Portrait of Dugger, W. Mack, Jr.

Dugger, W. Mack, Jr.

July 14, 1998

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Mack Dugger, respected administrator and scientist and early Dean of Agricultural Sciences, discusses the agriculture programs that brought national and international prominence to UC Riverside.
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Dugger: Later on Boysie became Director of the entire University of California Experiment Station, moved to Berkley, and at that particular time, I forget what year that was, it was '71, '72 something like that, I became the Dean and the Associate Director. And that lasted until I retired from that position in 1981.

Erickson: What were some of the challenges when you accepted that position as Dean?

Dugger: First of all, get things working together, trying to get some people in the Experiment Station who had an interest in teaching to participate in the teaching programs of biology.

Erickson: How did you do that?

Dugger: It was trouble. It was a lot of arm twisting, and some didn't want to do it, and others didn't mind doing it.

Erickson: Did you meet with them individually, or by department?

Dugger: I did all.

Erickson: Whatever?

Dugger: I just did whatever I could to get them, and slowly people, like someone from Botany and Plant Science, named Bergh, taught human genetics, in the Biology department. Professor Federici taught a lower division entomology course, or maybe it's upper division, and he still does, and it's quite an interesting course for students to take. There are other people in more recent years from the Experiment Station Department that have taught courses that have been accepted, or that were part of the Biology curriculum.

I haven't kept up with it since about '81, with the details, but I think there is more acceptance of that than there was in the early days. It takes a while. Of course, some of the big challenges were hiring faculty, always is. And my philosophy was, and I tried to convince the chairmen this way, my role was to encourage them to hire the best possible people they could find. At the beginning of their careers, I preferred that.

Erickson: You wanted them at the beginning?

Dugger: Occasionally we varied from that, people like John Moore and other people, and then to support them in the best way we possibly could, and then to evaluate them very rigorously as they climbed the academic ladder. And outside of that, leave them alone. Be sure you give them all of the tools they can work with, encourage them, and then evaluate them strongly. And in those days, my position was half time as Dean, the other half came from my academic appointment. So I felt obligated to teach and do research while I was Dean. And I tried to do that, and I did it for the most part.

Questions Regarding this Oral History Project should be directed to Jan Erickson at jan.erickson@ucr.edu.