Oral Histories

Interview of William Gould Young

UCLA vice-chancellor for planning, professor of chemistry, and dean of the UCLA College of Physical Sciences.
Building the UCLA Chemistry Department
UCLA and University of California History
Science, Medicine, and Technology
UCLA Administration
UCLA Faculty
Biographical Note:
UCLA vice-chancellor for planning, professor of chemistry, and dean of the UCLA College of Physical Sciences.
Mink, James V.
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.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
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.