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Vastine, James P.
James P. Vastine oral history interview
h [sound recording] /
interviewed by Nancy Hewitt.
Tampa, Fla. :
b University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (44 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (21 p.)
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project
Description based on CD version record.
Recorded Aug. 6, 1985.
Oral history interview with Jim Vastine, librarian at the University of South Florida.
Vastine, James P.
University of South Florida
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:
Vastine, James P.
t [James P. Vastine]
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
JAMES VASTINE Hewitt : t I am speaking this afternoon with James Vastine, one of the charter students at the University of South Florida, as part of the USF Silver Anniversary Oral History Project What was your first contact with the University of South Florida and what made you decide to come here as a student? Vastine : When I was in high school, USF was just beginning We had a representative from USF come to the high school to try to convince some of us to go to USF That representative was President Allen himself So in the early days the big guns did everything He gave a very convincing presentation and talked about all the newness of the University and how we could set the course of the University It had an appeal to me At that time I had not yet decided where to go and being ripe for a little bit of pushing in one direction or another, I decided to apply to USF and did actually come here Hewitt : t Now, did you go to high school in Tampa? Vastine : No I was at Bartow High School Hewitt : t So the truth was being sent out into the hinterlands as well as t Vastine : Including the President as far as the truth I think alot of the early people did go I know the past Director of the Library would go out on those field trips as well So, they went out recruiting and apparently it worked, because they did get a sizeable group of people that first year Hewitt : t Now when did you first see the University and what was your impression of it once you saw It?
Vastine : When I first came over to look was shortly after receiving the acceptance letter My family and I came over to see what was here, which wasn't alot in those days There was alot of sand and three buildings that were completed They were the University Center, the Administration building, and the Chemistry building The Library building, which was the old library building, now Student Services, looked completed but they still hadn't finished alot of the interior work In fact it didn't open until the second semester the beginning part of '61 So we looked around I recall Fowler Avenue being very small There was nothing around it It was really out in the hinterlands in those days One interesting feature was that it was close to Busch Gardens, which was interesting to my father who, at one time, worked in a brewery before we moved to Florida So the impression was that it was new and there was alot of growth that was going to take place and alot of room for it Hewitt : t Was everybody at that point a commuter student? Vastine : Except for about 45 female students There was dormitory space for a very small number of females in what is now the health center So it was commuting for everyone except a very small group of female students Hewitt : t And was the parking situation any better then than it is now? Vatine : t The parking situation was great There were parking lots everywhere You got to pick your space You could drive in and get as close to whatever building you wanted And there were only three in those days The parking lots were everywhere The parking lots were completed early on before many of the buildings In fact, I think it was either the St Pete Times or the Miami Herald that commented on the vast amount of parking space available 2
there and how strange it was to have all these parking lots and just a few buildings As we know now, there isn't enough parking space It was different in those days Hewitt : t Now alot of the faculty and administrators that I have talked to have talked about the Basic Studies Program in the College of Basic Studies as something that was very innovative and fairly unique to the University of South Florida When you came as an undergraduate student, did you perceive your learning experience here as something innovative and unique or given that you didn't have experience in any other college, did you just sort of accept whatever they told you you were suppose to take? Vastine : I think we accepted the fact that they told us it was going to be an innovative program, so we believed it Probably very few of us knew any different whether this was more innovative than say Florida State or any place else We believed what they told us They said it was going to be an innovative program, so we took it as that and made the best of it I don't know whether some of the others have told you about the "All University Book" concept It was a good idea The entire student body was suppose to read a book that was assigned, and then somehow or another the instructors were to include discussions of it in their classes and bring this book into play to show how there are all these interactions or interrelationships with the different disciplines and to a common body of knowledge I think that was very effective in showing that liberal arts approach Hewitt : t Do you remember any of the "All University Books?" Vastine : The first one was the Razor's Edge I can't seem to remember any of the others Another ironic thing was that all the freshman English classes read 3
4 a book by Sheldon Grebstein called The Monkey Trial The book told about how the monkey trial caused some problems with a teacher of biology It turned out that a couple of years later, Sheldon Grebstein came to USF as an instructor and was one of the casualties of the Johns Committee and was forced to leave I associated that as being not unlike Scopes and the problems he had Hewitt : t That's interesting No one had mentioned that me That is very ironic Did you have, as a student, much sense of what the Johns Committee was doing here and what kind of impact they had? Vastine : I didn't have a great amount of knowledge Most of what I got came from news items from the Tampa Tribune We knew these things were going on There were the secret meetings held between the Johns Committee and the different people We did know that some people were asked to leave or left because they didn't want to be part of that kind of a situation There was a great amount of interest in what was going on and wondering and people wanting to know more That is mostly just what we got out of the news media In fact I never did read the final report I read a news item on it that it was pornography itself, but I have never actually read the final report of the committee Hewitt : t Since you were a commuting student and you had family and friends in Bartow, do you recall parents or older adults that you knew being concerned about you being a student at USF when USF was under investigation by the Johns Committee? Vastine : Not that I am aware of Maybe there was some concern but there was there was no subversion I didn't get any of that
Hewitt : t Well that's nice to hear Vastine : But again there was not a great amount of knowledge about what was going on Hewitt : t Now early on at USF, I understand that there were intramural sports but no intercollegiate sports As an undergraduate student, did you find it peculiar to be at a university without intercollegiate sports? Did you ever feel like there should be a football team? Vastine : That was discussed quite a bit in the early days Once again we believed in the concept of "Accent on Learning" and that this was being done for a reason Sports did, however, get into different areas It was mostly in the intramural program There was an aborted attempt to have a baseball team and having played baseball in high school, I took an interest in this We reached the point of being ready to field a team We had enough players to play We had some equipment We practiced some down at Rowlet Park because there wasn't any real baseball field here We even reached the point of having scheduled some games with the University of Tampa and the University of Florida junior varsity, but we never played them Someone intervened before the actual games took place, and it all kind of broke up But it was kind of the beginning stage of bringing something beyond intramurals Hewitt : Do you think that bringing in those kinds of intercollegiate athletics was almost inevitable, that there was enough interest in the student body that it would have been hard to keep a straight line? 5
6 Vastine : I think it is more inevitable from the fact that Tampa is a very sports-oriented community and the sports pages were always commenting on the lack of sports at USF, and it needed to be dealt with I think it was the desire of the local community to have a home athletic team, hopefully football, but I don't think they will ever get that I don't miss it When I did go to FSU, for graduate school, I did enjoy the sports I liked going to the different games and that sort of thing I don't think that USF made a wrong move in keeping it as a little team Hewitt : t Now for students, especially for so many of you that did commute in the first year, was there any kind of social life that took place on campus and was there a place that students would hang out after classes? Vastine : There were attempts made to have a social gathering on weekends Usually during the week at five o'clock the parking lots were virtually empty If you were fortunate enough or unfortunate enough to have a class that ended at five o'clock, you came out to greet nothing Everybody was gone They all commuted and they all went to wherever they were going to go They did have social functions on Saturday nights every so often in the University Center in the south side dining room We would get local bands, and it would be kind of like a sock-hop It was very common in those days There was at least one that I remember--one social event that was held on the west side of the University Center, kind of down in the little hollow there between the University Center and the theater So there were attempts at having dances and social get togethers and things like that Hewitt : t I imagine there must have been a limit as to how much the students saw each other Was there a sense of identity with the students that you took classes with?
7 Vastine : That is mostly where it came from in that first year The students that I got to know are the ones that I had classes with and we would study together later on, rather then a kind of general familiarity with everyone People who took the same classes did know each other that first year After the first year when we had some dorms, there became a very close knit group of those who lived on campus My father still talks about how he would come over to visit, and he would see just anybody and ask if they knew where I was and they would know where I was So those who were living on campus, those second, third, and fourth years The first year there was alot of scattering and was mostly just the students you had contact with in classes Hewitt : t Now did you actually move on the campus after there was housing here? Vatine : t Yes I was one of the first to live in Alpha Hall which brought alot of news reports to the local media because it was a co-ed dorm which raised alot of eyebrows It wasn't really co-ed because there was a giant iron door between the men's side and the women's side But it was built as a co-ed dorm because one building housed both sexes "The Door," as it became known, was the subject of a couple of news items People at the door listened and talked back and forth There was a certain amount of visiting through the door, passing notes underneath and that sort of thing I was the first student in Alpha and the next year I was one of the first students to live in Beta Hall So I kept getting new buildings I didn't know what it was like to have an old building to live in Hewitt : t Did the students have much influence on the kinds of rules and regulations that were made about dorm life in terms of hours and visiting privileges?
8 Vastine : Compared to now, there were quite a few rules and regulations There were rules that would be considered absurd now, like there could be no televisions and no refrigerators It wasn't even a subject that you talked about There wasn't visiting by the opposite sex It wasn't done and it couldn't be done and you didn't try it Of course, in those days it wasn't thought of as such a great hardship To do that now would never fly There were different ways of adding interest to dorm life Shaving cream fights were big I roomed with a guy one time that was the champion shaving cream fighter so I saw alot of that The first year I was in the dorm I had the dubious distinction of having my room filled with newspapers, top to bottom and door to door The whole room was filled with newspapers which was strange A friend of mine across the hall tried to add some interest to his room We had multi-colored furniture We had chairs that had padded seats, backs and arms They came in the basic turquoise, blue, and orange What he did was get with people that had different colored furniture and he changed it all around so he had multi-colored chairs He also painted the constellations on the ceiling with luminous paint I would really like to know if the constellations are still there in Alpha Hall So there were diversions Hewitt : t Was the library open at night at this point? Vatine : t When classes first began in September, the library building was not ready So the library staff had gone through and identified key books that would be available and they were set up in the ballroom So the first semester the ballroom in the UC was the library During the semester vacation, which was fairly long, most of December and January was spent moving everything into
the new building and getting set up so when the second semester began, it was in a new library building Being so large and spacious compared to what we found in the ballroom, it was rather amazing The library was open until ten o'clock at night I became a student assistant shortly after that and worked the night shift until ten o'clock Hewitt : t When did you have to be back in your dorm? Vastine : The men did not have a restriction on time, but the females did We did not have a restriction as such Hewitt : t I guess since you didn't have TVs or refrigerators there Vastine : That's correct There was a TV room Hewitt : t Were there places to eat on campus then? Vastine : The only place on campus was the UC and the cafeteria in the Alpha Hall area which was the Argos Complex, but that only served breakfast and supper and when supper was over, that was all for the cafeteria The snack bar was open in the UC later on into the evening Probably the most enterprising business in the area was May's Sub Shop, which until just recently was still called May's It's now called something else They would make runs, and they would deliver subs to the dorm The other thing that we would do for those who would stay up late and study is that we would make a trip up to the University Restaurant and spend about an hour there with a giant UR hamburger It was something that would keep us going into the night So it was either call May's or send somebody out to May's or get up a group and go the the UR That was it 9
1 0 Hewitt : t I understand that there wasn't any drinking allowed on campus at that point Were there drinking spots near the campus? Vastine : There was nothing near the campus The University Restaurant was the closest thing with the close second being May's Sub Shop, it being across from Budweiser The drinking age was 21 and most of us were well under 21 and it was not easy to acquire ID So there wasn't very much going on Hewitt : t This must have been a well behaved student body in those days Vastine : Compared to today, yes it was It probably seemed a little strange at the time, but compared to now, fairly tame Hewitt : t Do you remember if there was any sort of student activism on campus either over national political issues or over things like dress codes or dorm hours? Vastine : Not alot The biggest issue I can remember that actually had a demonstration which was at at time when we were just becoming knowledgeable about how to demonstrate Right in front of Alpha Hall there is a sloped, grassy area We would cut across the sloped area on the way to the UC when we were on the way to classes or wherever They, whoever they were, didn't want us to cut across anymore, so they erected, believe it or not, a wire fence, thinking that it would keep the students out So there was a rather boisterous demonstration with people carrying signs and that sort of thing They did replace the fence with a hedge So that was fairly tame when you think about it, but it was a cause Hewitt : t lust getting your first demonstration experience What were the relationships like between faculty and students in those early days? I know that
the faculty that I have talked to talked about the fact that they knew all the other faculty on campus and the administrators seemed to be more accessible than they are today What was that like for students? Vastine : I think it was pretty much the same way The professors were known fairly well by the students We weren't drinking buddies or anything like that, but we were much closer than the students are to the instructors at this point I'm sure the graduate students now who are working with the faculty, certainly yes, but from an undergraduate point of view normally you don't have the close interaction that was available to us in those days Taking a French class and having great difficulties with it, I spent slot of time with my French teacher in a conference type of thing It would probably be impossible today to get that kind of access to the professor Hewitt : t How good is your French now? Vastine : I can speak and read a little bit of it, but over the years it has gone away But he got me through the class That was the main thing I learned what I was supposed to because he was available and he took the time I think that was true of most of the faculty Hewitt : t Did you have much contact at all with the administrators? You mentioned that John Allen was the one who came out and gave this talk to your high school class Once you arrived here, were the administrators someone that students had any contact with or were they distant forces? Vastine : Not distant forces as they are today I hardly see them today, and I work here They would show up at some of the social functions and they were around then and would speak to students in a friendly sort of manner and did not try and be invisible at all I think they made some attempts at getting 1 1
out and being seen and talking with the students And as part of the "All University Book" concept and that sort of thing They participated in that also Essentially because it was smaller, because they did feel it was this innovative program, that they were essentially a part of and felt the desire to mix Hewitt : t You mentioned before we started the tape that the first graduating class actually graduated in 1963, although the doors opened in 1960 Were there any students in that first class who were actually starting in their sophomore year? Vastine : Correct They transferred in from the junior colleges so they were ready to finish before those of us who started out as raw freshman in September of 1960 I did know a couple of people, who by taking large loads, were able to finish up and graduate in that April '63 class But most of us who started as freshman and went on to graduate did so in '64 Obviously taking a normal 15-credit hour load Another thing that slowed me just a little bit was that I also participated in the Work Study Co-op Program That was a much publicized program on campus We had alot of students involved in the NASA Program through work-study My experience with it was working in the library I was a student assistant in the library and they had this opening for a work study student, so I thought it would be a good experience So I went into the work-study co-op and for two semesters worked full-time as a regular full-time staff person in the library, and I learned quite alot about it As it turned out, that was the thing that convinced me to go to be a librarian So the work-study program actually set me off into the direction I wanted to go 1 2
Hewitt : t Did you still take courses while you were involved in the work-study program? Vastine : It was possible to take one class while working Alot of the students would go somewhere else Like working with NASA, they went over to the Cape, so they weren't here They were counted as a full-time student, but were not actually here taking classes I did take one class each time I was on the work-study part of it Hewitt : Were there summer classes the way there are now, in terms of there being almost a full load of courses in the summer session? Or do you remember summer classes at all? Vastine : There were summer classes Speaking of work-study and summer classes, the current controversy in the paper is about the students who are getting kicked out of the dorm t I was one of those students that got kicked out of the dorm in the summer of '63 My roommate and I were both on work-study during the summer working on campus I was in the library and he was in Educational Resources We were living in the dorm during the summer, we were enrolled for the fall, and we were going back to the dorm in the fall, but we were told that we had to move out There was not alot of places in the area to go to We found a sleazy motel on what is now where the Todd Theater is We stayed there for two weeks in strange conditions So we had to move out of the dorm and take all of our stuff with us and two weeks later come back In reading this in the paper, its deja vu all over again Hewitt : t So if they were having a demonstration for that you would still go? 1 3
Vastine : Right Hewitt : t Hopefully they are not going to send the students down to the Todd Theater to survive Vastine : Well, that would be a little bit better than where we stayed Hewitt : t How much did you notice the change in the four years that you were an undergraduate here? Did it seem like it was growing rapidly in those days? Vastine : Yes It was If nothing else in something green, we went from the absolute desolate sand, and I'm sure that you have heard this from other people, but it is so true In the afternoon you would go out, get in your car, you would open your door and the sand would fall out because of the blowing sand So every new blade of grass was significant The buildings kept going up more and more and watching the growth was fascinating It was one of the reasons why I wanted to return to USF after being away for five years I wanted to continue to see that growth and the direction that the University was taking Hewitt : t Now there have been alot of complaints over the last few years about the attempts to change graduation so that seniors won't be allowed to shake hands, each one individually, with John Lott Brown or Greg O'Brien or whomever is standing up there When you think back on those early graduations, did everyone get individual attention and did you shake hands with John Allen when you graduated? Vastine : That's a two-part answer I attended the first graduation as a spectator and the graduating seniors processed in and they did get the individual 1 4
shaking of hands and getting the diploma Empty though it was, it was still the token thought I graduated in August of '64 and began a graduate degree at FSU shortly after in September There was no August graduation Graduation for '64 was in December Graduation at USF was held the same time as final exams were being held at FSU I didn't attend my graduation from USF because of that problem Hewitt : t Well I'm glad that you made it to the '63 one to see what it was like Alot of people have talked, from the administrative view point, about the importance of this being an urban university, USF having an urban mission, and the importance of community relations Yet even today USF seems to be out on the edge of the city at best When you were a student here, especially as a student who lived on campus, did you have any sense that you were part of the city of Tampa? Were there any kinds of events that took you downtown? Vastine : No t I didn't feel I was a citizen of Tampa I was a student at USF who was out in the middle of nowhere, physically, not only figuratively as it is now, but absolutely, it was cut in the sticks Yes we did go to downtown because that is where it was happening Whenever you wanted to go to a theater, you would go downtown Anything else was downtown, which was a very long trip The interstate was not there and you had to go down Florida Avenue and the whole business Frequently we went down there, but we felt that there was Tampa there and USF was here, and it was two separate places It could be that the slowness in getting this community relationship is because of that distance It was there for so many years Eventually businesses grew up around the USF area That is sore point number 6! So Tampa came to us if you want to look at it that way Maybe that is part of 1 5
the reason that we are having this problem of getting back to the community because we were so far out in the boonies It was kind of an anomaly to people of Tampa, and Tampa was just another place to us because it was so far away Hewitt : t Do you remember there being much in the way of student organizations in those early years? Was there an effort to get students, especially those who lived on campus, to join clubs or associations or take on projects? Vastine : Yes Student Government was fairly active because of it being a way of organizing and getting in on what is happening on campus There were also alot of special interest groups I was one of the first people to organize a sports car club I had a sports car in those days Finding others with a similar interest We did start the USF Sports Car Club and I stayed with that the whole time I was in Having rallies, which is when you go out into the hinterlands and follow a written map We also, by raising enough fuss, got them to let us have auto crosses on campus, which was taking a parking lot and turning it into a race course It was met with hesitation, but eventually they let us do it Fortunately they were safe and there were no problems for quite a few years so when we would ask them the second time or the third time, there was not a great amount of opposition to it They wished we wouldn't, but they didn't really oppose it that way and it did turn out fine The Sailing Club was very active I think the Sports Car Club and the Sailing Club were the two most active ones in those days The Chess Club and some of these interest kinds of things also appeared and it was the students trying to make their own variety in nonacademic needs 1 6
1 7 Hewitt : t Were there other kind of events such as picnics or softball games or anything where students or faculty and administrators would socialize together other than the Saturday night dances? Vastine : It seems like there was I'm trying to remember exact situations, but I can't I'm sure there was Hewitt : t Some faculty member claimed that there was an early faculty-student softball game where the faculty romped over the students Vastine : Well, I don't know about that! Hewitt : t And those students didn't even remember it was such a bad Vastine : It's not something that is there in my mind If it took place it has probably gotten shoved back there somewhere I'd have to think about that and let you know It's very possible it happened and I certainly wouldn't say that it didn't happen if it probably did Again, maybe it was a group that I was not a part of and missed out on the whole thing which is possible also It could have also been a little bit later on in time, after I had already gone away But it is very possible because there was a closeness between faculty and students Hewitt : t Now how did you end up coming back to USF? You mentioned that you went to FSU to do your graduate work Vastine : I was at FSU until December of '65 I graduated with a degree in Library Science With the draft board hot on my heels, in fact I had to get special permission from them to finish the last trimester When USF first opened, USF was on semesters We then switched to trimesters and since then we have gone to quarters and then back to semesters again I had to request special
permission from the draft board to let me finish off the graduate degree I asked them to let me do this and then they could have me I begged them to let me finish because if I didn't finish then, I probably would have never finished They did Ten days after I graduated I had a draft notice and two weeks later, I joined the Navy and was in the Navy for four years I got out of the Navy in April of '70, bought myself a VW bus and toured the country for 79 days asking myself where I wanted to live I decided that I wanted to come back to Florida While I was in the Navy, I would come over to USF to see how things had changed Usually it was once a year that I would get out on leave I would see the changes I had alot of friends in the library from having been a work-study student and they kept asking me when I was going to get out of the Navy So when I did get out I came back to USF and came to the library looking for work They did have a position in the cataloguing department and I started work September 1st of 1970 It was kind of like coming home again The University certainly had changed in those five years It has gotten so much bigger Hewitt : t What other things did you notice when you first came back here to work that were different from when you were here as a student? Vastine : Mostly the growth of the University and more importantly the growth around the University Fowler was still a two-lane street in '70 It was right on the verge of becoming a four-later The businesses were starting to make their march down both sides of Fowler Avenue, and it was kind of remarkable I remember looking around and saying that I wish I had some money to invest in this land I would be rich someday Unfortunately, I didn't have the money to invest in it and now it's all gone The thought was there anyway 1 8
1 9 Hewitt : When you think back over the 25 years that you had some connection with USF, what do you think have been the pros and cons or the most important developments at the University? Vastine : That's a good question I am glad to see that the University and the community are making more of an effort to get together I think it's important in following the early thoughts of it being an urban university It can't be an urban university and exist in a little place outside of everything else in the city So I think that it is important as far as those changes taking place, and it is a two way street The University has to do it, but the community has to welcome us also or ask for us to be a part of the community The growth has been a little too fast, I think, for our own good In the early days they were projecting ten thousand students by 1970 It seems like when I was back in 1970 we were up to about 15 or 16 thousand So they almost doubled in that time period what they thought they would I think it took somewhat of a toll in beating down that original, innovative thought that the overwhelming masses, I think, did in the early concepts I think that is too bad It's nice to have a large institution where there are alot of classes When I hear students complaining now they can't find any classes, I can't help but laugh Or when they come to the library and say that they don't have any books that they need, and I'll tell them that they should have been here when I was here when there were only 30 thousand volumes in those days You had to pick and choose your topic very carefully, and now we have a much larger building with many more to choose from But again, it's the growth and the size that the growth The different service parts of the University have not been able to keep up with that growth
Hewittt When you see students walking around campus today, what do you think are the biggest differences in their experience in getting a college education at USF from your experience of the early '60s? Vastine : It's more of an assembly line process now Things were a little bit more relaxed When I think of all the classes I had around the conference table, you certainly get more out of that than sitting in a very large class The interaction is obviously going to get cut down Having given some lectures to a Principles of Management class that has 300 students in it and meets in the business auditorium it seems like a sea of humanity out there I look out and think of those early days when I sat around a conference table and had a real professor right there, not a TA, but a real professor Some of the deep discussions that we would get into and the interactions The students here are missing out on that So it does become more of an assembly line They are more numbers, whereas in those days, most of had names One concept that the professors used in those days the first day of class a photographer would come in and take a picture of everybody and then he would paste this within a book and within a short time he had us all by name We felt like he knew us and knew what we were thinking and the weaknesses and that sort of thing I don't think the students are getting that now Hewitt : t Do you think that students have changed physically in appearance? Did they look more conservative? Vastine : I don't know if I'm bothered so much by the way they look now as when I look back at the old pictures of us I wonder if we really looked like that, but we did Having gone to a couple of reunions here lately and bringing out 2 0
the old pictures and wondering if those strange looking people were us So I feel like I'm in a time warp I feel more comfortable with the students now than the way we were back then I guess it's just adapting with the change There is always going to be this change in styles as far as hair and dress, and you can't change that Also, what we were talking about before, students are so much oriented towards a degree that will find them work, which is why the Engineering College and the Business College are so big I try to tell the students that while they are here to take time and smell the roses and to broaden their horizons I think of the broad, liberal arts type education that I got out of necessity You had no other choice You had to do that sort of thing It was beneficial Whereas you get the ones that are going to take the business route and if there is not a business class they don't want it I think that is the problem Hewitt : t They are claiming that that is going into a new cycle well, so maybe t Vastine : We have these pendulum swings and hopefully Hewitt : t You are maybe one of the few people that I have interviewed who is likely to be here 25 years from now Vastine : I hope so Hewitt : t Thank you very much 2 1