Off Key

This is an independent column and may not necessarily agree with the CRIMSON editorial policy.

Governor LaFollette has fired President Frank now, and no one seems to care much about it. All the students walked down to the Governor's office, enjoyed themselves greatly by getting him to come out where they could give him a good loud raspberry, and then walked back to their classes. Presumably they are all studying quietly now.

Batallie de Dames

Why he was fired, exactly, remains something of a mystery. He was a pretty good president, in an organizing way, even if he did try to be all things to all men, and did spend his time talking to women's clubs, and hoping for the Republican presidential nomination. It is probably true that Wisconsin is a better organized university, educationnally at least, even if not financially, than when he went there eleven years ago.

It is getting more difficult to believe that it was a political issue between the Governor and the President, and that the former manipulated the Regents into voting the ouster purely on grounds of differing political philosophy. Certainly if he did, he was misjudging his man when he agreed to have President Conant come out, snoop around, and say that he didn't. If that deal goes through he will be really investigated, and no mistake.

But it doesn't much matter whether someone fires an academic administrator every now and then. President Conant was quite right when he made the distinction between ousting a professor and getting rid of a president. It will probably do a lot of college presidents good to realize that they don't hold life terms. The old bug-bear of academic freedom doesn't come in to this.

The most recent story about the quarrel is that it is all a fight between the wives of the gentlemen in question. They are the first ladies of Madison. Mrs. Frank is very naively socially ambitious--she wants to make the big impression, and Mrs. LaFollette doesn't intend to be shown how on her home grounds by anyone. Apparently the mistresses of Madison's two mansions haven't been speaking for some little time now.

Once people might have claimed that women couldn't do such a thing -- that they had no such influence over their protectors. But in the month of January of this year of grace who will dare to say that it can't happen here?