Ed Rosenberg Interview

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Description

1 cassette (60 min stock), ~60 mins.

Abstract

Interview generally about the history of WestConn.

Date

1998-05-06

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Time Summary

0-10 mins.

Coverage: 1956-1998 Topics discussed : (side A): Background; hired in 1956 as part of the History/Social Science department; taught American history and Western Civilization; taught economics; gradually picked up more math courses; Math department; only Chester Floyd was there in beginning; as college grew, more math courses were needed; came point where he had to decide which department to teach and choose the math department and stayed until he retired in 1989; Physical changes between 1958; 1989; when he began, college was just Old Main, Fairfield Hall, and the original section of Higgins Hall; Berkshire was here and the gym had just been finished when he arrived; White Hall was still the high school in beginning; "the Hut" was here (Quonset Hut) that housed bookstore and lounge; Dr. Haas; very knowledgeable woman; school was her life; she did change over the years and adapted w/ the times; she was short changed by state w/ other universities due to her gender; Population; grew over the years; "Project Acorn"; the green between Berkshire and Higgins and Library and White was part of the beautification process; that area, the Quad, was originally a parking area; Parking; parking has always been a problem;

10-20 mins.

Had to take a ticket in order to get into parking lot, which saw several difficulties over years; Pre; Union history; faculty association in beginning, which was somewhat informal; this association had no power; could only have representation; usually held parties and other gatherings; in the 1970s, efforts made to form unions; Formation of Unions; AFT and AAUP, both teacher's unions; voted to go w/ the AAUP; Memorable moments; Vietnam War Era was a tense time; he had children in college at the time; they were hippies (one was arrested for demonstrating);

20-30 mins.

Kent State; after incident, students at Western did a few things; once during faculty senate a group of students came asking for the campus to be closed down in observation of what happened at Kent State; a decision wasn't made immediately, but w/in a couple of days a group of students showed up at Dr. Haas' office demanding campus closing; Majors occurrences during 1960s; a microphone was set up on 7th Avenue where students would speak; while students sometimes demanding classes canceled, they never were; he did use time in his class to talk about the JFK assassination; Changes in students; attitude in how they took education; small percent went from high school to college in beginning;

30-40 mins.

College went from privilege to a right; growth of college contributed to change; Spring events; "Sing Night" and "Skit Night" done by the four classes; brought everyone together and attended by everyone; gradually as college grew, this event disappeared; Older students; many were much more serious about their education than younger ones; tended to be better students and use time more efficiently; Student preparation; it began to fall off w/ increase of student population; the establishment of the Basic Studies program to keep numbers up; Basic Studies; brought in students who weren't college ready to prepare them; given special courses to give them experience; professors w/ Ph. D found teaching in program to be step down because it dealt w/ lower level material; Satisfaction w/ teaching career; He got involved w/ many things when he got to Western (started soccer); has kept in touch w/ many of his former students (particularly first ones);

40-50 mins.

Took a two; year leave between 1976; 78; took him awhile to get back involved in committees and such; didn't feel he had as much influence or contact w/ students; towards end it became less fun; Presidents; Dr. Haas was great supporter of students and had an open door policy; Dr. Bersi was very good and able to get more from the state; Dr. Feldman he wasn't a fan of and felt he shouldn't have been president; Dr. Roach he feels is a good person, but he never worked for him, so isn't sure of his work (does believe he is probably doing a good job): Dr. Haas supporting her faculty; always protected them; once a member accused of being a communist (he wasn't) and she defended him; Dr. Bersi; did support faculty; wasn't on campus very much

0-10 mins

(side B): History of WestConn; one written by Dr. Charlotte Isham (1903; 1978); he wrote a follow; up later on; Expansion of college; been able to serve more students; take larger role in community; has separated the school however; Influence of WestConn; many of the recent mayors of Danbury have been WestConn grads; many principals and teachers in area are grads; has a good record and glad he worked at WestConn

Citation

Rosenberg, Ed. “Ed Rosenberg Interview.” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 14 Nov. 2019.

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