Documenting the American South Logo
Loading
Title: Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, April 4, 1990. Interview L-0193. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Scott, Robert W. (Bob), 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: 128 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
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.
2007-10-23, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, April 4, 1990. Interview L-0193. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0193)
Author: William Link
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, April 4, 1990. Interview L-0193. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0193)
Author: Robert W. (Bob) Scott
Description: 177 Mb
Description: 16 p.
Note: Interview conducted on April 4, 1990, by William Link; recorded in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Karen 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.
Editorial practices
An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as "
All em dashes are encoded as —

Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, April 4, 1990.
Interview L-0193. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Scott, Robert W. (Bob), interviewee


Interview Participants

    ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT, interviewee
    WILLIAM LINK, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
WILLIAM LINK:
Like many people that I have talked to what you just said it suggests that you don't really remember the first time that you met Bill Friday, I guess. A lot of people tell me that....
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
I guess that is a fair statement, and on reflection not unusual because Bill Friday has been here a long time. He is just been a part of the education scene in North Carolina. Of course, as President of the University, a very prominent part of that scene. But it is not like someone having been recruited in from out-of-state with some fanfare, and so on. And the truth of the matter is that Bill Friday became President of the University at an age, at a young age, and many of the people that were instrumental in bringing that about are no longer on the scene, so they are not able to remember those little bits.
WILLIAM LINK:
I have been finding that out — very few people left.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yes, so — I was — Bill Friday had already finished N.C. State and had gone into the service and I guess he really was back before I graduated from N.C. State. He went on to law school, of course, from State, but I was not — did not know him at that time. My first...
WILLIAM LINK:
Excuse me, what class were you in at State?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
I was in the Class of '52, or '53 actually. I graduated at Christmas of '52, and that threw me in the following years —'53 — as the graduating class. I was one of the few people that had their senior picture in the yearbook for two years. [Laughter] Because I thought that I was going to graduate in the Class of '52, with the other guys, but I was a transfer student from Duke, and consequently I had to have some make-up courses in order to have the requirements for my degree. I had to get those in summer school, and go an additional quarter in the fall. We were on the quarter system back then, so that put me in the Class of '53, when I actually got my diploma, which incidentally I have got somewhat unique situation of having the diploma signed by my father, and I guess Bill Friday. I'm not sure when he became the President of the University.
WILLIAM LINK:
In 1956...
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
So, I guess that was Gordon Gray.
WILLIAM LINK:
Your first, I guess substantial, experience with him was with him was as Governor or Lt. Governor?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Well, as Governor. I am sure that I had conversations with him when I was Lt. Governor. Bill Friday would have been concerned with any legislation and, as a matter of fact I know that he was, it was during that period of time when the effort was being made to establish a medical school at East Carolina University, which created a great deal of controversy. There was the so-called "name change fight" at N.C. State University, when they were going through all kinds of contortions about changing the name of the University. So those issues, in addition to the budget matters would have caused Bill Friday to be around the legislature. But, I don't recall any significant conversations or events during that period of time that made a particularly lasting impression on me, it was just normal routine contacts that one would have as Lt. Governor, with those who are concerned with legislative matters. Back in those days, University — well, R. D. McMillan, who was their sort of a lobbyist — but Bill

Page 2
Friday came frequently. Because he had the respect of legislators. When his presence was needed he would be there. He was also —my impression, he was also very effective on the telephone. This is true not only during that period of time but indeed all during his career as president of the university. He apparently made use of the telephone quite a bit, calling friends and supporters of the universities throughout the state to marshall support for their causes, and political and civic leaders. He was very effective in of that.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was he — did he have a certain style of lobbying, when he would use the telephone, did he have a lot of face-to-face contact?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Well, I think his style was always very low-key. He never gave evidence of being upset or frustrated, although I'm sure he must have been on any number of occasions. Perhaps it was his legal training that enabled him to be so effective. He could disagree with you, but it would always be in a very pleasant way. He — in my opinion was that he always had very strong facts to support his position and made use of those in a factual way. He did not try to emotionalize issues, but rather did it in a lawyerly and scholarly way. I think legislators in another opinion makers responded to that positively. It is also my impression that he was very effective in getting support from the editors of newspapers in the state. Again, by the use of the telephone, so I am told, he would talk with the editors of the major papers, and they responded positively to that because they felt like that, "Well, here is the head of the University talking with me and asking my opinion, and giving me a little inside information." You know, and that kind of thing.
WILLIAM LINK:
So he would take them into his confidence and —
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, take them into his confidence, and that probably helped it in his editorial opinions that generally were supportive of the University. I felt that he was much better at that than I was. I'd get upset with the editors, and I would not give them the time of day. He didn't let things — although like I said, I'm sure that he got upset — he didn't let that interfere with what needed to be done. He would deal with people in a way that if they didn't agree with him, it certainly deluded or diminished their opposition in a lot of ways.
WILLIAM LINK:
So he never let disagreements or differences of opinion get personal, but yet —
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
That's right and another way we would express that, I guess is that he didn't burn his bridges. He always left the room open — you would always be willing to talk with him—you always felt like even though I don't agree with him on this, I will listen to him and he would always listen. He was very approachable, and folks responded to that very well. He was an effective leader, there is no doubt about it. Not in a highly visible way always, but exceptionally effective behind the scenes. Of course, his role as president caused him to be visible many times and, on appropriate occasions, he would speak out and so forth. But, he wasn't always sounding off about every little issue that came down the road. He had his priorities, he chose them carefully, and he stuck with them. My impression is he didn't dilute his energies with second- and third- and fourth-priority stuff.
WILLIAM LINK:
He was very careful, very organized?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Very organized. Again, I think that is probably legal training, and he was very structured in his approach to administrative affairs at the University.
WILLIAM LINK:
He seems to have, along with this other aspect of this network that you just described—the support in the press, the support with the system, wide respect the public opinion — seems to also have had a firm foundation with the business community.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yes, the same way. And, you know, one should say that he worked at it—and he did work at that network and in keeping it, you know, very strong and so on. But I think that it was almost second nature to him. It probably was not a chore for him to do that. It came natural to him. And that even made

Page 3
it more effective, people sense that it wasn't a concerted effort, that he didn't have a hidden agenda—that was just Bill Friday. And when I, during the years that I knew him —his style—he always seemed optimistic and, oh yeah, he would talk to you about concerns he had, and maybe budget difficulties or something of that sort, but in those situations he was generally looking for solution and feeling optimistic that it would be found in some way, whatever the problem might be. And he was always cheerful.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was there ever any conflict between the integrity—that what everyone seems to say about him, that he has a very high sense of integrity—and his working behind the scenes? For example, was there ever any sense that if he said one thing you could depend on him—or, I mean, was there ever any conflict there, at all?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh, no, I never sensed that. I never had the least inkling that he might have been saying one thing and taking one position and doing something else. No, and as far as I'm concerned, I agree with everyone else about his integrity. It was solid and __________.
WILLIAM LINK:
He was pretty dependable in terms of?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, you generally knew where he was coming from. Now, he was able to go out in working behind the scenes, if you happened to be on the opposite side of the fence on a particular issue, he was very effective and skilled in working behind the scenes, and therefore it was difficult to know just exactly how much progress he was making. It wasn't like he was highly visible. You had an opponent out there, but he was very low-key and elusive and difficult to target, if you will. Nothing sinister or hidden about it, it was just an effective way of doing business. And again, during the legislative battle over restructuring the university system, you knew that the opposition was building, and you knew that he was working, but it was hard to pinpoint exactly where he was and what he was doing.
WILLIAM LINK:
That was part of his political skill?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh sure, yeah, and plus his style, you know that's just his style. Bill was a—if I might go back and just give you a little bit of background on this, as to why this all came about. The General Assembly in previous sessions, of course, had gone through the political battles of establishing a medical school at East Carolina University. The business of instant universities in which the former—well, the baccalaureate degree and masters degree in institutions were certainly and suddenly granted university in title, and it got ridiculous, really in the legislature. Everybody that I knew said that there's to be a better way.
WILLIAM LINK:
This was the result of political influence on the part the regional colleges becoming universities?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
That is correct, that is right, and part of all that was the political fight about the name change at North Carolina State University.
WILLIAM LINK:
How was that connected?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Well, the alumni at N.C. State, you know, wanted something different from what the University wanted and so forth. So they just went directly to the legislature and fought it out.
WILLIAM LINK:
Yeah, so once the precedent had been established for getting political about higher education, you do other things?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, sure. Then the, you had the Consolidated University at that time consisting of first four, and then six institutions, going with a budget, then the others coming and fighting their own budget battles in the legislature, and the legislators were getting weary of that, you know. Having to, you know, form coalitions. That is to say, the people from the Elizabeth City are those supporting the black institutions —would have to form coalitions with others in order to get what they wanted and whatever. So, the people, the legislators got a little weary about it, and then the public began to say, you know, that this is ridiculous when they saw the legislature granting University titles to

Page 4
all the institutions. When I came on board as Governor, by law I was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Consolidated University, and so I presided at their meetings. It was largely a big head position, because the Governor didn't have time to deal with the issues. He simply went to the meetings, presided, and so forth. The real work of the University was done by an Executive Committee, which was a very powerful group, tightly held and jealously guarded their prerogatives as the Executive Committee of the University. I got the Legislature to name the Governor, which, in my case was me, as the Chairman of the Board of Higher Education. Now the Board of Higher Education had the responsibility of a coordinating function, not a governing function, but a coordinating function for all the other institutions outside of the University. That is, the four-year institutions—the Pembrokes, the Appalachian, and all of the others. Now, there was an editorial criticism that I was trying to get a power grab—nothing wrong with me being Chairman of the University Board of Trustees, but didn't see any reason for me to be the Chairman of the Board of Higher Education. Well, my reasoning there was that why should the Governor give his time and attention just to the four institutions, or six that were in the Consolidated University. Why shouldn't the Governor give his time and attention also to the other institutions in the system? Again, this was a matter of perception on the part of the supporters of the university, and they just didn't want the Governor giving that kind of attention to the others. I said that the Governor is responsible for all of higher education in North Carolina, not just the four institutions in the university system. Anyway, that came about, and I sat on that Board and was much more, by the very nature of it hands-on and involved with Higher Education Board, which was largely a coordinating and planning board. Much more so that the University Board which was run by the Executive Committee, and the 100-person Board of Trustees. Now the other Trustee really didn't have that much to do with it, because with a 100-person Board, you know there is not much that you can do. So after looking at what was happening in the legislature, Bill Friday and, of course I went to work with him, as president of the University because I was Chairman of the Board of the University. Dr. Cameron West, who was the Staff Director, the Executive Director of the Board of Higher Education, and as Chairman of that Board, I worked with him. Well, I began to hear from the Board of Higher Education and Dr. West and from the University folks and Bill Friday that there has got to be a better way to do this that what we are having in North Carolina. Well, it occurred to me, finally that okay, if I have the two top professionals, Bill Friday and Cam West, saying the same thing, then maybe the time has come to try and do something. I began to mull it over in my mind, and I would talk to each one of them individually and there was no plan, no concept really, but I finally put together a group, and we began to talk about how this might occur. Well, Bill Friday agreed that we needed to do something to bring them all together in some way. So did Cam West. The trick was how to do it, and as we—as this effort evolved, and we—finally got to the plan that was put before the legislature, that was when we began to have differences of opinion about how it ought to be done, not what should be done, but how it should be done.
WILLIAM LINK:
Bill Friday agreed in principle.... This was 1970, 1969?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yes, '69, '70. You know, it wasn't a thing that we all got in the room and said that you know.....
WILLIAM LINK:
Just conversation?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Just a lot of conversation and discussion about it.
WILLIAM LINK:
He agreed that there.....
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, he agreed and he was very much involved in those areas, I think. Of course, Bill Friday worked for the University and that Executive Committee was powerful. When they took the position, no we are not going to do this, Bill Friday had no choice. He had to support their position.

Page 5
WILLIAM LINK:
Even though that was—
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Or else your top chief would have to resign, and Bill Friday is not the kind of person that's gonna—if he is going to stay with them, he is going to do what the Board says for him to do. He is just that type of person. I have no doubt that he probably had honest differences of what actually evolved. But the fact that we needed to do something—no, he supported that and always has, otherwise I wouldn't have tried it to begin with. Anyhow, you know the outcome of it, but that was some of the background of it. And Bill opposed it very effectively, and again he was using that network of the alumni and friends of the University. They were the leaders in the state, but politically what the University had failed to realize was two things. First of all, they didn't really think that we could get it done and didn't really get concerned about it until almost the 11th hour, and we had already laid too much groundwork for it and had marshalled public opinion through the bully pulpit—the Governor's Office, you know, we need to do something and that kind of thing. Then the University leadership of the alumni, and the Executive Committee of the Trustees, and so forth suddenly realized that this might actually happen. But it was a little too late then. That was the first thing. Then the second thing that they failed to realize—or well maybe they realized it, but there wasn't anything that they could do about it—was that the in recent years there had been graduates of other institutions; regional colleges, East Carolina, Appalachian, and so forth, that had moved into the positions of Legislative leadership and were there also. They didn't have that loyalty to Chapel Hill that some of the others did and N.C. State, of course had their folks out. And, it wasn't intended this way at all but it sort of became everybody against Chapel Hill because Chapel Hill was leading the fight against it, and the University Board of Trustees, with its Executive Committee, and this was Mr. Bryant and Mr. Hill and others who were very influential and powerful people. You know, even though they were the Board over N.C. State, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, it was perceived to be just Chapel Hill. And a lot of N.C. State people and UNCG people felt like that was indeed the case, and it would be better off under some kind of other structure that will dilute that concentration of influence on the Chapel Hill campus.
WILLIAM LINK:
I get the feeling that, on the part of Charlotte, Greensboro and especially State, the Board of the Consolidated University forces are really Chapel Hill forces, which is what you just said exactly, and that at least on a very subdued level many people wouldn't have been unhappy if anything changed.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh yes, that is exactly right, and I knew that back in those days, I guess my political antenna were sharper than they are now, and I sense that, and I knew to be the case. In the end, it translated into a final victory. But, it was not without its cost, in that the original proposal we had was, you know, it was modified and amended and so forth. I didn't think that we ought to have a Board of Governors as large as they have. I thought it to be more effective if it had 15 or 20. Well, when you have a shotgun marriage, you know, you have to bring a lot of people in to get the support of the Republicans, we had to agree to put minorities on the boards, to get the support of the blacks, we had to agree, to get the support of women, we had to do that. You know all of those were political compromises.
WILLIAM LINK:
You made trade-offs?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, oh yeah. That is the art of legislation.
WILLIAM LINK:
One of the interesting features of the final package, as it emerged—and it was one of the important parts of your original proposal, or one of the proposals—was the creation of local boards of trustees. What was the rationale behind that; I mean, was it a way to hold the regionals in?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yes, to hold the regionals in, and also the feeling that, you know, getting local support for the college. At Appalachian, a sense of ownership, if you will, and support. I felt like we needed, you know, some local input,

Page 6
although there was no guarantee that the trustees from the local colleges were to be local people, necessarily, I mean a lot of times they are not. But, generally an alumni of that school who love it and will support it. I felt that was important in raising money for those institutions and to advise the chancellor—not unlike one would have a local bank board, where you have got your "Big Board at Wachovia," and every bank has got their little advisory board, and it was somewhat like that. They would have their ties to the community. But that was basically to bring those people in.
WILLIAM LINK:
Let's go back to the structure of the Consolidated University and some of the—what, in retrospect, might have been flaws in that structure, before restructuring. The Executive Committee seems to have been dominated by a fairly small group of people who had been there for a long time. Is that—I guess that is now 20 years later, that is my impression.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh yes, oh no question about it. Yes.
WILLIAM LINK:
Victor Bryant and Watts Hill and ....
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yes, they ran and they dominated it. I'm not sure about this. I don't believe that there was any rotation. I mean, you know if you could get reappointed, you know you stayed there. That is why on this new structure we set up a rotation type thing. It was longer than I wanted it to be, but again that was something we —
WILLIAM LINK:
That was deliberately, in deliberate response to the old problems that....
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
To break that up, and I said, "Well, you know if you can't get rid of them, they have got to die someday and then we will replace them." That's why I often said that it would be sometime before we know if this new system is going to function effectively or not, there has to be some retirements and some funerals before we will ever know. So it did take some time.
WILLIAM LINK:
What kind of person was Victor Bryant?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Again, a gentleman who, of course, was an attorney, and he would never, you know, his demeanor was well just that—a southern gentleman, very courtly, and not given to the street-brawl approach. But, again, being an attorney and haven been on the Executive Committee for the University for a long time, had a lot of contacts around all over the state, and he, too could pull some strings with leadership, and so on. Watts Hill for the same reason.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was it the case, however, that they were pulling string with the [unclear] . The University—it had been long been taken for granted that the University of North Carolina got what it wanted in the legislature. In the end, they knew they would lose the political battle, or at least knew they would have to make a significant compromise. Is that rooted in the perhaps partial erosion of the power of old Consolidated University and loyalty?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
I'm sorry, I don't follow your question.
WILLIAM LINK:
Well, I am wondering—you may have already said this, but I am wondering whether the University of North Carolina in the '60s is beginning to lose its clout in the Legislature.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh yes. Yes, I think so. Again, over the years the University has a long and noble and honored tradition, and it was from the University that the professionals were graduated. The doctors, the lawyers, the teachers, to some extent those, that is those who went on with the graduate to get their doctorates. And these people are out all over the state and were the leaders in the communities and the state leaders, with the exception of those who went to Wake Forest, and some went to Duke, who were not involved in this fight, they were members of the legislative group for generations. Well, following World War II, that began to erode and, there were other people in leadership roles who did not attend the university who consequently didn't have those loyalties. An example: Bob Scott was elected Governor and he didn't go to the University at Chapel Hill. I want to make clear, I don't think that there was any plot in saying that we're out to get, we are going to break up this cartel. I am

Page 7
convinced that there was no concentrated effort in that with that in mind. It was just the feeling that, well, you know, the University is not all powerful and all be all. There are other things to consider. I believe that the University leadership was not aware that this condition, this environment existed. Otherwise, when we first talked, they would have mount a campaign to stop it right then. I don't think they really felt they would get very far with it. You see, I had precedent on my side. The University at Chapel Hill, the Chapel Hill campus, really, under, what was it, Governor Morrison, they made the first round of consolidation that brought N.C. State, Chapel Hill, and Greensboro under one board. He did it for the same reasons that I was doing it. If you will go back and read the history of that time, it was an economy move in an effort to get planning and coordination. And the rationale that the Governor used at that time to propose it—and, of course, he was a University graduate and was able to convince those folks that was the thing to do —and so there was precedent for doing this. Then beyond that they had taken in two more campuses, Asheville and Wilmington and Charlotte [that's three more campuses!!] so it wasn't like it was the first time that—all I said was, "Let's just open up the umbrella a little wider and bring these others in." Well, that was my logic. The answer to that was, of course, "The ones that have been brought in are your major institutions. We're not bringing in the Pembrokes." Of course, politically again, I used it effectively. I was saying to the black leaders, "They don't want any of their black institutions in a Consolidated University." Those, you know—again it was a purely, got to be a purely political fight, and I played the political game. Unfortunately, the education aspect of the whole issue was set aside, as it so often is. Education and all of that had nothing to do with it. It got down to books and the legislature. [Laughter] The merits of the issue were long since put aside. But, I want to make one other observation about once it happened. I am going back to Bill Friday. I said then and I have said repeatedly since, it is one thing to pass legislation that created this system, it a quite another thing to make it work. I doubt very much it would have worked, if it had been anybody else there other than Bill Friday. Once it was done, and as hard as he opposed it, he accepted the fact and again he was trained in the law and he accepted that, and he made it work. And I knew that it would be a number of years when the jury would still be out before the verdict was in whether it would work or not. But it was a very difficult thing. It was a highly emotional issue. Many scars with a lot of blood on the floor, and he had the job of taking this truly, this shotgun marriage, and everybody is suspicious of everybody else, to make it work. And, again, his demeanor and his method of operation and so forth, and his skills with dealing with people came into play at a good time. And I doubt—I just don't know if anyone else could have done it or not. So I give Bill Friday credit for taking that tremendous challenge and making it effective. I will always admire and respect him for that.
WILLIAM LINK:
Let me just see if I can get his position straight on this, though, going all the way back to 1969-70. He originally favored a multi-campus arrangement.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Well, that was my perception of it.
WILLIAM LINK:
That was what he said to you?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
That was the impression that I had, because he was searching for a way—it was sort of embarrassing to the state, to the people of the state, what was happening in the legislature and all of these other things.
WILLIAM LINK:
Embarrassing nationally?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, I think so, particularly among educational circles.
WILLIAM LINK:
The confusion between this basically irrational system where you have the University and all of these other institutions....
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, and again, you know all of these folks around over the country would say, "You mean you've made your teacher colleges, universities? You've got

Page 8
all universities now—how many universities do you have down there in that state?" Well, "university" the term, I think, has been diluted over a period of time all across the country. But back then you thought about of a university as being an N.C. State or UNC-Chapel Hill, maybe Greensboro, but not much else.
WILLIAM LINK:
And so he would go to national meetings and perhaps hear some of this?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Well, I am sure that he did, and ....
WILLIAM LINK:
And you heard about it as Governor?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh, yeah. I was Chairman of the Education Commission of the States. People would say, "Well, what is going on?" [Laughter] But, again, Bill at that time, to my knowledge, had no pre-conceived plan to—I do remember saying to him and to Cam West and others, I said, "Well, look at the University of Georgia." They have a structure in place like we have got now, or they had a very small board and I said, "It looks like we could have something like that. I don't see why that wouldn't work up here." And, of course, Bill knew far more what was going on across the country in higher education than I did. There were some other key actors in there. Lindsay Warren, from Goldsboro—a statesman if there ever was one. Lindsay was a University man and so on, he was constantly trying to find a middle ground. You had Senator Russell Kirby—he was another key person in there from Wilson. Of course, Pat Taylor, who was Lt. Governor. All of them, I guess Senator Kirby was, I know that Lindsay and Taylor were University graduates and went to Law School there. They were all lawyers. So these people had key roles, of course, at that time Representative Ike Andrews from Chatham County, Pittsboro or Siler City, and he was the House leader. He was a Chapel Hill graduate. He led the fight against it in the House, and damned near beat us. That's where the one vote —he was smooth in his maneuvering.
WILLIAM LINK:
He was on the Executive Committee, also?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
He may have been, I don't remember. Of course, Senator John Burney led the fight against it. In the Senate, I think John did that. You need to talk to him. I'm not sure, I think John was a Wake Forest graduate. But, Addison Hewlett, at that time former Speaker of the House, living in Wilmington —he's dead now—he was very much opposed to it and Addison was a political leader down there, and I suspect that he got John to fight it. Once John took something on he went in it tooth and comb.
WILLIAM LINK:
John Burney was from the Southeast region?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
He is from Wilmington, still there. He practices law down there.
WILLIAM LINK:
Tell me a little bit more about the Board of Higher Education, what kind of person was Cameron West? He seems to have been a very able person.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, Cam has a good mind. He is retired, by the way, and lives in Raleigh now. Cam was—has a very keen mind, but Cam also had the street smarts as far as politics were concerned, as did Bill Friday. I think that my perception was that Cam might have been a little more tuned to practical politics. And Cam came up through the education turf. He was a high school principal, coach, and Superintendent of the Schools, then went into higher education, and all of that, as opposed to Bill's background. Cam was from eastern North Carolina, and I came to know him on the Board of Higher Education. And Cam was persuasive and effective in this effort, and I guess in terms, in retrospect, in terms of—I talked to both Cam and Bill frequently. Cam probably had a little more influence on me in shaping my thinking—I don't know, maybe that is not the right word. I followed his suggestions more. Now, Bill's office was over in Chapel Hill, and you know I saw Cam more often than I did Bill. Cam's offices were here in town and, I guess, in a sense, we were together more. Plus the fact in working with the Board of Higher Education, that was a monthly meeting, as opposed to the University Board, which is quarterly. The University Board being 100 people and, you know, it was more or less a perfunctory type of thing for me to be running. I was more involved with

Page 9
the work of the Board of Higher Education. And these—Watts Hill, Jr. was very active on that Board, and Watts had influence on me, I liked him. He had an excellent mind with respect to higher education issues. Then they had representatives on there, if you will, from the regional universities. As Governor, I appointed my political opponent, John—Jack Stickley from Charlotte, who ran against me for Governor on the Republican ticket. I appointed him to that Board. They had good staff work. I am sure that the University did too, but again, see, I wasn't involved in that. I guess what I am saying, then—and I hadn't really thought about it until you raised the question—being more involved hands-on with the work of the Board of Higher Education—and the Board of Higher Education had the broad, state-wide view —I was more attuned to what their thinking, and their feeling, and their philosophy was. Also that probably helped me to realize that, you know, the University's position or power, historically and traditionally, probably was not as great as they perceived it to be.
WILLIAM LINK:
So this was an educational experience for you?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh yeah, oh yeah, and that was my rationale for asking the Legislature to name the chairman of that board, so that I could get that overall picture. Because over at Chapel Hill there is a Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University. I was only getting their side of the picture, and I felt that it was important that I get this other view.
WILLIAM LINK:
Were you appointed—the move to get you appointed to the as Chair of the Board of Higher Education—was that your idea?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
I think so, as I recall.
WILLIAM LINK:
Growing out of your experience on the Board of Trustees and feeling isolated?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Cameron West and Bill Friday—the match up there seems to be interesting.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Let me nail down one thing very quickly. They were both educational professionals and they were both good, solid men with keen minds, and they both respected each other. And they agreed on many things. On this particular issue, they just simply disagreed on how it ought to be done. They are all agreeing that, you know, that we have got to something to bring some order out of this chaos. And, you know, I think, there was one idea floating around that to make the State Board of Higher Education the—make it stronger, just increase their powers a little bit, and so on. Well, that didn't resolve the issue about the University, they were still over here, and I'm not sure that the Board of Higher Education would have been able to effectively formulate the policy for the university system or not, as long as that board sat there. As long as there was an Executive Committee. So there were all kinds of scenarios that were discussed.
WILLIAM LINK:
Originally, Cameron West —there was sort of an informal understanding that Cameron West was to be brought into the system?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh yes, it's like a merger of two giant corporations. What are you going to do with the management? Who is going to be Chairman and who is going to be CEO? And who is going to be the President and the Chief Operating Officer, and you know —oh yeah. We were all concerned with the Board of Higher Education going out of business. What was the staff going to do? We were able to place some of them around—I'd say that they found their own places—but we brought Cam in as—this was part of the understanding, if you will. Cameron would go there for awhile, and, of course, he did. But, you know, it was a shotgun marriage, and there was just not a good working environment so Cam moved onto the State of Illinois. But when you had two people that had fought that battle—and as hard as it was bought—one couldn't expect, I don't think, a real close working —
WILLIAM LINK:
And it was primarily a result of that battle? They got along okay before?

Page 10
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
As far as I know. I say as far as I know they did—I really don't know. I have no reason to think they didn't. Incidentally, the —I had something that I was going to say and it has totally slipped my mind right now. I will think of it later.
WILLIAM LINK:
I was going to ask you about the black institutions and their role in all of this. Politically they have a role to play, in the fight. They are also presumably went through a period in which their upgrading their facilities, becoming generally better educational. They are becoming more prominent in the political scene, more concerned, the whole question of racial relations, of course.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
You have got to remember that at that period of time—that was a very tense time, in terms of racial relations. As Governor I had to send the National Guard into A&T, and, of course, the students barricaded the building at Chapel Hill. We didn't sent the Guard in, we sent the Highway Patrol. But, the Vietnam War, the Youth Revolution, as it were, the whole civil rights issue, a lot of demonstrations, there was confrontation. So, the black institutions were very sensitive to what was happening around the state at that time.
WILLIAM LINK:
When the Warren Commission, or the Warren Committee, deliberates, black institutions seemed to play a pivotal role in swinging behind, in the end, a fairly strong restructuring proposal.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
They did, and in fact again, I doubt it would have happened without their support. You know, I use the political model in explaining this. I say," Well, you know a particular group, such as the blacks or the white regional institutions say, 'If it hadn't been for us it would not have happened.' That is true, but if it hadn't been for the others, it would not have happened either. You have got a pie out here and to get the whole pie, you have to have all of the pieces, and if any one of them had of pulled out their support, you wouldn't have had the whole thing." So, yes, they did play a political role, but so did a lot of others. You see what I'm getting at? All of the pieces have to be together.
WILLIAM LINK:
This is part of a larger puzzle.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
That's right.
WILLIAM LINK:
You have suggested that the political battle for restructuring was fierce, very intense. The University went all out—kind of a "holy war" was the term, I suppose, used by Victor Bryant. You went all out.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh yeah, and that is why I got to be political. You know, the educational merits [unclear] were very much on the back burner. It was a question of who was going to win. I had the meeting with the Board and we went into Executive Session and I remember very well, we got—let's see, we got the leadership group over there, and we went off into another room, and I sat there on the desk and I said, "Now, what we're going to do"—they had said that they were not going to accept it, and I said it is going to be done and I have a few green stamps, and I'll use them, I'll cash them in. That's when I knew more than ever where the real power lay, and it was with that Executive Committee. And of course, it was the good office of the Governor versus the good offices of the Executive Committee of the University, and we then went all out politically. It was like trying to get any major issue of legislation passed. We identified the key votes, and we went to work on them politically, in getting friends and supporters back home to call them, as well as using the influence of the Governor's office. It passed the Senate and went to the House. And, well—before that I could tell that we probably weren't going to get it through the regular session of the legislature. The legislature leadership didn't want it to get tied up with—all of the other issues were being pushed aside because of this, and they did have things that they needed to get done. So I was worrying about whether or not I had the votes to do it, and so I agreed to have in a special session, and so they did come back to town. What they wanted to do—what the legislature—nobody knew whether they had the votes—the other

Page 11
side or me—it was still unclear. They really wanted to delay it, because they knew that I was going out of office, and that, you know, they could get it held over to the next legislature then it wouldn't be any problem. So I told them, "No, we are going to have a special session and to deal with it." Well, we did, and it passed the Senate, and it got to the House, and as—you probably know that story—it passed and was sent to the Enrolling Office, and everybody thought it was done, and they went home. Well the procedure is the next day it has to, after it has gone to the Enrolling Office, and they ratify it, and it has to come back for a just a vote of ratification. Well that's a perfunctory type thing—everybody thought that the deal was over and then went home, and through a parliament maneuver, Representative Andrews recalled it, got it recalled from the Enrolling Office. You see, what you do is you get somebody who voted for it to say, "I want to reconsider, and I am the one who voted for it and I want to reconsider it, and so forth," and they make the move to recall it from the Enrolling Office. They got that done and called the bill back. Well, I got word of what was happening, and I would like to have had some stock in the telephone company that night, because we started—got on the telephone and started getting our folks to come back to town, you have got to come back. We sent the Highway Patrol after them. If anyone said, "I can't get back up there," well, we got them back up there. And of course, we didn't worry about the opponents. We pulled every maneuver we could think of to get them there. And so that was when it was voted on again, and passed by one vote.
WILLIAM LINK:
That was a final vote?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
That was the final vote, yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
So, you knew it was real close.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
I should have known. I knew enough about parliamentary procedure, but you can't keep the legislators there when they decide they want to go home. And they were caught off guard. And I was, too.
WILLIAM LINK:
Through this period, through this special session, what kind of communication are you having with the university forces, consolidated university forces—was there much negotiation going on?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Naw. Well, I say there wasn't. As the bill worked through the committee process, Senator Russell Kirby was the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Higher Education Committee, and of course, they would debate, you know, the trade-offs. The size of the Board, and whether or not minorities would, you know, be guaranteed seats. Those kinds of issues. But in terms of my sitting down with Bill Friday or with the Executive Committee, something like that, we didn't—I don't recall that we did that. Bill and I would talk—I mean, he's the kind of man, you know, he doesn't destroy his lines of communication. And it may have been, I just don't recall that, you know, he would talk to me about, "Well, what about if we do this or that?" I don't recall that, it may have happened.
WILLIAM LINK:
But you did have communication with his office or with him?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh, as far as I know, it wasn't really any problem about that. I might, you know, I knew that the problem was with the problem wasn't Bill Friday; the problem was that Executive Committee. They had cornered Bill Friday. I know what it was I was going to tell you now. This is just a little side bar. Okay, once it was done, all right legally, the system as we had it was out of business, and we had created a new system, and the new system had to hire a president. And Bill Friday was no longer the president. And I don't know—I knew better. I knew that they were going to hire him again, and that didn't bother me, you know. But I called my good friend, Cotton Robinson, who's dead now—his brother, Jay Robinson, is at the University now. Cotton used to be out at N.C. State and had gone to Michigan, to the University of Michigan as Vice President, or Dean of —anyway, very high official there. And Cotton had told me two or three times that he hoped to come back to North Carolina. He'd

Page 12
like to—this is where he wanted to be. So I called Cotton and I said, "Look a-here, we are looking for a president of a university down here." And of course he had followed all of this in the paper, it was the talk all over the country. I said, "They are going to be naming a new president, how about you applying?" So he did. And they brought him down and interviewed him over at the mansion. Of course Cotton knew, in fact he had told me on the phone, he said, "They are not going to hire me, they are going to hire Bill Friday. But," he said, "if you want to go through the motions, I'll get me a free trip to North Carolina." So, he came down, and he eventually became President of Western Carolina. He retired and died not too long ago. But, we just went through that little exercise there.
WILLIAM LINK:
Everybody knew that Bill Friday was going to get the job.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh, sure, yeah...He had the support—see, the new Board was still dominated by Carolina people. In fact, as you know Roddy Jones, the current Chairman was the first, I think—unless it was Wayne Corpening. Wayne, I believe, graduated from N.C. State, but Roddy was an East Carolina man. So, you know, that's the reason I said that it would have to be some time. See, those people that went on the Board representing the University—they dominated it, still, for a number of years.
WILLIAM LINK:
At what point, just going back to the Spring of '71, do you have a program that you want to run with—is it the Warren Commission's findings? Is that plan pretty much what you had in mind?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Well, I was willing to use that as a starting point. Yeah, and I was willing to take that and start with it, knowing that in the legislative process that, you know, anything could happen, and that it would probably come out differently that what they had proposed. Because you have your very special interests groups getting in there. And it's just like this morning, when I was listening about the Congress finally passing their Environmental Clean Air Act. You have got your environmentals on one side and your business community on the other, and you're rallying some type of compromise and nobody is really that happy with it, totally. But that is the way that it is. And so—we didn't have any plan and we had to start with something, and the Warren Commission report was a beginning point. Gosh, that has been long ago, now—I don't have total recall like some people do, and I'm not sure that I remember the details of it now, the way that it was originally. But, again, I don't think that the University leaders, the Executive Committee, University Elders that were shakers and movers, got real concerned about it at that point, because the Warren Commission were good and noble people, and they felt that, you know, that they could guide it through and come out with something that they could live with. And they didn't really—until they got over there actually in the Legislature, that's when they began to realize, "Hey, we can't live with this."
WILLIAM LINK:
They realized that they had a problem with that?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah.
WILLIAM LINK:
Let's talk a little bit more about something you raised earlier and that is what happened in 1969 with the strike at Chapel Hill. The cafeteria strike. Tell me a little bit more about the background of that and your role in sending in the state police, particularly vis-a-vis, in regard to your relationship with Bill Friday? In 1969, when the cafeteria strikes threatened with violence—it was presumably in response to that that you sent the state police in.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, the— It was the cafeteria workers who were striking for working conditions and salaries, and so forth, and the students took up their cause. It wasn't student-originated to begin with. It so happens that the leader of the cafeteria workers was from Alamance County, my home county. And our family knew her family—I did not know her personally. My uncle, Ralph Scott, who is dead now, was very active in the Legislature at that time and in the Senate. He knew this family, and he established a line of

Page 13
communication with this lady, and so he served as a conduit with the cafeteria workers, to me, and that is where the communication was. It wasn't with me to Bill Friday, or to the University. And really, this brings up another point here about this whole business of the University's Executive Committee role. That was a Chapel Hill campus issue, not a Consolidated University issue so much. And yet, everyone you know perceives that I should have been dealing with Bill Friday, when I should have been dealing with the chancellor of the—Carlyle Sitterson. But the truth of the matter is, well as far as the cafeteria workers, we were, I was negotiating through my uncle, State Senator Ralph Scott. When the students took up the cause, then, of course, it escalated, and they—really, before we knew anything about it, they took over this building and barricaded it and so forth. There wasn't any real communication, as I recall, between me and Chancellor Sitterson. I dealt mostly with the law enforcement officers on the scene, or my staff did, and it began to get ugly, and so I sent the Highway Patrol over there with—there were SBI agents over there. In fact, one of the guys who later worked on my security detail—this is always a little humorous thing with me. His name is Mike Frye, and Mike was sent over there as a sort of undercover agent who looked like a student and so forth, and they found out who he was and they named "Agent of the Week" [Laughter] The students did. [Laughter] But anyway, I sent the patrol in there, and the University didn't like that. It was just...
WILLIAM LINK:
Infringing on its authority?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Yeah, but the Chapel Hill Police Force and the Campus Security—it was much smaller than as it is now, and they just had never really had anything like that before, and they didn't know how to cope with it. Couldn't cope with it, they didn't have the resources to cope with it.
WILLIAM LINK:
How did the decision to send the state police in, did that come from local people on the scene, SBI people on the scene?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
No, it came from—only I could do that.
WILLIAM LINK:
Was it based on—what was it based on?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Their recommendation. Well, the basic point was, are we going to leave those students up there or are we going to get them out of the building? nd sentiment in the state at that time—a governor, I don't care who it is, it is always sensitive to the politics of any situation, and a lot of people felt like, you know, are you going to let the students run the University and take it over—you know, who is in control here? The University being—any university, not just Chapel Hill—the, you know, the academic environment and so forth was such that you don't talk things out, and you reason together, and so forth. As opposed to the hard-nosed, hard-hat approach. And the perception was that the University wasn't doing anything about it. It costs the taxpayers and so forth. And what the hell you doing? Anyway, I made the decision. And the same thing at A&T, when I sent the National Guard in, and there was some great consternation that I did not communicate and talk with Chancellor Dowdy. I just made the decision. The Greensboro Police officer had gotten shot. The Greensboro City Police Officer had gotten shot and they were taking over the top floor dorm—which was, ironically, the Scott Dorm, named after my Dad. Fortunately, the student body had gone home for vacation, but that was the longest night that I ever spent because I knew that the Guard was there, and they were waiting for my decision, and I was trying to get all of the information I could. The Chancellor didn't have any communication with the students that were holed up in that dorm. So, essentially, it became a military operation. When I found out that they were firing from the dorm windows and—the students were and—and I was getting all of the information that I could and so we decided somewhere during the night, around midnight or so, that we needed to go in and just get those students out of there, and that is when it became a military operation. We decided to wait until dawn to do it—and went in. Fortunately, nobody got killed. I have said it before—I really mean

Page 14
that. It could have been bad, we were just lucky, in a situation like that. But, again, I didn't communicate, you know, with them. In retrospect now, I suspect that I would have—you know, at least told them what I had planned to do.
WILLIAM LINK:
There was no condition of Bill Friday's office, or local?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Not that I can recall. Not by me.
WILLIAM LINK:
After the fact?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Not that I recall. Not by me, there may have been some on the part of my staff, because, you know, there were other things that I was doing.
WILLIAM LINK:
Did you—you say that the Chapel Hill people were unhappy about that, did you hear from them?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh yeah! I heard from A&T, too. From the Chancellors. And of course they were reflecting not only their own views but the campus community, the academic side of it.
WILLIAM LINK:
So Bill Friday didn't have communication between your office and Bill Friday's office? At least a high level contact?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
I don't recall it that there was.
WILLIAM LINK:
Do you think that the student uprising at A&T and the whole climate that we just talked about a little while ago—unrest and also public perception of disorder—did that have much to do with the restructuring, do you think? Did that affect political attitudes?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
I don't really think so, I don't really think so. I don't associate those connections. No, it was more that we just needed to have a better way of governance of the system, in terms of budgetary matters and planning, and who was going to get money. Because the—you know, it was still perceived that as far as these incidents—I think that people didn't associate that with governance, as it were, in the sense of the whole restructuring issue about it. That was more or less just the climate of racial tension and so forth at that time. I don't think that the incident at Chapel Hill campus was racial, although practically all of those cafeteria workers were black. But it was over pay issues and not racial issues, I think. And the students took up the cause on that rather than racial matters.
WILLIAM LINK:
I've got one final question. I want you to just reflect a little bit about restructuring. It seems from this vantage point—it has been almost 20 years—that the restructuring worked quite well. But that it was also a significant political victory of your Governorship.
In terms of the time and energy that you spent, political capital that you spent, would you consider this the most important issue? Or one of several?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
I have asked that question, what was the most important thing that occurred, and it is hard to say, because they are different. Political victories—it ranks right up there with another one, and that was getting the tobacco tax passed. First and last and so forth.
WILLIAM LINK:
That came in one year?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
That was in—was it '69 or '71, I've forgotten. I'll find out. But that was taking on another sacred cow. You see, we all have our sacred cows, and the University was one and tobacco was another. I took them both on, and they were political. And I won both. Incidentally, I used that income from the increased—from the cigarette tax and crown drink tax on it at the same time. I didn't want that, at the time, but I had to take that along with it. And it was used to get the money to start the new public school kindergarten system. So, it was all education-related. But I guess those two were probably the most significant political victories. In terms of long term impact on the state, I don't know that the restructuring of the University has that much direct impact on individuals, I think. It's more of a restructuring from a government standpoint, and it was a little different philosophy of a way of doing business and budgetarily, it —I don't know that it saved all that much money. It just saved a lot of scrapping and fighting in the legislature. In

Page 15
terms of impact upon the state—the state and the people of the state—some things we were able to get done and things that didn't get much attention—the environmental package. That was just the coming thing back then, the environmental legislation, so I got that going. Beginning the public school kindergarten; even though we didn't get it put into place all over the state, we got the program started in the eight educational districts in the state. And so I think those had more impact than the restructuring did. But.....
WILLIAM LINK:
But it obviously preoccupied a lot of your time.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Well, particularly in the last half of the administration, it—I have often said that my administration is not known, and I don't think that it will go down in history for having any one thing that stands out. Like Terry Sanford—the Education Governor. My father, the Good Roads Governor. I'm not known much for anything. And that doesn't bother me. I'm gratified with what we were able to do, and like most governors, I'm frustrated that I didn't get more done. But, the big story in North Carolina, during that four-year period was what didn't happen, in terms of racial unrest. And we had our problems, don't get me wrong, again A&T, and the so-called Wilmington Ten—are you a native of North Carolina?
WILLIAM LINK:
No, I am not, my parents are.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Well, then you know the history about, we had what we call the "Wilmington Ten." We had a few incidents like that. But in the public schools, themselves, we worked hard. God knows, Dr. Craig Phillips sent to the public restruction and his team was working with our office, we strengthened the Good Neighbor Council that Dan Moore had started and really staffed it up, and we had teams all over the state talking, talking, talking. The blacks and whites trying down to dampen down the hot spots and so on. So we spent a tremendous amount of energy and time to those things, and I have always felt that if I had that time and energy to devote to other things, then maybe we would have gotten more visible things done. And, of course, again, as I say, what didn't happen doesn't make the history books. Again, I feel that was a very significant contribution.
Craig Phillips feels the same way.
WILLIAM LINK:
This was the period in which the whole school desegregation thing was coming to the fore.
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
It was escalating, it actually started in Sanford's a little bit, and then Dan Moore. Dan Moore during his term escalated more, and sort of hit the apex during my term.
WILLIAM LINK:
In terms of comprehensive busing plans? The Swann case, in Charlotte and Greensboro—cities that had to go through this busing and they are getting a lot of help from the state, aren't they?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
So time-wise, energy-wise I suspect in my office my time was spent in there. We got some additional money. We got the cigarette tax and the crown drink tax. Incidentally, you know it is interesting how the situation that a Governor is in when certain decisions are made. You know that you are not sitting over there in this ol' big chair and sit back and say, "Well, I believe that I'm going to do this." These things evolve, again the cigarette tax was a battle loyal. My campaign manager for Governor was Jimmy Johnson, from Charlotte, at that time, retired now, from Iredell County. He was the head of the largest Coca-Cola Bottling Company in the state. Former State Senator and a successful businessman. So I talked him into coming to Raleigh to manage my campaign, and he did and was very good at it. I was successful. Okay. When I proposed that you put a tax on tobacco—on cigarettes—the opponents very astutely tacked on a—I asked for a nickel a pack for cigarettes. This would generate, I don't know,—
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
— generate something in the neighborhood of $90 million income. Well, the opponents of the Tobacco Tax said, "Okay what you want is the money, so rather than a nickel tax on cigarettes, we'll put two cents on cigarettes and one cent on soft drinks." Figuring that then you're bringing in the soft drink industry in it and Jimmy

Page 16
Johnson was my campaign manager—thinking that I would never buy that and that would kill it. So I was trying to keep that soft drink tax off of it. But, I was on the way down to a speaking engagement in North Carolina somewhere, and I got a call on a Highway Patrol radio in the car and I called the office. I pulled over to—this was in the summertime, late summer, late days of the session—and I pulled over to a little service station over there, and I got out and got into a little ol' pay telephone booth, where it was hot as hell, called the office and my legislative liaison. He was saying—and Ben said, "I just come from the Democratic caucus, and there is no way that we can break it. We are either going to have to go with the two cents and 2-and-1 as we called it, or forget it." And so, standing in a little phone booth at a rural service station in eastern North Carolina, I made the decision to go with it. Well, of course I lost a good friendship in Jim Johnson because of that. That was one of the sad things about politics.
WILLIAM LINK:
He couldn't obviously support you, that was so much against his interests?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Oh, yeah. And of course the soft drink industry figured that—and they supported me because Jimmy had them to, strongly. Well, I told him later, "I didn't intend to do it, but I made you wealthy, both you and the tobacco industry. I asked for a nickel a pack on cigarettes and that was an increment of five cents, which works in the vending machine industry. You took only a tax of one cent, but you can't handle four cents of change in a vending machine, so you upped the price to a nickel, anyway. They get one cent and you got four cents more." And the soft drink people the same thing. "You gave the state two cents, and you kept three cents." You just raised your prices to a nickel. And the truth of the matter is, the industry ain't paying a damned thing, just the customers. You see—and of course it didn't make any difference to them. I didn't have much sympathy for them. That is why I say now, you know, shortfall with legislature now, what they ought to do is levy a tax on tobacco—and I am a farmer, or was. I didn't grow tobacco but, and I smoke, but maybe if at the manufacturers level, and then the people in Virginia, Puerto Rico and every where else that buy these American cigarettes have to pay that tax. Not just us. The tobacco companies can scream all they want to, they ain't paying it, the consumer pays it. They pass it on. Anyhow, that is my own philosophy about it. And so, that was—I always thought about that fight on the tobacco tax as being [unclear] and the consolidation being the two biggest political victories that I had.
END OF INTERVIEW