INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE -- RULE 17
The Original Strategy; The Local Administration
Forces for Change; Forces Shaping the Change
The Manner in Which the Change Was Made
Appendix: Comparision of Present and Proposed Wordings
1. The subject of this analysis is the University of California; the method of analysis is the detailed examination of the processes set into motion when work was put into the institution in an endeavor to change one of its important policies.
2. Summary of the events to be discussed:
In September of 1956 the "Committee to Modify Rule 17" was formed. It consisted entirely of students and was designed as the vehicle to seek the formal amendment of University Regulation Number 17. Its leaders intended to collect up to 10,000 signatures on a petition to be addressed to the Board of Regents of the University, proposing a specific modification of the rule. For a tactical reason, Chancellor Kerr of the Berkeley campus was informed of the group's plans. He urged them to seek the change through discussion with the relevant officials within the Administration. This was agreed to, and after further discussion a draft rule agreeable to both was arrived at.
The Faculty Committee on Academic Freedom was consulted for an advisory opinion on the draft rule. It urged that the change be requested of the President of the University rather than of the Regents, which was agreed to. At the January 1957 meeting of the Representative Assembly of the Academic Senate a resolution supporting the proposed change, and in some respects going beyond it, was unanimously passed.
The proposal [see Appendix below] was formally presented to President Sproul, and taken under advisement by him. In late March 1957 the Public Information Office announced that Regulation 17 had been changed by the President. The wording of the new rule <[see Appendix]was that of the proposal with one exception. The revised rule was put into practice six months later, in October of 1957, after a period of discussion within the Administration and between the Administrations of the various campuses to arrive at a common interpretation.
3. Definition of Basic Terms.
The policy involved has two aspects, formal and informal, legal and symbolic. Formally it is embodied in University Regulation Number 17, its function being "to outline policy and establish procedures for the use of campus facilities for purposes other than the conduct of regularly organized and scheduled courses,..." Informally, Rule 17 was, up to the time it was changed, a symbol of the complex rules, regulations, practices and attitudes, formal and informal, which functioned to minimize extremist (and by indirection moderate) political activity of students on the campuses of the University of California.
The essential feature of the proposed change was that student groups not having the status of University recognition, were to be permitted to present meetings on the campus. This was important because of the university's policy of not recognizing political and religious groups. The proposal would also delete a requirement that two or more sides of controversial issues be presented. It embodied procedural safeguards to prevent misrepresentation of the sponsorship of such meetings.
"The Committee to Modify Rule 17" is the formal name of the student committee created to form the public face of the movement for reform. It will be referred to as the Committee.
4. Conceptual Framework.
The most accurate and useful conceptual approach is that which views the institution as existing in a field of forces with the introduction of new forces through work put into it. The prossures which had brought about the policy in the first place had diminished greatly, but, combined with normal institutional inertia and weak counter pressures, were enough to protect the policy from change. It is this writer's conclusion that the work was applied at a critical point. A year sooner it is very unlikely that the same work would have succeeded, while in the future counter pressures may again mount. Yet at this time there would have been no change without the introduction of work. In essence it created a problem for the University Administration which was most easily solved by changing the policy.
We will therefore examine the work itself, the pressures it created, the problems it posed, and their resolution by the Institution.
The significance of the original strategy lies chiefly in the manner in which it was changed to accommodate the interests of the local Administration and of the Faculty in order to win their support. The plan was simply to get signatures of 10,000 students on the Berkeley campus on a petition to the Board of Regents proposing a changed rule. The manner in which it changed character will be dealt with in detail, but in brief: the petition or public opinion prossure method was changed to quiet "negotiation," the approach to the Board of Regents was changed to an approach to President Sproul because of the Faculty's desire to minimize the exercise of the Regents' power in internal administration of the University.
THE LOCAL ADMINISTRATION (Chancellor Kerr)
A rather narrow problem brought about a basic change in the strategy of the Committee. Aside from the composition of the Committee itself, the major instrument of the campaign was to be a printed, ten-page booklet containing the proposed change, and the rationale for it, to be issued by the Committee. Because the legitimacy of the effort would have been greatly impaired if permission to distribute them on the campus was denied, and because of the Dean of Students' conservative record in such matters, it was decided to approach the Chancellor directly, on the expectation that his refusal to overrule the Dean on previous occasions resultedmore from unwillingness to undermine the authority of the Dean's office than from agreement with his policy, and that given a chance to establish a policy within the administration, he would exercise his power to do so.
For this purpose an appointment was secured with the Chancellor, at which time he expressed interest in, and sympathy with the project, and urged the group to attempt to secure acceptance of its proposal without going to the extent of a petition campaign.
The problems posed to the Chancellor by the prospect of the kind of campaign planned involved primarily the danger of serious weakening of the myths supporting the rolationship of student government to the Administration. Because the authoritarian formal structure of the University is at basic odds with the democratic ethos, and because of the particular importance of consent in the exercise of control over students (arising from the lack of definition of the degree to which the University acts in loco parentis) the legitimacy of its power has to be maintained, and where possible it has to be exercised through student government rather than directly. The principle of legitimacy used is the myth that where the University knows what the students want they will endeavor to do it, which is, in turn, based on the assumption that there are no divorgences in the interests of the students and the administration.
The planned campaign amounted to an attack by the leaders of student opinion, and in all likelihood of a large part of the student body on a policy of the University. In such a situation the Administration would have had to defend the policy, thus placing itself in opposition to the student body, and if the Regents failed to respond favorably (as was highly probable) the myth would have been even more seriously weakened.
Aside from considerations arising from the Chancellor's office, his personal interests and values were also involved. In the first place the fact that he is a liberal, and wanted same sort of change, would make him loath to be forced into a position of opposing it (as he would have to do as representative of the Institution); he also may have believed that the chances for the success of the original plan were slim. In addition, if the proposal was not made publicly, he would have an opportunity to influence the final proposal itself, and to give it his support, which he did.
Secondly, he was at the time an "active" candidate for the Presidency of the University, and a conflict between the students on his campus and the Administration would not be an asset to him.
Thus we see that to the Chancellor, considerable advantage was to be gained by giving his support to the Committee in exchange for a change to the method of negotiation.
From the Committee's standpoint, of course, this involved more than a "deal" with the Chancellor. His support did notsimply buy the change in approach-- it gave the course of negotiation a chance of success previously not present.
In considering the factors influencing the Committee's decision to adopt his suggestion, it is important to note that the Committee had no peculiar competence to carry out the task of collecting 10,000 signatures, and that it was in reality much more competent to carry on "behind the scenes" negotiations.
In addition to the change in procedure the Chancellor "suggested" several changes in the proposal, most of which were accepted. From that point on the Committee had his explicit support. His proposed changes in the draft revealed a concern for limiting the possible consequences of an unfriendly student audience by banning individuals in a position to affect the University's budget, and with increasing the amount of control which the University could exercise over the conduct of meetings on the campus.
The formal support of the Faculty came about as an unanticipated result of the decision to seek the change through internal negotiation. To enhance the legitimacy of the proposal, the Committee undertook a program of "consultation with responsible University groups." Among these was the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Academic Senate.
The Academic Freedom Committee had two reactions. They were considerably alarmed by the proposal to address our request to the Board of Regents because as members of the Senate they were committed to minimizing the control of the Regents in making University policy, and saw a petition (public or private) as legitimizing action on their part in this area.
Of equal importance was the interest the proposal aroused in one member of the Committee, Professor Newman (of the Law Faculty) who from that point on took on the task of achieving Faculty backing in which he was successful. Where "the Faculty" is referred to, it usually is in reference to the actions of this group, representing the Faculty proper.
The significance of the problem the Committee posed is indicated by the fact that an appointment was granted to the Committee by the President (who is notoriously inaccessible), and by the Chancellor's presence at it. During the interview the President's actions were designed to demonstrate the seriousness with which he would consider the proposal, and the high degree to which he was appreciative of the "responsible" way in which the committee had worked.
The rationale of such an interview is based on the myth that rational man will agree, since it is ostensibly an occasion for an attempt to convince one party of the wisdom of the course of the action advocated by the other. Its social function from the point of view of the Committee, was to commit the President to action, and to assure that it received his personal attention.
At the close of the interview, the former function was recognized in the President's pledge to inform the group of any decision made. From the President's point of view the interview threatened to curtail the activities of the group, giving him an opportunity to develop a decision with a minimum of new pressures coming into being. It amounted to a truce; a stoppage of work.
An analysis of the social function of the interview should not be permitted to obscure its individual function. There is, in this case, little doubt thatPresident Sproul was honestly impressed with the work and sincerity of the Committee, and that the presentation of its case and discussion of it with him had an importance of its own, thought to what degree cannot be ascertained. (The validity of the foregoing is borne out by remarks to this effect made by Sproul to an individual peripheral to the situation.)
The most historically important of these are the very forces which, if this analysis were concerned with the change to the Rule 17 policy (in the early 1930's) would be placed in the category of acting and shaping forces. They are the basic ones of Institutional security, and the danger to it stemming from the political activity of students.
The University is the carrier of a precarious value, the value for state supported higher education. This value is strong in its generalized form; everybody is in favor of education. But when it becomes particularized, it is relatively weak; nobody likes ivory towers. Particularly is this so at the point of allocating money to the University. It therefore has a constant problem of justifying its existence, and more difficult, its expansion. Critical to this is its public image, which tends to be influenced by all events associated with the University, not only by those formally associated with it and sanctioned by it. It was the effect upon this image caused by the activities of left wing and in particular Communist students in the early 1930's which led to the adoption of the Rule 17 policy in 1934. 1
This problem is a constant one, varying in force both with changes in the level of such activity by students, and with the tolerance of the community for political unorthodoxy. Since the inception of the policy, both have varied considerably, but only in the last two years (approximately) have they both represented a low point in pressure. Thus while they still exist the resultant force is relatively weak.
Secondly, the inherent inertia of a large institution due to the general desire to avoid the new problems any change in procedure creates, would require work to overcome. This, of course, is not peculiar to this Institution, or within it, to this problem.
Students. The President was faced with the same problems of sustaining the myths of student government which are outlined above in relation to the Chancellor, although not to the same extent, since he does not deal directly with them to the same degree. Increasing the importance of this force, however, was the increased legitimacy of the students' proposal stemming from the support of the Chancellor and the Faculty (Representative Assembly). To have ignored these groups as well as the student group would have placed the President in the position of acting autocratically in the eyes of the "student leaders."
The consequences of acting counter to the expressed will of the faculty and local administration are more straightforward. They rest on the power of these groups -- much more self-conscious of their relationship to the office of President than are the students -- to withhold cooperation or support on other matters of importance to him.
FORCES SHAPING THE CHANGE
Seeing then, that the forces for change were stronger than those against change, the question remains as to the causes of the particular change that was made.
What was needed was the change which would involve the smallest new threat to the institutional security and at the same time would prevent further work being put into the institution. The latter was accomplished by using the exact wording to the student proposal (with the exeception of one word) thus flattering and appeasing the students, who were the potential source of new work. This also provided an excuse for the refusal of the President's office to meet with representatives of the student Committee and the Faculty together "to discuss the change," 2thus avoiding further pressure to go beyond the proposals in the Committee's draft.
THE MANNER IN WHICH THE CHANGE WAS MADE
Finally, the way in which the decision was made and put into effect reveals yet another facet of the social structure of the University, the relationship between the President and the other campuses, and in particular to their Administrations.
While the Committee confined its activities strictly to the Berkeley campus (except for liaison established with the ASUCLA President so that work on that campus could be initiated if it was felt necessary), the Rule applies to all campuses, and this had to be considered in making the change. The division of powers between the central University Administration and the local campus administration is not extensively formally established, and it appears that formally most power resides with the President, while informally there is a considerable distribution of power. This is recognized by the existence of the President's Administrative Advisory Council, composed of the chief administrators of each campus which, being a formal group without formal power, represents a cross between formal and informal cooperation.
The Committee Proposal presented to this group, was received unenthusiastically, but with no basic opposition. Before the change was announced there was further consulation on its specifics between the President's office and the other Administrations (this accounts for an interval of three weeks between the formal change, as indicated by the date on the published rule, and the announcement of the change).
(1) Clyde S. Johnson, Student Self Government, pp. 215-226. An unpublished Master's thesis available from the Associated Students of UCLA and the Education Library, UCLA.
(2) This was sought as an opportunity for the Committee to abandon its proposal in favor of the more liberal faculty position. These differed because the Committee leaders acted on the assumption that they had little power, therefore making concessions to the known interests of the University, while the Faculty, aware of its power, adopted a less compromising position. The change was announced with unusuaul haste to forestall such a meeting.
-- Peter Franck
(Editor's note: this is a slightly edited version of a paper written by Mr. Franck in 1958 for a Sociology course in which he was a student.)
The purpose of this regulation is to outline policy and establish procedures for the use of campus facilities for the purposes other than the conduct of regularly organized and scheduled courses, institutes, conferences, and other programs initiated by the University for instruction, research, or cultural purposes.
This regulation does not apply to outside speakers invited by members of the faculty to participate in classroom meetings of regularly scheduled courses as qualified specialists in pertinent subject fields. Neither is it the intent of this regulation to discourage other desirable uses which do not conflict or interfere with the primary uses. The University recognizes a responsibility to invite or approve the inviting of qualified outside speakers on important public problems, including religious and political problems, for the purpose of promoting the intellectual development of its students and preparing them for intelligent participation in society. [cf. change]
Applications for permission to hold special meetings or events must be filed at least a week in advance. Students must submit applications to the Dean of Students, or other officer designated to perform on the campus concerned.
A. Applications may be submitted by the following:
1. Colleges, departments, or other organizations of the faculty.
2. Organizations of University employees.
3. Organizations of bona fide students which are recognized by the University. Such organizations may be sponsored by departments or colleges for academic purposes or by the administration for purposes of general University welfare. Recognition requires filing of a formal application, including a copy of the constitution and a list of efficers with the Dean of Students or equivalent officer.
4. Organizations of students which are recognized by and under the jurisdiction of the governing board of the Associated Students. Membership in such organizations must be restricted to bona fide students, faculty members and employees of the University of California. Organizations permitted on campus because of recognitionaly by the Associated Students must have a faculty sponsor, and must have a constitution which is in consonance with that of the Associated Students, and with the purposes of the University. A copy of this constitution, together with a list of officers, must be filed with the Associated Students and with the Deam of Students, or equivalent officer, before recognition may be given, and these documents must be kept current while recognition continues. An organization under the jurisdiction of the Associated Students shall be financially accountable to it and subject to regulation and control by it.
5. Non-University organizations, or organizations not falling under the classifications above, may on occasion be granted permission to hold meetings or events on campus if such meetings or events promote the welfare of the University or the purposes which the University serves. This classification covers particularly cultural, scientific, scholarly, or professional organizations.
B. The following general rules apply to meetings and events: [cf. change]
1. Student meetings or events, with the exception of regularly recurring athletic, forensic, dramatic or musical activities, will normally not be open to the public.
2. Facilities may not be used for [cf. insert] the purpose of raising money to aid projects not directly connected with some authorized activity of the University, except that Athletic events to which a nominal charge is made for admission when adequate facilities are not available elsewhere in the community; and except that fund-raising campaings for the Community Chest and Red Cross may be held each year, and one other campaign each term may be approved on the unanimous recommendation of the governing board of the Associated Students on the campus concerned.
3. Meetings or events which by their nature, method of promoting, or general handling, tend to involve the University in political or sectarian religious activities in a partisan way will not be pernitted. Discussion of highly controversial issues will normally be approved only when two or more aspects of the problem are to be presented by a panel of qualified speakers.[cf. replacement]
4. No permission is given by this regulation for meetings and events contrary to resolutions or provisions of the Standing Orders of Regents, or public law.
5. No literature may be distributed free or sold in connection with meetings or events without permission obtained in advance.
6. The University cannot delegate responsibility for policing or handling crowds, or for cleaning up after meetings or events. Any expense entailed normally must be met by the sponsoring organization and a deposit may be requested in advance.
[cf. inserted clauses]
Robert G. Sproul
President of the University
June 1, 1949
(This regulation supersedes the revised regulation of January 1, 1944.)
(Editor's note: Only the changes proposed are indicated below; otherwise, the text remained the same. The proposed wording was accepted, and became the new version of Rule 17, with the exception of a single but highly significant modification in Section A, no. 5. The proposed wording read, "Organizations composed predominantly of students.." The final version read, "Organizations composed exclusively of students...")
[Added to end of second paragraph of introduction:] ...intelligent participation in society. The University also recognizes a responsibility to encourage student groups to present two or more representative views of controversial issues whenever possible, within a reasonable period of time and under comparable circumstances.
A. 5. [Added, with the former clause 5 renumbered as clause 6:] Organizations, other than those recognized by the University or the Associated Students, but which are determined to be composed predominantly of University of California students, and to have, in the capacity of an advisor, a faculty member or Senior University Staff member. Such determination shall be made by a committee composed of the Dean of Students and a student and a faculty member, both appointed by the Chancellor or Provost of the University. The faculty member shall be selected from a panel presented by the appropriate committee on committees of the Academic Senate, and the student member shall be appointed on the recommondation of the Associated Students.
B. [Introduction rewritten:] Infractions of the following rules provide grounds upon which permission to hold a meeting or event on campus may be denied to, or withdrawn from organizations classified under Section A.
2. [Beginning modified:] Facilities may not be used for the purpose of soliciting political party membership or religious conversion, or for the purpose of raising etc...
3. [Replaced:] The promotion and conduct of meetings or events in such a way as to involve the University in political or sectarian religious activities in a partisan way will not be permitted. Promotional material should in no way imply the University of California's sponsorship or endorsement of meetings or events held on its campuses. Therefore, all publicity pertaining to the promotion of any meeting or event must, at the request of the Dean of Students or his designated representative, be submitted for approval and he filed in the Dean of Students' office. Such approval will not be granted if the publicity in any way implies the University's sponsorship or endorsement.
7. [Added:] No permission is given by this regulation to hold meetings or events which would interfere with the regularly scheduled academic program of the University.
8. [Added:] Candidates for state office who would, upon election, review or approve the University budget, may not be invited by a student group to speak on campus.