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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with David Breneman, May 10, 1991. Interview L-0122. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

HEW's disapproval of and effort to block duplicate programs

Breneman issues the issue of program duplication in HEW's criteria for desegregation. Citing the example of University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T, Breneman explains that some university systems had historically white and historically African American institutions within close proximity to one another that often had duplicate education programs. From HEW's point of view, efforts to create duplicate programs constituted an effort to continue segregation and he explains HEW's efforts to block the practice.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with David Breneman, May 10, 1991. Interview L-0122. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

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 wereߞ
WILLIAM LINK:
Yes.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
ߞ were established. And we were concerned about that. I'm sure we had criterion in there about that. Iߞprobably A&T and Chapel Hill may have been part, you know ߞ
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 basically pushing in that direction. But we were, you know, concerned about it and unsure. I think we had eitherߞeither 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 theߞhad 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 ߞ
DAVID BRENEMAN:
Well, the only thing I remember was we, you know, weߞI 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.
DAVID BRENEMAN:
And sort of, and I think in our view, that had theߞwas 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 thenߞthat ifߞand 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.