Statement on Bruce Goff's Departure - Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture

Statement on Bruce Goff’s Departure

Statement on Bruce Goff's Departure from the University of Oklahoma

There is a common misconception that Bruce Goff was forced by the University of Oklahoma administration to resign. This was not, in fact, the case, as we have uncovered in our exhaustive archival research work. We have identified three different historical records that indicate that OU administration—namely President Cross and others—encouraged Goff to stay on. President Cross was, in fact, very supportive of Goff and even gave the eulogy at Goff’s funeral decades later.

We have discovered a letter from Goff to John Di Castri in the Di Castri archives in Victoria, Canada, that also indicates that Cross and others encouraged Goff to stay at OU.  It was Goff’s decision to resign.  We also have an unpublished manuscript in the Arn Henderson archival materials from Professor William Wilson that details the events leading up to Goff’s resignation and, again, asserts that it was indeed Goff’s decision to resign.  We have Cross’s eulogy from the Chicago Art Institute archives as well. In addition to the archival research efforts, we also have a team of researchers and collaborators conducting interviews with American School architects around the world—from Japan and Canada to Michigan and New Mexico.  These generally support the conclusion that Goff was not forced to resign, though we do hear this other narrative—that OU forced Goff out— surface from time to time. This incorrect and oversimplified narrative is often repeated by those who were not here at the time.

Updated January 7, 2019