FanPost

On Having Both a Great Chancellor and Great AD

-Bumped. BN Eds.

From the Department of Redundancy Department, I apologize for repeating myself. I had commented on a thread that had been inactive for a few days, and has since withered on the vine.

I repeat it here, because it's germane to the topic of (we hope) selecting a new HC and AD. Mine had been a response to a poster who posited that having a Chancellor who was a sports fan was not essential to having a top-flight football program. For Bruinsnation, a place that cherishes the four letters, you will love the excerpt below in which Murphy, single-handedly, puts the four letters on the map.

I don't mean to canonize Murphy and Morgan, or to demonize Block and Guerrero. All are human, and none are perfect. But, the football results speak for themselves.

I agree that it's not essential for Block to be a sports fan in order for UCLA to have a first-class sports program, in all sports. As you say, that’s the AD’s job. But, having the encouragement and backing of the Chancellor sure doesn’t hurt, and can be of great help.

The Chancellor in my years was one Franklin Murphy. I think that Murphy was a bit of a sports fan, but more importantly, he took great pride in the institution and the four letters that symbolize it. Among his many accomplishments, Murphy put J. D. Morgan in charge of UCLA’s troubled sports program precisely because he was a sports guy who also had business acumen.

”We needed a competent business person who also knew something about athletics and [had an] abiding interest in sports,” Murphy would later reflect.

Among his accomplishments, Murphy:

... played important roles in the realization of Pauley Pavilion, the establishment of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, and the passage of the 1962, 1964, and 1966 bond issues which provided UCLA with $95,000,000 in construction funds...

As for Morgan, he didn't sit on his hands, either.

As associate business manager, Morgan was instrumental in arranging the financing for several major campus building projects, including Ackerman Student Union and the four high-rise residence halls.
As UCLA’s new director of intercollegiate athletics, Morgan – previously the associate university business manager and men’s tennis coach – would soon revitalize the sports program, catapult Bruin teams into the national spotlight, and ultimately redefine UCLA athletics as a model looked to by universities across the country.

Murphy’s best contribution may have been his attitude. When he left being Dean of the Kansas University Medical School and Chancellor of University of Kansas to become UCLA’s Chancellor, he did it whole hog. UCLA was neither a stepping stone, nor a final hurrah. He threw himself into being Chancellor, wielding tremendous pride in the four letters, and he expected everyone "underneath" him to do the same. To further show this pride, I offer one final excerpt from the book The Culture Broker: Franklin D. Murphy and the Transformation of Los Angeles.

It infuriated Murphy every time he called his office and heard the operator announce, "University of California, Los Angeles Branch." In short order, he instructed the campus operators to say instead, "Thank you for calling UCLA." "From now on out," Murphy told his staff, "everything around here is UCLA. We will make those four letters just as visible and indelible as MIT." When a Berkely administrator complained, Murphy snapped, "I authorized it. And make it quite clear to everybody up there that if I can’t authorize the telephone operators to identify the institution, I sure as hell shouldn’t stay at UCLA because it would be my belief that my authority is zero." Almost overnight, stationery, signs, and campus vehicles were inscribed with a new insignia: the four block letters "UCLA."

No, having the ardent support of a Chancellor isn’t absolutely crucial. And, having an AD with a keen business sense may seem incidental. But, boy, wouldn’t someone like Murphy and Morgan be a good fit now?

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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