I cannot give any rating on this show, for I don't recall watching it. I was 10 years old when it aired, and I had never heard of Richard T. Ely. On the other hand, any show with Dan O'Herlihy (as Ely), Edward Asner, and Leonard Nimoy (as well as Marsha Hunt and Ford Rainey) has a good cast going for it - so I imagine it was worth watching.
Checking the internet, Mr. Ely was an academician with impeccable credentials in the field of economics (including a degree from Heidelburg University). He had been a Professor at Johns Hopkins, when in 1894 he was appointed to a Professorship at the University of Wisconsin. Unfortunately for Mr. Ely he was a socialist by temperament. In a real life variant to the situation of Henry Fonda in THE MALE ANIMAL, pressures by the public and the Board of Trustees were used to get the socialist off the college staff. The story in the episode (I bet Asner played the leader of the anti-Ely group) is how Ely does not resign but fights it, and keeps his position.
He would never regret it. Ely would become a leading educator in his lifetime, and a writer on a slew of sociological and economic topics throughout the nation. He also became very influential in Wisconsin, where Governor - later Senator Robert La Follette made Ely a leading adviser on public issues. With La Follette he turned Wisconsin into a "laboratory" for Progressive Reforms, which were called "the Wisconsin idea". Ely died in 1943.
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