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William Schuerle


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William Schuerle
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Physical Description:
1 sound file (74 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Schuerle, William H
Greenberg, Yael V
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
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Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )


William H. Scheurle, retired professor and former Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of South Florida, discusses the university as it was in 1964. He talks about the College of Arts and Sciences in the mid-1960s and the campus atmosphere in relation to race, social communities, and politics. Dr. Scheurle also discusses the instances of the American Association of University Professors and Johns Committee observing the university. He ends the interview by speaking about the progress of USF over the years.
Interview conducted February 28, 2003.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
Streaming audio.
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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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029195743
oclc - 271495692
usfldc doi - U23-00123
usfldc handle - u23.123
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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. William H. Scheurle Interviewer: Yael V. Greenberg Current Position: Assistant Vice President of Location of Interview: Tampa Academic Affairs Campus Library Date of Interview: February 28, 2003 Abstractor: Yael V. Greenberg Editor: Danielle E. Riley Final Editor: Jared G. Toney Date of Edit: February 12, 2004 TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Year of arrival Dr. Scheurle arrived at USF in 1964 after finishing his Ph.D. at Syracuse University. Job seeking After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Scheurle attended the Modern Language Association's national conference in Chicago seeking to find his first job. He was interviewed by several institutions an d offered a position at USF (a university he had never heard of) by a professor named Dr. Robert. Zeckler. Dr. Zeckler was then the director of Language Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences; he offered Dr. Scheurle a job as assistant professor. Salary for assistant professor At the time of his appointment to USF, Dr. Scheurle was offered a salary of $7,800, which was the best offer that he received from any single institution. Desire to leave Syracuse, N.Y. After experiencing several years of g ray skies in Syracuse, Dr. Scheurle and his wife were ready to leave. In addition to desirable weather, Tampa offered Dr. Scheurle an opportunity to work in a small, liberal arts university. Initially, Dr. Scheurle had only planned to stay at USF for fou r or five years, however he has been with the university for thirty nine years. USF campus appearance -1964 When Dr. Scheurle first arrived to USF in 1964, the campus was "very sandy, with very few buildings." The library was in what is currently the Stu dent Services Building (the library did not take up the entire building, just a few floors). Dr. Scheurle shared an office in what was then referred to as the "Fine Arts/Humanities Building," today the building is just called College of Fine Arts. The ca mpus had few trees and very little sidewalks. "I think the university was waiting to see where people were going to walk, and then they would put the sidewalks there."


2 Description of surrounding areas around campus Fowler was a two lane highway. There were very few stores, one motel called the University Hotel/Inn, a Texaco station, and the University Restaurant (a popular hangout). The University Restaurant served Italian food. Temple Terrace had no stores between the entrance of the university and 5 6 th street. Housing around USF area Housing had started to go up around the university. Some of the developments that were constructed include Campus Park, Briarwood, and Carrollwood. Dr. Scheurle moved to Temple Terrace. Structure of College of Arts a nd Sciences and English department in 1964 Dr. Scheurle was assigned to the department of English. In 1964, there were two colleges dealing with Arts and Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Basic Studies. Russell Cooper was the dean of Liberal Arts; Ed Martin was the dean of Basic Studies. The English department was housed both in the Basic Studies and in Liberal Arts. Fundamental English (freshman English) was part of the College of Basic Studies. This division caused a lot of pro blems. Problems with dividing College of Arts and Sciences into Basic Studies/Liberal Arts When a person was hired for a position in English, he/she was placed in either college depending on the line that was available. In theory this practice seemed l ike a good idea, however the College of Basic Studies paid their faculty a lower wage then the College of Liberal Arts. When Cecil Mackey became president of the university, he settled many of the problems that were caused by the division of the College o f Arts and Sciences including differences in salaries. Academic composition of faculty in the College of Basic Studies/Liberal Arts According to Dr. Scheurle, the majority of faculty in the College of Basic Studies/Liberal Arts received their degrees fro m many different universities around the country. When Scheurle arrived in 1964, there were many new faculty members in the English department. English department Although split into two colleges, the department of English was not competitive; in fact, members of the department were very social toward one another. Many faculty members (English) would frequently go out to lunch at the University Restaurant and hold monthly departmental functions at their respective residences. Faculty interaction betw een different university departments In the 1960s, there was a great deal of faculty interaction between different departments. John Allen, the first president of USF, facilitated the idea of multi departmental interactions, by hiring a gentleman named Sy dney French.


3 Sydney French French's responsibilities included assisting the entire faculty in becoming "effective teachers." French would gather together all faculty members of the College of Arts and Sciences, for example, to address different methods of teaching. The All University Book Another strategy that John Allen came up with was the All University Book. Students from all of the fundamental English sections would read the same book and then attend a lecture. Dr. Scheurle believes that the Al l University was initially a good idea, but as USF began to grow, the idea began to fade. Eventually, professors were holding so many lectures about the book that the university began to televise the discussions. Many faculty and students and faculty fel t that once the All University Book became a televised event, it lost some of its unique qualities such as providing students with opportunities to learn in an intimate setting. Examples of All University Book Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, The Quiet Amer ican by Graham Greene (Dr. Scheurle gave the lecture), Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury, and a Faulkner book. John Allen John Allen was a "dreamer, but a very pleasant dreamer." Dr. Scheurle believes that John should be given a great deal of credit for his w ork at USF. "John would be amazed and stunned at what the university has begun." John visualized USF as a liberal arts university with no collegiate sports. Before coming to USF, John was vice president of the University of Florida. He wanted "effectiv e teaching, research was not something that was stressed at all." USF motto Accent on Learning Dr. Scheurle remembers that John Allen's early credo of "Accent on Learning" was something that he heard over and over, "ad nauseam." John's personal inter est of faculty "John took an interest in people." One day Dr. Scheurle received a call (at home) from Dr. Allen who had heard that Dr. Scheurle had a fireplace. John had recently had some trees cut from his property and asked Dr. Scheurle if he would like some logs for his fireplace. Dr. Allen asked Dr. Scheurle if he would like to come over to his house to pick up the firewood. To this day, Dr. Scheurle recalls how "gracious and how nice" John's actions were. John Allen and conflict "John Allen did no t like conflict," there were rallies against John at certain times. In the early days of USF, there were strict rules including women wearing shorts. In spite of conflict John's emphasis was on accent on learning. 1969 Leave of absence, Tallahassee


4 In 1 969, Dr. Scheurle took a leave of absence from USF so he could become the coordinator of Humanities & Fine Arts for the nine state universities. Dr. Scheurle moved to Tallahassee to take this position and remained there for two years. John Allen's Annua l State of the University Address In his Annual State of the University Address, John Allen mentioned that Dr. Scheurle was the first USF faculty member to work in Tallahassee. Furthermore, Allen stated that by having a USF representative in Tallahassee, USF was now being recognized by the state. Harris Dean, interim president John Allen left USF while Dr. Scheurle was working in Tallahassee. Prior to Harris becoming interim or acting president, he was already an academic vice president. Harris and John had similar approaches to running USF. Cecil Mackey Cecil Mackey replaced Harris Dean as the second official president of USF. Dr. Scheurle had met and worked with Cecil while he was in Tallahassee. Cecil was then the executive president of Florida Sta te University. In February/March of 1971, Dr. Scheurle was reintroduced to Cecil as the new president of USF; Mackey began his presidency in the spring of 1971. Dr. Scheurle return to USF In the fall of 1971, Dr. Scheurle decided not to extend his positi on in Tallahassee, and returned to the USF campus as an associate professor. In January of 1972, Dr. Scheurle was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs -responsibilities As Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Scheurle was involved with many facets of the university, including the Registrar's office, registration, and educational resources (television station). In other words, Dr. Scheurle's office was the final say on all ac ademic matters. "My office was the last court of appeal," if a student appealed and was turned down by the administration. In addition, the office of academic affairs was also responsible for community college relations, tenure, and promotion. Carl Rigg s Carl Riggs was vice president of Academic Affairs. Dr. Riggs and Dr. Scheurle became great friends while working together in academic affairs. Associate vice president Dr. Scheurle's title from assistant vice president changed to associate vice preside nt. He remained in this position in academic affairs from 1971 1981. Carl Riggs had moved to another position on campus. 1981 Dean of Undergraduate Studies


5 In 1981, Dr. Scheurle left the office of academic affairs and became the dean of undergraduate st udies. The office of undergraduate studies had now been given many of the tasks that the associate vice president had once performed. Prior to Dr. Scheurle, there had never been a dean of undergraduate studies. Scheurle's new position was set up to be a counterpart to the dean of graduate studies. Interaction with faculty and students 1964 Over the years, Dr. Scheurle has had a great deal of interaction with both faculty and students. Some of his first students were the first in their own families to attend college. "USF gave them (first in families to attend college) an opportunity to go to college, they could not afford to go elsewhere." The majority of students in USF's early history were commuter students (80 90%). "The students wanted to knowle dge, wanted to learnvery polite, even though this was in the sixties." Student demonstrations on campus "There were some demonstrations on campus, but no uproar as in up north." Scheurle recalls the time when Claude Clerk, the first Republican govern or since Reconstruction, came to USF. With a lawn chair in hand, Clerk sat down in "the quadrangle" (area between administration building and the university center) without any guards, to listen to student complaints. He was interested in knowing what we re the needs of college students in general, and not just at USF. Student characteristics Dr. Scheurle enjoyed his students and in particular liked teaching students of all ages. At USF, Scheurle's students ranged in age from seventeen to seventy years of age. "I found the students then much more motivated than the students now, they seemed to enjoy life." Class loads According to Dr. Scheurle, professors had heavier teaching loads in those early days (3 3), then they do now. Despite going into admin istration in 1972, Dr. Scheurle never left the classroom; he always taught at least one class per year. Scheurle leaves Deanship in 1994 In 1994, Dr. Scheurle quit his deanship and had full intention of returning to the classroom full time, however then president of HCC, Andy Palumpus, talked to President Castor and asked that Dr. Scheurle be loaned as Interim District Vice President for Academic affairs. Initially, the position was only supposed to be for a four month period, Dr. Scheurle remained with HCC for fourteen months. Even though Scheurle was working for HCC, he always came back to USF to teach a course. Student demonstrations and John Allen's reactions Scheurle recalls that students did demonstrate on campus. In one instance, he remembers st udents demonstrating and holding up signs that read, "Eat John Allen." There was a "hangout," a local bar on Florida Avenue called the Wild Boar; a former faculty member of the speech department at USF ran the bar. "John did not like controversy." At t he time, USF was still under censure by the AAUP. John and other


6 USF members cancelled a lecture, which was supposed to be given on the quadrangle (area between the administration building and the university center) of the campus. Apparently the cancelle d speaker was someone controversial, it was sponsored by the department of English. The speaker was cancelled because "people were afraid that there might be a few problems. This is one thing that the students rallied against. At this point, Scheurle re marks on the nature of the times, "you have to remember the conservatism of this era." John Allen did not like this kind of controversy in particular. "I think many students saw him [John Allen} as being very aloof." Scheurle maintains that despite stud ent reactions, John was "a gentleman of the old school." Furthermore, Scheurle states that if one were to go through every president at any university, "each president has his her good points and bad points. Each president does some wonderful things and each president does some stupid things." In being aloof and following his moral principles, John certainly did some things that students did not like. Radio station controversy Scheurle claims responsibility When Scheurle was assistant vice president a nd Cecil Mackey was president, the USF radio station put on a program late at night called the Underground Railroad "It got rather ruckus, and also for that timethe tone was not what many people liked." Scheurle tried to curb the program, and eventuall y completely cut it off the air; he also fired the director of the program, which caused a lot of student demonstrations and editorials against Scheurle's actions. To this day, Scheurle maintains that he did the right thing for he believed that the statio n should play only classical music, "it is now." USF under AAUP censorship and communism A man by the name of Fleming who was going to be hired as a faculty member, who was thought of as rather controversial because many people thought of his books as b eing communistic. Scheurle believes that after Fleming signed his contract for hire, John Allen decided not to go though with the hiring. Because of John's actions, the AAUP censured USF. The case was finally settled and the outcome was that the AAUP n egotiated with USF and brought in Fleming as a lecturer to give a few talks. USF did eventually get off of censure. Johns Committee "That was the age of the Johns Committee when the university was being investigated for communist and at that time homos exuals, not gays." I think John handled it [the Johns Committee] well. Before Scheurle arrived at USF, the Johns Committee came to USF without any notice to the university. The committee took temporary residence in the University Hotel and began to call people to the hotel to testify. As soon as John Allen found about this, he invited the Johns Committee to the university so that the committee could conduct their work out in the open. Some faculty members did leave the university because of the Committ ee others were criticized for as "being too liberal in their teaching, too liberal in their vocabulary. We lost some good people during that time, some in the English department, some in the History department if I remember correctly." The Johns Committe e published their findings in "I think very stupidly with purple covers, it was called "The Purple Pamphlet." Once published, many people began purchasing the pamphlet as a "pornographic work."


7 Student dress code Women were not allowed to wear shorts. There was no real dress code at USF. According to Dr. Scheurle, the majority of men in the early days of the university wore a coat and tie. "We were supposed to be professionals." Diversity in 1964 In terms of sex in the English department, there were quite a few women working in the department. In terms of race, when Dr. Scheurle first came to USF, there were very few minorities on campus. More student demonstrations -the University Restaurant (race relations) The University Restaurant would not a ccept blacks, and the students picketed the restaurant." Shortly thereafter, the restaurant was open to blacks. "Tampa was the Deep South, I am not condoning it, I am just making a statement." Diversity of USF students There were both male and female students who were part of the student body in the early days of USF. Dr. Scheurle remarks that in terms of diversity, he was not really aware of it, "I did not notice, I did not pay that much attention." "I see a student as a student, isn't that interes ting?" English department in 1964 physical location on campus Cooper Hall was not here in 1964. Dr. Scheurle's office was in the Fine Arts/Humanities buildings, he taught in this building as well. In addition, he also taught some of his classes in the Life Sciences and/or Chemistry buildings. "We went all over campus to teach." This side of campus [where the library currently is] did not have many buildings at the time Dr. Scheurle began teaching. Teaching methods Discussions, lectures, and blackb oard work were teaching methods that Dr. Scheurle used when he was teaching courses such as Freshman English. In survey courses, he teaches his students from lectures and half discussion. Dr. Scheurle believes that there was a masters program in English in 1964, but not a doctorate. In all of the years that Dr. Scheurle has taught, he has not changed his teaching methods. USF sponsored social gatherings for staff Picnics, All University parties, and "teas" were some of the social gatherings that USF h eld for its staff. Movie theaters were not around Tampa at the time, there were often movies shown on campus by the film club. Spirit of USF in 1964 "It was a very congenial place to work, people liked people." When Dr. Scheurle first arrived at USF, his first thought was "that this was not a new institution, but a teenage institution. The hormones were just flowing throughout campus."


8 Emphasis on teaching vs. research There were new Ph.D.'s, there were faculty members at USF who came to the univer sity from other institutions because they wanted to try something different in their careers. Faculty wanted to concentrate on teaching. After showing a recent publication to a supervisor, the supervisor commented that Dr. Scheurle should not concentrate his efforts on writing, but rather on teaching for the emphasis on the university was on instruction. When Cecil Mackey came to USF, one of the reasons why he elicited so much resistance was that he was interested in building the university as a research institution. "Many people really dislike him, I think he was a necessary president at the time." Many of the early faculty did have a "valid criticism" when they did not receive a raise or promotion for publishing, "because they were not hired to publis h, there were problems." USF's "Accent on Learning" and other state universities USF's philosophy of "Accent on Learning" was very different from other neighboring universities. At the time, the only "neighboring universities" were Florida State Univer sity, University of Florida, and Florida A & M; the University of Central Florida was the next university established and was originally called Florida Technological University which was going to concentrate solely on technology. Florida Atlantic Universi ty, the University of West Florida and Florida International University were not initially started as four year institutions; they did not have freshman or sophomore students. Instead, these other universities were supposed to enroll community college and students. This strategy was "ideal on paper but as you can tell, it didn't work." USF lacked competition from other universities "We had no real competition. We called ourselvesnot the Harvard of the South, but Harvard was the University of South Fl orida of the North." Dr. Scheurle's statement illustrates a "snobbish" attitude that USF had during its early days. Furthermore, Dr. Scheurle states, "We were going to work with students and help them learn. Everyone was interested in making this instit ution work." Difficulties of continuous growth of USF Unfortunately, what worked against USF according to Dr. Scheurle, was the continued growth of the university, which could not support the original concept of USF. "The original concept] could not b e contained, it would have been impossible to keep pace." If USF had remained small, the original concept might have endured. USF was not likely to remain small as the [local] population continued to grow. Make up of the student population in the 196 0s In its early years, USF had very little enrollment of out of state students. Between 1964 1969, eighty to ninety percent of students were from the local area as well as Pinellas and Polk counties. Class size In the 1960s, the class size of freshman E nglish was kept very small. At that time, USF did not have a large student body yet. There were approximately fifteen students per class, while other courses enrolled twenty or thirty students. This semester (Spring 2003)


9 Dr. Scheurle teaches two course s. In his undergraduate class, Dr. Scheurle currently has thirty five students, and thirteen in his Dickens seminar, which is a graduate course. Getting to work Dr. Scheurle lived initially in Campus Walk Apartments and then Temple Terrace; he drove to work. Parking at USF "Parking [on campus] was not a problem initially. We didn't pay to park, everything was free." Closeness of university faculty, staff, and students "Everyone knew everybody." Dr. Scheurle recently attended a memorial service for a faculty member (emeritus) who passed away. This faculty member came to USF in 1962 and "it was old home week." Grace Allen, Margaret Fisher (Student Affairs), and various charter faculty members attended the service. Dr. Scheurle recalls with delight and seeing everyone, "It was fun seeing everyone, and not a single person had aged." USF's growth/Research I Institution The concept of USF has changed since Dr. Scheurle first came to the university. "You can't turn on the radio without hearing" that we [USF] is a Research I Institution." The university and I don't just mean USF, is now a business. USF was not a business, it was a university or a college." When Dr. Scheurle hears about a head or president of a university being referred to as a CEO, "it just doesn't fit it with his academic philosophy." The university is currently dictated by money. Resistance from other state universities regarding Ph.D. programs at USF When USF first opened its doors, it did not begin as a research university. One of Dr. Scheurle's responsibilities was to process applications for graduate programs. Specifically, Dr. Scheurle remembers a time when applications for a Ph.D. program in English and Psychology were sent to his office and initially had a difficult ti me being approved. This was the case because many other universities in the state "fought against USF." The Board of Regents set up policies (although never votes on), which stated that USF would never be a Research I University or confer Ph.D. programs unless they were applied programs. Therefore, many of the Ph.D. programs that were approved at USF during its early history had to be designed as applied programs. Rather than allocating money to a few institutions, the state of Florida now had to distri bute funding to multiple institutions. In other words, USF was seen as competition for state funds. USF seen a competition Money was no longer being divided among three institutions. Specifically, Florida State University and the University of Florida saw USF as a competing institution. Dr. Scheurle certainly understood and could sympathize with other neighboring institutions. "Gainesville [University of Florida] mainly fought tooth and nail to keep USF from getting things."


10 USF succ eeds Carl Riggs was active in the Council for Academic Vice Presidents and became well acquainted with the vice president of Florida State University and University of Florida, "one on one they worked together I think for the benefit of USF." First stud ents at USF For some of USF's first students, USF was their only choice of obtaining a college degree because they were only permitted to study at an institution which was close too their residences. For others, they did not have the money to leave money or want to attend community colleges. Hillsborough Community College [HCC] was a viable institution in which students had a choice of attending; they could also attend the University of Tampa (UT), although most students could not afford UT's tuition. At that time, UT was seen as an institution for primarily out of state students. Many other students wanted to be "pioneers." "If you could talk to people who graduated from USF's first graduation class, they were thrilled to be the first graduation class of a universityvery happy." First two graduates at USF Mrs. King and Mrs. O'Neill were the first two students to graduate from USF. Each year, the two alumni give money to a student during graduation services. University Marshall For many years (abou t twelve to thirteen years), Dr. Scheurle was one of the University Marshall's. He often would meet with Mrs. King and Mrs. O'Neill who were thrilled at being the first graduates at USF, "see what we started." Food service on campus "Everything was ini tially at the University Center." USF had a cafeteria and then small snack food places opened. About 1968, the top floor of the old library had a snack bar and many faculty members ate there. Workload for students The student workloads at USF varied con stantly as USF went from a semester system to a trimester system to a quarterly system and then back to a semester system. "It would depend upon what system we were under." Students took about four to five course, of course under the quarter system that would have been different. In addition to attending school, many students also worked "but couldn't work close to the university because there wasn't anything here until things started to grow." Dr. Scheurle reflects that he should have brought property on Fowler when he first arrived to USF, "I am always sorry that I didn't buy property on Fowler when I first came." Student residences on campus USF was chartered in 1956 and opened its doors in 1960. While Dr. Scheurle was not here when the university o pened, he was aware of a fundraiser that John Allen created called "Dollars for Dorms." He received money from the community for the first dorms because there was no state money for dorms.


11 Florida Legislator and USF Interestingly enough, when USF was e stablished the Florida Legislature initially wanted to call USF a college. In addition, John Allen's salary was mandated by Florida legislators to be lower than that of the presidents of the Florida State University and the University of Florida. Stude nt residences on campus continued Very few students lived on campus during USF's first years. Students traveled from nearby and even as far as Sebring, Florida to study at USF. Dr. Scheurle's participation in college organizations Dr. Scheurle did not really participate in college organizations or groups, however he was extremely involved in the Temple Terrace City Council. In fact, before he left for Tallahassee in 1977, he was chairman of the library board in Temple Terrace; most of his extracurricul ar activities took place off campus. The Oracle Dr. Scheurle is retiring in May 2003, and over the years, has saved many articles from the Oracle ; he wants to begin a scrapbook. When Dr. Scheurle was associate vice president and dean, Dr. Scheurle was featured in the campus newspaper frequently. "The Oracle is a very necessary newspaper." In 1964, the Oracle was then part of the Tampa Times the evening newspaper. Town vs. Gown 1960s political climate The political climate of USF was rather divided. "First of all, I believe that there was not much harmony between town and gown (community and USF) at that time." Many residents of Tampa did not want to travel north of Kennedy and saw the university as "a hot bed of liberalism in the north of Tampa." However, if you looked at the student population, they ranged in their political beliefs as they do presently. "Would one call our students body liberal or conservative, I don't know? I think their are liberal students and their are conservative student s." Even in the sixties, Dr. Scheurle maintains the position that USF was much more conservative than it is now. For example, do you think any student would rally against a professor who used a few "hell's or dam's" or other provocative words? In the si xties, students at USF did protest against a history professor for using profanity in his lectures. Sit ins or demonstrations Dr. Scheurle did not participate in any sit ins or demonstrations on campus. Race relations at USF Although John Allen was a Q uaker and did not distinguish between races, the city of Tampa certainly believed and prescribed to such classifications. Dr. Scheurle did give the example previously of the incident involving racial issues, which took place at the University Restaurant. In terms of diversity, there were very few Asians on campus and probably about a "handful" of African Americans. When Dr. Scheurle returned to the university in 1972 from Tallahassee, USF was attempting to recruit and increase diversity


12 on campus; schola rship funds were set up. Carl Riggs also created special assistance for women and African American students. Sex and college equity pay for professors Cecil Mackey also established a sex equity pay range for both male and female faculty salaries. USF administration also tried to "equalize" faculty member's salaries. Particularly faculty members', who originally came to USF as instructors in the College of Basic Studies, were given pay increases equal to that of their counterparts in the College of Lib eral Arts; began in 1972. Mackey also assisted in making at least 4 5 women full professors, although it took two to three years to pass this idea through. Community attitudes of USF development of Town and Gown" Although the early attitudes of communi ty members was at first resentful of USF, as USF grew, the majority of the community began to support its efforts. A "Town and Gown" organization was created to help foster relations between USF and the community. A wealthy student organized meetings wit h members of the university and influential citizens of the city of Tampa. This student was very artistic and would bring people from the town to see art and theatre productions at the university. At the time, USF had a wonderful theatre. The relations between "Town and Gown" remain strong even to this day, for each year during commencement ceremonies a person is awarded a "Town and Gown award; Dr. Scheurle was a past recipient of the award. In addition, Cecil Mackey and Frank Borkowski, both former pre sidents of USF, frequently made it their business to go out into the community. The message that the university was trying to get across was, we're not an ivory tower." Faculty members were also "commanded" to go out into the community and become involve d and joining local organizations. Furthermore, some sad events, which affected USF faculty and staff, further brought the university and community together. Finally, USF in the 1960s and 1970s hosted a number of famous people including Carl Sandburg and James Dickey; these speakers further encouraged community members to travel to campus. Faculty member brings notable people to campus Alma Sarett, a professor in the speech department, knew a lot of notable people and often invited them to give a talk on campus; her deceased husband had been a successful poet and had many connections with the literary world. After the lecture, Alma would host large parties at her home in Carrollwood and invite both faculty and community members to get to know one anoth er. Dr. Scheurle retiring After thirty nine years, Dr. Scheurle is retiring from USF in May of 2003. Final thoughts "Well on a strictly personal level, it was my work with Carl Riggs, I consider him to be my mentor and I learned so much from him." Dr. Scheurle has very fond memories of those early years "this enthusiasm that the faculty had, there is no one time, it's just times." When he walked around campus, when USF was smaller, Dr. Scheurle comments that he would always meet his "old friends." In addition, Dr. Scheurle


13 remembers relationships with former students, some he still hears from (students in the 1960s). "I have had a good life, I have done many things here at USF." If he had to enter academia again, Dr. Scheurle would not because it ha s changed considerably since he first entered thirty nine years ago. Despite his changing attitudes, Dr. Scheurle encourages his graduate students to pursue a Ph.D. for it not only proves that one can accomplish a great task, but satisfying "intellectual curiosity is so important to a human being." End of Interview

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Schuerle, William H.
William Schuerle
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Yael V. Greenberg.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (74 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
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USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted February 28, 2003.
William H. Scheurle, retired professor and former Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of South Florida, discusses the university as it was in 1964. He talks about the College of Arts and Sciences in the mid-1960s and the campus atmosphere in relation to race, social communities, and politics. Dr. Scheurle also discusses the instances of the American Association of University Professors and Johns Committee observing the university. He ends the interview by speaking about the progress of USF over the years.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Streaming audio.
Schuerle, William H.
2 610
University of South Florida.
University of South Florida.
College of Arts and Sciences.
American Association of University Professors.
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