SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
THE 60s & 70s
Don K. Harrison & Percy Bates
U-M was also feeling the impact of The Civil Rights Movement, that began in the early 60s, when we came to Michigan. Robben Fleming was president of U-M when the first of three Black Action Movements (BAM) occurred at U-M in 1970. This was a student protest movement that advocated for an increase in minority student enrollment, as well as an increase in the number of minority faculty. Our appointments were in the School of Education, and Wilbur J. Cohen (formerly Secretary of Health Education & Welfare) was dean.
Black students enrollment increased during Wilbur Cohen’s tenure. African American faculty appointments in the School began to increase in the 60s, continued in the 70s, and declined thereafter. If a black faculty member was not the ‘first’ in his or her department, that faculty member was most likely ‘among the firsts’. At one time, there may have been as many as 20 African Americans who held faculty appointments concurrently in the School of Education. There is a bit of fluidity in the numbers since some faculty colleagues left the School for various reasons, including, the acceptance of other positions, and school reorganization.
Programs in which black faculty held appointments during the 60s and 70s, and after, included: Administration & Supervision, Al Loving, Charles Moody, Leonard Sain; Educational Psychology, Betty Morrison; Guidance & Counseling; Don Harrison, *William Cash; Higher Education, Murray Jackson; Instructional Technology, Warren Palmer; Physical Education, Joe Vaughn; Social Foundations, Tshome Wagaw; Special Education, Percy Bates, Jonas Chenault, Ray Elliot, Joe Price; Teacher Education, Gwendolyn Baker; and Vocational Education, Ella Bowen, Rudy Lockett. Programs that appointed black faculty after the 70s were in: Higher Education, Michael Nettles; and Educational Studies, Arnetha Ball, **Henry Meares, Sherry Saunders.
During the 60s and 70s, programs with Native, Brown, and Asia faculty members were appointed in: Health Education, Edward McLendon; Teacher Education, Irene Tejada; and Social Foundation, Cho Yee To. After the 70s, Educational Studies appointed Elaine Chen.
The length of time these colleagues remained on the faculty at U-M varied and so did their tenure status. We recall several who were significantly engaged in writing research proposals and obtaining grant funding for projects that enhanced their contributions to the University.
*Primary appointment was in the Office of the President
**Primary appointment was in the Office of the Dean