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Lester Tuttle oral history interview
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Nancy Hewitt.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida,
1 sound file (54 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (28 p.)
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project
Description based on CD version record.
Recorded July 8, 1985.
University of South Florida
University of South Florida
Hewitt, Nancy A.,
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
i CD version:
t [Lester Tuttle].
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 LES TUTTLE Hewitt : t Today I am speaking with Dr Lester Tuttle from Educational Leadership as part of the Silver Anniversary USF Oral History Project Can you tell us to how you first became acquainted with USF and what your first contact with the University was? Tuttle : t Nancy, I was one of those odd people that went to high school in Tampa long before there was any USF I was teaching at the University of Alabama My folks continue to live here in Tampa So I was aware of the campus here in Tampa In 1963 my father became very ill, and my mother had a stroke prior to that I was really interested in coming back to Tampa because they needed someone close by to take care of them So I made some inquiries about the possibilities of joining the faculty here The University was growing at a tremendous pace at that time I was teaching History and Philosophy of Education at the University of Alabama, and they needed someone in that area down here I had known Dean Battle from previous professional associations and that clearly was an advantage So I came down and joined the faculty in 1964 Hewitt : t So you were hired as a professor? Tuttle : t That's right Hewitt : t Was that when the College of Basic Studies was still in operation? Tuttle : t That's right And everyone had a joint appointment in those days I had a joint appointment in the College of Basic Studies in the department that taught the American Idea
Hewitt : t Was it a department that taught the American Idea? Tuttle : t That's right The College of Basic Studies was divided into that, and that was an ambitious project to say the least That was part of the old general education program modeled after the program Well, it was really a modification of what had happened at the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota Dean Cooper, who didn't come in the area of general education, but he was an influential figure He had a strong background in General Education Hewitt : t Were you doing interdisciplinary teaching then or did you still basically develop your own individual courses? Tuttle : t The College of Basic Studies program was really a quasi-interdisciplinary program It was an attempt to try and look at some broad general ideas that were prevalent and then try to approach those from a multi-disciplinary point of view Over here in the College of Education I really focused upon teaching specific courses which were part of the requirements for those who were aspiring to become teachers Hewitt : t Did there seem to be more interaction among faculty when, at least for part of the time, you were teaching these other quasi-interdisciplinary courses Tuttle : t Oh sure There weren't many facilities here Brahman Bull would fit in pretty well, and a camel would have fit in better because there was alot of sand and sand spurs at the time The Administration Building was used as a classroom at that time as well as an Administration Building I taught alot of classes The lower level of the Administration Building really functioned as a combination of offices and classrooms The only place you could c
3 get coffee was in the University Center or the coffee pots that were In buildings around the campus So I think the physical arrangements were such that people tended to congregate in a common place There weren't very many of us Everybody tended to know everyone I was housed in the Chemistry Building originally and so I was surrounded by you know that there was a cluster of us from the College of Education located there Then we had professors of chemistry and the geology professors were in that same area So I think the physical arrangements were conducive to alot of interaction Plus in the interviewing process I think I was interviewed by everybody on the campus Bob Goldstein was a professor in history I know he interviewed me when I came in And there was that notion that this was going to be the so called first university that started from scratch in this country and in the 20th century I think there was a very strong feeling that USF would try and benefit from what was good in the past and really drop off those things which weren't thought to be effective, and it would be a new and bold experience Everybody was young I think the average age, when I joined the faculty, was around 28 or 29, including the president Arid Dr Allen was considerably older than that, so he skewed the mean But people were really young Alot of people were right out of their doctoral programs, and they all came down here We had nothing but undergraduates at that time so everybody was teaching his dissertation to the undergraduates It was a very energetic kind of community Hewitt : t What effect do you think that kind of community had on the development of relationships with students? Was there more interaction between students and professors at the time or did professors tend to be a little less orientated to ?
4 Tuttle : t Oh no More, more orientation towards students The "Accent on Learning" theme was really an accent that was emphasized I think that was part of the function of the president on down I think the president felt very strongly that the orientation should be towards students And then again, you have to remember at that time the University really had nothing but undergraduates There were no graduate programs The typical pecking order in academia really was not played out here in the sense that the senior professors deal with the advanced graduate students and the masters students and the graduate students are left over to deal with the undergraduates That option wasn't here All you had were undergraduates Everyone enjoyed teaching undergraduates because they enjoyed having a job They also really enjoyed it The orientation was very much toward the students Hewitt : t When did that orientation start to change? Certainly that doesn't seem to be the orientation now I've only been here four years, but the orientation seems to have been shifted towards research and graduate studies Tuttle : t I think that happened when the University really began to evolve toward what 1 call the traditional comprehensive American University where you began having not just undergraduate students, but you began developing master's programs and advanced graduate programs And then I think the kinds of credentials and the kinds of activities which have brought prestige to other well established universities began to be imposed I think USF now looks very much like a typical American university The same kind of reward systems, credentials, prestige, and so forth I think are not unlike that So I think it evolved over a period of time
5 Hewitt : Were there faculty that you think had a hard time making that transition, ones who came here early and really were vested in the kind of "Accent on Learning" model who had to adjust to a later model? Tuttle : t Oh I think so I think there was a clear attempt early on to say that if there is a skill that the faculty will universally exhibit there will be strong teachers, and they will be orientated toward students I think that was one of the things that people looked for I don't mean to say that they actively discouraged research or anything like that, but the notion was that this is going to be an institution that is going to focus upon students The accent is going to be on learning To the degree that historically universities have given students short shift, the attempt will be to try and go the other way So I think when the shift came more toward research, more toward the granting of grants, more toward faculty productivity, and a fashion that would be recognizable and transportable within the national arena I think that was tough for some people who came here with a different set of expectations Hewitt : t Now, you have been a professor, a chair of the department, a head of a division, and a Dean of Academic Affairs Could you talk a little bit about how some of those administrative jobs developed and what you saw as the relationship between being an administrator and being a faculty? Did that change over the years? Tuttle : t Well I think the relationship has changed because I think we are a large bureaucracy and I think that the primary face to face relationships are being replaced by organized relationships that are defined by the bureaucracy, and I don't mean that the bureaucracy is peculiar to the campus at USF The state university system has become enormously complicated, and it
6 has become formalized in its structure I can remember when what we called the Board of Regents was called the Board of Controls with a staff of six people I think the staff at the BOR now probably numbers in excess of 130 So I think just the progression towards size and the kind of organizational structures that have to accommodate that I think they necessarily diminish the primary relationships between people As far as my involvement in the administrative structure, I was a tenured associate professor at the University of Alabama when I came down here And as I indicated my parents who lived in Tampa were in poor health, and I was very interested in relocating here So I came down here as an untenured assistant professor I didn't stay that way very long But soon after I came here I became the Chairman of the Foundations Department and then the college organized itself into divisions, and I became a Director of Divisions There were two divisions in the college You have to remember the size was quite different than it is now The year before I came there were 19 professors in the College of Education and the year I was hired I think there was somewhere in the order of 20 new professors came in And then, from 1964 to about 1968 or 1969, I guess that the University was hiring in excess of 150 faculty a year So the growth was really tremendous during that period of time I had decided I was going to leave USF in 1967 1 had been given the opportunity to join the graduate faculty at the University of Illinois I had accepted and was ready to go In the meantime we had run a federal project downtown that was funded by the Labor Department to really deal with people who had high school diplomas, but they were functionally illiterate and they couldn't get a job The first person that was the director of that left midway in the project, and the project had some difficulties in terms of the politics of federal government grants in those days And you remember this was the war
7 on poverty period and so forth I was asked to go down and pick up that project midway through I think as a result of that I became visible to Dr Allen who was the President of the University at that time But at any rate, in 1968, Claude Kirk was elected governor of Florida He was the first Republican governor since Reconstruction Pinellas County is a state that sends a delegation to Tallahasse that's entirely Republican in its composition And I don't know whether you're aware of it but when the enabling legislation for USF was passed in 1956, the legislature didn't specify where this new university could be They said it would either be in the Tampa, St Pete, or Orlando area, and of course all three communities competed for the University The Board of Regents at that time said that if you want a University you have to be willing to come up with a hunk of land because you are going to receive the benefits of a university and so forth St Pete was very, very interested in having the University there They gathered a piece of land, offered it to the state, which is the land where Florida Presbyterian was later located, now Eckerd College Sam Gibbons was a very influential person in packaging Tampa's proposal together and of course Tampa is the one that won St Pete got themselves gemmed up and they were excited about getting a university When they couldn't get a state university they said that there were going to have a college here and so they used that property to attract Florida Presbyterian Florida Presbyterian turned out to be a very good, small residential liberal arts college, and it clearly didn't satisfy the interests many people on the Pinellas side of the Bay who were hoping they could develop a labor pool that could be more attractive to bringing industry and so forth in So, when Kirk became governor, they thought it was a propitious moment to militate for their own university And if you look at the development of the University since the
8 state university system in Florida, about the only logic associated with them is that when a community gets sufficient political punch to be able to go to the legislature and get a university, they get one And really, that is how we wind up getting nine universities where they are located So it wasn't at all an unbelievable idea to think that with a Republican governor in, that that Republican governor might try to reward the only Republican county on the west coast of Florida by exceeding their request Well, President Allen wanted to have an independent university sitting thirty miles away from this ore competing for state funds like he wanted a hole in the head We had acquired the BayBoro Harbor property from the federal government as surplus governmental property in 1965 and hadn't done very much with it, except we used it as an evening extension center offering credit courses largely to teachers in the Pinellas area Dr Allen decided that we would start a branch campus in Pinellas County By starting that branch campus we could tell the leaders of Pinellas County that they could have their university They could have it faster and they could have a broader range of services then they could if they started from scratch with an independent university because we could use the accrediting procedures We already had accredited master's programs at that time, accredited undergraduate programs, and if they started from scratch they would have to cycle in a freshman class, sophomore class, blah, blah, blah It would be years before they would be able to offer the range of academic services that we could make available to them He asked me if I would go over there and head up that campus I told him I was going to the University of Illinois to pursue the life of the mind At any rate he convinced me to stay He called the people at the University of Illinois and I was able to make arrangements to back out of that in an ethical way So he gave me a
9 secretary and six faculty lines and said go over there and tell them that you are the new university That's the way that St Pete's campus started The idea was to have a small nuclear group of faculty, a small nucleus of faculty there, and that we would float faculty from Tampa to provide a range of services The position the University took at that time was that if they would respond in terms of students coming down and enrolling, that we would then seek the initial land, and we would seek the money to build the campus and the size of that campus would depend only upon the demand available So that's way the St Pete campus started We got alot of support from the Pinellas side It's interesting how that started because Dr Allen just decided on his own that we would have a branch campus over there He didn't bother to notify the legislature or the Board of Regents The following year after we had made the announcement and we started over there, there was a bill introduced in the Senate authorizing the establishment of a branch campus at the University of South Florida in St Pete It passed and it became legitimate a year after it was out of the box Hewitt : t That's interesting given all the debate that has occurred over what the relationship should be between the branch campus and the main campus now It sounds as though it started without alot of thought about that as a major problem Tuttle : t Well, I'll give you my opinion and it's only my opinion that it was started simply It was a reaction to the possibility of an independent university being developed in St Pete and again diluting the kinds of resources that would be available not only from the Legislature but also from the community So I think that was the major impetus, and things were not systematically thought out, you know, much beyond that But rather it was
1 0 an attempt to try and stem what was considered to be the thrust on the part of the Pinellas side to take advantage of the peculiarities of the political situation Hewitt : t It seems to me now, and I'm one of those faculty that has floated several times across the Bay to teach in St Pete But it does seem now that even though there is still alot of faculty that move back and forth between the campuses, that there is also a sense among St Pete faculty of being a separate, not quite, but almost autonomous university When you were head of that campus, when you were developing it, was that a sense among the initial faculty or is that something that sort of developed over time? Tuttle : t Oh no I think I made a systematic attempt to try to develop an identity on the part of the faculty there and the students Not to say that we were independent of the University of South Florida, but I clearly wanted to develop a feeling on the part of the faculty there that it is worth while making a professional and personal commitment to the development of this campus because I think that if you don't engender that on the part of the faculty, you might as well float all of your faculty from Tampa The thing that I was concerned about and the thing that the central administration at that time was concerned about was that floating faculty from a large mature campus you can provide a enormous variety of academic offerings If you have, in effect, five faculty positions but you can divide them up into fifteen human beings from six different disciplines, you can do what a small college can never do So there is a great advantage in floating faculty The disadvantage in the floating faculty is they float over and teach their class, and they arrive shortly before the class and then they float away Particularly when their professional commitments and their professional
1 1 growth and development are contingent upon their involvement in another campus So I felt that it was very important that if you wanted to provide continuity for the students and also continuity for programs to develop a core faculty who would see themselves as being able to dig in and respond to the needs that were peculiar to that location, and that they wouldn't have to sacrifice themselves professionally in order to do that One of the difficulties, I think, in any kind of multi-campus arrangement is that the campuses that are less mature cannot invoke a division of labor that can be invoked in a large campus and so many instances you are asking faculty to portray rolls in small campuses that are much more varied then the rolls that can be portrayed in a large campus The thing that I would push over and over again was the accessibility to students because I thought it was an enormous burden on the resident faculty to make up for the lack of access that the faculty would present to students because they were floating and not because they weren't interested in the students They simply were coming over for one course,, and they had fish to fry back in Tampa They would provide a good class room experience, but the out of classroom experience wasn't available I pushed to have that deficit picked up by faculty, and I selected faculty who were interested in doing those kinds of things Hewitt : t It seems to me that the atmosphere on the St Petersburg campus now is almost what the Tampa campus was striving for early on with more accessibility to students, a smaller faculty where people knew each other Tuttle : t I think it is for the same reason that the atmosphere was that way in Tampa In effect what you have there is that you have basically undergraduate students although you do have a surprising number of graduate students in
1 2 the areas of business and education But it is essentially a teaching orientated kind of set up, and I think when those are basically the kinds of services that you are going to be offering, you better enjoy participating in the delivery of those services or you would be in a bad place because you would be asked to do things You know the situation would simply place demands on you and if you were uncomfortable with those you would go the other way We found people, when I was there and I didn't leave that campus until 1975, we had people who really wished to do research and that was their basic thrust, and they were unhappy in that kind of situation because they felt frustrated by the amount of time that was demanded I also asked the faculty to become heavily involved in the community because I thought it was important that the University achieve an identity with the community because we had said in effect that we'll come over and serve I thought it was important for the University to present itself in a vigorous fashion to the community and do it on as wide a spectrum as possible So the faculty were asked to participate in community affairs and so forth Hewitt : t It's interesting that in the three years that I taught courses in St Pete, every semester, I was asked to do some kind of community program in St Petersburg, which is actually more than I've been asked to do in Tampa Tuttle : t Well, I think that was part of the orientation and the role of the campus there at that time So in effect I think when the St Pete campus started there, it wasn't any long range view What began to happen though, is you see, you have to remember that when the University of South Florida was established it was not to be a university, but a college There was to be no College of Business, no College of Education, maybe a School of Business and a School of Education or a College of Liberal Arts perhaps, but
1 13 essentially it was to be an undergraduate kind of program that the investment of the state in graduate study was to be restricted to the traditional flagships like the University of Florida and Florida State University Much of what President Allen did during his tenure was to shift the whole conception of the people in the Tampa Bay area and people within the state system away from that notion, which was quite parochial compared to what we are looking at today, to a more comprehensive view of a university So, it was pretty apparent that the law school in this state has typically been at the University of Florida Attorneys have disproportionate amounts of influence The alumni that had come out of the University of Florida and FSU were influential in the state When you are competing for resources, you know, a new university coming in, how are you going to compete for those recourses? Well, we had the people and they had the pine trees Hiding under those pines were some influential alumni and so forth It became pretty clear that if we really hoped to be successful in shifting the attitude of the regents and an also garnering the kind of resources that were necessary to develop a comprehensive university in Tampa, that we were going to have to make our appeal through the legislature These are the people Large numbers of people saying that we want resources brought here because this University is serving our sons, daughters, people who are in our industries, and so forth So I think that, while getting into the St Pete campus was a reaction to a peculiar set of circumstances, it became pretty clear you see the Regents divides the state up into service areas USF is to serve a fifteen county area or the lower west coast going down as far south as Naples If you look in that fifteen county area, that fifteen county area is an area which contains about 27% of the population, 27% of the votes in the legislature, and interestingly enough, it's
1 4 bipartisan in its composition in a state which is increasingly becoming a bipartisan state Hillsborough county is Democrat, Pinellas County is Republican, Manatee County is Democrat, Sarasota is Republican, Lee County is Democrat, Collier County is Republican, and I think that a plan began to emerge formally over a period of time that if we can find a way to cause politicians in those counties to find some realistic basis to coalesce on the issues of our education These are the south Florida that we would be able to gain support in the Legislature which would permit us to at least to partially offset the inertial tradition that has been associated with the influence of the University of Florida and Florida State University We could only do that by serving those people Now how are we going to serve those people that far south So we began looking down in the Sarasota area for the possibility of a branch campus because what has worked in Pinellas County might work further down the line We also began looking at Ft Myers and Ft Myers began looking at us because in 1972, Ft Myers was the only fairly large town in the state that wasn't within 100 miles of an upper level university opportunity They said, "you're really given the assignment of serving this area and we want to see you start a campus down here ." So they had an old building It was the first educational building that had been built in Lee County with indoor plumbing called the Glenn Institute The people there approached Cecil Mackey, who had become President in '72, and said "we would like to see your branch campus go down there ." I was the dean of the St Pete campus at the time, and so Mackey asked me to go down there and talk with him' We went down and they said they would give us one floor in the old Glenn Institute to get a campus going We went down, we said we would do that, and we made the same proposition we had made to St Pete We said we'll try and start
.15 an operation down here offering again only upper level programs We are going to complement the community colleges, not compete with them And if there seems to be a response then we'll try to go on to the necessary resources and if necessary we would try and get the land and we would try to build It would depend on them The fact that we would try and make some offerings and again, we never said that we were going to start with degrees, we just said we'll start with offering some courses, and if there are students here we'll go from courses to programs and from programs to degrees, an evolutionary kind of phenomenon So we went down there and we had that situation going and so I was doing the St Pete campus and the Ft Myers campus Then I asked Roy Mummy, who was in the College of Education at that time, if he would go down and head up Ft Myers branch and he said fine About that time the College of Nursing was getting out of its portables It started in portable buildings, down here south of the Life Science Building, and I saw those portables sitting there and I said, "why can't we put those on a trailer and take them down to Ft Myers because we could put those outside the Glen Institute building and we could quadruple our space?" So we did We drove the old portables down there in the middle of the night And then, as you know, we began militating for land and the community did come up with a nice hunk of land contiguous to the community college campus That was the site for the first building Then in 1974, the New College, a private college in Sarasota, was about to go under They weren't-about to make it financially Their president and their Board of Trustees approached the Legislature and they said "we know that there is some interest on the part of the state university system in serving the Sarasota area, we've got about 85 acres of land in a choice location We'll give you the land, lot, stock and barrel, if you'll be willing to continue
1 6 the New College Program on that site, in its present form ." Since I was heavily involved in the branch campus stuff at that time, Dr Mackey asked me to go down there We looked at that situation, and we told them that it is not feasible The student ratio, the ratio between student and faculty, is so low that the formulas that we use to generate financing would never accommodate one on one relationships We said, "we'll tell you what though, we'll continue your program, and we'll put all the state dollars into that program that are generated by the FTE coming out of those student enrollments, if you'll be willing to supplement those state generated dollars with a private grant so that we can continue that tutorial load of instruction ." They asked what it would cost We figured out for the number of students they had, for the year that would start 1975, they would have to kick in another 750,000 dollars on top of what was being generated by the state Then while we were continuing the New College program, we wanted to begin an upper level and beginner graduate programs down there That's where the major growth in that campus is going to be The New College program is viewed as a small program, and it will never be a large program Well, the Board of Trustees turned themselves into a foundation and they agreed that on a year by year basis that every year we would negotiate to see whether it would be a living thing or not So I went down and I moved from St Pete down to Sarasota, but I kept an apartment in St Pete I had a temporary apartment in Sarasota We had to bring the private school into the public sector It was an interesting job because we had to insulate it from the bureaucracy of the state university system otherwise it would They had grades, and they had no courses How are you going to generate student credit hours with no courses? A11 of their nonacademic people, how are you going ? You have to get positions audited, you had to create
1 7 positions for them in the State Career Service situation and in the affirmative action program Everyone of them had to have their job advertised Many of them had been there for ten years, but you had to audit, create a career service category that was analogous to what they have been doing, and then advertise those positions How do you convert faculty who have got tenure in a private institution and who don't have tenure in a public institution? How can you maintain the If you let the college deans up here have a piece of a New College course, they would tear it apart because it wasn't a program that was divided into Colleges like Natural Science, Social Science, Humanities, and so forth They operated as a faculty as a whole But we did, we insulated pretty well It was at that point that Dr Mackey asked m e t o come back and sit on his staff, and that is how I became part of the central administration Hewitt : t And that is when you moved back to the Tampa area? Tuttle : t That's right Then we created the position as the Dean of Director of Regional Campus Affairs Then I served on his staff while he was here But what began to emerge were the regional campuses If we could have a campus in St Pete, one in Tampa, one in Sarasota, and one in Ft Myers, we really would be able to provide a legitimate range of services to the constituents in those counties in such a fashion that we could say to the people in Ft Myers that it was in their interest to vote for a medical center in Tampa because it's going to be in Tampa's interest to vote for a new building in Ft Myers There will be a basis to coalesce, it won't be romantic, it would be enduring and it would transcend the characteristics of personalities and so forth And it would be bipartisan And it would be a fairly substantial kind of situation By the time Dr Mackey had left, that
1 8 inchoate thinking had been thought out a little more So, you see it is impossible to be elitist in the services you deliver if you want to be egalitarian in terms of your financial support And that's where state universities are So we said, "well, if we want those people along the west coast of Florida to give financial support through their taxes we are going to have to provide the services that those people want And that's really what the branch campuses, in terms from my view, that's what the branch campus development was about and that's what it is today And I think that it has been successful in that sense I really think that the political base, and I'm not using that in a pejorative sense at all, but rather in a descriptive sense, I think the political base at USF is very, very broad within the state matrix I think it is broad I think it is interesting now that we talk about the big threes, we talk about USF, the University of Florida, and FSU We're not at all sure whether those people down in Miami ought to have that big hunk of money that they are militating for to really get up a comprehensive university system down there because can the state afford that many centers? And I can remember the language was, "God, we can't have one of those expensive operations in Tampa because its an undo replication of what we have at FSU ." And now, you know we're viewed, Kingsfield talks about us as being like one of them, but you know that is in the nature of the world I really think that as far as the branch campus situation goes, that by and large, that what happens when you begin getting a group of people like a constellation of 50 faculty in the St Pete set up, then you begin saying, well, where does the professional fortune or misfortune of these people resign You try and develop some kind of set of relationships between the personnel located on one campus, faculty in so many areas where it is sticky
1 9 and smelly in the career service, but the faculty on one campus in relationship to the faculty on another campus I think the inevitable progression towards autonomy that you find in branch campuses grows out of a feeling on a part of the residence of the branch campuses that they don't have a situation which is equitable for them now I'm not saying they're always right, and I'm not saying they're always wrong, but I think there is that kind of As you are aware of the relationships overlapping and they're vague and they're confused, but they seem to work, they really do With a little bit of time and a little bit of patience Hewitt : t It is also very exciting to go down I've taught in Ft Myers also It is exciting to go down there and have students who see you as their only chance to take a history course this year It's a different kind of atmosphere with the students as well then with the students here who assume that there will be 20 history courses Tuttle : t I think we really do provide a service to the communities out there that we couldn't provide had they wanted to start from scratch because people such as yourself can be floating down, and you can really give people a variety of faculty to see without having to make that kind of investment You couldn't keep a history professor alive full-time at Ft Myers But you can use them when you need them It's been an interesting compromise Hewitt : t I think they should make all new faculty that get hired out of Tampa and are going to teach on the branches to listen to this tape because you sort of get hired at Tampa and suddenly find yourself teaching in St Pete or Ft Myers, and you're flying on PBA charters and you've never flown on a little plane before
Tuttle : t Road scholars Hewitt : t Driving across to St Pete without very much sense of the development or the importance of those kinds of branch campuses Tuttle : t I think in many instances these kinds of developments weren't clearly announced either This isn't something you sat down and you say If you wait for the Board of Regents to come up with such a plan, they would never come up What do you do? You begin developing these plans, and I think alot of them are not clearly that well thought out to begin with, but they begin to emerge with a period of time And alot of these are things that just aren't explicitly dealt with From my point of view, those things clearly were things that were operating in that period of time, I think And again, I'm not saying that the only concern was power concern and so forth, but given the forces that have to be dealt with when you're looking about the development of the university That was clearly a factor But there was also a corresponding concern to provide legitimate services to those communities in a fashion that would be the same in quality to what they would get here Hewitt : t Now I understand that in addition to being Director of Regional Campuses, you held a second administrative post not quite as critical, that you were on the athletic council Tuttle : t I was an early member of the early athletic council which was chaired by Dr Ed Stanton in those days Dr Allen felt very strongly that USF should avoid going into major intercollegiate athletics in its early development And I think he felt that way for two reasons One, the costs associated 2 0
2 1 with participating in major athletic events, football, basketball and so forth, was enormous, and the limited resources that were going to be available to USF in the early days clearly wouldn't permit a legitimate expenditure of funds in that direction Plus there was a feeling shared by members of the athletic council, I know, sitting as member of that council, and I think it was also shared by members of the central administration that probably in the long run, individual participation, as an active participant, rather than a spectator, might prove to be more beneficial for the student So the emphasis was a strong intramural program Participation in the minor sports, golf, tennis, etc ., which really didn't require heavy capital outlay and heavy dollars to support those programs moved in that direction So that was the direction It was a tough kind of situation too, because the athletic directors were interested in hiring coaches to come down here who were in the main stream of American athletics, and yet they were told that it was more important how you play the game then whether you win or not That's an anathema in the coaching business Not that I'm saying that there aren't coaches who share that sentiment, but the notion would be that you're not trying to make this the number one thing in the lives of kids and this isn't the center of the universe, that it's a insular kind of thing, and it's going to broaden and bring balance to the core of a person's life and growth and development Well, it's pretty hard to attract energetic coaches who share that kind of sentiment There is kind of a tug of war there also because if your going to field a tennis team, they want to be a winning tennis team, they just don't want to be a tennis team that's going to develop character Plus there were always people who felt that we really should push in the area of big time sports for whatever reason That was an interesting council But as long as Dr Allen was the President of
the University, he used his influence to make sure that athletics didn't occupy a place of high visibility as far as intercollegiate athletics are concerned That didn't happen until the Mackey administration came along, and there was a feeling that America being what it is, that USF needed something that the public could identify with and the hope was that the public here would rally around a winning athletic team as they have in so many other universities, but with professional football and so forth emerging in Tampa, the notion was to go basketball That might be the area Hewitt : t Did basketball and track have much community support early on in its years here? Tuttle : In my opinion, Florida is not a big basketball state And it hasn't been, and it isn't in my opinion It is just not a basketball state in the sense that it is a football state So I just don't think that it ever has strong support, but it is the kind sport that you can get national visibility in Presumably you can do it for less money than big time football While Allen was here, athletics was definitely minimized, the intercollegiate athletic kind of situation Hewitt : t Is there any other area of your involvement at USF, other programs or other administrative posts that you would like to talk about that we haven't touched on yet? Tuttle : t No I've done alot of different things so I've been lucky I just finished a two year tour as Chairman of the Ed Leadership Department, the active chairman We had a chairman who left in the middle of the year, and he asked me if I would do that I told him only on an active basis, and I acted for almost two years So, I have once again returned to my first love 2 2
2 3 as I have done a number of times But I've really had an opportunity to do alot of different things at the University which I consider myself fortunate because I've had a chance to see the University from a faculty position, a dean's position, a member of the central administration, chairman, and so forth So I've enjoyed that I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with new campuses because they're You know I've really been lucky I've had a chance to relate to the faculty from the College of Arts and Letters, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Engineering, Business as well as Education, and that's very worth while Hewitt : t I think it is increasingly difficult to move back and forth between faculty and administrative kinds of positions Where as before it seems like there was just alot more freedom that you could move around without necessarily trying out new things, without necessarily being put on a one way street Tuttle : t Well, you know one way if you're tenured, you see If you're tenured you don't because you don't relinquish your tenure in your academic position That's one reason that people move both ways I still think there is quite a bit of movement back and forth Although I'm of the opinion that with the increasing bureaucracy, with the definitions between faculty and administrators being formalized, between collective bargaining agreements and so forth, I think that, well I'm not at all sure that the kind of training one gets to be a faculty member is necessarily the best kind of training to be an administrator That is one of the strange things in our business We train people in the public schools to be principles and administrators, but there is no training for administrators in the universities The notion is that if you are a good teacher or a good researcher that by definition you
2 4 will be a good administrator Maybe you are and maybe you aren't, but I don't think that one has alot to do with the other There is alot of on the job training I think alot of people come out of the academic situation wanting to try an administrative role, they think they would really like it, and they get in it and they find out that there is so much nitty gritty and there is so much clerical You think of yourself as a program developer, dealing with ideas, developing academic programs, and there is part of that But there is also a tremendous amount of paper that has to be moved There are alot of personal problems that faculty have that have to be attended to, and they want them to be attended to when they have them ; they don't want them attended to when you think it is nice to think about them You don't control your time You're on a demand feed schedule I think alot of people in the academic, who have good experience in the academic world say I would like to be an administrator, and they get there and they just find out that they just don't have the skills to do it or even if they have the skills they don't have the disposition They say "hey, I want to go back ." Plus you have the weird thing in the university set up, administrators are not viewed as the superior of faculty The faculty talk about the administrative mentality, but once they become administrators, they learn to talk about the faculty mentality too But unlike in the private sector, the notion is that the vice president is superior and the rest of the people are subordinate, you know in our loosely coupled situation organization, we are permitted to indulge ourselves in the luxury that faculty really are the university But nevertheless, when you are an administrator you can feel like you're making some difference in the world So I think that permits a little bit of back and forth too So if someone doesn't feel that if they return to the faculty role, that that is a public
2 5 pronouncement of failure So I think the back and forth Plus if you look at the tenure of administrators, they don't stay there very long The constituencies are too numerous and too diverse What placates one group, that very act, antagonizes another group in many instances and you wind up using up your capital in a short period of time You find that you just have to move You look at the tenure of presidents of large universities It's very brief, less than five years, considerably less than that Even department chairs don't stay department chairs very long in large departments Again, it's a demanding kind of job, plus maybe it's good that new people come in all the time anyway, then one person just sitting in there and you kind of establish your direction and you let it go But I've enjoyed the opportunity to move around at USF Hewitt : t It sounds like you have done alot of different things Tuttle : t I've had alot of fun Hewitt : t Since you have had such diverse positions here, this may be a tough question to answer, but can you think over the last twenty-five years what you would say have been the best and the worst development at USF? What direction have we headed that you think has been really good or what directions might we have headed that have not been so beneficial? Tuttle : t That is a tough question, that really is I just think, all in all, the growth and development of USF has been remarkable in the short period of time I'm really impressed with the quality of faculty and arranged programs I think that they are really sound and they are strong They are not the best in the country, but this place has been here 25 years and that is really a short time 1 think the development has really been ambitious
2 6 here, and I think it has been fairly level and even I guess the thing that I would wish to happen at USF that hasn't is I wish that USF had taken the notion of the division of labor and kept that in focus What I mean by that is this I think that any university needs to recognize, it needs different kinds of people who are going to provide different kinds of services, and that it is going to be tough to find Leonardo de Vinci anymore I think you really need some people that are very much interested in undergraduate students That they are competent with them, they are effective with them, they enjoy being with them, they have the energy and the enthusiasm and the skill to work and develop those people I think that if you can find some of those people, we ought to have some around We ought to encourage more to come and those that are good to stay We ought to say to the people, you can go and be the best and the brightest as far as your professional development is concerned I think we need people who can get grants I think state funding is not going to be sufficient to provide the so called margin of excellence You need to have outside monies that provide graduate assistantships and also provide the kinds of, you know, the icing on the cake that state budgets aren't going to give you So we need people who are going to write grants and administer grants and do those projects I think we need people who can relate to their professional counterparts out in the public for those schools that are professional in orientation I think we need researchers I think we need some people that are literate People who can write in literary journals and grants people aren't necessarily literate That doesn't mean they are not important But their style is not going to be something But I think we need to recognize that we're really a multi-university and that we are serving different constituents and we have different skills, different services to
2 7 perform, and that an organization needs to bring in a group of people who reflect that range of skills that at least are commensurate with a range of services you want to perform I just think the mistake that is being made at USF is that I think that we are too ambitious to justify our assent to a full blown university status in the sense that we have doctoral programs, and we endowed chairs and we like to tell our colleagues that we are the big 10 or the PAC 10 schools That we have a right to have those kinds of programs, that we have paid our dues and that we are more prone to try to exhibit the credentials that would justify that portion of our existence But that is a very minor part of what we are doing I'm not saying it is a unimportant part, but I'm saying it is a minor part When you look at the range of services that the community asks of us In the College of Education the public schools are asking enormous amounts of time for our faculty, and we give them alot of time But that is a very time consuming kind of thing All of our people cannot do that All of our people cannot go into the public schools and deal with those people in an effective fashion on their turf But we've got some people who can write books in the history of education, who aren't very good out there in the public schools, but they do an excellent job doing that I wish that we would be more concerned with trying to develop balance from a neutral point of view, and a little less concern with trying to develop the batches of maturity that are recognized in the schools, you know, where we want to go I think that is a normal inclination I think that there is a tendency to think of the south as an intellectual waste land and other sections of the country and we want to be able to say, "hey look at what are faculty can do," and it is pretty hard to say what does professor X do who is out here working effectively with a first grade teacher or an eleventh grade teacher or somebody who is working
OPRIPC5 2 8 in a class here on campus It's hard to export that kind of credential, it is not very visible But it is very easy though to point to publications And I'm not debunking publications We need to have those The University better be involved in that I wish there were divisional labor that was recognized a little more, and not that one person has to decide when they come to the University that is the only track they want to go There might be some people that might say in one point in their career, "I want to be heavily involved in research, and I want the time to be able to do that and evaluate me in terms of how fruitful I am, but I might later in my life decide I want to shift over into another role ." I think people can swap from one thing to another I just think we're overly concerned at this point in our development with justifying the legitimacy of our programs in terms of the credentials that are appropriate for advance graduate school But still all in all I am amazed at the short period of time I think the programs are balanced, and I think the programs around the University are sound