Against All Odds: The Founding of the PSU School of Social Work

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  • Use excerpt from first NASW report as a slide? Picture of O. Meredith Wilson?
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  • 1. AGAINST ALL ODDS: The founding of the PSU School of Social Work Professors Emeriti Nancy Koroloff & Norm Wyers October 23, 2013 Special thanks to Adair Law and Ian Timmons
  • 2. 1946 - Vanport Extension Center opens
  • 3. 1952 – Creation of Council on Social Work Education CSWE appoints Ernest Witte as executive 1955 – Vanport College becomes Portland State College
  • 4. 1955 – Seven national social work organizations merge to form the National Association of Social Workers
  • 5. July 1956 – Oregon Chapter NASW issues report on need for graduate school of social work in Oregon
  • 6. Katherine Clark, Director of Family Counseling Services Helen Catlin, Boys and Girls Aid Society Against All Odds: Three Champions Elizabeth Goddard, Director of Training, Public Welfare Bureau
  • 7. Born: Helen Maude Alexander December 13, 1911 in California Attends University of California, Berkeley for two years 1935-1936 – Moves to Portland and marries John Catlin, April 18, 1936 1945 – Becomes active in Community Chest 1947 – Elected President of the Oregon Prison Association Helen Alexander Catlin (Voice of Elizabeth Goddard)
  • 8. Born: Katherine Clark, July 31, 1908 in Penn, Kansas. 1929 – Receives her BA from University of Kansas 1934 – Receives MS in Social Administration from the Western Reserve School of Applied Social Science in Cleveland, Ohio 1935-51 – Works as social worker, district supervisor and secretary for Associated Charities in Cleveland 1951– Clark comes to Portland as director of the Family Counseling Service Oregonian 5-21-1951
  • 9. Born: Elizabeth Frances Goddard October 3, 1902 in Portland, Oregon. 1924 – Graduates from Mills College in California, the first female college this side of the Rockies. 1930s – Secretary of the Community Chest and Treasurer of the Oregon Social Workers 1937 – Takes six-month leave to attend graduate welfare school at University of Chicago
  • 10. Committee approaches OSSHE and is told to work through U of O President O. Meredith Wilson November 1957 – First meeting with President Wilson Dr. Ernest Witte of the Council for Social Work Education visits in 1957 (Voice of Elizabeth Goddard)
  • 11. Voice of Herb Bisno President Wilson recommends to OSSHE that graduate program be started in Portland July 1958 – OSSHE appoints Sherburne committee
  • 12. Proposal for a Program of Professional Social Work Training in Portland James Caughlan, December 17, 1958
  • 13. Dean James W. Sherburne NASW-Lay Committee asks to meet with Sherburne. Nothing happens until September 25, 1958.
  • 14. December 1958 – Sherburne asks Jeanne Jewett to bring in Dr. Ernest Witte Witte writes to Elizabeth Goddard about impending curriculum changes February 1959–Dr. Witte visits to meet with Sherburne Committee; Oregon NASW pays expenses of $300 Oregonian, 2/20/1959
  • 15. January 6, 1959. Response to Witte letter
  • 16. January 7, 1959–meeting of social workers with legislators from Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. Senator Monroe Sweetland asks for a memo in order to request a bill be written.
  • 17. “The availability of skilled personnel to provide services to children is severely limited. Oregon should give careful consideration to establishing a graduate program of social work, in connection with our System of Higher Education, in order that the critical and costly shortage of graduate trained social workers in Oregon can be alleviated.” Governor Mark Hatfield inaugural address, January 12, 1959
  • 18. Monroe Sweetland “As long as Portland State was sort of a glorified Community college, in which technical and mechanical training were the major offerings, the University and Oregon State, as far as I remember, didn't’t offer any great resistance. But when I proposed….I had first to be convinced. But then the social workers kept telling me that the fact that Oregon had no School of Social Work, and they had to go to Washington State or California or other places to get advanced work, was to the detriment of the quality of the social workers we got in Oregon, because the good ones wanted to go on up and get through their degree work, then go on to other places, we’d lose them and never get them back. And practical considerations like that persuaded me, I didn’t have to be persuaded very much, that we ought to have a graduate school of social work. Then, that raised the question, would they permit, under the state system of higher education, whether they wanted to start giving degrees, doctoral degrees, masters work to Portland State University instead of Oregon or Oregon State?”
  • 19. April 16, 1959 Ways and Means Committee April 18, Senate Joint Resolution 36 April 23, Passes House (Jean Lewis) April 23, Receives final legislative approval
  • 20. Helen Catlin memo after phone call with Allan Hart, August 13, 1959 “Passage of the resolution at the legislative session has paved the way, but certainly not lulled us into a false sense of security about the whole thing.” “Our offerings are three, as I see it now: Recruiting, preparation of agencies to provide field service including the financial support this involves, and creation of scholarships so very important in the first years when most existing ones cannot be employed before accreditation is earned…. “The Resolution went from the Senate Education Committee (with their blessing) to Ways & Means because—when asked—Dean Sherburne said he estimated that an expenditure of $25,000 during this biennium would be necessary to have the school ready for operation by the fall of 1961. However, in the Ways & Means subcommittee its chairman, Senator Lewis, related that Mr. Richards had told her that no special appropriation would be needed, thus implying money could be found during this biennium to make necessary steps to be ready to open for students by the fall of 1961. … I gathered happily that $25,000 was minor money and could be garnered. The bill sponsor, Sweetland, and I believe, Ways & Means Chairman Corbett, as well, understood that no special or additional appropriation was needed to support the Resolution as introduced (and passed).”
  • 21. In an after-meeting discussion with Allan Hart he [Dean Richards] was scornful of my understanding of it. He maintained that there is no money for such purpose as the Finance office would not allow it. (I had understood that the Higher Education budget is NOT a line budget.) Both the Sherburne Committee recommendations and the carrying out of the resolution are impossible without money, he said. Next spring when he brings budget materials before the Board for the 1961-63 biennium he planned to bring these needs and ask the board to consider inclusion. Mr. Hart reported that Jean Lewis was shocked, that Monroe Sweetland is amazed, and he does not know Alfred Corbett’s reaction. Senator Sweetland was in Ashland and did have a chat with Richards. This was after Allan Hart had labored the point that these three legislators had misunderstood the Chancellor regarding the need or lack of same for an appropriation this time.
  • 22. Katherine Clark Elizabeth Goddard
  • 23. Helen Catlin’s notes on a telephone conversation with Dean Sherburne August 24, 1959 wherein a question was asked if Sherburne had any information Catlin could relate to the Graduate School committee. “After meeting when he had given his brief report, Wilson of University came up and said the report had recommended the University structure-wise. Dean Sherburne told him that he had been asked to omit location part, just to give a report on social work education. He indicated that Wilson seemed most eager to have the school, did talk of Portland as the setting…Sherburne said Hart asked him in the meeting if he had committed Board Funds without authority—before a legislative committee, that is. No, no, no, said Sherburne. He said he had estimated amount of cost during this biennium when asked. Jolly old Richards did bring out in the meeting his gem that it would be foolish to go ahead with this recommended plan and hire a Dean, other faculty, make plans and run the risk that the 1961 legislature might refuse to appropriate money to open that fall. In closing Sherburne mentioned that Senators Corbett, Lewis and Sweetland were important to the System and that the Chancey would not them to misunderstand….When I asked, Sherburne said his committee had been dismissed. The Chancey had written them all thank-you notes. All in all Dr. Sherburne sounds as if the Jig was up for any timetable as envisioned by the Resolution.”
  • 24. April 1959 - Final report from Sherburne Committee October 1959 - U of O Committee appointed – Herb Bisno chair June 1960 - OSSHE meeting, Bisno Committee reports
  • 25. June 1960–OSSHE meeting, PSC asked to prepare proposal by September - Hoffman Committee January 1961–Legislation passes to authorize funding of graduate school of social work George C. Hoffman
  • 26. The End…. Against all odds, the PSU School of Social Work taught its first classes in September 1962. It graduated its first class of 15 in June 1964