John Silber died this morning of kidney failure at the age of 86. He worked at the University of Texas from 1957 to 1970, as first a philosophy professor, then as the chair in the department of philosophy and then as the dean of College of Arts and Sciences.
Silber became the president of Boston University after Frank Erwin fired Silber from UT in 1970. According to The Daily Texan archives, on July 24, 1970, Erwin said to Silber: “John, you are very intelligent, articulate and hard working. Because of these qualities you make some people in higher education nervous. That is why you must be resigned or removed.”
Silber refused to resign and was fired. The Texan went on to draft a petition in support of Silber, but he was never reinstated.
Silber served as BU’s president from 1971 to 1996, after which he worked as the BU’s chancellor from 1996 to 2003. He unsuccessful ran as Massachusetts’ Governor in 1990.