Title: Ragfield McGhee
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00005778/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ragfield McGhee
Series Title: Ragfield McGhee
Physical Description: Book
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00005778
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


This item has the following downloads:

Binder28 ( PDF )

Full Text

Interview with Ragfield McGhee.

M: My home now is I am originally from Tallahassee.

F: How long have you been here?

M: I have been here since 1950.

F: How long have you been principal at Aiklen Jones?

M: One year it is a new school.

F: Is it a new school that they builf or one that they merged?

M: Itis a new school, a converged school.

F: Right, that is what I thought. WHat degree are you working on?

M: I am working on the EDS.

F: Education specialist. WHere did you do your undergraduate work?

M: I did my undergraduate work at Florida A & M University and my graduate work

at FLorida A & M.

F: You got your Masters of Education from A & M?

M: Yes

F: Then what were you doing before you became principal here?

M: I was principal at Archer Community School which is about fifteen miles

south west of here.

F: How long were you principal there?

M: FIve years.

F: I know that when I called you I thought that it was possibly your son because

I asked for Ragfield McGhee, Jr. That was a couple of weeks ago.

M: Yes, I do have a junior. He is at Johns Hopkins.

F: So, how is that project working over there?

M: It is working rather well, for one year's experience, you know, trial and

error. It is working well.

F: Is it going to be an on-going project?

M: Well, it is supposed to be a terminal project but it will most probably go on.

It s a federal project for.three years. I think that it is four years that they

usually stretch it. You can get a three year commitment with a possible

one year extension.

F: SO, how many quarters have you been doing graduate work here?

M: It has not been continuous. About five or six quarters or something like that.

F: I see. How much longer would you have?

M: I have quite a bit to do because let us say that I have forty-five hours.

F: You all ready have forty-five hours?


F: You have forty-five hours to take? How many hours have you had beyond the


M: I have had about 90 hours beyond the Masters. No, about 60 hours, I am sorry

I was thinking beyond the Bachelors.

F: I had difficulty adjusting to the quarter hours. I still think in semesters.

When did you finish work at A & M?

M: I finished Bachelors at A & M in 1947 and the Masters in 1957.

F: You were a school teacher in the interim?

M: Yes from 1947 through 1963. I taught Science, Biology, Chemistry, arid

Physics. Then I spent one year as Assitant Prinicipal at Midbane High School

in Alachua.

F: Yes, I am familiar with that.

M: Then, of course, I was principal at the elementary school at Archer. I stayed

there five years. Then I have been here almost a year at Aiklen Jones


F: Actually with all of you school experience, this is actually the first time

that you have been in a white situation at the the University of Florida as

far as educationally?

M: No, I studied at the University of Illinios and I studied at Sacremento State

College but I have still done predominately more work here then anywhere else.

I started back here in 1959. I was in Science Institutes. I was in the

Biology Science Institute.

F: Here, at the University of Florida?

M: Yes, the Biology Science Institute, the Chemistry Institute and I was in a

Physics Institute at Sacremento State and a Chemistry Institute at the University

of Illinios.

FY You must have been one of the first black students here then.

M: Yes

F: Do you know specifically if you were or not?

H: Yes, I know that I was in the first three. I think that I know exactly who the

very first one was.

F.: Who was that?

M: That was a lady by the name of Daphne Williams.

F: Was she in Education also? Do you remember?

M: It was either Education or Personnel Services

F: It was not the College of BDucation?

M: Yes, it was the College of Education.

F: In 1959?

M: Yes, I think that was in the spring of 1959. I think that they were on the

semester basis.

F: Yes, they were/

M: Then it must have been the second semester.

F: When did you come?

M: I came in the summer about June.

F: How did you get involved in that Science Institute?

M: Well, actually see, they are federally sponsred-. A lot of information would

come out and you could write to the Science Institute and get the information

because they would list the information as to what institutions at which these


Institutes were to be held. THen of course, you could write to these institutions

and get the necessary applications and so forth to apply.

F: Right.

M: I applied here and probably ten other places and I got accepted at five or more

place but this was the natural place to stay home and go to school at the same


F: WHat were you doing then?

M: I was actively teaching science then.

F: I am trying to get my chronology straight. When you came to that Institue in

1959 what were you doing?

M: I was teaching.

F: Where?

M: At LIncoln High School.

F: Here?

M: Yes.

F: Obviously, those kind of programs must have existed before then and black

teachers had access to applying to those kind of things. DO you know that

to be so?

M: This w1e the first time that one wasbffered here that I was interested in.

I can not say that this waa exactly the first one but it was the first one

that I was interested in. Of course, they did exist in institutions before

that time because I applied.

F: At other schools other then the University of Florida.

M: Yes, out of state. I applied to the University of North Carolina and probably

one or two others that I was not accepted at. SO, I know that they existed at

least one year before that time.

F: Were you not accepted because you were black?

M: I do not really know but I sort of felt that way. I felt that way because there

was nobody could have been in any greater need then I was. Of course, they


have their stipulations that they accept so many people from their home state

first. THen of course, they may just have a stipulated number that they accept

from out-of-state. I am pretty certain that they could not have found anyone

in any more need then I was because after all I did not go to a great college.

So, I needed the upgrading and the updating and so forth and the training

at that time. THis was just two years after Sputnik and things were really

hot then. I felt that I really needed that new imput to myself. I tried real

hard but of course I did not get accepted.

F: How was it when you came here?

M: When I came here it was rather cool but I did meet some very good people in the

class. I think that I met one fellow from Miami and I never will forget him.

He was the only fellow in the class basically that I had a chance to associate

with. There were two ladies in the class one was from southern Georgia both

of them were from southern Georgia. I happened to have known their brother who

was a faculty member here. I knew their brother from some other civic work

that we had been doing. Once they found out that I knew their brother then

we got along very well. They helped to make me feel at ease because it was

not easy. Nobody bothered me. Nobody did anything either way or the other.

I did not hold that against anyone because I was a full grown adult and I was

supposed to be able to make it on my own. I had been around all adults both

black and white and I figured that I could make it on my own. Still you need

that kind of fellowship to get along sometimes. Usually, when we would have a

break of something, if those two ladies were not present or around then I

was left pretty much alone. If this one fellow would happen to be there then

I would have someone to talk to. He would come by the house sometimes and

we would go on field trips, collecting specimens together. For a long time

after that we exchanged Christmas cards. It happened that I was on vacation

two or three summers ago and we were fixing to go to Nassau and guess who was

the first person that I saw when I landed? It was he. WHen I landed in Nassau,

I was on one ship and he was on another. Just as he walked down, we met. I

had not seen him since that time in 1959 until three years ago.

F: How is it that you developed this special rapport with this one person?

M: Well, he may have sensed that I was being left alone pretty much. He was just

a friendly outgoing individual. I believe that somehow earlier in the quarter

we were assigned as lab partners which would mean that we would have to do

classification and collections together. I believe that it was strictly

a lab situation in the lab. We would have probably become friends without

that because he was just outgoing and we had lots of fun together.

F: What did he do in Miami?

M: At that time he was teaching the same courses that I was teaching in high school.

F: What is he doing now, do you know?

M: I do not know. I can only remember his last name but I believe that I have

papers with his first name on it. I aan only remember his last name. I think

that his last name was Jay J-A-Y but I can not remember his first for some

reason or another.

F: I feel very fortunate in getting you in here to talk because having that

experience more then ten years ago here. Now, being back at school do you

feel any real differences?

M: Difference in terms of improvement?

F: Just anyway that you want to say it. Because you are oneof the few people that

was here *long enough ago to be able to do that. Maybe there are not any

changes but I wanted your impressions.

M: I do believe that there are changes. I will describe one-kind of change that

I am talking about. When I first came, I got this impression that I was the

only one in the class and I was the only one that I saw about practically.

That summer that I was in school I bet you that I did not see three more black

faces on campus. They may have been here but I did not see them. I got to

thinking that I was s special case because it seemed that everything that I did


was tolerated.

F: Like what?

M: For instance, if I wanted to talk too much in class it was tolerated. Well,

that one thing stands out in my mind. Sometimes, I would notice in the same

class that they would say well let us not talk too much let us get on with

the business, but I never got that rebuff. I was allowed to say what I

wanted to say. I got the idea that I was being tolerated because I was, because

I also had the impression that I was thought of as a special case. Of course,

it is not so any more so this is the changethat I was talking about. THey

will tell me to hush just as quick as they will anyone else. I just remember

that as one of the outstanding things. I remember another case. I went over

to the College cafeteria and it was not under the auspices of Servomation then.

I think that it was just College period, College Food Services or something

like that. I would go in every day at noon to ealand I was milling through the

line with more or less the institute people nothing was said but if in the

afternoon I was out studying at the library or some special little bull session

with some of the other fellows, maybe committee work or maybe a special lab

I forgot which it was. Anyway, I would go in for a little snack. When I came

and as I went up through the line the man there gave me the impression that he

did not think that I belonged there and that I did not know where I belonged.

So, he asked me, "Who do you want to see?"

F: This is in the line at the cafeteria?

M: Yes. He asked me, "Who did I want to see?" I said, "I do not want to see any-

body. I want to get something to eat." go, then he looked at me real strange,

sort of double-take sort of thing and said, "Well, if you want to see some-

body then you came come around the counter and go back where the other black

people are working." I said, "I do not want to see a soul. I told you that I

want something to eat." So, he did not want to obligate himself by saying

well you can not eat here unless you are a student. I am putting the words I

do not remember exactly what he said. Just to put him at ease I pulled out my

identification card add he said, "Fine, fine, I am very sorry, just go right

ahead." I said, No harm done, I know how it is. DO not worry about it."

So, then I went ahead and got what I needed to get and left. There is another

case where I think that there has been a terrific change. No such thing happens

now. I came here in 1959 and then in 1960 I came back to a Chemistry Institute

and then I came back that Winter quarter for an in-service Biology Institute.

Then I discontinued and I went to California and Illinios. Then the first

resident course that I took here was just about four years ago. After hhat

brief eriod of Institutes here, I had taken some off-campuse courses which

were under the auspices of the University of Florida but I had not taken any

resident courses that I can remember right now. I took a course in School

Finance which is something that I think all school people should know. I took

it about four years ago and this is the first on-campuse that I had taken.

Of course, many blacks had come to the Institution by that time. I was always

off the campus I had lots of friends. When I was teaching in the Science

Department, CHemistry, Biology, Physics, Animal Hisbandry, everything because

you meet all of those people. I got to know lots of them so I was always on

the campus I knew my way around campus. I never really felt a stranger because

even when I came to these first INstitutes, I had been coming on campus

borrowing equipment and stuff to teach with. I just felt the lack of engagement

with other people that everybody else seemed to be enjoying, but I did not feel

to badly about it.

F: Do you really think that things are a good bit different then they were ten

years ago?

M: I think that they are. They are different in that more people feel differently.

More, not all people, feel different. So, therefore, it is not very #~ WX

difficult to have friends if you are in a class. FOr instance, I am in a class

right now in which I happen to be the only make in the class. It is a

class in Reading Research. I am the only male person in there. I have

friends among the ladies and we talk and we have lunchduring the period and so

forth. I think that it is quite different. People are not thinking like they

use to think.

F: Do you think that is justa or all the people probably working on

their Masters Degrees?

M: Not all of those peoplefn there are working on advanced degrees some of them

are in undergraduate school.

F: I was thinking that the people that you come in contact with are not really

a cross section of the University. They are all at least graduate students

with most working on a Specialist or a Doctorate.

M: Well, it is very difficult to say that. I come in contact with a lot of

University students on the undergraduate level becuase a lot of them come in

there for practicums and observations and so forth. I had one who came in

today and wanted to do about ten hours of observation. So, I come in contact

with them a lot of them one way or the other. I find that they are all human

beings struggling like I am and trying to get their degree and soforth. I

still can not say that I am engaged in classes much with undergraduates

because most of the courses that I take are 600 level.

F: That is what I thought. THose are the people that you chiefly come in contact


M: Yes

F: Can you think of anything that you would like to see that should be different


M: I would like to see a whole lot more black professors, and other kinds of

administrators, you know., in the institution. I think that it is not going

to be the institution that it could be for blacks until there is a reasonable

number of black faces in all capacities on campus. Just like when you go


downtown, I do not feel that downtown is down town for me. When I go there,

nintey-nine aad ninety- nine per cent of the people down there who are engaged

are white. So, I do not think that anything downthere belongs to me in terms

of friends and what not although some of them are very friendly and very nice.

THe same thing is here. THe atmosphere is not quite right in terms of people

and the variety of types of faces that you could possibly see. I understand

that they are getting one professor in the Law School. I do not think that

they had any other professors in any other of the schools that I know of.

Do you see what I am talking about?

FY Why do you think that is?

M: Well, they are not plentiful number one. Number two, they can get a better

salary in many other places they they can at Florida. For instance, I was

talking with one fellow at FLorida State. No, I was talking with the President

of Florida A & M.

F: What is his name?

M: His name is B. L. Perry, Jr. I said to him, he is a little bit my senior, but

he and I were Sunday School pals. His father taught our class and sometimes I

taught the class and sometimes B.L. would teach the class and sometime his

father taught the class. I said, "B.L., what are you offering a fresh Ph.D.?"

I was not worried about his classification but what salary he was offering.

He said, "Well, this past year I offered something like $10,500."

F: Is that for nine.months?

M: Yes, I am sure that was the minimal year. He said, "Next year We will offer

somewhere between $11,500 and $,2,000."

F: This is at Florida A & M?

M" I said, "Do you know that I have teachers that you could not hire who have

Masters at that salary unless they just wanted to teach in a college."

So, he said, Yes, I know that."

F: You haveteachers?

M: When I say teachers, I mean teachers that work under me in the Labotory


F: Are they making more then that?

M: They do not vastly approach that type of money. They make close to $11,000,


F: Is that right? Well, from what you are telling me A & M has higher salaries

then the University of Florida.

M: For a beginning Ph.D. the UNiversity of Florida pays what?

F: Between $10,000 and $12,000. It would depend on the field. About that in most

fields, the College of Education, this College something like that.

M: Well, anyway, the school must be paying more then the college that is the only

conclusion that I can come to. I just asked him because the President of

the local alumni association here and we were about to engage in talking to

our legislators and so forth. We know that other white colleges pay better

then Florida A & M and therefore we know by interpertation that he can not

get as good because these same people that are available will go to these other

black colleges and we will only get second rate people.

F: How are you going to get other people here?

M: Well, they will just have to bid for them. I think that is they make an honest

effort that they could get them. THat is all there is to it. For instance,

my brother who had his Doctorate in Law. I understand that they had written

to him and were enquiring about him.

F: Here?

M: Yes. I do not believe that they could hire him at the salary that he could

make if he practised law. I dothink that they could hire him. THey have got

to get up there on that money.

F: No, Mr. Perry that seems to be automatically what he would say for a fresh Ph.D.

just straight out of graduate school be paying between $10,500.

M: Noj I think that it is going to be between 10,500 and 12,000 and hoping to


up that salary by $1,000 to $1,500.

F: It would seem then that A & M is paying more then here.

M: Well, I suppose that is a function of the fact that the Ph. Ds that he can get

can get more other places so that he has to be at his best. Where this

institution does not have to be at its very best to get good people. He is really

straining his guts trying to get somebody.

F:- Then is he financed by the legislature?

M: Yes

F: Are they allowed to do that?

M: I do not know about that. THe thing is done on a per student basis. So many

thousand of dollars perktudent and that is the end of it. If you do not get

it ifndowments, grants and salaries then you are out of there.

F: You are saying then that they must have some outside source.

M: Well, I imagine the Carrin Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the General Motors

Foundation and so forth. I imagine that all of them give some aid and what not.

The Alumni Association I imagine and they are getting all sorts of company

grants and so forth. I imagine 'that they operate nn a budget of about 15 to

20 million. I am certain that itis not 20 million but somewhere around 15

or 16 million dollars. Of course, that is probably all state funds.

F: Let me ask you this then. Would you suggest the the University of Florida

pay substantially more to get black professors then they would for white professors?

M: I do not know how economically feasible that sounds to me. I am thinking that

is a way to get them.

F: It would seelike the only way.

M: For instance, if I had a Doctorate now in Chemistry. I could go into industry

for $22,500 to $25,000. THe UNiversity of FLorida would offer a fresh Ph.D.

in fact the University of FLorida lost one of its best possible fresh Ph.D.

Chemistry teachers good man because of that same thing. He was an exceedingly

good teacher. I think that they must have been paying him something like


$14,e~eand he got a job out of state at $20,000 just like that. Out he

went and he was an excellent teacher, I know becuase he taught me. I know a

good teacher when I see one. He is an excellent teacher and they are rare.

I mean that a guy with a Doctorate just can not teach any more in Science. I

do not know how you find it in the University College but in Sciences after

those guys get their Ph. D. they are not interested in teaching they are interested

in research. So, they do their teaching as a matter of form. THis guy was a

born teacher but he could not get any money. I think that he was interested

in higher positions and so forth. I think that is something that the University

is going to have to do. THis is the way that I would do it if I were the one

doing it. I would support differentiating standards where if I got a man and

he ahs great potential and good training and he can do what I want done then

I would pay him accordingly. THen of course, if it is a man who is qualified

but not necessarily great then I would make him an offer to take it or leave


F: Let us say that the University of Florida is paying $10,500 for new Ph.D. s

for the fall term. Now, it would seem that a black Ph. D. could go to

Michigan State, Ohio State and get $16,000. Let us say that is the market.

THe University of Flroida says that our hands are tied what can we do?

Do you suggest that they pay that higher figure?

M: I think that I would be inclined to say yea. Because they are paying $5,000

but I think that they are getting they are also buying a type of atmosphere

in which their students can operate. It is good for whites too, I am not saying

that it is only good for black students.

F: I agree and I think that there is a need for more black administrators and black

professors. THere is also another atmosphere that would be created.

M: What is that?

F: Well, the white professor who was hired at $10,500 that knows that the guy in

the next office is making $5,000 more then he for exactly the same job.


M: Yes. In one case like that, I was talking with a lady that was working at

New YorkUniversity. She was hired and she was very outstanding and she was

hired in her field. She was completely inexperienced as a college teacher.

So, they hired her as a the highest professorial rank that they could get

but they also attached some kind of extra title. WHat did they do. She said

that she was professor with some sort of attachment to her name which indicated

that she was something extra. In other words, the other fellow would aay

that I have equal training but I do not have equal experience.

F:( Well, I think that would apply in certain cases in a goodly number. It is pretty

much the same and they see that the guy is teaching at mostly the same level

and had the same number of publications. Most of the people would realize

that it was the same but the guy was getting $5,000 more.

M: Well, there is another thing that comes into this. I do not really know how

interested black professors are in coming to a university like the University

of Florida. The University of Florida has not been notorious for its liberal

behavior. I do not know how many of them are interested. THere was a fellow

here about two years ago who was just a visiting professor at the Law School.

I understand that they literally ran him away.

F: THAT is how it was reported.'

M: Yes.

F: That is compounding the problem the idea that not only can the University of

FLorida not compete in salary but the black professors do not want to come.

THere is a real need for black professors. WHat would you suggest?

M: I would suggest probably that they may not hire them at that level of training.

They could be teachers and instructors other then a Doctorate or Ph.D. I would

suggest that they hire as many of them as they could at that rate. In fact,

now you have some out there that are very excellent teachers who never will get

and have notidea of ever getting a Doctorate degree. THey are very excellent

English teachers, elementary education, or social studies teachers. I know


some very excellent social studies teachers. I know some very excellent math


F: THese are people at the Masters level who could come here as insturctors?

M: Yes

F: Would they also be taking a cut in salary?

M: I do not know if the differential is great there.

F: You said that you have people with Masters making $11,000.

M: Well, I am saying that this is the tops for them. So, if they could come

here. FOr instance, let us take a teacher who has been teaching for 15

years. She had been teaching math for 15 years. She is married and has a

relatively young family. She would probably come in and teach at a college

then be bored all day long at a high-school.

F: What would she be making?

M: If she had a Masters degree.

F: Not 15 years let us say about eight to ten years experience.

M: She would probably be making $10,100 or something like that.

F: What would she be making if she had eight?

M: About $10,000.

F: It does not seem that the administration does not have the idea of hiring

people at the instructor level with Masters degrees. It seems like these

people in the public schools with Masters degress are making as much as

beginning Ph.D. are making here.

M: It could be. Believe it or not it is a much more difficult joD in the public


F: I would be the first to agree with that. Nevertheless, let us say that even

without a decent salary that people would be willing to come because it is an

easier life and some people would be willing to take a salary cut.

M: I think that probably their best bet would be to grab off these more or less.


Well, let us say that here is a kid who comes out and teaches two years.

THen he comes back and spends a year in getting his Masters. He has some

experience and he does not have a job to leave so there would be a good


F: Yes, these 26 or 27 year old people who have had experience and their Masters.

M: Yes, and they do not have too much responsibility. Now, I could not afford to

take any cut in salary. My obligations are too much. I know a fellow out

there now, a good fellow, a black boy, just graduated from here probably in

NOvember. He is teaching junior college and I believe that the junior college

salary is like this salary.

F: Yes, they are comparable for the most part.

M: I think that they really wanted him.

F: Do you know any black instructor who would be interested in college teaching?

Some one who would sort of fit into that category?

M: I think that this gentlman that we are talking about would.

F: What is his field?

M: His field is, I think that he got his Masters in Political Sciense and then

he is in Black Studies.

F: The administration says here that they want more people but they just can not

find them. Why do you not get some of these people to apply here?

M: I have to sort of go along with them. Well, it has not been that much interest

to recruit for them, you know what I mean. I would help where I could. I

could not interest my brother too much. But I understand like you say the

salaries vary from field to field and I know that there is a young fellow

who is in graduate school in Political Science and I think that he taught a

quarter last year. Of course, he is not ready yet preparation wise, he is

not ready yet. I think that probably he would be one of the first that the

University would hire. He has all ready taught here and now he is back in

school. It just has not eccured to me. THe only recruiting that I do is to


recruit for -A & M. I know just how weak that they are. Of course, they are improving

greatly. They are sending a goodly number of their potential Ph.D.s students

over to Florida State on some kind of exchange something.

F: Florida A & M does not have any Ph.D. programs?

M: No, no Ph.D. programs. THey have very limited Masters programs.

F: Yes, that is what I thought. Ican see your dedication to Florida A & M.

you do feel that more faculty here is very important for both the blacks

and the whites here.

M: What I am saying in a word is that the all ready established white universities

in the state of Florida are the universities. Let us face it. The students

who are coming out of high-school and are going straight for their Doctorates

or their medical degrees or their law degrees are coming into the white

universities. LEt us face it. THose that are going to terminate with a

Masters degree or teaching degree will continue to go on to A & M for a long

long time to come. But those who are going on into, who really want to make

their training main stream are going into the white universities, Florida

Atlantic, University of Florida, so forth. That is the way that I see it.

So, therefore, I am saying that the University needs to make way in terms of

atmosphere. I am not saying that I think that there is anything wrong with

the kind of training that they give anyone who comeshere at this institution

right now. I am only saying that atmosphere counts.

F: I think that it counts very decidedly. In fact, most black students that I have

talked to have had this feeling of lonliness and not being able to talk to

anybody just because this person is black. I think that makes a lot of

sense. I think that we have got a real dilema here. I do not imagine that

we have come even close to solving it. DO you have any other suggestions?

M: Well, I think that probably there is still a core of teachers, professors,

and so forth, who are still pretty much in left field in their feelings about

black students, black people for that matter. I think that probably the

University is going to have to address itself to that in some way. I do not

have any suggestions how. They are going to have to address themselves to

that in some way or the other because they are still with us and this is a

state university. Since it should be in a position to offer to all people who

qualify equal empathy.

F: Let me ask you one more question. As far as talking mainly about getting more

black professors and administrators, and the problem of getting more black

students. The administrators said that they have let any one in that meets

the minimun qualifications and that a minimum number of black students do

that for whatever reason. WHat kind of suggestions would you make there?

M: I would suggest that they recruit a little differently. I think tha4they are

right now recruiting more of the high claibre students. NOw if the lower

calibre student comes along and wants to qualify, I think that they will

qualify. I do not think that they have made any motions to get to that

average student that is out there-

F: Well, they talk about anyone that has a 2.0 average in high-school and a

300 Senion Placement Test is qualified.

M: Yes, and that is a hell of a lot of qualifying.

F: You are saying that is an awful lot to ask of people.

M: Now, in the next five yearsthat will not be "PS" for the average black

student coming out of high-school. See, the average black student that is

coming out of high-school this year has had about four years of relatively

average education, seventh, eight, ninth, and tenth grades. The average kid

who is coming out of high-school this year has had his last one or two or

three years in a bonified high-school. But that does not help him very much

with the first four years getting his foundation. The kids that come out in

the next five years they will of had as far as you can go backlo six to

seven. They will of had all of their education in an integrated situation


since 1967. That would be eight years of education.

F: What would you suggest now for these students that are applying now for the

Fall of 1970?

M: I would suggest one thing. THe institution might offer to those students who

want to enter who do not have the qualifications a summer kind of program.

Let them come in in the summer and spend the whole summer and get strength in

their weaknesses. Then put them into a FReshman course and they will make

it because if they ara that determined they will study hard enough and make it

through. I think that is one thing that they could do. Another thing that

they could do is work on the teachers that would be turning them out so that

they would have a greater amount of empathy for a student who still does not

have that four year background.

F: Do you think that at this point they ought to have different standards for

entering blacks then entering white students?

M: No, I do not think that they should particluarly have different standards.

I think that probably they should just forget about the idea of how long it

takes a student to graduate. So, they say o.k. you want to come in so just

come on in and when you qualify for a degree then we will give it to you.

You see, rather than say 300 and a 2.0 average. That is a heck of a note.

A student would say that I do not have 300 nor can I make a 2.0 average.

F: Do you think that would let lots of them in?

M: I think that they ought to start them over the summer program first. Say look

we will test you and we will find your points of weakness and give you eight

weeks of intensive training. THen we will examine you and the chances are

that they would make that 300 then and then forget about the average. I think

that the 300 is a valid criteria.

F: What were you going to say about the average?

M: I say forget about the average becuase it really does not mean much anyway.

THe test and the average can not both be the criteria. ONe or the other of


them is the criteria. If he has a 2.0 average then he would be very close

to the 300 and if he has the 300 then the chances are that he would be above

the 2.0. If he does not have one or the other of them, then one of them should

be the criteria. That is what I am saying. So, I am saying that if you are

really interested in getting them in. Say then that it looks like you are

borderline right now you come on up and take eight weeks of training and we

will administer the high-school exam again at the end of the summer. I tell

you that the biggest thing wrong with the students are that they are under-

read. It would probably be a program like extensive reading with some emphasis

in English development and language skill and usually they goof off in math-

and science in high-school. You know how high-schools are they only require

one unit or two of this and the kid just sits through that and he gets out

of there with a C minus or a D plus but there is not learning involved it is

just sitting through. SO, then he wakes up and he may even be good in the

field and says that I would sure like to develop myself in that field. He

can not make it because he can not make the score. So those are some of the

things that I would suggest.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs