SEARCH WITHIN CONTENT
Citation Information : Connections. Volume 39, Issue 1, Pages 1-9, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/connections-2019-004
License : (CC-BY-4.0)
Received Date : 20-September-2018 / Published Online: 01-November-2019
At the business meeting of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) in June 2018, there was great enthusiasm for conducting and archiving interviews with luminaries in the field. Lin Freeman’s name was mentioned, and I was drafted to conduct the interview. This is an edited transcript of the interview that I conducted with Lin on July 27, 2018. Lin passed away three weeks later, on August 17, 2018. He was 91 years old.
At the business meeting of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) in June 2018, there was great enthusiasm for conducting and archiving interviews with luminaries in the field. Lin Freeman’s name was mentioned, and I was drafted to conduct the interview.
This is an edited transcript of the interview that I conducted with Lin on July 27, 2018. We were at Lin’s apartment in Laguna Beach, California. Lin sat on a sofa with his Yorkshire terrier, Geordie, at his side and I sat in a chair facing him. It was late morning and the open windows let in a refreshing ocean breeze. Lin passed away three weeks later, on August 17, 2018. He was 91 years old.
The interview lasted 50 minutes. At the point where recording stops, we had moved to topics that were beyond the scope of our original subject. I paused recording for a few minutes. During the pause Lin told me he had nothing more to add. We resumed recording with a brief wrap-up. I had the recording transcribed the following day.
Lin had a chance to read the unedited transcript of the interview. I emailed it to him on July 29, 2018 and he replied on August 3, 2018. Lin was not happy with the interview. He thought he sounded unintelligent and wrote “let's try again.” I let him know that I disagreed with his assessment, and although I was willing to re-do it, I would rather have a friendly conversation over a glass of wine. That never came to pass.
I have edited the transcript for clarity: I corrected text and passages marked as inaudible in the transcription; I added complete names for people, dates for events, and citations to some books and articles; I removed repetitive conversational words (“yeah”, “okay” and so on). The additional information is from Lin’s 2004 book The Development of Social Network Analysis: A Study in the Sociology of Science, conversations that I have had with Lin and others in the discipline over the course of many decades, and my own knowledge of the field of social networks. This additional material in noted in brackets: […].
Katie Faust: It's July 27 . I'm here with Lin Freeman in Laguna at his home, and our goal today is to talk about Lin's experiences in social networks and social network analysis, and what got you into the field. I think many, many, many of us have read your 2004 book on the development of social network analysis, and you have a lot about the field and its history, and it takes you until I would say about page 100 to talk about your experiences. So, that's what I'd like to focus on, looking back at events and things that led you into social network analysis, how did that happen? How did you come to be involved?
Lin Freeman: Well, I think what I said was in the book was entirely correct, and it was the thing that did it for me, magically sort of, was the publication in Social Science by the mathematician Rapoport [1961 “A Study of a Large Sociogram”]. Anatol Rapoport's publication. Now, I read a little Rapoport before, but when he made the mental flip, he took me along.
Katie Faust: Which mental flip was that?
Lin Freeman: That mathematical biology [being done by Rapoport] at Chicago was really sociology.
Katie Faust: In what way was it sociology to you?
Lin Freeman: Well, up till then I had read a whole lot of stuff that could be viewed as social network analysis, but I didn't make the flip. Same as I said in the book, that others had been exposed regularly and didn't make the flip. At some point, what seems to have happened for many of us was that we read a whole lot of literature that you and I would now view as social network analysis, but we didn't view it as social network analysis. We viewed each individual study as an individual study, from a unique perspective.
The switch occurred for Clyde Mitchell, he told me, not when he was in the seminar [run by Max Gluckman at the University of Manchester, Freeman 2004:104-105], but later when he had his own students, and they came up with quite different projects. He had recently read the work of the Michigan psychologists, and realized that for the first time had had an “aha”, that they were all the same.
Katie Faust: Who are the Michigan psychologists?
Lin Freeman: Primarily [Theodore] Newcomb, but that whole crew that moved from MIT down to Michigan were the Michigan psychologists, social psychologists [Charles Loomis and others, Freeman 2004:118-119]. They were utterly dominant in the field for 20 years.
Katie Faust: So, where were you when you had that aha moment and flipped? So, you saw Rapoport's work and social networks and sociology were the same.
Lin Freeman: Well, Rapoport said it. He gave us a mathematical foundation for thinking about social linkages in structural terms. He laid out the mathematics. I thought, gee, the stuff I've been doing in Syracuse on community leadership, and the things that Ed Laumann had been doing, and the things that Harrison [White] and his students had been doing, and all those varying things, were all of the same structural form.
Katie Faust: You have done work on an incredible number of topics. I was surprised to see a paper on folk songs in Hawaii, and then you have community decision making and leadership, segregation, all sorts of things. But at some point, you came into social networks, and ...
Lin Freeman: Well, the first explicitly social network study I did, in my opinion, was the Syracuse decision making.
Katie Faust: Okay. How was that a social network study?
Lin Freeman: We collected data in two modes. We collected data on who interacted with whom over a range of approximately 50-ish [issues], and we collected data on which issue had overlapping participation among those 50, roughly, issues. So, we had data on who to whom, linking people together by their action, and we had data on issue by issue linking issues together by their common participants. It seemed to me once I read the Rapoport article that it was explicitly a social network study.
Katie Faust: At the time that you were in Syracuse doing that, you were working with who on that study?
Lin Freeman: Tom [Fararo]. Sue [Freeman]. Bud [Warner] Bloomberg, but not really actively. Bud got the money.
Katie Faust: Was Morry Sunshine on that project?
Lin Freeman: Yes, he was. Little fun side issue is that after a year at Syracuse, I returned as a visitor to Northwestern, and Morry and I had been students together at Northwestern. And then Bud got the grant and turned it over to me. So, we needed personnel, so I hired Morry to work on the project. Only, I managed somehow, I didn't do this consciously, but I managed somehow to convince Syracuse that they had hired Morry. So, Morry was a regular faculty member at Syracuse, although he was officially hired only to work on the project.
Katie Faust: So, you got him in through the backdoor.
Lin Freeman: Yeah. Somehow. That was not my intention. I didn't have that in mind, but all of a sudden, it was the case that they believed they’d hired Morry.
Katie Faust: So, tell me a bit more about doing that project. How you recruited participants and how you sampled people in the community.
Lin Freeman: The publications tell very clearly. I hope. I don't know, but I hope they tell what ...
[L. C. Freeman, W. Bloomberg, Jr., S. P. Koff, M. H. Sunshine and T. J. Fararo 1960, Local Community Leadership.]
Katie Faust: Okay. I thought maybe you'd have something about sort of on the ground, all of you trying to whatever.
Lin Freeman: Well, living in Syracuse at the time, it was clear that one family was very dominant in community activities, and that was the common understanding. We wanted to show how that family participated with everyone else in order to make Syracuse happen as it did at the time. So, that was our aim, and we sat around for almost two years, when the grant giving agency and the university administration both believed we should be out collecting data. But instead we sat for two years and talked, and finally came to the conclusion that the only way to know who was active in what sorts of issues, and what kinds of issues were dealt with by the same people, was the only way to find out the answer to the more general question.
So, we set about to design a project that would allow us to interview each person and ask them what issues you were involved in, ask them who else was involved in each of these issues, and that led from the initial interviews to subsequent interviews till they petered out, in effect. So, we had an issue by participation data set. I did view at the time, and I still view it, as essentially core social network analysis.
Katie Faust: Of course. Two mode data.
After Syracuse, where did you go?
Lin Freeman: Hawaii.
Katie Faust: You were at Hawaii a couple times, right?
Lin Freeman: More than a couple actually. I had been a student there, and after Syracuse, they wanted me to come and be a major player in a research center there, and I did for a year. Then I went back to Syracuse. You may have notes on this. I don't remember the details.
Katie Faust: That's okay. I was given some questions to ask you.
I was talking with Russ Bernard ... Well, emailing with Russ Bernard, because he had been doing some life history interviews and so on. He suggested that one thing people would really like to hear about is the story of how you came to be named Linton.
Lin Freeman: Yeah, what about that? Didn't I tell that in the book?
Katie Faust: How did it happen?
Lin Freeman: During World War I, my father and Ralph [Linton] served together in France and became very close friends. Later, Ralph's first early assignments were Field Museum in Chicago, so they were together a lot, and University of Wisconsin, junior assistant professor. He used to come in on weekends and stay with us. Then later, when my father married and I was born, Ralph was doing field work in Madagascar, and there was no way in that period of time when you could be in touch with somebody who was in the field in Madagascar. No way. My father somehow managed to embrace a very quaint Victorian notion that it was perfectly all right to take a person's last name without asking, but you could not take their first name.
So, although my father wanted to name me Ralph for Ralph Linton, he couldn't do that. So, he took Linton, which is the only thing he could, and my mother agreed to that since she had only wanted a daughter and she was stuck with a son, and so she really wasn't interested at all.
Katie Faust: So, that's why you're Linton and not Ralph.
Lin Freeman: Yeah.
Katie Faust: Did dad have Ralph's blessing when he learned? Did Ralph Linton approve of that?
Lin Freeman: I never knew.
I never got along with Ralph. I found him to be pompous, overblown ...
Katie Faust: But he was part of the Chicago circle at that time.
Lin Freeman: Yeah.
Katie Faust: So, who do you think, looking over the years, have been the people who've influenced you? Teachers, other people.
Lin Freeman: Oh, [St. Claire] Drake.
Katie Faust: In what way?
Lin Freeman: Absolutely number one.
Katie Faust: How so?
Lin Freeman: He taught me about the Deep South study [Allison Davis, Burleigh B. Gardner, and Mary R. Gardner 1941, Deep South: A Social Anthropological Study of Caste and Class]. And he was a genuine intellectual. We're talking a period where people were far less so, like a typical anthropology lecturer would be on Malinowski, and that was it. Drake had a lecture on functionalism in which he talked about Malinowski, he talked about Radcliffe-Brown, and he talked about the mathematical notion of function, all in one lecture. That was virtually unique at the period. He was quite well-read, broad-minded, and structuralist in his perspective. So, Drake was another one I recognized as having been pitching social networks, even much earlier.
Katie Faust: So, you encountered him at Roosevelt University, right?
Lin Freeman: No. I encountered him in the neighborhood at University of Chicago. He was a graduate student at Chicago, and a friend of my family, and I had gotten to know him a bit. So that's why I went to Roosevelt.
Katie Faust: So, he was on the faculty at Roosevelt at the time.
Lin Freeman: Yes, he was.
Katie Faust: Who else would you see as influencing your thinking?
Lin Freeman: Clearly Morry Sunshine.
Katie Faust: In what way?
Lin Freeman: Morry is still among the most careful thinkers of anyone I've ever known. You give Morry a problem to think through, he thinks it through, which is one of the reasons I've clung to him as a close friend all these years. He's really very careful and very thoughtful. So, Morry, Drake, who else? Don Campbell.
Katie Faust: In what way?
Lin Freeman: Kimball Young recruited me to Northwestern. I had been a graduate student at Hawaii, and he came out and taught summer school, and I TAed for him, and we liked one another, and clicked. So, then the following year, when I had to apply to a place that gave a PhD, I applied to several, including Northwestern, and Kim immediately accepted me, and I accepted the department. Paul Hatt was there at the time and I was looking forward to working with Paul, only Paul died right then. However, I showed up at Northwestern, checked out the situation, knew ... At first worked with Kimball and Don Campbell. They taught a joint course.
Katie Faust: Do you remember what it was on?
Lin Freeman: All I remember was my reaction was Don was overbearing, condescending, and very mean to Kimball Young, and that struck me as inappropriate, so I wrote 20 pages. The third meeting of the seminar, I demanded to be able to present my 20 pages, and did. Then Don dragged me to his office, sat me down, and talked to me for maybe three hours, and all of a sudden I realized, hey, this man is right, he's brilliant, he's outstanding. So, I quit all the bullshit and started seriously studying with him, and that was the best period of his career. That was the validity, reliability, all the fundamental issues he took up and explored in a systematic, exciting, and innovative way. So, Don was a serious influence on me in that period.
In anthropology, I might say [Ralph] Linton certainly didn't have any influence on me, but [Melville] Herskovits probably did some. He was the chair at Northwestern at the time. I was desperately bored with taking sociology. I had been doing it too long. So, I took a lot of anthropology and a lot of stat and things like that, that I thought might useful to me but were not mainstream sociology. Even then I found mainstream sociology a big drag.
Katie Faust: What's your opinion of mainstream sociology now?
Lin Freeman: It's absolute, 100% bullshit. It has no salvaging value. It is everything, and any field that pretends to be everything, every approach, every subject matter, everything ... I recall visiting London and staying with a University of London sociologist, and I hadn't known him before, so I said maybe the first night I was there, what is it you do? He said, “Well, what I do is I go out and I search and find an issue, a social issue. Having found a social issue, I then explore it, think about it.” That's what he meant by explore it. “And then I appear on BBC.” That was sociology to him. Find an issue, think about it, and appear on BBC. Worldwide sociology is: you name an issue and it’s part of worldwide sociology. There's no field there.
Katie Faust: If you were to reinvent sociology, how would you do it?
Lin Freeman: Bring it back?
Katie Faust: Or reinvent it.
Lin Freeman: It was already reinvented. It's called social network analysis.
One of the classes of people that opposed me during my career stressing social network analysis was the traditional sociologists who were really pretty networky, but who felt network analysis should be sociology, not the contrary. At this point, I sort of feel they were right. I couldn't have won that battle. But they wanted me to stay and fight the fight, that what Harrison [White] is turning out was sociology.
Katie Faust: What do you think of that now?
Lin Freeman: They're, of course, correct. There was no way in the world I was going to take over the field. Just my character, my background, everything about me said no.
Katie Faust: So, what did you do instead?
Lin Freeman: Instead, I tried to develop social network analysis as a field, by founding the journal [Social Networks], by founding the social network grant that led to the early stuff in terms of sharing [the National Science Foundation-funded Electronic Information Exchange System (EIES) project], and by trying to organize it into a coherent effort, with some small success.
Katie Faust: Would you call the journal small success?
Lin Freeman: Yeah.
Katie Faust: Tell me about founding the journal. What was going on at that time? That would've been in the sort of mid/late 1970s? [Social Networks was first published in 1978.]
Lin Freeman: I was very pressed by trying to keep up with what I viewed as the field.
Katie Faust: What do you mean by the field?
Lin Freeman: Social network analysis.
Katie Faust: Okay.
Lin Freeman: I found publications in maybe 30 different journals, in maybe 10 different fields, in maybe five different languages. How could I knit all this together? It was very, very hard. So, I decided what the field needed to knit itself together was a journal. I proposed it to ... I guess it was five publishers, and the one that was most interested was Elsevier Sequoia, and they were a small subsidiary of Elsevier in Geneva. They invited me over, and I talked with them, and we hit it off pretty well. And so we all agreed, and the journal was started.
Katie Faust: What was your vision for it at that point? In your book, you say, “Oh, a lot of people thought it should be a sociology journal.”
Lin Freeman: My vision was it was to be the sociology journal, of course.
Katie Faust: Okay, in what way?
Lin Freeman: It did pretty well. It was hard to get submissions at the beginning, but then it took off, and it did well.
Katie Faust: Well, the first issue had some real classic papers in it, right?
Lin Freeman: Yes. The initial volume one, number one, issue included the paper that I had been reading for 15 years, that had been circulating informally for 15 years, and I knew both authors, and I managed to talk them into writing it as the lead article of the journal (of all time), and I still think that was a good choice.
Katie Faust: So that paper was the [Ithiel de Sola] Pool and [Manfred] Kochen paper “Contacts and Influence”?
Lin Freeman: Yeah. It had been drifting around the field, and almost all of us had read it, but then there were all you unwashed, who had that point had not read it yet, I don't imagine. So, I could publish it and Katie could read it, which I thought was good.
Katie Faust: Yeah. That was good.
I was looking over your vita and your pubs list over the last couple of days, and as I mentioned before, it seems to me that in your early career, you had things like the community decision making and leadership, you did papers on segregation, residential segregation, indices of segregation, all this …
Lin Freeman: The segregation was a network study, obviously.
Katie Faust: How? How was that, for you, a network study?
Lin Freeman: The question was to what degree do people of different ethnicities have dense networks with their co-ethnicity people, and sparse networks with others? Basically that was the question I asked in that paper. No?
Katie Faust: Yes, it was.
Lin Freeman: I thought so. At the time, I didn't know it was a network study. That was before the Rapoport publication. Clearly I was already thinking basically as a network scholar.
Katie Faust: You have other things. You did a lot of work in, say, applications of computers and basic statistics. Then in 1977 you come out with, boom, boom, boom, three now classic papers on centrality.
Lin Freeman: Yeah.
Katie Faust: What got you thinking about centrality?
Lin Freeman: It says right in the paper. A couple of assholes wrote, saying that if you want to know, … That centrality is a very limited idea, and the reason is because it requires that we have a total network, and we don't have total networks, so we need a way to deal with that. The way to deal with that is you make up a fake network, which you overlay on your real network, that exhausts all the possibilities. You evaluate everybody's centrality in terms of that fake network. It was such patent nonsense, and I happened to be interested in the issue at the time that I got into centrality.
Katie Faust: Yeah, but how did you become interested in centrality?
Lin Freeman: I'm telling you, I saw fake data, fake analysis, and that upset me. I don't like fake data or fake analysis.
[Lin’s three foundational papers on centrality are:
1977 “A Set of Measures of Centrality Based Upon Betweeness”;
1979 “Centrality in Social Networks: I. Conceptual Clarification”; and
1980 “Centrality in Social Networks: II. Experimental Results”.
The second and third of these papers examine the conceptual, empirical, formal, and experimental limitations of previous research on centrality. His careful review led him to conclusion that “results turned out to be confusing and often contradictory” (1979 page 215).
Katie Faust: So, remind us what you did in those three papers. So, one was a set of measures-
Lin Freeman: The first one betweenness, and that was an idea that had set that word by [Alex] Bavelas, but never developed at all. So, I got to thinking about betweenness and wrote the betweenness paper. That got me thinking about centrality more broadly. So, I went over all the past literature, very carefully, and found out nothing had been really developed in any systematic way, and that led to the second paper.
Katie Faust: “Conceptual Clarification” was the second paper.
Lin Freeman: Second paper is THE paper.
Katie Faust: Right, right.
Lin Freeman: The one that is the most popular, has almost 13,000 citations now.
Katie Faust: 13,617 as of this morning.
Lin Freeman: Okay. So, then the third paper was simply the normal experimental extension of the first and second papers. That's never been as popular, but it's interesting, I think.
Katie Faust: Yes, yes, very much so. What else should I be asking you?
Lin Freeman: I don't know. You should be asking me about Harrison [White].
Katie Faust: Okay. Tell me about Harrison.
Lin Freeman: Is he accessible at all? I get the impression that he's not, that he's cut himself off entirely from the world.
Katie Faust: I don't know.
Lin Freeman: Harrison is the person that somebody should be interviewing, and I doubt that he's willing to from everything I've heard as gossip.
Katie Faust: Okay. I will take that back to INSNA and let them know, to be thinking about that.
Lin Freeman: Certainly Harrison knew very early about networks, and certainly he trained many interesting students, and a few uninteresting students. But Harrison needs to be ... If anybody needs to be interviewed, Harrison has. I had at least a statement in a book. Harrison has nothing that really tells, other than he had two Harrison presidents as ancestors.
Katie Faust: That's in your book.
Lin Freeman: Yeah.
Katie Faust: Yeah. Who else should be interviewed?
Lin Freeman: Too many have died. Somebody should have interviewed Anatol [Rapoport].
Katie Faust: True.
Lin Freeman: Maybe you could get some stuff from John Boyd, but that's hard.
Katie Faust: Okay. Apart from interviewing them, who do you think are the major figures along with yourself, Harrison, and Anatol?
Lin Freeman: Russ [Bernard] fairly early. Brian [Foster], although he dropped out right away. The interesting ones to me are the dropouts: Lee [Sailer], how come?
Yeah. Somebody should talk to Lee. I suppose one has to mention Doug [White]. But I don't know why. It seems to me he's been mostly divisive, historically.
Katie Faust: What about Liz [Elizabeth] Bott?
Lin Freeman: Yes. She certainly had influence, and was certainly interesting because of her background, and the fact that she didn't ever follow up.
Katie Faust: So, you knew Liz, right?
Lin Freeman: Quite well.
Katie Faust: How? So, that was in graduate school? When did you know Liz?
Lin Freeman: Oh, she was a graduate student at Chicago, and I was still an undergraduate at Roosevelt, and we had common friends, and met and liked one another, and spent a lot of time talking about issues. Then we met at the sociology meetings in Detroit, whenever that was, and she had just finished her London study, and she filled me in on that. I still didn't recognize networks, any more than Clyde [Mitchell] did.
Katie Faust: Wasn't it even in her title? Family and Networks?
[Elizabeth Bott 1957 Family and Social Network: Roles. Norms, and External Relationships in Ordinary Urban Families]
Lin Freeman: Yeah, but there was nothing special about that title, to me. Nor to Clyde. He had been in the Manchester seminar when she was active in it. John Barnes.
Katie Faust: You mentioned that Liz Bott's background made her interesting. What about her background made her interesting?
Lin Freeman: Her mother [Helen Bott] was a network analyst. She hated her mother. She adored her father. Her father was a gushy feely psychologist. And she utterly rejected the idea that her mother had had any influence on her at all, which I found amazing, since she was doing exactly what her mother had done.
Katie Faust: Very similar.
Lin Freeman: Yeah. Certainly Clyde [Mitchell], if one could interview him, one would want to.
Katie Faust: I think Russ [Bernard] has interviewed him.
Lin Freeman: Okay. Good.
Katie Faust: Anyone else?
Lin Freeman: I think that about covers the [field].
Katie Faust: What do you think of the state of social networks and social network analysis now?
Lin Freeman: I don't have any information. I do know that [one participant] tells me this meeting [Sunbelt Social Network Conference 2018] was a disaster. It was all bullshit networks, not careful network theory or data analysis. I don't know if you agree to that, but [they] felt very strongly about the meeting.
Katie Faust: It depends what sections you went to.
Lin Freeman: Yeah. I suppose it does. Then when I thought about it, I realized that's exactly what you'd expect in sociology, that it's going to disintegrate and fall apart and get gushy, touchy feely.
Katie Faust: Do you see the current state of social networks and social network analysis as being sociology, or is it broader than that?
Lin Freeman: I think it is sociology.
Katie Faust: You've written about the role of the physicists.
Lin Freeman: Yes. Dumb. I never knew physicists had basically low IQs, but the work I've read, before … struck me as quite dumb. Let's see who can identify subgroups quicker, easier, and cheaper. None of which identifies subgroups, none of which is very quick or easy. So, I'm not impressed with physics' perception of social network analysis, so far. I'm not sure why they're doing it, but they seem to be. Why do we want to know quick and dirty algorithms for finding subgroups? We need deeper, more analytic approaches.
Katie Faust: So, how would you do that?
Lin Freeman: I would assemble what data are available and play with those data to see what I can find.
Katie Faust: What kinds of data would you look for?
Lin Freeman: Well, the ones I published are ... seems to be a place to start. I mean the ones ... how many are there, over 100 data sets that I found?
[Lin’s data archive is at: http://moreno.ss.uci.edu/data.html]
Katie Faust: Oh, okay, your archive.
Lin Freeman: The archive seems to me a good place to start. Are there subgroups? If so, what are they? If we can identify them, are they useful for anything? I'm sure that the answers to all this is true. But not by doing quick and dirty algorithms, which is what the physicists and the ...
Katie Faust: Computer science, maybe?
Lin Freeman: Yeah. Does any of this make sense to you?
Katie Faust: Yes, it makes sense. … Do you have anything else you want to add?
Lin Freeman: No.
Katie Faust: I want to ask you about your move to Irvine.
Lin Freeman: Yeah. My first move to Irvine.
Katie Faust: Right, back in the in the 1970s …
Lin Freeman: Yeah, '79.
Katie Faust: How did that come about, and what was going on at UCI at the time?
Lin Freeman: Okay, here's the deal. I'm sitting at Lehigh University, which I absolutely detested in horror. They are busy being pompous about being something close to MIT but not really. I'm not impressed. I need to get out of there, and my old friend Doug [White] phones one day and says, “Hey, I've got a job for you.” I say, oh, I'm interested. And he said, “As dean,” and I hung up. So, he called back and followed up, and that's how I got to Irvine.
Katie Faust: So, you came as dean.
Lin Freeman: Yes.
Katie Faust: What was going on at Irvine at that time?
Lin Freeman: The biggest thing that was going on from the dean's perspective is they integrated ... what was the program Doug was in?
Katie Faust: Comparative Culture?
Lin Freeman: Comparative Culture into the school. When I accepted the job, within four days, I got a 12-page letter from Jim Flink telling me everything I needed to do to fix the school, and that conflict maintained.
Katie Faust: Was he in Comparative Culture?
Lin Freeman: Who, Jim Flink? Yes. Jim Flink is, I am told, a pretty good historian of motor cars, but his appointment was Comparative Culture. Joe Jorgensen. Did you meet Joe?
Katie Faust: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Lin Freeman: Joe was very smart but very paranoid. So, that was from the dean's view, the most demanding part of starting in as dean, was to try to deal with those people. Not a lot of fun.
Katie Faust: So, what about social networks at that time, at Irvine?
Lin Freeman: John [Boyd] and Doug [White] had a course. Lee [Sailer] was a student in the course. I was invited twice during that previous year to visit in the course. So, there was work going on, and it seemed to be pretty good work. John's, Doug's, Lee's, everything. So, there was that that I found attractive.
[Here we turned off the recorder and took a break.]
Katie Faust: Okay, we're back here and recording, and I want to say thank you, Lin, for talking with me.
Lin Freeman: It was my pleasure, Katie. It always is.
Katie Faust: I would be happy to come back and continue this if you have anything else that you'd like to add.
Lin Freeman: Okay. Thank you.
Katie Faust: Thank you.