45 years ago today - Jun 7, 1979-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]
Two items worth putting in the diary. I learned this morning that Roger Porter, son of Blaine Porter, had been turned down as a possible faculty member at BYU. For several years the John Birchers have attempted to get Richard Vetterli as a professor of political science at BYU. This move has been effectively prevented by BYU administrators: Dallin Oaks, Martin Hickman, and the deans of the political science department. Recently, with a vacancy coming up, they wanted to employ Roger Porter. Roger had been a special assistant to [US President] Gerald Ford, has written some of his talks, graduated with an impeccable degree from Harvard, and Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar), and is one of the most respected young political scientists in the United States. The faculty voted to offer him the job. The head of the department took it to Martin Hickman, who enthusiastically supported it, as did Dallin Oaks. When his name was presented to the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder [Ezra Taft]
Benson stated that he wanted to interview him. The interview took place for an hour or so, after which Elder Benson reported to President Oaks that he could not approve Roger. "He is too immature and too liberal." This will not hurt Roger, of course; he has been offered better jobs at more prestigious universities; but it is a disturbing, discouraging action.

I learned also this morning that John [L.] Hart of the Church News had written a review of The Mormon Experience. As with everything else in Church News, this had gone to [LDS] correlation. Yesterday afternoon it was returned to Church News with the admonition that it was not approved for publication. ... Too many things being turned down by correlation or by other powers that be.

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

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