In the Summer of 1983, I was talked into joining the HCC Administrator as Director of Math and Science (We did not have Deans--we were Directors)"
Every year, the grass looked greener on the other side of the fence (Faculty), but I spent 15 years in HCC's Administration, About 10 years too many,
I could say I as having a whale of a time being an administrator.
However, Shamu spent many weeks in my office. We had a Shamu Club. We were trying to become fit, exercise, and lose weight. My new provost, Dr Peter Sireno (1986-1991)
along with the athletic director Dr Ron Lawman, and I every afternoon after 4:30 would brisk walk a mile or two around campus.
Mr Tim Totten, who recently passed, (One of my best friends) started the club. He used to like to raze me.
I usually did the worse in losing weight (or gaining) would have to keep Shmau in my office. I almost owned Shamu that year,
20 years later, while in Alaska, I got a whale hat (along with eight over animal hats) to wear when we play animals on a cruise. I have no problem wearing the whale.
See the hat photos below.
In 1979 I earned a degree in Education Leadership (College administrator)from Florida State University. In the summer of 1981, a member of the Math & Science Division
Dr. Chester Miles had accepted the position of Director of Mathematics and Science. He was even BOT approved in June 1981. He had a delayed contract allowing him to finish his summer classes
and begin the administration in August 1991 instead of July 1, 1991.
When August 1 came, Chester resigned the position. My Director of Liberal Arts, Dr Sarah Pappas, who eventually became President of Manatee Community College, convinced Provost, that I was a gem in the rough.
Understand, I had long hair, wore saddles, shorts to teach. I was sort-of a beatnik/hippie of the 70s. But Sarah used me to schedule all the chemistry classes and help her with her ignorance of science, labs, equipment, etc at HCC.
Her degree was in Sociology and she was a people person.
I was called down to the Provost/Campus President office to meet with Dr Peggy Hirtz on August 1, I told her that after 12 years at HCC, it would be a tough image change,
but I assured her I would be a suit and tie administrator. She put me to work August 1, on a hourly salary until I could be BOT approved. I also had to finish teaching my summer classes.
My family with my in laws were scheduled for two weeks vacation, one week at Daytona Beach and one week in the Georgia mountains that I had paid for before the Fall term began.
They vacationed, I was working day and night trying to staff and schedule rooms for all the 150 plus classes in the division. Dr Hirtz went with me to pick out three suits, ties, and shirts.
I made it to Daytona Saturday night the first week, then the following Saturday night I flew to Atlanta, join my tribe and went to Six Flags on Sunday
before driving home all night. On Monday the Fall term 1991 started with all the classes staffed and me in a suit and tie. One or two of the faculty broke out laughing that I was an administrator. Chester always looked the part.
In the month of July, Chester had done nothing but was paraded to all the socials as the new Director.
I had the fortune of hiring/transferring a great secretary the first year, Ester Dearstine.
Without her, that Fall may have never begun. We were a great team for a year or so, then she retired due to illness.
She and I did not go home like the rest of the administrators o campus, including the provost.
We stayed and got the immediate work done.
District new that I needed a great secretary to run the biggest division in the college, ebem bigger three of the four campuses.
They sent not a ruby or an emerald, but the "Hope" diamond", Mrs.Frances (Rooney) Zinc from district.
Rooney spent her first month or two crying as she felt betrayed by sending her from district after more than a decade.
She is and was something else as my partner to run the Division. She was not paid enough. I always told her she need to be a high school English teacher.
She was mine, cracked the whip in my writing and spelling.
I was trying to be a professional, dressed as a 'Suit''. but Rooney frustrated herself trying to make me a polished administrator, like district. We spent 11 or 12 years together, ran the biggest division
in the college generating 21% of the revenue of the entire college.
Together with her and George Snyder and a great staff and faculty we had a well oiled machine, such that I was pressured by my new wife to go back to school in 1986 to work on a PhD.
That I did from 1986 though 1998. In 1992 the college split my division in Math and Science and hired a new Director of Math.
In 1993-94 I went on Sabattical to try to finish my PhD, put in my residency and work on my dissertation.
That Spring of 1993, the college shuffled 18 Director/Deans into 13 new administrators called Deans to begin in the Fall 1993.
I never finished my PhD as I caught up in a change in leadership in the USF College of Education and rules changed.
I blame only myself for screwing up, but I had some help from the new Associate Dean of the College of Education.
I wasted the year and never took my qualifiers nor submitted my prospectors.
When I returned in the Summer of 1995, I had been sent to the Ybor Campus to be the Dean of the Open College, I called it the Dean of Left-overs.
I was the Dean of Distant Learning, I Dean of Television College. I was the Dean of ESOL. I ran Operation C.O.L.L.E.G.E. which was the Literacy Volunteers of America Program for Tampa;
I was Dean of Credit by Exam. I was Dean of the International Students. I was Dean of all credit courses held off campus at various businesses. I ran two off-campus learning centers (One in Northwest County) and One in Southeast County to develop
enrollment for future expansion to campuses. I was promised that if I was successful in developing either center, I would become the Dean of the Center and then the Vice President/Provost.
My Southeast center had 200 students when I started and 200 student when I finished. However, I start with 300 student at the Northwest site,
and within a year made it 3000 students, holding classes all over the Northwest part of Hillsborough County. The secret is staffing. I swiped all the best adjunct faculty of my fellow Deans who lived in Northwest County.
They made my program, They could go home from work, have supper, then go teach down the street from 7 to 10 pm.
After two years, did I get the VP of Northwest Campus? No! Instead they gave it to a political hack, who destroyed the center, in one year it went from 3000 back to 300
The peer deans got their prize adjunct back. Instead of a promotion, I was offered a lateral transfer to take over the Dean's job at the Brandon Campus.
They offered a ton of money, but I deserved the title and the money. I walked away from a $70,000 job in 1996, $90,000 in 1997, and finally a $120,000 salary in 1998 to teach at the Brandon Campus for $45,000.
I had the double nickel birthday (55), gained 100 pounds. Lost my 20-20 vision. Suffered from a bad back.
Could not stand to sit through endless hours of meetings, day i and day out. I just was not worth it. I needed my life back.
I had finished 15 years in administration and accomplished many-many things. I could tell you hundreds of stories from those 15 years,
but I have never looked back and for the last 20 years, just being a teacher. Read my 2004 Resume below as it reflects my 15 adminstrative years.