Universities: A Rose Red with Anger

In his decade as president of the University of Alabama, Frank Rose has given his state good reason for pride. He has upgraded the faculty, brought in tens of millions of dollars in research money, sharply expanded the graduate departments—and helped build national-championship football teams to boot. Until recently, he has even managed, with a blend of geniality and tact, to get along with a state legislature normally suspicious of higher education. No longer. Last week he seemed on the verge of resignation after an angry struggle with legislators over the university's right to air unpopular opinions.

The feud began three...

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