a
dedication,
a
nomination,
and a house in hampstead
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197
what to suppress without hearing our victim.… From what we
know, there is nothing to be regretted in Mr. Flynt’s appearance
on this campus.”
For the first time, at least in the modern history of Wake Forest,
a faculty member who had been denied tenure chose to question
publicly the University’s negative decision. The teacher was Miles
O. Bidwell, who had a Ph.D. degree from Columbia University and
had been in the Department of Economics since 1972. He held the
rank of Assistant Professor. The tenured members of the Depart-
ment voted not to recommend him for tenure, and their recom-
mendation was sustained by the administration. Neither J. Van
Wagstaff, the department chairman, nor Dean Mullen nor I replied
to questions about the decision.
Bidwell had been admirably active in environmental causes,
serving as head of the Foothills Sierra Club and as a director of the
National Committee for the New River, a river in western North
Carolina threatened by the proposed construction of a dam by the
Appalachian Power Company. Efforts by Bidwell and others, includ-
ing especially Wallace Carroll, Sam J. Ervin Jr. University Lecturer at
Wake Forest, had been successful: President Gerald Ford had signed a
bill preventing the dam project, and the New River had been desig-
nated a “Wild and Scenic River.” These activities by Bidwell had made
him well known on the campus and in the region, and, in addition
to a student petition in his behalf, there was a rally of about two
hundred people in front of Wait Chapel, where speakers included
Professor McLeod Bryan of the Department of Religion as well as
Bidwell’s attorney, one former student, and a faculty member for the
University of North Carolina who also had not been given tenure.
The University’s position in the tenure debate was that Bidwell
had been evaluated by the usual criteria for tenure and that his ac-
tions outside the classroom were not relevant to the case. Ultimate-
ly, he accepted a compromise arrangement by which he agreed not
to contest the earlier decision; in return, he would remain at the
University for one more year and at that time receive favorable rec-
ommendations and also additional compensation if he could not
find acceptable work elsewhere. Both sides agreed not to report any
further details of the settlement.
On June 30, 1977, the tenth year of the Scales presidency came
to an end. Asked whether changes in the last decade had brought
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