My motivation for writing this letter was the column by Josh Baker in the Oct. 19 issue of The (Daily) Mississippian. My purpose is to add a bit of history which would probably not be widely known about Dr. Meek.
When I joined the faculty in 1966, and thereafter, I was privileged to see and be a part of the collaboration of Dr. Meek and the late Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Charles Hartman. At the beginning (to paraphrase the infamous words of Governor Cuomo about my country): “The Pharmacy School was never that great.” The team of Dean Hartman and Dr. Meek set about to convince pharmacy alumni, students, faculty and legislators that Ole Miss could and would be great — that they succeeded could and should be obvious.
I came to Ole Miss in the fall of 1962 to study for my Ph.D. No elaboration should be necessary on the “climate” at that time. With good public relations being extremely difficult to achieve, but vital to the future of the University, the young Dr. Meek was in a pivotal role. I can attest to the fact that Dr. Meek worked tirelessly in efforts to bring calm and reason to the conflicts, as did many, many Oxford citizens and University faculty. Many of his efforts, I can also attest, were quietly invisible, but nevertheless critical.
I have no wish to engage in the current controversy. My knowledge of the events is limited to “what I read in the paper.” Rather, I hope that the information which I am providing will somehow help good people do good things.
Mickey C. Smith
F.A.P Barnard distinguished professor (Emeritus) of Pharmacy Administration and of Management and Marketing