Dr. Dale Clifford



How has college education changed over the last 35 years? 

This question is difficult – one of the reasons I love working in a university (in addition to the fact that I love history and I love teaching it) is that things always change. We see new students, new faculty colleagues, new ideas in our disciplines, new methodologies and new technologies.

How would describe the physical growth on campus over the last 35 years? 

I cannot remember a time in the whole 35 years that we have not had construction on campus: Growth has been a constant. The newest buildings – Social Sciences in particular – are much better ecologically and aesthetically than the early buildings, which had to go up fast and at relatively low cost. In terms of the campus physical environment, it’s interesting that the fine early work of philosopher Bob Loftin and the Sawmill Slough Conservation Club in labeling the campus trees has been revived with the hiring of a campus horticulturalist, who is installing Florida plants and labeling them so we can all learn.

How will you keep UNF in your life and heart after you retire? 

I’ll find out when the time comes! I know I will depend then, as I do now, on the Library.

How has UNF impacted Jacksonville over the years, and how has Jacksonville impacted UNF? 

I believe UNF helped Jacksonville grow from the relatively stagnant large town it was in 1972, to a real city which, although it still has many problems, has a cultural and economic vitality that promises well for the future.

How did you find out about the opening at UNF? 

I didn’t. But I had applied elsewhere, and when the chair at Hollins became history chair at UNF, he asked me if I wished to apply at UNF.

What made you decide to come to UNF? 

They offered me a job, and the challenge of helping build a university. Who could resist that?

What kept you at UNF for so many years? 

I never got bored, and I’ve enjoyed doing a multitude of different things. I think UNF has improved as it has grown, and I’m proud of having had a part in that.