIAM LINK:
I've heard reference made to a so-called Blue Ribbon Panel that reviewed the criteria. Do you know anything about it?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, gee, I've forgotten all about it. You're right. There was some kind of a group, and I can't even—I can't tell you who was on it. And I can't even remember —
WILLIAM LINK:
Do you know how many times they met?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I know they did meet once.
WILLIAM LINK:
They met once?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah. I guess they met once while I was there, at least. I can remember that now. And I think that was just sort of, you know, it was not a—it was a good faith effort to try to get some additional parties involved. But I'm sure, you know, there was, you know, there was a political agenda, too, to either gather their support or to give the whole thing a greater sense of legitimacy, or clout, or something. I don't remember them, honestly, having a major

Page 14
substantive role. But—and witness the fact that I'd even forgot they'd existed. But —
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I think it may have been a little bit of window dressing.
WILLIAM LINK:
And they met not that much? Maybe once. That seems to be my impression.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Mind you—they—what may have happened—I'm really unclear as to the details of what happened after I left. So, I mean, most everything I'm saying is really on this ninety day window.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. What about the Legal Defense Fund? Did they have any input in the drafting of the criteria? Or, only insofar as they had to be informed in advance about the plan. I think that was of the court—court requirements was that all documents had to—all HEW policy had to be given to them in advance of it becoming public. Do you recall any other?

Page 15
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Let me just think. Tell you what, this is maybe not related, but your question triggered something else that I just remembered.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Which was when we started this. Let's see, Peter Libassi was what, the General Counsel?
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
And he was very much, you know, my memory was he was very much in charge of it. I mean, it's his baby, you know, it was his thing. And people from other parts of HEW were sort of delegated to work with him and his staff on it. And I remember a big kind of shift occurring when David Tatel joined. You know, he came in to the office to head up, what, OCR, I think, Office of Civil Rights.
WILLIAM LINK:
When Tatel joined the administration, you mean?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Pardon?
WILLIAM LINK:
When he became director of OCR? Is that what you mean?

Page 16
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah. He must not—he came on later than I did, even, I guess.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. He came on in May.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah. And suddenly when he came on board, then things kind of got derailed a little bit. And I don't remember again the specifics. But all of a sudden he wanted to—he had opinions and definite interests in this case. And suddenly he wanted to get OCR into it in a much more significant way than they had been into it up to that point. And I seem to remember some very genuine conflict between him and Libassi. And I don't know, you know, whether that was over substance or over turf, I'm not sure. But I think, you know, his arrival marked a definite internal change of sorts. I mean, just in terms of another significant player that wasn't, you know, all together happy. You know, my memory was he probably—I'm not sure he was as happy with the approach we were taking as we were. But that ought to be independently confirmed. Now, the Legal Defense Fund—yeah, I remember them, now that you mention it, that they were involved. But I can't really say anything that stands out in my memory about that.

Page 17
WILLIAM LINK:
Was OCR pretty much uninvolved until Tatel? Is that what you're saying?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, they were supplying a lot of data. There was a—let's see, a woman who—let me think, Paula—oh gosh, what was her name? She's now married to John Phillips, who is a friend of mine. He was head of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities for ten years. He and Paula got married. Anyway —
WILLIAM LINK:
Oh, Paula Coobler[?]. Coobler. Coobler.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Coobler. That's right. She's the principle person from OCR. Where was Ar—was Arlene—let's see, was she OCR? Or was she General Counsel? I guess she was General Counsel, wasn't she?
WILLIAM LINK:
I believe so, yes.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Anyway, Paula was very much involved, but mostly from a data—you know, she—they had, you know, we were using numbers anywhere we could get 'em. And the Office of Civil Rights had, such as it was, the best data we could get our hands on. And since the criteria were very intensely data-oriented kinds of criteria, you know—they were mostly, as I

Page 18
remember them, they were mostly quantitative measures—she was a principle player. But, again, as a kind of—not so much a policy level as just as, you know, helping us get the numbers together.
WILLIAM LINK:
Uh-uh.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
And then I think when Tatel came in that's when somebody with a definite, you know, a more pronounced opinion on things, and a little more equal weight, came into it from OCR's side.
WILLIAM LINK:
He came in with a good bit of weight, didn't he? I mean he —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I think so.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Definitely a strong appointment on the part of Califano.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Right. And I, you know, I think it would pay you—it would be worth your while to make sure you understand the whatever it was—the

Page 19
relationship between him and Libassi. Which, again that may have been—my guess is I was probably not too far from phasing out about the time he came on. But I do remember it was a significant change.
WILLIAM LINK:
Do you know—one of the things I've heard about OCR is that it was in some disarray.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah, I think that's right.
WILLIAM LINK:
Is that something you might have heard about?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, to some degree, yeah. I mean they were—yeah, I would—partly, you know, they were being—trying to do an awful lot of things. And they running around collecting data. And a lot of the people who were doing some of the data collecting, I think, weren't really trained to do that sort of thing. So they were—you know, it was not a very—it seemed to me not to be a terribly well run department at the point I got there. I don't know their internal history that well, who was their—who their head was coming out of the Nixon era —
WILLIAM LINK:
It was slightly demoralized during those years.

Page 20
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah. I would guess that. Yeah. I think there was a lot of uncertainty about exactly what they were doing, and why, and how.
WILLIAM LINK:
You attended this meeting in Chapel Hill, I gather?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Right.
WILLIAM LINK:
This is June sixth and seventh in 1977?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
And the purpose of that meeting was to—well, what was the purpose of that meeting? How would you describe it? Information gathering, mainly?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, I think, again my memory—partly that. But my memory was I think we—partly because of Bill Friday's role, you know, in the campaign and his connection, you know, in the sense that he had connections in the Carter administration, the feeling that he was, you know—I think there was a real sense of political sensitivity with regard to North Carolina on this one. I mean a feeling that, you know, somehow we didn't want Bill Friday running—trying to run back up through the Carter—directly to Carter with

Page 21
complaints or something, which I don't think we were worried that—we didn't worry about that with any other states particularly. So, my memory of it was we were, you know, we were really going down there in part to sort of try the ideas out. Partly to, you know, to convey information. Partly to get their reaction. But, partly to, you know, kind of—it was significant, for example, that we, that three of us went down there together, you know. There was no other state that we, you know, anything like the three of us went together. And I'm not, as I say, I don't remember if we had any kind of plan to try to even go to the other states. The only thing that I—it may have been that we—it may have that each—maybe one of us went to each of the other states, or something like that. That may have been what got me to Florida. But, I mean, no other state got the full treatment of having —
WILLIAM LINK:
That delegation?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
— the three of us go down. And I think, as I say, I think we—it was with the—with due deference to the political clout that we thought might exist there. And also I think we felt we were probably going to be up against, in some ways, a more astute group of people in North Carolina. And that

Page 22
certainly is—my memory of that meeting is that, you know, we were sort of chewed up and spit out, by and large. I don't remember all of it. We got on to the data approach to the process and the criteria and—again the details escape me, but, I mean, I remember just being—you know, the counter-punch—I think there were ten or twelve people from North Carolina there. And, I mean, they had their top numbers-cruncher, and their top institutional researcher, and their academic VP, and, you know, the whole area. And everybody that had any number relevant to the system down there was there. And they obviously had better data about their system than we did. And my memory is, you know, a series of ways in which they either suggested what we were proposing was preposterous, undoable, unmeasurable, or already accomplished. I mean, you know, some array of those kinds of responses.
WILLIAM LINK:
I gather one of the main areas of concern was this question of enrollment and the —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah, that was one of our key criteria.
WILLIAM LINK:
And the—what eventually became the 150 percent rule, that —

Page 23
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, I don't even know—what was that? I don't remember that.
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, that may have come after you left. That was evolving out of those discussions that was along about the latter part of the summer, which you may have been gone by then.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah. I think I left June 30.
WILLIAM LINK:
Okay. But the focus of that meeting was on enrollment.
Was there any ever mention, and what mention, what consideration did you give to this question of program duplication? The elimination of unnecessary program duplication.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah, that was a big issue in the criteria. There were a couple of incidents, I think, let's see, where was it? Was it in North Carolina? Anyway, there were a couple incidents where schools literally and practicably, you know, across the street from each other were—
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
— were established. And we were concerned about that. I'm sure we had criterion in

Page 24
there about that. I—probably A&T and Chapel Hill may have been part, you know —
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
They may have been affected by that.
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, A&T and Greensboro.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Greensboro, yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
A&T is in Greensboro.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Oh, okay, yeah. It was those two.
WILLIAM LINK:
Two campuses two miles apart. Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
One of the other issues that we were really perplexed about, and I can't remember how we ultimately handled it, but we were very concerned about the historically black colleges. And, you know, the question arose, I mean, were we applying the same criteria to them that we were applying to the historically white colleges, and in other words were we going to have to have, you know, were they going be under the pressure to have proportionate share of white enrollment in them. And my sentiment was we were

Page 25
basically pushing in that direction. But we were, you know, concerned about it and unsure. I think we had either—either we had different time lines on that, or something. And I think that was one subject of considerable discussion down there in North Carolina, is whether it was desirable, wise, or doable to try to shuttle or shift significant numbers of white students into the historically black colleges.
WILLIAM LINK:
I'm wondering about the intent behind, I believe it was Criteria 1-C, which was the—had to do with program duplication, elimination duplication, because there seems to be a difference in terms of timing. And duplication doesn't become the central issue long after you had left, until about 1978, January of '78. Very little said about it in '77. And —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, the only thing I remember was we, you know, we—I think where we had a case of a historically black college, you know, very close to a non-black college. I forget, there was a case where, and gosh, I think it was in North Carolina, where, you know, the state had tried to set up some comparable programs in the black college.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.

Page 26
DAVID BRENEMAN:
And sort of, and I think in our view, that had the—was clearly for the intent and purpose of maintaining a segregated system, and therefore we were trying to, you know, we didn't want them exercising, you know, using that kind of out. Maybe the thing that's a little fuzzy about '77, is in '77 to get into program duplication would in a sense have been a violation of the sort of the spirit of what we were trying to do. Because we were trying to back HEW and OCR out of the business of that kind of micro-management.
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I mean, you know, we were trying to just say, "Look, you know, in principle, we want to get a set of agreed upon criteria that can be measured and monitored and, you know, we will agree then—that if—and if we all agree, and the judge agrees, that if you meet these criteria by the time, you know, the time frame we suggest then you will be in compliance. And don't bother the internal process. I mean, that's not our business. Anyway you want to get there you can do it." So, in a way the program duplication doesn't sound like the kind of thing we should have been dealing with as long as we were in that style.

Page 27
WILLIAM LINK:
My impression —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I do remember discussion of it.
WILLIAM LINK:
It seems—well, once the question of negotiations becomes completely under David Tatel's control it seems duplication arises. It becomes much more important. It's much more a kind of central issue.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
You know, I think what you've just done is to clarify, in my thinking, what the disagreement was between Libassi and Tatel. And that was, the whole OCR mentality, I think, had been very much this, you know, first off, they were really—the OCR people were intensely hostile toward higher education. I really think that was apparent. Maybe that's a blanket statement. But I think most of the time—in my memory of Arlene was, you know, she viewed Bill Friday and people like Bill Friday as the, you know, pretty bad guys. And out to try to defeat any attempt to, you know—completely opposed to desegregation and not about to do a damned thing to help it. And so with that mind-set I think the OCR view was, you've got to just flat control these people every way you can. You've got to tie 'em down, nail 'em down, you've got to, you know, you really have to go in and practically

Page 28
bound and gag 'em in order to get the job done. Whereas, so they didn't—I think the OCR people weren't really—of course I'm using Arlene, aren't I? She may have been on Libassi's staff. But Arlene either—she was on Libassi's staff. I think she had a long background in OCR or something, but she was—I very much have her in my mind in the sort of the OCR school of thought. In any event, I think the OCR people basically didn't have any—didn't support at all the general approach we were trying to take, which was, you know, let's set up goals and let them do it any way they can. And they didn't believe that would ever happen. And they were convinced we would just waste another five years. You know, a lot of these things were going to take several years to have anything show up anyway. And so I think there you did have a split between, you know, certainly from the education side of the house.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I was very supportive of the outcomes orientation. And so, you know, I think Michael Keef was. And I guess Libassi must have been, as well. So, sort of the three of us were kind of—internally thought of ourselves as trying to get the job done. But also trying to do it in a way that made some sense

Page 29
to higher education. Whereas the OCR people, I think, didn't give a fig about higher education. And weren't interested in the culture and subtleties of higher education. They just wanted to, by God, get the job done.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
In their view it was best done by direct intervention.
WILLIAM LINK:
What—the reception—what kind of reception did you have in Chapel Hill? Was it —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, it was utterly cordial. But it was adversarial. I mean, we did not have the feeling we were down there on any kind of honeymoon. And, you know, it was very nice. I think we had a nice dinner. And, you know, I—you know, plain, good hospitality. But there was no question they were on one side of the table and we were on the other. And we were the enemy. And I suppose to some extent we saw them as the enemy, even though oddly enough the three of us were, you know, in our own view probably thought of ourselves as being sympathetic to the interests of higher education. And I found it awkward because here I'd been, you know, a few months earlier working with Bill Friday on behalf

Page 30
of getting Carter elected. And then here we are down there on the other side doing it to 'em. Well, it was a tense—there was a fair level of tension in that meeting. And they were there to pin our ears back in a variety of ways. What I don't remember—I don't remember any—what the stance of the North Carolina folks was to the approach we were taking. I would have thought that might have been somewhat favorable. But I think what they really were questioning was, I think, a number of the criteria—I think we must have sent down or brought with us draft statements of the criteria or something. And I think what they proceeded to try to do was just to point out how these things were really very, you know, going to be impossible to do. And were very hard to do. And probably not in the best interests of the people involved.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Sort of on that line of discourse.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was there—you've mentioned that politically Bill Friday and North Carolina were given special handling. Was there—in any other sense was North Carolina treated differently? The UNC people, well, after all of this, and, you know, once it got into more of a courtroom sort of situation, claimed

Page 31
that North Carolina was being singled-out, adversely singled-out, was that—did you ever get the feeling that that was the case with Libassi?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
No, I don't know what they would base that on. I mean the criteria were, you know, presumably applicable to all states. Right?
WILLIAM LINK:
Right.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I mean there wasn't anything—there wasn't a special set of criteria for North Carolina. So I don't know why they would have—I'm not sure what basis they would have had for that comment. In fact, I mean if anything, I would say—let me put it this way. I remember two different things going on. On the one hand, there was, as I mentioned, I think a good deal of sensitivity regarding North Carolina and Bill Friday's status, vis-a-vis the Carter administration. And, you know, if anything that would have weighed against—that would have weighed in their favor. You know, we'd have gone out of our way to not do something of the hostile nature in that setting. On the other hand, those people, see, there was—most of—most of us, Libassi, I, Moteef[?], all of us were brand new to this case, really. I mean we hadn't any history of working at it and so on. The

Page 32
people in OCR, some of the long-term people there, had been flogging away for several years on this Adam's Case and the ones in OCR that I can remember talking with were exceptionally cynical about the North Carolina [Laughter] interest in this case. And they did not trust the leadership in North Carolina to have any interest whatsoever in getting anything done. And they saw—they really saw North Carolina as a bunch of bad guys who were going to go out of their way to—so there was a part of HEW operation that was probably more hostile than North Carolina than almost any other state. And —
WILLIAM LINK:
But would have been perhaps concern with breaking North Carolina or making an example of North Carolina? Or is that stretching it too far?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
It could have been. I mean I—I don't know how that played out. I mean, I suppose this would have showed up ultimately in David Tatel's behavior because he would have been sitting on the staff that felt this way most strongly. So if there is any crick in my memory, I would have thought it would have showed up increasingly through his involvement. I don't know if you've got any evidence of that.

Page 33
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, it's not direct evidence. It's sort of indirect. Someone like Burton Taylor. Do you remember him?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I remember the name. Yeah, I don't think I ever met him. Or if I did I only met him once or twice. I can remember his name. And I remember sending stuff back and forth to him. He was one of those long term OCR people, right?
WILLIAM LINK:
Right. The person sort of in charge of the higher ed. part of the—at OCR.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, I think in that group, North Carolina was really was singled out in their minds as the most obstreperous and the most—the toughest adversary they had. And there was really no love lost. No question about that. That predated—I mean, that attitude certainly predated the Carter administration. And predated our arrival. And then my sense was, until Tatel got there, there wasn't anybody in the leadership part of the HEW group that would have necessarily shared that view. So, it only—I think it would have gotten voiced primarily through, you know, at the leadership level through Tatel.
WILLIAM LINK:
Through Tatel?

Page 34
DAVID BRENEMAN:
If it got through at all.
WILLIAM LINK:
Certainly not through Libassi?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I don't think so.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
You know, I don't think so. Now I think after we had that meeting down there, and I'm not absolutely sure I remember this right, but, I mean, I don't think Libassi came out of that meeting feeling all that well-disposed toward Friday and the North Carolina folks. I mean, it was a tendinous[?] meeting. And, you know, we had—I think, you know, we had gone down there kind of feeling like, rightly or wrongly, kind of feeling like we were sort of the good guys. You know, we felt we were sort of the voice of sweet reason trying to find a reasonable way to deal with the law and deal with the nuances of higher education. And we felt we knew something about higher education. And so we went down there, I think, thinking we were bringing good news, potentially. And we didn't get received that way. So I think there may have been a heightened level of irritation.
WILLIAM LINK:
That's interesting.

Page 35
DAVID BRENEMAN:
For all I know that—it may have percolated and gotten worse, in fact, after that meeting.
WILLIAM LINK:
What sort of role in this meeting did Bill Friday play? Was he—he had his team—you say he had this large group of people with him. He had his administrative team with him, I guess?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was he the primary spokesman? Or did he then —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
No, I seem to remember a—somebody who was basically a numbers cruncher. You know, at the VP-type level. I don't know whether it was the business officer, the provost, —
WILLIAM LINK:
Joyner, probably?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Who?
WILLIAM LINK:
Felix Joyner.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Boy.

Page 36
WILLIAM LINK:
He was the budget guy.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah, I'll be honest with you, I don't remember the name well enough to confirm it. But I seem to remember, you know, somebody there who had books, you know, stacks and stacks of books with numbers in them. And had gone through and, you know, had taken each of our criteria and had come up with examples of how that would apply to North Carolina. And how utterly bizarre and absurd the criteria were in that regard. I mean I think Friday was kind of the host and, you know, he was mixed in with it, certainly. I don't remember him setting back as a declining—as a fading lily or anything. But I do seem to remember some of his lieutenants kind of carrying the charge.
WILLIAM LINK:
Do you have any sort of, in retrospect, any observations you'd like to offer on the—this is kind of a critical period in terms of what came later because the criteria—provide the basis for —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I guess I had the sense, you know, knowing a certain amount about higher education—and this is my first time ever to get into something that had a legal dimension to it. I felt that the approach we were taking was the right approach. I mean, I

Page 37
thought the stuff that OCR had been trying to do in the past of, you know, of going in and micro-managing and, you know, setting out realms and realms of things you had to do to jump over the hoops and so on—I can see where that could be just a lot of wasted energy. So, I thought our approach was a good approach. I think I was probably doubtful that, in a realistic sense, all of these goals could be met in the time requirements that were laid out for them. I particularly remember that with regard to the faculty. Because, you know, we had some criteria down there—if you will look at the supply of black doctorates, for example, my guess is we probably had some criteria that almost literally couldn't be met. You know, we weren't really, I think, taking into account some of the real problems of just short-fall of people and qualified people of color for some of these jobs. So I think I probably had a certain ambivalence about some of the criteria. Because if we tried to accommodate too much to that kind of reality then, you know, the thing would look like, you know, we'd be thirty years in getting any kind of increase in black faculty. That would probably not have passed judicial muster. So in a sense we kind of had to maintain a guise that some of this is possible, when, I suspect, some of us at least weren't sure it was. I guess I was sorry, in the North Carolina case, I was sorry when we got down there that

Page 38
it was—we sort of fell into an adversarial relationship. I'm maybe naive. I guess I had sort of hoped that maybe we'd find a more receptive audience and one that would try to work with us and, you know, recognize we had a job to do, too. And on the other hand, I suspect to some degree they felt they really were operating in good faith, too, from their perspective. So, it seemed like a sort of an opportunity lost. You know, if we couldn't arrange this thing to come out in a sensible way, then maybe nobody else could either. And maybe this case was never going to get anywhere, where we would be doing Adams versus somebody in the year 2050. I don't even know exactly where it is now. Did it go to court?
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, the case is actually closed officially now.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
It is now?
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah, as of June 1990.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Does that mean, ostensibly, the criteria, or something like it, has been met, or what? Or did people just wear out?
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, I think everybody got worn out, including the judge. [Laughter] Judge Pratt.

Page 39
DAVID BRENEMAN:
A war of attrition, huh?
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. Because it got so—it was such a broad case. Not just higher ed. but eventually became to include everything.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
I definitely remember—I mean I remember having a feeling that a lot of the people in OCR, I felt, really were zealots. You know, I had a—I did not have a lot of sympathy with some of the attitudes I got over there. I mean they were really single-minded. And I didn't feel they understood at all what they were dealing with. So it was—I guess I have just sort of memories of it being extremely interesting. And I learned a lot personally. But whether it did the country any good, it's kind of unclear to me right now.
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, I want to thank you for all your time.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Are you getting hold of everybody that —
WILLIAM LINK:
Pretty much —
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

Page 40
DAVID BRENEMAN:
— too much in the thick of it.
WILLIAM LINK:
Did Califano play many—did he intervene very much? Or just kept informed about it, I guess?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, in a sense, he's the kind of guy that intervenes in everything, if he can. I mean [Laughter] —but I think he pro—I don't whose bright idea it was to sort of go to this outcomes approach. You know, the whole philosophy that I've been describing. It may have been him. I don't know. Whoever it was—but I think he certainly supported it. And I think, you know, he was very attuned to the politics of it.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
But he wanted to get the job done, too. I think he wanted to get the case handled and done right. I don't remember any particular ideological picks on it that he had, other than having the thing work out and go well. But I, you know, definitely interested. It wasn't just something that he was, you know, off in another corner ignoring.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah. [interruption]

Page 41
WILLIAM LINK:
Oh, yeah. What was that?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
— not getting into that at all. But he chaired that. And I was a member of that group.
WILLIAM LINK:
What—tell me about that group?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, that was a very fascinating exercise. He chaired that with a very light hand. You know, I think the group was mostly presidents. And it turned out that the real contention there was between Derrick Bach and John Broudermous[?]. And as my memory serves, we met, I don't know, seven or eight times, something like that, banging away on that thing. And we had a poor staff guy, Art Hoffman, trying to write it. And Broudermous and Bach never seemed to come at the same—to the same meeting. I mean, one would be there and the other would be missing. Whoever was missing would then get whatever draft or notes we had and would write a great lengthy tome back saying he totally disagreed with the approach being taken. And it really kind of boiled down to those two guys sparring with each other through the medium of that committee. And never facing each other head on. The basic issue was that, you know, this was supposed to be

Page 42
advice to the incoming president. And Bach wanted to take a kind of stance in which he said, "Yeah"—in which we stated up front, "Yeah, higher education has got a lot of problems." You know, "And we're not doing a number of things terribly well. And, you know, we've got some difficulty in our backyards that we should be working on. And, you know, we acknowledge that and we're going to try to do that. And, you know, we're going to try and do that and, you know, we hope to sort of reestablish a more fruitful partnership with the Federal government in helping, you know, both of our campuses and improve our lot, etcetera." Brademous wanted none of that. And wanted to just lambast the Federal government and lambast the administration for being a bunch of knuckle-heads and, you know, "Get on with it. Let's start pouring the money back into higher education." And I'm oversimplifying obviously but I mean that was sort of the two themes. We'd go back and forth and this poor staffer trying to make sense of it. And then Friday I—my memory of Friday in that position was that he was really kind of quiet and never really ruled with a strong hand. Just kind of let it play itself out. And I was beginning to think the thing was never going to get resolved. We were never going to get a report. And they finally turned it over to a character named Jim Harvey, who was a kind of a paid writer in Washington. He's a

Page 43
wordsmith of a considerable amount of talent. He's the one, for example, who wrote The Nation at Risk Report. And he steps in and salvages reports at the eleventh hour. And turns them into very palatable prose. And somehow we got it—we had reached the point where, you know, the in-house staff guy had just about thrown up his hands and said, "I quit. I can't make sense of this." And somehow they got Harvey in there and sort of covered or smoothed over the differences and got it through. But I don't remember Bill being much of a presence on that one.
WILLIAM LINK:
He was chair of this, though?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Pardon?
WILLIAM LINK:
He was chair of the commission?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah, he was chair of it. But he kind of, you know —
WILLIAM LINK:
Kind of laid back?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Pardon?
WILLIAM LINK:
He laid back on it?

Page 44
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah, he really laid back. He didn't try to steer it or force it at all. And maybe that was smart. I mean, given he was playing with some big egos. Maybe he was smart to do it that way. But he was a little more—you know, I don't know whether it was just age, or a little bit of indifference. I don't know what it was. But he was not a monumental force in that one at all that I can remember.
WILLIAM LINK:
Which committee—tell me the exact name of this commission?
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Oh, I forget exactly. Let's see, it was the—it was the American Counsel on Education, sponsor.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
And it was a report published under the title, A Memo or a Message to the Forty-first President.
WILLIAM LINK:
Oh, I see.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
And it was an ad hoc commission. I mean it was pulled together by ACE, essentially. I think

Page 45
most of the members were sitting presidents, eighteen or nineteen of us.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Something like that. Maybe a little larger. Maybe it was more than that. Maybe it was twenty-five or thirty of us for all I can remember. But we—it was—the people there at ACE, American Counsel on Education, took it very seriously. They were trying to, you know, get something out that would be punchy and readable and sensible and might really have an impact. I mean they really, they carried the wa—I mean, after Bush was elected, I mean, they arranged, I think, to get—a couple of the presidents managed to meet with Bush and pass it on to him personally. And, you know, they really tried to work it. And it's a decent enough report. Nothing earthshaking. But, anyway Bill chaired that. I don't know whether he was terribly active in any of the follow-up. I think he did do some. But it came out, what, right around the—it must have been right around the—it must have been right around just before or after the election, I guess.
WILLIAM LINK:
I see. '88, '89, it was?

Page 46
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Yeah, something like that.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
It was really `89.
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, okay, anything else you'd like to add, or do you think we've —
DAVID BRENEMAN:
No, I think you've got just about everything. More—in fact, you've got more than I thought I could remember.
WILLIAM LINK:
I certainly appreciate your time.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Right. Well, good luck. It should be an interesting book.
WILLIAM LINK:
And I'll send that form along to you.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Good.
WILLIAM LINK:
I appreciate your help.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Thanks.
WILLIAM LINK:
Thanks a lot.

Page 47
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Bye.
WILLIAM LINK:
Bye.
END OF INTERVIEW