Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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It would be difficult to overstate the impact of Stanley Robert Ross on the academic life of The University of Texas at Austin. In an all-too-brief career on this campus, he soared to the upper echelons of the administrative hierarchy, bringing to each post he held both a singular boldness of vision and an unswerving determination to see projects through to successful implementation. The same intuitive understanding of the dynamics of power that made his work on the unfolding of the Mexican political system so compelling enabled him to serve the University community effectively in a time of widespread contention and uncertainty. When he came to Austin, the varied tensions of the 1960s were very much in the air, as they were on most major campuses, and they were not to dissipate substantially during the early years of his work in Austin.

There were, first of all, the controversies and stresses that colored life in academia generally: to wit, the militancy of students in an age when the indignation industry, in its myriad forms, was a growth sector, and the restiveness of faculty as politicization spread and activism became almost a norm. But at the University these pervasive influences were seasoned with a number of issues that concerned governance on the Austin campus in particular. Issues both intellectual and administrative, to say nothing of the ideological, were thus up in the air — sometimes simmering, sometimes breaking out into the open to rattle the lives of faculty and students as well as the routines of those in the academic demimonde of administration.

Through it all, Stanley Ross remained unflappable and saw to it that the programs in which he believed were immeasurably strengthened and that the campus community moved toward the academic values he upheld, in Austin as in the wider community of Latin Americanist historians and Mexicanist scholars. Faced with the unrest of the Zeitgeist, Ross maintained an equanimity that was truly impressive, and which enabled him to juggle a portfolio of commitments that was extraordinary: to his students, to his colleagues, to his profession, and to the academic purposes that informed the programs over which he presided. He had, after all, seen revolutions wane and die before — his book Is the Mexican Revolution Dead? (1965) still provokes lively discussion in Mexico. He knew almost instinctively that after the turmoil of events both general to the United States of the Vietnam era and particular to the Austin campus, the academic enterprise would be shaped by those whose vision was not clouded by this or that cause beyond the life of the intellect, even when colleagues with whom he always dealt respectfully were proposing courses of action more immediately reflective of the passions of the time.

The sagacity of Ross earned him the respect of many, while his tenacity may have annoyed more than a few. But the academic stature that earned for him the award of the Order of the Aztec Eagle medallion, the highest honor the government of Mexico bestows on a foreign national, served him, and the campus, in good stead throughout all the ups and downs of a period that left little unchallenged in any quarter. To this recognition, shared in Austin only by Dr. Nettie Lee Benson, the distinguished builder of the world-renowned library collection of Latin Americana that bears her name, the University added, posthumously, the Pro Bene Meritis Award.

A Life of the Mind, Leading to Unexpected Places

Born in New York City in 1921, Ross completed the first stage of his academic preparation with distinction, receiving in 1942 his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Queen's College in the exceptionally competitive and intellectually lively academic environment of New York City in the 1930s and 1940s. While serving as an assistant in the Queen's College Department of History in 1942-43, he completed a master's degree in history at Columbia University. After a period of service in the army, which took him to Fairbanks, Alaska, and Edmonton, Canada, Ross returned to New York City to marry Lee Jacobson, whom he had known since high school, and to reenter the graduate history program at Columbia. There he spent 1946-49 in his course work, being especially encouraged to focus on Mexico by the celebrated Frank Tannenbaum, Columbia's leading specialist on Mexico, and by Columbia's equally-noted Latin American literature scholar, Andres Iduarte. During the summers of 1947 and 1948 he traveled to Mexico on a grant from the U.S. State Department and, with encouragement from his mentor, Tannenbaum, he took a job during 1948-51 as instructor in history at the University of Nebraska. (Like most New Yorkers, Ross had thought of himself as teaching in one of the many schools in the metropolitan area, so it took a bit of supportive guidance to convince him to range as far afield as the Midwest, a terra even more incognita than Mexico to those born east of the Hudson.) With a Dougherty Foundation Fellowship and diligent research assistance from his wife, Ross completed his dissertation research in Mexico and received his PhD from Columbia in 1951.

How, one might ask, did a boy from New York become such an outstanding scholar on distant Mexico? For one thing, his parents put great store by education and encouraged Stanley and his brother, Lawrence, to invest heavily of their energy and talent in what is today called human capital. (Lawrence subsequently became a professor of English, specializing on Shakespeare, at Washington University in St. Louis.) While at high school in Queens, Stanley Ross began to develop his linguistic skills, taking four years of Latin and three years of Spanish. He further honed these skills in long conversations with a close friend (and the friend's family) who hailed from Puerto Rico — the Puerto Ricans already constituting a growing ethnic enclave in New York as Leonard Bernstein was to remind us all some years later. In graduate school, Ross polished his Spanish to near-native fluency by studying Latin American literature and through long conversations with Roberto Esquenazi-Mayo, a fellow graduate student, and Esquenazi's wife, who hailed from Cuba and who became lifelong friends. (Esquenazi, whom Ross later helped bring to Nebraska after finishing his doctoral studies, served as the head of the literature section of the cultural division of the Pan American Union and also became a founding editor of Life en Espafiol.)

What is more, issues of political, ideological, and economic change were everywhere in the air in the New York of the 1930s and 1940s, and Mexico was, despite its geographical remoteness, very much visible to the intellectual and cultural communities of the city, thanks in part to extensive coverage of the ferment in Mexico in the New York Times. Not only was this the case because of the work Mexican artists such as Covarrubias and Orozco were then doing in the city and elsewhere in the States, but this was also the age of the Good Neighbor Policy — and such dramatic events as Mexico's expropriation of the oil industry and railways, its extensive, and controversial, land redistribution program, and the assassination in Mexico City of Leon Trotsky. All this together put Latin America as a whole, and Mexico in particular, on the screen of journalists and internationally-minded New York cosmopolites.

Stanley Ross's adolescence, we should also recall, coincided with the early years of the MoMA, and that pioneering institution, driven especially by the interests and knowledge of René d'Harnoncout, played a major role in bringing Mexico, through its art, to the attention of New Yorkers — while the noisy Rockefeller dispute with Diego Rivera over the portrait of Lenin Rivera, then a dedicated Communist, included as a focal point in the mural he painted in Rockefeller Center (along with an unflattering representation of John D. himself) served notice to the local public that Mexican art was not just picturesque and exotic. It was, rather, art with a decided cultural and social bite.

There were other formative influences, too. The Mexican Revolution had long attracted a procession of writers, artists, journalists, and sundry revolutionary aficionados from the East Coast as well as from Europe to witness a new society in the making, one much closer at hand than the Soviet Union. Among the politically charged intelligentsia of the day, Mexico's seizure of the oil industry in 1938, coming as it did on the heels of the highly-publicized land reform, sent a frisson of expectations of what the future might hold. Additionally, the work of venturesome photographers like Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, and Anita Brenner put Mexico graphically before the eyes of the American public, or at least that portion of it inclined to follow events and trends beyond the national borders. During Ross's adolescence, the New Deal government had even, inspired by Mexico's patronage of its muralists, launched its own version of a federal arts program.

Almost on the eve of the U.S. entry into World War II, the New York International Exposition served to sum up the scientific and cultural achievements of countries around the world. Mexico's artistic heritage constituted one of the featured attractions at an exposition that was unusually rich in art works. Throngs of people poured through the fairgrounds and related exhibitions to obtain a sneak preview, as it were, of a hopeful future as well as a better grasp of what lay beyond the country's borders. The environment, then, reinforced the attraction that Tannenbaum held for Ross and the other graduate students at Columbia — and added to the intellectual legacy that Tannenbaum was to share with his bright doctoral student. It was through this scholarly mentoring and in this eventful context that Ross defined what was to become his lifelong professional interest.

An Academic Record of Note

Stanley Ross's research took him through the full sweep of Mexico's modern history, from that nation's late nineteenth century search for modernization and nationhood through the Revolution of 1910 to the consolidation of the revolution by the one-party state. Perhaps Ross's greatest contribution to Mexican historiography is his political biography entitled Francisco I. Madero, Apostle of Mexican Democracy (Columbia University Press, 1955, and reissued in 1975). In this book, Ross drew a sympathetic portrait of the man who began the Revolution of 1910 by successfully challenging the power of the longtime president, Porfirio Dêaz. More than any historian who had studied Madero up to that point, Ross benefited by researching among the papers in Madero's archive in Mexico and also in the State Department records of Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson's reports. He also interviewed the Mexican revolutionists still living, including the widow of Madero, to supplement his extensive study of the papers in Madero's archives. He viewed Madero as an American-style democrat who advocated electoral reforms and constitutional practices. In these ideals, Madero contrasted greatly with his immediate predecessor, Dêaz, who had maintained himself in power for 35 years through political intimidation and extra-constitutional maneuvering. However, Ross acknowledged that, as a Mexican, Madero was sympathetic toward the land reforms advocated by Emiliano Zapata and other caudillos, whose force of arms had brought down the aged dictator, Dêaz, and had allowed Madero to win the presidential election of 1911.

Nevertheless, Madero turned out to be a poor and inexperienced administrator. As President, he could not control the Porfirian bureaucracy or the Porfirian army that he had inherited; nor could Madero manage the free-lance caudillos like Zapata and Pascual Orozco who had helped him achieve power. According to Ross, U.S. Ambassador Wilson and his meddling in Mexican political affairs bore much responsibility for fostering the military conspiracy that ended Madero's government in February of 1913 and brought about his martyrdom shortly thereafter. Madero's assassination provoked the massive uprisings of Zapata, Pancho Villa, and Alvaro Obregón for which the Mexican Revolution is well known. Ross's basic interpretations of Madero, while not altogether new at the time of the book's publication, have endured intact in the subsequent, voluminous historiography of the Mexican Revolution. Since Ross wrote his political biography of Madero, historians have deepened our knowledge of the Mexican Revolution with detailed studies of the peasant rebellions and of the roles of secondary political leaders — but without changing López very much Ross's basic interpretation of Madero's revolutionary role.

Following the publication of the book on Madero, Stanley Ross focused his scholarship on collective historiography. That is, he utilized his extraordinarily close association with Mexican universities to engineer collaborative projects between Mexican and American scholars. Ross's most influential collaboration across borders has to be his edited volume called Is the Mexican Revolution Dead? (first published in 1966 by Alfred A. Knopf). This book ultimately was published in two English language editions, two Spanish editions, and in a Japanese translation. It became one of the best-selling "Borzoi Books on Latin America" issued by Knopf. Ross's edited volume achieved widespread readership as an assigned text in many undergraduate courses on Mexican history and politics, and the United States Information Service distributed many copies of the Spanish version of the book from U.S. embassies throughout Latin America. [One of the authors of this memoriam picked up his copy at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago de Chile in 1969.] The book is remarkable for bringing together the opinions of some of the most successful politicians and intellectuals of contemporary Mexico. Among the politicians were ex-presidents Miguel Alemán, Adolfo López Mateos, Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, and Luis Echeverría; party leader Jesús Reyes Heroles; revolutionary intellectuals Luis Cabrera, Jesús Silva Herzog, Antonio Díaz Soto y Gama, and Heriberto Jara; and labor leader Vicente Lombardo Toledano. Some of Mexico's greatest scholars also participated. They include Daniel Cosío Villegas, Leopoldo Zea, Moisés González Navarro, and Pablo González Casanova. North American scholarship was represented by such pioneer "Mexicanists" as Frank Brandenberg, Frank Tannenbaum, and Howard F. Cline.

Some reviewers scoffed at this edited volume for serving as the official party's view of the Mexican Revolution, which held that the Partido Revolución Institucionalista (PRI) had properly carried out the revolutionary ideals of social reforms and national economic development. However, even Ross himself demurred from this view, offering in his introduction his own viewpoint that the PRI-dominated government of the 1960s had ended the reforms in the interests of political control and the national bourgeoisie. Whatever the shortcomings of this influential volume, it did collect the varying and competing opinions of prominent Mexicans and North Americans into one volume. Ross had accomplished a major feat of cross-border collaboration, from which a whole generation of students and scholars benefited. It would not be going too far afield to assert that this was one of the seminal volumes in precipitating what would eventually become a high tide of revisionist critique, in which the PRI, for all its undoubted accomplishments, would be exposed increasingly for its strong-arm political tactics, its pervasive venality, and its artistry in constructing a self-serving version of Mexican history.

Ross's second most influential project was one that explored the emerging problems of growth, development, and exchange along and across the U.S.-Mexican border. He organized a conference and edited a volume on U.S.-Mexican border relations entitled Views Across the Border: The United States and Mexico (University of New Mexico Press, 1978). In it, Ross edited a series of seventeen chapters written by Mexican and other North American scholars who had met in a 1975 conference on border issues. To his credit, Ross had enlisted the participation of some of the most preeminent scholars of his generation: Joe B. Frantz, Jorge Bustamante, Ray Marshall, and Americo Paredes. Ross, as editor, chose to allow his conferees to present conflicting arguments in an effort to elicit the full range of frank opinion on border matters. Said one reviewer in the Hispanic American Historical Review: ". . . the book is a solid contribution to a woefully inadequate literature on an important area that may be finally eliciting the attention it deserves."

Among his other contributions to scholarship, one should count the work that Stanley Ross published on original sources of Mexican revolutionary history. Ross published two volumes of newspaper clippings entitled Fuentes de la historia contemporáneo de México (El Colegio de México), in 1965 and 1967. These two books collected newspaper accounts of the Mexican Revolution that Ross and three Mexican associates had culled from some quarter million issues of newspapers and magazines from 1908 to 1940. The two volumes reproduce 27,719 articles, each with a line or two summarizing the contents. Historians recognized immediately the importance of this collection. At the time of publication, the State Department records were not yet available to researchers; nor were most private and government archives in Mexico. However flawed newspapers may be as a historical source, they nonetheless offer a window into the evolution of the Mexico that might not otherwise have been open at the time. Historian Robert Quirk of Indiana University acknowledged in his review that "[i]t is difficult to imagine a more welcome publication on Mexico's Revolution than this monumental project." Along the way, Ross also found time to contribute an update of Mexican history to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Any evaluation of Stanley Ross's contribution to scholarship would be remiss not to mention the long and productive friendship that Ross had with Mexico's illustrious historian, Daniel Cosío Villegas, for whom a seminar room has been named in the Institute of Latin American Studies. Together, these two men forged an intellectual linkage between The University of Texas at Austin and El Colegio de México that exists today in many collaborative projects and conferences. Moreover, Ross and Cosío Villegas also formed the essential linkages between the wider community of historians in the United States and Mexico. Ross became an unabashed admirer of Cosío Villegas's work, especially of the eight-volume collaborative project published as Historia moderna de México (El Colegio de México, 1955-65). This series serves as a compendium of Mexican history from the "Restored Republic" of Benito Juárez in 1867 to the end of the presidential reign of Porfirio Dêaz in 1911. It covers politics, social developments, economic change, cultural affairs, and international relations; each of the dozen collaborating Mexican historians based their analysis on original documents and newspaper accounts of the period. Ross praised his Mexican colleague's project generously, echoing the view of one Mexican reviewer that Daniel Cosío Villegas should be regarded at home and abroad as the "gran señor de la historia mexicana."

Together, Ross and Cosío Villegas organized the first Conference of Mexicanists, a meeting held in Mexico between U.S. historians of Mexico and Mexican historians. The time of this first conference could not have been more dramatic. The conferees were to meet in the great hall of Chapultepec Castle, the venerable viceregal and presidential residence standing atop Chapultepec Hill in the center of the park of the same name. But the time of the meeting fell during one of Mexico's greatest political crises of the twentieth century, the month following the student strike and army repression of 1968 and prior to the opening Olympic Games in Mexico City. The presidency of Dêaz Ordaz seemed to hang in the balance. Just before the conference, Ross and Cosío Villegas exchanged correspondence about whether to continue with this first conference, which they decided in the affirmative. Then, the conferees who showed up for the first sessions at Chapultepec Castle found themselves barred from entry by a cordon of nervous Mexican policemen. Apparently, someone in the government feared that the forum would promote criticism of the recent slaughter of hundreds of striking students in the Plaza de Tres Culturas. Ross and Cosío Villegas conferred again and moved the entire proceedings of the conference to the Colegio de México.

This association of Mexicanists has flourished ever since that first, dramatic conference in 1968. Every fourth year since then, U.S. historians gather to exchange papers with their Mexican colleagues. They change the venues for the conference between the United States and Mexico. And today, in the spirit of the North American Free Trade Agreement, this association has been expanded and renamed in order to accommodate the Canadian historians of Mexico. The Mexican, United States, and Canadian Historians of Mexico completed its twelfth conference in 1998 in San Diego. The proceedings of these conferences have been collected in several volumes over the years and are cited frequently in the historical literature. In other words, the farsighted collaboration of two late historians, Stanley R. Ross and Daniel Cosío Villegas, continues to enrich scholarship even beyond their deaths.

An Administrative Career of Distinction

For the first decade and more of his academic career, Stanley Ross demonstrated little interest in administration. But once he received promotion to professor of history at the University of Nebraska in 1960, he began to broaden his interest beyond research, publication, and teaching. In 1961 he established an informal program of Latin American studies at Nebraska — which was in some ways an improbable location in the quintessential American heartland for such an interest to take root. While in Lincoln, Ross helped to recruit Roberto Esquenazi-Mayo, his friend and erstwhile fellow graduate student at Columbia, to the faculty. Esquenazi-Mayo was, in turn, able to build on the groundwork Ross had laid by establishing an Institute for International Studies that acquired, along with the University of Nebraska Press, a solid reputation in Latin American studies. The following year Ross moved back East (with a sigh of relief, we might imagine) to the State University of New York at Stony Brook as chairman of the history department, and the following semester (February 1963) he became acting dean of the College of Arts and Science at Stony Brook, a rapid ascent from the ranks of the professoriate by any reckoning. He held this position until 1966 when he was confirmed as dean. He remained in that post until 1968 when he accepted an offer from The University of Texas at Austin, an institution with one of the leading programs in Latin American studies, the primary focus, of course, of Ross's academic interest.

At Texas Ross moved rapidly up the administrative ladder. Arriving in Austin in the fall of 1968 as director of the Institute of Latin American Studies, he held this position until January of 1971. Short though his tenure as director of UT's famed ILAS was, Ross had an enormous impact, for the program had slipped behind, relatively speaking, as other major centers surged ahead during the 1960s, among them Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford, Florida, New Mexico, Tulane, and a host of others in the second tier, some of which were even to make it into the first tier. For reasons not altogether clear at this time, the Texas program garnered none of the USAID contracts that poured resources for expansion and deepening into competing area studies programs, and UT lost out on the important two rounds of major Ford Foundation grants that did so much to build Latin American and other international expertise elsewhere. Research moneys had come in, but they were not very widely distributed over the UT campus; one department had, in fact, harvested over 40% of the key research resources that were available.

Ross changed all this immediately, and brought to ILAS the new Latin American Research Review, the key multidisciplinary publication of the Latin American Studies Association. In office, he moved effectively to open the doors of the institute to all on campus who had an interest in Latin America, encouraging many departments at UT to hire more specialists in this field. In both disciplinary and thematic terms, Ross took a welcoming, inclusive stance that, in time, again brought increasing luster to the Texas effort. For instance, Ross lent his support to Donald Goodall, then the risk-taking director of the Huntington (art) Museum on campus, in his spectacularly successful efforts to make the UT art museum a focus for Latin American art — a field then dismissed by much of the Eurocentric art history profession as ethnic art or art of lesser quality, despite what MoMA had been doing for some years.

In 1971, Ross became involved in the breakup of the College of Arts and Sciences. In the previous year the regents of the University had determined to divide the college into four parts because the rapid growth of the institution had made the college unwieldy in size. When the dean of the college, John Silber, vehemently fought the change, he was fired. An acting dean was appointed for summer 1970, and Stanley Ross was appointed chairman of an executive committee to assist the acting dean, in part because his role as director of ILAS had given him a broad view into the workings of a great many departments in the college. The College Coordinating Board gave final approval for the breakup of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Ross was named the last acting dean of the college and provost-designate, a position he held from January through April 1971. In May, he took up his duties as provost for the Colleges of Natural Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, and Humanities, as well as for the Division of General and Comparative Studies. Under President Steven Spurr's reorganization, Ross became vice president and provost of the University. He held that position from 1973 to 1976. President Spurr's policy delegating authority to his subordinates gave Ross substantial power within the University. Although Spurr had his deans report directly to him, he later said that he always consulted Ross and took his recommendations seriously. In effect, said Spurr, Ross was his chief academic officer on promotions and budgetary matters. These are, of course, the two most important areas of decision making in the University.

It should be noted that while serving as provost under Spurr, Ross was broadly supportive of academic improvements across the campus. Yet he always made time to work with his own graduate students, encouraging them to dig into new themes, or older themes in new ways, so that his legacy continues indirectly to this day, when some of his students are themselves beginning to approach retirement. As his involvement in graduate work might suggest, he continued to hold a special affection for his own region of concern, and lent consistent encouragement to ILAS under his successor in its efforts to broaden the intellectual engagement of the campus in Latin American studies. A major conference on economic policy, one organized in collaboration with the Graduate School of Business and the American Enterprise Institute, was given his enthusiastic backing. Subsequently, Ross lent his endorsement to a still wider interdisciplinary project to enlist the expertise of the natural sciences, education, and engineering colleges in a major and innovative undertaking. Carried out with collaboration from the United Nations and the Organization of American States, this ambitious project set out to explore collaboration among industry, government, and academia in devising and implementing science and technology policies in Latin America.

Ross also consistently helped the new ILAS outreach programs, which, in tandem with the other initiatives, brought UT back into the forefront of Latin American programs nationwide. And even after he left the Institute of Latin America Studies, Ross worked closely with the institute in designing and carrying out a substantial project, the Encuesta Polêtica, which comprised a multi-part exploration of the Mexican political system. It is noteworthy and illustrative of Ross's grasp of Mexico's political dynamics that one of the invited speakers in this series went on to become the Minister of Labor, then an ambassador to France, and ultimately a leader of the leftist breakaway opposition party, the PRD. An especially memorable moment in this ambitious project came when Ross's longtime Mexican colleague, Cosío Villegas, conducted a searching but diplomatic interview with Miguel Alemán, the former president of Mexico, who was also, as it happens, a former student of Cosío's. The episode resonated with history both national and personal.

When Steven Spurr was fired as president by the regents in September 1974, Lorene Rogers entered the office with a different governing philosophy. Contrary to Spurr, she preferred less delegation of authority and a more hands-on approach. She introduced no formal changes in the administration, but she began to decrease the role of the vice president and provost, taking routine matters under her own supervision. Ross, for example, was largely cut out of budgetary decisions.

No public conflict ever evolved, but Ross became progressively unhappy with his position and finally resigned in 1976. He never again held a major administrative position in the University. Because he loved to organize and run things, Ross then played a major role in establishing the Mexican-U.S. Border Research Program in September 1976 and the Office of Mexican Studies within the Institute of Latin American Studies in September 1980. In both these organizations he served as coordinator and published newsletters until his death in 1985. The erstwhile Office of Mexican Studies continues, as the Mexican Center, to encourage and promote an interest in Mexico on the UT campus and beyond. In addition, Ross worked closely with the ILAS director and a later University president to build close institutional ties with the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the chief institution of higher learning in Mexico, and to strengthen the collaborative relations between UT and the Colegio de México, in library science as well as in history. On his death, his widow, Gerry Gagliano Ross, graciously contributed his extensive library of Mexicana to the Benson Latin American Library Collection of UT.

Amidst his singularly eventful career, Ross also served as managing editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review, the premier journal for Latin American history in the United States, from 1970 to 1975. Over the years he also served on many committees, often as chairman, within the Conference on Latin American History, the American Historical Association, the Latin American Studies Association, and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others.

Stanley Ross was an able administrator with many skills. He became director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at a time when interest in foreign studies, particularly Latin America, was beginning to wane. The Alliance for Progress, disappointing in results, was being displaced in public interest by the Vietnam War. Nevertheless, Ross increased its funding both within the University and from outside sources. He also, as noted earlier, attempted to achieve wider participation of faculty into the work of the institute by appointing an interdisciplinary advisory board with which he met regularly. He introduced new programs and through his staff initiated a series of social functions through the academic year. Finally, he oversaw the physical move of the institute from the rambling but charming old quarters at 214 Archway to the new modern office space in Sid Richardson Hall.

How successful was the new director in his two-and-a-half years in office? The results were mixed. The increased resources, including for the first time an automobile to transport distinguished guests, were met with much appreciation by faculty, staff, and students. The staff, enlarged and engaged, enjoyed the freedom of appreciation that Ross gave them through his administrative assistant, Gerry Gagliano, whom he had brought from Stony Brook. The staff operated as a happy family, and Ross would personally acknowledge good work on the part of individual members. Unfortunately, his relations with the faculty did not always match his relations with staff. Ross had firm, if not fixed, ideas on how institute programs should be implemented, especially in budgetary matters. He ran a tight ship, and in the eyes of some proved uncompromising and inflexible. He alienated a number of faculty with this approach, but in fairness it should be said that he gained the allegiance of others in the generosity of his vision for the institute and its program. As noted above, he loved to run things, and even after his promotion to provost in 1971, he often offered unsolicited, though not necessarily unwelcome, advice to the new director, who counted him as an important, albeit occasionally problematic, asset, and a source of sage counsel, in the continuing evolution of the institute. Whether separated on campus by their different administrative concerns or, during Ross's final illness, in hospital, the two remained in touch — as, in a sense, they, along with so many others, do today through the lasting bonds of memory.

As provost of the components of the College of Arts and Sciences, and later as vice president and provost of the University, Stanley Ross proved his worth as an excellent administrator, providing invaluable assistance to one of the most distinguished presidents the University has ever had, the late Stephen Spurr, and helping Spurr avoid the myriad shoals that were strewn about a campus beset almost chronically by intramural politics and, it is sometimes charged, cronyism. Ross, being relatively new to the campus and not, therefore, enmeshed in its sundry cliques and factions, did not need to mollify a wide range of faculty with conflicting agendas; he needed only to follow the general outline of presidential policy. That he performed well in this role is attested by the confidence and trust placed in him by Spurr; but he could not function as a figurehead or dissembler. Strong-minded, he always made clear where he stood on issues. Thus, when President Lorene Rogers began to reduce his voice in administration and intramural factions welled to the surface again, he resigned. Those were, to quote someone who knew Ross's views and reactions intimately, "turbulent days filled with frustration, anxiety, and bitterness."

One last word about Stanley Ross as an administrator. He was constantly contemplating and planning new programs. At the same time, he was often on the road meeting new people, exchanging ideas, reading widely, and pulling prominent people in academic and political life into his projects.

Perhaps from his New York upbringing, Ross had something of the Irish politician about him. Giving prominence to Mexican studies at Texas, he produced an agreement, a Convenio, with the National University of Mexico (UNAM). After he resigned as vice president in 1976, he threw himself back into academic affairs and became a corresponding member of important institutes and academies in the United States and Mexico as well as a member of the Governor's (of Texas) Task Force on Immigration. He held numerous consultantships and editorial positions throughout his career. And, finally, in his Mexican-U.S. Border Research Project, one of his last efforts, he pulled in an astonishing number of distinguished scholars and political leaders to serve as advisory board members, official liaison representatives and observers, or coordinating committee members. Stanley Ross seemed to know everybody.

This larger-than-life figure on the UT stage is survived by his wife, Gerry Gagliano Ross, now of New Hampshire, and three children by his previous marriage to Lee, who also survives: a son, Steven Ross, and two daughters, Janet Cain and Alicia Gulley, and their respective families.

Stanley Ross was born August 8, 1921, in New York City. He died February 10, 1985.


Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin


John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty

This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors William Glade (chair), Karl Schmitt, and Jonathan Brown.