Alabama Polytechnic Institute/Auburn University

SYNOPSIS OF API PRESIDENT LUTHER N. DUNCAN'S CORRESPONDENCE


Alabama Farm Bureau

The president of the Alabama Farm Bureau wrote to all county Farm Bureau presidents informing them of legislative positions taken by the farmers of Alabama through the Farm Bureau. These positions had been endorsed at the annual meeting and were being implemented through the executive committee. He urged the county presidents to become active in lobbying their legislative representatives regarding these matters. They included establishment of a branch experiment station and a $75,000 annual appropriation for the extension service. Walter Randolph to County Farm Bureau Presidents, May 5, 1943.

Alabama Politics

Ayers scolded Duncan for opposing his candidacy as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Ayers had only learned of Duncan opposition when he received a copy of Duncan's letter of April 28 to Hugh D. Merrill. In that, Duncan accused Ayers of advocating the consolidation of Auburn and Alabama, but Ayers claimed this was not so. He had advocated greater coordination among institutions of higher learning [see the Anniston Star, October 4, 1936], a cause which he thought Duncan also supported. Given Duncan's good relationship with Dick Foster, Ayers believed some hope still existing for this cause. Finally, he enclosed a 1936 issue of the Anniston Star, where he had editorialized in favor in improved coordination in higher education when the matter was before the legislature. Ayers to Duncan, May 1, 1940.

Duncan agreed that his wording in the letter to Merrill had been misleading. He recalled, however, the concern that Ayers' advocacy of more coordination in higher education had caused among Auburn people. He feared that active work in behalf of Ayers' candidacy would have sent the wrong message to the Auburn community. Duncan to Ayers, May 3, 1940.

Ayers published the editorial summarized in the Alabama Journal article of May 14. Of course, this was the Democratic National Convention that would consider the nomination of Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term. Given the situation in Europe, Ayers thought the renomination of Roosevelt might be advisable. Anniston Star, May 12, 1940.

Ayers responded to Duncan's of May 3, saying that Duncan still misunderstood the distinction between unification and consolidation. The former would not destroy the schools as separate entities, while the latter implied a physical combination. Ayers opposed the latter. Ayers to Duncan, May 14, 1940.

In an editorial in the Anniston Star, Harry Ayers discussed his defeat as a delegate at large to the Democratic National Convention. Ayers believed he was defeated because he was known as Dixon's candidate. The latter had reformed civil service and pardon and parole procedures, thus depriving himself of political patronage opportunities. Consequently, those tied with the Graves "pie-eating machine" opposed him. These included Duncan, who had great control over the organized farm vote. Alabama Journal, May 14, 1940.

The Selma Times-Journal carried an editorial regarding Ayers' piece of May 12 in the Anniston Star. No wonder Ayers lost, for he was opposed by "the combined forces of the Graves-Hill machine and every two-bit political dictator who could hitch himself to the Bankhead coattails." Why would this group oppose "the original Bankhead-for-president advocate"? The machine had opposed Ayers because "the conspirators who exploited the Bankhead campaign knew that the Anniston publisher could not be counted upon to desert the standard of the Speaker for a third term stampede without first determining whether or not the state's favorite son would have a chance to win the nomination for himself." The machine conspirators feared that Ayers "would take pledges to the voters seriously and make an honest effort in behalf of Speaker Bankhead, when their first purpose was to join in a phoney 'Draft Roosevelt' movement and thus snuggle close to the golden flow of borrowed dollars." The Selma paper had warned that Bankhead's "managers" would do this, but Ayers had refused to believe it. Selma Times-Journal, May 16, 1940.

Ayers had charged that Duncan opposed his election as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Hugh White of the Alabama Public Service Commission might well make the same charge, as reports had surfaced again and again that the extension service had gone "down the line" to elect Gordon Persons. Ed Fields, editor of the Selma paper, had at first discredited these reports "because of assurances that the extension service would be taken out of politics following exposure of the ill-fated attempt to assess farm agents for lobbying expenses incurred by Dr. Duncan during a session of the last Graves legislature." Selma Times-Journal, May 17, 1940.

Almost the entire Alabama delegation opposed amendments to the Hatch Act which would eliminate political patronage? Why? They had a vested interest in patronage from Speaker Bankhead on down. This same group had opposed Ayers' election as indicated in the Alabama Journal editorial of May 14 and succeeded in electing delegates "friendly to the Bankhead faction of the Roosevelt Club." Most disconcerting was that "those lean state politicians who hope to put their noses in the public feed bag again by overthrowing our newly established merit system" had begun to court the so-called "Auburn bloc." Birmingham Post, May 27, 1940.

Duncan had read newspaper reports--the latest May 27--regarding Auburn's involvement in political activities. He said that as extension director and president of API he had had to deal with politicians and political bodies, such as the Alabama legislature and the US Congress. He had thus "endeavored to interpret and understand political methods and means and to make the best possible use of them" in furthering his responsibilities. Whenever he found a politician unfriendly to Auburn's cause, he sought to make him a friend. If he could not, he opposed him. Such opposition had been carried out on an official and ethical level, not personal. He opposed Ayers, for example, because he had made "repeated campaigns in Alabama and numerous public addresses in advocacy of consolidating the institutions of higher learning under 'a board of control and a chancellor in charge of executive administration.'" Duncan feared that if this were done "under the average political set-up in Alabama it would paralyze the Agricultural Extension Service and forever cripple Auburn." Luther Duncan, Draft Statement, subsequent to May 27, 1940.

Duncan responded to Ayers' letter of May 14, saying that "whatever was in your mind when you were speaking over the state and also writing in the press about higher education alarmed the Auburn people and friends." Duncan again affirmed his support for higher education coordination and integration "to remove any unnecessary duplication of efforts," provided this could be done "in a friendly, cooperative way." Finally, he said that API was established to serve the state "in a special field of education which was not being served." Auburn was "not a university," but a "scientific and technical institution." Duncan to Ayers, June 1, 1940.

Duncan wrote to Ed Fields of the Selma Times-Journal that he would be in town on June 14 and would call at his office at that time "to discuss some matters." Duncan to Fields, June 11, 1940.

The revised Hatch bill would prevent state employees who receive some of their salary from federal sources from taking part in political activities. The immediate effect would be to clip the political wings of Duncan, who had for years used the extension service for political purposes. A few years, Duncan received a great deal of negative publicity in a fight to remove the Farm Bureau from politics. Subsequently, he resigned as extension director and P.O. Davis took his place. Davis had attempted to operate on a non-political basis, but Duncan shadow remained in the background. [No title, no date, but this is undoubtedly the Anniston Star editorial referred to in the subsequent pieces dated July 18. It probably appeared on July 17.]

Ayers ran fourth in his own county in the election to represent Alabama at the Democratic National Convention. Why should he blame Auburn? "Until he can convince his neighbors and friends in Calhoun County that there is merit in his political candidacy there is nothing Auburn or anyone else can do to help him." Lee County Bulletin, July 18, 1940.

C.M. Stanley noted that Ayers was up to his favorite pastime: Duncan bashing. The Anniston editor had been a long-time advocate of consolidating Auburn and Alabama, "so that Auburn would become the dangling tail of a Tuscaloosa kite." Ayers now predicted that the new Hatch bill would curtail Duncan's political power, which he still blamed for his defeat as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Ayers had been defeated after being brought into the campaign at the encouragement of anti-Roosevelt forces, but Alabama sent a solidly New Deal delegation to the convention. Ayers should stop blaming Duncan for the decision of Alabama votes. Furthermore, as a member of the state board of education, he should have an impartial interest in all the state's schools. Alabama Journal, July 18, 1940.

Ayers claims that C.M. Stanley's defended Duncan in the Alabama Journal because he was one of the few Alabama editors who support the Graves spoils system. Anniston Star, July 28, 1940.

"I would not want to write anything that would cause you personal embarrassment, but it is hard to resist coming back at Harry Ayers." Stanley to Duncan, July 30, 1940.

It was regrettable that Ayers appeared to believe that Auburn was the only public institution of higher learning in Alabama that ever became involved in politics. Why was it that Ayers had never seen enough political activity at the University of Alabama to write about? The problem was that Auburn had finally found a president who could match Alabama at its own game. Prior to this, Auburn was "being coldly and systematically strangled to death, or until such time as it should become so weak that, under the guise of Colonel Ayers pet theory of consolidation, it could be absorbed by the University." Alabama, for example, in a test case before Judge Walter B. Jones in Montgomery Circuit Court argued against legislative acts to enable Auburn, Montevallo, and state teachers' colleges to participate in PWA building programs. Alabama, however, had a large enough endowment to need no legislative appropriation to take advantage of the PWA. Furthermore, Ayers said nothing "last summer when the Governor made known the fact that additional moneys would be made available for the state college, over the fact that the president of the University demanded...all of the additional moneys, and indicated that Auburn and Montevallo could struggle along with what they were getting." The recipient of this letter, written in confidence, was an Auburn graduate who lived in Anniston. Ralph B. Draughon to Walker Reynolds, July 31, 1940.

Ayers wrote to Thomas Bragg, Vice President of Alabama Power, regarding the articles that recently had appeared in the Lee County Bulletin and the Alabama Journal. The AJ of 7-30 contained a letter to the editor which he had written in reply to Cash Stanley's article. Ayers reminded Bragg that they had discussed the issue of educational consolidation previously and that Bragg appeared to accept Ayers' view that Alabama could not afford duplication of effort. Ayers believed that the Alabama law that called for coordination should be implemented in the interest of educational efficiency. He cited an earlier study by Bill Rogers that had come to the same conclusion. Ayers to Bragg, August 1, 1940.

TB, Vice President of Alabama Power, had received a letter from Harry Ayers, a copy of which he enclosed for Duncan's review. TB had not seen the Alabama Journal article of July 30 and asked LND to send him a copy. He requested LND's comments on what he had said to Ayers. The latter had claimed that TB agreed with his view, but TB assured Duncan that he did not. Thomas Bragg to Duncan, August 12, 1940.

Bragg responded to Ayers' of August 12, saying that Alabama, Montevallo, and Auburn were recognized by the state constitution and any change in their management would have to be voted on by the people of Alabama. He said that Ayers was mistaken in his recollection that he supported consolidation. Bragg to Ayers, August 12, 1940.

Duncan assured Bragg that he never believed that the latter supported Ayers' view. Furthermore, "many fine people of Alabama are after Harry about his proposal and his unwarranted and uncalled for attack on me and he is endeavoring to explain and justify his actions." Duncan to Bragg, August 14, 1940.


Alabama Building Commission

API filed a six-year capital improvement plan with the Alabama State Planning Committee on December 11, 1941. This program had been delayed due to the war. Recently, appropriations had been made to API for construction and Duncan now informed the governor, who chaired the State Building Commission, of the capital improvements he wished to make with these new funds. Duncan to Chauncey Sparks, October 22, 1945.



Alabama Department of Education

Alabama recently passed the Unified Education Act, which carried "the largest appropriation for education in the history of the state." The act was made possible by "a program of close cooperation and harmony among the educational leaders of the state." It appropriated $200,000, half of which would go to elementary teacher training and half to high school teacher training. Now, friction had developed between Auburn and the State Board of Education, which this document proposed to explain. Subsequent to passage of the act, the president of Auburn was informed by the state superintendent of public instruction that Auburn would receive $20,000, Alabama $65,000, and Montevallo no money from the high school teacher training equalization fund. In the same communication, the state superintendent set out the areas where the three schools could train teachers. Alabama was given authority to train administrators on the elementary and high school level, but not Auburn, as well as to offer graduate courses in elementary and high school education. Of course, Auburn felt it had received a disproportionately small share of money and had lost the authority to train educational leaders. The state board defended its action on the basis that Auburn and Montevallo received higher per capita appropriations than Alabama, but this failed to account for private income from coal and other mineral lands that Alabama had not made public. The board also argued that its action would eliminate duplication. But the board had acted upon an unwarranted interpretation of the statute and violated the spirit of the act. Their action would disrupt whatever harmonious relations had developed among institutions of higher education in the state. Auburn had protested the decision immediately, but the state board requested that any public hearing be postponed until after the vote on a proposed educational bond issue. On February 14 [19??] the state council of education met in the governor's office to hear complaints, at which time the president of the University of Alabama and the state superintendent of public instruction railroaded a series of resolutions that they had earlier agreed upon. Subsequently, the board of trustees at API passed a series of resolutions on the matter. "Alabama Polytechnic Institute and the Teacher-Training Equalization Fund," No Date.

LND complained that Alabama received more per capita for each Alabama student enrolled in education than did Auburn under the teacher education equalization fund. Duncan to D.M. Maxwell, No Date.

The University of Alabama requested an appropriation of not less than $49,000 from the high school portion of the teacher education equalization fund. This was the amount that Alabama had received since 1932, when the fund was reduced by the legislature from $100,000 to $70,000. This minimum request represented the same percentage of the total (70 per cent) which had been apportioned to Alabama since the creation of the fund in 1927. According to this document, the total legislative appropriations to Auburn and Alabama in 1935 were $393,899.05 and $714,699.05, respectively. Furthermore, both schools had approximately the same amounts--Auburn slightly more--available for campus teaching, while Auburn had much more for extension and research. Furthermore, Auburn had brought the 39:39:22 formula into the discussion, which had been created in 1927 to fund teaching, extension, and research combined, not teaching alone. Actually, the University of Alabama received a lower state appropriation for campus teaching of Alabama residents than did API. API had criticized the 1935 legislature for appropriating $37,000 new dollars for campus teaching at Alabama, but failed to recognize that they had received an increase of $62,000 for the same purpose. Alabama also objected to Auburn's argument that the allocation should be based upon an equal amount per capita for in-state students enrolled in education curricula: Tuscaloosa had responsibility in teacher education that Auburn did not and had done more to follow state guidelines than had Auburn. The argument had endowment funds not calculated in the formula was irrelevant because these monies were largely restricted to specific purposes. "The High School Teacher Training Equalization Fund in Relation to the College of Education at the University of Alabama: A Statement to the State Board of Education," No date.

Zebulon Judd, dean of Auburn's School of Education, sent a draft letter to J.A. Keller, state superintendent of education, to Duncan for his review. Judd noted that in 1927-28, Auburn received $20,000 from the Teacher Education Equalization Fund, as opposed to Alabama's $65,000. At the same time, Auburn had 375 Alabama students enrolled in education curricula, while Alabama had only 61. Alabama now claimed that non-resident students enrolled in education curricula made money for the university. If this were so, then Auburn should have been receiving more per pupil, apparently because Alabama had an higher in-state enrollment. Despite Alabama's historic funding advantage, Auburn still had approximately the same number of Alabama students enrolled in education curricula. Auburn just wanted an even split of the money. Judd to Keller, April 11, 1935.

Representatives of Auburn, Alabama, and Montevallo met with the State Board of Education to discuss the teacher training fund. Each school was allotted 15 minutes. Auburn and Montevallo took 15 minutes and Alabama one hour. Tidwell--who spoke for Alabama--made the following points: Alabama had more Alabama students enrolled than Auburn and Montevallo combined; the State Board of Education had designed Alabama as the state's "official" school of education; the 1919 survey and the Brookings Institute report both recommended that Alabama become the state's "principal" institution of higher education; Auburn's state appropriations compared favorably with Alabama's, although Governor Graves interrupted to say that extension and the experiment station should not be included in this comparison; the 39:39:22 ratio had never been intended for application to the teacher training fund; almost all students enrolled in Alabama's school of education were in-state, [although Auburn contended that this was not true]; the previous allocation--70:25:5--should stand. Starnes led the fight for Alabama, with support from Carmichael and Woodall. Ellis led the fight for Auburn, with assistance from Barton, Comer, Denson, and Governor Graves. Starnes contended that the funds should go principally to one institution. Comer responded that 78 per cent of the white teachers in Alabama taught in rural communities and that they should be trained in a institution primarily concerned with the quality of rural life. The author of this report recommended that, if the matter came up again, Auburn should make every effort to demonstrate that enrollment of Alabama students in the school of education at Auburn and Alabama were approximately equal. The State Board would meet again in September, when the issue might resurface. No Author, "Notes on Meeting of State Board of Education in Apportioning High School Teacher-Training Fund," July 20, 1936.

LND prepared this report to the Alabama Educational Survey Commission in 1943. He contended that the state should "by painstaking study make every effort to adjust the work of these institutions [of higher education] so as to remove all possible friction and duplication," but the basic pattern (Auburn, Alabama, Montevallo) should be accepted. He reiterated the three proposals he had submitted to the interim legislative committees on education, finance, and taxation: (1) apply the principles of equalization so that "each student will receive approximately the same support regardless or the institution attended"; (2) that the institutions work out a plan of cooperative student recruitment; and (3) to assign Auburn and Alabama roles that allowed "each institution to render its maximum service to the people of the state in the fields in which it is best equipped to serve. "Luther N. Duncan, "To The Alabama Educational Survey Commission," [1943].

Duncan made the report referred to above to the interim legislative committees on education, finance, and taxation. Duncan to the Interim Committees, March 15, 1943.


Alabama Education Survey Commission

The last session of the legislature passed a law which called for a complete survey of the state's educational system, including higher education. The act provided for a commission of seven members appointed by the governor and the selection of a director. This commission would prepare recommendations for the 1945 legislative session. Duncan to Charles E. Friley, July 17, 1943.

Ralph Draughon wrote to Hubert Searcy, president of Huntingdon College, regarding the latter's appointment to the Alabama Education Survey Commission. Draughon hoped that the committee would "propose a sound distribution of function of higher education," which was "badly need." Perhaps this would end "the annual fighting and political bickering." Draughon to Searcy, August 6, 1943.

The chairman of the Educational Survey Commission invited Duncan to present his suggestions for guidance of the group. Searcy to Duncan, August 13, 1943.

Duncan appointed Executive Secretary Draughon as chair of an Auburn committee to assist the Study Commission. Duncan to Searcy, September 1, 1943.

Duncan submitted the report summarized above and dated [1943]. Luther N. Duncan, "To the Alabama Educational Survey Commission," September 28, 1943.

In 1944 the University of Alabama submitted this report to the Alabama Educational Survey Commission. The report argued that Alabama, like other state universities in the United States, had well-established and broad educational responsibilities for higher education in the state. Four times in its history, higher educational services had been delegated to other institutions. In three of the four cases this had initially occurred under a state government established by the Reconstruction Congress--the normal schools, higher education for blacks, and API. The fourth case was Montevallo. The report considered these developments "the result of the illogic inherent in the evolution of a democratic government." University of Alabama, "Report to the Alabama Educational Survey Commission," 1944.

Duncan wrote to the president of the state teachers' college in Florence, saying that many had long know what the University of Alabama meant when applying the term "capstone" to itself, but now it was "part of the recorded educational literature in Alabama." Duncan said he had never seen "a bolder, more deliberate, more vicious, or more deceptive document." He predicted that if the friends of the teachers' colleges, Montevallo, and API did not rise up and combat "this evil monster," it would consume them "just like the doctrine of Hitler." The document was entitled "Report to the Alabama Education Survey Commission" and was "deliberately planned and timed to do the most harm." Duncan to J.A. Keller, February 24, 1945.

Duncan had received an official copy of the Educational Survey Commission's recommendations and was making a careful study of them. Until that was complete, he did not intend to comment to the press regarding the report. Duncan to F.W. Hare, March 6, 1945.

Draughon was pleased with the commission's recommendations, but he predicted that the University of Alabama would oppose them in the state legislature and doubted that the proposed constitutional amendments would ever pass. In Draughon's opinion, this was the first study of its kind in Alabama which was not dominated by the University of Alabama. Draughon to John Dale Russell, March 7,1945.

Draughon heard that the president of the University of Alabama "got a little nasty with Hubert over the telephone about it." He doubted the Alabama would ever amend the constitution to create a central board. Draughon to Maurice F. Seay, March 7, 1945.

Duncan wrote to the president of the University of Alabama and proposed that they meet in Birmingham or Montgomery to discuss further cooperation between their institutions. He feared that a solution would be imposed from outside if they failed to resolve the problem themselves. Duncan to Raymond R. Paty, March 12, 1945.

Apparently, the one board proposed by the study commission would have included elementary through college. Duncan to D.W. Mullins, March 28, 1945.

Duncan noted the University of Alabama's definition of "capstone" institution: "In such states the state university legally incorporates the total public higher education programs in the state." According to Alabama, Auburn, Montevallo, and the state teachers' colleges were "illegitimate children...born out of the misery of the reconstruction period." Duncan to D.W. Mullins, March 29, 1945.

Some wanted consolidated boards, but separate ones for higher and grades 1-12. John W. Rish to Chauncey Sparks, April 7, 1945.

Auburn wanted to develop a plan for true equalization in funding; work out a joint system of recruiting students; and allocate teaching, research, and extension functions between themselves and Alabama so as to maximize efficiency. "Suggested Memorandum for the Guidance of Discussions," April 11, 1945.

Duncan and Draughon wanted to draft a bill which would embody the principles outlined in the memorandum of April 11. Duncan to S.L. Toomer, April 18, 1945.

The commission's recommendation that the state create a central board and abolish all existing boards "met much opposition." This would have required a constitutional amendment, which presented an obstacle "almost insurmountable." Governor Sparks proposed a central board, but would have left the existing boards in place. Duncan believed that this would have "complicated the situation." Maurice Seay of the University of Kentucky made a good impression on everyone in his work on the commission, except George A. Denny, former president of the University of Alabama, who was "supposed to be retired and living in Virginia." Duncan to Thomas Cooper, June 25, 1945.


Alabama: Coordination in Higher Education

David W. Mullins--Associate Professor of Education at API--prepared this study. The first portion of the study dealt with the problem on a national level, while the second part looked at the situation in Alabama. Alabama had a decentralized system, but during the past three decades there had been attempts to address the problems created by it. In 1911, for example, Governor O'Neal said that the state should encourage as much cooperation as possible under the constitution. Furthermore, O'Neal regretted Auburn and Alabama had not been originally combined as one institution. (O'Neal's remarks were taken from the 1932 Brookings Institution report entitled Organization and Administration of State Government in Alabama.) Then in 1919, the United States Office of Education conducted a survey of education in Alabama, which included "some rather far-reaching recommendations relative to coordination and cooperation in higher education." (See Bureau of Education, An Educational Study of Alabama, 1919, Bulletin 41, pp. 483-85.) These recommendations included creation of a state council on education, with representatives from Alabama, Auburn, and Montevallo, although the council had never functioned as designed. Then, in 1931, the Brookings Institution "gave considerable attention to the problem of coordination and cooperation between institutions of higher education" and made "numerous recommendations," which included unified budgetary review and a single board of control. The institutions involved often bitterly opposed the recommendations of these various groups and little had been done actually to implement them. David W. Mullins, "A Report on Coordination of Higher Education," No Date.

Alabama Emergency Commission on Higher Learning

Draughon--who's now serving as executive director of the Governor's Emergency Committee on Higher Education--sent Duncan the minutes of an informal meeting with the cover letter marked "confidential." The group met in Montgomery on September 12 and consisted of the presidents of white state colleges, the state superintendent of education, the secretary of the Alabama Education Association, and Draughon. Paty of UA called the meeting to order and explained the need for a higher education program to be prepared for the AEA legislative program. He raised the question of whether or not a unified program could be put together, even though all agreed that it was vital. Paty, Draughon, and Superintendent Meadows would be authorized to call the group back together if necessary. Draughon to Duncan, September 13, 1946.

The information committee that met September 12 gather with Governor Sparks in his office. The governor proposed the creation of a central agency by voluntary agreement among those represented. The group agreed to hold a conference on the subject on November 18. Draughon, "Minutes and Recommendations," November 11, 1946.

On June 11, 1946, Sparks had held a conference which established the Emergency Committee. He made available $740,000 to assist colleges in hiring faculty and erecting facilities to accommodate the returning veterans. Draughon to Ben Hibbs, November 15, 1946.

The informal group reconstituted itself as the Voluntary Committee on Tax Supported Higher Education and resolved to meet agin on November 26. Draughon, "Minutes," November 18, 1946.

The voluntary committee met and approved, in principle, the idea of a central agency. Draughon, "Minutes," November 26, 1946.

In his final report, Draughon concluded that "almost every aspect of the emergency in higher education in Alabama emphasizes the need for a unified plan for providing proper facilities to serve the needs of the State as a whole." Draughon, "Report of the Governor's Emergency Committee on Higher Education," December 1946.


University of Alabama

An official of the University of Alabama wrote to the governor complaining that Auburn had $5000 more than Tuscaloosa for campus teaching. He objected to the 39:39:22 formula being applied to campus teaching alone. R.E. Tidwell to Bibb Graves, September 26, 1935.

Duncan wrote to the newly-named president of the University of Alabama, saying the relationship between their two schools was "of such magnitude and gravity" that he had "give the whole question...more than any problem" he had faced as president of API. Real friends of both institutions wanted them to cooperative, as did the taxpayers of Alabama. But every consolidation plan presented had failed to gain momentum. Duncan hoped that he a Paty could work together to facilitate cooperation. Duncan to Raymond Paty, August 17, 1942.

Duncan wrote to Paty regarding the relative appropriations for Auburn and Alabama. A surface reading of the figures might indicate that Auburn received more than Alabama from the state, but many of these monies were earmarked by law for agricultural extension and research. Actually, Alabama received more for resident teaching than did Auburn. Duncan to Paty, December 9, 1942.

Duncan proposed that, for the upcoming legislature, Auburn and Alabama agree upon their funding request from the legislature for resident teaching and campus research, that the funds be distributed to provide the same amount per student at each institution, and that these figures be determined based upon in-state enrollment. Duncan to Paty, December 21, 1942.

Duncan urged Paty that Auburn, Montevallo, and Alabama agree to equalize funding for campus instruction and research so that students received approximately the same per capita in state dollars regardless of which institution they attended, that the institutions work out a joint recruitment program, that resources of Auburn and Alabama be deployed for the maximum benefit of the people of Alabama. Duncan to Paty, March 10, 1943.

Paty replied that he agreed upon the need for cooperation, but urged that they approach the matter carefully. The proposal Duncan outlined had not been studied carefully enough to justify acceptance at this time. Paty to Duncan, March 13, 1943.

Duncan will be glad to consider any suggestions from Paty, provided they do "equal and impartial justice" to all concerned and assure that each student receive the same level of state support regardless of which institution he or she attended. Duncan to Paty, March 17, 1943.

The governor wrote to Duncan and Pety saying that they should resume athletic contests between the two schools. "There should be no unfriendliness, no jealousy and no ill will whatsoever in either institution as against the other." Chauncey Sparks to Duncan and Paty, February 11, 1944.

Duncan agreed with Sparks. In fact, he thought Auburn and Alabama should cooperate on every front. Duncan reminded the governor of the plan he had advocated at the last session of the legislature. [See Duncan to Paty, March 10, 1943.] Duncan to Sparks, February 12, 1944.

Duncan proposed that he and Paty meet to discuss cooperation between Auburn and Alabama. If they did not agree voluntarily, someone might force a solution from outside. Duncan to Paty, March 12, 1945.

Draughon wrote to the state superintendent of education congratulating him on the fight against the proposed appropriation for "the University Medical School." The appropriation of $1 million was sufficient and the people of Alabama had not idea that "they were going to be saddled with another appropriation of $1,200,000." Norton's position was "morally right" and "legally sound." Draughon noted that Paty and Kracke had feigned "injured innocence" in the matter. Draughon to Elbert Norton, April 27, 1946.


Athletics: Auburn versus Alabama

The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama voted not to resume athletic relations with Auburn. [See Sparks to Duncan and Paty, February 11, 1944.] The Anniston Star criticized this decision, as did a number of other Alabama papers. Anniston Star, June 5, 1944.

Auburn and Alabama probably hadn't played since 1907. Duncan to R.A. Polglaze, June 28, 1944.

Duncan urged Paty to meet with his to discuss mutual cooperation between the two schools. Duncan to Paty, March 12, 1945.

Paty proposed that they meet on April 11 in Birmingham. Paty to Duncan, March 26, 1945.


Conference on Higher Education

Duncan invited all the presidents of Alabama institutions to attend this meeting, scheduled for September 4 and 5, to discuss informally their common problems. Duncan to F.J. Kelly, June 27, 1945.

Paty, Duncan, and Searcy were appointed a committee to plan similar conferences in the future. Duncan to George R. Stuart, November 8, 1945.


Go to Finding Aid for Presidential Records, Luther Noble Duncan 

Go to the Auburn University Archives and Manuscripts Department Homepage