Download Holding the Center: Memoirs of a Life in Higher Education by Howard W. Johnson PDF

By Howard W. Johnson

Howard Wesley Johnson has been linked to MIT for greater than 40 years and been an important effect at the modernization and growth of a lot of its courses. he'll be such a lot remembered as a administration educator and as MIT's president throughout the turbulent overdue Sixties and early Nineteen Seventies. The name of his memoirs displays his imperative, often lonely place in these days, attempting to carry jointly an establishment frequently torn aside via the turmoil of the times.

Johnson used to be extra profitable at navigating the minefields on campus than have been many different collage and collage presidents, probably simply because he was once continuously prepared to hear each side and since his values have been within the correct place—against the warfare in Vietnam, in prefer of elevated participation within the college through ladies and minorities, and anxious approximately environmental issues.

As a professor and administrator at MIT, a company director, and an consultant to American executive organisations and to museums and foundations, Johnson constantly sought either to appreciate and to use the rules of excellent administration.

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The purpose no doubt was to establish a sense of order and control for the civilian population. Of course, an air of lawlessness still existed in the city. One night I was scheduled to ride in a jeep patrol, as usual, but at the last minute a sergeant just transferred from Italy, was assigned in my place, sitting in the rear of the jeep with two soldiers riding in front. He was killed by a rifle bullet in the back of the head an hour later, and we buried him at the new raw earth American cemetery just outside the city.

We felt comparatively well off, I suppose, although my father’s cash income was never large. When we had a house with a backyard of our own, beginning in 1932, a week would not go by without one or more men stopping at the back door offering to do work for a meal. My mother never turned one away. Thinking back to the people of our neighborhood, it struck me that the women grew stronger and more resolute while the men grew less sure of themselves and less buoyant. The miracle was that the American society hung together so effectively in the midst of all that grimness.

After another few days, I learned I had scored 150 points in the Army General Classification Test. ‘‘Your score is the highest in the last six weeks, and you will probably get an interesting assignment,’’ said a major who went over the records when the first few days of indoctrination were complete. He was wrong. The following day, along with several hundred others, I left on an early morning troop train for obvious points south. Except for that general direction, no one could or would tell us where we were headed.

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