Status: Complete


The consolidation bill was introduced in 1931, after being carefully prepared. I made a radio address to the people of the State on the question and following that I appeared before a joint session of the General Assembly and delivered a special message on the question. This bill was carefully amended by the Legislature and passed the House with three against, and the Senate with four against.

Due to the vision of Senator Whedbee in cooperation with the Presidents of the throe institutions, instead of delaying until 1930, they thought consolidation would be safest in 1931, instead of later. No step was taken without the utmost consideration. Everything that could be foreseen dealing with these institutions has been regarded and preserved.

A commission of twelve members charged with definite duties was appointed and each member attended all of the meetings. At the first meeting Dr. Kendrick, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Brooks and Mr. Jackson were appointed on a subcommittee to formulate a line of procedure. They recommended that we should secure the most disinterested and skillful men in higher education to whom this study should be entrusted. Dr. Cooper and Dr. Kelly were the first men selected who went over the whole subject with tnem and with caution. They said there was only one man in America they thought equal to the task and recommended that the Commission ask Dr. Works to be Director and that he select the most competent men available to help him. Each institution cooperated with Dr. Works and his associates. We have lived within the set-up appropriated but Dr. Works was in no way limited or restrained but was offered a full unhampered field. From his report the Commission worked out what you have in the report of the Commission on University Colsolidation.

The thing before this board today is set forth in section 9, chapter 202, Public Laws, 1951. This Consolidation Commission has gone into every phase and feature of this problem and by a unanimous vote presents to you today its recommendations. Today as we approach the fixing of the budget we are confronted with an economic condition that I do not like to refer to, but must in order that you may get the full impression of the wisdom and foresight that led to this consolidation. If this group of men had not put their heads together and consolidated their wisdom and experience to tackle this problem on a scientific basis, it could not have been accepted. It is so much finer and more useful for the future of this State that this happened in 1931 instead of 1935. I am afraid that the General Assembly would not have had the scientific knowledge to put this over. This is a year that challenges every power of this State to meet it. The General Assembly appropriated more money than could be collected. The responsibility of reconciling things was put on the Governor. After cutting $3,000,000 there is a deficit of four million. There will be two million less revenue collected this year than was collected last year, according to A. J. Maxwell.

This university consolidation is almost providential in its nature.
These three institutions can be envisioned and shall be, not as competitors, but shall be looked at and contemplated and considered as one unit for the advancement of higher education in North Carolina. We would have a deficit of $13,900,000, and employees would have scrip instead of money but for the cuts against the appropriations of the General Assembly, So long as I am Governor of North Carolina the credit and character of this State will be preserved. I honestly believe there never was a time when higher education ever met more favorable opportunity for being carried through and that these three college presidents will add new lustre to the crown of higher education in North Carolina."

Dr. Works then addressed the Board setting forth the manner of procedure of the committee speaking as follows:

"A survey committee was chosen composed of people from outside the State, because what you wanted was an outside point of view. We had on the survey committee Pres. McVey, Dr. Ford, Dr. Wickenden, Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Cartwright, Dr. Judd, and Dr,

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