I think there was a concern on the part of people like [Prof.] Dudley Bahlman about that method, and that approach to students chiefly. It wasn’t a question of method. It was a question of the proper faculty/student relationship. Some were critical of Bob because he would never justify his approach theoretically, you know. If someone would ask him, “Why do you do that?” he would say, “Well, look at Mr. Lieberman. Now what does Mr. Lieberman think, and was he changed by his reading of Hobbes?” Or something like that. And so people got impatient with Bob. I remember Tom O’Leary, who was a young assistant professor of political science and he taught about Latin America chiefly. He just got so exasperated because Bob would never state his views theoretically as hypothesis and conclusion. And so Tom just ran out of patience with that. I think that was the feeling of others too: well, if you can’t put this view into a formula, then it’s not really worth considering intellectually.

Fred Greene, who was always colorful in his accounts of things, thought Bob was just nuts. Fred Greene loved Bob, but just thought he was nuts. He couldn’t understand what he was doing as a teacher, what he was doing as a political scientist for crying out loud. He thought it was crazy.

Craig Brown,
Former Political Science Professor