Sally A. Lied and Social Conscience at IU

The University Archives recently received a generous donation of materials documenting social movements at IU in the late 1960s and Robert Kennedy’s 1968 campaign from IU Alumnus Sally A. Lied (MS Education, 1963; Ed.D., 1972; JD 1974). The gift coincided with the recent digitization of a recording of Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s April 24, 1968 address at the IU Auditorium,

Foster Quad Seminar on Black America
Bob Johnson, leader of IU African American Association, teaching at the Foster Quad Seminar on Black America. Johnson also team-taught Upward Bound with Sally Lied. One of his published articles on race relations in the US is also included in the collection.

The 1960s at IU, as well as the rest of the country, saw a surge of student involvement in social justice issues. Sally Lied, in her position as a residential counselor at Foster Quad and director of the Foster Project (IU’s first living-learning community), observed, participated in, and designed educational programming around some of these movements. Specifically, the materials Lied has donated to the University Archives relate to IU students’ grappling with the aftermath of the Vietnam War and race relations in the United States.

These social movements also extended to reforming education. At IU, this meant the establishment of the Foster Project, the first living-learning community. It also meant programs like Project OK (Orientation to Knowledge), which brought students and faculty together to discuss important academic issues. IU also began participating in Upward Bound, a national program designed to help low-income or first-generation students bridge the gap between high school and college. Sally Lied was active in all three of these developments, and each are documented in her collection.

Upward Bound 1969

The 1968 presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy was fueled by some of the discontent of these social movements, discontent that was exacerbated by the assassination of both Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., in the same year. Lied worked with the staff of Kennedy’s campaign in Indiana, and her collection contains a variety of campaign and press materials, including buttons, stickers, leaflets, and another recording of Kennedy’s speech at IU. The collection also contains personal correspondence with Kennedy’s campaign staff following his assassination and artwork by an IU student reaArtworkcting to Kennedy’s and King’s deaths.

The materials could be of great interest to those curious to study 20th century African-American experience, social and political movements of the 1960s, or the beginnings of the living-learning community program and other educational reforms at IU. In addition to these primary materials, Sally Lied included her own explanatory notes to go along with many of the files to provide context.

To view the Sally Lied papers in person contact the University Archives.

New! IU Vice President and Chancellor’s records, 1963-1977

This is our last post from Heather, as she has moved on to the Kentucky Historical Society, where she serves as the Kentucky Folklife Project Archivist! Congratulations, Heather!

Chancellor Byrum E. Carter on the I.U. campus

When completing the final arrangement of Vice President and Chancellor’s records, I got a glimpse of what it was like at I.U. during the 1960s and 1970s. During this time Byrum Carter was working his way up the administrative ladder through hard work and determination. Carter was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1966-1969 and in July of 1969 following a large-scale reorganization, Carter was named Chancellor of the I.U. Bloomington campus by the Board of Trustees. During his time as Chancellor, there was great political unrest and large-scale demonstrations at I.U., as elsewhere throughout the country.

While sifting through the collection I came across information on a student protest against General Electric and related materials on the Vietnam War. On Wednesday February 18, 1970 a debate was scheduled in Woodburn 100 by the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam,


“Come prepared to question both the recruiter and the Chancellor.  If the recruiter chooses to remain on campus Thursday, we shall rally outside Ballantine on the Free Student Commons and march over to the Business Building where he will be holding interviews to discuss the role of GE in the Vietnam War” (demonstration was Thursday, February 19, 1970).  According to the flyer, GE received over $1.6 billion in Defense Department contracts during the fiscal year of 1969. An open letter to Chancellor Carter and the General Electric Corporation was also written by the student group calling out I.U. for allowing a “War Machine” to recruit on campus. The letter states,

“The GE recruiter on campus functions as an agent who channels students into the War Machine. By allowing war-related industries on campus, this university is giving visible support to their activities. The college campus is not a place where war should be promoted (if indeed there is such a place anywhere). Colleges cannot remain “neutral” because by doing so, they are taking a stand in favor of the status quo. They must take a stand AGAINST poverty, against racism and against war. As long as they are contributing to the continuation of the war in Vietnam and the American militarism and imperialism, they can take no such stand.”

Open letter to Chancellor Carter and the General Electric Corporation

Among the correspondence I also found a February 18, 1970 news release issued by Chancellor Carter regarding the G.E. strike and debate, stating “It is the policy of Indiana

News Release February 18, 1970

University to allow firms which conform to the requirements of the Equal Opportunity Act to conduct recruitment interviews on the campus if there are students who wish to be interviewed by such firms. There is no obligation on the part of the recruiters which requires them to engage in debate with students or faculty members who object to the practices of the particular company involved.”

On February 19, 1970 the IDS reported that, “Chancellor Byrum Carter said Wednesday afternoon that he would not debate with leftist students on the General Electric recruiting

Carter declines to debate

activities on campus and the post-G.E. strike situation in Bloomington.”

Among other things I discovered, campus and nation-wide demonstration fliers, a detailed list of precautions that should be taken in preparation for demonstration and multiple signed petitions. It appears that Carter played an active role in keeping the peace on campus while still allowing students to voice their opinions in a civil manner. However, as he advanced in the academic world his roles on campus slowly changed.

I was hoping to find some more information regarding the GE strike on campus, but after much time searching, I was unable to unearth any more information. If anyone was at I.U. during the Vietnam War and remembers the strike against General Electric I would love to learn more about it. To learn more about the role Chancellor Carter played at I.U., check out the collection’s finding aid and contact the Archives for access!