Interviewee: Professor E. L. Roy Hunt
Interviewer: Steve Prescott
Date: March 18, 1993
P: Today is March 18, 1993. We are in the office of Professor [E. L.] Roy Hunt of
the University of Florida College of Law. Professor Hunt has been on the faculty
since 1962. We will be doing an oral history interview today for the University [of
Florida Oral History] Archives on his career here at the University.
Please start by telling us your full name.
H: Elmer LeRoy Hunt.
P: When and where were you born?
H: Humboldt, Tennessee, August 10, 1933. I was born at home, in the basement.
P: What did your parents do?
H: My father at the time worked for a dry goods company in that small town. My
mother and my father both were from families that had been there since some
time in the nineteenth century.
P: Where exactly is Humboldt?
H: It is in west Tennessee; it is eighty miles east of Memphis, about 140 miles west
of Nashville. It is named for Baron Alexander von Humboldt.
P: Looking back, do you think you had a happy childhood?
H: Yes. I had a very happy childhood. The happiest part of it was the rural
setting. My family owned a fourteen-acre farm on Main Street, and most of our
time was spent exploring and camping.
P: So your family was well-to-do, at least by those standards?
H: Well, my immediate family was broke. They lost the home they built right after
they were married; my parents lost their home in the Depression when I was
about nine or ten months old. But most everyone else was in the same boat.
My mother's uncle was president of the local bank, and certainly we were from a
family that was better off than most.
P: You went to public school there?
H: I went to school in Humboldt for the first ten years, and then I went to Columbia
Military Academy for my junior and senior years.
P: Is that Columbia, South Carolina?
H: No, it is in Columbia, Tennessee. It is defunct.
P: I see. What made you decide to go there?
H: I think that my mother is the one who encouraged it, feeling that the educational
program in our public school was so oriented toward football and basketball--that
that was all that really mattered, and she was certainly right. Because I was so
tall I was seen as a basketball player and was given lots of special instruction in
basketball, but very little in anything else.
P: OK. I see you served in the navy. Did you have aspirations for a military
career at that time?
H: Never. But the military school that I went to made all of us aware of the various
scholarships that were available and encouraged us to take the exams for the
NROTC scholarships, which were the most generous scholarships available in
those days. They provided buses for us to go to Nashville and take the exam,
and I was fortunate enough to pass the first part, which was a comprehensive
test. Then I made it past the physical and political process and gained an
NROTC scholarship to Vanderbilt.
P: So apparently you were an excellent student.
H: Well, I graduated as valedictorian of my class.
P: Why did you pick Vanderbilt?
H: It certainly was the school in terms of an academic institution in our area, and it
was the only school in the state that had an NROTC program. Of course, I had
to pick a school that had an NROTC program in order to take advantage of the
P: What did you study at Vanderbilt?
H: I majored in English literature because that was Vanderbilt's strongest faculty at
the time, and I minored in French, Spanish, and Russian.
P: Did you have a problem with the navy? Today they are the only ROTC unit that
makes people major in the hard sciences or engineering.
H: Well, I had no problem. It is true that in those days they required a certain
number of hours in physics and courses of that sort, which I took, so I graduated
with a minimum number of hours in my major because of the hard sciences.
P: When and what made you decide to become a lawyer?
H: I think even in those days I felt that the leaders in the community I grew up in--in
Humboldt--were the lawyers. They had a comfortable living, but they also
seemed to be doing something that was interesting, and they certainly influenced
decision making more than anyone else. So I leaned in that direction, although I
certainly had not made up my mind at that point. In part, I knew I had to go to
the Navy immediately upon graduation--there was no possibility of delaying that
service--so I was not required to choose any career immediately upon getting my
P: You were in the navy from 1955-1958.
P: What did you do while you were in the navy?
H: I was the five-inch battery officer aboard the USS Wisconsin, a battleship.
P: When you came out of the Navy and went to law school, you went to the
University of Mississippi.
P: That seems an unusual choice. What made you choose Mississippi?
H: Well, it was not unusual at all. I was married at the time, and we had a baby and
no money. My mother had remarried a native of Oxford [Mississippi] while I was
at Vanderbilt, and I could go to Ole Miss for practically nothing. We could get an
apartment in the old vet village, which was the World War II housing that had
been moved on campus. I could get that for fourteen dollars a month, pay
practically no tuition, and eat a lot of meals with my mother and stepfather's
family. So that is what we did.
P: That sounds good to me. How did you find law school? Was it what you
expected when you got there?
H: Yes, it was what I expected, and I enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed law school
much more than undergraduate school.
P: I think it is unusual to have someone say that law school is what they expected.
H: Yes, it was about what I expected.
P: I take it you did well there also?
H: Yes, I did.
P: What were your favorite classes or your best class?
H: I think that the ones [I enjoyed most were those] that emphasized the history of
law and the common law courses like contracts and torts. In large part I think
that is because of the teachers. Dean [Robert J.] Farley, who later came here
and taught for ten years, was my torts teacher. He and his wife were close
friends of my parents, so I had known them before law school. He had a
wonderful grasp of history, and he made it all very interesting for me.
P: Did you always want to teach, or did you think you would practice law when you
started law school?
H: No, I did not intend to teach at all when I started and did not intend to teach until
the very end. I had certainly planned to practice. I thought I would go back to
my hometown in Tennessee. I graduated in August, and during that summer
there was a sudden vacancy on the Ole Miss faculty, and I was asked to fill it for
a year. I had already decided to go to Yale for an LL.M. as sort of a finishing
school because the curriculum at Ole Miss was quite narrow, with a small faculty.
I had been accepted at Yale for that fall, but I intended to practice after that. I
just wanted the additional year [to take] perspective courses like international law
and things of that sort.
I was asked to delay matriculation at Yale to teach a year, and that was very
appealing to me, because once again I was broke. I also felt that I would get
more out of the Yale experience if I taught for a year. So I taught, for the most
part, courses that I had never taken as a student.
P: I was going to ask you what you taught.
H: Well, I taught what was then called workmen's compensation and labor law,
neither of which I had taken as a student. Of course, I had a lot of students in
my class who had been my classmates a week earlier. I also taught criminal law
and personal property law during that year.
P: That is an eclectic mix.
H: In fact, one of the students I taught was [Winton E.] Skip Williams, who is on our
faculty here now.
P: How was that--teaching immediately after you finished at the same law school?
H: It was tough because I was teaching my ex-classmates.
P: How did they respond to it?
H: I think they were very generous.
P: Was that a common occurrence at that time to hire someone straight out of law
school? I cannot imagine that happening today.
H: No, it was not, but again this was an emergency situation in which they lost a
faculty member, and rather than try to find someone at that very late date, they
chose to go with someone they knew.
P: Was it during that year that you decided to make a career out of academics?
H: No. I still had not made up my mind to do that. I was not sure what I was going
to do. But I certainly found it interesting, and I began to consider it an option.
P: The Yale LL.M., as I understand it, is basically a law professor's degree, pretty
much. How did you find Yale Law School?
H: Well, I thought it was an incredibly exciting place--not just the law school, but the
Yale University community.
P: Was that the first time you had ever been out of the South for an extended period
H: No. I had lived in New York when I was in the Navy, so I had spent a good deal
of time out of the South. In fact, between my completion of teaching at Ole Miss
and going to Yale, I received a Ford Foundation Grant to participate in an
international law program at Berkeley. I spent the summer at Berkeley before I
went to Yale. So I had quite a varied educational experience, geographically
P: I want to talk to you about your whole international law involvement, but before
we get to that: You took the general program at Yale, as opposed to an LL.M. in
a specific area of law, like taxation or international law?
H: Well, the LL.M. is a general LL.M., although I concentrated on international law.
But Yale's graduate program is not an LL.M. in taxation or whatever. It is just an
P: What made you pick international law?
H: In part because of the travel I had done in the Navy, I had become interested in
international affairs. I think that had a lot to do with it. In addition, Professor
McDougal at Yale was preeminent in international law. I had known him for
many years; he was my stepfather's first cousin. Professor McDougal was born
and raised in Booneville, Mississippi, had gone to Ole Miss, and had been a
Rhodes Scholar before he went to Yale and ended up on the Yale faculty. So
he was certainly my mentor.
P: Did you have any coursework at Mississippi in international law?
H: No, there were no courses offered in it.
P: OK. What did you write your thesis on at Yale?
H: I did my thesis on the Panama Canal treaties. It was a policy-oriented
perspective on the Panama Canal treaties, and it was later published in the
University of Florida Law Review.
P: It sounds more like a political science or history thesis than a law thesis.
H: Well, there was a lot of that in it. I picked it in part because I had been through
the Canal a couple of times and knew people who lived in the Canal Zone just
before I went to Yale. That was shortly after the riots; I guess the riots occurred
a year earlier. This lent itself to treatment in the McDougal-Lasswell framework,
so that is what I did.
P: I understand that very early you were involved in the international law program
here at the University of Florida. Tell me a little bit about that.
H: Well, certainly it was taught here before I came; [William D.] Bill Macdonald
taught it, particularly. I guess I picked it up for the first time in 1964 when Bill
had a stroke or a heart attack. I taught it off and on from then on. Then in the
late 1960s--I guess about 1969--we had some then-young alumni like Jake Dyal
and [John C.] Jack Bierley in Tampa. We created an international law
committee within the Florida Bar. That subsequently became a section--now it is
a very large section, but at the time it was a recognized committee of the
bar--and we began to do some lawyer exchange programs. The exchanges
were rather one-sided in the sense that we always went there and they never
We focused our attention on Latin America. I also had been teaching a seminar
in Latin American legal institutions, which was really based on the one I took at
Yale with Bayless Manning, so I offered that for a number of years. I suppose
this bar program grew out of that.
We did week-long programs with the local bars in various Latin American
capitals. The first one we did was in Costa Rica, and subsequently we did them
in every Central American country other than Nicaragua, and we did them in a
number of South American countries. We did these for about fifteen years and
finally expanded our horizons to the roots of the Latin American legal systems by
having programs in Madrid and in Barcelona. I am not sure what this had to do
with it, but the last one we did was in Athens, Greece. So that involved a lot of
travel in terms of setting them up, meeting with the local bar officers and with our
embassy people and making the arrangements, and then going back six months
later and doing the programs.
P: You have taught in a lot of the world. You taught in Seoul, South Korea.
H: Yes. I had a Fulbright at Seoul National University's graduate law school in
P: You taught at Cambridge [and] Mexico City.
H: We had a summer program at Trinity College, Cambridge, for a number of years,
and I taught in that program.
P: Did you have any involvement in setting up the various exchange programs that
Florida has [with] Leiden [Netherlands], Poland, and various places?
H: Yes, I did. In fact, the very first one we did was in 1971 in Mexico City. I had a
lot to do with setting that one up. Professor [Michael W.] Gordon and I taught in
it, and then I taught in that one a couple other years. Shortly after that we
created the Cambridge-Warsaw program, and I also taught in that. I was either
assistant or associate or acting or interim dean throughout that period, so I had a
lot to do with setting that up and so on.
P: The law school has talked about an LL.M. in international law for a decade, I
H: No, that is not right. We have talked about an LL.M. in comparative law.
P: OK. Will it happen? Should it happen?
H: Well, I hope it will happen, but I am not sure when it will happen. Throughout
my stay here at the law school, which is now thirty-one years, going on thirty-two,
the obstacle has been the Graduate School. When I first came here in 1962, I
learned that the college had been trying to inaugurate an LL.M. in taxation for a
number of years, and the then-dean of the Graduate School, Dean [Linton E.]
Grinter, had thrown up every possible obstacle. It was another ten years before
he retired, and we finally were able to inaugurate the LL.M. in taxation, which is
now widely recognized as being the number-two program in the United States.
We could have one of the best LL.M. in comparative law programs in the United
States with very little cost to the Florida taxpayer were it not for the intransigence
of the present dean of the Graduate School, Madelyn Lockhart.
P: She will not be there much longer.
H: Well, she has no concept of an LL.M. in comparative law. We brought Professor
McDougal down from Yale to meet with her and to explain how the Yale program
operates. I think it is generally considered the top one in the world. The goal of
the Yale program has always been to train those who might teach or serve in
government service in their respective countries, and indeed the Yale law school
has trained such public servants all over the world. Despite having Professor
McDougal explain this, Dean Lockhart still does not understand. As a result, we
have still not begun a program, although we are fully ready and competent to do
P: I had not planned to talk about it, but since you brought it up, as a joint-degree
student, I find that there is very little understanding in the Graduate School of
what the law school does, and there is very little understanding in the law school
of what the Graduate School does. Professors in both tell me how weak the
other one's program is and how easy their classes are. Is that just lack of
knowledge or professional jealousy?
H: I do not now the explanation. I suspect that a lot of it is professional jealousy,
but I think the professional jealousy stems more from the salary differential than
any other single thing.
P: That is a factor.
H: This is one way in which that expresses itself. For many years, beginning in
1976, I taught a seminar in historic preservation law with [Frank] Blair Reeves at
the architecture school. He is the one who requested it, and we had an even
distribution of law students and graduate architectural students in the
preservation option. This operated with no difficulty whatsoever until Blair retired
(because his name was on the teaching roster as well as mine, and of course, he
was a member of the architecture faculty). Once he retired and Dean Lockhart
learned of this, she indicated, "Certainly graduate architecture students can take
the seminar, but they cannot get credit for it because law study is not
graduate-level work." It is really ironic that all those years the architecture
school gave their students three hours credit for the seminar where we gave our
own law students only two hours credit for the same work. So certainly there
was some differentiation being made there.
This has so far been insoluble. The same thing occurred with respect to the art
law seminar I taught and [continue to] teach. The first two or three years I had
graduate art students as well as law students. Now the same problem exists. I
think that this is incredibly destructive in terms of any notion of what a university
is about. The great strength of this University is that all units are on a single
campus, and we have the ability to do interdisciplinary work of this sort. Dean
Lockhart and those who support her view have made this impossible.
P: Well, we do [have that capability] in theory, but based on where we are
positioned with relation to the rest of the campus and having different calendars
and different class schedules and no parking space, it is not that practical, at
least from the student's standpoint.
H: Well, it was not insuperable. Indeed, when we were doing it in architecture we
usually held our meetings there rather than here, so the law students had to go to
the other part of the campus.
P: I guess the point of that is that there is not a lot of effort made to facilitate it.
H: Well, that is certainly the case, although I think we are ready, willing, able, [and]
anxious to have graduate architecture students and graduate art students in our
P: Since you brought up that seminar, [let's talk about] historic preservation. It is
one of your big areas of interest. How did you get involved in historic
H: Well, I have always been interested in architecture, going back to my childhood.
In Humboldt my family was in that community for a long time, so there were
nineteenth-century family houses both in town and out in the country and on our
farms, and we spent a lot of time on Sundays in the country looking for ancestors
in country churchyards and what have you. Then I was in military school in
Columbia, and Columbia is very rich in antebellum structures and magnificent
plantation homes in the countryside. We did a lot of hiking on those back
country roads, and I became more interested in the architecture. Then at
Vanderbilt, Nashville is quite rich in architectural history, with buildings by William
Strickland--the capitol as well as others. He came down from Philadelphia. So
I knew quite a bit about architecture and pursued it as a hobby.
Then in 1976, as I indicated, Blair Reeves asked if I would consider teaching a
seminar on historic preservation law. The following year we had a distinguished
visiting professor here at the University, Bill Murtagh, who was then the Keeper
of the National Register of Historic Places. He was given a three-month leave of
absence from his office in Washington, and we did the seminar together. I
guess that was in 1976 or 1977. By virtue of my acquaintance with Bill, I
became a member of the board of directors of the Victorian Society in America.
That is headquartered in Philadelphia at the Athenaeum, which required me to be
there two or three times a year. We also met around the country. So I became
more involved with the preservation community. I was then asked to serve as a
member of the board of advisors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Shall I keep going with respect to this?
P: Sure. One thing I wanted to bring up, though, [is that] I talked to the
administrator on the main campus last week and told him I was interviewing you,
and he said, "I would classify him as one of the five most-involved faculty
members in the whole University as far as being involved in the community in
doing things." You have been involved with Historic Gainesville, Inc., the Florida
Museum of Natural History board, historic St. Augustine, [and] the Matheson
Historical Center [in Gainesville]. You are involved locally as well as nationally.
How did you get started in the local scene?
H: Well, probably through the Thomas Center--the conversion of the Hotel Thomas
to the Thomas Center that we know now. I was asked by Lucille Maloney, who
was very active in that--of course, Lucille's husband [Frank Edward Maloney,
dean, UF College of Law] had hired me back in 1962--if I would help with that, so
I incorporated the Thomas Center Associates, which is a private support group
for the Thomas Center, and I served on their board. Certainly I have spent a lot
of time and money on that project.
That, I suppose, led to my involvement in the Matheson Historical Center when
[Gainesville physician] Mark Barrow became interested in creating a local history
museum and archives. (He is my doctor.) Mark, of course, has long had an
interest in such matters. His wife Mary served as a vice president of the Florida
Trust for Historic Preservation, which I had incorporated and later served as
president. So there are all of these interlocking relationships in the preservation
P: The Barrows have bought numerous houses in east Gainesville and restored and
sold them. Have you ever been involved in any of that?
H: No, I have not. Actually, they have sold very few. They have just bought them.
P: OK. Well, they certainly have been involved. You are on Historic Gainesville,
H: I am just a member. I am not a board member.
P: OK. You wrote a textbook a few years ago, Historic Preservation in Florida
, which is considered to be the definitive work on the subject.
H: Well, it is definitive because it is the only one. [laughter]
P: That is even better. [laughter]
H: I had two co-authors, one of whom was a product of the preservation law
seminar, Caryl Brinson, and the other is a graduate of our law school, John
P: Do you think that historic preservation law is now your major academic interest in
H: I suppose so, in terms of any nationally-recognized expertise.
P: Is it what you personally enjoy the most?
H: Well, I also enjoy the art law, but I have been teaching it for a much shorter
P: That is closely related. How did you get involved in art law?
H: Because I think the same philosophical issue is at the heart of both art law and
historic preservation law, and that is what we loosely refer to in the legal world as
the "taking issue." If there is to be any meaningful historic preservation, there
must be some sort of regulation, and the question always arises as to the point at
which regulation for historic preservation purposes rises to the level of the taking
of someone's private property. The same thing, I think, is true in the art world.
When I first became interested, the United States as a federal entity did not
recognize the concept of the moral rights of artists--Droit Moral, as it is known in
Europe--although this concept had ben recognized in France and most western
European countries since early in the century. This is a concept whereby the
artist retains a personality interest in the integrity of his or her work, even though
the work may be sold. This is totally aside from copyright, and it is qualitatively
different from the various property interests that we think of in intellectual
property. Under that notion, even though you may have bought a painting or a
sculpture, you have no right to alter it or to destroy it. Well, that raises the same
basic issue: "It is my property, and I can do as I damn well please with it." In
1990 our Congress passed the Visual Artists Rights Act which says, "No, you
cannot." So it will be very interesting to see the case law as this is tested over
P: I can see the current [U.S.] Supreme Court taking a dim view, with their
emphasis on vested property rights.
H: We will have to wait and see. But beginning in the late 1970s, states like
California and New York adopted their own versions of Droit Moral, so there were
precedents for it at the state level. Florida had not, and most states had not, but
now, as I say, it is a matter of federal law. Under this new law, for example,
what was done over at Shands three years ago could not be done. The Dental
Guild had commissioned Ellie Blair to do a major mural there, and she did. The
Shands staff made the decision to wallpaper it when they redecorated. That is
the kind of thing that could not routinely be done under this new federal
P: That is of interest to me. What disposition is made when the owner decides that
he or she no longer wants it? Do they simply give it back to the artist, or are
they stuck with it?
H: Well, they are stuck with it unless they want to offer it back to the artist. In fact,
there are provisions with respect to features that are affixed to buildings whereby
the building owner must notify the artist that they plan to remodel or whatever,
and the artist must be given an opportunity to remove the work. This means,
with respect to murals, for example, that in the future they will be placed in such
a fashion that they are removable. There is a very elaborate registration
system, and it is the business of the artist to update the registrar in Washington
as they change addresses so this notification can occur.
But with respect to a movable piece like a painting or a sculpture, if an owner
were to destroy it there is a tort action provided in the federal statute against the
P: I may be wrong, but I suspect the vast majority of the general public has no idea
this law even exists.
H: Well, I think that is entirely likely, because it attracted very little attention in the
national press. Certainly Art News and Art in America carried articles about it,
but that was about the extent of it. I am not even sure that most artists know
about it. I am doing a lecture for Robin Poynor [UF professor of art], and I do
several guest lectures over in the art school each year in which I deal with this
issue, among others.
P: No one knows, but I would think that could engender a lot of litigation in the
future as time goes on.
H: It may. It also will provide new work for art historians and artists and art
museum directors because of the way the statute is written. For some reason
the tort action provided for destruction of art is only provided with respect to
works of recognized stature. The tort action provided with respect to alteration
or modification does not require that the work be of recognized stature, but
destruction must be [of an artwork of] a recognized stature. There is no
definition in the statute of what is "recognized stature," and that is going to
require the calling of expert witnesses, as we have in the law generally, and that
is going to mean art historians and artists and directors of museums, so they are
going to have a very lucrative new source of income.
P: Since you have been involved in so much we will not cover it all. You were
involved in the planning for the art museum [the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art]
long ago, back when it was projected to be on the corner of [SW] 13th [Street]
and Museum Road.
P: Tell me a little about that process--how you got involved, the steps leading up to
the so-called "Miracle on 34th Street."
H: I suppose that it goes back to the death of Bob Stanley. His widow, Patty, is
now married to Jose Medina. She and her husband had a very interesting
contemporary house out on Lake Wauburg. I will not go into the details; they
are all in The Gainesville Sun. He was killed. They had been significant art
collectors, so some of his work was given to the University Gallery, which already
existed, as a memorial. That led a group of us to get together at Mike and Buff
Gordon's [Michael Wallace Gordon, Professor of Law] house to talk about
forming what became the Gallery Guild, which would be a private support group
for the University Gallery but with a long-term goal of creating a real art museum
I was active in forming the Gallery Guild. In fact, Frank Maloney and I drew up
the bylaws for the group, and I served as the second president of the Gallery
Guild. The Gallery Guild existed as an entity until the Ham opened, and then
the Gallery Guild was disbanded. But that was the beginning of my involvement.
A steering committee was formed which was chaired by Bill Hadley. It was a
committee comprised mainly of people in the community and not University
people--I was one of two University people on the steering committee, I think--to
try to raise seed money to pay for a campaign to raise big money for an art
museum. We began meeting monthly, I guess. I recall that we had to get
then-President [Robert Q.] Marston's permission to do this, and he gave it. He
thought we were crazy, because nobody was ever going to give money for an art
museum. To his considerable astonishment, the David Cofrin family gave $3
million. At that time, that was the largest single gift the University had ever
received. Well, that changed the picture, and of course, we got the Harn
P: You have also been, or at least were for a considerable time, a Florida Museum
of Natural History Associates board member, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society,
Florida Arts Celebration, the Hippodrome.
H: I have never been active with the Hippodrome, but I did serve as president of the
Museum Associates for a couple of years, and I am presently serving as
president of the Rawlings Society. I am coordinating the annual meeting tonight
in Palatka. I was president of the Florida Arts Celebration, and I am presently
on that board. I think that has been a very vital force in the community culturally.
P: Are you involved in the planning or the fund-raising or anything else for the new
display museum of the Florida Museum of Natural History?
H: I served on the steering committee for that group, and I guess I am still on it,
although I have not been very active other than to give them money every year.
Fortunately this is the last year of my five-year pledge, and I will be released from
P: You will probably sign up for something else at that point. Has your interest in
the arts just grown out of your personal life?
P: Let us go back and talk about your career here at the University or at the law
school. You have been heavily involved in administration. You came here in
1962. What made you decide to come to Florida?
H: The weather, and the fact that it was in the South. I decided when I was in New
Haven during the fall that I would interview for a teaching position. I still was not
sure that was what I was going to do and still was considering practice, but
teaching became increasingly attractive because I enjoyed very much what I was
doing, and I had enjoyed the year teaching at Ole Miss. In those days the
technique for getting placed in a law school was to go to the annual meeting of
the Association of American Law Schools, which always occurred in Chicago
between December 28 and 30, no matter what day of the week that was. It
always happened at the old hotel that was on the lake there. It has been torn
down since. There was a long area called the passagio, and the directors of the
various graduate programs like Professor McDougal would stand somewhere or
sit somewhere in the passagio with his "products" surrounding him, and he would
grab people as they went by and try to set up interviews. Sometimes it is called
the slave market, sometimes the meat market. In any event, it was all taking
place at the passagio, and then you would go up to somebody's hotel room and
interview. I was asked to interview at several places, but the only Southern
school that was really hiring that year was the University of Florida, so I flew
I left New Haven in the sleet and snow in early February and got off the plane in
Jacksonville to about eighty-degree, sunny weather, and I knew immediately this
was the right place; I thought that there must be some life better than that in New
Haven where we went underground in October and stayed until May.
In those days, of course, you could not fly into Gainesville, so I flew to
Jacksonville and took a Greyhound bus here. Fletcher Baldwin was being
interviewed at the same time. We had never met each other before, but we
gathered together in Jacksonville and came over on the bus. The school was so
poor that they put us in the same room at the Travelodge downtown--perfect
strangers. We had to walk from the Travelodge to the law school to be
interviewed the next day.
P: The law school was at Bryan Hall then, so it was a lot closer. But still it was at
least a mile.
H: Yes. We both were made offers and took the jobs.
P: Tell me about Dean Maloney. He was, of course, a great expert in water law.
H: Yes, that was his specialty. Of course, he taught torts as a basic course. He
was certainly the person responsible for the building we are in now. He even
succeeded in getting the federal law changed so that law schools were
considered graduate facilities for the purposes of [obtaining] funding that was
available for graduate facilities but not for anything else. Sam Gibbons, who is
an alumnus of ours  worked with him on that. That was the way a major
portion of the funding for this building came about.
P: You came here in 1962 and were an assistant professor for three years. In
1965 you are both promoted to associate professor and you become assistant
dean. That seems a meteoric rise, if I have my dates right.
H: Well, I do not think it was meteoric. I think that is the general pattern for law
P: Well, to be promoted in three years is, but to become a dean is not.
H: I think I took it by default. Nobody else wanted it. In fact, I had no intention of
remaining in administration. I never wanted to be an administrator. It just sort
of happened. Then I managed to be an administrator for seventeen years.
P: When you first came here what did you teach?
H: Let me see. I taught a different course every term for about the first three years.
I taught legal method, civil procedure, and workmen's compensation. I do not
even remember all the things I taught, but I taught a lot of different courses.
P: That would seem to be a difficult assignment.
H: Well, it was what happened in teaching generally around the country. The
newest teacher taught whatever anyone senior did not want to teach.
P: Law students constantly complain that they have teachers who have never
practiced, and law professors usually resent that to a great degree. Do you feel
that practical, hands-on experience has any part in law school, or should it be
H: I think that it should be mostly academic, but I certainly believe that it is desirable
for someone to have practice experience before they teach. I have always said
that, even though I never did it. The problem is that once I got into teaching it
was all but impossible to take off for three years. It was unfair to a firm to say, "I
want to come practice with you for three years, and then I want to go back to
teaching." My career was unplanned; it just happened. It is not what I would
recommend. I would recommend that someone have at least three years of
practice before they go into teaching.
P: Realistically speaking, wouldn't that person be at a distinct disadvantage in the
hiring process over someone that had done the LL.M. and judicial courtship
H: Well, they are not exclusive. I think that one can practice for three years, then
do the Yale year, and so on. That often happens and has happened.
The other possibility, of course, is that you hire someone out of practice, have
them teach for a year, and then send them to Yale, which we did with Professor
[Winton E.] Williams and Professor Mary Twitchell, as an example. In fact, I
think a person gets more out of the graduate experience if they have taught for a
year or two.
P: What was the law school like when you arrived in 1962? Of course, it was in
H: It was small, very small, and [almost] all male. We had two full-time female law
students. Of course, Betty Taylor was our law librarian, although she was also a
part-time law student at the time.
P: So Anne [Cawthon] Booth had just left; she graduated in 1961.
H: That is right; she graduated before that. There were two here: Sylvia
Hardaway [Walbolt], who is now in Tampa with Reece Smith's firm--her husband
is a vice president at USF-- and Johanna Lenz [Fusco], who subsequently went
to Jacksonville to practice. I do not know what has happened to her, but they
were the two women who were in law school [then].
P: Was the building already overcrowded by that time, or was it still small enough
that it was functional?
H: It was very comfortable at the time. The tremendous demand occurred, really,
three or four years later.
P: How did you find the students when you got here? How were they intellectually
and academically? How would they compare to today's students?
H: Well, certainly the best students, perhaps 30 percent of the students, were every
bit as bright as those we have today, but there was a much greater range. In
those days there simply was no great demand to get into law school, and as a
result, most anybody who applied could get in. Our attrition rate was about 40
percent, and effectively the first year served as the screening process. Anybody
could get in, but 40 percent flunked out. That is the difference.
P: What about the faculty? What type of faculty did this law school have in 1962?
H: Most of the people on the faculty had gone through the Yale graduate program,
so it was a very heavily Yale-oriented faculty.
P: Yes. Dean Maloney's predecessor, Dean [Henry A.] Fenn, had come from Yale,
and the rumor was that he hired only Yale people.
H: Well, that probably is true. Of course, the faculty played no role in hiring. He
simply went to New Haven and hired people.
P: When Dean Maloney retired, there was some faculty dissension and division.
Tell me a little bit about that. What brought that up?
H: I am not sure of all the things that brought it about, but certainly one of the
reasons had to do with some very senior faculty who were disgruntled that they
did not become dean when Frank Maloney became dean. In particular I am
talking about [Richard B.] Dick Stephens, who was the tax teacher here, and
[Robert B.] Bob Mautz, who later served as chancellor of the State University
At the time I came here, Bob had just moved over to Tigert [Hall] as an
administrator, but at the time Frank became dean, Bob was on the faculty here.
Both Bob and Dick aspired to be dean, and neither ever forgave Frank for
becoming dean. I think Bob made Frank's life very difficult from the outside as
an administrator, and certainly Dick Stephens made his life very difficult on the
inside as a senior faculty member who influenced a number of the younger
Then there were other divisions which were both philosophical and political. So
yes, there were factions and splits.
P: There was a group called the Young Turks that was alleged to be radically far
left. I guess Professor [Fletcher] Baldwin was one who is still here, and the
others have long since moved away. Integration was coming at that time.
H: Well, we had already been integrated at that point. Our second black law
student, George Allen, was here when I came, so I do not think integration of the
law school was a real issue at that point. That was past us.
P: There had been a lot of controversy and faculty dissension before you came
here--but early in Dean Maloney's tenure--over Virgil Hawkins. That is my
understanding, but maybe that is not correct.
H: Well, I suspect it was.
P: It dragged on for years. It started in the late 1940s and ended in, I think, 1957 or
H: It started with Dean Fenn. I just did not feel it was an issue by the time I got
P: Apparently the story was that Dean Maloney had been told that when the
[admission] standards were raised in response to the Hawkins case that it would
not be used to keep blacks out, and then the administration of the University and
the state legislature had kind of reneged on it, and there were some faculty that
blamed him for it. He was caught in the middle.
H: I do not know, but it was before my time.
P: You became assistant dean in 1965; I take it Dean Maloney asked you to do that.
P: What did you do as assistant dean?
H: I handled everything that he did not want to handle. Edie Jennings, who was his
administrative assistant, and I just did whatever was needed. In a sense I
succeeded Bob Mautz. Bob had been an assistant dean. Of course, he moved
to Tigert, and there was a period when there was no assistant dean, a long
period, like three years.
P: Were you involved in scheduling, student affairs ..
H: Yes, all of that. Everything. Whatever there was.
P: OK. The new building--I guess they moved over here in 1969.
P: When did they start thinking about it, and when did it become a real potential?
Tell me a little bit of the process involved in moving over here, from the ideal to
H: I guess there was talk about it as early as 1965. In October of 1967 we had
Tom Clark here as our person to wield the first shovel--he was still on the U.S.
Supreme Court at that point. But the process leading up to it was working with
the architectural firm of Pancoast, Grafton, Ferendino & Skeels from Miami. We
were very fortunate in that ours was one of the first projects in which an outside
architectural firm was brought in. Up to that point the Board of Regents had
their own architect and architectural staff, and they sort of designed
everything--and it looked like it.
Ed Grafton, who just died in the last year, was the brother of Rhea Chiles [wife of
Governor Lawton Chiles], and Lester Pancoast, who was the son of the main
partner of the architectural firm, came up here often and met with our building
committee and our faculty. The faculty had a tremendous input into the program
for the building. They had no input at all into the design of it in terms of the
aesthetics, but insofar as the program is concerned, the faculty played a
tremendous role. In fact, the reason that it is all but impossible for students to
find faculty is that faculty wanted it that way. The offices are up here in such an
inaccessible place because the faculty as a whole did not want to be accessible
to the students. That was not my view, but it clearly was the view of the majority
of the faculty. After months and months of meetings the plans were finalized,
the bids were invited, and the building got underway. Again, I think it was in
Then we dedicated the building in 1969--1 think it was in February. We had
then-Chief Justice [Earl] Warren and an unknown appellate court judge named
Warren Burger. Senator [Spessard L.] Holland [for whom the building is named]
was here. In fact, the three of them flew down together on Air Force 2 or
whatever it was. I went out to the airport to meet them because I was Warren's
escort throughout the period. It was an interesting experience. We put them all
up over at the Reitz Union.
We had asked Warren Burger to participate because we wanted to do some sort
of meaningful symposium as part of the dedication, and our then-associate dean,
Len Powers, had been teaching law and medicine for a number of years and was
interested in the ethical legal relationships of what was happening in the medical
world. So I think I coined the title for the symposium, "The New Biology and the
Law." We then started looking around for somebody who had written some
opinions in this area, and we discovered that Warren Burger had. That is why
we invited him. Of course, we had him and Warren on the stage together, and
no one dreamed that within a matter of months he would be the next chief justice
of the Supreme Court, so we are probably the only institution that had the two of
them together. That was a very impressive occasion, and that was the
dedication of the building. We had actually moved in, I guess, right after
P: Since you are so interested in architecture, tell me what you think about the
H: I have always liked the building. I think that the building was a much more
handsome building before we started tinkering with it--when it was furnished as
the architects designed it to be furnished. They had a staff that selected carpet,
furniture, and all the things, and it was really coordinated from one end to the
other. I look at it now and see all of the exposed conduit and the
pseudo-Georgian faculty lounge and dean's suite, and it is not at all as they
designed it. We had partitioned and partitioned and partitioned.
The major compromise that was struck--I have always regretted this and always
shall; I think about it often--has to do with light: The architects designed this
building so that there were two more bays in the length of the building, and those
two bays occurred between what is the library portion of the building and the
classroom portion. That would have meant there would have been four more
offices on each side. Then in the middle, between where those offices would
have been, there would have been an opening to the sky, so that the dark tunnel
effect that you get as you walk through would have been open [instead], with
trees and greenery there; it would have let light into the building's center. That
was cut, as I understand it, as per [UF] President Reitz's order. He took the
money and used it to renovate the old union building that is now [Manning] Dauer
Hall. That was unfortunate and very shortsighted. In fact, the money that was
taken was essentially the money that Frank had gotten by virtue of getting the
federal legislation reinterpreted so that we got those federal funds. I know it was
a very disappointing event as far as Dean Maloney is concerned.
This building designed in a period when architects did not want any windows, and
we had the most heated battle in order to get these little slits, because the
architects really did not want us to have any glass at all in these offices. When
the second building was built [Bruton-Geer Hall], state law required operable
windows, so the situation had changed dramatically. But in terms of the time
this was built, it was state of the art, and I think it was good design aesthetically.
I just disagree about pulling those funds, resulting in considerably less light and
atmosphere. I know Chester Ferguson, who at the time was chairman of the
Board of Regents, referred to the stair towers on the outside as the urinal, as the
silos, and as various other things.
P: A significant number of people are not thrilled with those. In 1970 Dean
Maloney [returned to full-time teaching], and you became acting dean for several
months. First of all, why were you chosen to be acting dean? I also want you
to talk about the search process.
H: Well, I was the assistant dean, and Len Powers, who was the associate dean,
was a dean candidate, so it was inappropriate for him to serve as acting dean (at
least that was the view of the administration, and I guess that is correct). In
those days we had so much democracy that the faculty voted on who would be
the acting dean, and I guess I ended up as the acting dean because I got the
least number of negative votes.
It is interesting to contrast that situation with what happened ten years later when
Dick Julin stepped down from the deanship. By that time the president of the
University [was Robert Q. Marston]. I was in Portugal setting up one of these
programs for the bar, for the international law section, when that decision [to
name me as acting dean] was made. I recall when I returned that my car was
stranded in Tampa, and I called Dick to tell him that I was not going to get back
until Monday because I could not get anybody to do anything with the car on
Sunday. He said, "President Marston is trying to contact you because he wants
to announce my stepping down as dean and your appointment as acting dean to
the faculty when they meet Monday afternoon." So there was no notion
whatsoever that the faculty had any role at all to play in this. That was the first I
knew that Dick was stepping down.
I did make it back in time for the meeting, and Marston came over and
announced that I was going to be [acting dean]. I said I did not want to be acting
dean this time--I wanted them to appoint me interim dean. They said they did
not care what I was called. But I remember Dean [Robert J.] Bob Farley
[professor of law] had told me never to be acting dean again. He said, "Get
them to make you dean pro tem or interim dean. Then they do not know what
you really are, but you probably have a little more power." E. T. York had just
served a year as interim president [of the University], and I knew there was
precedent for interim. So they appointed me interim dean. It was supposed to
have been for a very short period, but, of course, we got involved in the
government in the sunshine litigation, and I ended up serving much longer than I
P: Before we talk about that, let us talk about the search process when Dean Julin
was brought here, the first time you were acting dean. It is kind of unusual for
this law school to bring in a national figure, whereas in the past the deans had
been chosen from the existing faculty. What was behind that?
H: Well, that is not true, because Fenn was not [a faculty member before he was
named dean]. In fact, I think the only one ever chosen from the existing faculty
P: Dean [Harry R.] Trusler was on the faculty.
H: Was he? OK. I was thinking he had been brought in.
P: He had been on the faculty, although the faculty was very small. There were
only three originally.
H: I never thought of him as being local. I thought of him as a Michigan person.
P: He was a Michigan person. His wife was from Florida, but he had been brought
here to teach. How did the process work for the selection of Dean Julin?
H: I do not recall a lot about it. I was elected to the search committee; there had
been an elected search committee, and we narrowed the search, I guess, to five
people. Then we brought them in for interviews, and he emerged as the top
contender, and he took the job.
P: During his administration you continued to serve as assistant dean?
H: No, I served as associate dean.
P: That is right; you were associate dean under him. I am sorry. During that
period the law school grew a lot, the LL.M. program [in taxation] was established,
[and] there was a lot of student radicalism nationwide.
H: Actually the LL.M. program was established when Maloney was still dean.
P: Was it? OK. Tell me what the law school was like then, in the 1970s.
Certainly it grew rapidly, and more women [enrolled], although they still were
relatively few in number.
H: Well, the demand for admission was rising. It grew enormously, so our
admissions process became a very important part of the whole operation. He
was very good at alumni relations, I think, and the Law Center Association that
Dean Maloney had founded [was moved] much further along in terms of money.
I think that he enjoyed the travel associated with the A.B.A. legal education
section, of which he moved up to chair. I think he brought a lot of national
stature to the school because of his involvement in various things nationally. I
felt that he was a very good dean. He delegated a lot more responsibility--much
more than Frank was able to. His was never a crisis management style.
Everything got done early in the day, and the secretaries knew they could go
home at five o'clock. With Frank, everything suddenly had to be done after five
o'clock on Fridays. Dick's was a very different style.
P: The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a lot of student radicalism. Certainly it
came later to the University of Florida campus; it was in the 1970s. Did that
affect the law school?
H: Relatively little. I think that Dick was very much involved with Mike Gannon
[professor of history and religion] in dealing with crises on the main campus, but I
felt there was relatively little of it in the law school.
P: When Dean Julin resigned, you became interim dean, and you talked a little
about how that was. What was the University looking for when they began to
search for a new dean?
H: Again, I think they were looking for someone of national stature who would be an
effective fund raiser. I think by that time it was recognized that we were a big
business and we needed somebody who was not just a good scholar but also a
good manager, and we set out looking for someone of that sort. The first time
around we established our own ground rules to require that a candidate receive
such a high percentage of positive votes that we could not agree on very many
candidates. Then, of course, the [government in the] sunshine law controversy
P: Will you discuss that a little bit for the record?
H: Tom Julin, Dick Julin's son, was editor of the Alligator, and the Alligator (I cannot
remember whether The Gainesville Sun joined in or not) sued in local courts to
open the search process to the press, and it was successful in doing so. So all
meetings of the faculty and all votes were required to be public. This is the law
now as far as I know, although it has amazed me having just served on the
search committee for the new vice presidential position how little interest the
press has in that. Only once or twice did anyone from the press show up at any
of our meetings. But at all the meetings of the law dean search there were
always lots of media present. It shows how much more important the law school
is than the Graduate School and the Division of Sponsored Research!
P: It is politically more important, at least. Do you think that is a good process? It
has been viciously criticized.
H: I think that certainly it kept a lot of highly qualified candidates from agreeing to be
considered. I know that for a fact because they told me so on the telephone.
They simply refused to be a candidate here because they did not want a number
of things: they did not want people at their home institutions to know that they
were looking around, and perhaps they did not want to be the subject of public
discussion and publicity. It clearly affects those you have in your candidate pool.
H: So you would like to see that law changed.
H: I think on balance we would get a larger pool of highly qualified candidates if it
P: OK. When Dean [Frank T.] Read was chosen, you said the school was looking
for a national figure. Tell me a little bit about him. I guess you continued to
serve as associate dean early in his administration. What was his philosophy?
H: Well, I agreed to serve for one year while he found someone else, but I made it
clear to him at the time that I wanted to return to full-time teaching, so there was
no question about that from the outset. I had known Tom through the Law
School Admission Council for quite a long time. In fact, I got on the phone the
day that the deadline was occurring with respect to the second dean search. As
I said, we got no dean out of the first search, so we were pretty desperate to get
people to permit their names to be in the search. So many had said, "No, I will
not do it under those circumstances," so I was asked by the faculty search
committee to encourage him to have his name in. All that was required was that
they agree verbally by the deadline, and they could follow that up in writing. I did
call and encouraged him to do so, and he agreed to do so. Although, of course,
we interviewed other people, he ended up as the one who was selected. He
thoroughly enjoyed the external responsibilities in terms of traveling the state
P: Certainly that is his image, as a fund raiser.
H: He just liked people and that kind of activity. I found him a very pleasant person
to work with. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about him.
P: Since he was primarily involved externally, I take it his associate dean did most
of the day-to-day administration of the law school.
P: You left as associate dean in 1982 and went back to full-time teaching?
H: Yes, and that permitted me to do a number of things. It permitted me to be
much more active in these other things, like the Florida Trust, for example.
When I was asked to be president of the Florida Trust I did it only after getting
[Dean Read's] agreement because I realized that it would take a lot of time and,
indeed, resources in the sense of secretarial resources and what have you. But
he saw it as being a valuable contribution to the state and wholeheartedly
supported that. The same thing was true with the other activities that I
undertook. They were viewed as public service, and, of course, one of the three
things that faculty members are required to demonstrate involvement in is public
service, so everything I did along those lines he viewed as public service. I was
appointed to the state Historic Preservation Advisory Council when the legislature
created that. It was a four-year appointment, and I ended up chairing it. Then I
was appointed by Governor Graham to the historic St. Augustine preservation
board, although [Governor] Martinez very quickly fired me when he became
P: Really? [laughter] Tell us a little bit about that. That was somewhat
H: Of course, I was in the [same] position that a number of regents were. They
were appointed by Graham after the senate had adjourned for the year, and
those appointments, like mine, are subject to senatorial confirmation. So when
Martinez became governor, he informed everyone who had been appointed by
Graham and was in that situation that he was firing them and would be making
his own appointments.
As a matter of fact, the first person appointed to succeed me, according to the
[Florida] Times-Union had such an extreme conflict of interest that his name had
to be withdrawn. The second person he appointed turned out to have a criminal
record, so the senate refused to confirm him. After the senate adjourned
Martinez reappointed him.
That was only a small part of the problem over there in St. Augustine. Of
course, the appointments there were all being called by Brian Ballard, who was
Martinez's assistant who graduated subsequently from our law school [class of
1988]. Brian's mother owned a little sandwich shop there on St. George Street,
and she got appointed. Then she decided who the other appointees should be.
Mike Gannon tried to hold on [to his position on the board], and did hold on a few
months, feeling that he could exercise some positive influence, but he finally
realized he could not, and he and the other two Graham appointees resigned.
Then the House Governmental Operations committee was so aghast at what was
happening there they held a hearing in St. Augustine. The upshot of that was
that the House was determined to get rid of that board, and the only way they
could do it was to abolish all the boards in Florida, and that is what happened.
Then the next year, after [Lawton] Chiles had become governor, six of the boards
were recreated, and Chiles appointed me to the present board. I am the only
person on the present board who served on the Graham board. No one had
ever politicized these boards until Martinez. Indeed, Gannon had been
appointed by Claude Kirk, and Graham had appointed one of the most prominent
Republicans in the United States, Lawrence Lewis from Richmond, Virginia, to
the board. But it became an entirely political board under Martinez and this
despite the fact that his patronage committee in that area recommended against
everything he did. But Brian Ballard seemed to have complete control, and the
patronage committee was ignored in all of this.
P: It was controversial because those preservation boards had not been politicized.
Some other boards had been very political in the past, and his actions in
withdrawing appointments also had a lot of precedent in politics.
H: Oh, sure.
P: But not with that level of boards, which were considered to be professional. We
tried to talk about each dean's administration, and we got up to the current dean,
Dean [Jeffrey] Lewis. I guess he succeeded you as associate dean.
H: That is correct.
P: And he became dean when Dean Read went to Hastings, which was somewhat
controversial in itself because we had several interim and acting people being
given the [permanent] positions on this campus at the same time Dean Madelyn
Lockhart, the acting dean of the Graduate School, was made permanent dean
[as was] the acting vice president for agricultural affairs, [Gerald Zachariah,]
which got a lot of negative press in the Chronicle of Higher Education. How was
the decision made to give the associate dean's job to Lewis?
H: Well, it clearly was Marshall Criser's decision. I was, again, elected to the
search committee, and I think by the time it all ended and various candidates
withdrew their names, we presented Marshall with only two names, those of Jerry
Israel and Jeff, and he selected Jeff.
P: Reportedly the two of them had identical votes on the faculty.
H: I do not recall; I really do not.
P: That is a major change. You are going from a search for a national figure, like
had been done with the previous two deans, to an internal candidate.
H: Well, it was not a major change in terms of the search, because Jerry certainly
was a national figure. In terms of the choice, the choice may have been a major
P: The choice is what I was talking about. What has Dean Lewis's approach been
as dean, and how would you contrast it with the other ones? I will not ask you to
H: I do not mind evaluating it. I think he has done a very good job. We are
presently engaged in a dean evaluation, which takes place after five years by
virtue of faculty mandate, and I am the one who has received all the letters from
the alumni we have surveyed in the sense of all the college council
representatives, and they have been uniformly positive with respect to Jeff. He
has certainly done an excellent job in terms of his willingness to go all over the
state and meet with alumni groups. Our annual fund has risen dramatically
during his tenure. In fact, he has had to raise money for all kinds of purposes. I
think he has been dean at the worst period anybody could ever have been dean,
and I think he has handled it very well indeed. I think the law school has fared
far better than most anybody else, and I think a lot of that is attributable to his
leadership. I feel he has done a good job.
P: He is also an external fund-raising dean primarily and lets the assistants [handle
the other administrative duties]?
H: Well, of course, we now have three associate deans, if you include tax, and we
have more assistant deans than I can count.
P: Liberal arts always complains about the fact that the law school has eight deans
for 1,200 students, and they have seven for 18,000. [laughter]
H: Well, I do not blame them. To the extent I have any criticism--this began before
Jeff--I question the size of the administrative staff that we have. I am sure that is
partly because I remember running a law school of 1,200 with one dean and one
assistant dean and Edie, and I did not think it was all that bad.
P: I understand that Dean Lewis would like, when [Associate] Dean [Dennis A.]
Calfee steps down, to make that a professional, nonteaching [position].
H: I think that would be a good move. I do not think that we need a law-trained
person to deal with building maintenance.
P: Let us talk about the law school today. Florida likes to say they are in the top
twenty, but nobody else seems to think so. How would you rate the quality of
the school in terms of students, faculty, facilities, [etc.]?
H: I think the quality of the students is very high. Certainly in terms of public
institutions, ours is in the top twenty. In terms of the faculty, we are probably in
the top twenty among public institutions. I mean, all you have to do is think
about public institutions, and it is not hard to say we are in the top twenty. Part
of the problem is that it takes a long time to acquire a reputation, and there are a
lot of law schools that are still coasting along or living on their reputations, like
the one at Chapel Hill or even Virginia.
Another part of it, and I do not see any way of solving this problem if it is a
problem, is that so much of your reputation depends upon sending your
graduates around the country, if not around the world, and the fact is that our
graduates do not want to go out around the country or around the world.
I happen to chair the academic standards committee, and in fact the major topic
the committee is dealing with now is a prescribed grading curve, and a major
reason for that is to deal with the problem you are describing. In fact, I am sure
our committee will make such a recommendation to the faculty. Whether the
faculty will accept it or not is something else.
But most of our graduates do not want to leave Florida, and in fact, the
out-of-state ones who have come here come here because they see Florida as a
growing state and a place where the action is. Certainly we send a substantial
number to Atlanta and to Washington for a brief period, although most go with
the notion of coming back to Florida after they have served in an agency or done
something like that. But our students do not really want to go to Chicago or St.
Louis for the most part, and that is a problem in terms of developing a national
reputation. Most of Michigan's graduates go somewhere else.
P: Even Virginia has substantial portions go [elsewhere].
H: Although we think of Virginia as public, it is semipublic. It has never been quite
like the University of Minnesota or Illinois or Georgia or Florida, in my opinion. In
fact, they had the luxury of having William and Mary after it became part of the
state system to send the inferior students to.
P: They still do.
H: They still go to a Virginia school. Anyway, I think ours is a very good law school,
and I think the various polls and things that you see in different magazines and
whatever are highly suspect, and I really do not pay any attention to them. The
breadth of the curriculum, the journals in which the younger faculty are
publishing, and things of that sort are very impressive.
P: They are. You are probably correct that those polls are not very accurate.
They do, however, have a great deal of influence on public perception, funding
decisions, hiring decisions, [and the like]. Do you think Florida will ever have the
reputation of public law schools like Texas, Michigan, some in the California
H: Well, it just depends on what kind of support we get from the state. We have
gotten wonderful private support; there is no question about that. In fact, we
would be in terrible circumstances now were it not for the private support that we
have developed over the years. Our alumni have been wonderful.
Unfortunately the legislature is not as wonderful.
P: It has been pretty bad for three years. So you really feel that money is the main
thing holding the school back right now?
H: Yes, I think money is a problem, primarily because we are going to lose these
wonderful young teachers if they have to go year after year with no raise. The
teachers who are the most movable are this group in their thirties. They do not
have a deep investment here in terms of homes or anything else, and many of
them are women. Of course, in our own hiring this year we have hired only
women; we have hired three women. We did not even interview anyone else.
P: That is correct.
H: Some of them are black. So the very people that we have hired are the people
who are most desirable for two reasons: number one, their sex or race, and also
the fact that they are very good and are publishing in the best journals. So they
are very marketable. While it is true that other states have had problems as
well, the private schools are hiring, and these are the people for whom we are
most likely to be raided. So I think that is really the depressing, scary part about
all of this. I think we have done a wonderful job of hiring in recent years, but I
think that that may all be destroyed as a result of a legislature that is so
interested in being reelected and in responding to the apparent voter demand
that taxes not be raised that we will lose it.
P: The last thing we will talk about is the curriculum itself. The curriculum has not
been [updated] for a couple of years. The faculty has been considering revising
it, and there is sort of a bromide around the country. The first year of law
school is great, the second is tolerable, and the third year is a waste of time and
everyone hates it. What are your visions, not just specifically for Florida, but
your opinions about the law school curriculum--issues like theoretical versus
clinical training, breadth of training versus narrow specialties, electives, the
H: Well, I am old fashioned, and I still think that the same kind of approach that I
found appealing at Vanderbilt, which was basically a liberal arts approach where
you learn a lot about classical disciplines and what have you, is a good approach,
and I think the same thing is true in law school--a liberal arts approach to the law.
I think the place where practical training should occur is really in the law firms. I
certainly recognize why the law firms are demanding that this be done in law
school; it saves them a lot of time and money. But I continually find that those
who are in the clinic courses find that those take priority, so they cut classes.
That is understandable because clinic is immediate, it is real-life, [and] it is very
exciting. But I think that the same sort of thing is going on there that you see
going on in schools like FSU. If you look around the country, there is no truly
first-rate law school in the nation's capital, and it is very hard to find a first-rate
one in a state capital. It is true that Harvard is in the vicinity of Boston, but the
Harvard students are not serving as legislative interns for the Massachusetts
legislature. When you look at FSU, most of the law students there are serving
as legislative interns in some form or other, and that is so much more exciting
and so much more immediate that the students there are not really law students.
P: Now, Yale has started requiring all of their second-semester students to take a
H: Well, that is all right. Yale has done a lot of stupid things, and that is another
P: [laughter] OK. I like an honest person.
H: I think it is a mistake. I do not get very excited about the curriculum review or
curriculum change because I have been through so many. I have them all up
there on the shelf. I think that most of us--Fletcher Baldwin would agree with
me--who have been through all of those just cannot get excited about it. We
continually reinvent the wheel. Here we are going back to essentially what we
had when we arrived: legal method, this "new" first-year course. It is really
funny in a sense. We have fought this battle four times since I have been here.
When you have done this so many times and have been deeply involved and
have devoted hours and hours and hours, you realize it really does not make a
lot of difference. Just wait a few years, and we will go back to where we were
P: That is interesting. Of course, there was this great controversy both among the
student body and certainly among the faculty over how the first-year courses
would be taught. It was voted on three times. I guess my attitude was it does
not make that much difference, but there literally are faculty members not
speaking to each other now over whether the course is going to be taught in one
semester or two.
H: Well, I have stayed very disengaged. I am speaking to everybody because,
again, I have learned over the years that it does not make a lot of difference.
P: They will probably switch back in a few years, anyway.
H: Yes. Absolutely.
P: You are about to finish your thirty-second year on the faculty. Looking back, do
you have any regrets about coming here?
H: None! I cannot think of anywhere I would rather have been in the last thirty-two
years. In fact, I stopped agreeing to interview elsewhere about twelve or fifteen
P: Ultimately, of course, the College of Law would like to use these tapes as part of
a history of the law school, perhaps for its centennial. Is there anything that I
have not covered that you feel we need to know about?
H: I think I have said enough.
P: Well, I thank you.
H: You are welcome.
[End of the interview]