Dr. Robert Wolsch (Interview)

Dublin Core

Description

~85 min; 1 Cassette

Source

Herb Janick Papers; MS012

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Marc Garrety; Andy Davidson

Interviewee

Dr. Robert Wolsch

Time Summary

(Side A):
0-10 min: Background; traveling salesman; Navy before that; decided to go to college to become a teacher; speech and hearing therapist in elementary schools in NY; received PhD in language arts; Moved to CT; he and his wife wanted to work together; WestConn; interviewed by Adam Atchinson; communication department was part of English department; was impressed w/ WestConn and plans for the future; Westside; initially planned to be built where the Ethan Allen Inn is; Atchinson called it "Gateway to New England"; CTA programs; 1st language arts person to go into this field; help start many of the CTA programs at WestConn; Dr. Haas
10-20 min: Dr. Haas; sent his daughter a stuffed animal when she was sick in the hospital; admired her; great woman; Commuting; lived in Long Island when first hired; commuted back home in non; winter months; family eventually moved to CT; English/Communication; always tradition in the country to place the two together; specialization of communication lead to split from English; Changes at WestConn; competition between the schools (CSU system); less interaction lead to hostility; two campuses
20-30min: Haas made the staff feel like family; Increasing interaction; His office; initially in Berkshire Hall; when his office needed to be painted, nothing was done so he placed old copies of the NY Times on his wall; told it was a fire hazard; moved to Higgins Hall after he requested a new office; found the move beneficial in opening lines of communication; asked later to move White Hall, but denied; Recommendations for interaction; get involved w/ clubs; began the Thomas Jefferson Society;
30-40 min: Jefferson and Danbury; 1802 letter to Danbury Baptists when they asked for more rights; explained the importance of separation of church and state; something Madison wrote for the U.S. Constitution; during Danbury's Tercentennial, he was able to get that letter shown; told to make 35 copies to have distributed among the Danbury schools; Political events while teaching; Vietnam War; felt compassionate towards grading as failing meant subject to draft; came up w/ ways to avoid failing any student;
40-50 min: Change of attitude in people; more interaction, the better; the egg story and committee of different academic departments; enjoys meeting people of different backgrounds; encourages students to take courses outside their major; Changes in students; saw students grow and mature
(Side B):
0-10 min: Committees; knew Dr. Janick from time on environmental committee; Campus changes; seems every 5 years Old Main was being refurbished; expelling of Memorial Hall contractor; on original committee to design buildings for Westside; his idea was to have a "pie; shaped" building; nothing done at Westside for 10 years; Berkshire Hall Theater; poor conditions it was in; story of rain falling on fuse box w/ someone placing wood board over it and nothing else before a show and told if he cancelled it, the theater department might he shut down;
10-20 min: Problems w/ individuals; competition between people lead to disagreements; Student body changes; social and attitude changes; more easy to flunk a student in past; Society today; NY, for example, was safer then; Retirement; had to because he would lose 1/3 medical insurance and needed it; he and his wife had been experiencing health problems; recap
20-30 min: Substitute teaching; society now and then; New York; NYU in the 40s; Starting discussions; Ellis Island quotas; Test skewing and fast tracking; Book writing; Immigration; Catholic oppression; Separation of Church and State; Religious competition
30-40 min: American customs; Writing editorials during retirement; Racial segregation experience; Asian girl bullied racially; Becoming Catholic Chaplain; last Chaplain to do graduation; Demonstrations at WestConn; International students; No rallies at WestConn; People sent kids there because there was nothing disrupting their studies

Citation

Janick, Herbert F. “Dr. Robert Wolsch (Interview).” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 6 Dec. 2019.

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