Retired Faculty of UF Oral History Project Tells the Story of UF

Published: June 4th, 2015

Category: Education, Internship, News

In Spring 2014, SPOHP embarked on a new oral history collaboration with the Retired Faculty of the University of Florida (RFUF) to highlight the individuals who oversaw UF’s rise to a tier-1 institution. Retired faculty and administrators were asked to reflect on the reciprocal relationship between UF, the region, the state and the nation. This research project features diverse range of interviews with the University of Florida’s distinguished retired faculty and administrators. To date, the collection includes 26 recorded interviews and 24 transcripts available online to date. SPOHP interns also produced 13 podcasts highlighting the RFUF collection.

Narrators were asked to describe the intellectual impacts that they made in their discipline and in the UF community, and reflect on the advancements and changes that occurred during their tenure at the University. Interviews discuss both academic and administrative aspects of the individual’s career, as well as professional extra-curricular pursuits. The narrators describe major turning points and central decisions in their career, mentors and support networks, and personal anecdotes from their time at UF. Summarizing and analyzing these distinguished careers can serve as a guide for academics and administrators while preserving and appreciating the dedicated life work of a retired faculty member.

The Retired Faculty of the University of Florida Oral History Project is an interdisciplinary collection representing a broad range of departments and academic units. RFUF has members from every UF College with 70-120 members attending weekly lectures at the Harn Museum. In spring 2014, 25 RFUF members volunteered to be interviewed, demonstrating strong interest in this project among the retired faculty. The diverse representation of professions highlighted in this project will contribute to the history of each college and department, while promoting greater understanding across the varied careers represented at UF. SPOHP’s 2014 spring internship class interviewed sixteen initial members of RFUF, with representatives from veterinary medicine, biological sciences, agriculture, art history, medicine, physics, and anthropology, to name a few.

The SPOHP staff has since continued to sustain the project by conducting new interviews every semester. SPOHP will continue building the RFUF project and encourage newly retired faculty to participate in interviews as a way to reflect on their careers. This is an opportunity to gain the contribution of retired faculty to the institutional history of the University of Florida for the benefits of students, scholars, and future generations.

Spring 2014 Student Intern Podcasts

Explore Spring 2014 Intern Podcasts, now online with audio and interview information, with the following retired faculty members:

  • Dr. H. Jane Brockmann, University of Florida Veterinary Studies and Animal Behavior
  • Dr. Maarten Drost, University of Florida Veterinary College
  • Dr. Howard Sidney Pactor, UF College of Journalism and Communications
  • Dr. Kenneth Gerhardt, Audiology
  • Dr. Alvin Warnick, Animal Physiology
  • Dr. Anita Spring, Anthropology
  • Dr. Jacqueline Orlando, Psychology

  • Dr. John F. Scott, Latin American Civilizations
  • Dr. Jon Reiskind, Zoology
  • Dr. Malcolm Sanford, University of Florida Extension Entomology
  • Dr. Paul Nicoletti, Veterinary Medicine
  • Dr. Kurt Kent, UF College of Journalism and Communications
  • Dr. Vernon Roan, Aerospace Engineering

RFUF narrator Dr. Ofelia Schutte (center) with Dr. Paul Ortiz and SPOHP interviewer and UF junior Jennifer Thelusma.


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