Gus Gusler reflects on his experiences with Chancellor Caldwell and shares the advice former Student Body President Cathy Sterling (1970-1971) passed along to him before his first liaison meeting. Interview on July 24, 2012. (3:16)

Transcript

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Chancellor Caldwell had the biggest impact on me of anybody. 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:04.782
I worshipped the ground the man walked on. He was an amazing person, 00:00:04.782 - 00:00:09.166
probably one of the most amazing people I've ever met. 00:00:09.166 - 00:00:11.258
But there were some other professors there. Joe Mastro, who passed away a few years ago, 00:00:11.258 - 00:00:16.266
I stayed in contact with for years, who taught Soviet bloc foreign policy 00:00:16.266 - 00:00:22.264
at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon and the class would be packed. 00:00:22.264 - 00:00:26.150
No one would miss a class, and no one goes to class on a Friday afternoon. 00:00:26.150 - 00:00:29.356
He was amazing. He helped get me thinking about politics and stuff. 00:00:29.356 - 00:00:38.434
But Caldwell was the main [one]. 00:00:38.434 - 00:00:43.830
We were constantly at each other's throats publicly 00:00:43.830 - 00:00:50.717
in meetings and stuff, completely disagreeing on an awful lot of stuff, 00:00:50.717 - 00:00:55.320
and it was very high energy disagreement, 00:00:55.320 - 00:01:01.430
and then that night I'd go have dinner with him at his house. 00:01:01.430 - 00:01:05.952
He was just a great man. We respected each other greatly but we would fight like cats and dogs the entire time. 00:01:05.952 - 00:01:12.282
I'll never forget-. I can't remember what the-. 00:01:12.282 - 00:01:17.303
The chancellor, once a month, has a thing where the heads of the faculty senate and the student body leaders 00:01:17.303 - 00:01:23.324
and different people come together. I can't remember what it's called, 00:01:23.324 - 00:01:26.072
and I'm sure they still have it, 00:01:26.072 - 00:01:28.704
but I'll never forget Cathy Sterling told me, 00:01:28.704 - 00:01:31.599
she said, "Now that first meeting, what he's going to do when you walk in,"-and it's a big room and there's about forty people there- 00:01:31.599 - 00:01:36.421
"He's going to save the chair directly beside him for you to sit in 00:01:36.421 - 00:01:40.220
in because he wants to-." He was so intimidating. 00:01:40.220 - 00:01:44.322
He was such a powerful figure that he wants you right there beside him, 00:01:44.322 - 00:01:48.067
and [Cathy said], "Don't do it. 00:01:48.067 - 00:01:51.552
Go sit at the other end of the table." 00:01:51.552 - 00:01:53.503
So that first meeting I walked in and I got there just before it started 00:01:53.503 - 00:01:58.357
and sure enough I walked in and there's a seat right beside him, 00:01:58.357 - 00:02:01.875
and the chancellor says, "Gus, come up here and sit beside me," and I went, 00:02:01.875 - 00:02:05.357
"No thank you, Chancellor," and I went down and pulled up at the end of the table. 00:02:05.357 - 00:02:10.061
He just smiled. I think he had an idea. He probably figured I'd already talked to Cathy who'd told me not to sit up there. 00:02:10.061 - 00:02:14.542
And we just went at it constantly. 00:02:14.542 - 00:02:20.861
I'm not sure whether Cathy liked him as much as I did. 00:02:20.861 - 00:02:26.474
I'm not so sure she did, and he was a bit of a-. 00:02:26.474 - 00:02:30.754
He was having a real tough time with all the stuff that was going on. 00:02:30.754 - 00:02:36.837
He'd never seen students in the street like that, 00:02:36.837 - 00:02:42.168
marching and doing stuff on civil rights and anti-war, 00:02:42.168 - 00:02:45.516
and we got into huge arguments over advances of the African American community and education, 00:02:45.516 - 00:02:51.278
where he thought things were just so much better than they were, 00:02:51.278 - 00:02:56.713
and they clearly weren't and I'm sitting there saying this is nowhere near where we need to be. 00:02:56.713 - 00:02:59.875
He just couldn't understand why I would get so angry about that, that we were moving in the right direction, 00:02:59.875 - 00:03:05.322
but a little too slow for me. 00:03:05.322 - 00:03:09.197

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