Stephanie Gaskins interviews Dr. Margaret B. Fisher

Stephanie Gaskins interviews Dr. Margaret B. Fisher

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Stephanie Gaskins interviews Dr. Margaret B. Fisher
Series Title:
USF history oral history project
Fisher, Margaret Barrow, 1918-
Gaskins, Stephanie
University of South Florida -- Resource Center for Florida History and Politics. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida, Tampa Library
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1 videocassette (107 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.


Oral history. ( lcsh )
Oral history ( lcsh )


Recorded Aug. 7, 1998.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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030090097 ( ALEPH )
U30-00004 ( USFLDC DOI )
u30.4 ( USFLDC Handle )

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[Stephanie Gaskins interviews Dr. Margaret B. Fisher]
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1/2 in.
USF history oral history project
Recorded Aug. 7, 1998.
Fisher, Margaret Barrow,
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Oral history.
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Gaskins, Stephanie.
University of South Florida.
Resource Center for Florida History and Politics.
Oral History Program.
USF history oral history project.
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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


Interview with: Dr. Margaret Fisher Interviewed by: Stephanie Gaskins Location: Tampa, Florida Date: August 7, 1998 Transcribed by: N/A Audit Edited by: N/A Final Edit by: N/A G=Stephanie Gaskins F=Dr. Margaret Fisher G: Welcome. I'm Stephanie Gaskins. And with me is Dr. Margaret Fisher. This interview is part of USF, Tampa Campus Library's Oral History Program. Today Dr. Fisher and I will be talking about her years at USF. And, Dr. Fisher, welcome to the studios. Today we're going to be discussing all the events that have occurred since 1960, when you arrived at the USF campus. And before we get into that, I'd just like to inform you of how Dr. Fisher and I know each other... F: Oh pray do. I think that has been one of the most fun things that I've done is to get into the Open University Extended Learning Program. G: Yes, I'm the coordinator of the Open University Program here at the University of South Florida. And Dr. Fisher has been teaching a course for the HumanitiesAmerican Studies Department. The course is American Cinema--American Culture. And Dr. Fisher and I have known each other for approximately four years. And in that time this course has developed and grown. And it's a wonderful addition to our line up of courses, because what it does, it informs students about American culture through American cinema. F: Exactly. Exactly. G: And we're grateful and fortunate to have you teaching this class. And this is how we have met. Now, you have been involved with the University since 1960. And that's the purpose of this interview today, to talk about how you have watched the university grow, and how you have helped to shape the University of South Florida with your guidance and leadership, and vision. F: Well I don't know about all these capacities, and how much I've shaped the university. These things are always uh, you're never quite sure just where and how


things came about when you're dealing with a living, organic institution you know. Instead of one that's built by formula. And the University of South Florida was built to grow. And it was based on interdisciplinary design. So that there was more emphasis on the foundation for development, and for interaction among people in different fields of study, than upon having a neat structure. This was one of the things that made it a great pleasure to work here. One of the ways in which its approach differed from other universities: this was one of the things that interested me, and one of the things that I think gave me the interest in teaching American Cinema--American Culture for the American Studies and Humanities Department, where I've been doing a course or so a term ever since I--well not ever since I retired, but for about the past ten years or so. And this is a very different approach, but it is basically an interdisciplinary method of instruction, where you look at different phenomena, for instance at a film, from an interdisciplinary point of view. You look at it from a technical point of view. You look at it for the way in which it shows the influence of particular directors, actors, cinematographers, writers--in which all of these different arts combine. This is true of the performing arts generally. See they are, by nature, interdisciplinary. You don't just have a dancer to perform, you've got a whole array of visual and performing artists. When you throw in cinematography, then you've got people who are proficient in the art of cinematography and the graphic art. So this makes it fascinating to teach. You also look at it for what a film such as, say "Rear Window," which is one of the supplementary films in this course, tells you about American Culture. In that one the camera shows a section of New York and a particular building, in a particular configuration of houses and well, of apartment houses. And one of the interesting things about the development of the university has been this concern about new buildings; how the university was going to look, and how you'd use the land, and how you'd design and write the program for buildings to serve particular purposes. So the course I'm teaching is in this same, is done on the same process of trying to show how different intellectual perspectives and methods and techniques weave together. You have to do very much the same thing in planning a new campus. When I arrived here in 1960, the university was just about ready to open. And the view from Fowler Avenue was rather, well it was not what you'd call impressive. To someone who is familiar with the wide open spaces of the West... G: Um, yes. F: reminded you of one of these new colleges or state universities which were in those days very often deliberately put far from any center of the population. So the townspeople would be shielded from the inequities of the students and faculty, that they were committing on the campus.


G: Oh, heh heh. F: And heh heh heh heh... G: Well of course back in those days this area, where the university is situated, was removed from the central part of Tampa. F: It was, however, right in the center of the seven county service area. G: Oh. F: With respect to projected population. G: I see. F: And if you look at Tampa today, you can see how very close those estimates came to the expansion of the metropolitan area. And of course the university has been, representatives have been assiduously engaged in planning for the expansion and development of the area. This is one of the reasons why the college was put here. And here again, this has been an interdisciplinary approach. It's taken people in almost every field of study to work together to get the university started, of course, that goes without saying. But also to participate in some of the long range plans, for the work of the university in the community. This is one of the things which I was interested in, because I had--my undergraduate work at the University of Texas was in the first interdisciplinary degree program in the liberal arts. And my BA in plan two was kind of a sort of part of a landmark, a milestone in an innovative approach to our education. And I got interested in interdisciplinary studies from then on. And I was, I felt very lucky to have the opportunity to come here because another feature of the university was that everybody had both administrative and teaching duties. And so that I always taught half-time, as well as working in student affairs. I had about 13 different titles, so don't, heh heh heh. G: Now, you came to USF September 1st, 1960. F: Um hum. G: And when you arrived on the campus, what did you see? F: Well I drove in, as I said, if we look again at this aerial view, from Fowler


Avenue looking toward the Administration Building, this looked like one of those universities like Oklahoma State, and way out in the--in those days--way out in the boonies. And which was more open space than anything else. And but you had this long vista. And the boulevard drive, going up to this one little building here, with all the sun screens on it. And I was interested in that because the style in architecture in those days was heavily influenced by Edward Stone, who festooned his buildings with all these filigrees, in the American Embassy in New Delhi for instance. And other buildings which had the stone hallmark. Always had these sun screens. And this, when we look at some of the other buildings there, you'll see them also decorated in this functional manner, because they were designed to sort of screen out some of the heavy solar rays that you get here in the summer. And then yet to let in enough in the winter so that you'd have a kind of energy-efficient approach to the buildings. That was kind of interesting to learn. The energy-efficiency will-anyhow. The vista up to the Ad building came to be one of my, in my view, one of the assets of the university. In the early days I was frequently called upon to meet visiting VIPS at the airport. And the planes typically got in in the evening. Or if it was before sunset, I'd conveniently take people to dinner saying, "There's no place to eat out there by the university except one little restaurant." The University Restaurant was... G: Oh yes. F: ...our main watering place in those days. And so then I'd conveniently arrive after the lights had come on on Palm Avenue--what's now LeRoy Collins Boulevard-and you'd drive through this wasteland, of live oak, scrub, and palmettos and sand, lots of sand. And come and turn off of Nebraska Avenue and come down this little two lane Fowler so-called-Avenue. F: Oh my, heh. G: Through this wasteland, these vast open spaces. And you'd come to this lighted brewery over here on your right. And then you'd go back out into the dark, come up to the main entrance to the university, and I'd attract their attention to Thatcher Glass in the distance which is lighted and say, "And now we're turning into the campus," and at this strategic moment, I could count on their heads swinging around, and here's this beautiful pathway with these lights, and the Ad building sitting there in the distance just glowing like a jewel against the black background. G: Heh heh.


F: It was a most impressive effect. It really opened their eyes to the fact, you know this was really something. And that first impression I think was very helpful to the university in many respects. A lot of other people had discovered this; this was not my sole discovery. I didn't have a patent on it, but it was a real asset. Because this sense of place, and the beauty of it. And of course the shock and surprise, which you get with anything new, I think said something--it was very important to people. G: Now when you came to USF, some of your, you had a variety of duties. You were assigned to Student Services... F: Yes, I was... G: ...and also teaching? F: I started out in Student Affairs. G: Student Affairs. F: There were supposed to be three of us there. But there were only two. My title was director of something. I sort of resisted being a director of affairs of any kind, heh heh heh. G: Heh heh. F: But then it got to be Dean of Women when we had a change of administration. But we were supposed to have director of men's something and women's something. And it was "affairs," I'm sure, because that was the way the principal divisions of the university was named. There was Academic Affairs, which is you know that's alright, that's fine. And Administrative Affairs, and that was fine. But you get to students, and Student Affairs, you get back into this sort of touchy area about what kind of affairs are these students engaging in, and... G: Heh heh heh. F: ...heh heh heh heh. And are the men supposed to be in one area and the women in another--in other words, is there segregation here, and the sex is sufficient for the defense of the women from the predatory men or vice versa. And these questions of course have clouded the work of Student Affairs, Student Personnel Administrators, for years. You don't want to call it Student Personnel, either, because they're not employees. And yet they are.


G: Yes. F: Because students are engaged in significant academic work. But "Personnel" has connotations you know of crews and shop workers and laborers and so on. The naming of things was a really interesting situation here. But I, and I ran into that very soon because Howard Johnsoy the Dean of Students, had employed also a Richard--and I've forgotten his name--Cope, I think. It's in the book. As director of men's whatever. and he had not arrived. And to the best of our knowledge and belief, he was lost in the flash floods that occurred in the West around Labor Day. He was coming from either Flagstaff or Tempe, I forget--one of the Arizona colleges--towing his household goods in a Rent-All trailer. And he was last seen pulling out of a filling station in Holbrook following a Greyhound Bus, which was never seen again either. And so that was the best that we could say. So I just did both. G: Oh really? F: If there were any affairs, I was the director of them, heh heh heh. G: Heh heh heh. F: We had to assume a lot of the special duties that you'd ordinarily have in the student personnel office. We were actually operating a lot of the programs, such as financial aid. Johnshoy and I had to handle most of the applications and interviews. And we had some assistance whenever we could rope in a faculty member or two would give us a little time. But we were the ones who had to prepare these to go to faculty committee for approval. And of course the faculty committee was sort of heh heh non-existence at that time. And we also were authorized to act on any offers of assistance for financial aid. I did a lot of speaking to civic organizations. G: Oh yes? F: Interpreting the new National Defense Education Act. Which emphasized loans. And this was a very smart move on the part of the national establishment, of the federal government and the Congress. They experienced, in colleges and universities, with student financial aid and scholarships and loans alike, and working your way through the traditional ways of getting a college education, as alternatives to your parents paying for it.


G: Yes. F: Was well known, and had been studied very carefully, when the Congress was working on the Act. And something on a minuscule order, as I recall it was something like less than one percent of student loans of loan money had ever been lost. And that mainly by death or disability. G: Isn't that remarkable. F: That's a remarkable record. It's very hard to match in any other way of life and work. And so this was very impressive evidence that you could take this as a capital investment of public funds. Which would then provide some financial underpinning for student loan programs on into the far future. As a kind of self-generating feature. And then there were forgiveness features of interest and, or portions of the principal for people who were going into occupations of special need; teachers in particular. And I had conferred with, had been asked for advice and encouragement from a lot of the people who were working on the Act, because I was acquainted with--a lot of former classmates or family friends who were working in Washington at _____, from Texas. So I had followed that Act pretty closely before it came down here, and I think it was just about to be passed and appropriations, which had been coming up in October. And this was a great boom for us, because we could go out into civic groups and you could get matching money from--most of the time I think it was nine to one. That you'd, the contribution of a civic club like the Rotary would be a tenth of what the sum would be available when federal matching funds were added. I was fortunate enough to get an offer of a couple of fair sized contributions which boosted that considerably in `61 and `62. And for about five years after. With [?] the Reader's Digest Foundation added a program of scholarship funds. And when I heard about it and got an offer, they were looking particularly to new institutions. And I asked if we could use, I said we'd love to have this, could we use it as matching funds for loans, and they said yes, so long as we designate the person as a Reader's Digest student. G: Isn't that interesting. F: It was very welcome. A very generous gift. And this was one of the first private corporate contributions that I can remember that we received. G: Now, for the group of students that started at USF. Tell me about "the students." Tell me about the first group.


F: We had need of financial aid because so many of our students were first of their family to attend college. This of course was the reason for the expansion of higher education. You had a whole, large populations, that just didn't have access to an institution of higher education. The ones they had weren't big enough to accommodate all of the--they were turning away people and they--floating around the country looking for a place, if they could. But then you have people such as a Tampa resident, who just didn't have the resources to go shopping all over the country to find a place where they might have a room for you. So this was the basis of that whole federal program of expansion in higher education. Was to expand existing institutions. And establish new ones in places which did not have sufficient resources. And that's why the university was here, really. And was nobody surprised, we got a lot of people who were new to higher education, and whose families didn't have an established history or tradition of operating. This made them very interesting. I remember stepping into my first class at the university--which followed immediately upon the opening ceremonies. And it was in the chemistry building--maybe you want to build the chemistry building up now for people to see... F: Heh heh heh. G:'s an interesting building--it had sun screens too. F: Oh yes. G: And it also had a wonderful mural, which was on the East wall of the lecture halls. And this I think sort of indicated the commitment of the university, from the beginning, in art in public places. Particularly outdoor works of art. F: Yes. Of course. G: Well I went into the lecture hall there to teach, give the first lecture in human behavior. And interdisciplinary course, an introductory course, and one of the core courses required in the liberal arts for all university degrees. Interdisciplinary course. Went in there, introduced myself, and then turned around to the blackboard to write my name and the course name and all of the administrative details. Um, no chalk? No eraser? Well I went off down in the--here I've got a hundred and some odd students in this amphitheater heh heh heh... F: Heh heh heh.


G: This big, great lab table--we, you know, we found you can teach humanities type courses and discussion type courses in science lecture halls and science classrooms. But it's very difficult to teach science in places if you're not equipped with a lab table and so on. So we had dual uses all over the lot. And so I went exploring down through this little unlighted storeroom and over into the next lecture hall. And approached one of my colleagues over there, Henry Winthrop. And I discovered he was equally discombobulated, heh heh heh... G: Oh! Heh heh heh. F: We then sent a runner, a willing student, up to the office to see what could be done about this. In about 20 minutes, we got some chalk. But no eraser. This had been discovered earlier, and a runner had been sent from Procurement over to Chamberlain High School to get a case of chalk heh heh heh and they had then mobilized Physical Plant people and Procurement people and Finance and Accounting--anybody who was loose and had a good pair of legs--to bring chalk around to the classrooms. I hasten to add this was one of the few details about the opening of the university which had been missed. G: Oh my. F: And I find it forgivable. But heh heh heh it was rather exciting there for a moment. The students however, were something else. Let's take a little break. And let me think a little bit about them. Because they were a wonderful thing. Wonderful. They gave me a wonderful experience. The things that they did were just most uh astonishing, and gratifying. G: Welcome. This is the second part of our interview with Dr. Margaret Fisher. As part of the Tampa Campus Library, Oral History Program, at the University of South Florida. Dr. Fisher. You were talking about the students. F: Oh yes, and the first day in the classroom. G: Yes. F: The way, the students were, for all of their lack of experience, and family experience, with our education, they knew about learning. And they were eager to do it. And this was, it was kind of as if the Tampa people had kind of had a drouth, and it was like the drouth busted. See if we had a sudden shower, and everybody came out and danced around in it just to get wet. Like people out in West Texas


who don't see rain for four or five years on end. And when it does rain, everybody goes out and lifts themselves up and can't get enough of it. That first lecture, I discovered that the students wanted more than I was prepared to give that hour. And throughout the, as long as I taught, those interdisciplinary basic studies courses, I also taught heh the Introduction to Psychology. And I taught the American Idea, the predecessor to American Studies. But for the longest period of time, I taught the interdisciplinary capstone course, which was required of all graduates in the university--at least for the first ten years of operation. It was discontinued during the reorganization during the Mackee Administration. But it was called "Freedom and Responsibility," and was a study of these values in American life. And it was an interdisciplinary course; it covered everything, from soup to nut, and was taught in small discussion sections--small seminars. And I taught longer in that course than any other. But the thing that I found, from start to finish--and still find--that you had many students who wanted more than we were, been accustomed to give in ordinary undergraduate courses. And I found the same thing in graduate courses-that heh heh students want more than you may be prepared to give. And you know however prepared you are, some of them are out on one of the cutting edges where you've got to come up to another level in order to work with them. G: Um hum. F: And this was a very delightful experience. I enjoyed that. And I learned a lot from the students. The way the basic studies courses were organized was an interesting combination and a very effective way of doing interdisciplinary courses, by the way, of having large lecture sections and then small discussion groups of seminar size. We tried to hold them to 20 at very maximum. And very often we did; there were some which unavoidably got up to 30. And the classrooms were designed for 30 or 35 max. This was not customary; we soon found we didn't have enough large lecture halls, or larger classrooms. But this was designed for general, the kind of introduction to the courses, supplementing textbooks and other materials. And then for active discussion and participation by students. As if this were, and some of them were set up as laboratories, such as humanities had a laboratory, and students had to do some work in a field of the arts with which they were not familiar. You know you might have sung in the chorus and you might be well on the way to a career as a singer; an opera, or career in dance. But you couldn't do lab work in humanities in dance or music. No, you had to do something else. Graphic arts, or pottery, or goodness knows what. Photography. In something. Remind me to tell me about the photography lab in humanities. But this meant that with the large lectures, those chemistry auditoriums were the only really big auditoriums we had. Except for the theater, which didn't open until I think it was the end of the first year.


Or maybe it was--I think it was toward, sometime in the spring. No maybe it was up into `61. The fall of `61. Anyhow, for instance, the first drama production we had was in the lecture room where I found no chalk on that first day. G: Oh, in Chemistry? F: Over in the chemistry lab. You have this amphitheater seating, this lab table which is immoveable--backed by blackboards, and about oh no more than about five or six feet between the table and the blackboard. And they staged a one-act play called "Pullman Car Hiawatha." G: Heh heh heh. F: Heh heh heh. And it was very well done. Of course the audience had to imagine a lot of the setting, but since a Pullman car has sort of limited--the mise-en-scene is limited in detail. Heh heh heh. It was fairly easy for the audience to imagine--I don't remember whether they put up curtains or not or anything--and it was a splendid production, and was very much enjoyed. But the theater, as soon as it opened, there was a lot of difficulty. I served on a schedule committee along with others: catalog, put out the directory for awhile until I finally managed to shuffle it off on to heh heh on to the Public Relations Office. The uh, anyhow the theater was heavily used for these large lecture sessions. Like you take freshman English, and you've got 500 freshmen or more who've got to take it. And you know, with this lecture-small group program, we had heavy use of this. I escaped lecturing in the theater because I very soon, after two years in "Human behavior" I cut over to the senior seminar. I had the first senior seminar in the summer. Of `63. A very fine class. Another thing about the student body, and I think this was one of the factors that accounted for the enthusiasm and this kind of drive for the cutting edge that I saw, was the fact that we had so many students who were past the traditional college age. G: Oh how interesting. F: Now I hasten to tell you that the traditional college age is a fiction. Because students have always ranged on up into the far reaches, you know--up to 39 and holding, or beyond. If you go back and look at the actual experience of college. But in the folklore you know it's at the end of high school, you send them off to college and then you have an empty nest which you can enjoy and relax in. This of course first emerged in the 1890s when you had the first round of expansion in colleges and universities was at its peak. But not nearly everybody was sent off at that tender age. You had people of quite mature years and who were in college. Of, as far back as--


particularly since the advent of co-education. That has been true, because there were a lot of older women who wanted to catch up when they had an opportunity to go to one of the new land grant colleges in particular. Well this particular senior seminar was a course, there were seniors who had had two full years here, and there were a good many of them who were well into professional careers. G: Oh, um hum. F: There was one who was a manager of a department at Sears. And which meant he locked up the store at nine o'clock at night. And there was another who was an editor of the Tampa Tribune. One Leo Stalnaker who came aboard here to succeed Arthur Sanderson as the manager of the, professor in charge, of the Oracle. And who built up the Oracle into an independent newspaper. Leo's was in that class, and he and Skip were always just a little bit behind me, getting to that seminar in the president's conference at eight o'clock in the morning. And I was always a little bit behind eight o'clock. And they would be the last stragglers. And each of them would come with a cup of coffee for them, and a cup of coffee for me. Juggling notebooks and heh heh heh... G: Heh heh heh heh. F: ...heh heh other things. And coffee, heh heh. And they, they brought me a cup of coffee too. We had a coffee room in the Ad building. Presided over by Able Mable. Was one of our mainstays for the faculty in the way of snacks and coffee. And who completed a degree here, and went on to manage the copy shop. When we started one. Anyhow I was very grateful to them, because I could never have survived without two or three cups of coffee through that two hour senior seminar. But it was a delight. Because people had experience to speak from, not just in academic terms, and about academic freedom. But about the whole way in which these values of freedom and responsibility vary in American ways of life. And I was interested because there was, I think what you would expect out of people who are new to higher education, there was less interest in classification or in progressing on a ladder, and of these constraints, and competition. And more concern about a couple of the ideas I suggested; one being that freedom has a lot of meanings, but it also implies equality. If you're going to--it's not the opposite of responsibility--but it has to do with the range of choices you have, and accepting particular responsibilities. And your degrees of freedom vary. And this seemed to be very helpful to a lot of students. And it implies also that there is a lot of room for individual differences. G: Um hum.


F: And it was quite clear to everybody that we were more concerned about individual differences and were designed to work with them. To sort of tailor work, in course and degree programs, to individual interests and concerns and expectations. And that we, that the university generally had been designed with this kind of flexibility and degrees of freedom of choice. And students of course were well aware that the degrees of freedom where limited. G: Yes. F: This means if you had four courses to choose from, and you had to choose, and you could only take three of them, on that last, you know there was one course that was gonna be left out. In other words you have four degrees of freedom minus one, in that case. And so this seemed to be a very handy thing for them to catch onto. And then when you do commit to a course, you accept a responsibility. But you still have degrees of freedom. Because there's this question of equality: that what you take on, you'd better feel like you're equal to your tasks. And this lent a whole new dimension to the idea of equality. It wasn't just the same for everybody. The one thing for sure about it is that if you promised to do something, you had to be reasonably sure that you were up to it, heh heh. That you could do it, and that you are prepared to learn a lot if you didn't know, and to learn very fast. So that you could be reasonably equal to the task. And if you didn't, you're gonna let somebody down. This went very well, and I learned a lot from students about that. For instance people who had had experience in management, such as Skip. Or of course Leo was having to run this zoo of reporters, heh heh heh and everything else down at the Tribune. They contributed very strongly to this notion of the kind of flexibility that you have to have and working along with people who run into things they aren't prepared for. And the notion of the locus of responsibility of--it's on the scene of the action, and if you're there, it doesn't make any difference who did it; you clean it up. Or if it needs to be done and nobody's around who is prepared for it, you either need to get somebody who is, or you need to do the best you can. And I learned a lot about practical management experience--and a lot about management theory, because these guys of course had either had, or were taking advanced courses. Learned a lot about ecology from one Phil Amuso, who is now director of the state lab here, in uh--and uh, they, I can, countless people who brought up things where I had to go quick and learn a good deal about it, heh heh. And eager to do so. This I think was what made the university so rewarding. It was a wonderful experience to learn things along with students. G: And the students. Were some of the students living on campus at that time, or


were the residence halls in the process of being built? F: Heh, well we kind of came late to residence--I tell in the book, The Vision of a Contemporary University, which Russ Cooper, the original Dean of the Liberal Arts College, started and left unfinished at his untimely death--and in that, I tell a little bit about the way we got the dormitories. The, a lot of, there were some very ingenious ideas. But just about in `58 or so, `59, just about a yeah ahead of heh heh opening, they realized that we would have more students from out of town. And there were also a lot of local students who, you know, lived way down in South Tampa or in Ruskin, and so on, where it was difficult to commute. G: Yes. And especially in those days. F: So, right quick they had an organization, dollars for dorms, put in for FHA funding, matching money. Needed to raise eighty thousand dollars and to get the matching. And they did it in, by the time they were ready to start the campaign, they already had the eighty thousand and went ahead and picked up twenty or thirty thousand more--which helped a lot with furnishings and other things we had. So when I got here, there was a large hole opposite the, right next to the University Center. I think perhaps that we have a photo that can come up on that. And the University Center was meant to be that, as a center for students, faculty and staff; everybody associated with the university--and the public. And it got heavy use that first year. The design was distinctive, because it had sun screens on the top. G: Um hum. F: On that fourth floor, they had designed some guest rooms for visiting--what do you call `em--notables, heh heh heh. G: Dignitaries? F: Dignitaries. And the conference room. G: Um hum. F: Well, they looked at that, and we still had more people who wanted housing than we had room for. And Tampa was not rich in boarding houses. They were on the wane; you know, they had been built for guests during the season. And those that were still open, had guests for the season.


G: Ah, yes. F: So we had very little place to put students. And so there was a campaign. I did a lot of visiting around, talking to people who--out in Temple Terrace particularly-who uh...and Seminole Heights, they might have rooms. And we found a few places. But apartments, very scarce. A lot of them going up in the area, but we still had to do the best we could. We had a bunch of women. Nobody wanted to let women come into their home--for some reason. And I explained carefully to some of the men who asked me about that--notably President Allen--that it was a matter of panty hose in the bathroom. G: Oh heh heh heh. F: That, heh heh heh heh... G: Oh my, heh heh. F: Plumbing was a major consideration. And a lot of the, particularly the Student Affairs programming, but in the planning of the university as a whole. And I'm happy to say it was usually handled very well. In this case, we turned to--was it [wasn't?] before I got here--they turned to that fourth floor of the University Center. And added, and sort of added some partitions, and put in some beds and dressers and desks. And put 40 some-odd women up there. This then meant that we needed a housemother. G: Ah hah. F: Because Alpha Hall was just a hole in the ground. And when we had a hurricane, ten days or so after I got here, that hole filled up with water. And there was a slight problem related to that, that affected the University Center. Which I better tell you after--but anyhow I had to go out in the middle of that hurricane--I got clearance--to find a housemother. G: Heh heh. F: Well of course the telephone lines were mostly down. And there was one line in the Student Affairs office which we had to use for all of the things we were doing-and also share with the three counseling staff that we had, and the personal and developmental counseling, and reading and speech and hearing specialists. We were all part-time, and teaching. You know, half-time, just like all the rest of us. So this


one phone would serve a couple of dozen people, including anybody else that dropped in. And then there was a great fight to get an outside line to get on the long distance line. So somehow or other, I got that phone and I clung to it. G: Eh heh. F: And heh heh heh started off, started off with friends of mine in Washington who were in higher education and had extensive knowledge of the market and the supply and the resources at our disposal. And they found it easier to get me--because I sat there and clung to that phone, and protected it for a couple of hours. G: Heh heh heh. F: They found it easier to get me than I found it to get an outside line and get them. And of course, I know phone is home. I think it was, somebody finally beat up on GTE--no, my house was next door to a GTE engineer. G: Oh, heh. F: So I had better luck getting a phone than a lot of university people did. I think I got it maybe around the middle of October. This was before my furniture got here. I was still living out of my camping gear, and air mattress. G: Oh my, heh heh heh. F: Heh heh heh. But that's another story too. But there was a strike, and you couldn't--transportation strike. G: Oh I see. F: And my gear was all warehouse ready, and to come down from Washington. And Mayflower wasn't moving. No more over the railroads. So I was stuck. But anyhow I finally got in touch with the president of the college in Virginia--Radford-whom I had met and who had said he had a dean of women who had resigned and would be amenable to moving. And so he recommended Phyllis Marshall very highly, and I got in touch with her. And she came down not very long, about a week after, as soon as travel was reasonable. And signed on. She's a very adventurous dame, and I think a lot of us looked at this as a great adventure, you know...


G: Heh heh heh! F: ...and she chimed right in on it, this great adventure. Once in a lifetime experience. G: Um hum. F: Of course at the end of that first year, faculty member said, "Well hasn't this been," said Dean Cooper to one of his faculty, "hasn't this been a once in a lifetime experience," and the faculty member said, "Yes, and once is enough." G: Heh heh heh heh. F: Heh. But not for Phyllis, because she stuck it out here and retired, wonderfully, and of course her name is now on the University Center. G: That's right. F: That building of course, I'm not sure whether we have a photo of the library. The old library. And this studio was in that building. This, the university was set up for closed-circuit TV. So that you could pick up these mass lectures. G: Ah. F: Of, and also have more students participating in them in remote classrooms. In case you had one of these huge enrollments. G: Yes. F: Such as, you know by the second year when we had probably a thousand or two thousand freshmen students in freshman English. You know, this got to be a very great help. That was one of the innovative approaches. We were prepared for electronic support systems from the beginning. But the Marshall Center was one of the places where there was space, and there were two or three classrooms in there. The English department was housed in cubicles installed in a couple of their large meeting rooms. And the social space that was reserved was the president's dining room, and an atrium. And then all of the social space on the first floor. Including the cafeteria. But the library was in the ballroom. And stayed there until the library was finished. It was another hole in the ground.


G: Heh. F: No, it was a big mound of sand. G: Heh, a mound of sand. F: It was a mound of sand at the time. They were compressing the subterranean structures to bear this heavy building with its heavy weight of books and TV equipment and computer and stuff like that. So, in the mean time the library was getting along in the ballroom. So it was interesting you know, you had a game room in the basement. And all of the storage space and the kitchens and everything you needed for the cafeteria. And then you had English and classrooms on the second floor. And the telephone exchange and the business office on the third floor. Telephone operators were a great asset. And finally all these women up on the fourth. G: Heh. F: Talk about mixed usage, you know. G: Yes. F: Multi-variate approaches to buildings, this was it. There was always this problem of course about having those women up there at night, all by themselves. In that five million dollar building. G: Oh? F: Well there were worse threats to that five million dollar building than the women were. We worked it out for Security to admit them to the building after closing hours. But then you had people who had science and arts, and all what you, you know you had to work sometimes over an extended period--it's good to always get in at ten o'clock. So we started out with a policy of open hours, closed halls. And we didn't have, they didn't have night attendance there, but the Security officers would make the rounds. And let the women come in after they completed their, whatever they were doing--which was very often--working in the laboratories. G: Yes. F: I had a couple of students who confessed to me recently--ex-students, pardon me.


G: Heh heh heh. F: Alumni who confessed to me recently that they had run late on a photography project for humanities. And they had, the film was ready but they hadn't developed and printed it. And this of course took quite a long time. And they were running right up to deadline. And so by the use of their womanly wiles they persuaded a uh-this was after we had stopped housing people in the University Center--they persuaded a night man, the night watchman, to allow them into the photography lab. Pleading the importance of this program... G: Heh. F: ...and that they had promised to do this for this instructor, and assured him that I had authorized this kind of activity. G: Ah. F: Well the building opened the next morning and they were still working there, and were apprehended by the day man, who called Security. G: Oh no, heh heh. F: And they talked their way out of that, came immediately to my office. Now this is their story; I just heard it the other day. And appealed to me to intervene with the administration for a waiver--for a compassionate waiver--so that the poor, unfortunate night watchman who let them in--it was actually the janitor--that he would go scot free. That he would not be punished. G: Oh, heh. F: I have no memory of that whatever, but heh heh heh. G: Heh heh heh heh. F: But it's the kind of thing that students often did. Where they believed us when we said, you know academic work is real work and this is a partnership and we're working together on this thing. This was the position that we emphasized. That, and we designed this for individual differences. And avoided a lot of the lines between freshmen and sophomores and the warfare that you're supposed to have go on. And


the color line where you have to have separate facilities. And a lot of students took us quite seriously--and we did mean it. That we were colleagues. And they assumed that, heh, as colleagues of the janitor... G: Hm. F: ...they had a responsibility to prevent him from being held responsible for... G: Indeed, um hum. F: ...for being held as an offender against some regulation. G: An accomplice, heh heh. F: As an accomplice. Aiding and abetting, heh heh heh. G: Aiding and abetting heh these poor students, heh heh heh. F: Yeah. So and I suppose I did, because I must have intervened, because they assured me that he was let off scott free. And they suffered no punishment either, because they pointed to the open hours, closed halls and, that they simply had to have access to a facility which was customarily--you know, which was like a science lab, and should have been open as of need, the way the science labs were. Well I claim no credit for this... G: Heh. F: ...but it's one of those stories, one of those twice-told tales, which I think casts a light upon the approach that students were taking to the university and the care they had for it. In fact they took seriously the kind of orientation we were giving, about the inter-dependent relationship, the collaborative relationship of students and others. And that they extended this, as we did too, that the colleagues and the university encompassed everybody who worked and studied there. For instance we had a single all-university Senate. This really distressed some faculty members who felt that we couldn't discuss academic matters in the presence of people like Able Mable, heh... G: Oh. F: ...and grounds keepers and physical plant...


G: Yes. F: ...engineers, and people like that. Who were supposed to be our servants. There were many faculty members who didn't share the view that these particular students, Skip and Leo, and these two young women--female photographers... F: Yes, heh heh heh. G: But this made it a joy to work with students; was their kind of ingenuity and their, the sense of responsibility they took, and the feeling that they had for the kinds of procedures which were not due process of law, where you didn't follow legal adversary proceedings, but where you took a practical view to get a settlement without having to fight it out, to duke it out. You know, where you could settle things without necessarily having to have a confrontation. I think that held very well, and still has, as I've seen it in the teaching that I've done for the last 10 or 12 years--that this has been a pretty durable foundation that was emphasized in the beginning. Because this was new, and people were new, right across the board. G: We are so fortunate that you are able to let us know about this history, through this oral history. And I've just been counting the years since 1960... F: Yeah. G:'s about 30, we're going on 39 years. F: It's practically 40 years, I might as well... G: Practically 40 years of association. F: Um hum. G: And involvement with USF. And now you're working in distance learning. F: Yeah. G: So when we're talking about... F: This is heh heh heh...


G: ...the interdisciplinary model... F: Um hum. G: ...that was implemented at the outset, and how you continue to use that in distance learning by having the students who are at remote sites get involved in discussion... F: Yes. G: ...using technology. F: Yes, and that's their responsibility. G: It is their responsibility, yes. F: You know we may have a staff member there who helps get organized and you know, sees to it that everything is running right. But the kind of discussion they have, and the way in which they participate with those of us here in the main studios, is their responsibility. That has been a very difficult process to manage, and I'm still learning a great deal about it. G: Yes. F: I gather that this true of other people who participate in distance learning. That it's awfully hard to, I think particularly when you're dealing with television, where you're a passive viewer, and the notion that you want to pitch in on this. And pick up a phone and call in, is a novel experience. And I'm still trying to figure how to facilitate this. G: Well, we have a new model, which we'll be implementing which is the video conferencing format. And this will enable the students to not only, for you to see them, they can see you. So, currently we use the model where the students see you, but they interact with you by telephone. But you cannot see them at their site. F: Yes. G: And in the video conferencing model, you will be able to see them at their site. F: Oh good, is that laid on in my room, heh heh heh for next year?


G: We will work towards that, to set that up for you in the future. F: Well I'll be first in line, heh heh. G: And I think that that will facilitate the discussion component with the remote sites. F: I should think so, because there's so much more that people speak out of the context for the words--you know like for instance like the timbre of the voice, you sort of get an idea of the, you know the shape of the person, the physiology and perhaps the appearance. But you can certainly be misled. And you get ever so much more, you participate more fully with people in their presence. Or at least when you can see as well as hear them. And I think that's a great thing. G: Well, it's a great thing that you're here. To be able to let us know about what has happened from 1960--from the very beginnings, and the first few years. And I would love to find out what happened throughout the 70s... F: Heh heh heh... G: ...and then the `80s, and finally the `90s. F: Well, we can go on to that if we have time. G: Heh heh heh. F: Do they have tape? Where is our peerless director? F: If we have, I have no objection to another half hour if we... G: Yeah, `cos um... F: ...if we have tape. G: I'm just wondering, we've been sixty minutes and if you'd like a break at this point? I just... F: Oh let's go ahead and finish up, I think I'm...


G: Finish up? How much... F: If you're alright? G: Yeah, how much longer would you like to go on, and what areas do we need to cover that we haven't touched on yet? F: Well what's of interest to you? G: Um... F: Let's start off by saying what's of interest to--are we on tape? Let's start off by what's of interest to you. Because I have been interested in the fact that here you are, a resident alien. G: A resident alien? F: A resident alien, from Prince Edward Island, in Canada... G: Heh heh heh. F: ...which is one of those remote places. G: It certainly is a remote place, heh heh heh. F: Heh heh heh. G: And it certainly, in 1960 it was very remote. F: Well let's use... G: So I can appreciate, heh heh heh... F: ...let you say what you appreciate about us, and what... G: Well... F: ...what you're interested in, about, particularly about the later period. Because I didn't move after I retired. I stuck here and I stayed on and eventually was asked to come back in, part-time. And not to strain myself too much. But so what, what does


a resident alien... G: Heh heh heh. F: ...find interesting in, heh heh heh. G: Well, for one thing the whole American culture is very different from the Canadian culture... F: Nooo. G: There are so many similarities however, there are so many differences. And although I've lived in this country for I think going on eight years, I continue to, to enjoy the differences. And working in the university environment, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many people from all over the world. And all over the United States. Here at USF, learning about the history of USF has been fascinating for me, because it gives me an idea of what thought processes were involved when the design of this university was envisioned, and how you came on board, and how you helped to mold and shape the direction of the university. F: Um hum. G: One thing you had mentioned to me earlier was, when people were recruited to come to USF, often times they had a half-time position teaching, and then half-time was involved in student activities. Student or um, direction activities. F: Or in some administrative capacity. G: Or some administration--for example the Resident Hall directors were often instructors, and... F: That's right, was our staffing pattern. And this was a fairly common one. In American universities. We didn't invent everything from scratch. But one of the most useful patterns in residence halls was the presence of teaching faculty. Who taught at least part-time. Who then also were, administered the residence hall. So we set them up for having resident instructors who worked with resident assistants, who lived in the separate units. Who organized the unit councils, or whatever the programs that people wanted to have and whatever officers they wanted. And also administered the standards and discipline system. And this worked out very well. I think they're still doing something very much like it now. One advantage that we've


had as time goes on, was the expansion into graduate education. All of these developments were accelerated beyond the original expectations of the first, of the charter faculty. And we got into graduate education much more rapidly. And now the, they call them hall directors, are graduate students. And some may have teaching assistantships--I don't know just what all the arrangements are, because I uh, you know it's been a long time since I've had administrative responsibility for the halls. But that was very, fairly common practice. And I regarded it as the best available practice, and the most suitable for here. It was a little hard to find staff. But we did pretty well for that original group. There were some very fine people who worked with us. Linda Erickson... G: Yes, Linda Erickson. F: ...well Joan Tallis has just retired, and she became acting director of halls; assistant first and then acting director of the residence program. And Linda Erickson was the next one, and Lucille Fauts who was a clinical psychologist and doubled in the Counseling Center. And then Linda came in, and Joan Newcombe, who is administrator in the International Studies and Political Science now... G: Yes? F: ...started out in Mu Hall, which is the last hall. G: Really? I didn't know her association went back that far. I know her well. F: Oh yes. Um hum. So they, they had some quite good people. One of the problems we had with the residence hall was naming things. G: Naming them? F: President Allen wanted to avoid a lot of the problems with naming buildings after people. There are some horrible examples, and uh--for instance I came from the University of Texas, where our auditorium, which was a jewel--beautiful performing arts hall--was named for the donor. G: Yes? F: The Hogg Auditorium. G: Oh dear, heh heh.


F: And as if that weren't enough, in the 50s, they went and built a psychology building and named it after Bill Batt. G: Eh heh heh heh. F: A very distinguished, heh heh, Batt Hall. Never mind there are two "t"s in it, when you say it, it just doesn't have that--and Hogg has two "g"s for that matter--but English is more a spoken than an orthographic language. G: Indeed. Heh heh. F: And the president was eager to avoid those egregious heh heh heh choices. Bill Batt was, I think administrator in one of the major war, World War II, production efforts. War Production Board, as I remember. But a wonderful person, and just the kind of person who'd be glad to give you the money to have a psychology building. And of course out of gratitude you'd name it for him. G: Of course. F: They're building a new psychology building and Batt Hall will refer to other functions, this year at the University of Texas, you'll be happy to hear. Um, heh heh... G: Heh heh heh. F: ...and there was the case of the Fine Arts, Radio and Television Building, at the University of Indiana. Which was a different--but President Allen wanted to avoid these egregious things. Because when you have a building and you give it a functional name, which was his preference, you then have got to have some sort of an acronym. Because of the computer--you've got to code these things in for computer processing. And there was an example during the war of Allied Military Government and Occupied Territories--AMGOT. Which turned out to offend the Turks. G: Oh? F: Because they didn't want to be allied to, or participate in anything which was named after a pile of fertilizer.


G: Heh! Oh dear, heh heh heh. F: Heh heh. Well you know there were all sorts of instructive examples about this, and so the president said the halls would have functional names--the buildings would have functional names--not be named after anybody living or dead. No matter what. Well of course that has, we're awaiting our egregious example. But, so with the functional names there was no problem, you know, we had one University Center, one Library, one Fine Arts and the Humanities building. But then you get to residence halls. Which are multiple. G: Yes. F: So, I was elected as the person most likely to work out something with the president, consistent with this policy. And since he's an astronomer... G: Yes. F: ...I offered several options. I said you know, just number them: One, two and three. Or name them, use--he was very much interested in preserving the Greek tradition. And that also had to do with fraternity organizations. So I said just name them after the regions and islands of Greece. I said, avoiding the names of gods, goddesses, and heroes and which--maybe you'd go to cities of Greece--and a couple of other ideas. He same back, said we'll number them, but in the Greek fashion. And since they were going to be organized in areas, such as the Argos area and Andros area, these were the first two clusters we were going to build. And he chose those names as regional names, Argos and Andros. And I think the next one in line was--I said, "You don't want Boetia, do you?" G: Heh heh heh. F: A) nobody's gonna be able to spell it! G: That's right. F: And if they do, they aren't gonna be able to say it, and it will be obs--you know people can make up all sorts of--no, we skipped that one. I think the next one was going to be, Ikaros, or Crete, I forget which. But we carefully edited the list. Anyhow that's how we did it, and then they would be numbered in order of construction, according to the Greek fashion of using the letters of the alphabet as numerals.


G: I see. F: Hence Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, in Argos. And so on. Up to Mu. Then when they built the apartments--that was the Village. G: Yes. F: And, which was more appropriate for the configuration. And went back to a functional name. But naming things always presented a problem. But the president was always very flexible about the policy. He didn't have a class rule. But we had a general policy with allowances for individual differences. And this was pretty typical of the policies that we generated here. Uh, in the beginning. We tried to avoid formulas as best as we could. What else you interested in? G: Well, I was interested in knowing about the residence halls. And we had talked a little earlier about the construction and some of the designs, within. Some of the unique features. F: Oh yes. G: Which were a little different from other college dormitories, perhaps. The standard, domestic plumbing, for example, and...? F: Oh well, the uh... G: Heh heh heh. F: ...the first round of halls had been designed and were, the plans were pretty well set when I got here. And they were standard residence halls; standard double rooms. But they had--this was another thing which was pretty standard practice in higher education--they were arranged, so that you could set off--they were arranged by units--so that you could have smaller groups, uh, in our case 40. G: 40? F: 40 residents, in a, it meant a 20 room unit. G: In a 20 room unit.


F: Which would be programmed, an activity and it's an, a basis for organization of the halls. And with this arrangement, at any given time then, the residence staff could come within 40 of matching the division of men and women in the students who had applied for housing. So we could come pretty close to an equitable allocation. This of course meant that you just had the standard, domestic plumbing in the halls. And this was a considerable cost-saving, incidentally. G: Yes. F: The same thing was true about colored and white restrooms in the rest of the university. The president just said we will not do that. We will not have quadruple plumbing. We'll just have male and female. And we'll have standard domestic plumbing, and be done with it. And we'll just have two sets of bathrooms in all others. But in the halls we went to standard domestic plumbing. I was asked by the president to explain this heh heh to Martha Gibbons... G: Oh heh. F: ...the wife of our representative and then congressman who had done so much to get the university established. When we had the big party for the opening of Alpha Hall--`cos we had divided that hall right down the middle--of the women on the East and men on the West. And the Tribune had headlined a story about this as, "USF opens first co-educational hall." Now, you know being first is always important in the United States. G: Yes. F: We were the first free-standing university since 1912; you've always got to figure up some reason for being first... G: Heh heh heh. F: Again, individual differences, and the individual identity--terribly important. G: Um hum. F: And so we had this, this really was sort of the egg hit the fan, because it got all sorts of people of militant, idealistic, dualistic, puritan persuasion... G: Heh.


F: ...sort of bent out of shape. That this is a terrible thing to do, violating the mores and standards of ethics and goodness knows what all, and inviting all manner of evil. Well, Martha was very much concerned about the reaction to this co-ed idea. And so I was nominated to explain the co-educational part of it. And I told her what I just told you. And took a little, "Martha let's take a little tour." And now I said, "Now here's the bathrooms, and they're the same--both sides, standard domestic plumbing." And I said, "No doubt you're familiar with that." She practically died laughing, she... G: Heh heh heh. F: ...she laughed and laughed. Said, "Mar, you don't know it but we have four little boys. And Sam, and I'm the only girl!" G: Heh heh heh. F: And I know all about standard domestic plumbing, and they will not put it down! They will not put the top down, heh heh heh. G: Heh heh heh. F: Put the seat down. Well we both laughed about that. And this, but this was the principle. You know, if you're going to have things of variable use, then you get to your, to the kind of equipment which is accessible. G: Yes. F: The same thing is true of wheelchair accessibility. The original design, as the original architects had taken account of the American Institute of Architect's Easter Seal standards, and had accommodate and had designed places for our buildings, most of them, for easy wheelchair acceptance--they missed a lot of things. And later on when we got wheelchair riders, they put out a handbook and they conferred with the administration and a lot of the retro-fitting was done, like curb cuts, and changes in some of the lab equipment. So, that worked out very well. And of course we had applicants, the residence halls. The president was afraid that because of our nearness to ______ Springs, that we would have a lot of applicants. So, for the time being, because our facilities were so limited, we did have a special process where we asked wheelchair riders, and blind visually handicapped people, to come to campus and walk through a schedule just to make sure that they could handle it, and


that we could make any necessary adaptations, which would remove barriers for them. So, we handled that on an individual basis for a number of years. There are a lot of the so called bars, class distinctions, and all sorts of lines, people want to do to get you put in the right slots. We were able to both, by emphasizing individual differences, to work around a lot of those, and to give ourselves more freedom and readier access to all sorts and conditions of people. Whether the people who were interested in believed in it or not, I can??t say. I don??t think we ever got as much of a response as we hoped for. We were never able to do as much as we would have liked. But, I think the university people were pretty able to handle it given the limitations we always had on resources. G: Sounds like USF was the first in many ways. F: Well, I don??t know that we were first in that. I think, as a matter of fact, that we built on a lot of experience, learning how to act with freedom and responsibility and fairness, and certainly through those first 10 years there was a very positive disposition to do just that. To go that extra step, to look to the future and to set up the organization and the procedures that would be lasting and durable. G: Just back to the residence halls, you had mentioned to me that the Marshall Center, or the University Center, as it was called then, was an overflow for if there were more men one year, then the surplus of men would go to the Marshall Center, and then?| F: That??s right. That happened the second year. The overflow was men. Then we had Beta Hall opened. I forget just how all these things went. But, by the time we had Gamma Hall opened for women we were in pretty good balance. So what we were doing then was tripling some rooms, just because you always get more people who wanted to get attrition. So, it always helps to have a waiting list. If you overfill the halls, we were able by that time, we had enough experience to know how far we could, we could go up to about one unit in the whole, and then move people in as vacancies occurred. There are a lot of economic problems to running residence halls; it??s like hotels??a very high-risk business, a lot of headaches, but a lot of fun. G: Speaking of fun, wasn??t there a story of the elevator in the University Center had some interesting visitors. F: Yes, this male female business, you know you??ve always got people that say there??s got to be a line, and then it is really fun to cross it. And if you can??t


cross it you want to inflict something exciting, shocking, and undignified on the other side. Well, we had our supply of young men of this persuasion. And their claim to fame, at least what they told me about with great pride, sure that I would enjoy it, was that one night they sent a flock of chickens up on the elevator to the fourth floor. What they didn??t tell me was that the women residences and Phyllis gathered up, rounded up the chickens, drove them back on to the elevator, sent the elevator down, and then locked. G: Bravo. F: Certain amount of sportive display we viewed with innocent enjoyment. Some of it was not so innocent. I spent a good bit of time with Ms. _____ trying to figure out a corrective measure, which would enable them to stay at the university, and very often there was none. So, you know, deans?? of women have a bad name as hags, Herods, hanging judges, you just have to live with it. G: The title of dean of women??were you USF??s first? F: Oh, speaking of firsts, yes, the first. I got that after the John??s Committee came, and several people resigned in protest, among them Howard Johnsoy, the dean of students. So Herbert Wunderlich, came in from Kansas State. He was firmly convinced that dean of women and dean of men were very useful titles, and that they had functional value. I agree, if a student is bewildered and confused, and doesn??t know where to turn, if you??ve got a name on a door, of which is related to the sort of inescapable identity, why it??s a help. You??re bound to belong to that totem; it does work very well. It??s fallen out of use now, I was the first and only, and again this is one of those firsts that Americans like to think is important. G: Well, I think as dean of women, you would have had?| F: As dean of women I did exactly what I was doing with whatever affairs I was entitled to be doing. But, as I??ve said, I??ve had 14 different titles; 15 now that I have added affiliate and adjunct to it, since I returned from retirement. G: And this book which you wrote, which is related to what we are talking about today, and I??ve been enjoying, and I plan on reading this weekend because I have learnt so much about USF??s history and I think it is really important for those of us who are working in the university that we are familiar with the history. As a matter of fact, I think it??s important for the students to be aware of this too.


F: Well, I do think that??s true. And we do have Troy Collier and some other people who have been giving a course, an extended orientation to the university. I think this has been a very great help. Matter of fact I wrote an orientation text that was sort of, college education??s personal development. But, the orientation courses that I wrote for, which had come in to use early in the 50??s, when you had so many new students and new universities, it was called college education as personal development. With the acceleration in the Civil Rights Movement, and the concerns for affirmative action, and for racial justice, and so on, and the active demonstrations against the color line that developed and spread in the early 60s, well they started before the 60s, but they really ripened in ??64 or ??65, there were a lot of students who were concerned about this, and were very interested in activism from the day we opened. That brought an end to the orientation programs because you were confronting people who were demonstrating against and raising issues against the universities as a power structure, whereas the orientation courses were mostly designed to open up for students the range of roles they could play as colleagues, and to look ahead to the roles they could play in future careers, and that just about put an end to courses of that sort. They began to get revived in the 80s I think. At least for a while, and I think still, the last time I saw Mr. Collier, they were still conducting that. But, there are ways to work around this, even in those times when everything is being called into question. I??m glad you enjoyed the book. G: I intend to read it at length because I skimmed through it just recently and there is so much about USF, in that it has gone from that little jewel, as you described earlier in our discussion, that lit up the night sky in the middle of palm trees and sand piles and tortoises. F: Incidentally one of our students said we had the opportunity to be the refuge and to preserve the gopher tortoise and burying owl population of this area, because the campus was dotted with these little mounds that gopher tortoises had built, and there were burying owls that lived to in a lot of the?|and the owls flew about at night, sometimes they??d get in the classroom and you had to very carefully encourage them out. It was an important aspect to the ecological, of the ecology of the area. We came a little late to the awareness to the opportunity. G: Dr. Fisher we??re just about, our time has just about run out. F: They going to throw us out of here?


G: The tape I think is just about ready to finish up. But, I wanted to thank you for coming here today and letting us know about your personal experiences at USF and to thank you for sharing this information with so many of us who would never have had the opportunity to know this information if it weren??t for you. And I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy working with you over the past four years and I hope that we have many more years of association as we work in distance learning. F: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to be here, and I??m very grateful to the library for the invitation. G: Yes, thank you. F: Glad to be with you. G: Indeed. End of Interview


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