The Report of the Conference on the School of Foreign Service
[G.U.'s Official Celebration in 1969 on the 50th Anniversary
of the founding of the School of foreign Service]
A 1968-9 struggie by concerned SFS faculty, students, and alumni
for reform of the Walsh School of Foreign Service
seriously upset some people with their vested interests
in keeping things at GU as they are now.
Mere discussion of the School's present sorry state,
or the proposing of various changes,
rankled many in the university's administration.
The most pained reaction of all, however,
came on February 25, 1969, when groups of SFS alumni
calling themselves the "Save Our School Emergency Committee"
and SFS students calling themselves the "Friends of the School of Foreign Service"
compiled and disseminated a flyer entitled
"An Open Letter to the Students of the School of Foreign Service"
recounting how their School's decline had begun.
Soon afterwards, on March 20, 1969, in an article in The HOYA
Rev. Gerard F. Yates, S.J., a former Dean of both the College and Graduate School,
accused Mr. Donald P. Panzera, SFS '69, the author of that "Open Letter",
of distorting history in his recounting the history of G.U.'s financial integration.
Fr. Yates pointedly denied several of the flyer's charges
and gave his own version of the l951 centralization drama.
Whose side, if either's, would the facts of the case substantiate?
Certain facts are uncontested:
Before the late 1940s Georgetown University was operated
as a federation of almost independent schools,
with a weak central university administration.
Each school, for example, had budgetary autonomy
and controlled its own faculty and curriculum.
In January 1951 the university's Board of Directors met twice
to discuss a proposal for centralization, integration,
of all the schools' treasuries into the office of a single university treasurer.
At the second of those two meetings, the Board voted approval
and directed that the financial integration be accomplished by March 1.
Mr. Panzera and Fr. Yates, however, disagree on the why and the how.
Half of Fr. Yates's lengthy article argues that GU's January
to unify all its schools' finances into the office of the university treasurer
came as response to a recommendation from an outside consultant
hired in 1950 to study GU's fiscal conditions
as part of the university's desires to get beyond the disruptions
that had been caused during and since World War II.
That twenty page report was written by Dr. Clarence Scheps,
at the time Comptroller of Tulane University,
and was submitted to GU in
Fr. Yates asserts that it was this study of Georgetown's finances
that prompted the G.U. Board of Directors
into deciding to unify, or "integrate", the treasuries of the various G.U. schools.
But the Scheps report did not precede, but followed,
a proposal of integration already being advocated by G.U.'s administrators.
Scheps's study was, in fact, solicited to bolster the position of one side, the integrationists,
already engaged in a power struggle within the university community
over the future governance of Georgetown University .
a) Even before the Scheps report appeared,
the finances of GU's Graduate School, Dental School, Nursing School,
and College of Arts and Sciences already had been centralized
under the university treasurer.
By late 1950 only the Law and Foreign Service Schools
still had budgetary autonomy.
Obviously, someone had been urging integration
long before Dr. Scheps came onto the scene.
b) At the time Dr. Scheps was hired to conduct his study,
G.U.'s president and treasurer were aware
that he favored centralization.
Scheps' book, Accounting for Colleges and Universities,
had been published the year before, in 1949,
clearly advocating unified university treasuries.
In short, the Scheps report was not what lead to GU's
but was one commissioned to justify a course of action already determined upon,
i.e., to be an impressive final argument for winning over
the two remaining hold-outs against the integration concept:
the Regent of the School of Foreign Service, Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J.,
and the Regent of the School of Law, Rev. Francis E. Lucey, S.J.
There is another fact demonstrating that the Scheps report
did not precede, but followed the decision to integrate:
In the summer of 1950, months before GU the Scheps report was delivered,
GU's president, Very Reverend J. Hunter Guthrie, S.J.,
went to Rome and obtained from His Paternity, Rev. Jean Baptiste Jansen, S.J.,
the Superior General of the Society of Jesus,
a letter directing the GU schools to centralize their finances
into the office of the university treasurer.
Well, if the decision to adopt centralized finances was reached
before, and not after,
and not as a result of, the Scheps report, what was the purpose behind that decision?
Fr. Yates's article treated two distinct issues:
1) control of a $1.2 million savings account
that Fr. Walsh had accumulated towards constructing
a School of Foreign Service building,
2) control of the School of Foreign Service's annual operating account
into which went students' tuitions and fees
and out of which were paid faculty salaries and SFS program costs.
The first, the building-savings-account, was by far the less important,
as will be shown below .
The remainder of Fr. Yates's articlethen attempted to refute Mr.
particularly a firm denial that there ever was any "midnight raid" on the SFS's treasury.
To support this stand, Fr. Yates cited only the then G.U. treasurer, Rev. James Wilkinson, S.J.,
who says that Fr. Walsh handed him personally a check for the SFS funds.
But no one had claimed that the Universlty handymen carried off cash in wheelbarrows.
(Surely, if Fr. Walsh had been so stupid as to keep all the school's millions lying around his office,
G.U. should have taken financial control away from him).
It was, instead, the SFS's books, its financial records and ledgers,
that were grabbed so unexpectedlly in the wee hours of that twenty-second of February.
And it was these that the wind blew from the open wheelbarrows all over the campus,
reportedly resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars worth of invoices for accounts receivable.
The operation was performed so crudely that several people
remember Fr. Walsh
remarking that what he found most offensive about the entire integration process
was the manner in which it was accomplished.
"They came like some gangsters in the middle of the night"
he said to the then SFS Treasurer, Edgar Mitchell.
Fr. Yates also accused Mr. Panzera's flyer of exaggerating the School's wealth.
It had claimed a loss in 1951 of two to four million dollars.
the 1968 Conference on the School of Foreign Service that I ran
the former Secretary of the School, J. Raymond Trainor, BFS '27, MFS '28,
estimated the loss amount at $2.5 millions,
whlle the former Executive Assistant to Fr. Walsh, Rev. Francis L. Fadner, S.J., CFS '32,
rather at nearer $4 millions.
Fr. Yates, however, says only $1.3 millions,
But that $1.3 figure is only what the SFS had at the time in its building savings account.
There were, in addition, other, more important, funds of the School,
most notably the SFS's operating account for its yearly incomes and
Out of this account the school would pay salaries, maintenance, scholarships and rents,
as well as the costs of the whole range of
its students' extra-curricular activities,
all completely separate from those of the College
(e.g., its own debating, language, philosophy and honor societies,
its own news magazine and yearbook, its own
employment placement service,
and even its own sodality).
semesterly enrollment back then of about 2300 students,
each of whom then paying as tuition $600 per annum,
this operating fund amounted to almost $1.4 millions a year.
And it produced annually for the SFS a surplus
of between two and three hundred thousand dollars
(whether, in Fr. Yates's estimation , a "true"surplus or not, being another matter).
In addition to these building and operating funds,
Fr, Walsh's School had control of yet other assets
(e.g., a much coveted book fund, which always ran into many thousands of dollars
saved from Fr. Walsh's s own royalties and honoraria)
and such things as the SFS's independent library.
What, therefore, in 1951 was "integrated"
into the University Treasurer's control from the School's
easily was more than Fr. Yates's stated $1.3 millions
and was between the $2 and $4 millions alleged in the Panzera flyer.
It was no accident that Fr. Yates overlooked the operating fund with all that SFS tuition.
For here lies the needed clue for learning
the answer to the question lurking behind the entire 1951 eplsode.
The loss to the SFS of that $1.3 millions SFS building fund
is in the nature of a crlme of history: done, gone, beyond relief.
One surely must never forget what happened;
but after all is said and done, there is no use in crying over spilled milk
(The Walsh Building, by the way, cannot in any sense be considered restitution.
It is no more the SFS's than the G.U. Credit Union's.
Just about every division ofthe Unlversity, as well as Trinity High School, uses it,
and rare indeed in the SFS-student with most of his classes there,)
The loss, however, of the $1.4 (nowadays, over $3) millions SFS operating fund
is entirely another matter - an annually repeated crime.
Each year every SFS student is exploited by the University of
a large part of his tuition
in order for Georgetown to support its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
And, as the years have gone by, that Graduate School has grown ever more rapacious,
causing the elimination one
after another SFS course and program
so as to expand graduate offerings.
Maintaining a graduate school is the form of conspicuous
to which universities are most often addicted.
Administrations of Frs. Guthrie and Bunn (1949-1965]
mark the period when this University fell under the spell
of putting itself on the educational map
by an enhancing of its then (and now) woefully mediocre Graduate School.
The dreams of the proponents of GU's having a greater Graduate Schaol
were rudely pinched, however, by certain facts of life.
One of the most troublesome problems was the need for ever more money. '
Fr. Guthrie had been Dean of Georgetown's Graduate School
beforein 1949 his becoming President of the University.
When he had assumed that Deanship, the Graduate School was already spending each year
more than twice what it earned. Such continuing deficits had to be remedied somehow,
and by 1951 Fr. Guthrie, as President, had
determined the way:
financial integration, or, as he choicely worded it in his memorandum to the Board of Directors
(while denying it to be his intent),
"bleed one school for the benefit of another".
The projected blood donors, of course, weres to be the Foreign Service and Law Schools
with their sizeable annual surpluses.
Financial integration was only a last resort.
Originallywas an effort to secure voluntary cooperation from the SFS
the plan for a greater Graduate School.
Graduate School Dean
and, then after him, Dean Yates,
would hire 'luminaries' for their school,
then expect the SFS to pay part of those luminaries' salaries
in exchange for their then teaching some the SFS undergraduate courses,
Fr. Walsh, however, often preferred hiring his own faculty for SFS courses
rather than accepting another school's choices,
More than simple jurisdictional or personal rivalry would be involved.
For one thing, Fr. Walsh sometimes doubted the abilities of Fr. Guthrie's candidates
to handle the SFS curriculum.
For another, there occasionally weres severe ideological clashes:
Frs. Walsh and Guthrie, politically ,were polar opposites.
While the SFS faculty ws quite heterogeneous
(having Jews like Ernst Feilchenfeld and Jules Davids,
freethinkers like Willlam Boyd-Carpenter and Albert Meyers,
Protestants like William Culbertson and Perry Stevenson,
and bolsheviki like Carroll Qulgley and Walter Giles),
the Graduate School under Frs. Guthrie and Yates had become nationally known
as a haven for such reactionaries as Stefan Possony, Charles Callan Tansill,
Goetz Briefs, and the Herr von Alexis.
Fr. Walsh did not want any of them to have anything to do with his School.
In fact, in a March 25, 1948, report to the President of the Unlversity,
Graduate School Dean Guthrie complained that the greatest
difficulty he had
as head of the Graduate School
was this unsatisfactory relationship with the School of Foreign Service
And upon becoming University President himself, Fr. Guthrie first tried
to solve the problem of the Graduate School's deficits
by imposing economies elsewhere in the University.
Early in 1951, for example, he ended football at Georgetown,
thereby saving over $100,000 a year.
The insatiable appetite for funds of Graduate education,
made still more drastic steps inevitable.
By the beginning
of 1951 the struggle between the Haves and Have-nots
at Georgetown was quite heated.
A synopsis of the events of that year will help
put the financial integration debate into a better perspective.
The bitter personal feud between Frs. Guthrie and Walsh had erupted into almost continual warfare.
a) Fr. Walsh had for years planned on building a new School of Foreign Service
(and even thought of renaming it "the College of Nations")
on the hill overlooking the Potomac where McDonough Gymnasium now stands.
Several times he showed the place to guests, raptuously describing the future building.
He thought he had a commitment by the University
that that part of the campus was reserved for the SFS.
Then one day during the summer of 1950
Jit Treanor, the Secretary of the School, came running up to Fr. Walsh
calling out that his hill was being dug out. Indeed, the entire hill was cut away
and ground broken for the Gymnasium, without Fr. Walsh's having known beforehand
(and, at the time Fr. Walsh was not only Regent of the Foreign Service School,
but was, more importantly, the Academic Vice-President of the University).
Fr. Walsh always suspected that this surprise was intended.
b) With the loss of his originally hoped-for site,
Fr. Walsh searched for another. Late in 1950, at the height of the integration struggle,
his old friend Evalyn Walsh McLean (owner of the Washington Post, and of the Hope Diamond)
offered him free her building at 2020 Massachusetts Ave., NW
(then the headquarters of tho American Red Cross;
now the plush Indonesian Embassy),
For tax reasons the gift would have had to go to the University corporation.
But Fr. Guthrie refused to allow Fr. Walsh to accept it.
Fr. Guthrie's motives are unknown; but Fr. Walsh believed
that Fr. Guthrie did not want the SFS to move away from the Hilltop
and out of control.
c) During 1950 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace decided to liquidate its Washington and Paris Libraries.
George A. Finch, the then Secretary of the Endowment, and a longtime teacher of international law in the SFS,
offered Fr. Walsh the magnificent Washington Library (over 100,000 titles with a splendid collection of periodicals)
for simply the cost of crating and transporting.
Again, Fr. Guthrie intervened and refused Fr. Walsh the University's permission to accept the gift offer.
This occurred at the height of the struggle over integration,
and the common understanding was that inasmuch as Fr. Guthrie wanted to centralize everything
and he certainly did not want to encourage a great expansion on the SFS's at the time independent Library.
(Turned out that Carnegie's Washington Library was then eventually bought
by The George Washington University for $75,000,
but as of 1970 it still remained encrated in GWU's basement!!)
SFS students might well pondor what might have been
the next time they pass that cinderblock palace called the Waish Building,
or enter that intellectual cul-de-sac called the Walsh Reading Room.)
The idea of centralization came to Georgetown during the 1940s
with the arrival of Fr. Guthrie from Fordham.
He soon, however, found among local Jesuits some strong supporters,.
Fr. Yates, his protegé, and successor as Graduate School Dean, was an early convert.
Most important of all, though, was the Rev. Edward B. Bunn, S.J.,
who in 1948 had became Regent of the Dental and Nursing Schools
and in 1952 succeeded Fr. Guthrie as President of Georgeotown University.
1968 "Conference on the Sehool of Foreign Service", which I ran,
Fr. Bunn pointedly declared that he came to G.U. expressly for the purpose
of ending School autonomy. He recounted that once, at a meeting
with the Denta1 and Nursing School Executivc Faculties,
he told them that he was determined to end their independent ways
or he "would close them down")
Once finacial integration was effected, it was an easy move to the exploitation
of the two money-making schools for the benefit of the Graduate School,
But the simple confiscation of annual SFS surpluses
would not satisfy the demand of the integrators.
Overtly and covertly, the SFS was to be taken advantage of.
The overt process involved squeezing the School to get every penny possible.
Courses were dropped or merged,
programs were abandonned or curtailed,
enrollments increased, and class sizes doubled.
the SFS curriculum once required both a year of U.S. History
and also a year of U.S. Diplomatic History.
To save money, these two one-year
courses was replaced
by a single year course called "U.S. History and Diplomacy",
and soon (if the university-wide History Department gets its
there will be no U.S. History requirement for all SFS students whatsoever.
And once the SFS required three distinct courses
(Principles of Political Science, American Government, and U.S. Constitutional Law).
These were all by Fr. Bunn replaced by a one year course "U.S. Constitution & Government".
soon (if the university-wide Government Department gets its way)
the requirement for all SFS students will become just a one semester course "American Political Systems".
Just ten years ago the
SFS still required for all SFS students separate year-long courses
in International Law, International Organization,
International Relations, and Diplomatic and Consular Practice.
But soon nothing of these will be left, except a one semester sophomore course
called "International Relations".
The issue, important to note, is not whether any of these changes were a good idea.
The issue instead is whether it should have been the SFS itself making changes to the SFS curriculum
or whether the university-wide departments would get to make the decisions
in order to free up funds for the Graduate School.
The covert process of exploitation, for its part, was even more refined.
Repeatedly, courses that could not be gotten abolished or by merged
would be staffed by either indifferent, inexpensive graduate students
or tenured faculty having less-than secondary interest in them,
with the intention being that, before, long students would clamor
for their no longer being required of every SFS student,
but instead made just electives for the few who would want them
- meaning the departments would be needing teachers
for one section, not several.
Hence the spectacle in recent years of diplomatic history teachers
confessing to knowing and caring nothing about diplomatic history;
of international law teachers
admitting to disinterest and dislike of international law;
and of U.S. Constitution teachers
boasting of hostility to, and ignorance of, constitutional law.
The sorry state of the SFS can be seen from another angle
studying the G.U. Task Force's tables of per capita' expenditures
on students by School and Major,
The average graduate economics major,
has spent on him- or herself almost three times as much
as the average College economics major or SFS international econonics major
has spent on themselves.
Frs. Guthrie and Wilkinson, unfortunately, did not last at G.U.
long enough to enjoy personally their great victory.
Within a year of the "midnight raid" both Jesuits had disgraced themselves
and were banished
But the seeds they sowed, took hearty root.
In September 1952 Fr. Guthrie simply disappeared.
He had abscounded to Florida in a fit of concupiscence.
In due time, he did come back, much
and accepted an exile to Pennsylvania.
Fr. Bunn was chosen to finish out his term as University President,
going on to make Georgetown history as its great centralizer.
Fr. Wilkinson even beat Fr. Guthrie in getting ordered away from Georgetown.
In his eagerness to centralize all the University's finances into his hands,
he over looked the matter of competence.
Registration in the fall of 1951 was his undoing
and he was given twenty-four hours to leave Georgetown
after he singularly botched afairs.
This essay has only scratchecl the surface.
The careful examination of the past, however, is of value
in the assistance it gives us in the present.
Besides making clearer the ulterior
in many of the public statements you see issued by G.U. authorities,
such a study might enable seeing the issues of the present day
in ever better perspective,
Our conclusion from the "Conference on the School of Foreign Service"
was that the the income of the SFS should be spent
on the students, facullty and programs of the SFS.
In other words, undo the Crime of '51.