Oral Histories

Interview of William Gould Young

UCLA vice-chancellor for planning, professor of chemistry, and dean of the UCLA College of Physical Sciences.
Subtitle:
Building the UCLA Chemistry Department
Topic:
UCLA and University of California History
Science, Medicine, and Technology
UCLA Administration
UCLA Faculty
Interviewer:
Mink, James V.
Interviewee:
Young, William Gould
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Abstract:
Early background; teaches a chemistry class at Colorado College and decides to go on for a master's; does his master's research work on photosynthesis; takes a job with the Carnegie Institution in Carmel, California, working for Augustus Spoehr; enters graduate school at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech); professors and students at Caltech; Young compiles a doctoral thesis consisting of six previously published articles; the National Research Council gives him a grant to work at the Carnegie Institution of Washington; begins work which will lead to research in allylic rearrangements; takes a teaching position at UCLA; outstanding students in the first class he taught at UCLA; memories of William Conger Morgan; chemistry facilities in Haines Hall; greater opportunities for gifted students in the 1930s than now; UCLA chemistry department's reputation due to research work done in undergraduate programs; number of faculty members who have participated in American Chemical Society symposia and who are members of the National Academy of Sciences; efforts to produce students equal to University of California, Berkeley, graduates; heavy teaching loads for faculty in the thirties; suspicion of faculty members who did not dress or act in ways considered appropriate for professors; opposition to hiring Jewish faculty members; William Conger Morgan; war-related research projects; the chemistry department's policy of not doing analytical work for outside parties; student fellowships sponsored by various companies during the forties; recruiting faculty; accidents in the laboratory; Young's research on the synthesis of vitamin A; Franklin D. Murphy's attempt in the 1960s to upgrade the quality of UCLA departments; Foster H. Sherwood's term as vice-chancellor; more on recruiting faculty; divisional dean's influence over curriculum and budget; strong and weak departments in the physical sciences; Young's efforts as divisional dean to hire outstanding people; conflict over the loyalty oath; Young's disagreement with those who would not sign the loyalty oath; association with Angela Davis gives University of California a negative public image.