During his tenure as the School of Business’ third dean, Ronald Patten (1974-1988) developed a reputation for being honest, fair, personable and hardworking. It is the latter trait that still causes him to cringe a little bit today.
During a particularly lengthy meeting about tenure and promotion, Patten looked up to see Gladys Tucker knocking on the window. Gladys was the wife of Edwin Tucker, who headed the business administration department, and he was in the meeting.
“It’s 3 a.m.! Why are you still there?,’’ Patten recalls Mrs. Tucker saying when he opened the window.
“I had lost track of the time, and I think the department heads were too reluctant to say anything,’’ Patten said. “It was one of those ‘red-faced moments’ that I haven’t forgotten.’’