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interviewed by Yael V. Greenberg.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (49 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (digital, PDF file)
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted July 24, 2003.
Larry Schwartz discusses his years as a student at USF in the 1960s, as well as his eventual career with the Florida Mental Health Institute where he is the Director of Community and Development for the Department of Child and Family Studies.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
University of South Florida.
Florida Mental Health Institute.
Dept. of Child and Family Studies.
Greenberg, Yael V.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
y USF ONLINE ACCESS
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.
USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Program USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: Larry Schwartz (S) Interviewer: Yael V. Greenberg (G) Current Position: Director of Community Location of Interview: Tampa Campus and Development for the Department Library of Child and Family Studies Transcriber: University of Florida Date of Interview: July 24, 2003 Audit Editor: Danielle E. Riley Final Editor: Jared G. Toney Date Audit Edit Completed: December 19, 2003 TRANSCRIPTION G: Today is Thursday, July 24, 2003. My name is Yael Greenberg, oral history program assistant for the Florida Studies Center. We continue a series of interviews here in our studio in the Tampa campus library with USF faculty, students, staff, and alumni in order to commemorate fifty years of university history. Today we will be interviewing Mr. Larry Schwartz who came to USF in 1967 as a student. In 1971 he received a BA in psychology and in 1973 he received an MA in educational resea rch. Currently, Larry is the director of community relations and development for the Department of Child and Family Studies at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. Good afternoon, Larry. S: Hi. G: Let's begin by you taking us to the yea r you arrived in Tampa and what circumstances brought you to the University of South Florida. S: When I was in high school in Ft. Lauderdale I think there were a number of choices. I was actually a fairly good tennis player and I was looking at scholars hips for tennis at
2 first. I got one or two out of state, but I decided that one of the things that I wanted to be with was some friends from high school who were looking at Florida and Florida State. South Florida at that time was really the hot universi ty that people wanted to go to. I think they emphasized the fact that it was not a big, rah rah university yet. It was really going to emphasize education, and I think that hit it right with my family for one. I went to Nova High School, and back in tho se days I was the first or second graduating class and they were for exceptional students that usually wanted to go on and get that education. South Florida was the choice that I ended up with and that's where we came. G: You mentioned that during those early days, 1966 and 1967, that USF was a hot place to come. Were you hearing this among your fellow high [school] students? Where were you getting this idea that USF was this hotbed of activity? S: I don't know if the guidance counselor of the school w as kind of promoting it a little or just some of the students around in the high school were saying there's another choice beside our typical Florida or Florida State at that point. Ft. Lauderdale was near Miami of course, which is another alternative, bu t USF was in a position at that point I think, whether it was through the guidance departments [I don't know], but it came out to be enough different for people to take a good look at it. It wasn't, again, so established with sports and all of that, but a real heavy on getting the best education. That's really what resonated. G: Can you tell me about the first time that you saw the USF campus? What did the campus look like in 1967? S: It was probably that summer for orientation. It was not too much but very clean, brick, modern buildings on sand and only a couple of them. You'd come over Fowler Avenue
3 and there was not too much around in this area of the city. It kind of looked like a community college to me. I think it was a very colder looking feeli ng. I don't know if I'm using the words now that I did then, but certainly it was nothing that was very pretty. It was kind of in the middle of the sand pile almost. Like I said [there were] a few buildings [and] a dorm. I lived in the dorm my freshman year, so that was something that I probably was brought over to see where I was going to be living. G: What dorm did you live in? S: I lived in Lambda at the Andros Complex at the time. There was pretty much just about a half a dozen buildings in that end of the campus and then the two big ones were Alpha and Gamma. They were taller buildings, a little older. I was pretty excited that the Andros Complex was going to be my choice because they were new. They had a sweet set up. I had a couple of frien ds that I came from high school that we were all rooming together. There were like four of us, so we had our own study area in the middle, our own little bathroom for two people each, and we were kind of excited about that. We thought we were getting the extra treatment, a little better than if we were in Alpha or Gamma. At that point I guess Fontana and DeSoto were just being built. It might have been an alternative but at an extra cost I believe at that point. G: In terms of other students who were living in the dormitories, were they primarily from Florida originally or were there students in those early days from other parts of the country attending USF? S: Well, I don't remember too many from other parts of the country actually in my area. I happ en to be introduced early on to a fraternity who had a floor in the dorm right next to mine, that might have been Theta. That was on the second floor and it was Tau Epsilon
4 Phi, a men's fraternity that I knew some people in from my hometown in Hollywood. They were there a couple years ahead of me. So that's really where we spent a lot of time actually right away, on their floor meeting people. I think I joined the fraternity the second semester or something like that. G: At the time were there a lot o f fraternities and sororities on campus? S: Yeah, I guess there were ten in each. Delta Gamma was in Mu dormitory all in the Andros area. I think they took floors and they kind of congregated on a floor. I don't know what they're doing now, but pretty mu ch they had floors. You could go and try to locate yourself in there when the chance came to switch rooms or something. There was usually apartments in the nearby area that all the fraternities were kind of like we're going to live here this year, why do n't you get an apartment in this area? So that's what happened. G: What kind of activities were you doing in Tau Epsilon Phi? S: Myself, I was an athlete pretty much. They almost recruited me to play sports for them in some way. I was a good tennis pl ayer and I was a good softball player and football player. I played every sport they had and I won the intramural tennis championships as a freshman and sophomore. The interesting story I've always heard back then was that I drew more people to come and watch my tennis matches than in the NCAA intercollegiate South Florida team had come to there, which was a long time ago. G: Was there an organized tennis program here at the university? S: There sure was. Yes, Taylor was the coach and he had a tennis t eam. They weren't very strong I don't think. I met Taylor a number of times, played tennis with him myself, but I never joined the team. I just did intramurals.
5 G: I want to go back and I want to talk a little bit about some of your first memories a s a student here at USF. Were there classes, today, that stick out in your mind? Were there interesting topics, interesting titles? S: Sure, I can go a number of directions. The early days as freshman we had our basic studies classes which was then call ed things like American Idea, behavioral sciences, of course English and humanities. I always remember in behavioral sciences in my freshman years Dr. Sue Saxon was my professor. She's in aging I believe now. She's just warm, wonderful, kind of made you feel like wow I'm not in a non feeling university that's so big you can't touch or know a professor. Later on, I got to be close with some professors in the area [of] statistics, which is why I ended up with my master's in educational research. I really took to the professor, he was Ed Allen. He had actually a graduate at the time teaching some of the classes, and that was Bill Anton. Bill, now, has been our director of our counseling center at the university for twenty years plus. So I've kept in touc h with those folks. Probably the most important part of my undergraduate years came with a history professor named Bob Burke. What Bob did was he took under [his] wing a number of folks, especially in my fraternity, to study with him on an individual bas is. He was also at the time voted the most popular professor on campus. What was unique about Bob was that he was a Roman Catholic and he taught history of religion and some real in depth kind of views on philosophy. He had these debates on campus with a philosophy professor with the last name of Miller. They had fire side chats actually on the campus in the Argos area. They had a pile of people who would come and just like to hear about their debates on God or not God, existentialism and agnosticism a nd a whole group of things. That was just fascinating in my early years in
6 my studies with him, and he led me in so many ways to then consider becoming a rabbi myself. That was early in my career. I had no clue that I was interested in that, but he brou ght out things in me and discussed things with me that just really made me think in a different way. It also just made a personal university experience that I could swear I wasn't expecting at a big state public university. I felt like anybody who went t o any of the private schools or ivy league schools, I said I'm getting the same thing here. I was pretty excited about that, I really feel lucky. That was a real break in my life. G: You mentioned Dr. Burke, you mentioned a couple of professors who real ly touched you throughout your career here at the university. Were there other professors who also touched you in the same light? S: In other ways they did. Max Dertke, a professor I had actually in my sophomore or junior year, [was the professor of] my first psychology class as an undergraduate. So I was starting to get into that discipline. He was teaching a class and he was pretty new at the university as well. I really enjoyed his classes. I learned a great deal [and] felt that he was just a great presenter of material. He was a well liked guy. Those were back in the Vietnam War days and he was also a counselor for students. I was at that point in draft position and I had to get a physical. He gave me some advice on some of the steps that I mig ht need to take. Thankfully, they had a student deferment and whatever, and then eventually when I did get a draft after my undergraduate years I also had a physical deferment. So I was able to stay here. G: You mentioned the Vietnam War. In terms of st udent demonstrations, student sentiment about the Vietnam War how did the students here at the university react to the Vietnam War?
7 S: I didn't feel too overwhelmed by it. I didn't feel like it was a real heavy part of the campus. I actually felt like I had more feedback about what was going on from some of the students I graduated from high school with that were from Harvard or other schools [such as] Chicago that I kept in touch with. They seemed like they were living a different life than I was. G: Do you remember the assassination of President Kennedy on campus? S: Yes, but again I don't think I remember that much about where I was. It's not a big part of who I am, this kind of thing. G: You were studying psychology. How did you get interested in psychology? If you could, talk a little bit about what you remember about the psychology department. S: Like I said, Dr. Dertke was probably my first introduction to the department and getting to like the subject and then getting to like the professor end ed up where I continued to take some more classes and meet more professors. At that point I don't know if we were that small, but I ended up doing some work for the professors in their labs for extra credit maybe for a class. It turned out that that extr a credit was beginnings of me being really into psychology. I would then have a different kind of day to day experience at the university because I had a headquarters in the basement of the building with these labs. [They were in] the Social Sciences Buil ding. Down in the basement there they had labs. I was involved with a professor, Frank Sistrunk who influenced me also. He did research in social gang theory, so I ran his lab where the students would come in, get points, and pretty much decide if they want to cooperate with the guy next to him or compete with the guy next to him. They got paid off not in dollars but in some kind of method of points that I was running this experiment. The guy who helped him run that was working
8 on his doctoral disserta tion, Norm Voissem. Norm had the history here at the university at that point, and probably still at this point, as almost the longest running, not getting his PhD but still in the process person. He's left the university now. He actually worked with me at Florida Mental Health Institute for a few years, so I stayed in touch with him. Dr. Sistrunk I think went up to Florida State for the Department of Education, actually years later. He would be one person that influenced me, got me hooked into psychol ogy. Sue Saxon, I took some more courses from her. I took behavioral science again. She had a way about her that I really wanted to take another course with her. Whether I liked the subject or not, I liked her enough that it was going to be a good infl uence. Frank Fabry, an English professor I had as a freshman, I did horrible in his class [but] he was the most intriguing guy. He smoked a cigarette on the end of one of these long whatever they are. It's just an image that you never get out of your mi nd. He had mannerisms that were just kind of interesting. Again, later on I found him to be a good friend and a tennis player partner that we played doubles with a lot. I don't know if he brought other professors together or faculty that I would play wi th. They would all want to play with me. It seemed tennis was something that my name got around campus [for]. It was a big part of my undergraduate life. G: Was the psychology department a large department? S: Yeah, it was a pretty large department. I can name a number of the professors back then. Labarba was in Child, Hawkins in Experimental, Sidowski was a very big name in Experimental, of course Spielberg was there. Yeah, there was probably fifteen to twenty faculty I guess. It was an impressive g roup, a lot of respect. If you got into the field you started reading and learning that these are some of the top people and they're here at USF
9 already, so you were kind of feeling like you got a good education. You were feeling like you picked a good ca reer path. G: In terms of diversity among your fellow peers were there a lot of women in your courses, were there African Americans, were there Hispanics particularly in the 1970s at USF? S: I think there was a good mix of men, women, and Afro Americans, b ut I don't think there were many Hispanics. I think pretty much that was the group, and [there were] very little Asian Americans now that I think about it. G: You mentioned tennis and you mentioned your fraternity, what other kinds of activities were you involved in on campus? Were there lots of activities during those early days that the university provided? S: Well, I got involved in some of the politics. I actually was president of the Andros dormitory and I represented on the inter fraternity council at times [for] certain things. I don't think I ever became an officer in the fraternity, but I was liaison with a lot of the intramural stuff as well. The activities were pretty much dorm oriented if they weren't fraternity oriented. If you lived on ca mpus it was a small world. The pool was a headquarters and the gym back then was kind of a smaller place that you could run into people. I don't remember the student center that much to be honest. It didn't stick out as a big part of my life. There we re some restaurants near campus that everybody hung out [in]. [There was ] the University Restaurant on Fowler which is closed now; there was a Master's Pizzeria on Bruce B. Downs which was Thirtieth Street back then, that's closed; but there wasn't very m uch. Actually the Fontana and the DeSoto dormitory became another location for people to go and see their friends because that seemed to have a little bit nicer social developed programs.
10 G: In 1971 you graduate with a BA in psychology. I imagine that from 1967 to 1971 there was a lot of growth on the university in terms of buildings and things like that. What do you remember about the growth of the university during those days in your undergraduate degree? S: I don't remember, it's all a blur. If the re was any changes the library and the television station may have moved some. G: Did you use the library on campus? S: Oh sure, that's what the Student Services Building is so to speak now. It was very much another place, I didn't mention earlier, that you would see all your friends and classmates checking out stuff. G: After your undergraduate degree did you come back directly to USF to get your master's degree or did you take a little break? S: I stayed right here. I was thinking of being in the gu idance counselor program at first, and kind of met a couple of the faculty in the guidance department that I liked a great deal. I took the prerequisite courses in guidance. There were some statistics research courses. I met a couple of professors there especially Bruce Hall and Tom Tocco who made my graduate experience the direction I wanted to go. I took advantage of my strengths in the math and statistics area and published a paper as a graduate student with one of the faculty. I did some presentat ions and conferences but was actually looking to go into the PhD program in that area. I was coming down to my second year of my master's to decide which direction to go, PhD or they had an EDS program I could enter, an educational specialist program. At about that time the Florida Mental Health Institute was just being built and I don't know how I came across going out there now to
11 interview, but instead of going further with my education I met a man who was doing the hiring. Do you want me to go into t hat now? G: Absolutely. S: The man was Arthur Norman who was the first director of the Children's Department for the Florida Mental Health Institute. I met him out at the then planning staff of ten to twenty people that was planning the Florida Mental Hea lth Institute a year before it actually is in the books here as being created. It was 1973, right after graduate school. Art was just brought down from the Atlanta area where he was the head of the Georgia Mental Health Institute children's area. There was, like I said, twelve to fifteen to twenty of us where we actually started working at W.T. Edward's Tuberculosis Hospital, that's where the staff for FMHI began. That is over by Yankee Stadium now, which the building has been converted and made air con ditioned. It is actually one of the HRS district six Department of Child and Family headquarters. We actually took a floor where there were mesh and screens that you could see at the end of the corridor, still tuberculosis patients. We had huge fans and these big hallways to sit in because it was so hot. It was obviously a hospital that had been converted and we were going to use a floor in planning the staff. The twenty of us pretty much met there for almost an entire year before our building was fina lly built here at the USF campus in 1974. So from 1973 to 1974 the original staff of fifteen to twenty was out at W.T. Edward's Tuberculosis Hospital. I was the first director that coordinated the research for the first Department of Child and Family Stu dies in the first project, which was going to be a residential program for autistic and autistic like children. We actually had a name for it, we called it CHIRP for Children's Intensive Residential Treatment Program. We had a staff of about
12 eighteen [th at were] mostly nursing BAs, and psychology BA students that had graduated, just recently out of college. They would become child behavior specialists to work with the kids based on a model in France called the Education Model. We would train them for qu ite a few months in many disciplines related to working with the kids in the residential program. We had shifts, and then when we brought kids in we were here on campus at that point and had a five day residential program. So the kids would be here and t hen they would go home on weekends to be with their parents. That was the first project at FMHI. I was trained to work with the data pretty much and to coordinate for CHIRP activities with that first project. Our first director at that time was John Ans lie, a psychiatrist that was hired. I think he was in California, had won awards, and he came on board to direct the beginning of the institute. Like I said, that was 1974 and we were all under the Health and Rehabilitative Services Department at that ti me in the state funded scheme of things. In 1981, you'll learn, the institute became the property or part funded by USF. From 1981 to 1988 it was constantly under political barrage of being eliminated or changed in its format. It was fought for and won many times over. President Borkowski was instrumental, President John Lott was instrumental in keeping us afloat. The mission in 1988 or 1989 changed where we'd been. We then moved half of our clinical treatment programs back to HRS and we were able to continue with services that had a research and training basis, and that would continue to be more in line with what a university was doing. Several years later, I think it was in 1987, we became actually our own college at USF. Just until recently have w e started teaching classes, so we're still an anomaly as far as a university college goes, we are a think tank. That's pretty much along the lines of working with mental health and related areas as the state
13 statute says, we don't have just the Tampa are to be concerned with, we're all the Florida citizens [and we're the] only mental health research and training department in a college. It continues to thrive and do fabulous work with grants and contract. G: I want to go back because you said a lot of thi ngs I want to address. The issue of 1973 was the early planning stages, and then in 1974 FHMI became located on the USF property. What I'm trying to understand here is that I'm assuming that this was a state funded organization. How did USF fit in to t he picture in those early years of FMHI? S: I think there will be others that could probably tell you better than I, but one of the things I know was there was a contract or a payment advantage for us to do it. It was like a penny per ninety nine years th at we were able to get the space. We really didn't have any other relationship with USF at the time. We were thought to be like the beginning of the whole health sciences corridor of USF. We were really started before the medical school and we were goin g to be almost the center of the institute. The department of psychiatry would be part of what we'd work with and various other parts of the health sciences part of the campus. It didn't turn out that way, but we started to have students that would want to be part of our experience. In years to come we became a certified, accredited internship program for psychology PhD students. They could do their rounds and have the needed experience to be accredited by APA. Yeah, we were pretty much on our own out there, not really part of USF. If you were a student, and if you were a student for probably ten years after that, you probably never heard of FMHI. G: 1981 to 1988 FMHI begins getting people who aren't happy. The idea of eliminating FMHI becomes somet hing. Was USF unhappy? Was the community unhappy? Why was FMHI such a concern for them?
14 S: Well it's interesting, being there as a staff faculty member the whole time was showing every year if you didn't have a history you would always be afraid that yo u were going to be losing your job, because it was time to be cutting the budget. Many times I and others who had been there before would say don't worry. I was like a voice of don't worry year after year, not that I had any silver ball or anything to kn ow what was going on. Pretty much what happened is it was a political fall. It was in regard, from what I understand, to the money that was spent in the state for mentally ill. The fact that we had won a very beautiful building, from the very early days of FMHI I can tell you there was always a little bit of a jealousy between Tallahassee, where the headquarters were that funded us, and our staff and faculty. They were jealous that we had such a beautiful environment that was built for us. In addition, I'm not totally sure of this, but our faculty that were hired usually got a little bit higher than it paid to the people in Tallahassee hiring them. So there was that jealousy from the early days. The mentally ill centers and mental hospitals were very o ld and they really were underfunded. So there were many politicians, all the years, [who] kept thinking that they needed to either redirect our services to be just a regional mental hospital or take some of the money we had and get it back to the mentally ill in a different way. The reason we were ever created of course was the agencies were so underfunded they can only respond to crisis. In the 1970s when Kennedy created the community mental health acts there was really a concern that in addition, while the mental health institutes popped up all around the country at the time, was that research and training were necessary. We knew a lot more than we were able to get out to the practitioners. The fact that we could have some time to evaluate the programs and you'd have to have a control to do that, so that was confusing to
15 Tallahassee politicians anyway because we weren't accepting everybody into our institute. We would have to have some criteria and any research would then tell you okay we're only goin g to give now and train the best that we can learn so everything would improve, and tax would dollars would be saved but it's a delayed gratification thing. It became a crow, or whatever you want to call it, in some of the politicians' minds. They wanted to change who we were, and some people fought for us. The most important person to fight for us was Louis de la Parte. Louis was a senator at the time and the years became the president of the senate. He then later on headed up a task force that in the 1980s was requested, year after year it seemed, to evaluate what are we doing, can we put you somewhere else under a budget title. The most important problem we had financially from the budget was that we were our own budget line item. Until we came und er USF we were not safe year after year. Eventually, and I'm not sure if it was under Borkowski or not, we then because part of the USF in a way that saved us a little bit from the sharks. Louis was instrumental in heading the task force and recommending He actually opened up the mission of the institute to be more than in patient, the outpatient oriented. A lot of the institute's changes where we do not have any impatient clients anymore is that we didn't want to be another warehouse for the mentally ill. We really found that by taking clients, both kids and adults, out of their environments and away from their communities [by] sending them out of state, many times with state tax dollars, was not the best way and not really up to where the world was a t that point. We brought in so many excellent faculty in the late 1980s and 1990s. I have all the changes obviously since the very beginning, and the most outstanding faculty member I am connected with and think the world of is Robert Friedman who's the director and the
16 chair of child and family studies. He is also a person that came from Florida State University, headed up an adolescent program we had, and then developed one of the first national centers for Children's Mental Health at the institute whi ch has been funded for twenty years plus now. [He] has been an outstanding model of what other faculty now come to the institute and brought to the institute. Everybody who's anybody in children's mental health knows our college, our department, Bob Fried man and his staff, and wound up often coming to work there. That really says a lot more about Bob, but it really was the beginnings of why FMHI became so powerful and such a leader in the country in mental health. Top people recognized us. We're not at Harvard but we're at USF. It became like a diamond in the rough. People would refer to us as there's lots of pockets at USF that are fabulous, I'll you one that a lot of people don't know about it and it's the Florida Mental Health Institute. That went on and on for many years and it still goes on today that I'm there to brag about, that I'm there to compare how many universities have three national centers at one college, and we do. It's just amazing the reputation, within that pocket, how strong it is It's equal to any of the top universities in the country in mental health institutes. G: Why did USF want or become interested in FMHI? I mean granted the funding from the state was running out, but USF didn't necessarily have to say we're going to a ssist you. Was there a sense that USF really wanted to be part of this innovative faculty in this innovative research that was going on at FMHI? S: You know I really probably was at the wrong level to answer that question. I would know that our mission w as education. It was an unusual way to be educating students because we really weren't going to be bringing classes through there, we really weren't
17 going to be holding classes over there. It was just another winding of what USF is. I think that attract ed them. I don't know if they could see far enough ahead on how powerful a dollar value it was going to be for the university, but being third in the whole university in bringing in grants and external dollars says a lot. Over the years the budgets that t he college gave us has diminished because they don't need to give us as much because we're providing our own now by going out and getting our own grants. G: Why did FMHI become a college? Why were you interested in becoming, if you will, more along the lines of what a typical center, foundation, institute in a university ultimately becomes? S: When you have 400 staff and faculty you're not a small center or an institute. When you bringing in $18 million or $20 million on your own you become kind of like a big boy. There must have been plenty of discussions across this campus on space, on parking, on things that go along with a college at the university that we had to be at the table [for]. There wasn't any other way I think, I think it just becomes obv ious that we are of that size. We have departments that have 200 people in them. There's very few in the whole country that are that big. We really presented a different animal that what a center or institute would be. The mission still being a state m ission maybe was a little different from the college's. The faculty were becoming known to be on tenure earning tracks as well, which was a change, so those kinds of things where most of our faculty in the 1990s became adjuncts in many other departments. We began starting at that point to be changing our tasks for our faculty, [they] were not just to do research, there always was training but they were increasing their training capacities and they were bringing under graduate students and working under th em and leading some dissertations. They were
18 teaching in other departments. We were starting to form concentrations in other department where there graduate students would have a concentration in a PhD program in special education or a master's program i n public health, and now we are teaching our own courses with our own prefixes. G: Let's talk a little bit about this new idea of FMHI teaching courses. What kinds of courses are you offering? Because of the massive size that FMHI has become over the yea rs it seems to me that its really attracting students all over the country to come to the University of South Florida. S: Well FMHI is still going to be a very specialized area for teaching classes mostly and accountability in systems of mental health. Ad ministration in mental health, people that want to have an interest in becoming mental health administrators, evaluators, researchers may seek out a class or two. [They may seek out] a master's, and I'm not sure the name of our master's program that we're starting to offer. Again, you may need to follow up on these things. Accountability is a big area that we do training in; diversity we do some training in with mental health professionals. We have so many area now that people that may go for a degree i n x realize that if they have a concentration or a degree in this, this is more specialized to actually a job they may be able to get. That's why I think some students as we get more and more developed in our curriculum and offer some undergraduate even, entry students, to give them a breath of what they could have if they went to a graduate program with us, they'll be attracted to it. There's definitely a job market. The areas of law in mental health is a very interesting area at the institute. We actu ally have a mock court down there were people are trained. We were the first academy in the state to train juvenile justice workers, second after that we became a child
19 welfare training academy. Those kinds of things the state was needing badly, and we t ook those things on. Those are separate from USF classes though. We would bring people in and they'd stay here for a couple of days from all over the state. That was our first kind of training kind of things we were doing, but as far as student training we have small classes and we offer specialized classes in a the graduate program. G: When was FMHI name in honor of Louis de la Parte? S: In 1996 is when the Florida legislature decided. An interesting story, how it was told to me, was that President Cas tor was up in Tallahassee at the time. She had rights that other presidents of universities didn't have because she used to be a legislator, so she had the right to go on the floor of the Senate. I don't know what their rules are, but visiting past senat ors can do that. She was on the floor one day and John Grant, a local senator here, they were walking out of the Senate floor and they were going down the hall. I haven't been to the Senate in a long time, and they must have had past presidents of the Se nate pictures down the hall. They walked by and they said you know we've been trying to think of something to do for Senator Louis de la Parte and the institute really is a lot thankful to him for what he did for them over the years. He was known as the father of HRS and a lot of the mission of the institute was supported, in troubled times he was a big supporter. They said why don't we see if we can name it after him. That was approved by the legislature and we had a very big ceremony. I was very invo lved with that. I know the family very well and it was just a great time in de la Parte family life because a couple of months later Dr. de la Parte suffered from some Alzheimer's and he really wouldn't have even comprehended what happened to him just tha t November or December the year before. Lawton Chiles was there because he was a very close friend
20 of Dr. de la Parte. It just was a great event, hundreds and hundreds of people came out to celebrate Louis. G: I have just a few more questions. In your t hirty six years of history at the university what are you most proud of? S: I guess I'm proud that I left several people a chance to work there because I raised some money [so] that they continue to work on grants or foundation dollars that I might have br ought in or corporate dollars that I've brought in. Of course I've met both Bob Friedman and folks in the university over the years, but some of the friends of the institute that I worked closely with the last ten years probably have met a lot to me. A w oman named Gwen Iding is one of our board emeritus at FMHI and one of the most instrumental people in the early days with John Lott Brown in working with the university system in getting a mental health institute to be accepted. Several of our donors and our friends, I [have] just a good feeling that was something I was keeping relationship with them for the institute and for the future of the institute. I guess I'm proud that I could be part of, from the ground floor, a college, and a college that is jus t doing tremendous work that very little people know about unless you're in that field, but they're at the top of the game. From when I was an undergraduate and taking classes to working thirty years at that same university, it was an honor and it was a d ifferent experience than I actually expected at a state university. It was a win for me. G: Where do you see FMHI in the next ten years? S: Well, they're growing so rapidly and the faculty are just so talented that they keep bringing people from around the country and other countries. They're expanding so much in the international environment right now. They're working very hard and making
21 wonderful relationship with Latin American countries [and] with the African countries and improving mental health w ell beyond the state of Florida, but the state of Florida gets to wear the feather in their cap. They continue to have faculty that are not only at the Tampa campus now, they're all over the state and people don't know that. We have people in Ft. Lauderd ale and other places. We are continually spreading out to help everybody in the mental health or related fields do their best. We write strategic plans and help people get grants in West Palm Beach that have a relationship with us somehow. We don't nece ssarily get all the benefit, but we're like under the second layer there. That's really what I think for the years to come. We'll be leaders nationally and internationally, but we're also for the local Florida citizens. We're improving mental health car e and the related fields in a way that they may not see. It's kind of the unforeseen group, it's kind of underneath actually giving the best new information that we're on top of that maybe the agencies don't have a chance to get to, but we're going to get it to them. We're improving the speed of what we know to the folks that are out there on the line doing the work. G: This is my final question, and this is something that I've asked all my interviewees. If you could leave a final thought to former coll eagues and students, to future colleagues and students and staff members what would you want to say about the University of South Florida and it's impact on your career, your life, etc.? S: For me patience and learning; if you give people second chances; i f you don't jump to too fast a conclusion on things and just really sit back and absorb and listen really well; and don't be afraid to make friends that, at least in my life, it's been a plus that I've found some very important people for me to learn from whether I'm sitting in a conference, just
22 listening or watching them how they work; it eventually gets under your skin and you become part of those best attributes hopefully. Just from early university days with Dr. Burke, with history with Ed Allen in st atistics, with Max Dertke in psychology, and Bob Friedman at the institute, and many, many more folks; just watching them and being near that personality of those faculty that have been more than just teachers, they're people who have infected me in a the way of their style and their patience. Especially Dr. Friedman had the ability to know what kind of is your best assets. You don't even know it and he will bring that out in the most comfortable way and you're a better person for it. The university has [taught me a great deal] obviously both as an undergraduate [and] a graduate, but probably my greatest learning experience has been in my work with the university and committees and meeting people. G: Larry, thank you very much. End of Interview