TAPE 1, SIDE 1
MR. COLLINS: At the conclusion of our last interview, we wound up your tenure at the Underwater Sound Laboratory, and I think we would like to pick up from there. I notice, as part of your biography, you received a Medal of Merit. Could you go into the background of why you received that and when that occurred?
DR. GLENNAN: The Medal of Merit is recommended by some of the commands for which you work, and I was recommended by the Submarine Command. I was working for Columbia University Division of War Research, doing underwater sound and warfare work, some ordnance and other things. They apparently (I didn't know anything about it) recommended that my boss, Tim Shea, and my associate, Kneel Nunan, and I think one of my engineers, Bill Fritz, were all recommended and approved for the Medal of Merit. We were called to Washington, and Forrestal gave them to us, and I noted that, noted down the date, on 15 April 1946. I was working in Binghamton then at ANSCO. The citation is just the usual fluff, superior this that and the other,in the best tradition of the Navy.
COLLINS: So in essence it was recognizing your work in heading up the laboratory.
GLENNAN: Yes. Yes, and I think that--it's not for me to say, I suppose-- but our laboratory was an aggressive laboratory. We put together something that was inherited from the British, a radio sono-buoy. They started out with convoys, dropping the sono-buoys off the stern of the last ship in the convoy. They had a radio transmitting set in it that would sometimes tell them that there was a submarine operating in the vicinity. We developed the sono-buoy for use with airplanes--patrol planes. The sono-buoy, on hitting the water, automatically erected an antenna from the top of the buoy and dropped a hydrophone on about 20 feet of cable. A very much miniaturized radio transmitter was turned on and what was heard by the hydrophone was broadcast on a particular frequency. In those days, a submarine was a noisy creature and the noise of its propellers and machinery was broadcast to the plane which had dropped the buoy. The planes carried acoustic torpedoes and dropped them when they had a good indication that there was a target under water. We perfected that, and in doing it, did a lot of miniaturization of instruments and piece parts and a radio transmitter. We dropped them out of airplanes, and they had to be built so that they would hold frequency within a very narrow limit; that is, so that the shock of hitting the water wouldn't throw them off frequency. This was important so that the receiver in the airplane could get information back. We finally got to the point where we had 12 discrete frequencies, and we could drop a circle of 12 different buoys each with its own frequency. By comparing the strength of the signal, it was possible to comparatively listen. You could approximately tell where the submarine was, that is, what quadrant it was in and how close to the buoys because the sound level was fairly stable.
DR. NEEDELL: You didn't do it by coincidence technique, of matching the timing--that same signal--to the different buoys, but just by the level--
GLENNAN: No, these were not under water radar--so-called "sonar". Such a thing may be done now. We were given credit for getting nine German submarines with those buoys. Two or three of the buoys were thrown off a destroyer or destroyer escort, and listened to by the ships that sailed in those waters, but most of them from the air. I was from Hollywood, and we did everything with a flair, you know. I had set aside one room in which we put panels, standard panels, I suppose they were three by four feet or something like that, hinged, and you could just walk along. We made miniature copies of everything that we were doing, so when an Admiral would come up, he didn't have to look over the whole laboratory to see what was going on. He came in and we showed him most of our projects in that one room. Modestly, I think it made a good show and was impressive. I think our lab got as many of these Medals of Merit as any of the labs.
COLLINS: Let's talk about what you thought about doing in the postwar period, as the war drew to a close.
GLENNAN: You must remember that I had been in Hollywood. In it but not of it, that's an important distinction. We had four little kids when the war ended. The boy was nine, and the baby was just less than a year. Somehow or other Mrs. Glennan and I did not think we wanted to go back to the world of make-believe, although I had a very lucrative and well-protected contract that David Selznick offered to me, to be his general manager. It was kind of exciting, you know. But, instead of that, I went up to Binghamton and went to work for ANSCO. It was an alien property seized from the Germans--the Farben Industries, Agfa Ansco. I didn't particularly want to work for something that had been taken over, and that really didn't belong to us. But it was to be sold. The Alien Property Custodian was to sell it within six months. It was another four years, I guess, before they finally sold it. Ansco was making film and cameras. I had known the man who hired me in the motion picture business. He was from Cleveland, Allan Williford of the National Carbon Company. They made carbons for the arc lights that we used on motion picture sets. I went up there as assistant general manager of the film plant, and God knows I didn't know how you started to make film, but that's kind of normal for me.
NEEDELL: Explain a little bit for me how the management of one of these properties was run. Was it a commission, a government commission?
GLENNAN: No. I'm not sure I know. There was an Alien Property Custodian.
NEEDELL: Appointed by the federal government?
GLENNAN: Yes. We had seized the plant, as we seized many of Siemens' subsidiaries and suppliers over here, and then we just operated it as an American company. The man who was serving as President of Agfa, later became President of TWA, Jack Fry.
NEEDELL: Was there a private board of directors?
GLENNAN: Yes. It was operated just like an American company. We had a board of directors. We had a general manager in this case, Mr. Williford.
NEEDELL: The profits went to the government?
GLENNAN: Sure. If there were any. We were in a pretty tough business. Eastman Kodak was quite a competitor, and a much better competitor then than we were. We were rather small, as a matter of fact.
NEEDELL: I see, so this was just supposed to be temporary until you could find a buyer.
GLENNAN: That's right. I remember Williford said to me, "Keith, come on with me. In six months we'll be a straight forward American company." The Alien Property Custodian would put it up for sale, and the purchaser--the purchase money would go into the federal treasury. But that didn't happen. The people who were most involved in the management of Ansco were German-born. Strangely enough, my first experience with them. Leopold--
NEEDELL: --they decided to stay?
GLENNAN: That's right. Leopold Eckler was the vice-president and manager of the film plant, and quite a number of his immediate subordinates were also from Germany. Cameras, we had our own people pretty much, but they'd gone to war. We'd actually stopped making cameras at Ansco during the war and made collimators and things of that sort. Or instrumentation. Mind you, I had done nothing of that sort. I had, of course, 15 years in the picture business--traveling, installing, and managing. And I think because I was brought in by Williford, who was the General Manager of Ansco. His office was in New York, the plant was in Binghamton.
NEEDELL: What was the rationale for doing this? Was it because of local political concerns about jobs and income for the region? Why was the government interested in keeping it?
GLENNAN: I don't know. I could guess that anything that could make money might be useful to the US government. There were some good technical people there, that probably wouldn't be employed in the war effort, but could, as with the collimators, could provide piece parts for telescopes and other percussion instruments.
NEEDELL: Then after the war, it was a going concern?
GLENNAN: Yes. It was sold. It's still known as Ansco.
NEEDELL: Who bought it?
GLENNAN: I think it was just simply put on the market and sold to the public.
COLLINS: So what did you find yourself doing? What did you find at Ansco?
GLENNAN: I found myself following a big burly German around, learning how film was made and coated with an emulsion. We were making the first competitive American-made color film. Competing with Kodak. Gaevert in Belgium, I think, was making color film as well. We didn't do very well with it. But for certain types of films, professional photographers' plates, the good old camera that you put the hood over, we made very good professional film, black and white.
NEEDELL: Did Ansco ever get involved in making scientific emulsions for use in cosmic ray physics?
GLENNAN: They did a lot of X-ray film, and so I presume they did. I really don't recall. And I didn't get that much involved. You'll find as you get to know me that I don't get my fingers dirty in mud trying to find out how things happen. I get people that make them happen and work with them, or through them.
COLLINS: Is that what you saw as an opportunity at Ansco?
GLENNAN: --hadn't thought about it. No. I think that's just developed over the years. Here I was asked to go in and be assistant to the general manager of the film department, and hell, I'd never seen a foot of film made! And then I was made manager of the camera plant. God knows I didn't know anything about making cameras. I just went in and went to work.
NEEDELL: You say that the Selznick company offer was quite lucrative. Was this far less financially advantageous?
GLENNAN: It was less than a third.
COLLINS: You really did have a strong disinclination to go back to Hollywood.
GLENNAN: Yes. It was a five year contract with penalties in it, if I was dismissed before the end of the five year period, the one I didn't take from Selznick. Ruth and I, with children now in school, recognizing the kind of life that you normally find yourself living out in Hollywood--it was a land of make believe, to a much greater extent than it is today--because there was very little industry out there until just before the war, when companies like Goodyear built a plant out there. One or two of the steel companies were started up out there, but there wasn't any real industry indigenous to the area, and it just had a lot of sunshine. A perfect place for building airplanes and making motion pictures. They did much of the camera shooting outdoors, in the sun.
NEEDELL: So you moved to Binghamton?
GLENNAN: Binghamton, New York.
COLLINS: You were essentially at Ansco just for a couple of years. How did you find yourself thinking about your job? Was there a sense in which it was not fully satisfying to you?
GLENNAN: Yes. Quite. I guess it was in that period, Marty, that I came to the conclusion--I don't know how I got around to this--that I had, as a kid who got a new pair of pants every second year whether he needed it or not, a very poor family, and much lower middle class, believe me, had had this opportunity during the war to do something. I'd made what seemed to me a lot of money out in Hollywood. It paid well. But I had a sense that I wanted to do something that would be beneficial for society, if you could put it that way. That sounds very self-serving. It's not meant to be. I simply got a great deal of satisfaction out of having served. I left Hollywood at $26,000 a year, and went to work at New London at $13,000 a year, and every day, except one, for three years, we were on the job, sometimes 24 hours a day, and never another dollar. Didn't seem to bother me. I got the satisfaction of seeing that we did what we started out to do.
NEEDELL: So Binghamton must have seemed rather provincial.
GLENNAN: It was, in a way. I joined the country club there, what I suppose you might call civic clubs, came to know some of the people there. They were pleasant enough people. But I had concern for public relations and advertising and for labor relations and finally a 400 man engineering department reported to me. It was kind of a mix. But by the time that I'd been there for about a year and a half, I think it was, I began to think that this isn't what I want to do, and I looked for other things that were more nearly in the public sector than that was. I talked with people that I'd known in OSRD, which was the umbrella organization under which New London operated, and was going to New York one day to have a date with a man from Oak Ridge. I still didn't know what that was all about, how big it was or anything like that. But they wanted a chief engineer down there, and somebody proposed my name, and I went to New York. As I was preparing to go, I had a call from one of the men who worked with me at New London. He was Chuck Williams. He called me. He said, "How would you like to be a college president?" I said, "Boy, that's an interesting thought, Chuck. That isn't the way it's done". "Well," he said, "meet me in New York. I'm going to come to that coffee klatch we're having." We had a dinner once a year for the laboratory staff after the war. Van Bush was going to speak to us that evening.
NEEDELL: Was he your contact then?
GLENNAN: No, it was Jack Tate from Minnesota, Colpitts from Bell Labs, and Bush and Jewett, all those people--I didn't get to know any of them intimately, but we were active enough and close enough, so they came to the laboratory from time to time, and they knew of me and my work there, I guess.
NEEDELL: Do you remember who it was you were going to talk to from Oak Ridge?
GLENNAN: No, but if you'd give me his name, I'd tell you. It was someone in the Kellogg firm. A top man there. How the hell I could ever be a chief engineer for Oak Ridge? In any event, I did meet this young man for breakfast at the Yale Club, and he told me of the fact that Case was in need of a president, and that he and one other person from Case who had been on my staff at the laboratory were recommending me.
NEEDELL: Was he an employee of Case or an alumnus?
GLENNAN: He was an alumnus. He had graduated, I suppose, in mechanical engineering and then gone on to law school and became a patent lawyer. At New London, he was a man who wrote all of the, or followed the reports of the scientists and lifted the loads off their backs, so we could keep the scientists at work on their projects.
NEEDELL: Was he on a formal search committee, or just informally?
GLENNAN: No, no, he was well known in Cleveland, knew the hierarchy in Cleveland pretty well, and so he knew the man who was the chairman of the search committee, old Sam Emerson, class of '02. Silent Sam, they called him. He never said a thing until he was ready, and when he said it, everybody listened. In any event, I went out there a couple of times, met alumni, met some of the faculty. I didn't know any of the faculty until I got there. I found out that the Dean of the faculty, Elmer Hutchisson, was in the New York office of Division Six, of the ORSD, and Bob Shankland, head of the Case Physics Department, who had been head of the Orlando and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, sound calibration stations. So those two people were the only ones I knew. Finally the Committee asked me to bring Ruth out. I remember, the night I met with the trustees, the chairman of the Board of Trustees was a man by the name of Quayle, Frank Quayle. He was late coming in, and asked a few questions and went out. His questions were, "Do you like public speaking?" I said, "I don't know, sir, I never made a public speech." And then, the next one was, "How about money-raising? Do you like to raise money?" I said, "I don't know, sir. I've never raised a nickel in my life." But I must have made enough of an impression on them. Being an engineering school, and really an engineering school, it wasn't the counterpart at that time of Carnegie Tech or Illinois Tech, MIT, Caltech, which rank it finally did make, I think. But it had maybe 20 graduate students. They were loaded with GIs, and as I think back to the campus I saw, I wonder why I ever was foolish enough to take it. I just didn't know enough about what was ahead of me. But we got along all right.
NEEDELL: So they offered you the position, or were there protracted negotiations?
GLENNAN: Oh no, no protracted negotiations. They offered me the position. The negotiation was money. I was at that time making $22,000 a year, and they offered me $18,000 a year, plus a $4000 expense account, so that came to 22.
NEEDELL: Was that personal funds or to be used for entertaining?
GLENNAN: It was to be used for entertaining. I guess that was good money.
NEEDELL: Was there a home as part of it?
GLENNAN: I rented it. I had to pay the rent.
COLLINS: During this period when you were being considered for the position, did you talk to the current President, Wickenden.
GLENNAN: I didn't talk to him until after they had decided to offer me the job. Then I went in to see Mr. Wickenden, and I saw him for perhaps 45 minutes. And he was a very well-respected person who loved to give speeches. He spent his summers away from the campus. As soon as the Commencement was over, he left and went up to New Hampshire. He came back once during the summer for a week, and then he came back a week before registration in the fall. In the meantime, he'd write two or three speeches, numbering the paragraphs. He had the habit of making up speeches very quickly, taking the paragraphs and putting them together, and he was really very highly respected as a speaker. He also had been at Bell Telephone Laboratories in personnel work there. I don't know whether he was Personnel Director. We found later that his daughter was a classmate of my wife's at Vassar, Elizabeth Wickenden.
COLLINS: During this conversation, did he convey to you what he thought were the present problems confronting Case, and some of his aspirations for his tenure that were not fulfilled, that kind of thing?
GLENNAN: I think, to a limited extent. You can't cover very much in 45 minutes. Particularly when you're talking to a man who doesn't even know what the faculty is made up of, how they're organized or how the curriculum is put together or anything of that sort. But he did talk about the difficulties he'd had trying to work with alumni. He did talk about the fact that the campus had been decimated during the war. The only people who stayed on campus, outside of the social scientists--and they didn't have too many of those--were the chemists who had an artificial rubber project that they worked on, under wartime conditions, and the metallurgists who were working on steels and various types of metals. So it was like starting from scratch. The way they came by that $18,000 was, they decided that they would pay the president twice the salary of the top paid professor.
COLLINS: A neat formula.
GLENNAN: Well, Carl Prutton was the head of our chemistry and chemical engineering. They were combined at that time. He was a very distinguished scientist and engineer. He could have been on somebody else's campus, but he had it pretty soft because he was locked in with Lubrizol, and one or two of the companies out there, as a consultant. And going on with Wickenden, Wickenden's attitude and my concerns, because I did have some concerns, seemed to meld reasonably well. I was concerned about two things --one, having been educated as an engineer myself, but at Yale, where half our time was spent in the liberal arts--while at Case, maybe 10 percent of a boy's time was spent in liberal arts, and we had essentially no graduate work. We had a few Master's candidates, I should say, totally maybe 20 or 30 people at post-baccalaureate level. We might have given one, maybe two PhDs a year. It was a good, tough, highly respected engineering school, and you had to fulfill 164 hours to graduate. That didn't leave much time for anything else, particularly when all or most of these were in the sciences and engineering.
NEEDELL: One quick question. Did most of the bachelor's degree candidates go directly to industry after getting their bachelor's degrees?
GLENNAN: Almost every one of them. You must recall, we were now back in 1947, '48, '50, that we didn't have that much advanced education for engineers in this country. Even at Yale, I don't remember, but three or four out of my class there went on for an advanced degree, in 1927.
COLLINS: It must have taken you a while to appreciate some of these problems in the university setting, and here you were, someone coming from essentially a business background. How long did it take you to appreciate some of the unique problems that confronted Case as an educational institution?
GLENNAN: Not very long. I started out thinking that I was going to run the institution, and I very soon changed that over to, I was going to administer that institution. That's quite a difference.
NEEDELL: There must have been a great deal of discussion among Jewett and Bush and those people on the whole role of technical education and the need for manpower--
NEEDELL: Were you involved in that? Were you guided by--
GLENNAN: No, I wasn't guided by it, but I, if you'll forgive a very personal aside, Mrs. Glennan was the daughter of a very distinguished economics professor at Yale, Thomas Sewell Adams. He was the one who put the income tax together in this country. He was a great man. I sort of lived with them. I had dinner with them for three years every evening, and I think I learned more from being with that family than I learned from all the courses I took at Yale. Also, at New London I soon came to understand that of our top science people, many of them, came from abroad. We did not generate much. We were applications people. We were engineers, really, in this country, and they were scientists, and I think that that statement would be borne out very literally. Look at the bomb, the Fermis and Bethes and Tellers. You name them, Szilard, Franck, a whole bunch of them. But it seemed so in other areas, and if you wanted to get an advanced degree in any of the sciences, you went to Goettingen or some place abroad. So Ruth and I used to talk about--you know what would be fun--let's try to save our money and make a little pile and then we'll start a boy's school of our own, run the boy's school the way we think it ought to be done. Broaden the education if we could, but just--I was seized with that as an idea, so when this happened to come along, I was certainly willing to look at it twice and take a few chances. It would interest you to know that Van Bush was not all that certain that I was a good candidate. Jack Tate and Colpitts were very supportive. In any event, I don't know what kind of competition I had, except for the one man on the campus, the highest priced man on the campus, the chemist, Carl Prutton.
COLLINS: Were any of these people you mention--Colpitts, Tate, Van Bush--were any of them on the search committee?
GLENNAN: No. Oh no. They were the referees--people whom the chairman of the search committee had asked for comments and recommendations and that sort of thing. I did see Van's letter. It was all right, but it wasn't exciting. You don't have the world's greatest chance of getting a good man here. He works hard, that sort of thing. Well, at that time, Case had so little in the way of graduate work, and not too much on which to base a good graduate program. I soon came to understand the costs of graduate education. When I first was approached and it began to look as though a deal was going to be made, I had heard of William Tolley at Syracuse. He came from Allegheny College and served Syracuse University as president for a great many years. The first thing he did was to organize a self survey.
TAPE 1, SIDE 2
GLENNAN: I learned about this self survey and I thought, by George, that's a way for me to learn something about the people on the campus and how the campus works.
NEEDELL: This is something that Tolley had done at Syracuse?
GLENNAN: He did it himself there. Coming from a small school, Allegheny, going to Syracuse. I spent a day with him. I was learning some of the jargon. I thought that we could do this in six to nine months. I remember that Case was not a large institution. We had a couple of thousand students, I guess, maybe 1800. So I came back and proposed to the trustees that we run a self survey to clarify and focus our thinking. A self survey doesn't mean just inside people. We brought in people from the outside, professors from other fine institutions, public figures, thoughful people, some industrialists, trying to see what they thought ought to go into a modern education for an engineering school, that would ultimately make it a great engineering and science institution. It took us almost two years to complete that. When I got to Case, I found that it was full of cliques. Metallurgists at lunch with the metallurgists, didn't talk to the physicists, chemists and so on. So I started this six months after I got there. I guided a young associate professor of metallurgy, Bill Culbertson, to be the sort of task master-run-the-study part. We brought in people from literally all over the country, and I made certain that the physicists didn't just look at their own curriculum. We'd put a metallurgist in there, we'd put a humanist in there, so that we began to break down some of these barriers. Not completely, because still there's this schism between science and engineering and lack of respect on their part for the soft sciences, as you well know, not quite as brutal as it used to be. As I told you, we started out with maybe ten percent of the students' time given to the humanities, history, sociology, and that type of thing, literature, and I was determined that we would bring it up to 25. We started with a requirement of 164 hours for completing a first degree. We had to get that down to start with, that didn't make sense. All you're doing is in the books. You don't get a chance to think very much when you're loaded with that number of credit hours. Over a period of two or three years, we got that down to where, I think I remember,to 136, maybe 138 hours, a trmendous drop-off. Much of it was thrown away anyway. We had a three hour course in surveying. I had that at Yale. So we weren't alone in that. We just cut it off. The surveying camp was washed up. And other lab type things that really were to my way of thinking make-work things. It was a really brutal battle. But throughout, discussing this (we had discussions every Saturday morning) slowly we began to get the hard shell engineers to realize that I was serious about this, and that there was a lot of experience with other campuses to show that this was the way to go. You may remember a man by the name of Hammond, I believe he was President of Penn State. He gave speech after speech, fought like hell to broaden the base of engineering education.
NEEDELL: There was that network, then, of past presidents of engineering--
GLENNAN: There was that network. At least I had somebody to point to. They were getting along doing it, why were you worried about it? We got to the point where we were down to the short strokes. We had to take away from, say the chemical engineering, three hours, metallurgy or something six hours, and substitute-- compressing the total number of class hours they had, and at the same time, redistributing them so that we'd get somewhere near twenty-five percent in the social sciences.
NEEDELL: Sounds like the national budget.
GLENNAN: Yes. Well, I can remember as though it were yesterday, sitting at the end of the table where you are and listening to each one of the department heads saying, "I thoroughly agree with what you're trying to do, but you can't take any of my time away." I had started to raise money, too, which I had never done before. I put together, copying Caltech as a matter of fact, at Caltech they got started with a hundred men who gave a thousand dollars a year for ten years. Well, we were right in the middle of a right healthy industrial center, and a canvass of their employment said that they had a lot of Case people, so that they were making use of Case. One or two of the companies grew out of Case, completely out of Case. Great companies, finally. I proposed at first a Case Associate, where each company would put in $5000 a year, with an intent to keep that going for five years. In the first three or four pledges I made, they began to talk about some of our people being available for consulting on this or that. Well, it didn't take me long to find out that that wasn't going to be a very happy situation for the faculty, selling their services. So I changed that approach. I said that "you will be privy to what we're doing and you will get pre-publication papers, and we will ask you to come and meet with us on the course of research we're doing," trying to get something going. Well, we built that up to where it brought in almost $600,000 a year regularly. As I recall it, the first 60 companies, 50 of them agreed to come in. On the final Saturday morning, when I was going to drop the axe and say, "You lose three hours or six hours," and put together a humanities and social sciences division to be co-equal with the other departments on the campus. Nobody was willing to give, and I banged the table with my hand and I said, "Damn it, how can you keep on talking out of both sides of your mouth? Every one of you has said you believe in this, and yet not one of you will give up anything." Shocked the hell out them to think a faculty man would be talked to that way by his president. In any event, we managed.
NEEDELL: What is the interest of the department in this, other than thinking that their subject is so important? Was it the number of slots they had depended on the student hours that they taught? Was it position involved here?
GLENNAN: Yes, it was their own strong belief in their discipline. The metallurgists thought that if they could give a man 160 hours of metallurgy, he'd be a better metallurgist. There was no idea of broadening the background and understanding of the student, of giving him time to think--or dream--for himself.
NEEDELL: There were no narrow financial concerns in terms of money for the slots?
GLENNAN: No. One thing that did come in here, this was in the early days of the overhead arguments with the government, the chemists and the metallurgists had managed to keep all the overhead that was charged on their research projects that built up their departments. Nobody else got anything out of it. I changed that, and that damn near threw me off the campus. As you can see, I had some problems.
NEEDELL: I was going to ask you, in that regard, you said that the campus was decimated during the war except for the metallurgists.
NEEDELL: Was there a power base in contracts and support left over as a basis for building after the war in metallurgy and chemistry?
GLENNAN: Yes. The people were our own people, for the most part, so the base was there, and there was a Rubber Reserve Corporation or something like that, concerned with the development of artificial rubber. We were in the middle of that one, and the hydrogen embrittlement of steel, and steel for shells and shell casings.
NEEDELL: Was there government property that was turned over to the university after demobilization?
GLENNAN: Not at Case. We did get some from the general pool later on. But Case was a little place.
NEEDELL: There was no plant, not like at Chicago.
GLENNAN: Oh no, no! You can't believe what a small place that was.
COLLINS: Just a couple of questions. Were the professors concerned about changes in content or approach that you may have suggested in their curriculum? Was that one of the issues as well, now that you're going to reduce the amount of hours, either you change the content or change the approach in some way?
GLENNAN: Don't put that on me, as you were going to do. The fact that other than their own colleagues were on their study group--say, in the physics curriculum or the metallurgy curriculum--they were the ones that fought for broadening this or dropping that, or questioning the value of this, that, or the other aspect of it. They were smarter than I thought. But I learned something about that.
COLLINS: Going back a little bit, before you did the self-survey, had you had some charge from the Board of Trustees, of what they would like you to do as President of Case? What did they expect from you?
GLENNAN: Just that I keep Case going and growing, and solvent. Our budget, the first year I was there, including all construction, maintenance, everything else, was $1,800,000. The first two or three years, with the GI Bill still going, but running down, we went to a total of somewhere around 2100, and by the time I came back from the Atomic Energy Commission in '52, we were down to about 1100, and the tuition was $350 bucks, something like that. That didn't pay salaries that were competitive at all. But lots of people wanted jobs.
COLLINS: Just to follow up, one more idea from your previous comments. During this period, say, before you went to the AEC, was there a lot of faculty consulting with industry? Was this a novel idea?
GLENNAN: It was not a novel idea. It was going on, some of it sort of under the table. It wasn't out in the open, and I developed, with the faculty, a policy, and it was rather a generally accepted policy in the country--one day a week for personal consulting. The argument came on, was that one day in five or one day in seven? Did it include travel, if you had to go to Chicago for a day's consulting and it was two days gone, did you count those? You had all that kind of crap to deal with. But we did put in that kind of a policy, and it was accepted and even encouraged some of our social scientists, such as the head of the English department. Bob Shurter became a consultant, paid, by the Illuminating Company, the electric utility, teaching them how to speak, how to write, that type of thing. There was a lot to be learned in expressing themselves appropriately in different groups. The one thing that you would be certain of, when you wanted to know where a man was, you'd find out what day he was consulting with somebody, you knew where to get him. You might not be able to find him on the campus, but Bob Shurter, say, every Tuesday he had a day at the Illuminating Company. He went over there. He might not make his classes on Wednesday, but--
NEEDELL: What about the situation with what we call soft money, and that is scientists raising their own money and no question of overhead? Was that from the beginning?
GLENNAN: It was just accepted. We weren't that sophisticated. Within five to six years, we began to think seriously about a graduate program. It became apparent that we would need more money. When we began to look at the plant, we had to completely rebuild that campus. I could do most of the money-raising. I did it through the Trustees. Our Trustees were, most of them, Case graduates, most of them heads of their own organizations, and most of them very loyal, and they really raised the money. The president gets all the credit, but other people are doing the work.
NEEDELL: The faculty didn't have a lot of Office of Naval Research (ONR) contracts?
GLENNAN: The chemists did have some grants. The Rubber Reserve kept going for a good many years, and I can remember wondering, how do you put the same thing in there and keep working on it for ten years and get money for it? You know. They're still doing it, working in the same area. Hydrogen embrittlement of steel. Al Troiano became the guru in that field, and he's retired now, but for 30, 35 years he kept working at that problem. I learned something about the nature of that research.
NEEDELL: What about with the AEC?
GLENNAN: AEC and the physics department got along very well together. I made it a point not to trade on the fact that I had been a Commissioner, and the same was true when I finished up at NASA.
NEEDELL: I'm talking about before then '47 to '50.
GLENNAN: They had some good friends in the city. We at Case had the only betatron, 30 BEV machine, that was built without a dollar of government money.
NEEDELL: Was that funded by the AEC?
GLENNAN: Oh no, no. After it began operating, I'm sure that some of the research that was done with it was supported by Paul McDaniels and others at the AEC. But to build it, they raised money from industrialists and wherever else they could get it, but not from government.
COLLINS: When did government support become important on the Case campus?
GLENNAN: I guess, I don't know--when we began to get a large graduate population. Before I left there, we were turning out 100 PhDs a year. From zero or almost zero. That's a lot of growth.
NEEDELL: I'm interested in when this debate over the overhead policy began--
GLENNAN: --it was continuous. It simmered out. 21 A , OMB's circular 21 or something like that. It was continuous. And it forced us, I think, finally to create an Office of Research Administration.
NEEDELL: When would that have been?
GLENNAN: That would probably have been 1950 search, '52, something like that.
NEEDELL: When did the amount of money that the university was toget from overhead, when did it start to be real money, compared to--
GLENNAN: Not until after I left. See, when I left, our budget was $18 million, as against a million 8 in my first year. When I started, and some time in the latter few years, I'm sure that the recovery of overhead became a major problem, and required a bit of negotiation.
COLLINS: Let's go back to the self-survey for a few minutes. You had this survey conducted. You solicited the advice of outside people. What came out of that survey, and what actions resulted from recommendations?
GLENNAN: You know, I'm sorry that you're going back in time. My implementation period would have been from about 1950, '5l to '55, something like that. One thing that did happen was that we instituted a Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, and we went to Harvard, and we went to other centers of the liberal arts, and bought people. Harvey Buchanan, who is still there, I used to talk with Harvey. Every once in a while I'd ask, "Harvey, why the hell are you staying with us, when you've got a job back at Harvard any time you want to go there?" He was a very well liked, distinguished guy. He said, "Keith, I've never had better students than I get right here. These fellows want to know. They're curious. And they're logical." The one thing an engineer's taught is the way to attack a problem. Assemble the facts, organize, evaluate, come to a value judgment finally. And while that may not be completely translatable into the soft sciences, to an extent, it is. So he gave me my answer. When I went there, they had one history course, 1815 to 1870. Now, what the hell does that do for anybody? What we did was to try and integrate the developments of engineering over the decades with what was happening in the social sciences and soft sciences. What happened to architecture that was influenced by engineering? And there's a great interaction. The history of science and technology got its start at Case.
NEEDELL: Bob Shankland was always interested.
GLENNAN: He was in that, and Mel Kranzberg, and Irv Kruger, Martin Klein who is now at Yale.
NEEDELL: Martin Klein.
GLENNAN: Marty Klein, yes. That was started on our campus. We got enough internal fighting and ferment so that when we came to the computer age, when the IBM 650 was the standard machine on campuses, and you'd get it for free almost, who ran it? The head of our philosophy program, Dr. Raymond Nelson. As you may know, Case and Western Reserve were sitting right there with just a fence between them. We decided, at the urging of that same man, Ray Nelson, who was a mathematical philosopher who started and ran our computer operation--we put together a philosophy program with Reserve. This is where Carnegie gave us seed money, a couple of hundred thousand dollars--it was exciting, really it was. When I went there, there was one building in construction. That was the first one that had been built in ten years. It was a little Student Union, so called. Today, or by the time I left, there were only two buildings that were still left of the originals. We built thirty buildings. It just grew by itself. When I look back at it, and think of long-range planning, which is something that I've always been interested in without money. I couldn't think of long range planning with respect to rebuilding a campus so that you'd have a campus that had character. It has character, but it just came together. We built a building at a time. I had on my staff for a time a trombonist who was also an architect. And the campus looks pretty much the way he proposed it be developed.
NEEDELL: So there was a the master plan.
GLENNAN: Yes, sort of.
NEEDELL: When did Mel Kranzberg come to Case?
GLENNAN: Mel--oh lord, I don't know.
NEEDELL: Was it as a faculty member?
GLENNAN: Oh sure. I think he was in history, and he got interested, along with the President of Mills College, Wilson, on the West Coast, who started really investigating an interest in the history of science. He studied the impact of the stirrups. He developed from that, the fact that warfare was changed. So, we provided the money for Mel, for his secretary, and finally for the journal that was published there for several years. Mel is still as feisty as ever. He's down at Georgia Tech now.
COLLINS: Was the self-survey the basis also for your reorganization of the engineering department, civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical to one--
GLENNAN: No, no. That came while I was at NASA. This was 1958-61. We had acquired a young engineer, a modern type, broadly based, by the name of Ray Bolz, who finally finished up his career as Provost at Western Poly. Ray and John Hrones, whom I was able to catch on the rebound from MIT when he was passed over for head of the mechanical engineering department there, were the key players in devising that change. I made him provost, with the idea that I was hoping that he would follow me. But he didn't measure up. He is the sort of person who lived within himself, did some very good thinking, was a very creative guy, but didn't take anybody else into his confidence. He decided what he was going to do, and then got mad when you didn't accept it in five minutes. Said you were not supporting him. Those two, looking at the rebuilding of the campus, and the business of getting a strong and productive interaction between civil engineers and chemists and chemical engineers and metallurgists and physicists, developed a plan for establishing two or three centers--a Center for Materials Science, and that had its own boss man, director, and he would draw on the physics department, the chemistry department, wherever he needed a man. We supported him, and we were able to get support from the outside, from industry, to have that sort of a liberal enclave here of people who were interested in Materials Science. You can remember certainly when Materials Science became the buzz word. We did the same in the Computer Science area. We did the same in the Engineering Design area. John Hrones, I remember, drove at us, engineering is really design. So we put together a design center which has done very, very good work, and then there was a center in polymer science engineering, when that was a very new subject, and we were able to buy from DuPont Eric Bayer, and at about that time the supply of people was drying up, so we sent John Hrones to England, where he spent two or three months there and came back with six people, some of them still on the campus. Good people; mostly in the sciences and some engineering.
COLLINS: I was a little unclear in reading this history of Case. I got the impression that the distinct departments within the university were reorganized and sort of brought under one rubric.
GLENNAN: At engineering, for the time, it was while I was away, because I can remember sitting down here on Connecticut Avenue, on a little balcony I had, with John Hrones and Ray Bolz, and we were working at Ford at the time for an eight million dollar grant to really develop engineering as a discipline rather than chemical engineering, metallurgic engineering, and civil engineering. We went further with that, I believe, than anybody else, and probably went too far, because they've drifted back now. That was a hard one to put across. We didn't get it done until I went back there and called a meeting of the engineering faculties, and tried to tell them why I thought this made sense. There was a lot of argument, until finally one of them got up and said, "Well, I see you're determined to do this. Why are we wasting time talking about it? Let's get it done." It went that way. We had a reasonably good relationship until I left. But that did a lot for us again in cross-fertilization.
COLLINS: Do you remember when you implemented this concept of the research centers? Was that before NASA?
GLENNAN: Before NASA? Yes. The first one was the Computer Center. I guess we were one of the first schools in the US which had an "open shop." Any student could go in there and use the first IBM 650, and then we were given one of the early Univac units. Soon we began to find, on laboratory exercises all of the results came back on tapes. They weren't required to pay for it or anything like that. It was an open shop, go in and use it, just get on the schedule. When we got Eric Baer and two men from England and a couple from other companies in this country, we put together a Polymer Science operation. In Materials Science, we had a man by the name of Gibbons from Bell Labs who seemed sufficiently willing to hang by a skyhook that he took on the business of putting that one together. Those were not easy to manage, because questions would arise about who became responsible for the pay levels, the raises, the advancement of a physicist who was working here in the Materials Science Center? There was a certain amount of strain. And yet they exist today, and certainly in the Design Engineering Center, it's a very strong one. Our biomedical engineering program came out of that.
COLLINS: I'm curious what purpose the centers served in your mind. One clearly was this cross-fertilization, but was it also something that could be of more direct service to industry, in the sense that it would be addressing problems that industry was probably experiencing.
GLENNAN: I think you've put it rightly. I don't think we would have been crass enough to say it's going to be of more service to industry, but certainly we didn't try to put one of those together until we had enough interest on the part of industrial companies, or segments of industrial companies willing to provide $50,000 a year to support research in a particular center. They could have a hand in the choice of research projects. They didn't buy that. They were simply counsellors. System's engineering, that's a buzz word on our campus for years, and Don Eckman, who was a person with a world-wide reputation, unfortunately was tired one day and riding a Volkswagen over in France and ran into a tree, went to sleep and killed himself. But I don't think that we started to develop those centers just to raise money. If I recall correctly, it was to give emphasis to the business of bringing together from different disciplines --just as during the war, we had physicists nailing up crates, things of that sort, it was a little bit of that type of thing, and I think there was a movement throughout education at that time. I can remember it because I was on a corporation, the corporation at Yale at tht time, when Cayman Burster said, "No centers for us." Well, they've got plenty of them now.
TAPE 2 SIDE 1
NEEDELL: It seems as though there really is a network of university presidents. How did this work? Did you meet at conventions. Were there meetings?
GLENNAN: Oh, Allan, there are more organizations in education. The Association of American Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, etc., and we all took part in those. Strangely enough, after a year or two, I stopped going to most of their meetings. All we did was to compare notes on how many students we didn't get, and what our failure rate was, and a few things of that sort. I had plenty of problems at home, and I didn't gain that much from listening to the problems of others. When we did have a problem with such a matter as the overhead, we got together and tried to work together on that problem. I don't think anybody was trying to make an extra buck out of it. But there's a whole lot to be said on both sides on that, and we needed the wisdom and experience of a group on such problems.
NEEDELL: Were these ad hoc groups that were set up?
GLENNAN: The American Council on Education, as I recall it, had established continuing committees on various subjects. We started an organization called the Association of Urban Universities. I was one of the inaugurators of that. I attended meetings for three or four years, but then I got tired of that, too.
NEEDELL: Were there any groups that went beyond university presidents, any of the other networks, people like foundations, government science funding agencies?
GLENNAN: Perhaps with the National Science Foundation we did. That was a sufficiently diverse and diffuse operation for so many years with so little money that you had to spend the time to get at them.
NEEDELL: What about the foundations?
GLENNAN: When Henry Heald was president of the Ford Foundation, that would have been the time period between '55 and '65, I think, they employed a man by the name of Carl Borgman. I think that Carl was a mechanical engineer. He got the idea that the Ford Foundation was piddling out $100,000 or a million dollars here and there, which were sums that wouldn't really make a difference. How did you get, create and help, centers of excellence? This was supported, to an extent, by Carnegie, in the sense that five institutions, my recollection is, MIT, Carnegie, Case, Caltech and I think Illinois Tech, were each given I think $120,000 to support a real effort at broadening the base of the education for engineers. I'm happy to say that Jim Perkins at least said that Case did better that the rest with that $120,000. But it wasn't an association of foundations that acted as such. There is an American Association of Foundations, which has its office in Washington. But the educational activities of the country did break up into segments, from time to time. I think it can be shown, that the engineering schools looked at themselves and what they were offering more often than Amherst or some of the liberal arts colleges. I suspect, it's very clear that there's a need for such reviews and self examination. The kind of people that industry needs, and we would provide, required different skills, different backgrounds. While liberal arts doesn't change that much. Economics, yes, and sociology I should think today, yes. And government today, yes. But that was a much slower movement, than in the engineering schools.
NEEDELL: It sounds to me that your interest pre-dated this, that it came out of your associations with your wife's family, that you really did find your vocation as an educator.
GLENNAN: I think so. Mrs. Glennan is a very mild sensible gal and I couldn't have done a tenth of what I've done in my life without her. She was supportive at every turn of the wheel.
NEEDELL: When did you realize that you had really found your real interest?
GLENNAN: Oh gosh, Allan, I just said, while you were out, to Marty, when you stop having fun, you'd better get the hell out of it. There were times when I didn't have fun. That probably is part of this, because, and this is going way back, Case was a streetcar college. We didn't have a dormitory. We had a little gymnasium which was a converted church. We won all of our swimming meets because the pool in there was short enough so that you learned to turn faster and you won the meet. I guess the first thing that I did, I came to know a graduate named Kent van Horn whose father-in-law was very well-to-do, and was a Case graduate. Kent and I played handball once a week, squash rather, and he asked me one day, "What would you like to do most, now that you've been at Case for six or eight months?" I said, "I would like to change the character of the institution by building dormitories so that the students could live on the campus and have the experience of working together and learning from each other, which they can't get sitting on a streetcar." "Well, we might be able to do something about that," and he did. I can remember having the plans drawn up for a dormitory, which was to house about 140 or 150 kids. All I had was that $250,000 which was the gift Kent arranged. I raised another $50,000 some place, but the bill was $615,000. I asked the Trustees to come to my home. I remember getting down on my knees on the floor with the blueprints, and saying, "I'm not going to get up off this floor until you agree and let me go after this dormitory. I'll raise the money with your help." And that's the way we started. We finally had too many rooms. We really are very well housed at Case now.
COLLINS: I want to go back. Case is also known as one of the places where scholarly work on operations research began. Can you tell us a little bit about that and how it came to be?
GLENNAN: I think it was Ray Nelson--
NEEDELL: The philosopher?
GLENNAN: --who introduced us to concepts of operations research. I had been involved, to a very limited extent during the war, with Bill Shockley who ran an o.r. unit in the 10th fleet in the Navy. He brought operations analysis and research from England. We learned of fellows by the name of Russ Ackoff, who was an architectural graduate, and Leonard Arnoff. They were at Wayne University. There was a third, West Churchman, who was the real philosopher of the group. He's now at Berkeley, has been for years. But those three set up the operations research on our campus. We gave the first PhD in operations research in this nation. Other schools certainly were working at it at the same time, but we were small enough so we could move fast, and what I did was, when I saw something, like Eric Bayer and his molecular work, just give him money. Find him some colleagues. Support them.
NEEDELL: Was there any connection to people like Philip Morse on the research?
GLENNAN: Only in the sense that Phil, who was a graduate of Case, counselled with us and was on our visiting committee, and certainly strongly endorsed this action. This was before he set up and later headed the Operations Research unit at MIT. But Phil had worked with Shockley during the war and was very helpful to us--or at least--to me.
NEEDELL: Directly? He was at Brookhaven as the first director and then went to MIT.
COLLINS: I'm interested as you saw all of this as an area where Case should devote some resources and energy. You've mentioned that, as part of your wartime experience, you realized the value of interdisciplinary research, and you realized the value of basic research. So there seems to be an interest here in some of the problems of managing this kind of activity, which is really what operations research is about.
GLENNAN: We happened to put together, call it by chance or because good people attract other good people, those three subsequently were joined by a chap named Burt Dean, and they were able to get into research that was of value to industry very quickly. For instance, I was a member of the board of the Illuminating Company, the utility. We talked about how much extra capacity we needed. Capacity costs money. So I said to Elmer Lindseth, Case graduate, Yale graduate and C.E.O., "I think maybe you ought to get an outsider to take a look at this" and he did get Russ Acoff and Wes Churchman to look at the problem, and we found we were building or planning to build more capacity than we needed. It paid off in no time at all. We had research days on campus, and we invited maybe 150, 200 industrialists, research directors, presidents, vice-presidents, whoever they might be, to come and spend the day. Very seldom did we let the faculty talk to them. We let the graduate students talk to them. This was an exposure that was good for the graduate students, an exposure that was good for industry, because they saw the caliber of people and what they were doing.
COLLINS: I'm interested in part because you talked in previous discussions about your approach to management. You've indicated it's kind of a very pragmatic approach. But you thought it was valuable at Case to encourage more, I don't want to say scientific, but more detailed--
COLLINS: Structured approach.
GLENNAN: I don't think I thought of it as a structured approach. When we were having an activity that should be of interest to a Midwestern group of good industries, we went after them, to bring them in and expose them to what we were doing, in the hopes that they would ultimately provide us with money. And they did. I spoke of the Case Associates. They provided, in addition to those $5000 annual sums, we began to raise the ante, where we could. I would go and meet with some of the boards of directors, where I had that kind of entree. We finally got one company to give us $70,000 a year. We encouraged them to release some of their employees to get advanced degrees. It was intimate interaction. I think the fact that I had had some industrial experience made it more believable. I never missed a chance to spend a half a day walking through the Lincoln Electric Company, with Jim Lincoln, seeing what people did up there. They knew I was interested in them. They knew why. But they accepted it.
COLLINS: You mentioned for example that you served on the Board of Lincoln.
GLENNAN: Of the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company.
COLLINS: Did this have kind of a dual purpose? I mean, was it an extra source of income, as well as a relationship with Case?
GLENNAN: Yes, it was. In those days, we were paid $2400 a year as directors. Peanuts, compared with now. So it was an extra source of income. I was, for a time, asked to go on public service boards like banks. For a time I was on six boards at one time. That was too many. I cut it back to four. Today I'd make a lot more money than I ever made in my life by being on boards.
NEEDELL: Was there much public money funding Case in the early years? Was there any state money, any federal grants?
GLENNAN: No, not until after I had left, and Case and Western Reserve came together, did the needs of the Medical school and later of the Dental school begin to be picked up by the state of Ohio. I think, six million dollars in the biennium perhaps for the medical school. It was when more doctors were needed.
NEEDELL: Was Western Reserve a Morrill Act land grant college?
GLENNAN: It was a private university, not a land grant college. It was started at Hudson, Ohio, about forty miles south of Cleveland.
NEEDELL: So Case was really a creature of the industrial community of the area.
GLENNAN: Yes. When Leonard Case died, he left what was the equivalent of a million dollars to start a school for persons in the applied arts and sciences. That was in 1880. Western Reserve was located at Hudson, and as will happen, somebody offered them enough money so that they transferred to Cleveland. They weren't very large at that time. And then, somebody else had a piece of property located to the east of center of Cleveland. They split it and gave half of it to Case and half of it to Western Reserve.
COLLINS: On the management interests at Case, one more point I want to follow up is, there was also established an engineering administration program.
GLENNAN: Yes sir. Now, that was a sort of a "me too" type of thing. Harvard Business School is the model. Because we were dealing with industry, principally, we wanted to have a good engineering administration operation. We never made it. They have the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve and it's doing very well. I think they had enough money to start it off right. When I tried to do it--bootstrapping didn't work.
COLLINS: I'd like to move on to the AEC again. I just thought I'd throw out this one quote from this history book that Wickenden put forth, and he indicated that his aspiration for Case was to make it a powerful regional institution in the heart of industrial America, with a national outreach and influence, and that sounds like actually a pretty fair summary of what you tried to do at Case.
GLENNAN: I think so. Not consciously, but I was a competitor, in a way. I didn't think that we should take a back seat for anybody other than Caltech and MIT, and their resources--not just money, but good people, and management, the entire spectrum of great resources.
NEEDELL: I should ask, though I should know more about it, and that is the association with developments at Stanford in the period, it seems like Stanford's development in the period was in a sense a model of--
GLENNAN: Well, Stanford was not that well known back in those days.
NEEDELL: But they were as ambitious as--
GLENNAN: --oh yes, and that grew out of Fred Terman's electronics laboratory. That's where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard came from. Fred related his operation almost as an entity to industry, and that's the way that got started. They had some very good presidents out there. Gee, Wally Sterling, a wonderful man.
NEEDELL: Were you aware of Terman's work? Was he part of the network? Did you talk to him?
GLENNAN: I talked to Terman two or three times, and when we were looking for a man to follow me, I made a trip out there to get advice from him, with one of my Trustees. We didn't know very much about Stanford. Stanford was a broadly-based institution. Actually, Case was about as narrowly-based an institution as you could find. We didn't have an architecture school, although we provided for a pedestrian architectural operation at Western Reserve, some courses, stress analysis, construction methods, that type of thing. We had no interest in biology--none of the biological sciences, until we began to hire a couple of doctors to strengthen our bioengineering activities. That came out of our Engineering Design center, and our developments in "implants." We had a young Chinese by the name of Wen Ko. He was just fabulous, and he was one of the very early pioneers in implanting instrumentation in the body. Did a lot of work that was useful to NASA, not for NASA, but that was useful to NASA. Until Stanford began to loom on the horizon as THE big money raiser on the West Coast, and they announced the first 300 million dollar fund drive and exceeded it. They got a few good people to drive that team--
NEEDELL: It seems to me that the comparison you have to draw is that the industry that developed alongside of Stanford--Varian Associates and so on--that they grew up their own industry there, whereas you were in the smokestack, a region of the smokestack industries, which is quite a different character than that.
GLENNAN: That is, I think, very pertinent. Before I left, the five or six years before I left, and with the strong pushing of John Hrones, we did build a couple of buildings for research, right across a little park from the campus, hoping to encourage companies to have their research activities centered there, so our graduate school would have an interaction with them. It was a loss leader, I must say.
NEEDELL: Was it modeled after Stanford?
GLENNAN: No. I don't think we modeled what we did after anybody except in the sense of our unfortunate efforts in the business management.
COLLINS: Quickly before we move on to AEC, you mentioned Case's relationships with industry and other educational institutions. Another prominent institution in the Cleveland area is the Lewis NACA facility.
COLLINS: Did Case have any relationships with Lewis during the NACA period?
GLENNAN: Yes. We were, I guess, pretty tough in our relationships, because what we could do for them was to give their employees graduate education. But we wouldn't allow them to take the courses at Lewis. They had to come to us. They had to have the association with the mentor on the campus, and that caused some friction. But over the years I think we had a good relationship with them. I think we had as many as 50 Lewis people taking part-time graduate work at Case regularly.
NEEDELL: Did any Case faculty do research at the facilities at Lewis?
GLENNAN: I can't recall. A fellow by the name of Mergler, who became a millionaire, got into the numerical control of machine tools. He developed those with Warner and Swasey. He was a consultant to them, and then finally he incorporated his own company. He was one. He's the first person for whom Case put its own money up to support his research.
COLLINS: Did Lewis express any interest in these research centers that Case established? It seems like they might have been a very attractive kind of research area for them.
GLENNAN: Well, I would think so too, but I don't recall it. I don't recall it. I must say that that concept was developed by John Hrones and Ray Boltz while I was at NASA, and they came to Washington and I counselled with them. I went back there every two or three weeks, for a weekend. I knew what was going on and approved of it, but the concept was generated by them.
COLLINS: As a way of leading into the AEC thing, it might be an interesting question to ask, were you on some kind of official leave of absence when you were at AEC and NASA?
GLENNAN: Oh yes.
COLLINS: And still retained some responsibilities at Case?
GLENNAN: Well, I didn't retain any responsibility, but took it, simply because I was so much involved. When I was at the AEC Mrs. Glennan stayed in Cleveland because the kids were small. I went home, I should say, certainly every other weekend. There wasn't any relaxation. All I got was the problems at Case for two days and then I went back to Washington. At NASA, Mrs. Glennan came down and stayed with me, and for one semester our youngest daughter stayed with us because she was in one of these oddball classes which graduated at Christmas. So that spring she spent with us in Washington. Ruth drove back and forth. She'd spend a couple of weeks with me and a few days with the kids in Cleveland. We had kids in college by that time.
NEEDELL: We should probably go back and establish, were you involved, other than reading the newspaper and discussing the debates over the creation of the AEC and the McMahon Bill and the appointment of David Lilienthal, or was that something you were directly involved in?
GLENNAN: No sir. Like everything else I have ever done--I never was. I had to read that law and try to understand what it was all about. The whole question of classification was a very new field to me. I spoke of the betatron, we tried to get David Lilienthal to come up and dedicate it. He couldn't come so he sent Lewis Strauss. Lewis came and I suppose I spent over a weekend, five hours with him.
NEEDELL: This is a little peculiar. You said that AEC did not fund the building of it at all, but they did have I guess operating contacts with the school at the time it was being dedicated, is that right?
GLENNAN: They did very shortly thereafter. No, we simply wanted to get a name, and who was better than David Lilienthal?
NEEDELL: Did you know David Lilienthal before?
GLENNAN: No. I just called him on the phone.
NEEDELL: You knew he was at TVA and just as anybody would.
GLENNAN: Yes, I knew of him, but about TVA, because of my membership on the Illuminating Company Board.
NEEDELL: Your company was a private utility.
GLENNAN: Sure. So I knew that much about it, but I didn't know David.
NEEDELL: Tell me about Strauss, is that the first time you met him?
GLENNAN: The first time I met Strauss.
NEEDELL: He's a rather strong character, I understand.
GLENNAN: Strong, and strange. Well, about four or five months after he was up there--I'd taken my kids out to the West Coast. Ruth and I took a five or six weeks trip by car with the four kids. As we were coming back, I called in from Indianapolis, that was the last overnight stop. My vice president said, "Keith, the White House is calling you. They want you to call right away." The man who had called was a headhunter from academia who was working for the summer at the White House. He asked if I would permit my name to be considered for a post as a Commissioner of the AEC. I said, "You must be crazy. I don't know the first thing about an atom. I don't know about a reactor. I don't know anything about nuclear energy." He kept me on the line long enough for me finally to say, "Well, I guess I have to admit that if asked to do a thing like this, I must give it some thought, so I will listen if you want me to talk to you." I got home and told the head of my Trustees. A day or two later, I was in Washington, and was ushered into the office of Mr. Dawson who was headhunter for Mr. Truman's whole operation.
NEEDELL: Just to interrupt for a second, how much time had you spent with Lewis Strauss during that visit?
GLENNAN: Maybe four or five hours.
NEEDELL: Four or five, dinner?
GLENNAN: Dinner and I suppose, a reception.
NEEDELL: Detailed discussions or just--
GLENNAN: No. I doubt it.
NEEDELL: --discussions about Case.
GLENNAN: Yes, and I think, he was used to big money, and to see a little institution build its own betatron with its own money, I guess he thought we were alright. I didn't do it, it was Bob Shankland and the device was almost ready for operation when I arrived at Case.
NEEDELL: Did you have a notion that you were being interviewed for anything?
GLENNAN: No. Nor did he, I think.
NEEDELL: Okay, so I interrupted you when you were just going into Mr. Dawson's office.
GLENNAN: Yes, and he started to give me a lecture about Americanism and patriotism and I finally said, "Mr. Dawson, you know I am president of a school for young men, and I know as much about patriotism as you do, and I don't need any advice from you on it. I'll be at my hotel, and if you want me again, you can get me there." And I got up. He said, "Wait a minute, Mr. Glennan, I think the President wants to see you." I said, "All right, in that case I'll sit down." So I was taken in to see Mr. Truman, alone, and it was funny. I can remember it almost as if it were yesterday. I didn't see Mr. Truman over there, I saw the President of the United States.
NEEDELL: This was your first experience of anything like this.
GLENNAN: Oh, I should say so. And here it was the most natural thing in the world to say, "Good morning, Mr. President not Mr. Truman." He sat down and said, "Mr. Glennan, I make about 200 really important appointments a year, and this is one of them." And he spoke for maybe eight, ten minutes, answered whatever questions I had. It was obvious that he was very well briefed. And he said, "I'm not interested in whether you're a Democratic or a Republican." I must say that I learned later that somebody had been checking the local people as to what I was. In any event, he said, "Well, Mr. Glennan, I'm not offering you this job but I'm considering it seriously. I want you to go and see Gordon Dean." Dean had just become the chairman. Carroll Wilson, the General Manager, was still there. He had just resigned. I didn't know that.
NEEDELL: Had Lewis Strauss resigned at this time?
GLENNAN: Yes, shortly before the call to me. But I divined finally that it was Lewis that had recommended me, just from the talks that we'd had at Case and what he'd seen, I suppose, if you can call it management style or whatever. Mr. Truman said, "I want you to go and talk with Mr. Dean, and then you will know whether or not I want you to consider this. I ask you, please don't keep me waiting." "Yes sir, Mr. President. But I might say to you, Mr. President, that you could look in the bottom of many barrels and not find anybody who knows less about the fields that are involved in this activity." And he said, "Mr. Glennan, I'm not sure you're the best judge of that." It's a strange way to meet a President. At any rate, he asked me to come and I did go.
NEEDELL: Before you saw Dean?
GLENNAN: No, no. I saw only Gordon Dean and Carroll Wilson, and Carroll Wilson was not very hot on any part of it. He thought the five-man commission was a waste of time. I didn't see David who was gone, of course.
NEEDELL: What did you think of Gordon Dean? What was your meeting with him like?
GLENNAN: He was a pleasant man. A lawyer. Attractive. I liked him. But I didn't know Sumner Pike or Tom Murray. I knew of Harry Smyth.
NEEDELL: Robert Bacher was no longer--
GLENNAN: No, Bacher was off the Commission then. But I knew Bob. I called him and talked to him about it.
NEEDELL: You knew Bob Bacher from the war.
GLENNAN: Yes. After I had agreed to go, I called Lewis and said, "I would like to--" (OFF THE TAPE)
Rev. 08/19/96, JAB