Interview with Lewis Berner, January 23, 1969

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Interview with Lewis Berner, January 23, 1969
Proctor, Samuel ( Interviewer )
Berner, Lewis ( Interviewee )
Samuel Proctor
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
University of Florida Campus (General) Oral History Collection ( local )


Scope and Content:
Entomologist and professor. Lewis Berner was born on September 30, 1915, in Savannah, Georgia. He received his B.S. in 1937, M.S. in 1939 and Ph.D. in 1941, all from the University of Florida. In 1941, he was inducted into the army, training in field artillery in Texas. Soon thereafter, he was assigned to Ft. McPherson Medical Laboratory (Atlanta) to make use of his scientific background. He spent six months there until his transfer to Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana) in September 1942 to undertake mosquito control work and other tropical health programs. Berner served as an army major and entomologist for the Inter-Allied Malaria Control Group in Accra. He received the Legion of Merit medal for his mosquito control work with this primarily British and American group, which was commanded by an Australian and staffed principally by engineers. According to Berner, the group was almost entirely successful in eliminating malaria from the Accra area of the Gold Coast, at the time a British colony (it became independent as Ghana in 1957). When he first went to Africa in 1942 (flying via Brazil, from Miami), Berner landed in Liberia and stayed for two nights at the Firestone Rubber plantation. Continuing to Accra, he stayed in barracks built by Pan American Airlines. They were relatively luxurious accommodations with mattresses and screened windows. Pan American army planes transported the group throughout much of Africa. Berner was the medical inspector of Morrison Field Air Base (Palm Beach) for the Africa-Middle East Wing of the Air Transport Command, and for the North African Wing of the A.T.C. He traveled to Liberia, Senegal, French Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, and the Union of South Africa in this capacity in 1943 and 1944. He also traveled from Elizabethville, Belgian Congo (Lubumbashi) to Johannesburg, South Africa, on a narrow gauge railway trip that took five days and four nights to complete. After returning to the U.S. (again via Brazil) in 1945, Berner was stationed in Miami, and two months later was transferred to the Philippines. On his way there, he stopped in Hawaii, where he arrived on VJ Day, August 14, 1945. There he met his future wife, Amelia (Amy), a nurse on a ship stationed there (they married the same year). He continued to his post as Commanding Officer of the School of Preventative Medicine in Manila, but because the war ended it never functioned. He was discharged in February 1946 as a Lieutenant Colonel and was subsequently offered a position as an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at UF, where he began work that June. He became a full Professor in 1954, later served as chair of the department, and was named Professor Emeritus in 1984. Berner was a recognized expert on the mayflies of the Southeast U.S. He was the author of numerous publications, primarily on entomology, aquatic insects, mosquitoes and mayflies (particularly the mayflies of Florida). Throughout his career, Berner returned to Africa to conduct research and provide consultation. In 1950, he worked on the Volta River project in the Gold Coast, investigating schistosomiasis and onchocerciasis with the Inter-Allied group. He also worked in the Shire Valley of Malawi in 1952, during which time Archie Carr was his assistant. Dr. Berner died on January 19, 2004.

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Interview with Dr. Lewis Berner conducted by Samuel Proctor
January 23, 1J9 at 10:00 am

P: Dr. Lewis Berner is chairman of the Department of Biolcgical Sciences and is a

long time resident of Gainesville and the University of Florida. We will be informal

in the interview and I am going to first ask you for some biographical data.

B: I was born in 1915, September 30th.

P: I did not realize chat you were that old?

B: Tes, I am 53. You mean that I do not look it?

P: No, you do not.

B: I was born in Savannah, Georgia.

P: Is that your family's home town?

B: Yes, my mother was born there as well. Her mother was born in Camden, South Carolina.

m'q father was an immigrant from he came over in the latter part of the

ninteenth century. I think that they were married in 1905 in Jacksonville.

p; Thk ^ <'_('*Q Sot )%' i

B: I lived in Savannah until I was nine years old and then we moved to Atlanta until

I was twelve. At that time we moved to Miami.

P: Your father's business moved to Atlanta?

B: Yes, he established a business in Atlanta and then he moved his business to / Miami.

He sold restaurant and store equipment, equipment for grocery stores, refrigerators and

that kind of thing. Then we moved to Miami in 1927.

P: Right after the boom.

B: Right.

P: That might not have been such a good time to come.

B: Well, it looked pretty good at the time. I went to public school in Miami.

P: In Miami proper, not the beach?

B: Well, I went both places. I graduated from a junior high school in Miami,

Junior High School in 1930. Then we moved to Miami Beach and then I went to Ida

M. Fischer High School and I graduated in 1933. My father was killed in an automobile

accident when I was fifteen in 1930. So from that time on it was pretty rough1because

that was right at the height of the depression.

P: You worked?

B: Yes, I delivered newspapers and did what I could. It was rough but we got by.

P: Did you live at the Beach?

B: Yes, we lived in Miami Beach.

P: Where?

B: Down in the south end of the Be-ch at that time, around 8th and 9th Street.

P: The Beach was much smaller than it is now.

B: Yes, it ended almost at Lincoln Poad. There w-s very little beyond there.

Then I graduated in June, 1933 and came up here to the university in September, 1933.

P: First of all, I would like to know why you came to Gainesville?

B: I did not want to go to the University of Miami, I had no interest in going there.

I was offered a scholarship at 0 University in Atlanta but I did not like the

idea of going there. I felt that within the resources available to me that I could

come to the University of Florida and live more economically than anywhere else.

P: Did you have any financial aid offered to you here?

B: None whats-ever. I had about $125 that I had saved and I came up with that.

P: By train?

B: No. We came in an automobile. I came up with some friends, some other fellows

who were going to go to school.

P: I was going to ask you if you remembered anything about the trip up from Miami,

because that would be ancient history today.

B: It was a long trip, as I remember. It took about ten or eleven hours to drive it.

We came along the east coast, that' was the main road up. We would come through West

Palm Beach, through Fort Pierce. At that time Fort Pierce was noted for its mosquitoes,

you may remember that. Then up to Daytonna, across to Palatka and then into Gainesville.

P: This was your first visit to Gainesville?

B: Yes.

P: What was your impression of Gainesville in 1933?

B: At that time it was just a little village. There were'virtually two paved streets

and the rest were dirt streets. There was University Avenue and then there was 13th

Street. Those were the only ones that were paved.

P: 13th Street was 9th Street then.

B: Yes. The rest of it was just little dirt streets. It was a nice little, quiet

town. When I came here I spent the night at the old Pi Epsilon Phi house, which was

located on 9th street at that time. One of the first people that I met as I came into

town was Leon Robbins who invited me to spend the night there.

P: And Leon Robbins is a local merchant in Giinesville now.

B: We came up a couple days early to find a place to live. At that time.I did not

have enough money to pay the dormitory fee, so we had to rent a room.

P: How much was the dorm?

B: Well, you had to pay a whole semesters'in advance and I did not have that much

money. Not to pay my registration fee and all of the rest.

P: Do you remember what registration was in 1933?

B: No, I do not remember.

P: Less than 20 I suspect.

B: I had very little, as I told you. I really do not know how I was brave enough

to try it at that time, but I did. Interestiy,'I got through my whole year on 3q50

dollars. That included everything.

P: Where did you live?

B: I lived in a rooming house just in what is now 17th Street. There are two brick

houses which look just alike on 17th Street near the post office and I lived in one of

those. I we paid ten dollars a month for a room there. I ate in various boarding houses

around the campus.

P: And books...

B: Do you remember the old Puss and Boots and the Kitten, all owned by Mr. Hammond

at the time. I remember one interesting event about one of our local merchants, The

one who owns the Florida Bookstore. This was when I was a freshman. Irving Callman

was also a student at the time and he and Ray Brennan opened a little business. I

knew Irving because we were taking a few courses togethernEnglish and Math. He

had one shelf in this little building and Ray Brennan had the other side of the building

where he strung tennis rackets. And as a result of an enterprise Irving gradually built

this up into quite a substantial business, the successful business that it is now.

P: This is the Florida Bookstore beginning.

B: It's beginning was there in one shelf in this little building.

P: Is this the little building that is now the Gator Shop?

B: No, it was in the biock directly across from Flint Hall which w~as old Science Tall


P: It is where there are two buildings now?

B: I think that the old building is moved back and it across the street from the

post office now on the street behind University Avenue or it may be torn down, I

am not sure. Ray Brannon has that two story house. Was it right next to that?

B: Yes it was, right in that area.

P: This is now the drive way into Carolyn Plaza.

B: Yes. That first year, I found it as a quiet little town, enjoyable. They had about

2,500 studentslas I recallyon the campus at the time. I do remember one things about

my freshman year....the only paddling that I ever got as a freshman was by George

Smathers. They got all of the freshman who had come from the Miami area into a dormitory

one night and decided to paddle us.

P: Did you get into town much?

B: Yes, we went into town every Saturday night for the free movie. Then of course there

were the pajama parades in those days. All freshman were required to be in the pajama

parades 4i ths-e days, and we all waded down to the Florida Theater for that free movie.

You did not hear it here it of course, there was too much noise. But you were there.

P: 'What about your courses your freshman year?

B: My freshman year I took English with a man by the name of Bailey, and freshman Math

with Dr. T. M. Simnson....

P: Who later became Dean of the Graduate School.


B: Right. I had ChemiStry from Dr. Heath and from Dr. Biceler who is now retired, Heath

is dead. I had Biology from Dr. H. B. Sherman and H. K. Wallace. I took ROTC and physi-

cal education, but I do not remember/ The first year I did not have a job. There just

were not any. So it was pretty hard going. At the end of that first year, I went

home for the summer and found a job and worked.

P: Before you get off the first year I wanted to ask you about the social life on the

campus of the UNiversity of Florida in 1933.

B: In 19331 the social life consisted of going down to the Florida Theater oh Saturday

nights for the free movie. There was not any social life. I was not in a fraternity,

I could not afford it. Of course, there were no girls here to date so I had no social

life at all with anything except males and around bull sessions and going.down to the

movies once a week. That was it.

P: And you could not afford to go home very often.

B: As I remember it, I went home Thanksgiving holidays, Christmas holidays and Spring

holidays. What we would do of the fellows would have a car and we would

nitch in and split the expenses and we could usually make the round trip for about

five dollars to Miami.

P: There was a lot of hitchhiking then.

B: Yes, but I never could hitchhike. I just could not bring myself to do that.

I would rather ride than hitchhike. I would hitchhike into town but I never did it


on the highways.

P: Where was the library in 1933?

B: The old college library was the library at the time. It did not have the stack

wing on it at the time. Miss Miltmppre was librarian at the time.

P: She is still living over in Jacksonville. She is almost a recluse though.

Do you remember anything about the library rules and regulations?

B: No, but I remember that I spent many^hour studying up on that second floor in what

is now the Humanities Reading Boom. But it was always a very quiet place, a good place

to study. Other than that I do not recall any of the rules.

P: Where were the Chemistry Labs?

B: They were in the old unit of Leigh Hall.

PC Leigh Hall was already there?

B: The front part was there and the part where they have the freshman laborat6ries was

there and I had my lab in there. The Leigh Auditorium was not built at the time.

WVe had our lectures in a room which held about seventy-five students.

P: What about old Science Hall which is now Flint Hall?"

B: It was there but it was remodeled in 1951. But we had our classes there. At that

time old Science Hall housed the departments of Biology, Botany, Bacteriology and on

'the top floor was the Florida State Museum. There was an entrance to the museum facing

University Avenue.

P: IWho was president?

B: Tigert was president at the time when I came up here.

P: Who was Dea of Arts and Sciences ?

B: T-V- o '. a was Dean of Arts and Sciences. At that time the curriculum was pretty

flexible. There was very little advisement. You sat down with the catalog and -figured

out what you wanted to take. At that time I started digging my deep rut that I ended

up with and I will tell you about that later.

P: As a student was there much relationship with the faculty?

B: As a freshman no, but in later years there was.

P: So you finished your freshman year and you went home for the summer...

B: Yes, and I worked during the summer. I worked for one of my brother-in-laws who

had a local newspaper there, which I am not very proud of, but I worked for him.

P: It has been taken over by a large corporation.

B: The ?i0',A A ? I do not know.

P: I thought it had.

B: At any rate I worked for him in the summers and was able to save just about enough

to get me back up here the next year. In 1934, by then Roosevelt was in, and they

established a new program called FERA, Federal Emergency relief Administration, which

made money available to universities to hire students who were qualified because of

low income. I was qualified and I got one of those jobs and I was terrifically

excited because here was a real godsend as far as financing my education was concerned.

I got paid $15 a month.

P: What did you do?

B: In sophomore year, I worked for the department of Biology. One of the first jobs

I had to do was to skin out about twenty-five crows and make skeletons. Then another

job that I had to do after I finished that job was making microscope slides for Dr.

Rodgers. Then toward the end of the year I helped one of the graduate students

who was doinr his thesis and helped him in making his studies. He is now a faculty

member at the university, John Kilbeyand a member of my department. i'-ie I helped

him as a student, when I was a sophomore. He was a graduate student at the time.

He was studying the feeding habits- of frogs and I was helping him analyse the stomach

contents of the frogs That is what I did for my S15 a month in my sophomore'

In sophomore year, I had had my English so I did not take any more Englishl

I took a course in math under Pirenian who is still here 6n the staff. I started my

German and I had a very interesting character who had never taught German beforebut

had taught Spanish. I got 6ff to my start whi- German with him. I took qualitative

analysis in Chemistry and Physical Chemistry from Dr.' ..Twiggs Jacksons, a unique

individual to say the least.

P: One of the legends.

B: Yes, one of the legends. He established his grades mostly on what he called P)


personal estimation, that entered into his calculating the grade to a considerable

extent. I had my second year of Biology from Dr. Sherman who retired some years ago.

I had second year ROTC and that was about it with my job. That second year since

I was earning the magnificent sum of 115 a month,land I was getting about $8 a week

from home, with that and the '15 I was able to get along very nicely. --

Phe th r- yam-,)I went home again for the summer and did the same kind of work.

The third year I came back up again by car, it was about the cheapest way to travel.

It was much cheaper than by train or bus. At that time they changed the name of the

program for FERA t6 NYA but the salary was still the same, $15 a month.

P: This was administered by the Dean of Students?

B: I guess it was. Dean Tolbert was Dean of Students then and Robert Batty was

Assistant Dean.

P: I think Ed Price was Plso in that area.

B: I never knew Ed Price in that job. At any rate, in my third year I started off

as d stock room assistant working in the biology stockroom. Then in the second term

they moved'in as a laboratory assistant in Comoarative Anatomy.

P: This was the second semester. The university was under the semester system.

B: Nothing much had chan-ed about the university except that it had grown a little

bit. We had about ,"000 students by then. Nothing hdc happened in the city. There

were not any new stoves or any new streets paved or anything like that. It was the same


little village. And we still did the same thing on Saturday nights and

social life except for the summers on when I went home oh holidays.

P: There were some big social activities on campus which many students did participate in.

B: You had to be in a fraternity. If you were not in a fraternity there was no social

life. All of the social life was built around the fraternity. Now I was frequently

invited to the fraternity social affairs right up through my senior year but I never

went for several reasons. One, I did not have the money.. Second,. I did not feel like

I was well dressed enough to go, and third I was pretty reticent.

P: Where did girls come from for the social.

B: From Jacksonville or Tallahassee. Usually the big cities, like Miami.

P: But there were none local. They had to brought in.

B: No there were not any local. .As far as courses were concerned my junior year,

I think that I took German. I had German under a very fine instructor. His name

was __ I think that he is dead now. He was a very good insturctor. I studied

German under him my junior year. I had Chemistry under Towns R. Lee. When I walked into

his class to listen to his lectures, I always felt like I was walking'into church because

he stood Y/f up there like he was a minister addressing his parishioners. But I manoaed

to get through his course all right.

P: Was he a good scholar?

B: I would be hesitant to say that. No, I would not say that he was, looking at that


in retrospect. He was certainly not my ideal. The third year in biology I had a course

with H. K. Wallace and one in genetics with J. S. Rodgers I remember that I better

start thinking about education so I took a course in education,in the History of

Education. I do not remember the name of the instructor.

P: Dean Norman used to teach that.

B: But he was not the one, it was a young fellow. So between my junior and senior

year I worked again for -my brother-in-law. Then my senior year I got a promotion.

I did not have to work for NYA. I got a university assistantship.with a tremendous

raise in salary to i18.75 a month from "15.00. Well, that was a big boost.

P: Percentage-wise it was, tremendous.

B: Yes, it was. My senior year I woke up to the fact that I had done, what today

I deplore, I had dug a deep rut of specialzation; I had not taken any courses except

the minimum that I had to outside of my field/ of chemistry. I was a pre-med student

up uhtil my senior year. Then I realized that it would be impossible for me to finance

a medical education. So in my senior year I decided that I enjoyed biology and I would

probably continue in it. So that year I did not take any additional chemistry, but

I took more bioloby and dug that rut pretty deep. But T suddenly woke un to the

fact that I had not take anything else. So I took another course in education,

Educational Psychology from Jake Wise. I took a course that I regreted that I had

put off for so long and this was a course in the History of Philosophy from old


Dr. Iwald. That was an interesting experience. Then I took a course in Economics.

This was the only course in all my four years at the university that I intentionally

skipped classes, I disliked it so much. So when people tell me that skin class because

they do not like the course I can sympathize. That year I became an assistant in an

assistant in an Introductory biology course, a course in comparative anatomy, a course

in parisitology, and in geology. At that time when we assisted we had to work for

our money. We did not work three or four hours and that was all. We had to work

fifteen to eighteen hours a week in the laboratory, in addition to doing our grading

and preparation for our course work. But we were pleased to have the jobs. I grad-

uated with honors in June, 1937.

P: Tell me about the campus after four years?

B: After four years there was no development of the campuses There was not a new

building put up while I was here. I saw no changes take place in any of the buildings

while I was here. The Florida Union was relatively new at the time. 'It had been

built in 1933 because it was here when I came as a freshman. It was fairly new and

it was quite exciting to go in there and find everything that was available to us, like

the soda fountain and the bookstore. Well, the bookstore was not located in the Florida

Union it was over in the basement of Anderson Hall. But there were places that we could


P: But there was a eating -laco?

B: In the basement there was a soda fountain, a short order counter. But it was

a place to go.

P: What about your under graduate faculty. The persons that you took courses from.

B: I never got to know them well. The only ones that I had much close association

with were the ones in the biology department because after I started working in the de-

partment I began to know them. I began in my sophomore to know some of the graduate

students who were around like Archie Carr and John Kilby. We began to form a rather

close i knit group. This is probably one of the factors which influenced me to continue

on in biology when I saw that I could not go into medicine. This was because of the

people that I associated with over there and got to know so well.

P:. What about Dr. Rodgers?

B: He was head of the department of biology and geology. It was a combined department

at the time. There were no geologists on the staff at the time. T. H. Hovell taught

the geology. The department consisted of about seven during the thirties. There was

J. Speed Rodgers as .chairman, T. H. Hovell was a professor, It. B. Sherman was a professor

C. F. Byres, was an assistant professor when I came and later was made associate professor,

H. K. 'Wallace. This was the department when I first came, and was the department until

1937. It consisted of five members. The botany consisted of one man as far as I am aware

and that was Coty, M. D. Coty. Bacteriology consisted of one man ahd that was W. R.

Carrol .

P: Would you like to talk about some of these people in terms of the kind of people they

were. The kind of teachers and scholars they were.'?

B: J. Speed Rodgers was an inspiring man. He was a benevolent dictator. He ran the

department and his word was law. Whatever he said went, there was no consensus. He

ruled the roost but as a benevolent dictator. He was looking out for the interests of

his people and his students. He was an inspiring person. He could generate enthusiasm

in his students. Everyone that I know of who knew him always look back on him with

fond memories because of the way that he would inspire people. He had a laboratory

behind his house in his garage and he would have some of the graduate students like

myself) who were doing some of the work for him come over there and help him over in

his garage laboratory as part of the assigned work.

T. H. Hovel I never got to know T. H. Hovel very well as a graduate student

but I got to know him as a graduate student when I did my doctorate under him.

He too was a remarkably fine person.

P: Is he living?

B: Yes, he is. He retired from the University of Michigan last year. Speed Rodgert

left hero to go to the University of Michigan as director of the Museum of Zoology

in January 1, 1947 and he took T. H. HoVel with him at tht time, as curator of insects

at the museum. Hovel was a man who could really get his students charged un, but he

was lman who was sort of slap-dash about many things. He, somtirjes, would not bother


to come to class. Or, if he was working on his insects he would go ahead and tell his

students to read stuff on their own and he would come in when he felt like it. But we

all foreave him that because he was really an inspiring teacher. He was away in my

freshman year and there was a replacement for him a man by the name of Leonard


And H. B. Sherman was a fine man too. He was not the kind of person that would

inspire you like Rodgers or Hovel, but he was a steady influence. A good solid man.

Rodgers and Hovel were both more dedicated to research than was Sherman. Although

Sherman was very much interested in it.

I never got to know Byres at all while I was an undergraduate. Byres was sort of

remote from everybody else. No one could get close to Byres. He was a very difficult

person to get to know. We knew that he shared an office with Hovel, but that is about

all that we knew about him.

H. K. Wallace was also an easy person to get to know. In fact, by the time that

I was a junior, I was calling him by his first name, even though I was a faculty member

and I was just a junior. He was working on his Ph. D. at that time and he was an

instructor and curator of the department.

Well, that was the staff then. They had te-ching loads that would now make us

cringe at te thought of. We would not dare ask a beginning instructor to carrying

load like they carried as full professors.


P: At very low salaries.

B: At very low salaries and yet these men had their laboratories at home, had no financial

support except what they took out of their own pockets, yet they were active in their

research and were dedicated. They did not publish a great deal because they did not

have the time to do it.

PP How were facilities, research facilities on campus?

B: There were not any. Not for the faculty. The faculty office was just a little place

where a man had a desk, a chair and some books. If he wanted to do research he had to do

it at home. Sherman had taken his office and had put a bench in it where he would have

a student carry on a research project. When I was a junior I did a research project

under Sherman's direction. They gave me a little table which I set up in the biology

stock room and I worked in there. The facilities were virtually non-existent.

P: What about the library?

B: Library holdings were not extensive. Rodgers had made a since effort to build up

the library. Naturally, the strongest research holdings were in the area that he and

Hovel and Sherman were interested in. So they built up, with the funds that were

available to them, a core, a nucleus that was quite substantial and which has formed

the backbone of the ',library today. They did a sound job with the money that they

had available.

P: So you finished your senior year and then continued in graduate school....


B; Optimistically, in my junior year I did take the Medical Aptitude Test, which I

heard I did quite well on. But I still could see no way to get money so I gave up

on that. Then)let me go back to my senior year again. In that year I took a course

from Rodgers and Hovel called Natural History of the Gainesville Region, which interested

me so much that I changed the direction of my interest in biology / from vertebrate

biology to Y/ invertebrate. I became interested in insects. So by the time I was a

senior I had pretty well decided that I was going to go on in biology. At that time

there was virtually no graduate money available for assistanbbhips or anything like

that. But toward the end of my senior year, Speed Rodgers offered me a graduate assistant-

ship at the rate of $450 for the academic year. Well, I thought that that was a tremendous

thing because that would be more than enough to see me through. So I took it. During

that summer, after I finished my senior he got me another NYA job to work in Miami area

collecting insects. He got another fellow, who was also an undergraduate with me,

Frank Young who is now a professor at Indiana University, he got him an assistantsbip and

he was in even more dire straits than I. He came from a very financially deprived

family. They had no money. At any rate, he and I spent the summer of 1937 collecting

insects around the Miami area for Dr. Rodgers and Dr. Hovel. We were paid out of

NYA funds. When I came back in the fall of 1937 to start work on my masters I h.d

gotten interested in may flies. I had gotten interested in them when I was tr.king

this course with Speed Rodgers. I worked under his direction for my masters. At tht A-k


in 1935, University College started. Now this was 1937. Dr. Rodgers, with my assistant-

ship, let me teach four discussion sections of C6, the old Biological Man and the Biological

World/ I taught my discussion section and I think that one of those years, Ralnh Turling-

ton was in my discussion section. I do not remember which one of the years it was.

So was Curtis Powers who is one of the automobile dealers in town.

P: You also had another student.

B: Who was that?

P: Sam Proctor.

B: Were y@u in my class?

P: Sitting right next to Curtis Powers.

B: I did not remember that.

P: Well, you missed the best students.

B: I was a graduate student at the time. Uhat year was that?

P: 1938.

B: That was my second year. Well, that first year I went ahead and worked on my

masters which I completed in February, 1939, in a year and half.

P: What was your thesis?

B: "A ContributionV to the Knowledge of the Mayflies of the Gainesville Region", I think

that it was called.

P: There were some changes on the campus between 1937 and 1939 ith federal money


coming in there were some dormitories going up.

B: They were what we called the new dorms. No, those were not the new dorms, but

the dorms acr6ssVy the handball courts. What were they called? When I came up here

as a freshman there were Buckman and Thomas and then the new dorms sitting in between

them. And then the other ones by the handball cortt were put up. I do not believe

that there were any other changes. NQ, the stadium was the same.

P: I think that that was it because the only money that they had was money that came in

from the federal government from '1'PA or PWA or those kinds of programs. Gainesville

changed a little bit but not much. (FThe wea e )

B: Thae w~s a se-r-e I remember I lived back over here on old Quartz St. in a house

that is now condemned and is about to fall to pieces, and we used to walk from that

boarding across a beautiful pine woods. Presently, McCullen's Drug Store is there

and Green Mare apartments and the University City Bank. Well, that was a beautiful

pine -O
lot and I used to cut across to go to that rooming house. There was one building there

which just now opened up as a dry cleaners. But everything that opened up in that

building went broke. Nothing seemed to last. I remember that everytime something

would open ur we would go in and try to patronize it and it would go broke.

P: I think that that is still true today. I remember that Govcnor Collins'campaign

headquarters was located there.

B: There were two theaters in town. There was the Florida Theater which ran the first


run pictures and there was the Lyric Theater. I suppose you know about the Lyric Theater.

We would always go there on Saturday nights to watch a double feature. The heating

system consisted of one of those old pot bellied stoves down front and every now and then

the usher would go down and throw another bucket of coals on the fire. You always a

serial or a double feature on Saturday. We would go from there to the Florida Theater

to watch the free movie.

P: The Segal Building was completed.

B: 'hen was that completed?

P: About 1938.

B: That is about when the museum was moved down there. And about th.t time the Biology

Department was given a portion of the top floor of Science Hall. Not all of it because

there were other departments in there. I think that geography and economics were in

there also, but I just cannot recall.

P: I do not think that there was any other construction on campus. The campus was

much limited in size.

B: The auditorium was quite adequate to take care of the student body at that time.

P: The student body was still just about 3,000.

B: Yes. When I graduated and got my bachelors I think that it was around 3,200'

Well, I finished my masters, as I said, in February, 1939. At that time I just could

not see that I could afford to go anywhere else. Dr. Rodgers invited me to stay on

for my doctorate and continue on his assistarthip, which I did. Then I changed

professors and worked under Hovel who directed my doctoral dissertation and studies.

At that time, I think that I had taken every course that was offered in the Biology

Department. In biology and in geology there were not any more courses. I finished

my doctorate in early June, 1941.

P: So it took you two years for your doctorate.

B: No, two and a half years. A year and half for my masters and two and a half for

my doctorate. You remember that in October, 1940 we had registration for the draft.

Well, I was one those persons that had a low number. My number was 876 as I recall.

I got orders to be called up on Anril, 1941. So I appealed to the draft board and they

gave me a delay until I completed my doctorate. And I got greetings dated June 14, 1941.

Well, I wanted to go visit &y mother before I went into the service so they transferred

my draft down to Miami and I left there on the June 19.

Coming back again to the years before this....during the period between 1937

and 1941 two additional staff members joined the faculty in biology. One of them

was Archie Carr who completed his Ph. D. in 1937 and so did H. K. Wallace I believe.

Then Horton Hobbs was put on as an instructor.

P: Where is Horton Hobbs?


B: That was because I ate at her dining room, but I never was there as a quest. None

of the students that I knew were. Maybe some them were through church but I never was.

P: Gainesville was dry in those days?

B: Yes, very dry.

P: No bootleggers?

B: There were but I was not interested in them. I did not know who they were. Well,

I remember that there was one bootlegger in a house that I lived in. He was oevevand...

oh gosh, he had went nuts. I had lived at his house for two years.....

P: But he was not the bootlegger?

B: No, the house is torn down now. It was across from where the H&Y Car Wash is now.

There was a filling station up in front and there was a bootlegger there.

P: There were little jipjoints out around townn' rWhere whiskey could be gotten?

B: I suppose so. I never had the opportunity to go. I never knew anybody who had

an automobile, for example. Anyplace we wanted to go we had to ro by foot, if it

was in walking distance. I did not have a bicycle until I was in graduate school.

P: How did students get downtown?

B: They walked or hitchhiked. At that time, people were pretty good about picking ,

-students them do They always stopped. I used to stop and pick
students -d -- t.-i- them doi,.toim ....

them up until around 1949 or 1.950 when I found that students would get in, ride a

block and then want to get off. They were too lazy to walk a block. That was the


@nd of it.

P: Where did you get your washing and dry cleaning.done?

B: My washing was down by colored women who came around and picked up the washing and did

it for fifty cents a week. They did all of your shirts, your underwear and your linens
for fifty cents a week. Of course, when they came back you did not know if f/Xi would

be any bed bugs or not but you had to take that chance.

P: Did you have to furnish your own linen in those days?

B: You had to furnishown linen.

P: You were still eating out in the boarding houses around?

B: Right. I never did eat in the university cafeteria. What you did was to buy a

meal ticket at these boarding houses at a flat rate and that was the most economical

way to do it. You would get all of your meals for five dollars a week.

P: Boarding houses have almost completely c '--r--?red from the campus.

B: I guess Mrs. Kelly's was aboutjthe last one. Miss Loach had one at this brick

two houses
house just down the street from the g/ that I lived in. The brick house is still

on the corner. It is across the street from were the KA's are presently living in that

temporary, wooden frame building. There was another one up on University Avenue, across

from Anderson Hall, a little gray house. I ate there for a while. You may remember


P: The food was cheap and plentiful..

B: Another place that I ate regularly was at the Puss and Boots which was .....wait

it was called the Varsity. I ate there because you could buy meal tickets and you could

get a full meal including dessert for a quarter. The food was brought to you by

students who waited tables for their meals. So I could eat three meals a day for

less than a dollar.

P: If you wanted to celebrate did you go to the Primrose?

B: I never ate athhe Primrose. I never celebrated. I could not -.afford to.

P: As a graduate student you were rich.

B: That is right. As I told you I had fifty dollars a month. Let me tell you about

how I financed myself as a graduate student. Actually, I wass rich but it was always

in retrospect because I never had quite enough money to see me through the month.

So very frequently toward the end of the month, I would go down to the old a State

Bank and see old man Fifer who was deaf and yell at him and ask him if he would loan

me fifty dollars until my pay check came in. He would very kindly authorize Mr. Carmichaell

who is now clerk of the courtto advance me fifty dollars. They would charge me fifty

cents interest and a dollars service charge. It cost me a dollar and a half. I was

always able to keep in money that. way. Another thing, sometimes if I could^myself

almost getting through the month...there was another restaurant across from Ocience

Hall called the Kitten. The fellow who owned it would carry me on the cuff for three

or four days until my check came and I would pay him off. But we got through. A number

2 7 -- -. .

of Rodgers lived like that.

P: How much did books cost?

B: They were not very much. We bought second^books. I do not think that I bought

very many. If I did they were second hand for the most part. They were three and

four dollars for a book, but now you pay tWelve and fifteen dollars for the same

book that you paid three dollars for then.

P: So you finished your graduate school and you were ready to face the cold hard world.

B: The cold,hard world with Uncle Sam.

P: You went into the service ai June...

B: I was Mr. and then I got my doctorate in early June and then 65. June 19 I left

Miami as a draftee.

P: You went in before Pear Harbor then?

B: Six months before Pearl Harbor.

P: Where did you go?

B: Is we left Miami on the train everybody was singing "I'll Be Back in a Year Little
Darl'in". Well, they took us to Camp Blanding. 11T unloaded us at Starke and put us

on buses and drove us over to Camp Blanding. We spent the night at Blanding in tnnts.

It was my first exposure to masses of people like this, -My first attempt to use a toilet

in public as they are in the Army. All these problems that you have. The next day

they shipped me and some of the others on up to Fort Bragg North Carolina. We got off


We got off the train at Fort Bragg and one of the first things that they did w-'s to

line us up. One of the first persons that I saw was a young Lieutenant, a 2nd Lieutenant.

It was Robbie Robbins who I had known in school. So after we had dismissed, he called

me around to the other side of a barracks so he could talk to me. I said hello to

him of course, but we could not associate with him since I was only a private. I was

there being processed and interviewed. I told them that I had just gotten my Ph. D.

// in Biology so they assigned me then to the field artillery for basic training.

They put me on a train with a whole bunch of other guys and we got shipped out to

Fort S~ Cklahoma. There I had my basic training for three months in the field

artillery. The unit that they put me with was instrument and survey and about sixty

per cent of the men in that company were college graduates. The reason that they had us

in there was because in instrument and survey work you have to know something about

mathematics. You have to be able to figure out simple geometric problems, Simple

geometry, surveying and that sort of thing. So I finished my basic training after

three months there just outside of Law-ton, Oklahoma. There in Lawton in 1941 just

before World WJar II started^were worst than dirt out there. No respectable citizen

of Lawton would associate with them. (End side one.D

P: We do not need toofuch on your military. You were out when?

B: After my basic training, I finally was transferred to Atlanta to the 4th Corp

Area Laboratory and after ten months I was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant. in the

Corps. Then I was sent to West Africa in 3942. I was prom6ted.-to Captain

in December, 1942 and to Major in July, 1943. I came back from Africa in May, 1945

and went to the Phillipines in August, 1945. I was married over in the Fhillipines in

October 1945. I came back to this country in late Novemeber, 1945 and was discharged

as a Lt. Colonel in February, 1946. Actually I was out on terminal leave in December,

1945 and I came to Gainesville. Not knowing quite what I wanted to do and not having

a job, I decided to apply for medical school. I was accepted at two medical schools,

at Emory and at Boston 1- dical 1. About that time the veterans started coming

back in large numbers. I was asked to instruct in a short course for sanitarians, to*

teach them a course in Parisitology for two weeks. And I did that. In the meantime,

I did not have any job or any income and I had just about decided to go to medical

school. Then this tremendous influx of veterans occurred and Hovel and Byres convinced

me that I should here and teach, rather than go to medical school. And so I did. I

waS appointed full time in June, 1946 as Assistant of Biology, but it was in the University

College budget. At that time, J. Speed Rodgers was chairman of both C6 and the Depart-

ment of Biology. When he hited" staff, it made no difference to him or the department

which payroll we were on because we had a common job to do. And you would use the

person to teach in biology or C6 depending upon where he was needed. It was just a

convenient line in the two budgets. This is a philosophy which we followed for many

years, which I am still trying to foliow-i- but I keep running in to more and more

difficulties. At any rate, the great bulk of these returning veterans hit us in


September, 1946. That is about the time that you joined the staff. At that time,

a number of us were brought in onto the staff as Assistant Professors. I was brought

on; Frank Young, who is presently in Indiana; Arnold Brodman was brought in, he had

just finished his doctorate at the University of lMichigan and is now Dean of Arts and

Sciences at Rutgers;Ben ;-"':- was brought in, he is presently still here on the staff;

RJ4--i)J Jones came in as an Associate Professor form William and Mary, he had been there

for a number of years; Irving Camford was brought in from the University of Michigan.

It was a large influx. All at the assistant'level and all with the same salary Of

course, this created problems later on with promotions and salary increases. After

a while we got out of step but we were lockstep there at that point. I remember that

I almost turned the thing down because Dr. Rodgers had asked me to go over and see

Dean Little about the possiblit f employment. I walked into Dean little's office.

I had not seen him before World War II. I walked in and he was sitting at his desk

reading a newspaper. I told him who I was and he did not even bother to look and he

kept reading his newspaper apparently. When I told him that Sodgers had sent me over

to see about a job he said, "Oh, we haven't got any." And that was it. After that

treatment I almost decided to forget about it and go on to medical school. Then later

on I was ask to go back to see Little again and he was quite different and very cordial.

Later on after I got to know Little / /// //W% better, especially after I became

department chairman, I found that this was a way that he covered up and that he really


was a pretty nice person. So I accepted the position. I think that my salary was

$3,600 for nine months. This was a decrease in income for me because I had been getting

Major's salary in the army which was some what more. So I had to adjust.

P: How many hours were you to teach for this?

B: Somewhere between 15 and 18 hours a week in addition to supervising graduate

students and in addition)I was expected to do research.

P: And serve on committees.

B: And serve on committees. The office that I had was in the upstairs corner and used

to be a little classroom. They took the chairs out and put some desks in and they put

five of us, //p there were seven of us, in that one room. Faculty members all

assistant professors. And we were expected to do our research and interview students

in that one crowded room which was 25 X 25. We lived there for three years in that room.

It was longer than that, it was until 1950. Granted that some of the congestion was reliever

because we reduced the number in there to five later on.

In January 1947, Speed Rodgers and Hovel left to go to the University of Michigan.

At that time, H.B. Sherman was appointed acting head of the department of biology. For

some reason, I do not know what the reasons were, Towns R. Leigh would never make him

head of the department of biology/ So Sherman continued as an acting head until 1950.

P: Did he have C6 also.

B: Yes.

P: It was a joint affair?

B: No, I beg your pardon. When J. Speed Rodgers left that was when the single headship

changed. At that time, Little apparently insisted that he did not want Sherman running

the program and so Francis Byres was then appointed head of C6. However, Sherman and

Byres still worked very much together on appointments nd on assignmnants, teaching

responsibilities. We were all housed together, our salaries were all calculated on

a common basis, promotions and tenure, everything else was done as though we were a

single department.

In 1950, I was in Africa. I went there in June, 1950. While I was away W. C.

Allee was hired as chairman of the department of biology. Allee was retired from

the University of Chicago at the age of 65. He was a very interesting person and

a well know biologist. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences while he

was here. He was confined to a wheel chair and could not use his legs at all. In order

to take care of him they gave him an office on the first floor of Leigh Hall. That

became the department of biology main office. While in Africa ih 1950 the old

Science Hall was condemned. I might back up a minute and say that when the staff

started growing so greatly with the influx of graduate and undergraduate students and

they had to have more space.' So to do this they ppened up the attic of Flint Hall

and put graduatc"and faculty offices up there in sort of wire cages. It was a make

shift arrangement of the worst kind. A real fire trap.


P: And hot.

B; And hot. There were ventilating fans put at the ends of the floor. At any rate,

while I was away the fire department condemned the thing. The biology department was told

that they had to vacate it immediately. Well, I think that George Bowman was forced

to dig up some money and he found $125,000 for the remodeling of Science Hall. They

moved us out at thAt time,they moved us into temporary buildings. The graduate students

and faculty were moved into two old shacks that were left over from World War I and

were adjacent to the swimming pool. About seven of us moved into the inspectors shack

that was built to house the inspector and his work crew when they built the new gym.

We lived in that for a year. I was the last one to move out of old Science Hall and

moved out when I got back from Africa in early 1951. Then the S125,000 was just enough

to shift some walls and put in some now stair wells. They did a jack-leg job of re-

modeling the building. It looked better. They put some fresh paint on it and it was

a little more usable, but it was still an old building. The staff had grown and continued

to grow.

P: The students had increased.

B: Student enrollment had increased to about 8,500 or 9,000 by then.

P: A large percentage were in the University College.

B: Byres and Allee were still following the same plan of joint departments.

P: Sherman was still here?

B: Sherman was still here. Now as a professor. I might say that Byres//X// / and

Sherman, and later Byres and Allee had some points where,Byres told me; .--r on many

occasions,he was on the verge of breaking completely with them because of disagreements.

But it would have been disastrous if he would have, because it would have meant the

fragmentation of a staff that was built as a unit. It would have fragmented it into

two staffs and I think that the C6 staff would probably all have resigned because

they would have had no professional opportunities. Byres would stop and think and then
he would recognize this. He never went so far as to try and really separaate thelstaffs.

Where am I now?

P: You have just gotten back from Africa and they were just moved out of Science Hall.

B: Then Science Hall was remodeled and in late 1951 we moved back into old Science Hall.

P: Now they call it Flint.

B: May I say something about the way that the name of the building came about?

PI yes.

B: We were not asked to suggest names. We did not even know that the building was going

to bc'named. All of a sudden out of the clear blue we were told that the name of the

building was going to be Flint Hall. W.e did not know who Flint was so we asked the

committee headed by Dr. A. P. Black, how they had arrived at the name Flint. Well

it turned out that Flint was one of the early chemists on campus. Well we said that

this was inappropriate because this building was housing biologists not chemists. So


we made some suggestions of other names. But it was already too late bedaUse the

committee had already notified Flint's family that the building was to be named

for him and it would have been too embarrassing to change the name at that s tage wo

we were stuck with the name Flint for that building. And until it falls downn, I guess,

it will be Flint Hall.

The staff grew and the programs continued to develop and change. The graduate

program grew. In 1955 Dr. Allee reached the compulsory retirement age of 70. But

he was due to retire in June and he died in April of uremic poisoning. He was a remark-

able man as I said. In 1954 he married. He married a long time friend of the family.

A woman who was a very attractive lady in her fifties who was a YWCA worker. She came

down and took care of him and they got along very well. Of course, he died about a

year later. At the time he died, we had a number of sessions trying to decide whether

we wanted to run the department on a committeebasis wih an elected chairman or with a

head. I guess that I was one of the leading proponents for a department head rather

than an elected chairman. Because I felt that with an elected"it would become a

popularity contest and that we would lack the stability that one '. person speaking

on a firm basis could give us, and that there would be more continuity to the program

in the department with one head. So we went out and started looking and the more we

looked the more we decided that we would probably do better by recommending H. K. !Wallace

who was already on the scene. So we recommended that Dean Page appoint him as chairman

and he did in 1955. .'allace continued ti-9- now. HTe is stepping down on the 37t of June


P: And Dr. Byres continued as chairman of C6.

B: Yes, I will come back to that. Byres continued as chairman of C6. In the meantime,

Byres had also taken on a couple of other jobs. He took on the job of assistant dean

of Arts and Sciences, handling the graduate program. Then when Dr. Simoson retired,

Byres was asked to serve as acting dean of the graduate school for about a year. He

took that job on. He was carrying both of them as well as running the department of

biological sciences. Actually the department of biological sciences, C6, ran on its

own inertia really. Byres devoted relatively little time to that department because

he had a staff that would see to it that it was running and that it did run. He did

not delegate any authority and he had the kind of office that the staff did not go into.

Nocone would go into the 'office. unless you really had to see Byres, you just did not

go into that office.

P: Was this Byres's personalitV_-. Hle finally got money to hire secretaries and tYe

girls that he hired were hopeless. As you know in February, 1959, Byres resigned be-

cause of ill health and Dean Little asked if I would take on the responsibilities of

running the department. So I agreed to do it and he appointed me as interim head of

the department. I continued through the end of that term. Then Dean Little recommended

that the president appoint me as chairman of the department. Byres had already left.

He had resigned as I said. Well the president did not move on Dean Little's recommendation.


I was doing research and I went away for the summer. When I came back I fully expected

something to have been accomplished and nothing was. I was interim chairman until July 1,

1962. A little over three years. I guess I resigned ten times at Mautz,

to Rietz, to Little,and none of them would accept my resignation and they all kept

urging me to stay on. Rietz would not act on Little's recommendation {'/f/$ / nor

would Mautz. They said "Well, he is going to retire soon. We want to let the new

dean make the decision as to who is going to be department head. Just stay on. Every-

thing is going so well and we need you in there." So they increased my salary and made

it the equivalent of other department heads. I did not like the a-t.tI-ron. I deplored

it. I wrote to Mautz at least three times requesting that I be relieved and everytime

he would send the letter back and say "Please hold it. Don't sent the letter in."

Well, I guess I was too soft, but I did stay on. Then Hollingshead was appointed dean.

One of the first actions that he took was to make the recommendation that I be made

bead of C6 and I iwas as of July 1, 1962. I have continued in that position until the

present time.

P: Did the relationship with the biology department continue under B. K. Wallace and

under your leadership?

B: Yes, it has. There are difficulties naturally, and it has continued. No-., as you

know, one of the philosophies of the university has been to over-staff University

College so that we can provide the people like the biologists that we h-ve a professional


outlet. This means that we in this exchange with biology the departments that we ex-

change with, it is now zoology and not biology, botany and bacteriology, entomology and

once anthrology, we give far more than we receive in return. They do provide some heln

to us. Zoology does. The other departments have not reciprocated.

P: This is a change from the earlier day in the 1930's.

B: Yes,when there was a single head and a man could indiscriminately assign a man were

ever he wanted. Now it is a matter of negotiating. Now I am talking about contemporary

situations...I have found that the people who are hired on the zoology staffAdo not

want to teach 6n the biological sciences staff. They think that it is degrading

to teach anything that is not in their area of specialization. So there is only about

three or four people on the zoology staff that I care to approach about teaching in

CBS. In fact, two of them are teaching in the invitational honors program. On the otheb

hand almost everyone on the CBS staff presently teaches at least one upper division

course or has graduate students, or teaches graduate courses.

One of the developments /f that took place in 1964, you may have recalled that

there was a move to divide the College of Arts and Sciences into a College of Social

Sciences and Humanities and a College of Sciences. One of the aspects of this division

was to do something about biological sciences which are scattered all over the campus.

Virtually every college, except for Law, teaches some aspect or other.

I do not think that Business Administration has any courses.

P: Or Fine Arts.

B: Well, they teach anatomy. At any rate, there is something about biology in almost

every college. And we recognized that something had to be done to bring this together.

So one aspect of this reorganization was to establish a division of biological sciences

which would try to pull all of this together. When the ~;%(/came to the senate this

was brought up as the first item of business, to establish a division of biological

sciences. In spite of the fact that H. K. Wallace and I sitting next to him, disagreed

thoroughly with this concept of the division, Wallace, to my surprise, got up and moved

that it be established. The motion was seconded and it was passed. Later I asked

why he did this. And at some meeting that I did not attend or even know about, some

of the people, a majority, expressed the opinion that a division should be established.

He said that as chairman of the department of zoology he felt obligated to present this

as a motion. It was passed because the people in the senate did not care. They said

"Well, if the biologists are going to recommend it, sure /I are going to pass it."

As you know, the split in the College of Arts and Sciences was defeated in the senate.

So this left this enigma, this division, which should never have been implemented by

Reitz. He implemented it and went out and started searching for a direct6dr.and they

could not find one who want to head up a God awful thing like this. Finally, they

settled on George Davis who at hat time was head of the div- sion of nuclear sciences.

George Davis moved into the office. Under the iintial motion there was one depnrtMent

in the division. This was the department of zoology which consisted of the division.


As the motion was passed, apparently the division wasa super college. In other words,

George Davis the director of the division would be'super dean. Later Rietz s-elled

out the division to include, the department of zoology, the department of biology,

the department of badteriology and the department of biological sciences in University

College. The four departments were part of the division. Xf Soon after this Dean Page

decided that he would set up the College of Arts and Sciences on a divisional basis.

He established a division of social sciences, a division of humanities, a division

of.physical sciences and a division of biological sciences. So he made George Davis

director of the division of biological sciences in the College. George Davis was

also director of the division

himself in a sense. So the thing is a hodge podge and it still exists in this sense

and it does not make sense. It does not make sense at all.

PP And it does not work.

B: I do not think that it works. I think that it is just a super structure that has

built up many difficulties. The only advantage that has accrued to it is that George

Davis has some extra money. And I have been able to get some money to help young

staff members, whom I hire, to get their research money to get started. He h.s given

us several thousand dollars in the several years that he has been in the position.

I guess our department has probably rotten a total of around 8,C000 or lI0,000.

Which is far far more than I could have gotten. I have not gotten into the fnrncial

aspect. Lr

P: I do not want to get into the financial aspect yet. What I would like to do

is to have you say something about your attitude and opinion about the general education

and specifically about the University College on this campus as it carries out this

educational philosophy.

B: I am a firm believer in the principles of general education. I believe that a person

should build his //W///,// specialty on a broad foundation.

P: Even if yours was not.

B: Mine was not an.d -. a victim of narrow specialization, I am a firm Believer in

a board, liberalizing education before one becomes a specialist. Now, I think that a

person must have some broad training, some bro.d understanding of the humanities and of

the social structures of man's history to build some perspectives. The systsmwe are

using here is not the only answer. Obviously, it is not the only answer. But I think

that it is the best one that we have come up with around here. I do not think that the

University College is perfect by a long sight. And I think that one of it's greatest

weaknesses is it's faculty. I will come back to that in a min-te. But what about

alternatives? I think that one of the things that we have been talking about in the

University College and T think that it may be a solution, is to extend general education

through four years. TWhile a person is becoming a specialist he also becoming liberally

educated. I do not know how this can be accomplished yet, but I think that it can be.

Not the way that they are doing it at Florida State University. I like the system


that we have here where they have co-ordinated, integrated areas where we t y to show

the impact of one area on another. Or we try to show that there is no real shar- line

between areas of learning, that there is an inner digitation, that everything, every

area of learning influences another area of learning. Just as an example, I might

site this new course which Mr. Hoffman in social sciences is trying to develop now in

a seminar. 50%/ of his course is biological sciences which shows very clearly the impact

of the social sciences and the biological sciences. Behavioral Sciences and Biological

Sciences are closely inner-digitated. You could develop a whole course in the humanities

as related to the biological sciences by taking a person like O) Oc,'1 ,

and showing how the biological influences and the artistic influences affect one another.

There is no area in the whole University College concept nor in the area of knowledge

that you cannot find this kind of inter relationship existing. I think that we do a

good job of that but it could be better.

P: Are you satisfied with the inner relationship of the biological sciences in the

course which you be.

B: No, I am not satisfied with it. I think that we could do better. There are many

problems. I was going to telliou about my reasons for the staff and then I will

talk about the course. I think that some of the departments are working from a

petnition of weakness in hiring staff and they do not do anything to better thrms:elv'es,"

4 and the rest of the university recognizes this. They hire people who are not run>ifind


scholars. They are not interesting in building. I think that it is essential for a

university faculty member, regardless of what level he is teachin,')to be interested in

scholarship and research. And there are too many of them in some of the departments.

that are not. Consequently...

P: What are they interested in?

B: They teach a few hours and then they go home...

P: And play tennis.

B: They are not scholars. And because of this, I think thatnmany of the departments

particularly in Arts and Sciences tend to near at the University College. That is one

of the reasons why it's status is still not where it should be.

P: Is this because the University College departments operate from an inadequate salary


B: 4inly partially true. Now, in the case of the biological sciences, our salaries are

better than those in zoology. Not much, but they are just barely better. That is not

much to brag about because we are way down at the low end of the scale. Our salaries

are inferior. I think that Doty has done a good job in trying to get salaries up but

he still has a long way to go. He still has to do some pounding on the desks. But I

think that it is because some of the department chairman are not doing the kind of

recruiting job that they should do. I know that when I have to recruit member I go

out and hunt. I go to national meetings and I write to people at respect-ble institutions


where I know that are turning out qualified Ph. D.'s. I hire people at beginning salaries

that are competitive. For example, 10,000 for nine months for ass-istant professor,

I will not hire anyone who is not first and foremost interested in his field and interested

as a scholar in research as well as teaching. But I have been able to get good people and

I do not know why these other departments cannot. I just think that they do not care, or

that they do not want to be bothered with that kind of recruiting. Maybe they do not...

I just do not know. At any rate, it is not being done and I have told Doty this. I have

deplored some the techniques that have been used. For example, last summer I was visiting

Herb Shirpio and his wife. She had gotten a notice from the placement office down here

at the campus that they were looking for somebody to teach one of the courses and that her

name was on the list and they -asked if she was interested. This is no way to recruit for

people for a university. It is not at all. No university of any repute would recruit

that way.

P: Do you think that there are too many graduate students teaching in the University


B: Not in my department. There are in other departments, yes. I limit t' it, my

Graduate assistprtbips to three I only take those who have completed all of their

course work and very frequently they have finished their qualifying exams before I will

allow them to teach. And I limit it to three because I think that the students deserv-

the best qualified -people- that we can give them to teach in these programs.


P: You think that general education then is very excellent but that ,e are falling"in the

quality of the faculty that is teaching in the University College on this campus.

B: One other things that we are not doing. I do not think that we are integrating enough.

I do not think that there is enough interchange of ideas between the faculty. For

example,the CBS faculty in biological sciences we are scattered in three different parts of

the campus. We have virtually no int course with people in other areas except incidently.

I am the only one who does.

P: Well, how can that be re-edied?

B: I do not know. I think that one of the things that we might do....perhaps it is my

fault. Perhaps I should say "All right," to Jack Do, ," Let's get our two staffs to-

gether and see what we can do in coming up with some areas where we can show that there

is some digitation."

P: Or have a retreat or something.

B: Yes, have somewhere were we can talk with one another and recognize some of the

common problems that we have.

( Tape continued on morning in January)

P: Let us continue now with this oral interview. There is still a great deal that has

not been said. There are a lot of questions that I want to ask. iWe were talking -bout

the problems of general education on this campus and both you and I are aware of the many

times since 1955 when the college was set up that it has been attacked by outr;i'e forces.


You have suggested some of the internal problems that might be responsible his or

at least has made the college vulnerable to attack. I wondered if you have any opinion

about the reasons for the attack in the first nlace.

B: Yes, I think that I have. One of the major reasons, I suspect, is that people in

professional departments want to get their hands on students /ef, early and they see

the UnivcKity College as interfering with this early attraction of the student.

They want the student as he enters the university to come into their department. I think,

that this is understandable. Another factor that I think has led to the attacks is that

the other departments see these line items that would be very nice to have, these additional

faculty members. If they got those'particular positions they feel that maybe they could

teach these large courses- A course of introductory subject matter. They would have

an abundance of staff. They could further reduce teaching loads below the already

fairly low load that exists in the university Perhaps they may even see that some of this

money that goes- into the University College could then flow into the Upperhivision. That

is a minor factor I think. It is primarily the major factor that they want to get their

hands on the students early.

P: What about the philosophy of general education that we are giving these freshman and

sophomore students a background of general education that will make them more humane, more

cultured, more sophisticated, more rounded individuals that they might not get if they

just pursued specialized courses.

B: Well, I think that this is of less concern to the professional areas. These are just

subjective opinions. I have nothing other than my observations to base this on,. I think

that this is of secondary importance to most every specialized departments. They pay lip

service to this. Many of them pay more than lip service........I should not use th.t

term, they do not pay lip service. Most of them, other than in the highly specialized

areas such as Agriculture and Engineering, believe that the student should be well

rounded but they feel that they would like X/ the student early, They would like intensive

training in the subject area, They feel that he can take electives within the field

of the College of Arts and Sciences and end up with the same kind of ii////i//i/~

liberal education that he now gets concentrating in the first two years. They feel

perhaps that the student himself should do some of this integrating after he has reached

a higher stage of maturity in his junior and senior year. Of course, this proposal

of extending the University College to" liberal college for four years is one that I mention-

ed when we last talked. I am not opposed to that concept. In fact, I think that it has

much merit;. I realize that it would drastically affect the whole, organization of the

university colleges as they-no*-exist, I realize that there is a very strong reaction

against this in the University College especially by the older faculty members. I think

that this is where the hea. dragging and foot dragging is going to occur, part cularly

from the senior members of the faculty in certain departments where they cut across

several areas. I do not know whether I have answered your question.


P: You have answered but I wondered why you are saying this about the senior members of

the departments.

B: It is just the way I have observed some of them. If I am not making too broad a

generalization, let me say that based on the observations on a few department chairman,

a small number of department chairman, I think that there would be a strong reaction.

I have not talked with the faculty other than the department chairman. I think that

there would be a strong reaction against changing the structure of the University College.

by the chairman of the physical sciences, the chairman of logic and the chairman of humani-

ties These are the ones that I sense that the strongest objections would come from.

P: I would like to ?sk your reactions to the testing program in the University College.

You have known it as a student, as a member of the faculty, and now as an administrator.

This has certainly been one of the lines of attack against the University College.

B: f, I think that the line of attack is invalid. I think that when we have

large numbers of students which we havethat the most practical method of testing these

students is the method we are using now, the objective examinations. Certainlytt has it's

drawbacks. Certainly, it is not the best method of testing. The major objection is that

it leaves the faculty members subjective /-%!////f opinions out of the evaluations

of the student. It stultifies in some ways because it does not give you the flexibility

and the latitude that you would get with a written subjective type of examination. But

when T think about the tremendous number of man hours that would have to go into the

grading of 2,000 examinations, I am just flabergasted to the extent that I just cannot

see spending all of that staff in grading these exams. Everytime this matter comes up in

our staff meetings I broach the subject, Thenever a staff member has wanted to give a

subjective examination when it is possible I have allowed it. Four years ago one 6f the

staff members said that he would likefo give an hour examination in -y discussion sec-

tion and see how it is to grade that examination. He did and he came back and he said
rigive upna- d
-n eyeopener e
that it was/X and that he would accept the objective examinations. This past term and

the fall term one of younger staff members, Dr. Reiskind, had only 110 students and he

asked if he could give in one section of the course in the third quarter of the course....

we give every part each year...he siid that he would like to give a written examination

and I said fine. I said, Are you going to grade it?" And he said,"Yes, I vill grade it."

Well, he did give a written examination and it took him a week, over a week to grade

these 100 odd examinations. It did not convince him that these were not desirable.

But when you come to the practical of the matter of grading, I think that objective

examinations have it all over the other type. One of the criticisms (- of the objective

examinations is that this is were the student learns to write and I say that this is a lot

of hog wash. If the student has not learned to write a declarative sentence by the time

he gets to the university he is not going to learn it in writing an examination. Many

times he does not even get these final examinations back so he does not know whether

he.has written a good sentence or not. I believe that that argument, the argument that there


is a learning in writing an examination, at this stage of the game, is invalid.

P:' How do you feel,as far as your own particular course is concerned,about giving students

credit if they have taken an accelerated course or an honors course in the high school.

B: Again, I have mixed feelings about this. I am perfectly willing to give the student

credit on the advanced placement/ since the university has adopted this policy I am willing

to go along with it. But at the three, four, or fiyeVl have not had a great deal of

experience with the kinds of courses offered in the advanced placement courses in the

high school. The one I saw at Gainesville High School, though, was deplorable. Fortunately,

veryjvery few of the students who took the examination ever got advanced placement because

they certainly did not deserve it on the basis of what they learned from that high school

teacher who is no longer there. I X01//~ //f/ just do not think that the high school

teachers are adequately trained to give college equivalent courses.

P: At one time in the University College we allowed students to take the final examination

and if they passed they would get credit for the course.

B: Back up. We still do. We still allow them. Now let me digress on something related

to this)butndeplorable I think....the ignorance of the faculty of this institution with

regard to what a student can do to accelerate his program. The division of biological

sciences has an advisory council. It came to my attention a couple of weeks ago when I

was asked about advanced placement that even I did not know about itl So I was asked to

report back to the advisory council last Monday. We had a meeting Monday afternoon of this


week on how a student might accelerate his program at the University of Floriia. I said

that I had told him that he could but I did not know all of the answers. So they had

gotten some information from George Harper, apparently at a meeting of the College of

Arts and Sciences department chairmanyto the effect that we were far, far, far behind

Florida State in the use of advanced placement, that 26% of the students entering Florida

State got advanced placement, that the quality-of the students entering Florida State

had gone up at a constantly accelerating rate while ours was slowing progressing, that

our university was being extremely snobbish and makingneffort to recruit. So I was asked

to look into this and I did. I had a conference with Sunwall in the University College

and with Vernon Vpc&W in the Registrar's Office. I found that we do accept advanced

placement and that if a student makes a particular score in a particular area he :gets '

advanced placement and he earn as much as 9 quarter hours credit in any one area for

advanced placement. This lost spring we accepted another method for-the student to accelerate

his progressby going to this College Liberal IExamination... forgot what the other initial

stands for....then the student can earn as much as forty five hours by taking these exami-

nations and making satisfactory scores. Thrther, we have a third~for the student accelerating

his progress, and this is through the examination by application. Of course, this is

closed except to the very best students who have a 3.5 avero-e or better.

Pi At one time, though, this was open to al /students when it was originally set up.

B: That is right. We moved to 3. about seven or eight years and we moved to 3.5 about


three or four years ago. At any rate, there are three ways for student accelerated progress

at the university and the ignorance is abismal at this institution about what is going on.

We do know and the University College and Arts and Sciences are very much concerned about

this other matter that I raised and that is recruiting good students, we make a minimum

effort and it is very, very weak. We say, "O.K., if you think your good enough you can come

to us." Florida State says, "Lohk good students'- We have these fine scholarships that we

can offer you. We have ten National Merit Scholarships available for the Merit Scholarshin

winners." The University of Florida,"No, we do not have any." "W!e can offer you all

kind of inducements to come to Florida State." University of Florida, "Well, you come

and we will see if we can help you."

P: You consider this to e one the major university problems.

B: I think that it is a very significant one. In fact, ten years ago Archie Robertson

suddenly discovered that the University of Florida was deplorably weak in its recruiting.

We got these lists of National Merit Scholarship Winners and runnersup and semi-finalists.

We did not do one darn thing to try to get these people. Florida State and -other schools

were writing wonderful letters to there offering tuition scholarships and other kinds of

scholarships to them and we sat on our hands. So Archie Robertson formed a

committee and I do not remember all of the members, but Herbert was a member, I was a

member, Archie Robertson ws chairman. We met several times discussing t thi thing and

what we could do about it. He took it to the Dean of Students or Hale's office, at that-


time Hale was dean. Apparently, Archie was assured that everything was"taken care of and

that everything was right. I was amazed to find6within the last month or so that we have

not made one iota of progress. This was nearly ten years.

P: How do you account for this?

B: I think that it is ignorance on the part of the administration. I think that it is

mostly ignorance because I think that if O'Connell knew of this he would not stand for

it. I think he would kick somebody in student affairs in the rear end and say'""Get on

the ball, Bud, and let's go after these bright students." One of the interesting-that

Vernon OCu" told me was that last year in 1967,Chniney-eight students made perfect records

on the twelfth grade placement test. How many are at the University of Florida? Zero'

None of them. o'-ere did they go? They went out of the state and why did they go out of

the state because they were offered scholarships, some worth ten or twelve thousand

dollars. We did not offer them -:a thing. We said,"You can come to the University of

Florida." Last year Vernon told me that eight made perfect scores. Still we did not

get any of them, but one encouraging sign was that we were getting a lot of the 4O0's to


Pt These were coming on their own. They had not been recruited.

B: No. The recruiting is simply left up the high school counselors who might say, "Well

you know, the University of Florida is a good school to go to." I do not think that we can

do this. I think that we need an active recruiting campaign to het the best students


into the institution.

P: Let me ask you about other things on the campus as you s-e it based u.on yo,:r lonr

experience here. What do you see as other university problems that are solvable problems

relating to the faculty and students? A brief analysis--

B: Relating to the faculty, I think, there are two major things that I can see. One is

communication from the top level down to the level of the faculty. We need to e"-,. lite

and make.........I do not know how to do it. I do not know how to have -tt communication

between the faculty and the top administration. But apparently there is a block there some-

where. I do not even think that O'Connell sees the letters written to him by the faculty.

I think that they are stopped somewhere along the line and some clerk in the office answers

the letters. This is one thing. A second problem that I see and it is a major one in

recruiting and that is the lack of fringe benefits. These fringe benefits are all benefits

that we pay for. They say "O.K., you can buy into our insurance program, or.." There

just are no fringe benefits which are not taken out of the individual salary. Things that

hurt the staff morale terribly are things like this parking situation that is coming up.

This lack of clarity is related to the failure to communicate. I think that if people

really aWd truly understood the parking problem on this campus that there would not be

the reaction that there has been. I think that many of the faculty feel that university

administers are nc firm enough with the students in saying "No student cars on the cam-

pus period." Other major institutions have had the backbone to say it and they solved.


the parking problem or in a sense partially solved it that way. As far as salaries are

concerned the Office of Academic Affairs sends up the salary scale by department by colleges

by ten months, by twelve months. I do not even dare show it to the faculty. If I did they

would be up in arms and I might have mass resignations. I do not know how they can

allocate salaries~arid money but I think that it is certainly not equitable at the present


P: Do you think that too large a slice of the pie is going to special areas?

B: Right. I think that one of the policies that Mautz established and thatI argued with

(7'nd of tape #i)

B: ...I had talked with Dean A-c- and George Davis and all of them were in agreement

that allocation of salary money on the basis of a flat percentage increase to areas was

not an equitable way to distribute money. For example, if one college had a million-

dollars in salary and another college had $250,000 you allocated at ten percent increase,

the discrepancies are4exaggerated.

P: Do you think that this is going to change in 1969?

B: I really do not know if it will change or not. Hopefully,it will. Hopefully the money

will be allocated more on the basis of need rather thah simply saying "Those/have get."

P: Let us talk about some of the problems other than these that relate to the campus.

Wht is your feeling aboilt the history of academic freedom at the university?

B: I think that from where I sit there is no problem of academic freedom. I believe that


Rietz's memo spelled it out very clearly when he took the matter to the Board of Re-ents

and when the Senate accepted a statement on academic freedom and the Board accented it.

I think that we can operate very well within the framework of that statement. I have not

seen any enfringment of it.

P: Is the university large enough do you believe to tolerate, if that is the word, a

Marshall Jones?

B: No. Let me come back to academic freedom one moment. I believe in academic freedom

with responsibility. A man who exercises his academic freedom has to exercise it with^res-on

sibility. He cannot claim on the basis of academic freedom that he can take any kind of

action that he deems desirable. He has to fit it within the etire framework of the entire

institution and our established institutions. They cannot strike out on their own.

I deplore that. I think that it destroys academic freedom to do that kind of thing,

that is, what we commonly define as academic freedom.

P: ;,'hat about recognition of violence oriented....

B: Shall I remark on Marshall Jones?

P: Yes, go ahead

B: Marshall Jones went way beyond the rights of a faculty member in expressing what he

calls his rights to academic freedom. Certainly he has a rirht and freedom of expression,

but he was going to extremes, I believe, that were not with&the r-... of responsibility.

He did not exercise responsibility as any person in this environment should.


P: What is your opinion ,f/~/i about recognizing violent oriented student groups?

B: Such as the SDS? They claim that they are not violently oriented but they obviously

are. I believe that just as in the United Nations we should admit the Communist Chinese

because it is a forum where there opinions are expresses and where they can be debated,

I believe that these organizations need to be recognized as existing. They are existing, they

are here. Let us hear them out and hear what kind of opinions they have and see if we can-

not refute them. I think that if we keep them undercover and do not recognize them that they

can cause much more harm than they can if we say "All right, you are a group that is allow-

ed to use university facilities so long as you use them with responsibility." This

applies to anyone. There cannot be irresponsible acts were they go in and they destroy

the institution or any of the equipment of the institution.

Pf What about the university bending to majority will? This varies over the years. We

went through the McCarthy period here on campus in the early '50's and the oath period in

the late '40's and we have been pressured to take books off the reading lists and to purge

the library from time to time. What do you think about all of this?

B: I think that we have to a- t that kind of action with a great effort, with our

strongest effort. One of the most flagrant violations of the rights of the faculty here

was when the John's ormmittee investigated. That was de-lorable and I think th-.t Rietz

made a previous mistake in not resisting that.


P: Was it not Dr. Allen who was the acting president at the time?

B: Well, whoever it was he should never have allowed people to be taken out of their homes

in the middle of the night to be taken to a hotel room for an inquisition. I think that

this is deplorable and violates all of our democratic principles.

P: How can a university protect itself against these kinds of violations of personal

and intellectual rights?

B: I think by refusing to co-operate. Maybe I am toonaive on this. I have had no

experience in this area, but I think they could absolutely refuse to co-operate. I

believe that if the thing was properly explained to the public that they would have

support from the publid.

P: You likely have not had any academic freedom cases or violations of individual rights

as far as biological sciences. You would not be as apt to have this as maybe the social

sciences or the humanities.

B: About five years ago, one of the staff members in zoology went.over to St. Augustine

at the time that they were having trouble with the problem of inte-gating motels. He

was thrown into jail. But other than that there have been no other cases.

P: Have you had any problems that you can remember in the past with the evolution teaching?

B: Never. I have been teaching evolution here since the '30's and we have never had a


P: You have not had any attempt on the part of church -roups to eliminate parts of text


books or get you to take textbooks out?

B: No, we have never had any interference with our teaching. No one has ever dictated to

me or to any of my staff that I know of or to any of the staff before I became chairman,

as to how they would teach or what they would teach.

P: What the facilities were...nothing like that?

B:No. I would hope that any staff member who teaches evolution would respect the feelings

of any student who wanted to retain the old beliefs. What I do is to simply say that these

are the accepted waysbut you are perfectly free as to religion to retain your owm beliefs.

You can listen to the evidence and accept it or reject it.

P: How responsible a research program do you think that we have here on the campus for our

faculty, release time and funds made available to them? Have you found this to be a satisfac-

tory situation?

B: No, we do not any where near enough.from the standpoint of higher faculty and research.

The only way that this university will support research, it appears at least from the stand-

point of the sciences, to any degree at all is if the faculty member will go out and get

Uncle Sam to fork over the money. A staff member, in order to be adeavately equipped and

fundedmust have a research grant. The university's funds are totally inadequate to support

research except at a very minimal level. I think that many of the larger state and pro-

gressive state institutions are much better off than we are on that score. I believe that

there should be far more funds available for staff research.


P: This has-been true now all of the years that you have been here. Do you see any hope

in the future for this?

B: Yes, I see hope, but I am not optimistic. For instance, if you read the paper this

morning it looks bad for any significant increase in the operating and the

equipment budget for the university in the next year. I just do not think that there is

going to be any dramatic change unless the federal government comes through with money.

icn it's development and the whole structure oftee
I do not think that the state is mature enough~ r gc/// / state government is such that I do

not look for any vast increase. I think that it is absolutely deplorable that we get so

little money in the University College for our operation. I have 18 faculty membersand I

get $2,600 to run the entire department on for one year, expense money. This is money

for travel, for office supplies and for running a laboratory. I got '700 for permanent

equipment. Even high schools do better than that. I think that it is completely un-

warranted. If the faculty members did not have grants or were I not able to get money

from the division of biological sciences, we would be in a hopeless situation.

P: Research just could not be continued. One of the ar-as that has been an interest

to you and that you have been active has been The Florid.a Entomological Society. You

helped organize that?

B: Oh no. That was started and organized in 1917. I was only two years old.

P: This was something that evolved here on the campus when you were a student in the


B",No, it was already started.

P: What is it's history? Do you remember?

B; Yes, I remember. In fact, if you like, I will get you a copy of the published history

which was written at it's fiftieth anniversary. It is a very well written history.

Briefly I will summarize it. Old Dr. Watson, Professor Watson he was.not a Ph. D.,

who was an entomologist in the agricultural station and Dr. Burger who was with the

State Plant Board, and George Marrow who was with the State Plant Board formed the nucleus

of the society when they founded it in 3917. It was a society founded for the exchange

of entomological information by both professional and amatuer entomologists. In 1918, they

started a publication of a journal for the exchange of information about insects and they

named it The Florida Bugist. That name existed for about two years and then they changed

the name of the journal to The Florida Entomologist. The society rocked along and continued

to grow
eong into the 1920's and '-0's. In 1937 when I was a graduate student just beginning my

graduate work I was invited to join at the rate of fifty cents a year, as I remember. So

I se un fifty cents to join and I was a member, a student member of it -while I was

a graduate member. I presented a paper to it at the annual meetings. The publication of

th journal has remained in Watson's hpnds all of these years. During the depression years

when the society ran into grave difficulty in financing publication of the journal, old

Watson a-id for it out of his own pocket. He sent at lent 1,00 during the depression
the journal
years keeping ;f&//.:';///going. It was published by Pepper Printing Co. and Pepper Printing


Co. carried the thing on the cuff sometimes as long as two years with Watson certifying

that he would make good the payments. It continued. It was just a small journal consisting

of twelve to sixteen pages per issue. After the war when I came back to the campus I became

active in the society and in 1947 I was elected secretary. We had about 150-175 members

all over the state. Then I continued as secretary until 1950 and then I took the job of

editorship which was elective. Watson died, I think, in 1946. There were interim editors

from 1946 to 1950 when I was elected editor. At that time, I took it over and I decided

that something had to be done to improve the journal. I made some dramatic changes

in it. I changed the formatand fe I put a cover on the journal which had not had one

previously. We made a valient effort to increase the number of advertisers as a source

of revenue and we increasedthe size of the journal until ultimately it got up to around

48-64 pages. per issue. I continued editing it until around 1963 and at that time the

circulation was around 400 or 450. I think that it has grown since -t The society

is very active and has rrown. It is the oldest scientific society in the state now, I

think. It is probably about as vigorious as any.

P: It meets annually.

B: Yes. The editorshin is on the campus. Dr. Stratton Kerr in the department of

entomology is editor.

P: 1,h-t is your position in the society now?

B; I am just one of the old, elder statesman. No, after I completed 13 years-r

as editor I decided that I had done my stint. The following the year they gave me

a certificate of distinguished service or something of the sort.

P: I know that you have had a book published by the University of Florida Press which

is one of the important activities on this campus. Without getting into personalities

I wondered if you could tell us about your relationship to the press and how it operates.

Were you ever on the board of managers?

B: No, I was not.

P: Just your own experience with it and with the biological series.

Bi The University of Florida Press was started by J. Speed Rodgers who was head of the

department of biology at that time and the old C6. He started it in the 1940's. He

was looking for an editor and he got Bill Haines to become editor. When I got back

after the war and joined the staff, the University of Florida Press had published two

volumes in the biological science series. Podgers had been interested in starting the

press essentially publish these items, He published a volume by Hovel and one by

Myres. I beg your pardon, he published other volumes before. He published one by

Pierce, one by Hobbs and one by Carr in the biological science series. In 1946 he

took the manuscripts of oav esf o orj and the manuscript of of Fe ia

by Frank Young, to the press and they were accepted for publication. In January 1947,

Rodgers left to go to Michigan annd Haines was left as the sole director. Those manu-


scripts languished there until 1949, for three years they did not do anything with

them. Finally, pressures must have built up on some way. Haines finally started moving

on the Mayfly publication. I will admit that he did a fine job with it. The publicat-

ion is a nice publication. He did a thorough job of editing it and they allowed me a

great deal of freedom in publishing illustrations. There were some agonies, sure.

Leaving personalities out of it, everything went through all right and we got the book

out. I learned finally this summer that the thing is finally out of print and that

they sold all of their copies this summer. The following year they published the volume

Frank 1C6i
of M- Young and the Watl/ Beetles. That was the of the biological sciences

-ge. 'W/
series. No one will admit that Haines killed it, but he did -yAhis actions which T

am not going to go into. There have been no subsequent volumes published in the

biolop7ical science series since 1952 when Young's book was published.

P: I presume that you see this as a major...

B: It was a disaster, I think. There is still much interest ovei the country as I

go to scientific meetings.People ask me what has happened to the biological

science series. And I have to simply say that I think that it is dead. Now I was

told the other day that now that Haines is no longer in that position that they are

interested in reviving that series, which I certainly hope that they do. The difficulty

is goin- to be in getting manuscripts because people have gotten away from the press.

I see the main source of publications for the bioloCicol science series in doctoral

dissertations. There are certain selected ones that are suitable. I think that pri-

marily the biological science series was killed because it was not a money maker.

P: Is there any outlet on our campus for the publication of scientific studies other

than the University of Florida Press?

B: Only through journals whichAedited on the campus. The Journal of the Florida

Academy of Sciences is edited by Pierce a member of our staff and The Florida

Entomologist by Strat Kerr.

P: Are both of these subsidized b'y the university?

B: The Academy is subsidized. When I was editor of The Florida Entomologist I look-

/,with Stan West
ed into the matter of subsidy and it turned out that te would have to furnish the uni-

versity with copies that would have gone to the same people who were paying us for

subscriptions. We would have lost more in being subsidized by the university than we

would have by being paid for these subscriptions. So we did not accept the subsidy.

P: Are you involved in the direction of The Florida Academy of Sciences?

B: No,I am not a member of the Academy. I dropped out in 1948 because I did not like

the direction the Academy :.' going. I may rejoin it sometime in th'e future. It seems

to ffi/-/'/-/ becoming a little more respectable again. There is much more interest

in it by the scientists rather than by the public school teachers.

P: The organization and it's journal is subsidized in part by the university.

B: Right, through the library. There is one other journal that I forgot to tell you

and it is important. This is the Bulletin of the Florida State Museumow, I was the

first editor and I edited the first number about 1958 or 1959. Then I decided

that I would be well off out of that responsibility so my name does not appear as

editor of the first number even though I did. I withdrew from that editorship. That

series has turned out to be a very fine series. Osten edites it. He is on

the museum staff and he does an excellent job of editing.

P: Was there any particular reason why you decided to withdraw?

B: Personalities. J. C. Dickenson was director of the museum. At any rate I decided

that I could live better and avoid having ulcers by not having it.

P Are you a member of the state museum board?

B: Yes, I am a curator, what they call a curator of the Florida State Museum and I am

a member of the board, the advisory board. I have been a member of that board since

it started, well since Dickenson took over. W'!e have not had a meeting yet.

P: I am a member of it too and I have never been called for anything whatsoever.

B: I am also a research associate at the division of p&ant industry in the Department

of Entomology. You know that that is located on the campus.

P: Tdll me about your work with the library. You have been on the library committee

for many'or you were on it for many years.

B: I was until this year.

P. Tell me about it and your work there. How does it function 2s a university

committee? 67

B: The library committee, :from the time I joined it to the time I got off of it, I

thought was one of the finest committees that I have ever worked with.

P: Do you remember when you nined -t?

B: That was in 1947 and I went off of it July 1, 1968. I think that there was a year

or two when I was not on it in that period. The library committee, with Stan West

as an ex-officio member of it, I thought was one of the most selfless committees

and dedicated committees that I had worked with. They put the needs of the university

first. I always tried to put things in the context of the university library first,

then departmental considerations. Not everybody did this and that is to be expected.

But I am saying that by and large the people were interested in the library as an

institution, as a service organization responsive to the needs of the campus. The

committee was a large committee. Often I thought that it was too large. So the

chairman often set up sub-committees. I have forgotten who the chairman was when I

first came on. Archie Robertson was chairman for a number of years while I was oh the

committee. Bob Walker made a -ery fine chairman. One of the things that I think came

out of our early work in the library cormmittoeback in the early '50's, was the devel-

o-ment for a formula for the allocation of library funds. We never had enough money

to operate like a university library should. Consequently, we had to allocate the

funds available to us to get the most for our money. So we set up this formula. Tre

spent countless hours working on this thing. The formula was used and was recently

used last springy^I was chairman of the committee for the allocation of funds. I do

not know what Harrer is doing now that he director of the library. This library committee

was used very effectively by Stan West. He kept us informed. He respected the committee

and he accented the advice of the committee. Our most effective work was done through

sub-committees. For example, one of the things that we did, I may have rvi -e':ted it,

I am not sure, that was that we set up a reserve fund.-,.' Tith the small amount of money

that we had available we held some back to take care of special needs of departments

or faculty members. This fund grew and grew and was use very wisely. There was a

sub-committee that dealt with applications and allocated this money for these special

purposes. It made the money go a lot further and it made it possible for the university

library to get the things that it could not have gotten otherwise. We got many

things that we could not have gotten if the money had been given to the departments.

Then the money would have been so dispersed over the university that when you needed

$10,000 to get an item you would /,/ not have had it. Where having it in the reserve

fund, if the f/// proposal, in the 1/A{/ of the committee,was sound enough they

could ro ahead and fund it. This was done on occasion.

P: Did the library committee,during the time that you were a part of it, have any-

thing to do with setting philosophy and policy for the library?

B: Yes, it dir'. /V ,'!hen the idea of putting guards at the door came up that was dis-

cussed at some length by West. You may remember the recent study where they put the


librarian 6n this wage and hour study business? That was brought to the attention of

the library committee. We took a very strong stand opposed to this. We said that the

librarians should be treated as professionals and not as hourly laborers. I think

that our attitude had some influence with the administration going back and having the

librarians reclassified. h.en the building of this graduate research library was /

we were consulted. We went in on the planning of that. West consulted us and the

architect came to us with the plans. I felt that the faculty had a definite part to

play in the running of the library.

P: Did you have anything to do with the employment of West?

B: No, I did not. I was on the search and screen committee for the present library

/1f{%'/ director, Harrer.

P: What was the procedure that the search and screenAfollowed in selecting a librarian?

Where there many applicant%?

B: We did not have any applicants. We went out and searched for people. We had a

very difficult time finding a librarian.

P: Was this because of an inadequate salary base or because of the reputation of the

library in the university?

B: From what we could tell, it was almost entirely based on salary. The salary that

we had to offer was not competitive. We were nearly between S8,000 and '10,000

below other comparable institutions in salary.


P: There was nothing wrong with the library itself?

B: No, it was no the library. It was the salary. It was purely and simply that

we were not in a competitive position salary wise. 1'e had a number of names

provided to us by well known librarians. Bob Walker made a number trips and long

distance calls to people ho would be knowledgable about librarians. We had professional

librarians on the committee and Betty Taylor, and Bennett from Agriculture.

Those were at least three of the professional librarians who advised us as well as being

members of the committee. Hopefully we have a good librarian. I hardly khow him and

I have not had any feedback.

Pt I want to get down into some other areas. I think tha we are nearly the end of

interview. I want to talk a little bit about your relationship to students. How

do you classify the student that come into the biological sciences? Are they adequately

trained coming out of high school? Are we getting good students here as far as your

discipline is concerned?

B: I think that we are getting fine students. I am very -leased with the students

we are getting. By and large they are very good students.

P: Do you think that the high schools of Florida are doing a good job?

B: They are doing a remarkably fine job in comparison to what they were doing

ten or twelve years ago. They have really pulled themselves by the boot straps.

P: Do you think that this is because the teachers are better trained and that they

have better physical facilities?

B; Both. There is not a thing wrong with our students, we have-very fine students.

When I go to the University of Minnesota to teach in the summers as I have done fre-

quently arid as I did last summer, I tend to compare our students with people form other

universities. I think that we really have some fine, capable kids here.

P: Intellectually, are they are par with students from other parts of the country?

B: There is no question in my mind that they are, if not superior. I would not mind

to become ,y ,-
seeing us move even more stringent in our'requirements. And to go and actively seek

out the very best students. I think that we can do it. I think tht there are enough

other institutions in the state now so that the weaker student need not be denied 4f

education. Though I know that many of the junior colleges are terribly weak they can

take care of these lesser able students so that we can really go after quality.

P: Do you feel that we are demanding enough of our students?

B: I think that we are, but that is a difficult one to tell because I can only

talk from the standpoint of my own area. In my own area, I think that we are.

Sometimes a student will say that we demand too -uch. As an aside I may mention

that this morning I had a conversation with a staff member who t:auht an invitational

honors section last quarter. He seemed to think that when he demansdd that these

work they resented it because apparently when they came through their freshman

honors course they had not been made to work. Suddenly they were fad'd with these


demands and they '.ere not prepared for them. Perhaps we are overestimating these

students in the invitational honors section.

B: Are we turning out scholars here at the University of Florida?

B: How can I tell? I just do not know. I think that if we do away with general

education requirement that we will be turning out Y/ ,/. more technicians to a greater

degree than we are now. Particularly in the Colleges of Agriculture, Pharmacy and Engineering

this would be true. These highly specialized colleges will be turning out technicians,

but they will not be educated people. I think that we have got to have some mechanism

where they can be exposed to these ideas that we are trying to get across now in general


P: Talkingbout a specific student, tell us about your relation'to the man who won

the Noble Prize.

B: Marshall Nuremburg was an undergraduate here and / as I remember it he hb d only

one course with me, Insect Biology which Was a four or five hundred level course.

PP When was this?

B: It must have been the late forties. As I recall it he waa'a pre-med student, one

of those frustrated pre-med students were not able to get into medical school for

two reasons. One, he was Jewish and // there was a definite cuota on the number of

Jewish students -cce.ted into medical school and secondly I do no tbhik that his

average was that good.


So he decided to stay here and take a masters degree. He had taken a course

in Ecology or Field Biology and he became interest in the aquatic environment and he

came to me and asked me if he couti his masters problem with me. So I laid out a

problem dealing particularly with a group of insects, the caddis flies. So he did his"'

masters thesis on that with me. He finished it in 1952. As I indicated to the news-

paper reporters as I recall it, he was a good student, not outstanding and his thesis

was adequate. It was not a world shaker but it was as good as a good masters thesis

would normally be.

P: But there was no indication of great brilliance.

B: None whatsoever. I was looking through my file of letters of recommendation

after he won-the Nobel prize and I looked in his file and I found the letters of re-

commendation to the University of Michigan and the University of California for graduate

school. In these letters I mentioned that I thought that he had considerable potential.

He told me that he had become interested in bio-chemistry and I told him that that was

fine. He was accepted at the University of Michigan were he did his doctorate. For

years, he sent us Christmas and I guess four or five years ago the cards stopped coming

and I have not heard from him since.dxcept to write and congratulate him on the award.

I sent him a telegram.

P: Have you have any other recognized, outstanding students?

B: No, I have not had any that have achieved outstanding distinction. One of my


former students is chairman of the department of biology at Southwestern Louisiana Uni-

versity. There is another one who is on the faculty at California Tns-t A Ai Institute.

Another one is out at San Diego College.

P: I think that this generally true of the whole university. We really have not trained

or graduated any:great celebrities. I wondered if you had any explanation based upon

your own experience here. It is not because we are young.

B: No, we are a mature institution and we cannot use that as justification. I think,

that possibly the same"that applies today was true and that is that our brighter students,

the ones with the greater promise go out of state to school. They go to the Ivy League

schools )/// they are offered scholarships. Very few Florida children have ever achieved

eminence. I noticed in the paper this morning that Allen Boyd who was secretary of

transportation has just become president of the North Central Railroad. He is

probably one of those who have achieved distinction in the state.

P: But you can almost count them on the fingers of one han^.

B: Right. Of course, we have Pan Brewer. She achieved distinction.

P: But other than your student we have not had any Pulitzer Prize winners or any

distinguished scholars who gained a national or an international reputation.

B: Of course, I have to credit the University of Michigan in training Nuremberg

in his doctoral program. Weseot him on the track, he spent six years on the campus

as an undergraduate and graduate. He was trained in the high schools of Orlando.

P: You have some brief contact with fraternity life on this campus. How do you view

fraternities? Are they an outworn....

B: I really think that they have outlived their usefulness. The students in general

have matured to a point where they perhaps do not need them anymore. I havo ~/ never

been very close to them, you have been closer than I. But I have never felt comfortable

going into a fraternity as a faculty member. Perhaps. this is because of an age

difference. I was not a fraternity man as a student. I could not afford.a fraternity.

P: On this particular"do you think that still have a role to nlay or do you think

that the university should try-to phase them out?

B: I have not given any thought to it)frankly. Just as an off the cuff answer I can

only say that I do not see that they occupy a very important part in the life of

the campus anymore. One of the eehLh leading to this is that this is becoming more

and more of a graduate and research institution rather than a freshman and sophomore

level institution. Fraternities, as you know, are most important in the freshman

and sophomore years and with these phasing out I see that fraternities have out-

lived there usefulness. Now tjis is an off the cuff answer, but this is the way

that it looks to me.

P: 'What about other university situations. Not necessarily problems but conditions

that you view. me mentioned parking as a problem and fraternities as a situation.

B: I think other factors they are remedying as fast as the state can find the money.

That is, for example, putting up adequate buildings for the institution, replacing some

of the outdated and worn buildings and providing adequate teaching space. One of

the problems that I see is that this university is a teaching institution, yet teaching

constantly p.. .-e-s a minor role as compared to research and publication. Yet it is one

of our major functions. f-2-cnm of the faculty lobk upon teaching as a chore. It is

a necessary evil that has to be done to justify their making a living to get into the

library, to get into their study or to get into the library to do research. I would

not want to see the place become solely a teaching institution. This is true at all

large public institutions, I am not sure about private ones. One of the suggestions

that I have made before and I would like to see instituted which may help in this

particular problem. Faculty members need to be assured of an adequate income twelve

months a year. I would like to see every staff member nut on a t'.,elve month contract

with one month off for vacation. a very liberal policy of leave without pay. So that if

a staff member taught for 9 months and wanted to go off without pay for a vacation,

or if he wanted to go teach at another institution for 3 months and wants leave of -bsence,

he is riven a leave of absence without -ay. But everyone is assaued of a twelve month

contract as they are presently in agriculture, in medicine and in other segments of the

university. I think that this business of staying with a 9 month contract is anachronism.

Now to come back to my point on this. If Wo-:.were assured of a 12 month's contract, then

I think that every staff member who wants the right should be allowed at least one quarter

a year time for scholarly activity. In other words the university is subsidizing one

full quarter when the staff member is doing no teaching, no committee, he is free to

do research. But that man has to be a productive scholar. If he is not then he is given

other assignments. I think that if we do this, then we can move in the direction of

better teaching and better research.

P: Are you optimistic about this?

B: No I am not. I raised this issue the other night when wre had a meeting of all of

by far
the zoology staff with George Davis. He is closer to the top administration than I am.

P: These are the kinds of problems that I know, you have been thinking about. Are others

that you see on this campus?

B: I think that I have covered virtually spectrum.

P: Let me just go into one area....

B: Yes, there is another area I forgot to mention. This is one that I think that rwe

have to come to grips with and that is the inadequate non-academic support staff.for

the faculty and for teaching. More staff members deserve secretarial help. Not stu-

dent assistants but qualified secretarial help, as professional men they deserve it.

We deserve to have technicians to help us with our teaching equipment, with our teachi.n

nroblcms. For example, if we run a laboratory it has to be h-rndled ,with our help and

students on a hit and miss basis. We should have a full time, qualified lab technician

there to help us. But it is hopeless to even think about asking for one at this stage

in this institution. It is just one of the other problems up.

P: One of the things that comes to mind and we have not talked about this but I would

like to ask your opinion as a member of the university community. What is your feeling

about the disadvantaged student, particularly the black student.

B: I am very sympathetic to the problem. But I think that lowering our standards to

admit those who are not qualified for admissions would be a grevious.error whether they

were white or black. I am opposed to having a double standard. I think that we have to

encourage them to go to either a junior college or to a college with lower standards.

until they can reach a level where they can compete with our students. The entire

quality of the university would be hurt if we brought in people and then had to -il

them out. We would be hurt terribly if we admitted 150 disadvantaged students and then

failed them all out because they were not qualified on the basis of earlier educational

experiences to pass.

P: By this token are you also opposed to a@4autonomus black studies program?

B: Absolutely, I think that that is a stupid approach to the solution to that problem.

I see absolutely no validity in it at all.

P: How would you handle demands backed up by violence?

B: I would not /.tolerate violence. First, I would ask the local police to cone and

get them out of there, and frankly I deplore what has gone on at San Francisco State

College. I think that Brandice University showed grave weakness in not dealing with

that firmly. Maybe I am wrong, Maybe I am being toopositive in my approach sitting

here two thousand miles away from where these things are taking place. But from where

I sit, I would be very firm with these people. I just think that we can^tolerate a

state of anarchy. I do not believe that you can go and make demands of that sortor

I think that you must go and prove a case and be persuasive. Certainly these people

have been oppressed, certainly they have been denied their rights. I cannot refute

that and I would not try, to refute it. But I think that we must take cognizance of it

and modify our program to incorporate these things that we have obviously left out

and neglected. But it cannot be done by simply setting them off as a -roup or giving

in to their demands under the threat of violence.

P: As you see it do you4hink that we will have trouble on cam-us?

B: I just do not know. I am hopeful that we will not. I am afraid that with the

spring we may and further that professional agitators are going to come in from the

outside and start stirring up the people who are laying out here in the Plaza of the

Americas, thelong haired boys.

P: In closing, I would like to ask you for your o-inion as to what is right and what

is wrong with Gainesville in relation to the university community?

B: I think that it is simply a matter of the failure of peonie to feed into the

two areas. I was surprised the other night. Some people who m-naged a Gainesville

in the Mall
store^stopped by our house There name is Garland. They have been here for three

years and -b-e never been in a university building. He said,"If I come out to the campus

some time :-.ould you show me through a building?" I said that I would be pleased to do

that and he should come out anytime. I think that there is a hesitandcy- for people in

the community to come onto the campus because they think th-t they are intruding- Maybe

this is not true, I do no know. The whole philosophy of the university people tends

to make them suspicious of the people in town, particularly the merchants. They think

that they are out to squeeze every dime that they can out of the university people,

I do not think that Ehis is true either. I do not know how you are goint to solve it.

I think that one solution is that as the community Fets b: .-c.r and bigger this problem

is going to disappear. I was much more acute when the town was smaller. There was

a town and gown type of arrangementobut this is disappearing. My points of view

about this have // changed a good deal since I joined a Rotary club. Here I am

thrown in to association with people who are not in-e university, ho come from ///

many different walks, the physicians, dentists, businessmen. It is only a short time,

about an hour a week, but at least I get to meet them and speak with them and see that

they are pretty good people too.

P: Do you feel that the community is anti-university?

B: I do not think so. I never have hade8h t feeling .

P: Do you feel that the community i too conservative?

B: The community is very conservative in politics and I looking for the day when

the university faculty will be much more adtive in participation, in the politics of

the city and county. There has been too little of that. The last school board election

was a most healthy one, where so many of the university people participated. I would

likB to see at least one to two people from the university on the city commission.

There has been Richardson and at i/ the present time Courten Carl. But there is no

one on the county commrtsson as far as I know from the university community.

P: You do not feel that you have been hurt or discriminated against by the community

because you are a member of the university faculty.

B: Nof as a matter of fact I feel that I have been respected as a me-ber of the faculty.

A onrson has to build his own position in the community. People can resent things and

read into them far more than is there.

P: Where do you think that the university in Gainesville is going to go?

B: It is going to g-row and the community is .,i': to become much more liberal. I

foresee a narrow breakthrough in integration. There is going to be a much rapid

acceleration of the movement of colored people into the heart of toun, into areas

were they did not live before. The community is going to be one of high income as it

is at the moment, because of the university. I would like to see many of the static

ideas and reactionaries disappear but I do not think that that is going to happen.


I think that the university is going to grow and more and more development into a

graduate institution for research. I foresee the first two years of teaching, fresh:-

man and sophomore disappearing.

P: And with it the University College?

B: I think that the University College is going to go a lot faster than that.

The University College is going to go as a two year concept, certainly in no more

than two years. I cannot foresee it lasting for more than two years. That m7ybe

optimistic, it may be one and a half years. I believe that the four year concept of

liberal education is going to take over. This is the way that I see it right now.

I think that the student population is going to grow...

P: There is an expected increase to 25,000 by 1975.

B: The other state institutions afe going to start their graduate programs and we may

stablilize somewhere between 25,000 and 40-,000.

P: Do you envision the state becoming more informed and educated in terms of more

financial support for the institutions of higher learning?

B: It has got to! I think that this proliferation of institutions of higher learning

everywhere in the state, everywhere / there is a state senator, has got to stone.

P: We need another Buckman Act. This'was the one that consolidated the many institutions

into three back in 1905.

B: Well, now we are back prior to the Buckman Act. We are proliferating.


I do not think that we need a university in every little village. I am not convinced

that there is a need for one in Miami, nor one in Jacksonville, Orlando or Pensacola.

P: But the fact is that some of them exist and some of them are on the way toward

existing. Is there anything else that you want to say?

B: No, we have said everything.

Full Text
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