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| the history of wake forest
leave the deanship at the same time that Tribble left the presidency.
When Scales arrived, however, I was immediately impressed by his
vision of Wake Forest’s future, I agreed with his values, and, more-
over, I liked him personally, and when he asked me to become the
University’s first provost, I accepted. I told him that I wanted to con-
tinue teaching at least one course each semester, he approved the
plan, and he and I began a close association—rewarding to me and,
I hope, to him—that would continue throughout his sixteen years
as president.
The position of provost, because of the increasing complexity
of University affairs and the ever growing list of responsibilities
assigned to a president’s office, was by 1967 becoming a familiar
title in American university life. It was designed to free the presi-
dent from close oversight of the University’s internal agenda. In
the words used by the Wake Forest Trustees, I as provost would be
“responsible for the academic program of the institution,” would
“co-ordinate the work of the Deans of the colleges and schools
which comprise the University,” and would be “responsible for
student welfare.”6
Coincident with the creation of the provostship was the forma-
tion of a “faculty senate” (eventually to be called the “University
Senate”). The idea of a Senate had been under discussion for almost
a year, and it was envisioned as a body which would bring together,
several times a year, elected representatives from each of the Univer-
sity’s constituent schools and designated members of the administra-
tion. It would concern itself with those issues of University-wide
significance not already assigned to the faculties of the individual
schools. The Senate had its first meeting in the fall of 1967, elected
Professor of Mathematics Ivey Gentry as its chairman, and appointed
a committee to undertake a search for a new Dean of the College to
succeed me. Members of the committee were Associate Professor
of Chemistry Paul Gross, chairman; Professor of Psychology Rob-
ert Beck, Professor of Law Robert E. Lee, Professor of History Per-
cival Perry, and Professor of Biochemistry Cornelius Strittmatter.
In the spring of 1968 the Senate committee recommended that
Associate Professor of History Thomas E. Mullen (B.A., Rollins;
M.A., Ph.D., Emory) be named Dean of the College. He was a spe-
cialist in European diplomatic history of the nineteenth and twen-
tieth centuries and had been on the faculty since 1957. He had also
6
An article by Rob-
ert Moore Allen,
“Provost at Wake
Forest University,”
in The Wake Forest
Magazine, XV
(January 1968),
14–17, discusses the
significance of this
new administrative
position.
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