A major project of WSU’s Emeritus Society, these oral histories provide absorbing recollections of WSU history from the early 1950s on. Conducted and transcribed by history graduate student, now instructor, Katy Fry ’06, ’11, the histories deliver unfiltered memories of WSU through five presidencies and rich insight into how we came to be where we are now.
In this history, coach and faculty member Sue Durrant ’62 gives a personal and moving account of what it was like to have to sue her university to rectify an unbalanced athletic system. You can read about that effort in "History was made...The fight for equity for women's athletics in Washington, Washington State Magazine, Winter 2007.
Key: F is Katy Fry. SD is Sue Durrant.
F - All right it is December 9th, 2010 and lets just start with your name.
SD - Sue Durrant.
F - And where were you born and when?
SD - I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, uh, August 6th, 1937.
F - Ok, what was your family background like, what; how did you get your educational experiences, what your parents did
SD - Uh, my family was from the Salt Lake/Ogden area, um, my dad was a professor of zoology at the University of Utah and my mother after they were married, she was also at the University of Utah, but at that time, you couldn’t have husband and wife even in the same university, let alone the same department, so she left and became affiliated with the YWCA and became the health and physical education director there and was there until her retirement. My mother had a master’s degree from Wellesley and my father’s Ph.D. was from the University of Kansas and so they were both educators. I’m the oldest of 2, I have a brother who’s a year and a half younger than I am and so we grew up in Salt Lake, um, we went through elementary, junior high, high school and University of Utah before we left town, so
F - So education, I mean with living with educators, it was probably pretty understood that you were gonna continue on after high school.
SD - Well yes, there was never a question from the standpoint that you were going on to college and most people at that time stayed locally and commuted to campus. It wasn’t a big move as far as moving away to college, unless you were going to law school or med school most everybody lived in town and went to campus, even at the University of Utah at that time didn’t have a large number of dormitories to house people from out of the city and area, so the campus itself of course was much smaller than campuses are now and uh, most everybody lived at home.
F - Uh huh, and what did you major in?
SD - Uh, I majored in physical education and then minored in biology and of course at that time, you didn’t have a lot of options if you were a woman in terms of what kinds of occupations you could go into and so sort of like education or nursing or secretarial work, uh, library work, um, nursing, uh, they were sort of limited from that standpoint. My mother was a physical educator, that was her background and I had grown up doing a variety of things and I just thought well if I was going to go into teaching, I would enjoy that much more than being in the classroom, so um, I majored in physical education and minor in biology.
F - So were you one of the only women in your classes and
SD - Well because your classes uh, there were a lot of women in physical education at that time because most everybody had the same kind of restrictions and so a lot of our classes, even though they were co-ed classes, had a lot of women in them and I didn’t notice that, uh, that the other classes that I had that I was the only woman in them, um, I didn’t really pay too much attention from that standpoint and I don’t know what the gender split was as far as men and women in college at that time. A lot of women went to college, uh, a lot of people were in education and so the course work that I was in would naturally attract probably a higher percentage of women students than might be in others. I know if you moved into graduate schools in terms of the sciences or others it was predominantly men, there were very few uh, my father’s graduate students were always primarily men, uh, occasionally he would have a woman, but again they faced restrictions as far as getting employment, uh, in universities or if they got married, would they be able to retain their employment again because of their experiences as far as why my mother and dad were married in the ‘30s, and uh, wouldn’t, that was just not something the universities allowed to happen at that time period, so I kind of chuckle as far as what the situations are like today and what they were for them at that time period.
F - Yeah now, you know, university’s do everything they can to make spousal accommodations and that’s interesting. Um, so after college, after graduation, what happened next?
SD - I taught 2 years at high school in Long Beach, California down there and then I started looking at graduate schools. My mother had always encouraged me to go to graduate school and maybe try teaching at the college level because after she finished at Wellesley, she came back and taught at the University of Utah for a couple of years until they were married. They met at the University of Utah and she thought I would enjoy college teaching, so um, but I enjoyed my high school experiences as well and of course the things that I experienced in Long Beach were further ahead than what I had been able to experience when I was in high school in Salt Lake in terms of opportunities for girls to participate on sports teams, its nothing like it is today, uh, they would be what you would call sports days, uh, we had a schedule but you were always carrying a team sport in individual sport, an aquatic sport when you traveled to the other schools in the district and so, um, and they weren’t really set up as spectator sports either, uh, at those time periods, but it was more than I had experienced when I was in high school. Most of my competition came by being on outside teams. I grew up as a swimmer and then I played volleyball and basketball on recreation teams. Salt Lake City had a very fine um, you know city or county recreation program that provided opportunities for a variety of individuals in different types of sport areas and so that’s where I was able to participate in sports when I was growing up or through the YWCA and what was called the Deseret Gym where the swimming teams were and we always had a co-ed swimming team, uh, but it wasn’t a school swimming team. So the few opportunities in high school were primarily for boys teams and there was a girls ski team in Salt Lake which probably made sense because they would be coming up through other ways, but it was more a club team than it was, uh, what you would consider an interscholastic team by today’s standards.
F - Uh huh, so after 2 years of teaching, you went on to get your masters.
SD - Well and I did my master’s here at Washington State University, um, a friend of mine who came here right after graduation and did her master’s degree and she really had enjoyed it, so I applied here as well as other places and they, and Washington State contacted me uh, pretty quickly from that standpoint, and um, was very eager for me to come here and I thought well you know its within driving distance of Salt Lake, uh, its, uh, would be a little easier than Wisconsin which is one of the other ones that I had applied to or other areas, and so I thought ok, I’ll just come up here and so that’s how I got here.
F - And so that would have been the early ’60s?
SD - Yes, that would be, I was here ’61-’62.
F - Ok, well and so you said graduate work and graduate studies in physical education would be different than um, as far as the gender ratio, would be different than in college, so what, right, is that, did you say that correctly?
SD - No, I said that the classes that I experienced as an undergraduate at University of Utah, that I didn’t really notice that there were very few women in classes because I was in the education format. Education was a big draw for women students who went to college.
F - So it would have been the same in your graduate courses here.
SD - Yes, uh huh, on that, and again there were a lot of students that came to college here and a lot of women went into education, a lot of women went into physical education and so, uh, I didn’t really notice; I noticed on campus that there were not a lot of professors who were women and that would be the same at the University of Utah as far as your professors were primarily men and the same thing when I came here. But as far as the classes that you were taking by the nature of the curriculum that I was in, uh, there were always women students involved in those, that course work.
F - Ok, so after your master’s was done, um, did you go on to the Ph.D. or did you stop at the master’s?
SD - No, I stopped at the master’s because at that time Dean Golden Romney, we were a School of Health and Physical Education/Recreation here at that time, which was separate from the College of Education which is where eventually after they moved from a school to a department, that they were housed within the College of Education. But Dean Romney, there was a position open and he thought I would be a good fit and so he twisted my arm to stay. I don’t think I ever really officially applied or however the application process went was pretty informal on that, uh, and so from that standpoint, uh, that’s how I started here and I thought well you know I might as well try teaching for a couple of years and see whether I like it, if not, I’ll go back to the high school level because I had enjoyed that and I had been contacted by; I had my applications out for school districts and other things, uh, primarily back in the California area and so I was being contacted by other areas as well and so that was an option, so I stayed.
F - And so what were your duties, what was your class load, teaching and other coaching or what was it?
SD - Well, uh, I was teaching a full load. I wouldn’t be able to describe what that meant at that time period. Most all of us were hired as in the teaching was, I was hired in women’s physical education, we were a separate department from men’s physical education at that time and uh, so I taught primarily in the teacher preparation program which meant I was teaching um, physical education majors and the (can’t understand) I was aquatic specialist, so I did a lot of the regular swimming classes whether they were for majors or non-majors. There was a regular requirement I think at that time it was 2 years of physical education for all students, so you had a number of general service classes that were conducted so that, uh, students had their opportunity to fulfill that requirement and I also started coaching, uh, at that time Dorothea Coleman, uh, had been coaching all the women’s sports that were offered, uh, and so I picked up volleyball at that time. She, then, did basketball and field hockey, basketball and tennis and I picked up volleyball, um, and also I started helping with fish fins, which was the synchronized swimming club that was very, um, functional here probably until either the late ‘90s or sometime in that time period when a lot of other problems in terms of staffing and everything else was happening and then to combine physical education departments and the people who had been the advisors for those programs were retiring and not replaced on that, so; but fish fins um, always put on a large water show for mother’s weekend and you know so it was one of the main things that was held on campus during that time period. We put on 3 or 4 shows during a weekend on that, so, uh, and they were always very well attended and so
F - Uh huh, what about the other sports, you said at that time, even when women were competing, um, or doing sports on a competitive fashion, it still wasn’t really a spectator sport. Was that different here at WSU, it was a college setting. I mean I would imagine they never got the same numbers; they still don’t, as men’s sports do.
SD - Well it wasn’t set up the same way. When I went to college, uh, our, we were limited by what opportunities we had. Again I was participating primarily in, on teams outside AAU teams and um, recreational teams in the city of Salt Lake and when I was in, teaching in California, again it was to the recreation departments that we were able to participate on teams and recreation leagues. When I came here, they had for I don’t know how many years, but a number of years, been competing in the Inland Empire and actually in basketball they had what they called a Pine League that I think was Idaho, Washington State, Eastern and Gonzaga; Whitworth probably was involved in that, so there was very short travel distance, but they would, uh, do sort of home and away games but they were never scheduled from the standpoint of being in your main, um, competitive areas. You usually would set up one of the other gyms. You would have chairs there, people could come and watch and uh so you would have spectators there, but you handled all your game arrangements, you made sure the officials were there and the timers and scorers and as part of the physical education programs, uh, everyone who was a major also learned how to officiate a number of different sports, so you had sort of a group that could participate in that aspect of making sure that the competitions went on and so, um, that was already in place here, so when I started coaching volleyball, you know, we would compete uh, again more what we would call locally in terms of the driving distances in the Inland Empire and then as we worked at that a little bit more, we would designate what we would call sports days and invite a broader area to come in and we might have it here at Washington State University in which case the Montana schools might come in, particularly University of Montana, sometimes Bozeman as well, uh, Central would come in uh, Eastern Oregon and maybe Boise State would come up because its within a reasonable driving distance and you would play a number of games that weekend, so there were certain centers that did that. We became one of them. Central was another one because if you were at Central, you could pull in the west side schools as well as the east side schools, so that happened or other times we might go over to University of Montana and that would pull in the Montana, more of the Montana schools as well, so you did things more as, in centers in the early days, in the early ‘60s and then as there was more and more interest in trying to develop, uh, more I guess what you would call more rules and regulations governing women’s college sports, it grew out of the physical education programs and uh, a lot of us that were involved would meet at our regular professional meetings and the northwest became one of those and so we would meet the evening ahead and talk about what was happening in college sports and what we might be able to do and I had been more familiar with, uh, the organization down in southern California because the colleges down there were competing when I was teaching down there at the high school level and I thought well this is interesting. They’re doing all these things. You just didn’t hear about it unless you were, uh, in some way associated with the fact that things were going on, that there was a lot going on, its just newspapers didn’t cover it. People just weren’t interested; well the men weren’t interested so therefore those things didn’t get covered in those days, uh, because they would say oh nobody’s interested about reading about women’s sports, so uh, the people that really did your sports news in papers, uh, didn’t cover you and um, your universities as long as more sort of under control of physical education under the academic areas, they figured that things were going smoothly and uh, and existed in that way until it got to be so that there was more competition and the need for a little more control of schedule and so gradually the rules and regulations developed in the northwest and so I was a part of the development of that whole regional governing body which became known as the Northwest College Women’s Sports Association.
F - And when was that, when did that
SD - That would be in, by the late ‘60s we were, uh, in the process of being a governing organization and um, that sponsored then a regional tournament or event at the conclusion of each of the various sports seasons and more sports gradually became involved in that and um, and that organization grew and became more complex as it became more socially acceptable for women to participate in sports, so part of that was a cultural thing as well from the standpoint of, uh, the high schools didn’t offer a lot until, into the ‘70s after Title IX was approved nationally uh, that gave great impetus to the college sports as well from the standpoint of being more, um, vocal in terms of trying to provide better programs for women students and so the organization, the regional organization grew, the national organization uh, then developed out of these various regional groups and out of the association through the professional physical education associations. There were 2 main ones that were involved there and there’s discussions of those individuals to uh, develop a national organization and uh, I was part of that representing the northwest region as far as in the development of what then became known as The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) and it was up and running by the early ‘70s and through the period of the ‘70s, then, that organization grew, the regional organizations grew, the interaction between the two, the national level tournaments, um, developed and expanded, uh, there was never the money in them that there was ever in men’s sports, um, and as soon as television started becoming more interested in doing things and then or course the NCAA became a little more interested in thinking well maybe they really should take this over and eventually they did. From that standpoint, its sort of like you know WalMart and their mom and pop grocery stores, uh, they can make it appeal like that they can run things better and of course its not less costly, because you knew that they were not going to come down and do it at the cost factor that women’s sports were being run at that time period, but um, they were successful in convincing the college presidents that they should have both of their um, sports teams, their men’s and women’s programs be involved under the NCAA and of course your presidents are the ones that control what organizations you belong to, so
F - So I take it you didn’t necessarily approve of it
SD - No I didn’t approve of that, uh, part of it is the NCAA initially never wanted us, uh, I mean they were very vocal at the time period, so that’s why uh, we thought ok if they’re not interested in us, we’ll develop our own organization and so it wasn’t until things were up and really going well and really all that development phase had been taken care of before they really became interested in it and I just think that they wanted to be able to control, uh, the dollars in the, uh, media coverage and the other things that went along with that and so I was not involved in the organizational compromises that went into there, but even today women are not really represented in the internal structure of the NCAA in an equitable manner, so that’s still um, is something that still needs to be addressed. Uh, the NCAA hasn’t used their leverage to really assist in terms of the broadcast of women’s (can’t understand) I mean out here in the northwest you rarely see the same number of women’s games as you see men’s games, uh, and so there’s a lot of things that they really have not done to help promote women’s sports in the same ways. Certainly there have been lots of games uh that have occurred. Your coaches for the most part are full time, they have full time assistant coaches, I mean I never had a full time assistant coach. I usually never had an assistant coach longer than a year because they were a graduate student and when they finished their master’s degree, they’d go on and do other things and the next year you were trying to get another assistant coach, so uh, even when I moved and by the ‘70s, uh, we had some consolidation or retirement of the person who was doing the sports teams and so I picked up basketball also, so I coached volleyball and basketball, um, for about 3 years. Also I was also teaching for the most part, too, at least a full to ¾ load and so your coaching was always in addition to what your other responsibilities were and after the ’75-’76 season, then I just stayed with basketball after that, but I had been coaching volleyball from the time I came through the ’75-’76 year except for the year that I was on, uh, on leave working on my Ph.D. at Ohio State University.
F - Ok, so you did
SD - I did get my Ph.D. but I started later on that.
F - How did you have time to; how long was your sabbatical that you were able to go take courses or were you taking them by correspondence or
SD - I just took a year off, uh, to do course work and um, I had started earlier than that, I actually was going to go to USC because I would go back to California, I knew other people who were doing course work at USC. Well the summer that I was going to start and I was going to start by going to summer school, I didn’t like the courses that were going to be offered and I happened to run into a graduate from our program here, an undergraduate at that time, who had been doing, who did her graduate work in health education at Ohio State and she said you might be interested in the things that they have there, so she sent me you know the information. I thought well you know for a year, if I don’t like it, I can always transfer the credits, so I went back for the short session of summer session and I thought well this is pretty interesting and so the next year I went for the full summer and I thought well as long as I’m doing this, maybe I better you know start in and go and put my year in and in the meantime, I was taking coursework here that I had transferred in, um, and so I took additional coursework here so at the end of the year that I was there, the year and the summer, I was able to do my prelims and get those done, but I couldn’t quite get things done as far as the proposal for the dissertation, the other things like that. Also my dad was not in good health and so that delayed that and so when I finally got the proposal approved and then trying to get that done while I was teaching and coaching here, um, altogether it took me about 7 years to get everything done, I finished in ‘76
F - And was getting a Ph.D. something you wanted just for your own personal gratification or was it, do you feel like it was something you needed to have in order to you know keep your job secure here
SD - No, I was already, I was tenured here by then and it was not unusual for professors in any field to just have master’s degrees in the time period I was here, uh, as you had more people going to graduate school and more people coming out with Ph.D.s and of course then the Ph.D. became the sort of degree that people were looking for, um, I picked up mine partly because I was interested in the additional knowledge base and partly because I knew if I was going to move, I would need it, and so it was sort of a combination of those 2 things and that I would need it probably to advance in terms of promotions here.
F - Right, and what was the tenure process like, then, for you.
SD - Well the tenure process back then, I mean you hardly knew when you were coming up for tenure, your department chairs just kept track of the things and if they felt that you should be put up, they put you up on that, there wasn’t this whole huge process. I mean they evaluated your teaching and the other things that you were doing at those time periods and so I can’t even remember as far as what the year was that I was tenured, but I was tenured before I went back to graduate school at Ohio State on that, and um, and so, you know, its just kind of amazing as far as a lot of the differences in terms of things here that the thing that generally happened is all those that growth of universities and the procedures involved in tenure processes and I think occurred because university’s got larger and as things get larger, you have more rules and regulations and procedures and all those kinds of things that go in there.
F - Do you have any idea of, um, what the pay scale was like for a woman coming into, you know, for you, do you know if your pay scale was different than say a new MA graduate male who was coming in and basically doing the same job you were except you know his focus might have been more on male physical education. Were there discrepancies?
SD - I wasn’t really conscious of the discrepancies at that time. I, I think my initial salary was like $6000. I mean this is way back, I mean my first teaching job was $4800, that’s what I was making there and I came here on a teaching assistantship, so that covered my costs when I was doing my graduate work and you know costs just weren’t where they are today, so by standards it, uh, it was kind of interesting. We did go through the evaluation of wages, it would have been late ‘60s, early ‘70s I’m not as clear as far as about that, uh, that’s where if you interview Joanne Washburn, she was a part of that process as far as salary equity, um, Carolyn Clark who lives in Spokane is another person that was involved, um, with that, but they were doing things and so my papers went forward at that time, plus a couple other times following that in terms of salary equalization or but it got to be a lot more complicated process and a lot of that depended upon really whether your department chair was even in favor of you doing it. Well if you were under a male department chair, lots of times that presented certain problems as well, uh, because they weren’t particularly interested in having their evaluations questioned, but you were comparing yourself with who you thought was similar in terms of person within your department or if there wasn’t somebody in your department it was set up that you could select somebody else across campus and do a comparison, you know, that had to do with teaching load background, uh, you know, committee work, research and all the other kinds of things; your involvement in professional organizations, uh, and so it was interesting as far as seeing how those things; well then as you become aware as part of this, you’re paid less, then you become, uh, it gets to be, uh, something that you feel is not fair and um, I guess that part of a lot of the things is you feel like that you’re going to be treated fairly by your employers and then when you find out you’re not, that you become a little disenchanted and you start, you know, taking more precautions to document what it is that you’re doing and you start keeping the files as far as show the progress you’re making and other things like that and a lot of that just wasn’t necessary in the early days, it just didn’t seem like that, um, that there were those kinds of disadvantages. I’m sure that women in terms of trying to be employed in colleges in other departments; physical education of course we were women’s physical education. We were all women in our department, there was some arrangement with, in men’s physical education because on the women’s budget, there was; one of the men was carried on the budget, but all your regular lecture classes were always co-ed and so the exercise physiologist was a male, uh, but a lot of the other classes were taught by women, so you might have men or women in terms of were teaching the, some of the other background classes, uh, when you were actually doing the activity classes, then women were together and women were together in terms of the major programs and that was the same that I had experienced in, at the University of Utah, so I was familiar with that particular type of setup. We got along fine with the men’s department. I mean they were housed in Bohler Gym; we were housed in Smith Gym
F - When did that change, you said, I think you mentioned that
SD - Well uh, there was the time period of a lot of mergers would have happened I wanta say its going to be the mid to the late ‘70s, uh, the physical education departments were going to be merged, um, the athletic departments, they were in the process of going to be merged following the lawsuit that we had so uh, some of those steps were being taken by the university, uh, home economics was put with agriculture, I mean it was interesting in terms of as far as which mergers between things that had been primarily male and female because home economics was primarily female and ag was primarily male and so, uh, it was a lot of things were along the gender lines, uh, on that and so most of those were occurring or the preliminary aspects were occurring in the mid to late ‘70s so some of them might not have been finalized until into the early ‘80s, but that was an interesting time as far as going through the various mergers. Of course I was involved in 2 of them, between physical education and that merger and then intercollegiate athletics and that merger.
F - And that was part of a whole university-wide that you kind of mentioned um, if I know, I’ve learned a lot about Glenn Terrell’s presidency, by doing this, um,
SD - I bet you have
F - this project, and right, he was focusing, he really was pushing to move the university in a different research focus, further away from agriculture perhaps and a broader base of research coming in and out, so I imagine that affected all departments, you know, in interesting ways. Well if we could; I’m curious about women um, faculty members across departments and their interaction with one another and before you, before we started recording, you mentioned working with Sue Armitage on developing women’s athletic department
SD - No, no, uh, I worked with Sue Armitage um, when she was helping me get some background in oral histories because I was going to do; I wanted to do an oral history of the Presidents of the Northwest College Women’s Sports Association which didn’t exist then, at that time, this is in the early ‘90s that I did that and so I was doing that as part of the sabbatical leave on that and trying to have some record of that before that history disappeared, uh, because it would have been in the early ‘80s that the AIAW was, uh, closing down and as a result, the NCAA was doing the same thing and so you were no longer going to be the governing body for women’s intercollegiate athletics, it was all gonna be handled by NCAA and rather than a regional governing body, now you were going to be going under the regular conferences that the men were under, so that shift was occurring there, so I was working with Sue along that time. No, she wasn’t here at the time period that I came, she came later.
F - When did she come, mid to late ‘70s?
SD - Uh, I would think so.
F - Ok, so you didn’t really have, she wasn’t involved; I’m just trying to figure out how all this works. Were you basically working alone in your own department developing; because it sounds like a real grassroots type of organizing in the beginning before it came on to this huge national umbrella when its, um,
SD - intercollegiate athletics?
F - yeah
SD - well women’s, I guess you could look at it that uh, within and probably way back, men’s athletics developed the same way, its just that then the athletic programs and the competition between schools started a lot earlier (tape off and on) ok, regarding the development, well when I came, as I indicated, there was already competition taking place in the Pine League plus others that was just by arrangement, you know, we’ll go over to the University of Idaho and play whatever it is, the date might be selected to do that, so it was more providing opportunities for women students who were better skilled than the majority and have an opportunity to test themselves against others, so generally your intercollegiate athletic programs were growing because you would have sport clubs, uh, whether it be basketball, volleyball, fish fins, you could actually put into that kind of area and dance there were the Orcus’s, the modern dance club and so you had various clubs and then out of those clubs you would select your better players to be on your teams, uh, you didn’t really have, you know, uniforms, you wore your PE uniforms and you had the number, uh, we called them pennies at that time, I don’t know, they’d be probably called jerseys at this time, that would go over your other so your numbers would be available and um, and you would arrange to have you know competitions so that the win/loss records were not the main thing was providing the opportunities for women to engage themselves and to provide a venue for them to improve their skills and so as these programs grew and they got to be more competition, pretty soon you’re running into you know timelines or conflicts with others or how do you do this in a more controlled manner and that’s where the, uh, physical education associations; here it was Northwest District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education/Recreation and Dance that met yearly anyway for the regular professional meetings and so you would meet over uh, a weekend, usually starting on a Thursday night and going through Saturday for professional meetings that would deal with research and the various areas whether it was exercise physiology, biomechanics, uh, the sociological aspects or psychological aspects or teaching of various sports skills or reporting from the standpoint of the status of various areas um, those kinds of professional meetings had been occurring for years. Well as the women who were attending those started to get together to carry on discussions regarding intercollegiate athletics, then it developed that, well how would we go about organizing uh, a governing body to help do that so that those of us in the northwest would have some way of controlling what was happening in intercollegiate athletics. Uh, I had some background from the University of Utah when we did there we were what we called the Intermountain Association. I knew that they had association in southern California. I didn’t know the particulars, but I wrote and got the information on their constitutions and bylaws and so we had some format to start from in terms of starting to write a constitution and bylaws for our organization in the northwest. Well this probably took a couple of years as far as doing that and talking about the various things and arranging how that would look and you had your regular officers, you would have a governing body and what would be their duties and how often would you meet and how did that get controlled, so it had to do all those kinds of administrative details that went into that and so then when that was voted upon then you started electing officers as far as who were gonna be your first officers of this organization and then as it grew and developed, uh, a few years later, you actually had within the various sports, you had a lead person in those sports that would then meet with the coaches of that sport, whether it was basketball or field hockey or track and field or swimming, uh, skiing was another one that was involved and so the sports themselves had their rules and regulations that governed their competitions including their regional events as well, their culminating events at the end and as the national organization formalized, then how are those winners going to move on to the national level of competition and so things grew in terms and became more complex, but it was sort of the women that were involved in it that were developing that organization and moving that organization ahead and we were one of the early ones in terms of that had a full structure for as large a geographic area. I mean some areas um, in the United States or eventually divided up into 9 regions, well ours was one of the bigger regions geographically, but in terms of the number of colleges; in the east you’d have a lot more colleges in the smaller area, and then also from the initial uh, area as it became more formalized, then it got divided up between your community colleges and eventually they pulled out because their national governing body wanted to do their own thing, but then you had the private colleges that became a sub-group and you had your smaller colleges as a sub-group and then the large colleges as a sub-group, so you sort of had 3 groups that really became more compatible in terms of the competition among their teams because they were about the same size and had the same, uh, expectations academically and athletically and so you had 3 different groups within this larger group and then in some sports like basketball that I was doing at that time, we had 3 divisions within basketball and so you could do home and home, so we had a northern area and a southern area on the west coast side and then the eastern area which was, you know, from Central clear through Montana and included Boise State. It did not include Idaho State because they went with the Utah schools because that was closer for them and actually a geographic organization made sense because it was a lot less costly than today when we’re in the Pac10 and you go to Arizona as often as you go to southern California or even northern California, uh, its just a lot more expensive in terms of when they went into the NCAA, the immediate cost to the program was going to escalate so we were operating really with minimal costs, most of us were, certainly were not full time coaches like they are now. I think (can’t understand) at one point the percentage of my salary, this would have been in the early ‘80s, um, when I decided to retire out of coaching, was probably maybe $7000 out of; and of course our salaries weren’t as large, either, and uh, so I kind of have to chuckle as far as what salaries are now and the assistants were graduate students and it was part of their assignment and we didn’t have as much, um, involvement in terms of recruiting like they do now, uh, actually we were allowed to, uh, by our national rules, to invite people to campus or have open tryouts and we just publicized and they would come and we would put them through the various kinds of things, so that we had some idea of what their caliber was, but initially women’s sports didn’t have athletic scholarships, so you were just taking the students that came to WSU and those that wanted to come to tryout did and you selected from there and that’s basically what most of it was. You would carry on correspondence with people that were interested in coming to Washington State just like you would with any student who was interested in coming to an academic program, so it was a lot more informal and done through correspondence than any of it is now.
F - Uh huh, I guess I was wanting, and this is kind of a big question, I don’t know if you can answer it, but the time period you’re talking about beginning in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, you know, second wave feminism and women’s, focus on women’s lib and I was wondering how that kind of that, beginning of that national dialogue affected, you know, your department and in a personal way and if; it sounds like you were working more closely with others like across campuses, but I wondered if you got any kind of support; material support or emotional support form other departments on our own campus to be, to do these, to create this larger network.
SD - They, the larger network came into effect more as we were; this would be in the mid to late ‘70s, after Title IX had been passed. Then of course there was more dialogue, not just with sports, but it had to do with majors on campus you know, why were women restricted or why were men restricted from certain majors; it had to do with all sorts of things and of course as part of Title IX, campuses had to do evaluations, so did high schools, I mean any educational institution did because Title IX was affecting all educational institutions or those that received funds and so in the late ‘70s, I guess it’d be mid-‘70s, a lot of us were serving on a variety of committees. Well one of the committees was athletics, but I also served on a committee that evaluated, uh, the printed material that was going out and had to do with residence halls and you know some of the residence halls would have athletic equipment and others would have ironing boards and sewing machines. While you knew which ones were which, well part of it is they were trying to set up a schedule to address these issues and so that the next printing that they would be moving along and show progress toward meeting Title IX requirements which meant equitable treatment of men and women on your college campuses in all areas, not just athletics. Athletics just simply gets a bigger voice because people read about athletics more than they read about other things
F - Uh huh, and athletics makes money.
SD - Right, and but to read about these other things, uh, you know was really interesting or going to these other areas or earlier a lot of your academic service organizations—Mortar Board, I can’t remember some of the other, Spurs were gender restricted. Well those were all integrated. A lot of your other kind of clubs they went through is it really necessary to have these as gender-based clubs, should they be integrated, so a lot of those discussions went on across our campus, so everybody was dealing with Title IX and with gender equity and it wasn’t just that women were some ways, um, being restricted, there were certain areas that men were as well, I mean nursing didn’t have very many men students; vet schools didn’t have women students. Then you look now, the percentage of women in vet school and it is the other way around. There are still a lot of places that have subtle discrimination, but steps were taken um, you know following the lawsuit that we had in athletics here. Then the legislature took up how do we address situations total (can’t understand) not just the athletic component, but other things and the university for several years and probably still does periodically have to submit an evaluation of their status on Title IX components to the State Higher Education Coordinating Board to show what is the number of men in a certain major, number of women in a certain major, what steps have you done to address this so that its more equitable, that it looks like your undergraduate enrollment percentage, uh, well in the early years, definitely the percentage of men students here was probably 60 to 70%, well that’s 30 to 40% women. Well you look at it now and its more, on a lot of campuses its more women than men and part of what Title IX did overall is it opened up college education for women and opened up all those majors for women that used to be restricted, so you have women now not just in education or library science, like when I went to school, but you have them in business and in architecture and engineering. Even though some of those areas still are predominantly male areas, um, they’re much more integrated than they used to be and colleges in the State of Washington are required to really look at those and take steps to address subtle discrimination and at the graduate levels.
F - Was that shift once Title IX was implemented at WSU and you were talking about these committees, were looking at all of these things, was it, um, contentious change or was it just mostly like wow, we have a lot of work and paperwork and things we’re gonna have to look at.
SD - I would say both, uh, and I think one of the areas that has been the most contentious, uh, was athletics and again I think that that just goes back from the standpoint of culturally, that sports were for boys and girls were supposed to watch and even though you would find lots of areas where that wasn’t the case, that uh, girls throughout their growing up periods have participated in sports. It still didn’t have the same status and so uh, there’s always been, I think, a lot more feeling that no, you know, really we have to do more things for men than for women. There’s a cultural aspect there and its taken, it’s a real lag, uh, and until you know you have men who have daughters and say wait a minute, this isn’t right, they should be allowed to do these various kinds of things and they start lending their voices as well, so its not just women’s voices, but now you get more men’s voices involved, uh, that you see a lot more change occurring.
F - Yeah it seems to me that’s the key.
SD - And so uh, here, uh, what was happening in the mid to late ‘70s was the Title IX reviews were going on on campus and then you saw some changes taking place. Well you didn’t see the changes in athletics. Conveniently we don’t know where Dr. Terrell put that report on athletics, but it; nothing was moving so we were filing, um, we weren’t filing lawsuits yet, we were filing grievances, um, coaches were filing with EEOC because it was employment discrimination. Title IX didn’t cover coaches. You had to be a recipient of our program was the interpretation at that time. Well little did I know that there were, uh, athletes who were getting together and were talking about filing a Title IX
F - Athletes on our campus
SD - Uh huh, with OCR
F - male athletes
SD - no, male, no male
F - complaining that it wasn’t being
SD - right, right and showing where the discriminatory aspects were occurring, and so these were sort of going along parallel. Now there were other women sympathetic to the thing on campus and I mean women faculty met at various times. We don’t know exactly how and there was a women’s center and uh, at that time, so there may have been more ways that women students were talking about things and so whether they had any direction from others, they certainly didn’t get it from the coaches, uh, even though most people would feel that we set them up to a vote, we didn’t, uh, but they were filing that discrimination grievance at the same time we were filing with OCR and I had talked with people in Montana because they had been successful on a salary dispute in terms of higher education, uh, under Title IX, but their jurisdiction is different than what our jurisdiction, so you’re learning a lot of things about what direction you have to go, but uh, we had been carrying on discussions as far as how we might go, what kind of information we would need and how to go about those things, so this was occurring in probably from ’75 to ’76, somewhere around in there, and uh, um, when the students didn’t get any response off their, uh, Title IX complaint, then the next year another group filed another one on that and nothing happened there and the next year when they came back to school, they had been in contact with what was then the Northwest Women’s Law Center; now its Legal Voice is the name of the organization, uh, that was just getting started and they were interested in taking on cases that uh would be precedence setting for women and so uh, they came back and said we’re going to enter into a lawsuit the athletes, or a strong number of them, um, did the coaches wanta join in and I thought well most of us thought we might as well join this one as perceived along our lines, so we joined in with that lawsuit, which was really in state court, under state law because we’re an equal rights state and there are other equity requirements in terms of to meet public accommodation and other things there, so the lawsuit was started again, um,
F - what year was this that it started?
SD - Well discussions it seemed to me were starting in around 1977, ’78 you know, it takes a while to collect the information, to do the filing and the other thing, so it’d be the late ‘70s by the time documents started to be submitted, uh, to court in Whitman County Superior Court, uh, it was, uh, ’82 before we went to court, before we got the court date and enough time period to do that
F - So by then the initial students that started that were
SD - oh no, they’re already graduating, right, and you had other students that would come through and some of them, uh, and they had been successful in getting for the students for the lawsuit to be a class action suit. Any coaches had to sign on, so as coaches went other places and new coaches came in, they were given the option of signing on. Not all coaches did but the majority did, I wanta say 80% probably as far as women coaches over that time frame, um, and so we were in court starting in January of ’82 and a blizzard sort of like what we were experiencing here this last week, trying to get to Colfax and um, and so that court case probably went for 6 to 8 weeks. It was against Washington State University, uh, it was not against men’s athletics as they were handled separately, we were not under them, we were a separate department, so the lawsuit was against Washington State University and it was a total programmatic case, it wasn’t a sport against another sport, it was program to program comparisons and uh so it was sort of like the end of March when they gave a preliminary decision about that and which didn’t come out in writing until I don’t know whether it was toward the end of the year or the beginning of the next year and at that time they, uh, and we just had a judge, we did not have a jury trial, figuring it was going to be complicated enough, so we just went with a judge. Well football had been set aside from the numbers, um, and of course if you’re talking about a third of your population being football and a third being other men’s sports and a third being women’s sports, everything looks pretty equitable. Well that was one of the big issues, so uh, we decided to appeal that and so it was ’85 before we were arguing before the State Supreme Court or our lawyers were arguing before the State Supreme Court and it was ‘87 before that was, the ruling came out
F - 10 years
SD - Oh yeah, uh huh,
F - How did you keep your sanity or your momentum or how did you, you know, keep up the spirit of fighting for this
SD - Well I mean it gets to be interesting and part of it I think is just simply because we had, uh, a group of us that was involved, it wasn’t just one individual and you know so if somebody was down, other people could pull them back up and you had enough support and there were a lot of direct and indirect support across campus or even in town, I mean there were people that didn’t agree with you. Other people would say that they really appreciated what we were doing, they just couldn’t say anything, you know, you just knew in their position they wouldn’t be allowed to speak out. Others could speak out, I mean, uh, the lawyers when they came here, they were housed by people in town, uh, they were helped in other ways in terms of transportation and other things while they were here because we were operating on a shoestring, uh, some of those people probably got in trouble as far as assisting us rather than their employer which was Washington State University, um, and so there were women across campus and part of that is because a lot of us knew one another early on because we were a small enough campus. Later on because the Association for Faculty Women was up and running and it was a way where women from across campus met once a month to dialogue and share a meal and sometimes those would be in restaurants, other times they’d be in people’s homes and so you met people from across campus so you could carry on dialogues about other things and uh, it was through AFW that most of us you know, meet one another and know one another, I mean that’s where I knew, uh, Sue from, Sue Armitage and some of the other women that were in areas separate academic areas and so you find you have a lot of commonalities as far as in addressing discrimination areas and so you would, you could get advice that lots of times you wouldn’t have the particular knowledge base, but they would have other, you know, it was uh a way of sharing background or information or strategies or other things like that
F - Do you know when that organization began and who started it?
SD - Uh, I know a couple of people that were involved with it were Inga Kromann Kelly and Carole Johnson who were in the College of Education. I don’t know how it initially started, it seemed to me there was another organization there before AFW. I was, I started being involved in the early ’70s. I actually chaired, was President of AFW in the mid-‘70s, no it was, might have been ’76, ’77, sometime in there. Sometimes I lose track as far as without looking on paper, looking at your own resume or things and I think it, I don’t remember those things, and, uh, and so it has served a real positive direction. That group worked with President Smith on a number of initiatives uh, addressing again, uh, the hiring and promotion and retention of faculty, women faculty, looking at spousal accommodation, looking at other areas that would make it feasible for women to be professors on campus and so that group has tried to work within the system, even though they’re not part of the system that the organization doesn’t report to the President or anything like that, there’s always been another group that is under the President’s appointment that has to do with, uh, I can’t remember the name of the organization right now, but its, uh, one of those task forces
F - And it has to do with women
SD - Yeah, and women’s issues, but it includes not just faculty, it includes staff, um, and students as well, so its broader based, uh, the Association for Faculty Women um, is focuses on women’s issues. Its not restricted to women only as far as being members, although its only occasionally that we’ve had men who have been vocally interested in being a part or on certain kinds of issues that we may be addressing that might be a part of a separate task force that that organization is doing, but uh, President Smith when he came tried to address a lot of the climate on campus toward women and was very successful in terms of working with the academic areas, uh, and again on the promotion and retention of women.
F - Is that
SD - You could get them hired but you couldn’t, you know, within whatever they were working on within their areas, they might be the only woman, it seemed like a lot were required to always do more than they weren’t mentored the same way or if mentored at all, so a lot of those areas needed to be addressed and they had the support of the people above them to help them pull it into the retention and the promotion, particularly you might get them tenured, but uh where I found and where I sort of you know hit the ceiling was you couldn’t get yourself moved from Associate Professor to Full Professor, that’s been a fairly recent
F - So you never
SD - I’m not a Full Professor, no, huh uh
F - And you retired when?
SD - In, uh, 2005
F - So you were here for over 40 years but you never made Full Professor
SD - No
F - That’s interesting
SD - Uh huh, and part of that just has to do with the fact that, and particularly after you, you know, sue your university and there are people that you have to work with on a daily basis, men, in a joint department that are not happy that you did those things and really are not happy to have women in their field at all, these are the people that vote for you or don’t or allow you to do things or don’t allow you, you know, there’s a certain point where you just decide oh you know, is this really all that important, you know, and so; but you don’t have the people to really help you out through that process and then at the time period where I was making what I call my last look at doing that, within a year the people that were my supporters left the university and I thought, you know, this is not going to work, you know, there aren’t going to be those other people and both within the department and across campus, for a variety of reasons. They took jobs other places or other things, it wasn’t they were forced out or they retired or most of them were taking jobs other places. This would have been in the, um, mid-‘90s on that, so it was, uh, and then a lot of the things have changed where initially a lot of promotion was more equitable or equal in terms of your teaching and your research and a lot in your contribution to your own professional field and to the university, that service component. Now that service component is much less, I mean people uh, maybe in some areas its not, but uh, you have just seen that um, because people can count articles or count the number that you’re first author on this, that or the other, and that whole, um, service component which a lot of mine was based on that as far as the development of the regional, uh, governing bodies and that work within athletics in terms of developing programs and uh, and the service that you did to high schools and other colleges in terms of working in that arena was much different than just collecting data and writing the articles, but it seemed to be that the collecting data and writing the articles became how they could keep you out of; they didn’t want you in, so that public service component that was really there in the ‘60s and ‘70s, by the ‘80s was starting to move in different directions and so by the time I was back full time in academia you were trying to, you know, meet a different kind of criteria and then the university was trying to develop alternative ways for those who really came through a different system to be able to do that, but not very many people ever got through on that and of course now there’s people in my area are retired, so uh, but it, a lot of them if you go back was very difficult or those people who made Full Professor did so in that earlier time frame. The time frame when I didn’t have a Ph.D. and the other things along that line and which would be necessary but your contributions as far as to your professional field were as important as these other things in those time periods and uh, and now that’s important, but its not as important as publishing and a lot of that probably has happened because we have computers now, we have Xerox machines you know, you’re not typing on a typewriter from scratch every time, that’s, you know, when I did my Ph.D., you typed from scratch every time
F - I can’t imagine; with all the advising I do, I can’t even imagine
SD - Right,
F - So lets go back to ’87 with the court case ruling, tell me about the ruling and how that affected your appointment.
SD - The ruling, um, of course the department at that time was merged. So the merge happened in the middle of this; the merge happened, uh, in this time frame, the early ‘80s, ’80 to ’85 in that time frame, both athletics and physical education and of course its the time period we’re in court and even before this has been finalized, I mean all this is going on, so you have all that dynamic going on as well, uh, in ’87, of course I had retired from coaching in ’82. I went into athletic administration for a couple of years and then I went back into full time teaching. I was assistant to the athletic director and a lot of that had to do was to help with the merger and to work with coaches, um, in terms of the, uh, recruiting areas and the change of rules and regulations and all those various things that were going to take place within those; both men and women and uh, and then I went back into full time teaching following that, so I was back in full time teaching by the time this, um, situation went through. Also I had, uh, I had been selected to go to Brynmar which in, was one of the first sets of, um, people that go in terms of you’re interested in higher education administration and its held at Brynmar, Pennsylvania on that as far as; and so I was back there for a summer attending coursework and going through those things, which was very informative and um, and helpful in terms of looking at whether you wanted to go into higher education, what were the pluses and minuses, what kinds of background information, other things, that you need and of course they had, uh, a lot of what they lectured on had to do with a lot of that kind of stuff, and what were the other kind of tracks or strategies that you could use to advance through and so um, I had applied to do some different things beyond that and went through some of the interviews with other groups that place you in administrative internships. I wasn’t selected because I was interested in intercollegiate athletics, well you can imagine as far as the (can’t understand) the university whether people are really going to look at that and also they look at women going into intercollegiate athletic administration at that time is an anonamaly and so the other, the people whoever might be doing the selection or having positions available, oh isn’t this interesting, now why would women be interested in being athletic directors, it’s a man’s job.
F - Yeah, even in the ‘80s
SD - Oh yes, yes, um, this would be in your large institutions. You were starting to see more moving into those areas in your smaller institutions or your private institutions and so a lot of it just had to do with the culture on campuses and uh, and also, uh, I mean I knew by being a part of the lawsuit, that that was going to be very restrictive in terms of that, which it was because, uh, I had had a number of job offers prior to being in court and doing that and afterwards you would be contacted. Other than by people that were contacting you from campuses to say what were the steps that you took, how can we avoid going through the same things that you folks went through, what can we do uh, you know, it was a strategy type thing, so you’re kind of consulting in terms of, uh, with people that you knew on other campuses, so that they can make progress without actually having to do lawsuits in order to get it there, so a lot of people benefited from the standpoint that of our lawsuit, so uh, in ’87 when it became finalized, the State Supreme Court ruled that football had to be counted because if you didn’t count them, we’d never achieve gender equity, so at that point, then, it became obvious that we didn’t have enough athletes who were women, so which sports were coming out of the club sports that we were interested in moving, um, when we, when the departments merged, the intercollegiate athletic departments merged, they cut all JV teams, both men’s and women’s. Well there were probably more women’s teams that got cut at that point. They also cut uh, a number of women’s regular teams; the ski team, the field hockey team, other things like that, eventually got phased out and these were ones that competed nationally and were ranked nationally, so uh, you know when they talk this day and age about cutting men’s teams, I wanta say some of you don’t have the memories that go back as far as when women’s teams were really cut, along the lines, so uh, trying to develop strategies then within athletics and I worked on various committees to do that and then I was working at that time, also, as a legislative representative from the Faculty Senate to the State Legislature. Well then discussions were coming forward from institutions saying to the legislatures how can you help address the funding aspects of, um, so that we can address the equity aspects and so uh, I worked with the state legislature, um, quite a bit in terms of their study groups and then the proposing of bills that, uh, were going through at that time period that would establish a way of having funding come that would definitely go to women’s athletics and not to men’s athletics because they definitely didn’t want it to go to men’s athletics so they were going to provide these other avenues and some of that was also other bills were addressing all the things in Title IX from the academic things to jobs, it was interesting to find out that some of your high paying student jobs were restricted to men, women didn’t have an opportunity to get those same salaries as far as student jobs, so there were a lot of areas that were looked at uh as part of this larger question, so there was, there were bills addressing the larger Title IX questions as well as addressing, uh, a separate bill addressing the funding and within the funding part, it had to be that the institution, these are the four year institutions, had to develop a plan that was approved by their Board of Regents and also was approved by the State Higher Education Coordinating Board that will show how they were going to use funds and where those funds would go and so each campus didn’t have to do it the same way the other campuses did and once those were approved, then a percentage of tuition could be retained on campus that was designated to go those directions, so whether it meant adding a sport, that’s when soccer was added here, that was the first sport that was added and then crew and so those were added with some of that funding that was coming in there as other programs were gearing up and we went more to a spectator base and other things in terms of more fundraising activities done within the intercollegiate athletic department. I wasn’t in, directly involved, it was more indirectly involved in terms of some of the things that were happening there, and you know, and some of us still kind of keep in my over there to see whether things are equitable or not or you know where things might be improved and
F - And what are your, what are your assessments?
SD - Well I think the assessment at the present time where I see the greatest need is in their selection to the Hall of Fame, they haven’t really gone back to address; they made some attempts at doing that and some of the divisions that they have in there, but you’ll see very few of the early women in there, uh, I think there’s um, Dorothea Coleman we finally got her in and Carole Gordon and now there are a few athletes in, and of course the more modern athletes have had a lot more, um, information about them because sports information collects all of that. They’re in the newspaper, they’re just better known entities, but back; the people who were athletes in the ‘60s and ‘70s just didn’t have that, um, were not the beneficiaries of showing those records and then you know as departments merged conveniently certain information never quite, I mean it gets trashed as it goes through and all those things, so its hard to recollect and pull through a lot of the things that go there, uh, some institutions in the northwest I think have done a lot better job in, uh, in trying to have those early women, uh, women athletes, women’s teams, sometimes they actually could pull a whole team through and honored them, uh, or the women that were involved in the development of sports have been recognized by their campuses. This campus just hasn’t seemed to be a very high priority, although I think Jim Sterk did a lot more to advance that and I worked on some of the selection committees there to try and change some of the rules and regulations in hopes that others would be beneficiaries of being considered and but it; that seems to be an area that has been neglected and maybe its just because there are other things that just you know there’s only so much time and things that can get done and it hasn’t been high enough on a particular priority list, but certainly the competitive facilities, the teams, uh, how they’re treated as individual athletes is certainly much better uh, I mean when I first came, uh, we might be able, we took state cars, they were paid through physical education, uh, initially students paid their own lodging and their meals and of course they paid the equipment that they used and the uniforms they wore because that’s what they were
F - specifically women students?
SD - yeah
F - not the males
SD - oh no the men, no, the men, uh, no they had uniforms, uh, they had equipment
F - everything was paid for
SD - everything was paid for, um, even in the early ‘80s, we were still, we were; basketball was doing some travel by plane, but we weren’t bused to the Spokane Airport, we took state cars to the Spokane Airport and they would say how come we have to do that and the men don’t, you know, here’s the bus waiting for them. I said we’re doing the best we can, you know, maybe this is prior to the lawsuit. I said maybe things will change, that’s one of the reasons, we know those equities are there, but there’s only so much that we can do as coaches, we’re going to have to use the leverage of the law in order to get the university to change. Well you know certainly as soon as you have a lawsuit and other things started changing and
F - Uh huh, did you get any negative like directly negative feedback about your involvement in that. I mean you talked about how it limited you professionally in some ways, but I wondered if you, you know, to your face got comments and
SD - I mean there were people that would disagree with the fact that you’re going there and I said I’m not asking that you agree, I’m just asking you to understand what we’re doing.
F - Did they understand?
SD - I think they could understand, they just, they; part of it was from the standpoint to do a lawsuit against the big institution like this, in Whitman County which is the, WSU is a big employer and influence in Whitman County was going to be a difficult thing to do, and uh, our position was we had exhausted all our other options. We had done the timeline reviews, we have presented the things to the institution, the various grievance procedures, but they all report to the same place, you know, they; the President of the Board of Regents aren’t moving and we can’t move them, uh, the only recourse we have is going to court. My personal feeling was we had this option. If we don’t use it, what are we saying, we’re saying discrimination is fine, you know, the costs are too great to do anything about it and we, enough of us felt that just was not an option we could live with, so whether you wanta call it a moral or ethical question, you could, but from the standpoint you had another route, if we took it and it didn’t turn out, then at least we had tried, but to not try, to me was not an option and that you would just go and see how things went and do the best you could along the line and most people that I encountered would understand that yes we had exhausted all our other options. It wasn’t like we just immediately decided we were going to go to court. And of course the students were going whether we as coaches went or not, uh, and of course the students graduated and went on. It was the coaches that were here that got the more subtle discrimination, as you know, the pay scales, my pay scale didn’t, just really didn’t advance, uh, on that and I knew exactly why and I thought you know am I up for another lawsuit here from the standpoint of doing this and I thought well we’ll just wait and see, maybe you know at some other changeover, some other things, there, it will improve. It never really improved significantly, I mean it maintained, it was marginal, so it’d be one of those things where you could say oh well, it was definitely due to x, y, z on that. They were always very careful in terms of, you know, so addressing those things and I thought you know, there are other things that I can be, I mean you shift your interests and focus on other directions and you spend your energies in other ways and so, uh, and I think the people that were probably more vocal uh, probably were not the people I interacted with anyway, I mean I have been disappointed with statements that people have made and I remember the Board of Regents, it wasn’t just athletics reporting, and I think Sue was a part, Sue Armitage was a part of reporting on other aspects of status women at that time and Glenn Terrell just said to the Board of Regents I know we’re discriminating against women, but there isn’t anything we can do about it and I thought well if you’re not gonna do anything, we know we have other options, you know, and so there was that and then a lot of the attitude with a number of male coaches of men’s sports, not all of them, but some was oh you’re just trying to get rid of men’s athletics, you know, and Jim Walden was one of the main ones on that. Even when he was back at Iowa, he gave a big, uh, interview to one of the papers back there, really disparaging us as far as what we were trying to do was do away with men’s sports. That was never, never what our intention was. Our intention was always to try and provide more opportunities for women on that. It happened to be that where men were seemed to be the standard of comparison, but we weren’t trying to destroy men’s sports, but there was a lot of that antagonism and I’m sure that, uh, in the interaction with individuals that uh, were involved there, that that was the attitude that they had. Well our paths didn’t have to cross with those individuals, you know, we were trying to be friendly, trying to explain why we were doing what we were doing, knowing that not everyone would agree with us, but you know, if they could understand what it was, but some, you know, and I thought well if that’s his attitude, then; and there are others that sort of that same type of idea that, uh, our intention; they sort of twist history from the standpoint of what were our intentions. I said no, ask us what our intentions. Our intentions are not to destroy men’s athletics; our intentions are to improve women’s athletics so that they have an opportunity to compete among equals. And that they receive the same kind of services and opportunities to do that and if you get to take a bus, then maybe they should get to take a bus and if you have full time coaches, maybe they should have full time coaches. Well after the lawsuit, that was the first time that there were full time coaches for women’s sports here; not up until then, I was, like I said, I was never a full time coach and you know now the full time assistants and that, so that the opportunities to be coach and do things are, uh, are much different today and even the high school, uh, programs are much different than they were at that time period because there were very few; there were some schools that participated in some sports for girls, but a lot of it was more on an informal basis. They would have teams, but they would informally contact other schools, you know, is it ok if we come or can we arrange when we’re going to meet for our track and field competition this year and so it was sort of like a one time thing rather than a joint thing or a continuous thing.
F - I have one last question and it might be kind of big, but um, one thing we haven’t really focused on in this conversation is the students themselves. I mean to a certain extent all professors, I mean its their bread and butter is the students, but I would imagine that um, what you were involved in, not just your teaching, obviously, but coaching and then seeing students through this lawsuit with them. You must have developed a relationship with students, had a greater stake in these students than maybe other professors and other departments can understand. I mean you must have developed; you could, I would imagine, develop some really personal relationships with some of these students, um, can you talk about
SD - Well the students as far as how, uh, Jo Washburn was what we would call the women’s athletic director, uh, later she formally had that title, um, and so our program had um, you know a regular advising board and that board had the team captain from each sport as well as the coach from each sport. That was the policy making group and so the students that served on that of course they changed each year the captains changed, but they became more aware as far as what went into designing an athletic program and they had a voice and a vote, not just a voice, they had voice and vote in terms of rules and regulations that then they were going to have to operate under, you know, whether they were traveling or had to do with practices or um, you know, the competitive events or other things like that, uh, that got set up in there so we had a regular set of rules and regulations, so they were more involved in terms of what was happening in the program as it was at that time. Well and they would raise questions about how common, you know, why the (can’t understand) and of course after Title IX, there were a lot more questions and even earlier, uh, it had been like an ASWSU, men’s athletics would always get a certain contribution. Well women were going and asking for money for women’s sports as well. I think we got 25 cents per student or something like that, of course the men got a lot more, but they were active on campus, they were student body officers, they were active in their living groups, and in the other, uh, kind of clubs that were involved across campus. They weren’t as restricted as sometimes you see athletes being now because so much time is involved in being an athlete, they were, uh, probably broader based in terms of being active in a lot of various areas across campus and so they um, and they were very willing to try and be a part of the solutions as well, so uh, it would be, you know, students are the ones that are going to have to do it; they would get together, they would organize, they would go do those things and so I think that they were more knowledgeable about what was involved with Title IX because we had this way of discussing with them and that’s when I say because they filed the Title IX lawsuit, we didn’t file it for them, we couldn’t and they did that on their own. Now they may have met with other people on campus who were also aware, like the affirmative action people on campus or others who could give them some guidance as far as how to go about doing things, so it seemed to me that they were probably more activist oriented as well. Maybe that was the time period, uh, when they were also looking at what opportunities I had. Now some of them by the time we went to court, the high schools have already made their changes. They’re in better high school programs that what we were providing on the college campus. Well how come, you know, I mean the questions are asked of us as coaches and as coaches, we were doing our best work within the system to address those issues but we had a way of sharing that information with them so that it became sort of a joint effort of all of us were trying to do these various kinds of things and then whether the limitations as far as them saying we can’t, as coaches we can’t use Title IX because we’re not the beneficiaries of the program. You are the beneficiaries of the program. Title IX lawsuits, I mean grievances have to be filed by the beneficiaries of the program, so that’s why now that’s not true, Title IX includes coaches as well, um, at that time period it didn’t, and of course the reason that we didn’t file under federal court is because during that time period there were a lot of more specific issues about Title IX that were being fought through the federal court system about did it apply or not apply; state court didn’t have that and there had been another case in a junior high school, the girl wanting to play football, uh, well by the time she won that case, of course, she had, was out of you know, so lots of times that’s what university’s gonna think. Well you know these students are gonna be gone and this will kind of low over, too, so, uh
F - But certainly these students were not just thinking about themselves
SD - No, no, the reason that we did these things was to benefit those who came after us, not to benefit ourselves. I mean we didn’t get these big huge rewards for having won lawsuits on that, um, at all and so it was from the standpoint of trying to do something that would, uh, have those opportunities be there for the people that came after us, both for the coaches and for the athletes themselves.
F - Here’s one last question, and this is another big one, and I think you could go a couple ways with this because of the different stories you’ve been telling me, but if you could boil it down, what are you the most proud of accomplishing at WSU, or what do you think, where do you think your greatest contribution lies.
SD - Well probably the whole area of gender equity, uh, part of it is probably because I was here through all that time period and had very strong feelings about it and also from the standpoint of by the time we were at that point, had already been involved with this Northwest College Women’s Sports Association as far as developing the infrastructure to provide for better college programs and we were already doing that. We already could see what we could do and we had the mechanisms for doing those things, so I think that not just things here at Washington State University as far as gender equity, but within that whole regional organization, um, and to help with the growth of women’s athletics, uh, and then using Title IX when it became available because certainly we were, we already were structured in the northwest by the time Title IX actually came into law in ’72, uh, we, and actually the National Association, AIW, that was I think their initial year was ’72, so there was a great movement underlying all of that to provide greater opportunities for women. There were invitational tournaments in golf in the Midwest and in basketball in the northeast and other things that were showing the interest that was there and here in this area, even before I came, there was the Northwest Regional Field Hockey Conference which included Canadian schools as well as US schools that would meet, you’d say, you’d declare what division A, B, or C that you were in, which schools you were more interested in playing, um, and you’d, the schedule would be drawn from there and you’d meet with like Central had a lot of pitches, it was here one time, it might be up in Vancouver at UBC, uh, so you were participating in large, uh, events where you were making contacts with people from a wide variety of areas and it also seemed at that point that the Canadian schools were well ahead of US schools in terms of providing competition, although initially within the NCWSA, uh, the schools in BC were also included with us, it wasn’t until the AIW was up and running that they excluded Canadian schools from being able to participate in national events which meant that we weren’t going to be able except informally as non-conference or non-league events, uh, participate in competitions with them, but even then, I mean most schools did who had that as their background because it was a nice international endeavor to be able to do that and, but they were very much involved as far as the NCWSA until probably you know the early ‘70s sometime when that was just not going to be feasible to continue.
F - Are there any things we didn’t, I mean that’s a long list there, but your history is a little more specific than other peoples, you can speak to part of WSU’s history that my other interviewees can’t, and so one of those areas that we didn’t touch on are covered in other interviews.
SD - Well I might mention a little bit back as far as what women’s physical education department was like when I first came because we were very congenial at that time and they included graduate students, uh, we would have a fall retreat where we would go off-campus for a weekend and sometimes; one of the faculty members had a place up on Priest Lake and we’d go up to that place and rent additional cabins and just hold pre-school meetings and other things off-campus. In the fall, uh, right after school started, there was generally a big event with major students and faculty that took place at Camp Easter Seal that was then became Camp Larson, uh, up on Lake Coeur d’Alene, which the university doesn’t own that camp any more, they returned it to the Native Americans, uh, up in that areas, part of up there, their area, uh, but every fall there was a big, um, retreat that included the women majors and women’s physical education because the university owned the camp and actually it was people in men’s and women’s physical education that were behind, uh, even before I got here, as far as the purchase of that camp and the renovations and other things that were involved with that. And so I think there was a lot more camaraderie among students and faculty uh, you know and some of the kinds of things and then the various clubs, maybe its just because through physical education you’re always an advisor for a variety of things and so people were advisors of various clubs, so you had a lot more interaction with students not just, uh, in classes, but through these other ways as well and so I think that there were very strong allegiance formed during that time period and maybe the same was true with other departments, because the campus as a whole was smaller, you knew people across campus, the faculty met as a faculty of the whole, we didn’t have a Faculty Senate, and which was very interesting as far as; so you knew people, uh, because you were in contact with them a lot more often and I think by being a graduate student and of course I had taken coursework in other areas and had other people on my master’s committee that were outside my field, uh, and so you met other people, so I might have had a little different perspective having been a student here, even though it was just for that year time period that I would have been if I’d just arrived as a faculty member.
F - Uh huh, and we’ve lost a lot of that, um, does the; do you know, does the athletic department still have, hold retreats for their
SD - No this wasn’t athletic, this was physical education
F - Physical education, sorry, do they still
SD - Well there isn’t the same physical education department
F - after the merger and everything
SD - Well the merger, you know, went from men’s and women’s physical education into, uh, Department of Physical Education, Sport and Leisure Studies, PESLS. There was never a good total feeling among every, all the faculty, there was men’s faculty who just because we had been through the lawsuit and other things, never accepted a lot of us, it was, you know, we were the trouble makers and blah, blah, blah, so it was never really, uh, a unified department in terms of I mean we got along ok, and that, uh, but in terms of, and even when we were going through the merger, in terms of I mean there was one department chair that the Dean finally let him go because it wasn’t going to work because he was overstepping the boundaries of what he ought to be doing and somebody else was put in charge and then trying to, uh, as people retired, as far as who was going to be chair of departments, I mean, the men just had very difficult time accepting women’s leadership and part of that is a cultural thing as far as the older people in the department. Women are used to having to work under men as well as under women, so that wasn’t as much (can’t understand, both talking) but there was a lot of problems uh, in terms of doing that and then in the early ‘90s, we had other budget problems on this campus and um, I, my personal feeling is we didn’t have very good leadership at either the chair or the Dean’s level, which meant it really caused the department to split apart and I moved at that time in sport management over to uh, another department in the College of Education, that is now, um, Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology. They changed the name to be more inclusive because they didn’t have a Counseling Psychology Department any more, so that needed to be included there as well, so there were other things that happened within the college, um, and we became very eclectic in that department in terms of the variety of programs that were now there that one administrator was having to see that that was not their area of expertise and so that has caused problems. I mean we still don’t have; they really did away with physical education. They do still have degrees in what they call Kinesiology but the department is, there’s not really a department that really has the background and the total range of expertise that we had in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, um, people retired and weren’t replaced. Other people just decided they would rather take a position in another campus because of the political problems that were occurring here and it just was not, um, a very good place to be, um, the sport management program was slated to be eliminated. We appealed, we appealed through even the; we had hearings up in the old Union Building on that. Sue Armitage spoke on our behalf, I mean other people spoke on the behalf as far as who the people were, and some of us were the people that were in the lawsuit, so sometimes its really hard not to sort of, you know, imagine what is really going on here. What are the subtle discrimination things that are occurring on that, all the way through and um, and so some people that were further removed probably could see some of, through some of those things easier than some of us that were directly trying to maintain programs and just move programs into a better fit and to get out from a more oppressive uh, administrative problems and some of us had to sue our department chair and the Dean for again gender discrimination and employment. We settled that outside of court, but we were going to win that one, too, so I’ve been involved in a lot of things which have, um, and I’ve talked with a lot of other people who have contemplated, uh, whether they should do things. I said well if you’re considering things, you’re going to have to get a lawyer because the university really will not move until you get a lawyer and that’s a problem because its costly and you have to negotiate and with ours, we always did it from the standpoint if we win, then a certain percentage goes to pay the lawyer on that, so you never were really a great beneficiary of whatever it is, and even settling out of court, uh, I mean we got some concessions in terms of what would happen and additional positions to program and other things like that, but then trying to get your next administrator who wasn’t there at that time period to, um, to understand that these are things that need to be included, um, is again more politics and sometimes, you know, its just nice to be retired now, you know, uh, there’s a point about which it just seemed like that, uh, a lot of the reasons I went into higher education were now missing and it was time to move on, on that, and I enjoyed, uh, that first part of my career probably a lot more than I enjoyed the latter part of my career on that and again, part of that had to do with from the standpoint of the things that were probably spin-offs from lawsuits and attitudes and other things like that. I always had good relationships with President Smith, um, and with a lot of people across campus and I think all of us tried to be reasonable in what we were doing and uh, you know, not spiteful in terms of what was happening and to do things for the benefit of those that were going to come after us, so you know I don’t know whether that answers the question that you asked
F - it’s a hard question and I would hope that if I get that, asked that question at the end of my career, I can’t just sum it up in one simple response, because its much more complicated and detailed than that, so, but I thank you
SD - Uh huh, you’re welcome, thank you.
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