The vision of a contemporary university

Material Information

The vision of a contemporary university a case study of expansion and development in American higher education, 1950-1975
Cooper, Russell Morgan, 1907-
Fisher, Margaret Barrow, 1918-
Place of Publication:
University Presses of Florida
Physical Description:
xiv, 318 p. : ; 24 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Geschichte 1950-1975 ( swd )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references and index.
General Note:
"A University of South Florida book."
Statement of Responsibility:
Russell M. Cooper and Margaret B. Fisher.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [University Press of Florida]. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
07174149 ( OCLC )
80029022 ( LCCN )
081300702X ( ISBN )
LD1799.8.F6 C66 ( lcc )
378.759/65 ( ddc )


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The Vision
of a Contemporary University


The Vision

of a Contemporary University


Russell M. Cooper
Margaret B. Fisher

A University of South Florida Book
University Presses of Florida




University Presses of Florida is the central agency for scholarly pub-
lishing of the State of Florida's university system. Its offices are located
at 15 NW 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32603. Works published by
University Presses of Florida are evaluated and selected for publica-
tion by a faculty editorial committee of any one of Florida's nine
public universities: Florida A&M University (Tallahassee), Florida
Atlantic University (Boca Raton), Florida International University
(Miami), Florida State University (Tallahassee), University of Central
Florida (Orlando), University of Florida (Gainesville), University of
North Florida (Jacksonville), University of South Florida (Tampa),
University of West Florida (Pensacola).

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Main entry under title:

Cooper, Russell Morgan, 1907-1975
The vision of a contemporary university.

"A University of South Florida book."
Includes index.
1. Florida. University of South Florida, Tampa-
History. I. Fisher, Margaret Barrow, 1918- joint author. II. Title.
LD1799.8.F6C66 378.759'65, 80-29022
ISBN 0-8130-0702-X

Copyright 1982 by the Board of Regents
of the State of Florida

Printed in U.S.A.


The people of Florida had a vision of a university
system serving the whole state. The people of the
Tampa Bay area had a vision of a new university that
would realize values in lifelong learning for them-
selves and their children. Together they worked to
bring the University of South Florida to life.
To these people, who strengthen the community of
scholars from generation to generation, we dedicate
this book.


Foreword ix
Preface xi
1. Gestation 1
2. The Accent on Learning 16
3. Governance 41
4. Life on the Academic Frontier 62
5. General Education 82
6. The College of Liberal Arts 107
7. Professional Education 125
8. Graduate Programs 146
9. A Question of Access 157
10. Breaking the Lockstep 183
11. A Question of Effectiveness 205
12. Diversifying Administration 225
13. The University Repertory 249
14. Politics in Education 270
15. Shared Values and Shared Visions 291
Epilogue 300
Notes 303
Index 311
Illustrations follow 156


In 1974, M. Cecil Mackey, then President of the University of South
Florida, asked Dr. Russell M. Cooper, Dean of the College of Liberal
Arts from 1959 to 1971, to write a history of the University of South
Florida. The purpose was to be twofold: to record the birth and
growth of the University while many of its founders were still
available to contribute to the writing and to celebrate the University's
twentieth anniversary in 1976. Dr. Cooper accepted that responsibil-
ity, but, unfortunately, the goal was not achieved in time for that
celebration. Russell Cooper died unexpectedly in 1975, after com-
pleting six chapters of the intended twelve.
Colleagues read Cooper's unfinished manuscript and agreed that it
was a document worthy to be continued. But at that time no suitable
arrangement could be made for the completion of the book. Interest
further waned when President Mackey left the institution in August
1976 to assume the presidency of Texas Technological University.
William Reece Smith, Jr., was Interim President of the University
of South Florida from September 1, 1976, through September 21,
1977. It was during his term of office that Dr. Margaret Fisher, an
early and influential staff member of the University of South Florida
and recently retired from the University, was commissioned to
complete the manuscript. Dr. John Lott Brown, who became Presi-
dent of the University of South Florida in October 1977, encouraged
the project, and arrangements were made for the work's publication
by University Presses of Florida.
After a long gestation, President Mackey's idea and Dean Cooper's
manuscript have finally become a book, approximately five years
after its intended completion but in time for the University of South

x The Vision of a Contemporary University

Florida's Silver Anniversary. Fittingly, it was published during the
same academic year (1980-81) that another tribute was made to the
book's original author: the Arts and Letters building was named after
Russell M. Cooper.
Although much has happened in the life of the University of South
Florida since 1976, Margaret Fisher and I decided that the original
date for closure (1975/76) was still the appropriate one because it
followed Russell Cooper's design and intent.
I want to thank the charter faculty members and others who
painstakingly read the typed manuscript of this book for accuracy of
facts and interpretations. Their assistance has helped to make this
book, as one such reader has stated, "a rare combination of history
and philosophy."

William H. Scheuerle


On September 26, 1960, the University of South Florida was born.
After four years of planning, building, and recruiting, its doors
opened to the first 1,997 students.
The fourth state university in Florida was something of a pioneer;
Murray G. Ross declares in his volume New Universities in the Modern
World, "As a completely new and separate institution, rather than a
branch of one of the existing state universities, the University of
South Florida thus became the first new institution of its kind to be
conceived, planned, and built in the United States in the twentieth
Fifteen years later the youthful institution is coming of age, in
some ways surpassing and in others confounding the hope of its
founders. It has grown into a complex of ten colleges [1975], three
regional centers, over 20,000 students, and a hundred or more build-
ings valued at around $100 million. As of 1975, graduate programs
offer master's degrees in sixty-two fields and a doctorate in seven;
medical and nursing colleges also offer graduate and professional
The progenitors of the University have brought their offspring
into a remarkable adolescence through many moments of apprehen-
sion and bewilderment. For the University has developed a character
rather different from their early dreams-perhaps better, perhaps
worse, but certainly different. Were these changes inherent from the
beginning? Have they come from new pressures in the constituency,
or from the peer pressure of other universities?
This book seeks to assess the forces, both organic and environ-
mental, that have shaped the development of the University and to

The Vision of a Contemporary University

explore the sources and consequences of decisive actions on plans,
policies, and programs. Who made the decisions and why? How
have plans and policies worked out in practice?
During the turbulent sixties and early seventies, unrest, violence,
and political agitation severely buffeted higher education all across
the United States. In the graphic context of a single campus, the
meaning and impact of these forces and movements may take on a
sharper focus and greater clarity. To some degree every university
reflects the experience of the whole system of higher education, and
the story of one university going through its formative years in a time
of change and growth in society may reflect in various ways the
experience of two critical decades of nationwide expansion and de-
velopment. The University of South Florida is certainly not the
nation's best or most important university; but its conception,
growth, and development were directly influenced by state and na-
tional policy. As a new institution unfettered by tradition, the Uni-
versity may reveal more clearly than older universities the impact of
contemporary issues, problems, changes, and opportunities that af-
fected the general system of higher education.
Even though it draws upon historical materials, this book is not
merely a chronicle of events. Nor is it a public relations document,
for it reports failures as freely as successes. It seeks to interpret the
source, meaning, and impact of certain movements of the period
1950-75 in the life of a single university. By examining these de-
velopments in some depth, we may hope to understand the modern
university better as an institution and to gain insight into the process
and progress of American higher education.
The author was Dean of the Liberal Arts College of the University
of South Florida from 1959 to 1971 and participated in many of the
decisions reported here. While he had an intimate acquaintance with
the University's founders and with various factors at work in the
course of its development, this very closeness made objectivity diffi-
cult. Fortunately much documentation was available in the Univer-
sity Archives and administrative offices, and most of the founders
were available to give testimony.
The study could never have been done without the cordial coopera-
tion of administrators, faculty, students, and librarians. The present
University administration encouraged the study and scrupulously
refrained from any effort to influence its contents. The author,


therefore, assumes complete responsibility, with appreciation for the
invaluable assistance that came from every quarter.

Russell M. Cooper
Tampa, 1975

Dean Cooper completed six chapters covering the Florida Plan for
higher education, the creation of the University, and the history of
each of its colleges. I have tried to realize the whole work as he
envisioned it, setting the experience of one new university in the
context of some critical tasks confronting American higher educa-
tion after World War II.
My own contributions to the work deal with interdisciplinary
methods of instruction and governance and with the experience of
New Students having no family tradition of higher education. On
some of these matters, the University's experience illustrates the
findings of a nationwide study of New Students in the 1950s and
1960s, Beyond the Open Door, by K. Patricia Cross. Cross found that
equalitariann" principles applied to plans for opening new doors to
lifelong learning as a birthright, while "beyond the open door,"
meritocraticc" principles of an earned right to education continued to
prevail in universities following an "academic lockstep" and screen-
ing students up or out in the passage to a degree. Changing the
system of higher education, turning away from scalar assumptions
and meritocratic practices toward developmental principles of in-
struction and governance, away from the lockstep toward a "swing-
ing door" for lifelong learning, tell much of the story of higher
education in these decades.
The experience of the University of South Florida was equalitarian
in one important respect: every member for the past twenty years has
had an equal responsibility to contribute in some fashion toward its
growth and development. All contributed generously. A study hon-
oring all contributions would have to name thousands and would
require a comprehensive institutional history, which this work does
not contemplate.



The Vision of a Contemporary University

Neither Dean Cooper nor I intended to provide an exhaustive
review of the rich literature of the period. We have summed up those
works that particularly influenced us, those we shared with col-
leagues, and those assessing significant trends of the time. I have
included some studies published since 1975 that give added insight
into certain factors affecting the University.
I found the focus on process to characterize most of the significant
developments of the period. But any process followed at the Univer-
sity usually had to be reconstructed from personal notes and recollec-
tions; existing documents usually reflected the outcome more fully
than the process involved. I am grateful to more people than I can
name for help in understanding how things were done. My inter-
pretation may differ from that of other participants and does not
always follow received tradition. For these differences, and for any
errors, I have full responsibility.
I cannot think, however, that Russell Cooper and I have erred in
considering the process of teaching and learning to be the vital center
of a contemporary university or in viewing American higher educa-
tion as one of the great life-sustaining systems in our society and in
the entire culture of cities. A deeper understanding of the enjoyment
of learning as a process that brings people together and sustains their
whole life and work may be a valuable outcome of this period of
growth and diversification in higher education.
William Scheuerle deserves most of the credit for seeing the project
through, and I thank him for his generous advice and assistance. Julia
and Lucile Cooper provided heartwarming encouragement and sug-
gestions. I hope they will find this work worthy to stand beside the
many contributions that Russell Cooper made to higher education.

Margaret B. Fisher
Tampa, 1980



Between the Tides
In the nationwide expansion of higher education during the third
quarter of the twentieth century, one of the many new colleges and
universities established was the University of South Florida. As
World War II was ending, leaders in higher education and govern-
ment began to plan for an oncoming tide of students clamoring for
admission to colleges and universities. Actually, two tides were
converging on higher education, and either could engulf the entire
system. The birth rate had steadily been increasing, and its effect on
the colleges would reach its peak by the mid-1960s. How many
thousands of new students might enroll and what advanced studies
and degrees they might pursue depended also upon rising expecta-
tions for higher education, reflected in the steady increase in the
proportion of youth aged 17 to 21 who were enrolled in college and
the increasing enrollment of adults beyond the customary college
In 1947 President Truman received the final report from his Com-
mission on Higher Education, which predicted that enrollments
nationwide would swell from 3 million in 1947 to more than 4
million by 1960. A "National Inventory of Talent" conservatively
estimated that at least 49 percent of the adult population had reason-
able expectations of completing a two-year program of general and
vocational education and at least 32 percent had the ability to com-
plete "advanced liberal or specialized professional education." An
increase of some 170 percent in graduate enrollment appeared to be
necessary in order to provide some 250,000 new college teachers and
nearly as many new professionals for other social systems. The
commission advised the universities to prepare without delay to meet
these needs.

The Vision of a Contemporary University

The report reinforced the equalitarian thrust toward a "birthright"
in educational opportunities: "American colleges and universities
. must become the means by which every citizen, youth and
adult, is enabled and encouraged to carry his education, formal and
informal, as far as his native capacities permit." Noting the need for
more diversified programs and methods of instruction, it recom-
mended an increase in new types of postsecondary institutions,
especially two-year community and junior colleges offering both
terminal programs and continuing education for adults. The com-
mission particularly urged all colleges and universities to capitalize
more fully on expertise in research by cultivating more systemat-
ically the art of teaching.1
The projections for expansion and diversification proved to be
realistic. In 1951 about 24 percent of the college-age group was
enrolled and by 1967 nearly 47 percent.2 An increasing number and
proportion of undergraduates were adults beyond the traditional
college age. Clark Kerr declared that "We are witnessing everywhere
the demise of two long-held notions, that higher education ought to
be restricted to a small elite minority, and that only a small percent-
age of the country's population is capable of benefiting from some
kind of higher education."3
These equalitarian trends emerged in a system that operated pre-
dominantly on the meritocratic principle of admitting students on
the basis of their ranking at high school graduation according to
grades and scores on standardized tests. Breaking away from aristo-
cratic and elitist traditions of admission by right of family inheritance
or by the grace and favor of a distinguished scholar or wealthy
patron, the American educational system had primarily substituted
grades for grace and financial aid for favor. Out of this meritocratic
principle of an "earned right" in higher education evolved an even
stronger equalitarian emphasis on a birthright in lifelong learning for
all Americans. Policies and plans developed by the 1947 commission
aimed at a rapid expansion of opportunities to match the consequent
rise in expectations for higher education.4

The Florida Plan

In keeping with well-established constitutional principles, the com-
mission recommended a program that depended on the states for
action, according to their primary responsibility for education, with


federal assistance for part of the added capital investment. Each state
had distinctive needs and opportunities to consider in coping with a
growing population and rising expectations.
In Florida, rates of population growth were compounded by in-
creasing in-migration affecting the entire educational system. Since
1900 the state's population has doubled about every 20 years-
2,771,000 in 1950, 4,952,000 in 1960, 6,789,000 in 1970, and nearly 9
million projected for 1980. Florida also confronted the urgent need
for racial integration in the public schools, colleges, and universities,
along with the need to increase substantially the total number of
educational institutions.
In 1954 nine accredited private colleges and universities and three
state universities had a combined enrollment of 36,000 and a total
capacity of approximately 38,000. The state universities were ap-
proaching the limits of land available for expansion and could hardly
accommodate enrollment growth of even modest size. Florida had
always "exported" a substantial number of college students, but out-
of-state institutions, faced with their own expanding populations,
could not absorb an increasing number of students from Florida.
The Board of Control, which coordinated planning and policy for
the three state universities, initiated a comprehensive planning study
in 1954. With approval from the Cabinet-Board of Education (the
elected members of Florida's Cabinet play this dual role), the Board
of Control appointed a Council for the Study of Higher Education,
enlisting five distinguished educators from outside the state: John E.
Ivey, chairman; A.J. Brumbaugh, director; Earl J. McGrath, Floyd
W. Reeves, and John Dale Russell.
Late in 1956 the council delivered its report, Higher Education and
Florida's Future, a one-volume summary of recommendations but-
tressed by several volumes of analytic evidence. This laid the
groundwork for planning and action to expand both the university
and the community college systems. The evidence demonstrated
without question that the state's tasks were even more urgent than
had generally been recognized.
For example, enrollment was projected to rise from 36,000 in 1954
to more than 132,000 by 1970.5 (Actual figures for 1970 exceeded
240,000.) Areas of greatest population growth, remote from the
established state universities, had no resources aside from nine pri-
vate institutions with limited capacity to expand and five two-year
junior or community colleges. Accordingly the council focused on

The Vision of a Contemporary University

demographic factors in a comprehensive plan that would provide
access to higher education for all Florida residents. New institutions
would be located where students could commute, reducing construc-
tion expenses for the state and living expenses for the students. The
expanded, urban-centered system would have two distinct institu-
tional networks.
The most extensive network-18 new two-year community col-
leges plus 5 existing ones-would eventually expand to 28, the last
opening in 1973. These community colleges would have 99 percent of
the population within commuting distance.
Universities would provide regional access and offer selective ad-
mission to the top half of high school graduating classes and to
community college graduates with an Associate of Arts degree. The
"Brumbaugh Report" proposed three new universities, the first to be
established as soon as possible in the Tampa Bay area, another on the
lower east coast (Florida Atlantic University at Boca Raton), and a
third in the Orlando area (Florida Technological University, later
renamed the University of Central Florida). Two more universities
on the east coast (the University of North Florida at Jacksonville and
Florida International University at Miami) and one to serve the
panhandle (the University of West Florida at Pensacola) were added
to the plan as population continued to increase.
The council's report combined an equalitarian access model for the
open-admission community colleges with the traditional meritocra-
tic ladder in the universities, designed for selective admission on the
principle of an "earned right" to enter and progress toward four-year
and higher degrees. The Florida Plan capitalized on this combination
of principles and integrated the two networks by paralleling A.A.
degree programs with general education requirements for B.A. de-
grees and by designing four of the new universities (at Pensacola,
Jacksonville, Miami, and Boca Raton) specifically to serve commu-
nity college graduates and offer only the last two years of study for
the bachelor's degree plus some master's programs.
The council recommended that "addition of graduate instruction
should be governed by demand both in the new institutions and on a
system-wide basis."6 The new institutions should offer only the
bachelor's degree in liberal and applied arts and sciences, including a
few professional fields carefully selected to meet clearly demon-
strated demand. Their first objective was to develop fully accredited


baccalaureate programs; then the Board of Control might consider
plans for studies at the master's level. In general, graduate and
professional education should develop primarily around the estab-
lished programs at the University of Florida and Florida State Uni-
The council's rather cautious approach to the role and scope of
new universities and the extent to which students might proceed
beyond the "open door" was consistent with the fairly conservative
estimates of the 1947 President's Commission. How many New
Students taking these opportunities would prove equal in perfor-
mance to those selected by traditional standards for admission could
not be predicted. In the 1950s national and state plans had to focus
primarily on expanding opportunities for undergraduate studies and
continuing education. The actual experience of New Students would
strongly influence the future development of Florida's universities
and community colleges.
"The Brumbaugh Report" was truly prophetic in its vision and
comprehensive in scope. Its recommendations accommodated future
changes, which could not be predicted in every respect. The council
urged the Florida Cabinet and legislature to develop stronger plan-
ning capabilities in order to keep pace with general economic growth
and development as well as expanding educational systems. The state
quickly and effectively carried out the council's plan and timetable
for expansion of the university system while enlarging its general
resources for planning.
Even before the council produced the final report, the Board of
Control took the first steps to establish the new university recom-
mended for the Tampa Bay area. It looked for a site that would be
near the center of projected population growth in the designated
seven-county service area around Hillsborough and Pinellas counties
and would provide ample land for future expansion. Several sites
were surveyed in Tampa and St. Petersburg, and the two cities hotly
contended for the new institution. In December 1956, the board
decided on a 1,694-acre tract northeast of Tampa. Nine or ten miles
from the central business district and adjoining a new industrial
park, the area would be a major center for commercial and residen-
tial development in the decades to come.
On December 18, 1956, the Cabinet-Board of Education formally
created the new four-year institution and approved the recom-

The Vision of a Contemporary University

mended location. The 1957 legislature appropriated $8,602,000 for
construction and $140,000 for salaries and expenses during the two
years of planning for classes to open in September 1960.

A Question of Identity

John S. Allen was acting President of the University of Florida when
the Board of Control nominated him to be president of the first
"expansion" institution. His appointment was approved in July 1957,
and he took office August 1. Allen had participated in planning for
the new school through the university system's Council of Presidents
and Board of Control. He was thoroughly familiar with the plans,
policies, site selection, cabinet authorization, and legislative appro-
priations affecting its role and scope.
A professor of astronomy, Allen left Colgate University to direct
the Division of Higher Education of New York State front 1942 to
1948. Then he joined the administration of the University of Florida
under President J. Hillis Miller. His experience in administration of
public and private universities and a state system of higher educa-
tion, and his knowledge of the educational problems and political
realities of Florida, gave him the resources desired by the Board of
Control to bring the new institution into the national mainstream of
higher education and into service for the people of Florida.
The new institution had a president and a campus. Now it needed
a name that would declare its identity and role. The Board of
Control had not yet determined either the shape of the university
system or the role of new institutions within it. Nevertheless it had
to set the identity of the one in Tampa. Should this new enterprise be
a college or a university?
Because California had experienced explosive growth earlier than
some other states, many educators and public officials looked to its
system as a model for expanding educational opportunities in their
own constituencies. Beginning in 1953, California's system of higher
education reorganized to form a meritocratic pyramid, with access
increasing in selectivity from the open-admission community col-
leges at the lowest level, to the graduate schools at the apex. The
University of California expanded beyond the original campuses at
Berkeley, Davis, and Los Angeles. These highly selective uniVer-

sities admitted only the most proficient high school graduates, those
considered most likely to progress beyond the bachelor's degree.
Their undergraduate and graduate instruction had a strong orienta-
tion toward distinction in research.
State colleges with selective admission were responsible for most
of the traditional bachelor's degree programs and offered master's
studies in some fields of high demand; they served approximately the
upper half of high school graduating classes. Community colleges
provided open access to a variety of vocational, general, and continu-
ing education programs. The most able and proficient students from
state colleges and community colleges could advance to a university
and to the highest degrees through successive screenings at each step
on the traditional meritocratic ladder.
The Brumbaugh Report made no recommendation for the design of
Florida's system, though its authors inclined toward the California
model. The Board of Control and Cabinet-Board of Education had
gone only so far as to adopt access models similar to California's:
open admission to community colleges and selective admission to
universities. There had been no decision to adopt a graduated system
of any particular kind. Many other educators and state officials,
however, strongly advocated adopting California's pyramidal model
in its entirety. On this basis, the new institution in Tampa and others
like it would be state colleges offering only the baccalaureate degree.
Some advocates proposed that the University of Florida adminis-
ter FAMU, FSU, and the new universities as its branches under a central
administration. But because FSU advanced an equal claim to become
the apex of such a pyramid, other proposals suggested two "flag-
ships," one in Gainesville and one in Tallahassee. Florida A&M and
the new universities might offer some graduate and professional
studies at the master's level by extension from the flagships.
Many state officials were convinced that Florida needed no more
than one or two centers for research and graduate and professional
education. They feared that further expansion of opportunities would
dilute limited financial resources so much that high quality in ad-
vanced studies and research could not be sustained anywhere in the
university system. Equality of opportunity through the "open door"
of community colleges should apply at entry from high school. Past
that point, the traditional meritocratic ladder, selecting fewer and



The Vision of a Contemporary University

fewer students for advanced degrees, was considered essential in
order to maintain quality.
Governor LeRoy Collins felt strongly that Florida should concen-
trate research and graduate study in the leading universities at Talla-
hassee and Gainesville. The Board of Control recommended the
same salary Scale for the president of the new university and the
presidents of the University of Florida and Florida State University.
But Collins persuaded the Cabinet-Board of Education to reduce the
presidential salary scale for the new university by $2,500-in order
to distinguish clearly the lower level of instruction to be provided in
the new institutions.
Nevertheless, the Board of Control chose no particular model but
let the organization of the State University System develop with
experience. In effect, the state universities would form a network,
not a pyramid.
Some advocates of the flagship model also wished to emphasize the
limited role of the Tampa institution by naming it a college. But the
same factors that led to locating the new institution in Tampa argued
for making it a full university in fact and in name. If the state was
committed to bringing lifelong educational opportunity to more
than a million people within commuting range, the Tampa institu-
tion would have to provide for the full scope of expectations includ-
ing the highest graduate and professional degrees. The Board of
Control and President Allen agreed on the evidence in the council's
report to open at least three colleges (Liberal Arts, Business Admin-
istration, and Education) in the beginning and to start planning a
College of Engineering. If the institution was to include several
colleges, in keeping with customary usage it should be called a
Thus the Board of Control finally christened the University of
South Florida officially, setting a precedent for naming the other
new institutions. The meaning of the term university, its reference to
variety, scope, and level of programs, and the precise role and scope
of each old and new university in the state system have not yet been
fully settled. But the board clearly established the principle of orga-
nizing a set of autonomous universities. Each would be responsible
for developing programs to serve a regional constituency and for
supporting the state's overall plans for social and economic develop-


ment in cooperative effort through the State University System and
its governing board.
Serving a rapidly growing urban population, the University of
South Florida expanded beyond expectations and soon matched or
surpassed older universities in size and scope. By 1975 usF had added
Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, and Nursing; it had established
62 graduate programs leading to a master's degree and 7 leading to
the doctorate, in which nearly 3,000 candidates were enrolled. Its
constituency's expectations of a multiplicity of offerings and the
undeniable need of the urban population for strong educational
resources prevailed over the modest assumptions of its founders.
The Tampa campus today is nearly centered in its population area, as
the board had planned when it chose the site. But in 1956 it seemed
paradoxical that the board had located a university in Tampa to meet
the needs of a growing urban area and then decided to build it in
open country ten miles from the inner city. At that time only two
sandy roads led to the campus although plans were ready for con-
structing the present network of arterial roads and an interstate
highway. Its isolation aroused fresh controversy over the Univer-
sity's mission. If its program was to address directly the socioeco-
nomic concerns of the inner city, it should have been located down-
town. In its rural location, USF might provide a campus-centered
program characteristic of older universities, distanced from city
With the equalitarian thrust of the fifties came a movement to
break out of the ivory tower and engage higher education actively in
community affairs. The University of Illinois was developing its
Chicago Circle Branch in a 27-story building five minutes from the
Loop, there to concentrate on urban aspects of the social and behav-
ioral sciences and to duplicate only a few of the programs offered at
Champaign-Urbana. Lewis Mayhew, hailing that development,
urged that universities bring opportunities as close as possible to the
ghetto, where educationally disadvantaged students face prohibitive
costs in commuting to a distant campus.7 Seymour Harris also
advocated inner-city locations, noting that "students living within
25 miles of a college are twice as likely to go to college as those living
beyond 25 miles."8
Others wanted campuses close to the business and industrial com-

The Vision of a Contemporary University

munities, which needed university resources for career advancement
and effectiveness in economic enterprise. Clark Kerr saw universities
as "bait" to be dangled before industry and considered higher educa-
tion to be intimately related to "the rise and fall of industrial areas."9
An artistic community in the Tampa Bay area offered special
prospects for university-community cooperation. Hundreds of
distinguished artists, writers, and other intellectuals had settled on or
retired to the Gulf coast. Four symphony orchestras and several
theater and dance groups offered opportunities for collaborative
work and cultural enrichment. And people in all walks of life looked
for a full spectrum of educational, economic, and cultural resources
in the University.
Considering this rising tide of expectations, President Allen and
the planning staff decided that location was a minor factor. The
University must work effectively with people in many settings in the
community. First it would have to educate the thousands regularly
enrolled; community concerns and university services would con-
verge most significantly in the lives of students and faculty. Out of
this primary interaction, a variety of collaborative activities could
develop to enrich the quality of life in the seven-county service area.
The University would value community support. President Allen
actively enlisted local political, cultural, educational, and business
leaders, indefatigable in their efforts to bring USF into the Tampa
area, to serve as consultants in planning and development. By 1959
the planning staff was assembled and members went into the com-
munity to discuss the University's plans and to solicit information
and advice in schools, clubs, churches, and private homes. This
outreach stimulated enthusiasm and gave the planners insight into
community expectations for USF. For example, the College of Educa-
tion would design its program to focus on urban public schools as
the center of change and development in the whole educational
system, and programs in the College of Business Administration
would emphasize corporate enterprise and the concerns of manage-
The planners found that they had to consider statewide as well as
local expectations. Into the temporary offices in downtown Tampa
came inquiries from many students who, contrary to the council's
assumptions, wished to attend from outside commuting range. Pres-


ident Allen and the planning staff wished to serve them even though
no housing was planned on campus and next to nothing was avail-
able nearby. Students from the rest of Florida, other states, and other
countries would provide a more cosmopolitan campus, in keeping
with historic traditions of universities. But the legislature had not
appropriated funds for residence halls. In the established universities,
housing and food service functioned as auxiliary enterprises, gener-
ating reserves for capital outlay from charges for service. The Uni-
versity of South Florida had neither appropriations nor capital re-
serves, but the planners wanted to meet this new opportunity.
For the first year, 47 women could be housed in quarters designed
for visitors and offices on the top floor of the University Center. For
the future, USF could secure federal loans from the Housing and
Home Finance Agency. A low-interest loan of $2.5 million for a
residence hall would require $55,000 of USF money. President Allen
appealed to the community for "Dollars for Dorms." Businesses,
families, civic groups, and school children contributed more than
$80,000 before the campaign got fully started, giving a remarkable
demonstration of community support regarded as a happy harbinger
for future town-and-gown relations.
The addition of residence halls presented the possibility of develop-
ing the "cluster-college" concept replicating in a large multiversityy"
the close relationships, warmth, intellectual climate, and person-
alized learning that small colleges have traditionally prized. President
Allen and the four deans had all attended or taught in small colleges.
Wishing to avoid the depersonalizing "assembly-line" so roundly
deplored, they considered the "cluster-college" model to preserve
smallness as a necessary condition for personalized teaching and
learning within a university that would enroll 10,000 students or
more by 1970.
It was too late to modify the plan for the University of South
Florida. None of the buildings under construction and none of the
specifications for the first residence hall could be changed to fit the
cluster-college concept. The first Dean of Students, Howard John-
shoy, urged that other residence halls be designed as living-learning
centers, providing commuter-resident interaction and bringing
some classroom instruction into the residence areas. Rooms for two
residents might be enlarged slightly to accommodate a study center



The Vision of a Contemporary University

for a commuting student, or each unit of 40-50 residents might
include a study hall for 10-20 commuters and perhaps a classroom.
Residence hall financing took almost all of the rental income; costs
of nonremunerative social or instructional space would have to be
met out of other university funds, which were nonexistent, or out of
service charges. Charges to commuters using a study center would
almost equal costs to residents--square footage costs are the same,
regardless of use. So plans went no further than to provide a few
lounges and conference rooms for residents and commuters to share.
But the cluster-college concept persisted. Plans for the second
residence complex included a classroom-office building--on the the-
ory that residents would schedule most of their classes there and thus
interact closely with a small group of faculty. This experiment did
not work; planners failed to consider students' highly diversified
academic programs, which dispersed their classes all across the cam-
Advocates of cluster-college organization tended to assume that
smallness was the determining factor in personalizing education. But
their concern for the process of teaching and learning, with close
personal interaction among students and faculty, turned out actually
to be the significant factor. President Allen and the deans had to look
for other ways to cultivate active personal involvement in teaching
and learning, and some of them proved successful even on a large
The University Center was designed for all faculty, staff, and
students to use its food service, offices for organizations, lounges,
conference and recreation rooms. All buildings had several con-
ference rooms and most had a snack bar-lounge. Small-group inter-
action, the goal of the cluster-college concept, became a criterion for
all facilities design. In each building, the majority of classrooms were
designed for small configurations of 25-30 students, with a few
seating 50, and one large auditorium or lecture hall.
The classroom became the actual social center ofusF. The mixture
of resident and commuting students made the classroom encounter
the focal point of campus life and work, open to all faculty and
students. The president and planning staff realized their commitment
in the process of personalized learning at the center of the academic


The system of higher education has always been regarded as a
national asset, a source of professional manpower, research, and
consultation related to national and international affairs. A new
dimension appearing with the rising tide of expectations called for
colleges and universities to provide similar resources for their local
communities. How this new responsibility would develop was not
clear, and its form has not yet crystallized fully. But the planners
gave high priority to campus-community collaboration at the Uni-
versity of South Florida.
President Allen knew that community contributions would bring
to USF not only financial strength but also commitment and friend-
ship such as alumni would provide-when the University had any.
In 1958 he incorporated the University of South Florida Foundation,
opening membership to any friend and supporter. The Chamber of
Commerce, public officials, and local civic groups actively sup-
ported the foundation. Its members participated in activities as "in-
stant alumni," contributed regular gifts and pledges, and sponsored
campaigns for "Dollars for Dorms" and for scholarship and loan
funds. Through this organization large numbers of people in the
community could actively continue their participation and support
many projects not covered under general appropriations.
Prospective students participated in preparation for the Univer-
sity's opening. On September 5, 1958, President Allen invited juniors
from local high schools to join in the first ground-breaking cere-
mony; some would be USF freshmen in 1960. Chamberlain High
School, a brand-new school itself, sent its band, and school classes,
troops of Scouts and other youth groups planted thousands of trees
provided by the state forestry service. (One of the Girl Scouts, when
she enrolled some years later, found the tree she had planted and sat
under it with great pride.)
Community participation would center primarily in the educa-
tional program. Instead of having a separate adult and evening
school, the staff decided to operate a full schedule of afternoon and
evening classes taught by a cross section of the faculty, so that
working adults could take advantage of the full scope of offerings.
Pat Beecher, Director of the Division of Fine Arts, capitalized on
resources in the artistic community, exhibiting works of art and



The Vision of a Contemporary University

inviting townspeople to participate in musical ensembles, concerts,
and theatrical performances; they would fill in the ranks until the
number of students increased and thereafter would strengthen the
quality of campus productions by providing some high-perfor-
mance models. Virtually all special events, and many other campus
activities, would be open to community participation in some way.
People throughout the area looked forward eagerly to supporting
the USF football team. Hardly more than ten years had passed since
the legislature, converting the Florida State College for Women into
the coeducational Florida State University, stipulated that rsu have a
football team to contend annually with the team of the University of
Florida, similarly converted to coeducation from an all-male institu-
No such legislative mandate accompanied the establishment of the
University of South Florida. President Allen announced that USF
would not have a football team now or for a long time-if ever.
First, it did not have enough money to implement fully its plans for
physical education, recreational sports, and athletics. A carefully
designed timetable gave first priority to instruction, second to recre-
ational sports and intramurals, and third to intercollegiate athletics-
to the extent that funds might be found in the future for these
activities. Second, USF was engaged in higher education and would
not become a hostage to commercial enterprise-as the intercolle-
giate conferences had been captured by professional teams to serve as
"the bush leagues."
Protests erupted and sportswriters indefatigably castigated John
Allen-even though Gilman Hertz, the first director of the physical
education program, and many other USF people worked on plans for
a professional football team in the area and even dreamed of a
training center for the U.S. Olympic team. Almost everybody but
Allen insisted that only football could give USF any school spirit. And
the high schools from which students came actually had little sup-
port in their communities for activities other than football around
which spirit and pride could develop.
Observing the numbers turned away from plays, concerts, and
other events, one faculty member remarked that art and music


seemed to have become uSF's substitute for football. The fine arts
actually became a focus of spirited community and student participa-
tion. Reservation of funds for more urgent needs than football
opened the way for spirit and morale to develop in a great variety of
other university-community activities and services.
By 1965 modest sums had become available for intercollegiate
athletics, and USF joined the NCAA, fielding teams in soccer, tennis,
golf, swimming, and basketball. Both men's and women's athletics
were organized, and the women's tennis team made USF's earliest
mark in national intercollegiate competition. The soccer team be-
came popular, paving the way for a professional team in the area.
Basketball also became a major intercollegiate sport. But all these
activities developed in the context of a comprehensive program
providing instruction, recreation, and intramural competition in a
diversified array of athletic and recreational activities.
The University would be "Ivy League" rather than "Big Ten." It
would have to husband its meagre funds in order to achieve the high
quality of education that President Allen and the community leaders
desired-if, indeed, it had any chance to become "a university of the
first class."



The Accent on Learning

Rising Expectations

In October 1957 a startling event shocked the nation into a fresh
appraisal of expectations for education: the Soviet Union scored a
"first" by placing in Earth orbit a man-made satellite, Sputnik. In a
field where people had assumed the United States always took the
lead, the U.S.S.R. demonstrated to the world that it had come of age
in science and technology. Consternation spread throughout the
United States. Editors, politicians, and educators discovered that
nothing in their education had prepared them for any such event.
Therefore, the entire educational system had to be upgraded
rapidly-national security was at stake.
President Allen summed up the reaction in a speech a year later:
"Sputnik sent radio beeps to Earth with coded messages. We Amer-
icans were embarrassed and annoyed by this, because we like to be
first. A lot of people who had never been very much concerned about
schools went into orbit and started beeping. They now want better
schools. For this I say, 'Thanks for the Sputniks'."1
Coinciding with this surge in public concern, the 1957 report from
President Eisenhower's Commission on Education beyond the High
School recommended stronger national commitment to more diver-
sified educational programs and large increases in financial support
both public and private. Reinforcing the principle of a birthright in
learning, the report urged the nation to remove financial barriers for
students through grants, loans, and tax incentives. It recommended
an all-out effort to recruit the most competent teachers available for
higher education by doubling salaries over the next five to ten years.
In order to maintain quality in a period of expansion, research would
have to be emphasized; the pendulum swung back from the 1947
emphasis on teaching.2

The Accent on Learning

For the University of South Florida, John Allen had already pre-
pared an approach to program planning consistent with community
concerns for scientific and technological advancement. In 1958 he
appointed Sidney French to develop a philosophy and an outline for
the academic program in keeping with the Florida Plan and its focus
on values inherited from centuries of humanistic education.

The University's Mission

French set two clear criteria for creating or selecting major compo-
nents of the University's organization and program: the "Accent on
Learning" and the "All-University Approach." These were not mere
cliches but design principles that summed up the whole mission of
universities in the modern world.
French and Allen appreciated the scope of the "knowledge explo-
sion." The volume of knowledge, according to some analysts,3 was
doubling every ten or twenty years. Growth in knowledge was
steadily accelerating in the twentieth century, bursting out of spe-
cialties into interdisciplinary dimensions and expanding beyond any
configuration ever considered to serve as the core of a university
education. Containing the knowledge explosion and managing di-
versified ways to learn had become formidable tasks.
The philosophy and program for USF stood within the traditional
commitment of universities to advance and share knowledge. Dis-
regarding equalitarian access models and meritocratic ladders of
achievement, French and Allen fixed the University's integrative
center in the process of learning.
Sidney French wrote most of the first catalog for the University of
South Florida. It is really an extended essay on shared values and
visions in the commitment to advance and share learning. Its title,
"Accent on Learning," continues in use today.
French insisted that the University emphasize learning rather than
training and personalized rather than specialized academic programs.
The linkage of higher education to specialized occupations had split
universities and had set their commitment to advance and share
learning at cross-purposes with student and faculty concerns for


The Vision of a Contemporary University

competitive advancement on a career ladder. He insisted in the 1960
Accent on Learning (pp. 29ff.) that the University must reconcile and
harmonize liberal and professional education:

Recent studies indicate a strong trend in American liberal arts col-
leges toward the inclusion of more professional preparation in their
programs and, conversely, for the professional colleges to include
more general and liberal studies in theirs. Thus, the professional and
the liberal arts colleges are coming closer together in the effort to
provide a continuum of studies which includes the general, the liberal,
and the professional in the same program....
The University of South Florida intends to bring together general,
liberal and professional studies in a way that provides unity to the
whole program.
For each student the educational program will combine work in
basic studies with those of the liberal arts and the sciences and, where
indicated, with professional studies. Ideally, a student's program will
be devoted one-third to basic studies, one-third to professional studies,
and one-third to elective choices.

The University's founders were so determined to maintain the unity
of liberal and professional studies and to reinforce intellectual effort
of high quality that they actually discouraged applicants who did not
share this vision--even though they feared that too few students
would enroll for the University to get off the ground. The catalog
called for strong student commitment:

A university is a place for those who seek sincerely to develop those
intellectual qualities, interests, concerns, and skills which characterize
the educated person. In no sense should a college education be re-
garded merely as preparation for a job. Nor is it merely a collection of
courses or the amassing of credits. ...
A good college education has unity and balance which, on the one
hand, assures breadth and knowledge in those areas of human culture
and intellectual skill characteristic of the best in our heritage, and, on
the other hand, promotes competence in some field of personal choice.
This competence may be in professional, vocational, or career fields,
or, more broadly, in the competence of better living ....
Those concerned only with specialized job training should consider
carefully whether this kind of an education would serve them best or
whether they should seek their training in some institution more
nearly meeting their needs.
It cannot be over-emphasized that a university is a place for those


The Accent on Learning

who seek to develop intellectual qualities, interests, concerns, and
skills. Those who find no challenge in this; those who found high
school work in the so-called academic fields-English, foreign lan-
guages, mathematics, history, natural science and social science-
difficult or uninteresting should consider carefully whether they
should apply to the University, where such fields are emphasized to an
even greater extent than in high school.

When President Allen was asked what he considered the Univer-
sity's most significant policies, he replied:

First, our commitment to educate the whole man. Second, our empha-
sis on a faculty dedicated to the importance of good teaching. Then,
our all-University approach-the insistence that everything we do
contributes to education, in and out of the classroom. And finally, our
encouragement of individual effort, setting a pace, faster or slower, as
the individual requires.

These principles were not new. They simply placed the University
squarely in the mainstream of liberal thought espoused by genera-
tions of educators. The distinctive feature was the planners' earnest
commitment to implement its philosophy in governance and admin-
istration as well as academic programs. The University was also
committed to community service, especially through urban social
systems. Its program was designed to provide effective education for
students who would enter these systems in the future and to open up
lifelong learning for professional people.
These tasks clearly required both liberal and professional educa-
tion. The University's constituency was sadly undernourished in
both respects, and new designs were required to meet its expecta-
tions. Educational planning would have to be oriented to the future;
liberal arts and professional colleges would share responsibility for
analyzing community expectations in relation to resources needed
for expansion and development of major social systems. Academic
programs must be designed to anticipate and perhaps to shape
changes in these patterns of urban life and work.
The comment that the "liberal" in liberal arts means freedom from
intervention by the professional establishment may be partly true.
Professional associations often monitor educational programs
closely and take a direct part in their design and accreditation, so that
professional education often tends to focus narrowly on compe-


The Vision of a Contemporary University

tences presently required by practitioners. Liberal arts colleges try to
cultivate the whole "state of the art" in the sciences and humanities,
with much less emphasis on occupational configurations outside of
teaching and research and much less influence from professionals in
the field in designing their courses and programs.
At USF the deans responsible for planning both liberal and profes-
sional education made a commitment to keep pace with develop-
ments in major social systems. They worked together on program
design and developed a general format that would apply to all
degrees granted by the University. Within this framework, deans
and faculties of each college and students planning their own courses
of study could produce highly diversified programs supporting the
purposes of the University.

The Design of Academic Programs

There are many ways to harmonize liberal and professional studies.
The deans' approach was to personalize academic programs so that
each student could integrate studies around personal expectations in a
way consistent with USF's own mission. Each student had primary
responsibility for planning an academic program tailored to personal
needs and talents. Therefore, the faculties had to provide a wide
range of courses and diversified methods of learning adaptable to
many individual plans for completing a degree.
In academic work the deans emphasized for students a broad
general education as the foundation for professional study and oc-
cupational entry; for faculty, effective teaching and the development
of a strong intellectual community; for administrators, equal rein-
forcement of each college and department on the all-University
principle; for the world beyond the campus, a concern for the culture
of cities and for national and international affairs.
Some students would major in a professional college and others
in a special field of liberal arts and sciences, but all would share a
common background in general education.
Each student would choose at least six of eight full-year courses,
interdisciplinary in design, assuring familiarity with the full range of
methods used in any specialized study.
For seniors from all colleges, a Seminar on Freedom and Re-


The Accent on Learning

sponsibility would be required as a capstone for the entire degree
program, putting shared values to the test in analyzing contempo-
rary issues.
A limit of 40 (semester) credits was placed on each major;
students would have to distribute other courses among a broad range
of collateral fields and free electives.
Interdisciplinary methods were emphasized in teaching, and all
colleges developed interdisciplinary courses and majors.
To link the general education program to the many special
disciplines of the Liberal Arts College, its faculty joined that of the
College of Basic Studies to form one body for curriculum and
faculty development. The two deans presided jointly over the plan-
ning process. In the beginning, almost all instructors taught both
Basic Studies and Liberal Arts courses.
The accent on learning called for active participation by students in
academic work with a faculty highly skilled in teaching. Sixty-five
percent of the charter faculty held a doctor's degree, compared to a
national proportion of 36 percent in 1960. In selecting faculty, deans
aimed for a diversified "mix" providing nationwide experience in the
academic disciplines and employment in fields other than teaching,
interdisciplinary study and experience, and productive activity in
publication, research, and the arts. But the main requirement was
evidence of active, provocative engagement with students in the
process of learning.
The most important criterion for advancement in faculty rank
and salary was effective teaching, followed by research and scholarly
publication, then by contributions to the profession and the commu-
Quality of education depends on continuing development of
skill by the faculty, sharing their experience with other scholars and
other institutions. Accordingly, each member annually received
funds for attendance at a regional or national professional meeting in
order to counteract provincialism and to contribute to general de-
velopment of effective teaching and research in the whole academic
For faculty members new to teaching, the deans set up a special
seminar on the psychology of learning at the college level, demon-
strating the instructional techniques and resources freely provided


The Vision of a Contemporary University

for students and faculty: a network of closed-circuit television; many
other types of audiovisual material and equipment; facilities for
computer-assisted instruction and research.
The classroom became the primary center of close personal
interaction. Sections were kept as small as practicable for the particu-
lar modes of instruction. Every available dollar was spent on faculty
salaries and instructional expense. Minimum feasible funding went
to administrative services, but deans, directors, program chairmen,
and many of their counterparts in nonacademic administration also
had some teaching assignments.
Students were encouraged to do as much self-directed academic
work as possible. The University's accent was on learning, not on
the mechanics of classroom instruction. In addition to regular class-
room activities students could take courses by independent study or
design a project for credit beyond the usual offerings; and they could
waive degree requirements or secure credit for advanced studies or
life experience by examination.
In each Basic Studies course, a uniform final examination was
given to all sections, determining 40 percent of the course grade.
One faculty member in each course worked half-time as examiner:
section instructors evaluated personalized work and classroom par-
ticipation. This approach emphasized the instructor's role of mentor
for the students as responsible participants and directors of their own
academic work.
Most degree programs included a senior seminar integrating the
whole student experience and orienting career plans toward emer-
gent concerns and opportunities in the community. Scholarly writ-
ing was particularly stressed as an essential requirement in vocational
responsibilities, graduate and professional study. In some degree
programs, a senior thesis, a research project, or comprehensive
examination, or all three, were also required.
Practical experience, combining work and study, could be
gained in Cooperative Education, in field studies, in laboratory and
studio work, and in performance and production in the arts and
mass media. Instruction laid particular emphasis on collaboration
with faculty members (e.g., in research or artistic performance) and
with people in the community.
The all-University principle rested on the assumption that all mem-
bers shared equal responsibility, though necessarily in different


The Accent on Learning

forms. Students designed their own academic work and degree
programs in keeping with this general diffusion of equal responsibil-
ity. But the University had to have a clear identity as a cohesive
intellectual community. It needed a strong network for planning and
governance to provide mutual reinforcement of shared values and
There would be one undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of
Arts, awarded by the University in all fields of study. Requirements
for academic standards and distribution of courses would be com-
mon to all majors. Of the minimum 120 (semester) credits required,
one-third covered general education, at least one-third represented
upper-level courses and at least one-half extended outside the stu-
dent's college or liberal arts division. A grade average of C was
required overall and in the major.
Thus students were enabled-and required-to develop a diver-
sified repertory for study and practice. Academic policy and proce-
dure let them transfer easily from one college or major to another as
their educational and vocational interests crystallized.
Students were relied upon to initiate voluntary organizations
and activities. One hour each day was left free from scheduled
classes, so that students and faculty were free to participate in volun-
tary activities and in University governance and planning.
The library had open stacks and both faculty and students could
request book orders. Art galleries in the library, University Center,
theater foyers, and Fine Arts building held monthly exhibits of local
and traveling collections. The bookstore stocked several thousand
paperback titles-the largest such collection in the area-to encour-
age students to read outside their field of study.
An "All-University Book" was chosen each term by a faculty-
student committee for all members of the University to read and
discuss in classes, carpools, dormitories, and lunchrooms. Titles
such as The American Presidency, Platero y Yo, and Member of the
Wedding were chosen for entertainment or for pertinence to some
aspect of public, community, or personal experience. Each term at
least one general forum or debate was held on the book, with the
author participating when possible. The popular practice was aban-
doned after three years for lack of time and space on campus to
accommodate the large numbers who wanted to attend the special
The council of each college brought together faculty representa-
tives from its several programs and at least one representative from


The Vision of a Contemporary University

each of the other colleges. This assembly provided multidisciplinary
planning for faculty development and facilitated the articulation of
new and modified courses, programs, and techniques of instruction
within and between colleges. The lending and borrowing of faculty
members was encouraged, and the "roving ambassadors" helped to
cement faculty relations across disciplinary lines.
In the belief that traditional departments tended to fragment a
university, the academic organization within colleges formed instead
around programs, the degree sequences that had multidisciplinary
Deans lunched together weekly, occasionally to discuss business
but mostly to discuss almost anything else. They wished to perpetu-
ate the camaraderie enjoyed during the planning period. Similar
formal and informal groups developed, including a Secretaries Hour
and Career Service Luncheon.
The University Senate and standing committees had all-Univer-
sity membership, including students, faculty, and staff. These
groups developed program and policy proposals for approval by the
In developing its identity and welding its members into a commu-
nity of mind and spirit, the University sought to strengthen its
linkages with the entire system of higher education and with the
wider community, especially in its urban enterprises. Throughout
Florida people supported usF; in Tampa they welcomed its faculty
and staff, involving them in local cultural, religious, and public
affairs, just as USF welcomed them to campus activities.
Participation in fine arts, lectures, forums, and other voluntary
activities was open to the local community. Many community peo-
ple contributed to instruction out of special experience or expertise in
many fields. In return, faculty and staff participated in many com-
munity undertakings: health and mental health programs, libraries,
schools, orchestras, drug and crisis intervention, new community
colleges, environmental protection, local and regional planning
President Allen offered a long-term lease for religious bodies to
construct facilities in keeping with campus design. Baptists, Episco-
palians, and a "Chapel Fellowship" combining several other Protes-


The Accent on Learning

tant faiths established such centers, and a Catholic center was con-
structed nearby on diocesan land. The University also recognized
groups from Jewish, Greek Orthodox, independent Protestant, non-
ecclesiastical, and non-Western traditions as voluntary associations,
and all belonged to a cooperative Religious Council.'
Special seminars, conferences, and workshops for civic and
professional associations, managers and employees of businesses and
industries were provided generously by the University. The faculty
provided many leaders of national professional associations, other
local, state, and national societies, and public and private agencies of
all sorts.
Thousands of students gave volunteer service to community
agencies in education, recreation, human services, planning, en-
vironmental protection and government and economic develop-
ment. In 1963 Sargent Shriver, the director, visited the campus to
find out how USF came to produce the largest number of volunteers
for the Peace Corps, in proportion to enrollment, of any institution
in the country.
Students developed thousands of individual and group field
studies in response to community and agency needs. In its first year
the University planned a Center of International Studies, concentrat-
ing initially on relations with Central and South America; it intro-
duced a program for students undertaking field studies in foreign
countries and special services for foreign students at USF.

Academic Leadership

John Allen demonstrated his commitment to this integrative ap-
proach in his appointment of principal administrators and planners.
Each one was experienced in and committed to general and liberal
education, interdisciplinary method, and integrating liberal and pro-
fessional studies.
Dean Sidney J. French, a chemistry professor, had been a liberal
arts dean at Colgate University and Rollins College. Shortly after
coming to USF, he founded the National Association for General and
Liberal Studies. He was to head the College of Basic Studies and then
become the first Vice-President for Academic Affairs. The chairman
who developed the Biological Sciences program, Edwin P. Martin,
succeeded him as Dean of Basic Studies.


The Vision of a Contemporary University

Russell M. Cooper, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, came
from the University of Minnesota where he had headed an interdisci-
plinary program. He had been Chairman of the Committee on
General Education and President of the American Association for
Higher Education. Cooper was particularly concerned with person-
alized learning in a large university setting and with academic free-
dom for students and faculty.
Lewis B. Mayhew, Director of Evaluation Services and Institu-
tional Research, had been active in general education at Michigan
State University and in the Committee on Liberal Arts Education of
the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. His incisive
research designs for performance evaluation gave evidence of high
educational effectiveness, consistent with the University's concern
for student development over and above access models for equal
educational opportunity.
In Elliott Hardaway, from the University of Florida, the president
found a librarian who combined the parsimony and interdisciplinary
learning characterizing his profession with comprehensive admin-
istrative skills and an irrepressible conviction that higher education
was great fun. He was knowledgeable about new media and tech-
nologies as well as books, and his grasp of general university opera-
tions led President Allen later to appoint him Vice-President for
Administrative Affairs to succeed Robert Dennard.
Jean Battle, Dean of the College of Education, had been Dean of
Liberal Arts at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Over the
South he had helped many colleges and schools confront problems
of racial integration. In his concern for improvement in elementary
and secondary education, Battle was committed to the principle of
engaging children as active participants, and he believed that teachers
needed a strong general education to provide the variety and enrich-
ment necessary for children to enjoy learning and develop strong
skills and interests.
Charles A. Millican, Dean of the College of Business Administra-
tion, had a similar concern for enlarging the capabilities of managers
and executives in corporate enterprise and for personalizing profes-
sional education. He had attended and taught in liberal arts colleges
and wanted to retain the values of small-college experience in a large
university. He later became the first President of Florida Technologi-
cal University in Orlando (now the University of Central Florida).


The Accent on Learning

Designing Professional Education

In determining an effective approach to community service for each
professional college, the dean considered the prospective needs of
related social systems and chose to focus instruction on a broad or
narrow range of activities within them. All of the deans together
developed some shared values on which programs must converge.
They should be designed for continuous updating to prefigure social
change; they must share resources for maximum economy and effec-
tiveness in learning. Programs should converge on the human en-
counter where high standards of performance make an essential
contribution to personal and public welfare.
Jean Battle, the first Dean of Education, liked to think of learning as
"the opening of worlds." Considering education to represent orga-
nized teaching and learning, he centered teacher education programs
on the process of learning. He outlined threefold configurations for
major fields of study, integrating study of the learning process and
the developmental tasks across the stages of human life with the
professional roles of teaching, counseling, and administration in
schools and other institutional settings.
Students have many options in designing their programs, includ-
ing choice of the subject-matter component in the learning process.
With the other deans, Battle designed secondary and postsecondary
programs to draw subject-matter courses from other colleges. Be-
cause of the consistency in content of learning for young people and
adults from high school forward, other colleges could provide con-
tent while the College of Education concentrated particularly on the
repertory of techniques for teaching and learning. The deans under-
lined the all-University commitment to teacher education by giving
these students dual membership in Education and the college provid-
ing the subject-matter courses.
Content and technique interact in any event; but the ways children
learn and what they learn will differ distinctly from the ways of
young people and adults. The same conditions apply to special
education where both content and technique must fit unusual de-
velopmental tasks of gifted, retarded, and handicapped people of all
ages. Students in early childhood, elementary, and special education,


The Vision of a Contemporary University

therefore, must rely on the College of Education for both content
and technique.
Battle strongly emphasized urban education, in which the greatest
variety of institutional settings appears and the most distinctive
changes develop in the responsibilities of educators. With the inte-
gration of American schools and the expansion of education in
developing nations, program design also emphasized cross-cultural
interaction. The cosmopolitan constituency offered ample resources.
For example, in the Ybor City neighborhood, a historic center of
Spanish and Italian cultural and business activity, a community
commission was undertaking historic preservation and neighbor-
hood development for an area that now included a growing black
Planning began in 1960 for urban, intercultural programs. One of
the first was an accelerated graduate program, Training Teachers of
Teachers, TTT, designed for those wishing to teach other teachers,
counselors, and administrators preparing to facilitate the develop-
ment of unitary school systems. Workshops and conferences for
school board members and educators laid much of the groundwork
for TTT, and its studies included a period of "cultural immersion" by
working and living in a community new to each student's experi-
In 1962 planning began for a Peace Corps-Teacher Corps trainiiag
program, conducted from 1968 to 1972. The first to combine train-
ing for overseas and stateside volunteers, it centered on urban de-
velopment in newly industrialized and Third World nations, offering
field studies in local schools and Ybor City and overseas training in
Ghana. For the governments and universities of Honduras and Gua-
temala, the college designed teacher education programs similarly
focusing on the rise of cities and urban education.
Dean Edgar Kopp centered the Engineering program on the general
system of technology and emphasized its effects on the quality of
community and national life. The approach followed systems the-
ory, an interdisciplinary development maturing in the early 1950s
and integrating concepts related to such phenomena as the workings
of a digestive system, a river, a railroad, telephone system, or school


The Accent on Learning

In the College of Engineering, each major covers a distinctive
technological system: Electric and Electronic Systems, Energy Con-
version and Mechanical Design, Industrial Systems, and Structures,
Materials, and Fluids. Each major requires basic work in all four
areas, undergirding specialized studies; a major in General Engineer-
ing provides for personalized design with a comprehensive view of
the entire system of technology. Courses in each field incorporate
economic and ecological concerns which faculty research has also
emphasized. For example, studies of tidal flow affecting the disper-
sion of effluent from power plants and sewage systems have used
computer models refined by field studies.
Charles Millican gave the College of Business Administration a
"stereoscopic" view. An intensive focus on the structure and func-
tion of corporate organization applied to programs in management,
marketing, and accounting. An extensive view of the whole eco-
nomic system applied to programs in economics and finance. The
major in General Business Administration provided for other per-
spectives in a personalized design.
The approach seems to have been influenced by Floyd Reeves, one
of the members of the Council for the Study of Higher Education.
He was particularly concerned with faculty development and sug-
gested among other things that USF locate a liberal arts department in
each professional college. He did not wish to see the whole liberal
arts program diffused across a university but he thought that a
college of liberal arts could share some "outposts" with other col-
leges to mutual advantage. Reeves had concluded that scholars in
liberal arts need to help "certified practitioners" break out of"estab-
lishment thinking" and keep professional education advancing
across the frontiers of knowledge.4
The location of the economics faculty in the College of Business
Administration was consistent with Reeves' suggestion. The College
of Social and Behavioral Sciences also offers an economics major;
students can choose either college, according to their career plans.
Programs with a corporate orientation have diversified and include
other perspectives and other types of enterprise: small business,
public and private nonprofit sectors of the economy, consumer-
provider relations, risk-taking, planning and information systems.


The Vision of a Contemporary University

An M.S. degree in Management introduced in 1972 particularly
addresses the public and private nonprofit sectors, and prefigures the
integration of business administration programs into comprehensive
studies of the entire economic system, which the faculty began to
plan in 1970. The cross-fertilization that Reeves recommended has
enlarged the original design, strongly integrating professional and
liberal arts study and research.
Opening in 1971, the Colleges of Medicine and Nursing have cen-
tered their programs on the one constant in the changing system of
health care: the professional responsibility for the health of all par-
ticipants-clients, patients, families, the whole community. The
colleges seem to be converging on other shared responsibilities: as
medicine moves toward traditional concerns of nursing for people as
participants rather than objects of treatment, nursing is moving
toward concerns of medical education for scientific expertise in the
process of maintaining and restoring health.
Plans for medical education took the classic approach exemplified
at Johns Hopkins-"the whole-patient" approach recognizing
health, illness, and recovery as functions involving all of a person's
lifeways and interactions over an entire community. The programs
center in clinical instruction as the source of both scientific and
practical expertise and employ interdisciplinary methods exten-
Dr. Alfred Lawton began the planning for the College of Medi-
cine, Dr. Donn Smith succeeding him as dean in 1969. With Dr.
Alice Keefe, first Dean of the College of Nursing, they decided to
conduct clinical instruction in local hospitals under cooperative
agreements. Recently a University teaching hospital has been con-
sidered, a modification of philosophy and design occasioned pri-
marily by continuing difficulty with the divergence of patient-ori-
ented instruction from technology-oriented predilections in the local
medical community. This difficulty reflects some trends and issues
which national planning has sought to answer, especially through
community-based networks for health care. It also suggests that
something more than better training and planning-perhaps the
creation of a new system-may sometimes be required in order to
keep any major social system centered in concerns of the people it
serves over generations of cultural change and community develop-


The Accent on Learning

The College of Nursing includes in its programs a strong founda-
tion in the health sciences and interdisciplinary studies related to
leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making in the treatment
process and the system of health care. New configurations of in-
struction cover a variety of settings for nursing practice such as
schools and industry, and a variety of roles for nurses outside of
treatment and patient care, such as research, health education, coun-
seling, planning, and administration. Both medical and nursing edu-
cation at USF emphasize the essential responsibility of students and
practitioners for self-directed, lifelong learning.

Designing General and Liberal Education

To serve the distinctive purposes of general and liberal education,
Sidney French and John Allen established two separate colleges. On
the all-University principle, the entire planning group set objectives
for both types of programs.
First, general education, centered in the College of Basic Studies,
must develop shared values that integrate learning, and commonal-
ities in knowledge and practice that sustain community life and the
culture of cities. Second, the College of Liberal Arts must advance
"the state of the art" in science and humanities in order to sustain the
educational enterprise itself and to provide the knowledge required
in all social systems as people learn to cope with future concerns and
The liberal arts programs would cover specialized fields in both
new and traditional domains of science and humanities. But the
deans and President Allen emphasized interdisciplinary studies in all
colleges for a number of reasons. Parsimony and integration of
learning worked together. Wherever instruction could capitalize ef-
fectively on commonalities in content and technique, it was clearly to
the advantage of a university limited in funds and faculty to design
fewer but broader courses and programs around a common focus.
The interdisciplinary approach also facilitates personalized learn-
ing. Students need not be rigidly confined within a special field but
should freely cross territorial lines in designing their degree pro-
grams and develop independent study, reading, and research for
their work in regularly scheduled or self-directed courses. The deans
particularly wished to capitalize on student experience in indepen-
dent studies, especially those of interdisciplinary design. For the
most challenging problems and opportunities for advancing knowl-


The Vision of a Contemporary University

edge often emerge outside of established disciplines, and cross-fertil-
ization seems to produce creative teaching and research of high
The capabilities of interdisciplinary method for modifying con-
tent, technique, and environment of learning while sustaining co-
herence and thrust were also considered an asset in cultivating Uni-
versity-community interaction and containing "the knowledge ex-
plosion." The concern of the planners for effective education of high
quality called for capitalizing on such capabilities for instruction,
research, and community service and also for the all-University
approach to organization and governance.
From the outset President Allen established the University's
strong foundation in general and liberal studies. Addressing a com-
munity group in 1957, two months after assuming the presidency, he
spoke of the value of this essential foundation for vocational develop-
Our colleges should insist on every student taking a course in Amer-
ican institutions which would give the political, economic and socio-
logical history of our way of life.... Every student should know
something of science and mathematics, should study literature, phi-
losophy and fine arts, should have education in effective thinking. We
want everyone to be well trained in effective writing, speaking and
reading. After such an education for citizenship and personal living
responsibilities, then we would expect each student to specialize in
depth in one of the many fields open to him in a modem American
college or university.5

Administrative Organization
President Allen adopted a fairly standard model for organizing the
University around three areas for academic, student, and administra-
tive affairs, headed by deans (the title was later changed to vice-
president, the term generally used here).
Allen functioned initially as Vice-President for Academic Affairs,
and Sidney French assumed that position after the College of Basic
Studies consolidated. Robert Dennard, Vice-President for Admin-
istrative Affairs, and Business Manager Andrew Carroll Rodgers
joined the planning staff from the University of Florida, both well
versed in policies and practices of the Board of Control, Cabinet, and
Budget Commission. Also in Administrative Affairs, Clyde Hill, a
civil engineer, was responsible for planning facilities and campus
development in concert with the Board of Control architect in resi-


The Accent on Learning

dence. Student Affairs was the last area to be staffed, by Howard
Johnshoy from Ball State University, a rapidly growing Indiana
university developed out of a teachers college.
One application of the all-University approach which Sidney
French and John Allen particularly favored was to include in each
administrative area some functions closely related to other areas and
involving all members of the University.
Academic Affairs included the colleges, the Office of Records and
Admissions under the registrar, the library, and after 1962 the Office
of Institutional Research and Evaluation Services.
Administrative Affairs included Educational Resources, which
provided universitywide support for both instruction and admin-
istration including the closed-circuit TV network, broadcasting sta-
tions WUSF-FM and WUSF-Tv, and multimedia services. This arrange-
ment gave some academic responsibilities to Administrative Affairs
along with the traditional responsibilities for physical plant, financial
planning and management, finance and accounting, and auxiliary
services. Its Personnel Services division included personnel records,
retirement, and fringe benefits for the faculty as well as general
personnel management for nonacademic staff.
Personnel Services also handled Cooperative Education, graduate
placement services, student employment, and career planning. This
arrangement did not please Howard Johnshoy, the Vice-President
for Student Affairs. He envisioned a single center in Student Affairs
for an array of developmental services tailored to students' changing
needs from admission to placement.
Within an hour after Margaret Fisher arrived in 1960 to serve as
Director of Student Personnel, Johnshoy sat her down to design a
proposal for such coordinated services. The plan covered resources
and activities of faculty, administrators, the library, health, counsel-
ing and other Student Affairs programs, and community agencies.
But Johnshoy's centralized concept was not to be fully implemented
until the third vice-president, Joe Howell, organized the Personal
Resource Center in 1972. The Student Affairs area actually was too
short-handed to carry career development services in 1960. The
University and the students got maximum mileage out of Personnel
Services under its director, Jack Chambers, an industrial psycholo-
gist also skilled in computer services.
Administrative Affairs also administered housing as an auxiliary
service. Johnshoy was not happy to have this responsibility also
located outside of Student Affairs. Residential staffing was not pro-


The Vision of a Contemporary University

vided beyond supervision of construction and business management
for the first year, so he and Bob Dennard worked out a plan for
Student Affairs thereafter to assume responsibility for staffing and
organizing programs of residence life and activities, standards and
discipline, while Administrative Affairs continued to handle financial
and facilities management. Robert James Decker, assistant director
of Student Personnel, assumed responsibility for residence hall plan-
ning and program development in 1961.
Student Affairs covered other responsibilities for orientation, fi-
nancial aid, health, counseling and developmental services, student
standards and disciplinary systems, and voluntary associations, ac-
tivities, and events. The University Center, directed by Duane Lake,
a leader in the National Association of College Unions, served
faculty, staff, and students as an all-University activity center.
Other Student Affairs functions also involved interaction with
almost the entire membership of usF. Academic advising was ini-
tially coordinated in Student Affairs and all faculty members had
some students to advise. Both instruction and advising benefited
from the faculty's close connection with orientation, counseling, and
developmental instruction. In 1964 when enrollment became almost
equally divided between lower- and upper-level programs, a corps
of advisors was organized and the coordinator, Henry Robertson,
moved into Academic Affairs to work more closely with the college
deans and the advisors designated for each major.
Developmental services in reading and writing, speech and hear-
ing, and personal and career counseling--often provided by related
academic units-were administered in Student Affairs at USF. These
services were also closely linked with programs in English, mathe-
matics, speech, and education, and gave general support for educa-
tional and career planning in all the colleges.
Dual assignments were the rule in Functional Physical Education.
For the first few years, degree requirements stipulated by statute or
State University System policy included two years of instruction in
health and physical education. The USF planners separated required
programs from the professional program to be developed in the
College of Education. Functional Physical Education courses became
part of the College of Basic Studies, and the staff had dual appoint-
ments in Student Affairs, developing the tripartite program of in-
struction, recreation, and intercollegiate competition.


The Accent on Learning

Location of Functional Physical Education in Basic Studies and
Student Affairs left the professional program free to develop without
the burden of general education. The College of Education has
developed an exemplary major focusing on public school teaching in
the areas of health, physical development, and recreation.
In general, the plan for University organization called for such
sharing of responsibilities and resources by faculty, staff, and stu-
dents, all contributing equally to its programs and activities.
In planning and budgeting, USF administrators gave first priority to
instruction and second to academic support services, including those
activities developed by students. Third-priority allocations to gen-
eral administration were kept to a minimum through ingenuity,
resource-sharing among colleges and administrative units, and
"pooling" duplicative functions. In recruiting, the president and the
deans looked for staff having both academic and administrative
experience. Many versatile people were attracted to USF by the op-
portunity to combine administration with teaching and research.
The University was also committed to student participation in
governance, relying on students especially to initiate voluntary asso-
ciations and activities expanding academic work beyond the class-
room and giving all University members an opportunity to share
common interests. For this reason, providing professional Student
Affairs staff to support student-directed activities was a general
administrative principle.
For example, the 47 women living in the University Center in
1960-61 were given staff leadership. Margaret Fisher wanted them to
organize independently and manage their own regulations and activ-
ities with some part-time staff and faculty advice. President Allen
and Howard Johnshoy, however, pointed out that initial decisions
would set patterns for future residence halls. Staff support would be
very important in laying the groundwork and linking residence
programs to academic programs. Johnshoy was still hoping also for
a cluster-college program or some other type of living-learning
Accepting these arguments, Dean Fisher found Phyllis Marshall,
who had been Dean of Women in a small, residential liberal arts
college. Marshall arrived just behind a hurricane and just ahead of the


The Vision of a Contemporary University

students to assume dual responsibilities for program development in
the residence halls and the University Center.
Accordingly, the development of administration and governance
must be viewed from an all-University perspective. The organiza-
tional chart (Figure 2.1) prepared in early 1960 shows the three areas
of administration and the distinction between academic and admin-
istrative functions in governance. It does not do justice, however, to
the integration of all parts of the University into a network of
teaching and learning, providing a system of governance rather than
a government.

A Faculty of High Quality

Recruiting faculty was extremely difficult because of a nationwide
shortage of Ph.D.'s and a noncompetitive salary scale in the Florida
universities. In 1958 President Allen and the planning staff outlined
some questions to be resolved in securing faculty members of high
quality and developing their roles and responsibilities.6 Three ques-
tions seemed especially significant:

What, if any, should be the differential characteristics of day and
evening school teachers?
How can prospective faculty be interested in dual or multiple ap-
pointments in the several colleges in the University of South Florida?
How can faculty, specializing in the several fields, be organized so as
to avoid the dangers of departmentalization without jeopardizing the
scholarship and security which comes from close working relation-
ships with others in the same disciplines?

Floyd Reeves met with the planners in February 1959 and ap-
proached these questions from a different standpoint. First of all, he
wanted the faculty to participate in all aspects of University and
community activity with no reference to rank and no distinction for
teaching day or evening classes, part-time or full-time, or involve-
ment in research, administration, or community services. The all-
University approach implied a whole-faculty approach to gover-
Second, the University must simply find venturesome people,
competent to take on dual appointments and multiple functions, not
those who wanted a traditional academic setting. Reeves recom-
mended recruiting from the military and other public service, from
business and industry, high schools and community colleges, as well


Fig. 2.1. Temporary Organization of the University

State Board of Education

State Board of Control
Council of President
President of the University
Institutional Research
News and Public Relations

. I

Dean/Academic Affairs
4 College Deans
3 Directors
(Eval. Services)

Dean/Student Affairs
Men's Activities
Women's Activities
University Center
Physical Education
Advising of Freshmen
and Sophomores

Business Manager
Business Office
Campus Engineer
Finance & Acctg.
Personnel Services
Educational Resources
(including residence)


University Senate Planning & Policies Committee
Academic Student Univ. Curricular Affairs
Staff Council Assembly Council on Teacher Ed.
Council on Bus. Adm.
Council on Lib. Arts
Student Council on Basic Studies
Body Personnel Affairs
Student Affairs
Academic Standing
Institutional Research
& Planning
Physical Plant, Space Use,
& Traffic
University Functions
& Public Relations
Student Financial Aid

The Vision of a Contemporary University

as graduate schools, in order to secure a strong infusion of experience
from many enterprises and social systems.
President Allen wanted a young faculty, so that a small cadre of
charter members would give continuity for ten or twenty years of
growth and development. Reeves suggested that the deans seek
younger faculty fresh from graduate schools "whose degrees come
from two or three different universities, with at least one degree
from a public university." For all faculty, degrees in more than one
field and teaching experience in two or more geographic regions or
types of colleges would be desirable. Reeves suggested aligning the
percentage of Ph.D.'s from Florida and southern universities with
the percentage of the U.S. population in Florida and the South.
Stressing quality rather than quantity of scholarship, Reeves insis-
ted that "productivity in scholarship seldom if ever interferes with
effective teaching." Two or three peers should evaluate a candidate's
published work; and the best evidence of effective teaching would
come from a visit to the campus with participation in a class or
Reeves' recommendations were not carried out precisely, but their
spirit was reflected in the characteristics of the faculty. Over the first
five years, the 1965 Self-Study showed a high percentage of doctor-
ates (62 percent), with annual figures varying from 58 to 65 percent.
Ph.D.'s were well distributed: 37 percent from colleges and univer-
sities in the North-Central Association, 33 percent Southern, 16
percent Middle States, 5 percent Western, 4 percent New England, 2
percent Northwest, and 3 percent from foreign institutions. The
percentage from the South was higher, the percentage from Florida
lower, than the proportionate population. In recent years the pro-
portion from the South has increased to around half.
The faculty actually brought a great variety of experience to usF in
everything from agriculture to zoology. The average age was under
40. Most appointments (43 percent) were at the rank of assistant
professor. In a highly competitive market, the low turnover rate in
1960-65, below 14 percent for all faculty and staff, was a welcome

The Best Students Ever to Attend the University

Students began to contribute to the planning for the University
almost as soon as they were formally admitted. Beginning in June


The Accent on Learning

1960, the charter students came in groups of fifty for orientation and
registration, selected from a number of different high schools in
order to avoid perpetuating traditional rivalries at USF. These regis-
tration groups would form the base for student participation in
University governance and for generating activities, organizations,
and services outside the classroom. Each group elected a convener
and continued to meet as long as members considered it worthwhile.
Some groups met several times on their own before the first day of
classes. There was a good deal of politicking for leadership positions
in the prospective student government and other activities.
After completing the tests for advising and developmental instruc-
tion, each group discussed the students' role in the University, career
expectations, and ways of planning academic programs and class
schedules; they registered for courses in conferences with faculty
Dean Johnshoy presented three tasks for the student body to
accomplish during the first term: organizing a coordinating and
planning council for the University Center; developing a system for
initiating, regulating, and scheduling activities outside the class-
room; and forming an association of students, or adopting some
other procedure to secure student participation in planning and
administration, including student representation in the University
In these group discussions, deans and advisors encountered many
misperceptions about student and faculty participation in a univer-
sity. They had worked out a general approach to counter fallacious
folklore such as "Universities educate more effectively by selecting a
better quality of students," and the concept of an academic assembly
line with freshmen going in one end, graduates coming out the
other, and dropouts representing "poor college material." Lew
Mayhew incorporated much of their thinking in the 1961 Faculty,
Staff, and Advisor Handbook.
Academic work is real work. (People often set up a false choice
between going to college or going to work, which is really a choice
to work in college or somewhere else. The choice is not exclusive,
since students often work in a household or business at the same
Students do academic work. (People often misperceive faculty as
doing all the work in advancing knowledge, while students take
courses as if they were dishes at a dinner, or doses of medicine. In


The Vision of a Contemporary University

customary practice, students contract with the university to do work
in a degree program, each course being one task in the program.
Work on their classroom assignments must contribute also to their
teachers' responsibility to advance knowledge, and develop the stu-
dents' own capabilities to continue independently in that responsibil-
ity throughout their careers.)
Instructors grade academic work-not students. (Students must
produce papers, lectures, experiments, works of art which instruc-
tors evaluate. Students use the evaluation to improve their capabili-
ties and produce still better work. Examinations do not test quality
of work, except in terms of performance under pressure of time.
Instructors should, therefore, do much more than design and score
examinations. They must assign and evaluate the variety of work
necessary for students to master techniques in a broad field of
scholarly work, and help them contribute to the advancement of
Grades should be read as direction indicators for improvement
in quality of work. (Students should take the initiative to confer with
instructors about points to improve, errors to correct, or strengths
to capitalize upon in the future. The grade report gives a general
indicator; students have the responsibility to follow through, im-
prove their work, and manage their plan for education and career
Student tradition held that universities are set up to flunk people
out as often as possible. The proposition that USF was set up to help
students succeed, and faculty and staff would help students do good
academic work, did not fit the folklore. Many students took the
orientation program skeptically; they were not prepared to believe
that USF really wanted everyone to do good work.
The idea that students must contribute to USF through voluntary
organizations and activities was more enthusiastically received. Reg-
istration groups went to work to generate all kinds of associations
and special events; they formed committees to work on the three
administrative systems outlined by DeanJohnshoy. Asking students
to build up the new University appealed to the spirit of voluntary
association, strong in the family and community experience of most
students. The idea that students contribute to the advancement of
knowledge also stirred the imagination. But these "nontraditional"
students were still skeptical about the all-University approach and
their shared responsibility for the mission of higher education.



Scalar Principles
Analogies to scalar configurations (ladders and pyramids, thermom-
eters and yardsticks) express a commonplace concept of social orga-
nization as a process of stratification according to caste and class. In
scalar analogies, it is commonplace to speak of "higher education,"
to certify "according to degrees," to locate jobs at some "level" on a
bureaucratic pyramid or make plans to advance on a "career ladder."
It is commonplace understanding that "the higher, the better" ap-
plies to position or level in a scalar configuration, and "the higher,
the fewer" applies to any reward such as an A on an examination or
any status such as full professorial rank.1
Among these analogies, the scalar principle of organization is
recognized by the practice of locating responsibility, not according
to distinctive functions in a process of concerted study and action,
but at graduated levels or degrees on a scale of authority, descending
from the highest sovereign center.2
Analogies involve differences that are as important as similarities.
Both common sense and the laws of physics affirm a simple fact of
life: you cannot do two different things at the same time with the
same set of concepts, tools, and techniques. As everyone who sews
knows, a tape measure will not hold a garment together. Yet the
scalar principle of organization has often been applied by an unex-
amined analogy, on the implicit assumption that the same configura-
tion used to place people in proper categories or positions will also
hold them together in common enterprise.
This error has many ramifications, and many difficulties in Amer-
ican education seem to arise from the mingling of scalar concepts in
the meritocratic tradition with equalitarian themes and principles.

The Vision of a Contemporary University

Models for University Governance

At the end of the 1950s the Carnegie Corporation commissioned a
study of college and university governance, on which the 1947 Presi-
dent's Commission had made major recommendations. John J. Cor-
son, a management consultant and experienced university trustee,
conducted an extensive survey and found manifest unrest among
trustees, presidents, administrators, faculty, and students.3 Many
felt equally frustrated over their formally documented organization,
typically based on some governmental-legislative or managerial-
bureaucratic model, and over the informal network or "grapevine"
often used when formal apparatus failed.
The scalar principle typically shaped formal organization but ten-
ded to bend its operations out of shape and misplace authority and
responsibility. Often it fragmented a university, and made it harder
to bring people together for learning. Decisions "from on high"
often would not fit actual conditions on the scene of the action in a
classroom or administrative office. On this distortion of the process
of organization, Professor Earl Latham of Amherst College wrote to
Corson, "Administrative absurdity increases directly as the square of
the distance between context and process."4
Such dissatisfying effects of the scalar principle of organization are
to be expected. In universities, each configuration of people-process-
resources for instruction or governance forms in a unique way.
Specific to each setting and task for study and action, it will rarely
duplicate any other configuration anywhere. Having few if any
matching parts, an organization for teaching and learning simply
does not have enough commensurable elements to be laid out on a
Consequently, Corson advised everyone concerned for gover-
nance in higher education to recognize "the fact that the scalar princi-
ple, so firmly embedded in the minds of those acquainted with
business, governmental and military organizations, has no duplicate
in the academic enterprise." Colleges and universities have to inte-
grate into well-orchestrated governance four types of operations,
each involving many unique elements.5

Multiple purposes, to meet diversified needs for lifelong learning
by people in all walks of life.
Multiple programs and activities, specific to each purpose, dif-


fused over many fields of study and dispersed to many geographic
locations on and off the campus.
Diversified configurations of people-process-resources, each spe-
cific to a unique activity and usually subject to periodic changes in
participants, process, or subject-matter-to the extent that a particular
configuration could not be replicated even if anyone wanted to do so.
A unique configuration of capabilities and expectations, functions
and responsibilities, requiring commensurate authority, for each and
every person involved.
Corson found that colleges and universities had usually developed
the most satisfactory ways of governance around processes of plan-
ning, applying principles and techniques closely related to the pro-
cess of teaching and learning. He suggested that faculties should
organize around educational planning and center their responsibility
in functions of teaching, research, and service rather than in a repre-
sentative body with legislative authority. Administrators should cen-
ter on their functions in support of the academic program, facilitat-
ing the provision of resources for teaching and learning. Presidents
and trustees should organize their functions to facilitate a university's
connections with the whole educational system, with governments,
and with other institutions in the community, across the nation, and
around the world.
An effective approach to governance should apply other principles
operating effectively in many institutions, regardless of the scalar
principle reflected in their organizational charts. These principles are
nonscalar, and related to functions or processes. They call for autho-
rization through procedural guidelines for discretionary, on-the-
spot study and action. They function most effectively through a
network for information flow and feedback so that members can
learn from each other how developments over the entire organiza-
tion can keep in tune with a well-orchestrated institutional plan for
instruction and administration.
In many respects Corson's work matches the "all-University ap-
proach" at the University of South Florida. The study was published
after USF was ready to open, but many features of its governance
exemplify principles and processes that Corson recommended.

Organizing the Faculty
The all-University approach to governance clearly centered on the
process of teaching and learning. Sidney French wrote in the first



The Vision of a Contemporary University

Accent on Learning (p. 51), "A University is composed of a group of
colleges under a central administration." But the temporary organi-
zational chart, other documents, and the best recollection of partici-
pants, indicate that the planning staff had initially been thinking in
terms of a governmental model with an administrative bureaucracy
and a legislative body for the faculty alone.
On February 26, 1959, the president and deans discussed with
Floyd Reeves a preliminary plan for faculty organization, included in
the working paper on faculty development.6 The copy of this paper
in the Archives includes notations by Elliott Hardaway, librarian,
that appear to indicate significant changes by the planners in this
meeting or subsequent sessions. For the design for governance that
was presented to the charter members in 1960 took a different ap-
proach, applying the all-University principle and centering gover-
nance in the planning process. It diffused responsibility and au-
thority throughout the systems for participation by students, staff,
and faculty. The preliminary plan proposed:

1. An all-University assembly of faculty above the rank of instruc-
tor, to be responsible for curricular and educational matters. (Com-
ment: "Disfranchising 20 percent of faculty.")
2. To meet monthly, the agenda prepared by an executive commit-
tee (president, deans, directors of administrative areas, six faculty).
New business open to proposal from any faculty member. (Comment:
"Why college reps? Deans represent] colleges.")
3. Its decisions to be final, subject to veto by the president under
unusual circumstances. (Comment: Query "?" as to "circumstances."
Query as to veto: "Is it true? Where does the control come in?" [sus
policy contemplated no such process of presidential veto or legislative
4. To establish committees for each administrative area, with elec-
tive membership:
Faculty Affairs (handling grievances, promotion, and em-
ployment standards)
Student Affairs (handling grievances, voluntary activities, stan-
dards and discipline)
Summer and Evening Sessions
Admissions ard Orientation
Institutional Planning (including support of research)
Physical Plant
Administrative officers to serve ex officio on related committees.
The colleges to organize ad libitum.


(Comment: Query on the ex officio position of administrative of-
ficers, apparently relating to duplication of their responsibility for
managing the work of administrative units by also designating com-
mittee chairmen. Query on absence of any committee concerned for
nonteaching staff, and their exclusion from the organization as a
whole. Query on the responsibilities within the colleges for deans and
faculty. Query on the grievance procedure-bypassing the instructor
or dean who could act in the first instance, and leaving no place for
appeal except to the president.)

All-University Governance
The planning staff carried the design for governance beyond the
working paper and dealt with two dimensions of organization: the
University's internal system for planning (going beyond the organi-
zation of the faculty) and the external connections to the State Uni-
versity System, linked to the state government through the Board of
Control. These two dimensions converged on the office of the presi-
The University's internal organization was designed on the stages
in the planning process rather on than the scalar principle and em-
ployed conciliar rather than legislative bodies. All faculty and staff
were included without distinctions of rank and student participation
was anticipated. Authority and responsibility were located on the
scene of the action, each faculty member being responsible for action
in the classroom, in research, and in advising students.
Matters affecting a particular course or program involved its fac-
ulty and their program chairman. Deans were responsible for all-
college matters, acting on cumulative information delivered by the
chairman from each faculty unit. Each vice-president was responsi-
ble for coordination of all-University functions in an assigned area,
supported by a committee with all-University membership. The
vice-presidents advised the president, who had final responsibility for
internal policy and program development and for making all ap-
pointments to positions in teaching, administration, and univer-
sitywide committees. In turn he was fully responsible for forward-
ing proposals that required action by the Board of Control and for
developing internal plans and decisions consonant with sus plans,
policies, and pertinent statutes.
Proposals usually came to the president through two advisory
bodies. The Executive Committee included the vice-presidents, the



The Vision of a Contemporary University

librarian, the business manager, and two college deans serving for
one semester on a rotating schedule. The University Senate included
40 faculty, 5 nonacademic staff, and 5 student representatives.
Proposals proceeded by consensus from stage to stage, coming to
closure on the final action by the president. Chairmen, directors,
deans, vice-presidents, and the president functioned as facilitators of
planning and feedback from classroom experience and the work of
each college and administrative area into the all-University context.

A Planning Approach

The assignments for each committee outlined the steps for planning
and decision-making and the linkages with other stages and other
systems in the process of governance. If any existed, no general flow
chart from this period has come to light, but Figures 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3
roughly outline the systems described in committee documents.
These provided three channels for educational, administrative, and
all-University planning. Like systems that Corson found effective
and economical, each provided a two-stage developmental process
from initiation to closure on a policy or other action.
Educational and administrative channels provided for develop-
ment of plans and policies preliminary to introducing them into
long-range, all-University deliberations, and also for operational
decisions within established guidelines. Program (departmental) or
college faculty worked out preliminary plans for academic programs
and policies that went through the dean and college council into the
all-University process. Operational matters were typically settled in
a program or college faculty. The channels were open for exchange
of information and advice on any decision, action, or grievance, by
anyone concerned, from any place in the organization and in any
direction. Any formal or informal group could propose a policy
change or a new program. Any grievance went first to the scene of
the action, to the teacher or officer responsible for redress, and then
could be appealed to the dean and finally to the president.
On administrative matters anyone-faculty, staff, or student-
could forward requests for advice and decisions or suggest proposals
for new policy and program. A signal might go directly to a com-
mittee, but action was usually more effective when a recommenda-
tion or question was forwarded through the director of a particular
unit or the vice-president.


Fig. 3.1. The Educational Channel

Student or faculty member

College Program
faculty faculty

Dean of
the College

for Academic Affairs


Fig. 3.2. The Administrative Channel

University member or group

Vice-President Administrative Director of
Committee office or service


Fig. 3.3. The All-University Planning Channel





Planning and Policies

Committee on Curricular Affairs

-Council on Teacher Education
-Council on Basic Studies
-Council on Liberal Arts
Council on
Business Administration
-Council on Engineering

Personnel Committee
Academic Standing Committee
Student Affairs Committee
Institutional Research
and Planning Committee
Physical Plant-Space Use-Traffic
University Events
and Pubic Relations Committee
Student Financial Aid Committee

In each administrative area, directors met with staff in their units
(such as the Health Center or Personnel Services) and the vice-
president with the heads of all offices, services, and units on opera-
tional matters and forward planning. Administrative committees
worked on two sorts of matters: long-range policy and program
development and discretionary judgments such as waivers, appeals
from staff decisions, and exceptions to some policy and practice
(e.g., petitions to the Committee on Academic Standards for
waivers of particular requirements).
Any proposal affecting the entire University linked into a third
system, particularly designed for long-range planning and all-Uni-
versity development. For example, new degree programs or changes
in student standards and discipline went through this channel since
their adoption would affect the entire University's program, budget,
and academic and administrative support systems.
College councils and administrative committees sent proposals
into the Planning and Policies Committee, which checked them for
any missing links and scheduled final review by the University
Senate. Each college had a multidisciplinary, all-University council.
Administrative committees had multidisciplinary membership from
colleges and administrative offices with which they coordinated op-
erations. In the planning process, these groups included ad hoc any
other people concerned in a proposal and checked with related
councils and committees, before a recommendation went to the
Planning and Policies Committee and the Senate.
Any member of the University, any informal group or formal
unit within it, could initiate the planning process on an issue or
proposal. New ideas often developed in workshops or retreats.
The timetable was flexible; councils and committees typically set
the sequence of study and action tasks early in their deliberations.
Tasks in the first stage of study and design were usually scheduled
concurrently in several different agencies. For instance, the design of
a new academic program typically started with a task force from
related fields of study whose members would immediately get in
touch with administrative and student affairs units to begin related
planning. As the proposal took shape, more formal, systematic
exchange of information and advice would be arranged to complete
the plan and carry it through channels to the college council, senate,
and president.
Student membership on councils, committees, and task forces,



The Vision of a Contemporary University

proposals from the Student Association or other organizations, and
periodic surveys provided extensive student participation and feed-
back. Individual or group proposals from students could go through
any Student Affairs office or go directly to the particular academic or
administrative office concerned.
All three systems were designed to keep advice and counsel, study,
and decision-making as close as possible to the scene of the action.
The president consulted the Executive Committee weekly; with any
officer only two stages removed, at most, from classroom or admin-
istrative units, the president could keep in close touch with the
process of growth and development and feed back systemwide de-
velopments quickly to the whole University.
The University Senate kept future-oriented plans and current de-
velopments in order and also facilitated organization of the whole
network of councils and committees. It elected three student and
four faculty representatives from its membership to the Planning
and Policies Committee, which secured nominations for councils
and committees and advised the president on appointments.
There was little point in going first to President Allen for action;
even in critical circumstances, he typically sent internal matters back
to the scene of the action or into the planning process. Many people
were firmly convinced that authority and responsibility always go
with rank and took questions or complaints "straight to the top."
Allen would listen attentively, then say, "You really should do
something about that and this person will help you."
This approach--especially the idea of a mere student doing some-
thing about the whole University-was mind-boggling to some
people. But Allen was rarely disposed to do what someone else
could do effectively; neither was he inclined to intervene in responsi-
bility he had delegated. Frank Spain relates how he told Allen just
before opening day that some room numbers had been mixed up and
did not match the class schedule. "Allen said, 'What do you plan to
do?' I said a notice might be handed out at convocation, and he
replied, 'You may have just enough time to print it'."
Some people felt that John Allen did not care much about students
and faculty because he usually passed along requests and made refer-


rals. In fact he cared a great deal, particularly about not interfering in
their responsibility. There was nothing cool and aloof about his
approach to the complex tasks involved in the University's relations
to the state's educational system and government.
Allen had compelling reason to concentrate on work with the
Board of Control, Cabinet, and legislature. USF was the first univer-
sity created under the plan for expansion. Feedback from its experi-
ence would affect prospects for implementing the Florida Plan and
determine substantially the identity, autonomy, and scope of pro-
grams for USF and other new universities. The Board of Control, the
Cabinet, and the legislature were learning to understand a university
new to their experience. A diversified network for the State Univer-
sity System was developing, equally new to their experience. To-
gether, they were conducting "action research," in which John Allen
provided essential information from experience at USF.
Engagement with the State University System substantially influ-
enced the decision of the planning staff to shift from a governmental
to a process model for governance. Under Board of Control pol-
icies, the president had final administrative responsibility in a univer-
sity. Lengthy legislative proceedings, especially adversary proceed-
ings entailed in any veto, would be counterproductive to
understanding and support both inside and outside the University. A
straightforward planning process, steadily developing consensus
from the initial study to closure on the president's action, would
facilitate growth and development. This process of developing con-
sensus was consistent with Allen's style and his background in the
Quaker tradition. But USF could not really afford any other approach
to governance.
The diffusion of authority and responsibility meant that administra-
tion as viell as instruction became more personalized. With responsi-
bility went degrees of discretion, facilitating personalized decisions
in keeping with the setting, the contingencies and alternatives pre-
sented on the spot. Within the guidelines something a little different,
a little more fitting, could usually be done.
Almost all policies included procedures for discretionary judg-
ment. Academic areas provided waivers of degree requirements on
the basis of special experience in school or employment. Mature
students could earn credit at usF for life experience some years before



The Vision of a Contemporary University

the standardized CLEP instruments came into use. In administrative
areas, procedures could speed up action or accommodate unforeseen
circumstances by very simple arrangements. Personalized arrange-
ments often eased the time constraints that bring hardship to so
many commuting students who have multiple responsibilities to
family, community, and employment.
In keeping with this personalized approach, Frank Spain and the
registrar's staff displayed a poster bearing the University seal with
the legend "Accent on Lagniappe."

Student Participation

The planners did not specify a form of organization for the student
body but viewed student participation from the all-University per-
spective, considering all members as adults equally responsible for
planning and risk-taking in educational and career development,
equally contributing to the University's development. During the
late 1950s, student personnel associations had worked out some basic
concepts and principles for student participation in teaching and
learning, planning and governance. Their professional approach cen-
tered on the process of adult development and the developmental
tasks involved in lifelong careers. They emphasized student rights
and responsibilities consistent with constitutional guarantees for
every person. The approach was generally equalitarian and recog-
nized that the tradition of common law, with faculty and administra-
tion standing in loco parents to students, failed to describe ade-
quately the manifold relationships between students and universities.
For example, Student Personnel Work as Deeper Teaching empha-
sized the interaction of classroom instruction, counseling, student
services, and governance, making voluntary associations and activi-
ties an integral part of the whole institution. The authors viewed
participation in the governance of academic life and work as an
important dimension of general education.7
In 1953-54 a joint commission of student personnel associations
worked out a developmental approach to student standards and
discipline, departing from the doctrine in loco parents and the habit
of defining standards in terms of violations with fixed penalties.
Developmental standards should be "educative and preventive," de-
scribing the right way to do things and the process of making
positive, effective decisions and correcting errors. Disciplinary pro-


cedures should aim at "re-education and action" and provide for
joint planning by a counselor and student to develop a course of
action that the student could carry out, incorporating any corrective
action or compensatory penalty, and keeping the student in the
university whenever this was feasible.8
At USF, a 1959 Conference on Intellectual Tone9 particularly em-
phasized these principles. The planning staff and five consultants,
including Philip Jacob, author of Changing Values in College,10 were
studying the implications of the accent on learning and the all-
University approach for the roles and responsibilities of students.
These principles converged on the students' responsibility for plan-
ning their own education and career and their important initiative in
enriching learning through activities and services outside the class-
The conference report emphasized the adventure of learning that
students and teachers share. An effective university should have the
true spirit of the frontier, "the acceptance of uncertainty with confi-
dence." In this spirit, the planners left to students the design for
organizing the USF student body.
According to tradition, USF would probably have a student gov-
ernment. Sidney French wrote in the first Accent on Learning (p. 51),
"It is anticipated that students will wish to organize a student gov-
ernment and perhaps elect class officers. They will probably decide
to publish a student newspaper and establish men's and women's
government organizations."
Charter students also presumed they would have a student govern-
ment, being influenced by academic tradition and encouraged by
advice from the faculty and from friends at the University of Florida
and Florida State University. Both universities had a strong tradition
of highly independent student government, strongly oriented to-
ward state government and politics, only marginally toward the
academic enterprise. Its leadership positions had often been used as
springboards to elective office in local, state, and national govern-
The U.S. National Student Association often advocated such a
political orientation, reinforced by experience in international con-
ferences and student exchange. The autonomy of student organiza-
tions in the universities, and their activity as a political power bloc in
many other countries, more often followed syndicalist rather than
democratic principles. Yet many student government leaders consid-



The Vision of a Contemporary University

ered this "activist" approach to be a desirable model for students in
NSA leaders also wanted to involve all students more fully in the
whole academic enterprise. In 1955 an NSA survey" identified many
contributions that student government could make to a university
and found substantial consensus between students and administra-
tors on such functions as activity coordination, planning student
programs and services, and evaluating instruction.
Perhaps the most important consensus concerned the role of stu-
dent government in attempting to counteract the pervasive sense of
apathy, alienation, and helplessness under arbitrary authority, ap-
parent in "The Silent Generation" of the 1950s. This was a far cry
from the almost habitual outbursts of violent rebellion against ad-
ministrative autocracy and the rigid "academic lockstep" on Amer-
ican campuses from colonial times to the early 1900s. Many were
alarmed over the tendency of students of the 50s to turn away from
learning altogether and to put up passive resistance to arbitrary,
insensitive authority.
After the staff decided on a planning model for governance of USF,
expectations of a student government also changed. President Allen
stated clearly that the University would operate under the Constitu-
tion of the State of Florida. The campus was not a political jurisdic-
tion entitled to a constitution and government of its own, for stu-
dents or any other members.
Allen and the deans were deeply concerned with bringing people
together for effective action in the University and across the commu-
nity. Student participation was essential in many different ways of
work; diversification might be impeded by setting up any single
agency for the entire student body. The planners also resisted
strongly a syndicalist approach; separating student, faculty, and
administrative jurisdictions would simply make it harder to bring
people together on all-University matters.
Howard Johnshoy and Herbert Wunderlich, his successor as Vice-
President for Student Affairs, were strong proponents of the all-
University approach, cultivating student contributions throughout
the University. Johnshoy insisted that governance meant bringing
people together, not putting them into membership categories or
boxes on a chart. Wunderlich emphasized "self-responsibility" and


"self-governance" as fundamental democratic principles. Both ob-
jected to the exercise of arbitrary authority by any student agency as
vigorously as they supported students against any arbitrary action on
administrative or faculty authority.
President Allen concurred with Dean Johnshoy on developing a
student association rather than a student government. Its responsibil-
ity should include coordinating activities, recruiting and training
students for various all-University committees, campus and com-
munity services, and national and international undertakings. It
seemed clear that a legislative body and a bureaucracy could not
work very effectively on such a diversified program. Accordingly, as
the registration groups formed, Johnshoy outlined a network of
activity councils to be coordinated by a general council of the Stu-
dent Association.
Volunteers or elected representatives from all registration groups
formed task forces to develop systems for participation in gover-
nance. With the task force on the University Center, Duane Lake and
Phyllis Marshall developed its council and program committees,
planned the program for the year, and designed the procedure for
scheduling events and activities that the center's staff would coordi-
nate with the class schedule for facilities use. Another group worked
with Gilman Hertz and the Physical Education faculty, planning a
full-scale Functional Physical Education Program of recreation, in-
tramurals, instruction, and sports. A Coordinating Council of regis-
tration-group conveners worked with Margaret Fisher to design
procedures for voluntary associations and special-interest activities.
With Howard Johnshoy an elected Provisional Committee worked
on the design for the Student Association.
By November 1960, the student-staff task forces had laid the
foundation for many long-term developments.
Leadership training for students volunteering to serve as officers
or representatives in activity, academic, and administrative councils.
A network of councils and procedures for organizing, recogniz-
ing, coordinating, and promoting organizations and special programs:
academic, fine arts, recreational, religious, residential, publications,
political, honorary, and fraternal.
State approval for the University's financial office to handle ac-
counts for voluntary associations.



The Vision of a Contemporary University

Staffing and publication of a student newspaper, originally as a
campus edition of the Tampa Times, then as an independent publica-
tion, the Oracle.
Revision of the president's preliminary decision to permit no
fraternity organization until the University was accredited and eligible
for chapters of national societies, so that social clubs and fraternal
societies could organize; after usF accreditation, as they became eligi-
ble, they could petition for a national charter.
A plan for residence hall life, adopted by the 47 women living in
the University Center. (Their parietal rules discomforted the Student
Affairs deans and later occasioned considerable protest).
Completion of an interest survey and distribution of listings of
interested persons to organizers of clubs and activities, University
committees and councils.
Publication of a Guide to the Development of Student Activities cover-
ing all the policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines developed to
November 1960. (This stands today in much of its original form.)

Focusing on process rather than on structure often seemed diffi-
cult. For all of their objections to bureaucratic authority, students
typically started out to write a constitution and determine "who was
over whom," on the scalar principle of organization. The process of
diffusing authority and responsibility according to function seemed
hard to grasp. But they were eager to set a good record for the
charter class, and when immediate action was in sight, they could
bring the process sharply into focus.
For example, with perhaps a hundred groups getting started at
once, the system of recognition and standards for organizations had
to focus on process. Rules were limited to the need to know the
purpose, who was responsible, whether they belonged to the Uni-
versity, and how members would conduct their affairs. The empha-
sis on student contributions to academic work called for procedures
facilitating exercise of the rights of free speech, assembly, and pub-
lication. Adopted by the Coordinating Council and approved by the
Committee on Student Affairs, the University Senate, and the presi-
dent early in 1961, these guidelines retain much of their original

Recognition procedures called for a letter of request stating pur-
poses, leaders, program plans, and any proposed affiliation with na-
tional or community organizations. (Such affiliates must be able to
conduct their own affairs and must initiate the relationship to off-


campus organizations, rather than having local or national societies
"colonize.") The letters were reviewed by the Director of Student
Activities (advised by a Student Activities council) and by the Vice-
President (advised by the Committee on Student Affairs) for final
approval by the president. Organizations filing a letter continued to
meet with provisional recognition; and because many organizations
were ephemeral, permanent recognition was considered on the basis of
the first year's results.
Standards called for open membership (conditional only on com-
mitment to the purposes of an organization, without discrimination on
personal or group characteristics); open meetings and conduct of busi-
ness; open records; annual financial and program reports to the mem-
bers and the Office of Student Organizations; and operation in accor-
dance with public law and University and Board of Regents regula-
Organizations could use the University's name, facilities, and
services; schedule events on the University's calendar, on and off
campus; and provide activities open to the whole University and the
general public (subject only to coordinated scheduling of time and
space, which imposed severe physical constraints for the first two or
three years).

Registration groups usually advocated an honor code with stated
offenses having fixed penalties, to be administered by student gov-
ernment under an honor court. Traditionally such a judicial branch
handled hearings in the first instance on any violation of standards
and regulations, with appeal to administrative officers.
The typical honor system did not seem to fit the University very
well. First, referral to a central honor court would slow the process
of handling offenses and would not even touch errors and minor
problems of scholarship and behavior that could and should be
corrected on the spot. Second, the developmental approach to stan-
dards and discipline called for effective action from the outset. Posi-
tive standards were needed, showing the right way to do things and
including a way to amend errors and shortcomings immediately.
Third, the administration was responsible for guaranteeing due pro-
cess in hearings on violations of regulations, in keeping with consti-
tutional principles. This responsibility did not require a court with
adversary proceedings but called for participation by students with
full information about the situation. The University could follow a



The Vision of a Contemporary University

counseling, problem-solving approach consistent with its educa-
tional role and avoid the misleading analogy to trial and punishment
by a court.
Accordingly, President Allen decided that the Vice-President for
Student Affairs would handle standards of conduct in academic,
interpersonal, and intergroup relations. Responsibilities would be
delegated to faculty for classroom matters and to self-governing
councils in activity areas, with appeal to the vice-president and the
president. Especially where misconduct might lead to denial of en-
rollment or admission (just about the only penalty available to a
university), the vice-president might conduct the hearing in the first
instance on his or the student's choice.
In any hearing, surveying the error or violation, the circum-
stances, and the consequences followed counseling procedure and
aimed to develop some way to correct errors and improve perfor-
mance and habits. The resulting plan often involved further work
with a counselor or advisor. Only where no feasible plan could be
worked out with tolerable costs and risks to the student and the
University was separation or denial of admission considered.
Howard Johnshoy insisted on documenting positive standards
stating procedures to realize desired outcomes. He often said his aim
was to promote higher education, not misconduct. He had consider-
able support from studies of the learning process for his conviction
that punitive approaches tend to exacerbate "failure anxiety" and to
invite misconduct and underachievement.
In keeping with these principles, faculty and students had to share
responsibility for academic standards. The deans advised that any
error merits a failing grade on that part of the work. If cheating
occurs, the whole work deserves a failing grade, and action to break
the habit of cheating is imperative. Teachers sometimes find that
they cannot work further with some students who have deliberately
done mischief or done no work at all. Procedures allowed a teacher
to drop a student just as a student can drop a course (the original vsF
grading system included a Y grade for this purpose), or to give a
failing grade in the entire course. The general approach assumed that
scholarly integrity involves continuing cooperative effort to avoid
and correct error, which punishment alone will not accomplish.
The same principle applied to other standards which usually in-
cluded procedures for dealing with situations that typically interfere
with orderly conduct of shared responsibilities. For instance, the


policy on class attendance simply stated, "Students are expected to
attend all sessions of any class for which they are enrolled." Know-
ing that illness and other difficulties will occur, President Allen also
set up an attendance office, making it more convenient for students
to notify instructors about an absence as a matter of courtesy and
also to make arrangements for team or group projects. The Atten-
dance Office checked on prolonged absence and helped students
make special arrangements if they wished to continue study.
Johnshoy explained to the registration groups how the interests of
students and University converge on the practice of scholarly integ-
rity. Unless students reported misadventures, errors, and violations
of law or regulations, faculty and staff could not help them develop
high performance. Students had to decide what was more important:
to give oneself or another student a chance to do better work or to let
an error or a bad habit continue and mislead many other people.
Johnshoy's suggested approach followed the counseling technique of
early intervention in problems and crises.
The message that students had to take action apparently regis-
tered. The charter students apparently set up an informal group
standard. They decided that USF had to be first class. That meant
high standards of conduct and no cheating. They did in fact report
themselves and others, sometimes to instructors, sometimes to
counselors and advisors, on all sorts of mishaps and offenses.
But the prohibition-penalty tradition was strongly entrenched.
Students and faculty repeatedly pressed for lists of offenses with
fixed penalties. Diffusing responsibility was one thing, having peo-
ple accept it was quite another matter. Students and faculty were
often persuaded that "automatic penalties" are more convenient and
more equitable than dealing with each distinctive matter of personal
right and responsibility on its own merit.
Difficulty in dealing with process surfaced in organizing the Student
Association. The Provisional Committee fixed on a constitutional
model with legislative, executive, and judicial branches when it
drafted bylaws in November 1960 for student-body vote to create
the Student Association, elect officers and student senators.
Dean Johnshoy objected to the governmental model; but the com-
mittee could think of no other way to organize except to write a
constitution like the federal document. At the same time, however,



The Vision of a Contemporary University

the Coordinating Council put forward its conciliar system for ac-
tivity areas, which members considered a superior model for the
Student Association. Inevitably the two groups collided. Some
members of each task force, aspiring to work in any student-body
organization toward a political career, felt their whole professional
career was at stake. Neither group would at first entertain the idea of
setting up both a Student Association and a number of other self-
governing bodies.
This uproar arose primarily out of difficulty in finding a base for
representation in the various organs of the Student Association. The
immediate base, the registration group, was a transient form; the
colleges would provide a base for representation of their majors, but
only after three or four years. The Provisional Committee proposed
to take over the Coordinating Council's base in the voluntary asso-
ciations but not its plan of work. This move was not satisfactory
because not all students took part in activities.
Eventually, the issue was resolved by adopting both plans for
different purposes and setting up a network of coordinating bodies,
rather than bringing all voluntary associations under a single agency.
Activity councils were separated from the Student Association and
directly linked to the Student Affairs office for planning and policy
matters and to the University Center for scheduling and other pro-
cedural matters. The Student Association would draw representa-
tion from "civic groups" organized as electoral bodies at each year's
orientation; after 1964 the colleges would provide the base. Electing
student senators and securing other representation in governance
would be a major task for the Student Association, along with
participation in general planning, and programing all-University
events such as parents' day, major speakers, and political gatherings.
The judicial branch of the Student Association provoked acri-
monious debate withJohnshoy and with some irate students over its
claim to manage the whole system of standards and discipline as an
"honor court." Allen and Johnshoy would not budge from their
decision to follow a counseling process for hearings on offenses and
grievances or change the positive standards and procedures already
established. Johnshoy and the Provisional Committee finally agreed
to limit jurisdiction of the judicial branch to such affairs as elections,
management of funds, and discharge of assigned duties in the Stu-
dent Association.
Any alternative to governmental models with centralized control
seemed hard for student committees to grasp. For instance, the


Provisional Committee, in keeping with USNSA recommendations,
wrote into its bylaws that the student legislature must approve all
outside speakers invited by any campus group. The Coordinating
Council's guidelines required clearance with the Student Affairs of-
fice only when a meeting was to be open to the general membership
of the University or the general public; this procedure was a tempo-
rary measure required by severe space-time constraints.
Johnshoy turned down the Student Association rule as an arbitrary
exercise of power, verging on unwarranted interference with aca-
demic freedom and freedom of speech and assembly. The Provi-
sional Committee protested that his decision was autocratic, un-
democratic, and authoritarian, and represented one more instance of
tyrannical administrative interference with student rights and civil
Johnshoy on several occasions confided that he found himself at a
loss in trying to understand the students' approach and philosophy in
trying to set up a central authority, a bureaucracy empowered to tell
them what they could and could not do in every conceivable situa-
tion. He would say, mournfully, "What ever became of the Bill of
As Johnshoy and Fisher saw it, much of the difficulty arose from
general dissonance between political folklore and educational pro-
cesses. Governmental models, almost reflexively applied to any sort
of organization, were not consonant with the planning model adop-
ted in University governance. Furthermore, the short orientation
sessions gave neither students nor faculty time enough to work
through some of the ways that rights and freedoms, participation
and responsibility actually work in higher education. More study
was needed on the application of the teaching-learning process to
organization and governance. A full-term orientation course was
proposed by several faculty and encouraged by Johnshoy, Fisher,
and other Student Affairs people.12 But funds and staff were not
available for this way of working through the implications of the
accent on learning and the all-University approach for student's roles
and responsibilities as contributors to higher education. Classroom
instructors were very helpful in explaining these matters, pertinent
to such courses as Human Behavior and The American Idea. But
understanding made headway very slowly against scalar analogies,
meritocratic assumptions, and traditions deeply embedded in aca-
demic and community folklore.



Life on the Academic Frontier

Coming Alive

People who go into teaching usually enjoy learning, even though
professors often forget that they are also students. Assembling for
the first orientation session at usF on September 6, 1960, the charter
faculty and staff, however, felt very much like freshmen getting
ready for the first day of classes-apprehensive but eager to get
acquainted and start a new adventure.
They followed a rigorous daily schedule for three weeks of prepa-
ration. Each morning in general session President Allen, the deans,
and outside consultants took the staff through the evolution of the
University and the developmental process for the future. Each after-
noon program faculties worked on course outlines and materials and
spent part of the time in advising entering students. On some after-
noons councils and committees planned immediate and long-range
developments in academic programs and University governance.
Most people had a good deal of homework every night. And the
schedule was interrupted by a rather nasty hurricane. It left com-
paratively little damage on campus but gave the charter members the
special sense of cohesiveness that so often comes from going through
a bad time together and emerging unscathed.
Consultants underlined public matters having particular import
for the University's future development. For instance, A.J. Brum-
baugh traced the process of designing the Florida Plan for higher
education. He emphasized the continuing responsibility of university
faculties for updating its projections and programs, especially for
graduate education. He stressed the autonomy of each university as
an important factor in keeping the state's educational resources

Life on the Academic Frontier

abreast of actual experience and expectations in the course of growth
and development. Sound plans for higher education could come only
"from the grass roots," from university faculties closely in touch
with regional constituencies.
Representative Sam Gibbons played a major role in legislative
action on the plan for higher education and the establishment of the
new university in Tampa. He gave a short course in Florida govern-
ment. The cabinet system, unfamiliar to many of the charter faculty,
locates many responsibilities in this body of elected officers, includ-
ing functions of the State Board of Education. The governor acts
more as a moderator than a chief executive in a conciliar process for
coordinating departments headed by officers equally accountable to
the electorate.
In the legislature both rural-oriented "porkchoppers" and urban-
oriented "lambchoppers," often at odds on other issues, joined in the
commitment to the plan for higher education. With redistricting
imminent, representation from urban centers would increase, with a
change in the political climate very likely to become increasingly
evident. Legislative action was steadily shifting from biennial
"horse-trading" sessions and episodic decisions toward more orderly
planning for statewide development. The universities must provide
special resources in statewide planning, and well-designed proposals
from university faculties would be essential to continue the orderly
development of higher education.
Braulio Alonso, Principal of Tampa's Jefferson High School, was
president-elect of the National Education Association. He consid-
ered urban areas such as Tampa to be undernourished in higher
education but rich in opportunities for cultural development. People
in all walks of life were eager to learn. Alonso described the social,
recreational, cultural, and health services offered by centers in Cu-
ban, Spanish, and Italian neighborhoods and similar resources of
other neighborhoods and ethnic groups. These could be more freely
shared across lines of color and language that still fragmented the
city. The cosmopolitan population presented a mixture of values and
expectations ranging from ideologically rigid, authoritarian, and
ritualistic, to liberal-minded, humane, and public-spirited.
The schools were struggling to integrate, to expand and to enrich
learning. Alonso described usr's charter students as eager to learn
and independent-minded, naive to higher education but often


The Vision of a Contemporary University

worldly-wise about neighborhood and community affairs. Many
would have both volunteer and employed experience to contribute
to academic work. He urged the faculty to capitalize upon student
contributions in the classroom and to cultivate community service
that would strengthen cohesive spirit and intercultural values.
The staff orientation period was unique. President Allen and the
planning team capitalized effectively upon the strong frontier spirit
of camaraderie they had shared as they brought new members into
the University. They had by no means done everything in advance,
but they had established the minimum "falsework" around which all
charter members had constructive work to do from the moment
they arrived. Large-minded, friendly, and generous toward one
another, charter faculty and staff worked with challenge, skepticism,
and criticism, remarkably creative and free from any disposition
simply to replicate some hallowed tradition of another Alma Mater.
Their spirits rose to a climax in a grand celebration at the first
convocation, September 26, 1960, at 10:00 A.M. Thousands of digni-
taries, parents, children and spouses, friends, neighbors, and tourists
filled the boulevard in front of the Administration Building. The
faculty and charter class marched in the traditional academic pro-
cession, colorful, untidy, dignified, to music by the Chamberlain
High School Band, which also played for the first time the usF Alma
Mater, written by Wayne Hugoboom of the Music faculty. The
chain of office and medallion were bestowed for the first time on a
president of the University of South Florida, and each charter stu-
dent received a miniature medallion. USF's own green-and-gold
hood was bestowed on George Cooley, awarded the first honorary
degree for his contribution to a magnificent botanical collection
already in use. Governor LeRoy Collins and other dignitaries spoke;
there were congratulations and gifts all round, red roses from the
governor to Grace Allen.
As the academic procession unwound, ushers distributed notices
correcting classroom numbers. Eventually finding their first classes,
instructors turned to the blackboard. There was no chalk in the
trays. There was no chalk anywhere on campus and none on order.
Neither were any test tubes in the laboratories or anywhere else on
campus. (Chamberlain High School obliged.) In the new and unset-
tled University, it was a comfort to find that at least one law of
nature held: Murphy's Law, "If anything can go wrong, it will."


Life on the Academic Frontier

Creating an Environment for Learning

The campus clearly declares the identity and mission of the Univer-
sity of South Florida. This visual statement represents a signal
achievement by some gifted and determined people: President Allen,
Bill Breidenbach and other state architects, the several architects of
its buildings and artists who embellished them, and Clyde Hill and
the Physical Plant staff. The buildings blend into one another and
into the landscape in manifold patterns of sand-toned brick and
white sunscreens.
The state Department of Agriculture found most of the campus to
have "the second-worst soil in Florida." On this rather forbidding
landscape, Roxy Neal and the groundskeepers within the year
worked a kind of magic with trees and shrubs from their own
nursery, palms transplanted from other construction sites, and
drought-resistant plantings. Some of the students and faculty helped;
about sixty spent a wind-swept weekend planting oak and elm trees
on the mall, literally up to their necks in sand. Sand was a shared
nightmare for charter members ofusF. Out of sand and other shared
visions the University of South Florida began to develop identity.
People sometimes forget the importance of a sense of place in estab-
lishing the identity of an institution and the roles of people in it. Lyn
H. Lofland, studying the city as "a world of strangers," found that
the sense of place orders almost exclusively the conduct of both
individual and concerted action. "In the modern city, a man is where
he stands."'
The USF campus declared "Here stands a university" from the very
beginning. But the sense of place did not declare its urban identity
clearly until the city began to grow around the campus about 1965.
There were egrets, owls, squirrels, and opossums in profusion on
campus, and an occasional deer; sightings of bear and puma were
reported. Out in the sand and swamps, people often felt lonely and
isolated-none more so than the 47 women housed in the University
Center in 1960.
The rural surroundings, the long daily trek to campus, and the
pervasive sand sharpened the frontier spirit. The sense of being out
on the growing edge of civilization and the frontiers of knowledge


The Vision of a Contemporary University

had strong physical reinforcement. The sense of bringing a univer-
sity to life was intensified by the day-to-day experience of making
things grow on campus. From this pioneer experience came a pow-
erful vision of an environment created for learning.
Shared visions and shared experience build shared concern, and
today the campus looks well worn but well cared for. Carelessness
and vandalism have left remarkably few traces despite their inevita-
ble occurrence. Destructive acts were openly resented and protested
from the very beginning.
Violence, vandalism, and malicious mischief have accompanied
universities and students throughout their history. In the United
States, as Jacques Barzun once remarked, the first half of the twen-
tieth century was an unusual period of fairly quiet, peaceable cam-
puses. He attributed this phenomenon to the younger age of admis-
sion and the elective system.2 Other observers consider the transfer
of disciplinary authority from the president to student personnel
specialists and the development of new approaches to organization
and governance also to have had calming effects.3
Beneficiaries of this period of the quiet campus, USF students were,
nevertheless, determined to uphold the noble tradition of protest
against an autocratic administration. In October 1960, they mounted
the first demonstration, "The Great Bermuda Shorts Riot"-an
assembly of about 50 students peacefully protesting "the rigid dress
code" (which did not exist in policy).
Under the rules for scheduling activities, the Mall and Crescent
Hill, on opposite sides of the University Center, were open for free
speech and assembly; demonstrations and protests took place there
as well as concerts, fairs, and forums. A free speech board in the
University Center and letters to the Oracle provided public comment
on any issue or concern. All of these arrangements were extensively
used during the years of nationwide student protest, 1964-70.
One contractor surrounded a building site with a handsome board
fence, promptly appropriated as a "graffiti fence." It blossomed each
morning into a fresh array of cartoons, slogans, and epithets, even
excoriating graffiti and once declaring in royal purple and shocking
pink, "Anthropology Lives!" Considering that the contribution to
free speech from this fence had helped to get USF through a very bad
time with little of the violence worked in other places, many people
regretted the removal of this serendipity.


Life on the Academic Frontier

Protests and demonstrations at USF did little irreparable harm to
persons and property, and many were conducted in high comic
style. A certain degree of care to avoid disruptive or destructive
results seemed to characterize most demonstrations and confronta-
Having no traditions, members of the University could create and
choose dreams and themes as they pleased. President Allen and Dean
Johnshoy wanted to infuse traditions valued in the scholarly enter-
prise, especially the classic Greek vision of freedom and love of
learning. Until usF became fully accredited, no "Greek" national
fraternities could organize. Few faculty and students would study
classic cultures. But somehow the intellectual tone should express
the Greek spirit.
Students responded positively. Social clubs, instructed not to use
Greek letters, combed dictionaries and conferred with Greek friends
and families to choose suitable names: Arete, Paideia, Delphi, Eno-
tas, Talos, Kio. Others chose Latin, Spanish, or acrostic names:
Fides and Siges, Verdandi and Tri-sis. By student vote, Greek names
were chosen for campus publications: Oracle (the newspaper) and
Aegean (the yearbook).
President Allen protected against infelicitous nomenclature by
laying down the rule that all buildings would be named according to
function and memorialize no person living or dead. He laughed
when reminded that more than one building might have the same
function, as the time came to open the first residence hall. After his
fashion, he asked Student Affairs to suggest a way to name the halls.
Fisher and Johnshoy decided that this was an ideal occasion for
invoking the Greek spirit. The problem was to avoid "the horriblee
dooble ongtong" in Greek as in English. The Pseudepigraphica Aca-
demica4 gave clues to many things to avoid. Dean Fisher finally
offered some alternatives: a list of stars and constellations, a list of
cities, regions, and islands noted in Hellenic civilization, and names
of noted Greek astronomers--or else, "just number 'em in order of
John Allen chose to give place names to residential areas: Argos in
the spirit of the Argonauts' voyage, then Andros noted for its
beautiful women, Samos for the fleets' winged victory for freedom,
and Melos for the honey island. Each building would be numbered
in the astronomical fashion by letters in the order of the Greek


The Vision of a Contemporary University

alphabet. So Alpha was the first hall in the Argos complex, and
others followed, down to Mu Hall in Andros.

Diffusing the Vision

Almost as soon as the University had established its sense of place
and affirmed its identity, its spirit and vision were to be diffused.
Planning for regional centers began in 1958. Beginning in 1965 the
University moved into other cities. USF in St. Petersburg occupies a
massive, hurricane-proof building originally used for maritime
training, where submarines, other Navy and Coast Guard vessels,
and Jacques Cousteau's Calypso have docked along its bulkhead. The
Sarasota center combines the opulent, Italianate Ringling mansion
with the clean-cut modern halls of New College. The Fort Myers
center reflects Edwardian, public-edifice, "red-brick" urbanity.
The University's learning network runs through all sorts of other
places across the service area. The seconding of faculty to regional
centers assures a quality of outreach instruction in keeping with that
on the Tampa campus. To some extent, this practice works against
any coherent physical and social sense of place. Still usF is moving
with the mainstream of higher education toward greater diversifica-
tion and dispersion of teaching and learning, toward people in homes
and workplaces as well as multiple campuses. Rising costs and rising
expectations make still further diffusion likely. Having become a
network for learning, USF also has to learn how to make a network
sustain identity and cohesiveness, going beyond the physical en-
vironment that so visibly and palpably shaped its experience.

Realizing Identity

The University had few unique features, yet it had a unique identity.
People were proud to be members of the University of South Flor-
ida. They could cite no particular aspect that was distinctive, but in
the totality of its experience they recognized shared values and vi-
sions that gave the University its identity and distinction.
Variety and freshness were the rule. Anyone could contribute to
plans incorporating things old and new that added coherence and
excitement to the intellectual enterprise. Members did well by each
other, each in a unique task with unique contributions, bringing the
University to life.


Life on the Academic Frontier

There was good reason for pride. Before USF opened, people had
many misgivings about the quality of the faculty and students.
Representatives from other institutions competing for top-ranking
faculty and students sometimes described USF as likely to become
merely "a second-class university on the second-worst soil in a
second-rate town in the second-worst state in the Union." In off
moments, even some of UsF's members perceived it to be a stepchild
in the family of universities, little higher than the two-year colleges
in the meritocratic rankings.
Nevertheless, students and faculty members achieved distinction
individually and for the University. Overall academic performance
of students regularly topped the results on standard measures from a
comparison group of institutions selected for their general excellence
or special distinction. The record of community service by all mem-
bers was particularly outstanding. Self-esteem and high morale were
attributed to the University's clear mission, purpose, and philosophy
and to the involvement of all members equally in responsibility for
its growth and development.
Scheduled according to 1956 projections to level off at 10,000 stu-
dents in 1970, the University of South Florida passed that mark in
1967 and continued past 20,000 by 1975 to vie with Florida State as
Florida's second largest university. The faculty increased from 109
(FTE) in 1960 to 338 in 1965, 834 in 1970, and 966 in 1975. Buildings
mushroomed from 5 in 1960 to 100 or more in 1975; the value of
facilities exceeded $100 million. Symbolizing this enormous expan-
sion, a new library opened in 1975 to house over a million volumes,
replacing the original one designed for 250,000.
The University's rapid growth in enrollment, facilities, and pro-
grams was so extensive that it was almost an entirely different
institution every year. This was not forced growth, early to bloom
and quick to wither. By careful planning, attentive to individual and
community development, sturdy, mature growth continued.
In 1963 President Allen invited the Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools to send an advisory committee to determine whether
USF was developing toward worthy candidacy for full accreditation.
Committee members expressed pleasure at the progress made so


The Vision of a Contemporary University

quickly. They found that the University had a clearly defined phi-
losophy and explicit statements of purpose consistent with its mis-
sion and its responsibility to students, to the state and its people, and
to the traditional work of universities in advancing and sharing
knowledge. The University had developed academic programs, gov-
ernance, student and administrative services in line with its philoso-
phy. They felt that usF was well on its way to full accreditation as
soon as it met the requirement to graduate at least three classes.
This accolade was welcome as an affirmation of effective planning,
realistic aims and standards. With the first full class due to graduate
in a few months, the SACS report smoothed the way for charter
members to present their candidacy for entry to employment and to
graduate and professional schools of high quality.
The first graduating class was very self-important, very proud of
themselves for having done first-rate academic work, for being first
to graduate, and for their contributions in bringing the University to
life. And in due course, after the second official self-study and site
visit in 1965, the University of South Florida became a fully ac-
credited member of the Southern Association.
During its first years, progress was remarkably smooth. Students
were eager to learn, faculty dedicated, administrators in tune-all
worked together to make the great venture succeed. Everyone was
aware that each action established a precedent, each new organization
and activity became a tradition; and everyone wanted everything to
be done well.
Euphoria pervaded the charter faculty and student body. A dean
remarked in 1961, "It seems almost too good to be true. We can
hardly do anything wrong. I wonder how long the honeymoon can

Somebody Misplaced the Horizon

Twenty years after the Cabinet established the University of South
Florida and fifteen years after its classes opened, inward, disquieting
signs of disorientation belied outward, visible signs of success. Early
goals were scarcely mentioned except to wonder whatever became of
the all-University approach. People strove mightily toward effi-
ciency and productivity; every administrator, professor, and student
was expected to produce quantifiable results. Some remarked cyn-
ically that productivity had displaced academic work, and account-


Life on the Academic Frontier

ability the accent on learning. To others, the assembly-line model of
freshmen-in/graduates-out seemed to have displaced participation in
learning and community service.
People still worked to clarify values and project a course of de-
velopment for the University. But the process did not seem to work.
Neither its past course, its present position, nor any future goals
seemed to fit together or stay fixed long enough to set a new course.
A program chairman said, "We are like a big ship all steamed up
with a crew busy at their posts, but with no destination." Nothing
seemed to be wrong with the compass, charts, or navigation. Some-
body must have misplaced the horizon.
The first and most disorienting shock came in 1962. A legislative
investigating committee, called the "Johns Committee" after its
chairman, state Senator Charley Johns, a leading "porkchopper," set
up shop in a resort motel. Members were quietly interviewing
University and community people to ferret out suspected commu-
nists, homosexuals, and immoral persons.
Several concerned persons disclosed its activities to USF staff. Presi-
dent Allen took counsel with the deans and general faculty; the USF
chapter of the American Association of University Professors also
concurred in his proposal to invite the Johns Committee to work
openly on campus. The committee agreed, and many students and
faculty went in voluntarily to give positive testimony on the Univer-
sity's commitment to intellectual and moral values. Others were
called in connection with investigations of various complaints.
After several weeks, the committee issued a lengthy report. Ad-
mitting that it found little evidence of ideological and moral aberra-
tions, it nevertheless expounded at length on readings, speakers,
personal and group activities, and free-wheeling classroom discus-
sion, considered socially, politically, or morally objectionable. In the
absence of President Allen and Dean French, Dean Russell Cooper
made immediate reply to these loose, unsubstantiated allegations,
showing the many fallacies and lack of evidence in the report and
affirming the University's commitment to academic freedom and
scholarly integrity.
AAUP chapters, the American Association of University Women,
and many other organizations in the community and the professions
gave strong support to the University. The state's leading news-

The Vision of a Contemporary University

papers deplored the committee's "McCarthy tactics." In 1963 Presi-
dent Allen told a joint meeting of the Florida House and Senate that
the University was sound and mature. He insisted that modern
universities cannot conform to a political power structure, a spoils
system, or any ideological model for personal and social values. All
material, all experience, and all perspectives must be considered and
tested in the search for truth.
Not long thereafter, the legislature terminated the Johns Commit-
tee's appropriation, following its publication of an explicitly illus-
trated report of sexual aberrations-a "purple pamphlet" that became
a prized item for collectors of pornography.
For several months the committee's activity kept the campus in
ferment. The Johns Committee disrupted the fragile falsework sus-
taining the right to due process in handling grievances and accusa-
tions against students and faculty. A necessary keystone, the Board
of Control's systemwide set of policies and procedural guarantees,
was undergoing study and had not yet been firmly set in place. Many
feared that these rules might become highly restrictive in response to
overt political pressure. The unsettled political climate had made the
University's officers exceedingly cautious and the Board of Control
very slow and careful in bringing to closure the systemwide safe-
guards for academic freedom.
Then President Allen suspended an assistant professor of English
prior to hearings on a complaint about his classroom use of a highly
critical review of "beat" literature. There being no cause for any
charge whatever, he was quickly reinstated and offered promotion
but elected to accept a better position elsewhere. The president next
canceled an agreement to employ for one term a distinguished politi-
cal scientist recently retired from a prestigious university. This ac-
tion was prompted by protests that proved to arise from unsubstan-
tiated accusations that were apparently laid in the first place against
another professor with a similar name.
Complaints having been filed with its Committee on Tenure and
Academic Freedom, the AAUP censured the University of South
Florida in 1964, and noted systemwide as well as internal shortcom-
ings. "The Board of Control was particularly culpable in its failure
to stand between this new institution and its critics. The president
likewise failed, at least during the period specifically involved in this


Life on the Academic Frontier

report, to respond with the proper vigor to the forces of ignorance,
prejudice, and repression."
The retired professor was invited to lecture at USF in order to
redress the grievance. After lengthy study of further developments in
Board of Control policy and USF practices, the AAUP removed its
censure in 1968.5
These events shook profoundly the spirit of solidarity. As the
AAUP noted, unwarranted interference had come from both private
persons and public bodies who disregarded orderly procedures for
handling complaints and criticisms. The Johns Committee fostered
mistrust and the very misperceptions and misleading folklore that
people in the State University System were trying hard to coun-
teract. Some community leaders, friends, and members of USF had
preferred to use undercover investigations rather than orderly and
open dealings. The experience undermined much of the congenial,
collaborative spirit in University and community undertakings.
Faculty members were divided on administrative decisions made
under pressure. Even prudent souls considered some actions to be
excessively cautious, some too hasty, poorly planned, and verging
on arbitrary intervention. There were ample causes for criticism and
ample reasons for caution. In the absence of firm systemwide policy,
USF administrators had to make hard decisions with inadequate as-
surance of support on both internal and external matters. Critics
considered that the president had acted arbitrarily, and the whole
administration had acted irresolutely. To a considerable extent, these
feelings rang true to experience: it is hard to act resolutely and
reasonably in a highly fluid situation.
Teaching and learning proceed by "the spirit of things that work"
in a developmental process. Some ways of work succeed, some fall
short, and all have to be tested repeatedly against shared experience.6
Its founders and planners followed a developmental process for USF
and set up the minimum falsework to sustain durable ways of work
that were consolidating block by block out of shared experience.
Arbitrary political intervention caught the university and the com-
munity unprepared and off guard. To a considerable extent, people
were euphoric and complacent over highly gratifying achievements
from five years of hard, challenging work. Universities usually have
well-tested procedures for coping with interference; but USF'S "crisis
drill" had been neither fully designed nor adequately rehearsed. With
little more than a year of full-scale operation, safeguards were just


The Vision of a Contemporary University

beginning to consolidate and could not protect fully against any
external or internal shock.
A number of faculty members committed to stimulating and
provocative teaching concluded that.the president and central admin-
istration would not and could not support open, candid study of
pertinent issues. Some bolder spirits and some highly productive
scholars left. Those who remained grew cautious and inclined to
keep their own counsel. The unity of the faculty and the tradition of
free inquiry, indeed the very "frontier spirit" that held the Univer-
sity together, had been disrupted.
With growth in enrollment came stress that brought about changes
in organization of the colleges. In 1964 the Basic Studies and Liberal
Arts faculties formally separated. Each member selected the pre-
ferred college according to teaching responsibilities, research oppor-
tunities, and peer relations; both colleges continued in their desig-
nated roles and responsibilities. Then in 1966 Liberal Arts established
departments to replace the original organization around degree pro-
Each change gave faculty a home with a smaller group of col-
leagues and fewer students to advise. It relieved the burden on
chairmen, who had found it difficult to hold together the growing
number of specialized and interdisciplinary courses in the program
configurations. Some faculty, equally committed to interdisciplinary
and specialized studies, had to make a difficult choice; others wel-
comed identification with a smaller group of like-minded colleagues.
The exchange of teaching assignments across the disciplines and
the interdisciplinary design of research and academic programs did
not come to an end but tended to diminish in frequency as enroll-
ment pressure on all units increased. Condescension and disparage-
ment often surfaced between specialists and generalists. In some
cases Basic Studies faculty found that customary opportunities to
teach also in a specialized field were closing. Their competence for
advanced instruction in any field was often unjustly denigrated in
The change reinforced territorial claims and rivalries. Faculty
unity seemed to diminish in the face of departmental contentions.
Advances in some highly productive research areas seemed to be
blunted by lack of support for interdisciplinary collaboration. The


Life on the Academic Frontier

gains in a home base sustaining faculty development seemed offset
by losses in all-University spirit and cohesiveness.

Additional stress came from the change in student mix. The advent
of graduate studies in 1964 opened a period of rapid growth in their
enrollment and curriculum. The proportion (but not the numbers)
of lower-division students decreased while the number and propor-
tion of upper-division undergraduates and graduate students in-
creased. Many faculty members, especially in the sciences with their
tradition of research apprenticeship, derived considerable satisfaction
and self-esteem from graduate instruction and devoted increasing
time to graduate students and research.
The change in student mix and curriculum caused budgetary
strains. An increased proportion of capital outlay and expenses for
research and graduate instruction meant a diminished share for mate-
rials, equipment, and facilities serving undergraduates. Always con-
fronted with personnel budgets out of fit with total enrollment and
student mix, deans and chairmen consistently (but not always suc-
cessfully) resisted the tendency to increase the size of undergraduate
classes, a typical device to provide faculty time for graduate studies.
In fields where small sections were essential (e.g., English and
mathematics), graduate assistants began to teach introductory
courses in the traditional way of apprenticeship and financial aid,
thus releasing more professors for advanced instruction. Graduate
assistants were competent teachers, some highly stimulating and
helpful. All suffered equally from invidious distinctions of rank that
led some of their students to feel cheated on their investment when a
teaching assistant instead of a "regular professor" conducted a class.
Earl McGrath, a member of Florida's Council for the Study of
Higher Education, underlined the grave danger that swelling gradu-
ate enrollment will thus undermine the quality of undergraduate
education.7 The planners of the University had prepared for this
eventuality but had few well-tested ways to cope with it. USF's
experience may not have been as painful and imbalanced as that of
other institutions; still, strain and ambiguity beclouded the Univer-
sity's purposes and identity. Only one clear purpose guided this
development: graduate education at USF was an imperative response
to urgent community needs and expectations.


The Vision of a Contemporary University

Under New Management

The State of Florida went into a steady-state approach to planning
after 1970, while USF steadily grew, Statewide planning now aimed
to maintain equilibrium rather than to meet future goals. Committed
under the statewide plan to develop regional centers within its orga-
nization and instructional program, the University was not ade-
quately funded under steady-state principles. Development of its
future-oriented plan often seemed an exercise in futility, a disruptive
experience for the administration and faculty. Heavy, persistent
stress caused acute fatigue, often manifest in outbreaks of cynicism,
impatience, and bad temper.
This strain coincided with a second reorganization of the Colleges
of Basic Studies and Liberal Arts into four new colleges: Language
and Literature (later named Arts and Letters), Fine Arts, Natural
Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The change accommo-
dated the steadily swelling numbers of students, faculty, and aca-
demic programs more comfortably but fragmented the University
still further. Additional trends toward fragmentation came when the
Board of Regents adopted systemwide ways of work that fixed
specific areas of responsibility for faculty, administrative, profes-
sional, and career service personnel. All of these changes came under
a new administration.
John Allen retired on July 1, 1970, to be followed by Harris Dean
as acting president until Cecil Mackey took office in February 1971.
Dr. Mackey, an economist and lawyer, had been a U.S. Assistant
Secretary of Transportation and for two years Executive Vice-Presi-
dent of Florida State University before his appointment to the Uni-
versity of South Florida. He replaced all the vice-presidents, the
business manager, and several deans. He brought a different admin-
istrative style, organizing the new group of young, energetic admin-
istrators as a central management team. President Allen delegated
responsibility for planning; President Mackey assigned responsibil-
ity to execute plans that his team designed.
At the same time, planning capabilities were being enhanced in the
state government. A restructured Department of Administration was
trying to strengthen and centralize program and budget controls.
The Board of Regents, successor to the Board of Control, and the
Chancellor's staff were developing the planning process and manage-
ment information support for the State University System.


Life on the Academic Frontier

The trend toward centralized authority left many deans, depart-
ment chairmen, middle-level administrators and Career Service di-
rectors feeling that they no longer were responsible contributors to
the University but mere instruments of administrative control. The
faculty, even more disaffected, felt they had become mere hired
hands turning over classroom machinery, with no personal contri-
butions and no responsibility that would affect the University's
mission and future development. The team spirit that President
Mackey tried hard to cultivate, and the sense of shared values and
shared responsibility which so many members of the university had
actually enjoyed, now seemed to dissipate. "Latham's principle of
administrative absurdity" seemed to prevail, taking decisions away
from the scene of the action to remote administrative and govern-
mental levels.
People felt that the University of South Florida was bound to
become distinguished, but the spirit and style would differ distinctly
from those envisioned in 1960. The University was visibly maturing
in its commitment to advance and share knowledge, but its course of
development and its new horizons could not be established clearly,
whether by deliberations among its members or by presidential
Universities across the country confronted similar problems and
developmental tasks. The reaction to Sputnik may have seemed
irrational, but the consequent increase in public support for higher
education was neither inopportune nor foolish. Prompt improve-
ment was badly needed.
For example, a distinguished financier had told the Commission
on Financing Higher Education early in the 1950s that the largest
single financial contribution to higher education came from the
salaries not paid to faculty members. In many institutions, pay scales
from the 1920s and 1930s still prevailed. The shortage of faculty was
understandable, especially the shortage of well-educated, challeng-
ing teachers with initiative and vision.
Even the simplest, most obvious standards of quality and safety
seemed to be neglected. An advisory commission reviewing applica-
tions to the U.S. Office of Education for facilities grants found
evidence of appalling, sometimes hazardous conditions even in some
highly prestigious centers for graduate study and research.


The Vision of a Contemporary University

Between 1960 and 1973, federal investment in higher education
grew from $732 million to $5.8 billion. Allocated by program
category, Congressional appropriations earmarked a substantial
proportion for medical education and health-related research and for
defense-related research and development, often requiring high costs
for hardware and specialized personnel. Categorical appropriation
tended to make subventions for medicine, science, and engineering
out of proportion to the support for other disciplines using other
technologies. General facilities grants and other program support in
many instances fell short of funding levels originally authorized,
especially for graduate education. The pattern of federal investment
made it difficult for cooperating universities to maintain well-bal-
anced internal organization and development.
In keeping with trends in federal planning, specialized research
institutes had been established in many universities, following a
pattern familiar to science, technology, and medicine in developing
sponsored research in other fields, such as education, business ad-
ministration, and the humanities. Financed primarily by external
subventions, professors in research institutes tended to become more
and more detached from the general life and work of a university as
well as from its general administration and budget, less and less
involved in teaching and mutual concerns of faculty and student
The University of South Florida felt this surge of investment and
the press to make itself in a modern image celebrated by Clark Kerr
as a "multiversity."8 It established research institutes, graduate pro-
grams, and Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, and Nursing with
strong research components. But the developmental process to
which its members were primarily committed moderated some
pressures, imbalance, and divisive or dissonant strains that often
created problems elsewhere.
Suddenly the extraordinary student revolt of the mid-sixties
erupted, surfacing first at the University of California at Berkeley,
then sweeping across the nation. Students demonstrated against
racism, sexism, the Vietnam War, military research, and the whole
educational system. Protests were accompanied often by acts of
disruption, vandalism, violence, and terrorism. Activists denounced
"the Establishment" and demanded justice and peace in society and a
more decisive voice for students.9


Life on the Academic Frontier

Protests appeared particularly to attack autocracy in university
administration, an archaic curriculum irrelevant to student needs,
pedestrian teaching by professors more interested in their own re-
search and professional advancement than in students and their
learning, and obsolete parietal rules that seemed to demean students
in their adult rights and identity. At the University of South Florida,
student protest caused comparatively little disruption of teaching,
learning, and governance; it was attended by very few instances of
vandalism or violence. There was a running battle over the county's
outdoor noise ordinance, affecting amplified speeches and rock fes-
tivals. And a highly critical protest developed against the administra-
tion, demanding change in parietal rules and disciplinary regulations
and more student voice in governance.
Student unrest and growing faculty disaffection probably contrib-
uted to President Allen's decision to retire in 1970, two years before
the mandatory age. The work of maintaining the University on
course, in line with its goals and visions, had lost much of its
enjoyment and reward. The stress was more than doubled by efforts
to maintain communication with protesters who often seemed to
prefer antic dramatization to constructive dialogue.
The protest movement seemed to dissipate by late 1971, and uni-
versities settled down to take up some unfinished developmental
tasks. Yet educational effectiveness and innovation seemed less im-
portant than before at USF. The focus was still on process, but an
emphasis on efficiency in operating the machinery of classroom and
campus prevailed over effectiveness in facilitating teaching and learn-

Accent on Efficiency

Even the prestigious Carnegie Commission reinforced the preoc-
cupations of the authorities in Tallahassee. Its monumental studies
on higher education (twelve general reports plus some sixty special
studies) during the 1960s made almost no mention of goals, the
integrative design of academic programs, or effective instructional
methods. The studies seemed preoccupied with questions of who
should go to college and where, how universities should be gov-
erned, and how higher education should be financed.
This preoccupation with operational efficiency converged with the
style of President Mackey's administration. But the difficulty with
principles of efficiency was to find any evidence of their constructive


The Vision of a Contemporary University

effects upon teaching and learning. At USF the effects often seemed to
be adverse; in many other universities, similar indications appeared
of dispiriting anxiety, disorientation, and dissipation of energies for
teaching and learning.
After 1971 the University's emphasis upon integrating general,
liberal, and professional education dissipated with the creation of
four colleges out of Basic Studies and Liberal Arts. The vision of a
teaching-learning community was obscured by departmental frag-
mentation and the priority on research and publications. The all-
University approach no longer tied the colleges together; each began
to develop its own goals, programs, and regulations,
Horizontal communication in the University, both formal and
informal, gave way to official, vertical channels. The concern for
urban and international problems continued, but objectives and ap-
proaches were still poorly defined. Members of USF continued in
active community service; but little reinforcement seemed to come
from colleagues or administration, and the community began to
show signs of disillusion and disaffection instead of congenial, col-
laborative spirit.
Members of many universities realized that mission, goals, and
purposes had to be clarified in order to keep higher education on
course. Yet the focus on efficiency tended to blur shared visions that
would help to chart a course.
The ten-year self-study and site visit for SACS accreditation in 1973
focused on this task. The visiting team recommended thorough
study of the statement of purpose and present stage of program
development, in terms of the responsibilities of USF as an urban
university. President Mackey replied that he would appoint a fac-
ulty-student-alumni-community committee "directed to examine
the University's responsibilities in relation to its urban and metro-
politan environment," clarify and update its purposes, and recom-
mend changes in undergraduate and graduate programs in line with
revised purposes. This Task Force on Mission and Goals was asked
to report in 1976 at the end of the University's second decade.10

Survival on the Frontier

The experience of USF may suggest some of the reasons for the
durability of the traditional American model for residential educa-
tion in a rural or small-town setting. The small, ivory-tower acad-


Life on the Academic Frontier

emy, aloof from community concerns, has protected scholars to
some degree in their freedom to teach and learn. An urban univer-
sity, open to the world and involved in community development,
foregoes both geographic and social distancing as a protection
against disruptive pressures. Members of an urban university can and
do capitalize on other features of the residential model. They create
on campus and in other settings an environment conducive to learn-
ing. They develop mutual support and safeguards for academic
freedom around the sense of place, the sense of belonging, the spirit
of shared responsibility for academic freedom and scholarly integ-
Such an environment and such a spirit of mutuality and integrity
can develop also in patterns of urban life. Moving out of the ivory
tower puts universities alongside their constituencies in common
concern for sharing these values in a vital community. Universities
will often have to tolerate stress and interference in both academic
and community affairs. But no university has to tolerate ignorance.
It can serve community concerns for learning to face the future with
understanding and confidence.
The University of South Florida withstood more shock and stress
than a fledgling institution could expect to endure without forfeiting
some important values. It did not fall apart, forfeit its values, or stray
very far off course, despite dispiriting pressures. Its experience sug-
gests that universities may have great inner strength to share with the
community and nation. Planning, mutual responsibility, integrity in
coping with error and misadventure, all have survival values that
community and university can share in "the spirit of things that


General Education

The General Education Movement

The term "general education" came into use in American higher
education late in the nineteenth century. It aptly described the col-
legiate education of the pre-Civil War period: a uniform liberal arts
curriculum without specialized branches or vocational orientations.
In the last half of the century, many factors-the war, the women's
movement, advances in agriculture, industry, research, and explora-
tion-produced scores of new studies in the arts and sciences which
no uniform curriculum could possibly incorporate.
The free elective system was introduced so that students could
select courses from this burgeoning array according to personal
experience and expectations. Faculties required only a minimum
number of courses equivalent to four years of full-time study for a
degree. At the turn of the century, the elective system prevailed in
American higher education; but by World War I, it clearly showed
shortcomings of its own-in specialization too narrowly conceived
or in idiosyncratic choices too scattered to make sense.
Faculties adopted standard requirements for a major field of con-
centration as an integrative foundation for a vocation. Concurrently,
the modern movement for general education developed out of fac-
ulty concerns for some foundation in shared values and knowledge
common to all students and adult citizens.
The modern movement for general education can probably best be
dated from 1919 when Professor John Erskine introduced the "Con-
temporary Civilization" course at Columbia University, designed
and taught by a group of its most distinguished faculty. The course
began with great social and philosophical documents embodying

General Education

shared values underlying contemporary civilization. In this context,
students and instructors confronted challenging contemporary is-
sues; sharing their independent studies in small discussion sections,
they worked together in the dual task of threshing out answers to
issues and developing personal value systems.
Erskine's course quickly became a model for other universities.
About 1925 H.H. Newman formed a faculty committee at the
University of Chicago which developed a survey course, "The Na-
ture of the World of Man," that traced basic theories of the sciences,
particularly evolution, with the aim of opening the world of science
to ordinary students and citizens. At the University of Iowa, Pro-
fessor Shambaugh's "Campus Course" similarly opened the worlds
of philosophy and the arts.
Many universities began to open the whole intellectual enterprise
for all students by designing sets of broad, interdisciplinary courses,
sometimes paralleling introductory courses in related major fields,
sometimes meeting the requirements of a strong foundation for both
majors and nonmajors. The latter approach-designing a common
core of general education-was more economical than the "cafeteria"
system from which students selected as they pleased, It also assured a
well-balanced, integrative center shared by specialized programs in
all of the arts and sciences. General education courses could be
designed to open up connections to other fields (e.g., the influence of
evolutionary thought on literature) and also give some penetration
into fundamental content and technique for prospective majors (e.g.,
laboratory and field studies in the social sciences).
Such a thrifty, effective core curriculum could not be realized in
many universities without redesigning the whole academic system.
Not just one set of courses butalso the major sequences, academic
standards and degree requirements, faculty organization and de-
velopment, and teaching assignments often had to be restructured to
center in general education.
During the 1930s more and more universities took this par-
simonious approach to academic planning, and four distinctive
models for course and program design began to crystallize.

Models for General Education

Survey methods provided a series of one-year offerings covering


The Vision of a Contemporary University

the humanities and the natural and social sciences. These "block-
and-gap" courses penetrated deeply the most fruitful blocks of inte-
grative concepts, and skimmed over connections to other topics and
fields of study. They gave comprehensive scope with ample oppor-
tunity for exploration of fundamental principles. Eventually, survey
courses began to founder in the expansion of knowledge because
they had to undertake more than could be covered in a year without
having more gaps than blocks.
Great Issues or Great Ideas courses, similar to Erskine's Contempo-
rary Civilization, made no attempt at comprehensive survey but
explored a few vital questions intensively from many different per-
spectives. One desired outcome was to develop a repertory of meth-
ods of inquiry by engaging students in systematic analysis of sub-
stantive issues. Solutions were not expected: issues were usually
chosen because they were puzzling, so that students would have to
try several methods and learn to avoid premature closure and hasty
judgments. For example, Colgate organized its Natural Science
course around phenomena, such as the Carolina Bays, that can be
only partly understood, even by interdisciplinary analysis. Pro-
fessors having the necessary interdisciplinary background were in
short supply, so that a succession of specialists frequently taught
these courses. Students were often dissatisfied with the use of a
specialized "vaudeville team," which tended to fragment the course.
Interaction with a single instructor who could keep track of their
work and help them integrate their mastery of the repertory was
preferred and was usually more effective.
Instrumental design organized general education around practical
concerns, following John Dewey's commonsense assumption that
personal, practical interests will open the way into any field of
learning. In order to gain an empirical base for instrumental design,
graduates of Stephens College kept a journal of activities and con-
cerns for Dr. W. W. Charters; at the University of Minnesota, a series
of "adolescent studies" surveyed needs of pre-college youth. On the
basis of such estimates from shared experience, faculty teams de-
signed sets of instrumental courses that would deal systematically
with developmental tasks from humanistic and scientific perspec-
tives and help students make the transition from adolescent to adult
roles and responsibilities.
Many students and faculty warmly welcomed instrumental ap-


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