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THROUGH AN OPEN DOOR?
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, 1946-1958
LEIGH ANN BAUER OSBORNE
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS IN EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Leigh Ann Bauer Osborne
This thesis is dedicated to my grandfather, Robert O. Bauer, to my grandmother, Addie
Payne, and in memory of Joyce Bauer and James E. Payne.
I would like to thank my advisor and committee chair, Dr. Sevan Terzian, for his
guidance and encouragement during the writing of this thesis as well as throughout my
graduate studies. I would also like to thank Dr. Richard Renner for serving on my
committee and for his insights on this thesis. The staff of the UF Special Collections
Library, particularly Carl Van Ness and Florence Turcotte, deserve acknowledgment for
their kind assistance as I searched through the University Archives. I am also thankful to
my co-workers at the International Center for their encouraging words.
Special recognition goes to my parents, Bill and Wanda Bauer, for their loving
support, helpful advice, and for always making time to take a trip to Gainesville. I am
forever grateful to my husband, Ryan, for his love and understanding, for always
knowing just what to say to keep me going, and for bringing me a cup of tea when I
needed it most.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A CK N OW LED GM EN TS ............................ .......................................................... ..... iv
L IST O F FIG U R E S .... ...... ...................... ........................ .. ....... .............. vii
A B STR A C T ............................................................................... .................... viii
1 INTRODUCTION ............... .................................. ................... 1
2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND REVIEW OF LITERATURE ....................... 6
Federal Legislation and the National Scene ...................................... ............... 6
Review of Literature ................ .... ....... ........................... ................. ..... .. .9
Historical Surveys of International Students and International Education .........10
Historical Surveys of American Higher Education............................................ 12
Literature from the Post-W W II Era..................................... .... ............... 16
The Role of the Federal Government and Private Foundations ..........................21
Administration of Foreign Student Programs..........................................24
Conclusions from the Review of Literature .................................................30
3 INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, 1946-
1 9 5 8 .................................................................................3 2
The Beginnings of the University of Florida, 1853-1946 .........................................32
University Expansion on all Fronts, 1946-1948 ............................... ............... 35
Re-Opening the Door to Foreign Students, 1948-1949............................................43
The Foreign Student "Problem," 1949-1950.......................................................... 46
Whither International Education at the University of Florida? 1949-1951 ..............51
Return of the Foreign Student "Problem," 1951-1952 .................... ....... ............58
The Adviser to Foreign Students: Years of Progress, 1952-1955 ............................61
New Definitions for Foreign Students at the University of Florida, 1955-1957 ........68
The Adviser to Foreign Students: Towards the Saturation Point, 1957-1958.............72
4 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION .................................... ......... ......................76
APPENDIX; INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AT UF AND IN THE U.S., 1946-
1 9 5 8 .............................................................................. 8 3
LIST OF REFEREN CES ............................................................. .................... 85
B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ..................................................................... ..................91
LIST OF FIGURES
International Students at UF, 1946-1958. ............................................... .....................83
International Students in the U.S., 1946-1958 ......................................................... ......84
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Education
THROUGH AN OPEN DOOR? INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, 1946-1958
Leigh Ann Bauer Osborne
Chair: Sevan G. Terzian
Major Department: School of Teaching and Learning
Following World War II, the University of Florida (UF), similar to many American
higher education institutions, experienced significant growth in all aspects of the
university. This thesis examines the history of international students at the University of
Florida from 1946 to 1958, when enrollment of these students from abroad increased
dramatically. The study highlights the administrations of three successive UF presidents
and the policies that were formed during this period to accommodate this new influx of
students from abroad. An account of the developments of UF's foreign student program
is provided using archival sources from UF presidential and administrative policy records
as well as personal correspondence between UF presidents, faculty members, and
individuals outside of the university. National sources regarding international students
and American higher education are also examined throughout this study to place the
developments at the University of Florida into a broader historical context.
The response of UF presidents John J. Tigert, J. Hillis Miller, and J. Wayne Reitz
to the university's role in hosting these sojourning students demonstrates the complexities
of foreign student programs on American campuses. For all three presidents, international
students rhetorically held an important place within the university, yet the administrative
decisions, or lack thereof, regarding the international student program at UF sent
ambiguous messages concerning the value of these students to the university, state, and
nation. To consider the factors that influenced this ambiguous response, the study
explores the relationship between UF presidents and the university's various
constituencies, including faculty and staff, and the state legislature and its governing
body for higher education, the Board of Control.
UF's mission as a public, land-grant institution to serve primarily the interests of
the state often conflicted with the president's ability to advocate for increased support of
international students. At the same time, many faculty and staff members advocated for
international students as a means to overcome provincialism and enhance the university's
international reputation. The history of international students at UF also reveals that from
1946 to 1958, the rationales for the importance of foreign students shifted from the goals
of peace and mutual exchange towards national foreign policy aims to ensure the spread
of American democratic principles. This shift in rationale was consistent with the larger
change nationwide, as the federal government became progressively more involved in
measures to support the presence of foreign students on American campuses.
In 1946, University of Florida president John J. Tigert indicated in a letter to a
hopeful French student that foreign students would not be admitted for the upcoming
academic year due to the "overcrowded conditions" caused by the flood of returned
World War II veterans enrolling at the university in record numbers.1 By 1958, the
university's advisor to foreign students, exasperated by the increased workload and lack
of staff, wrote that he was "not willing to go on doing this much longer" unless the
administration made changes to lessen his burden.2 During this period of twelve years
and three university presidents, the University of Florida (UF) grew dramatically into a
nationally prominent research university, with enrollment doubling from 6,334 in 1946 to
12,306 by 1958.3 The number of students from other countries enrolled at UF increased
significantly as well, from just 0.3 percent of the student body, with twenty-four foreign
students in 1946, to two percent, with 250 students, by 1958. Nationally, the number of
1 Tigert to Antoine, 10 August 1946, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series PlOb:
box 9, General Correspondence 1946. The term "foreign students" was used during this time period to
describe students from other countries who came to the United States for a limited period of time to earn a
college or university degree. This term, while still in use, was generally replaced with the more culturally
sensitive term "international students" in the late 1960s. For the purposes of this thesis, both "foreign
students" and "international students" will be used interchangeably.
2 Irving J. Putman, Report of the Adviser to Foreign Students 1957-58, University of Florida Archives,
Office of the President, Series P14a: box 31, Foreign Students & Visitors, 1955-67, 9.
3 University of Florida Office of Institutional Research, "Total enrollment for University of Florida from
1905-2003," http://www.ir.ufl.edu/factbook/enroll.htm (accessed June 2005). It was also during this time
period that UF developed from an all white, male institution to one that was coeducational (1947) and
accepted its first African-American student to the Law School (1958).
international students exploded from 10,341 in 1946 to 47,245 in 1958.4 The issue of
accommodating this new group of students from other countries became one that required
the attention of higher education administrators as never before.
At the end of World War II, the United States faced immense change with regards
to its place in the world as the nation shifted from its brief postwar jubilation towards a
cold war with the Soviet Union. Consequently, the federal government became
increasingly involved in funding research activities on American campuses, which altered
the academic landscape of many colleges and universities. Given this time of dramatic
change throughout the United States and the rapid expansion of its higher education
institutions, this thesis provides a detailed examination of the history of a large, public
land-grant institution, the University of Florida, and its response to this new influx of
students from overseas.
Although the history of international students at the University of Florida began
prior to 1946 and continued well beyond 1958, these twelve years were a pivotal period
of transformation at the University of Florida and at higher education institutions across
the nation. In regards to foreign students, the University of Florida evolved from severe
restrictions on foreign student enrollments in 1946 to admitting more foreign students in
1958 than could be adequately handled. On the national level during the period of this
study, three important federal measures, to be discussed in Chapter 2, affected higher
education programs for foreign students and international education: the Fulbright Act of
1946, the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, and the National Defense Education Act of 1958. In
4 Committee on Friendly Relations Among Foreign Students, The -nattic ialAmbassadors 1946 (New
York: Committee on Friendly Relations, 1946), 14. Institute of International Education, Open Doors 1958
(New York: Institute of International Education, 1958), 20.
addition, there is a dearth of historical works that detail the status of foreign students on
American campuses in general and in the postwar era in particular. Furthermore, foreign
students have not been considered in the existing University of Florida institutional
To map the history of international students at UF from 1946 to 1958, this thesis
poses the following questions: How did the University of Florida's administration
address the needs of international students? What were the rationales presented for or
against the presence of foreign students during these times of great change throughout the
university and the nation? To answer these questions, this thesis examines University of
Florida presidential and administrative policy records as well as personal correspondence
between UF presidents and various faculty members and individuals outside of the
university. Preceding the University of Florida case history is an overview of the federal
legislation regarding foreign students and international education in the postwar era. A
review of the literature, both from the period of study and current, is also presented to
frame the larger debates concerning the role of international students in American higher
education and to place the developments at UF into a broader historical context.
This examination of foreign students at the University of Florida from 1946 to 1958
reveals that while UF presidents appeared to value foreign students, they rarely defined
5 For University of Florida histories, see Samuel Proctor, "The University of Florida: Its Early Years, 1853-
1906" (PhD diss., University of Florida, 1958); Richard R. Alexander, "A Smooth Transition: Racial
Integration at the University of Florida, 1954-1958" (Unpublished typescript, University of Florida, 1995);
Neil D. Webb, "Fifty Years of Building the University of Florida, 1925 to 1975" (Gainesville: self-
published, 1997); Kevin McCarthy, F,gila' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football
(Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2000). For non-historical studies on international students at the
University of Florida, see Abdallah Naser, "The Relationship Between Academic Achievement and
Demographic and Language Variables for Male Foreign Students at the University of Florida" (master's
thesis, University of Florida, 1964); Nancy Baldwin, "Cultural Adaptations of International Student Wives
at the University of Florida" (PhD diss., University of Florida, 1969); K. Usha Vyasulu, "International
why these students were important to the university, state, and nation. Faced with the
need to balance both the state legislative pressure to serve the interests of the state with
the desire of the administration and faculty to raise the university's national and
international reputation as a prominent research university, this thesis argues that UF
presidents sent ambiguous messages about the value of foreign students. Without a clear
declaration from the university president as to the value of international students, those
involved with foreign students at UF developed multiple interpretations about these
sojourning students and their role within the academic community. While some
characterized foreign students as a growing problem, others suggested that the
university's inability to address the needs of this population was to blame. The
conception of the "foreign student problem" persisted throughout this period and largely
resulted from the lack of coordinated goals for the foreign student program at UF. As
committees to study foreign student problems were formed and re-formed, the fact that
the "problem" of foreign students persisted suggested to some that these issues were
inherent to the presence of these students themselves rather than a result of the
university's administrative ambiguity as to how to best accommodate these sojourning
Although the university presidents did not explicitly define any rationales for the
importance of foreign students at UF, numerous justifications were offered in reports
from committees to study foreign students and those of the foreign student adviser as well
as other interested faculty members. These rationales included: mutual exchange for
peace and goodwill, enhancement of UF's international reputation and avoidance of
Students on the University of Florida Campus: Analysis of Their Strongly Held Attitudes Toward U.S.
Nationals" (master's thesis, University of Florida, 1975).
provincialism, and the importance of foreign students to ensure America's future as a
world leader in the face of communism. In exploring these rationales, this thesis also
reveals how the perception of international students changed as the United States moved
away from the lingering idealism of the immediate postwar era towards the national scare
of the Cold War. For advocates of international education, foreign students were initially
an important means to achieve peace and mutual understanding. By 1958, however, the
education of foreign students became increasingly associated with ensuring America's
national defense and foreign policy goals. The University of Florida's response to this
growing group of students from overseas mirrored the larger shift in the rationale behind
federal support of international education and foreign students. Even when foreign
students were characterized as central to the national interest, however, three successive
UF presidents sent ambiguous messages about the value of international students and
neglected to define their importance to the academic community or the State of Florida.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Federal Legislation and the National Scene
On the national level during the period of this study (1946-1958), three important
federal legislative measures had enormous influence on universities and their
international education programs: the Fulbright Act of 1946, the Smith-Mundt Act of
1948, and the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) of 1958. The distinct rationales
that sparked the creation of these legislative acts exemplified the shift away from
international education for peace and goodwill towards the aims of national defense and
security. These measures also signified a new era of federal involvement with
international programs, which were previously funded in large part by philanthropic
organizations such as the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie Foundations.
The Fulbright Act, named for the creator and sponsor of the bill, Senator J. William
Fulbright (D-Ark.), designated funds from surplus military supplies for the exchange of
students and faculty in the U.S. and abroad. In so doing, the act aimed to foster
international goodwill through educational and cultural exchange as a means to ensure
world peace. Senator Fulbright explained the initial goal of the legislation: "If large
numbers of people know and understand the people from nations other than their own,
they may develop a capacity for empathy, a distaste for killing other men, and an
inclination to peace."1 The motives behind the passage of the Fulbright Act were not
1 Theodore M. Vestal, International Education, Its History and Promise for Today (Westport, CT: Praeger
Press, 1994), 22.
purely altruistic, however. In addition to the rationale of educational exchange for mutual
understanding and world peace, Fulbright foresaw a need to integrate international
education with foreign policy goals: "It was the Senator's purpose to commit the United
States government deeply to international education but, at the same time, in a
sophisticated way to integrate such educational activity into the foreign policy of the
nation."2 As the nation moved closer towards the Cold War, another act of Congress, the
Smith-Mundt Act, provided for increased federal involvement with international
In 1948, the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act, commonly
known as the Smith-Mundt Act, expanded upon Fulbright's aim of increasing American
involvement in international educational exchange programs. Rather than focusing on
mutual exchange, however, the law aimed to promote a "better understanding of the
United States among the peoples of the world."3 The act connected educational exchange
with the foreign policy objectives of the U.S. government as never before. It designated
taxpayer dollars, rather than the Fulbright Act's military surplus funds, to increase these
educational exchanges. In addition, the Smith-Mundt Act established an information
service to disseminate the federal government's perspective on foreign affairs. The scope
and financial resources that the Smith-Mundt Act provided allowed the United States to
engage in educational exchange and technical assistance with more nations-including
those with developing economies-that might otherwise be aided by the Soviet Union.
The act's inclusion of funds for technical assistance foreshadowed the later development
2 Walter Johnson and Francis J. Colligan, The Fulbright Program: A History (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1965), 14.
3 H. Alexander Smith, Report to Accompany HR 3342. Senate Reports, 80 Congress, 1, no. 811. 1948.
in 1949 of President Harry S. Truman's "Point Four" programs, which shared American
technological expertise with the developing nations of the world. Although differences
existed between the Fulbright and Smith-Mundt Acts, both were products of the volatile
political climate, as historian Richard Humphrey explained:
Both acts mirrored the psychology of a nation turning, at the height of its power
and prestige, from a commitment to destroy a totalitarian onslaught on free
democracy...to a program of constructive amelioration of what were then
conceived to be the underlying tensions between men and nations.4
These underlying tensions between American democracy and Soviet communism rose
dramatically to the surface with the launch of the Sputnik space satellite on October 4,
The success of Sputnik, a demonstration of the Soviet Union's scientific might,
triggered the passage of the National Defense Education Act in 1958, which, among other
educational aspects, emphasized scientific research and specialization in areas deemed
central to U.S. foreign policy interests. Under its Title VI, the NDEA funded the creation
of area and foreign language study centers on American campuses. The opening
statement of the NDEA revealed the federal government's commitment to the endeavor:
"The security of the nation" required the "fullest development of the mental resources
and technical skills of its young men and women."5 Historian John Patrick Diggins noted
that the NDEA enjoyed as much success as the 1944 GI Bill, which provided funds for
returned veterans' college educations, but differed from it in that the NDEA "represented
4 Richard Humphrey, "Cultural Communication and New Imperatives," Annals of the American Academy
of Political and Social Science, 335 (1961): 144.
5 As quoted in Nancy L. Ruther, Barely There, Powerfully Present: Thirty Years of U.S. Policy on
International Higher Education (New York: Routledge Falmer, 2002), 60.
less a commitment to knowledge and learning than to national defense."6 Although the
NDEA did not extend funding to foreign students, the importance of foreign students
towards the end of the 1950s increasingly became one of achieving the foreign policy
aims of the federal government. As Cora Du Bois explained in her 1956 book Foreign
Students and Higher Education:
The United States government, for example, is necessarily concerned that the
students it sponsors acquire not only a deeper but also a more appreciative
understanding of this country... Although the enabling legislation of the Congress
stresses education rather than propaganda as the instrument for achieving this goal,
the intent is clear. Education is not equated with propaganda, but it is nevertheless
envisaged as an instrument of foreign policy and of national interest.7
Given this new context, the importance and function of foreign students were
increasingly defined as a means to ensure the defeat of communism. At the University of
Florida, the administration's characterization of its foreign students, when addressed at
all, mirrored this national shift in rationale and exemplified the tension between federal
foreign policy aims and altruistic motives of peace and goodwill as rationales for
welcoming students from abroad.
Review of Literature
Although many studies address international students' academic and counseling
issues, historical surveys of international students on American campuses are not
widespread. In addition to a general lack of historical research on the subject, University
of Florida institutional histories have not addressed the foreign student population and
6 John Patrick Diggins, The Proud Decades: America in War and in Peace, 1941-1960 (New York: W.W.
Norton & Co., 1988), 321.
7 Cora Du Bois, Foreign Students and Higher Education in the United States (Washington, D.C.: American
Council on Education, 1956), 12.
their role in the development of the university.8 This review of the literature will consider
the existing historical surveys, literature from the post-WWII era, works on the role of the
federal government and private foundations, and the administration of foreign student
programs. The literature on foreign students in the United States, as the review of
scholarship from the period of this study to the present will demonstrate, often criticized
the lack of comprehensive policies towards the foreign student population and advocated
for a better definition of the role of foreign students in American higher education.
Historical Surveys of International Students and International Education
Emma Schulken provided a much-needed historical framework for tracing the
foreign student presence in America from the Colonial era to the 1970s. Schulken defined
three distinct periods which led to the growth of international students in the U.S.: the
foreign missionary movement of the nineteenth century; the emergence of philanthropic
organizations such as the Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations after World War
I; and the increased involvement of the U.S. government to fund international education
and foreign student exchange programs from the early 1940s to the 1970s.9 Schulken
concluded that throughout these periods, and particularly after World War II, a "basic
duality" existed between the idealism of exchange for international understanding and
goodwill and the pragmatic goals of ensuring America's future as a world leader.
According to Schulken, this duality led in turn to a certain failure on the part of American
higher education and the federal government:
8 For institutional histories devoted to the subject of international students, see Khosro Tabariasl, "A
History of International Students at Ball State University, 1945-1980" (PhD diss., Ball State, 1987) and
Flora Vansant, "The International Student in the University of North Carolina" (EdD diss., University of
North Carolina Greensboro, 1985).
9 Emma Walker Schulken, "The History of Foreign Students in American Higher Education from its
Colonial Beginnings to the Present" (PhD diss., Florida State University, 1972), xii-xiii.
All too often actions have been motivated not so much by idealistic slogans as by
political realities. The result has been unprecedented growth in numbers of foreign
students in American higher education, often accompanied by inadequate programs
which reflect confusion between the ideal and the pragmatic.10
This confusion between the ideal and the pragmatic persisted as American colleges and
universities developed their own administrative structures to accommodate these students
While Schulken addressed the history of foreign students in particular, others have
written on the history of international education in general. 1 Hans de Wit provided the
"first full-scale analysis of the literature on, debates on, and experience with the
internationalization of higher education." 12 Comparing the American approach to
international education with that of Europe, de Wit contended that the American
combination of parochialism and feelings of superiority had shaped the outlook of
international education endeavors on the nation's campuses.13 Similar to Schulken's
definition of the existence of both idealistic and pragmatic motives, de Wit concluded
that peace and goodwill as well as foreign policy and national security were the driving
rationales behind the expansion of international education in the United States. For de
10 Ibid., 207.
1 Although the definition of "international education" is often debated, Harari's (1972) definition is
commonly cited: "International education is an all-inclusive term encompassing three major strands: (a)
international content of the curricula, (b) international movement of scholars and students concerned with
training and research, and (c) arrangements engaging U.S. education abroad in technical assistance and
educational programs." Maurice Harari, Global Dimensions in U.S. Education: The University (New York:
Center for War/Peace Studies, 1972).
12 Hans de Wit, Internationalization of Higher Education in the United States and Europe: A Historical,
Comparative, and ConceptualAnalysis (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), xviii. De Wit defined
"internationalization" as "an extension of international education and refers to a more strategic process
13 Ibid., 217.
Wit, the rationale of advancing U.S. foreign policy interests became the dominant
rationale over that of peace and goodwill.
Josef Mestenhauser described three historical phases of international education in
the United States. 14 Mestenhauser characterized the "euphoria" stage from 1946 to the
Vietnam War. This "euphoria" consisted of increased support from private philanthropies
such as the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford Foundations. The federal government also
increased funding for international education endeavors on American campuses. During
this "euphoric" period, Mestenhauser suggested that the foundations of the international
education field in the U.S. were laid, particularly in regards to foreign students, study
abroad, area studies, and the administration of international programs. The next historical
phase, "darkening clouds," began with the failed International Education Act of 1966
until the early 1980s, when support from private philanthropies was nearly non-existent
and federal funding diminished. Mestenhauser's final stage, "defense through
associations," began in the early 1980s until the late 1990s and consisted of further
financial limitations for international education.15
Historical Surveys of American Higher Education
In addition to historical surveys of international education, it is useful to consider
historical works regarding the development of higher education in the United States.
These works offer insight into the rapid growth of colleges and universities after World
14 Josef Mestenhauser, "Portraits of an International Curriculum," in Reforming the Higher Education
Curriculum: I,,.. i, ,,,i, ,: the Campus, eds. Josef Mestenhauser and Brenda Ellingboe (Phoenix: Oryx
Press, 1998), 10-11.
15 For more on the International Education Act of 1966 and federal funding of international education, see:
Theodore Vestal, International Education: Its History and Promisefor Today (Westport: Praeger, 1994).
For more on the history of federal funding for international education, and the NDEA Title VI in particular,
see Nancy Ruther, Barely There, Powerfully Present: Thirty Years of U.S. Policy on International Higher
Education (New York: Routledge Falmer, 2002).
War II. John R. Thelin provided a thorough yet concise account of the history of
American higher education from its origins in the Colonial era to its condition at the
beginning of the 21st century. In his discussion of the post-WWII era, Thelin reported that
enrollment at American colleges and universities increased by 80 percent between 1940
and 1950, when 2.7 million students attended the nation's higher education institutions.16
The federal government's Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the
GI Bill, was in large part responsible for this unprecedented enrollment growth. By 1946,
one million returned veterans across the country utilized GI Bill funds to earn their
college degrees. In the same year, the federal government had expended more than $5.5
billion to fund the program.1
While often characterized as a "Golden Age" for American colleges and
universities, Thelin concluded that postwar higher education also experienced significant
challenges as it entered into the uncharted territory of growth and expansion:
Lack of certainty and lack of precedents meant that for the higher-education
participants in the thick of events between 1946 and 1970, change and a new set of
pressures transformed institutions without benefit of a gyroscope or road map."1s
Without any clear direction, the relationship between higher education institutions and
their constituencies in the federal and state governments, as well as the private
foundations, did not always produce harmonious results: "Various groups pursued
multiple public policies and programs without clear coordination-and without any
16 John R. Thelin, A History ofAmerican Higher Education (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,
17 Ibid., 263. Thelin noted that in 2000 dollars, the amount expended would equal $48 billion.
18 Ibid., 260.
assurance that these experiments would become permanent fixtures."19 Thelin concluded
that it was the pursuit of these various agendas that made it difficult for American higher
education institutions to define their purposes to themselves and to their external
Historian Christopher J. Lucas also addressed the explosive growth of postwar era
higher education in his work on the history of American higher education from its
beginnings to the early 1990s. Lucas discussed the impact of the federal government's
increased involvement in academia after World War II and into the Cold War. Lucas
noted that in the 1950s, the federal government provided more than $150 million for
contract research at the nation's colleges and universities.20 With the creation of the
National Defense Education Act of 1958, much of this research concentrated on scientific
and engineering programs to develop innovations needed during the Cold War. As a
result of this new partnership between higher education and the federal government,
higher education became essential to "bolstering the nation's defenses and helping to
advance vital national policy objectives."21 Lucas noted that those concerned with the
reliance on federal funding during the postwar era cautioned against the loss of autonomy
and academic freedom that could result from government oversight.22 Lucas concluded
that the debate between the loss of academic freedom and the gain of federal funds was
one that had continued into the later decades of the twentieth century.
19 Ibid., 262.
20 Christopher J. Lucas, American Higher Education: A History (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994), 233.
22 Ibid., 234.
Furthering the discussion of the federal government's connection to higher
education, Roger L. Geiger provided a rich history of the rise of American research
universities after World War II. Geiger detailed the development of these institutions as
they became increasingly involved with research activities by focusing efforts on
graduate programs and on contributing to the nation's quest for scientific dominance over
the Soviet Union. In turn, Geiger concluded that research universities were conflicted
between their previous function to foster the general intellectual growth of their
undergraduates while also expanding the scope and strength of their research endeavors,
mostly at the graduate level. Geiger characterized the history of the research university as
one of continuous evolution to serve a multitude of purposes and constituents:
As universities were impelled forward, undertaking more and more varied tasks,
they faced a continuous challenge both to sustain the vigor and integrity of
academic culture and to maintain a semblance of balance among their manifold
The balance between these various roles was often difficult for the research institutions to
maintain, as Geiger's work revealed.
Common to Thelin, Lucas, and Geiger's historical surveys is the notion that postwar
higher education experienced immense growth that challenged previous conceptions of
the function and importance of these institutions to American society. It is important to
note, however, that the subject of foreign students and their role in American higher
education after World War II is absent from these comprehensive histories.24 This lack of
23 Roger L. Geiger, Research and Relevant Knowledge: American Research Universities Since World War
II (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 332.
24 Thelin gave brief mention to international students in the context of higher education after World War I.
Thelin described the impact of foreign students on undergraduate education at the time as "minimal, or at
best uneven." Neither Thelin, Lucas nor Geiger discussed the role of international students after World War
II. Thelin, A History ofAmerican Higher Education, 225.
inclusion is perhaps explained by the fact that foreign students comprised a small
percentage of total student enrollments during this period. Nevertheless, this omission
demonstrates a need for further consideration of the role of foreign students in the
development of American higher education during an era of its most dramatic
Literature from the Post-WWII Era
Since comprehensive histories of international students in American higher
education are scarce, it is particularly useful to review the commentary and scholarship
from the period of this study (published between 1946 and 1958 or shortly thereafter).
These "near primary" sources reveal the rationales of foreign student advocates as well as
the status of these students nationwide. Mestenhauser pointed out that these sources are
often neglected in the contemporary literature on international education.2 Many of the
private foundations that funded international education programs, such as the Institute of
International Education, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Ford
Foundation, and the American Council on Education, also published works during the
post-WWII era that discussed the myriad issues of international endeavors on American
For data on foreign students, two foreign student surveys provide useful
information on the numbers, geographic distribution, countries of origin, and funding
support for these students from overseas on American campuses. The Committee on
Friendly Relations among Foreign Students (CFRFS) compiled the first nationwide
survey of international students, The UnofficialAmbassadors, which it published from
25 Mestenhauser, Reforming the Higher Education Curriculum, 11.
1928 to 1953. The Institute of International Education's survey, Educationfor One
World, was published from 1948 to 1954, when it was renamed Open Doors. This report
remains the definitive source for data on international students in the U.S. as well as for
numbers of domestic students studying abroad.26
Cora Du Bois' 1956 book is particularly informative, as it exclusively discussed the
subject of foreign students. Du Bois' study, published and funded by the American
Council on Education, covered many aspects of the foreign student experience, including
cultural adjustment and academic issues, as well as institutional and governmental
policies towards foreign students. Du Bois called attention to the need for university
administrators to develop a clearly stated, campus-wide policy towards foreign students.
According to Du Bois, this policy must be specific to the individual college or university
but also must be based upon a "broad knowledge of foreign student programs and of
foreign students as socially and psychologically determined individuals who have varying
needs."27 Du Bois insisted that continuous assessment and research must take place to
ensure that American higher education fulfilled its promise of a quality education to
Addressing the university as a whole and its relation to world affairs, Howard
Wilson's Universities and World Affairs suggested that universities must assess their own
26 Committee on Friendly Relations Among Foreign Students, The UnofficialAmbassadors (New York:
Committee on Friendly Relations, 1928-1953). Institute of International Education, Education for One
World (New York: Institute of International Education, 1948-1954). Institute of International Education,
Open Doors (New York: Institute of International Education, 1954-present).
27 Du Bois, Foreign Students and Higher Education in the United States, 196.
28 Ibid., 197.
international endeavors and develop "self-appraisals" for doing so.29 Published by the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Wilson's work included foreign students as
part of the university's larger involvement with international endeavors. Wilson also
discussed the new foreign policy objectives for international education on American
There is evidence abundant that the "arts and sciences" are now consciously
employed in national foreign policy and in international action. This fact no
university custodian of the arts and sciences can afford to ignore. Whether one is
encouraged or alarmed at this new form of partnership between learning and
politics, the partnership is now an historical fact.30
If the partnership between government and universities in regards to international affairs
was an historical fact in 1951, it continued to be so in the decades that followed. In the
1960s, several books addressed similar issues as Wilson, including The University and
World Affairs, Edward Weidner's The World Role of Universities, and Wilson's later
work, American Higher Education and WorldAffairs.31 Many of the suggestions in these
early works are reflected in contemporary calls to "internationalize" the American
university for the twenty-first century.
In addition to publications from private foundations, numerous journal articles
focused on foreign student issues during this period. Many of these articles studied
foreign student adjustment issues and their attitudes towards Americans and American
29 Howard E. Wilson, Universities and WorldAffairs (New York: Carnegie Endowment for International
30 Ibid., 4.
31 The Committee on the University and World Affairs, The University and World Affairs (New York: The
Ford Foundation, 1960); Edward Weidner, The WorldRole of Universities (New York: McGraw-Hill,
1962); Howard E. Wilson and Florence H. Wilson, American Higher Education and World- 111, .
(Washington D.C.: American Council on Education, 1963).
ways of life.32 James Peterson and Martin Neumeyer surveyed a group of international
students from various countries and determined that the most common problems
experienced were academic and financial.33 Peterson and Neumeyer suggested that
universities and colleges needed to provide more counseling services, improve
orientations, increase financial aid, and provide housing and meeting centers for foreign
students.34 Reisha Forstat expanded upon Peterson and Neumeyer's study and concluded
that foreign student adjustment was not necessarily made easier if the student remained in
the host country for a longer period of time.35 Therefore, according to Forstat, "a program
planned specifically to help these students must be designed to integrate them more fully
into the social life of the university and the community."36 Norman Keill reported the
results of a survey of Indian students on U.S. campuses.37 Keill's study revealed that after
their sojourn in the U.S., these students held less than favorable attitudes about America
and its democratic principles. His findings contradicted the assumption that hosting and
educating international students, under programs such as those of the Fulbright and
Smith-Mundt Acts, would automatically lead to an appreciation for American democratic
32 For additional journal articles concerning foreign student attitudes, see: A.T. Bruegger and B.H.
Atkinson, "Cherchez Les Differences," Journal of Higher Education 27, no. 6 (1956): 297-300; Panos D.
Bardis, "Attitudes toward Dating among Foreign Students in America," Marriage and Family Living 18,
no. 4 (1956): 339-344; Lionel Olsen and William Kunhart, "Foreign Student Reactions to American
College Life," Journal of Educational Sociology 31, no. 7 (1958): 277-280.
33 James A. Peterson and Martin H. Neumeyer, "Problems of Foreign Students," Journal of Sociology and
Social Research 32, no. 4 (1948): 787-792.
34 Ibid., 792.
35 Reisha Forstat, "Adjustment Problems of International Students," Journal of Sociology and Social
Research 36, no. 1 (1951): 25-30.
36 Ibid., 29.
37 Norman Keill, "Attitudes of Foreign Students," Journal of Higher Education 22, no. 4 (1951): 188-194,
values. Keill's suggestions for remedying the situation of foreign students on American
campuses echoed those of Peterson and Neumeyer, and Forstat in that he called for more
formal programs and structure within the university administration. M. Brewster Smith,
however, criticized Keill's findings and asserted that Keill did not account for the
students' appraisal of their sojourn upon return to their home countries.38 For Smith, this
might have resulted in less hostility towards American values and democracy.
The discussion about foreign student adjustment in relation to their attitudes
towards Americans continued throughout the late 1950s. The Journal of Social Issues
devoted an entire volume to "Attitudes and Adjustment in Cross-Cultural Contact" of
foreign students. Richard Morris' article concluded that international students who felt
that Americans assigned a low status to their nationality in turn held unfavorable opinions
of Americans.39 Claire Sellitz, Anna Lee Hopson, and Stuart Cook studied the amount of
social interaction that foreign students had with Americans at various types of higher
education settings (small colleges in small towns, large universities in large cities, and
large universities in small towns).40 The authors also examined other factors that might
affect potential social interaction, including nationality and living arrangements. The
study concluded that nationality and interaction potential seemed to be related, as
Europeans were more likely to be in situations with more interaction potential than non-
38 M. Brewster Smith, "Some Features of Foreign-Student Adjustment," Journal of Higher Education 26,
no. 5 (1955): 231-241.
39 Richard Morris, "National Status and Attitudes of Foreign Students," Journal of Social Issues 12, no. 1
40 Claire Sellitz, Anna Lee Hopson and Stuart Cook, "The Effects of Situational Factors on Personal
Interaction between Foreign Students and Americans," Journal of Social Issues 12, no. 1 (1956): 33-44.
The Role of the Federal Government and Private Foundations
As the number of international students on American campuses continued to
increase after World War II, the federal government became progressively more involved
in matters relating to foreign student programs. Hans de Wit noted that in the postwar era,
the coordination of international education and exchange efforts in the U.S. shifted from
the "incidental and individual into organized activities, projects, and programs, based
mainly on political rationales and driven more by national governments than by higher
education itself."41 The passage of the Fulbright and Smith Mundt Acts, in 1946 and 1948
respectively, represented a new beginning for federal involvement in international
education. Liping Bu provided an in-depth exploration of how this era of federal
involvement changed the outlook on foreign student programs. Bu concluded that once
foreign students were defined as central to the nation's foreign policy objectives to
combat communism, as the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 firmly established, the rationale
behind educational exchange shifted away from mutual understanding and goodwill
towards a one-sided indoctrination of the American perspective:
The strategy of international educational exchange thus began to shift to a unilateral
approach to exporting American culture and American know-how, although
"mutual understanding" remained the watchword. With the advent of the Cold War,
the word "exchange" actually meant the export of American values, the projection
of the great success of the American system, and the influence on the thinking of
foreign trainees and students.42
As a result of this new role of the federal government, private philanthropies, such as the
Ford, Carnegie, and the Rockefeller foundations, suddenly found themselves with a
41 De Wit, Internationalization of Higher Education, 13.
42 Liping Bu, Making the World Like Us: Education, Cultural Expansion, and the American Century
(Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003), 156.
partner in the endeavor to host international students in the United States. Bu noted that
leaders of the private foundations, as well as foreign student advocates, were wary of
government involvement in a field that was previously detached from overt foreign
policy aims, other than the goals of world peace and mutual understanding.43
While the relationship between the philanthropic organizations and the federal
government strengthened after World War II, the foundations developed motives of their
own for supporting international exchange programs. As Bu described, this was
particularly the case with the largest of the philanthropies, the Ford Foundation:
Most officials at the Ford Foundation believed that the involvement would not only
strengthen U.S. government programs, but also enhance the influence of the
foundation's financial power.44
Regardless of their motives, the Ford Foundation's financial support significantly
contributed to the development such organizations as the Institute of International
Education, the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers, and the Committee on
Friendly Relations among Foreign Students.
Although the federal government encouraged the expansion of international
exchange through the Fulbright and Smith-Mundt Acts, Bu noted that the government did
not provide consistent funds to administer these programs. As a result, the funding
burden often fell to the private foundations and the higher education institutions
themselves to make up the difference.45 The Ford Foundation, for example, provided
43 Ibid., 157-159.
45 Ibid., 167-169.
nearly $2 million to the Institute of International Education from 1951 to 1956.46 During
the same time period, as former Assistant Secretary of State Philip Coombs noted, the
amount of federal appropriations for educational exchange programs declined from $16
million in 1951 to less than $10 million by 1955. Furthermore, these funding shortfalls
occurred at a time when the number of countries participating in exchange programs with
the U.S. rose from 62 in 1951 to 97 by 1959.47 After the 1958 passage of the National
Education Defense Act in response to the Soviet's launching of Sputnik, however, federal
dollars for education exchange returned to previous funding levels.
Coombs notably concluded that for the nation to succeed in the Cold War, the area
of educational and cultural exchange must be considered a "fourth dimension" of U.S.
foreign policy alongside economic, military, and political goals. Similar to Coombs'
conclusion, Charles Frankel, who also served as Assistant Secretary of State, wrote in
1965 that while the federal government's efforts for educational and cultural exchange
were among the most successful of the nation's diplomatic efforts, this remained a
"neglected aspect" of foreign policy. Frankel called for better coordination among
government programs as well as an increased awareness of the importance of educational
and cultural exchange among the American public.48
46 Ibid., 197. The Institute of International Education became the central organization charged with the
selection and distribution of Fulbright grants as well as other exchange programs authorized by the Smith-
47 Philip Coombs, The Fourth Dimension on Foreign Policy: Educational and Cultural Affairs (New York:
Harper & Row, 1964), 36. Coombs, a former program director at the Ford Foundation, was the first
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs from 1961 to 1962.
48 Charles Frankel, The Neglected Aspect of Foreign I .... (Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution,
Throughout this period of increased federal involvement in foreign student
exchange programs, a new relationship between the federal government and the private
foundations developed. This relationship left alone the decentralized higher education
institutions to develop their own foreign student programs to best suit their particular
needs. As a result, the efforts to coordinate foreign student programs during the postwar
era were as varied in effort and success as the American higher education system itself.
Administration of Foreign Student Programs
Several works focusing on international students offer insight into the relevant
issues surrounding the administration of foreign student programs. Edward Cieslak
defined two reasons why policies towards foreign students were so divergent on
American campuses: first, the institutional autonomy of higher education and second, the
lack of knowledge on the part of administrators regarding the guidance of foreign student
programs.49 Cieslak reported that despite the growth in the number of designated foreign
student advisers on American campuses (which increased from 400 in 1948 to more than
1,000 by 1952), these individuals lacked the authority to make effective administrative
decisions about the students they served.50 Cieslak recommended that university and
government officials clarify the objectives of hosting international students. In addition,
university officials needed to conduct a "realistic appraisal" of the effect of American
education upon students from other countries.5
49 Edward Cieslak, The Foreign Student in American Colleges: A Survey and Evaluation ofAdministrative
Problems and Practices (Detroit: Wayne University Press, 1955), 25.
50 Ibid., 94.
51 Ibid., 155.
Following Cieslak's lead in suggesting the importance of appraising institutional
services to foreign students, Homer Higbee surveyed foreign student advisers in a study
funded by the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA).52 Higbee's
survey found that most foreign student advisers were generally happy with the status of
their foreign student program. However, the survey also revealed the indifference of
many university presidents towards their foreign student program and foreign student
advisors: "Most [presidents] said they rarely became involved with a specific foreign
student problem. Very few had given major attention to the role of the Foreign Student
Adviser, or to the role of the foreign student himself, from an educational point of
view."53 Higbee concluded that top administrators needed to recognize the importance of
international students to the overall mission of the university.
Under the direction of international education scholar Maurice Harari, a report from
the Education and World Affairs Study Committee in 1964 discussed foreign student
admission procedures and suggested ways to improve foreign student programs on
American campuses. Echoing Cieslak, Higbee, Du Bois and others' assertions that each
institution must develop a clearly stated purpose for international students, Harari
At present this clarity is rarely found. Policymakers within the same institution
often differ sharply over the role of their institution in relation to foreign students.
Few boards of trustees give consideration to this topic. It is not surprising then that
52 The organization's name has since changed to the "Association of International Educators" but continues
to use the NAFSA acronym. For more on NAFSA, see www.nafsa.org, accessed June 2005.
53 Homer Higbee, The Status of Foreign Student Advising in United States Universities and Colleges (East
Lansing: Michigan State University, 1961), 41.
foreign student policies followed by American colleges and universities are
ambiguous and conflicting.54
This ambiguity and lack of a cohesive policy towards foreign students continued to draw
criticism from international education scholars in the following decades. Irwin Sanders
and Jennifer Ward concluded in 1970 that despite the progress of foreign student
programs over the years, there was still much room for improvement.55 While many
higher education institutions in the U.S. had created the organizational structure to handle
the influx of international students, they had not yet "faced up to the more fundamental
aspects of the role and purpose of foreign students."56 Sanders and Ward called upon U.S.
higher education to provide "better internal coordination, creation of a dialogue between
the various departments and schools, a more internationally oriented curriculum, and
greater concern with the relevance of the curriculum to future employment
possibilities."57 For Sanders and Ward, the success of foreign students needed to be as
central to the institution as any other mission to ensure that the larger campus community
recognized the importance of these students from abroad.
Clark Kerr, former Chancellor of the University of California at Berkley, stated that
foreign students on U.S. campuses were often an overlooked resource for expanding the
international perspectives of American students.58 In addition, Kerr stated that
54 Maurice Harari, The Foreign Student: Whom Shall We Welcome? (New York: Education and World
Affairs, 1964), 4.
55 Irwin Sanders and Jennifer Ward, Bridges to Understanding: International Programs ofAmerican
Colleges and Universities (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970), 144-155.
56 Ibid., 155.
57 Ibid., 155.
58 Clark Kerr, "Global Education Concerns of Higher Education for the 1980s and Beyond," in Expanding
the International Dimension of Higher Education, ed. Barbara Burn (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1980),
universities and colleges must take great care to admit only those foreign students whose
academic goals could be met at their chosen institution. He called upon American higher
education to provide adequate support services to ensure the success of foreign students.
Kerr further concluded that higher education's response to its role in international affairs
in general had been severely inadequate:
The nation is more and more involved in world political and economic leadership.
Yet higher education has been in retreat in its attention to the international
dimensions of the world for the past two decades. This trend needs to be reversed.
The nation and world are moving in exactly opposite directions from higher
education. Higher education has not been leading. It has not been following. It has
been going the wrong way.59
If higher education had been going the wrong way, as Kerr asserted in 1980, other
scholars of later works were similarly critical of higher education's direction in
addressing the needs of international students.
Humphrey Tonkin and Jane Edwards suggested that although the United States led
the world in foreign student enrollments, the presence of these students from overseas
had not been significantly recognized at the institutional level. Tonkin and Edwards
described this ambivalence as a major paradox in American higher education.60 Barbara
Burn also discussed the lack of attention that institutional policymakers have given to
I am deeply concerned that international exchanges of students and college and
university policies towards foreign students have such an apparently low priority in
central decision-making.... Too often these visitors are regarded as an aggravation
59 Ibid., xxxviv.
60 Humphrey Tonkin and Jane Edwards, The World in the Curriculum: Curricular Strategies for the 21st
Century (New Rochelle: Change Magazine Press, 1981), 29.
rather than as a resource for international learning and reinforcing the
internationality of our institutions.61
As president of the influential association NAFSA, Bum vowed that the organization
would push American higher education to increase its efforts and strategies in regards to
the foreign student population.
Similar to Burn's assessment, Liping Bu concluded that international students were
not properly utilized as a resource in American higher education due to the "half-hearted"
attitude of university administrators. Further, this indifference resulted in the
"disconnection between the institution's educational mission and the objectives of foreign
student programs."62 For Bu, university administrators failed to recognize the foreign
policy implications of hosting students from overseas due in large part to the university's
focus on the "domestically oriented" university curriculum.63
Perhaps most critical of American higher education's response to international
students were professors Craufurd Goodwin (Duke University) and Michael Nacht
(Harvard University). In Absence ofDecision, Goodwin and Nacht condemned what they
viewed as "lip service" from top administrators on American campuses who often stated
their commitment to international endeavors and foreign students, yet took little action.64
Goodwin and Nacht studied the administration of foreign student programs in three
states: Florida, California, and Ohio. These states were selected because all three were
61 Barbara Bum, "Higher Education is International," in Dimensions of International Higher Education, ed.
William Allaway and Hallam Shorrock (Boulder: Westview Press, 1985), 23.
62 Bu, Making the World Like Us, 215.
64 Craufurd D. Goodwin and Michael Nacht, Absence ofDecision: Foreign Students in American Colleges
(New York: Institute of International Education, 1983).
considered to be "in front of the wave" and therefore representative of the direction that
other states were headed in the future. At the University of Florida, Goodwin and Nacht
interviewed eleven individuals including the Registrar, Dean of the Graduate School and
the Assistant to the President for International Studies and Programs. Similar to Cieslak
and Higbee's findings, the study concluded that administrators assigned a low priority to
foreign student issues. Furthermore, they found that the foreign student adviser did not
have an influential role in decision-making. Goodwin and Nacht also discussed the
dynamics between public institutions and state legislatures. State legislatures often posed
significant challenges to expanding foreign student programs as they were "likely to think
of higher education as a relatively simple and homogenous service to be provided to their
constituents, like health care or good roads." 65 Without a clear definition of the purpose
of foreign students from university presidents, "provision of this service to foreigners
seemed simply wrong and necessarily at the expense of domestic consumers."66 Goodwin
and Nacht found that administrators at public institutions were largely unsuccessful in
explaining to its state legislatures and boards of trustees why foreign students were
important for the benefit of the state, mainly because they had not defined their
importance to their own institutions. To remedy this lack of well-defined purposes for
hosting foreign students, the authors recommended that every college and university
conduct a self-study to appraise their foreign student program.
65 Ibid., 26.
Conclusions from the Review of Literature
While many of the works cited in this review of the literature criticized American
higher education's response to the influx of foreign students, it is important to note that a
number of those most critical were written during the "darkening clouds" phase of the
late 1960s through the 1980s, as Mestenhauser characterized. In light of this somewhat
grim assessment of the university's relative inability to accommodate foreign students,
however, the review of the literature demonstrates that certain issues persist regarding
foreign students in American higher education. Key among these issues was the call for
universities and colleges to state clearly their goals and purposes for enrolling students
from other countries. Another recurring issue was the need to define international
students as a central component to the overall success of the university, not only to those
outside of the university but also to the institutions themselves. A third key issue was the
call to recognize the importance of international students to the future benefit of the
United States, whether for peace and goodwill or to ensure the spread of American
At the University of Florida, administrators struggled with many of the key issues
discussed in the national literature on foreign students. The persistence of these issues
over several decades raises larger questions about the nature of American higher
education institutions and their ability to respond to the needs of international students.
Therefore, the study of this large, public research university and the development of its
foreign student program during its most formative years seeks to contribute to a better
understanding of the complexities of hosting foreign students on American campuses. In
addition, this research fills a void in the literature of institutional histories devoted to the
subject of international students and their role in the development of American higher
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, 1946-1958
The Beginnings of the University of Florida, 1853-1946
In 1853, the creation of the East Florida Seminary in Ocala laid the foundation for
what later became the University of Florida in Gainesville. With the passage of the
Morrill Act in 1862, U.S. President Lincoln authorized the donation of land to state
governments to establish higher education institutions. The original mission of these new
institutions, as the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges
(NASULGC) describes, was to "teach agriculture, military tactics, and the mechanic arts
as well as classical studies so that members of the working classes could obtain a liberal,
practical education."1 In 1884, Florida's first land-grant institution, the Florida
Agricultural College, opened in Lake City, which was chosen for the site only after
Gainesville failed to provide its promised share of funding.2
As the state of Florida grew and the demand for post-secondary education
increased, the state legislature recognized the need for greater coordination amongst its
higher education institutions. To avoid duplication of efforts and wasteful spending of
state resources, the Buckman Act of 1905 abolished all seven state-funded higher
education institutions in favor of consolidating these into three schools designated for
specific purposes. The University of Florida, which was to be relocated from Lake City to
1 National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, "The Land-Grant Tradition,"
himp \ "\ %\ .nasulgc.org/publications/LandGrant/land.htm (accessed June 2005).
2 University of Florida, "UF's Beginnings" http://www.ufl.edu/history/1853.html (accessed June 2005).
Gainesville, would educate the state's white males, while Tallahassee's Florida State
College for Women was designated for white females and the Florida Agricultural and
Mechanical College for Negroes in Tallahassee would serve African-Americans. The
Buckman Act also created the governing body for the state's higher education
institutions, the Board of Control, to which the governor was authorized to appoint five
The University of Florida opened its doors in Gainesville on September 24, 1906
with a total enrollment of 102 students. Under the leadership of President Albert
Murphree, the university continued the land-grant institutional mission to serve the
interests of the state. By 1909, UF offered instruction in the areas of Agriculture,
Education, Engineering, Law, and the Liberal Arts and Sciences.4 The University of
Florida's beginnings at the turn of the nineteenth century set the stage for its later
development into one of the largest public research institutions in the United States.
The University of Florida welcomed its first international students in 1887, when
two Russian students enrolled at the predecessor institution in Lake City.5 Due to the
state's proximity to the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as its growing agricultural
industry, the University of Florida's first international efforts focused on the Caribbean
and Latin American regions. In 1890, the university's first Latin American student,
3 Alfred Adams, "A History of Public Higher Education in Florida: 1821-1961" (EdD diss., Florida State
5 Abdallah Omar Naser, "The Relationship Between Academic Achievement and Demographic and
Language Variables for Male Foreign Students at the University of Florida" (master's thesis, University of
Florida, 1964), 6.
Tomas Angel of Havana, enrolled at the agricultural college in Lake City.6 Once
established in Gainesville, the University of Florida continued to host students from
overseas, with the majority arriving from Cuba. The number of international students,
however, did not grow significantly during the first three decades of the university's
existence. Between 1900 and 1928, no more than twelve international students were
enrolled each semester at UF.7 The UF Institute of Inter-American Affairs, established in
1930, began a new era of growth for the university's involvement with Latin America.
The creation of the Institute preceded U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1933
Good Neighbor Policy, which aimed to foster goodwill between the two Americas as well
as to strengthen their economic and agricultural relationships.8
During the 1930s and 1940s, the University of Florida enjoyed modest growth in
total enrollment as the student body increased from just over 2,000 in 1930 to more than
3,000 by 1940. The onset of World War II, however, resulted in a significant loss of
enrollment; less than 600 students attended UF in 1943. The number of international
students attending UF during the war years also stalled, with only ten enrolled in 1942.9
As the war ended and the federal government announced the GI Bill, the University of
6 University of Florida Graduate School, Proposal to the United States Department ofState for an Inter-
American Cultural and Scientific Center (Gainesville: University of Florida, 1961), 8.
8 For more on FDR's Good Neighbor Policy, see Irwin F. Gellman, Good Neighbor Diplomacy: United
States Policy in Latin America, 1933-1945 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979).
9 Committee on Friendly Relations Among Foreign Students, The -mnlitic ialAmbassadors 1942 (New
York: Committee on Friendly Relations Among Foreign Students), 16.
Florida braced itself for its largest student body in its history, with 6,334 enrolled for the
fall of 1946.10
University Expansion on all Fronts, 1946-1948
After World War II, the population of Florida rapidly expanded at three times the
national growth rate." This population boom, strengthened by the return of World War II
veterans and an increase in high school graduates, placed significant strains on the
resources of the state's higher education institutions. While Florida's higher education
officials welcomed the postwar enrollment increase, they greatly underestimated the
financial impact of the GI Bill, which Congress passed in 1944. To meet these rapid
enrollment demands, the state's universities needed urgent funding. The state governing
body for Florida public higher education, the Board of Control, recognized the pressing
need to expand higher education facilities and authorized $1.3 million in new
construction funds at the University of Florida.12 This authorization marked an enormous
increase in funding, as the state had provided only $350,000 for all construction on the
UF campus during the previous fifteen years.13
By 1946, enrollment at the University of Florida reached 6,334, a figure more than
double that of any other year in the institution's history. While the university's
enrollment was at an all-time high, its physical plant and faculty members were sufficient
10 University of Florida Office of Institutional Research, "Total enrollment for University of Florida from
1905-2003," http://www.ir.ufl.edu/factbook/enroll.htm (accessed June 2005).
1 Richard L. Forstall, "Florida Population of Counties by Decennial Census, 1900 to 1990," U.S. Bureau of
the Census, http://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/fll9 19009 t\t (accessed June 2005).
12 Adams, "A History of Public Higher Education in Florida: 1821-1961," 213.
13 George Osborn, John James Tigert: American Educator (Gainesville: University Presses of Florida,
to accommodate only 3,500 students. Given this time of enormous strain on state
resources to keep pace with the unprecedented expansion of the university, the Board of
Control announced on May 10, 1946 that foreign students, as well as out-of-state
students, were not to be admitted until the needs of returning veterans could be met.14
The University of Florida was not the only institution to limit enrollments to in-state
residents. The United States Office of Education's journal Higher Education, reported
that such limitations were found in "practically all publicly supported intuitions.""15 The
article concluded that the enrollment restrictions were a "major departure in educational
policy for the land-grant colleges" and cautioned that state legislatures in these states
would "undoubtedly look with disfavor on any and all proposals to return to an open door
The Board of Control's closing of this "open door" at the exclusion of foreign
students came during the final two years of John J. Tigert's nineteen-year presidency at
the University of Florida and was likely somewhat of a disappointment to Tigert. A
Rhodes scholar and former U.S. Commissioner of Education, Tigert firmly believed that
education must work towards the goals of international understanding and peace.17
Looking ahead to the end of World War II, Tigert had predicted:
14 Tigert to Hume, 14 May 1946, University of Florida Archives, Office of the Dean, Graduate School,
Series 46a: box 5, Foreign Students 1946-52.
15 Henry Schmitz, "Implications of Geographic Restrictions on Enrollments in State Colleges and
Universities," Higher Education 3, no. 14 (1947): 2.
16 Ibid., 2-3.
17 Tigert was the first student from his native state of Tennessee to be selected for the prestigious Rhodes
Scholarship, which provided for two years of study at Oxford University in England. University of Florida
Office of the President, "John J. Tigert," http://www.president.ufl.edu/pastPres/tigert.htm (accessed June
After this war, there are going to be new worldwide interests. Education is going to
have to expand in order to give us an understanding of the other civilizations of the
world, their geography and our relation with them...Not until we can learn to
understand and love each other (the peoples of the world) thoroughly through
education-and I don't mean education in schools alone-can we bring about a
Tigert's sentiments were consistent with the idealism of the time and reflected those of
Senator J. William Fulbright, who described the importance of the Fulbright Act in terms
of achieving international goodwill and world peace.19 These goals for peace and
understanding would inform President Tigert's work with foreign students in general, and
with those from Latin America in particular.
In addition to the hope of worldwide understanding and peace, Tigert envisioned
the academic and economic benefits of a relationship between Latin America and Florida.
With the creation of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs (IIAA) in 1930, Tigert had
successfully strengthened the university's ties with Latin America and its connection to
international education endeavors. During the 1930s and 1940s, the IIAA continued its
growth and gained international recognition. In 1941, the IIAA was awarded the
prestigious FIDAC Medal, given on behalf of veterans of World War I allies to
institutions making the greatest contributions to Latin America. The university was
selected for the honor alongside the University of California and Columbia University. In
the Birmingham Age-Herald, Tigert was commended for his foresight: "He knows that
18 Edith Pitts, "Reminiscences of Three University Presidents," University of Florida Archives, Manuscript
Collection 50, Edith Pitts Papers (no date), 200. Ms. Pitts served as executive secretary to UF presidents
Tigert, Miller and Reitz.
19 Theodore M. Vestal, International Education, Its History and Promise for Today (Westport, CT: Praeger,
while the South may be only the shank end of a continent on a map of North America, it
is the heart of a whole hemisphere on a map of the Americas together."20
Tigert was clearly committed to the idea of international education and believed
that American higher education institutions must share their wealth of knowledge with
other countries for a benevolent purpose. Tigert articulated his belief in the merits of
American education to assist developing nations in a 1943 letter to the director of the
National School of Engineers in Lima, Peru:
I am convinced that the greatest contribution that our nation can make toward a
permanent world peace is by sharing our scientific knowledge and ideas with those
of other lands, thereby assisting them in a larger development of their own
resources and-enabling them to bring about a greater measure of prosperity within
their own borders....21
Tigert's comments foreshadowed the later national developments of U.S. President Harry
S. Truman's "Point Four" programs, which funded such technical assistance to
developing countries. Despite Tigert's stated commitment to the importance of
international education, however, he remained ambiguous in defining the importance of
foreign students at the University of Florida.
One explanation for Tigert's ambiguity resulted from the need for funding from the
Board of Control and their lack of support for foreign student endeavors. Board of
Control member T.T. Scott strongly disapproved of Tigert's requests for funding the
IIAA and its student scholarships. In response to Tigert's presentation of the university
budget in 1945, Scott interrupted, shouting:
20 John Graves, "This Morning," Birmingham Age-Herald, October 14, 1941. Available in University of
Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series P7c: box 14, Genre Files 1928-1947.
21 Tigert to Laroza, 19 November 1943, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series P7a:
box 18, Center for Latin American Studies.
Ask him about his give away program! Here is a list of scholarships he has just
recommended, after I have warned him time and again that he must stop spending
state money for this purpose, and he still insists on bringing all of these 'dagoes' to
the university. He wouldn't do as much for a lot of good Georgia boys.22
This pointed criticism underscored at least one outspoken board member's feelings about
supporting foreign students and providing them with financial incentives to attend
Florida's higher education institutions. Scott's outburst also demonstrated a resistance
within Florida, still very much a conservative Southern state, against the presence of
foreign students and the resentment towards requests of state monies to fund "give
aways" to foreigners. The issue of Latin American student scholarships was also included
in a legislative committee investigation of "wasteful expenditures" that were "beyond
reason," as Scott charged.23 The tensions between the UF president and the Board of
Control exemplified what Craufurd Goodwin and Michael Nacht have described as the
resistance that public institutions faced when requesting funding for foreign student
programs from their governing boards and state legislatures.24 With the decision in 1946
to restrict foreign student enrollment along with out-of-state students, it was clear that
Florida's Board of Control members were unconvinced of the importance of educating
foreign students as a means to creating world peace, particularly if that meant at the
exclusion of Floridian, or even other Southern, students.25
22 Edith Pitts, "Reminiscences of Three University Presidents" as quoted in Osborn, John James Tigert,
266. The Board member's name is not mentioned in Osborn but is discussed in more detail in Pitts'
23 Ibid., 155.
24 Craufurd D. Goodwin and Michael Nacht, Absence of Decision (New York: IIE, 1983), 27.
25 Hank Drane, columnist for the Jacksonville newspaper The Florida Times Union, characterized the
conservative political outlook that persisted in Florida after World War II: "At the time, Florida was
experiencing rapid growth but it was still essentially a rural state in its character and philosophical leanings.
Although a big percentage of the growth was being registered in the southern part of that state, that area
was fragmented politically. The political clout was far greater in North Florida with its conservative
Although Tigert believed in furthering international endeavors at UF, he did not go
to great lengths to oppose the Board of Control's decision to limit foreign student
enrollments. Since this was an unparalleled time of great expansion at the university, and
the board controlled the university's purse strings, Tigert needed to choose his battles
wisely. Tigert was apologetic as he explained the enrollment restrictions in a reply to a
French student seeking admission:
Because of the overcrowded conditions at the University of Florida by returning
veterans, we have been forced to restrict admission for the first time. Since the
University of Florida is supported by State appropriations, we feel sure you will
understand that our first obligation is to former University students returning from
the service and to graduates of Florida high schools.. .Under these circumstances
we have been forced to close admission to all foreign students.26
As the situation was unpredictable, Tigert suggested that the student inquire again about
admission in one year. Tigert's emphasis on the word 'forced' and his explanation of the
university's obligation to in-state students reveals the influence of the Board of Control
and the importance of adhering to the state institution's mission of teaching, research, and
service to provide for the interests of the state first and foremost. This tension between
the state governing body's nativist tendencies and the UF president's desire to increase
the university's global reach was one that continued in the years ahead. Echoing Tigert's
statements and calling it the "worst time in the history of student exchange," John F.
Martin, Director of the Inter-American Institute, wrote a similar letter to a hopeful
Portuguese student and suggested he reapply in March or April of 1947.27
viewpoint and strong ties to the South." Hank Drane, Historic Governors (Ocala, FL: Ferguson Printing,
26 Tigert to Antoine, 10 August 1946, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series P7b:
box 9, General Correspondence 1946.
27 Martin to Dias da Fonseca, 3 June 1946, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series
P7a: box 18, Center for Latin American Studies, misc.
By March of 1947, however, the Board of Control's prohibition on new foreign and
out-of-state student enrollments remained, as the university struggled to keep pace with
returned veterans, many of whose wives were now requesting admission.28 By this time,
faculty members began to speak out in support of foreign students joining their programs.
In April of 1947, Herbert Wolf, Head of the Department of Horticulture, and Harold
Hume, Dean of the College of Agriculture, wrote to the Dean of the Graduate School,
Thomas Simpson, seeking the admission of several horticulture students from China.
Requesting that the students also be awarded fellowships, Wolf and Hume reasoned that
the Chinese students should be supported on the principle of aiding a war ally as well as
for the positive future benefit of the university:
If it would be possible for us to offer fellowships to a few of these students, it
would be a very practical means of helping in the agricultural rehabilitation of our
war ally, and we could probably learn some things which would be profitable to
Wolf and Hume's rationale, one advocating for the foreign student out of goodwill and
mutual benefit, proved compelling for Simpson; he wrote to President Tigert the next
day. In his letter to the president, Simpson suggested that it would be profitable to host
the Chinese students and furthered his point by quoting an article from the March 1947
edition of Higher Education titled "Implications of Geographic Restrictions on
Enrollments in State Colleges and Universities:
If a university can keep its graduate school open to outstanding students from other
states and other nations, it is not in too great danger of becoming local or
28 Simpson to Sundaram, Embassy of India, 28 March 1947, University of Florida Archives, Graduate
School, Office of the Dean, Series 46a: box 5, Foreign Students 1946-52.
29 Wolf and Hume to Simpson, 7 April 1947, University of Florida Archives, Graduate School, Office of
the Dean, Series 46a: box 5, Foreign Students 1946-52.
provincial, however rigid the exclusion may be in undergraduate levels of
Concluding his letter to Tigert, Simpson questioned whether or not the Board of Control
would look favorably upon the request to admit these Chinese students given the
enrollment restrictions. Simpson's letter to Tigert reveals that international students were
defined not only as a means to provide international goodwill but also to avoid the
trappings of provincialism and to increase the university's international reputation. That
Tigert did not reply to the faculty member's letter is evidence of the president's
reluctance to raise the issue of foreign student enrollments with the Board of Control.
Despite the enrollment restrictions, however, three new international students did gain
admission to the university. The annual survey of foreign student enrollments, The
Unofficial Ambassadors, reported that 24 foreign students attended UF in 1946, with 27
reported at the conclusion of 1947.31 The Board of Control's enrollment restrictions
would not be officially lifted until the coming of the next UF president, J. Hillis Miller.
During the spring and summer of 1947, two major changes took the university in a
new direction: President Tigert retired and women were granted admission to the
university. Tigert announced his retirement in the spring and by midsummer, the Board
of Control appointed J. Hillis Miller as the university's new president. The summer of
1947 also brought the university's most radical change to date with the announcement
30 Simpson to Tigert, 8 April 1947, University of Florida Archives, Graduate School, Office of the Dean,
Series 46a: box 5, Foreign Students 1946-52. The journal Higher Education was a publication of the
Higher Education Division of the United States Office of Education.
31 Committee on Friendly Relations Among Foreign Students, The UnofficialAmbassadors (New York:
Committee on Friendly Relations, 1946, 1947).
that women would be admitted.32 Upon completion of the 1947-48 academic year,
student enrollment had reached a record 9,787 students.33
Re-Opening the Door to Foreign Students, 1948-1949
The University of Florida's fourth president, J. Hillis Miller, was born in Virginia
and earned his A.B. and M.A. from the University of Virginia before receiving his Ph.D.
in psychology from Columbia University. Specializing in counseling and personnel
administration, Miller became Dean of the Psychology department at Bucknell University
in Pennsylvania. After serving as president of Keuka College in New York, Miller spent
five years as the State of New York's Associate Commissioner of Education before
becoming UF's top administrator.34
President Miller's outlook on the role of higher education in world affairs echoed
that of his predecessor John J. Tigert in his call for scholars to work towards international
It is the function of higher education to invade more effectively the field of
international relations... Thus far in the development of world civilization,
international relations have not brought peace upon earth. The best minds of the
country must address themselves to the problems of effective relationships between
nations in order to give some promise of security to the human race.35
At Miller's inauguration on March 5, 1948, George D. Stoddard, President of the
University of Illinois, gave the first keynote address. Stoddard's speech, entitled "The
Role of Education in International Affairs," underscored the importance of the university
32 Osborn, John James Tigert, 489.
33 Adams, "A History of Higher Education in Florida," 204.
34 University of Florida Archives, "J. Hillis Miller," hlp \ \\ \ .uflib.ufl.edu/spec/archome/Miller.htm
(accessed June 2005). Pitts, "Reminiscences of Three University Presidents," Miller Chapter 1, 1-2.
35 J. Hillis Miller, "Higher Education and the Problems of this Decade," The Educational Record 32, no. 4
to create the "fostering of understanding and good will among the nations."36 Miller's
inaugural address, however, "Higher Education-The Balance Wheel of Progress in the
State of Florida," concentrated on issues relevant to serving the state's interest: "I make
no apology for turning to domestic and local affairs in discussing my subject."37 With an
audience that included Florida Governor Millard F. Caldwell and his cabinet as well as
members of the Board of Control and the Florida Legislature, Miller focused on the
urgent need to expand the university's facilities to keep pace with the projected
enrollment increases of the next decades. Miller's speech laid the groundwork for his six-
year plan for the university, which requested approximately $17.5 million in building
construction costs. Since a majority of these funds needed to come from the state, it is no
surprise that the new president's speech concentrated on local issues.
Although Miller focused on the needs of the university and its importance to the
future benefit of the state, he did not neglect the international aspect of the university
entirely. Nearing the end of his address, Miller pledged many significant goals for
expanding UF's international aspects:
We shall endeavor to build here extensive collections of books pertaining to Florida
history and to Latin America, with particular reference to the West Indies. We shall
seek to have the University designated as one of the depositories for the United
Nations. We shall exhaust every possibility of erecting an Inter-American building
on this campus through the cooperation of our neighboring countries to the South,
and we shall seek in every possible way to solicit support for our Inter-American
36 The I~.1 ..ii. i of Joseph Hillis Miller as President of the University of Florida (Jacksonville: Drew
Press, 1948), 13.
37 Ibid., 50.
38 Ibid., 57-58.
Perhaps aware of the difficulty of convincing the state of Florida legislature to pay for
these international goals, Miller continued:
Although we recognize that these expenditures are legitimate charges against the
State, we shall not hesitate to solicit support from private sources to the end that the
cultural program of the University may keep pace with our great educational,
research, and technical programs.39
Miller's allusion to the need for financial support from outside sources demonstrates his
awareness of the importance of philanthropic foundations, such as the Carnegie, Ford and
Rockefeller Foundations, to fund a significant portion of international education
endeavors at American universities and colleges.
Absent from Miller's declaration of international education goals for the university,
however, is any mention of foreign students or their role within the university. This
omission is consistent with President Tigert's lack of a definitive statement to the
university and the state of Florida regarding the importance of foreign students. Although
Miller did not directly address foreign students or their significance in his inauguration
speech, he was aware of the detriment that closing the university's doors to non-
Floridians caused. Considering Miller's experience in the state of New York and at
Columbia University, an institution with one of the highest numbers of foreign students
in the country, it is likely that Miller found a great contrast between the international
atmosphere of his previous institution and the lingering nativist attitudes in the state of
Florida. By 1948, the Board of Control loosened its enrollment restrictions due in large
part to Miller's advocacy, as Edith Pitts, Miller's executive secretary, explained:
[Miller] felt that the policy of a great state in limiting its higher educational
facilities to residents only was so provincial as to reflect on the state and its
leadership. When he recommended to the governing boards that they lift the
39 Ibid., 58.
limitations and let all who would and could qualify [be] admitted regardless of
residence, they readily approved.40
As a result of Miller's cosmopolitan outlook and his ability to convince the board to lift
the geographic restrictions on enrollments, thirty foreign students enrolled at UF for the
1948-49 academic year, second in the state to the University of Miami, which hosted
fifty-eight students from other countries. The presence of foreign students across the
nation continued to grow, as nearly 20,000 international students were enrolled in
American higher education institutions during the same year.41 The admission of new
foreign students during Miller's inaugural year provided a promising new start for the
future of the university's foreign student program. As the Miller presidency continued,
however, the pattern of ambiguity from the university's top administrator towards foreign
The Foreign Student "Problem," 1949-1950
In February of 1949, President Miller received a letter from a discussion group of
six UF faculty and administrators concerned with the "broad problem of foreign students
on the campus of the University of Florida."42 The group outlined common problems that
foreign students experienced, including difficulty finding part-time work and housing,
social isolation, and racial discrimination. Problems resulting from the presence of
international students on campus were also mentioned, including: the students' lack of
40 Pitts, "Reminiscences of Three University Presidents," Miller Chapter 1, 26.
41 Committee on Friendly Relations Among Foreign Students, The UnofficialAmbassadors 1948 (New
York: Committee on Friendly Relations, 1948), 10.
42 Discussion group to Miller, 14 February 1949, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President,
Series P10a: box 7, Committee on Foreign Students. The group consisted of John F. Martin, Director of the
Inter-American Institute; W.M. Wise, Dean of Student Personnel; Harry R. Warfel, Professor of English;
A.L. Funk; Associate Professor of Social Sciences; James L. Wilson, Assistant Professor of Freshman
English; and Sam Jennings, Secretary of the Interior of the Student Body.
sufficient English skills, determining the distribution of out-of-state tuition waivers, lack
of adequate foreign student housing and counseling services, and the formidable
challenge of "changing group attitudes" of American faculty and students towards
foreign students. The discussion group wanted not only to raise awareness of these
problems, but also to make recommendations for future action. The group suggested that
the president appoint a committee to study these issues in greater detail. The questions
must have resonated with Miller; less than three weeks later, he established the
Committee to Study the Problems of Foreign Students.43
The articulation of these foreign student problems was the first known occasion
that these concerns were brought to the attention of a UF president. In requesting better
coordination of services to foreign students, the faculty group recognized that these
sojourning students had different needs than domestic students. However, this discussion
also set the stage for characterizing foreign students in terms of the problems rather than
the benefits that they brought to the university. This characterization continued at UF in
the years ahead as the number of students from other countries increased at the university
and these issues persisted, leading some to conclude that the problems of foreign students
were inherent with their presence rather than with the university's administration of its
foreign student program.
As the conversation regarding foreign students at UF progressed, the concerns
listed in the group's report resurfaced to varying degrees. The problems of racial
discrimination and of changing group attitudes, in particular, warrant closer examination
43 Wise to Miller, 9 May 1950, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series P10a: box 7,
Committee on Foreign Students. This letter to Miller indicates that the committee was established on
March 3, 1949.
within the local and national context of the University of Florida in 1949. Regarding
discrimination of foreign students, the group concluded:
There are relatively few foreign students at the University of Florida whose skin is
dark enough to cause them to have difficult social problems during their stay here
on the campus. However, there are one or two who do feel this is a problem and,
depending on the admission policies of the University, there may be more in the
The group urged closer consideration of the subject because it might lead to "some cause
of concern and embarrassment on the part of both the University and the students
involved." 45 Although this statement minimizes the overall impact of racial
discrimination for the majority of foreign students, it illustrates a powerful irony: the plea
for understanding and goodwill towards those who were foreign was not extended
towards their fellow Americans with darker skin.
One example of this contradiction can be found with John F. Martin, Director of
the Institute of Inter-American Affairs. Martin had lived abroad for twenty-five years in
Argentina and several other Latin American countries. Despite his experiences overseas
and his support of foreign students at UF, his views on race were consistent with the
segregationist policies of the time. In response to a request from the Coordinator of Inter-
American Affairs in Washington D.C. to publish an article from an African-American
author in UF's Latin American journal, Martin responded:
As Negroes are barred from the University of Florida, I do not feel justified in
opening the columns of one of our publications to a Negro author for the purpose of
adding to his professional and, incidentally, social prestige. And that you may not
44 Discussion group to Miller, 14 February 1949, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President,
Series P10a: box 7, Committee on Foreign Students.
45 Ibid., 1. For an insightful article detailing the history of desegregation in Southern higher education
institutions, see Peter Wallenstein, "Black Southerners and Non-Black Universities: Desegregating Higher
Education, 1935-1967," History of Higher Education Annual 19 (1999): 121-148.
be misled into thinking that I am shielding myself behind the University's attitude,
I may say that personally I am a firm believer in white supremacy.46
Martin's statements were especially candid, but he was not alone in this contradiction
between supporting the inclusion of foreign students while at the same time maintaining
that African-Americans were inferior to whites.47 Perhaps the most prominent national
example comes from J. William Fulbright, the U.S. senator from Arkansas who gained
worldwide respect and admiration for his work towards international exchange and
understanding. Fulbright biographer Randall Bennett Woods explains, however, that
Fulbright was also an "indisputable" racist who "saw no contradiction between his views
on international affairs and civil rights."48
While the impression of the UF faculty discussion group was that the majority of
UF's foreign students did not experience racial discrimination, the contradiction between
American democratic ideals of freedom for all and racial segregation was likely quite
apparent to foreign students. As Norman Kiell explained in the results of his 1951
national survey of Indian students, the dilemma that foreign students faced in this
environment was a double blow:
The realization of our racial problem hits [foreign students] especially hard: first,
because it is so strikingly inconsistent with the democratic traditions they have
associated with the United States; and second, because for many of them-those
from India, China, and Africa in particular-it has meant personal humiliation.
Thus observing our racial double standards and sometimes being on the receiving
end of discriminatory practices, these young people often come to the conclusion
46 Martin to Robey, 6 January 1944, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series P7a:
box 18, Center for Latin American Studies, Misc.
47 Upon receiving a copy of Martin's letter, President Tigert insisted that Martin send a telegram to the
recipient explaining that his statements were to remain confidential.
48 Randall Bennett Woods, Fulbright: A Biography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 115,
that there is no democracy in the United States worthy of the name, or worthy of
Keill's findings contradicted the often-stated belief that by hosting foreign students, the
U.S. would automatically endear them to the nation's democratic principles.50
Nevertheless, the rationale of educating international students for the purpose of
achieving foreign policy objectives became increasingly prominent during the late 1940s
and early 1950s. It would also be seen in later UF reports concerning the status of foreign
students on the campus.
In addition to the issue of racial discrimination, the UF discussion group mentioned
the "very complex and difficult" problem of changing the attitudes of the university
community in order to "give careful attention to the problem of foreign students on our
campus" and to "make an effort to better understand and appreciate these students from
other countries." Convincing the faculty to become more accepting of foreign students,
if they were not already, was likely made a more formidable task in 1949, as the
legislature threatened all state employees, including university professors, with "loyalty
oaths." Among many detailed and personal questions ensuring the employee's loyalty to
democracy and rejection of communism, the oath asked: "Have you ever studied or
attended a school in a foreign country?" and "Have you ever participated in politics, or in
a parade or demonstration of any kind in a foreign country?"52 Although the loyalty oaths
49 Norman Keill, "Attitudes of Foreign Students," Journal of Higher Education 22, no. 4 (1951): 189.
50 Liping Bu, Making the World Like Us (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003), 184.
51 Discussion group to Miller, 14 February 1949, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President,
Series PlOa: box 7, Committee on Foreign Students, 2.
52 "Communist Questionnaire Given [to] University Professors," Gainesville Sun, May 17, 1949. Available
in University of Florida Archives, Graduate School, Office of the Dean, Series 46a: box 7.
were eventually dismissed, the inclusion of questions regarding participation in foreign
education implicated that the study of and within other countries was suspicious, and
perhaps even un-American, in the view of the state legislature. The state's attempted
loyalty oath reveals the continued nativist tendency amongst those in the legislature,
which hindered the university's president ability to advocate for full support of
international endeavors on the UF campus. The loyalty oath that the Florida legislature
attempted to impose was also consistent with the national shift away from the idealism of
international education for peace and mutual understanding towards the need for America
to defend itself against communism. This was a change that would become more apparent
at UF and throughout the United States in the years to come.
Whither International Education at the University of Florida? 1949-1951
In June of 1949, President Miller validated the status of the newly formed
Committee to Study the Problems of Foreign Students with a presidential memorandum
to all university administrators.53 Miller articulated his goals for improving the conditions
of foreign students on the campus:
We are eager to iron out all problems which present handicaps or hindrances to our
foreign students and we also wish to give new and added emphasis to the very
important role which our foreign visitors can play in the total education picture.54
Although Miller recognized the "very important role" of foreign students, he did not offer
a rationale as to why these students were important to the larger university community or
the state and left the value of these students in ambiguous terms. However, the
memorandum announced an important step towards addressing the needs of foreign
53 Miller memorandum, 22 June 1949, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series PlOb:
box 5, Numbered Memoranda, no. 30.
students, with the appointment of a part-time Counselor to Foreign Students for the 1949-
50 academic year. Considering the president's academic background in psychology and
counseling, it is not surprising that he made the appointment of a foreign student
counselor a high priority. By the fall of 1949, Miller released another administrative
memorandum to announce a foreign student counseling service for all non-Latin
American students, which was to be headed by J. Ed Price, of the Office of Student
Personnel.5 Latin American student counseling and administration continued to be
handled out of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs. Miller's memorandum also
indicated that the Committee to Study the Problems of Foreign Students would soon
announce its recommendations to address foreign student issues.
On February 10, 1950, J. Ed Price submitted to Dean of Student Personnel Max
Wise a report culminating the work of the committee entitled "Whither International
Education at the University of Florida? A Presentation of Some Realities of Program and
Policy." In his cover letter, Price presented a positive outlook for increased support of
foreign students at UF: "The student body, faculty, and administrative contacts I have
experienced convince me that cooperation, not antagonism, will be easy to obtain."56 At
the focus of the twenty-page report were the following questions: What were the
objectives sought for each foreign student who attended the University of Florida and
how were these objectives to be obtained?57 Since interest from foreign students
continued to increase, Price recommended that the university assess its plan for foreign
55 Miller memorandum, 10 September 1949, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series
PlOb: box 5, Numbered Memoranda, no. 33.
56 J. Ed Price, 10 February 1950, "Whither International Education at the University of Florida?" University
of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series PlOb: box 14, Reports, Foreign Students, 1.
57 Ibid., 13.
students in order to "set forth clearly its objectives, and to labor honestly and critically for
the actual fruition of stated objectives."58 This statement preceded many of the national
calls for universities and colleges to define the purposes of their foreign student programs
from international student educators such as Cora Du Bois, Edward Cieslak, and Howard
The report detailed eight "starting points" from which to make collaborative
decisions about UF's foreign student program. Among the recommendations, two aimed
at making foreign student admissions more selective to ensure the success of the foreign
student and to enhance UF's academic reputation. First, the report suggested that only
"superior individuals" proficient in English be admitted. Second, the foreign student
needed to show proof of sufficient funds and an adequate hospitalization insurance policy
before obtaining admission. Other suggestions aimed at improving administrative
procedures, including the creation of a booklet about UF to send in response to inquiries
and the improvement of UF's relations with government agencies such as the Department
of State and Immigration and Naturalization Services. Other recommendations centered
on ways to ease the foreign student's adjustment to campus life, which included:
developing a foreign student orientation, endowing an emergency fund for students in
financial distress, designating a formal committee on foreign student matters, and
58 Ibid., 11.
59 Cora Du Bois, Foreign Students and Higher Education in the United States (Washington, D.C.:
American Council on Education, 1956); Edward Cieslak, The Foreign Student in American Colleges: A
Survey and Evaluation ofAdministrative Problems and Practices (Detroit: Wayne University Press, 1955);
Howard E. Wilson, Universities and World, 111 ,1 (New York: Carnegie Endowment for International
coordinating foreign student administration in one unit rather than separate services for
Latin American and non-Latin American students.60
In addition to these eight starting points, the report also outlined the national status
of foreign students. The number of international students on American campuses
continued to rise dramatically, from less than 10,000 in 1930 to nearly 27,000 by 1949.61
Consistent with this growth, Price reported that the number of foreign students at UF
increased from 13 students in 1930, representing .5% of the student body, to 103 in 1949,
representing nearly 1% of total students.62 Although the total number of students enrolled
in American higher education institutions also increased dramatically, up from 1,154,000
in 1930 to 2,456,000 in 1949, the expansion of the foreign student population called for
universities to devote careful study and unique resources to meet the needs of these
students from other countries.63 Price recognized this context:
The increased college attendance has resulted in each institution's working under
the severe handicap of inadequate facilities, both in personnel and physical plant.
Justifiable and desirable as they may be, the special services created for the foreign
student must be weighed carefully.64
Price's cautionary statement illustrates his recognition of the opposition, seen previously
within the Board of Control, to designate resources to a select group of students who
comprised only one percent of the total student body. This statement further indicates that
without a clear definition from the UF president regarding the value of foreign students,
60 Price, "Whither International Education...?" 18.
61 Institute of International Education, Education for One World 1948-49 (New York: IIE, 1949), 14.
62 Price, "Whither International Education...?" 10.
63 Ibid., 13.
64 Ibid., 9.
advocates for these students continued to encounter resistance from those more
concerned with meeting the needs of the state above all else.
In a step towards clarifying the purpose of foreign students at UF, the "Whither
International Education" report significantly articulated two rationales for why foreign
students were important to the university. First, the report stated that Americans
benefited from the foreign student just as much, if not more, than the foreign student
The presence of foreign students on the campus is a tremendous asset to the faculty,
to the student body, and to the State of Florida. That the foreign student is an asset,
that he can contribute even more to us than we give to him, is a truth which should
be emphasized continually by the University.65
This rationale of the foreign student as an asset recalled those of the post-World War I
era, which aimed at world peace and goodwill through mutual exchange and
understanding. The suggestion that the foreign students' importance be "emphasized
continually" was perhaps a call for President Miller to articulate a statement to the
university community and the State of Florida.
Second, the report emphasized that the foreign student presence ensured that the
nation maintained its competitive edge, a rationale that became increasingly persistent as
the country moved towards the Cold War:
If it is to be realistic, the college or university must visualize its program of
education for foreign students as an integral, vital part of the national and
international scene. When the universities and colleges of Europe are rehabilitated
and re-staffed, will the United States continue its world leadership in higher
education? The answer to that question is going to depend, to a great degree, on
how well our colleges and universities succeed in their work with each foreign
65 Ibid., 1-2.
student who comes to the United States to study in the institutions of higher
This rationale of the role of foreign students and international education as key to
maintaining the United States' dominance resonated with government and administrative
officials more than that of peace and goodwill. As Hans de Wit has suggested, these
rationales were often interconnected, as was the case in the UF report, but one remained
the dominant catalyst for gaining federal support and funding:
Although peace and mutual understanding continued to be a driving rationale in
theory, national security and foreign policy were the real forces behind
[international education's] expansion and with it came government funding and
The inclusion of both rationales in the "Whither International Education" report
demonstrates what Emma Schulken defined as the "basic duality" between idealistic and
pragmatic motives. This duality, as Schulken contended, ultimately led to relative
inaction on the part of universities to achieve their goals with foreign student programs.68
In May of 1950, Dean Wise sent the "Whither International Education" report to
President Miller. Wise advocated swift administrative action on the report's suggestions,
noting that the only recommendation with a dissenting vote was that of combining all
foreign student services within one unit.69 Wise also advised Miller to allocate funds for
personnel and operational costs to improve the foreign student program. The issues raised
66 Ibid., 8.
67 Hans de Wit, Internationalization of Higher Education in the United States and Europe: A Historical,
Comparative, and ConceptualAnalysis (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), 25.
68 Emma Walker Schulken, "The History of Foreign Students in American Higher Education from its
Colonial Beginnings to the Present" (PhD diss., Florida State University, 1972), 207.
69 John F. Martin, Director of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs, objected to the idea of combining
Latin American students with non-Latin Americans. No reason was reported. One other committee
member also submitted a dissenting vote (H.S. Wolfe) but only on the basis that he was not present at the
discussion and thus he did not feel informed enough to make a decision.
in the report were of such "insistent urgency" that Wise encouraged the president to take
action before June 1, 1950.70 Miller's response did not come until mid-July, however,
when he approved all of the committee's recommendations. The president explained that
the first priority was to act upon the recommendation to place all foreign student
counseling in one unit, as it was "most important that the official advice concerning
immigration and university regulations be correct and consistent."71 For the remaining
seven recommendations, Miller acknowledged that they were "desirable" but did not
offer a specific plan of action. Instead, the president announced the appointment of a sub-
committee, the "Committee on Foreign Students," to implement the recommendations of
the larger committee's report. Six faculty members were assigned to the task.72
Therefore, President Miller did not follow the recommendation to define foreign students
as an asset to the university nor did he designate any immediate resources to these
students. The naming of an additional committee to study the needs of UF's foreign
student programs also reveals the disinclination of the president to act quickly on foreign
student matters. As a result of the reluctance of the university's top administrator towards
defining the role of international students, the stage was set for further characterization of
this group as a problem when the numbers of foreign students continued to increase and
these issues persisted.
70 Wise to Miller, 9 May 1950, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series P10a: box 7,
Committee on Foreign Students.
72 The Committee on Foreign Students consisted of: J. Johnson, Martin, Price, Larry Variel, J.L. Wilson,
and W.S. Wolfe.
Return of the Foreign Student "Problem," 1951-1952
As the work of the Committee to Study the Problems of Foreign Students and its
newly created sub-committee progressed, the issue of English language proficiency was
raised as a major concern. In March of 1951, the Secretary of the committee, J.L. Wilson,
wrote to the Registrar and the University Examiner to advocate for better assessment of
foreign student applicants' English skills. According to Wilson, the committee felt that
the "lack of knowledge of English is one of the most pressing of the many problems
connected with new foreign students."73 Wilson's characterization of the foreign student
as a problem is indicative of the larger sentiment that foreign students brought with them
a multitude of problems that the university then had to sort out on their behalf. Cora Du
Bois, author of Foreign Students and Higher Education in the United States, discussed
the national prevalence of this characterization in quoting the statement of a higher
education official with "considerable experience" regarding foreign students:
Have we created the "problem of the foreign student" more or less on purpose, in
our own image? Have we, by adopting the running presumption that the foreign
student must be a quivering mass of problems, encouraged a jungle-growth of a
great, loose-jointed apparatus in this country which makes problems inevitable?74
Du Bois' inclusion of this comment reveals the national prevalence of characterizing
international students as aggravations and suggests that this depiction had more to do
with the university's administration of foreign student programs than with the students
themselves. The question of the foreign student "problem" was one with which the UF
committee and its newly appointed sub-committee continued to struggle.
3 Wilson to Johnson and McQuitty, 15 March 1951, University of Florida Archives, Office of the
President, Series PlOa: box 7, Committee on Foreign Students.
74 DuBois, Foreign Students and Higher Education in the United States, 32.
In November of 1951, a year and a half after President Miller appointed the Sub-
Committee on Foreign Students to enact the recommendations of "Whither International
Education," the committee announced its findings.7 Committee Chairman, Harry Warfel,
wrote to President Miller regarding the unanimous approval of the recommendations
made in the 1950 report. Warfel stated three recommendations, the first of which was
identical to Miller's previous decision that all foreign student counseling be placed in one
unit. The second and third recommendations offered suggestions that stemmed from
those previously stated: to enlarge the current duties of the Director of Latin-American
Student Affairs to make the office available to all foreign students and to place this office
within the Dean of Student Personnel. The sub-committee's progress after a year and half
to make only three recommendations, two of which were extensions of previous
suggestions, implies that neither the committee nor the president gave the work top
priority. However, Dean Wise (also Chairman of the larger Committee to Study the
Problems of Foreign Students) welcomed these suggestions, as he described to President
In previous correspondence with your office, I have drawn your attention to the
serious problems which exist in the University's handling of the problems of
foreign students. In my opinion, the recommendation of the Committee offers a
major step in the solution of these problems.76
Dean Wise's statement regarding the situation of foreign students differs from Wilson's
regarding the "many problems connected with new foreign students." For Wise, it was
the university's inadequacy to address the problems of foreign students that led to all
75 Warfel to Miller, 21 November 1951, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series
PlOa: box 7, Committee on Foreign Students.
76 Wise to Miller, 1 December 1951, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series P10a:
box 7, Committee on Foreign Students.
other difficulties rather than the problems being inherent to presence of foreign students
themselves. The point that Wise made is significant in that he seemed to be the only
administrator to place the responsibility onto the university administration rather than the
foreign students. Similar to his previous suggestion in 1950 that the president act
immediately on the "Whither International Education" recommendations, Wise again
called Miller's attention to the immediate need for solutions to the university's problems
in addressing foreign student needs and concerns.
Two months after Dean Wise's letter, President Miller submitted a memorandum to
all administrative and academic councils announcing both the retirement of John F.
Martin, Director of Latin American Student Affairs, and the creation of a foreign student
adviser position.77 While the search began for a full-time adviser, the duties were split
between the School of Inter-American Studies and the Office of Student Personnel.78
Across the country, other universities and colleges similarly recognized the importance of
a specialist to coordinate foreign student services. By 1952, there were 1,029 full-time
foreign student advisers on American campuses, a significant increase from only 400 in
1948.79 The necessity of a full-time adviser was apparent to Acting Dean of UF's
Graduate School, C.F. Byers, who wrote to Miller: "The problem of admission and
academic placement of graduate students from outside the United States is becoming
7 Although Martin opposed the combination of Latin American student services with those for other
foreign students, it is not known if the announcement of his retirement is connected to the announcement of
the creation of an adviser for all foreign students.
8 Miller memorandum, 8 February 1952, University of Florida Archives, Graduate School, Office of the
Dean, Series 46a: box 5, Committee on Foreign Students.
79 Cieslak, The Foreign Student in American Colleges, 93.
increasingly important and is more difficult to handle."80 Byers' description of the
growing foreign student problem reveals that by late in the 1951-52 academic year, the
recommendations to improve the university's administration of its foreign student
program were not effectively in place. Byers' statement echoes that of Committee
Secretary Wilson, who had also defined foreign students as a growing problem. The
persistence of this depiction of international students as a problem largely resulted from
the inaction of the university's top administrator to clarify the direction of the foreign
student program and to enact the recommendations of his appointed committees. Without
decisive administrative guidance, those involved with foreign students-whether in the
classroom, in research labs, or in counseling offices-came to associate these students
with the challenges that surrounded their presence on campus. With President Miller's
eventual creation of the position of adviser to foreign students, however, improvements
upon the university's foreign student program soon became evident.
The Adviser to Foreign Students: Years of Progress, 1952-1955
In August of 1952, two years after the committee recommended creating the
position, Ivan J. Putman was hired as UF's first Adviser to Foreign Students. Unlike
many universities that designated a faculty member to advise foreign students part-time,
President Miller selected an individual with an academic background in foreign student
counseling for the full-time position. Putman had earned his Ph.D. from Miller's alma
mater, Columbia University, and completed his dissertation on the admission and
academic performance of Columbia's international graduate students. During the first
three years of his work, Putman issued detailed reports about foreign students at the
80 Byers to Miller, April 29, 1952, University of Florida Archives, Graduate School, Office of the Dean,
Series 46a: box 5, Foreign Students 1946-52.
University of Florida. These reports, submitted to the president and other administrators,
reveal many insights about the status of foreign students at the University of Florida in
the early 1950s. In his first report summarizing the 1952-53 academic year, for example,
Putman described the importance of the foreign student adviser to contribute to
worldwide peace and mutual understanding:
His principal objective is to help facilitate the kind of exchange which will be of
maximum benefit to all parties concerned in terms of understanding among peoples
and development of individual capacities to contribute to human welfare
throughout the world.81
Although the nation as a whole was no longer in the midst of postwar idealism, Putman's
statement reveals the persistence of the rationale for international students as one of
fostering peace and goodwill, particularly among foreign student advisers.82 Putman's
omission of any foreign policy objectives for hosting international students is indicative
of his idealistic perspective about his new job in particular and the role of foreign
students in general.
Putman described his manifold duties as foreign student adviser, including:
coordinating responses to application inquires, receiving new students, hosting
orientations, coordinating counseling services, arranging for contacts with Americans,
offering assistance with scholarship and financial aid information and serving as a
resource for American students wanting to study abroad. Putman devoted a section of his
1952-53 report to "Relationships with Foreign Students," in which he noted that there
were "initial problems" during the transition period with Latin American students who
81 Ivan J. Putman, "Annual Report of Adviser to Foreign Students, 1952-1953," University of Florida
Archives, Office of the President, Series PlOb: box 14, Reports, Foreign Students, 3.
82 Bu, Making the World Like Us, 161.
felt "abandoned" as a result of the merger of all foreign student services.83 Putman
reported, however, that in a short amount of time this feeling subsided. By the spring of
1953 he had received an average of 20 to 30 student visits per day, up from only four or
five in the fall semester.84 The university hosted 207 foreign students that fall and 197 the
following spring. Although these figures seem to suggest UF had a total of 404 students,
further examination reveals that Putman likely counted each student every semester
rather than conducting an academic year tally. The figure of 262 foreign students at UF
for 1952-53, as reported in the Institute of International Education's national foreign
student survey, Educationfor One World, is perhaps a more accurate total because the
survey required students be counted by the academic year rather than by each semester.
The University of Florida's 262 foreign students surpassed in number all other Florida
higher education institutions, with the University of Miami's 231 students a close second
and Florida State University's total of 48 foreign students a distant third.85 Out of the
national tally of 33,675 foreign students, the state of Florida's 648 foreign students
ranked first in number among the Southeastern states, while the state of New York
ranked highest in the nation with 6,044.86
Putman explained the progress that his office, staffed with a full-time secretary and
part-time graduate assistant, had made on several of the recommendations from the 1950
"Whither International Education" report. These improvements included discussions with
the Registrar's Office to overhaul the admissions process, the creation of an information
83 Putman, "Annual Report of Adviser to Foreign Students, 1952-1953," 4.
85 Institute of International Education, Education for One World 1952-53 (New York: IIE, 1953), 26.
86 Ibid., back cover.
bulletin to foreign students, and the improvement of orientation services. Putman and his
wife arranged to meet each student at the station or airport upon arrival, and his goal was
to host each student for dinner at least once during the year.87 Putman was clearly
committed to ensuring that every foreign student felt welcome at the University of
In addition to welcoming these students from abroad, Putman also addressed their
problems. Resulting from a series of group interviews with UF's international students
throughout the semester, Putman summarized three areas of commonly experienced
foreign student concerns: lack of contact with American students, difficulty with
orientation and registration procedures, and the need to improve their English skills.88
Putman summarized the outcomes of the group interviews: "One of the most interesting
results of these meetings was the interest of the group of foreign students in the fact that
such a meeting had been called. An appreciable number of them commented that they
were glad to be consulted."89 This remark underscores the importance of the foreign
student adviser, who counseled the foreign students from their first arrival in town until
the end of their sojourns. Putman's description of foreign student concerns also echoes
Dean of Student Personnel Max Wise's earlier assertion that the problems of foreign
students were not inherent to the students themselves, but rather a result of the lack of
administrative procedures to address adequately the students' unique needs.
87 Putman, "Annual Report of Adviser to Foreign Students, 1952-1953," 6.
88 Ibid., 20.
The reports of the Foreign Student Adviser from 1953-54 and 1954-55 reveal two
years of progress within UF's foreign student program. In his 1953-54 report, Putman
stated that the new admissions procedures enacted during the previous year reduced a
number of academic problems. Further, the quality of the foreign students' academic
work seemed to be improving.90 Admissions policies had become more selective for
students from other countries. Even though the number of applicants increased, UF
admitted only 191 foreign students for 1953-54, compared with 262 from the previous
year.91 The recurring issue of inadequate English skills was addressed with the creation of
the English Language Institute, which began in the summer of 1954. An information
bulletin for foreign students was published and put to use successfully, serving as a
model for other universities.92 An International Student Organization (ISO) including
both foreign and American students was started with the hopes that it would be
"successful in increasing student interest in international affairs generally."93 Despite the
potential of the International Student Organization, Putman cited that contacts between
American and foreign students remained rather minimal and that this was an area with
room for improvement. Putman described the ISO's plan to start a Community Advisory
Group to involve more American students and residents of Gainesville. Putman hoped
this plan would remedy the foreign students' feeling that locals took "little or no interest
90 Ivan J. Putman, "Annual Report of Foreign Student Adviser, 1953-54," University of Florida Archives,
Series 136, Committee on Foreign Students, 3.
91 Institute of International Education, Education for One World, 1953-54 (New York: IIE, 1954), 22.
92 Putman, "Annual Report of Foreign Student Adviser, 1953-54," 3.
93 Ibid., 24.
in them or their countries."94 Even if socialization between American and foreign
students at UF was not commonplace, evidence suggests that some aspect of the foreign
students' presence was accepted as part of the larger UF community. For example, a
Latin American student group's homecoming float won first prize in the 1953
homecoming parade.95 Putman also recounted the situation of a married foreign student
couple from Transjordan, Mr. and Mrs. Wasfi Hijab, who had quadruplets during their
studies in Gainesville. Organizations within the community provided donations and
financial help, and the Hijabs even gained semi-celebrity status when a milk company
offered them an advertising contract. Further, Putman became legal guardian to the
children to "avoid income tax complications" resulting from the milk ad contract.96
For the 1954-55 academic year, Putman reported new enrollment trends such as the
slight decline in Latin American student numbers, which he attributed to more selective
admissions, and the increase in non-Latin American foreign students from the Middle
East and south Asian countries. Other trends included the increase of graduate foreign
student enrollment while undergraduate numbers remained about the same.97 These
trends mirrored those in the national arena, as reported in the Institute of International
Education's national survey of foreign student data, Open Doors. Although Canada
remained the largest foreign student nationality attending U.S. institutions, the report
noted significant gains within the previous five years in the number of students from
94 Ibid., 28.
95 Ibid., 26.
96 Ibid., 19.
97 Ivan J. Putman, "Annual Report of Foreign Student Adviser, 1954-55," University of Florida Archives,
Series 136, Committee on Foreign Students, 3.
Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Colombia.98 The majority of foreign students on
American campuses were undergraduates but the report noted that some countries,
including India, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and Thailand, sent an "unusually
high" percentage of graduate students.99
Putman described his satisfaction with the increased academic performance of the
foreign student group; the undergraduate foreign students, with an average GPA of 2.29
for the spring of 1954, surpassed the overall university average of 2.13.100 Contributing to
these academic accomplishments were the "increased effectiveness" of the new
admissions standards, the enhancement of English instruction, and the improvement of
foreign student and academic advising.101 Putman concluded that 1954-55 was a "very
satisfying year" but cautioned against complacency:
We have found that there are limits to what the office can accomplish and we are
close to the saturation point a good part of the time, if not past it. This is disturbing
in view of the fact that much more could be done with considerable profit to all
concerned. However, even as things stand, foreign students are generally having a
good experience at the University of Florida, and their presence is making more of
a contribution to the education of our own native students. There is every indication
that these improvements will continue to develop.102
Putman's mention of reaching the "saturation point" foreshadowed what was to come in
the years ahead, as the university continued its rapid expansion and the nation plunged
deeper into the Cold War.
98 Institute of International Education, Open Doors, 1954-55 (New York: IIE, 1955), 7.
99 Ibid., 9.
100 Putman, "Annual Report of Foreign Student Adviser, 1954-55," 5.
102 Ibid., 11.
New Definitions for Foreign Students at the University of Florida, 1955-1957
Putman indeed faced the dilemma of increased demand and lack of resources
shortly after his 1955 report. Another foreign student report did not appear until three
years later. During the three years between Putman's foreign student status reports, many
changes took place within the university's administration. President Miller died suddenly
on November 14, 1954 and the Board of Control named Vice President John S. Allen as
interim president.103 On March 22, 1955, the board appointed J. Wayne Reitz-UF's
Provost of Agriculture-as the fifth president of the University of Florida and the first
former faculty member to be named to the post. Born in Kansas, Reitz had received his
education from various institutions: Colorado State University (bachelor's), University of
Illinois (master's), and the University of Wisconsin (Ph.D.). Reitz became a professor of
Agricultural Economics at UF in 1935 and was later named as Provost of Agriculture in
1949 upon his return to academia after working for the USDA.104 With his strong interest
in Latin American agricultural research and his service on the executive board for two
Costa Rican institutions, Reitz held promising connections to international education. In
his inauguration speech, moreover, Reitz recognized the importance of the American
university to world affairs. Unlike presidents Tigert and Miller, who emphasized the
university's international role in creating goodwill and world peace, Reitz placed the
university's global role firmly within the context of defeating communism:
America has risen to a place of unusual leadership in the modern world, so
suddenly that we are having great difficulty in assuming these new and enlarged
responsibilities... We must better understand the history, culture, and psychology of
103 University of Florida Archives, "J. Hillis Miller," http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/archome/Miller.htm
(accessed June 2005).
104 University of Florida Archives, "J. Wayne Reitz," http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/archome/Reitz.htm
(accessed June 2005).
the people with whom we work and relate ourselves... The American democratic
way of life, with whatever weaknesses it may have, needs to be set out in clear
contrast to the diabolical features of communism and other forms of government
which destroy the minds and souls of men.105
Reitz's statements reflected the national scare of the Cold War and the perceived threat of
communism, which now overshadowed the rationale of international education for world
peace and goodwill, as Hans de Wit noted.106 Although Reitz called attention to this new
role for the university in world affairs, he made no mention of foreign students. This
omission is consistent with the administrative ambiguity towards publicly defining the
role of international students which former presidents Tigert and Miller also
Although his inauguration speech did not address foreign students directly, in the
spring of 1956 Reitz issued a presidential memorandum to all faculty members regarding
foreign students.107 The memorandum served to update former President Miller's
statements in 1949 regarding foreign student policies. The memorandum also
summarized the current functions of the Foreign Student Adviser. In this document, Reitz
made two important statements regarding the status of foreign students and how they
were to be treated at the University of Florida. Reitz first emphasized the need to hold
foreign students to the same academic and admissions standards of American students.
Second, Reitz stated that faculty members must encourage foreign students to return
home upon graduation so that these students remained "focused on the needs and
105 Pitts, "Reminiscences of Three University Presidents," 50.
106 De Wit, Internationalization of Higher Education in the United States and Europe, xviii.
107 Reitz to Faculty, 25 May 1956, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series P14a: box
31, Foreign Students & Visitors 1955-67.
problems of their home countries and ways in which they can most effectively contribute
to their solution."108
It is significant that Reitz issued such guidelines to all faculty members, as his
statements gave legitimacy to the presence of foreign students. These statements also
provided insight into how the university president viewed international students and their
place within the larger university. According to Reitz, foreign students were not to be
singled out from domestic students. The president's second statement indicating that
foreign students must be encouraged to return home, armed with the new knowledge
gained from their studies in the U.S., suggested that it was the foreign students, not the
university, which had the most to gain from their academic sojourns. The statements from
President Reitz were also consistent with the national concern of returning foreign
students to their home countries so that they could become "ambassadors" of goodwill,
and more importantly, of the American democratic way of life.
In response to Reitz's memorandum, the new Chairman of the Committee on
Foreign Students, Nicholas Chotas, reported to the president on the committee's recent
discussion of plans for an International House.109 The proposed building would provide
not only accommodations but also bring American and foreign students together in a
community living environment. The idea for an international house had originated with
President Tigert's plans for an Inter-American House in the 1930s. Since more than half
of UF's 207 foreign students in 1956 were from non-Latin American countries, Chotas
reasoned that the housing area should be open to all foreign students as well as American
109 Chotas to Reitz, 21 November 1956, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series
P14a: box 31, Foreign Students & Visitors, 1955-67.
students. Similar to the statements in "Whither International Education," the rationale
Chotas presented echoed the late 1940s sentiment of international exchange for goodwill
and mutual understanding. Furthermore, Chotas also provided a rationale that foresaw
It is not inconceivable that a constructive exchange in daily living on the University
of Florida campus between foreign and United States students today could
favorably affect international policies between countries when today's students
become tomorrow's policy makers.110
The president's reply to Chotas' request was not encouraging: "While I am sure that the
ideas expressed by the committee have much merit, there does not seem to be anything
that we can do about this matter in the immediate future."111 Reitz did not offer any
indication as to why their request could not be met, but he suggested that the committee
approach the planning board of the new student union building to inquire about any
additional space in the developing plans. Without much support from the president,
however, the hope for an international house proved difficult to realize. The student
union was built without space for an international house or meeting area.112 President
Reitz's denial of the International House request contrasts sharply with his earlier
memorandum to the university community, which legitimized the presence of these
students at UF. Reitz's response indicated that although foreign students were rhetorically
important to the university, when it came to allocating financial resources, foreign
students were not a priority.
111 Reitz to Chotas, 27 December 1956, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series
P14a: box 31, Foreign Students & Visitors, 1955-67.
112 The creation of an "international house" or dormitory designated for the interaction of foreign and
American students continued to be debated throughout the years. The goal would be achieved finally in
2002, with the designation of the Weaver Hall dormitory as the "Weaver International House."
The Adviser to Foreign Students: Towards the Saturation Point, 1957-1958
In the fall of 1957, the university welcomed its "largest and most varied" group of
foreign students in its history, with a total of 315 students from 57 countries. The
Committee on Foreign Students Chairman Nicholas Chotas announced the news in a
letter to all faculty and staff in which he appealed to them to reach out to these "highly
selected and promising individuals" by inviting them to dinner, a picnic, or the beach. 113
In June of 1958, Chotas reported to Harry Philpott, the newly appointed Vice President,
on the accomplishments of the year and the future plans for the Committee on Foreign
Students. Chotas indicated that the response of the faculty and staff to his request was
"heartening" but the extent of participation had not been determined.114 Philpott's
response to the report was complimentary:
As a newcomer to the administration... I have been tremendously impressed by the
provisions made for our foreign students. It is quite clear that the University of
Florida has one of the finest programs in this respect to be found in any institutions
in the United States.115
While UF's vice president considered its foreign student program to be exemplary, the
Adviser to Foreign Students, Ivan Putman, was reaching his breaking point. Reporting
228 foreign students to the Open Doors survey, UF ranked first in the state of Florida and
thirtieth in the nation of all U.S. institutions hosting international students.116 In the 1958
report of the Adviser to Foreign Students, Putman's exasperated tone was considerably
113 Chotas to Members of the University Faculty and Staff, 18 November 1957, University of Florida
Archives, Office of the President, Series P14a: box 31, Foreign Students & Visitors, 1955-67.
114 Chotas to Philpott, 5 June 1958, P14a: box 31, Foreign Students & Visitors, 1955-67.
115 Philpott to Chotas, 1 July 1958, P14a: box 31, Foreign Students & Visitors, 1955-67.
116 Ivan J. Putman, Adviser to Foreign Students announcement, 26 June 1958, University of Florida
Archives, Office of Academic Affairs, Series 2a: box 56, Foreign Students 1958-1973.
less positive than his earlier accounts. Describing his report as "frank and personal,"
Putman explained the reason for the three-year gap: "There simply has not been time, and
there is not now time, to issue the fairly comprehensive reports which I prepared in 1953,
1954, and 1955."17 Because of his increased workload, Putman could no longer meet
every student at the station upon arrival. In order to maintain his role as counselor to
foreign students with an open door policy, Putman stated that he struggled to complete
the numerous administrative tasks required of him. The lack of adequate personnel placed
considerable strain upon Putman and his meager staff of two secretaries, a graduate
assistant, and two part-time student assistants. His requests for additional staff during the
summer months went unanswered, and the morale within Putman's organization was
We have been fortunate in having devoted and hard-working staff people who have
accepted the pressure of over-work and crowded conditions with good grace.
However, they have understandably grumbled when they have seen others, often
with higher ratings and better salaries, sitting around with less to do and less
Putman urged for the appointment of a full-time Assistant Foreign Student Adviser and
for the provision of a more adequate space than the room currently shared with the
Student Personnel Records office. Unless changes were made, Putman stated that he was
"not willing to go on doing this much longer" nor was he willing to ask his staff to
"continue working with as much pressure and as little recognition" as they had
received.119 Putman's exasperation at the lack of attention from the top administrators
117 Ivan J. Putman, Report of the Adviser to Foreign Students 1957-58, University of Florida Archives,
Office of the President, Series P14a: box 31, Foreign Students & Visitors, 1955-67, 1.
118 Ibid., 8.
119 Ibid., 9.
demonstrates what international educators Edward Cieslak, Homer Higbee, and Craufurd
Goodwin and Michael Nacht noted regarding the low status assigned to the work of
foreign student advisers and their inability to influence administrative policy.120
Concluding his report of 1958, Putman stated a very different rationale from that of
his first report in 1953, in which he had emphasized the mutual benefits of cultural
exchange for its own sake. The importance of the nation's foreign policy interests now
depended upon the success of foreign students:
The stakes of our country, and therefore of our University, in the international area
are high, and we can therefore not afford to do a half-way job with these students
from abroad who are tomorrow's leaders in their countries. 121
As Putman made the case to university administrators, the shift in rationale from his first
report was indicative of the larger changes taking place in international education towards
the role of international students. In the 1963 book, The Foreign Student: Whom ,/ h/l We
Welcome?, Maurice Harari characterized this "Cold War cultural diplomacy" as
involving the "belief that training foreign students here is a way of making friends for the
United States in the Cold War."122 This conception of diplomacy was very different from
that of the late 1940s when mutual benefit and goodwill rather than improving the
nation's image abroad was first emphasized as a rationale for the support of foreign
students. The purpose of foreign students on American campuses was no longer a matter
120 Edward Cieslak, The Foreign Student in American Colleges (Detroit: Wayne University Press, 1955),
25; Homer Higbee, The Status of Foreign StudentAdvising in U.S. Universities and Colleges (East
Lansing: Michigan State University, 1961), 41; Goodwin and Nacht, Absence ofDecision, 8
121 Putman, Report of the Adviser to Foreign Students 1957-58, 12.
122 Maurice Harari, The Foreign Student: Whom Shall We Welcome? (New York: Education and World
Affairs, 1964), 4.
of extending an offer of mutual exchange to make a more peaceful world, but rather one
of national defense interests.
Despite Putman's characterization of foreign students as key to the future of the
nation, a significant shift from his previous rationale, President Reitz did not take
immediate action upon the foreign student adviser's requests. A response finally came
three months later, when Vice President Harry Philpott wrote to Nicholas Chotas,
Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Students, to discuss the issues Putman raised in
his report. Philpott revealed that President Reitz had decided to name yet another faculty
committee to provide guidance on the current state of foreign students at the university
and then to assess this group's needs.123 That Reitz did not reply personally to the issues
Putman raised is indicative of the ambiguous presidential response towards foreign
students demonstrated throughout this study. Similar to President Miller before him,
Reitz chose not to take immediate action upon the recommendations of concerned faculty
members and staff regarding the foreign student program. Reitz's lack of a response to
the foreign student adviser's criticisms reveals the difficulty for the university president
to act upon the needs of the foreign student program within the context of the state
university's various constituencies. Moreover, even when foreign students were defined
as a way to ensure national defense, that this rationale was not enough to move the
president into action illustrates the strength of the public institution's mission to serve the
interests of the state above all else.
123 Philpott to Chotas, 9 December 1958, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series
P14a: box 31, Foreign Students & Visitors, 1955-67.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
From 1946 to 1958, the University of Florida moved from severe restrictions on
foreign student admissions to hosting larger foreign student numbers than could be
adequately handled. Although University of Florida presidents John J. Tigert, J. Hillis
Miller, and J. Wayne Reitz articulated beliefs in the importance of the university's role in
world affairs and international relations-whether for peace and goodwill or to ensure the
defeat of communism-the role of foreign students was not defined as essential to the
university's overall mission.
Tigert, serving as president during UF's greatest expansion, faced strong opposition
from the Board of Control to provide any state resources for foreign students. Despite the
resistance within the state, Tigert made significant contributions to the university's
international endeavors during his nineteen years as president. Most notable had been his
creation of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs in 1930. When the Board of Control
restricted foreign and out-of-state student admissions in 1946, however, Tigert chose not
to advocate for their inclusion due to the need to concentrate efforts on accommodating
returning World War II veterans and to ensure the Board's approval of necessary
construction funds. President Tigert's ambiguousness towards foreign students during
this period likely resulted more from the struggle to keep pace with domestic student
expansion than from any personal disregard for the importance of these sojourning
students. In fact, one year after his retirement Tigert accepted an offer to serve as one of
two Americans on a commission to study higher education in India. During his year spent
throughout India, Tigert observed the country's universities and suggested reforms for
improving the quality of their higher education system.'
Tigert's successor, J. Hillis Miller, brought numerous improvements to UF's
foreign student program during his presidency from 1948 to 1953. At the suggestion of
concerned faculty members, Miller established a formal committee to study the problems
of foreign students in addition to sending a presidential memorandum to the university
community regarding the organization of services to these students. With his background
in counseling at Columbia University, Miller recognized the need for a designated
professional to administer the foreign student program and named Ivan Putman as
Adviser to Foreign Students in 1952. Although the Miller years improved the
organization of the foreign student program at UF, the university's top administrator
reacted slowly, if at all, to the recommendations of his appointed committees. In his
inaugural address, in which he made "no apologies" for concentrating on state and local
issues, Miller set the stage for his reluctance to define the role of international students
and his concentration on serving the interests of the state of Florida first and foremost.
Considering Miller's untimely death, it is difficult to speculate as to whether he would
have eventually clarified the role of foreign students at the University of Florida or if he
would have remained at a standstill in regards to defining their potential contributions to
the university, the state, and the nation.
The administration of the University of Florida's fifth president, J. Wayne Reitz,
continued from 1955 until 1967. During his tenure, President Reitz successfully
strengthened Tigert's legacy of interest in Latin America and expanded the Institute of
1 George Osborn, John James Tigert: American Educator (Gainesville: University Presses of Florida,
Inter-American Affairs into the Center for Latin American Studies.2 Reitz also furthered
Miller's statements about foreign students in an updated memorandum to the university
community regarding policies towards these students from abroad. In this document,
Reitz called for international students to be held to the same standards as domestic
students and emphasized the need to encourage foreign students to return to their home
countries upon completion of their degrees. Reitz's sentiments were consistent with the
larger shift in rationale at the federal level for the need to host foreign students. Unlike
his predecessors Tigert and Miller, who had described the importance of international
education in terms of world peace and understanding, Reitz characterized international
education as a means of defeating communism and ensuring the spread of democracy.
However, even when foreign students were defined as essential to the future defense of
the country, as evidenced in the final foreign student adviser report of 1958, the
university president did not respond to the call to provide more resources to serve these
students. Rather than offer a personal response to Putman's report, Reitz again named a
faculty committee to study the "problems" in greater detail.
Although Reitz differed from his predecessors in his outlook on the aims of
international education, Reitz was similarly concerned with facing pressure from the state
of Florida legislature regarding the expansion of the foreign student program. By 1966,
when the 746 students from other countries comprised more than three percent of UF's
student body, Reitz suggested enacting a quota to limit foreign student enrollment to no
2 Similar to President Tigert, Reitz also continued international education activities upon retirement. Reitz
served in numerous educational positions throughout Latin America and Thailand and later agreed to
become Director of the UF Council for International Studies in 1975. University of Florida Office of the
President, "J. Wayne Reitz," hip \ \\ \\ .president.ufl.edu/pastPrez/reitz.htm (accessed June 2005). Reitz
to Marston, 23 May 1975, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series P13a: box 73,
International Studies and Programs.
larger than three percent. Reitz advocated for this "arbitrary ceiling" in order to "preserve
the important place of foreign students on our campus" by avoiding potential conflicts
with the legislature:
If we allowed the number to get too large, there could possibly be repercussions
which would result in placing restrictions which we would want to avoid. In other
words, by exercising internal management, if you will, we might avoid external
criticism from the standpoint of the legislature, when it is so generally recognized
that our pressure from students in the state is so great.3
Reitz's cautionary statement reveals an explanation for the ambiguous administrative
response to foreign students evidenced throughout the twelve-year period of this study
and in later years at the university. For presidents Tigert, Miller, and Reitz, international
students rhetorically held an "important place" on the campus, yet their presence was not
to grow so large as to awaken the nativist tendencies of the state legislature.
In making their administrative decisions, these three UF presidents juggled the
demands of various constituencies within the university, the state, and the nation. Faculty
members who advocated for foreign students first characterized the students' importance
in terms of achieving peace and mutual understanding and later as a means to ensure the
future success of the United States. Some faculty members defined foreign students as a
growing problem, while others lamented the university's inability to address these
students' needs. State legislators and Board of Control members, directly and indirectly,
influenced the ambiguous response of the UF presidents in their resolve to serve the
needs of the state and its residents first and foremost. Nationally, federal officials became
increasingly involved in foreign student programs after World War II and provided
funding to higher education as never before. Through international exchange programs
3 Reitz to Bryan, 29 April 1966, University of Florida Archives, Office of the President, Series 2a: box 56,
President's Report on Foreign Students.
funded by the Fulbright and Smith-Mundt Acts, federal officials aimed to gain support
from American-educated future foreign leaders.
The history of international students at the University of Florida from 1946 to 1958
reveals the complexities of foreign student programs in state-sponsored, public
institutions. The University of Florida presidents during this period struggled to
accommodate UF's rapid growth while also meeting the demands of its various
constituencies with competing agendas. On the one hand, these university presidents
needed to expand UF's international reputation and participate in the new "world role" of
universities in international affairs, an effort increasingly supported by the federal
government. Conversely, the university presidents also recognized the need to serve the
interests of the state of Florida in order to maintain relations with the university's main
funding source, the state legislature and its accompanying Board of Control. As the door
to foreign students opened wider at the University of Florida from 1946 to 1958, the
administrative decisions made during these years sent ambiguous messages to
international students about their desired contributions to the university, the state, and the
This study contributes to a greater understanding of the literature on foreign
students, which repeatedly calls for higher education institutions to define their purposes
for hosting these sojourning students to their respective academic communities first and
foremost. In the case of the University of Florida, three successive presidents were
ambiguous in defining the value of international students to the institution itself as well as
to its outside constituents. Although committees to study the needs of foreign students
were formed, the president often reacted slowly, if at all, to his committee's
recommendations for improving UF's accommodation of foreign students. The
development of UF's foreign student program also proves useful to the argument of
Craufurd Goodwin and Michael Nacht, who suggested that universities have not
successfully gained support for international student programs from their state
legislatures because they have not defined for themselves the potential contributions that
foreign students could make to the university and the state. Without this definition, state
legislators considered funding foreign students to be "simply wrong" and at the expense
of its residents rather than an overall benefit to the state. 4
In addition to illuminating the dynamics between public university administrators
and their state legislatures, this thesis also contributes to an understanding of the larger
history of American higher education after World War II. The development of the foreign
student program at the University of Florida exemplifies what historians John Thelin,
Christopher Lucas, and Roger Geiger characterized as a period in which the nation's
colleges and universities were adjusting rapidly to new roles and expectations within
American society. This study of the University of Florida reveals an institution that found
itself welcoming foreign students yet not so much so that the needs of the state felt
threatened. As a result, presidents Tigert, Miller, and Reitz neither ignored foreign
students entirely nor did they define explicitly the value of these students to the
university, the state, or the nation.
A recent initiative in the Florida legislature suggests that the debate about the
importance of international students continues. The Student Financial Assistance bill (HB
21), which passed in the Florida House of Representatives in 2005, would have denied
4 Craufurd D. Goodwin and Michael Nacht, Absence ofDecision: Foreign Students in American Colleges
(New York: Institute of International Education, 1983), 26.
financial assistance to certain classifications of international students and re-directed the
funds to state residents. Although the bill did not reach the Florida Senate, the measure
reveals the continuing debate regarding the desirability of supporting international
students in the state of Florida. Nationally, in 2004 the number of international students
on American campuses (572,509) declined for the first time since 1972. In response,
international student advocates have called for federal reforms of the numerous visa
restrictions placed upon foreign students in the wake of September 11, 2001. Until
university administrators are able to define clearly the purposes and value of international
students to American higher education, the future status of these students from abroad
will remain uncertain.5
5 Florida House of Representatives, Student FinancialAssistance, HB 21, 2005 sess.,
hup \ %\ \ .myfloridahouse.gov/default.aspx (accessed June 2005). Institute of International Education,
Open Doors 2004 (New York: IIE, 2005). House Committee on Education and the Workforce, "Testimony
of Lawrence H. Bell Before the Subcommittees on Select Education and 21st Century Competitiveness,"
March 17, 2005, ihp \\ \ \\ .nafsa.org/content/PublicPolicy/NAFSAonthelssues/Issues.htm (accessed June
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AT UF AND IN THE U.S., 1946-1958
International Students at UF, 1946-1958
Total int'l students
1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958
Figure 1. International Students at UF, 1946-1958. (Source: Institute of International
Education, Educationfor One World, 1946-1953 and Open Doors, 1954-
International Students in the U.S., 1946-1958
Total int'l students
Figure 2. International Students in the U.S., 1946-1958. (Source: Source: Institute of
International Education, Educationfor One World, 1946-1953 and Open
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Leigh Ann Bauer Osborne received a Master of Arts in Education, in social
foundations, from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. She received Bachelor
of Arts degrees in French and English from the University of Florida in 2000. In the
summer of 1999, she studied abroad in Avignon, France. She has worked at the
University of Florida International Center since 1998. In her current position as Study
Abroad Advisor, she assists UF students in making their study abroad plans.