Chapter Two: 1984–1985 23
as one of the top ten academic bargains in the country. U.S. News and World
Report, based on a survey of college and university presidents, ranked Wake
Forest as one of the best small comprehensive universities in the nation. Our
student/faculty ratio is 14  to 1, and the average S.A.T. score in the 1984 fresh-
man class is 1126. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of our alumni attend gradu-
ate or professional schools .... Eighty-four percent of the faculty hold earned
PhD’s .... [T]his year our alumni won the CASE/U.S. Steel Award for sustained
performance in annual giving.
Indeed, the College Fund goal for the year was $1,250,000.
In another letter focused on the present, Hearn wrote to Nancy Susan Reyn-
olds in Greenwich, Connecticut, on October 25 to acknowledge her gift to Z. Smith
Reynolds Library: “Your generosity has enabled us to increase the general collection
to its present level of over 649,000 volumes. We spend more per student than any
university in the Southeast on our collection.” He wrote to her again six days later
to elaborate on financial matters, noting that the $17 million Sesquicentennial fund-
raising campaign was the largest in University history and had gone $5 million above
goal, “and we are continuing to receive significant gifts.”
Nonetheless, several problems had to be addressed: finances, diversity, space,
and the governance relationship between the University and the North Carolina Bap-
tist State Convention.
If Wake Forest’s prestige in the academic world was growing, such progress cost
money. The University was highly dependent on tuition, and when an 8 percent
increase ($450) to $6,000 was announced for the 1985–1986 academic year, reac-
tion was immediate, including a student protest. Tuition at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill at the time was just over $700. An Old Gold and
Black headline claimed that tuition was being raised to improve the University’s
image. The fact that Wake Forest was listed by Money Magazine as a bargain along
with nine other schools, including New College of the University of South Florida,
Millsaps College, and Trinity University, brought mixed reviews. “These are not
the types of universities Wake Forest compares itself to,” some professors said.
Many were less kind in their assessment of the tuition hike and what it was meant
to do.
Hearn replied to the criticism in a letter to faculty summarized in an Old Gold
and Black article. A study was being conducted; no decision had been made. “The
Year 2000 Report was the document which first interested the Board of Trustees in
long-range planning,” Hearn noted. “It contained the recommendation that the so-
called tuition gap between Wake Forest and the other institutions with which we are
usually compared be studied.” Compiled by faculty senate committees and adopted
several months before Hearn became President, the Year 2000 Report contained the
following recommendation: “The University should consider the implications of the
tuition differential that exists between Wake Forest and its peer group of excellent
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