Date of this Version
Newsletter of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 2, Number 1, February 1980. ISSN 0196-7134
On 2 July 1979 a new administrator of GSA, Admiral Rowland G. Freeman III, took office after a distinguished operational and administrative career in the Navy, including a recent "college presidency" as commandant of the Defense Systems Management College at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He has assembled the facts of life concerning NARS with the aid of detailed memoranda from the acting archivist, who has unobtrusively injected between the lines some much-needed advice. In pursuing his willful course the administrator does not have to contend with a knowledgeable archivist of the United States, since the position is vacant. Besides, by law the archivist is the appointee of the administrator. If "a little learning is a dangerous thing," what are the prospects under the new regime? Admiral Freeman has stated his intention to appoint as archivist a •• manager' , rather than a scholar of known administrative ability. In the name of Efficiency he inaugurated a policy of decentralization that called for arbitrary transfer of certain record groups to regional records centers which, as the name implies, were established to serve the program of retention and disposal of records created in those regions. In the face of vigorous criticism he has now suspended this decentralization, not on principle, but because "it hasn't been managed very well by the archivists," thus passing the blame to his subordinates.