| the history of wake forest
School of Law. It came in the form of a proposal that the University
establish what was to be called the “Wake Forest Institute for Labor
Policy Analysis,” or, for convenience, “WILPA.” One underlying
assumption behind the proposal was “that personal freedom, the
free-enterprise system, and government limited in labor relations
to protecting the basic property and contract rights of individual
employers and employees are vital to the welfare and progress of
society.” The director would be Sylvester Petro, Professor of Law at
Wake Forest since 1973.
President Scales reacted with concern to the WILPA concept,
arguing to Dean Bowman that it had not been approved by the law
faculty and that in “a time of financial stringency” it had no budget
of its own. He also feared that the proposed “study of national labor
laws and the way they are implemented” would be undertaken from
an anti-labor point of view. Dean Bowman gave assurances that
the research of the Institute would be “completely objective,” and
the President forwarded the request to the Board of Trustees, which,
at its December 13 meeting, approved the Institute, subject to sev-
eral stipulations: a limitation of $35,000 on the director’s salary and
a requirement that the program be “self-sustaining,” that it be sub-
ject to the administrative direction of the law dean and the central
administration, and that it be reviewed at the end of three years.
In spite of these qualifications, President Scales was still worried.
In a private memorandum to the Trustees’ Executive Committee, he
said that the establishment of WILPA would violate “the Wake For-
est tradition of objective and impartial scholarship. I think we must
be especially careful to prevent the politicization of the University by
well-meaning people, whether of the right or the left in the political
spectrum.” Scales’s perspective on WILPA, and the ways in which
his words implied a strong disagreement with Dean Bowman about
the Institute, foreshadowed continuing controversies between the
law school and the University administration.
The completion of the Fine Arts Center continued to be delayed
by bad weather and by the need for additional structural steel in
the foundation of the building. Moreover, inflation had increased
the likely cost of the theatre and art wing to six million dollars, and
the music wing was now expected to cost two and a half million
dollars. (A gift of $300,000 from the Kresge Foundation helped in
meeting some of the unforeseen expenses of construction.) At vari-
Previous Page Next Page