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Correspondence from and to Lloyd Katz regarding establishment of a Chair in Judaic Studies at UNLV, 1973






Lloyd Katz's letter to the Board of Regents requests information about the appropriate department in which to establish a Chair of Judaic Studies.

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jhp000243. Flora Dungan Papers, 1929-1974. MS-00193. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Board of Regents U.N.L.V. Las Vegas, Nevada Dear Regent : ?b b b b b b b b e b b b b b h NEVADA THEATRE CORP. GUILD THEATRE BUILDING POST OFFICE B O X 1180 LAS VEGAS, NEVADA 89101 (7 02) 3 84 -3 88 7; 3 8 2 -8 6 9 8 June 8, 1973 In early February I discussed with Dr. Baepler the establishment of a Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas for the fall semester. This was to be funded by Mr. Hank Greenspun for a period of two years at $20,000.00 per year. It was to be in memory of his late father, Mr. Samuel Greenspun, Dr. Baepler said he would research the matter to determine the most suitable department into which this program could be integrated. When, by the middle of March there was no progress despite repeated phone calls to get information, I did two things -- first, I determined on my own that the Philosophy Department and its Chairman -- Dr. Travis were most anxious to have the program and secured a letter to that effect. Second, I then arranged to present this information to the Board of Regents at their April meeting. I am now convinced that had I not done this, the program would still remain undiscussed. At the April Regents' meeting Dr. Baepler assured me that he would immediately finalize the arrangements with the Philosophy Department. By the end of April when I heard nothing further from Dr. Baepler, I contacted Dr. Travis who informed me that Dr. Baepler instructed her not to do any recruiting and more specifically not to recommend a Dr. Plotkin, one of the candidates for the position in the program. Dr. Fred Plotkin was one of 10 applicants for the position in the Judaic Studies program. He is presently an Associate Professor in the English Department and in addition teaches a course in "Philosophy of Religion". Aside from his outstanding credentials his candidacy was attractive because his being the only local applicant would expedite the establishment of the program with a minimum of delay. Because I was aware that Dr. Plotkin's contract was not being renewed in the English Department and that this situation might be "sticky", I made it a point to discuss his application with Dr. Baepler in one of our earliest conversations. He said he saw no problem about this since he would be considered for a different department. Board of Regents - 2- r w r GUILD THEATRE BUILDING PO ST OFFICE B O X 1180 LAS VEGAS, NEVADA 89101 (7 02) 3 8 4 - 3 8 8 7 ; 3 8 2 - 8 6 9 8 Early last week Dr. Baepler contacted me to advise that acceptance of the Judaic Studies program would be finalized at the June Regents' meeting. However, due to the lateness in the year he did not advise that it be launched in the Fall, but rather the following Spring. He further said he had under consideration a candidate for the position. Apparently, contrary to normal procedure, the Philosophy Department is being by-passed in the selection of the candidate since Dr. Travis has done no recruiting. In addition he said that the name of Samuel Greenspun could not be retained after the two years of funding. I have devoted an inordinate amount of time on this project with only one purpose in mind - - t o broaden the programs of the University by helping to make possible a gift of $40,000.00 of which I suspect there are not too many. The unreasonable delays, foot-dragging, misrepresentations and apathy clearly indicate to me that the University administration for reasons of its own, is reluctant to attach to this gift the importance it merits. Accordingly I have advised Mr. Greenspun to withdraw his offer and research other cultural areas where his concerns and assistance will be respected. LK/db cc : H. Greenspun UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS Las Vegas, Nevada 80JQ0 8 9 1 5 4 Colle ge of Arts & Letters Department of Philo so phy April 6, 1973 Mr. Lloyd Katz 1273 Park Circle Las Vegas, NV 89102 Dear Mr. Katz: I am writing to you in regards to the proposed endowed chair for Judaic Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. At the request of the chairman of our faculty senate, I have interviewed the members of the Philosophy Department as to their feelings towards housing the proposed Judaic Studies Program in the Philosophy Department. Professor Frederick Plotkin, with whom I have had several conversations concerning the program since it came to my attention, suggested that it might be helpful if I communicated to you the feelings of the Philosophy Department in this matter. The members of the Philosophy Department not only communicated to me an intense interest in having an endowed chair in Judaic Studies housed in the department but several department members expressly stated that they felt that if a chair in Judaic Studies were to be instituted at UNLV that it "must" become part of the Department of Philosophy. In the interest of all concerned, I hope this letter is help?ful to you and if I can oe of further assistance please feel free to call on me. I personally believe a program in Judaic Studies would be of utmost value to UNLV and I feel that the donor of this endowment is to be heartily commended. Sincerely yours, Dr. Janet L. Travis, Chairman Department of Philosophy JLT/kes AN EQUAL O PPO RTUNIT Y EMPLOYER