Faculty relieved, say Nixon resignation wise

Aug. 10,

Following Richard M. Nixon’s resignation from the Presidency, the reaction among University faculty was one of “relief.”
Without exception, faculty contacted welcomed Nixon’s exit from office.
University President C. Peter Magrath, reached at the University’s Crookston campus, called the resignation “the wisest course of action for a President who has acted very unwisely up to this point.”
He said resignation was the best route to take out of the possible alternatives, including impeachment.
Magrath said he anticipated very little change in policy under Gerald Ford, Nixon’s successor. He called Ford “a prudent man, an unknown quantity who senses the consensus and moves with it.”
Although Magrath said he has no basis for speculation about Ford’s ability to deal with the economy, he did say that compared to Nixon, “I don’t think he could do any worse.”
Interim President E.W. Ziebarth called the resignation “good for the nation and the President.”
Ziebarth said he expected Ford to bring balance to the national economy, and foresees “increased confidence in the executive branch.”
He called Ford a man of “integrity, if perhaps not brilliance.”
A long, drawn-out impeachment process, Ziebarth continued, “would be disruptive, leaving in disarray the government and the economy.”
“(The resignation) should give the people an opportunity to concentrate on problems of major significance rather than remaining preoccupied with problems, which, while important, are traumatic rather than constructive,” he added.
Although the general sentiment among the faculty was in favor of resignation, Mulford Q. Sibley, professor of political science, said he felt that “in many respects it will be unfortunate.”
He called resignation a “cop-out” and said it was simply a way of “avoiding bringing to light many of the things the President has done.
“It would have been better to have a Senate trial,” Sibley said. “This way much is left up in the air, and we’ll have no official pronouncement by the Senate.”
Sibley also expressed concern that by resigning, Nixon might be able to arrange immunity from prosecution for the offenses he allegedly has committed.
When asked to speculate on future policy under Ford, Sibley said he anticipated little or no change from Nixon’s policies in Ford’s administration, unless Ford “makes a complete about-face from his record in the House.”
Sibley said “neither Ford nor Nixon has any sense of the crisis in the economy.
“I think people oughtn’t expect too much from Ford,” he added. “The economy will continue to go to the dogs.”
Harold Chase, acting vice president for academic administration and professor of political science, said resignation will provoke less “bitterness” from those who have supported Nixon in light of Nixon’s recent admission that he helped to cover up the Watergate affair.
“It would have been terrible to have gone through the impeachment proceedings with 30 percent of the American people feeling the President was being picked on,” Chase said.
“But the events of the last few days show that the President has not been picked on.
“I welcome the resignation,” he said.
Frank Sorauf, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and also a professor of political science, called the decision to resign “wise for the Congress, the Presidency and for the people of the United States.”
Sorauf echoed a sentiment common among those urging resignation, stressing the need to “end the time-consuming attention to Watergate.”