New Stories Posted 7/18/2005 (scroll down)
 

My introduction to FAU came in the form of a letter from the late Dr. Samuel A. Portnoy, Professor Emeritus of History, dated March 18, 1964. I was then a member of the English faculty at Indiana ( Pennsylvania ) State College . Sam had been a colleague of mine when I taught at Trenton State College from 1960 to 1961, and I and my wife, Deborah, have been very close friends with him and his wife, Evelyn, since then. We greatly mourn his passing on March 26, 2004, as we deeply regret that he will not be present at the reception and luncheon for the founding faculty – of which he was among the most prominent. These recollections are dedicated to Sam, and I would like to begin by quoting from his letter inviting me to become a member of the faculty:

“I've been part of a small group on the faculty of Florida Atlantic University , which will open its doors to 2,000 students this September. By this July 1, the full complement of the teaching faculty (total: ca 125) should be appointed and almost all should be arriving.

“For quite a while I was the embodiment of the Social Sciences and Humanities: indeed, for a brief spell History was floating in a kind of limbo between the two. Now it's quite definite that History will be in the College of Humanities . After my arrival in July, 1963, I got to work and have kept myself productively occupied every since. Quite recently President Williams appointed me Acting Chairman of the History Department.

“Since many disciplines were not represented at all and staffing in them has tended to be slowish (the president, as you can well imagine, has a thousand jobs on his hands at this juncture), people already on the staff have felt free to suggest individuals for various positions. I advanced the name of my dear friend and ex-colleague at Mansfield ( Pennsylvania ) State College , Dr. Bernard (Ben) Baum. President Williams offered him the post of Acting Chairman of the English Department and Ben accepted. I would not presume to capitalize on either my friendship with Ben or on my role in his coming here – the pleasure was all mine, with no strings attached. However, I wish to alert you of this development and invite you to contact Ben should you be interested in a position here.

“Now the assumption on which I am proceeding is that you are available. If not, consider it just a gesture of my respect for you personally and intellectually, and a wish to see you in a more promising situation academically and in a delightful place for your family to live and enjoy life. This area of Boca Raton is in what's known as the “Florida Gold Coast.” It's out of this world. And the university well promised to fulfill its motto, “Where Tomorrow Begins.” That's why Evelyn and I would like to see you, Deborah, and the children join us in this heavenly existence.”

Needless to write, I strongly responded to Sam's invitation and promptly contact Ben Baum, who interviewed and subsequently offered me the position of Assistant Professor. I and my family arrived at the university in July of 1964, and I began teaching in late August. By that time the faculty of the College of Humanities consisted of 14 faculty members, the photographs of whom were published in the Boca Raton News on September 3, 1964, as follows: Benjamin F. Rogers, Professor of History and Dean; Alfred C. Andrews, Chairman and Professor of Classics; Bernard Baum, Acting Chairman and Professor of English; Joseph E. Conaway, Instructor in Speech and Drama; Donald W. Curl, Assistant Professor of History; Gerard M. Doyon, Assistant Professor of Art; Juan Estarella, Chairman and Professor of Modern Languages; Norman J. Fedder, Assistant Professor of English; Allen W. Greer, Assistant Professor of English; Charles J. Kolinski, Associate Professor of History; Samuel A. Portnoy, Acting Chairman and Professor of History; Robert Schwarz, Professor of History; and J. Laurence Willhide, Acting Chairman and Professor of Music.

It was a decidedly unique experience to serve on the first faculty of a brand new university – especially one founded with a mandate to develop innovative methods of teaching, utilizing the electronic media that were now available to us in the “ Learning Resources Center .” I developed and taught courses in Shakespeare, Studies in Dramatic Literature, Playwriting, and Advanced Exposition – both for junior and senior undergraduates (FAU did not have freshman and sophomore classes at the time) and graduate students. And, in keeping with the educational mandate, I extensively utilized, in my courses in Shakespeare, tape recordings of renowned productions – with the assistance of the Learning Resources staff. I found the beginning crop of students to be of high quality. And, in turn, I was pleased with the success of my teaching – evidenced by high student evaluations, which earned me advancement to the rank of associate professor. Although I taught at FAU a scant three years, I continued to be in touch with my former students for years – some of whom went on to outstanding careers in education, theatre, film, and writing.

I was particularly delighted by the Readers Theatre productions developed and directed by the late Joe Conaway, who went on to build FAU's fine Theatre Department. In the beginning years Joe, I, and others were involved in created a community theatre in Boca Raton and directing plays for it. I directed a scene from Shakepeare's Henry IV-Part 1 , featuring the Bard's quintessential comic character Falstaff, and Christopher Fry's one-act comedy A Phoenix Too Frequent .

I left FAU in the summer of 197=67 not out of any dissatisfaction, but because I couldn't pass up the opportunity offered to me to teach playwriting and dramatic literature and have my plays produced at the large, established Theatre Department of the University of Arizona . There I established a major playwriting program, and, following that, was recruited to do likewise at Kansas State University, where I spent the better part of my career – being elected to the Kansas Theatre Hall of Fame and attaining the rank of University Distinguished Professor.

Nevertheless, my wife and I had such an affection for this area that, upon my retirement, we moved back here in 2001, and I later returned to teaching dramatic literature at FAU in the Lifelong Learning Society Program at the Boca Raton and Jupiter campuses. It has been a joy for me to observe how the university has grown and prospered in the 34 years that I have been away, as it has been for me to continue teaching at it!

Norman J. Fedder, Ph.D.
University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre
Kansas State University


I was recruited to come to FAU early in 1964 by Dr. Tom Carpenter and Dr. Roger Miller to start up and manage the University Bookstore – a wonderful opportunity for me and my wife, Pat, and certainly a terrific enterprise! We enjoyed our time there – even through [Hurricane] Cleo – and worked with a number of truly dedicated people. When Dr. Carpenter came up to Pensacola to assist Dr. Harold Crosby in the establishment of The University of West Florida, we soon followed and set up the bookstore here. I worked in that and other capacities for the next 28 years and retired in 1993, having had an extremely rewarding career. I'm still a fan of, and volunteer at, this fine institution [UWF]. I do remember my tenure at FAU, however, with a great deal of affection and price.

Jim Dyehouse
Pensacola , Florida


We had just moved from Buffalo , New York , to Pompano Beach when a friend called me and said there is going to be a university in Boca Raton , and they are hiring now. This sounded too good to pass up, so I called and made an appointment. The Arvida Building on Federal Highway was the location. I was interviewed by the President and his secretary. They both said “can you start immediately.” They were interviewing faculty. We were there for quite a time. The President had a Christmas party in Boca and told us we would have a week off.

When we moved to campus (amid the mud) arrangements were made to have the President of the United States dedicate the first buildings. A hurricane hit a few days before, and the new pole for the American flag was bent in half. Also, President Johnson was late as they had trouble with the limo. Things looked better after the speeches and music.

I retired after 20 years and had belonged to the Women's Club. Recently they had a reunion luncheon at the President's Home. Our club turned into the FAU Club, and I still attend many of the programs. I enjoyed the years spent at FAU and remain interested in all I read about its progress.

Alice C. Gantzer
Secretary, Office of the Registrar (Retired)


You may wonder that sometimes I am called historian, sometimes philosopher. That's because I was an academic bigamist, my two wives being history and philosophy.

As to “recollections,” I have a lot of vivid memories of 1964, but won't pre-empt too much of what I recall. Let just one recollection do for all: We had a great deal fewer incoming students when FAU opened its gates than people had hoped for. If it weren't for the Division of Education, we would have been even more disappointed than we were. So, classes in my own areas of inquiry were very small. I recall meeting my first classes in Existentialism and European Civilization on the balcony of the 4 th floor of the old library building, overlooking the tall grass and, I assume, the snakes and armadillos. It was probably the most unusual curse in existential philosophy in the United States . But it was fun, hurricane and all, and we had animated and spirited discussions, such as the airport wildlife had never dreamt of.

Dr. Robert Schwarz
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy


I well remember when I first heard the name Florida Atlantic University . My husband and I had recently moved to Boca Raton and were driving along Glades Road with friends, when they pointed out a dark little road leading off Glades Road and mentioned that there were plans to build a new upper-level university there on the old Army airbase. They mentioned that I might enjoy working there, so I tucked it away in my mental filing cabinet.

On August 20, 1962, I went to work in the Business Office with Dr. Philip S. Borden, Business Manager. At that time there were only five or six other people in the FAU offices in the old fire station on the airbase. I remember Dr. Williams, the President; Barbara Rich, his Administrative Assistant; Adelaide Snyder, Public Relations; and, I think, Len Singer. There was so much to be done, and I can remember that some evenings my husband went back to the office with me to help run copies of the budget, etc., on the mimeograph machine. We had a very cold December, and I remember dashing out to pick up portable heaters for the offices.

I worked in the Business Office, then with the Dean of Humanities, and, finally, as Administrative Assistant to Dr. Ballard Simmons in the College of Education until May 11, 1966. One couldn't work with Dr. Simmons very long without wanting to teach, too, so I resigned my FAU position to go back to college – first a year at Palm Beach Junior College and then back to FAU to receive my Bachelor's degree in 1968. After teaching two years at Boca Raton High School , I returned to FAU to earn my Master's – after which I became an Instructor at Broward Community College in the Department of Business Administration, where I stayed until my retirement.

Jenevieve W. Nittel '68, ‘71


It was great fun to see my graduating class...reached it totally by accident but it was a nice find and I wanted to see all the names of my friends at FAU! And while reading the shared stories, it was a hoot to hear about dorms as there were none in the first years.

I used my Spanish studies in North Carolina for my first years of teaching and changed to library studies and ended up retiring from 30 years of teaching, the last 20 years as an elementary school librarian...some wonderful memories.

Married a wonderful NC guy, have one daughter freshly graduated from UNC-Asheville and one son working on his wildland fire management degree in California...got a late start on a family.

North Carolina is home now, my parents moved here with their only child but are both gone now. Haven't been in the Sunshine State for over 20 years, hear there are lots of changes from a dear Miami elementary school friend now living in N. Ft. Myers.

Hope to go back to the site and see if you have any special plans for the 40th celebration...truly can't believe it has been 40 years since Boca Raton!

Anxious to read from other inaugural graduates!

Barbara Krenzer-Norman '65


A few of my memories of FAU in 1966: few buildings and sand everywhere; "drag racing" on the runways on my lunch hour with another staff member (Joann Destito Arlington); only three staff in the Personnel Office:

Charlie Taylor, Lou Gentry and Ethel Worthington; worked OPS for Comptroller Grady Rea and Dottie Beard typing (on a typewriter!) the budget for 1966-67; the T-Buildings and the monkeys; the Copy Center was located in a T-Building; interviewed by Dr. John Kirby (Chair, Administration and Supervision, College of Education) outside the GS building on the cement seating/table area; being fingerprinted for photo ID.

I will be retiring from FAU on September 1, 2005, after 39 years of service to the State.

Lorraine Risany Murphy Beres


On August 19, 1964, at the age of thirteen, John Timothy Leadbeater, his parents and six younger siblings set sail from Halifax, Nova Scotia to the United States on an aging Italian passenger liner. His youngest sibling, Janet, was not quite two months old. He remembers vividly the excitement of seeing the Statue of Liberty as they sailed into New York. After clearing U.S. Customs and Immigration with everything they owned, they traveled by train to Deerfield Beach, Florida. Within days of arriving, they were greeted by a compact but powerful Hurricane Cleo. So began Tim's American adventure.

Although barely graduating from Pompano Beach Senior High School in 1969 with a 1.7 GPA, Tim managed to earn a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) degree in 1973 and Master of Business Administration (Accounting) degree in 1985 both from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. He then earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1988 and a Master of Laws in Taxation degree in 1989 both from the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville. In addition to being an AV rated (Martindale-Hubbell's highest attorney rating) Florida Bar Board Certified Tax Lawyer, he is a Florida Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC). He is a shareholder/partner in the law firm of Ausley & McMullen in Tallahassee, Florida.

Prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army on June 29, 1973, he became an American citizen in a naturalization ceremony in Miami on June 6, 1973.

>From 1973 until 1981, he served on active duty rising from the rank of Private to Captain including enlisted service as an Army Airborne Ranger followed by commissioned service as a nuclear weapons officer/custodian responsible for maintaining the safety, security and custody of U.S. nuclear weapons in a foreign country. He concluded his active duty service as a paratrooper in the 82d Airborne Division during the Iranian hostage crisis (1979-81).

>From 1981 until 2003 he served in the Army Reserve as an air defense artillery officer and Army comptroller. In October 2001, he was mobilized in response to the events of September 11, 2001, and spent twelve months on active duty including ten months in Southwest Asia supporting the War on Terrorism (Operation Enduring Freedom). While deployed in Southwest Asia he served as the Deputy Comptroller for Coalition Forces Land Component Command which exercised command and control over the land battle in Afghanistan while simultaneously preparing for land combat operations against the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. On April 1, 2003 he reached his mandatory retirement date and was transferred to the Retired Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel.

On September 16, 2003, Tim was awarded the Americanism Medal by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution for outstanding contributions to the nation including assisting others to become American citizens, his Active and Reserve military service and his service as an attorney for the Florida Department of Revenue. The DAR Medal of Honor is awarded to native-born American citizens and the DAR Americanism Medal is awarded to naturalized citizens.

Tim is not your typical tax lawyer. He is a weight lifter who began lifting weights when he entered law school at the age of 34 (and weighed 160 pounds). At that time he had a flat, free weight bench press of 165 pounds. Now, at the age of 53 and a weight of 210 pounds he has a flat, free weight bench press of 315 pounds. He is also a martial arts blackbelt who over the past thirty-five years has trained in TaeKwonDo, Kenpo Karate, grappling, submission fighting, and Navy SEALs, Army Delta, Russian Spetznaz and Israeli Sayeret Golani hand-to-hand combat techniques.

A Canadian by birth, he is grateful and proud to be an American by choice!

FAU played an important part in my development. After two years of junior college (Palm Beach Junior College) and a year at Saint Mary's University in my native Halifax, Nova Scotia, I returned to Florida to finish my B.A. degree at FAU in Psychology. I learned a lot about myself and others that senior year (72-73) taking psychology classes and interacting with the diverse student body of FAU. June 1973 was filled with excitement: on June 6, I became an American citizen in a naturalization ceremony in Miami Beach; on June 10, I graduated from FAU with a BA in Psychology; on June 29, I started Army Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky as a soldier in the new All Volunteer Army. Because the draft had just ended, I also went through basic training with the last draftees (they were still in the "pipeline"). It was the end of one era and the beginning of a better one for the U.S. Army. After eight years of active Army duty I returned to Deerfield Beach to run my family's office supply business in 1981. The timing was less than perfect. Office Depot was opening a store in Boca Raton. So in January 1982, I went back to school parttime to transition into another field. I started studying business and accounting using my GI Bill and in 1985 I earned my Florida CPA certificate and an MBA in accounting at FAU. From FAU I went on to the University of Florida College of Law to earn two law degrees. So FAU has been very good to a humble Canadian immigrant who barely finished high school. FAU (and PBJC before it) gave me a second chance to realize my untapped potential and a means to transition later into a new career.

Tim Leadbeater, FAU '73, '85


Back in the summer of 1964, Dr. Joel Ross was the consummate salesman for the College of Business. He actually convinced my roommate and me not to go back to the University of Florida and get our degrees from FAU. As students, when deciding where to go for lunch we always seemed to wind up at the bowling alley off Dixie Highway to shoot pool and drink beer.

My wife, Susan, later earned her degree in History at FAU and our son Matthew has his MBA from FAU as well.

Ken Krassy, Class of '65


New Stories (as of 6/1/2005)

Back in the late '60s, when I was an undergraduate living in Dorms 7 and 51, there was nothing west of FAU. The campus had wide-open spaces, a thriving and happy burrowing owl population and wildflowers growing everywhere. You could even hear larks singing. In those days there were still a lot of rattlesnakes on campus. The owls would take over the snake burrows and dig the burrows out to make themselves bigger homes. The parking lots by the dorms had blacktop, and you had to be careful coming back from a date because the snakes would come out onto the asphalt to get warmed up.

There were about 3,500 of us in the student body back then. One guy used to sit out on the loading dock of the humanities building and play his flute. We would open the dorm windows to hear him. The music covered the whole campus. It was just beautiful. It was a very different place then.

Zita "Dee" McAfee Cael '70
Dee majored in English and was the editor of the University's literary magazine, the "Florida Atlantic Review." She is currently head of Special Collections and Archives at FAU's Wimberly Library. She is married to William Cael '70, '73 and has two daughters, Llewellyn Cael '04 (psychology major) and Catherine Cael '06 (anthropology major).


 
 
 
 

I was a Faculty Scholar at FAU during the early '70s, when there were no underclassmen. I lived in Dorm 21 (later named Timucua Hall). There were only a few buildings - General Classroom Building South and North, the administration building, the library, and the building which housed the cafeteria, bookstore, and a few offices. On the west end of campus, between the dorms and the water treatment plant, was the "Field House," the pool, and some tennis courts. The University Center was built the year before I graduated. Enrollment was about 5,000 and only 1,000 of those lived on campus. The entire university was like a small community with many friendly and familiar faces.  

Boca Raton was pretty small at that time too...there was no McDonald's until 1972! During most of my time at FAU the only restaurants in town were the Ranch House on US 1 and Fran's Fried Chicken. I can still taste that chicken!

I have many fond memories of FAU, and my favorite are the times I shared with friends.

Carol Turner Giles '73
Carol lives in Lake Charles, LA, and is a clinic case manager for the Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council.


 
 
 
 

In 1969 or thereabouts, the Student Body administration held a competition for an Alma Mater that would be appropriate for a growing university that had precious little in the way of established tradition.

Many of the faculty and administrators were retreads from the University of Florida. I was a two-year veteran, having taught at Florida State for 6 years and attended both the U of Miami and the U of F during my undergrad work. I had some familiarity with what an Alma Mater should sound like because I knew my high school, Miami Edison, the U of F and the U of M hymns by heart.

It was quite a challenge to place the words which would last for any significant length of time in a tune that would be easy enough to sing and stirring enough to not sound corny.  At least 4 of the words were acceptable to the administration when they were chosen as the logo for the 40th anniversary of the university, "Seeking, Learning, Sharing Knowledge."   It was quite a thrill to see my words on the light posts all over campus during my recent visit in mid-April 2005.

Suffice it to say that I won the contest, collected my $25 and though I wrote two verses, the committee only approved the 1st verse as the official anthem.  I remember performing it for some student meeting sometime in 1970. A piano arrangement was done by Dr. Bill Prince who later moved to the University of North Florida where he still teaches today (2005). A retired musical arranger, Nick Nicholson, (deceased), was Clarabelle the Clown on the Howdy Doody Show and the arranger for NBC's Tonight Show and the Skitch Henderson Band, wrote 2 different arrangements for concert band and one for Jazz Big Band which was played on several occasions. A student by the name of Ron Gilbert did a concert band arrangement which is currently being used for graduation ceremonies.

There is an arrangement on the Athletic Department website under the name of Traditions: Songs which can be played through the Windows Media Player that was written by my good friend from the Gator Band (U of F) Johnny Edmunds who is now retired and lives in Homassassa Springs, Florida.

I also wrote the AD Henderson School Song, although I have seen copies circulated without my name on the copy. Fame is short-lived, if at all.

Clark Bell
Associate Professor of Music, Retired

 

 
 
 
 

It was the fall of 1972. I had finished 2 years at Brevard College in the mtns. of   NC. Being from Jax. Fla originally, I was right at home in So. Fla. The sun, beach and small campus appealed to me. There wasn't a whole lot going on in Boca at the time...but I was grateful to be a fulltime college student instead of a living in a sandbag bunker somewhere in Vietnam! I lost some high school and Brevard College friends who got drafted and never came home. It was a tough time emotionally for everyone.

I lived in Algonquin dorm. My room faced a parking lot on the west side of the dorm. The afternoon sun made our room an oven, so we always found somewhere to hangout in the 4-7pm time frame. I can't remember if we were allowed to cook in the dorms....but we did! We had a gourmet kitchen setup....2 burner hotplate, toaster oven and a used fridge which we spray painted avocado green and printed "PROVIDER" on the front. Life was good!

Those of us who lived on campus were all pretty tight. Everyone knew everyone and we all enjoyed the simple things. Friday movies were 25 cents. I still remember seeing "A Clockwork Orange," a pretty racy flick for that time! We had a pretty competitive intramural athletic league. Our team was called the "Tribe." We would paint ourselves up like indians and go kick &#$%@!

My friend Chris Lane (from Pittsburgh of all places....Go Steelers!) and I would play at the "Broken String"...a little coffehouse w/acoustic guitar entertainment on Sat. nights. From that we formed a campus band named "Spectrum." We played at the Gipper in Delray a few times and on campus frequently. They had just finished an outdoor stage with lawn seating. Playing there...we thought we were rock stars!

But alas....adulthood and responsibilities caught up with all of us. I moved to NC in 1979, got married, am the proud parent of   a son 18 and a daughter/princess of 5 1/2 (what was I thinking?!). I've been in some aspect of the auto industry since 1979...most of it with Volvo/Lexus/BMW. I can still say " life is good"...but it was pretty special in Boca from 1972-74 @

FAU. Thanks for the memories!

Bob Kennedy '78
Charlotte, NC

 

 
 
 
 

I was doing a Google search on my mother's name, Marjorie Wright Gleason, and came across FAU's 40 th anniversary website. She was a member of the inaugural class. We were so proud of our mother, going back to school after having 6 children!  She went on to get her master's degree at FAU in 1974. What a role model for her children. She taught English at Pace High School in Opa-Locka, FL, and later became the Head of the English Department there.

She drove up the turnpike from Opa-Locka to attend classes and for a while, I'm not sure when, she had a friend who had homing pigeons. She would put a crate of birds in the trunk of her car and upon arriving at school, would open their crate and let them fly home!

Sadly, my mother died 1/20/1984.

Linda Gleason

 

 
 
 
 

The following is an excerpt from an autobiographical book by Dr. Robert J. Huckshorn titled "Life and Times." Dr. Huckshorn, a member of FAU's founding faculty, served the University in numerous key administrative capacities, retiring in 2002 as Vice President of the John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter. Upon his retirement, Dr. Huckshorn was named Professor Emeritus and Vice President Emeritus. He is the only person upon whom the title Vice President Emeritus was conferred up to that point in the University's history.

I could devote 300 pages to my 38-year career at Florida Atlantic University. Instead, I will concentrate on a few selected events.

After discussing the [employment] offer, Carolyn and I decided with some trepidation to go to FAU on the assurance offered by Dr. DeGrove that we were young enough to leave if it didn't work out. The salary was the same as the offers from the University of Kentucky and the teaching load was better. Obviously, the prestige of the two schools did not compare - one was an old, respected, established university and the other was a new school with no buildings, no students and no alumni. It would open with only 60 faculty members and 800 students, all of them juniors or seniors. FAU was to be a whole new kind of university, one that offered only upper-division and graduate work.

In February 1964 John [DeGrove] and I met with the newly named dean of the College of Social Science in Boca Raton. Stan Wimberly had been an assistant dean at the University of Florida. He was a large, jovial and outgoing man, and I immediately embraced him as a winner and someone who could help make the new experiment in higher education work. I felt better about my decision to join FAU after meeting Wimberly. There were no buildings completed on the campus, but the Sanson Science Building was almost finished and the Library, Learning Resources Center, General Classrooms South and Student Services building (including the cafeteria) were in various stages of construction. I was somewhat concerned that the campus would not be completed on time, but was assured by the Director of Physical Plant, Fred Gardner, that it would be. Gardner took DeGrove, Wimberly and me on a tour of the campus. We were not allowed to enter hard-hat areas (i.e., the entire campus) but he opened a trapdoor in the sidewalk and led us down a ladder into a long underground tunnel filled with the electrical, air conditioning and water equipment necessary to service the new buildings. The tunnels also contained vast amounts of Civil Defense food stored for emergencies....

John DeGrove had hired another political scientist, Douglas Gatlin, and the three of us constructed an unusual curriculum built around six required courses and no political science electives. We were on a trimester system, and each of us taught two trimesters and used the third for research and public service. I was a good teacher and was runner-up for "College Teacher of the Year" on five different occasions....

My 38 years at Florida Atlantic University will be remembered, if at all, for the number of administrative positions I held. The newspapers often referred to me as "the utility infielder," the "clean-up man" or "Mr. Fixit" because I was asked to undertake a number of special assignments to solve particularly difficult problems.

During the third year of the university's operation, a number of faculty members became increasingly upset with the academic administration under the first Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, the second-ranking administrator. He had taken a number of actions that were irresponsible in the view of many and had asked for the resignation of a senior member of the faculty based on what were widely viewed as trumped-up charges. The FAU chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), chaired by John DeGrove, discussed the matter with President Kenneth Williams, who suggested that we create a "blue ribbon" faculty committee to look into the situation and make recommendations to him. He also suggested that I be put in charge of the effort. Between us we appointed a committee composed of five senior professors, one from each college and one at large.

The committee held hearings, took testimony, collected documentary materials and eventually recommended that the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs be removed from office. I was designated to negotiate with the President to get him to take this action and was able to demonstrate to him that a number of us were prepared to leave unless some decisive action was taken. President Williams was reluctant to take action as drastic as removal, but eventually agreed and informed the statewide Board of Control that he was removing the vice president and was replacing him with the dean of the College of Social Science, Stanley Wimberly. The vice president left the university for a new position. Wimberly took over and began a reorganization that, within two years, led to the replacement of all five of the deans, and the university's immediate survival was assured.

President Williams asked John DeGrove, Professor Kenneth Michels and me to come to his office and discuss who among us should replace Wimberly as dean of the College of Social Science. DeGrove and I assured him that we did not want the job, but Michels said that he did and was appointed. One year later, Michels, who was also a professor of psychology, moved to the College of Science to become dean, DeGrove was appointed to replace him in Social Science, and I replaced DeGrove as chair of the Department of Political Science. Five years later, DeGrove stepped down to become founding director of the Florida Atlantic University/Florida International University Joint Center for Urban and Environmental Problems. Three years later, I was appointed dean of the College of Social Science.

Over the next 21 years, I served in many capacities. A group of philanthropists from Boca Raton wanted to create a nursing program and asked President Glenwood Creech to assign me to undertake it. He did, and I spent the next four years developing the program, hiring the faculty and establishing the nursing program as a division within the College of Social Science. Ultimately, I stepped away and the division became independent and later a highly successful separate college.

In 1984, President Helen Popovich was under pressure to reform and revitalize the College of Education, which had fallen on hard times and was losing respect in FAU's seven-county service area. I was asked to be Acting Dean of Education and given permission to do whatever was necessary to reorganize the college. I hired four outside distinguished educators from other universities and organizations (Michigan State University, Texas A&M University, The Brookings Institution and The Peabody Institute of Education at Vanderbilt University) and asked them to study the situation and make recommendations. Six months later they presented a plan of action and I was charged with putting it into effect. One way or another, I removed or reassigned 19 faculty members, one-fourth of the entire College of Education faculty, reorganized the departmental structure, redesigned the curriculum, eliminated over 100 courses and two departments, and hired a new dean. This, too, was done while I continued in my role as dean of the College of Social Science.

After 11 years, I resigned as dean of Social Science and vowed to return to the faculty. Before that could happen, the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Kenneth Michels, asked me to be one of his two associate vice presidents. I accepted and served in that capacity until he left office in 1986, when I was appointed Interim Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost to serve while a search was undertaken for a permanent replacement. More than 200 faculty members petitioned me to be a candidate and I agreed, in one of the worst errors of judgment of my career. A group of faculty members who thought the university should seek an outside candidate worked vigorously against my appointment as a permanent provost. I was also placed in the dreadful situation of being a candidate and, at the President's insistence, taking part in the search by interviewing other candidates. Eventually, for a variety of reasons, President Popovich decided that, even though I was her choice, she could not appoint me because of the controversy surrounding the search and my candidacy. During my year as interim vice president I divided the office and established Student Affairs as a separate administrative entity.

I remained associate vice president throughout the tenure of Vice President and Provost Leonard Berry, resigning seven years later at the same time he left office. During that period, I was asked by the Provost to become acting chair of the badly divided Department of Communication, to reorganize it and select a new outside chair. I also was asked to found and develop the new College of Liberal Arts in Davie and, with the assistance of Professor Joyanne Stephens, I spent two years at that task.

In 1993 President Anthony J. Catanese asked me to become Vice President for the Northern Campuses to build new campuses in the Jupiter/Palm Beach Gardens and Port St. Lucie areas. I served in that capacity for 10 years, building FAU's John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter and its Treasure Coast Campus in Port St. Lucie. I was fortunate to have a remarkable associate vice president, Kristen O. Murtaugh, assisting in these endeavors. She, in fact, concentrated on the Treasure Coast Campus, while I worked on the Jupiter Campus. While developing the MacArthur Campus, I was also charged with creating and organizing the new Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College in Jupiter. It opened in 1999 at the same time as the MacArthur Campus. At the time of my retirement in 2002, the two campuses were organized under separate vice presidents: Dr. Murtaugh became the leader of the MacArthur Campus and former Dean of Education Jerry Lafferty became vice president of the Treasure Coast Campus.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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