The White House
September 18, 1970
Dear Mr. Morgan:
The enclosed article by Dr. Sidney Hook is among the most cogent and compelling documents I have read on the question of campus violence. I commend it to your consideration, for I know that you share my deep interest in resolving the crucial problems which our colleges and universities are facing at this time.
The heart of the matter — and of Dr. Hook’s thesis — is that the primary responsibility for maintaining a climate of free discussion and inquiry on the college campus rests with the academic community itself. As I said in my news conference in California in July, I hold this same point of view.
Thus it is with concern that I have noted — as did Dr. Hook — the growing tendency of college administrators to place the primary blame for campus violence and disruption on the failure of government to solve all our major problems at home and abroad. I recognize that many deeply concerned students and faculty members disagree with governmental positions at the national, state and local level, but while government can and must accept and carry out its responsibilities in connection with policies which may be unpopular on college and university campuses, there can be no substitute for the acceptance of responsibility for order and discipline on campuses by college administrators and college faculty.
The university is a precious national asset, a place in American society where the rule of reason and not the rule of force must prevail. Those who cannot accept that rule of reason, those who resort to the rule of force, have no place on a college campus. Only when college administrators, faculties and students accept and act on these premises will all of our universities again be able to go about the vital and important work of preserving and expanding our cultural heritage and training the future leaders of America.
I would appreciate receiving the benefit of your views on this vitally important subject.
With my best wishes,
[Signed: Richard Nixon]
Mr. Robert Burren Morgan
Attorney at Low
Lillington, North Carolina 27546