Tom Ehrlich Oral History Interviews


Part one

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SCARPINO: So we are on the record and I would like to begin this interview by asking you, on the record, for your permission to record this interview, to transcribe the interview, and to place the recording and the transcription in the IUPUI Special Collections and Archives for the use of their patrons.

EHRLICH: You have my permission to do all those things.

SCARPINO: Thank you so much. I’m going to begin at the beginning almost and then what I’d like to do is work my way chronologically through your career with a focus on leadership and switch off between general career related questions and the specific leadership questions that we sent you ahead of time. So, I know that you were born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1934 and that you grew up in Cambridge until the outbreak of World War II and that you father spent a year in Washington working for the Office of Price Administration during World War II. Can you tell me a little bit about your parents? Who were they? What did they do?

EHRLICH: Yes. My father was born and brought up in Boston, Brookline, Massachusetts and his father was a retailer of clothes for men and women in Boston and my mother grew up in Philadelphia and when they got married they moved to Boston. My father was a, who worked before the war in retail clothing work, lived in Cambridge, knew lots of academics, but was not himself an academic. Meanwhile my mother, who had gone to the University of Pennsylvania but was unable to graduate with a degree in architecture because women were not allowed to take the necessary courses in sanitation and plumbing then, had to go to MIT, did graduate in architecture, couldn’t get a job, because it was in the midst of the depression, as an architect but started working at the Fogg Museum at Harvard and worked most of her adult life restoring works on paper at that museum. So had some connection over the years of my childhood to Harvard and I went to Harvard and Harvard Law School both. But my parents had no direct involvement with the academic world.

SCARPINO: I note that you attended Exeter Academy for the last few years of high school.

EHRLICH: Yes I did.

SCARPINO: Why did you end up at Exeter?

EHRLICH: Well, that’s a, for reasons that I’m still not totally clear. I was in the first year of high school, found it not particularly challenging, went to my grandmother and said I’d like to go to this boarding school and she agreed to finance it and I went and it was by all odds the best education of my life. Once I got over the loneliness of being away from home which I had not done except in the summers, I was with a group in every class of not more than 14 students in which we had a truly, deeply inquiring dialogue about the issues in the class and it was an exhilarating experience for me—transformative experience for me in a lot of ways and set my marker for what education ought to be though too rarely is.

SCARPINO: Did your experiences at Exeter in any way influence the leader that you became later on?

EHRLICH: I think it gave me a sense of what an inquiring mind can be. Not that I had that mind but I could keep striving to create it and exposed me to the riches of literature particularly. At that time Exeter used what was called the Harkness method because a man named Harkness gave a large amount of money so that the whole teaching approach at Exeter could be around a table called the Harkness table with not more than 14 students in which the students really led the class. The teacher would throw out a question and then the students were responsible for keeping a deep dialogue going. That exposed me especially to 19th Century literature—to Hardy and Dickens and other great authors that I grew to love and still love and still read but also gave, I think, some sense of personal responsibility for education that isn’t always true in schools that where one says it’s up to the teacher to do the learning, or ensure the learning, and at Exeter I came to see that student responsibility was enormously important and a sense of the potential of everyone in the class being some kind of leader for the session. I think that’s shaped my sense of collaborative leadership and learning in subsequent years.

SCARPINO: Do you think that an inquiring mind and personal responsibility are leadership qualities?

EHRLICH: Absolutely. I think both of those are enormously important as is a sense that one is responsible not only for oneself but for the group one’s working with as a team and creating, helping to create, that sense of shared responsibility, is an essential part of leadership.

SCARPINO: Did you encounter any teachers there who influenced you, particularly in areas of leadership?

EHRLICH: There certainly were teachers. The headmaster, a man named Saltonstall, a good New England name, was a particularly good teacher of history and that was an era in which the great person, a theory of history, was dominant. One read both ancient history and American history and everything in-between in terms of great men—they were all men I think—who shaped their times and so particularly in history one got a sense of leadership. I think it was a somewhat flawed sense because I no longer think that it’s only great men who shape history but certainly Saltonstall was one of those who was an important influence in my life.

SCARPINO: There was certainly a view of leadership rooted in the time in which you were in school.

EHRLICH: Absolutely. Absolutely.

SCARPINO: You went on to Harvard. You earned you’re AB in 1956, magna cum laude and you were Phi Beta Kappa and I know that you won the Eric Firth prize. Why Harvard?

EHRLICH: Well, I will say if I had to do it again I would not go to the same college and law school and I probably would go someplace further on. But everything I had heard said that Harvard was an extraordinarily good education and the only other institution I seriously considered was Swarthmore because it occurred to me that going to a smaller school might be better but as I reflected on it having gotten actually admitted to both, Swarthmore seemed too much like Exeter while I hoped that Harvard I would be stretched more. As it turned out, in fact, for the first year anyway I didn’t feel particularly stretched at Harvard and it was only when I really learned how to find the teachers who would do the stretching with me or for me that I felt I was going beyond where I had been at Exeter.

SCARPINO: What was the Eric Firth prize?

EHRLICH: That’s a prize for an outstanding work in political science. It may be more broad than that, maybe social sciences. I can’t remember. But in my senior year I did a honors thesis on how public opinion is shaped which I think totally serendipitously has had echoes through other parts of my life subsequently. But I looked at what the role of public opinion in a democracy and how public opinion is tapped. How do leaders learn public opinion? How do they mold public opinion? How do they pay attention to public opinion? And I used as the case study a massive—the largest ever at the time—a study of public opinion done by the Department of Agriculture in the U.S. It was called the Family Farm Study and literally hundreds of thousands of farmers were brought together in various town hall groups around the country to get their views on small farms and the future and the role of the government and there was a massive cache of tapes—audio tapes—of all these and transcripts in most of the cases, that had never been looked at by anybody.

SCARPINO: Oh my goodness.

EHRLICH: And my professor or my tutor at they were called, named Arthur Moss, who was a mentor—one of the really instrumental mentors in my academic life—said why don’t you go down and look at all this. I spent a week or so in Washington in their files and then got permission to take them all back to Cambridge and that had a, it was kind of an eye-popping insight into public opinion, how it could be shaped, and I wrapped around that a look at some of the contemporary seminal figures. Lippmann on the one hand—Walter Lippmann that is—who said that democracy can only work if their experts, those experts, need to shape the policy. You need elected leaders to pay attention to the experts. Yes, the public can throw out the leaders if they don’t like them in general but they shouldn’t muck around with trying to learn about policy because they’re not smart enough to learn or shape it because that will be a disaster. That’s what moms are all about. That’s a little caricature of Lippmann but that’s where at least. . .that was on the one side. John Dewey and those who said, but Dewey particularly, that democracy is about participation—an active, engaged, involved citizenry is instrumental to the success of a democracy and education and democracy are inherently related and of course he wrote a great book called Education and Democracy and so forth. I say that in part because my current project today at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is on how college students are and can be engaged in things political. Not just partisan politics but policymaking, public policymaking more broadly and as one who’s very much in the Dewey camp in that dichotomy that I just issued, it just mentioned it shows here I am over 50 years later going back to the same issues I dealt with as an undergraduate in my thesis, having written one book with my colleagues here at the Carnegie Foundation called Educating Citizens about Civic Engagement generally. Now we’re just finished a book called Educating for Democracy about this very same issue which may just show that if you wait long enough everything comes around again.

SCARPINO: (laughter) Well those ideas certainly reverberated through your career.

EHRLICH: Yes, yes. And that, Arthur Moss, the experience of writing that thesis which was by all odds the longest piece of work that I had done. I might just go back to say that at Exeter I won another prize and the prize as for a paper I did for Saltonstall, whom I mentioned, and it was about a man named Abner Kneeland who was the last person tried in Massachusetts for heresy which was a crime until the early part of the 19th Century. Abner Kneeland declared very publicly and very vocally that there was no god and I used this paper and newspapers that were available in the Boston public library to study how that was shaped. That whole experience also, doing a sustained piece of work about a figure who was in his own way a leader though one ultimately put in jail, also had an influence in my life. But the next largest piece that I did was my senior honors thesis at Harvard which is about public opinion.

SCARPINO: You went from Harvard to Harvard Law School, graduating in 1959 and once again you were magna cum laude and you were also an article editor for the Harvard Law Review. Why did you elect to go on to law? What was the attraction of law for you?

EHRLICH: I had wanted, for reasons I can’t certainly pinpoint at the time, but to be a teacher most of my life since I was a fairly early teenager and that was always a sense that that would happen. My grandmother whom I’ve already mentioned, was a very important influence. Though she never went to college, she was a voracious reader and teacher for me. I would visit her regularly. She would always give me a book. I would always read it. We then talk about it. And I think as much as anything, out of that experience came the sense that I wanted to be a teacher. And law, from a fairly early age, seemed a intellectually interesting, challenging arena. One of the books I read was a biography of Louis Brandeis. As a Jew myself, his career seemed a powerful kind of beacon on what one could do and that was one of the first really intellectual biographies I read as opposed to great men who did things. He did things too but the biography by Thomas Alpheus Mason that I remember reading was really how his mind helped shape American life and that seemed to me pretty exciting. So it was probably that as much as anything that pushed me into law. But it was my primarily and more generally at least, because law seemed a intellectually interesting, challenging arena.

SCARPINO: Did you think that you could use your mind to help shape American life?

EHRLICH: No. I don’t think I had anything as grandiose as that but it was rather that the profession offered an opportunity to use one’s mind in interesting and challenging ways that could be useful for other people. It certainly is true that, my father particularly, dedicated much of his time, mainly his advocational time, to community service. He was involved in a number of organizations in our community and the Jewish community more generally but, and for a year in Washington in public service. And I grew up thinking that that was an important thing to do. A good thing to do. When I was at Harvard I was, I’d been interested in politics from a very early age. When I was at Harvard I was very active in the Harvard Young Democrats. I was president of the Harvard Young Democrats and campaigned actively my freshman year for Adlai Stevenson. Cried when he lost.

SCARPINO: It didn’t work well for Adlai Stevenson.

EHRLICH: It didn’t work well but I campaigned for him again in my senior year. Yeah, the fall of ’56 when he lost again and in his words I may have been too old to cry then but I certainly was deeply, I was very moved by Stevenson and this was a time still of great orators and they weren’t all Democratic. Everett Dirksen. But men who could speak powerfully, persuasively, eloquently, about the public interest. To me Stevenson certainly did that. But I also got involved I should say with, as an undergraduate, in Democratic politics in Massachusetts just because I was in this role. As a quick aside, one of the things we did was to invite the mayor of Boston who was named James Michael Curley who at that point was not in jail as he was subsequently but he was a very flamboyant, colorful figure and we invited him to speak to the Democratic club of Harvard which I was the president of and he accepted and I went to the place where I’ve agreed to meet him only to find that he wasn’t there. I waited for maybe an hour and I had several hundred people waiting to hear him because he really was a great speaker and a lot of fun to hear. Finally I went and called his office. In those days of course you couldn’t just pick up your cell phone. It was a deal to do it and to get the right person. And they said well he’s there. We got your call that changed the plan and said he was supposed to meet and I said there wasn’t any call to change the plan. It turned out that the Harvard Lampoon had called him and said they were me or the Democratic Club. Took him to the Lampoon building, put him in the building, said we’ll be right back to take you to the speech and locked the door and left and laughed and laughed and they thought it was voraciously funny that the mayor of Boston had been locked in the Lampoon room for an hour or more and I of course was, did not think it was funny although in retrospect it’s kind of amusing. At any rate, I was involved with some political figures. My senior year one of my teachers, a man named Wood who was a teacher of political science, suggested that I might like a summer job writing speeches for one of the gubernatorial candidates and I thought that sounded like a great job. So I spent the summer of my senior year writing speeches for a man named Foster Furcolo who ran for governor, was a Democrat—first American Italian to do that—and he won. I spent the next summer, which is the first year of law school, writing speeches for him as governor and it gave me my first exposure to a high level political figure. He was a good guy. He was not a great governor and he was also, unfortunately, indicted though never convicted. But it exposed me to the fun and excitement of political life and political campaigns. We went all over Massachusetts campaigning for Furcolo and I would write speeches and he would give the speeches. Now he didn’t give all my speeches and there were others doing this but it was a chance to see that I could do something in the public arena and it was fun and it seemed to me important to try to do and it certainly started to imbed in my mind that if I had the right opportunities I would like to spend some time in public service.

SCARPINO: Did you ever consider running for office yourself?

EHRLICH: Yeah, and I, there was never the time when I stopped and said here’s a perfect opportunity. To run for office, at least, less true in California than it is in Indiana or Massachusetts, you really need to have pretty deep roots so you can say I was born here, I know what the problems are of the community in a deep way and ideally my father and my grandfather or my mother and so forth. So it would have been in Massachusetts but in my senior year I met the wonderful woman I’ve been, or junior year I guess, married to for the, 50 years this year.

SCARPINO: And I’m going to ask for the record what her name is.

EHRLICH: And her name is Ellen. It was Ellen Rome and we met in a political science class and started talking and haven’t stopped talking for 50 years together and loving each other fortunately. But she was, she’s from Chicago, very eager to move away from Boston and I realized that I had spent too much time in too parochial an environment. That’s why I say in my, to do it again no question I would have gone to college some place else and gone to a different law school than the college. But I didn’t. But that then, those experiences I think shaped and showed me some picture of what, in Furcolo’s case, a leader could do even though he was not a particularly distinguished governor.

SCARPINO: I’m going to, to make I guess, a slight digression. Other than the people that you mentioned, were there any other individuals from your high school, college, or law school years who significantly influenced the leader you became?

EHRLICH: Well there were teachers—Arthur Schlesinger, particularly, as an undergraduate who, Louie Hartz as an undergraduate. These are great teachers.

SCARPINO: What was it like to sit in Arthur Schlesinger’s classroom? I have to ask you that.

EHRLICH: Well, it was wonderful and today I view Schlesinger as a, one of the remarkable figures. When I took his course it was actually his father who was known as the great figure because his father was the first to take—I think or one of the first—to take social history seriously to say the great person theory of history was inadequate and insufficient. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was—and my parents incidentally went in a circle of people who were heavily populated, not dominated, but populated by academics—and in that circle Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was known as little Arthur. So I had kind of a dual picture of, it wasn’t all that he was a great man and of course he was much younger then. But I admired him enormously and one of the nice experiences many, many years later was coming to give a speech at the Century Association in New York and having him come up and before the talk and I said he was in his class and he said I’ve followed your career and it’s been so influential and important and it meant a huge amount to me particularly because I remember this course. In all events, he was a breathtaking teacher. He gave a sense of a sweep of American history in social terms and cultural terms in ways that it never occurred to me that one could do because I had thought of history in the Morrison terms of. . .

SCARPINO: . . .Samuel Eliot. Morison?

EHRLICH: . . .Samuel Eliot Morison and I think we would do one of the American history books. But they were basically Washington, Jefferson, the founding fathers. It was American history through its presidents. Arthur Schlesinger talked about movements. And while he certainly talked about the age of Jackson and his first great book, it wasn’t about Jackson as much as it was about populism and how it developed and all that gave me a much richer textured sense of American life and history than I would have had before. Louie Hartz who was another one gave, it was more intellectual history but again the notion that ideas that cultural forces, that social forces, that economic forces, could all interact and merge with political forces seems pretty obvious to us now when we say of course that’s right. But it wasn’t clear at least to a 20 year old maybe 52 or three years ago and it was an eye-popping, wonderful experience. That was the time when I started to really get engaged in college because it took a leap ahead of where I had been at Harvard. So that was great. In retrospect I struck, and my wife Ellen, who was at Radcliffe, she took all, Radcliffe students took all the same course, or had available, as we did. It happened she majored in political sciences, as did I, then called government, still called government I guess. But there was not a single teacher who was a woman at Harvard that we had—she or I. The kind of most depressing part of that comment is that neither one of us thought it was unusual. Fortunately, some things have changed.

SCARPINO: What do you think makes a great teacher? You talked about Arthur Schlesinger Jr. as a great teacher.

EHRLICH: Well, and actually I wrote, one of the chapters in the, I wrote a little book about my experiences at Indiana University and one of the pieces, one of the chapters, is about great teachers and that probably says this better but it is their combination of abilities that enable students to think deeply and expansively in ways that they haven’t been doing and that go on thinking after the class or course is over. If at one end of the spectrum there’s a teacher who says I have a series of factoids that I’m going to transfer to the student and that’s my job and then when I’ve emptied my tank and filled her tank I’m going to go off. That’s the worst kind and over and over again I’ve seen over the years and in talking to Indiana students who remember nothing about those courses—nothing. And it’s as though they never happened and they remember it up to the exam and then that’s it. The best teachers are those who create an environment in which students say gee, there’s really an interesting set of issues that I can deal with and they’re useful to me. They’re not, I don’t necessarily mean in the utilitarian sense but it may be a aesthetic sense or a cultural sense that it’s really interesting to learn about art and to look at a picture and be able to think what the artist was trying to do, what it says to me, how it relates to my own experience or the life around me or a piece of music as well as some insights into the African American community in this area or whatever. Great teachers are able to turn on the switches that all of us have. They’re not all as big switches as others but all of us have those switches and it’s the teachers who are able to turn on those in ways that are exciting. So that takes some showmanship. It takes a deep understanding of where students are and knowledge about them which is I think probably the biggest stumbling block most of us have. We have a hard time just getting our minds back inside what it was like to be a student at that time and one only has to think of one’s children if one has children. Now my children, how hard it is really to think what it was like to be a 14 year old grandson who’s terrific and I, talking, reading the Odyssey, was talking about the Odyssey. I took a course last year in the Odyssey and I, it’s fascinating to me to watch relationship to my sense of what the Odyssey is saying and his sense. It’s hard work to get to be where he is but that’s what a teacher has to do.

SCARPINO: I’m going to step back one more time. Were there any events from your years as an undergraduate at Harvard or in law school at Harvard that shaped your character or your view of the world or shaped the leader you became?

EHRLICH: Well, sure. There were lots of those and I talked about the political side, the extracurricular side, but it was related to the curricular side. I was lucky enough to be able to do what I’ve later come to see I think is enormously important but as leaders of colleges and universities we usually don’t do a terribly good job of, merging the curricular and the extracurricular so that students, whether they’re at a commuting campus or a residential campus, most students have a significant amount of their energy and effort is not just related to the curricular side but I had a co-curricular experience that was very much related to my curricular experience and I came away thinking that’s an important goal and later that having student affairs on one side and academic affairs on the other was a mistake. Not an easily correctable mistake but a mistake. So that was certainly one in terms of my roles as a academic leader. At Harvard Law School I was fortunate enough to be on the Harvard Law Review and those were the eras, that was an era in which Harvard Law School gave everybody a grade in every course, the highest, an A was in the seventies and you got graded down to a tenth of a point I think and the entire class, 550 students, was ranked from one to 550 and you knew your rank. So the person who was number 550 knew he was 550. That, I believed at the time and believe now, was a truly barbaric system. It was, talk about reinforcing one’s self esteem. Just imagine what it’s like because these are all smart, overwhelmingly men. There were six women in the class. But I was lucky enough to be one of the very top group and that’s how the Harvard Law Review was chosen at the time. The experience of being on the Law Review which was for the first year an intense exegesis of text. We read court opinions, analyzed them, wrote pieces about them. We analyzed each other’s writing, we edited each others, we had a style blue book that was 200 pages long, we had to follow it. It was intense, close textual analysis and it was the first time I did very close, analytic work of text. I think a leader has to know how to do that kind of work for the 10% or 5% of his reading time while the other 90 or 95% is spent skimming through vast quantity of stuff but you have to be able to stop at the right time and really read very carefully. It’s the difference between reading a murder mystery and reading a poem. A poem you just can’t whip through. I happen to be a very fast reader for most of my life and, but that experience taught me how to stop—I don’t want to say I always do it at the right times—but stop and do a very close, careful reading. And that’s what the Harvard Law Review was all about for a couple of years. I learned a lot from that experience.

SCARPINO: 1959 to 1960 you had the opportunity to serve as a law clerk for Judge Learned Hand, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Court, New York City. He was in his eighties at that point. How did you end up as Judge Hand’s clerk? I will tell you that I read another interview with you and you said as luck would happen but I’m having a hard time believing it was luck. (laughter)

EHRLICH: Well, ah, we make our luck to a degree.

SCARPINO: Sure we do. That’s true.

EHRLICH: On the other hand, I had not initially thought I would apply for a clerkship. Four of my friends and I decided we wanted to go practice law together for a period. I knew I wanted to go into teaching but I thought I’d do this first. I needed to practice before I went out and started teaching law. I better know something about how it’s practice. We looked for a firm that would take all of us. We were all on the Law Review. We were all, we thought, reasonably smart. The only firm, or there were two firms, but the firm we chose was one of those two in Milwaukee and I chose it particularly because I wanted a place that I could try everything—from trial work to counseling to everything—and I wanted to do it in a relatively quick space, although I didn’t tell the firm that, because I didn’t think I was going to stay there very long.

SCARPINO: And that was Foley, Sammond and Lardner?

EHRLICH: Yes and now Foley and Lardner which is a huge firm but it was then a small firm. And they said come do that, do whatever you want to do and so I was set to do that when a professor named Hall, criminal law professor, came to me and said Learned Hand had given me the assignment, as I’ve done for many years, of choosing his clerks and I think you’d be the right person for it. Would you like to do that? And so I went down and interviewed Judge Hand who was 87 and it was a pretty pro forma interview because I had been chosen. I had been anointed by Hall and the reason. . .

SCARPINO: Professor Hall’s first name was?

EHRLICH: . . .was, I’ll do my best.

SCARPINO: . . .Okay. I can look it up.

EHRLICH: Yeah, it’s ah, I can’t remember. From the criminal law though and I’d never taken a course with him. I knew him but not well. And when I say it was luck I think there were others who didn’t have that experience and it was certainly luck that I was with the man that was viewed the greatest judge of his time when, at that time, and I think in retrospect that’s fair. It was particularly good because he, within the couple of days, I moved, he had chambers in—as they’re called—in Foley Square is where the federal courthouse building is and these, each of the chambers were big, beautiful offices, paneled offices, with a office for the secretary and the clerk separately. But within a day or two Hand said I want you to sit next to me. So I literally sat at a desk next to him and much of the time was spent in talking to him or listening to him. He would very, he would sit on only about a third as many cases as other judges did. In the federal court system, at a certain age, one can become a senior judge and he was a senior judge which meant he could basically sit as often as he wanted to. He sat on a third as many cases but whenever he sat, he wrote the opinion in the majority if he was sitting in the majority, it was the dissent if he was in the dissent. So he wrote about as many opinions. He wrote them in longhand on pads of paper with a board to hold it up. But before doing that he would, I would often write memoranda for him. I don’t think more than a paragraph of my prose made it into his opinions but the experience was incredible because he would say okay, argue this, the plaintiff side of this case. So I would present the best argument I could and he would counteract it and then we would go the other way. And here I was getting tutorials, one-on-one, nobody else around, from this extraordinary mind who was also incredibly funny. He really had a wonderful rich and bawdy sense of humor. He loved Gilbert and Sullivan. He would sing Gilbert and Sullivan. He loved. . .

SCARPINO: There’s an image most people probably don’t have of Judge Hand.

EHRLICH: Well, there’s actually one of my Stanford Law School colleagues named Gerry Gunther wrote a biography of Hand that’s a, I think the best intellectual biography of a judge ever written. Gerald Gunther was the author. It does capture a lot of his flair. But he was very funny and very irreverent. At the time he had a, I came out of Harvard Law School I should say with what I now view as a very narrow, too narrow, view of law and its role in shaping the social condition of the populous which came from, particularly from the way those at Harvard viewed it and Hand was very much a part of that. Felix Frankfurter was very much a part of that. It was in opposition to Warren, particularly the Warren court.

SCARPINO: Earl Warren?

EHRLICH: Earl Warren who I have come to view as one of the really great heroes of American life but I didn’t understand that at the time. Hand called him the dumb Swede—not publicly of course—but to Frankfurter and he had a disdainful view of Warren’s intellect and in one sense Warren was not an intellectual. He wasn’t. He was an extraordinary leader and it took me quite a while to come to understand that there were different kinds of judges who could have a major effect. Hand, for 50 years, shaped every area of American law and we had a chance in the course of that—there weren’t any landmark decisions—but there were some relatively modest decisions that caused me to see how his mind could work. I’ll use one as an example because it stayed with me for a time. But a fellow was charged with two counts. One a forgery, forging a check and the second was passing the forged check. Passing means trying to cash it. And it was a jury trial. He, it was clear that if he passed the forged check he also forged it because there was nobody else to do that. He was convicted of passing the forged check and acquitted of forging the check. On appeal, his lawyer I thought quite cleverly argued that there was an inherent logical inconsistency here. He couldn’t have passed a forged check unless he forged it and since he was found not guilty of forging the check he should be acquitted of passing the forged check. And the logic of what I’ve just said I think is pretty impregnable. This was not a big deal case. It was fifty dollars or a hundred dollars or something. But Hand and I argued back and forth about this issue because we knew in the background what had happened which was that the jury said let’s split the difference. Some of us think he’s guilty of both. Some of us think he’s guilty of neither. So let’s have him guilty of one. Well, so this was a basic issue of do we allow juries to do that—to be illogical. And I think all of a sudden this quite pedestrian case became a really interesting issue that there wasn’t any clear rule and the answer incidentally that Judge Hand ultimately chose, which I think was the right answer, was we let juries do that. Juries don’t always act rationally. They don’t always have to act rationally. Though usually we’re not faced with such a blatant example of irrationally. That stuck with me because he spent, we spent, hours talking about this and thinking about it, looking for precedence, and trying to analyze it. Not because it was going to change the shape of American life but because it was interesting. And there were some other issues that just showed me what an extraordinarily inquiring mind he had. It was at the time he wrote a famous set of, just after he wrote a set of lectures one of which I heard at Harvard on the Bill of Rights in which he questioned the Brown decision. Not that it wasn’t right in some sense but that it wasn’t grounded in constitutional history the way it should be and that was a big dispute at the time.

SCARPINO: Whether or the Brown versus the Board of Education was appropriately grounded in the constitution is the question.

EHRLICH: Yeah, exactly. And I since then think Warren was right and Hand was wrong but, and Frankfurter went along with the decision. It was a unanimous decision which you know but, ah, it helped definitely shape my sense of what a craftsman could do. Of course Hand was ultimately a judicial craftsman.

SCARPINO: And that would be different than the kind of leadership exercised by Warren.

EHRLICH: Absolutely different, yes. Warren was not a judicial craftsman. He was a, one who tried to see where the law should be going and shape opinion that was appropriate for that. I don’t mean to say that he was anything but a smart man. He was a very astute man but I didn’t begin to understand the strength of his abilities until long after.

SCARPINO: Which one of these individuals had the greatest influence on your own leadership style?

EHRLICH: Oh, well, Hand no doubt did because I spent a year up close and very personal with him day after day after day. But I. . .

SCARPINO: We’ve talked a little bit about your brief practice in Milwaukee with Foley, Sammond and Lardner so I want to talk about your first sojourn into Washington. One of your teachers who you also described as a mentor was legal advisor to the U.S. State Department during the John Kennedy administration. His name was Abram Chayes?

EHRLICH: Right, Chayes

SCARPINO: C h a y e s and he invited you to join him and you did. You became a special assistant to the Legal Advisor Department of State from 1962 to ’65. Why did you decide to accept his offer?

EHRLICH: Ah, another story, that he, giving a talk, actually met my wife and said I’ve been trying to find Tom. I want him to come. I’m a brand new legal advisor to the State Department. He had been my corporations teacher and second year of corporations course that I taught, there were, it was a large class of 150 but there was a very small group of us who were real excited and I was enormously intellectually stimulated by law school. I found it exhilarating. Much more than college. And I just loved it. This class I loved particularly and there were about three or four of us who spent most of the time responding and talking in the class and for us it was fantastic. For the rest of the class it must have been bewildering. But I got to know Chayes very well then and loved the way his mind worked and fortunately he seemed to like the way mine did too. So we became friends—teacher/student friends—but still friends and graduate, clerkship, practicing law in Milwaukee, he met Ellen and said oh, I’ve been wanting to get a hold of Tom to come be my special assistant. I initially thought well, I don’t know about this. I just started. I was having baby, trying to raise a family, can I really do this and I went to a young partner in the firm where I was at Foley, Sammond, and Lardner to ask if he thought it was right to take a leave to go do this. And as it happened, he—it’s not just accident because he was a man I admired and respected—he had just been offered the job of being General Counsel to the Controller of the Currency. Well today I have to say I don’t know what the Controller of the Currency does or why one would want to do this but I do know at the time he was passionately eager to do this and he thought it would be incredibly exciting. He was a corporation lawyer. And we’ll say he was, he said to me Tom, don’t take this job. Wait until you become a partner then you can take a leave and go do that and you can come back to the practice of the firm. Well I thought maybe that’s good advice. But I watched then over the next couple of weeks. He went to the senior partner named Lyn Lardner and said I’d like a leave to go to be General Counsel to the Controller of the Currency. I’m earning we’ll say $40,000 and my job there will pay 25, so if the firm could subsidize me that would be great but at least I want to be able to come back. Well, Mr. Foley and Mr. Lardner were very nice people, said Allen— Allen Taylor is this man’s name—you can certainly go if you want to do that but don’t expect you can come back and certainly don’t expect we’re going to subsidize you. That’s not what we’re doing. We’re practicing law here. So he was stunned. He had a young family and he said oh, I can’t afford to do it and he decided not to do it. I saw what happened to him and I said God, I don’t want that to happen to me. I’ve got to go. And so if there had been doubt—and there really was doubt as to whether I was going to go work for Chayes—this incident when it was as though somebody upstairs orchestrated this all because it made clear to me that Taylor was going to be in that firm for the rest of his life and frustrated that he didn’t have the chance, the one great chance, to engage in public service. So I immediately told Chayes I’d love to come, went to work for a lower salary as, to Washington and fortunately my wife said, was very eager, said you really ought to do this. This is a great chance to work in the Kennedy administration where you’ve been much moved by his inaugural address. As it turned out I arrived on what’s called Cuba Monday, the 22nd of November, October, yeah, October. Kennedy spoke that night to announce the quarantine and the legal advisor’s office was charged with preparing the legal brief showing that the quarantine was legitimate under international law and then making that case and the rules of the quarantine of engagement. How you would stop ships, what you would do. For the next six months, I came then Monday morning at eight o’clock and I didn’t leave for the next 36 hours and the whole next six months was spent—primarily, not exclusively—but primarily focused on the quarantine and it was a glorious, absolutely sensational. . .

SCARPINO: Did you help to author the document?

EHRLICH: Well, I helped to author the State Department’s legal brief that went to the U.N. and to others, yes, on the quarantine. I worked very close with Chayes and with one of his other assistants. But we did, and Chayes was, let me just back up one minute because I’ll lose it otherwise. When I worked for Learned Hand, while that was the great mentoring experience, there were several other judges—Sterry Waterman particularly—who didn’t have Hand’s view that he should write every word in his opinion and they allowed me, because Hand was not as active, so they allowed me to draft opinions for them. So I had that experience too with some other judges.

SCARPINO: So Hand basically loaned you out. (laughter)

EHRLICH: Loaned me out, yes. Loaned me out. I mean he said whenever you don’t have enough work or whatever, and I really wanted the experience of actually writing an opinion. I thought gee, I’ll never get this opinion chance again. So I actually wrote some draft opinions which of course were revised and made into their own by these judges—Waterman particularly I remember—but that was a good experience too. Chayes, coming back to Chayes and the State Department, had somewhat of a, what I call a white paper complex. He had a harder time writing the first draft. He was a brilliant editor and a brilliant theoretician, a brilliant analyst and I loved him. He was one of the true mentors in my life. But for him it was important to write a draft, get something down, which I could do and then he could revise it and then we’d make it our own. So we went back and forth doing that for a lot of different documents relating to the quarantine and the aftermath of the quarantine because the quarantine had to be defended and we developed, very quickly, a rationale under international law. I had never taken a course in international law and knew nothing about international law. Chayes had never taken a course in international law, knew nothing about international law. But we learned together and subsequently we did a book together on international law and I taught international law. So this was a major experience in my life. It exposed me early on to a number of very influential leaders in the Kennedy and then in the Johnson administration. George Ball, Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara particularly. People in the CIA and. . .

SCARPINO: . . .For example, people in the CIA?

EHRLICH: Yeah, I don’t actually remember their names and most of them were, I didn’t deal with Allen Dulles or anybody who was, but I watched a number of people who, I was in meetings with CIA people, national security people as well as State and Defense Department.

SCARPINO: Have you seen the documentary on McNamara?

EHRLICH: Oh, yes.

SCARPINO: I’ll ask you for the record what you thought of it.

EHRLICH: I thought it was wonderful.

SCARPINO: Just The Fog of War is what I’m talking about.

EHRLICH: It was just absolutely wonderful.

SCARPINO: I had my graduate class watch it from beginning to end and we analyzed it. Yes.

EHRLICH: Oh, really. Well. Yes, we’ll get to my time with George Ball but that was spent in a good deal of combat with McNamara about Vietnam.

SCARPINO: What else, what other experiences did you have while you were working with Mr. Chayes that stand out besides the quarantine?

EHRLICH: Well, ah, I had a chance for example to, when there was a blowup in Panama it’s just the time Panamanians were getting very antsy about American rule of the canal and we had an agreement that both flags would be flown at a particular school. For a variety of reasons the Panamanian flag wasn’t flown. There was a riot. U.S. Armed Forces shot and, as I remember, killed, injured some Panamanians. Americans were accused of I think it was a shooting in a way that was violating international law. Group called the International Commission of Jurists came to hold a hearing in Panama. I went with, as the head of the State Department delegation, to fashion the legal argument and the—I can’t think of his name now—but the later Secretary of HH, Health and Human Services, went with me from the State Department. Anyway, that was a good experience for me to deal in an international arena. I did a number of negotiations for the State Department. One I remember, a couple I remember particularly. One was over the sale of Polaris missiles to British. Polaris missiles at the time were a brand new. . .

SCARPINO: . . .Now those are submarine base missiles?

EHRLICH: . . .Those are submarine based nuclear missiles, yes. This is, was at the time very hot stuff. We met in a secure room in the Defense Department. I was the State Department representative. And there were a bunch of admirals and other heavyweight people from the Defense Department there. The head of the negotiation, “word inaudible” U.S. negotiation team said at the very beginning to the head of the British negotiating team, let’s establish as a ground rule that we’ll have no notes taken of the meeting while the meeting is going on. We’ll come to an agreement on terms and then we’ll write it down. But we won’t try to play gotcha here. We’ll just talk in good faith and so forth but we won’t have any record of it. So everybody put down their pens and said great. And so the first day went and we went through the issues about the sale because there was, big question was who is really going to be responsible for the buttons that press that made these missiles go off and hit somebody. Day ends, the British leave, the admirals leave and they’re cleaning up. I have a big pile of stuff that I’m packing up and I see this young sailor come in, go underneath the table, grab a box that was attached underneath apparently, get, come out, open up the box, take out a set of tapes and start packing up and I said excuse me sailor. What are those? And he said oh, those are our tapes for the meeting. So I went back to Abe Chayes and I said I think this is not acceptable. And he and I then went to George Ball and told him this story and Ball called McNamara and said we shouldn’t be doing this and it was stopped. But it showed me that Ball had no question about nor did he question that maybe I understood or whatever. He just said absolutely no, we won’t do that. That was a marker, I think important marker, in terms of integrity that was good. Not that I think McNamara was responsible for the taping. I don’t think he probably knew about it.

SCARPINO: And George Ball was Secretary of the State.

EHRLICH: No. George Ball was Under Secretary.

SCARPINO: Under Secretary of State.

EHRLICH: At the time the number two person in the State Department was called the Under Secretary is now the Deputy Secretary. But Ball had initially come in as Under Secretary for Economic Affairs. He was promoted to be Under Secretary, the number two person. Dean Rusk was the Secretary and he was Secretary throughout the entire period of both Kennedy and Johnson. But during this time Kennedy came and spoke to the senior officers in the State Department. I remember I felt ten feet tall when he spoke. It was such a great experience. My wife and I went to the first anniversary inaugural ball and watching Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, come down the stairs to the ballroom floor was like watching the king and queen. I mean it was Camelot. It was wonderful. And Louis Armstrong played. It was a great experience and I was a kid of course and it was very moving and I really believed in the potential of international collaborative efforts to reshape a world that was peaceful and prosperous for, that we were in the middle of however you say, a great struggle with the Soviet Union but that there was an end that we could foresee.

SCARPINO: Did that stay with you? Do you still believe that?

EHRLICH: Ah, well it certainly, this current administration puts me to the test I have to say and got more depressed by this administration than I have ever, ever, ever before, including by Reagan which was bad enough. Another experience that relates to integrity and leadership was Cyprus was a very, I guess actually this was a little later now that I think about it. After two years I worked on a whole series of things for Chayes. One of the things for example was when President Kennedy was assassinated the Warren Commission was established. I was the liaison from the State Department to the Warren Commission. So I was involved with all the issues about Oswald’s passport, what was he doing in the U.S. or what was he doing in Russia rather, what was he doing around, what did our records show, and initially you may remember there was a lot of question who else was with Oswald and how did it all happen and were the Russians involved, were the Cubans involved, what did the Cubans do, and all. So it was a massive ideally instantaneous search to find everything we could and it was an interesting process to be involved in. But Chayes after two years, Harvard has a very strict rule that if you want to stay on the payroll you have to come back in two years. I wanted to stay if I could and work for George Ball because I had come to admire him enormously. I didn’t admire—I admired some qualities of Dean Rusk but I really can’t say I admired him enormously. But George Ball was a larger than life figure to me.

SCARPINO: In what way?

EHRLICH: Well, starting, he was larger. He was six foot four.

SCARPINO: He was a big man.

EHRLICH: Big guy and he had very strong, clear views. His vision was a United States and Europe with Japan working together collaboratively, strengthening their economies and a vision of Europe becoming stronger. He was a close friend of Jean Monnet. He took me to visit Monnet for a day and that was alone a kind of eye-popping experience. It was so moving. And he was very forceful and articulate in this vision that he had of the world and he, I had done a number of specific projects for him. Enough so he knew who I was. When there was a legal question and he was a lawyer of course himself, I often did the work for him and when Chayes decided to leave I went first to his assistant because he had a very strong-minded assistant. I knew unless I got him as an ally I wouldn’t have a chance. And I went and I told his assistant I’d like to be an assistant to Ball, writing his speeches and other work. So the assistant first talked to Ball and then Ball and I talked and Ball said great—instantly in fact—so I was very lucky that that worked. For the next 16 or 18 months I worked for Ball writing a lot of speeches but increasingly in that time which was ’64-’65, the Vietnam War came as a dominant set of issues. Our troop levels were quite modest at that time but Ball thought that it would be a terrible mistake for us to become more involved, that we should extricate ourselves as fast as possible, find some way to declare victory and leave. He wrote numerous extensive memoranda to the president urging his case.

SCARPINO: President Johnson?

EHRLICH: President Johnson, yes I’m sorry. Johnson was the president. And I helped him on those and while his main interest was really Europe and Japan to a lesser extent, he became, this issue came to dominate what we did because it dominated American foreign policy. Ball was forceful, eloquent. There were a group in the State Department. Alan Whiting is one I remember but there were a couple of others who agreed with Ball. There were some strong opponents. Bill Bundy who was the George Bundy’s—George Bundy was Kennedy and then Johnson’s foreign policy advisor in the State Department and I had seen him at Harvard but didn’t know him. But he was viewed by Ball as one of the forces of darkness. Bill Bundy was even more an advocate on the other side. And of course and so was Gene Rostov ???spelling??? in the White House and particularly of course McNamara. I got an opportunity to watch McNamara in meetings, present the case about Vietnam, and McNamara was a supremely able advocate. One of the best I’ve seen in terms of marshalling facts and figures to present a case. Ball was very good—very, very good. But watching these two face off and realizing that—and I believe passionately in what Ball was saying. I became a total advocate but it was a enormously important experience in watching up close these two leaders face off and argue—mainly on paper—but some in, and at one point one of the peace plans that Ball had developed, Johnson thought enough of to say go to, this should go to “words inaudible” or Westmoreland in Vietnam. So one Friday afternoon when I was feeling lousy with a very bad cold, Ball called me and said you’re going Sunday morning to Saigon to present this plan that we had been working on. I mean it wasn’t a, it was a secret plan to. . .

SCARPINO: . . .and this would have been in 1964?

EHRLICH: . . .’64, yes. And so I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening getting the 13 shots that I had to get which you’re supposed to get over a period of X weeks and if I was sick before, as I was, I was really sick then. But I, fortunately the State Department had a rule that if you’re flying more than 12 hours you could fly business class and there was a Pan Am round the world flight. There was a Pam Am one to Bangkok and two from Bangkok back, so I booked around the world on that, got on the plane, drank two scotches and fell asleep. And fortunately woke up feeling actually quite recovered. The ambassador sent his fighter plane to pick me up in Bangkok and we flew low over Vietnam to—I’d never been in a fighter plane before—my ears popping. It was really exciting! Landed in Saigon. I had never been in a war zone before and there was this incredible contrast between these gorgeous French villas and all the weaponry of a city and got to the ambassador and immediately presented this plan and I could tell instantly that he was going to say no way. That the answer was more troops. We can beat these guys. We can’t put our tail between our legs and run away.

SCARPINO: We probably better drop the ambassador’s name in here for the record.

EHRLICH: Yeah, Westmoreland. I’m pretty sure it was Westmoreland.

SCARPINO: Westmoreland was commander of the troops. General Westmoreland. We’ll look it up.

EHRLICH: Okay. I may have conflated the head of the troops with the. . .

SCARPINO: . . .but you were presenting to the ambassador.

EHRLICH: . . .I was presenting to the ambassador. I stayed in his residence. And so I presented it, yeah, now I’m sorry.

SCARPINO: It’s okay. It really is. I can easily look that up.

EHRLICH: Anyway, I could tell right away that he was, he was not going to buck. I said well read this document which makes the case we think powerfully, persuasively. I’ll go to sleep. Next morning when going in. We went again. There were, I may have either been alone with him or maybe the, one of the troop commander was there too and that’s maybe how I, but it was a very small group because this was a document there were only five copies or four copies and so forth. But while I tried the next day for three or four hours, it was clear to me that it was, the answer was no. So I went back with my tail between my legs. It was an important experience because I saw here the arguments that Ball made that I thought were rooted in history and the cultural environment that he believed was there in Vietnam and as well as issues of American priorities were just disregarded by the military. Subsequently of course, it got much worse because we went from a relatively small troop strength—30,000 or whatever it was at the time. It escalated very quickly and very disastrously as it subsequently proved and it proved that Ball was absolutely right. As I wrote recently to the New York Times, which was printed, it has incredibly similar echoes today. The whole notion of escalation of the troops today. It’s exactly what we were dealing with I think, unfortunately, will be the same results. But the experience of working with Ball on those issues, on a number of others. Cyprus was a key question at the time. The Turks had invaded Cyprus, as you may recall, saying that the Makarios Regime was treating Turks unfairly at the time.

SCARPINO: The Makarios Regime was a Greek Regime, right?

EHRLICH: Well, a Greek Cypriot Regime.

SCARPINO: Greek Cypriot, yeah.

EHRLICH: Makarios, no separation of church and state there. Makarios was an archbishop in the Greek Orthodox church but he was also the secular leader of the country of Cyprus. Recently in the fifties, declared a separate country with a incredibly elaborate constitution that had protections for Turk Cypriots as well as Greek Cypriots and Turkey said that the Greek Cypriot majority was not abiding by the protections accorded them in the constitution, invaded to go over two-thirds of the country. It was a very hot issue because Cyprus was considered by us critical to our ability to, as a base, military base, to, in dealing with the Soviets—a key NATO base. But I remember one meeting with CIA people and State Department people and Defense people with Ball headed about what to do when one of the CIA people said well, wouldn’t it be convenient—these aren’t his words but that was what he I know meant—if Makarios was assassinated and because then we wouldn’t have this problem because he was a total thorn in our side. He was really a big pain. And Ball reared back, all 240 pounds of or whatever it was, and said, absolutely not. The United States of America does not allow assassinations. And, or does not do assassinations and I was struck by the force by which he said that. A clear marker in terms of where we stood on a moral issue which one could argue about. But he was absolutely clear what we should do and why it was so important. The discussion went on and that issue was. . .

SCARPINO: Do you think that having clear markers is an important distinction of a leader?

EHRLICH: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I know subsequently when the then leader of South Vietnam, Diem?


EHRLICH: Yeah, was assassinated and we were, we allowed that to happen, Ball was deeply troubled and he felt it was a, I mean he was complicit to a degree in that. I mean I don’t know what, he knew it was happening and in so far as I know he didn’t resist it but I know in retrospect he felt that was a mistake.

SCARPINO: I want to ask you a question about your time during the Kennedy administration. What was it like to be in Washington during what must have been a crisis—personal crisis and a crisis of leadership when Kennedy was assassinated.

EHRLICH: Well, first two pictures. One, Kennedy, I said I felt ten feel tall when he came and spoke. It was Camelot. We thought anything was possible in the public interest. Johnson came and spoke within days after the assassination to the same group of senior officers of the State Department and one of the lucky things, incidentally, was that here I was a young lawyer but just because of the position I was able to go and learn from all these experiences. But I watched, there was Johnson speaking and on one side was McCormack who was Speaker of the House who must have been in his eighties or seventies and the Speaker of the Senate whose name escapes me but he was. . .

SCARPINO: . . .Could it have been Everett Dirksen?

EHRLICH: . . .No, it was. . .

SCARPINO: No, that’s the wrong time period.

EHRLICH: Yeah, it was a Democrat and he was older. He was really old and I’m 73 so I shouldn’t say really old. But he seemed. . .

SCARPINO: (laughter) It’s amazing how old shifts doesn’t it?

EHRLICH: . . .Yes. He was drooling and I thought my God, here are the two guys who are going to, are in line to be president—and of course assassination was much in our mind—Johnson spoke and was not particularly forceful or eloquent. I felt not ten feet but five foot eleven and a half, which is what I am, and it was quite depressing. Subsequently, and my wife and I watched the funeral. I heard the news, I was in the State Department dining room—the State Department has a special dining room that on the seventh floor. I was there. I heard the news. I was with my aunt as it happened and we were all stunned. Everybody in the room was stunned. We just went home. We had to be with our family. That whole experience was, being there, we just couldn’t, it was all of a sudden life had stopped. But we had to be with people we cared about. This was true of course around the world. Subsequently we did go down and watch the funeral procession. I held our young baby up so that he could see it. Even though of course he couldn’t remember it but there was this, if you remember the horse drawn funeral coffin and it was very moving. The whole experience was moving. Then Johnson came in and even though Ball had been a Kennedy political operative in a loose sense of the term, hadn’t been close to Johnson—they had a very good relationship almost from the start or maybe from the start—and although they had sharply different views on Vietnam, Johnson and Ball really respected each other a lot. Slowly, I came to see that in fact the domestic agenda that had pretty well stalled under Kennedy was taking off like a rocket under Johnson.

SCARPINO: Johnson’s Great Society.

EHRLICH: And things I believed and came to believe even more deeply, were happening in enormously impressive ways under Johnson.

SCARPINO: For example?

EHRLICH: Well, the whole Great Society Movement that dealt in a focused way with the problems that Kennedy and Harrington had first talked about in terms of the other America. But Johnson was really doing something about it and I didn’t have direct relationship but I, because I worked for Ball I went to meetings with Bill Moyers and others and saw little glimpses of this going on and thought wow, this is amazing and wonderful and important and while there was the Camelot glitter of the Kennedys was gone, substantively we were really moving forward in civil rights, the Civil Rights Act of ’64 and the Civil Rights of ’65, Great Society Movement and were making a terrific difference. Meanwhile, we were getting more enmeshed in this war. Although when I left in the summer of ’65 the war was just escalating. But Ball wanted me to stay. I felt that I really had to go teach if I was going to teach. I was then 30 years old and I had two children and was I really going to be able to make it. Ball, with the last big effort, we went to Paris together to a NATO meeting which was, I had work there to do but it was primarily to try to persuade me that I could stay. (laughing) Which was of course nice to be wanted but it also exposed me to a big, international, very high level meeting of NATO leaders and what went on there and that was fun to do. Great experience. But I thought I’d better teach if I’m ever going to do it and I had been offered a job when I was at Foley and Sammond and Lardner to teach at Northwestern for which I reflected on for awhile and decided I wanted more experience before I did that. I thought I could probably go to Northwestern which is a very good school but by happenstance Ball’s previous special assistant who had had a pretty disastrous time with Ball because he, they just didn’t get along with each other but he was a friend of mine. He was the dean at Stanford Law School.

SCARPINO: His name was?

EHRLICH: Bayless Manning. And he and I became good friends and very good friends and so I wrote him and it happened that there was only the former dean whose name was Spaeth had been teaching international law and had, was by then very low energy in this effort. So there was nobody really teaching public international law. So I could do that. Of course I’d never taken a course in it but I thought I could do this nonetheless and I said I could do this. I came out and interviewed at Stanford. This was in a time when the idea of bringing your spouse and doing all of this together didn’t happen but Stanford offered me a job and I came, we came.

SCARPINO: And you came to Stanford really to teach international law at first. Is that right?

EHRLICH: To teach international law, yes. I also thought and wanted to teach contracts. Teach a first year course and most teachers taught one of the first year required courses—contracts, torts, property procedure, criminal law but also then a specialty and mine would be international law. Which fortunately nobody else on the faculty knew anything about so I could talk about it and it would be comforting knowledge that I was not talking to a knowledgeable.

SCARPINO: You’d also been there.

EHRLICH: And I’d been there and done it, yeah.

SCARPINO: I want to ask you one more question about your, actually two more questions about your time in the State Department. The first one is here’s President Lyndon Johnson trying to, in a sense, juggle the Great Society with an escalating war in Vietnam. Why do you think he ultimately decided to follow the path of escalation?

EHRLICH: Well, everything I heard and subsequently read said he felt that the domino theory was really the right theory. Dean Rusk was there. Dean Rusk, whom I liked quite a lot personally. He was a really lovely, caring man. A very decent, honorable man. He had worked in the second World War in China of course and watched China fall and he thought that was the model of way things would happen. I got close enough to him to, a little story too that taught me quite a lot. He called me one day and said there was a quite a big flap about leaks from the office of a man, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs called Abba Schwartz who is a good friend of mine too. I mean I came to be a friend because I was his lawyer and incidentally during that time as his lawyer, this was while Chayes was, I was working for Chayes. He went to testify before the Internal Security subcommittee and the House on American Activities committee which were very active at this time, and I had prepared his testimony and was his lawyer all during that. So that taught me a lot about that whole dark, dark side of the international experience. But the House Internal, or maybe it was the Senate, Committee was getting leaked information from his office was clear. We didn’t know how it was happening and it was a big deal. There were two of Schwartz’s former employees who were in London doing security work and somebody had the idea that they would be able to tell us how the leaks were occurring because they were no longer in the office. So Rusk called me and said take the night plane to London and go interview these two guys. So I took the plane, I arrived at eight o’clock in the morning, I called them into this special office that had been created and I started grilling them one at a time actually. They were in separate offices. And I viewed myself as this hotshot interrogator and I kept asking, and the theory was that the telephones had been tapped. So I kept asking in every way I could about tapping telephones. I came at the end of the day convinced this hadn’t happened. And incidentally this is a crime that we’re, tapping the phones was a crime. So these guys were being, but I was able to offer them immunity and, so I took the night plane back and came into Dean Rusk and had to say I’m sorry I examined them every way I could and I’m absolutely sure that they weren’t tapping the phones. Well three days later I get a call from a guy who says he’s a lawyer representing them and he’d like to come in and discuss a deal. So, a deal for what? Well, he came in and it turned out they hadn’t been tapping their phones, they had been bugging the offices. And it never occurred to me to ask about bugging. I had only asked about tapping. Now I didn’t know a lot about anything of course but it was one of the many experiences that I had over the course that convinced me that asking the right question is absolutely critical. (laughing) It’s usually a lot more important than what the answer is. It’s knowing what to ask and I, of course, had to, we worked out an immunity deal, plugged the problem. I went to Rusk and told him what had happened.

SCARPINO: So they had bugged the offices of their former employer.

EHRLICH: Yes. They had been, they had known about it actually. A guy named Otto Otepka had been the bugger.

SCARPINO: And what was his name?

EHRLICH: Otto Otepka. And it was a sufficient, this made the newspapers and it was a guy named Sourwine was the, it’s a wonderful every man name, was the head of the internal security committee.

SCARPINO: During your years in the State Department, what did you learn about the exercise of authority and power?

EHRLICH: Well, how, I saw how it can be done with integrity and decency and, but also how it can be done. . .the way McNamara operated was not, was that he could, he was like a lawyer defending his client while, with a result in mind that he wanted without much regard to—I came to believe deeply—without regard to what were realistic estimates of what was going to happen. So I thought he manipulated the facts to serve the ends and in retrospect I believe that was right and actually so does McNamara.

SCARPINO: It was actually some amazing self-analysis in that.

EHRLICH: Yeah, absolutely and this was, if you saw him in his prime then, he was a supremely confident man. Just to the point of arrogance. When I went back into the government to work for President Carter in charge of foreign aid, McNamara was at the World Bank and he was enormously helpful to me and he remembered me and he was extremely helpful and thoughtful and I came to admire him and his work in the World Bank enormously. I had a very different view of him in the World Bank than I did his, in the Defense Department with whiz kids that were behind him. But I came to see that, I could see many times that smarts are important and all things considered, I’d rather have smart people than less than smart people in leadership positions but it’s only one of the qualities and it’s not really the most important.

SCARPINO: What do you think is the most important?

EHRLICH: No, I think integrity is absolutely the most important and the ability to, yeah, the ability to work through a position with those who are collaborating with you in a way that takes full account of all dimensions but certainly is true to a set of virtues that one has established and deeply rooted in your being. Some people are able to change as I, looking at the arch of the Kennedys, I think they changed enormously. Robert Kennedy in some ways even more than John F. Kennedy and I think McNamara changed.

SCARPINO: Do you think that’s the mark of a successful leader is somebody who has the ability to change?

EHRLICH: That’s certainly one of them, yeah, to be able to grow as it may be a better word than change. Grow and learn from one’s mistakes. Certainly over the years I’ve made plenty of those and being able to try to learn from what you did. I gave you a silly little example with the tapping and the bugging but that happened to me when I was a private lawyer and it happened to me in most every part of my life that I’ve made a really big blunder and tried to learn from doing it.

SCARPINO: Do you think that you took a risk moving from a little practice of law in Milwaukee to Washington and then from Washington to Stanford?

EHRLICH: Sure, there were, my wife said I couldn’t hold a job.

SCARPINO: (laughter) That’s not what I was asking you.

EHRLICH: But sure, there were, I didn’t know but that was an era of much more than is true for my children I think where I really believed things were going to work out and my wife and I had deep faith that they were going to work out though we didn’t know exactly how. Going to Washington was a great adventure and it was a chance to be engaged in public service. Well, it was wonderful for me. It was much less wonderful for my wife. For one thing I was traveling a lot. Went away and she had two and three children. We have three children. But it was harder in Washington as a, it’s not an easy place to have roots. We established them and we had very close, dear friends, but it’s, but sure there were some risks involved and then going to Stanford I didn’t know for sure this would work. I had never taught a class. I had no experience in teaching. I was told to teach contracts and international law. Contracts at least there was a book I could use. International law I had the hubris to think I could create the materials and spent a few months in the summer putting together a set of materials from my own experiences and others’ experiences that I used and this former dean was very supportive of my doing that. I mean he, in a sense he said that’s. . . but I presented the class with, each week with a new set of materials that I had just put together the week before with no real idea how we would do this and so when I had a class of 150 students who were paying attention to this and it seemed to me I could do all that, that was, yeah, that was a pretty risky. . .I knew that my former teacher, Abe Chayes wanted to teach international law and so, and he immediately agreed to be co-author with me of this book and another friend who worked who was, his assistant who went to NYU named Lowenfeld was a third and the three of us together did it but I wrote, I did it first. So I had to do the whole thing first and then subsequently they spent the summer with me going over it and we got a chance to put it together and it was the first book that I did.

SCARPINO: Do you think that a good leader knows when to take a risk?

EHRLICH: Oh, yeah. Well, you have to take risks and you have to, and sometimes you have to put everything behind it. And you, one of Learned Hand’s favorite phrases was Cromwell’s on the eve of battle, oh, think ye in the. . .

SCARPINO: . . .Oliver Cromwell. . .

EHRLICH: . . .Oliver Cromwell, ‘think ye in the bowels of Christ you may be wrong’ but you’ve still got to act. Yes, I think that’s. . .by calculating what the odds in doing that in a principled way that you can feel good about yourself even if the risk turns out to be, turns out to be, turns out in retrospect you made a mistake. That’s important but sometimes you have to take a risk.

SCARPINO: Before we break for lunch, if it’s alright for you, I’d like to drop in some of our standard leadership questions I think gave to you ahead of time.


SCARPINO: It’s a couple minutes to 12, do you?

EHRLICH: Yeah, I’d just soon go till that, close to 12:30 if you don’t mind.

SCARPINO: Okay, that’s fine. That would be more than fine with me. And I gave you some of these ahead of time and what we’re trying to do here is that over the course of a number of years as we interview people that if we drop in these standards questions, we have some common reference points.


SCARPINO: So, what do you read?

EHRLICH: I read a lot of fiction and a fair amount of history. My favorite 19th Century authors, I said that’s where I was shaped at Exeter. Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite novelists and one of the great poets. But Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, early 20th Century as well as 19th Century—George Eliot. I read a fair amount of history. I’m listening to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals. I just listened to 31 Days which is the story of the time between Nixon’s departure and Ford’s pardon. And I’ve read David McCulloch’s work and a number of other works of American history. Less so of world history but some there. But fiction, including a lot of contemporary fiction as well I read a lot of and some poetry.

SCARPINO: Do you think that a leader should read?

EHRLICH: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And every time I hear someone say oh, I wish I had time to read I say well, you’re not a very good master of your time if you don’t. And time for reading things that aren’t just about whatever it is that is your occupation but can put that in some context so that you can experience at least vicariously what others are doing I think is enormously important.

SCARPINO: Do you ever read about other leaders?

EHRLICH: Yes. I certainly read about other leaders in the American political scene. A lot of biographies. I enjoy reading biographies and I’ve read lots of biographies. I also read literary biographies. I’m reading one of Thomas Harding right now as a matter of fact, brand new one. Lesser so, but some of leaders in other fields. Too, I’ve certainly, over the years, read about some leaders in higher education. There were three great men in my formative period in higher education—James Conant at Harvard. I was a student, started as a student when he was still president there. Didn’t know him but I knew of him and have certainly read about him and admired him. Clark Kerr who was the leader at the University of California and who became a friend, a man I much admire. I wrote a book for him in his series. And Herman Wells who was the third of that triumphant of truly internationally renowned leaders of American higher education who shaped American higher education.

SCARPINO: What do you think made Herman Wells an internationally renowned leader of American higher education?

EHRLICH: Well, his extraordinary personality that I had the good fortune to know and admire and get advice from but watching his experience he did something that I wouldn’t. I think he was a long distance runner and I’m more of a short or medium distance person although his advice which is you never get anything done out of office is absolutely right. He stayed in office for 25 years and during that time he was able to shape the university in extraordinary way and then use it as a platform—I mean this in the best sense—to reach out around the world. He realized that much as he and I love Indiana it is not on the crossroads anymore anyway for most people coming from around the world who may go to Chicago or New York or Los Angeles but they don’t really very often come to Indianapolis let alone Bloomington unless they’re invited. So he said my task is to figure out how are they going to be invited here and he set up a network as you know, of programs and arrangements and linkages with universities all over the world, with figures all over the world. He made Indianapolis and Bloomington really places that people wanted to come. He set up great, not by himself of course, but he was the one who chose the people who made international studies at Indiana so important and he said if you’re a Hoosier kid, you’re not getting it exposed to international affairs unless we work at it. So we’re going to work at it and that’s why African Studies is such a wonderful field, why Soviets and Slavic Studies and so forth. They didn’t all work out well as he would have been the first to say but a lot of them did and it really became, and he set up, of course, programs and his successor, John Ryan, did a lot too but Herman was the one with this great vision of what a university could do internationally. His work in the post world war, I think, just added luster to that effort. And was the time I arrived he was an icon figure to the extent, but he also became a very dear friend that I could say Herman I really want to do this and if people argue about it I’m going to say you think it’s a good idea. And he said, of course, absolutely. So I listened to what faculty said sometimes and said well, it’s a good point but I’ve got to say Herman said this and that was very often helpful. I didn’t, I don’t think, abuse it or overused it but it was fun.

SCARPINO: Who do you think are important leader? I mean you’ve mentioned a few but as you. . .

EHRLICH: Who are important leaders?

SCARPINO: . . .important leaders but either leaders that you’ve read about or leaders that you have known.

EHRLICH: Well, certainly, we’ll say related to that, my experience has been significant shaped by being a, by having mentors. I mentioned my father was my first great mentor but Abe Chayes was a key mentor. Learned Hand was a mentor. George Ball was an incredibly important mentor and Herman was, Herman Wells was a mentor. In my lifetime I think, or in experience close up Ball was a remarkable leader. He wanted to be president of the United States. His wanting never got very far because he didn’t have a campaign base but I mean all of this time I stayed fairly actively involved in Democratic politics. I might, just as an aside, say when I was working for him I was offered the job in ’64 of being research director for the national campaign and. . .

SCARPINO: . . .The Johnson campaign?. . .

EHRLICH: . . .Yeah, and I thought about it really seriously because I thought God what a wonderful thing to do. It would be a chance to really be, but I also said gosh, I’ve got a family and we’ve really got to get roots and if I’m going to be a teacher I better do, so I didn’t do that. But I was sufficiently close to Democratic politics that I could, that was a possibility for me and it sounded like really fun. But Johnson I thought was an incredible leader and still do. I think he was. . .

SCARPINO: What do you think made him an incredible leader?

EHRLICH: Well, the power of his person to personality was so forceful, so ambitious. He had, and it’s hard for me now to know because I read Caro and other writers and how much is what I knew then but he was, he had a great vision for the country and what it could be and how it could ensure that all people in the country had a decent meal and place to live and an education and health care and that that was all possible in a democratic capitalistic country but one in which it really took care of you. And that vision which was so expansive and so right on for me became corroded by the war and then by a group of Republican leaders who had a very different view.

SCARPINO: Without making it seem like I’m leading the witness here, do you suppose that that’s one of the tragedies of Vietnam is that it corrupted our vision?

EHRLICH: I think so, yeah. Totally. It’s so clear to me that the country could have gone if but for the war, Johnson would have run and been reelected and he was the overwhelming—I can remember how he’d just trash Gore—and the Great Society was such a great vision that brought out the best in everyone and it could have happened. Not perfectly. There is, but it could have become embedded into our fabric in a way that didn’t happen with some exceptions for particular programs. But it didn’t happen for most of them.

SCARPINO: What were the exceptions?

EHRLICH: Well, I, when I left Stanford I left to head a brand new entity called Legal Services Corporation and it grew out of the OEO, Office of Economic Opportunity programs. All of those were headed in the White House under Johnson as you know and Sargent Shriver. But one of the early ones and in my view one of the most successful ones was the Legal Services Corporation which was designed to fund civil legal help for poor people and it still does that and it still does for now 35 plus million poor people gives some chance to use the legal system so that they’re not outside the area of our justice and while every portal of every courthouse in America says equal justice under law for everyone that just doesn’t happen without a lawyer. So this program was a great step forward and a very controversial one. People all over the country thought it was a terrible idea that poor people have a chance to use the legal system and why would we do that. Why would the government pay for it? So it was a great step forward and fortunately it has survived. But many of the other programs haven’t.

SCARPINO: Do you think it’s important for an effective leader not only to have a vision but to be able to communicate and attract people to it?

EHRLICH: Oh, absolutely. To be able to articulate and Johnson was able, I think Kennedy over time came to care. Robert Kennedy certainly came to care. But Johnson who grew up in this hard scrabble arena had it and was able at his best to communicate it and of course Moyers and others helped with that but yes, we gained a sense of a great society and a leader needs to be able to develop that and to be able to express it clearly, convincingly, and goodness knows, repeatedly.

SCARPINO: We’re talking about mentors. Have you mentored other people?

EHRLICH: I tried, resisted for awhile having a special assistant because I had such a wonderful experience with Hand, with Ball, I couldn’t imagine ever giving anybody else such a good experience. But over time a teacher is also a mentor. Not for every student of course. You can’t if you have large classes but trying both in terms of whatever it is you’re teaching but also in terms of the way you live your life. I think teachers should try to be role models for their students and it’s not enough to mouth off what you think. You have to be able to try in some ways to live it.

SCARPINO: How have you done?

EHRLICH: Well, imperfectly is the answer.

SCARPINO: No, I wasn’t looking for qualitative.

EHRLICH: But, I’ve tried to say I think it’s important not only to, I think it’s important to find the chances to be in public service and to be active and involved in your community. But I think that means that I need to do that too and to find opportunities to make that happen. Then to try to speak out on issues you care about, that are important.

SCARPINO: Do you think that networks play a role in the development of successful leaders?

EHRLICH: Absolutely and I think all the evidence that from Bowen and “word inaudible” write about in their work about networking and the importance of it for college students is absolutely true and today at any one time one of the reasons I’m able to write letters for students I’ve had or people I’ve know and to recommend it is that I find myself only a degree of separation away from most positions and institutions around the country—particularly nonprofit and universities—less so in business but even in business and that’s because of networks. It’s because I’ve had the good fortune through schooling, Exeter, Harvard, Harvard Law School, through the State Department, Stanford, government service, University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, to have a large network of people I know and I hope respect my opinion but at least will listen to it and in turn when there’s something I feel is important I can turn to them. So networking is absolutely critical and trying to keep up one’s networks over time.

SCARPINO: What do you think are the qualities that distinguish effective leadership?

EHRLICH: At any one time, the most important thing I think is to say given the arena in which I’m seeking to be a leader, what are the three or four key things that I really want to get done and that are important to get done, they’re top priorities. Then setting one’s agenda in a, choosing those in a collaborative basis with the people with whom you work. So these are not just yours, they are ours. They’re not just ours, they are the institution’s. At Indiana University or wherever saying, in a way that can be genuinely respected as coming through a process that is deliberative and open and collaborative but results in a few key areas that you can say this is our agenda. And the leader can say to those around him or her, these are the things we have to get done now. I’m going to be pushing for those and I need your help. I’m also fully prepared to help you get your particular thing done but it’s not going to get done unless these three get done with it and you have to understand that. And that’s the grammar. That’s done in an environment of integrity, one; openness, two; ideally articulateness and passion and caring and, but it is that ability to keep one’s focus when there are a lot of pressures around you to deal with something that is actually usually pretty darn important but not one of those three things or four things. So you’ve got to contain those other ones. Try to resolve them. If you can’t resolve them, contain them so they don’t blow up in your face. Most of the leaders I’ve seen who have failed, fail not because they didn’t get one of those key things but because of some secondary issue. It’s true all the time in higher education that it’s because of athletic scandal or you spent money for your house that shouldn’t have been spent or you. . .

SCARPINO: Have you faced any issues like that that got out of control or nearly got out of control?

EHRLICH: Well, certainly my set-tos with Bob Knight were exactly that in my view. That my first year we had one explosion when he pulled the team off the court when they were playing against the Russians because he got in a snit and I rebuked him but then when he was being interviewed by Connie Chung and she snookered him and he said on national television as she, that this is like rape. If you can’t avoid it spread your legs and enjoy it which is a disgusting thing to say and not untypical necessarily but was disgusting and not acceptable, simply unacceptable. When I not only said that publicly and rebuked him publicly but he felt hadn’t given him a chance to explain his side of the story, that was a major snit that blew up and for seven days in May was, made it impossible to do anything else but respond to press queries and everybody’s queries. The governor called me, everybody, thousands of players came in and it stopped for seven days going forward on the academic agenda that I thought was the important one. Fortunately, we worked through that but there were others who could have argued that that was, that should have been my number one agenda. As it happened it kind of worked in my ironically favor in the sense that the faculty of Indiana University was pretty unanimous in supporting me and it was very helpful in saying, in promoting the academic agenda subsequently but it wasn’t pleasant.

SCARPINO: What was your leadership take away from that?

EHRLICH: An affirmation of trying to, that was a very difficult time. Emotionally it was wearing. We really did get thousands of letters and calls and there was this. . .

SCARPINO: Had you ever been in the public eye quite like that before?

EHRLICH: Not quite like that. I had had, at University of Pennsylvania I had a sit-in in my office every semester about some issue. So I was more or less used to sit-ins and the student newspaper and to a lesser extent the Philadelphia paper. But this was the hottest thing in Indiana for a week or ten days and I got, as I said, thousands of letters and calls from everybody who were pretty, I mean he had won the national championship the year before and here he was saying he was going to go off to New Mexico and I was the cause and this was going to be disastrous. And I believed that Indiana University’s priorities were to strengthen the academic enterprise and I had to try to maintain, be true to that. I didn’t want him to leave because I thought it would be, not, I thought it would be, a result would be that we would be weakened in our efforts to march on what I perceived as a set of ways to strengthen the teaching and research at Indiana and that the spillover would go on for awhile, for maybe a long time, and so it was important to try to keep it and I really worked hard to try to keep it but I didn’t want to say that I thought basketball at Indiana was more important than athletics. Ironically Bob Knight would have absolutely agreed with that.

SCARPINO: If we take Coach Knight and just put him on hold for a minute and ask you a question. In a university in your opinion as a university leader, what do you think the role should be between athletics and academics? The balance, the interplay?

EHRLICH: Well athletics can be a, serve two useful roles. One is a general outlet for students to engage in an extracurricular activity they like and they can do well and learn some dimensions of team participation though I think that’s way overstressed most of the time I think. Bill Bowen’s work on the game of life, if you’ve seen that, is pretty compelling. And there’s a festival dimension. A lot of people just enjoy watching and it gives you a sense that there’s a window of the institution that is festive. But I think in terms of the primary roles of the university—teaching and learning—it doesn’t have a lot to do with it and unfortunately in basketball and football it’s gotten totally out of hand. So it’s been quite corrosive and in some cases of the values of the university. But I watched and my first year I guess a man I much admire and respect—then president of Iowa University, Hunter Rawlings, and became president of Cornell and a wonderful person and wonderful president. But his first year he said publicly that one of his key issues was saying that freshmen should not be eligible to play intercollegiately in the Big Ten. Well, and actually I think he was right but I watched while he got beaten up on this issue for a year or however long before he finally withdrew it, I mean dropped the proposal. But it was, I don’t say consumed his life but it was an example where I think he was right on merits and it’s not a trivial issue for the life of the freshmen players. But at least in from my vantage point, there are a lot more important issues to deal with and because he was dealing with this one he was he was pretty incapable of dealing with any others and I found it hard to believe that this was truly one of his top three University of Iowa issues although he might have told me it was. At least they wouldn’t be my priorities.

SCARPINO: Okay. Again, with Coach Knight off somewhere on hold, generally speaking do you think that a good leader knows when to engage in a fight so to speak or when to engage an issue universally?

EHRLICH: Yeah. A good leader will have a good athletic director in terms of athletics. A good chair of chemistry and a good dean of arts and sciences but periodically you need to get yourself involved directly I think and to put your markers down about what you think are important in terms of quality. Sometimes that means going against the view of whoever it is there if you could do that in a way, you decide you can do that in a way that a person can come to feel it’s a learning experience for him or herself and a growth experience and that that person is worth trying to keep then you should do that. If not, you should part company with that person and I think that’s, but for me in athletics, the key was finding a first rate athletic director and saying you’re in charge of this, except for broad policy, which the presidents are supposed to attend to.

SCARPINO: Who did you find?

EHRLICH: Clarence Doninger who had been a lawyer in practice and we had, when I came we have a very nice man named Ralph Floyd who was a lovely former football player from South Carolina and a very nice man but he was of the old school of athletics that I thought had way passed its time then and I wanted somebody who would be a sensible leader. I also wanted somebody who could deal, I thought, reasonably with Bob Knight. I didn’t want to do that and Doninger seemed exactly the right person and for the first, for the years I was there actually, he did a very good job and Bob Knight was never an issue. But my first year, just one other example, I made a mistake. The, as president of Indiana University at any one time there are dozens of buildings going on or being proposed. Well it happened the very first new facility that was proposed under my presidency—and I came in saying I’ve got an academic agenda and so forth—was an expansion of the football facility.

SCARPINO: On the Bloomington campus.

EHRLICH: On the Bloomington campus and a group of donors said that they wanted to go out and raise money. They’re called the 12th Man Club and there’s some very good people and some maybe people who are not quite outgrown the fact that they were football players 40 years ago. Anyway, they wanted to do this and I said to myself, gosh, how can I go around saying that the first building I want is this. So I tried to say that we could only, we would only, I would only agree to do this if they would also raise as much money for the academic, some academic facility. I forget what it was. And there I was, I was making a principle view and I think in principle it was right but in practice it ended up taking a bunch of months to work through and we finally worked through so they did do this more or less. But they were very grumpy about it and it didn’t really further the academic enterprise at all and it was a great, it diverted my attention—not as much as the Bob Knight incident—but it diverted my attention from the big picture. So, I hope I learned something in the same way, one more athletic one. Early on it was decided that we would have a new scoreboard and we would have a. . .

SCARPINO: For the football field.

EHRLICH: For the football field at Bloomington, we have it paid for by a private company that would have advertising. I thought that was a pretty big issue but we worked through that issue publicly with a lot of discussion of whether we were going down a slippery slope that would end in corporate take over.

SCARPINO: The Exxon School of Liberal Arts or something.

EHRLICH: The Exxon School of and this course is brought to you by. . .and incidentally I worry a lot about those issue still, but I decided that, we decided that and the faculty went along with that but this is one of those issues that could come up and bite you, kind of thrown in as a freebie by the company that made the sign was a big sign that would go as you come up, get onto off the whatever that road is that runs between Indianapolis and Bloomington. You turn off it. I can’t remember the. . .

SCARPINO: I think it’s State Road 37, I think. I hope so.

EHRLICH: 37, okay. Come off 37, you see the athletic field and there would be a sign that would say welcome to Indiana University and it would, in neon, tell you events that were going on. It was free. Why not? Well, so I didn’t consult. I just, we just kind of accepted it and the faculty heard about it and they were outraged that we would mess up the beautiful scene. Well to me, I had to say, it’s not so beautiful when the first thing you see is the football stadium and assembly hall—neither one of which is any model of architectural attractiveness. So I resisted and the faculty at Bloomington really got exercised about it and I found gee, they really care about this and it’s really important to them. So I said, fine, we won’t do it. Just dropped it. And I think that was the, who knows whether it was a right to have a sign on. That’s kind of trivial. But it was one of those issues when I could have said well, you’re wrong, this is important, we’re going to do it. Or, okay. Thank you for being environmentally conscious for raising my consciousness and telling me what is bad and I think I made a mistake. And so I went into the faculty meeting and said I made a mistake. We’re not going to do it. They all cheered. They said great. Thank you very much. And being able to say I made a mistake, I was wrong, you corrected me, thank you for doing that, is very much part of being a good leader. Knowing when to do that and when not to do that is absolutely, of course, key.

SCARPINO: What do you think are the, what criteria do you personally use to define successful leadership?

EHRLICH: Well, you have a vision. Are you able to realize that vision? Are you able to reshape it and change it of course but ultimately be true to yourself, be true to your ideals and make a difference in the lives of those around you and the things you’re trying to make better for your children and your grandchildren.

SCARPINO: I’m going to step away for a minute.