Interview with Charles Epps
QUESTION 18
SAM POLLARD:

Students had a very strong reaction to Dean Snowden, they said he was too classically oriented. If I was one of those students I would wonder what did studying the classics have to do with me being a better physician or a being a better counselor. Why wasn't Black studies just as important?

CHARLES EPPS:

Well, there was a great objection to Dr. Snowden because of his emphasis on classics. But you must realize that he was a, a classical scholar. But that's just one aspect of a, of a broad education which is what one is supposed to get in a college of liberal arts. You should get classics, the humanities. You should get the social, social sciences. But you also get biological sciences and it seems that they were asking for emphasis on the Black studies beyond what it's proper role should be. You know there is no Black economics. It's economics. There's no Black history except that the history of Black people would be a part of history. There's no Black mathematics. There's no Black medicine. There's medicine. And the mission of the university is to train people to function in that area for which they are, in which they're studying. And I think that the, the, the students in that respect were over-zealous in their efforts to institute what they thought were appropriate changes in the curriculum, at least from the point of view of the emphasis that they wanted put on these things. But that is, the, really the key of a liberal arts education that you learn a lot about a lot of different things and classics is certainly a part of that. History repeats itself and if you, when you think that you've discovered a new thought, you go back far enough, you'll find that somebody else has had it before. And there are lots of lessons to be learned from classics that will reflect on what's happening with us today.