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Association of NROTC Colleges and Universities

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Source: USC History files, not dated, written approximately 1985.

When World War II ended and the number of NROTC units was expanded on the campuses, the need of coodination and cooperation among the host institutions was recognized. It was further apparent that a special rapport was needed between these host institutions and the US Navy Department. Dr Frederick L Hovde, then president of Prudue University, took it upon himself, with the cooperation of nine other university presidents, the task of organizing the institutions, NROTC colleges as they were called, in 1945, into an "Association". The purpose for which the Association was formed "is to encourage the exchange of information and opinion between member institutions, and between these institutions and the United States Navy, looking toward the greatest possible success in the operation of the NROTC Program". This purpose continues unchanged for 40 years.

On Sep 28, 1946, a meeting of presidents, or their appointed representatives, was held in Chicago, IL. This meeting was chaired by Dr Hovde. A series of recommendations for organizing were adopted and an election of officers was held. Dr Alan Valentine, University of Rochester, was elected president and Dr S T Arnold, Brown University, was elected Seccretary-Treasurer. An Executive Committee was then appointed. There were representatives from the following universitites: California at Los Angeles, Cornell, Harvard, Kansas, Miami, Northwestern, South Carolina, Stanford, Tulane, and Villanova. These officers served until 1948. The complete list of officers and Executive Committee members is enclosed as Appendix A (this was not available for inclusion here).

In 1949, Dr S T Arnold, Brown University, appointed a committee to draw up a constitution. The constitution was approved at a meeting on Apr 1, 1950. The original purpose became an intregal part of it. The annual assessment was set at $50.00 per unit.

In 1960, President Dr Alan K Manchester, Duke University, and Vice-President H. Malcolm MacDonald, Texas, recognized the need to update the constitution by amendments. The Executive Committee was enlarged to 14 members plus the President, Vice-President, and Secretary-Treasurer. At the meeting on Oct 18, 1962, the constitution was ammended. Again, the purpost remained the same.

In 1967, President Donald R Mallett, Purdue University, responding to the request of the membership appointed a committee to once again update and make recommendations for amendments to the constitutions. The recommendations were accepted, the annual assessment was raised to $75.00 pub, again, the purpose remained the same.

In 1974, President Chalmer J Roy, Iowa State University, other offiers, and the Executive Committee recommended that the constitution not only be updated, but that the name "Association on NROTC Colleges" be changed to "Association of Colleges and Universities". These recommendations were approved by the membership on Nov 6, 1975 and the constitution was amended to reflect the name change and also "to include, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, to invite the Secretary of the Navy and / or the Chief of Naval Education and Training to designate an individual from their respective staffs to attending meetings of the Executive Committtee as liaison members with vote". (Article V Section I) And again, the purpose remained the same.

During the term of Dr Alan K Manchester (Duke University) as President and Dr H Malcolm MacDonald (University of Texas), Vice-President, and Dr Donald R Mallett, (Purdue University) Secretary-Treasurer, the necessity of having a coordinator for the activities of the Association was discussed. In Sep, 1962, Mrs Dorothy A Bolder joined the staff in Dr Mallett's office at Purdue University and was asked to assume (without pay) those responsibilities with the title of Executive Assistant to the President. She accepted the responsibilities. In 1976, her title was changed to Assistant Secretary-Treasurer. She continues in that position, but now with a stipend.

Meeting of this group of civilian educators were expanded to include memebers of the military responsible for the Naval ROTC program. In the early years, there were representatives from the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BuPers) in attendance at the meetings. In 1971, the Navy recognized its area of responsibility and the Chief of Naval Education and Training Office was established in Pensacola, FL with responsibility for the NROTC program. Continued and expanded cooperation between the civilian educators and the Naval components is the sound basis on which the NROTC program has grown and prospered.

During the 40 years since its founding the Association has discussed, recommended, resolved, agreed with, and disagreed with many issues and with each other and with Navy personnel.

In 1953, at a join meeting with representatives from the Navy, Army, and Air Force, consideration was devoted to the question of "Mutual Responsibility of the Navy and the Colleges in the Education of Naval Officers". This item was presented by Vice Admiral James E Holloway, Jr, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Personnel and Cheif of the Bureau of Naval Personnel. Response was made Dr Francis R B Godolphin, Dean of the College, Princeton University.

For several years the policy of the Navy to fobid the marriage of NROTC students ont he basis that marriage before commissioning would undermine the motivation of the student towards a Navy career was discussed, and finally resolved, as was the matter of compulsory military education. The discussion continues on the matter of extra time and compensation needed to complete requirements in some majors. Also, continuing in discussion is attrition and disenrollment.

In 1956, the NESEP program was designed with the expert advice of members of the Association, especially Dr Donal R Mallett, Purdue University. It was implemented with 23 of the NROTC colleges. The program was designed to provide a high order of technical competency in the Naval Officer corps to meet the complexities of modern warfare. In 1958, the program was expanded to provide for the education of highly qualified enlisted personnel in the fields of science and engineering on a campus with NROTC personnel.

During the late 60s and early 70s the need for greater input from the colleges and universities to the Navy program became evident. An ad hoc Study Group, composed of institutional representatives, Navy officers, and other educators was established by the Chief of Naval Education and Training on Dec 18, 1977. An in-depth study of the NROTC program conducted in the areas of: (1) aptitude and motivation; (2) baccalaureate and professional preparation; (3) organization and management; (4) quality and effectiveness. The primary purpose of the study was to determine the nature and impact of technological and cultural changes in our society upon the existing NROTC program, so that a more responsive and dynamic program could be developed to support Navy and Marine Corps officer requirements of the late 70's and 80's. Another purpose was to formulate proposals for the collection and development of an adequate data base which would provide a firm foundation for management and future decision making related to officer procurement and to ensure that the NROTC program, which is the largest source of the US Navy commissions, was completely interfaced with, comparible with, and cost effective in relation to other officer acquisition programs.

In 1997, Admiral James Wilson, Chief of Naval Education and Training reported to the Association that of the 60 recommendations made by this Study Group, 32 had been completed, 19 are on-going, and 9 were not feasible. During the late 60's - early 70's era when campus disruptions, unrest, and anti-military demonstrations were an unacceptable way of life on many campuses, leadership, cooperation, and understanding between the host institutions and the Navy were of paramount concern. In Sep 1969, five universities chose to withdraw credit for the NROTC program; six religated NROTC to some type of of extra curricular activity, and seven offered academic credit but not degree credit for selected courses. By 1973, four institutions had disbanded their NROTC programs. However, 130 additional colleges filed application for units.

In 1966, a Plans and Policy Control Group was established within the Association. It's challenge was to work with BuPers in a serious effort to bring the NROTC curriculum in line with modern day requirements of the affairs on campuses. The 1946-1947 curriculum was patterened after the Naval Academy program and had operated unchanged since that time even though the Naval Academy had changed greatly. The Association continues to work with CNET in keeping the NROTC program updated.

In the fall of 1968, the first NROTC unit at a predominately Black institution was established. Prairie View A&M College was selected. Dr Alvin Thomas, president of Prairie View A&M College attended the 1968 meeting in New Orleans.

The Association expressed concern that the billet for the Chief of Naval Education and Training had been reduced from a Vice Admiral to a Rear Admiral in 1978. At this time, they also expressed a major concern regarding the 80/20 requirement for scholarship students. They also proposed that the Secretary of the Navy undertake a pilot program to study the NROTC curriculum for possible revision using a representative set of NROTC Colleges and Universities to determine whether or not there is a Core Curriculum that can be deemed suitable for accomplishing the goals of the navy and achieving the objectives that are determined to be essential for educating officers in the Navy.

In 1979, the Association urged the Chief of the Armed Forces Services Committees of the House and Senate to amend Title X of the US Code to permit the Department of the Navy to extend financial support to Midshipmen, when necessary, to complete the baccalaureate degree necessary for commissioning. That year it was recommended that a new unit viability formula be devised which would consider other variables than simply junior year enrollment. The Association commended the Navy for increasing the subsistence allowance for Midshipmen and for providing a differential for junior and senior program participants at the 1980 meeting.

In 1983, it was announced that the number of scholarships would increase form 6500 to 7000 for FY84. The Association expressed concern to Mr Chapman Cox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Manpower, and Reserves Affairs, about the lack of an additional year of support, or at least deferral from active duty, when the degree requirements require more than four years to complete.

The 1984 meeting, held at the University of Notre Dame, brought forth the announcement that Midshipmen have been authorized to recieve extended scholarship or college program benefits if the program of study exceeds four years. There is addiional commitment with the added benefits. It was announced that the number of scholarships had grown to 7500. Considerable discussion or a proposal that scholarship students should attain GPAs at least at the average of the college or major in which they are enrolled took place in 1984. This is based on the belief that these highly qualified scholarship students would not be working up to their potential if this were not true. Members of the Association reminded CNET that these scholarship students may be below the average University admission standards at some Universities.

In 1982, there were 57 NROTC Units. In 1983, Virginia Polytechnic University and Boston University were added; and in 1984, Memphis State University, University of Arizona, Norwich University, and George Washington University were added making the current total 64.

As forces of change will always beset institutions and the Navy, it is imperative that we maintain close communication and understanding among NROTC Colleges and Universities and the Navy as we move to bigger and better things in the field of Education.


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