Citation
Margaret Fisher

Material Information

Title:
Margaret Fisher
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Creator:
Fisher, Margaret B
Greenberg, Yael V
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publisher:
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 sound file (87 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;

Subjects

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

Notes

Summary:
Margaret Fisher started working at the University as Director of Women's Affairs in 1960, and had more than 13 titles in her career. In this interview, she discusses her time spent at the University and the people she worked with, focusing on the presidents.
Venue:
Interview conducted July 11, 2003.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Yael V. Greenberg.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
029071217 ( ALEPH )
250715804 ( OCLC )
U23-00043 ( USFLDC DOI )
u23.43 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
USF 50th (2006) Anniversary Oral History Project

Postcard Information

Format:
Audio

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text
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xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
transcript timecoded false doi U23-00043 skipped 10 dategenerated 2015-06-10 19:32:11
segment idx 0time text length 15 Year of arrival
283 Margaret Fisher came to USF on 1 September 1960 as the director of women's affairs.
373 Throughout the course of her tenure, Ms. Fisher had over thirteen titles.
444 Circumstances that brought Ms. Fisher to USF
6424 She was pinned to the U.S. Office of Education for a research evaluation job in the Bureau of Higher Education. She was hanging around Washington, D.C. She had just left Hampton University, where she spent two years. One morning she got a call from Max Wise, who was involved with student affairs at USF. He said to Ms. Fisher, 'Why don't you come down here?' She decided to come down and take a look at the University.
733 What had Margaret heard about USF
9She was very excited about the plans for the University. She heard a lot about the plans in the Association of Higher Education. She had good friends at FSU and UF. Her friends at both institutions gave good marks to the state, USF, and its students. She was impressed with that. Max Wise was just leaving Florida. Ms. Fisher says that he told her USF is not as bad as it looks and that it is not as bad on the inside.
1064 Why was Ms. Fisher hesitant to come down to Florida and see USF?
11193 She was leery about coming to Florida because she was aware of the political instability, which was characteristic of the state. A state university in Florida was not really attractive to her.
1245 What ultimately attracted her to come to USF?
13493 When she came and looked at the University she was really impressed with the plans and designs of the programs at USF, particularly the interdisciplinary programs, which had been of interest to her ever since she was an undergraduate at the University of Texas. The interdisciplinary programs at USF really attracted Ms. Fisher to USF. She was also attracted to the University because people she knew were involved with it, such as John Allen and Russ Cooper. She had high regards for them.
1450 Ms. Fisher is a member of the class of 1956 at USF
17239 She is proud to be a member of the class of 1956. She was the first honorary alumna that the Alumni Association picked. They honored her when she retired. They chose to honor people who were involved with the University at its creation.
18How does an institution pick its birth date?
20575 Ms. Fisher says that some institutions pick the day when the university actually opens as its birth date. USF chose to honor its 50th anniversary by using the creation day as the starting year. She says the two most popular dates for birthdays are the date the institution gets its charter from the state government or the date of the first classes. Also, institutions use the date of its first commencement. It was decided that USF would start with the first freshmen class and work up. However, USF chose its birthday as the year when the University was first planned.
2129 First time she saw USF campus
2356 Ms. Fisher says the campus was scrubland and sandy land.
2436 Sense of excitement in the beginning
2699 "We knew we were here to make the desert bloom and to put a fine university here," Ms. Fisher says.
2714 1960 hurricane
28303 In 1960 a hurricane hit the Tampa area. Ms. Fisher says it was a strong one. Thankfully, it caused very little damage. Ms. Fisher says a door broke in the University Center. Also, there was a small sinkhole at the corner of the UC. The hurricane almost caused the corner of the building to fold in.
2912 1966 tornado
30892 Ms. Fisher says the 1966 tornado tore up Carrollwood. USF's switchboard operators were aware of the approaching storm because early on in the day they were receiving calls asking if the University was going to be open. The operators tried the president and could not get through to him. Most of the deans lived out in Carrollwood so the switchboard operators could not get in touch with anyone. The one person they finally got a hold of was the assistant dean of women. The switchboard operators told the assistant dean that she was the only one they could get a hold of and then they asked her what should they do. The assistant dean believed that if Dr. Allen were at the University he would close it for the day. She came to the University and was in charge of it until things got straightened out and administrators began to show up. The tornado took the roof off of Epsilon Hall.
3130 First impressions of Dr. Allen
33146 Ms. Fisher knew Dr. Allen before she came to USF. She liked him. She says once she arrived at USF, it was just fun to be there working with him.
3447 What was Dr. Allen's vision for the University?
36549 Ms. Fisher says that Dr. Allen made it quite clear that USF was to be a first-class university. By first class, Dr. Allen was referring to the University's programs. USF should be a full service university, rooted in the community, and have strong ties throughout the university world both nationally and internationally. Ms. Fisher says that Dr. Allen had a growth-oriented attitude. "USF was to be a growing organic institution. He was very clear about that. He encouraged us to take that approach. [He] had a national mission," she states.
37Book written by Russell Cooper and Margaret Fisher
39525 The book that both Russell Cooper and Margaret Fisher wrote is called Vision of a Contemporary University. Ms. Fisher says that when President Mackey replaced Dr. Allen there was a discussion about having a 20th anniversary for USF in 1976. When Dr. Cooper stepped down as dean of the Liberal Arts College, Dr. Mackey asked him to assume responsibilities for writing university history. Dr. Cooper began writing the book. Sadly, Dr. Cooper died before he could finish it. In 1978 Ms. Fisher was asked to finish the book.
4037 Ms. Fisher comments on Russell Cooper
42350 Ms. Fisher says that Dr. Cooper's vision was similar to Dr. Allen's. He took an organic view of the University. He was aware of the interaction between the University and the different local communities. He was a good man to work with. He liked to explore new ideas and work with people. He watched other universities grow and learned from them.
4327 Director of women's affairs
45138 She says it was not about a sexual division of labor. She says that they were equally concerned about the progress of both men and women.
4635 Ms. Fisher comments on Cecil Mackey
48451 His approach was more bureaucratic and hierarchical. That was their impression. He was structural. He was trying to eliminate things. He appeared to be in tune with the privatized movement. He was intent on getting the University out of things, which we regarded as valuable and helpful for survival. She did not sympathize with the way he was reorganizing everything. He wanted USF to look like the other universities and have some uniformity.
4920 Budgetary restraints
51124 Ms. Fisher says, "USF expanded more rapidly than anyone could believe, which is one reason why we were always out of money."
5252 Ms. Fisher discusses USF's presidents over the years
54790 She has enjoyed all of the presidents. She says that Carl Riggs was a delight. She enjoyed Cecil Mackey. She says that John Lott Brown had his own style and was firmly grounded in an organic view. Frank Borkowski took a musical view. Ms. Fisher says that Borkowski liked things to be in tune and to chime together. She thinks that the University always had momentum and that all the presidents never did anything to impede that. "Everyone contributed a lot to the growth. I enjoyed every one of them. I told Castor not to take the presidency, because I thought we needed her in the State Department of Education. She did a good job for us. She did such a good job with community relations. It has been fun watching Judy Genshaft. She really enjoys that job," states Ms. Fisher.
5554 What is Ms. Fisher most proud of in her tenure at USF?
58She used to say she was proud of the trees that were planted in the quad.
59264 They planted the whole strip of trees on both sides of the sidewalk from the Student Services Center to the Fine Arts Building. Students were involved in planting the trees. USF could not afford to hire professionals to plant the trees due to budgetary concerns.
6055 Where does Ms. Fisher see the university in the future?
62166 "We are going to be a strongly community-oriented full service university with strong international ties, particularly to the Caribbean and the Americas," she states.
6362 Any last words that Margaret Fisher would like to leave behind
65184 Ms. Fisher comments on the University, noting that, "It looks good, but it does not look too idealized. What you see is what you get. It has an air of elegance about it," she states.
6616 End of Interview
unicode


xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
transcript timecoded false doi U23-00043 skipped 10 dategenerated 2015-06-10 19:32:11
segment idx 0time text length 15 Year of arrival
283 Margaret Fisher came to USF on 1 September 1960 as the director of women's affairs.
373 Throughout the course of her tenure, Ms. Fisher had over thirteen titles.
444 Circumstances that brought Ms. Fisher to USF
6424 She was pinned to the U.S. Office of Education for a research evaluation job in the Bureau of Higher Education. She was hanging around Washington, D.C. She had just left Hampton University, where she spent two years. One morning she got a call from Max Wise, who was involved with student affairs at USF. He said to Ms. Fisher, 'Why don't you come down here?' She decided to come down and take a look at the University.
733 What had Margaret heard about USF
9She was very excited about the plans for the University. She heard a lot about the plans in the Association of Higher Education. She had good friends at FSU and UF. Her friends at both institutions gave good marks to the state, USF, and its students. She was impressed with that. Max Wise was just leaving Florida. Ms. Fisher says that he told her USF is not as bad as it looks and that it is not as bad on the inside.
1064 Why was Ms. Fisher hesitant to come down to Florida and see USF?
11193 She was leery about coming to Florida because she was aware of the political instability, which was characteristic of the state. A state university in Florida was not really attractive to her.
1245 What ultimately attracted her to come to USF?
13493 When she came and looked at the University she was really impressed with the plans and designs of the programs at USF, particularly the interdisciplinary programs, which had been of interest to her ever since she was an undergraduate at the University of Texas. The interdisciplinary programs at USF really attracted Ms. Fisher to USF. She was also attracted to the University because people she knew were involved with it, such as John Allen and Russ Cooper. She had high regards for them.
1450 Ms. Fisher is a member of the class of 1956 at USF
17239 She is proud to be a member of the class of 1956. She was the first honorary alumna that the Alumni Association picked. They honored her when she retired. They chose to honor people who were involved with the University at its creation.
18How does an institution pick its birth date?
20575 Ms. Fisher says that some institutions pick the day when the university actually opens as its birth date. USF chose to honor its 50th anniversary by using the creation day as the starting year. She says the two most popular dates for birthdays are the date the institution gets its charter from the state government or the date of the first classes. Also, institutions use the date of its first commencement. It was decided that USF would start with the first freshmen class and work up. However, USF chose its birthday as the year when the University was first planned.
2129 First time she saw USF campus
2356 Ms. Fisher says the campus was scrubland and sandy land.
2436 Sense of excitement in the beginning
2699 "We knew we were here to make the desert bloom and to put a fine university here," Ms. Fisher says.
2714 1960 hurricane
28303 In 1960 a hurricane hit the Tampa area. Ms. Fisher says it was a strong one. Thankfully, it caused very little damage. Ms. Fisher says a door broke in the University Center. Also, there was a small sinkhole at the corner of the UC. The hurricane almost caused the corner of the building to fold in.
2912 1966 tornado
30892 Ms. Fisher says the 1966 tornado tore up Carrollwood. USF's switchboard operators were aware of the approaching storm because early on in the day they were receiving calls asking if the University was going to be open. The operators tried the president and could not get through to him. Most of the deans lived out in Carrollwood so the switchboard operators could not get in touch with anyone. The one person they finally got a hold of was the assistant dean of women. The switchboard operators told the assistant dean that she was the only one they could get a hold of and then they asked her what should they do. The assistant dean believed that if Dr. Allen were at the University he would close it for the day. She came to the University and was in charge of it until things got straightened out and administrators began to show up. The tornado took the roof off of Epsilon Hall.
3130 First impressions of Dr. Allen
33146 Ms. Fisher knew Dr. Allen before she came to USF. She liked him. She says once she arrived at USF, it was just fun to be there working with him.
3447 What was Dr. Allen's vision for the University?
36549 Ms. Fisher says that Dr. Allen made it quite clear that USF was to be a first-class university. By first class, Dr. Allen was referring to the University's programs. USF should be a full service university, rooted in the community, and have strong ties throughout the university world both nationally and internationally. Ms. Fisher says that Dr. Allen had a growth-oriented attitude. "USF was to be a growing organic institution. He was very clear about that. He encouraged us to take that approach. [He] had a national mission," she states.
37Book written by Russell Cooper and Margaret Fisher
39525 The book that both Russell Cooper and Margaret Fisher wrote is called Vision of a Contemporary University. Ms. Fisher says that when President Mackey replaced Dr. Allen there was a discussion about having a 20th anniversary for USF in 1976. When Dr. Cooper stepped down as dean of the Liberal Arts College, Dr. Mackey asked him to assume responsibilities for writing university history. Dr. Cooper began writing the book. Sadly, Dr. Cooper died before he could finish it. In 1978 Ms. Fisher was asked to finish the book.
4037 Ms. Fisher comments on Russell Cooper
42350 Ms. Fisher says that Dr. Cooper's vision was similar to Dr. Allen's. He took an organic view of the University. He was aware of the interaction between the University and the different local communities. He was a good man to work with. He liked to explore new ideas and work with people. He watched other universities grow and learned from them.
4327 Director of women's affairs
45138 She says it was not about a sexual division of labor. She says that they were equally concerned about the progress of both men and women.
4635 Ms. Fisher comments on Cecil Mackey
48451 His approach was more bureaucratic and hierarchical. That was their impression. He was structural. He was trying to eliminate things. He appeared to be in tune with the privatized movement. He was intent on getting the University out of things, which we regarded as valuable and helpful for survival. She did not sympathize with the way he was reorganizing everything. He wanted USF to look like the other universities and have some uniformity.
4920 Budgetary restraints
51124 Ms. Fisher says, "USF expanded more rapidly than anyone could believe, which is one reason why we were always out of money."
5252 Ms. Fisher discusses USF's presidents over the years
54790 She has enjoyed all of the presidents. She says that Carl Riggs was a delight. She enjoyed Cecil Mackey. She says that John Lott Brown had his own style and was firmly grounded in an organic view. Frank Borkowski took a musical view. Ms. Fisher says that Borkowski liked things to be in tune and to chime together. She thinks that the University always had momentum and that all the presidents never did anything to impede that. "Everyone contributed a lot to the growth. I enjoyed every one of them. I told Castor not to take the presidency, because I thought we needed her in the State Department of Education. She did a good job for us. She did such a good job with community relations. It has been fun watching Judy Genshaft. She really enjoys that job," states Ms. Fisher.
5554 What is Ms. Fisher most proud of in her tenure at USF?
58She used to say she was proud of the trees that were planted in the quad.
59264 They planted the whole strip of trees on both sides of the sidewalk from the Student Services Center to the Fine Arts Building. Students were involved in planting the trees. USF could not afford to hire professionals to plant the trees due to budgetary concerns.
6055 Where does Ms. Fisher see the university in the future?
62166 "We are going to be a strongly community-oriented full service university with strong international ties, particularly to the Caribbean and the Americas," she states.
6362 Any last words that Margaret Fisher would like to leave behind
65184 Ms. Fisher comments on the University, noting that, "It looks good, but it does not look too idealized. What you see is what you get. It has an air of elegance about it," she states.
6616 End of Interview
unicode



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