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William Garrett oral history interview
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Milly St. Julien.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida,
1 sound file (80 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (26 p.)
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project
Description based on CD version record.
Recorded July 11, 1985.
William Garrett, professor of English and Acting Associate Dean for the USF St. Petersburg campus, talks about changes in the curriculum and the administration at the Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses, and funding and community support.
University of South Florida
University of South Florida
St. Julien, Milly.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
i CD version:
Garrett, William, 1928-
t [William Garrett].
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL AUDIO AND TRANSCRIPT
C O P Y R I G H T N O T I C E T h i s O r a l H i s t o r y i s c o p y r i g h t e d b y t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a L i b r a r i e s O r a l H i s t o r y P r o g r a m o n b e h a l f o f t h e B o a r d o f T r u s t e e s o f t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a C o p y r i g h t 2 0 0 7 U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d T h i s o r a l h i s t o r y m a y b e u s e d f o r r e s e a r c h i n s t r u c t i o n a n d p r i v a t e s t u d y u n d e r t h e p r o v i s i o n s o f t h e F a i r U s e F a i r U s e i s a p r o v i s i o n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s C o p y r i g h t L a w ( U n i t e d S t a t e s C o d e T i t l e 1 7 s e c t i o n 1 0 7 ) w h i c h a l l o w s l i m i t e d u s e o f c o p y r i g h t e d m a t e r i a l s u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s F a i r U s e l i m i t s t h e a m o u n t o f m a t e r i a l t h a t m a y b e u s e d F o r a l l o t h e r p e r m i s s i o n s a n d r e q u e s t s c o n t a c t t h e U N I V E R S I T Y O F S O U T H F L O R I D A L I B R A R I E S O R A L H I S T O R Y P R O G R A M a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a 4 2 0 2 E F o w l e r A v e n u e L I B 1 2 2 T a m p a F L 3 3 6 2 0
DR WILLIAM GARRETT St Julien : I am talking with Dr William Garrett, Professor of English and Acting Associate Dean on the St Petersburg campus, for the University of South Florida Silver Anniversary Oral History Project Dr Garrett, tell us a little bit about your first contact with the University of South Florida, why you chose to come here, and of your first impressions? Garrett : t I can't remember when my first contact was, but I chose to come here because there was great promise of this University While I was yet a graduate student working on my Ph .D at the University of Florida, from 1955-58, and I knew then that they had established a university here, though of course, nobody was here then The University was simply established in 1956 and was expected to commence in 1960 Under, and I believe it was already established at that time, that the University would be headed up by John Allen, Dr John Allen, who was then at the University of Florida, as I was I knew him there In fact my wife worked in an office that he had some relation to, and she saw him frequently and he saw her He knew both of us I thought it would be nice to be a teacher under the president When I got my degree in 1958, as far as I was concerned two years early, I looked around for a two-year job and found one at the University of Guam, which was a two-year contract It worked out well During the time I was at the University of Guam, then I sent letters back to this University and I may add to others At that time getting hired by a University, if you had your Ph .D ., was a great deal easier than it is now if you have your Ph .D In fact having a Ph .D at that time when the universities were generally expanding and lots of jobs were opening up meant that in effect that most of the time you let it be known that people
2 would write to you Of course, they couldn't do that to me because I was in Guam So I was somewhat worried about getting back This was one of the universities of many that responded favorably to my rather blanket request to get out of Guam I had many other offers, or nibbles, and chose this one because I had had it in mind for three or four years anyway I had come to Florida in 1953 to work on my advanced degree from Illinois Therefore, I had grown to like both place and climate, even what I considered at that time to be intellectual freedom or the intellectual atmosphere Not that they didn't have it other places, but then I hadn't been other places It certainly wasn't all that evident in Guam, I might add Perhaps I ought not to say that Therefore I was happy to get back here in Tampa I wrote to the then-appointed dean, who was Dean Russell Cooper He gave my letter to the English Department, which at that time was headed by Dr Robert Zechler, and Jointly to Lou Mayhew, who at that time was the head of the Evaluations Program that they were planning on instituting, similar to a program in Minnesota at the time where some of the leaders came from This was about 1959 I was hired and got back from Guam in June of 1960 I bought a house and was all prepared to set up to attend the first class meeting and did in September of 1960 Therefore I am a charter member and have been here ever since and still like it St Julien : Was it in Tampa where you said that you might have had the first class? Garrett : I have not had a chance to check that out, but my recollection that I had an eight o'clock class along with some other person and I don't know who It couldn't have been the semester following that I had an eight o'clock class the first semester If that is so, since I met that first class, I
was one of two people to teach the first official class after the official opening of the University I understand that somewhere between 1956 and 1960 that there were classes actually held and credits given by Jean Battle, who was the dean of the College So it's not the first class, but at least it was the first official class when the University started St Julien : How long did you serve in Tampa before you came to St Petersburg? Garrett : t I was in the Department of Evaluation which at that time was started under Professor Mayhew That is a plan, it sounds even today rather futuristic, in that at least the lower division mass class sections will have an independent tester based, of course, upon the course content, but whose job at least will be fifty percent in constructing tests for mass classes I was the designated freshman English constructor of tests I held that job through Louis B Mayhew's tenure who quit to take a position in Stanford All this is dim and dark history you understand t He was succeeded by a good friend of mine, Cliff Stuart, whom I have seen and who was provost in Adelphi and is now provost in some other college in Philadelphia and with whom I still correspond He left the position to go somewhere in California, but the time when I left it was about to be phased out under the tutelage of Dean t I wouldn't want him to think that I couldn't think of his name He was the Dean of the College of Basic Studies at the time I had a split appointment then for nine years between the College of Liberal Arts and the Evaluations It was not all that satisfying because fifty percent of my time was taken up with constructing freshman tests and the other time was spent teaching English It's something that I learned now that it isn't a good place to go It's alright in the very early years because that is what the fare is, but when 3
you start getting into graduate work and teaching upper division courses, where does that, well, you don't need to talk about that So more for that reason than any other, I left Tampa to come over here to upper division work I wanted a new job I wanted a job where I could teach Keats I wanted to do what I had been trained in to do for the five years I was at the University of Florida So I believe that I was the second faculty member hired by Les Tuttle to do that The first being Harriet Deere, I think St Julien : So you taught, then you came here in 1969? Garrett : 4 '69, Yes Then fall of '69 I was a professor until the fall of '79 No until the I got into this job, which was then over on the other campus I got into this job in April of '79 That same time, I might add, that I was promoted to full professor This has nothing to do with the promotion obviously St Julien : What were your earliest impressions of the surroundings and especially the barracks? Garrett ; t Well, I had been over here on some assignments before that In the meantime during my tenure in Tampa, I had taken some post-linguistics training For example, I had gone in '67 for a summer to Michigan and learned the new grammars and spent maybe twelve weeks there in various classes in post doctoral work When I came back, I started spreading the transformational word around and I got teaching a few courses I recall that one or two courses that I taught here in the barracks before it was really just for the St Petersburg community Those were, of course, upper division courses, and they were not a part of any particular
5 program They just sent me over to satisfy the St Petersburg clientele for an advanced grammar course for primarily high school English teachers that attended those courses I had been over here before then Well, of course, I like the water My transformational grammar was I had been teaching some grammar courses along with a few literature courses all during that time, my forte being romantic literature and my other forte, since I had done freshman English for so blinkity blink long, being grammar, taught upper level grammar courses and a few romantics courses During that time I was also a tester, but those were rare gifts, indeed, the times that I would be able to do that Normally you would have to get off campus in order to get into something that I really like I had come over here in '67 or '68 and I had taught some courses of one type or another I liked it here I certainly had no problems with the location or the looks of the thing Les Tuttle, the boss, was a congenial fellow He was and always will be It was not merely an opportunity to come to a nice place to work, though certainly not as nice as the buildings I had been in More than anything else it was a chance for me to pursue something, if you'll pardon me, more interesting than freshman English and writing tests St Julien : I talked to one of your students earlier She was talking about the relationship between the faculty and the students She said that it was so much like a family Something that you didn't get in the central campus in Tampa Garrett : t I like to think the entire educational process is, "We are in this together to get the job done and we must get it done in the least painless and the most efficient way possible ."
6 St Julien : Since you worked in Tampa, taught in Tampa, and worked at both campuses, what were your impressions about the differences in the relationship between the faculty, students, and administration on these two different campuses? Garrett : t I have never had problems with administration They generally have been kind enough people As long as I have done my job, they have let me be I could have wished for more money from them, but that's So therefore I did not find fault or great virtue there The students here, well, it's not fair to make the comparison because there I was teaching freshman English and here I am teaching upper division and graduate students that are much older and more mature I really don't have much of an opportunity to compare or haven't had to compare same with same I have taught many classes, in fact, I have probably taught more upper division classes per year back over on that campus or the Sarasota campus after I got here than when I was over there My time was taken up with other things I have taught various sorts of graduate courses, and I have taught grammar courses on Tampa and Sarasota campuses Generally you can find some good students who catch on quickly and you are going to find some who do not I would say that students at regional campuses are more serious They are not necessarily better at the graduate level St Julien : I got the impression that since this is a campus where they don't have any dormitories at all and the students are commuters that there is a more diverse age difference among the students You might find someone that has just gotten out of a junior college in the same class with someone who is retired along with someone who is still in the business market
Discussions have been alot more intense because you don't have that homogeneous age group What is your impression about that? Garrett : t You see, I don't have much undergraduate teaching on other campuses I never did have except freshman English When I go over there, it is to teach a graduate course They are a very high, upper division, 4000 level courses and therefore I don't see students who are usually in dormitories I see those who are coming from downtown and the same thing over there I don't have that much experience with the "normal student" who is the "normal undergraduate" over there So it is not all that different I have yet not compared faculty Again, the faculty are the same wherever They can live in their fine and beautiful world when things are going well, and they can become very paranoid and fearful when things aren't I have seen that happen on both campuses You wouldn't have known a more optimistic, idealistic place in the first two years in '60 and '61 Then came the Johns Committee which you may have heard about The change was drastic in the faculty mood ; suspicion that someone from outside distrusted them or that there was question about the value of what they were teaching That would have happened the same here and anywhere When the faculty here, as an administrator I can see that, when they are someway or another threatened, they had that same look about them Anybody is that way Faculty, I think, who are on the whole not prepared for that business environment feel that more poignantly than other areas They do their job and they do it well, but they may not be totally happy in what they are doing St Julien : Have you found in this university system that you always encountered academic freedom except for the period of the Johns Committee? 7
Garrett : t That certainly was a shock to us then It was to me St Julien : Were you questioned by the Johns Committee? Garrett* t Yes I was called before They apparently had nothing on me that I know of They questioned a number of people, both whom they did and whom they didn't I know some of the questions they put to people who later had to quit St Julien : Do you want to talk about that? Garrett : t No, I would rather not There is no sense in dragging up old ghosts, but I will have to say that it was the most depressing time for a person's personal views and no relation to what goes on in the classroom or his personal habits, if you will, or anything else It was the most depressing time I felt it then I was quite disturbed I don't show it I'm told, but that perhaps was my worst time Since I got over that I have that to compare to I am perhaps more optimistic about things than other people because everything looked fairly bright to me compared to that! It's not going to get that bad again So over the years at every place there has been a Some of the younger faculty I can see that I was 25 years younger then than I am now It was 25 years ago that I am talking about I really didn't have much experience and had only my University of Florida experience of interim teaching plus my two years of Guam experience to know much about what universities were suppose to do or what they were about In Guam and in Florida I wasn't particularly looking for that anyway This was something new to me After 25 years of it I can see that a Johns Committee could not exist now That is a plus 8
Younger faculty may not realize that, but if they were here then they would realize it, and I think be thankful for it The world does not continually get wore In some ways it gets better St Julien : What about the facilities here--the library, the bookstore I have heard that the University had to utilize community resources because the campus was limited in alot of activities They didn't have things the main campus did Did you have to be more creative? What is your recollection of how some of the things developed? Garrett : t I can speak only personally After I explain, it will be seen that it must be personal because it has to be an unusual case The unusual case is this Out of my dissertation in 1963 or 1964 1 got an article published, but I had time to do nothing else The Tampa growing library, all those facilities I wasn't even teaching in the area How can I do publications and advance myself? So I came over here Some people said, "My God, Garrett, you're going out into the boon docks How are you going to advance yourself?" "Well, what am I doing now for nine years," I say This was beginning to get to a time when simply being around didn't automatically mean that you got raises There are getting to be lots of Ph .D .s, contrary to what it was when I first came in So I came over here, getting away from the library But I didn't get away from it because I lived then and live now in Tampa So I didn't miss what I needed All those magazines were still there four miles from my house So I started publishing and getting a book done, culminating in perhaps the late '70s It was a fairly good decade Since then I have done nothing again because I have been here You have to really concentrate, 9
1 0 have sustained time in order to I have been working on the same book without even getting an outline on it for the past five years now St Julien : So you commuted all these years? Garrett : t All these years I lived then and I live now in Tampa I had a 25 year mortgage when I got there which means that soon I'll be celebrating a mortgage burning St Julien : You have not only seen the growth of the University, you have seen the growth of the community Garrett : t Yes But I lived in and do now, in Tampa I do not mind the drive, particularly now because it's I would much rather come this way than go the other I suspect that it would take me the same amount of time to get from my house to the University as it would from over here St Julien : Another thing that I wanted to ask you I know that the University has had several presidents and several interim presidents I don't know if that is usual for a school with such a short history Garrett : t It's not unusual St Julien : You must have seen a change in the direction that different administrations would try and take the University Like I have heard for instance, that when the school first started there was more of an emphasis on teaching rather than research and publication and that has changed in order to compete with larger universities Garrett : t Let me say, first of all, that the numbers and the amount of money spent therefore in accommodating those numbers--now we are talking about all
1 1 four campuses--they are going to require that we are going to be in the big leagues as far as a state university is concerned That is not big league Big league is Ivy League, even though they maybe a small school We don't do a tenth of the publishing that an Ivy League would So therefore, it isn't that the administration has forced publishing on us, it is that when you deal in numbers and therefore those numbers must be pared down in order to raise standards and get critical acclaim for what you are doing or what the department stands for, you are going to get into the big leagues Not the big leagues There are three leagues There is the really big leagues which are the Ivy League schools Few state schools are going to compete with them Those guys write books They do it because the tradition is that you don't stay there unless you can State schools, much like ourselves, we may not even be average as a state school as far as productivity and scholarships are concerned t But then we are young So whether we like it or not we have to do like other state schools in order to maintain state funding responsibility It is a responsibility to do so to get the good faculty To get the faculty who are working like Ray Arsenault He is a good example We need young faculty to produce good books We need young faculty that after doing one, will start out on another, and who is also a good teacher So our numbers enforce the quality We didn't have those numbers in the beginning, but John Allen and the administration certainly did not deprecate publication He wanted publications as well It's just that it wasn't a necessity of the growth If you published you got promoted quicker It is the same then as now They certainly encouraged it There was then, however, an accent, not on teaching, not on publishing, but an accent on learning That was the motto Whenever that "Accent on Learning"
1 2 occurred it was fostered both by teaching and publication I applaud that Now publishing is more important as it necessarily must be in a competitive market It is probably unfair that a less than stimulating teacher tends to be overlooked if he produces a book every two years That maybe unfair On the other hand, as far as the discipline is concerned, he is reaching many more people than that one excellent teacher So therefore it depends on whether the world rewards him, which it can't do, or the university rewards him So it is the university's obligation to take care of that guy St Julien : How do you see in the University of South Florida As a student I have encountered this the relationship with the University of Florida or Florida State I know you said you had gone to the University of Florida, so you must know that there is difference in relationships there Also the effect that starting a university such as this in an area that is expanding so fast (I don't if they realized how fast the area was going to grow when they first started the University) but having to compete with such old, established schools as the University of Florida and Florida State Garrett : t I think our legislatures have done well enough by us If they hadn't, we wouldn't be where we are It is as simple as that Look at all the buildings Look at the teachers Look at the number of students Look at what we are supporting Therefore we are here, we have been funded, and in many ways one can say that is the end of it But there are some nuances and innuendos that still obtain The University of Florida and Florida State still consider themselves a cut above most of the departments And you know something? They are probably right in terms of the
1 3 fame of the individuals comprising those departments I imagine that is so I, for example, do not know of any top twenty departments listed in USF I believe there are three in Florida alone So they have a tendency to be annoyingly condescending I have that feeling When perhaps they shouldn't My time in Florida is long past I don't know if anybody was there now when I was or not Therefore all I know is what I read in the paper St Julien : I wonder about the reapportionment of voting districts For so long I think that the southern urban areas were neglected as part of representation and that had to effect funding for University of Florida or even for Miami Now that has been changed it seems that the University is getting more of a fair share of those funds So do you think that could help the University in creating a more competitive system? Garrett : t I think it will take time But we are in the big leagues and I think that our present administration is on the right track, even if it is a regrettable one in making this heavily or much more intent on responding to the need of graduate work and so forth, even at the regional campuses I think that is the way is has to be in order to continue to grow I agree with that vision It is going to carry with it all the ills of big leagues, but I think that the universities will fund it The reason that I think it will take time is that how many legislators have we that have graduated from the University of South Florida as opposed to Florida and FSU? Does that answer your question? But they will not The facts are facts and the numbers are numbers, and so we will get if not "our fair share" we will get an increasingly larger size of pie
St Julien : In the development of the curriculum, especially on the St Pete campus, I notice that when I look at the sheet there was Marine Science and that there was an emphasis on liberal arts Now it seems there is a much faster growing business college on the regional campus Garrett : t I have seen many changes during my tenure here St Julien : Do you feel that maybe they are starting to drift away from liberal arts? Garrett : t Oh, yes Remember, of course, that I am a liberal arts person even though I am the associate dean and ultimately next to the dean responsible for exactly what is happening But it is a nation wide thing I haven't seen even the most raving businessman ever argue that we shouldn't have liberal arts Everybody agrees that we should have liberal arts As funding becomes oppressed, however, you have 75 students crying out for a course in Organizational Behavior and then you have got five students crying out for a course in Chaucer, which one are you going to take? On the other hand, students cannot totally, or should not totally, determine the curriculum Needs should not totally determine a curriculum because there are other needs than purely physical or monetary There are cultural and intellectual needs as well that they may not be aware of Sometimes it is hard to tell a student he has needs that he doesn't know about, but take my word for it, we need an English class or a religion class or philosophy class What does a Ph .D suppose to mean anyway? You believe that we have 2800 students here and not a philosophy teacher? That ought to be the center of the University Or a poetry teacher, which we have enough of, but we don't have a philosopher, we don't have a humanities person, we don't have a mass comm person, we have only English persons Of course 1 4
1 5 that is a pretty important part, we have alot of good ones of those in my judgement We have only that one area represented in here and we have had that since at least 1971 St Julien : I see this as something that has developed after this regional campus got started because when I look at the curriculum for the first classes business was not part of the curriculum at all Do you see that as something that has come from the direction of the Tampa campus, or is that something that has been created by the need of the community of this particular area? Garrett : t Partly both In the earlier years, let's say up to 1977 or 1978, the administration was by law less dependent upon Tampa courses than they would be now The faculty was responsible only to the dean here That got changed by the so called Reese Smith Document Then there was a kind of shared authority But even before that, faculty in business was beginning to grow After there was shared authority, the input of the Tampa deans was certainly much more manifest In other words, during my reign and during John Hinzes reign, certainly much more manifest during that time At the same time, the community needed those business courses and they needed those business teachers We have seen the number of business teachers grow I can remember at a time when we had four business teachers We now have over a dozen I remember a time when we had four English teachers We now have four and we will have five next year I can remember when there were a dozen education people There are now seven I can remember when there were about a dozen social science and behavioral people That has remained steady, neither up nor down It is about the same So in general the money spent proportionately or
1 6 relatively on education and arts has diminished The money spent on social and behavioral sciences is about the same proportionately The money spent on business and engineering has increased In fact the thing is, I say this as an English teacher who believes that culture is the one thing that sustains the world, the only thing that is really important, that increase and decrease is, I say, for the time is as it should have been I think we did right in responding to those economic needs, but you cannot forever keep doing that Sometimes you must reassert culture St Julien : Talking about culture in comparison to the central campus, this school has an access to the Dali Museum and the Bay Front Center I think it is very well established I can think of alot of innovative programs going on here for such a small regional campus In comparison to Tampa and the time that you were there, and I'm sure you have kept in touch with some of the activities they have, how do you see this campus in comparison to the main campus? Garrett : t As you said, I think the lecture series does an excellent job I am not sure that we are all that benefitted as a student body by having Dali near or Poynter near or anybody else I'm not sure that that has manifested itself yet One of the primary reasons is precisely this We have no fine arts on this campus We have no plays going on In other words, we don't create our own entertainment which is really the basis of entertainment We have got to go to see somebody else do it We can't participate and join into it The lecture series, I think, these people do a fine job for the students and for the community We are going to have to get an ongoing critical mass of entertainers before we can start entertaining our people
St Julien : I have heard that because I mentioned that to someone else about community relations, and they felt that there wasn't as much as there should be because they didn't have the theater or the symphony Garrett : t They don't have music or an auditorium to put it in They don't have theater or fine arts programs St Julien : Do you see that as something, as a goal, for the expanding campus here? Garret : t I guess my ultimate goal is that we will have everything available here that Tampa has over there for the students They pay the same tuition after all, why shouldn't they have the same advantages So therefore, yes, that would be my ultimate goal I know the difficulties inherent in that If you are going to put in a fine arts program, it is going to cost you money Not just for putting in the program, but for building the buildings, the band stages, the theater stages, and the equipment and props that it takes Same as in engineering If you are going to satisfy the engineering students, you are going to have to get some buildings and materials that are native to engineering classrooms Likewise in chemistry, biology, and the rest of the sciences We have virtually no natural sciences and virtually no fine arts We do have everything over here that doesn't take laboratories, that we can offer cheaply That's still in those areas, though I think we do a good job, I think students get a good education here as good as they would get if they were attending the main campus and other areas They may have to go elsewhere for certain courses, but they do pretty well Their scores and their records after they get out show that 1 7
St Julien : In the early '60s and during the Vietnam period, what kind of student protests were there on the campuses? Garrett : t I was on the Tampa campus during the majority of that If anything, I was one of the protesters I remember that myself and Frank Avery addressed an argument against the Vietnam war It was a brave sort of thing He signed it I didn't I regret that He was another English teacher Of course, the problem was that you couldn't find anybody to protest against Everybody really fell for that Alot of people did Therefore I was not an active participant I never did any sit-ins or anything like that St Julien : Was there anything like that? I remember hearing about a graffiti wall that they had Garrett : t That may have been later That may have been during the early '70s I didn't know anything about that St Julien : When Margaret Fisher wrote her book, she said that that could have been one of the reasons that there wasn't any stronger protests, because they had this wall provided by the University Garrett : t I don't recall that, not that it wasn't there, I just don't recall that Incidentally, Margaret Fisher and I are close friends We have played golf together as well as bridge St Julien : I mentioned race relationships Do you recall any kind of problems? I know that the public schools weren't integrated until the early '70s Do you recall any kind of problems? Did you have any minority students at that University when it first started? 1 8
Garrett : t You know, I don't remember I must presume yes We have never had any such difficulties at least to my memory Therefore, I would be unable to say whether or not That is one of the things that I ought to know that I have forgotten St Julien : What about hiring of minorities on the staff have you had any problems in improving minority faculty members Garrett : t Yes, always The level of faculty members gets increasingly more demanding as there are what I would call a constant rate, let's say 10%, although it is not nearly that much of available minority faculty to be hired and places with lots more money also have the same problems The ones that pay the most are the ones that are going to be the most successful For those minorities who are indeed qualified by the very virtue of the fact that they are minorities there are fewer of them qualified, otherwise there wouldn't be a minority St Julien : So your concern with the University actively trying to recruit minority faculty Garrett : t It certainly does try It has problems the same as any other university that tries to meet to avoid the criticism that it isn't so doing and may even result in loss of federal money or grants that if they don't fit those "quotas ." Naturally they are out looking all the time St Julien : I don't know Garrett : t It has been suggested that what we need to do is promulgate among minorities the advantages of skin diving or something so they can take less money They come to a university that simply can't start them out at 1 9
2 0 rates that some of those other universities can We don't pay beginning salaries as high as some people do Hewitt : As far as the role of women in the development of USF, you mentioned some names and I realize that when I was looking through the history that there were several that were hired at the very beginning Do you know what the relations were like between the women faculty or staff with the administration? Garrett : t I would say that certainly some women had a profound impact upon the development of the University I just mentioned one Another one, Mary Lou (Harkness) There are others that I could mention, not necessarily faculty or librarians, that have been very influential, very important in the development I do say that probably then and to a lesser extent now, they were not probably rewarded as well as male counterparts would have been Nobody did It has been an ongoing battle and probably still is not absolutely fair, but that doesn't lessen the fact that they had a large share of contribution to it On this campus, I would say Harriet Deere, she was the first faculty person hired, she had a profound impact on its direction There are others even on this campus I am proud of all our faculty, including the women faculty I think that they all contribute to their utmost degree I would match some of the scholarship of these ladies against anybody's St Julien : You've been around a long time Were you ever involved in a union when you first started? Was that something that developed later?
Garrett : I have been a member of the union and still am I am probably the only acting associate dean in the University and probably in the whole world that still belongs to the union St Julien : You're one of the die-hard administrators! Garrett : t If I were a regular associate dean I wouldn't be permitted to be in the union, but I am still in a nine-month line and still in unit I'm really a faculty member St Julien : So as far as you know there has been a decent relationship between the union and the University? Garrett : t Yes There hasn't been a great deal of antagonism that I am aware of The union speaks for faculty Faculty generally disagree with administration I would say that given the two representative bodies, they have gone along remarkably well considering who they are Bob O'Hara, who is our present union president, is a very nice person He will get along with administrators or anyone else for that matter He is a nice person He will not offend willingly St Julien : So, you would say they have good working relationships Garrett : t I would say so St Julien : The politics involved in establishing the St Pete campus and keeping it going, I know that in this area of city council and Pinellas County Commission they had alot of influence on what has happened How would you characterize that? 2 1
22 Garrett : t Inaccurately I shall give my impressions of the thing anyway Somewhere along time ago, I am sure that I heard it said that the reason that we established the St Pete campus is for the purpose of "preventing the worst ." What is that worst? It is that the St Pete city fathers don't like the idea Here we have got this big university that serves their students, but not over here which serves ours, you see We got a junior college, but what do they do with place-bound students once they get out? If you don't do something Either that, they tell the legislature--not to him, but to the legislators--either that or we will start our college Well, John Allen doesn't want competition in his back yard so we come over here and that way it takes away the thunder and the lightning from the city fathers on the St Pete side We have in fact prevented a "worst ." To say that we have come over to prevent the worst implies that we are bad enough, but maybe not from St Pete's point of view Maybe indeed we are a blessing But that may have been a general perception of Tampa people of the St Pete type If they were not unhappy doing one's job as I was in 1969, they may have felt that only crazy people would come out into the boon docks which was worse However since then there have been arguments, that you are well aware of, that where shall we be located? Shall we be out in Toy-town or shall we be here and there? No, we are downtown After we have got started we are forgotten it is said, therefore we have served our purpose in some downtown development, but we are no longer quite needed If we need to expand we are no longer quite as important to bringing the focal point back to downtown as we once were and so we may or may not be neglected I don't know if any of that is true or not That I merely mention as things that I have heard What I heard at the beginning about preventing the worst I am sure
I did not dream We start from the premise that it is political I justify our position here, even if it is political, I justify it by saying that we are here to serve students for the same reason that the Tampa University was built to serve students Before there was Tampa, people in Tampa had to go to Gainesville or elsewhere When there was Tampa, they didn't have to go to Gainesville, they could go out to north Tampa However St Petersburg has the same argument for establishing a place for place-bound students as Tampa had for establishing its place for place-bound students If distance is relative, then we are as legitimate as they, political or not St Julien : Have you found that the regional campuses had alot of support from local politicians? Garrett : t I am not sure that the present climate is as helpful as it might be, otherwise why are we scrounging around for land that we could have had five or ten years ago St Julien : I remember when they were looking for a new location, when they were thinking of expanding the University, and I was thrilled that they were thinking of Clearwater I was talking to someone else about this, about the reasons that they decided to stay in St Petersburg, and it was my impression that the business community had a great deal to do with the fact the the University stayed in St Petersburg And I know that they are very active and forceful when it comes to getting the community together and keeping something there that they want Do I have the right impressions as far as the input of the business community? 2 3
2 4 Garrett : t I'm not sure who kept us here I myself thought at the time that we ought to be in north Pinellas County and I have said so I apparently didn't say it to the right people because it seems to me that, well, you know the demographics as well as I do and the future demographics Somebody decided that the state should benefit this locality St Julien : The community relationships seem to be very important within the University We had talked early about the lack of an Arts department where the community could actually come in and participate in activities of the University, but as far as support for the University, how would you characterize what we have here? Garrett : t I do not apparently agree with the administration on that particular issue Of course, the community is important because it is the community after all that the University is in The administrators of this University, however, think it even more important than I do I think that a university must certainly serve the students, but it likewise must serve the disciplines and the learning in the area So therefore, I would tend to think that a university's prime image to be one of a scholarly pursuit of learning and making an effort to meet the needs of that community But as I said earlier, sometimes the community needs things that it doesn't know it needs, so therefore upper most must be a balance between total community orientation and societal or the larger world orientation What sort of reflection do you want to show to the community by whom, for example, you would make dean of it St Julien : I think that we have pretty well covered most areas There is one other thing that I am curious about When I was reading Margaret Fisher's book, she mentioned the mission of the University I didn't know what the
2 5 mission was I had to go and look it up in the catalogue to see what the mission was I know that it had alot to do with the fact that they are in an urban area and it says, "to achieve preeminence as a general purpose university of academic excellence ." How do you think that the University has been able to accomplish this or have they accomplished this? Garrett : t No It is an ongoing effort that must continually get more Ray Arsenaults They need to get people who are young, excellent, vigorous teachers and researchers Then we will become an excellent university We aren't there yet St Julien : But you feel that we are headed in the right direction? Garrett : t As long as you have administrators like me who will be there! St Julien : To look back over the years that you have spent on Tampa and on the St Pete campus, what would you say were some of the best and worst changes that have occurred at the University from your viewpoint? Garrett* t The best? A climate of intellectual freedom I still remember A good thing was moving into the big leagues so that we can strive towards a balanced responsibility between research and simply teaching six courses a day where you don't have time to do anything or keep up with your literature or whatever When I first came on board, I was teaching four classes, twenty hours a week That has changed now for the better We teach more students and we teach them better The student body itself is more alert, responsive, and aware Maybe that is again the times Some of the bad things? I miss some of the very early enthusiasm, although St Petersburg still has some I miss the parties that we had I don't know if I have even been to one this year t of the small university
OPRIPC5 2 6 where I think we may have had seventy faculty in that first year In that second year everybody had a party That smallness, the interdisciplinary feeling I miss Over the years there has grown an unfortunate distrust and suspicion That wasn't there in 1960 It was there by 1965 Maybe there is less of that now Alot depends on local things It was a good world when I was young in the early '30s That I miss I don't see why we can't have more of that again So we have got better intellectually and we have grown in scholarship We do not in the least compete In the least we can't begin to compete with an Ivy League Having written a book that was selected by Choice, it would be difficult for me to get tenure That is only one I would need to write four or five So we aren't all that hot stuff Let's understand this We have got alot of room to grow However, I think we have some good people and I think we can foster them and stroke them and do whatever to get them going, and I think then they will produce This campus was regarded as a very weak sister, faculty-wise, in 1970 Only people would come here, as I did, who were already pretty low over there In the early 1980s I believe, and if you look at the statistics you will find, that this unit is more productive article-wise, book-wise, and giving papers-wise per capita than any other unit in this University and maybe any other unit in Florida St Julien : Thank you very much for taking your time out for this interview