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Shifting Power: The End of the Hicks Regime 1976-1980

Triumphs and frictions at the Cohn. Finishing Dalplex, 1976-9. The Dalhousie Staff Association. The Dalhousie Faculty Association and the Faculty Club. The advent of collective bargaining, 1978-9. The adventures of CUPE local no. 1392. Senate strives for a more purposeful mission. The status of women and improvements in campus life. Finding a new president, 1979. The wages of the Hicks era. A retrospective.


Henry Hicks was outspoken on many subjects; he enjoyed jazz, about which he considered himself, as in so much else, something of an expert. His opinions were largely unchecked by either diffidence or hypocrisy. It was the same with art. In November 1967, opening the Second Atlantic Exhibition of Art in the Arts and Science Building, he disagreed openly with the decision of the judges in awarding the first prize. Hicks preferred Christopher Pratt’s Newfoundland realism, “Woman with a Slip” to Lawren Harris’s abstract “Pentagon,” to which the judges had given the prize. This incident afforded the local papers a rich feast for comment and cartoons, most of which supported Hicks.1

By the late 1970s Dalhousie’s main achievement in community relations had been the Arts Centre. It now had a masterful impresario and functioned under the president’s Committee on Cultural Activities. This committee had become largely administrative and in 1968 had been taken from under the fostering wing of Senate. Senate surrendered it not only because of the committee’s functions, but because it had confidence in the chairmen and in the cultural aspirations of Henry Hicks, unlike those of President Kerr, in whose regime the Senate’s committee was first struck.

The Committee on Cultural Activities had a series of able chairmen in these years - C.B. Weld of Physiology, M.M. Ross of English, and in the 1970s G.V.V. Nicholls of Law. It branched out with subcommittees in theatre, music, film, the art gallery; its membership now came to include artistic representatives from around Halifax, including Saint Mary’s and Mount St. Vincent. The Dalhousie Arts Centre had created cultural ferment, some of it excellent, some of it raucous, some of it the result of the taste of the Cultural Activities Committee, and increasingly more of it the result of the range and vigour of the executive secretary of the committee, who ran the Cohn operation.

“Woman with a slip” by Christopher Pratt, Henry Hicks’s preference at the Second Atlantic Exhibition of Arts, 1967. The ladies looking at the Pratt are, l. to r., Pat Nicholls, wife of G.V.V. Nicholls; Gene Hicks, wife of Henry Hicks; and Kathy Weld, wife of C.B. Weld.

The first of these was John Cripton, who pioneered the style of the Arts Centre and helped to bring the Atlantic Symphony there. In 1973 the Canada Council decided it wanted Cripton as its Impresario Canada, so Dalhousie had to find a replacement. There were seventy-seven candidates, mostly American. Those in the short list were invited to Dalhousie and Hicks looked at all of them. He liked a woman candidate, Joyce Dawe, but Nicholls and the committee were most impressed with Eric Perth, who was reputed to have “flair for seeking out the new and unusual” as well as capacity as a first-class administrator. Hicks liked him, though reserving the suspicion that “he might develop into somewhat of an autocratic person in his relations with... the Departments of Music, Theatre.”2

Dalhousie took Perth on and a marvellous impresario he was. Born in 1934 in Denmark, he spoke Danish, Swedish, German, English, some French, and before coming to Dalhousie had been house manager of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. He had connections innumerable. He knew Luciano Pavarotti’s agent in New York and on a trip from Europe back to New York Pavarotti was persuaded off the plane in Halifax to give a concert in the Cohn to, it seemed, the whole Italian community. One important item in Pavarotti’s fee of $8,500 was twenty pounds of Nova Scotia smoked salmon which he carted off to New York. By 1976 the Cohn under Perth had gone from fourteen concerts a season to sixty-five, with something close to 7 per cent of the whole population of Halifax going through the Arts Centre doors at some time during the year.

But there were frictions between Perth and the Music and Theatre departments, arising mainly from differences in philosophy over what the Dalhousie Arts Centre ought (or ought not) to be doing. Peter Fletcher, chairman of music, resigned in December 1976, on that very issue. His last act at Dalhousie was conducting a splendid Messiah. Fletcher’s argument was that an Arts Centre ought to aim at presenting new artistic experiences, developing taste in the arts. Like one’s first beer or first escargots, he said, artistic taste was not acquired spontaneously. It needed educating. He would have understood the Gazette's headline of November 1967 about the Cohn, “White Elephant for Dal,” which suggested that students needed artistic education like everyone else. Art was the communication of emotion; to Fletcher, entertainment was just that and little more. Foot-stomping programs had their place, no doubt, but in Fletcher’s opinion not in the Arts Centre.3

Eric Perth, the impresario at the Cohn Auditorium, 1974-85, with assistants M. Riding and Laura Bennet.

Perth won that round, partly because it was a position that Hicks and the Cultural Activities Committee took. But it was made to appear sensible by the argument that popular performances would subsidize with full houses the cultural ones with occasionally thin houses. Fletcher’s replacement as chairman of the Music Department was Walter Kemp, a musical historian whose temperament and taste gave him rather more ductility, much needed in dealing with Eric Perth’s sweeping vigour and electric opinions.

Dalhousie’s Music Department received considerable support from musicians in the Symphony Orchestra. The one was essential to the other. Hicks was flexible here, as in so much else, even persuading the Board of Governors to lend $80,000 to a promising young violinist, Philippe Djokic, a new member of the Music Department in 1975, to buy an equally promising violin. The money was repaid in full and many times over in the contribution the violinist would make to Dalhousie music in the future. Out of this came in 1975 the formation of the Dalart Trio: William Valleau, cello, William Tritt, piano, and Phillippe Djokic, violin. It gave Dalhousie and Halifax its first glorious taste of a resident classical trio. They were frankly marvellous and they carried the Dalhousie name to many places where it had never been known before.4

The Dalhousie Theatre Department, separated off from English, had its base in the Sir James Dunn Theatre. One of its very successful offshoots was its three-year diploma program in costume studies, approved in February 1977. The Theatre Department plays did what Peter Fletcher wanted Music to do, educate the students and public to long-neglected live theatre. The Neptune Theatre downtown, established in 1963, and the Sir James Dunn, reinforced each other, particularly during John Neville’s regime as director of the Neptune from 1978 to 1983.

The Dalart Trio in 1976. L. to r., William Valleau, cello; Philippe Djokic, violin; William Tritt, piano.


Dalplex, Part 2

Besides Dalplex, Hicks wanted to build a Physical Sciences Centre, between the Sir James Dunn Building and Howe Hall, facing Coburg Road. But Gerald Regan, something of an athlete himself, was not so interested in the physical sciences, and liked athletics much better. Hicks could and would use that preference for Dalhousie’s purposes; thus when the smoke cleared over Dalhousie’s right to a building permit, Hicks had Regan onside. It was just as well; by 1977 the cost of the Dalhousie Athletic Centre had risen from $5 million to $10.5 million. Dalhousie launched the Dalplex campaign in October 1977 to raise $3.5 million towards it. By September 1978 $2.3 million had come in, of which the Dalhousie Student Union gave $350,000 by extending for a further ten years their annual mortgage contribution towards the Student Union Building.5

Construction began in October 1976, with blasting that started at 8 AM each weekday until Christmas, at the rate of ten to twelve substantial thumps each day. It was heavy work, for in that part of Halifax the hard iron stone lay on edge, roughly 20 degrees off the vertical.

The design was now a building with a low profile, literally and metaphorically. The maximum height was to be thirty-five feet, but covering as large an area as possible without pillars. J.G. Sykes, the university architect, visited Ontario where Trent and some other universities had what were called “air structures” - that is, roofs sustained by lightly compressed air. The pressure differential was usually the equivalent of that between the top of a ten-storey building and the ground. All of the air structures had problems, however, until Sykes discovered that Atlas Steels of Toronto were making a thin, stainless steel skin which could be held up by air. Atlas were willing to give such a roof to Dalhousie at less than cost. Sykes and Hicks reported to the board that no such roof had collapsed. (The reason it hadn’t was because none had yet been built!) Thus the Dalplex roof was more of an innovation than the board knew, than Hicks dared tell them, though one member of the Building Committee suspected something of a gamble. The roof was successfully inflated in March 1979, and the building ready for opening, more or less, on 19 October.6

The original idea was to ask the new Conservative premier, John Buchanan, to open it; but perhaps remembering the tremendous obloquy Dalhousie had incurred over the building, he backed off and Hicks was asked, on the understanding that should a major donor come along who wanted his name attached to it, the building would be so named. No major donor did materialize and the building, not inappropriately, was named by popular usage after the campaign that solicited a wealth of small contributions. So it became Dalplex. At the official opening there was a huge open house with some twelve thousand visitors inspecting the Olympic-size swimming pool, the squash and racquet courts, to say nothing of the thirty-five feet of interior height.

Three months later, in January 1980, after a big fall of wet snow followed by rain, the roof collapsed - that is, it caved inward, coming down to within twelve to fourteen feet of the floor. The person in charge of maintaining air pressure, located in the bottom of the building, did not know of the rain. But when the pressure was increased to compensate for the huge weight of the rain-soaked snow, the roof came right back to normal. For the board, to say nothing of Sykes and Hicks, that gave the “greatest satisfaction”; it was now known that the roof could be collapsed and reinflated with no damage.

But still greater satisfaction with Dalplex was to come. Within a few years of its completion, when a house in the neighbourhood was being offered for sale, to its many advertised charms there was a further one: “Close to Dalplex.” And there was supreme irony in the story Hicks related about someone driving by South Street in the 1980s, who looked over to where the Dalplex was and not seeing it, said: “Isn’t it lucky that Dalhousie never got authority to build that big Athletic complex there!”7 In fact, by the mid-1980s Dalplex had become a major community asset, the way the Arts Centre already was.

Dalplex in 1979. Erected despite bitter local opposition, it was soon a major community asset. The huge stainless steel roof was only one-sixteenth of an inch thick. Held up by lightly compressed air, it could be walked on.


Problems in Labour Relations: The Dalhousie Staff Association

Dalhousie’s eight-fold expansion in physical plant and assets from 1963 to 1980, at the cost of some $120 million, came with some stress. Inflation made it worse. In the early 1970s inflation in Canada was 7 per cent per annum until 1975, roughly the same as in the United States and West Germany. But the price of oil quadrupled between 1972 and 1974, and this fuelled a much steeper inflation from 1975 to 1980 and beyond. In 1981 inflation reached 12.5 per cent per annum. Across the ten years from 1970 to 1980 the Canadian Consumer Price Index rose 137 per cent. Salaries and wages were thus continually trying to overtake prices.

Dalhousie’s relations with its working clerical staff had not so far been difficult. As employer, at least under A.E. Kerr, the university was both benign and close-fisted. Salaries were low, but hours were not unsatisfactory. Staff were patient and long-suffering, their attitudes an outgrowth of the depression of the 1930s, when one was fundamentally grateful to have a job at all. At least one of the officials in the Registrar’s Office could not have resigned in protest against Peter Griffiths because she could not have afforded to.

Into this came the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). CUPE was formed in 1963 from two other unions and was soon the largest in Canada. By 1980 as many as 50 per cent of its members were women, CUPE was particularly interested in unionizing the clerical staff at Dalhousie, and was not without ambitions for the professors. In November 1971 CUPE moved to unionize Dalhousie’s non-academic employees, but in a heavy-handed way, assuming it had only to offer to be accepted. The Dalhousie clerical workers were not sure they wanted CUPE; in 1972 they organized their own Dalhousie Staff Association (DSA) with some 212 paid-up members from a total of some 750 clerical staff. The DSA looked to classification of staff positions, hours of work, fringe benefits, aiming at parity with Nova Scotia civil servants. In the midst of that their work week was extended from a 32.5-hour week to a 35-hour one with commensurate salary increases.

There were at least two modes by which the DSA could function as a bargaining unit. One was to become a CUPE local (no. 1275 had already been constituted) and go before the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board (NSLRB) and apply for certification as official and exclusive bargaining agent. Another less formal mode, voluntary recognition, could be agreed between employer and employees. The two routes were mutually exclusive. Once it had been determined who was in the bargaining unit, an official vote would be held to decide which union. A majority would win. Probably the majority of the DSA were leaning towards voluntary recognition. It had not helped CUPE’s cause that it used some sleight-of-hand about green sign-up cards, disguising them as offers of more information. As Hicks put it to M. McIntyre, assistant regional director for CUPE, Dalhousie would deal in good faith through whatever union the employees chose. “We are only concerned that the employees are given a fair opportunity to make this choice.” By May 1974 the CUPE local had enough support to apply to the NSLRB for certification as bargaining agent for Dalhousie non-academic employees. In the meantime Dalhousie recognized the DSA as exclusive bargaining agent for Dalhousie employees under voluntary recognition. Thus was the struggle joined between CUPE and DSA. The NSLRB refused local 1275’s application for certification and insisted on a vote of the employees. It was held on 5 September 1974 and confirmed the DSA as the exclusive bargaining agent for non-academic clerical staff, CUPE was out.

There was more to the DSA than salaries and fringe benefits. Most of its members were women; one attractive young woman (who later became a senior Dalhousie official) declared that between 1968 and 1975 some parts of Dalhousie began to resemble Peyton Place. The threat of sexual harassment was to her real and always uncomfortable and doubtless was for others. One or two university officers were notorious. The creation of the DSA helped by making it possible to resist unseemly blandishments and still keep one’s job, or better still, transfer to another department. The DSA did not end sexual harassment but it offered a procedural refuge to those so victimized. By the end of the 1970s most of the worst offenders were out of the university. On the whole the long history of Dalhousie’s relations with its clerical staff was fairly creditable.8 Its business relations with its professors had become by the 1970s more complicated and difficult.

Signing the contract between the Dalhousie Staff Association and the Board of Governors, 2 May 1975. L. to r., Mrs. H.A. MacDonald, Board; Mrs. Enid Jimenez, President DSA; President Hicks; Suzanne Jodrey, secretary DSA.


The Dalhousie Faculty Association

The Dalhousie Faculty Association (DFA) began in the 1950s as an informal association; it had motions and minutes but it was mainly an instinctive reaction against low salaries and President Kerr. In the 1960s it gradually got bigger and stronger. One of the early concessions of the Board of Governors was staff mortgages which were established in November 1962. They were taken up with enthusiasm, especially by junior staff with families, for the Dalhousie mortgage rate in those years was 6.25 per cent, less than the commercial. Originally a staff member had to have tenure to qualify, but in November 1970 the rules were broadened. In December 1979 they were broadened again; loans could be made for purchases of duplexes and condominiums, provided the mortgagor lived there. Second mortgages were also allowed. One governor, perhaps attached to a mortgage firm downtown, asked in 1979 why Dalhousie should be in the mortgage business. The answer was that after seventeen years’ experience, “mortgages to staff gave the highest yield of any part of the University’s investment portfolio.”9

The DFA used a large room at the top of the A. and A. Building for its meetings, that commanded a view over the North-West Arm, right to the sea’s horizon. There in the 1950s and early 1960s there used to be talk and gossip and meetings, where Jim Aitchison and George Grant played billiards and talked about Pierre Bayle or Simone Weil. It had eventually to be given over to Political Science offices, while the philosophers, mathematicians, and historians were moved out to centrifugal distances from talk of Bayle and Weil. The need for a central meeting place became more palpable as new staff, new offices, many in old houses, grew. In 1965 the DFA asked the board for help in the purchase of a house for a faculty club. The board was sympathetic but asked for concrete proposals. The DFA considered its options, but for several years nothing tangible emerged. Then in 1971 a member of the DFA Faculty Club Committee, Mirko Usmiani of Classics, went to see the president. Hicks did not want to give property to the DFA, but when Usmiani said that the association was thinking of renting or leasing, Hicks opened up. Usmiani returned to his committee and said, “Hicks will let us have the old Law Building.” “But what rooms, what floors?” the committee wanted to know. Usmiani laughed. “All the rooms, all the floors, basement, main floor, attic, everything.” The place was in fact almost empty, and the computer people in the basement were moving to other quarters. The university was providing heat and light and water and no one was using it. The board agreed to put up $20,000 (later raised) if DFA would match it, to do renovations.10

These renovations were a story of their own. Hicks was particularly attracted to a European interior designer, a lady, and liked what she was suggesting. The DFA committee went along with Hicks’s interest. What emerged was a night-club ambience, bean-bag chairs, the building’s Georgian ceilings lowered by means of large coloured tubes, a study in reds, oranges, and purples. It eventually was got rid of in favour of more conventional decoration. Thus did the Faculty Club get established in the handsomest building on the campus. The best discovery, uncovered by the Law School, was what came to be called the Great Hall, with a fine hammer-beam roof; in 1974 it was renovated to expand the Faculty Club’s catering facilities. During these years the DFA slowly gathered weight and substance. Many senior and middle-rank academics served as its president, from Law, Medicine, as well as from Arts and Science. The association was concerned with salaries, pensions, bread-and-butter issues, and its officers, while vigilant, were mostly courteous and not without appreciation for what had been accomplished already. Hicks told Dr. Tarun Ghose of Pathology, president from 1975-6, that “Dalhousie has been fortunate in my time in generally having very good relations with its Faculty Association.”11 That was too rosy a view.

For there were frictions. K.T. Leffek (president, 1969-70), complained of lack of board attention to DFA’S salary briefs, and his successor, R.L. Comeau of Economics, said the same. Leffek was unable to prevent the DFA from passing a motion in 1970 that since staff were already making their contributions to Dalhousie in the form of low salaries, requests from the Dalhorizons campaign would not be supported. Something of the frustrations behind the motion (which Leffek personally opposed) is reflected in a letter by R.L. Comeau to Dr. R.C. Dickson, who strongly opposed the Dalhorizons motion: “We are caught between an administration that prefers to ignore us with polite gestures, and a rising student movement that threatens to run roughshod over us.” The board gave a little. In December 1974, at DFA’s request, it agreed to allow the association president to sit in on board meetings as observer. By 1977 its officers would discuss the forthcoming budget with the board’s budget committee.12

By now unionization of university faculties across Canada was proceeding apace. In February 1973 Notre Dame University in Nelson, British Columbia, became the first faculty in English Canada to unionize. The University of Manitoba followed in November 1974. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) recognized that it would have to support faculty unionization or lose out to CUPE, a more aggressive union. A major battle between the two was joined at Saint Mary’s in 1974. CUPE wanted to represent the faculty; but the Saint Mary’s Faculty Union preferred to work through its own affiliation with CAUT. Both organizations put major efforts into what was regarded as a decisive beachhead. A vote ordered by the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board gave the nod to CAUT’S affiliate, the Saint Mary’s Faculty Union. After another failure in 1975, CUPE backed away. Between 1975 and 1980 some nineteen major Canadian universities followed Saint Mary’s, Acadia, and Moncton in 1976, UNB in 1979, and NSTC in 1980.13

By 1977, with inflation running high, Dalhousie academic salaries were almost the lowest in Canada, lower than those of other local universities. Dr Philip Welch, DFA president in 1977-8, believed that an extra $200,000 which had somehow materialized from the government, should be used not to reduce the deficit as the board wanted, but to raise academic salaries. But the board was facing a deficit of $300,000 and was caught by rules for controlling current account deficits laid down by the new Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC). It had been established in 1974 to supervise the burgeoning problems of funding fifteen universities and seven other institutions, and had ruled that any university’s annual deficit had to be kept within 2 per cent of its annual operating grant. Otherwise, MPHEC would require that 2 per cent of the following year’s grant go towards the elimination of the deficit. Caught between the MPHEC and the DFA, the board declared it could not manage more that a 5.5 per cent increase in salaries. MacKay warned the board that this was lower than any Nova Scotian university, that “salaries of Dalhousie professors will have slipped significantly behind those paid elsewhere.” Hicks was less generous. A few weeks later he asserted that probationary appointments and others, prior to tenure, would have to be short term, from one to three years, despite a recent regulation that such new appointments would normally be for three years. “Normally” could be used at Dalhousie as a “bolt-hole” word, allowing one to get out from under a rule when it was deemed essential to do so. In mid-1977 Hicks thought it was, but he alarmed young and still untenured members of faculty, all of whom had votes in DFA.

Between November 1977 and March 1978 Dalhousie was served up with platefuls of labour problems. In November 1977 there was a two-week strike of the International Operating Engineers Union, local 968, responsible for Dalhousie heating and without a contract since February. The only way to end the strike, said Louis Vagianos, vice-president of university services, was to go back to the bargaining table; but, he added unhelpfully, the 5.5 per cent salary increase was not negotiable. The strike was settled early in December with, in effect, an 8 per cent increase (5.5 per cent with additions to come later). A long struggle with CUPE local 1392, the cleaners and caretakers union, was finally settled in February 1978, with a similar increase. The Dalhousie Staff Association broke off contract talks in March 1978 and was proceeding to conciliation. On top of everything else, the DFA came to the Board of Governors in January 1978, wanting collective bargaining by voluntary recognition, which DSA already had.

The DFA asked for it with three conditions: binding arbitration of salary and fringe benefits disputes, and of individual grievances; recognition of the association as sole bargaining agent of academic staff; and the sharing of all relevant information between board and DFA. The most important of these was binding arbitration. The whole package was modelled on one that had been established at the University of British Columbia. The board could have seen it coming. In 1977 a DFA questionnaire asked members if they would favour a legal union like those at Saint Mary’s or Carleton; 44 per cent said yes, 36 per cent said no, with 20 per cent undecided. A majority, 50.4 per cent, also favoured formal consultation and arbitration procedures but without the formation of a legal union - in other words, the principle of voluntary recognition. The DFA then approached the board about having voluntary recognition granted, and in the summer and autumn of 1977 it was discussed at length between board and association representatives. It was a mode that Dr. Philip Welch, DFA president in 1977-8, wanted right to the end. But the board representatives did not like it and by January 1978 it had gone nowhere.

Thus, in January 1978 the board finally turned down the DFA request. Though the reason was unclear, the board may have been confident that the proposal came from a minority of faculty, and that the majority would resist unionization on any principle. For a DFA meeting called for 16 February, the board were asked to put their refusal in writing, which they did on the 10th. A last-minute phone call to the DFA president asked that the letter of refusal be disregarded, and new counter-proposals by the board were promised. These were: arbitration on salaries but on nothing else; recognition of DFA as the primary, but not the sole, bargaining agent; and a reasonable release of information. These proposals arrived on 14 February, two days before the DFA meeting that was to begin to discuss certification.

At the meeting there was a spirited debate, in which a succession of former association presidents testified to the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of securing what DFA wanted through the Board of Governors. Welch cited the question of free tuition for dependants, which he said “had gone on for several years sliding up and down the administrative ladder without any appreciable result.” To many at the meeting the board’s three-fifths concession of 14 February, seemed too much like “a death-bed repentance” to be plausible. There was also some dissatisfaction with the Hicks-MacKay leadership, which seemed to be confirmed by their rejection of voluntary recognition. The DFA then voted by 119 to 29, with three abstentions, to ask its executive to seek certification under the Labour Relations Act. (A week later the board agreed to a 50 per cent reduction in university fees for dependants of faculty members!) After cards had been signed by the required 40 per cent of the bargaining unit, certification was asked for on 7 April. A week later the official NSLRB vote was held, the result held in abeyance until after NSLRB hearings.14

A strong core of intensely conservative opinion in the DFA opposed faculty unionization in any form, but especially the form it took - that is, a union to be certified under the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Act. Edgar Z. Friedenberg, the spectacular American import of 1970 (and president of DFA, 1980-1), commented on the “‘old boy’ oligarchy of senior faculty that is impossible to distinguish from the administration and I want protection from that.” Actually the conservatives were not so much an oligarchy as traditionalists, who had long since grown up with and accepted a holistic view of the university. They bridled at the confrontational delights enjoyed by ardent spirits in the DFA. The issue that worried the conservatives most and drove their anti-union passion, was fear of a university strike. The president of the DFA in 1977-8, Dr. Philip Welch, was at pains in March 1978 to assure the conservatives that even if the association did become a certified union, a strike was most unlikely. To many a strike was barely conceivable, for it would be against the students, innocent third parties to such a confrontation. It was these strongly held opinions by 40 per cent of the faculty which had probably persuaded the board in January not to recognize the DFA as exclusive bargaining agent. Now it was too late to turn back. Unionization could only be defeated at the Labour Relations Board.

The Labour Board heard the DFA application in July 1978. The university’s position was first, that the Trade Union Act might not apply to Dalhousie or any other university. MacKay, who led the university’s negotiating team, held out little hope for that line; failing that, Dalhousie should try to make the bargaining unit as large as possible, to include both union sympathizers as well as those opposed to union. That would have the effect of weakening extreme union positions.

The NSLRB hearings were long and complicated. Who was to be included in the bargaining unit? How far and where did the chain of management go? The middle ground that emerged across Canada in the mid-1970s was to include in the bargaining unit departmental chairs, but exclude from it deans, assistant deans, directors. Professional librarians, as at Dalhousie, were usually included. Dentists, and doctors in the clinical departments of Medicine at Dalhousie were not. That was usual, too. Finally, in November 1978, certification was announced of the Dalhousie Faculty Association as the official and exclusive bargaining agent of Dalhousie professors and professional librarians. There were 636 members in the bargaining unit; 489 had voted, 265 in favour, 217 against, with seven spoiled ballots. That was a yes vote of 55 per cent. Although the outcome was determined by a mere 41.7 per cent of those eligible to vote, it was a victory for the new DFA union.15

The figures pointed to the divisiveness of the unionization process. Some departments were almost wholly in favour of the union; some, like Political Science, were equally opposed; most departments were split. The feelings pro and con were intense. For a time friends of many years were divided, each feeling betrayed by the other. It was not pretty. Senate entered the picture with notice of motion on 11 December 1978, that the negotiating team for the university not accede to any collective agreement that would impinge on the authority and prerogatives of Senate. That motion carried in January 1979, with the sensible observation by Madame E.C. Pielou, Killam professor of biology, that a contest between Senate and DFA was unlikely, since Senate was interested in academic questions, and the association in money.

Bargaining between the administration and the DFA began in February 1979. The management team of six were: vice-presidents MacKay and McNeill, David Cameron, Norman Horrocks, plus the university solicitor and a Hicks’s designate. The DFA was represented by Michael Cross (History) as chief negotiator, Alan Kennedy (English), R.S. Rodger (Psychology), Susan Sherwin (Philosophy), plus a place for a representative from CAUT (who was present once) and one other designate. The association was anxious to get a contract in hand; within a month it was suggesting that the university was not bargaining in good faith. Language could occasionally become rhetoric, arguments manipulative, facts distorted, in such missives. MacKay replied that the DFA were being unreasonable about the length of time needed to “forge a first contract.” The shortest time for establishing a first contract in Canada was seven months of intensive work, the longest thirty-five months.

The DFA team were very well prepared, coached by CAUT, and with model clauses from other agreements on what they wanted at Dalhousie. The administration team were ill prepared. They met for the first time the evening before the actual negotiations started, with the chief negotiator for the University of Ottawa. They had no specific instructions from the board. Their entire philosophy was reactive. They lacked also technical sophistication. They had great difficulty with salary negotiations because they had no computer base. The DFA team did have; R.S. Rodger had a desk-top computer program that covered each member’s salary, sabbaticals, and other benefits. The vice-president finance once had to work all night with his little black book (in which he had recorded by hand all increases to each member of staff year by year), cranking out on a hand calculator a total salary base for the DFA bargaining unit. The two salary bases came to almost the same, but what a difference in method! Moreover, there was little direction from Hicks. He seemed, as one Dalhousie negotiator said, “to have no stomach” for the negotiations. Hicks left those wholly to MacKay, even the reporting of them to the Board of Governors.16

The summer of 1979 was long and arduous as both sides wrestled with innumerable questions. There’s a world of fighting in details! The draft contract was not ready until the end of October. No one, said MacKay, was entirely happy with the final agreement, which “might not be a bad feature of it.” It had 420 clauses in thirty-three articles, together with three schedules and four appendices, some sixty-eight legal-size pages of single-space type. The DFA had wanted the Rand formula, which comprehended a closed shop, but MacKay was under heavy pressure from the board and from conservative members of faculty not to concede that. It had dragged on a long time and finally the association gave up the point, accepting a variation: members of the bargaining unit who refused to join DFA would still have to pay dues, but they could ask that their money go to a scholarship or other charitable fund. Salary increases that had been shut down since 1977 were now unlocked, with an overall increase of 18.1 per cent - 9.5 per cent for 1978-9 and 8.6 per cent for 1979-80. That purpose had certainly been achieved. Few believed, even now, that any issues between Dalhousie and DFA would ever come to a strike. Many also felt that Hicks had been too cavalier in resisting the associations pleas for better salaries. The germ of the unionization of the Dalhousie faculty, said K.A. Heard, a political scientist, may have been in Hicks testing once too often the outer limits of his authority.17


The Strike of CUPE Local 1392

Just as the DFA was getting its certification in November 1978, a strike of CUPE local 1392, representing Dalhousie’s cleaners, caretakers, drivers, and porters, started on 6 November. The CUPE contract had expired on 31 August. Negotiations over the old contract had been difficult and bitter. Louis Vagianos, who became the vice-president administration for 1977-9, was quick, talented, and at times abrasive. He felt that Dalhousie had to save money and he would help do it. The grounds work was contracted out, with Dalhousie’s crew cut in half. Another union grievance dating back to 1976 was “back-shifting” from day shift to night shift (midnight to 8 AM); an increasing number of Dalhousie buildings could no longer be cleaned properly during the day. That year, Vagianos explained, the number of cleaners had gone from 295 to 221. “We’re not trying to be harsh. But there’s no question some people are unhappy. They have to be. They had a much better deal before.” Buffeted by Dalhousie cutbacks, and by Nova Scotia’s application of federal Anti-Inflation Board rules, CUPE leaders were in a fighting mood in November 1976. “The Anti-Inflation Board is doing Dal’s dirty work for them,” was the opinion of one CUPE spokesman. The union was going to grievance procedures, then to arbitration, and then, said a spokesman, “we’ll pull our people out on these bastards.”

A contract was finally signed, but a year and a half later, with the mood little improved, the new negotiations that started in July 1978 went nowhere. The main issue was wages, the union wanting an increase of 85 cents an hour in a one-year contract, (that is, a 19 per cent raise), and would not budge. Al Cunningham, the national representative for CUPE, was leading negotiations. Many thought Cunningham’s stubbornness was because he was putting CUPE’S national strategy ahead of the interests of local 1392. Some Dalhousie staff who supported CUPE against the administration found him indecisive. In early December, at a conciliation meeting called by the government, Dalhousie offered 17.2 per cent. It was not apparently reported to union members. So the strike went on.

In the meantime, since November Dalhousie was kept clean by volunteers from its administrative staff, including deans. The work detail for the Law School, for example, included Vice-President W.A. MacKay, Vice-President Academic Guy MacLean, Vice-President Finance D.H. McNeill, W.H. Charles, the new dean of law, Ronald Macdonald, the former dean of law, and Arnold Tingley the registrar. The six would start at 6 AM on Sunday morning and would be finished at 9 AM. Then they would sit down for coffee, the talk being about everything except the strike. The first day Hicks came and happily cleaned the dean’s office, deliberately doing the windows which were in full view of the pickets outside. The others thought that a bit provocative and persuaded him to give it up. The upshot was that they discovered that Dalhousie cleaning could be done with fewer volunteers than were in the regular cleaning force.18

For some time Dalhousie had been wondering if it should be in the cleaning business at all. Other universities, such as Memorial and UNB, and three hospitals in Halifax, had all contracted their cleaning out to a firm called Modern Cleaning. The union had charged Dalhousie with having too few cleaners and too many supervisors; advice from outside firms and Dalhousie’s own experience since November suggested that the reverse was the case. Dalhousie found indeed that it could cope indefinitely with the strike. Valiant efforts by the administrative cleaners kept the university clean, though cleanliness was deteriorating at the edges as the strike went on. For faculty had begun to take sides; some Dalhousie professors in some departments, sympathetic to CUPE, helped to contribute to the litter. While Dalhousie was anxious to resolve differences and get its administrators away from cleaning, Hicks pointed out there was “no evidence of willingness to compromise, or even to discuss the situation realistically, on the part of Mr. Cunningham [of CUPE].” It was also very difficult to get through to the members of the union exactly what Dalhousie’s offers had been. According to Louis Vagianos, Dalhousie’s December offer would make Dalhousie’s cleaners the highest paid in the province, but the offer was never reported to the membership.19

On 21 December 1978, perhaps on Vagianos’s suggestion, Dalhousie closed with an offer from Modern Cleaning to take over all Dalhousie cleaning. Dalhousie made two conditions: all employees currendy on strike would be offered employment; and Modern Cleaning would offer CUPE wages and benefits comparable to those offered by Dalhousie or better. Modern Cleaning would do the negotiating with the union; Dalhousie would no longer be in the cleaning business. It would save, so it was alleged, some $300,000 a year. Legal advice was that Dalhousie’s sudden move did not constitute strike-breaking.

Perhaps not, but it was sharp practice nevertheless; the old contract that expired in August had a clause prohibiting contracting out. That clause was now dead: Dalhousie acted. It was shrewd, smart, smacking of the style of the vice-president administration. The Dalhousie campus did not like it. CUPE went to the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board with a protest. Kell Antoft, head of the Institute of Public Affairs, was deeply chagrined, since his institute’s Labour-Management Bureau was currently studying just such questions. He wrote an anguished Christmas Day letter to Hicks, alleging the Dalhousie action had almost no precedent in Canadian labour relations. Dalhousie professors were also upset. The Biology Department, the Philosophy Department, graduate students of English, protested. So did the Political Science Department. Dale Poel, the chairman, wrote on behalf of himself and eleven other members of Political Science, on 18 January 1979:

You are probably aware that the two main reasons why unionization [of the Faculty] succeeded at Dalhousie were the widespread concern among junior faculty about low pay and future job security, and the equally widespread concern among senior faculty about the uncertainties of the University’s administrative processes, particularly at the higher levels. The way in which the decision to contract out cleaning has been handled served to reawaken and reinforce these doubts and fears, just at a time when things were beginning to settle down and some of the rifts opened by the debate over unionization had begun to close.

The DSA was upset. The DFA passed two motions on 11 January 1979, asking the Board of Governors to overrule its executive committee which had endorsed the decision, and censuring that committee, the president, and vice-presidents who were responsible for it. Some members of the board were extremely uneasy. Marilyn MacDonald ('62) thought that such an important issue should have been taken to a full meeting of the board; she much disliked being held responsible for a decision in which she had had no part.20

CUPE certainly bristled. Rich Dalhousie was starting a special course, CUPE said, “How to Bust a Union in the 1970s.” There was talk about old and faithful members of the Dalhousie cleaning staff being handed over, body and bones, to the untender mercies of a commercial cleaning outfit. But of the 228 members of the union, only 3.5 per cent had worked for Dalhousie fifteen years or longer, and at the other end of the scale, 30 per cent had worked for Dalhousie for a year or less. Half the group had worked five years or less.

By this time Dalhousie’s wage offer was no longer the main issue; rather it was flexibility in assigning cleaning staff. The union did not want management moving cleaning staff from one building to another. And the switch to Modern Cleaning loomed over everything else. After an all-day, all-night discussion under the aegis of the minister of labour on 23 January, Dalhousie made an important concession: Modern Cleaning would not be the employer, Dalhousie would; Modern would simply supervise. The union still held out, over “flexibility” in assigning work.

On the initiative of a CUPE support group on campus, the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour agreed to pitch in; it called a day of protest for Wednesday, 24 January. Busloads of steel workers from Cape Breton, students from Acadia, workers of many sorts, were moved into Halifax to close Dalhousie down. The picket lines were formidable. Dalhousie did not close officially; it said it would stay open and it did. But not by much. Many Dalhousie professors honoured the picket lines. Hicks and his secretary were jostled when they crossed; Henry James when he crossed was struck by some wooden implement; a car trying to run picket lines at the Killam struck a Saint Mary’s professor, who was not seriously hurt. The car, driven by a student who was trying to hand in a late essay, was damaged by irate picketers. But by then the protest was almost redundant; a few days later the Dalhousie offer was, at last, put to a proper union vote and approved overwhelmingly, by a vote of 149 to 18.21

Thus did the CUPE strike end. As usual, no one really won. Dalhousie remained accused of sharp practice, though it had eventually backed out of giving its workers wholly over to Modern Cleaning. It did the administration and board no good. The union came close to getting the money it originally asked for, though no one, said Hicks, mentioned the “many thousands of dollars damage done to University property during this strike.”22 It might well have been settled in early December on the basis of Dalhousie’s offer then, had the union leaders been more flexible and been willing to present Dalhousie’s offer to the rank and file. Hicks did not come out of it well. One could understand the university’s frustration when there was absolutely no give by the CUPE negotiators. But effective administration is knowing when to be patient, as well as knowing when to act.

One inevitable major consequence of having five labour unions on campus (the fifth after demonstrators and instructors were given a separate union in 1978), was a great increase in litigiousness. The negotiations and renegotiations of labour contracts was enormously time-consuming and exacting work. In the case of the DFA, probably the laying out and codifying of rights, duties, and responsibilities was a useful exercise, making procedures explicit and establishing criteria for promotions and tenure. Those written rigidities had their value, but they came with a price; there was now much less flexibility and informality, much more bureaucracy. The Dalhousie world was becoming more ponderous and legalistic.


Senate Flexes its Muscles

Senate also exemplified this trend. The focus of power in Canadian universities was shifting in the 1970s. J.A. Corry, principal of Queen’s from 1961 to 1968, one of the most delightful academics this country has produced, said at UBC in 1969 that power had already passed from the president’s office to the academics. They had “constitutionalized the president’s office, clinched their control of academic matters and so got very powerful leverage in all important decisions.” His complaint was that the academics were not exercising that power, and the result was indecision, dissension, and possibly in the distance, outside interference. A huge shift of responsibility was taking place.23

While Hicks was preoccupied with building, with bringing into the university new faculties, institutes, with expanding Dalhousie’s horizons, the Senate was slowly but definitely moving towards establishing what could be thought of as a parallel power. The leader in this development was John Finlayson Graham (1924-90), professor of economics. He had come to Dalhousie in 1949 out of UBC and Columbia, and by 1960 was head of Economics, a post he retained for a decade. His work was careful, thorough, scrupulous, so much so that at first he was not fully appreciated by those in authority. His integrity, loyalty, and capacity won him considerable outside attention, as he was president of the Canadian Economics Association in 1970-1. The Regan government appointed him chairman of its Royal Commission on Education, Public Service and Provincial-Municipal Relations, a project and a report which took from 1971 to 1974. By the late 1970s he had become, as Guy MacLean put it, the conscience of the university.

He was especially good at defusing issues where his own intensely held personal beliefs were not at risk. In 1976 the anthropologists in the Department of Sociology/Social Anthropology wanted to have their own department, some having come to Dalhousie believing in the possibility. Asked to adjudicate, Graham earned respect from both sides, suggesting that Dalhousie could not get into the full range of physical anthropology and archaeology, that the social anthropologists be content with the status quo, as cousins of sociology.

J.F. Graham, Professor of Economics, 1949-89, seen here as chairman of the Nova Scotia Royal Commission on Education, Public Services and Provincial-Municipal Relations, 1971-4.

It was not always that easy. Once Graham had his mind made up he was a determined, relentless adversary. He had a lasting distrust of the Institute of Public Affairs under Guy Henson, deploring mostly its standards, which he considered too slipshod by half. He kept his Department of Economics at stern arm’s length, distrusting the institute’s social science, believing it should be hived off somewhere on its own, preferably out of Dalhousie altogether. Hicks had to tell him in 1965 that the Institute of Public Affairs was going to remain a useful part of Dalhousie for the foreseeable future and he had better get used to it.24

Graham was normally a cooperative and hard-working member of faculty, but the idea of the DFA becoming a trade union and exclusive bargaining agent for the teaching staff he abhorred root and branch. He felt that the traditional rhetoric of trade unionism was wholly inappropriate to an academic community; the right of disassociation was as important as its opposite. His dislike, perhaps his fear of the DFA on the one hand, and his growing distrust of the ways of administrators on the other, may have been part of the driving force behind his hopes and ambitions for the Dalhousie Senate. In March 1978, he moved in Senate that it appoint an ad hoc committee “to negotiate such changes and clarifications of the present constitutional arrangements as might secure confidence among faculty and elsewhere that... academic self-government is possible and can be made to work in this university.” In other words, could Senate be made into the main academic motor at Dalhousie that Graham believed it ought to be? Such a committee should consider whether Senate was getting enough financial information; should there be an understanding with DFA about appointments and tenure, and should Senate be the approving body in such matters? Two weeks later Senate met in special session, when Hicks agreed to answer Graham’s questions:

Q. Are conditions of appointment, tenure and promotion under the control of Senate? HDH: Agreed. Q. Ought not Senate to have effective control over Dalhousie’s priorities? HDH: Agreed, but the administration must have some discretion. Q. Ought not the procedures of Senate be modified to make it more effective? HDH: Agreed, but how can it be done? Q. Should not Senate be made more broadly representative of Faculty as a whole? HDH: Senate can change itself with the consent of a majority of its members. Q. Should not more financial information be made available both to Senate and DFA? HDH: Agreed, but both Senate and DFA will have to work much harder than they have done in the past if they are to use it.

Aye, there was the rub. If Senate wanted to control things it had to devise means of putting the control in place. But little enthusiasm existed in Senate for the work of creative planning; Senate committees were quite busy enough. In September 1978 the secretary of Senate, Arnold Tingley, pointed out that of the many reports of faculties and institutes that came into his office, “Never, within the recollection of the present Secretary, has anyone wished to examine any report.” That comment spoke volumes about the enthusiasm of senators for the kind of work that John Graham had in mind.25

Nevertheless, Graham’s constitutional committee believed that Senate should have “a decisive place in policy making, including all aspects of physical, academic and financial planning.” The Graham report’s basic logic was that Dalhousie’s administration should carry out policies that were determined by Senate. The consequence of its new role was, thus, the removal of the president from the chair of Senate. But it did not come at once; a straw vote in January 1979 indicated that not all of the Senate was following Graham’s logic. But the separation did come in 1980, after Hicks stepped down.

Hicks thought that the general effect of the Graham committee’s recommendations would be to separate Senate and administration. Graham did not mind that; power to the Senate was his aim. He wanted also to do away with the Senate Council, by now a sort of executive of Senate, heavy with deans ex officio. Graham especially wanted reform of the composition of Senate. There were then 278 members of Senate among whom were many full professors who never attended. To change Senate’s composition required a majority vote of all the senators, 140 votes. In April 1979 a referendum gave 124 in favour of change, twenty-nine opposed, with twenty-seven spoiled ballots. Some ninety-nine did not vote at all. Thus it failed, though narrowly. The vote was close enough that in May Graham proposed, and got Senate to agree to, a second referendum in October. The second time the answer was more decidedly against change. Thus Senate and Senate Council, admittedly clumsy and awkward, stayed largely the way they were. Senate did eventually get its own elected chairman, and the president stayed on as ex officio member and frequent commentator. It was a curious system, but not without advantages. The Senate legislated, and the president listened and commented, administering the result with his still considerable power.26

One useful right the president had used, and would continue to exercise, was appointing president’s committees. These had started in Hicks’s time as a means of getting at administrative issues; a good example was the conversion of the Cultural Affairs Committee from a Senate Committee to a president’s, once it became clear that its work was fundamentally administrative. Obvious administrative questions, such as the operation of the Registrar’s Office, were solved by president’s committees, though mostly academics were appointed to them. Some committees were appointed that ought to have been left to Senate, as the hassle over the Faculty of Administrative Studies showed. One of Hicks’s committees, appointed in 1976, was on the Status of Women at Dalhousie, particularly directed at the position of women academics. The chair of it came to be Professor Virginia Miller of Sociology.


The Status of Women Report and Changes in Campus Life

The report’s immediate concern was appointment, working conditions, and salaries of women academics. It reported late in 1978 with some striking statistics for 1977-8. For 777 cases overall, mean salary at Dalhousie was $26,598. The mean salary for 650 men was $27,924; for 127 women it was $19,808. That was a formidable gap. At the younger levels, however, it was closing: 191 male assistant professors earned $22,680; fifty-two female ones $20,571. In the Arts and Science Faculty at the assistant professor level, there was almost no salary gap, $18,262 for the eighty-nine male assistant professors, $18,244 for the sixteen female. That in turn made the other gap, numbers, all too palpable. Of the 369 Arts and Science professors, only thirty-four were women. Of the 650 in Medicine, only thirty were women. The Status of Women Committee recommended that Dalhousie should aim firmly at equal opportunity and equal treatment to redress imbalances both in salary and in numbers. It should also consider giving maternity leaves.

When the report was published in 1979, women students were 42 per cent of all students at Dalhousie. Even more striking, in Arts and Science they almost equalled men students in numbers. They also had much more to say about things on campus that they did not like, and they recruited male students to their cause. The Gazette became more stern, as did the Student Council, about the kind of entertainment offered at male stag parties. At the 20 March 1979 Student Council meeting questions were raised about “exotic dancing,” a well-understood euphemism at an engineers’ entertainment the previous weekend. There were some two hundred protests over bringing in strippers. The male writer in the Gazette was articulate, but perhaps more high-minded than the majority of his fellows:

The reduction of sex, a private matter, to a show designed merely to excite its audience, is ignominious and unpleasant in any context. That it should happen in a university is incongruous in the extreme... The spectacle of seedy stag bashes going on at the SUB will hardly help students’ petitions [to the government for more funding].

The Student Council should have cancelled such an event, concluded the writer. The following year the engineers did cancel their “Stag and Stein” with similar dancing because of protests. Women still had a long way to go towards real equality, but their voices on campus were being heard; some of their complaints were acted on.

But students were students. In September 1979 there was an engineers’ raid on Alexandra Hall, King’s women’s residence, eggs thrown, windows broken, some of the engineers encouraged, it was said, by young ladies draped Juliet-like in windows. King’s sent the Engineering Society a bill for $535. That same month a party in Fenwick Tower got out of hand, with the stereo going at full blast, the party cascading out into the hall. After complaints, by some ingenious system the power in that one apartment was cut off, and the stereo mercifully fell silent. Presumably the occupants gradually did too.

Michael Power, President of the Students’ Council, 1978-9.

A good deal of beer was consumed on these occasions. The Gazette in November 1979 dealt soberly with “Alcoholism at Dalhousie.” According to Student Health, 12 per cent of any given population is prone to alcoholism. The Student Health doctor reported that he knew at least six students who had to have eight to ten beers a day. The Grawood bartender said that he would call 60 per cent of the students at the Grawood heavy drinkers, consuming some twenty to twenty-five beers a week. The assistant manager noted that some of the heaviest drinkers were alumni. One Quebec student thought Nova Scotia students were indeed apt to drink heavily, their attitude being, “I want reality to cease being real.” It was a bad direction to aim at.27

In September 1976 the Gazette published a list of gay bars and discos in Halifax, noticing a movement that had developed publicly after 1969. It received anti-gay letters, the nub of which was, “we all know you exist and that is all we want to know. We really don’t give a damn whether monkeys do it, or where your last or next meeting was and/or will be, so knock it off!!”

In general the students of the later 1970s were more conservative than a decade before, not only in style and manners but in attitudes and purposes. They were as good academically but distinctly more job-oriented, thinking of careers rather than bucking the establishment. The labour troubles of Dalhousie in 1977-9 were reported in the Gazette, and students sympathized with CUPE local 1392, but their basic concerns, not surprisingly, resembled those of students of the 1980s. If six hundred Dalhousie students joined the Atlantic Federation of Students march on the legislature in March 1977 to protest funding cuts to universities, they begged off a labour rally in September. Michael Brown ('78), editor of the Gazette was furious: “Colour them Yellow” was his editorial; they were “apathetic, self-centred, conceited, unimaginative, insensitive, smug.” But even the organizers of the rally took issue with that remark. One student replied that he didn’t have to take time off to listen to “simplistic exhortations of local labor leaders.” Students were, in short, severely discriminating in the causes they would support. Government funding cuts were one thing, but other social issues had a harder time.

J.T. Low was visiting professor of English at Dalhousie for two years, from 1974 to 1976. He had come from Scotland and he found surprising resemblances between his Scottish students and those at Dalhousie, with just as many problems, just as many pleasant surprises. But, he said, there was one important difference:

Canadian students seem much more interested in their own cultural scene than Scottish students are or have been up to recently. I have been impressed with Canadian literature - its development, its promise, its availability; and I am so pleased that students have opportunities in colleges and universities here to study Canadian poetry, drama and the flourishing Canadian novel and short story.

How old Archibald MacMechan would have delighted in that! 28


Looking for a New President

On 31 March 1978, Senate was presented with a motion that at its next meeting it institute a search committee “for a full-time President.” That did not rattle Hicks, in the chair; he merely suggested that he would prefer that nothing be done until the end of the year or early 1979, and the Senate, not unwilling to put down such a sharp-edged motion, agreed. In April 1979 the board and Senate struck a joint committee, with two co-chairs, Basil Cooke of Senate and Zilpha Linkletter of the board. The DFA protested that it was not formally represented on the search committee. The committee agreed that the association could participate on the distinct understanding that all proceedings be strictly confidential. The board advertised the position in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain. By June 1979 the committee was meeting weekly. They received some ninety names, sixty serious nominations, and thirty-one fully-fledged applications. By August the committee had rejected all but four, and were meeting with representative groups on campus for confidential exchanges of views. Interviews with the four short-listed candidates took place in November. Then, on 29 November 1979, the Dalhousie Gazette published the short list, hitherto confidential. The leak came over the phone from an unknown caller who said that the university had the right to know who were the short-listed candidates for its presidency. The vice-president of the Student Union, Graham Wells ('80), blamed the DFA. Susan Sherwin, the current president, denied it was responsible, though it had withdrawn from its membership on the search committee for the very reason that it felt the short list should be made known. But it is likely that the caller was from the DFA.

Making short lists public is not usually a good tactic, however desirable it might appear to inform the university public. It disintegrates the process. It makes life awkward for the candidate at his home base. A successful candidate on a presidential short list obviously does not mind too much; but unsuccessful candidates usually do. A recent publication of the short list at a York University search resulted in all the candidates withdrawing. At UNB, where the 1979 process was open, the result was failure to get a president at all. At Dalhousie the Gazette publication caused two of the four candidates on the short list to withdraw. Of the two remaining, one outside, one inside the university, there was some preference among the Senate members of the search committee for the outside candidate; a board member, however, urged the inside appointment and that managed to carry the committee. On 8 January 1980 at a special meeting of the full board, the search committee made its selection known: W.A. MacKay, Dalhousie’s senior vice-president, for a six-year term, from 1980 to 1986.

At the February board meeting MacKay as the new president-elect said Hicks’s contribution to Dalhousie could not be matched; he had taken Dalhousie from “‘a small college by the sea’ to one of the great universities in Canada.” Hicks’s contribution was unique; but the rest was hyperbole and doubtless so intended. In 1963 Dalhousie was some distance beyond being a small college by the sea; it had probably ceased being that by 1925. Nor could it quite be said that it was one of the great universities in Canada; Toronto, McGill, UBC, Laval could be called that. But Dalhousie was solid middle rank in Canada and in 1980 that was good standing ground.29

W.A. MacKay, Dean of Law, 1965-9; Vice-President, 1969-80; President, 1980-6.


The Hicks Era

Hicks stepped down as president on 31 August 1980. Since 1963 Dalhousie had been wholly transformed - in size, buildings, students, research, finances, debt. By any concrete test, it was almost unrecognizable from the university of two thousand students that he first came to as dean of arts and science in 1960. It was now a big, sprawling, increasingly amorphous institution of nine thousand students. In 1963-4 the operating deficit had been $107,000, the accumulated one $484,000. In 1979-80 they were $1,330,000 and $4,678,000. In 1963-4 endowment gave Dalhousie 13.3 per cent of its income, in 1979-80 only 4.4 per cent, even though the endowment’s market value had reached $55.4 million. Dalhousie’s physical assets in building and equipment, estimated at cost, totalled $135 million, some $25 million of which was under mortgage to the province and being paid off in annual instalments under provincial capital funding programs. Without Hicks’s ingenuity, panache, passion for building, Dalhousie probably could not have kept up with the vigorous competition of universities elsewhere in Canada for physical plant.

In 1979-80 Dalhousie’s total revenue was $79.4 million, about 57 per cent of which came from the Nova Scotian government, including the federal money channelled through the province. Research grants came to almost $9 million annually. Oddly enough, it was the research grants, as much as the buildings, of which Hicks was proud. Buildings were obvious; research grants were what mattered. Hicks may have been headlong, but he had many of his priorities right.30

Hicks was the right president for the right time, said Gordon Archibald, chairman of the board from 1980 to 1985. Hicks loved building. At home he was a good carpenter; J.G. Sykes, the university architect, who knew something about wood, admitted that Hicks knew far more than he did. Creating, developing, getting a building going, challenged him. As Gordon Riley of Oceanography once said, Hicks went scrounging and came back with a fat packet of money. The time was ripe for that kind of swashbuckling. It is doubtful if Hicks could have managed that in the 1950s, and certainly not by the 1980s.

Like any builder, he left a lot of odds and ends behind, including in Dalhousie’s case substantial odds and ends of debts. Governments, federal and provincial, never quite covered Dalhousie’s expenditures on most of the buildings that now decorated the campus. Perhaps the Board of Governors should have reined him in harder, but the board only met once a month; to keep track of Hicks one had to be around every day, and you could not count on finding him even then. At Christmas 1966 the Gazette had as gift suggestion, the Henry Hicks Doll: you wound it up and it went to Europe. That had immediate reference to Hicks’s autumn sojourn in Paris as head of Canada’s delegation to UNESCO, but he was an inveterate traveller. Even when in his office he was hard to keep hold of. Horace Read, his vice-president, complained that having an appointment with the president gave him little standing. He was “bumped” several times by students to whom Hicks would give higher priority. Read could be a bore, and Hicks did not take kindly at any time to being bored. Nevertheless that year, 1966, Read said he had to review pressing university business driving Hicks to the airport!

It was never easy to rein Hicks in. He frightened D.H. McNeill, his able and discerning vice-president finance, with some of his financial adventures. Then, said McNeill, depressed by the deficits, he would go into a board meeting, hear Hicks talk, and soon felt that things were not so bad after all. Donald McInnes seems to have thought that Hicks was like a powerful horse; if he got you into trouble he was strong enough to get you out of it again.31

Hicks liked to do things his way. In the struggle with public opinion over Dalplex in 1973, he was sure that had he done it his way - full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes - it would never have got hung up in long legal wrangles, costing the university (and the public) $2-3 million more. He believed his biggest mistake in all his seventeen years as president was agreeing to have a public meeting to explain Dalplex to Halifax citizens. According to Hicks, one leader in that neighbourhood collectivity wanted Dalhousie’s land himself to carve it up into saleable lots.32

The presidents who are taking the money so cheerfully are, from l. to r., Dalhousie, Technical College, and St. Francis Xavier.

By 1978 the age of that kind of enterprise was passing. The MPHEC had taken over the questions of funding from the University Grants Committee. No longer could Hicks draw Dr. Murphy aside and explain to him crisply what Dalhousie needed, MPHEC meant long and rather dreary position papers. The main fun Hicks got out of MPHEC was dancing the rhumba with its head, Sister Catherine Wallace, when they met on various excursions in the Caribbean. They were both good at it, but she was too clever to be got around by a few dances. “You leave those gentlemen to me,” she once told her nuns at Mount St. Vincent about the University Grants Committee. They did and they were right.

After 1978 there were no more buildings to be planned. Dalplex and Dentistry were on track, and that was that. At the end Hicks was jocular, quoting his older contemporary Clark Kerr, president of the University of California from 1958 to 1967, that a university president had three duties: to provide football for the alumni, parking for the faculty, and sex for the students. Hicks said he had not been good at any of those! “The last two years,” he said of his presidency, “I didn’t enjoy as much as I did the years of rapid growth and forward-looking decision making all the time, you see.” Not to put too fine a point on it, routines bored him. He wanted, he craved, he thrived, on the excitement of doing.

Government restrictions gradually closed down his opportunities. The cutbacks of the 1980s started in the late 1970s. One basic reason for Dalhousie’s labour troubles after 1977 was of course inflation; but coupled with that was a government that had decided that university expenditures needed to be held down, and some of the high-flying presidents with them. The $2.2. million for the Dental Building was the last really big money that Hicks was able to spend. Dalhousie was caught both by inflation and by government. Of the senior personnel, the one that paid most heavily was perhaps Louis Vagianos, a talented and clever trouble-shooter, too frank for his own good; in March 1979 he had had enough and resigned.

The long 1978 negotiations with the Dalhousie Faculty Association in which Hicks took so little interest, and the CUPE troubles of 1978-9, marked the real end of the Hicks era. Until then he and his vice-presidents operated a benign dictatorship. Dean Ronald Macdonald’s experience with his budget was characteristic; an outline based on the previous year got approved with minor variations, new appointments were authorized individually and informally. That went out with unionization. Now there were formulas where once there had been secrets. The easy-going ways belonged to an age when the university was an intimate, cohesive place, the days of the 1950s, and which carried over to the time of Hicks’s presidency in 1963. But within a decade the conditions that had sustained that informality were largely undone. The style survived but it sometimes looked anachronistic. Perhaps, indeed, Hicks stayed too long; it was apparent, as early as 1977, that he was not adapting to new challenges in university governance. That may well have been the final price Dalhousie paid for his senatorship.33

The new president, W.A. MacKay, was different. Hicks claimed to read only the first and last paragraph of a letter and made up his mind from that. That was exaggeration, but suggestive. Andy MacKay would read it through. Hicks made his decisions on perhaps no more than 55 per cent of the evidence, if that; MacKay with his background in legal arbitration was concerned with both sides of a question, and wanted to master 90 per cent. MacKay had eleven years’ experience as Hicks’s senior vice-president.

From 1972 onward MacKay was indispensable. When Parliament was in session, Senator Hicks would bounce into town Thursday night, become President Hicks from Friday until Tuesday, make decisions and leave MacKay to implement them. It worked because each did what they were good at. MacKay was much more judicious and careful. It was fortunate for everyone that the students in April 1970 decided to occupy Hicks’s office when he was away, in effect leaving MacKay to deal with them. Hicks would have used the “straightforward Hicks” route, had the police in, had the students charged with trespass, and had them carted off with a fair amount of fuss and notoriety. MacKay’s injunction route was much better, quieter, more effective, with the final responsibility for the action resting on the court. Sheriff’s deputies came to Dalhousie, not police. Hicks admitted that MacKay’s mode was superior. But in general his appreciation of MacKay lacked substance, as if disliking routines himself, Hicks dismissed too easily the qualities in others required to master and sustain them. He was not mean-spirited or ungenerous; rather he was self-centred, its quality genial, confident, pervasive. Thus he did not fully grasp the persistence, the indefatigability that MacKay’s many duties entailed; Hicks’s presidency owed much more to W.A. MacKay than he realized. If the Dalhousie presidency in 1980 was the reward for eleven years of faithful, intelligent, unremitting service, then MacKay well deserved it.

The style of the Dalhousie governance changed that autumn of 1980, in some respects much for the better - serious, careful, competent, decent. Swashbuckling it was not. It remained for the new president to pick up the pieces left by Hicks’s seventeen years of building, to begin to pay off the deficits accumulated, the wages of Henry Hicks’s salad days when everything was possible.

From 1925 to 1980 Dalhousie, like most other universities, went through changes that none could have anticipated. The Dalhousie of 1980 would have been unrecognizable to the graduate of 1925, in manners, morals, dress, perhaps even university standards. In 1925 2 per cent of the 18-24 age group across Canada were going to university; by 1980 it was 14 per cent. The selection of students was very much broader, their aims were both shallower and more professional. The idea of liberal education on which the old BA (and B.Sc.) had been built had almost disappeared. First-class students in 1925 and in 1980 would recognize each other, but the second-class ones might not, for the modern Dalhousie comprehended a much larger segment of society than in 1925.

A few traditions persisted; one was trying to keep up with the best even if at times having little more than human resources to go on. That was Nova Scotian and Scottish, trying to do well with not much, not always realizing how good, and occasionally how mediocre, the result was. In 1949 J. McGregor Stewart, laying the cornerstone of the Arts and Administration Bulding, extolled the virtues of poverty and hard work; that was from his student life forty years before, from Dalhousie’s hard curriculum of classics and mathematics. Vestiges remained too of old Dalhousie’s decency and of the “genial anarchy” that R.A. MacKay noted for Arthur Lower in 1938. It was an informality sometimes helpful to administrators; perhaps because their rule had always sat rather lightly, it gave them room for manoeuvre, allowed them to reward favourites. In short, as Denis Stairs observed, the same problems did not always receive the same solutions. This was apt to baffle faculty new to Dalhousie, some of whom felt they were victims of a culture they could not fathom. They were the ones who rejoiced in the new mechanisms that came with faculty certification in 1978. Nevertheless, something of the old style still held and it gave the big university, even in 1980, an ambience not without charm and intellectual vivacity.34

Dalhousie was lucky in finding outside support that strengthened its graduate programs as well as its cultural base. Substantial money came from three widows, none of them Canadian and all very different: a Jewish immigrant from Galicia who had once owned some not too savoury (though respectable) houses down on Jacob Street (Rebecca Cohn); a Cypriot tobacco dealer’s daughter from South London who had gone to Roedean (Lady Dunn); and a rich man’s daughter from St. Louis, Missouri, Dorothy Johnston, who at the age of twenty-two decided she was going to marry Izaak Walton Killam.

Something of Dalhousie had always been recorded in its students’ poetry, some of it certainly noisy and crude; but occasionally the Gazette printed a poem that caught at the evanescence of life and appearances, a metamorphosis of a present passing, a triumph of the student’s mind and Dalhousie’s civilizing.35 David Wegenast’s “Les Feuilles” about the Student Union foyer in late October with its sale of prints:

Cézanne Japan Monet and the jostling crowd gai

pastiche of thick coats, scarves milling rosy-cheeked around the stalls

Dehors, les feuilles s’envolent en pleine couleur

A door swings open in the wind and all are swirled away like summer balloons

Now for the white walls of winter we hang prints of summer art as these dry leaves, pressed in the catalogue.



Notes for Chapter 12
1. Chronicle-Herald, 16, 22, 14 Nov. 1967; Dalhousie Gazette, 23 Nov. 1967.
2. President’s Office Fonds, “Cultural Activities Committee,” UA-3, Dalhousie University Archives has correspondence and opinions. On Perth, see letter from Hugh Davidson to G.V.V. Nicholls, 21 Mar. 1973, from Ottawa; notes by Henry Davies Hicks on various candidates.
3. Peter Fletcher’s views are in Dalhousie Gazette, 2 Dec. 1976.
4. For Djokic and the violin, see Board of Governors Minutes, 5 June, 5 Dec. 1975, UA-1, Box 33, Folders 1 and 2, Dalhousie University Archives; interview with Henry Davies Hicks, 8 July 1988, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 4, Folder 6, Dalhousie University Archives. He recollected $70,000, but Board Minutes record $80,000. The Djokic violin was made in Venice about 1740 by the family of Guarnerius. The loan (interest at 11 per cent) was repaid by Djokic in five years by giving up his whole salary to pay it off. His wife, Lynn Stodola, who taught piano at Dalhousie, paid for their joint upkeep during that time. Henry Hicks apparently invested part of the money he received from the London sale of his Bermuda stamp collection, some $40,000, in the Djokic loan. The 11 per cent interest sounds high but is not, for inflation was running about 8 per cent in 1975, and higher than that by 1980. The Dalart Trio broke up in 1983, a victim of its own success, its members pulled apart by having to decide between concert stage and Dalhousie teaching. I am grateful to Professor Djokic for this information.
5. Henry Davies Hicks interview (typed transcript), Ottawa 1983, p. 70, Library and Archives Canada; Board of Governors Minutes, 27 Apr., 16 June 1978, UA-1, Box 27, Folder 5, Dalhousie University Archives.
6. Interview with J.G. Sykes, 14 Feb. 1996, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 3, Folder 71, Dalhousie University Archives; University News, 31 Jan. 1980.
7. Henry Davies Hicks interview (typed transcript), Ottawa 1983, p. 67, Library and Archives Canada.
8. Letter from Henry Davies Hicks to M. McIntyre, 16 Feb. 1972; Dalhousie Staff Association, Minutes, 16 Dec. 1971, 2 Mar 1972; letter from a group of “local Dalhousie workers” to C. MacDougall, 30 Nov. 1971, which alleges the “very underhanded manner” in which sign-up membership cards were claimed to be only information requests, President’s Office Fonds, “Dalhousie Staff Association," UA-3, Dalhousie University Archives. My source for the DSA’S role in improving campus problems with sexual harassment is private and must remain so. The lady is a valued official in Dalhousie administration.
9. Board of Governors Minutes, 28 Nov. 1962, UA-1, Box 8, Folder 6; 12 Nov. 1970, UA-1, Box 32, Folder 1; 13 Dec. 1979, UA-1, Box 11, Folder 2, Dalhousie University Archives.
10. Board of Governors Minutes, 18, 29 June 1971, UA-1, Box 10, Folder 3, Dalhousie University Archives; interview with Mirko Usmiani, 11, 13 Dec. 1991, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 3, Folder 77, Dalhousie University Archives.
11. Board of Governors Minutes, 26 Sept. 1974, UA-1, Box 33, Folder 2, Dalhousie University Archives; letter from Henry Davies Hicks to Dr. Tarum Ghose, president DFA, 1975-6, May 1976, President’s Office Fonds, “Dalhousie Faculty Association,” UA-3, Box 560, Folder 6, Dalhousie University Archives.
12. There is a run of correspondence between Henry Davies Hicks and K.T. Leffek through 1969-70 when Leffek was DFA president. Letter from R.L. Comeau to R.C. Dickson, 30 Apr. 1970, President’s Office Fonds, “Dalhousie Faculty Association,” UA-3, Box 571, Folder 1, Dalhousie University Archives. Board of Governors Minutes, 20 May 1977, UA-1, Box 33, Folder 3, Dalhousie University Archives.
13. For an excellent history of the unionization of Canadian university faculties, see David M. Cameron, More than an Academic Question: Universities, Government, and Public Policy in Canada (Halifax 1991), pp. 355-61.
14. Welch’s suggestions are in letter from Welch to Henry Davies Hicks, 5 June 1977, which was copied to vice-presidents MacKay and McNeill, President’s Office Fonds, “Dalhousie Faculty Association,” UA-3, Dalhousie University Archives. There is a useful discussion of the formation and functioning of the MPHEC in David M. Cameron, More than an Academic Question: Universities, Government, and Public Policy in Canada (Halifax 1991), pp. 210-12. MacKay’s warning to the board is in Board of Governors Minutes, 20 May 1977, UA-1, Box 33, Folder 3, Dalhousie University Archives. For the Dalhousie unionization process, see Dalhousie Gazette, 16 Feb., 2, 9, 16, 30 Mar. 1978; see Cameron, More than an Academic Question, pp. 360-1; a detailed description is in CAUT Bulletin (Apr. 1978), p. 9. The 1977 DFA questionnaire is described by R.L. Comeau to R. Puccetti, 11 Apr. 1977 in President’s Office Fonds, “Dalhousie Faculty Association,” UA-3, Box 560, Folder 6, Dalhousie University Archives. The relevant Board of Governors Minutes are 26 Jan., 22 Feb. 1978, UA-1, Box 27, Folder 5, Dalhousie University Archives. This description of unionization and other events at Dalhousie, 1977-9, has benefited much from comments by Professor Michael Cross, who was leading the DFA negotiations in 1979. It is not a little curious that after the DFA meeting of 16 Feb. 1978, the board agreed to a 50 per cent reduction in fees for dependants of Dalhousie professors.
15. Friedenburg’s views are in Dalhousie Gazette, 16 Mar. 1978, Welch’s in 9 Mar. 1978. For an analysis of the bargaining unit, see David M. Cameron, More than an Academic Question: Universities, Government, and Public Policy in Canada (Halifax 1991), pp. 361-2. Board Minutes of 17 Apr., 23 Nov. 1978, UA-1, Box 27, Folder 5, and 3 Apr. 1979 are helpful, UA-1, Box 11, Folder 2, Dalhousie University Archives.
16. Senate Minutes, 11 Dec. 1978; 15 Jan. 1979, Dalhousie University Archives. For MacKay’s report on negotiations with DFA on 3 Apr. 1979, see Board of Governors Minutes, 3 Apr. 1979, UA-1, Box 11, Folder 2, Dalhousie University Archives. This section and others have been read by Professor David Cameron, one of the administration negotiators in 1979. I am most grateful for his succinct but wide-ranging comments.
17. Mackay’s report is in Board of Governors Minutes, 22 Nov. 1979, UA-1, Box 11, Folder 2, Dalhousie University Archives. Details of the DFA agreement are in University News, 15 Nov. 1979. Letter from K.A. Heard to Peter B. Waite, 27 Feb. 1995, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 3, Folder 7, Dalhousie University Archives.
18. For some of the opinions in 1976, see Dalhousie Gazette, 2 Dec. 1976. For 1978-9, see letter from Paul Pross, Political Science, to Henry Davies Hicks, 29 Dec. 1978, President’s Office Fonds, “CUPE Local 1392 Strike,” UA-3, Box 509, Folder 11, Dalhousie University Archives; University News, 23 Nov. 1978. Christine Fetterly Woodbury ('79), on the Student Council in 1978-9, recalls that many CUPE members felt that Cunningham was sacrificing them in order to blazon a national victory. Interview with Christine Fetterly Woodbury, 2 Oct. 1996, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 3, Folder 83, Dalhousie University Archives. The story of cleaning the Law School comes from Guy MacLean, letter to Peter B. Waite, 24 Apr. 1996, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 2, Folder 38, Dalhousie University Archives.
19. Letter from Hicks to Brian Hall, Biology, 23 Nov. 1978, President’s Office Fonds, “CUPE Local 1392 Strike,” UA-3, Box 509, Folder 11, Dalhousie University Archives; Board of Governors Minutes, 14 Dec. 1978, UA-1, Box 27, Folder 5, Dalhousie University Archives.
20. MacKay’s explanation is in memo to Henry Davies Hicks and Board of Governors, 4 Jan. 1979; Dalhousie protests also in: Kell Antoft to Henry Davies Hicks, 25 Dec. 1978; Henry Davies Hicks to Antoft, 28 Dec. 1978, personal; Antoft to Henry Davies Hicks, 5 Jan. 1979; twenty-two members of Biology Department to Henry Davies Hicks, Jan. 1979; David Braybrooke, of Philosophy, 19 Jan. 1979 on behalf of nine professors in Philosophy; English Department Graduate Students to Henry Davies Hicks, 23 Jan. 1979; Dale Poel to Henry Davies Hicks, 18 Jan. 1979, on behalf of himself and eleven others; Marilyn MacDonald to Henry Davies Hicks, 9 Jan. 1979, President’s Office Fonds, “CUPE Local 1392 Strike,” UA-3, Box 509, Folders 11 and 12, Dalhousie University Archives.
21. There is a copy of the CUPE circular in President’s Office Fonds, “CUPE Local 1392 Strike,” UA-3, Box 509, Folder 11, Dalhousie University Archives. The statistics about the CUPE 1392 employees are from a full-page ad in the Chronicle-Herald, 29 Jan. 1979, the draft material for which is in President’s Office Fonds, “CUPE Local 1392 Strike,” UA-3, Box 509, Folder 11, Dalhousie University Archives. On the day of protest, see Globe and Mail, 25 Jan. 1979 and Chronicle-Herald, same date, and also 31 Jan. 1979.
22. The reference to damage to university property is in letter from Hicks to Antoft, 28 Dec. 1978, personal, President’s Office Fonds, “CUPE Local 1392 Strike,” UA-3, Box 509, Folder 11, Dalhousie University Archives. See also University News, 16 Nov. 1978.
23. Corry’s UBC lecture was “Canadian Universities: From Private Domain to Public Utility,” in J.A. Corry, Farewell the Ivory Tower: Universities in Transition (Montreal and Kingston 1970), pp. 101-12.
24. There was considerable correspondence from 1963 to 1966 on the function and role of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) within Dalhousie, especially with respect to the social science departments. Guy Henson, the director, felt his work was continually being vitiated by the enmity of Economics, Political Science, Commerce, and Sociology, disguised as Henson saw it, by what they called “academic excellence.” Hicks tried to cut the Gordian knot with a strong statement: “It is the policy of the University to continue to support the Institute of Public Affairs, and to improve and strengthen... [its] quality and worth.” Letter from Henry Davies Hicks to Graham, 29 Nov. 1965, confidential. But it remained for Horace Read’s diplomatic skills to quieten things down, in a short and sensible report, Read to Hicks, 25 Apr. 1966, President’s Office Fonds, “Institute of Public Affairs,” UA-3, Box 522, Folder 6, Dalhousie University Archives.
25. Graham’s opposition to unionization is noted in the Dalhousie Gazette, 16 Mar. 1978. For the formation of the Graham committee and after, see Senate Minutes, 13, 31 Mar., 13 Apr., 10 July, 18 Sept. 1978, Dalhousie University Archives. There was a special University News devoted to it in December 1978.
26. Hicks’s views, University News, 9, 29 Jan. 1979. The two Senate referendums are conveniently described in University News, 25 Oct. 1979. In the second referendum in October, when Senate was 280 in all, 141 positive votes were needed for change. The October result was more decided: 119 in favour, 48 against, with 16 spoiled ballots. Not voting, 97. Thus it failed a second time, and Graham gave it up.
27. There is a special issue of University News, Jan. 1979, on the Status of Women Report. The Dalhousie Gazette mentions women students’ enrolment on 16 Feb. 1978 and 31 Jan. 1980. On the Engineers’ entertainment, see Gazette, 22 Mar. 1979; 6 Mar. 1980. For the raid in 1979, Dalhousie Gazette, 27 Sept. 1979. On alcoholism, Dalhousie Gazette, 25 Oct, 8 Nov. 1979.
28. On Halifax’s gay scene, see Dalhousie Gazette, 23 Sept. 1976, and replies, 30 Sept., 7 Oct. 1976. Student conservatism was noted by Henry Hicks, third interview with Derek Mann, University News, 31 Jan. 1980. On the 1977 march, see Dalhousie Gazette, 31 Mar. 1977; the “yellow” editorial is 29 Sept. 1977, replies, 6 Oct. 1977. For the interview with J.T. Low, who was returning to Scotland, see Dalhousie Gazette, 1 Apr. 1976.
29. Senate Minutes, 31 Mar. 1978, Dalhousie University Archives; Board of Governors Minutes, 3 Apr., 19 June, 14 Sept. 1979, UA-1, Box 11, Folder 2, Dalhousie University Archives; Dalhousie Gazette, 25 Nov., 6 Dec. 1979. Letter from H.B.S. Cooke to Peter B. Waite, 20 Apr. 1996, from White Rock, BC, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 2, Folder 29, Dalhousie University Archives. MacKay’s eulogy of Hicks is in Board of Governors Minutes, 21 Feb. 1980, UA-1, Box 11, Folder 3, Dalhousie University Archives.
30. There is a comprehensive balance sheet of Dalhousie accounts, as of 31 Mar. 1980, in Board of Governors Minutes, UA-1, Box 11, Folder 3, Dalhousie University Archives.
31. Letter from A.G. Archibald to Peter B. Waite, 20 Mar. 1995, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 2, Folder 53, Dalhousie University Archives; interview with J.G. Sykes, 14 Feb. 1996, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 3, Folder 71, Dalhousie University Archives. Horace Read’s complaints are recalled by H.B.S. Cooke to Peter B. Waite, 21 Mar. 1996, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 2, Folder 29, Dalhousie University Archives. Guy MacLean has been especially helpful in commenting on Hicks and the Hicks era. Letters from MacLean to Peter B. Waite, 24 Apr., 5 May 1996, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 2, Folder 38, Dalhousie University Archives; interview, 2 May 1996, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 3, Folder 34, Dalhousie University Archives. For other recollections about Hicks: interviews with D.H. McNeill, 4 Apr. 1990, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 3, Folder 38, and Donald McInnes, 2 Aug. 1988, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 3, Folder 28, Dalhousie University Archives.
32. Henry Davies Hicks reminisces about Dalplex, Henry Davies Hicks interview (typed transcript), Ottawa 1983, pp. 66, 46, Library and Archives Canada.
33. Interview with Dr. Arthur Murphy, 19 July 1985, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 3, Folder 46, Dalhousie University Archives. There are nine long interviews with Hicks by Derek Mann, called “The Hicks Era, 1960-1980” in successive issues of University News, 17 Jan. to 13 Mar. 1980. Hicks’s remarks are cited from the last issue. His reflections about his last two years as president are in Henry Davies Hicks interview (typed transcript), Ottawa 1983, p. 71, Library and Archives Canada. The paragraph on the Hicks’s presidency owes much to David Cameron, letter from Cameron to Peter B. Waite, 24 Apr. 1996, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 2, Folder 25, Dalhousie University Archives.
34. Letter from Denis Stairs to Peter B. Waite, 19 Sept. 1996, Peter B. Waite Fonds, MS-2-718, Box 2, Folder 43, Dalhousie University Archives.
35. David Wegenast’s poem is in Dalhousie Gazette, 24 Oct. 1976. The illustration is based on the poet’s suggestions and is taken from the Gazette.

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