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Mackey, Maurice Cecil,
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Andrew Huse.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (201 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 expanded summary (digital, PDF file)
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted November 2, 2004.
Cecil Mackey, former USF President (1971-1976), talks about his time at USF. Major issues that arose during his presidency included the beginnings of USF at Sarasota, growth of the College of Medicine, and issues with the student newspaper.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Mackey, Maurice Cecil,
University of South Florida.
University of South Florida
WUSF (Radio station : Tampa, Fla.)
University of South Florida
Huse, Andrew T.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL AUDIO AND EXPANDED SUMMARY
COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 200 8 University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. T his oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.
1 USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Program USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: Dr. M. Cecil Mackey Interviewer: Andrew Huse Current Position: Economics Professor, at Location of Interview: Tampa Michigan State Universit y Campus Library Date of Interview: Nov. 2, 2004 Abstractor: Jared G. Toney Editor: Mary E. Yeary Date of Abstract: Dec. 3, 2004 Date of Edit: Dec. 9, 2004 Final Editor: Jared G. Toney "I found it diff icult to walk along any path and leave any stone unturned." TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Dr. Mackey was USF President from 1971 1976. Background; Appointment to USF Initially a law professor, Dr. Mackey worked for the Kennedy and Johnson administrations in Was hington D.C. before moving on to an administrative post as executive vice president at Florida State University. After over a year at FSU, the state regents contacted Mackey regarding a vacant position at USF in Tampa. "As a result of conversations with th e board, they ended up appointing me president of the University of South Florida." Dr. Mackey is not aware of how much competition there was for the job, and admits that he did not go through many of the procedures that current applicants face. Appeal o f USF A "number of things" attracted Mackey to USF, not the least of which was the fact that it was the first new university created in the twentieth century. He believed that the university had a lot of potential, a notion that was confirmed by others wit h whom he spoke. "There was an opportunity to do something in leadership and development of an institution that type of work had always appealed to me ... So the chance to come here with a new institution and try to make it the best possible ... was a ve ry attractive opportunity." Experience in the federal government As mentioned above, Mackey had done a great deal of work in the federal government prior to his arrival at USF. He had served as head of the Policy and Planning Office for the Federal Aviat ion Industry and he helped to create and run the Department of Transportation, all of which were valuable experiences that he believes made him a more effective leader and university president. First impressions of USF Before being appointed president of USF, Mackey had never before set foot on the university's campus. With his family still in Tallahassee, he moved down to Tampa on his own "and began work. That was it there was no introduction to the community;
2 there were no ceremonies, nothing formal; I just came in [and] went to the president's office ... with very little direction." It was not until later that Dr. Mackey was formally inaugurated at the university. "The times were turbulent," he recalls, and lavish ceremonies "simply were not appropria te ... so we never did that." Initial meetings One of the first people he met with at USF was former interim president Harris Dean, with whom he had a "long conversation." He also had a series of extended meetings with all of the university's vice preside nts, deans, and other people in administrative positions of responsibility. Such meetings largely defined his first several weeks at the university. Early assessment "The principal strength you saw immediately," Mackey recalls, "was the fact that a lot o f people believed in the institution. They were glad to be here ... and they were committed to doing the best they could for USF as they perceived it." On the other hand, what was lacking in Mackey's opinion was "a cohesive vision for the institution a d ecision about where it should be going [and] what the future was to be in terms of the quality, the breadth, the scope of the institution." Thus, one of his first priorities as president was to "try to figure out what the university was capable of what i t's true role and mission should be for the long haul, and then assess the quality of what we had." He concluded that the future role of USF should be that of a research institution capable of serving the entire region. Up until the time of Mackey's arriva l, the university had been much more oriented towards teaching, "with relatively little emphasis on research." He believes that in its research efforts, the university still embodied much of former president John Allen's "accent on learning." While contin uing to emphasize quality, Mackey undertook efforts to broaden the scope of what USF was doing. Legacy of former president John Allen Dr. Mackey remembers a "great deal of credit" given to former president John Allen for his role in the earliest years of the university. "I never heard the board say anything disparaging ... [Allen did] a remarkable job and I don't think anybody could overemphasize what the value of that was, to have brought this institution into being. At that time, there just weren't peopl e who had experience doing it." USF's campaign for equity When he first arrived, there had been a campaign for equity at USF in effort to receive fair treatment from the state legislature equal to that of the other state universities in Florida. He recall s an instance when Ed Kopp, former dean of engineering, attempted to pin an "Equity" badge on the newly inducted president. When Mackey refused, a surprised Dean Kopp asked why he did not want to wear it; Mackey replied, "I don't know that equity is enough and I'm not prepared to settle for anything short of what this university needs and will require to be the best institution it can be." He believes that his vision set a proper tone for the aspirations and future growth of the University of South Florida
3 Branch campuses In order to compete with other universities in the state legislature, Mackey believed that USF needed to have campuses in other congressional districts with which state representatives could identify. "We [would] be their university, a nd the likelihood of their supporting us [was] much greater ... That [would] be very important to our future ... and [would] allow us to build support." Ultimately, that meant further strengthening the St. Petersburg campus while opening up additional sate llite campuses in Sarasota and Ft. Myers. Mackey anticipated that his plan would provide "a [bipartisan] legislative base of support that we would never have been able to build programmatically in any other way for years and years." Contrary to later asser tions, Mackey insists that the branch campuses "were not pushed on us at all. It was my decision first but not mine alone." St. Petersburg campus Mackey recalls that "not much" had yet happened on the St. Petersburg campus at the time of his arrival in Ta mpa. "There was a sort of grudging acceptance of the fact that it was there ... It certainly wasn't supported very well." In order to make them more attractive, he decided the programs in St. Petersburg required additional support, growth, and strength. "W e had a deliberate, calculated, understood reason for being wherever we were: Bradenton and Ft. Myers, and for strengthening St. Petersburg ... We took education to people." Sarasota campus/New College When they brought New College into the university, it was in dire financial circumstances. Board of Regents member Chester Ferguson worked closely with Mackey on the attempted acquisition of the college in Sarasota. Although New College was not initially ready to make any commitments, the arrival of a new pr esident and the continuing deterioration of conditions prompted the move. Mackey approached the state legislature and suggested that in return for appropriated funding USF would pay off New College's financial obligations, and make them a part of the unive rsity. "There was a fair amount of resistance from people who thought they would be losing their independence," he recalls, though they were destined to lose it financially without USF's help. "But, it seems to have worked out alright ... I thought it was one of the really creative things that the state of Florida was able to bring itself to do." Students at New College Before USF took over New College, Mackey recalls that their students "lived a very unsupervised, one might say indulgent lifestyle there. Those with security responsibilities at the college were "delighted" to see South Florida take over because "the hands off policy had left the students completely free." When the institution became a part of USF, "many things changed." Defining USF Mack ey recalls that in the early years, "One of the issues was the effort to describe what USF really was." While not a proper urban university, South Florida was unlike other state schools like UF and FSU, schools situated in more bucolic settings. After some
4 discussion with Jim Vickery and others, they came up with a suitable descriptor for USF: "a metropolitan university." Graduate studies One of the things they had to decide, Mackey recalls, was how to effectively develop quality advanced graduate studies programs at USF. "That's where Carl Riggs was just a monumental asset to this university." They collectively decided that the marine sciences program was the best suited for advanced studies, and it became the first Ph.D. program at South Florida. While h e concedes that as a new university, USF should be the first to acknowledge the roles of the older state institutions, it should at the same time "advocate the role that we think is right for us to serve ... the state of Florida." This was a position in wh ich Carl Riggs was highly involved, as his direction was instrumental in developing the graduate programs at the University of South Florida. Graduate studies at USF "was really a work in progress for the whole time I was here, but the objective was to bui ld quality and scope and depth, and to become a first class research oriented university ... I think we did that well." The philosophy for the college of medicine was much different, Mackey explains. "We didn't have a teaching hospital, so we were taking medical education to the community in a different way." Faculty tenure Faculty tenure became a particularly volatile issue for Mackey when he first arrived at USF. "The deans all brought their tenure recommendations to me ... I was disappointed, to say t he least, in terms of the quality of the people who were being recommended for tenure ... and the quality of the support documentation for the recommendation." Mackey concluded that many of the applications could not be approved for tenure, "Or this instit ution would have a large mass of mediocre people with limited prospects for the future." Mackey returned the entire stack of applications to the respective deans, reevaluated criteria, and asked the deans then to resubmit those in which they had the most c onfidence. He recalls that "substantially fewer than half" of the original stack was brought back to his desk. Because there were so many people up for tenure that year, Mackey called the chancellor and the chairman of the board and cautioned them to expec t possible repercussions from his actions, "because traditionally, virtually everybody who has been recommended for tenure has gotten it." He was told, "Do what you think you need to.' And that to me was a turning point in the course of development of the faculty at this university because by the next time around, Carl Riggs was here and he had set up a set of procedures which would have prevented any of that ... From then on, there was an assumption that a recommendation for tenure or promotion here was g oing to be based on a different set of standards than ... in the past. I think that was a watershed event in the development of the university." Because Mackey's children were in public schools, they often heard from other children "what had been going on at the dinner tables" in the homes of USF faculty. "I wasn't firing people, but some who were up for tenure weren't going to get it."
5 Improving departments and programs Dr. Mackey also encouraged the faculty to look at the top departments in their respect ive disciplines around the country and evaluate what their strengths were. If USF was doing things differently, he urged them to consider the strengths and weaknesses of their own programs. "You aren't likely to be as good as the best without knowing how t he best do it and why they chose to do it that way." Although this practice is more accepted today, he remembers encountering "great resistance to it" from some of the faculty members. "There's not necessarily the conflict if you approach it in the right w ay, and I guess we thought we could do it in a way that was compatible with the quality and the humanity of the institution's commitments." Assembling his team Dr. Mackey's philosophy has always been that, "Nobody succeeds alone you need good strong peo ple." To be an effective administrator, he asserts, one must be "comfortable having a lot of people around them who were better trained or smarter or knew more about particular things than they did," and not "feel threatened by the quality of people" with which they work. Among his most talented among his staff, Mackey recalls, was Joe Howell, who ran Student Affairs, Chuck Hewitt, Troy Collier ... Bert Hartley, Kim Thompson ... and others "who were very good at what they did." He also speaks very highly of Carl Riggs, who served many years as his chief academic officer. Personnel decisions One of the things that Mackey discovered when hiring people was that "Often, it was good to find relatively young people who were clearly very bright and dedicated who h adn't had so many years in a bureaucracy that they had learned too much that was negative." One example was Bert Hartley, whom Mackey hired at the age of twenty seven, despite great reluctance from his superiors. In fact, he made a trip to Pensacola one da y to negotiate with the chairman of the personnel committee about hiring Mr. Hartley. Finally, Mackey made him a proposition. "You approve my hiring him as my administrative vice president," he told the chairman, "and if you're not satisfied with his perfo rmance, he and I both will resign." His offer was accepted. "We both made it. I didn't tell Bert that until a long, long time afterwards. I think he was surprised." His general counsel was a young man only a year out of law school, who "turned out to be su perb." "Taking issues public" Another significant change Mackey made was to abandon traditions of secrecy and confidentiality in the administration, instead calling regular faculty meetings to explain his decisions. "It was fascinating to see the reaction they had information they had never had before ... it took a while for the university to become accustomed to that." Dr. Mackey also held live call in radio shows regularly at USF, in which he would take questions "from anybody on anything," much to the chagrin of his advisers. "The university simply wasn't accustomed to that." Mackey felt that before any decision was made, the faculty had to be made aware of his intentions. "I don't think anyone should be unduly critical of John Allen about" his policie s, Mackey adds, "that was a style that was prevalent country wide" during his time.
6 Medical School When he arrived at USF, all that consisted of the college of medicine "was a sign planted in a pile of sand on the back corner of the university property, and the sign said, Sight of the University of South Florida School of Medicine' and that was it." By the time he left in 1976, USF had a medical complex and had already graduated several classes. Under Don Smith's leadership and direction, Mackey recall s, "That whole enterprise had come alive ... It was one of the things that I think we all took great pleasure in ... I'd like to claim credit for [Smith] but he was here when I got here." The presence of the medical school, he explains, "did bring about a lot of changes" at USF, making "a real difference" to the local health care community. Don Smith, the dean of the college of medicine, was "good enough," Mackey recalls, "that I had fewer problems than most presidents would expect." Dr. Smith made it cle ar to President Mackey that he did not intend to stay at the university long enough to "break in another president," and asked that he be notified in advance if Mackey ever decided to leave. Thus, Smith retired shortly after Mackey announced his decision t o resign from his post at USF. "Since I was leaving he thought that was an appropriate time for him to go ahead and retire." Sam and Martha Gibbons Of Sam Gibbons, Mackey says that, "He was always supportive. He supported me personally, he and Martha were good friends ... it was just always great to know that he was there ... [They] both require just an immense amount of credit for what they've done for Tampa and for [the] University of South Florida." Dorm visitation policy In the early 1970s, Mackey rec alls, "Students were in the habit of demonstrating about a lot of things. That was the time when the Board took up the issue of visitation in the dorms, and that was a very heated issue statewide ... The regents ... decided to restrict student visitation .. and the students were very much upset about it." He remembers very vividly the night after the Board announced it's decision, there was a "very large student gathering" where Mackey stood up on top of a bench amidst the crowd and attempted to explain th e new policy, admitting that it "was not an explanation that the students were anxious to hear." One of the trustees, Elizabeth Kovachevich, "made probably the most famous statement about this whole issue," referring to the university's dormitories as "The taxpayers' whorehouses." Flagpole controversy Another issue of contention among students concerned the flagpole in front of the administration building. "A fair number of students," he recalls, decided that they wanted to take the American flag down fro m the pole in protest of the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, there emerged another group of students, led by a Marine, who opposed the effort. "There was a long afternoon where there was a confrontation right out in front of the administration building" between th e two groups. As events unfolded, the administration was on the phone with the governor's office, which seemed to Mackey to be anxious for
7 an excuse "to send either the police or the National Guard on campus ... For several hours during the afternoon it wa s touch and go. The last thing in the world I wanted was for them to have troops out on this campus." Late in the afternoon, the students protecting the flag finally won over, and the group peacefully dispersed. "I was able to call the governor's office an d say, It's over.'" Mackey felt that the incident was a "really good example" of the students handling something on their own without interference from the administration or law enforcement officials. "I thought that was a very good outcome." "I had a pr etty high threshold level for tolerating dissent," Mackey recalls. "But I felt that there really were some pretty precise limits that you had to define in order to protect the integrity of the institution ... I just didn't believe that you could allow free speech to be the victim of this." Controversial play Mackey also remembers controversy surrounding the USF Theatre's production of "Equuis," a play which included a nude scene. "I went to bat for that, and said, This is an academic decision. It's a pla y; it has credibility internationally ... it's a valid experience ... the people involved in it were there by their own choice ... and that's what universities are all about. We pushed the boundaries of people's minds ... That was the kind of event, and my reaction to it, that frequently got some hostile comments from legislators and some community leaders." Academic freedom One of the things that Mackey was particularly pleased with during his tenure at the University of South Florida was that, "There was never an issue of academic freedom ... Preserving academic freedom was a high priority and ... I think they understood that I supported [it] ... This campus was a place where people felt that they could exercise those rights." Law, order, and student pro test During this period of frequent student protest, Mackey recalls having "regular meetings" with local police officials and the FBI "just to be sure that we were coordinated." His own personal philosophy was that he was responsible for warning students about the dangers of doing things when they were off campus that the campus environment was different ... [they] can't expect the university's protective reach to go with you when you cross Fowler or Fletcher [Avenues]." University Police UP Chief Jack Prehle, Mackey recalls, "was a very effective police officer and in many ways very responsive to the students. Perhaps over time, attitudes changed ... I don't know." Though Mackey enjoyed working with him, "there came a time when there was reason to make a change." Paul Uravich succeeded Prehle. Uravich had a "rather different approach that seemed to be effective and last[ed] for a long time." Recreational drug use
8 Mackey remembers that "drug use was widespread," and LSD was very popular among some studen ts during his tenure at USF. "We had several very unfortunate incidents with students" involving a number of suicides attributed to use of the drug. "We had very good relationships ... with the local law enforcement. We cooperated with them and they were v ery helpful to us. Students probably didn't like that ... too well, but it seemed to be ... effective." Mackey believes that those patterns and behaviors observed among students on campus were reflective of society at large. "The community's description th at [we had] a problem with drugs on campus was totally inaccurate. Society had a problem; You were able to see it more frequently manifest on the campus, but it was the same problem that existed in suburbia ... among the yuppies ... and otherwise." USF und ertook a program, the first in Florida, in which they "went public with our own interpretation of the drug problem. If we've got this problem, the best thing we can do is describe it and let the public know ... That was really counter to the conventional w isdom ... of administering institutions or universities. We figured the ... greatest disservice to the students was not to acknowledge what [was] happening. It's very hard to solve a problem that you won't admit exists." The Oracle "We had an award winnin g student newspaper," Mackey proudly recalls. During his tenure, there were discussions about moving the paper's offices off campus for a number of reasons. First, the law stipulated that the university president was responsible and accountable (and liable ) for the content of student publications, making it virtually impossible for the publisher to act with any degree of autonomy. Second, he believed that students were getting mixed signals about the operations and obligations of the paper. "If they wanted to be independent ... then they really ought to take the responsibility" by moving off campus. Or conversely, they could work within the university and take advantage of student access to the institution's resources. "They always wanted it both ways. They wanted all the freedom as though they were totally separate, but all the nurturing that came from subsidy and protection." After talking to a number of people, Mackey suggested that they might be better off by forming a truly independent newspaper, giving them "the true freedom [they] need[ed]" while "reliev[ing] the university of any of these meaningless, hypocritical positions ... of being publisher and all." Upon receiving his offer, Mackey recalls, The Oracle staff members "chose to misinterpret that." "I had no interest in controlling [the] newspaper that's one reason I wanted to see them independent." WUSF FM Radio Mackey recalls that the definition of public radio during the 1970s was much differently conceived of than it is today. There was some d iscussion at the time over what exactly its function would be in relation to the university, particularly if the university was subsidizing it. The station played mostly classical music during the day, and switched over to a program entitled, "The Undergro und Railroad" at night. The Underground Railroad The Underground Railroad was enormously popular among students at the time. Mackey looked into the program, and found difficulty explaining why it was part of the university
9 station. Local police officials informed him that the Railroad "was a program that most of the young people who liked to do drugs relied on." In the process of redefining the mission of the station, the program was gradually phased out and taken off the air, much to the dismay of many o f the students. "It was an issue for a good long while. Over time though, the local radio stations, I think picked up enough of what was going on that there were alternatives." However, Mackey does not take full credit for the developments: "Contrary to wh at some people believe, the president is not intimately involved in all the details of all these things, and this was never one where I was that involved ... I wouldn't deny any responsibility ... but, there was a lot going on that I was not directly invol ved in." Mackey hit with a pie in the face As USF president, Dr. Mackey believed in establishing and maintaining open lines of communication with the students. As a result, he hosted regular "chat sessions" at various locations around campus where student s could ask questions and voice their concerns. On one occasion, Mackey was speaking with students outside the University Center when a student wearing a monkey mask "came up ...[from] behind and smashed a pie in my face. Apparently it had been set up," he recalls, "because the student newspaper knew to be there and they had a photographer ... It was totally an unexpected experience for me ... My immediate reaction was to ... run to catch the person who had done that to me." Fortunately, his "better judgmen t took over" and Mackey let him go, wondering what he would have done with the student had he actually caught him. "So I concluded in a big hurry that it was better not to do that." In retrospect, he believes that it was the right decision to let the s tudent escape, noting that, "It's a lot better to let the incident pass don't give it any more life or attention." Controversy over the mascot Mackey remembers having "some problems" with the symbolism of the bull mascot at USF, particularly as female students understood it. At an assemblage of student leaders, he put the item on the agenda for discussion, suggesting that, "The bull might not be the best mascot for us." He offered them a proposition: if they could come up with a "reasonable" alternative without "any peculiar characteristics," then he would approve it. Though students were enthusiastic about his offer, "They never could come up with anything." Picasso sculpture Shortly after Mackey arrived at USF, the dean of fine arts approached him wi th an offer to install a "monumental scale" Picasso sculpture on the west side of campus (where it would be visible on the main flight path into Tampa International Airport). The piece was entitled, "Bust of a Woman," and was designed to be done in white c oncrete and stand one hundred feet high. Mackey agreed to investigate the idea, and sent a delegation to meet with Picasso about the possible construction. They returned with a scale model of the proposed sculpture, and Picasso's consent to begin the insta llation. The contract stipulated that the actual construction be supervised by a particular Norwegian artist. Once the terms were set, the university undertook a campaign to begin raising the necessary funds. When announced in the local papers, Mackey reca lls, "The reaction was
10 immediate." The headlines announced, "University to erect statue by communist sculptor; Obscene statue, Bust of Woman,' to be in hundred foot concrete." "We were attacked on moral grounds, we were attacked on anti communist grounds ... we were attacked for having bad taste in art all of those things. We just sort of hunkered down" and went about trying to raise the money. In the meantime, the engineering department under the direction of Ed Kopp subtly redesigned certain parts of the sculpture in order to guarantee that it would be structurally sound. Then two wooden models were built, each about four feet high. "We were on our way toward raising the money [when] the recession got notably worse and the fundraising just sort of drie d up nobody had any money to give." At that time, Nelson Poynter suggested "a very appealing offer" to finance the remainder of the project if they would construct it instead on the St. Petersburg campus. "But, we thought it would be a betrayal, and nobo dy really wanted to go back to Picasso and raise the issue of moving it." When Picasso died shortly thereafter, it became much more complicated to negotiate the terms of construction, and the university abandoned the project. Many of the donated funds were redirected to other areas of the university at the behest of the donors. "It always struck me as being very sad that it couldn't have been done, it would have truly been an international stroke of great fortune for the university." When he left USF, the s taff gave Mackey and his wife one of the models of the sculpture. He had a plexiglass pedestal made specifically to display it, which sits in his living room to this day. USF Foundation The Foundation, Mackey recalls, "Had been brought into being without any understanding of what it was supposed to do," and required a "real orientation" of its philosophy in order to emphasize fund "raising" over fund "dispensing" at the university. "That was the big issue with the Foundation you had a board with no money and no charge to go out and raise it! So I had to take the message to them." "It took a long time to get it turned around to the point where it understood that [it's responsibility] was to get funds into the university." The Status of Women Committee A number of women at USF were concerned because they felt there were inequities in their access to resources and the quality of their experiences as female students. "They were concerned about promotions ... salaries ... tenure ... recruiting, and things of that sort. I decided that it would be useful to create a status of women' committee" composed of some of the more prominent women on campus. One of the things they accomplished was to compare the progress of women and men in university positions and sugg est areas and methods of improvement. As a result, many women were promoted according to their skills and accomplishments "to where they should have been" and paid with money from the following year's budget. In the end, the Committee felt that it had reso lved every grievance on the basis of gender discrimination at USF. "I thought that was a remarkable job ... arriving at the conclusions of that study. I think we were all quite proud to have been a part of it." Race relations on campus
11 After working towar d equality for women at USF, "the only logical thing seemed to be to do it for racial minorities." One of the primary problems at USF during the early 1970s, Mackey recalls, was the relatively few African American faculty members. "We did that same review, made the same adjustments," and achieved equality for racial minorities on campus just as they did for women. "I think at that point ... I felt that we had done just about as much as it was administratively possible to do to correct for any injustices on the basis of either race or sex ... at the university." Dr. Mackey teaches at USF Dr. Mackey has always taught classes while employed as a university administrator, and USF was no different. He would hold his seminars in economics in the conference room i mmediately adjacent to the president's office, to the delight of his students. Library construction Dr. Mackey also recalls an "interesting bit of history" about USF's library. When the building's construction was proposed, it was designed to be only a f our story building. "I was convinced that our future was bright enough and that we were gonna have needs enough that it wouldn't be long before that would be really inadequate." So Mackey approached the chancellor and recommended that the library be six st ories based on his expectations for expansion and continued growth at the university. The additional two floors were in fact added, though they went unused until they were needed later. When the building was constructed, Mackey remembers, there was a grea t deal of vacant land in the surrounding area. His opinion was that "it ought to face west" where people would drive by the length of it as they came onto the campus. "It turns out ... I was the only one that felt that way." After debating it for some time with his staff, Mackey was unanimously voted down and the building was situated to face north. "Reluctantly, I conceded to their point of view ... As it turned out, I think they were probably right ... But that's what comes with having [a] really good sta ff." Traveling to China In 1975, near the end of Mackey's tenure at USF, he was selected to travel to China with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. "The places were decided by lot," he recalls, "and I was lucky enough to get one of the positions." Mackey recalls taking nearly 1,000 color photographs during his trip, not only for himself but for faculty members who were interested in particular aspects of Chinese culture. The Oracle put together a two page spread of photography an d text summarizing Mackey's trip overseas. Mackey also put together a slide show and presented it to various groups in the local community. "I got invited to all sorts of groups ... because there was this huge backlog of interest in China that people hadn' t been able to satisfy ... [People] couldn't seem to get enough of it." Jogging on the Great Wall of China A runner for many years, Mackey went jogging on the Great Wall of China during his trip. Before going, he had been cautioned by the state department that the Chinese would likely prohibit his jogging anywhere. His very first afternoon in China, he asked his
12 guides if he could run on the streets, and they happily conceded. "When it came time to go to the Great Wall," however, he "still wasn't sure," so he wore running gear under his clothes in case the opportunity presented itself. "I got there and went up and just started running ... When the Chinese would see me coming, they would turn and clap and ... cheer ... It was that way all the time ... and th e guides just shook their heads" and referred to him as typical of the "crazy Americans." The photos, he recalls, were later published in a number of places. Campus bicycle rally In order to pressure city officials for the construction of bicycle paths on the USF campus, a rally was held where Mackey accompanied the students on a bicycle ride to the courthouse in downtown Tampa. Because Mackey had a meeting at another location downtown, he simply broke off from the group in time to make his scheduled event and changed clothes when he got there. Concluding thoughts "There are so many people that I relied on very heavily that I thought performed marvelously," Mackey concludes, including "people like Phyllis Marshall [and] Ray King," among others. "There we re just so many people around here who believed in the university, and who responded well, I thought, when we set a more defined goal and helped define a vision for the institution." Additionally, "There were a lot of very solid faculty who understood what good universities were supposed to be about, and I appreciated that ... men like Charlie Arnade ... Mark Orr," and countless others "supporting the change that I was trying to implement." Advice "I think for anybody associated with the university ... re alize how fortunate you are to be a part of a university in the United States. The freedom and the opportunity that exists in our universities [is] absolutely unparalleled ... it's a privilege." No stone unturned "Bert Hartley once observed ... I found i t difficult to walk along any path and leave any stone unturned, and I think that may have been a characteristic of my administrative style ... That's not always the way to make life easiest for oneself, but those rocks sort of needed to be turned over." End of Interview