Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Ten years ago, President Lyndon Johnson decided that what this country really needed was "an organization in government that could take a dispassionate look at its own programs," as Joe Califano, secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, put it Thursday night.
The result was the Urban Institute, a federally chartered, independent research organization formed in 1968 to study urban problems in the United States. Included on its founding board were lawyer Bayless Manning, a former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Arjay Miller, dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Thursday, Manning and Miller, who are retiring from the board, were honored by their fellow trustees at a dinner at the Madison Hotel.
"This is the last shot I'll get at this organization," laughed Miller, as he accepted a special plaque for having served as the Urban Institute's original chairman of the board.
Among the present or former board members attending last night were the chairman, William Ruckelshaus, former deputy attorney general under Nixon and now a lumber executive; World Bank president Robert McNamera; Vernon Jordan Jr., executive director of the Urban League; Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham; Lois Rice, vice president of the College Entrance Examination Board and Irving Shapiro, chairman of the board of du Pont.
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, also a board member, could not attend. He was at Camp David.
The evening began with cocktails before the guests sat down at four round candle-lit tables for a dinner that included cantaloupe, lamb chops and candied pears.
Califano, the evening's speaker, heralded the institute for its studies. He also urged it to consider taking a hard look at the workings of Congress.
"There are 300 subcommittees alone," he said. "I recently had my people do a quick check on the subcommittees and committees we (HEW) alone report to. We found out that just dealing with my department we formally report to 35 committees and 71 subcommittees."
McNamara was more than pleased with the institute's first decade. "I think the institute has been an extra-ordinarily successful effort," he said.