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He's courageous; he's not afraid to take
risks. It's a joyful experience evelY day to
come in and work with him."
The provost gets a kick out of the
urgency with which the guardians of those
Davie Poplar offspring call when one of
them is in trouble. "These are just poplar
trees, for God's sake." But make no mis-
take- he frets over those trees, and he
handles the details of replacing the ones
that don't make it.
He has a deep sense of the importance
of the relationship of the University and
"This is an extraordinary achievement,
that the people of the state have contributed
so much to keeping it going under tremen-
dous sacrifice," he said. "We're a poor
state; historically, there is no reason why
a Southern, rural state, would year-in,
year-out, decade-in, decade-out, support
this great school."
He worries that UNC has been indif-
ferent, even arrogant.
"We've just assumed that evelybody
understands our contribution to the state,
and assume that we don't have to get
down in the nitty-gritty battles each day
of tlying to convince individuals of our
merit. We've made some very bad mistakes
in that regard. We just can't assume that
the other 15 [UNC institutions] don't
have power or influence or significance.
We're not the only game in town.
"We have a much greater demand being
made on a smaller budget base in the state,
and therefore we're going to be competi-
tive with nl.any more people for educa-
tional dollars. Which means that we have
to reallocate dollars inside the institution
to new ventures if we're to be progressive
and responsive. We're going to constantly
have to say which programs have to be
re-fashioned, terminated, downsized, and
which ones have to be supported, pro-
moted, upgraded. You need a sense of
crisis; in the absence of crisis, it's very
hard to make people see the desirability
of cutting or terminating anything. So I
don't know that we're going to be able to
do that, and I'm sure if we do, it's going
to be very hard.
"Change is extremely hard, and [ never
When Richardson was named chairman of the
Bicentennial Observance, then-Chancellor Paul
Hardin commented on his "sterling reputation with
faculty, staff, students and alumni." HIill Oll'e/ls
approach [it] as punitive or as getting rid of
bad things. There's some element always
ofloss, but you try to minimize that by
talking about the gains."
Ten years ago, then-Chancellor Christo-
pher Fordham ' 47 said perhaps Richardson's
most special gift was his "capacity to help
people see themselves more clearly and
constructively, to recognize their depen-
dence on one another and to intensify
their conunon bonds."
Conullunity, in other words. Richard-
son's personal peak was his work on the
Bicentennial Observance. "It's the first
time I'd ever felt such a high level of
community and unity on this campus."
He doubts, really, that he'll return to
teaching. "Well, I say I am, but you can't
do both- it's hard to walk out of the
provost's office and teach a decent class. I
won't try to go reconstruct a world I left
with such good feelings."
On a winter day you can see from the
Ivory Tower through the bare trees to
Hector's-"famous since 1969." As is
one of its regular customers. m
DAVID E. BROWN ' 75 is associate editor of
the Carolina Alumni Review. KAREN C.
BLANSFIELD is afreelance writer based in
Chapel Hill .