Skip to main contentU.S. National Library of MedicineU.S. National Library of Medicine

Profiles in Science
Pinterest badge Follow Profiles in Science on Pinterest!

The Arthur Kornberg Papers

Letter from Robert H. Alway to Arthur Kornberg pdf (214,327 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Robert H. Alway to Arthur Kornberg
Number of Image Pages:
3 (214,327 Bytes)
1957-07-01 (July 1, 1957)
Alway, Robert H.
Stanford University
Kornberg, Arthur
Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Arthur Kornberg Papers
Reproduced with permission of Theodore C. Alway.
Exhibit Category:
The Synthesis of DNA, 1953-1959
Box Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
July 1, 1957
Dear Arthur:
Your letter of June 18th pleased all of us greatly. I read it en route to a TV program and then on to catch a plane for the East, after stopping by the house to re-pack my suitcase. I trust that you received my note from New York City so that you do not feel that the delay in this official reply reflected any difficulty on our part, let alone uncertainty, about resolving any of the points in your most recent letter.
In regard to budget: a figure up to $80,000 can be made available to cover a staff of seven people such as I mentioned in my letter of June 13th and you reaffirmed in yours of the 18th. By 1959 it will be well within University policy to offer you a salary of $20,000 per annum on an eleven month basis. For the interest of you and your associates, in case I failed to mention this previously, TIAA here at Stanford is paid 10% by the University and only 5% as a deduction from one's monthly checks. I have no reason to expect the future budgets in biochemistry will be other than in the rest of the medical school where salary increases consistent with increase in rank and service are achieved.
Stanford is on a quarter rather than semester basis but in discussing the teaching of biochemistry with Avram and Hank Kaplan they agree with me that the present planning is that biochemistry will be given essentially in a block early in the first year of the medical school. I am glad that you restated your feelings regarding integrated or correlated teaching of the medical school curriculum because I am sure that all of us have now essentially the same approach. You would not be alone in fending off edicts from committee deliberations for at least Bill Greulich, Professor of Anatomy, would charge into the fight even ahead of you should such ever be necessary. I am not anticipating it myself.
Provost Terman discussed your appointment in the School of Humanities and Sciences with Dean Rhinelander and he, as well as I, share enthusiasm in having you receive official status with that school. It is our intent that the Department of Biochemistry be administratively and budget-wise a unit of the School of Medicine.
Recollections of discussions regarding details can be quite confusing. Avram and Henry cannot honestly say what specific figure they may have mentioned to you and I cannot either. Actually I have been arguing in the Medical Facilities planning Committee for 13,000 to 15,000 square feet for Biochemistry. After a slight amount of soul searching and travail I think that you should now go ahead and plan on utilizing what is spoken of as "student laboratories" for non-medical student teaching in your space planning. You are correct in assuming that the area currently designated as "infectious disease" is temporary and that this space in time would be available for biochemistry.
The animal room facilities which you saw on the plans and that were intended to be shared by pharmacology, preventive medicine and biochemistry we all agree are not adequate. I have noted that you want at some early future date to have an area provided by two large rooms (20' x 22') and one small one (15' x 15'). When you mentioned facilities for large animals I am not sure whether you are talking about horses, cows, sheep, pigs or dogs. The provision of a small greenhouse does not seem to offer any problem whatsoever and Dr. VanNeil assured me that space at the Hopkins Marine Station would be made available with great pleasure by him.
The matter of your moving date is indeed a most complicated matter. Not being accustomed to considering any problem unsolvable, however, may I suggest, tentatively, that you and your new department plan on arriving here to start working on or before September, 1959. Biochemistry teaching does start in the fall quarter. Actually, it seems to me that the biggest problem of all is to bring about the minimum possible interruption of continuing investigative work by you and your associates.
I have rediscussed the problem of moving expenses with both Terman and Cuthbertson in the President's Office, and although I still do not have any detailed statement as to just what source of money will be paid in what way and at what time to whom, I am left with firm assurance that such details should in no way deter me, or you, consummating our mutual interest in Biochemistry and Stanford's future.
Having received a call in New York last Wednesday that some $985,000 had just been given to the Medical School by a local foundation we had approached with some considerable uncertainty as to their willingness even to listen to our request, I am back in the saddle today with even greater confidence as to our immediate and future course. This may seem an irrelevant comment to you but it is not, for I have been raised as a thorough pessimist.
May I suggest that you feel free to call me at Stanford's expense for further clarification of any remaining questions and I will subsequently send you a letter covering any points which you still may wish to raise.
The temperature is 74, the sky is blue, and a cool breeze is blowing down the Bay. Further comments are available from our local Chamber of Commerce should you so wish them. Incidentally, Henry, Avram, and I, as well as others, will be happy to further pursue your house hunting following receipt of your final decision to join us in our increasingly exciting venture.
Yours sincerely,
Robert H. Alway, M.D.
Acting Dean
Metadata Last Modified Date:
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples