MB: Were you close to your colleagues at Rutgers?
RM: I felt close to a great many members of the department. However, I did not hang around the office and spend a lot of time gossiping, chatting, whatever you might call it. Frankly, I was too busy for that, so I was less involved in on-the-scene socializing, I suppose, than many other members of the department. What happened essentially was, as we got into the 1960s, there was a considerable expansion in the size of the department, because we were now in the period of expanding the university to accommodate “baby-boomers.” Hence, we had a great many new people, who in many instances reflected what we might generally call the new influences of the 1960s in terms of politics, lifestyles, and academic interests; and as a consequence something of a generation gap manifested itself between the older members of the department—those who had, for the most part, joined the department between 1945 and 1960—and those who arrived later on. And obviously, the older members of the department were senior not only in years but in rank, and consequently wielded a great deal of influence in terms of tenure and promotion. That created some divisions, and, moreover, as I say, the generational differences as reflected in the 1960s also created differences. So, for a time, there was a great deal of tension in the department.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: McCormick of Rutgers:Scholar, Teacher, Public Historian. Contributors: Michael J. Birkner - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2001. Page number: 81.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.