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The New Southern UniversityAcademic Freedom and Liberalism at UNC$
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Charles Holden

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813134383

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813134383.001.0001

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“Go Ahead and Do Harm”:

“Go Ahead and Do Harm”:

The Academic Study of Labor Relations

(p.49) 2 “Go Ahead and Do Harm”:
The New Southern University

Charles J. Holden

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter explores how in the 1920s the state's textile mill ownership had begun taking a dim view of the UNC's scholarly projects, especially those coming from the new Institute of Research in Social Science (IRSS). Identifying the deplorable working and living conditions of textile workers as a problem, university researchers hoped to find solutions. Spokesmen for the state's textile leadership disputed the university's freedom to conduct research into their industry. To them, the university's modern mission of service through expertise was nothing more than an invitation for radicalism to infiltrate the South. Despite the resistance of the state's business elite, by the end of the 1920s university leaders had successfully established academic freedom as a core value of the institution and, in all, generated broad support for the UNC's pursuit of its modern mission.

Keywords:   labor relations, textile industry, sociology, southern industry, academic freedom

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