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Health Center -- Health-Related Professions College -- Dean

 File — Box: 68

Scope and Content

From the Series:

Series P13 contains the Administrative records of Robert Q. Marston, seventh president of the University of Florida, dating from his appointment by the Board of Regents in 1974 to his resignation in 1984.

For the most part the series focuses on information about the public or external aspects of university administration. Included in the files is an extensive list of agreements between the university and outside organizations, correspondence with the many organizations to which the university was tied (notably the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges of which Marston served as Chair), correspondence and memoranda over NCAA decisions and the hiring and firing of university athletic coaches during Marston's tenure, minutes and memoranda of meetings of the Council of Presidents, reports on the university's role in state education for the Post Secondary Education Commission, as well as other correspondence and reports.

The university's relationship with state and local governments and particularly the Board of Regents (BOR) is well documented. Records of BOR meetings, budget proposals, and analysis of the role and scope of the university in the state university system is extensive and most if not all proposed state legislation involving the university is critiqued. Correspondence with local community organizations and city government also shows a close relationship between the university and government or policy-making bodies. Correspondence with the federal government is much more sparse except when tied to a specific program. Folders detailing affirmative action programs and policies show a continual attempt to find a successful plan of action but little actual accomplishment. Memoranda and correspondence regarding Veteran's Affairs, on the other hand, show a simple implementation of federal policy under government directive.

Marston's main efforts centered around fundraising. The series provides excellent documentation of the activities of alumni and alumni organizations (notably the President's Council), Legislation Days, and the finances of the University of Florida Foundation (including the minutes of some meetings). All foundations that Marston dealt with, the gifts and grants Marston procured, and Marston's efforts to enlarge sponsored research are also documented (for example, information on Gatorade describes the dispersal of profits from the sale of the drink). The new buildings and renovation that resulted from the increased funding Marston brought about are for the most part listed, but copious information is available on the construction of the O'Connell Center and the ensuing lawsuits over cost overruns. Marston's efforts at procuring more scholarships for university students, especially in programs for study abroad, is also covered in the series.

The relationship between the administration and faculty, students, and employees is well documented in several sets of records. Faculty programs, salary studies and reports, salary equity studies for female professors, minutes of Faculty Senate meetings, and collective bargaining strategy is included in the series. For employees, all grievances and affirmative action complaints filed against the university are listed with many receiving more detailed attention. Regarding students, the series contains a great deal of correspondence about problems with Gator Growl acts, financial aid policies and complaints, Marston's conflict with the Alligator over implementation of the state's Sunshine Law, and memoranda and correspondence with student government leaders. An alleged rape at a fraternity house is also given considerable attention.

On the internal administration of the university, the series is spottier. Files on the dozens of committees that existed during Marston's tenure usually only list the appointees (the Committee for Campus Planning, with minutes of meetings, is a notable exception). Information on the various colleges and schools varies from a short collection of correspondence and lists of who worked on the search committees in the College of Nursing to accreditation reports, departmental correspondence, audits, gifts and grants, and extensive information on searches for the Health Center and Shands Hospital. Overall, however, the series contains general correspondence between the President's office and colleges and schools and lists of who served on search committees for new deans. For those searching for more information on the internal administration of the university, they would do well by examining the papers of Vice-President Robert Bryan in Series 2 of the Public Records Collection.

Of particular interest, the series holds evaluations of the dean of University College just prior to its merger with the Arts and Sciences College, extensive overviews of the College of Engineering programs, funding and appointment of most eminent scholar chairs, and evaluations and correspondence over the search for a new dean of the Law School. The latter elicited reaction from alumni and challenges under the Sunshine Law by the media. In addition, projects of special concern to Marston or others in the President's office, such as energy conservation, are well documented.

On Marston himself, the series contains all of his public speeches, various memberships in organizations, a list of engagements, and voluminous correspondence about his inauguration.


  • Creation: 1974-1985



University Archives collections are available for research. Portions of the collections may be restricted due to the requirements of applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to FERPA and HIPAA, and in accordance with best practices as defined by the Society of American Archivists.

Because Marston was primarily concerned with the external relations of the university and because the President's office serves as the last step in many appeal processes, a great many complaints dot the collection. Because several of these complaints involve student records, access to some files may be restricted. Also restricted are those folders that contain detailed evaluative information about search candidates and employee grievances.


From the Series: 54 Linear feet (127 boxes)

Language of Materials

From the Series: English

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America