As the administrative head of Walden College, an east coast hotbed of student unrest during the turbulent sixties, President King made a reputation through his creative handling of difficult situations, from student occupations to the disruptions surrounding the Black Panther trial, and the school's being heralded by Time as "a leading outpost of the New Hedonism." By the late '70s things had quieted to the point where King found himself focused on fundraising, a difficult process explored on NPR in a segment entitled "Sucking Up To Alumni."
In 1982 King won national attention for his testimony before Congress regarding the dramatic and dangerous influx of preppies. In the years that followed, King was forced to deal with widespread anti-apartheid protests. By 1988, faced with the smallest freshman class in Walden's history, King pioneered an aggressive marketing program. Working in collaboration with the Dr. Whoopee Foundation, King also initiated a widely-copied "safe sex" program, equipping student dorms with condom dispensers. By the early 90s safe language had become the pre-eminent campus concern, and King led the way, creating a comprehensive Glossary of Forbidden Speech.
In 1993 Walden received national attention when it was hit with a $5 million lawsuit by a student allegedly stigmatized by a low grade. As a result, King decisively ended grade inflation by making straight A's mandatory. The college’s standards slipped so precipitously that it eventually stopped requiring a high school diploma for admission, earning its nickname, “America’s Safety School.” In 2006 it became the first college in the country to offer a major in Remedial Studies. Privatized a few years later, Walden also became the first college with a paid professional football team.