University Not a Good Steward

I write in connection with your July 11 story concerning allegations of neglect at Winedale. I believe that Don Carleton,
Director of UT’s Briscoe Center for American History, is mistaken in saying that the University accepted Winedale as a gift from Miss Ima Hogg with the proviso that no University funds be expended on the property or its programs.
During the University presidency of Steve Spurr (1971-1974), Winedale was administered by the office of the Vice-President for Business Affairs at the University and staff salaries and maintenance funds were line items in the University’s budget. Winedale was open to the public six days a week and offered a year-round menu of educational programs. It was only after responsibility for Winedale was transferred to the Briscoe Center that the staff was reduced and most public programming was eliminated. Today Winedale is the only museum in North America that is closed on Saturdays. The University of Texas has ceased to be a good steward of Miss Hogg’s gift and it is time for them to actively seek another agency to accept responsibility for Winedale. I suggest the Texas Historical Commission, which has experience and expertise in maintaing historic sites and already administers another of Miss Hogg’s gifts to Texas, Varner-Hogg Plantation.
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