The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 22, 1979, Image 2
Texas A&M University
February 22, 1979
It s been a month now since Texas A&M Chancellor Jack Williams
resigned. Since then the Board of Regents has made no apparent move to
find a replacement for him.
Regents said a search committee would be formed to look for a new
chancellor. However, the committee hasn’t been designated and the re
gents show no urgency about it — about finding a person presumed to be
a major administrator for a university system.
Bomxl Chairman Clyde Wells has said the Svstem needs a chancellor.
1 hat is, nobody wants only one person :to administer the University and
the 11 other parts of the System.
When Williams resigned, Wells was designated to perform the duties
of the chancellor, coming to campus a few times each week. At the
Academic Council meeting last Friday, Texas A&M President Miller em
phasized that Wells is not acting chancellor — but has been delegated the
tasks of the chancellor.
This fine distinction probably allows Wells to stay off campus more,
which may be why he’s not “acting chancellor.”
Wells has delegated many of his duties and says he’s had no problems
since Chancellor Williams resigned — the job doesn’t seem to be much
Still unclear is why the regents have made no steps toward finding a
new chancellor. Maybe the regents are eyeing President Miller for Sys
tem president — the post Williams had before the chancellorship was
The move would follow an Aggie tradition — abandon the two-man
set-up and give the current Texas A&M president all the duties.
Take the Earl Rudder-M.T. Harrington case as one example.
Like the Williams-Miller sequence. President Harrington was “pro
moted to chancellor and eventually resigned after reports of friction
between the two leaders. The board then chose Earl Rudder to be presi
dent of the University System.
The current board shows every indication that it may follow this path
and make Jarvis Miller president of the System.
Miller has been given several systems-level responsibilities as the
Texas A&M president. Both the agricultural and engineering extension
services and research stations were given to Miller when the board
created new vice presidents for them under him. Moody College which
has also been part of the system’s duties was also designated to report
through Miller to the chancellor.
That leaves Tarleton State University, the Forestry Service and Prairie
View A&M University on the chancellor-systems level — comparatively
small duties next to the Texas A&M president’s present role.
So far Dr. Williams has made no statement about his reasons for leav
ing. The regents named him assistant to the board as an adviser shortly
after his resignation. However, Williams has not moved back to his office
in the Systems building and appears to be taking the leave of absence he
said he ..planned* when he resigned- The post seems., mpre a title —^
reason tt> continue paying ■Williams his former Salary — than anything
The next scheduled Board of Regents meeting won’t be until the end of
Perhaps the regents want to see how President Miller handles his
increased responsibilities — to see if he’s fit for the System presidency.
Or maybe they have found someone within the present system they’re
grooming for the chancellor’s job.
And they don’t seem to mind making us wait.
By STEVE GERSTEL
United Press International
WASHINGTON — Some members of
Congress — although certainly not all —
are notorious truants.
They miss Senate and House sessions
with sometimes dizzying frequency and
can and have stalled legislation by their
absences. Yet, the most that congressional
leaders do is plead with their charges to he
It is not that unusual for Senate Demo
cratic leader Robert Byrd to schedule a
key vote at a time that accommodates both
senators flying back from, and those flying
to, somewhere else.
If the members of Congress were in the
service, the military police would be
placed on alert and a court martial for
being AWOL would await them on their
return. Or if they were kids in school, the
truant officer would be pounding on the
Although it is little-known and com
pletely ignored. Congress has a remedy
for truancy and it is written in law.
The Foundation for the Study of Presi
dential and Congressional Terms, in a re
search report printed late last year,
pointed out that a law, dating back to
1856, allows Congress to dock the pay of
The law provides that a day’s pay be de
ducted for each day that a senator or con
gressman is absent. The only excuses are
sickness, either his own or in the family.
The proposal was a rider to a bill hiking
the salary of members of Congress and was
approved, as the foundation notes, when
“absenteeism was pervasive.”
The foundation found that the law was
enforced twice in the House — in 1894
and again in 1914 — and periodically in
the Senate from 1856 to 1867.
Last year, the foundation found that
senators could have been docked some
$277,000 and House members $1.4 mil
lion. The foundation concedes that the
amount would have been lower because
many of the absences were undoubtedly
Many absences are justified. In addition
to illness, members of Congress are drawn
away by field hearings, inspection trips
and other affairs directly tied to legisla
Many absences are not. They include
extended vacations or weekends that start
Thursday or end Tuesday or both; out-of-
town speeches to pick up a little extra
money; and, mainly, home-state cam
It is not unusual for senators, especially,
to spend weeks on end in their states cam
paigning for re-election — flying back for
only the most critical votes.
And for those few with presidential aspi
rations the year before the national con
ventions becomes a caravan through the
primary states with only a drop off in
It is highly unlikely that either the Se
nate or House will ever go back to docking
According to the foundation, the House
is relying on Deschler’s Precedents which
govern the rules of the House.
A section of those precedents states,
“Due to the number of members, and to
the proliferation of their official duties in
Congress, committee field work, and in
their enforcement of the law is no longer
The Senate’s position is that it should
not be enforced until the Senate decides
whether such a step should be taken.
Key to one success:
try it the other way
Letters to the Editor
No need to hazard Nukes
I have a few comments to make in re
sponse to David Eppes’ letter (Battalion,
First, I would like to point out that his
statement concerning the nuclear indus
tries “flawless safety record” is just plain
false. Granted, there have not been any
major catastrophes, however, a little re
search into the matter reveals numerous
accounts of radioactive leaks and spills.
(For instance read the U.S. Congressional
Record for March 11, 1976).
You apparently have not heard about
the Karen Silkwood case. You might find a
few unpleasant surprises if you read about
that. Maybe when you said “flawless safety
record you forgot that the nuclear power
process starts with uranium mining and
doesn’t end until the radioactive wastes
are disposed. By the way, I’d like to hear
more about your safe, simple solution for
nuclear waste disposal. You are the first
person I’ve heard make such a claim.
The truth of the matter is that nuclear
power is unnecessary. There are other
energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal
etc.) that will work just as well if we put
the time and money into them that has
gone into developing nuclear power. So
why risk the safety hazard and why dig up
the country looking for uranium.
Most of all, why put so much invest
ment into still another limited energy
source. The sun, wind and others will be
around as long as we will but uranium
won’t. Personally, I feel it is unfortunate
that more people don’t know just how bad
nuclear power is. NO NUKES!
—Dennis Chester, 81
SCONA: As a professor at your Univer
sity, I want you to know that your extra
efforts are noticed and appreciated.
Professor, electricial engineering
Editor’s note: The Student Conference
on National Affairs (SCONA) was held
last week at Texas A&M.
Guest viewpoints, in addition to
Letters to the Editor, are welcome.
All pieces submitted to Readers’
forum should be:
• Typed triple space
• Limited to 60 characters per
• Limited to 100 lines
By LeROY POPE
UPI Business Writer
NEW YORK — “The less you know
about what you’re doing the better.”
That may sound like strange advice from
a businessman, but it’s also reminiscent of
the old saw kbout the chap who “didn’t
know it couldn’t be done, so be went
ahead and succeeded at it.”
Robert Darvin, who runs a chain of 11
stores selling Scandinavian furniture in
New England, appeared to contradict
himself when he added a corollary: “Care
fully monitor the leaders in your field —
then avoid their methods like the plague.”
You can hardly monitor a business without
becoming familiar with it.
Darvin and his wife, Gretchen, knew
next to nothing about retailing when they
started their business in 1965 at Natick,
Mass. He was Boston sales manager for
the building materials division of Jim Wal
ter Corp. of Tampa. Gretchen, then his
fiancee, was working for Sylvania. He and
Gretchen were furnishing his apartment
when a friend told them about Wilmer
White, an Air Force pilot who was bring
ing quality furniture of unusual design
from Denpiark a piece at a time.
When White suddenly was transferred
to Alaska by the Air Force Darvin bought
his stock for $3,000 — only $200 down —
and he and Gretchen went into the busi
ness of selling it.
Soon Darvin was faced with a hard
choice. Jim Walter offered him a substan
tial promotion. He chose to quit and de
vote himself to selling the Danish furni
ture. Today, the Darvin’s firm, Scandina
vian Design, has 11 stores and annual sales
of $12 million.
Darvin says he achieves sales of $300 to
$400 per square foot of floor space annu
ally compared with an average of $70 for
the conventional furniture store. His profit
averages 5 percent on sales against 2 per
cent for most furniture stores.
This high sales and profit ratio to area
has enabled Darvin to make furniture re
tailing pay in relatively high rent shopping
centers, something generally regarded as
“We break every rule in the book,”
Darvin says. “We make it a policy to re
solve every complaint to the customer’s
satisfaction, even if it costs money. We
don’t regard ourselves as selling pieces of
furniture but as helping fafnilfes*solve fur
nishing problems and so far we have
helped some 400,000 families.”
The Darvins’ stores average only about
16,000 square feet compared with 42,000
for the conventional furniture store.
Darvin apparently is a bom salesman.
He made $5,000 the year he was 16 selling
printing while still in high school. During
his college days at Rutgers and Columbia
he sold shoes.
The purchase of pilot White’s furniture
stock might have remained just a sideline
venture for the Darvins if it hadn’t been
for a trip they made to Denmark to visit
the factory where White had bought the
furniture. They financed the trip on a
credit card, gambling that the visit to the
factory would produce enough benefits to
pay for it.
The Danish factory promptly presented
them with a bill for the $200 balance
White owed. The Darvins didn’t have the
money to pay but by the time they were
ready to come home they had talked the
Danish firm, Moller & Rothe, out of a sub
stantial new line of credit. Now they
handle 40 percent of the factory’s yearly
Four of the Darvin stores are in greater
Boston, others elsewhere in Massachu
setts, New York and Vermont. A store is to
be opened in Providence this year.
“We don’t let prospects get away, ” Dar
vin says. “We sell almost one of every
three persons who comes in.”
Ya done good
This is an open letter to congratulate the
SCONA committee on the success of an
important, well-organized, and efficiently
run conference on national affairs. The
choice of subject matter was timely and
the selection of speakers was excellent.
The overall quality of SCONA is a credit
to their ability to design, finance, and
complete a complex project and the results
reflect well on Texas A&M, and the stu
dents should be justly proud.
It gave me a great deal of personal plea
sure to be involved as a round table co-
chairman interacting with all the students,
but I also felt a strong sense of pride in
them as Texas A&M University students
for taking the leadership role to make
Top of the News
Motorcycle safety program cited
The Industrial Education Department of Texas A&M University
has been recognized for its efforts in promoting motorcycle safety
through instructor preparation. The department will receive an
award this spring from a seminar of the Motorcycle Safety Founda
tion. The department offered a course designed by the foundation
involving 20 hours of instruction on the operation of the motorcycle
for new riders. Only 12 schools out of the 50 offering the course will
receive an award.
Local churches to hold seminar
Nine parishes in the Bryan-College Station area have completed
plans for an ecumenical seminar to be held at the first Prepbyterm
Church in Bryan on March 2 and 3. The theme of the three-dm
seminar will be “Approaches to Christian Formation.” The seminaris
being held in cooperation with the Council of Southwestern Theolog
ical Schools and the H.E. Butt Foundation.
I White Hospi
I Jarvis Mille
Davis lawyers told to be specific
The district judge hearing the divorce case between Fort Wortli
millionaire T. Cullen Davis and his estranged wife, Priscilla, told her
attorneys to “hit the jugular vein” with more specific questions.
Judge John M. Barron of Bryan told the lawyers to simplify their
questioning. Most of the testimony presented Wednesday had been
gone over the day before. The case involves millions of dollars in
community property and lias lasted over five years.
Insurance firms called alarmist
Three insurance companies, including one in Texas, have been
accused of creating “an emotional atmosphere of concern about con
tracting cancer, the Massachusetts Insurance Division reported
Tuesday. The division cited American Income Life Insurance Co. of
Waco, the Family Life Insurance Co. of Columbus, Ga., and the
Washington National Insurance Co. of Evanston, Ill., for questiona
ble advertising. The division said the companies used lists of celeb
rities who have died of cancer, statistics on death rates from cancer,
and warnings in capital letters, such as “CANCER CAN HAPPEN
TO YOU, ” in their advertising. The agency said the ads focused on
the disease itself rather than the cost or possible benefits of the
insurance. The companies have sold most of their policies in Massa
chusetts, according to state officials.
By PHY L
The Texas A
lird annual s
/ith the Os
londay and Tu
L. Downs Nat
School plan goes to high court
The U.S. Supreme Court granted a hearing Wednesday to Dallas
school officials who argue that a desegragation plan allowing one-race
schools to continue operating meets constitutional standards. In
1976, U.S. District Court Judge W.M. Taylor permitted one-race
schools to remain in Dallas because of the distance students would
have to be bused. A U.S. Appeals court later ordered Taylor to hold
further hearings on the matter and to draw up a new Dallas student
.assignment plan with justification for one-race schools. The Supreme
Court agreed earlier this year to hear similar cases involving schools
in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio.
“The girls stt
lanning for the
the fall by a j
ho decides wl
wn,” swim me
he material tli
le water will
te fabric ar»<
Irish gang members sentenced
Eleven members of a fanatical gang in Belfast, Northern Ireland,
were sentenced to a total of 42 life sentences plus 900 years Tuesday.
Judge Thurlough O’Donnell in sentencing the “Shankill Butchers,
as they were called, said the men had committed crimes “so cruel and
so revolting to be beyond the comprehension of a normal person.
The leader of the gang, Billy Moore, 30, was given 14 life sentences
on charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and bombings.
Another gang member William Bates, also 30, received 16 life sen r
tences. The judge recommended that the two should never be
Premier loses support in Italy
The Socialist Party in Italy has refused to support Premier-
designate Giulio Andreotti of the Christian Democrat party increas
ing the possibility of early national elections there. Italy has been
without a government since Jan. 31 after the Communist Party with
drew its support of Andreotti. Andreotti was hoping for the socialist
support to keep his government in power. Italian President Sandro
Pertini, a Socialist, is considering appointing a politician outside of
the Christian Democrat party to form the 41st government in Italy
since the end of World War II. Socialist Party leader, Bettino Craxi,
said Andreotti’s unsuccessful! attempts at forming a government pe-
vent him from allowing socialist support.
lid. For exar
low, “Salute t
ie show are p
the club n
ie University <
Williams wi 11
omeone we 11
ate the show, ’
The club sw
Overcast skies, drizzle and fog with a chance of thunder
showers this afternoon and tonight. High today 74° and a low
of 60°. Winds are S-SE at 10-15 mph. A cool front will be
moving into the Bryan-College Station area tomorrow morn
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Managing Editor LizNi’ 11
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