doc - University of North Florida

Document Sample
doc - University of North Florida Powered By Docstoc
					Interviewee: Marcelle Lovett
Interviewer: James Crooks
Date: October 26, 2006

C:    Today is October 26. This is the UNF Oral History interview program. This is Jim
      Crooks speaking. We are interviewing Marcelle Lovett. Marcelle, tell me about
      your background and what brought you to UNF.
L:    Well, I have been in education since 1971. I started out as an English teacher at
      Sandalwood Junior/Senior High School—the year it opened. I was there a
      number of years in various capacities as a teacher of English and also an
      administrator. I was the first community school coordinator for that school. After
      that, I went to the district office in community education, and I was a supervisor.
      Subsequent to that, I was the community school coordinator. I was the first one
      at Mayport Middle School. I also went to Englewood High School as the
      assistant principal and Fletcher [High School] as the vice principal.
C:    So you grew up in Jacksonville?
L:    No, I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, but I have been here since 1971.
C:    Where are your degrees from?
L:    University of Missouri-Kansas City. I got my masters from UNF in 1975 and then
      a doctorate at Florida in [19]84.
C:    What brought you to UNF?
L:    Well, I was in the masters program, as you know, in the early [19]70s, and I met
      Tom Healey. Tom and I became very good friends. In fact, he became my
      mentor. He and his wife and I were very good friends. He was actually the one
      who recruited me into the doctoral program. At that time, there was a joint UF-
      UNF program, and he talked me into being in that program, so I started that
      program in 1980. Tom subsequently hired me as the director of Off-Campus
      Credit Programs and Continuing Ed[ucation]. He was Dean of Continuing Ed at
      that time.
C:    Which would have been roughly when?
L:    I came to UNF in 1983, and I’ve been here ever since.
C:    So you started off as off-campus?
L:    Credit Programs. We had a very large Off-Campus Credit Program back in the
      late [19]70s, early [19]80s, several thousand students.
C:    Downtown?
L:    Oh, and I forgot about the Downtown Center. Yes, I also managed the
      Downtown Center. I established that, the first UNF Downtown Center in
      Hemming Park. We had the first one on one of the floors in the Galleria building,
      remember that?
C:    Where the museum is now?
L:    I guess so. Yes.
C:    Yes.
L:    Then after that we had a services center right across the street from Independent
      Life on Bay Street, just kind of a store front. I managed that with the two staff
      people who were there.
C:    What is the difference between Off-Campus Credit Programs and the Downtown
                                                                       Lovett -- Page 2

     Center? Were they a part of one another?
L:   They were kind of part. The Downtown Center was a way for UNF to hold
     courses for a population that UNF felt was being under served. It was
     considered a long trek out to UNF from anywhere back then, so the Downtown
     Center was established. It never really had the enrollment that the University
     thought it would, so after a few years, they closed it down and actually moved to
     the Downtown Services Center, which was like records and registration. No
     classes were held, but it was a service arm of records and registration and
     enrollment services.
C:   Where else off campus did you have credit courses?
L:   Well, the College of Ed[ucation] primarily has been the prime mover behind off-
     campus credit and still is. Baker County, Putnam County, even Alachua County,
     St. John’s County, Clay County, the College of Ed has had off-campus credit
     courses for thirty years and still does. I’m not sure if any other unit really does
     much of that.
C:   I taught down in Palatka once, a couple courses. NAS [Jacksonville Naval Air
     Station] also had some credit courses.
L:   Correct . I was involved with that. We made a deal with the Armed Forces
     Reserve Center, which is right there on Roosevelt Boulevard, to have courses.
     When John Bardo was VP, he was big on that, so I established a relationship
     with the military. They were pretty cooperative. We had students from all over
     the west side basically, and Riverside, attending classes there.
C:   What about Mayport?
L:   Before my time, there was what was called the Pace Program, which was some
     credit courses on board ship, but that was before my time. Actually, when I was
     Director of Off-Campus Credit [Programs]—you are bringing back a lot of
     memories, Jim—we actually had a coordinator stationed at Mayport. I’m trying to
     think of his name. He just passed away—an older gentleman who was Director
     of Veteran’s Affairs here for a while. Hank? Something or another. I can’t
     remember his name. He was real nice, a veteran, and he coordinated that
     program. He also helped me out at NAS. We did all the military stuff. We had a
     big military involvement back then, and I had forgotten about that.
C:   When did you come back on campus?
L:   When you say on campus, what do you mean?
C:   I guess you were on campus the whole time. Were you teaching at the same
     time?
L:   Actually, I had been teaching at UNF since the very early days. It is kind of an
     interesting story. Bill Merwin was the VP for academic affairs, and he and Tom
     were good friends. They knew I was an English teacher from K-12, and when
     UNF admitted freshmen—remember that, back in 1984, I think it was, I was hired
     here in [19]83—none of the faculty here wanted to teach freshman English,
     Freshman Comp[osition]. Nobody wanted to teach freshmen, and so Bill asked
     me if I would teach some Freshman Comp courses; they were desperate for
                                                                        Lovett -- Page 3

     teachers. I started teaching Freshman Comp courses. Dick Bizot was the
     department chairman, and he was my boss, kind off. I was still Director of Off-
     Campus Programs, but I taught one or two a year for English Comp for
     freshmen. Boy was that a long time ago, but, yes, I did that, I started that. Then
     when I became Dean of Continuing Education, in [19]85 I think it was, I was on a
     faculty line. My department was Educational Leadership because that is what my
     degree is in. I actually started teaching for Ed[ucational] Leadership back in
     [19]85, and I have been doing that all these years. Usually, one course a year,
     maybe two. Some years, I skipped, but my dream was always to be a full-time
     faculty member in that department. So it came true.
C:   How substantial was the Community Ed[ucation] Program when you took over in
     [19]85.
L:   Well, we call it Continuing Ed.
C:   I’m sorry.
L:   That is okay. In K-12 we call it Community Ed, and I was involved in Community
     Ed in K-12. But Continuing Ed, when I started, I actually started there in [19]83,
     when I was hired as Director of Off-Campus Programs. It was very small. We
     had like four or five staff people. We had revenue of $200,000 or $300,000 a
     year, which back then was considerable, I guess. It was very small.
C:   Ten or twelve classes a year?
L:   Oh, no. Many more than that. We served several thousands students a year,
     non-credit students in seminars, workshops, et cetera.
C:   Was there a particular area that Continuing Ed focused on in terms of subject or
     were you spread across the board?
L:   Well, we soon realized that we were in business to sell courses ,and we could
     only sell courses that people really wanted to take. So our primary focus was
     business, business-type courses: supervisory management, writing skills for
     business, communication skills for business, that type of thing.
C:   Not something that would compete with the MBA programs in the College of
     Business.
L:   No, although there was always some tension with the College of Business,
     although our courses were short courses and they were non-credit and not really
     competitive in terms of length or format with the College of Business.
C:   You became Dean of Continuing Ed in [19]85. How long did you continue as
     that?
L:   Until 2003, when I decided . . . I had been in Continuing Education for twenty
     years at that point. I reached my thirty years in 2001, and so I started really
     thinking. It came up on me in a hurry, even though I knew it was coming. I
     started thinking, I would really like to do something different, change my lifestyle
     a little bit. The University Center was up and running and doing very, very well.
     Continuing Ed was doing exceptionally well. That was a good time to leave.
C:   What are some of the high points in Continuing Ed from your perspective during
     your years?
                                                                         Lovett -- Page 4


L:   That is an easy question. Obviously, [Continuing Ed was] the capstone of my
     career, and I think really what Continuing Ed is really best known for is two
     things. First of all, the University Center. We started planning that back in the
     early [19]90s with Adam Herbert and were involved with that through everything.
     Basically, we were the management arm of that program. That was a dream
     come true, really, for the campus and for Continuing Ed.
C:   Whose idea was it?
L:   For many years, we had no space, and we had to get up at six o’clock in the
     morning and put up road signs on UNF drive, like follow the yellow brick road, to
     these courses. I’d say it was that Adam Herbert provided the impetus for it, but
     the Continuing Ed program had been urging every president to provide space for
     us, dedicated space, whether it be in an existing building or a new building. In
     the early [19]90s, Adam Herbert saw, not just the potential for Continuing Ed, but
     the potential for the entire campus, and I really think he had the vision for what it
     could be. Many other universities have a similar type of unit or building that is
     kind of a beacon for off-campus types of activities and other types of events that
     bring a lot of people on campus who would not otherwise come here, and I think
     that vision has been realized. The University Center is far beyond what anybody
     really thought it would be originally. That certainly was a high point.
             And a second high point—that probably no one else would mention but
     me, because they don’t know about it—is when we became self-supported.
     When we no longer needed the University to support us, either through salary
     dollars or expense dollars, that was a real milestone as far as I was concerned.
     It gave us some autonomy, but it also posed some challenges because then we
     became a revenue source for the university. That was always an issue. How
     much revenue was the university going to take and would that leave us with
     enough to really operate our program?
C:   When did you become self-sufficient?
L:   Let me think. Late [19]90s. Before then we had some E & G [Education and
     General] dollars for support. Less and less as years went on and then finally just
     went cold turkey.
C:   Was this a gradual evolution in the growth of Continuing Ed?
L:   Absolutely.
C:   There was no big catalyst along the way?
L:   Well, I would say yes, there was a catalyst. The railroad program, which we
     forged a partnership with CSX in [19]97, I think it was, became a very big
     revenue stream for us. That really pushed us over the edge so to speak in terms
     being dependent versus being autonomous.
C:   What did you do with CSX?
L:   We formed a relationship with them. I had established a dean’s council for
     Continuing Ed several years before that. CSX representatives were on that
     council, sort of like the other colleges have councils. That relationship led to
                                                                       Lovett -- Page 5

     conversations about joint programs, et cetera. CSX basically approached us with
     the idea, because they wanted to out source their railroad conductor training.
     They didn’t really want to do it with FCCJ [Florida Community College at
     Jacksonville] because of some other relationships, some not so positive
     relationships, they had with them, or I don’t know what. Probably a personality
     issue, I don’t know, but anyway, [CSX] asked us if we would be willing to take
     that program on. Of course, we could see right away that that was going to be a
     very, very good program financially for us and in terms of doing some good
     training for the community too.
C:   When you take on a program like that, how do you go about developing the
     courses, hiring the instructors? You are not an expert in railroad conducting.
L:   Right. One of the neat things about Continuing Ed is that you learn a little about
     a lot of things. You really learn how to use the resources you have to get the
     information you need and the expertise you need. Because we are not content
     experts in very many areas at all. Our job is to find the content experts, find the
     curriculum, or develop the curriculum with someone else that is really going to
     meet the test of the industry, whatever industry it is. We worked very closely with
     CSX. They pretty much had a program; they just wanted to out source it and
     wanted a facility. Of course, we knew the University Center was coming.
     Basically, they drove that curriculum; that was obviously their curriculum, even
     though they didn’t want it to be known as a CSX program, for some reason. So
     that is how that worked. We jointly hired the instructors and evaluated the
     instructors.
C:   Were there other major corporate partners over the years?
L:   Many. All the big names in town basically we’ve done quite a bit of business
     with. Prudential, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Merrill Lynch, hundreds of
     companies, literally hundreds of companies, both big and small. The list is pretty
     extensive. The good thing about Jacksonville is [that] this is a business town. It
     is basically a small business town; there are a lot of small businesses. But there
     are also some major businesses too that have their own training units and
     functions, but would turn to UNF Continuing Ed for a variety of reasons.
C:   Such as?
L:   Such as we offered programs that they didn’t offer, didn’t want to develop. We
     had access to a bunch of expertise on the faculty. Plus, we had developed a
     very long list of consultants over the years, training consultants who didn’t work
     for the university but worked for us. They were in business for themselves or
     worked for somebody else. After a while, that reputation builds. Not that we
     were the only game in town, but we were a major player in the terms of corporate
     training.
C:   Do any of the other higher ed institutions have Continuing Ed? FCCJ?
L:   Absolutely. FCCJ. JU [Jacksonville University]. That’s another interesting story.
     JU pretty much dissolved its Continuing Ed Unit about four or five years ago and
     outsourced it to the colleges, which is not an atypical model in higher ed. A lot of
                                                                         Lovett -- Page 6

     major universities have done that, but JU really is not a competitor with us, never
     really has been. FCCJ has been and continues to be, and part of their mission is
     workforce development—that is what they call it at community college. They put
     a lot of resources into that, and they do a lot of business.
C:   What about the schools like Nova and University of Phoenix online?
L:   Not in terms of non-credit. Certainly in terms of credit programs. I think they
     have had a big impact on UNF, especially in graduate education. That was
     always a concern of mine too, that we really needed to be a little more
     competitive in the marketplace. Ten years ago Webster, Nova, and Phoenix
     weren’t here. In the last ten years, they have taken quite a bit of UNF’s market
     share in terms of credit enrollments.
C:   In business and education.
L:   Yes.
C:   Psychology.
L:   Yes. Absolutely. In graduate programs, more so than undergraduate. I think
     Saint Leo is mostly undergraduate and Southern Illinois University [is too]. We
     got out of the off-campus credit business, probably in the mid-[19]90s, and really
     haven’t done anything with that since, although I have always been interested
     and concerned about it in the broader sense of UNF.
C:   Would you say then that Continuing Education here is essentially work force
     development orientation or what else is there besides?
L:   Well, you know, workforce development means different things to different
     people. To me workforce development primarily means, in terms of what the
     community colleges do, some basic skills for entry level workforce individuals.
     We really don’t do much of that. We really do more business, higher level skills,
     the supervisor and up type of orientation. We also developed a paralegal
     program, which, by the way, so did FCCJ—of course theirs is a credit program;
     ours is a non-credit program. We do project management, a certificate program
     in that. We are work force development in the broader since, but not in the way
     the community colleges define it.
C:   Do you do anything in the area of education with the school systems?
L:   No, we don’t. The reason for that is purely economics. At one point the College
     of Ed had a contract with the Duval County school system and other local school
     systems to provide training for teachers, but that kind of dried up. Cheryl
     Fountain, actually, was involved in that years and years ago. I hope she is one
     that you are going to interview.
C:   Yes, she is.
L:   Primarily teachers don’t pay to go to training; they get paid to go to training. We
     could only have training that is paid for by someone. We’ve done some things
     with schools, contract courses. We do quite a bit of what I call contract training,
     where an entity will contract with us to bring a course in to their employees. It is
     not like a public program. We do a lot of that. A lot that the university never
     sees. Not that it is a secret, it is just not publicized. It is not a public offering.
                                                                        Lovett -- Page 7

     We do quite a bit of that, and that is a pretty big source of revenue for us. But
     not too much with the school system, because they have their own professional
     development trainers, and teachers don’t want to pay to go to training; they
     usually get paid to go to training. Your wife was a student of mine even,
     remember? Years ago, in the Ed[ucational] Leadership Program.
C:   Fundamentally, Continuing Ed is working with the business community.
L:   Correct.
C:   Any other high points besides the two you mentioned, the University Center and
     becoming profitable?
L:   There was one other one. Well, there were several other ones, but another big
     one was—you may or may not remember this but— in 1995, I think it was, I was
     the principal investigator on a distance learning grant. Do you remember that?
     We were on a part of a distance learning consortium with, at the time it was, it
     wasn’t Comcast, it was Continental Cable—that later became AT&T and then
     MediaOne and now Comcast. Anyway, the state of Florida was very interested
     in funding some distance learning proposals for the state universities, and so I,
     on behalf of this consortium, wrote a grant that got funded for about $600,000
     back in 1995. At the time that was a huge grant for UNF; it was maybe the
     biggest one it got that year other than the small business development center or
     something. For like two-and-a-half years, I was the principal investigator on that
     grant, and I was able to hire three or four or five people to implement that project.
     That was a big boost to Continuing Ed because it kind of put us in a different
     light. Even though our grant was with K-12, it really wasn’t a higher ed kind of
     activity; it was a K-12 activity. It was a big boost to our division in terms of just
     visibility and credibility. Then we were very interested in distance learning
     ourselves and started implementing some distance learning technologies in our
     program, some distance learning courses. We partnered with some vendors and
     did some things, so I’d say that was another big high point.
C:   Any major frustrations along the way, besides lack of space?
L:   Absolutely, but I don’t know that I can discuss those on tape.
C:   Okay. Any that you could diplomatically discuss?
L:   Well, I will mention that I had some personnel issues; a very small staff. A very
     few number of people who performed key functions and had to make a change in
     the mid-[19]90s, you may recall that.
C:   I wasn’t that familiar with that.
L:   Well, a lot of the people weren’t. Anyway, I would say that was a major turning
     point for us; I actually uninvited two people out of a total of five.
C:   Was your staff that small?
L:   Yes it was. It was very small.
C:   When you left in 2003, you mentioned what the Continuing Education budget
     was in the beginning. How large had it become?
L:   About $2.5 million.
                                                                            Lovett -- Page 8

C:   $2.5 million?
L:   Yes, and a staff of twenty-five to thirty people, which was huge from where we
     started.
C:   What proportion of that did the University try to get its hands on?
L:   Oh, a lot. I don’t know what I can say and what I cannot say in terms of
     personalities and things.
C:   You are free to say whatever you want to and you are free not to say whatever
     you want to. It is a judgement call.
L:   I do not want to be quoted.
C:   I will not quote negative statements.
L:   There was one president in the last ten, twelve, fifteen years that, in my opinion,
     did not really understand the total picture in terms Continuing Ed, et cetera and
     saw that we had quite a bit of money and attempted to take that money really
     without consultation or discussion or whatever. I launched into a discussion with
     my bosses in Academic Affairs, who really didn’t know that this was going on.
     Anyway, long story short, we got to keep our money, a big chunk of money, but
     then all auxiliaries were taxed, not just Continuing Ed. At one point it was just
     Continuing Ed that was going to be taxed, and I said, hey, wait a minute, that is
     not fair. Eventually, all auxiliaries are taxed, so to speak, but it is really not a tax.
     It is our contribution to the university based on what we do. It helps the
     University fund programs that it would not otherwise be able to fund and that is
     great.
C:   It is soft money for the University.
L:   Correct. It is discretionary money. What I objected to was just no consultation,
     no input, and no discussion. Just because you have a big pot of money doesn’t
     mean it is not encumbered; it doesn’t mean that it is not for a specific purpose.
     Just poor leadership. Lack of leadership and lack of appropriate communication.
C:   Any other major frustrations? Any things that you wanted to do that you couldn’t
     do along the way?
L:   Well, there were a couple things that I did do. I did it twice, actually. Both times
     it was approved, and then it was kind of retracted. That was the idea of having
     non-credit students in credit courses taking up empty seats, remember that?
C:   Yes.
L:   Well, I started that program years and years ago. It was approved by two
     different presidents as a way to bring some people on campus, et cetera, et
     cetera, and I worked out all the bugs and did all the record keeping. The
     presidents and the vice presidents, when they saw that a lot of people were
     interested in these courses, believed they should be getting FTE for these
     students—even though these students were not interested in that and many
     times did not qualify for it, et cetera. It became a complete hassle for us, and we
     just discontinued it. But we started and stopped it twice, and it was successful
     both times in terms of bringing people on campus and getting them in courses,
     for example, if they wanted to take one of you history courses just out of interest.
                                                                          Lovett -- Page 9


C:   It could lead them to becoming credit students.
L:   It could, but the university didn’t let it go that far. I think it actually did lead to
     some actually going for degrees, et cetera, et cetera. But they saw this body in a
     seat and thought, well, we can be earning FTE on this. In reality, maybe they
     could, maybe they couldn’t. That was a frustration for me.
C:   As dean of Continuing Ed, you always reported to the provost?
L:   Correct.
C:   What were your relations with the various provosts? You started with Merwin.
L:   I started with Bill Merwin, and that was a wonderful relationship. I think he, to the
     exclusion of the other provosts, understood more about what Continuing Ed was
     than anybody since. I didn’t know anybody before. I guess Roy Lassiter was
     before him, and I didn’t know him.
C:   John Minahan was before him.
L:   Yes, and I didn’t know either of them. I think Bill really understood the potential
     of Continuing Education and appreciated it. Subsequent to him, I think there has
     been,
C:   John Bardo, Ken Martin, Alan Ling, very briefly.
L:   Gary Fane was in there as the interim.
C:   David Kline.
L:   And David Kline. And now, Mark Workman. I think Alan Ling was like Bill
     Merwin in that he understood the big picture. He didn’t look at Continuing Ed as
     just an auxiliary and only an auxiliary. I used to refer to us as a vending
     machine. Some people looked at us as a vending machine or a cash machine,
     and I really think the bigger picture is much greater than that and much deeper
     than that. It was always my job to try to convince and educate my bosses about
     what Continuing Ed could do for the university and what it does do, did do, and
     still does for the university.
C:   Okay, now, convince me, what is the bigger picture?
L:   The bigger picture is that Continuing Ed brings a lot of visibility to the campus
     that it would not otherwise get. One example of that is Continuing Ed probably
     prints more advertisements in the newspaper and through brochures, flyers and
     web presence than all the other entities combined on this campus. That is pretty
     powerful in terms of name recognition, brand recognition, positive relationships
     with the university, and a lot of vice presidents can’t see past the credit program.
     They always see a university as being a credit program, but to me, if you are a
     president or a vice president, you are president or vice president of the entire
     university. There are more units than just the colleges, if you understand where I
     am going with this. Not that I don’t appreciate and recognize that that’s the
     primary mission of this institution, and now I am obviously very much a part of
     that, always have been. But Continuing Ed and other ancillary services—but
     Continuing Ed more than the others, I think, because they’re primary; the Small
     Business Development Center is another one; and IPTM is another one—are
                                                                       Lovett -- Page 10

     really out there in the community drumming up business for UNF and giving UNF
     a good reputation and a good name in many ways. The spin off of that is almost
     immeasurable. You can’t really measure. I know of one major gift to this
     institution that is a direct result of this person attending a Continuing Ed course,
     being exposed to a particular instructor, and just falling in love with the whole
     idea of having a relationship with the university. I mean, how do you measure
     that?
C:   Can you tell that name?
L:   No, I’m not going to.
C:   Okay.
L:   But anyway, there is one particular faculty member who inspired this, it happens
     to be a UNF faculty person, inspired this person to form a relationship and
     provide a major multi-million dollar gift to this institution. To me that is the big
     picture. The big picture is that Continuing Ed helps the university fulfill its total
     mission in this community, and it should be recognized as such, as a major
     player in that regard. That was always my job, just to talk to vice presidents
     about that, to the presidents about that. Bill Merwin and Alan Ling really got that,
     and I think Charles Galloway really got that. Not so many of the others did. I’m
     not being critical.
C:   I’m thinking that Merwin and Galloway, coming out of the College of Education,
     which have more of an outward focus, and doing workshops and doing contract
     stuff might give them a better understanding.
L:   Yes, maybe so. Maybe that is it. Maybe the ones that… although Alan Ling was
     obviously an arts and sciences person. It is a very interesting world being a
     faculty member in a college. It is very insulated. It is very isolated. It is very
     lonely. Continuing Ed is more outreach than I would say arts and sciences.
C:   Did you have a relationship with the Chamber of Commerce?
L:   Oh, absolutely. I was involved with the Chamber of Commerce. I was on some
     of their committees, and I went to some of their meetings. We had relationships
     with them in terms of some training relationships with them. Oh yes, very
     involved with the Chamber, very involved with some governmental agencies.
                                                                       Lovett -- Page 11

C:   Like the authorities, JTA, JEA, etc.
L:   Absolutely, the governmental authorities.
C:   Did you reach out into the surrounding counties? St. John’s?
L:   Absolutely, we did. They were not being served too much. The populations
     were kind of sparse there, but we did contract training in Clay County, St, John’s
     County, Baker County, Nassau County. Oh yes.
C:   The big picture becomes one of publicizing the institution, serving the business
     community, and being an income resource.
L:   We were an income resource for the University, but being a resource for
     business, industry, and the non-profit [sector]. One thing that David Kline said at
     my retirement party was, he never really thought much about Continuing Ed. I
     mean, I knew that was true. He never really thought much about it, not that he
     didn’t think highly of us, but he didn’t think much about it because he never had
     to worry about us. That says a lot to me. That tells me that we were not a
     negative at all on the reputation of the institution, and I think, by contrast, we
     were quite a positive. I don’t think you can go around and ask anybody in the
     community if they had ever heard anything bad about the UNF Continuing Ed
     Program. I would say, the university people would say, oh, we hear it is great.
     We really appreciate it. We’ve had good experience with it. I think that adds
     value to the institution the same way the Small Business Development Center
     does and other entities.
C:   FIE [Florida Institute of Education].
L:   FIE, exactly.
C:   Did you have a chance to compare your operation with Continuing Ed at other
     state institutions? Not Florida and Florida State because they are sort of in their
     own league, but I am thinking about the other regional universities.
L:   Yes, in fact I just did some consulting work for Bill Merwin down at Florida Gulf
     Coast University. I’ve been down there a couple of times to help him and his
     staff with their Continuing Ed program, which is kind of fledgling. That institution
     will be ten years old this next year. They’re probably a little further along than we
     were at ten years, partly because of Bill and partly because of some other things.
     South Florida is just booming. As a result of that and some other work that I
     have done, I have compared UNF Continuing Ed with all the other state
     universities as a matter of fact. I have done several surveys. Did you want to
     know. . . ?
C:   What conclusions did you draw? Are we better than, as good as, still have to
     catch up with, those kinds of things.
L:   I would say that number one is that every Continuing Ed unit in every school that
     I have ever looked at, even outside the state of Florida, is very different, and
     Continuing Ed can be anything that the institution wants it to be, basically. In
     some cases they do a lot of credit, off-campus credit, a lot of distance learning
     stuff, a lot of non-credit. In other cases it is a totally different model. There are
     twenty models out there basically. I would say that we are one of the very few in
     the state—I know we’re one of the few in the state and maybe in the southeast
                                                                        Lovett -- Page 12

     region—that is totally non-credit. Most of the other ones have some relationship
     with the credit program in terms of promoting it, being in charge of their executive
     MBA or summer program or whatever it is. UNF just evolved that way into a
     totally self supporting [program]. Most of the other Continuing Education units
     are not totally self supporting. But they have some credit function in there and
     they get revenue from that. I would say we have been one of the most
     successful ones in terms of money and staying afloat and growing and having a
     really good presence in the community.
C:   Besides credit and distance learning, what do some of the other continuing ed
     programs do that, say, UNF doesn’t do?
L:   What the others do that we don’t do? There are only two things that they can do.
     They can do credit, they can do non-credit, they can be in charge of distance
     learning. That is maybe three things. And the credit program is huge for some
     Continuing Education units. In some institutions they operate entire summer
     programs for the institution. In some universities they operate or manage lots of
     graduate programs off campus, on campus, weekend colleges, et cetera, et
     cetera. We don’t do that here, never have. There is a lot of potential for
     Continuing Education just as a management administrative arm of the university
     to do some things that UNF has never really ventured into. I approached the
     subject several times with some administrators and either they are not interested
     or they don’t have time or they don’t see this has value and so that is okay.
C:   And we sort of relied upon the colleges to do that kind of thing.
L:   And have they done it?
C:   I imagine business and education have done it to an extent.
L:   Primarily education. Business really not, I don’t think. Very little off-campus
     stuff. Very little outreach stuff. No executive MBA, no weekend MBA, no
     alternative MBA. Nothing like that. But the College of Ed has really gone out
     and done many cohort groups. I mean I’ve taught in them. A tri-county one in
     Clay and St. Augustine and Putnam County. Another one in Clay, another one in
     Nassau, the service region that UNF has supposedly been serving all these
     years. We have done cohorts in all of those campuses.
C:   What about the College of Health?
L:   The College of Health, I think probably has a lot that I don’t know they’re doing. I
     don’t know that they do a lot of off campus. I really don’t know. I’d say they have
     a lot of potential to do that, but I don’t think they have and I don’t know why. But I
     haven’t heard of them doing a lot of credit programs.
C:   I asked you about your assessment of the various vice presidents. What about
     presidents that you worked with? You worked with McCray, you worked with
     Adam Herbert, and Ann Hopkins.
L:   E.K. Fretwell and Roy McTarnaghan.
C:   Anything you want to say about any of them?
L:   I would say, of all of those, I would say Roy McTarnaghan was probably the best
     leader.
C:   Oh really?
                                                                        Lovett -- Page 13

L:   Yes.
C:   Because you had mentioned Adam Herbert before with the University Center.
L:   Yes, I think there are many aspects to leadership, as you know. I think Adam
     definitely made an impact here at UNF and moved this institution to the next
     level, but in terms of overall leadership, I’d say Roy McTarnaghan.
C:   And he was only here briefly.
L:   Six months I think.
C:   What did he do in six months that was extraordinary?
L:   Tone and climate. I’d say his major impact was, in the short time that he was
     here, I’d say establishing a positive climate. He may be the only UNF president,
     Jim, that sent every UNF staff person from the grounds keepers on up a
     Christmas card one year, or even wished them happy holidays, and that made an
     impression on me.
C:   Okay.
L:   Plus just the many times I observed him relating to people and relating to groups.
     I just think he was an awesome leader. Just because of many personal qualities
     that he had. And I really think he had his heart in the right place.
C:   That doesn’t mean that the other presidents didn’t have their heart in the right
     place.
L:   Well, no, but I think he more than the rest. I think he valued people.
C:   Yes.
L:   More than projects and more than things. Not that the others didn’t value people
     but just to the extent that he valued people and understood that without people,
     without motivating people and recognizing people, you really don’t get the same
     results. I think he really understood that and acted on that. It is not just the
     Christmas card, it was so many other things but that to me was just, I couldn’t
     believe it.
C:   Would you think, reflecting upon the time from [19]85 to the mid [19]90s, when
     you were still struggling to get to the size and numbers that you wanted, that the
     administration held you back?
L:   No, not really. I wouldn’t say they held me back. But by the same token I
     wouldn’t say that they were encouraging.
C:   Okay.
L:   It was almost as if, just like David Kline said, we didn’t think about it much. It was
     just there and as long as it didn’t embarrass us, it was okay. But in terms of
     really helping us, I would say, not that they hurt or harmed us in anyway, but they
     just didn’t understand, they just didn’t understand the potential.
C:   In effect, you were pretty much on your own until the mid-[19]90s when all of a
     sudden they saw you turn a profit and then would like to get some of that profit.
L:   I think you got the picture.
C:   Okay. To what extent did you work with the deans in the various colleges?
L:   Well, I felt it was part of my job to have a good relationship with the deans and to
     work cooperatively with them to try to offer Continuing Education programs. In
     large part I think that was successful. Some deans were more receptive than
                                                                      Lovett -- Page 14

     others. One dean, who is no longer here, wanted to take all the programs that
     had anything to do with his college and just offer them himself. You know, just
     kind of take them. And I said absolutely not, if you want to start new programs,
     different programs, you are welcome to do that. That kind of strong arm kind of
     thing. Most of them were interested and saw the potential because they had
     done Continuing Education themselves but just didn’t have the time or the
     resources and the faculty were always so stretched to do whatever it was they
     were supposed to be doing or wanted to do. So there was not that great of
     involvement. There was, on the part of some faculty, but not many.
C:   Any deans stand out favorably in your estimation, in terms of your working with
     them and. . . .

L:   Well, probably Pam Challey would be high on the list.
C:   From the College of Health?
L:   In the College of Health. Mark Workman was the College of Arts and Sciences
     and he was very helpful we just didn’t offer any kind of arts and sciences type of
     courses. We didn’t have that type of program. The natural tension was with the
     College of Business because we were offering a lot of business programs and
     they were not offering any programs. We offered some cooperatively and they
     decided that they wanted more money and they didn’t want to pay us any money
     and they took those over and I kind of went through that iteration. I liked working
     with Earl [Traynham] very much, but Earl had some faculty who were kind of off
     the wall and didn’t really want to cooperate and wanted to do things themselves
     so Earl just had to kind of go along with them.
C:   Looking at the university as a whole, what are the most important changes that
     you’ve seen take place during your twenty-three years here?
L:   I’d say the most important change has been the recognition in the community
     that UNF is not FCCJ and they don’t get us as confused with FCCJ as they used
     to. Although this is not a college town as you know. So I’d say increased,
     enhanced reputation of UNF and the very positive feelings that people have
     about UNF, the economic impact that UNF certainly is related to, and if there is a
     relationship between economic growth and higher education, that is kind of the
     big picture. On the more micro level, changes certainly in the physical plant and
     the whole nature of the student body.
C:   Tell me about that. What changes have you seen in the student body?
L:   Well for one thing, there are a lot more bodies. And they are a lot younger and a
     lot of them are on skateboards which just blows my mind. When I was at the
     University Center I wasn’t really on campus that much. We are kind of in our
     own little world over there.
C:   Well you were teaching some too.
L:   Yes but usually what I taught was at night, late afternoon, evening. I didn’t really
     see the bulk of the student body during the day because I had no business really
     too much on campus unless I was going to a meeting. But I’ll tell you what, if you
     walk past the bookstore now, that walkway there, and the whole scenario has
                                                                        Lovett -- Page 15

     changed. These are eighteen year olds, nineteen year olds. They are on
     skateboards, they are on cell phones, they’ve got mid-drifts exposed. They are
     typical. They look like the high school kids that I remember and love so well. So
     that certainly has changed over the years as I am sure you’ve noticed too.
     Although when we admitted freshmen in [19]84, that was a shock to a lot of the
     faculty. Those kids were young. The nature and character of the student body,
     the number, and the physical plant has just gotten better and better and better. It
     is magnificent. Absolutely magnificent.
C:   Okay, what achievements of the university are you most proud?
L:   I’d say what I said before was, just on a macro level, the great reputation that
     UNF has. I think that is fabulous. I am very proud of the University Center. I
     think that has done a lot for UNF in terms of outreach, in terms of visibility. Very
     few business people do not know about the university center. They have been
     there for something.
C:   That is true at City Hall too.
L:   Absolutely. There is no doubt about it. The Chamber [of Commerce] and City
     Hall and it is a great resource for UNF. Obviously we’ve got lots of academic
     achievements and honors and awards and that type of thing, but overall I think it
     is our reputation which, to me, is just untarnished.
C:   Are there any other characteristics that stand out?
L:   About UNF?
C:   Yes. Do we care about students like John Delaney says we do?
L:   I talk to my students about that all the time the ―No one like you, No place like
     this,‖ that is our brand. We want that to be our image.
C:   What is our brand? Say that again.
L:   ―No one like you. No place like this.‖ That is the new brand.
C:   I haven’t heard that before.
L:   It is on everything. Anyway, I challenge my students because we talk about
     image and vision and brand. Is there truly no one like you and no place like this?
     And I think we’ve got a ways to go. I think it is easy to say that but in terms of
     student services, I think we need more one-on-one, more caring. Although I
     think there are incidences of that all over the place. In general, it is still hard to
     get individual attention. Not from the faculty, but from some of the services like
     records and registration, financial aid, et cetera, et cetera. I hear the students a
     lot not liking that. I don’t think we have really reached our potential when it
     comes to being a caring, individualized attention kind of place.
C:   Are most of your students graduate students or undergraduate students?
L:   They are all graduate students.
C:   Have you seen changes among them over the years?
L:   They are getting younger, or I’m getting older, one. I have a wide range of ages
     in my classes. Anywhere from twenty-two to sixty, with the bulk of them being
     probably in their thirties, which is pretty young, I think. Late twenties, early
     thirties.
C:   Are you mainly in the doctorate program?
                                                                      Lovett -- Page 16

L:   No, masters program. I am only in the masters program. I teach in the masters
     program.
C:   Okay, you are not involved in the doctoral program.
L:   Well, I am to the extent that I serve on some committees but I actually don’t
     teach doctoral classes.
C:   Were you at all involved in the development of doctoral program?
L:   No.
C:   Coming back to your students, are they as, well, compared to early years, better
     prepared, less prepared? More interested, less interested?
L:   They are primarily female. The males have gone somewhere else, or they are
     not going to graduate school, at least in the College of Ed. And that has been a
     trend nation-wide, not just from the College of Ed here at UNF. I think they are
     fairly well prepared. Very few of them have washed out, from my perspective. I
     think they are fairly well prepared and very bright, very able, very motivated,
     really a pleasure and a joy to teach. I really enjoy it. Do you teach
     undergraduate or graduate? You’re retired.
C:   I am totally retired for six years.
L:   I know. How wonderful.
C:   Has the institution made any significant mistakes in your estimation over the
     twenty years?
L:   Oh yes. I don’t know if I want to discuss those though.
C:   Well, let’s talk about it, not in terms of personality but in terms of decisions to,
     let’s say, to use an example, to have football or not have football. Or to have
     drama or not have drama. Put it that way, which is less personalized.
L:   I don’t know that they made any major mistakes in terms of focus. I will say this,
     I think that–maybe I don’t know all the background of this–I think it has been a
     mistake not to do more outreach. For example, do a weekend MBA or an
     executive MBA, but I don’t know all of the answers. I think that has been short-
     sighted because I think JU’s program has really done very well. I think it meets a
     need and corporations are paying for it and they are very self supporting. It is a
     big revenue strength for them, it is one of the biggest revenue stream, as a
     matter of fact, and I think UNF years ago should have done that. The weekend
     college kind of thing for people who work during the week, for undergraduate,
     has been very successful for other state institutions. We’ve never been
     interested in that. So in terms of those kinds of programs which are non-
     traditional out-of-the-box kinds of programs, outside the lines, UNF has never
     really embraced. For the kind of institution we are, we are very traditional.
C:   I know George Corrick has told me he has taught on Saturdays, for example.
L:   Well, yes, the College of Ed does Saturday courses, but we have never had a
     weekend college here at this institution and the Saturday courses have been
     primarily graduate courses.
C:   On weekend programs, would that mean Sunday morning courses that would
     challenge the local churches.
L:   I mean like Friday night, Saturday, maybe every other Sunday afternoon, or
                                                                        Lovett -- Page 17

     something like that. The models are out there. We wouldn’t make anything up.
     Florida Atlantic University, as an example, has run–I don’t know if they’re still
     doing it–very successful weekend college programs for undergraduate people,
     adults who never got a four-year degree and who work during the week and have
     family responsibilities and a weekend MBA. Very successful. Big revenue
     streams. Lots of interest.
C:   What changes have you seen in the faculty over the years? Have you seen
     changes in the faculty?
L:   Oh, absolutely.
C:   What kind of changes?
L:   Well, I remember in the early days when they were all very young. Just a few
     years older than me. When I was a student in the early days and, you know, Bill
     Merwin and Tom Healy are like three or four years older than me. So they were
     very young for the most part and there were very few of them and I think you
     could have more of a relationship with them because of the size of the institution.
     I think our faculty has gotten much deeper, much more diverse, much broader in
     terms of their specialties and their expertise and we’ve got faculty that I just think
     are incredible. I read about them and I don’t know them, but they are
     accomplishing great things and doing wonderful things.
C:   And you are teaching full time now?
L:   Yes.
C:   In your college and in administration and supervision, has that faculty done the
     same sort of things that you describe for the faculty as a whole? Do you feel like
     the quality of education that you are providing graduate students now is perhaps
     better than it was twenty years ago?
L:   I wouldn’t say it is better. No, I wouldn’t say it is better.
C:   It is probably different.
L:   I would say the course material is different. Some of the material is different.
     Let’s hope so. Some things never change, that’s true and maybe should
     change. You know, what is leadership? Maybe that definition has changed over
     the years. I’d say the faculty do a very good job and have always done a very
     good job. Actually our requirements are stiffer than they were when I was in
     graduate school here. We only had to take ten courses and now we have to take
     thirteen. We were on some sort of quarter schedule so I think there were fewer
     contact hours so it is probably a little stiffer now than it was back when I was
     going to school. Seems like I got through it really quickly.
C:   What about looking at the administration over time, from the early [19]80s to a
     couple of years ago. Has the quality of that changed? It can be improvements, it
     can be decline, or there could be waves of good and less good, let’s put it that
     way.
L:   Depending on who the president was, I think we’ve had some high points and
     low points. The president sometimes hires people that he or she knows or, I
     don’t know, I don’t know where some of these people came from. I think we’ve
     had our ups and downs in terms of administrators. By and large I think the
                                                                       Lovett -- Page 18

     administrators have been very good over the years, but there have been some
     ones that stand out in my mind that have been really bad. I mean really bad. I
     don’t know where they came from and they didn’t last long. That was kind of
     probably the good thing. They were really bad. They didn’t have a clue. They
     absolutely did not have a clue about how to lead, how to manage, how to get
     cooperation from people. But I worked with everybody, no matter what; that was
     my job to work with everybody. So yeah, we’ve had our ups and downs.
C:   Coming to the question of colorful characters. But before you do that, you
     mentioned Roy McTarnaghan as one who stood out in your estimation, are there
     other university people over the years that stand out in your mind as being
     exceptional?

L:   Yes, Alan Ling, even though he was not here with us for very long, I think had the
     potential to be great, a great academic leader. And I think we really did the right
     thing by hiring him. It is just so unfortunate that he died, you know. Because I
     think that he–I even told Adam Herbert this, because Adam called me one time at
     home while he was doing the search and I was on the search committee for that–
     and I said to him, where else, I said, at our stage in development, are we going to
     get this nationally known scholar, somebody who really is a scholar, as our
     academic leader? I said, this is very unusual, I think, and I think we ought to
     grab it. I think he is head and shoulders above the other candidates. Not that
     they weren’t good, but just because he was so exceptional. And maybe he has
     just been built up in my mind over the years, but I really think he was truly a great
     scholar and probably going to be a very effective leader. He had very good
     relationships with people because of his personality, his charisma, his style,
     unlike some of the others.
C:   Adam Herbert agrees with you on that. When I interviewed him, he called Alan
     Ling a tremendous asset.
L:   Yes, absolutely. I just feel like the future would have been brighter with him and
     when he died it was really a low point for us I think.
C:   Any other outstanding people?
L:   Oh, there have been a number of them. I think Earl Traynham did a great job as
     the dean of the College of Business. And I think Pam Challey has done an
     exceptional job as the dean of the College of [Health] and I think Mark Workman
     did a great job. And who have I left out?
C:   What about Pam’s predecessor who built up the College of Health?
L:   She was a thorn in a lot of people’s sides. And it was not that she wasn’t a
     capable person and a very knowledgeable person, but she was just, her
     personality was very abrasive. We got off on the wrong foot one day. I went to
     talk to her about doing Continuing Education and helping me with her college
     doing Continuing Education and basically she insulted me and said some things
     about Continuing Education from other institutions and she was very nasty and I
     just couldn’t deal with that.
C:   Any outstanding deans in the College of Ed?
                                                                        Lovett -- Page 19

L:   Oh definitely. Andy Robinson has probably been. . . .
C:   Andy and Betty Soldwedel, Donna Evans, Kathy Kasten, Larry Daniel.
L:   I think Larry and Kathy have done a great job. I really do. I have worked with
     them and under them and with them. But I think Andrew Robinson was really...
C:   Tell me why.
L:   He had vision.
C:   Of?
L:   He understood the big picture in terms of the university’s place in a city like this.
     He was very external in terms of his focus. He was involved with city leaders,
     with governmental agencies, with people in Tallahassee. He was just at a
     different level. He was playing on a different field and I felt like that was really
     good for the College of Ed and then he became interim president and, of course,
     you know the rest of that. Maybe it was the stage the university was in at the
     time, maybe there were fewer demands on his time from day to day because we
     were smaller and that type of thing, but I don’t think so. He just had a broader
     vision of what a university administrator should be and he understood his role.
     Not that the others didn’t but some of them didn’t. He, more than the rest, I think,
     understood. And I think he would have been a very effective president here at
     UNF. I failed to mention him earlier, but he stands out in my mind as somebody
     that had the vision and the charisma and the communication skills that some of
     the others have lacked. I really think knowing what your role really is in the
     certain stage in the development of an institution, knowing what the president’s
     role is, knowing what the academic VP’s role is, knowing what the dean’s role is,
     that has got to be basic. I don’t know that a lot of administrators really
     understand that, what their role is.
C:   There is not a lot of training for administrators.
L:   There isn’t, but you know what? So much of it, understand, is just reflective
     practice, reflective reading and thinking and talking and reflecting on the way it is.
     Maybe philosophizing it. There is just not a lot of that going on, or hasn’t been. I
     think Andrew understood and I think Roy McTarnaghan understood and I think
     Bill Merwin and several others along the way have understood what their role is
     and they walk the talk. They didn’t just talk, they actually lived it. So I’ve
     mentioned a few names to you.
C:   Coming down to unforgettable characters, have there been unforgettable
     characters?
L:   Yes. Some I want to forget, Jim. It is hard to forget some people. I really don’t
     want to mention a name, but there is one who sticks out in my mind but I don’t
     want to mention his name.
C:   I am thinking in terms of positive unforgettable characters.
L:   Okay. Well, one that I have never forgotten who died too soon is Mike Andreu.
     Do you remember Mike Andreu? He was one of the nicest people I have ever
     met. He died a very untimely death; he was much too young. Another one that
     is more recent, and maybe because she is more recent because I grieved so
     much over her passing was Helon Evans. Helon Evans was the consummate
                                                                          Lovett -- Page 20

     good employee, in my opinion. You could always count on her to get back to
     you, to help you, to give you information. Fabulous individual. I’m sure there are
     many, many more. I think Andrew Farkas was pretty unforgettable. Just
     because he was such an unusual personality. And I appreciated his
     forthrightness and candor and sometimes abrasiveness. You always knew
     where you stood with Andrew. He didn’t mince words and I like that about him.
     And I think Bill Merwin. I admire Bill Merwin a lot. I still have a relationship with
     him and I think he is terrific. He has just gotten even better over the years and
     they love him at Florida Gulf Coast. They just absolutely love him and he has
     done some wonderful things for that institution. Those come to mind.
C:   Anything that I haven’t asked you about that you wanted to share about the
     university, about your experiences here, about the people you’ve worked with,
     about programs?
L:   Well, I’ll tell you that I think that being here for the last twenty-three years has just
     been the greatest career in the whole world. Comparing it to K-12 there is no
     comparison. There absolutely is no comparison. This has been a much fuller
     occupation, fuller life, fuller career. Being here this long and seeing all the
     changes and all the growth, mostly positive stuff, has just been fabulous. It has
     just been really, really a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I
     think people coming here now that didn’t grow up with this institution have a
     different perspective, probably, on it. But actually being a part of something that
     was very young even though I wasn’t a part of it like you were or some of the
     others that were here ten years before me, it has been a great experience and I
     have learned a lot about organizations and about leadership just by being a part
     of it and observing different people and different things happening.
C:   Okay. Great. Thank you very much for spending your time.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:7
posted:9/16/2011
language:English
pages:20