"Speaking For Myself: Personal Reflections of Vernon R...

BRIEF

May 24, 1998|By David Mehegan | David Mehegan,Boston Globe

"Speaking For Myself: Personal Reflections of Vernon R. Alden," by Vernon R. Alden. Ohio University Libraries. Illustrated. 233 pages. $24.95.

Vernon R. Alden appears to be one of those accomplished people whose accounts of their own lives, while interesting in their details, leave out what the reader most wants to know: How did he really do it? How did all this happen?

Alden's story has an odd combination of the plain and the extraordinary. A minister's son from Illinois who went to Brown University before World War II, served in the Navy, returned to graduate from Brown and went to Harvard Business School, intent on a career in academic administration.

The book really begins when he accepted the presidency of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio (not to be confused with Ohio State University), in 1962. He stayed as president of the institution through 1968, and the book details his efforts to create, among other things, a faculty senate, improve funding and rationalize the administrative structure.

Notably absent is any kind of dark feeling or experience. Everything in Alden's life seems, with the exception of a student riot on the Ohio campus in 1968, to have gone rather well.

Pub Date: 5/24/98

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