Mark Amen

Mark Amen

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Mark Amen
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Amen, Michael Mark, 1944-
Greenberg, Yael V
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
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Tampa, Fla
University of South Florida Tampa Library
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1 sound file (56 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;


Oral history. ( local )
Online audio. ( local )
interview ( marcgt )
Oral history ( local )
Online audio ( local )


Mark Amen, Director of the USF Globalization Research Center, discusses being brought to the Department of International Studies to improve the department's course load in international political economy. He formerly served as director of the International Studies program.
Interview conducted April 24, 2003.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Yael V. Greenberg.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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029070458 ( ALEPH )
250684945 ( OCLC )
U23-00005 ( USFLDC DOI )
u23.5 ( USFLDC Handle )

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USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted April 24, 2003.
Mark Amen, Director of the USF Globalization Research Center, discusses being brought to the Department of International Studies to improve the department's course load in international political economy. He formerly served as director of the International Studies program.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Streaming audio.
Amen, Michael Mark,
2 610
University of South Florida.
Globalization Research Center.
University of South Florida.
7 655
Oral history.
Online audio.
Greenberg, Yael V.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
Tampa Library.
4 856

xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
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segment idx 0time text length 533 G: Today is Thursday, April 24, 2003. My name is Yael Greenberg, Oral History Program Assistant for the Florida Studies Center. We continue a series of interviews in our studio here in the Tampa campus library with USF faculty, students, and alumni in order to commemorate fifty years of university history. Today, we will be interviewing Dr. Mark Amen who came to USF in 1982 as an assistant professor of international studies. He is currently the director of a globalization and research center. Good morning, Dr. Amen.
129 A: Good morning, Yael.
2142 G: Let's begin by you taking us to the year you arrived in Tampa and what circumstances brought you to the University of South Florida.
31003 A: Well, I was on a visiting appointment at the University of Vermont. Having come back from Europe in 1978 I had gone through a series of visiting appointments, the last of which was at the University of Vermont. I went to the International Studies Association meeting that spring in Cincinnati. While I was there I met the associate dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the time, Dr. Susan Northcutt. Susan, whom I had not met before, told me about a job here. They were looking for someone who taught in the field of international political economy. So, I went on to the Johnson Center in Texas to do research on an article I was working on in the Johnson Administration, economic policies, and when I returned to Vermont I submitted an application, came down for an interview, and they offered me a position. I rented a U-Haul in Vermont and stopped in Atlantic City on the way down and won $500 on a slot machine and paid for my trip, and I arrived here in August.
488 G: How was the International Studies Program set up when you came to USF in 1982?
5619 A: At that time it was part of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies that included Women's Studies, African-American Studies, and International Studies. I believe there were about eight faculty in International Studies at the time. It was a separate undergraduate major in International Studies and it had probably around 200 majors at the time and was growing rapidly. The chair of the department at that time was Dr. Mark Orr, who actually founded the International Studies Program and was the first person, as far as I know, to really bring international issues and efforts to the campus here at USF.
641 G: What did USF look like in 1982?
7967 A: Physically it was obviously far more underdeveloped than it is today. The campus had mainly buildings that had been constructed, I believe in the 1960s. There wasn't much growth as I remembered people telling me during the 1970s. When I came in 1982, for the first probably five or six years there wasn't much physical growth on the campus, although there was growth in the student body. The mall was there and much of the area west of the university was still primarily student-residential area. I actually lived in that area just west of the university in an apartment for about four or five years, and it began to really transition significantly in 1986 and 1987. That transition altered the composition of people living there significantly. Students I think began relocating to other areas further north of the university and further east of the university. That whole area wanting to transition, I actually moved out of the area myself in 1988.
875 G: You came here as an assistant professor of International Studies?
914 A: Yes.
1050 G: What were some of your responsibilities?
111451 A: Well, the primary reason the department hired me was because they wanted to start adding courses in international political economy. By that time it was clear in the field that the role of economics in international politics was becoming a very significant factor. In my own field of political science there was a growing body of literature in the field that was emphasizing and assessing the relationship between politics and economics. My first responsibility was to really create undergraduate courses that looked at, from an international perspective, the relationship between politics and economics. Then, I had a cognate specialization in Western Europe. I had done my graduate studies at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and had for eight years lived in Europe. I had a fairly strong background in Western Europe and the European-economic community, so I was also teaching courses in Western Europe and was working on developing new courses in international political economy. Like all other assistant professors, I taught a wide range of courses: the world perspectives class, the American foreign policy [class]. The average size of my classes in 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985 was probably fifty. We had smaller classes even than that, but the largest classes offered by the department at the time were in the range of fifty. There were some exceptions, but in general the average size was fairly low.
12174 G: Why was USF interested in creating more diverse course work in international studies, including this relationship that you mentioned between economics and politics?
13A: I think primarily because the faculty in the program realized that the nature of the discipline was changing and that if they were going to provide undergraduate students with quality education they needed to begin restructuring the core requirements in the curriculum for the majors. There was an increasing emphasis on developing the academic standards inside the program. The university was moving, as far as I understand it, away from being a primarily teaching university to a research based university. That wave was already underway when I came here in 1982. So, I think the primary driving force was to raise the quality of education for undergraduate majors on the assumption that they would be better prepared for the work force, and also on the assumption that many of them would go on to do graduate studies either in the master's program in political science that was already in the place at the time or go on to do doctoral work elsewhere.
14155 G: In terms of your students, why were they interested in taking classes in international studies and what brought them to take an interest in this?
151096 A: That's a very hard question to answer. I've never quite understood motives for students pursuing particular majors. I mean to be honest with you here, both as a faculty member in the classroom and in the later jobs I had, I had significant interaction with students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It seems to me that there are a myriad of motives driving students interests. In this setting I would say compared to other schools I've taught at in the northeast, the primary motivator was the assumption that a bachelor's degree was a pre-condition for a job position in any area. Students who were specific about interests that led them to choose international studies were students who were primarily interested in having careers in foreign service, hoping they could get jobs with the state department or with international organizations, or people who loved to travel and had the false assumption that if you had an international studies major it was the ticket to worldwide travel. I'm not sure those motives have changed over time in the years that I've been here.
16255 G: In terms of faculty when you came here in 1982, you mentioned that the International Studies Department was part of the Interdisciplinary Studies and there were three branches. What was the make up of the faculty in your department at the time?
17832 A: I'm guessing the size of the whole department was somewhere in the mid twenties and it was comprised of faculty who had specializations in a wide range of disciplines. Within my own discipline there were faculty who had Ph.D.s in history and in political science; I believe those were the two primary ones. Then, in the Women Studies Program there were faculty who had doctoral degrees in philosophy. I'm not sure any of them had Ph.D.s in what we know today as Women's Studies. Philosophy, psychology, and history are the three that I recall among the colleagues of the time. The faculty who were in African-American Studies had degrees in political science and history, as I recall. It was a quite diverse group of faculty in terms of their doctoral work and in terms of their areas of specialization and interest.
1897 G: In terms of the composition of the department and diversity were there females working?
19568 A: It was the most diverse department, as far as I know, within the university. You had people who definitely the gender issue was not a need for us to address at that time. There were several women on the faculty, both from Women's Studies and from International Studies. I shouldn't say several, there was one woman on the faculty in International Studies. In terms of diversity based on race and ethnicity, there were several African Americans and several Africans representing various parts of Africa. It was a very diverse faculty when I arrived here.
2071 G: Was there a lot of interaction between the three departments?
21505 A: Yes, it was an integrated department. It operated as a single unit and, despite the differences, there was a high level of collegiality. I wouldn't say that there was a significant amount of research interaction. I don't recall any faculty who were working on research projects that were collaborating across those three programs, but in terms of collegiality the espirit de corps of the faculty was very strong. There was a high level of interaction and people liked each other quite a bit.
22109 G: When did the Department of International Studies move away from the interdisciplinary studies idea?
231476 A: There was a transition period that began, as I recall, sometime in the late 1980s and came to final decision making in either 1990 or 1991. I'm not absolutely certain of the date on that. There were a number of forces bringing that about. Over time, as we moved through the 1980s, the faculty in African-American Studies had always desired to establish a free-standing department of Africana Studies with an undergraduate major and eventually hoped to offer graduate level programs. The same was the case with the Women's Studies Program. When I came here in 1982, neither of those programs inside the Interdisciplinary Studies Department offered undergraduate degrees with majors in either Women's Studies or Africana Studies. Both of those efforts came to fruition in, and I believe the first was the Women's Studies Program established its own major and eventually went on to become its own department. That was also the case in Africana Studies. When those two departments moved out of the unit, International Studies at the time was merged with Political Science and Public Administration to form the Department of Government and International Affairs. That was not an easy marriage at the time. There was widespread discussion with the dean of the day, of the College of Social and Behavioral Science. For a variety of reasons that unit was created at the college level and, I would say, without the consent of the faculty. So, it was a rocky road.
24202 G: You mentioned the disconnection between the International Studies and the Government and International Affairs, do you think there were other reasons why the two just didn't connect very well?
252018 A: This is somewhat complicated because, as I mentioned, International Studies was a program with an undergraduate major in Interdisciplinary Studies Department. Political Science was its own department, and Public Administration had separated itself from the Political Science Department, I believe, sometime in the early 1980s and become its own department of Public Administration. So, the merger of these three entailed bringing together two independent departments who had in the past been together and had finally convinced the dean of their day not to keep them together. Then, International Studies had a strong undergraduate program and was happy in its prior setting was now put into this newly formed unit that none of the three partners had belonged to. It was a complex decision, one I frankly think, in retrospect, was absolutely the right decision to make; but at the time I certainly didn't, nor did almost all of my colleagues that ended up being associated with that department. It was a new unit and all three that were put in it had to change the administrative relationships they had had and had to develop new relationships both as colleagues and programmatically. It is the only time that I can recall when three, previously separated, units within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences were actually merged. That merger as it turns out, of those three units into one department, occurred also at the time that at the university level a merger was going on between colleges. So, the bringing out of the Department of Government and International Affairs roughly coincided, I think it preceded by one year, the merger of three previously separated colleges into the current College of Arts and Sciences. Before that, there was a College of Social and Behavioral Sciences where my program and department resided, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of the Natural Sciences; those three were merged, I believe, one year after the department I am now in was created.
26G: Was this merger initiated by the president of the university?
27120 A: The college regents. I am trying to recall who the president was during that period. Was it John Lott Brown?
2823 G: I believe so.
29893 A: I think it was John Lott Brown. I'm not sure what the motivation that precipitated initial discussion on that was. There may have been an outside consultant that was brought in. It certainly was done at the provost/presidential level that initiative was taken. As far as I recall that was not a ground-up initiative that was recommended by any of the three standing deans of those colleges, so it certainly was one that I'm pretty confident came at the presidential or the provost level. What I'm not certain of is if it was driven by outside-consultant review who structured the university. It may well have been that Pete Marwick...I'm trying to remember. That study I believe was the one that was done that actually led to the campus led discussions about restructuring the colleges and the merger that then subsequently followed. It may have been that side that did that.
30126 G: Once you were working as an assistant professor of International Studies, what was your next move in the university?
313985 A: I was tenured in 1987, I believe. Then, I became director of the International Studies Program the year that program became a part of this newly formed Department of Government and International Affairs. Actually, it may have been the year during the discussions that led to the merger of those three programs. I'm trying to remember if I was the director during the time that these discussions occurred or if I became the director the actual first year of this new department. I know I became the director in 1991. I believe it was in January of 1991 that I became the director of the International Studies Program. If I recall, that program then became part of this newly formed Department of Government and International Affairs the following August. I think for the first seven or eight months we were still in the negotiation period about where International Studies would end up residing. I was in that position for, I believe, probably two [or] two and a half years. During that time, obviously it was a fun time working out relationships in this newly formed unit. There were quite interesting challenges and long discussions about the relative autonomy of each of the three programs inside this new unit: what would become common processes for annual evaluations, criteria for tenure and promotion across these three units, possible integration of curriculum, and developing more interdisciplinary kinds of course work across the three, all those kinds of internal discussions that are common in departments in general but very intense in this setting. Then, at the time that was going on there were several mergers going on in the early 1990s here at the university. It was a period of fairly dramatic change, dramatic from the point of an academic institution. There were not only those structural changes going on, but there were also changes going on in the curriculum university wide. While I was still director of the International Studies Program, the provost at the time called for a general review of what were called the general education requirements at the time. I believe that would have been sometime in the early 1990s as well. The provost at the period had just come in. His name was Gerry Meisels. He was a chemist by training, and he initiated a campus-wide review. This had been going on for several years. There had been several faculty bodies, I believe even when I arrived here in 1982, who were looking at the general education curriculum and trying to arrive at some consensus on how to change it. That discussion went on for at least ten or eleven years before I then became head of the Liberal Arts Curriculum Committee in 1991 or 1992, all about that same time period, that ultimately was the committee who came up with the recommendation that was accepted by the provost and the faculty senate and led to the current liberal arts requirements we have for undergraduate majors here. My colleagues that preceded me had, for ten or twelve years, been working on this. It finally just coincidentally came to an agreement and consensus in the early 1990s. That was a significant curricular change. The university in general, I think in the early part of the 1990s, began a significant transformation reflected by changes in its curriculum. [Also, it was] reflected by restructuring of its college system, reflected by a massive period of building growth that, as far as I recall, really took off really in the 1990s and by a move to the next level of university status nationally and internationally. There was a concerted effort during that period under Meisels' provost to raise the standards of the faculty and of the graduate student body. That began, I'm going to say, probably in 1992 or 1993 and really hasn't stopped ever since. As far as I would recall, I'm going to stay that for my first eight or nine years here that kind of initiative was not nearly as intense as it was beginning around 1992 or 1993.
32G: Why was there such a push for this change in the early 1990s?
333795 A: Well that's a great question and I'm sure that there are multiply answers to it, none of which is going to be correct and all of which will have a seed of truth. From my perspective the world was undergoing significant changes. To the extent that universities might change as a result of changes in the external environment, I would point and think a lot about the extent to which changes here were motivated by a general pattern of change going on worldwide. First and foremost, the period of the 1990s really began with a recession and a transition at the national level in political leadership from the Republican to Democratic Party. I think very few would dispute that, at least on the surface, there was a significant difference between the policy options offered by the Bush administration and those offered by Clinton. That all reflected a way the national political change I think we had coming out of that recession, and it was really during that 1992 campaign that the recession was beginning to show signs of moving out of it and getting it to grow. That kind of change at the national level I think was also going on at the international level. There were significant transformations going on in the structuring of the global economy, in the structuring of Europe itself. The European Union was moving to a whole new level, so there was kind of a see-change going on. What was driving that I think in part was high technology and communication. I mean this is the period when really high technology begins to affect different forms of production, it transforms the nature of investment and stock markets, and all of that is spinning to a period of significant growth. That trickled into the state legislature as well. There was a period of budget growth inside the legislature, with significant sources of funding coming from the legislature. I'm certain that would have been one stimulus for change: knowing that the change could be possible because there was money available for building on campus, population growth in the area was expanding, and there was rising student demand for course work. Then, there was the kind of leadership at the university that was in tune or in touch with, that rode the wave of that change going on outside it, and really in my mind jumped on board and took advantage of it to try to move the university to a level of competitiveness within the state university system. It was really, I believe, in that period that USF's reputation within the state began to make a change from what it had been. Now that effort to change the image of USF away from a primary commuter school with students primarily coming from community colleges after they had completed their two-year associates degree, and with the faculty primarily as a teaching faculty; all of that change was underway when I arrived in 1982. I would say the fruits of that, or the outcomes of that, began showing up probably by the mid 1990s. By 1994, 1995, 1996 you began looking at the campus, and from a physical point of view as a built environment it looked far different than it did when I arrived in 1982. It really began to look like an integrated campus. I think we had hired, by then, an architect who was very sensitive to kind of creating, if you will, a kind of web of relationships between the buildings on campus, the natural environment, and the uses of the buildings. The campus really began to look like one and feel like one. The student body was growing rapidly. The standards for hiring faculty were rising and we were becoming far more competitive [people] in attracting excellent researchers who were just beginning their careers, as well as some faculty who were at midpoints in their careers and had established reputations already.
3480 G: I want to go back a little bit because you said some wonderful things.
3515 A: Okay.
36300 G: You mentioned that in the 1990s there was this need to restructure the general education requirements, was this something that was particular to USF or was this happening along other state universities? Why was Dr. Meisels so interested in restructuring the general education requirements?
373939 A: I don't think we were ahead of the curve in this. I think across the nation, as far as I recall in reviewing what other universities were doing when I took over the job as chair of the Liberal Arts Council, other universities, particularly in the Northeast and in the West, had already undergone and adopted new changes. The issues of the day that were discussed in changing the undergraduate curriculum were multiple. As far as I recall, they concerned questions about the international perspectives. To what extent would students going through this university finish with degrees having a view of the world that was thoughtful and based upon exposure to consideration of the world beyond Tampa, Florida, [and] the U.S.? Secondly, [there were] issues of environment. The environmental issues were clearly very pronounced. In the public eye, certainly by the 1990s, there was widespread discussion about the relationship between humans and the natural environment. There was serious discussion about to what extent do we need to give students opportunities to reflect about what the relationship ought to be between the natural and the human environment. Then, there were issues of race, ethnicity, and gender that loomed large in the consideration. All of those were kind of public issues of the day being discussed at the policy levels, nationally, and they certainly came to bare in the discussions the faculty had. A central question, as far as I can recall about changing the curriculum, had to do with what did liberal arts education mean. Did it mean to be well versed in a canon of the liberal arts as they emerged really from medieval times to the present, or did it mean having students out in the world who could deal with current issues in the world in ways that students who did not have a liberal arts education could not deal? That debate really was an extended debate. Should students have extensive backgrounds in the great literature of the world? Should they have extensive background in the history of philosophy and the history of science? Should they have history from multiple perspectives about the world? All of those were discussions. Then, on the other hand, there were discussions about preparing students to live in a world where they, by the value basis they got from their undergraduate education, would make a difference in the kind of ways they lived in the world. As far as I'm concerned, that curriculum that came out really tried to balance the relationship between those two, having students versed in the traditions of the liberal arts yet able to apply those traditions to relative issues of the day. In my own mind, adopting that kind of curriculum, which in fact is the kind of curriculum we did adopt, built into it the implicit assumption that that curriculum had to be constantly evolving because a significant part of it was the currency of issues of the day and the capacity to relate traditional liberal arts knowledge to the currency of issues of the day. What has not happened is a continual upgrading and review of that. The curriculum is now, I believe, being reviewed, but it's been ten years. Ideally, you would have, in the kind of liberal arts curriculum that we did create, you would have a constant review and change of it. I'll just say one more thing on this. It's very difficult to change your curriculum offered by approximately 2,000 faculty and an undergraduate student body, I'm guessing, of somewhere in the mid 30,000. Now, mass classes of 200 or 300 are common; 200 or 300 students in courses they are, some of them if not all of them, taking to satisfy this liberal arts curriculum. So it's difficult as a university becomes large. It's certainly difficult for institutions in general to find ways to change curricula in a kind of continual review way that speaks to the currency, that I believe, the liberal arts education requires.
3892 G: After you were the director of the International Studies Program where did you go?
394485 A: Well, it's a sad story but I ended up going to an even more administrative position. The College of Arts and Sciences had hired a new dean to lead that college, and I believe he came to USF in 1992 or 1993; his name was Rollin Richmond. Now, someone is going to be more accurate on the exact year he came. I know that he was dean of the college at least one or two years before I became one of his associate deans. One of my friends, who was a former colleague of mine from Women's Studies was the associate dean for Faculty Development, her name was Marilyn Myerson. She and I were friends and she had told me that Dean Richmond was looking for a new associate dean for Academic Affairs and encouraged me to apply for the job. I'm going to be honest, I did apply without much thought about the implications of that for my wife both professionally and personally. Low and behold, I did get the offer from the dean to take the position, and I did, and I became the associate dean in August of 1993. Normally, you only stay in a job like that for three or four years; I ended up staying in it for eight, from 1993 to December of 2001. It was fun and it was exciting. I had significant staff to manage with absolutely no management background in managing staff. Here, I was trained and had my doctorate in political science and had really no prior experience in managing a staff of what turned out to be about thirty [to] thirty-five people, all of whom were working in one way or another with undergraduate and graduate students. My job really was to deal with all relationships between faculty and students who were in the college as majors at the undergraduate and graduate level. The college size was such that the arts and sciences comprised a bit over half of the total student body. I think when I started the job in 1993 there were probably about 12,000 undergraduate majors in the college and about 2,000 to 2,500 graduate students in the college. So, it was an interesting job. [There were] lots of changes during the time I was in the position. I would say [there was an] increasing emphasis on the quality of our graduate programs. One of my main concerns and jobs was how to raise the caliber of our graduate student body, and raise it primarily by acquiring more resources to attract students, by offering more competitive stipends nationally and larger kinds of fellowship opportunities for graduate students at the college. We were appallingly low compared to national standards in the kinds of graduate assistantship opportunities and fellowship opportunities we were offering. So, there were lots of other changes. It was an interesting time. During this period of my being associate dean I served under Rollin Richmond and then under David Stamps who went on to become provost here. Rollin left, I believe in 1995, to become provost at Stony Brook in the state university New York system. David went on to become provost here. Then, I served under the current dean of the college Renu Khator, who was interim dean for one year. I served with her for another half year after she became the dean of the college. There it is in a nut shell. From an administrative point of view [there's been] lots of changes for the positive under President Castor. I would say that her leadership as far as I can tell, of all the presidents that have been leading the university since I came here in 1982, I would say that she was the one who was most unwanted by the faculty when she arrived because she didn't have a Ph.D. [and] she didn't have a background in education, and was probably the most widely respected by the faculty when she left four or five years later. She really was far more sophisticated than other presidents have been at appreciating the values of higher education and realizing that role of faculty in guiding the quality of education and research at the university. She understood that clearly and valued it highly, and at the same time she understood the politics of resource acquisition at the state/national level. [She] was able to harness her skills in those areas to bring new resources to the faculty in the university in ways that I think she will be seen by future historians of this university as one of the significant contributors to raising the level of quality at this university by virtue of balancing her appreciation and respect for the faculty with her skills acquired in her years in the political arena.
40150 G: I want to move real quickly to your status today as the director of the Globalization Research Center. Can you tell me how that came about?
412841 A: Yes, that came about when a colleague in political science at the University of Hawaii, his name is Deane Newbauer. In the summer of 1998 or 1999 [he] made contact with the dean of my college at the time, David Stamps, and told him that he wanted to come out and talk to him about USF partnering with the University of Hawaii to approach Congress to request seed funding to create a network of universities to focus on research with regard to globalization and its implications. David responded positively and came to me right away because he knew it was my area of research and interest, and he asked me if I was supportive of this idea. I said, yes. So, Deane Newbauer came out and spent a couple of days here on campus. The outcome of that led to a series of meetings. After he brought us on board in this idea he had that was being championed by his representative in Congress, Neil Abercrombie, we approached UCLA and the George Washington University in DC. The four of those universities together made an approach to Congress beginning in 1999 and 2000. We worked with representatives from our various Congressional districts. Bill Young in this district was critical. He was chairman, and still is, of the House Appropriations Committee and Bill became of the supportive of the idea as well. As chairman of the House Appropriations his support was critical. Congress did decide to allocate to us, in fiscal year 2000-2001, funding of 2.5 million. For the last three years we have received funding from Congress that comes through the Department of Education's program for post-secondary education. So, for the last two and half years, but officially a year and half, I've been directing this USF Globalization Research Center. It's a partnership with these other three universities that is intent upon creating a national and international network of researchers who are looking at globalization and its impact on a wide range of issues, but primarily for the purpose of linking research results to public policy and funding in ways that alter at the international and national level, public policies related to issues of globalization. Those issues are wide ranging. There are issues of health worldwide. The most recent examples of which would be the current concerns about SARS, but the more longstanding issues are HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, a range of communicable diseases in the area of health; and certainly environmental issues and the global implications of those. Also, the global economy and it's implications for a wide range of issues including the future of the United Nations, the role of the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the question of state sovereignty and whether or not the state is a sole viable political unit of organization internationally.
42112 G: Why was USF interested in helping to develop this consortium if you will for our Globalization Center?
432327 A: I think it's for a couple of reasons. Certainly, we were approached from a practical point of view by Deane Newbauer. Why? Because he knew that Bill Young was chairman of the Appropriations Committee and that if he was going to get funding for his idea he and Neil Abercrombie, the Hawaii Representative in the House, knew that they had to get Bill Young's support. Secondly, Deane was taking a geographic context for looking at globalization issues. Hawaii clearly had expertise in Asian Pacific as a long-standing East/West center that is widely known throughout the world for its research on East/West issues. We had just brought up a Latin American, Caribbean initiative. He, secondly, came to us because of that initiative. Mike Conniff had been brought in, a historian who is now at San Jose State actually bringing up a global studies center. Mike Conniff had, in the short time he had been here, made an early reputation for USF and its efforts to focus its research and education programs on Latin America and the Caribbean. Thirdly, I think because he knew that there were people here whose research interests in globalization across a range of issues would be an appropriate university to partner with. So, I think his interest was critical. Obviously, without his call to us we would not have become party to this venture. Since then its created great opportunities for the university to help faculty here link with colleagues throughout the world who share common research interests. It is one example of many at this university, I might add. There are a number of important centers here that have been brought up in the last four or five years. All of which together reflect a kind of new university here, a university that is beginning to be not just a partner with others, but on the cutting edge in generating new research [and] new knowledge in ways that I would say USF has not been known for except in the field of allied health sciences. Now, we're beginning to get a reputation in the social sciences, in education, in engineering, and probably also in business administration, [and] particularly in the area of globalization and its implications. I think if we can keep that venture going it will chart a whole new course for and reputation for this university internationally.
44209 G: With our current world situation and our current campus situation, has the Globalization Research Center been a venue for things that have been going on in the world and on campus? Have people come?
451803 A: Well, it's been interesting. We're a research center supporting research, and we are supporting research that has immediate implications for public policy. One example, after 9/11 we had only been in operation for three months. We started in July of 2001, and as you recall, September 11 was that year. It brought widespread attention to issues of terrorism. We were contacted early on to take some action. We were contacted by the community as well as by the leaders here at the university. It was a complicated issue here. [It was] complicated by the presence of the Al-Arian factor and the university's position on him changing in light of September 11. We held off on doing anything on that issue for a year, but on the first anniversary of September 11, we hosted a six-hour symposium that was attended by over 500 people. [We were] trying to look at the issue of human security in a globalized world in ways that included terrorism and physical threats to human security, but in ways that also included all different ways of threatening human security in forms of disease, information security, [and] a wide range of security related issues to humans beyond the issue of terrorism. That is an example of trying to take an issue of the day and, lead by the Center, teasing that issue out in ways that people normally don't think about. Human security is not just security driven by immediate threats to violence in the forms taken in the September eleventh acts. There are other kinds of threats, and the Center provides an opportunity to raise people's knowledge of those issues by bringing in faculty expertise both from within the university and from outside the university to help the community and the students come to an understanding of issues that are very complicated.
4686 G: When you came here in 1982 did you think you would be here twenty-one years?
472100 A: Honestly no, I hated Florida. This is going to sound horrible to all you Floridians in the future watching this tape, I apologize. You know I grew up in the Midwest. I love the change of seasons. I grew up on the Mississippi River in a little town in Illinois, just north of St. Louis. I lived in Switzerland for several years and it's a beautiful country with lots of mountains. My image of Florida, growing up in the Midwest and then from Europe, was not exactly one that led me to want to live here. Actually, the year that I did come here in 1982, I had several other job offers. The only reason I came here is because I was so attracted by this university. It was relatively new. The other places where I had been offered positions had long histories and traditions, and it felt like something exciting could happen here. I came here despite the fact that it was in a physical environment that I did not find attractive. I was into playing tennis; it was the main sport I had, and the heat here in the summers was not exactly appealing. So, I didn't think that I would stay here forever. As things turn out, I loved this university for the opportunities it had and gave to faculty, when I came here in 1982, to really help build the institution. That really has been the case, I would say, throughout the entire endeavor. It's been problematic, though. The role of faculty in building the university has an interesting series of changes in the last twenty-two years. I would say that there was much input from the faculty through the first ten to fifteen years I was here. It's only really been of late, I would say within the last two or three years, that there is reason to ask what role do faculty play in building the institution further. But honestly, for the first seventeen or eighteen years it's been a very positive history for the faculty at this university I think. That's kept me here. So, I've discovered golf and am now addicted to golf, and there's not a better part of the world to be playing golf in than Florida. So, I am here for the duration.
48101 G: Final question, and this is something I've asked everyone sitting in that chair before you.
49A: Okay.
50214 G: If there was a final thought that you could leave for either future generations or of your tenure here at USF, something that you want to leave on record of your twenty-two years here, what would that be?
511070 A: About myself and this venture here, I have loved the opportunities I have had as a member of the faculty to contribute to the direction of the university. I don't think that's true in many other institutions. About the future, the very thing I love most about this place is that the thing that I think is now something that's in question. So, for the future I wonder. The question is what role can faculty play in building higher-education institutions. That really, in my mind, is the outstanding question. I do think the larger institutional structures become, the more difficult it is to have, if you will, a see-change coming from the grass roots of a faculty. I think that the presidential leaders of the future's skills will rest upon finding ways to continue to root the life of the university in the faculty and the students; that job I don't think will be easy. My fear is that the presidents of the future will operate like CEOs in the private sector. If that's the case, I feel that the future of higher education is not going to bode well.
5240 G: Dr. Amen, thank you very much.
5316 End of Interview


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