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COPYRIGHT NOTICE


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Florida.

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
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Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
used.

For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida









Interviewee:

Interviewer:

UF312


Robert Marston

Michael Gannon


G:


the purpose of finding out, I have invited that person who knows more than

anybody else by way of answer. He is the president, Dr. Robert Q. Marston.

Dr. Marston, welcome to Conversation.

M: Mike, it is good to be back.


Hello, I am Mike Gannon and this is Conversation. This is the first Conversation

of the 1981-1982 season. It is our seventh season on the air. All of our

broadcasts originate in the studios of the WUFT Channel 5 on the campus of the

University of Florida. Most of our programs, almost all of them, are produced

live. This is one of them. In these programs we talk with members of the faculty

of the university and with others, lecturers, writers, people who can help us

understand what is going on and why. In this remarkable, diverse, sometimes

baffling world and universe in which we live. We have an immense amount of

talent on this campus and we are trying to take advantage of it talking with men

and women who come from research laboratories and classrooms to explain to

us what they are doing.

One of the things I thought would be important for us to discuss as we

begin our seventh season is the state of the university itself. It is one of the

largest and one of the most important institutions of higher learning in the United

States, indeed in the world. We are going to find out why and exactly where we

stand in comparison with other research institutions across this country and for









G: It was two years ago when we discussed the state of the university and it

embarked upon the academic year 1979-1980. Now, I would like to find out from

you what kind of a start we have made this time.

M: The first classes were held on this campus seventy-five years ago. Without

question with all of the majors that we have, we have gotten off to the finest year

in the history of the University of Florida, capped by this remarkable weekend in

which we had more than fifty legislators on this campus. All of them left full of

pride for the University of Florida. We dedicated that remarkable structure and

named it after a remarkable man, Mr. Stephen C. O'Connell (president, UF,

1967-1973) Student Activity Center. We had a great football afternoon in which

our team performed splendidly. It has been that way all fall in every area.

G: That is great. When you measure the quality of a university, I assume you start

with the students and the faculty. Let us do that. What kind of student body do

we have this time?

M: I have just gotten some of the figures for this fall. We showed continued growth

in the quality of students in our freshman class and the whole student body.

Three years ago, 73 percent of our students scored at a level above the national

mean on SATs. Last year, there was a 10 percent jump. 83 percent scored

above the national mean. These figures get compressed as you get in the higher

ones, but this year 85 percent of our incoming freshman scored above the

national mean. More than 250 students are on Merit Scholars or Achievement

Scholars on this campus. Again, a constant increase in the number of highly









talented and motivated students who come to the University of Florida and chose

us.

G: That number of Merit and Achievement scholars does not count those of which

we have no record who are in our graduate and professional schools I

understand.

M: That is right. It is only the undergraduate ones.

G: There is a tremendous demand for the education that is being offered here. Did I

not see the figure that something like 12,500 students applied for the 2,900

openings in the freshman class this year?

M: I spent a fair amount of my time at meetings about alumni explaining why some

students were not able to be admitted when they are perfectly well-qualified. As

a state and land grant university, I worry sometime that we may become too

competitive. The fact is that students love to come here and enjoy it while they

are here and hate to leave.

G: With so many Florida students applying for enrollment, does that mean that the

university has to turn away a good number of bright students who apply from

other states?

M: The whole residence question in Florida is less key than in, say Virginia where I

came from. The reason for that is any student having lived here and intending to

live here having lived here for a year can be classified as a Florida resident. 60

percent of our juniors and seniors are transfer students, so we really do not have

a problem and the vast majority of our students are Florida residents. 90 percent

of our students are classified as Florida residents.

3









G: Given the diversity of backgrounds to Florida residents today, you could say that

our student body is very cosmopolitan. They come from all over the United

States in terms of origin. What about the faculty? It seems to me that there has

been a dramatic jump, a quantum leap in the quality and productivity of our

faculty over this same space of time.

M: I think that is true. I think one has to be cautious when one thinks about new

faculty and give proper credit to the faculty that has been here for years

and that not only does it provide the base for the constant growth, but has

grown in stature while they have been at the University of Florida. Having

said that, we do find that along with other institutions in the sun belt, we

are able to attract and hold faculty members to bring them from institutions

with great prestige to come here because they have the sense that this is

the part of the nation that has the most dramatic feature. We can see an

example of the success in sponsored research. More than 1,000 of our

faculty have research grants. We have continued to grow, 15 percent, 20

percent then last year it increased my 10 percent. That is a direct

reflection of the quality of the faculty that we have here. When

I came here and talked to people, one of the benchmarks was, when you

get to leave a place where you have 200 faculty of the level of graduate

research professors. Then nothing will stop the continued growth. You

will have a critical mass. We are moving very rapidly toward that with the

quality improvement funds that we have with the Eminent Scholars

Program that we have, the continued support we have for graduate

4









research professors and distinguished service professors. I talked with

the governor last week about how fast we want to move. We know now

that we have the basis at the University of Florida in quality of students

and quality of faculty, the support of the legislature, the support in private

giving and the ability to compete for federal grants. I can give you the ten

to fifteen year plan or I can give you a five to ten year plan depending on

how fast the state is ready to augment the support that we are getting in

terms of movement of this university.

G: I would like to echo what you said a moment ago about the high quality of the

faculty that has been on this campus over the course of many years and which

made possible the tremendous growth and quality that some say, as you have

just said, has occurred over the last three or four years. One of the benefits that

I would point to from my particular point of view as one reason contributing to that

advance is the quality improvement money that was appropriated by the

legislature. It has enabled us to do things that we could not have done before. It

had enabled us to use money freely for the improvement of quality as such.

Would you agree with that?

M: I would agree. The quality improvement money goes over and above work load

for the specific purpose of improving quality. The augmentation of our resources

in the library, disbursal appropriations for scientific and technical equipment that

we have gotten and the establishment of the Eminent Scholars program whereby

raising $600,000 from profit sources and the state will match it for $400,000,

transfer that money to the University of Florida. We have $1,000,000 in endowed

5









chairs. We have established three and filled two. Just today I got the names of

the finalists and the third one. We have commitments for several additional ones

which we will be announcing in the next few weeks and months. This has been a

tremendous stimulus to growth and development at this university. I tried to

thank the legislature in every way I could this past weekend.

G: If an individual donor contributes $600,000, the state will match that gift with

$400,000 which is resulting in a $1,000,000 endowment that would finance the

salary and work of a truly distinguished scientist or researcher or teacher.

M: There is a great deal of flexibility in how the income from that endowment can be

used. Part of it can be used for salary, all of it for salary, part of it could be used

for graduate assistants, part of it for equipment, part for travel. It is to support an

individual at the national level of accomplishment. Dr. Call who was a university

professor at the University of Chicago, Dr. Peasants just this past week was

announced that he is coming to us from Rutgers, and international expert and

also an excellent teacher as the president of Rutgers told me, who will be

working in an area that Florida has a rick tradition in, that is trace elements and

effects in nutrition. It was the work of Dr. Joyce Davis that really conveyed this

day on the fire and waste land into a productive area for agriculture for citric

industry and the cow industry.

G: I wanted to ask something about language you have been using recently.

Gambling language. You have been talking about That is right out of

a gambler's lexicon. It has to do with fund raising. Tell ma a little bit about it and

give me an example.









M: One of the difficult things to do in a university in which all of the components are

important is to select one area with emphasis at a time. We decided before I

became president that it was essential to do that. If we get a major gift, then we

will seek immediately to strengthen the impact of that gift for state and federal

funds. THere are so many examples of that. It is hard to pick one. I think to

suddenly become the sum of the study of butterflies in Biology in less than a

year's time. There is an example of using Florida improvement money cutting a

major, multi-million dollar gift from one of the great collections in the world and

having them match them with other funds. This is what we mean by

We have almost always been able to move up and get something that is

dramatically more effective. That is starting investing.

G: One major acquisition or gift of the recruitment of one distinguished scholar could

produce that critical mass that then would lead to more improvement within the

same discipline.

M: The schools are essentially grants, state support and private clients.

By bringing these together we can have a definition of We can make

more happen.

G: Last year you had as a total something like $19,000,000 in gifts to the university.

Are we running on about the same track this year?

M: The audits have not been made, but we are above $20,000,000 this year. How

much above, I do not know. You have to wait until the auditors go through the

books. This will be the best year ever in the history of the University of Florida.









G: Why do people give? What are the motives for giving to a state-assisted

university such as this?

M: I think the circumstance is that people like to put their money on a winner. They

felt like you make gifts to a place that seems to be going down. Certainly that

was the case in the Howe Collection which we were able to purchase that

remarkable collection of early American writers and bring it here. It was the case

in the New York based foundation, the Good Will Foundation, Minnesota Money

in which they believed that we would do a better job in conservation than

anywhere else that could take the money. That has gone up, so we will probably

end up with two or three endowed channels from that gift with $4-6,000,000 in

land and the money to support it. I think the first and most important thing is that

you have to demonstrate that you can use the funds wisely. I would not put my

money into an institution and you would not put yours in it. I think the second

one is the support of those who love this university, not only people who have

money, but lawyers who see our clients sometimes and tell them what to do with

the money. I think we have absolutely superb volunteer leadership. I find those

amazing efforts from really the leaders from the state of Florida. They have

given an inordinate amount of their time in advising us and helping us. I think

you have to have an effective staff. You have to have people who understand

the implications of taxes and speak honestly, have credibility, who can tell an

individual, you have a tax problem, you can either pay the federal government

this money or you can give the money to the university of Florida. Those three

things, the rapid improvement in the quality of the institution, the support of

8









people throughout the state and nation and a staff under vice-president Wiggins

and the director of development, Phil Stone, who hold their job and are

professions. They do not take advantage of people. Most of the people who

make grants to the University of Florida come to us and say thank you for helping

me do this thing that I feel is so important.

G: Does that extra margin of funding that is supplied by private giving enable us to

do what many see as the dream of the faculty and the administration and student

body and now alumni over many years now, to become a truly distinguished

university, be it whether California at Berkeley, Michigan, North Carolina?

M: I have never liked that kind of comparison whether it is with institutions in the

state or institutions outside of the state. I would phase it in a different fashion. I

believe very deeply that this state has a destiny for the future of leadership to this

nation and the world, much as the great mid-western states had thrust upon them

with the movement west, California and the west coast had with the settlement

there that the eastern states had in the earlier stage in our history. A state that is

eighth in population now will be fourth in population by the end of the decade

simply has to have the resources of a major university to help it go further in its

destiny. It has to serve the undergraduate students well, not force them to go out

of state for an education. It has to have the direct services to the state and the

research for the future of that area. A great and growing state is going to

demand. That is our goal, to be sure that the University of Florida is in a position

to put the need of the state with a great destiny being thrust upon it.









G: Let me talk about building and construction. We mentioned earlier the Stephen

C. O'Connell Center that was dedicated on Saturday. I understand that over the

last six years or so we have brought about a conditions where every college on

campus has its own building or complex of buildings. Is this a process that you

see continuing? What is the outlook for continuing building? I am thinking

particularly classrooms. We are running short of classrooms, particularly for

large classes.

M: We had two problems this year int he first year. The first one was that we have a

registration process that needs to be revised. It will be revised. The vice-

president for academic affairs assures me that we will have a more orderly

arrangement for registration. The second one has to do with space. Chemistry

and some of the business areas use their mathematics, we simply did not have

the space to be able to meet the need of a group of students that surprised us

some. There was a shift towards the arts and sciences. We have had the most

remarkable in growth and physical buildings on this campus in the last ten years

that we have had in history. We are leveling off in terms of the number of

students. Why do we have a problem of studies? It is a major emerging problem

in many areas. Putting aside the age of some of our buildings and the

maintenance, it simply is that there is more to be done than we have the space

for. We have entered into a somewhat unusual arrangement with the research

part. It is jointly worked out. I chair the commission, the authority with members

of the community. Our foundation is actually purchasing the land. It is unusual

for a university.









G: Where is the research park so that people will have an idea?

M: It is off of 1-75 toward Santa Fe, north of the city. It is an ideal setting. We

looked first to find land that people would give us and then we looked to find the

best land for the purpose of accessibility to the university with each utilities and

things of that type. We are buying the land, granted at a rare amount, a gift

purchase. Our purchase price is $4000 an acre and we believe the appraisal will

be perhaps 50 percent higher than that. We are protected in that we are not

taking a chance with this money. Secondly, we will have the same income index

to government bonds, treasury notes, something of that type that we would

expect in other investments. We would that in engineering, for instance and the

health center, we cannot do the contracts that we would like to do because we do

not have the space and we hope that this cooperation with industry will enrich the

education of our graduate students, especially the undergraduate students and

will give our faculty opportunities which they do not have at present. Many

people use the Research Triangle at the University of North Carolina, Duke and

North Carolina State participate in. The growth of high technology energy in

Harvard and MIT is the examples of what we see ahead of us. The other driving

force for us is this need for facilities to be able to carry out the work that we need

to do.

G: If I understand you correctly, you do not see the same pace of building on

campus to take place in the years immediately ahead as we have experienced in

the last six years?









M: I hope I did not say that because I think it comes back to that basic question. If

this university is to match in quality the growth of the state and if we go the five to

ten year route rather than the ten to fifteen or twenty year route, the main

limitation is going to be the availability of classrooms and laboratories to allow us

to move more rapidly. We do have needs for buildings perhaps not at the level of

the last five years, but significant improvement in and increase in the number of

academic buildings on this campus.

G: I would like to add to that shopping list offices for our faculty. They are in great

need right now. Speaking of clouds on the horizon that being only a small one,

what about the cuts in federal grants that have been made by the Reagan

Administration? They had been running severe in my area in the Humanities. I

wonder if they have been equally severe in other fields such as the biological and

physical sciences.

M: I talked to some of our people in Washington today and USA Today came out

with its and my old institution, the National Institute of Health in a

relative sense remains somewhat protected, not getting the types of increases

that it got in the years when I used to but compared to the social

sciences and the humanities and other things. of the series

commitment to maintain the research base to the extent that one can do it. I

have to cut back from everyone including the life sciences and the biological

sciences. The one that I guess really worries us most of all even more than the

humanities and the social sciences is the who question of student financial aid.

We do not know. The market place has been bad. You just mentioned the

12









figures of the people who want to cone here. States have increased their tuition

tremendously, 15-20 percent with no drop at all in the number of students who

wanted to come. But as a state university, we have to be worried about cuts that

will remove the accessibility of high education to a large segment of our

population and if that occurs, we are wasting our seed corn. We are wasting the

talent of the human resources of the future. I do not know what we will do about

that. The other side of this is that no one has served and can be served if

inflation is not under control and if there is not an economic turn around.

G: That is a very severe problem. I am glad you addressed it. Let us look at the

other end of the university experience, graduation and the entrance into the

alumni. Do we have a noticeable increase in favor and support among them, not

just in terms of money, but in terms of general interest in the university and its

work?

M: I have never seen anything like this here. I went to Houston, Texas. We had

over 300 people to an alumni meeting to talk about academic programs. That

was one out of every three known in that area. The same thing was in Dallas.

we had the largest crowd that we ever had prior to the Miami game who came

there and talked and expressed pride in the university. The same thing was

characterized inside and outside of the state. There was a ground swell of

enthusiasm and help for this university which when I talk to my colleagues from

elsewhere in the country who are facing the problems of Detroit, it is a different

world. Things are really going very well and the alumni are finding a tremendous

role in this university.









G: One of the things I noticed is the new work of the Gator alumni clubs around the

state of Florida in seeking out candidates for National Merit Scholarships here at

the university. They are doing that with almost the same eagerness they are

going after candidates for football scholarships.

M: A fourth of the group there, the students whose diploma I had signed, had

graduated in the last seven years. Someone wanted to give $1000, she could

not. She gave $250 because a company would match it with $750 and she was

one of the most pleased people in that whole group.

G: Thank you very much, President Robert Q. Marston for being with me as my

guest on this first program of Conversation for the year 1981-1982. We hope

that you will join us again next Monday and subsequent Mondays throughout the

year as we talk with representatives of faculty and administration and student

body at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Thank you and good night.



Hello I am Mike Gannon and this is Conversation. As a matter of fact, this is the first

conversation of the 1981-1982 season. It is our seventh season on the air. All of our

broadcasts originate in the studios of WUFT-TV Channel 5 on the campus of the

University of Florida. Most of our programs, almost all of them as a matter of fact, are

produced live. This is one of them. In these programs we talk with members of the

faculty of the university and with other, lecturers, writers, people who can help us

understand what is going on and why in this remarkable, diverse, sometimes baffling

world and universe in which we live. We have an immense amount of talent on this

campus and we are trying to take advantage of it, talking with men and women who

14









come from research laboratories and class rooms to explain to us what they are doing.

But, one of the things that I thought it would be important for us to discuss as we begin

our seventh season is the state of the university itself. It is one of the largest and most

important institutions of higher learning in the United States, indeed in the world. We

are going to find out why and exactly where we stand in comparison with other research

institutions across this country and for the purpose of finding out I have invited that

person who knows more than anybody else by way of answer. He is the President, Dr.

Robert Q. Marston.

G: Dr. Marston welcome to Conversation.

M: Mike, it is good to be back.

G: It was two years ago that we discussed the state of the university and

embarked on the academic year 1979 1980. Now I would like to find out

from you what kind of a start we have made this time.

M: Well Mike the first classes were held on this campus seventy-five years

ago. With that with all the majors we have we have gotten off

to the finest year of the history of the University of Florida. Capitalized by

this remarkable weekend in which they have more than fifty legislators on

this campus. All of them full of pride for the University of

Florida. We dedicated that remarkable structure and named it after a

remarkable man, the Stephen C. O'Connell Student Activities Center

and we had a great football afternoon in which I team performed

splendidly. It has been that way all fall in every area.









G: That is great. Bob, when you measure the quality of a university I assume

you start with the students and the faculty so let us do that. What kind of

student body do we have this time?

M: Well, I have just gotten some fo the figures for this fall and we show the

continued growth in the quality of the students I our freshman class,

indeed the whole student body. Three years ago, seventy-three percent

of our students scored at a level above the national mean on SAT. Last

year there was a ten percent jump, eighty-three percent scored above the

national mean. These figures get compressed as you get into the higher

ones but this year, eighty-five percent of our incoming freshman scored

above the national mean. More than 250 students on Rhodes Scholars or

Achievement Scholars on this campus. Again, a constant increase in the

number of highly talented, highly motivated students who have come to

the University of Florida and chosen us.

G: That number of Merit and Achievement scholars does not count those of

which we have no record who are in our graduate and professional

schools, I understand.

M: That is right. It is only the undergraduate ones.

G: Well, there is a tremendous demand for the education that is being offered

here. Did I not see the figure that something like 12,500 students applied

for the 2900 openings in the freshman class this year?

M: I spend a fair amount of my time at meetings of our alumni explaining

were not able to be admitted well

16









qualified students. You know, as a state university and land-grant

university I worry sometimes that we may become too competitive but the

fact is that students love to come here, enjoy it while they are here, and

they hate to leave.

G: Yes, I know. Well, with so many Florida students applying for enrollment

does that mean that the university has to turn away a good number of

bright students who apply from other states?

M: Well, the whole residence question in Florida is less key than say in

Virginia. The reason for that is any student having lived here and

intending to live here, having lived here for a year, can be classified as a

Florida resident. Sixty percent of our juniors and seniors are transfer

students so we really do not have a problem. The vast majority of our

students are Florida residents. I do not mean fifty percent, I mean

something ninety percent of that classified as Florida residents.

G: And given the diversity of backgrounds to Florida residents today you

could say that our student body is very cosmopolitan, from all over the

United States in terms of origin. What about the faculty? It seems to me

that there has been a dramatic jump, a quantum leap if you will, in the

quality and productivity of our faculty as well over this same space of time.

M: I think that is true. I think one has to be cautious when one talks about

new faculty to give proper credit to the faculty that has been here for years

and that not only has supplied the base for the constant growth but has

grown in stature while they have been at the University of Florida. Having

17









said that, we do find that along with other institutions in the sun belt that

we are able to attract and hold faculty members, to bring them from

institutions with great prestige to come here because they have the sense

that this is the part of the nation that has the most dramatic

We can see the example of this success in sponsored research. More

than 1000 of our faculty have research grants. We continue to grow.

Fifteen percent chronicles out that all last year only increasing by ten

percent in sponsored research but that is a direct reelection of the quality

of the faculty we have here. When I came here and talked to people,

Mike, one of the benchmarks were as well when you get to the point that

you have say about 200 faculty of the level of graduate research

professors that then nothing will stop the continued growth, you will have a

critical mass. We are moving very rapidly towards that with the quality

improvement funds that we have, with the eminent scholars program that

we have, with our continued support for our graduate research professors

and for distinguished service professors, we do have a faculty that is now,

I believe, at the point of my being able to talk with the governor last week,

of how fast do you want to move? We know now that we have the basis

at the University of Florida in quality of students and quality of faculty and

the support from the legislature and the support in private giving and our

ability to compete for Federal grants, I can give you a ten

to fifteen year plan or I can give you a five to ten year plan just depending









on how fast the state is ready to augment the support that we are getting

in terms of movement of this university.

G: I would like to echo what you said a moment ago about the high quality of

the faculty that has been in place here on this campus over the course of

many years and which made possible the tremendous growth in quality

that some say, as you have just said, has occurred over the last three or

four years. One of the benefits that I would point to from my particular

point of view as one reason contributing to that advance is the quality

improvement money that was appropriated by the legislature. It has

enabled us to do things that we could not have done before because it has

enabled us to use money freely for the improvement of quality as such.

Would you agree with that?

M: I would agree. I wold list very quickly the quality improvement money

dollars over and above workload for the specific purpose of improving

quality. The augmentation of our resources in the library, the special

appropriations for scientific and technical equipment that we have gotten

and the establishment of the eminent scholars program whereby raising

$600,000 from private sources, the state will match it with $400,000,

transfer that money to the University of Florida. We have a million dollars

endowed chair, we have established three, we have built two. Just today I

got the names of the finalists. The third one we have commitments for

several additional ones which we will be announcing in the next few weeks

and months. This has been a tremendous stimulus to growth and

19









development at this university and I tried to thank the legislature in every

way I could just this past weekend.

G: So that if an individual donor contributes $600, 000 that state will match

that gift with $400,000 resulting in a one million dollar endowment that

then would finance the salary and work of a truly distinguished scientist or

researcher or teacher.

M: There is a great deal of flexibility in how the income from that endowment

can be used. Part of it can be used for salary, all of it for salary, part of it

can be used for graduate assistants, part of it for equipment, part for

travel, but it is to support an individual at the national level or international

level of accomplishment. Dr. Tao who was a university professor at the

University of Chicago, Dr. Cousins just this past week, it was announced

that he is coming to us from Rutgers, an international expert and also an

excellent teacher as the President told me, who will be

working in an area that is fair to his rich tradition, that is trace elements

and their effects in nutrition. It was the work of Dr. George Davis that

really conveyed this state from a barren waste land into a productive area

for agriculture for the citrus industry and for the cattle industry.

G: I want to ask something about language you have been using recently,

gambling language. You have been talking about That is right

out of a gambler's lexicon and it has to do with fundraising. Tell me a little

bit about it and give me an example if you would please.









M: Well, one of the difficult things to do in a university in which all of the

components are important, important, important is to select one area for

emphasis at a time. We decided, actually before I became president, that

it was essential to do that. So that if we got a major gift, then we will seek

immediately to strengthen the impact of that gift with state funds and with

federal funds. There are so many examples of that it is hard to pick one

out but I think to suddenly become the son of the study of butterflies, the

biology of that, in less than a year's time, is an example of using quality

improvement, money a major multi-million dollar gift of one

of the great collections in the world and of having just matched then what

other funds. So this is what we mean by Give us a leg up

and we have almost always been able to move up and up with something

that is dramatically more effective than that starting investment.

G: One major acquisition or one major gift or the recruitment of one

distinguished scholar could produce that critical mass that then would lead

to more improvement within the same discipline.

M: And essentially grants, state support, and private funds.

By bringing these together we can by the definition of parlay make more

happen by adding these together.

G: Now last year you had as a total, I remember, something like nineteen

million dollars in gifts to the university. Are we running on about the same

track this year?









M: The audits have not been made but we are above twenty million this year

and how much above, I do not know. You know you have to wait until the

auditors go through the books. But this will be the best year ever in the

history of the University of Florida.

G: Why do people give? What are the motives for giving to a state assisted

university such as this?

M: Well, I think the circumstance is that people like to put their money on a

winner. They do not like to make gifts to a place that seems to be going

done. Certainly that was the case in the Howe collection in which we

were able to purchase that remarkable collection of Early American writers

and bring it here. It was the case in the New York based foundation, the

Goodville Foundation. Minnesota Mining money in which they believed

that we would do a better job in conservation than anywhere else they

could put the money, university or elsewhere. That has gone up now so

we will probably end up with two or three endowed chairs from that gift

with four to six million dollars in land and the money to support it so I think

that the first and most important thing is that you have to demonstrate that

you can use the funds wisely. I would not put my money into an institution

and you would not either. I think the second one is the support of those

who love this university. Not only people that have money but lawyers

who see our clients sometimes who want to know what to do with their

money. I think we have had absolutely superb voluntary leadership in our

fundraising efforts from really the leaders of the state of Florida who have

22









given an inordinate amount of their time in advising us and helping us.

you have to have an effective staff. You have to people who

understand the implications of taxes, who speak honestly, who have the

credibility who can tell an individual, look you have got a tax problem, you

can either pay the federal government this money or you can give the

money to the University of Florida. Those three things, the rapid

improvement of the quality of the institution, the support of people

throughout the state and nation and a staff and Vice President Williams

and the Director of Development, Phil Stone who know their job and are

who are professionals, and who do not take advantage of people. Most of

the people who make grants, all of the people I know of that make grants,

to the University of Florida come to us and say thank you for helping me

do this thing that I feel is so important.

G: Bob, does that extra margin of funding that is supplied by private giving

enable us to do what many cities that dream of the faculty and the

administration and the student body and now alumni over many years

now, to become a truly distinguished university of the order of California at

Berkeley or Michigan, North Carolina, and so on?

M: Well, Mike I have never liked that type of comparison whether it is with

institutions in the state or institutions outside of the state. I have really

phrased it in a different fashion. I believe very deeply that this state has a

destiny for the future of leadership to this nation and the world. Much as

the great Midwestern states had thrust upon them with the movement

23









west, California and the west coast had with the settlement that

the eastern states had at an earlier stage in our history. A state that is

eighth in population now will be fourth in population by the end of the

decade simply has to have the resources of a major university to help it go

forward in its destiny. It has to serve the undergraduate students well, not

force them to go out of state for their education, it has to have the direct

services to the state and the research for the future that a great and

growing state is going to demand. That is our goal, to be sure that the

University of Florida is in the position to fit the needs of a state with a great

destiny being thrust upon it.

G: Let me talk about building, about construction. You mentioned earlier the

Stephen C. O'Connell Student Activity Center that was dedicated on

Saturday. I understand that over the last six years or so we have finally

brought about a condition where every college on campus has its own

building or complex of buildings. Is this a process that you see

continuing? What is the outlook for continuing building, I am thinking

particularly of classrooms. We are running short on classrooms,

particularly for large classes.

M: Yes, well, we have had two problems this year in the first week. The first

one was that we have a registration process that need to be revised and it

will be revised. The Vice President for Academic Affairs has assured me

that we will have a more orderly arrangement for registration. The second

one has to do with space. In Chemistry and some of the Business areas,

24









Mathematics with something they did not have to lack of space, the

laboratory benches to be able to meet the need of a group of students that

surprised us some by shifting toward the hard sciences as you might say.

We have had the most remarkable growth in physical buildings on this

campus in the last ten years that we have had in history. We are leveling

off, have leveled off, in terms of the number of students. So, why do we

have a problem with space? Because it is a major emerging problem in

many, many areas. Putting aside the age of some of our buildings and the

deferred maintenance and all of the rest, it simply is that there is more to

be done than we have the space for. We have entered into a somewhat

unusual arrangement with the research park, we joyfully worked at, I

chaired the commission the authority with members from the community.

Our foundation is actually purchasing the land, unusual for a university to

do that.

G: Where is the research park so people will have an idea?

M: It is off of Interstate 75 over toward Santa Fe Community College, north of

the city, an ideal setting. We looked first to find land that people would

give us and then we looked to find the best land for the purpose of

accessible to the University with easy utilities and things of that type. But,

we are buying the land, granted at what really amounts to a gift purchase.

Our purchase price is $4000 an acre and we believe the appraisal will be

perhaps fifty percent higher than that. So, we are protected in that we are

not taking a chance with this money. Secondly, we will have the same

25









income indexed to government bonds, or treasury notes, or something of

that type that we would expect investments. We have found

that in engineering, for instance, and in the health center we cannot do the

contracts that we would like to do because we do not have the space and

we hope that this cooperation with industry will enrich the education of our

graduate students, especially to a lesser extent our undergraduate

students, and will give our faculty opportunities which they do not have at

present. Many people use the research triangle that the University of

North Carolina, Duke, and North Carolina State participate in or the growth

of high technology energy around Harvard, MIT as the examples of what

we see ahead of us. But one of the other driving purposes for us was for

our facilities to be able to carry out the work that we need to do.

G: If I understand you correctly, you do not see the same pace of building on

campus to take place in the years immediately ahead as we have

experienced I the last six years?

M: Well, I hope I did not say that because I think it comes back to that basic

question. If, in fact, this university is to match in quality the growth of the

state, and we got the five to ten year route rather than the ten to fifteen,

twenty year route, the main limitation is going to be the availability of

classrooms and laboratories to allow us to move more rapidly. So, we do

have needs for buildings, perhaps not at the level of the last five years but

significant improvement in and increase in the number of academic

buildings on this campus.









G: And I wold like to add to that shopping list, offices for our faculty.

M: Yes.

G: There in great need right now. Speaking of clouds on the horizon, what

about the cuts in grants, federal grants, that have been made by the

Reagan administration? They have been rather severe in my area, the

humanities, I wonder if they have been equally severe in other areas such

as the biological and physical sciences.

M: Well, I talked to some of our people in Washington today and the US

came up with its mark up and my old institution, the National Institute of

Health, in a really good sense, remains somewhat protected. Not getting

the types of increases that compared to the social sciences

and the humanities and other things. is a sense of a serious

commitment to maintain the research base to the extent that one can do it,

cut back from everyone all the hard sciences and the biological

sciences. The one, that I guess really worries most of all, excuse me, but

even more than the cuts in the humanities and the social sciences, is this

whole question of student financial aid. We do not know, the market place

has been bad, you just mentioned the figures of the people who want to

come here. States have increased tuition tremendously, fifteen, twenty

percent, with no drop-off at all in the number of students who wanted to

come. As a state university we have to be worried about cuts that will

remove the accessibility of higher education to a large segment of our

population and if that occurs we are wasting our We are

27









wasting the talent of the human resources of the future. I do not know

what we will do about that. The other side fo this is that no one is served,

no one can be served, if inflation is not brought under control than if

somehow there is not an economic turn around.

G: That is a very severe problem. I am glad you addressed it. Let us look at

the other end of the university experience, graduation, and the entrance

into that status we call the alumni. For the couple of minutes we have

remaining, let us talk about the alumni. Do we have a noticeable increase

in fervor and support among them? Not just in terms of money but in terms

of genuine interest in the university and its work?

M: You know, Mike, I guess I have to cross my fingers every question you

give me, we have never seen anything like this year. I went to Houston,

Texas. We had over 300 people at an alumni meeting to talk about

academic programs. That was one out every three known around in that

whole area. Same thing in Dallas. Houston we had the largest crowd that

we have ever had prior to the Miami game who came there and talked and

expressed pride in their university. The same thing has characterized the

meetings all over the state and outside of the state. There is a ground

swell of enthusiasm and help for this university which when I talk to my

colleagues from elsewhere in the country, that are facing the problems of

a Detroit, the Michigan schools, Ohio. It is a different world but things

really are going very well and the alumni are playing a tremendous role in

the support of this university.









G: And one of the things I have noticed is the new work of the Gator clubs,

alumni clubs, around the state of Florida in seeking out candidates for

National Merit scholarships here at the university. Doing that with almost

the same eagerness with which they have gone after candidates for

football scholarships.

M: I am glad Kirsten and I would say that a fourth of the

group out, students whose diploma I have signed, that is who have

graduated in the last seven years and can I very quickly tell a 1975

ahead of time. She wanted to give $1000 but she could not.

She gave $250 because her company would match it with $750 and she

was one of the mot pleased people in that whole group.

G: That is great. Well, it is a good story. That is an upbeat story to end on.

Thank you very much President Robert Q. Marston for being with me as

my guest on this first program of Conversation for the year 1981-1982.

We hope that you will join us again next Monday and subsequent

Monday throughout the year as we talk with representatives of faculty

and administration and student body at the University of Florida at in

Gainesville. Thank you and good night.




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