December 17, 1971
Mr. Carver C. Gayton
Equal Opportunities for Minorities
Dear Mr. Gayton:
Since having accepted an appointment in the School of Music in the fall of 1969, a number of incidents have occured that I feel are completely out of character with regard to me as a professor at the University of Washington.
First, I would like to give you some background on my relationship to the University of Washington.
I have actively been attempting to improve the School of Music by introducing the concepts of Black Music since 1967.
There have been several meetings with Dr. William Bergsma, then the director, and others, where I outlined a proposal to incorporate studies in Black Music along with Mr. Byron Pope. After a number of meetings and much discussion ONE position was made available. I felt there should have been at least six since the School of Music, at that time had 68 faculty members teaching European art Music. The only art form that American has produced, that is recognized internationally, was derived from Black Music. How could one professor satisfy the needs of an entire curriculum of Black Music?
I sent Dr. Bergsma a letter explaining my position and I refused to compete for the position we had worked on together to create. Mr. Pope accepted the position.
In Sept. 1969, Mr. Pope suddenly left the Universtiy on the first day of school. Dr. John T. Moore called me that day in that desperate situation,, asking if I would like to assume the position of Lecturer. At that time I was an Engineering Assistant at the Applied Physics Laboratory, specializing in Computer Programming. I was receiving regular promotions and liberal salary increases. Having a deep interest in music I decided to accept the position in the School of Music with a cut in annual salary. I assumed there would be advances in the not too distant future, as there had been at APL. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have remained at virutally the same salary to date.
I came into class without a ready teaching plan. I quickly gained the confidence of the students, and subsequently created a unique teaching method and now enjoy the largest and most popular class in the School of Music.
I have brought many of the world's most famous artists to class to perform, for example, Earl Fatha Hines, Ahmad Jamal, Paul Butterfield's Blues Band, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner and others, all at minimal cost. I am positive they would not have appeared without my influence. I was also instrumental in developing the first Jazz Series under Lectures and Concerts during winter quarter 1969. It was dicontinued spring quarter of the same year.
The History of Jazz and the Afro-American Music class could not be taken for credit by music majors until I brought this to the attention of the music faculty. It was accepted in the summer of 1970.
I felt there should be Jazz musicians in residence as well as classical musicians. As a result a proposal was written by Dr. Bergsma. After many meetings with the BSU, the Jazz committee, Dr. Bergsma and myself, the proposal was presented to the Rockefeller Foundation. They granted $100,000, but Dr. Bergsma decided this amount was insufficient and returned the money. The proposal will be resubmitted in the future, after it can be shown that the Black community has an effective input. I am attempting to develop community input with a non-profit organization called the Black Academy of Music (BAM).
Since becoming a Lecturer, I have not been permitted to make a single long distance phone call. There has been occasions when I needed to call Dr. Donald Byrd, Director of Music at Howard University, David Baker at the University of Indiana, and Quincy Jones in Los Angeles regarding matters of music. It is required that I ask the director's permission to make a call. On every occasion I have been told there was no money for this and told to write a letter instead.
When an artist is appearing in class, almost free, I have requested video taping the performance so that future students can learn from it. I have suffered embarrassment from secretaries Mrs. Ringer and Mrs. Pratt, Directors Dr. Bergsma and R. Moore in their remarks and attitudes in handling this request. I have only been successful in taping three performances. The most recent refusal came in November, when MCoy Tyner appeared on Nov. 23rd at Roethke Auditorium. Dr. Moore refused to grant $50.00 out of the Jazz fund, so that a video tape could be made of the performance.
December 6, 1971, I had prepared a list of questions to be used in the final examination December 8, 1971. Typing and preparing these is quite time consuming. I asked Mrs. Pratt to have five sheets copied on the office copier so that the typing could be started and I would have a set for class review. She refuesed saying, "they could not stop the business of the office every time someone wanted something copied." So I had to use the orginal sheets, and bring them back four hours laters. I have never been permitted to copy anything on the office copier. The examinations were not completed until minutes before the final was to start. I had no time to check them for mistakes.
December 9, 1971 Dr. Moore, the director, asked me to teach the '72 summer class for HALF SALARY. I explained that the History of Jazz class would likely have over 100 people in it, but the director said the salary was determined by the number of credit hours one teaches not the number of students. For example, one teaching two five credit classes with five students each would receive full salary. My teaching two classes, one with ten students for one credit and the other with 125 stuents, for three credits would receive only half salary. I refused. The past two summers I taught with a 20% reduction in salary, which I thought was bad enough.
I bring this to your attention because I feel that this kind of treatment is not in the spirit of what the Universtiy of Washington stands for.
Being the only Black professor in the School of Music, I feel it is out and out racism.
I could state other incidents but I am sure you can see the picture. I am being paid, perhaps, the smallest salary in the department, $8,730.00, related to student load. I teach the History of Jazz, which has an average of 250 students per quarter, the Jazz Ensemble, which averages 18 students, and private saxophone students, about 10 a quarter. I get numerous requests from students on nearly all instruments for lessons and advice. Since joining the faculty in 1969, the Jazz classes have doubled.
I am finding it increasingly difficult to function effectively in this kind of atmosphere.
I am requesting a full investigation of the hiring practices, promotions, salaries and preferences in the School of Music.
School of Music
cc: Dr. Charles Odegaard, President
Dr. Philip Cartwritght, Executive Vice President
John T. Moore, Director, School of Music
George Beckman, Dean of Arts and Sciences
Samuel Kelly, Vice President, Monority Affairs
David Llorens, Direcotr, Black Studies Program
John Gilmore, President, B.S.U.
Trever Chandler, Chairman, Black Faculty Committee
J.B. Gillingham, Ombudsman
Cornelius Peck, Chairman, Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity
President, Board of Regents