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Oral History Interview with Provost Basil Wilson for a History of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

This 1999 videotaped interview with Basil Wilson, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was conducted by Professor Jerry Markowitz for Educating for Justice, a history of John Jay College.

Appointed provost in June 1990 during an “extremely turbulent” period in the college’s history, Jamaican-born Basil Wilson reflects on the student activism of the time as well as the efforts he led to quell the “fury” on campus. Attributing the concerns largely to the unmet needs of a changing student population, Wilson discusses the importance of diversity both in student and faculty bodies, the effects of shifting admissions standards, and the importance of “consensus” between students, faculty, and administration.

Wilson also considers the college’s growing national reputation, its “stepchild” status within CUNY, curriculum choices, and its creation in 1994 of an experimental program in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Towards interview’s end, Wilson provides an assessment of the college and his aims for the institution’s development in the following decade. He ends with, "They [CUNY] really thnk you can build greatness on a pittance. You can't."

Source | Lloyd Sealy Library, Special Collections at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Educating for Justice Oral History Project
Creator | Markowitz, Jerry
Date Created | December 17, 1999
Interviewers | Markowitz, Jerry
Interviewees | Wilson, Basil
Rights | Copyright Lloyd Sealy Library, Special Collections at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Educating for Justice Oral History Project
Item Type | Oral History (Tape)
Cite This document | Markowitz, Jerry, “Oral History Interview with Provost Basil Wilson for a History of John Jay College of Criminal Justice,” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed November 21, 2017, http://cdha.cuny.edu/items/show/2872.

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