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Interview with Barbara Greim, May 10, 2006 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Barbara Greim, May 10, 2006
May 10, 2006
In this interview, retired professor Dr. Barbara A. Greim discusses the creation of UNCW's Computer Science Department, including the procedure of receiving approval for the initial Computer Science program, budgetary and new-hire concerns, details concerning the 1998 split from the Mathematics Department, and the particulars of her tenure as Chair. She also touches upon topics such as the success rate of the program's graduates, the growth of academic learning technology on campus, and chairing the Computer Science Committee during the development of the Articulation Agreement between the North Carolina university system and community colleges.
Phys. Desc:

Greim, Barbara Ann Interviewer: Riggins, Adina Date of Interview: 5/10/2006 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 2 hours, 25 minutes

Riggins: My name is Adina Riggins. I'm the university archivist for UNCW. I'm here in the home of a very special interview respondent today. I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to interview the first chair of the computer science program at UNCW. We will hear more about the career of Barbara Greim in the interview that follows. Today is May 10, 2006. And please state your name for the tape.

Barbara Ann Greim: All right, I'm Barbara Greim and I-I spent the years from the spring of 1969 through the 1st [ph?] of July, 2000 at UNCW.

Riggins: Wonderful. Well I'm so glad to be here, and thank you for inviting me into your home to do this oral history program. I'd like to start off by asking you; where were you born, Dr. Greim?

Barbara Ann Greim: Okay, uh... I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My family, my mother and father lived in suburban Philadelphia and I grew up there. I graduated from Westmore High School, and then did my undergraduate work at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

Riggins: I have heard of that.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, yeah. It's a very good, small, church-related school, but it had, at that time, a reputation for being one of the best science and math undergraduate institutions in the area.

Riggins: Interesting.

Barbara Ann Greim: My father died when I was in high school. Uh... he was Pennsylvania Dutch, which is why my name is spelled G-r-e-i-m and not the way you think it would be spelled when you hear it pronounced. But my mother was from southwest Virginia. And after I graduated from high school, I wanted to move to the southeast and hoped to have a closer relationship with some of my mother's family by doing so. So I looked around at the various institutions in the southeast for one that had a graduate program in mathematics that was strong in the area of abstract algebra, which was what I liked, and chose the University of Chapel Hill where I got my doctorate, wrote a thesis in the area of abstract algebra. At that time, there really were not many computer science programs, either graduate or undergraduate anywhere. Uh... it's hard to believe now that computers were just beginning to make inroads into business and academia, general life. They were recognized as being important for some of the sciences, like astronomy and physics and that kind of thing. But when I left Chapel Hill to come down to UNCW in 1969, Chapel Hill offered one undergraduate computer science course, only one.

Riggins: That's amazing.

Barbara Ann Greim: And when I got to UNCW, it was the same thing here. There was one undergraduate computer science course. An introductory program course was taught by the man who was Director of Computing Services, the director and only employee, I may add, of computing services.

Riggins: Let's back up for a moment. I do want to touch on all this, but I want to give everything its due amount of time. And you've covered a lot, just in this beginning. Can I back up and ask you a little bit about your lineage. With your father being Pennsylvania Dutch, did he grow up in a traditional culture, kind of like the Amish?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... it was not Amish; it was Pennsylvania Dutch. Matter of fact, his family are all Methodists, as I am.

Riggins: Okay.

Barbara Ann Greim: But uh... it was-- it is a distinct culture, even though it's not Amish, and uh... little bits of- of things that would hang on, a lot of attitudes, uh... value system that got passed on.

Riggins: Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... one thing that was interesting was uh... a couple of my father's aunts and uncles used the terms Schwester and Brüder to refer to each other. And I didn't realize until I took German in college that that meant sister and brother.

Riggins: You just thought it was--

Barbara Ann Greim: I thought it was just a family nickname.

Riggins: Wow. That's what I was going to say. With the Pennsylvania Dutch, that was actually a misnomer that the people thought they were saying Dutch, when they were saying Deutsch.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, that's correct, yeah. So the- the ultimate ancestry goes back to uh... German immigrants, but that was way, way, way before my father, or grandfather or his (laugh) grandfather's time.

Riggins: I see. Did you learn German growing up at all?

Barbara Ann Greim: No, no.

Riggins: No, they didn't. I guess your mother not being...

Barbara Ann Greim: No. Well it was-- they didn't speak German. I'm not sure they knew what the terms that they used meant.

Riggins: It was just...

Barbara Ann Greim: It-- uh... to- to me and everybody that I knew, that was just like a family nickname.

Riggins: That's great.

Barbara Ann Greim: And then I took German and I realized hey, that's some of-- something that has come down through the years without people even realizing it.

Riggins: That's great. That's something you learn about yourself as you study more formal education.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, yeah.

Riggins: When you went to Ursinus College, that's where you finished your Bachelor's Degree?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Did you say you studied mathematics? Was that your major?

Barbara Ann Greim: I had a major in mathematics and I lacked only organic chemistry to make it a double major in biology. And I also had a strong minor in psychology.

Riggins: And that was, I'm sure, a very rigorous experience at Ursinus.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well yeah, I- I got a good foundation, uh... I think a very good educational foundation.

Riggins: You said you did have interest in going to the southeast.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: And you knew you wanted to pursue a Ph.D. in college teaching.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, right. I- I have always, to as far back as I can remember, wanted to teach. I was never sure what grade level. I mean you can't expect someone who is eight or nine to know whether they want to teach elementary school, middle school, high school, grade-- you know, college, but I know-- I have always known that I was meant to be a teacher and always been that way. And I knew that I wanted to go to graduate school, because I simply didn't know as much about mathematics as I wanted to know. I had too many unanswered questions after completing a Bachelor of Science degree.

Riggins: That's a good question. You just wanted to explore it.

Barbara Ann Greim: I wanted to learn more about it, and the next step was graduate school. And I still think that's the best motivation there is to go to graduate school. It's too tough to go if you don't want to learn something. (laugh)

Riggins: Exactly.

Barbara Ann Greim: You don't have that drive to learn.

Riggins: So you go to answer the questions that you have been able to explore yet.

Barbara Ann Greim: That's right. That's right.

Riggins: Good explanation. Well you came to Chapel Hill. I think you told me on the phone it was about '64.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Yes, I uh... came to Chapel Hill in fall semester of 1964.

Riggins: How did you find Chapel Hill then? It's was very sleepy, wasn't it, at this time?

Barbara Ann Greim: It didn't seem particularly sleepy to me. Of course, coming from a very small undergraduate school to a very large school, uh... it was-- that was a difference. Uh... there was a lot more variety at Chapel Hill in the student body and the faculty. Uh... graduate school is always a challenge compared to undergraduate school.

Riggins: A lot more courses to choose from.

Barbara Ann Greim: Fewer courses to choose from, but expecting a different level of performance.

Riggins: Oh, I see.

Barbara Ann Greim: It- it-- graduate school is a step up in that regard, and uh... you're expected to do a lot more on your own. One of the graduate school professors told me that when he said, "Now you all remember such-and-such," he said, "I know darn well you don't remember it. That means I'm not going to teach it to you. Go to the library and learn it, look it up." (laugh)

Riggins: And we proceed as if you know it, so you have to know it.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right, yes. Yeah. He was very upfront about that level of expectation, which I did not find to be the case in undergraduate education much.

Riggins: Right. They helped you more.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. And certainly, before you reached that level in undergraduate education, you had to go way down. (laugh)

Riggins: I understand, right. And did you get interested in computer science at this time, while you were in graduate school?

Barbara Ann Greim: No. Uh... again, there were virtually no opportunities at that point. And certainly, it was not one that-- uh... math graduate students were not at all encouraged to even consider learning about computers. What happened was when I-- it was when I got to UNC Wilmington. Okay, you want the-- right, okay. Uh... as I said, there was only one person on campus at that time who was doing anything with computers, and that was the man who was the only employee for computing services whatsoever on campus. His academic background was a Bachelor's degree in architecture, (laugh) which was...

Riggins: Interesting.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well uh... you didn't have a degree, a formal degree in this. It was much too new. But in addition to teaching the one programming course that was offered, he was doing a faculty seminar in the evenings. And because I wanted to continue to grow and develop and learn something, I went to the faculty seminar. And I had an experience there that I saw later replicated among many of my students in that it was almost a feeling of recognition. This is what I've been looking for all my life. Everything here makes sense. It's perfectly logical. This is the way I think.

Riggins: Programming, basically.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, the whole idea of programming fit the way my mind worked. And it was, as I said...

Riggins: It fit a mathematical mind in some ways.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... it's not necessarily mathematical. Uh... I've discovered that in generations of teaching, that students who would struggle very hard in mathematics uh... had the same feeling I did about programming. And some mathematicians that I have known simply can't grasp the way of thought. There's a particular way of thinking. It's really-- its algorithmic thinking. Uh... the psychologists tell us that people who are good at crossword puzzles and enjoy crossword puzzles tend to do well at programming. But really, programming in its purest sense is giving directions and laying out planning. And people who are good at that kind of thing tend to have the same experience I did with programming, that this, as I said, really and truly, it's...

Riggins: It's very literal, in a sense?

Barbara Ann Greim: It- it is extremely literal. You have to think of different possibilities and cover various contingencies, but...

Riggins: And it's all in code.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, well its-- creating it in code is the easy part. It's figuring out what to express. It's the algorithm, the method. It- it's-- really, the key to it is algorithms. It's not necessarily the language that you use to express the algorithms in, because the languages change rapidly. The algorithm doesn't change.

Riggins: How do you teach that kind of thinking, that algorithmic thinking?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... you-- well you try-- there are certain basic algorithms that you teach that are building blocks. Very complex algorithms are made of simpler algorithms which are made of simpler algorithms still. And the hardest algorithms to figure out for people are how to do the very simplest things.

Riggins: Really?

Barbara Ann Greim: Exactly.

Riggins: You're talking to someone who's not a programmer. I've worked with programmers. I can appreciate what they do, but I'm not a programmer.

Barbara Ann Greim: No. Well really, the-- everybody knows you're going to have to be careful and think through carefully how to do a complicated thing, but it's the simplest things that people do without thinking about it that turn out to be very difficult to develop good algorithms for. A classic case in point is how to put a list in order, be it numbers, titles of books, words in a dictionary. You know if I give you even a deck of playing cards and say, "Arrange them in numerical order by suit," you have no problem doing that. If I ask you how you're doin' it, its probably difficult to explain how you do it.

Riggins: I see.

Barbara Ann Greim: But this is the kind of thing.

Riggins: You have to tell the computer how to do it.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. The computer has to be able to do this with very large amounts of data. You know think uh... income tax forms that people file, or drivers license records. It has to do this with huge amounts of information. It's expected to do it almost instantaneously, so you have to figure out how to direct a computer on a very low level. About all it can do is compare and copy, how to do this accure-- as efficiently and quickly, with as little memory as possible; that's the sort of problem that you get involved with, with computer programming.

Riggins: That's a great explanation.

Barbara Ann Greim: But its something that someone whose never been exposed to that theory oftentimes will have no idea how to begin to do it, let alone how to do it efficiently.

Riggins: Right, efficiently and elegantly.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Yes, we use the word "elegant" there, as well.

Riggins: Yeah, I have heard that from programmers.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right.

Riggins: That's wonderful. Do you remember the name of the fellow who was running the computing support center?

Barbara Ann Greim: Don Trivette.

Riggins: Trivette. I have heard his name.

Barbara Ann Greim: T-r-i-v-e-t-t-e.

Riggins: I interviewed Bill Pate. Do you remember Bill Pate?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, oh yeah.

Riggins: Bill must have replaced-- followed this fellow.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Uh... Don uh... left UNCW fairly early on. But I- I started to tell you that I got really interested in it at this point, having taken that seminar.

Riggins: Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: At that time, UNCW had just become part of the university system that took effect July 1st of 1969.

Riggins: You have a good memory for dates.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well that was-- yeah. At the-- I was interviewing here during the time that the legislature was considering the bill to add UNCW to this-- or Wilmington College, as it was then, to the system, so it's a very easy day for me to remember.

Riggins: Were you interviewing in the spring?

Barbara Ann Greim: I was interviewing in the spring, actually, during Azalea Festival Week, as it happened, when I came down to Wilmington. But the point at which Wilmington College became part of the system and my first contract became effective were the same day, (laugh) so that was a very easy one to remember. But UNCW was preparing for its annual uh... self-study for reaccredidation, as well integration into the broader university system in meeting their standards. And looking back now, I realize that they were very concerned about having someone who did no have faculty status-- his highest degree was a Bachelor's degree in architecture-- teaching computer programming on their faculty.

Riggins: Was he actually teaching undergraduates, too?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. (laugh) Uh... he was-- it was all undergraduates, yeah.

Riggins: Yeah, right. Yeah, he was teaching the students.

Barbara Ann Greim: He was teaching the students at that point. They had one program course that was being offered in the math department, and he was teaching it because he was the only one on campus who knew how to write a program. (laugh)

Riggins: They were using the mainframe?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. At that point uh... in time and through most of the '70's, actually, if you were-- certainly, if you were part of the University of North Carolina system or a community college-- and I know some of the private institutions like Duke, as well-- if you were doing anything with computers on your campus, you were dealing with mainframes at the triangle university's computer center, known as TUCC, T-U-C-C, in the research triangle. Uh... of course, all computing at that time was done on mainframe. There were essentially no PC's, or they were in someone's garage.

Riggins: I remember Bill told me one of his missions when he was hired was to break away from TUCC.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: And do their own thing.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, yeah, right. Yeah, well I mean that-- it was clear to a lot of people that that was going to happen eventually. Most people didn't realize how quickly it would happen.

Riggins: Was UNCW fairly early in breaking away at that point?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. UNCW uh... became very much a pioneer and leader in uh... academic use of technology.

Riggins: I have heard of that.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Well I- I take a lot of credit for that and I'll tell you why.

Riggins: I would love to hear about this.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... because, I think now, of the concerns with accreditation issues, uh... during, I believe it was the winter quarter, but it might have been the spring quarter of the '69/'70 academic year. We were on the quarter system then. Uh... the chair of the math department told me, "Barbara, you're teaching our computer programming course."

Riggins: We're not supposed to be having Don teach it.

Barbara Ann Greim: He didn't tell me any of those reasons.

Riggins: Yeah, Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: He just simply said, "I'm assigning you to teach this." Uh... I wanted to spread knowledge about computers, appreciation and the importance of computers outside the math department to more faculty and more students. And I realized that the UNCW faculty, which at that time was predominantly young and uh... very, very concentrated on teaching-- that was again, UNCW tradition-- was not going to listen to a brand new hire get up and preach to them. (laugh) So what I chose to do as a deliberate strategy when I was teaching this course-- now understand, this was a pure elective, the programming course; no major required it, nobody was being advised to take it-- so what happened was we were getting mostly juniors and seniors who had very high GPAs. The majority of them were planning on graduate school, or law school or medical school, or some sort of further education, so they were very bright, very good students who were taking this course. So instead of giving a traditional final examination, I required each student to do a project where they would give me a brief one or two-page paper explaining what computers were used for in their discipline, their major or something related to it, a problem that could be solved by computers in that area, and then write a program to demonstrate this.

Riggins: Oh, they must have loved this. (laugh)

Barbara Ann Greim: Well actually, the students were- were-- because of the type of students they were, the students liked this, because they were going to have to do a project, no- no memorization, no come and sit there and write for three hours or something, actually do this. And they knew way ahead of time they were going to have to do this.

Riggins: The students in sociology or political sciences, I'm sure they had a lot of questions for you.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. Well students in all majors would come to me and say-- you know I remember one young man who said, "Uh... I'm going to be an astronomer. I'm a physics major. I have no idea what they use computers for in physics." And I said, "Well I'm not a physicist. Ask your professors." So what happened was in all the various disciplines around campus, the best professors were finding their best students coming in and asking them about; how are computers being used in research in biology, or sociology, or political science, or history or English, you know. What do people in this area use computers for? And as this happened-- oh, I continued to teach this course, and as this happened over, and over and over again, the best faculty members, in many cases, started saying, "You know if my students are this interested in this, and I don't know anything about it, maybe I'd better find out." And so they started getting involved in it, as well.

Riggins: Did they come talk to you about?

Barbara Ann Greim: Some of them did and I would point them towards various resources. But most of them would go to their professional organizations, look at who is using computers in their research and what are they doing, and use those contacts. Well it was very interesting that I was-- I believe it was-- had something to do with TUCC, but someone came up to me at a meeting one time and they saw the UNCW on my badge and said, "Barbara, let me ask you something. What is going on at UNC Wilmington? That's the only campus I've ever even heard of where the PE department has an account and the philosophy department has an account. I think every department you guys have has an account. What is happening?"

Riggins: Had an account with TUCC, meaning that...

Barbara Ann Greim: With-- they had an account, because these were departmental accounts with TUCC, because they were using computers in some of their course work.

Riggins: Programming?

Barbara Ann Greim: No, not programming courses, necessarily, but they were using programs.

Riggins: Right, okay.

Barbara Ann Greim: PE, I believe, was using statistical analysis programs software to analyze...

Riggins: Do you know who some of these faculty members were? Do you remember? I know its way back.

Barbara Ann Greim: I don't remember who it was in PE. I'm thinking it might have been Earl Allen in the exercise physiology group, but I'm not sure about that. The philosophy in religion one was Gerald Chen in his logic courses who was using logic programs for his students in there.

Riggins: Interesting.

Barbara Ann Greim: And got-- you know got-- had that account at TUCC so his students could work with this. But it- it was something that we became known for that we spread it very widely. The- the student projects were fascinating. Uh... I did a night section of the programming course one time, when the local office of the Army Corp of Engineers received an edict from the Pentagon that all their professional people there had to know how to program. And they-- if they didn't already know, they were going to have to learn it. So we actually added a couple of sections at night to help out the Corp employees get this credential that the Army said they had to have. (laugh) And one of the students that I had was a biologist-- actually a botanist, who worked with the Corp on landscaping, choosing landscape plants for erosion control and various other purposes. And he did, as his project, a program where you would input the conditions of the site, what kind of soil, you know, what kind of climate, whether it's moist or dry, shade areas and so on, and what you needed the plant to do, and would print out for you the appropriate plants and work with that.

Riggins: That's amazing. Did they need a certain level of math to do some of this programming?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... really, my experience was that if they could do college algebra, they could do programming. I mean you didn't have to assign mathematical programs. The biologist did that as his project. There wasn't any math involved in that at all.

Riggins: Right, yeah, to do the programming. I know it's mathematical to a point.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well the- the key concepts really area essentially covered in high school algebra that you use a name in programming, like you use X, Y and Z in algebra, in that if you have mathemat-- if you want your program to do some math, then you have to write it down like you would write a formula in algebra. And there are some of the same rules, you know, about what to use parenthesis for and that kind of thing. But that's really the only math that you absolutely, positively have to know to write a program. Now if you're going to write a program to analyze statistics, then you'd better know some math and some statistics.

Riggins: Right, right, yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: But you know, if you're going to be selecting plants to use around a retention pond, you don't need to know any math.

Riggins: You have to know plants.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. You have to provide the data. You have to know what questions to ask and so on. So it really depends on what you-- how much math you need.

Riggins: Were the students, for example, these students from the Army Corp of Engineers, were they pretty fearful of computers, or were they interested?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... both and- and anything in between, just as any other student.

Riggins: It sounds like you really kind of took this stuff and ran with it. From the very beginning, you were teaching computer science, from your very first quarter there.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Not- no the first quarter, the second quarter.

Riggins: Second quarter, okay.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, yeah, but certainly, my first year.

Riggins: How many courses would you teach of computer science and how much of math as time went on?

Barbara Ann Greim: It would vary from semester to semester, depending on demand and who else was on the faculty. We did start to add more people with computer knowledge to the faculty. Jim Halsey came in. Fletcher Norris came in. Jim Nelson came in. Uh... now Jim Halsey and Fletcher Norris both were-- came from a mathematics background. Jim Nelson actually, I think, was our first person who came in with a real computer science degree and- and not ever going to teach any math; although he had-- his was electrical engineering, so he could have taught math, but that wasn't his thing. And Don Elliot came in, as well, and he was-- he came from industry with a Masters in computer science. And uh... we really built the program, that group of people that I have named.

Riggins: You got a head start; it sounds like, in terms of time. What was going on in the other schools in the university system?

Barbara Ann Greim: It varied from school to school greatly, but certainly, I think UNCW had an advantage there in that we were relatively small, relatively young. No one at UNCW was saying oh, we don't do that here. If you wanted to try to something at UNCW and it sounded halfway reasonable, the typical response in the institution was we'll try and see if it'll work out.

Riggins: And it's still that way, I think.

Barbara Ann Greim: But--uh... and that's a tremendous advantage, because so many of the older, better-known insti-- larger institutions, uh... you don't even speak in a faculty meeting unless you have tenure. (laugh)

Riggins: Right, right.

Barbara Ann Greim: I mean it's very- very much that and that was just not the way. UNCW was growing very rapidly. A lot of new people were coming in. New departments were being established. I can remember when the sociology department was established, for example.

Riggins: Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: You know when I first started the teaching program, we didn't have sociology. (laugh) It wasn't a major.

Riggins: Yeah, the new disciplines.

Barbara Ann Greim: New disciplines were coming online. The faculty was growing rapidly. The majority of the faculty was young. And there was a lot of energy, freedom to experiment. And our students were finding very quickly that if they wanted to go to graduate school, they could get to graduate school with a full fellowship very quickly in computer science as things were developing.

Riggins: Interesting.

Barbara Ann Greim: They were-- they found very quickly that with a halfway decent degree, they could get a very good job. Throughout essentially the whole time I was at UNCW, we had students graduate with a Bachelor's degree whose starting salary would be equal to or higher than mine.

Riggins: I can imagine.

Barbara Ann Greim: And uh... you know, it was-- so there was economic pressures on that. Uh... as far as other schools were concerned, NC State uh... was certainly with or ahead of us in terms of having majors come to their engineering schools. It's an engineering program there. Uh... UNC Chapel Hill, most of the early work in computer science in the undergraduate level was with the linguistics department. But programming languages are languages.

Riggins: Right, right.

Barbara Ann Greim: And they were also using computers as tools there. And then the uh... graduate program in statistics and biostatistics uh... more or less ran the computing center up there on campus, (laugh) the uh... school public health graduate program is a big user there. So they- they got into it on a graduate level and for faculty research, but were comparatively slow to get it to the undergraduate level.

Riggins: We discussed some of this over the phone, but I don't remember. When you were hired, who was the chair at the time?

Barbara Ann Greim: He had retired, yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: Okay, uh... when I was hired, Fred Toney was the chair, and he was the only person in the department, other than me, who had a Ph.D. in mathematics. We had one faculty member who had a degree in physics from the University of Havana. That was Dr. Vicente Hernandez. His wife, Hildelissa Hernandez had the same degree and she taught physics. And then uh... Marshall Crews, who Dean of Students at the time, had uh... an EDD and taught one course a semester, but everyone else in the department, just when I came, just had a Master's degree. And most of those were people who had been public school teachers.

Riggins: Well Dr. Hurst had retired by this time?

Barbara Ann Greim: He had retired, yes, Adrian Hurst had- had retired, and Fred Toney had replaced him as chair. And that was the year before I came, because Fred Toney was the one who actually was chair when I was hired.

Riggins: To assist the new position that you came to?

Barbara Ann Greim: Well actually, they created the position, uh... which made me feel good.

Riggins: How did you hear about UNCW?

Barbara Ann Greim: I- I was-- I knew that I was going to be looking for a job, and I knew the kind of institution I wanted to look at. Uh... and I looked through. I liked North Carolina and I was seriously considering staying in North Carolina, although I was looking at some out of state institutions, as well. And uh... at that time, it was not a requirement at most places that you advertise nationally for positions, so typically what happened was your dissertation advisor would say oh, I know there's an opening at such-and-such and you would write and- and apply for that. Uh... I actually wrote letters to a whole bunch of institutions in North Carolina, explaining my background, that I was looking for a- a job at a school like-- insert name of school-- and did they have anything available. UNCW replied, which is more than a lot of them did, and said that they were looking for someone who would go out to the various community colleges, such as Duplin County's community college, and teach some introductory mathematics course there, that they did have that position, and would I be interested in that. And I wrote back to them saying that I would be willing to do a little bit of that, but that really was not the kind of position I was looking for. I wanted a full-time tenure track position on campus. And uh... looking back, again, they never told me this specifically, but looking back, I think, again, realizing that the accreditation and self-study were looming, and that they were really shy on Ph.D's in mathematics that I think Fred Toney probably went to Dean Reynolds and said, "You know, we've got a possibility here. If we can hire her, will you give us the position?" And they did. Having been a department chair, I could see that that would be the way that it would work. But anyway, Dr. Toney called me back and said that he thought they could work with my preferences for the-- you know, the full time tenure track appointment, and would I be interested in coming down for an interview, which of course, I was.

Riggins: Wow.

Barbara Ann Greim: And I ended up accepting their offer, even though it was not the highest salary, but there are other things that go into it.

Riggins: That's amazing. It sounds like you had some foresight, because at the time, the university was experiencing growth, sure, but it was still a small town, a small city, a small student body, relatively speaking. Did you find that most of the faculty were from the south?

Barbara Ann Greim: I really don't remember, as a matter of fact. Uh... I liked the energy and atmosphere, and I liked the other faculty that I met and felt that I would be accepted as an integral part of the team, which I was. And uh... many people don't realize that, you know, we're talking about 1969. For a woman, it was very difficult. It was difficult to even get into graduate school in mathematics. I had two faculty members, two professors in graduate school who deliberately tried to force all the female students who enrolled in the graduate classes to drop the class, one of whom boasted openly in the faculty lounge that he wasn't going to have any blank, blank, blank girls in his class. He was going to drive them out. Uh... the-- what was probably my first choice before I started interviewing was at an out of state institution that my thesis advisor recommended. He said, "I know people up there. I know that they're looking for someone in your area with your skills. Would you be interested?" And it was exactly the sort of institution that I had always dreamed of teaching at. So I wrote to them and they wrote back and invited me to come for an interview, so I flew up for the interview. And I'll never forget. It was a 2-day interview process, very much like what we do at UNCW now. And the last thing that happened in the interview, the chairman drove me to the airport for my flight home. And we were waiting for boarding and he said, "Barbara," he said, "I've got to tell you, your interview went very, very well. Everyone liked you. Everyone thinks you'd be great at the job. You are exactly what we're looking for. And if we can't find a man, I will call you with an offer."

Riggins: Wow! And he thought it was fine to say that?

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh that was fine. That was actually common. I- I had to admire the man for at least being honest enough to say it.

Riggins: It's like he didn't even realize that there was a problem with thinking that way.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. No, but I mean this was very common. It was perfectly legal at that time and it was actually common. And I- I might add, they did call me and I was delighted to turn them down. (laugh) But uh... that- that sort of thing was a real obstacle.

Riggins: You didn't encounter that at UNCW?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... I did not feel that- that it would be as much a hindrance at UNCW, let's put it this way, as it would be at some other places.

Riggins: Interesting.

Barbara Ann Greim: I mean their- their...

Riggins: There were always a lot of female faculty at UNCW, at Wilmington College, too.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... a lot of the female faculty at Wilmington College were the Master's degree people who had come from the public schools, and that-- they were treated better than female faculty were at the other institutions, but there was still a distinction.

Riggins: As they stayed on, the university began to change.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, oh yes. I mean there-- certainly, there were individuals at UNCW during my time there who had the reputation of being prejudiced against women. Uh... with me, I couldn't always tell if- if I felt discriminated against, whether it was because I was woman or because I was working with-- to push this computer science program that people didn't always want. (laugh) But uh... you know, there were situations of people. I remember talking with uh... the chairman of another department, who shall remain nameless. I won't even name the department. Uh... the chairman was a white male and so was the entire faculty of his department. And he was telling me about having attended a professional meeting where he had been heavily recruited to apply for a vacancy at another institution, and I asked him if he was going to apply for it. And he said, "Of course not." And I said, "Why not?" And he said, "Well you know that institution historically was founded for and- and caters to people of a different ethnic background than mine." I'm paraphrasing there. (laugh) And uh... he said, "Can you imagine what it would feel like to go to work every day knowing that the majority of people you work with really don't want you there?" And my response was perfectly honest, I said, "But that's the way almost every female faculty member I know feels. What's wrong with that?" And he was quite taken aback by it, but I was pleased to note that not too much later, his department hired their first woman.

Riggins: Interesting.

Barbara Ann Greim: I think he hadn't-- I'm sure. I mean he was a good man. I had a great deal of respect for him. I don't think it ever occurred to him to think--to think that that was a normal experience for female faculty.

Riggins: Sure, sure, that's just part of going to work, unfortunately.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. Well I mean it- it was very, very much the case. I asked one of my graduate school professors for a recommendation, and uh... his comment was, "Sure, I'd be glad to give you a recommendation." He said, "It doesn't matter where you-- where you work, anyway, because within a year or two, you're going to get married and quit." And he would not have said that to a male student.

Riggins: No.

Barbara Ann Greim: But I mean that- that was the context of the times. And one of the struggles that I am pleased to have lived through was the feminist movement that uh... women ex-- now have and should have the right to expect equal treatment and pro-- equal professional respect, and to be judged on their work, rather than their gender.

Riggins: Times have really changed in that regard.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. And I've found many of my students have no conception of what it had been like, even as little as 30 years ago, that- that this was normal, that you had to work through that. But uh... as I said, uh... this was never an institutionalized prejudice at UNCW, unlike many other institutions where you felt the sense that this was built into the institution. There were individuals at UNCW, but it was not institutionalized that way.

Riggins: Why do you suppose, because it was newer university?

Barbara Ann Greim: I- I really don't know. But-- and maybe it was institutionalized and I didn't see it, but I don't think so. Uh... I never got this as that it was institutionalized that way.

Riggins: Did you meet Dr. Wagner throughout your...

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh yes, yes, (laugh) you know many, many times.

Riggins: You knew him pretty well.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, and I- I certainly never got the feeling that he considered me any less capable, or demanded any less from me or more from me because of my gender.

Riggins: That says a lot right there, you know, if it comes from the top.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. But I-- the reason that I- I met with him so often, became very familiar with him was that I was a delegate to the UNC systems faculty assembly for uh... many, many, many, many, many years, (laugh) before they put term limits on them. And I was like double the term for a long time. (laugh) They just kept sending me back. But Dr. Wagner uh... made a point of having a briefing session with the UNCW faculty assembly delegation before every faculty assembly meeting, and there were four of those a year, uh... which helped us be more effective there, because we knew some of the issues that were going to be coming up. Did us not make us toadies for Dr. Wagner, by any means, but it- it helped give us some perspective to know, instead of walking into a meeting and oh, here's this big issue we have to worry about.

Riggins: Yeah, that's helpful. I had one question that's come up. Dr. Toney, was he the chair who said, "Barbara, you're going to teach computer science"?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Was his support for computer science-- because he kind of just probably took it-- was it more than he ever imagined?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Uh... he was not at all supportive of computer science. I mean this one course, that was fine, and then it became two courses. But he did not want computer science to be either a program within the math department, or a major of its own.

Riggins: He didn't want it to compete with mathematics.

Barbara Ann Greim: No. Uhm... I mean he- he was one of those who really didn't like computer science. He- he sat through and required all his faculty to sit through a seminar in computer programming, but he was never comfortable with it. His mind did not work that way. And he- uh... he was very much the com-- the department head pattern, rather than department chairman. Uh... this was a way-- was typical when I started at UNCW that we didn't have a faculty...

Riggins: You talked a little bit about that on the phone. Tell us a little bit about that distinction. What is the difference between a department? And would you like to take a break?

Barbara Ann Greim: No, I'm fine, if you don't need to change the tape.

Riggins: We have about 15 more minutes on this tape.

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh, that's fine.

Riggins: And then we can take a break.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right.

Riggins: What is the difference between a department head...

Barbara Ann Greim: Okay, a department head is more like a military commander. They run it, period.

Riggins: No consultation.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh... no obligation for consultation. Dr. Toney was famous for writing up the minutes of departmental meetings before the meetings were held. And if a vote didn't go the way he wanted it to and he had to go back and change those minutes, he was furious. (laugh) But I mean it was very much the point of most departmental meetings of Dr. Toney was for him to tell us what- what was what kind of thing. (laugh) Uh... but this was the tradition at NC State, I understand. I don't know that for a fact, but he used to tell us that was the- the tradition there.

Riggins: Is that where he came from?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, that's where he- he came from was NC State. But he felt very much like it was his department and he ran it his way. And it was difficult for him to understand what the computer science people were doing, what they wanted, what they needed. It was just out of his area. So I think that that was probably a reason for it. I mean he- he was a very nice individual. He did a lot of good things. Uh... but computer science was just something that was not his thing and he really didn't want a computer science major or, you know, even a degree in math with emphasis in computer science in his department.

Riggins: I'm surprised then that he allowed these faculty to come, like Fletcher Norris.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well now Fletcher came originally with a degree in mathematics education, and uh... then went back for a year at graduate school in computer science, yes. Uh... Jim Halsey's degree was exactly the same degree that I had and the same degree that Fred Toney had, although Jim's was from NC State, also, which was in abstract algebra, uh... so those people. Now Jim Nelson came. It was obvious we had to have somebody (laugh) who really uh... had the-- a lot of academic background in the computer science, even though as I said, his degree was electrical engineering. But he came from uh... a program where he worked with a research hospital dealing with, you know, research, medical research where he was their computer guru, and also, you know, capturing data from sensors and analyzing it and this sort of thing. Uh... and Don Elliot came from industry with a Master's degree. Those were the real core of the people who started the computer science program, but it was really uh... student driven, as much as anything else. The- the students were demanding these courses.

Riggins: That's amazing.

Barbara Ann Greim: And you know, the UNCW tradition is to try and meet the needs of students and to be responsive to students.

Riggins: It is, it really is.

Barbara Ann Greim: And- and-- but also, uh... some of us-- and I guess I can brag a little bit, I think I was one of them-- were politically astute enough that-- uh... the reason I said I knew how Fred got when the vote didn't go with him, when we got to the point the university had grown to where consultation was demanded, and for example, if you were going to advertise a new position, the department as a whole had to vote on the specialty areas you were looking for. And to get new computer science faculty, what we did sometimes was to politically make our case with enough of the mathematicians that we could carry the vote in the department. I- I remember one time in particular, uh... Fred wanted this to be a math position, came in, gave the arguments for it to be a math position, and I then proceeded to get recognized and counter his statistics on calculus enrollment with the statistics on enrollment and demand for the equivalent computer science courses. And the department compared our statistics, voted to make it a computer science position. (laugh) Fred did not like that. I never said that I was a polite, gentle person who never opened her mouth.

Riggins: No, but you go things done.

Barbara Ann Greim: (laugh) Yeah.

Riggins: When the program had started, was there...

Barbara Ann Greim: It was not a major at this point, but this was just-- you know, there were some courses, but you couldn't even get a degree in math with the concentration-- officially with the concentration in computer science at that point.

Riggins: When did that start? It was still quite early when it started. It was in the '70's.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right, during the '70's, our computer science offerings had grown significantly, and of course, what you can offer is driven by enrollment. But our people who wanted to be "computer science majors", because they couldn't be computer science majors, would take as few math courses as the department would allow them to take, and then all their electives would be the computer science courses.

Riggins: How did the students hear about this? Do you think a lot of them came to UNCW for this, like word-of-mouth, they wanted to study computers?

Barbara Ann Greim: Some of it might have been word-of-mouth. Uh some of it, I think, was people who got here and heard about it or knew the demand. Uh... UNCW has always had a fairly high percentage of nontraditional students, and some of this would be nontraditional students uh... who weren't necessarily interested in a degree, but wanted the skills, wanted this on a transcript for job purposes, employment purposes.

Riggins: Did you have some marine science students? It may not have been called marine science, but marine biology? Back then, those were always very strong students who maybe kind of were interested in that vocation.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, I'm sure we had some. Uh... I don't remember any particular group standing out, because particularly, by the time they got to the upper level courses in computer science, we tended to think of them as computer science students, regardless of what their actual major was.

Riggins: Wow, very proprietary, but that's good. That's how you have to be.

Barbara Ann Greim: Sure.

Riggins: You know, these are my students, they're taking our courses. They want to be here.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: It sounds like Fletcher Norris was probably an ally.

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh yes, yeah. Yeah.

Riggins: He was one of the core, you said.

Barbara Ann Greim: Definitely, yes. Yeah.

Riggins: Kind of took things in your own hands.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, and also, very good at the uh... university politics.

Riggins: That is something, yeah; you have take seriously, sure.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, well I mean that's- that's how, you know, that and the student demand helped us grow the program. And uh... then eventually, when we got the major, then of course, it was listed among the possible majors and students would come in from high school saying, "I think I want to major in it."

Riggins: And that was maybe in the late '70's already.

Barbara Ann Greim: I don't remember the exact date.

Riggins: I can check.

Barbara Ann Greim: But my feeling is that it was in that general era, probably late '70's, maybe early '80's. I would have to look it up.

Riggins: Which is still very early, but yeah, we can check our catalogs and archives about that.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, I was going to say, (laugh) you can look up the exact date, I'm sure.

Riggins: Yeah, the oral history. I interviewed Sandra McLaurin recently. She came probably around that time in the late '70's.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: She was in the mathematics and the...

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Yeah, she- uh... she wanted to stay in that, and again, in abstract algebra, and uh... was not only a good friend of mine, but a very good addition to the faculty.

Riggins: Oh, yeah, really good. And she gave a wonderful interview, too.

Barbara Ann Greim: I'm sure she did, yeah. (laugh)

Riggins: Well then, when the major arose and you guys were happy with this...

Barbara Ann Greim: Well some of us were. (laugh) The computer science people were. Uh... Dr. Toney was not, absolutely not. Uh... but...

Riggins: He's still chair at this point.

Barbara Ann Greim: He was still chair at this point.

Riggins: But it happened, despite him.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, right.

Riggins: And that was because of the more open structure of the university. It became more like a regular university.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, well that- that, yes, but also, because we had been successful in growing the program to the point where we had our own prefix. Our courses were not Math 111; it was Computer Science 111, that sort of thing. But uh... what happened was that the Board of Trustees of the-- not of the local campus, but general, the entire university system trustees uh... put a freeze, temporary freeze on all new programs on all the campuses, and proceeded to conduct an inventory of what majors were available on the campuses. They were looking for efficiency, uh... saving money. Uhm... I suspect money was tight at that time. When is it ever not? But uh... they asked all the campuses, and I had heard it, to send them a catalog listing plus their course listings of what had actually been offered, and returned to the various campuses an inventory saying that based on their analysis, these are the major you now offer. And what came back to UNCW, the analysis said you now offer a major in computer science. We did, in effect, we just-- it wasn't listed as a major. We had the course and we were offering the courses. And what I heard from Dr. Toney-- and so this is hearsay, understand-- was that he protested to the local administration that we didn't have a major in computer science, and they told him you do now, and we want to see some graduates in that major this spring. (laugh)

Riggins: It kind of backfired on him, any complaints he had.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. (laugh) Yeah, so I mean uh... so at that point, we had the major, the- the upcoming catalog for the next year was quickly changed to list it as a major officially. And we talked to some of our students who had taken the courses that we would have required for a major and said, "Would you rather have your degree in computer science or math?" And I remember one of them in particular who had received a fellowship to go to graduate school in computer science say, "Oh of course I want it to be computer science." (laugh) And he ended up being one of the first, if not the first official graduate from the program.

Riggins: Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: There was a downside to that, however, in that because we did not go through the- the formal procedure to get a new degree program, that procedure, if the program was approved, comes with appropriation. We didn't get that. We didn't get new faculty positions. We didn't get equipment money or startup money. The only startup money that we got was for library resources, and that was because I wrote a grant request that was funded for it.

Riggins: Yeah, that sounds like a familiar story about the funding.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. You're light is blinking. I think you need to change.

Riggins: We just have a couple minutes left.

Barbara Ann Greim: You need to change your tape.

Riggins: Yep, so I'll turn it off and we'll take a break.

(tape change)

Riggins: This is Adina Riggins, University Archivist, interviewing Dr. Barbara A. Greim. A is your middle initial?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Yes. And we're going to pick up with more discussion about the department. There's just so much history here- it's wonderful. We'll also touch on general university things, as we have been doing. So you were talking about the early days, there's a department, there's a major now.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: There's students who want to take courses.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right.

Riggins: There's some support...

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: ...from the department. What about from the university? Well you didn't get that much start-up funding.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, only that- that was more or less the way things worked out, but we survived, and I think, in general, that there was probably more support from the university than there was from department. I may be wrong but uh.. that certainly was the impression that I got. And the- as I said, the program continued to be wildly popular with the students.

Riggins: Amazing. It was not easy, I'm sure. It was not an easy program, was it- you know?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. I don't think that any of the programs in the Math Department were easy. We're not in business to be easy. But what we wanted to do was to turn out good students. Uh.. one of our faculty members that was hired, I believe in the early '80's but again I'm- I'm not sure, but somewhat farther on, when the major was there and established, was Bob Herbst who came to us after he retired from Bell Labs, in New Jersey. Bell Labs, uh.. among other things, developed the transistor, uh.. developed the programming language that's probably- at that time was the most commonly used programming language, was developed in house for their people to use, and was one of the premier centers of practical research in computers and computer science in the world. And Bob maintained a lot of contacts at Bell Labs and he recommended- at one point recommended one of our better students to uh.. go work at Bell Labs, and got this boy a job there. And along about Thanksgiving of the year- of that year, the- Bob's contacts at Bell Labs called him back and said, "Send us every student you had like that." And we had--.

Riggins: So who did you make sure heard this story? Did you tell people--?

Barbara Ann Greim: (laughs) I didn't- I don't know that I necessarily told anybody. Bob told a lot of people about this. But what that told all of us in the department, it spoke to the quality of our graduates because Bell Labs could pretty much have their pick and--. Now we were very careful who we recommended to Bell Labs. Uh.. I remember, we had one student one time who was a straight A student but was almost impossible to work with. The faculty couldn't stand him, his fellow students couldn't stand him, and he pestered the life out of Bob, practically, to recommend him to Bell Labs. And I remember Bob coming to me one day and he said, "You're not gonna serve as a reference for him?" I said, "Heck no (laughs) wouldn't do that." And Bob said, "If I send him up to Bell Labs they'd never take another one of our students." So we were careful who we recommended. But we sent quite a few of them up to Bell Labs. And Bell Labs in many cases paid for these students to go to graduate school. And I remember one of my students--. I was, at the time, was teaching a compiler construction course, which is a senior level course. You don't have to know what it is, to appreciate this. But this student was going to graduate school at the University of Virginia and he emailed me saying, "I want to thank you for your compiler construction course." He said, "When I got up here, they told me I had to take a full year's of compiler construction and then they found out that you taught us from the same book they were teaching, up here. So they let me start in the 2nd semester and you saved me one whole course to getting my degree."

Riggins: Wow, amazing- yes, yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: That they said what--. "And, you know, I showed 'em what we had done in that course," and he said, "I'm having no trouble with the 2nd semester at all."

Riggins: Well prepared. Someone else who must have been like that was Harry Smith. Was he--?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Harry came to us from IBM, out in California. Harry had some trouble with the political end of things but certainly was very good in the classroom, did a great deal for the program. But we had a good program. Uh.. you've probably heard of the SAS Company in the Research Triangle. Uh.. up until the time I- I retired, SAS sent recruiting teams down every semester to UNCW, even when they were not recruiting- quote, "not recruiting," unquote.

Riggins: To meet people and to see--.

Barbara Ann Greim: To- they hired our people, they hired--. Uh.., in fact, one year uh.. we were all tickled to death to learn that they had a limited number of openings that year. They hired more people from the UNCW program than they did from Duke and NC State, combined, that year. Our people just kind of- but- swept off- swept the other people off there. We joke about the fact that there should be a SAS alumni chapter, out here, because we put so many of our students there. And of course SAS has the reputation of being one of the better places to work in the country.

Riggins: Yes, that's not a bad place to build a relationship with.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. No, no. But I mean it- it was the fact that once we got one person in- and we found this over and over and over and over again with all sorts of companies- once we got one of our graduates in the company, they were back every year thereafter for more. So we were turning out a good product.

Riggins: That's for sure.

Barbara Ann Greim: So. And we had the- uh.. we set our standards to a point where industry wanted our graduates.

Riggins: That's great- the word got around.

Barbara Ann Greim: And of course--. Yeah. And the students, of course, hear this as well, you know, when- because the Juniors hear from the Seniors that, you know, they could get in--. I remember uh.. a student who did a Honors project with me; and what we did actually was to extend a Master's Thesis from MIT, uh.. one step further; but it- it fascinates me- fascinated me at the time. And this student said that he went to a job fair and he said uh.. he was interested in this one particular computer company and he said they were just mobbed; he said, "it took me two hours to get up to the recruiter's desk." He said, "The minute I showed him my résumé, told him what I had done with the Honors Project, he pulled me out of the crowd, back to a back room," and he said, "I had to- I had an interview right away." He practically had a job offer out of the- you know, the interview. He said, "As soon as I showed him my credentials there and told him what we had done with that Honors Project, they were hot for me."

Riggins: Amazing.

Barbara Ann Greim: Out of the mob.

Riggins: Amazing, and it's just--.

Barbara Ann Greim: And it makes you feel good as a faculty member to know that- that your students are doing this level of work.

Riggins: More and more students are signing up for computer sciences- not as many as in math. Dr. Norris told me that.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes; oh yes, yeah.

Riggins: There was a disparity, at one point.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Well I don't know what it is now but when the departments were split, it was an incredible disparity. Uh.. I would say probably three-quarters or more of the majors left the Math Department.

Riggins: And you guys didn't split until fairly late.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: It was right--.

Barbara Ann Greim: 1998.

Riggins: That's amazing. So they were holding on for awhile, maybe.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes- yeah.

Riggins: Yes. Because at that time, in other departments, it was- or other universities, it wasn't out of mathematics anymore- computer science--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, Computer Science in other universities was not necessarily ever in the Math Department. Uh.. in- at NC State it was- and UNC Charlotte, it's in the School of Engineering, not in the School of Liberal Arts. Other places- uh.. at Chapel Hill, I believe, it's- as I said, it started in the Linguistics Department, if I remember correctly. But many, many places, the Computer Science program is in the School of Business only. What- what tends to have happened is, wherever you got a nucleus and interested faculty members who were able to build a program- and it's not just interested faculty members but you have to...

Riggins: Be able to--.

Barbara Ann Greim: able to build the program- that's where it ends up administratively, because it's so awkward to move programs around.

Riggins: Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: Well when it finally became its own department in 1998, you had to go before the Senate and all that.

Barbara Ann Greim: No.

Riggins: No?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. as I recall- and I should recall this pretty clearly; I mean we had the major and everything- uh.. the Dean.. told Dr. Smith who was the uh.. Department Chair of the Mathema- and then it was Mathematical Sciences- that uh.. she wanted to have a departmental meeting, and of course she told him why- and he called a special departmental meeting and told everybody that the Dean was gonna be there, and the Dean uh..- Dean Seiple came in and told the department that it had been decided uh.. whether- I think she kind of implied it was the provost but that may be a distortion of my memory- that the Computer Science program would become a separate and independent department the 1st of July. And there were some mathematicians who were happy and some mathematicians who were not. Uh...

Riggins: How did you feel?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. my initial reaction was, I wish they would wait another year- because I was planning to retire, in June of 1999; that would've been my 30 years- uh.. why do they have to do all this upset now when I'm this close to retirement? Uh.. and then the- Dean Seiple explained to the department that every one of us was going to have to choose whether to go with computer science or to stay with math, and that we should communicate with Dr. Smith about our decision and with her, if necessary- she would talk to people with that. And I was really torn...

Riggins: Really? Why?

Barbara Ann Greim: ... at that point. Uh.. however, it was.. Uh.. this is something that's not generally known; maybe I shouldn't tell you, but this is for archives so I'll tell you anyway- uh.. when I first talked to Dr. Smith, which was just a couple of weeks after this announcement--.

Riggins: And this is--? What was his first name? He was the Chair at--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Oh, Harry Smith- okay.

Barbara Ann Greim: No, no. No, no, no, not Harry Smith.

Riggins: Oh, oh.

Barbara Ann Greim: Doug Smith.

Riggins: Doug Smith, right, oh right. He was the Chair, after Dr. Toney.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well uh.. after Dr. Toney there was a year with an acting chair and it was Doug Smith from then on. So.

Riggins: Right, thank you.

Barbara Ann Greim: Doug Smith was Chair of the Department.

Riggins: So, I'm sorry, didn't mean to interrupt.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, that's okay.

Riggins: You were talking to--?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, I was talking to him and uh.. I was torn between which--. See, I was- at that point I was Assistant Chair with scheduling response- did all the scheduling responsibilities in the Math Department, and I handled some other things administratively, and I was finding at that point I was pretty much burned out on teaching; could handle the administrative stuff. We had a faculty position that we were interviewing few- for in computer science at that time, and the idea was that that new person would probably come in as Chair, and I was not at all sure that, you know, I wanted to move under those circumstances. So I was torn which way--. I was willing to teach math only for a year, certainly- and I still could do that. Uh.. Dr. Toney told--. Oh, Dr. Toney. Dr. Smith (laughs)- you got me too far in the past. Dr. Smith told me that he and the Dean had discussed the possibility of offering me the position of Acting Chair if, as was likely, the search was either not successful for a new faculty position or the individuals hired- individual hired would not be suitable as a Chair, because it's- the qualifications are very different. When you hire someone as a new Chair, they have to come in qualified as a full professor. And the position had been advertised that you just had to have a Ph.D. in computer science or equivalent. So, you know, you get- if they ended up hiring somebody fresh out of graduate school, there'd be no question. Well going in as Chair was a very different proposition. So uh.. at that point I felt like I could do the job. Uh.. I think I was a good administrator. I'd had enough of it as- being Assistant Chair I'd had a taste of most of what uh.. the Chair has to do. I- I felt like I could do that, that I would probably be better at that than teaching because I was at that point very burned out on teaching, after teaching this graduate student and then 30 years almost, uh.. heavy teaching loads all the time. I was- was burning out on that, I could tell. So I- I said at that point I agreed to go with computer science. And as it turned out the faculty search at that point was not successful. So I ended up being named uh.. Acting Chair. But I knew as early as the end of January, early February that that was almost a certainty. Uh, the-

Riggins: You held to your decision, that's for sure.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. The rest of the Computer Science faculty was not aware that that was basically a decision. It was not announced to them until much later, and I'm sure they were not all happy with that but uh.. that's the way it goes. (coughs) But I was- and the reason I knew it was likely to happen was the Dean was calling me up and saying, "Barbara, I need for you to draw up a proposed budget for the Computer Science Department next year"- you know?- "and uh.. deal with the Physical Plant people on the space that you're gonna have." And I was getting all of this stuff handed down from the Dean- and you don't do that to someone and then appoint someone else Chair (laughs). So, I mean, I knew this was coming when I started getting all these assignments- and they were coming directly from Dean Seiple's office, they were not coming through Doug Smith. So I pretty much knew at that point. And uh.. then I- there were- some of the other people who were wavering which department would come and talk to me, and they would go talk to Dean Seiple and then they'd come and talk to me. So uh.. she was (laughs)...

Riggins: Sending them to you- right?

Barbara Ann Greim: ...sending them to me uh.. .to discuss this. But uh.. it was--.

Riggins: Fletcher Norris went with you.

Barbara Ann Greim: There was no question about Fletcher going, as far as I'm aware. I was not aware of that. But I know there were some people who ended up staying with math. And uh.. it's- interestingly, a couple of them since have told me that they regretted that decision.

Riggins: Because they're still in math.

Barbara Ann Greim: They're still in math at that point.

Riggins: And they were torn over [ph?] computer science.

Barbara Ann Greim: They- what- what--. They had taught some computer science courses before. But once that initial decision period was over (coughs)- I know one of them went to the Dean and talked about, you know, after a year or two switching. And the Dean said, "It's too late"- you know, that you had- you had to make that decision during that spring semester of 1998, which department you were going with.

Riggins: Right, because now it's separate, it's not--.

Barbara Ann Greim: And then- then it was separated, and then that would be--. Like once they were separated it would be like someone in the English Department going to the Dean and said, "I"- saying, "I decided I'd rather be a History faculty member." It- it's just- it doesn't happen.

Riggins: It's a different relationship.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Well I'm sure that was very tough, negotiating that relationship, and in some ways it's like a divorce or like a separation.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, yeah, it- it is.

Riggins: Things that you used to rely on other people to do.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right, yes. Well yeah, we- we did not have anywhere near enough pure computer science faculty to meet the demand for our courses, and although we did uh.. make at least one full-time hire, that summer, uh.. and that was uh... the wife of an incoming faculty member from another department, who had these- this- well had the qualifications. But we had relied on people--. There were a lot of people who were teaching half math and half computer science, or three-quarters computer science and one-quarter math who stayed with- no, there were several of those who stayed with the Math Department. And Math did allow us that first year to use- to continue to use some of those people to meet our demand, because it is- frankly it's much easier to find someone with a Master's degree in Math who was willing to come out and teach some courses at night than it is to find someone with a Master's Degree in Computer Science who is willing to come teach the courses.

Riggins: Yes, I can imagine.

Barbara Ann Greim: Especially if--.

Riggins: With math, computer science you can make a lot more money in another part-time job and--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Well and huh, you probably didn't need a part-time job because at that time a new graduate with a Bachelor's degree in computer science and no experience was starting around $50,000. So most of these people were not desperate for a $3000.00 part-time teaching job.

Riggins: I can imagine. While I was thinking about it, how did you interact with other departments on campus?; for example, business- John Anderson was in business.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: I'm going to be interviewing him next month.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Yeah, John Anderson and I--. John Anderson's very much a computer-oriented person- always has been- uh.. he and I had worked together since way back in the '70's. And, uh.. I certainly have always had a great deal of respect for John. Uh.. I think that they got mad at- I know they got mad at me my last year as Chair because uh.. there was a gentleman who had applied for a part-time position with them and with us, and we both wanted this individual. Uh.. I got to my Dean, got approval to make an offer, made an offer and got an acceptance before John was able to contact his Dean to get approval to make the offer. And he felt like we stole a faculty member from him.

Riggins: Well, yes, yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: But my concern was that somebody at UNCW get this person. And if their Dean chose to be out of contact, and unreachable, then, okay, they lost one that way.

Riggins: Have to move forward- yes. Well right.

Barbara Ann Greim: But, you know, we- we did compete. Uh.. on the other hand, John helped us get- without knowing it, I'm sure- helped us get a faculty member. Uh.. they had (coughs) hired someone in the School of Business, at School of Business salaries, which were considerably higher than what the Provost wanted to authorize for us. We wanted to hire someone with virtually the same- a different person- but virtually the same qualifications and experience. And uh.. with the assistance of Dean Seiple- I think it was really her idea- uh.. we--. I knew that to get this person- uh.., I mean, we were competing with places like MIT for this guy- he didn't want MIT but (laughs)- yeah; but I knew that to get him we were going to have to put at least the top of the salary range, if not higher. And I- I mentioned this to Dean Seiple- his credentials were very impressive- and we really wanted him, really needed him. And she said, "Well, you know, they hired this person over in the School of Business with comparable credentials"- and named the starting salary for this person, which was above the maximum the Provost had set for ours. And she said, "Let's see if we can't persuade them to up it"- because they'd just approved it in the School- for the School of Business. And they did approve it. So I'll never forget calling this guy and saying uh.., you know, for the phone offer- you know, I- "That we would like to make you an offer at this rank and this would be the starting salary", and his comment was, "That's more than what you told me the upper limit was for the position." And I said, "Yes, I know, but we thought you were worth more so we fought- the Provost got you more." And he said, "I want to work for you." (laughs)

Riggins: Oh wow- great.

Barbara Ann Greim: It did. But, I mean, that- that got him right there, that he knew we had gone to bat up the line to offer him more than the salary range that had been established for the position. I knew then we had him. (laughs)

Riggins: That was a good move, apparently.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, so without knowing it the School of Business helped us pull salaries up for our people. And uh.., you know, we- we have tried to work together. We have an option in Computer Science where the students take a certain number of their courses in the School of Business.

Riggins: In that operations management--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, and--.

Riggins: Information--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah and- very- yeah- and well also in account--. They have to take the Accounting Major's Accounting 1st Year, sort of thing. Uh.. we have two basic options in Computer Science. One is the industry standard computer science course- that the Computer Science Professional Association Curriculum- follows that curriculum very closely. If you're going to graduate school, you're gonna go work for Intel, that's the curriculum you need to be in.

Riggins: So pretty strong in software--.

Barbara Ann Greim: It's a lot of soft- software. We don't have the facilities to do the hardware that we would like- neither faculty nor facilities, to do the hardware stuff. But, you know, there's enough of it in there. I mean they have to take physics, they have to take- for example, they have to take the Math Major's Calculus and this kind of thing. We- we have another option. We say, if you're going- not going to graduate school, you don't want to go work in research in Intel, you don't want to go work at Bell Labs, you want to go work for Wachovia Bank or uh.., you know, an accounting firm, or you want to go out and work for a stockbroker- all right?- then they don't give a hoot how much physics you know, but you better know accounting, you better know the basics of finance, you better know some of this kind of thing. So we said, "We're not gonna teach- we don't know this stuff. Send 'em over there." So they have to take a finance course; you know, they have to take Accounting Major's courses.

Riggins: That's a popular track?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: At least when you were there?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. They were both prob- probably equally popular. They don't have to take physics, they don't have to take uh.. the Math Major's Calculus- they can take another calculus, this sort of thing. So they're designed for two different career paths.

Riggins: Yes, I can see how--. Well, both would be appealing.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right, yeah.

Riggins: But the second one you described for people who want a more diverse setting.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right. Yeah, well uh.., you know, it's- there's a lot in common. There's a good strong core. And we've had people with what we locally call the business option- we can't say that officially 'cuz it messes up the School of Business accreditation- so but I- that people who want that, decide to go to graduate school would do fine. And we've had people from the other option go out in business and do fine.

Riggins: Sure, sure.

Barbara Ann Greim: So I mean it's just--. But and their majors have to take some of our courses. So there- there's a cross-fertilization between there. And I think that there's continuing to be increased opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. One of the things that I hope will come out of the new building, which those two departments share...

Riggins: Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: ...will be much closer cooperation that way.

Riggins: Yes, that's going to be interesting. That's computer science...

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: well as--.

Barbara Ann Greim: It's the- it's the Computer Science Department from the College of Arts and Sciences, and then it's the, was it Information Systems--?

Riggins: Systems and Operations Management.

Barbara Ann Greim: Management, from the College- School of Business.

Riggins: School of Business.

Barbara Ann Greim: And those will be the only two departments in that new Computer and Information Sciences Building.

Riggins: Yes, along with--.

Barbara Ann Greim: And- and there'll be some Deans' offices.

Riggins: Support and ITSD and all--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, the- a lot of the support facilities. Uh.. it--. Uh.. I'm excited about that building. Uh.. I did some consulting work on the plans after I retired.

Riggins: Oh great, yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: Free. But uh.. I- I grew up in the construction industry. My father and grandfather both were carpenter foremen. So the joke in the family is that I could read a blueprint before I could read a newspaper.

Riggins: Really, yes?

Barbara Ann Greim: Well it's true- yeah.

Riggins: And just the planning and design.

Barbara Ann Greim: And being able- yeah being able to look at a blueprint and translate that to a picture in my mind is something I have been able to do since I was 4 years old because I've been doing it since I was 4 years old, with this sort of thing. And uh.. so I worked with them as an unpaid consultant on, do these- you know, what modifications, what things did the architects look at, critiquing plans and this sort of thing. And they did take more of my suggestions than I thought they would- put it that way.

Riggins: Yes, yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: But uh.. I think, you know, the idea of having offices that are physic- the department offices that are physically adjacent to each other- actually I think it's- the reception area is joined, and then the two department chairman's offices are over there- it's designed to improve cooperation between the departments.

Riggins: Collaboration.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Yeah.

Riggins: Yes, that is interesting.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, and it makes sense--.

Riggins: Have the right people in these offices.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: I'm sure going into it they'll know, you know--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, there will be ups and downs, as with any sort of collaborative effort. And when it comes right down to it, a department chairman's responsibility is to his or her department.

Riggins: That's always going to come first.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right. And, yeah, the reporting to different deans is gonna make a difference as well- policy, dean's policies are not always the same. But I think that it's a good thing to have them together, and it's going to be especially good for the students.

Riggins: Yes. And they're going to be doing a new graduate degree.

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh yes.

Riggins: Dr. Norris told me about that.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, well that's- that's something that people have worked on for a long time. What has held us up uh.. is funding; basically it comes down to dollars. Uh.. when I was chairman for those two years, up until 2000, we couldn't meet demand for our undergraduate courses. We were struggling at that point. We had people who would want to be computer science majors that would have to wait sometimes as much as a year to be able to- to be able to get into the first course of the program. And we could not- we- our faculty was so small compared to the demand that we couldn't possibly pull people away for a new graduate program. It just wasn't there. Uh.. it- it will come; it's starting--. Uh.. piggybacking with the School of Business will help us with that, as well, sharing faculty back and forth.

Riggins: How did that--? Did that improve by the time you left? Are they getting more faculty--

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. it's improve--.

Riggins: --in Computer Science?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. I hear that it's improving but--. Yeah, we're getting positions. We're not always successful in filling them with the caliber of people we would want. Uh.. the first year that I was here we hired two full-time tenure track people. The second year we--.

Riggins: The first year you were chairman here?

Barbara Ann Greim: Was Chair- yeah. Uh.. the second year I was Chair we had a tenure track position but we were not able to fill it. Uh.. we did identify a very, very good candidate and--.

Riggins: They were identified by lots of other places, too.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well we were--. It was down to two institutions, and it was extremely close. The uh.. the deciding factor was that the other institution was within fifty miles of where his parents lived. And there was nothing we could do with that.

Riggins: No. So yeah, you can't feel too bad- right.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right, yeah. But again this--. Well this gentleman, among other things, had been given a blank ticket from Intel, that he could write his own salary; whatever he wanted they would have given him. But he wanted to teach. And I'm sure he's done well. But yeah, I mean, you can't win 'em all.

Riggins: Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: But, you know, I- I always said- and I don't know whether my successors have heeded this or not but I think they have- that you're better off not hiring on a tenure track position than hiring someone that you are pretty sure is not gonna do it; because you hire someone on a tenure track position, you can be stuck with them for four years, at a minimum, uh.. maybe seven. And I have seen some people come in when I was in the Math Department that it was obvious to everybody, except possibly the individual, by the end of the first semester that they weren't gonna make it. And then you're trying to put--. One of them was so bad the department chairman wouldn't even assign him any classes to teach. He had to- assigned him to other duties, that he didn't do (laughs). But I mean it was so bad the chairman refused to put him in the classroom (laughs). I mean, that uh--.

Riggins: Yes. So recruitment in your field is tough.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, yeah. But, I mean, in any field. Uh.. one of the strengths of UNCW is the fact that it does put a high value on teaching, classroom teaching.

Riggins: Definitely.

Barbara Ann Greim: And if you hire someone who is going to be a disaster in the classroom, you're hurting a lot of students- hundreds of students- and you're setting your program back, and you may be stuck with this for- as I said, you're stuck with it for at least four years if--. I mean, you can give them no pay raises, you can give them terrible, unsatisfactory evaluations, but they can stay there for four years. And that can really hurt a lot of students, hurt your program, hurt your reputation, and you're better off simply saying, well we can't offer as many sections of this course because we don't have any qualified persons to teach it, than you are if you get someone in the classroom that's so bad that the students don't learn anything.

Riggins: Oh yes. I can see that is a valid point. Speaking about someone else who was involved with computers from a pretty early point, Paul Hosier.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Was he a friend of your department?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh....

Riggins: Well, I don't know if I should ask that.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: Yes, did you work with him over the years or--?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. when he was first hired, the- huh- and most people don't know this- the Math Department was physically located in what is now DeLoach Hall, along with Chemistry and Physics. But the people in the Math Department who were primarily Computer Science, like Fletcher Norris and myself, had our offices temporarily- there was an office shortage- on the 2nd floor of Hoggard Hall, in that sort of office suite there, at that point. And uh.. catty-cornered across the hall, in the office suite of mine was the office assigned to Paul Hosier.

Riggins: Really?

Barbara Ann Greim: Because the Biology Department was located then in what is now Bear Hall. They were out of offices so they put new hires there. So I can remember Paul moving into his office when he first joined the faculty. And I- I won't say that we ever got to be close but, you know, we certainly saw each other every day, a few years, and then they put up- pulled us back to the- DeLoach Hall and I- you know, and moved on. So. And I never served on a lot of committees or anything with Paul Hosier, but I certainly have a great deal of respect for him.

Riggins: Yes, yes. Of course he stayed on as Provost and--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh yes- yeah- huh, huh.

Riggins: He taught the library-- when we first got our first PC, he was there.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Helped them get it out of the box- that sort of thing. I know he's been involved with the PCs. How did that change your teaching, when PCs came up (inaudible)?

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh it- it was a totally different perspective. Uh.., in fact, when they first started to get some PCs on campus, uh.. someone- and I don't remember now who it was- approached me about using the PC instead of the mainframe, in a couple sections of one of my courses. And I agreed, to do that. It was a lot of work because you have to think about totally different things. Uh.. the user interface is completely different, and the way you structure the program to build the inter- the user interface is completely different. So I essentially had to redo my entire syllabus and all my course materials. Uh.. I did it, I enjoyed it; the students enjoyed it. In addition to the regular course evaluation the people from the Academic Computing Services came over and did their own evaluation of this, and what I was told- I wasn't supposed to be told but I had some friends over there- in fact, I think that was at that time I used to say one of the qualifications for a job over there was to have been one of my advisees, and students. So I did have some friends over there but--. I was told that they picked on me because they thought I would be the least likely to be able to make the transition, and that there was a group over there who had always used mainframes that didn't want the transition to be successful, and that they were very surprised and disappointed that it had been wildly successful.

Riggins: That's funny- yes, they thought that you were too close to mainframes?

Barbara Ann Greim: I don't--. Yeah- uh.. for whatever reason. And the interesting thing was that we actually lost Jim Halsey when the transition to PCs moved to all the courses. I'm not sure that- I don't think that was the whole reason. Jim was very capable of making the transition. I think he decided he didn't want to.

Riggins: Did you use some computering labs, at that point, so that students could go in and do their projects?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, yeah. We had- had to do that with mainframes; I mean, nobody has a key-punch machine at their house (laughs). So. Uh.. it was nothing new to simply, as far as the labs were concerned, take the key punch machines out and put the PCs in. But you did have to completely redo your course materials.

Riggins: Well, yes, I can see that.

Barbara Ann Greim: Totally.

Riggins: And the change was complete--. Well I would think it would take a while. I just remember when I was in college, we were still using- I didn't take programming courses- but we were still using mainframes for certain statistical programs and stuff.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well they- the mainframes were still available for certain things, uh.. because at that time the PCs didn't have the capability to handle- as you said with the statistical programs. I think mainframes hung on longer probably in Administration, than they did in the- the instructional areas. It- it took awhile to make the change but as I said the students were very receptive to it and uh.. I don't recall there being any particular problems with it.

Riggins: Yes, I'm sure they would be open to it.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: What about the Internet revolution? How did that affect your field in teaching and everything?

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. it affected one of the service courses, the uh.. Computer Science 105, the Intro Survey course, early and heavily, because these are people where, you know, you really don't intend for them to become Computer Science majors- you want them to be intelligent users. But we were teaching about the Internet uh.. in the- very early on when it was ARPAnet- I can remember, you know, researching it and teaching about it, in that area. So we sort of grew with it.

Riggins: Would you get online in the class and--?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. No, we couldn't get online in class because we didn't have the capability to do that, for most of that time. So we would have written transcriptions of an online session- you know, computer- user computer user kind of a thing that they'd have to look at, and we would send them to places where there were internet capability computers, and many times that was, huh, Bear Hall- they had one- you know, that- that they had it. But uh.. even getting Internet capable computers in faculty offices was much slower than it should have been. Uh.. I had a computer in my office when I was with the Math Department where I could access things like the enrolment system so I could call up, you know, class lists and that kind of thing. But I could not go on campus and access the Internet from my office computer until I became Department Chair, and that was the first time I got a computer that was capable of Internet access, in my office. I had one at home, I was accessing it all the time at home. But the first time I had an office computer capable of Internet access was when I became Department Chairman- that's 'cuz I- I then had control of the budget, I made sure I got one- budget and equipment allocation. There were other people in the Math Department who had computers with that capability but I- I was not high enough on the priority list to get one.

Riggins: When you guys became your own department, did you stay in Bear Hall or--.

Barbara Ann Greim: We stayed in Bear Hall. Uh.. I had to change my office because I had to move to the new department office. But what had been a large classroom, Bear 105, that was vastly underused. It was a mini auditorium type classroom and typically there would be classes of 35 in there, uh.. was split and half of it became part of the Dean's office and the other half became our department office. So, of course, I had to move down there. The other faculty mostly kept their own offices, although over time we shuffled them so that we got all the computer science people on the first floor. But yeah, we stayed in Bear Hall. And then we had two computer equipped classrooms that were mirror images of each other, and we took one and Math took one. And then uh.. we took one- two of the regular classrooms, that was not necess- you didn't have the computers for the students to use. But they- at that point I think all of the classrooms in Bear did have the capability of computer displays, for the students. So.

Riggins: Right. Well how did you like being Chair? It sounds like there was a lot to do. (inaudible)

Barbara Ann Greim: It was--. Uh.. yeah, there was an awful lot to do. And there were parts of it I didn't like. But uh.. overall I enjoyed it. I think I did a reasonably good job.

Riggins: Yes. And it was just I'm sure rewarding to make that step, out of having--. You came in at a time when chairs were of a different mold than yourself.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah- right, yes.

Riggins: And now you get to have that--.

Barbara Ann Greim: But it.. I think that uh.. I did- I know I did the best I could and I think I did a reasonably good job at getting the department started and established on a sound footing. Now I know that things are gonna change- policies are gonna change, in the department, that's natural as the department grows. But I think I established some traditions that were worth--.

Riggins: That remain.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, I hope they will remain. One thing that I did was, I made sure that every one of the faculty members got a notebook with all the relevant university and departmental policies on it. And my assistant-chair also put that stuff on the Web. And the reason I say- I think that was a good thing was, my second year as chair, the Dean started referring other departments to me to get--. "Can we have a copy of that book 'cuz our department doesn't have anything like that?" And uh.. it's a big help, I think, for a faculty member, particularly a new faculty member, but even a continuing faculty member- I know that there's such a policy and be- know where I can reach up on the shelf and get it. So that there's no argument about, you know, how do we assign offices, for example. I- I was talking to the current chair a while ago and pointed out- you know, so- so they're moving to the new building, next year- the office assignment policy is going to all of a sudden become very relevant because everybody's going to have to be assigned a new office, and do you go by seniority, do you go by rank? You know, what- what is your basis for making those assignments? And there is a policy for that. Now if the department doesn't like it, they can change it, that's fine. But there is a policy, which will avoid a lot of squabbles.

Riggins: Yes, yes, and if they want to revise it, the time--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, the time is now.

Riggins: Is now.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: Yeah, yeah. Well that's something I sure would like in Archives, a copy of your policy book. And it does show that--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah. Well, yeah, I mean, you can go- call Emma K. Thorton and she can make you a copy. It's no big deal.

Riggins: Oh yeah, it'd be great. I know it gets updated all the time but if we can get various editions--.

Barbara Ann Greim: You can get at least one- yeah.

Riggins: Sure.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. and that--. But as I said, Dean Seiple would be referring new department chairs-- "Can I get a copy of your policy book 'cuz I can't find any of our policies on any of this stuff" (laughs). But just, you know, having that- that kind of thing that- that's available. And then I- we started putting together a packet for every faculty member that we would interview, where we would include uh.. university policies on things like RPT and expectations, departmental policies and expectations there, and then we would put in things like the Real Estate Guide from the Star News, and a lot of this sort of thing. So we had a- a- those packets were about that thick.

Riggins: That's a good idea.

Barbara Ann Greim: That the candidates could take home with them, and then they would know more and, you know, of course a copy of the catalogue- and those were surprisingly hard to get.

Riggins: Oh yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: Yeah, that continues.

Barbara Ann Greim: But yeah, it- it is so important when you're trying to hire people that you give them information.

Riggins: That they can hold, and it's all in one place.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right, sure, and take home and show their- their family- their spouse or who- whatever.

Riggins: Yes, that certainly adds value, as we say in the library business.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right, yeah, but it- yeah, it- it helps, I think, to try to- to get the good people, make sure that they have the information they need, even if- you know, some of them just come in for one day and you can't cram that much information into somebody's head reliably, during a one-day interview.

Riggins: So weight 'em down with stuff and--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, you know those- yeah, we have one of those big uh.. manila envelopes and, you know, say, "This is your bundle of information."

Riggins: That's a good idea.

Barbara Ann Greim: "And you can take it home and refer to it. If you have questions about any of it, let me know."

Riggins: Were you involved in associations, professional groups?

Barbara Ann Greim: Not- not heavily, except, as I said, the Faculty Assembly and some things that spun off from that. Uh.. when the first Articulation Agreement was being put together between the university system and the community colleges- I don't know how familiar you are with that- but for the benefit of those who may watch this tape later...

Riggins: Certainly, right.

Barbara Ann Greim: ...uh.. the state education.. people, uh.. whoever that may be, uh.. wanted to ease the process of having students take their first two years in the community colleges and transfer to the university system, and so they did a couple of things; they made all the community college system go with a common course catalogue- a community college doesn't have to offer all the courses in the catalogue but if they offer a course it has to be in the common course catalogue- and then they set up a series of committees for each possible major or discipline area from among the university and community college faculties. And I chaired the Computer Science Committee, for this, and what we did was, we established a set of recommended courses so that if any student from any community college, anywhere in the State, graduated with a two-year program with- a Community College Transfer Program, they actually got an Associate Degree in Science or an Associate Degree in Arts, whichever it was- and they took the computer science courses that were laid out, that our committee laid out, they were guaranteed that they could transfer to any state-supported 4-year college as a junior in the computer science major. Now there was one catch to that, and that is the common programming languages differed. And so we had to say, you have to take one of these, matching the common programming language at the school to which you intend to transfer. But there was no way around that- no. It was as if you had spoken nothing but French all your life and decided you wanted to go to the University of Germany (laughs). Yeah. You couldn't go in as a junior, you had to--.

Riggins: No, you had something.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, you have to have the common language. But other than that--. Uh.. that was quite an experience, to go through that.

Riggins: Right, and get people to get on board.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. yes, and do that. And uh.. there was a similar committee which fortunately I escaped, which dealt with basic studies. So- but it was- it's--.

Riggins: And that was at the Faculty Assembly Level? No, that was senate.

Barbara Ann Greim: No, this was--. No, this was neither of those. This was uh.. separate and higher than any of those, actually. We met at General Administration in Chapel Hill.

Riggins: Really?

Barbara Ann Greim: I think the reason that they- they appointed me Chair of this committee was because I knew people there, from having served for so many years on the Faculty Assembly and having chaired several of their committees and had been on their Steering Committee for so long, that the people knew me and knew I was in Computer Science. So they said, okay, you know, this is a computer scientist we know; let's- let's tap her to do that. But that was- was quite- quite an experience, to try to bring together people with very different perspectives, very different ideas.

Riggins: What was the goal of that committee?

Barbara Ann Greim: The goal is--.

Riggins: It was 16 campus wide?

Barbara Ann Greim: It was uh.. representatives on the committee from every one of the 16 campuses that offers a computer science major- obviously they don't all offer a major- and also an equal number of representatives from community college system.

Riggins: And it was about basic studies.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. no. Well there was a Basic Studies Committee but I wasn't on it. The one I chaired was the Computer Science.

Riggins: Computer Science.

Barbara Ann Greim: And from that group we had to come up with a list of community college courses...

Riggins: Oh okay, all right.

Barbara Ann Greim: ...that students could take in the first two years and be guaranteed that whether they wanted to go to UNC-Asheville or NC State, or UNC-Chapel Hill or UNC-Wilmington, they would go in as a junior computer science major- yeah.

Riggins: Right, yes. So did other disciplines have this?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, every- every discipline, every major had one of these committees. So- uh.. in fact Ken Gurganus did the math one, in UNC-Wilmington. But uh.. some of it was fairly straightforward. It was not- uh.. not straightforward at all in Computer Science. In fact, you know, the day that we met, all the committee, each discipline committee met this one day, and then we came back for a general session at the end of the meeting and I thought we- I was gonna have to walk into that general session, at the end of the meeting, and say we can't agree. In fact, we walked in- we stayed in session during the first part of the general meeting, and we finally walked in, and the person who was running the meeting said, "And now Barbara Greim is going to report on Computer Science, where I understand they've had some problems." And I walked up and said, "I think we have resolved our problems. Uh.. we haven't had a chance to write it all up and have a vote on it but we're gonna do that by email. But I think we have an agreement." And we had an agreement and it got written up and approved by- by an email vote. So we had- we worked it out. But it was a struggle. We were working--.

Riggins: Is that something that remains to this day?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: With the curriculum changing--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, yeah. Uhm.. it can be updated but- and I don't know whether it has been updated or not- probably not because the first two years is pretty standard- whichever. But, you know, uh.... And also had as much trouble as we had the first time, nobody's gonna wanna reopen it.

Riggins: Right. Everyone's going to want to make someone else do it.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right.

Riggins: Okay.

Barbara Ann Greim: And what they have done, they- they have provided copies of this to every community college, so that when my neighbor's son was going to Cape Fear Community College and my neighbor asked me, you know, well what would he have to take to transfer to NC State in electrical engineering? I said, "I don't have a clue but the advising officer at Cape Fear Community College has it in writing that if he takes this list of courses and gets his Associate in Science degree, he will go in as a junior at NC State, and all he has to do is walk in that office and ask for it, and they'll give it to him." And that's- it's a tremendous help for those students to come in...

Riggins: And have it spelled out.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, right, rather than uh.. guessing. But--.

Riggins: Oh yes, or trying to find it themselves.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right, and then they come in and if they don't have the prerequisites to take the junior and senior courses, in subjects like computer science or mathematics, which are linear in nature, if you don't have the sophomore prerequisites out of the way, you can't take the junior courses. So then you're in school for another year, which is expensive for the student and the student's family, and it's also expensive for the State if for no other reason than that this is not a tax paying citizen during that extra year; they're becoming a perpetual student. And this was the point of that project, was to try to make transfers easier, because with the rising number of high school students and high school graduates and the increasing percentage of those going on to college, there was simply no way that the State will be able to afford to build sufficient facilities and staff them, at the 4-year institutions. To have all of these students go to the- the six- one of the 16 campuses, starting with their Freshman year. So we've got to be able to direct- redirect these students to the community college level, which is a lot less expensive in terms of facilities and faculty, and still have them have a viable path, without feeling that they're getting a second-rate education.

Riggins: Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: So there was a lot that got involved with that. Uh.. the courses- for example the courses that we specified in this program, that the computer science prospective transfers would have to take, then had to be taught in the community college by someone whose credentials would qualify them to be on a university faculty. So it then became the responsibility of the Deans in the community colleges to ensure that everybody who teaches this course has a major in that area or has a Master's and at least...

Riggins: Or a certain number of hours.

Barbara Ann Greim: ...3 courses, or 4 courses, in graduate level computer science, which, you know, they were very concerned about being able to- to staff on that level.

Riggins: Right, right. It's a--.

Barbara Ann Greim: So this was a- a concern that they had.

Riggins: But they went along with it. So.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, I mean, they had to go along with it, but this was part of the back and forth as to whether this should be required or not required in this list of what they would have to take.

Riggins: Well it sounds like you've certainly done a lot with administration and--.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: I was going to ask- just a couple of things that some people told me about when I said I was going to interview you. Sue Cody- you talked about how you wrote an algorithm to help with book selection.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, yeah. Uh.. yeah, John Anderson and I did this, a long, long time ago, probably back in the '70's.

(crew talk) (tape change)

Riggins: I'm back for Tape 3, with our interviewee here, Dr. Greim. And we're going to follow up with some of the stories about your working relationships with different people on campus, including library. I had asked you about writing an algorithm for library book selection. So you said you'd address that?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Uh.. really, I- I've always been an advocate of libraries. And when I received a job offer from UNC Wilmington in the spring of 1969, I knew from my interview here that the mathematics collection in the library was pitiful. I think it was two shelves, in one section of shelving. And there were three journals that they subscribed to.

Riggins: I can believe it. Yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: They were well-chosen. But it's a very small a- amount of journals. And I really wanted to see the library improve, because I've always believed that if you have a good library in a university, then, any student who wants a good education there can get it, by using the library resources that are available. So at the time, at Chapel Hill, they had a separate math library in the mathematics build-- or the building Phillips Hall, where the math department was located. And I knew the librarian there. They were, uh, purging their collection, I believe is the term.

Riggins: Was that Brauer Library or did it change?

Barbara Ann Greim: The-- It became Brauer Library later.

Riggins: Oh, it did? Okay.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, it was-- at that point it was just the math library.

Riggins: Brauer Math and Physics Library.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right. Yes.

Riggins: And I was there a few years ago.

Barbara Ann Greim: But they were uhm.. at that time, they were going through purging their collection. And they had a lot of duplicate back issues of journals and a lot of back issues of journals that they were buying on microfiche, which is not real popular with mathematicians, by the way. They tend to like hard copies of their journals. Because of the type of things that are--

Riggins: Yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: Are in there.

Riggins: Yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: But I asked the librarian what they were going to do with these duplicate copies and- and uh.. old things that they weren't going to keep anymore. And I was told that they were gonna throw them out. And I said, "Well, would you consider donating them to the library at UNC Wilmington?" Or Wilmington College, as it was then. And they said, "Oh, yeah, we'd love to do that." Uh.. so I made several trips coming down to Wilmington with the trunk of my old Buick stuffed full with back issues of journals and stuff that I would, then, haul over to the library. So--

Riggins: And you got in touch with Helen Hagen on this?

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh, yes. I had-- I contacted Ms. Hagen, who was Library Director, then. And she was thrilled to get them. Because it would cost her nothing, except a thank you letter.

Riggins: Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: From her budget. And as you know, the library budget never has as much money as people would like it to have. Especially, for things, like, back issues of journals. And being such a relatively new institution. Uh.. the few journals that the library did subscribe to, they didn't have much in the way of back issues.

Riggins: Um-hum. Oh, yeah. That's true. That's part of the cost, when you start a subscription.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: You've got to think about all the back issues.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes- Yes. So getting these cartons upon cartons upon cartons of stuff in good condition--

Riggins: She was thrilled.

Barbara Ann Greim: Some of them even bound.

Riggins: What was your experience working with Helen Hagen--

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. very, very uh.. supportive lady. Very good- very good at her job. I- I enjoyed working with her very much. I-- When I actually came down and started working at UNCW, the Department Chair-- Of course, each department got a book budget. And the Department Chair took care of ordering from that. And--

Riggins: (Inaudible).

Barbara Ann Greim: I knew he was busy. And I was interested in this. So I asked him if I could take over the responsibility of managing the department's book budget. And he was, I think, delighted to not have to deal with that. So I took over that and, more or less, developed the position that we always called Library Representative--

Riggins: Did you?

Barbara Ann Greim: Departmental Library Representative there. Where I set up a system where every faculty member could fill out a book order card for anything that they wanted. And then, they-- we had a little file box w-- three-- for three by five cards. Where each faculty member filed behind their name everything that they wanted ordered, in priority order. And then, what I would do would be, I would choose the top priority from each faculty member and as far as the money would go, you know, choose one from each. And then, go through again, one from each and one from each.

Riggins: And did that catch on with other departments?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes, I believe it did.

Riggins: (Inaudible).

Barbara Ann Greim: More or less, depending on the departments.

Riggins: Right. Because of course, now, it's still, to this day, we have the Library Rep.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right.

Riggins: It's not the Chair who makes all these decisions.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, it can be, if--

Riggins: It can be.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: The Department--

Barbara Ann Greim: But with the idea of having a Library Rep, I invented that position. That was my idea.

Riggins: Neat.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. I also started, as uh.. what I consider a normal responsibility for the Library Rep, was to read reviews. There's one of the math professional journals reviews all of the books published in the mathematical sciences, college level or above. You know, I mean, they don't review teaching your toddler how to count. But yeah, on the college level. And they review it, and they rate it as for graduate libraries, for college libraries, for specialized libraries. Good textbook for such and such a course. This sort of thing. And I would read those reviews every month, and order for the library every book that was recommended in those reviews as being suitable for an institution, like, we were. And of course, that changed as the institution changed. But I made sure that all those things got ordered. And uh.. interestingly enough, we had an outside review of the uh.. mathematical collection in the library, as part of something or other that was going on in the department.

Riggins: Accreditation of something, or--

Barbara Ann Greim: Or something. I don't remember what. It may have been when we were working on the masters program in mathematics. I don't-- But I do remember that we had someone who came from out of state, through the math association, and looked at our collection. And uh.. wrote a very congratulatory letter saying he was-- that the collection had an unusually high proportion of high quality material. And it was just an outstanding collection. And I felt like I- I had a lot to do with that.

Riggins: Yeah, it sounds--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Sounds like you took the role--

Barbara Ann Greim: Right.

Riggins: Seriously.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. I did. I spent a lot of time--

Riggins: You must know--

Barbara Ann Greim: With it.

Riggins: Arlene Hanerfeld--

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh, yes.

Riggins: Quite well.

Barbara Ann Greim: Quite well. Yes. Yeah, I-- And because of this interest, I think, I got put on the faculty library committee. And John Anderson was also on that committee. And there was a lot of competition among departments for library funds, as the university grew and diversified faster than the library budget did.

Riggins: Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: Plus, book prices and journal prices--

Riggins: Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: Were rising.

Riggins: Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: I'm sure that hasn't changed recently. And in an attempt to be fair, the library committee sat down and tried to decide what factors should be considered in this. Uh.. we came up with number of faculty, the more faculty members you have the more diverse their interests are likely to be. Uh.. the number of different courses that you offer on a graduate level, junior, senior level, or elementary level. And there was some others. But I mean, and of c-- all of these were factors that would entitle you to- to library resources. And uh.. John and I worked out an algorithm. John programmed the first version of it, and then, what, was on leave or something for a year. And I came back and re-- essentially rewrote it. You took all of this and you came uh.. looked at enrollment-- Oh, enrollment was the other factor. Yeah, I mean, if you have five sections of a graduate seminar, they're going to need more resources than one. So we looked at weighted enrollment, the different levels, courses and faculty. And that determined what percentage of library-- physical library resources each department earned. And then, we adjusted that to dollars by the average cost. Because the- the typical resource for the English program and the typical library resource for the Biology program had very different costs.

Riggins: Yes, very different. Same with History versus--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Chemistry. Um-hum.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right. Yeah, so uh.. the library staff then, provided us with the average cost per volume in each discipline area, put that in the- the program and went through that. So we used that uh.. the-- I know it was used for a long time. It may still be used. I don't know.

Riggins: I think it's--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Still shapes, I mean it still influences--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Yeah, I mean, it-- of course, it can be modified. It was modified from the beginning. Because what absolutely shocked me was that from the beginning, when we started doing this, there were some departments that would not spend all their money.

Riggins: Oh, yeah. That to this day. Um-hum.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. And what--

Riggins: (Inaudible)

Barbara Ann Greim: Ms. Hagen used to do was that along about the 1st of May, she would take money away from those departments that had not used it and distribute it to those departments that had waiting requests.

Riggins: Arlene was just doing that this morning.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, I'll tell you one thing that as long as I was Library Representative, we had waiting requests.

Riggins: Yes, yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: And so we ended up getting a lot more money than we might otherwise have been entitled to.

Riggins: Just because you're on the ball.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, I mean, my feeling was that if any department's faculty and Library Representative care so little about library resources that they can't think of anything to spend the money for, then they probably don't deserve the money.

Riggins: You know, something has to be done with the money.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Because otherwise, you'll lose it.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, but I mean, uh.. there are other departments that care passionately about it. And we should, at least, give the money to them. But yes, uh.. so that was the uhm.. the first time that I worked with John, when we were doing that with the library committee.

Riggins: Oh, that must have been fun.

Barbara Ann Greim: It was fun. It was also frustrating that-- because every time that program is needed to be revised, until I-- the day I retired, my name was on there as the last person who did it. (coughs)

Riggins: And they called you--

Barbara Ann Greim: So guess who got to revise it? Yes.

Riggins: Um-hum. To tinker with the code. Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. And uh.. the last time I did that I got very frustrated, because I would do what they asked for, and I'd show them a sample run from last year's data to hit. "Well, can you uh.. display that data in a different form?" Which sounds very simple.

Riggins: Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: It only took me three nights.

Riggins: Yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: All night. (Laughs)

Riggins: Right. Anything--

Barbara Ann Greim: And then, "Oh, no. I think we ought to do it a different way, like this."

Riggins: Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: And finally, after about five iterations of this, I said, "One more time and then, you're gonna do the next--

Riggins: (Inaudible)

Barbara Ann Greim: modification."

Riggins: Yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: (Laughs) That was--

Riggins: Yeah, it's different when it's your own--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: --home-grown product.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right.

Riggins: You have to be the ones to deliver.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, well, yeah, it- it was at the point where I think I was being asked for primarily cosmetic changes.

Riggins: Yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: They were satisfied with the data. They just didn't quite like the way it was printed out.

Riggins: Yeah, they thought they might be able to get more people to read it or--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Whether it's other Library Reps or--

Barbara Ann Greim: Or whatever. Yeah, but you know, it got to the point where the amount of time it was taking me to do this purely cosmetic thing, I just didn't think was worth it. I hate to say that. But--

Riggins: Did you know Ron Johnson?

Barbara Ann Greim: Very well.

Riggins: Yes. Yes.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: I interviewed him. He's hilarious.

Barbara Ann Greim: Oh, yes.

Riggins: And also, very good.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Yeah, I- I worked very closely with him on uh.. with his algorithm, again. Same deal. Yeah, so it- it was something that Ron-- Again, Ron kind of took that idea and ran with it. He really liked that.

Riggins: Yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: And the notion of doing it. Well, I can see, as a member of the library staff, it, sort of, took the politics out of it.

Riggins: Um-hum. Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: And- and I suspect that that could get to be almost unbearable.

Riggins: Yeah, and it, you know, I'm not in collection development.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right.

Riggins: So uhm.. but I know--

Barbara Ann Greim: But uh..

Riggins: There's a whole lot that goes into it.

Barbara Ann Greim: Sure.

Riggins: You know, and the same--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: When we've had to do journal reductions.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: You know--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, oh, yes. I remember those when they came through. That got to be quite a fight in the department, as well.

Riggins: Oh.

Barbara Ann Greim: But it- it's a reasonable thing to do.

Riggins: Yeah, there was a big one in, I think, '97 or (inaudible)--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Oh, yes. I remember that very clearly. Yeah.

Riggins: Sue had to deal with that--

Barbara Ann Greim: Right.

Riggins: When she was acting--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes- yes.

Riggins: Library Director.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right. But you know, the first-- I remember that in the department. The first cut was fairly easy. And then, it-- you know, because there were-- sometimes would be journals that had been added for someone who didn't get tenure and left. And there was nobody in that area. So those things could go in a hurry. But then, it got to the point where we had to cut so many thousand dollars- thousands of dollars from the remaining list. And every journal on that list, somebody was fighting tooth and nail for.

Riggins: Yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: But our department-- that was done by departmental vote. And--

Riggins: Oh, okay.

Barbara Ann Greim: Which to my mind, is the only fair way to do it.

Riggins: Um-hum. Well, it doesn't sound like you--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: --shied away from a fight, a productive (tape glitch)

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: You know, not something that's going to send the department into trouble. But you know, that's just the course of business, competing for resources.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right. Yeah.

Riggins: You don't get away from that; right?

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, my- my feeling was there that if I don't care how much John Doe wanted this, if John Doe could not convince his peers and the department that it was important enough to the department, as a whole, to keep it. As opposed to these others-- 'Cause we had to cut. That then, okay. This is not my decision. It's a departmental decision. And I don't know any better way to do it.

Riggins: Make your argument.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: Tell us how you're using it.

Barbara Ann Greim: Sure.

Riggins: Show how it's helping--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Right.

Riggins: Your research or teaching.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: Right?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, I mean, if John Doe gets up there and says, "Well, I have my own subscription to this." And someone says, "Well, do you use it in your classes?" "No." Uh.. Okay. Then, it's, kind of, hard for the rest of the department. But some of these journals are just so atrociously expensive.

Riggins: Are they?

Barbara Ann Greim: That's the other thing that it's increasingly impossible for faculty to have their personal subscriptions to some of these.

Riggins: That's true. Yeah, that's (inaudible), I'm sure.

Barbara Ann Greim: And then, you get-- you-- Yeah, you have to get down to, how much of this do you read? Could you substitute interlibrary loan? Uh.. and these things all came out. And we-- you know, eventually, as I said, Nobody was totally happy, but nobody was totally unhappy. And that's the best you can hope for when you're cutting journals.

Riggins: Right. Definitely.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah- yeah, cutting anything.

Riggins: One other thing I wanted to ask you about was, I was talking to LuAnn Mims, who works in the library on a part-time, temporary basis. She's married to Alan Randall. And--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Oh, yes.

Riggins: And so I said, "Hey, do you remember Dr. Greim?" And she goes, "Oh, yeah." And she goes, "Oh, well, you may want to ask Dr. Greim about NASCAR."

Barbara Ann Greim: (Laughs)

Riggins: Are you a NASCAR fan?

Barbara Ann Greim: I am a NASCAR fan. Yes.

Riggins: Yeah?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: And so that's something--

Barbara Ann Greim: And Alan was one of my students.

Riggins: Was he?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes- yes.

Riggins: Okay.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, and uh.. also worked at-- Well, he was a student for the department, was one of our better student assistant, actually. When he graduated, started working full time for the university. But r- really, primarily for the department-- Now, I believe, it's totally for the department.

Riggins: Oh, yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, works for that. And (inaudible)--

Riggins: Um-hum. I guess, he'll move over with the department, you know. Um-hum.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, I'm sure he will.

Riggins: Yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: And eventually, I would not be surprised to see him teaching for the department. What-- The only real block, when I was Chair, was that you didn't have the graduate level credit. But I suspect he'll get those credits. And then end up teaching, as well-- I think that's what he wants to do.

Riggins: Yeah, so he's very good, very imaginative.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. when-- it really interested me. Uh.. Alan took his first college Computer Science course with me, the very first introductory course. When the alumni-- not the Alumni journal, but the UNCW Magazine is what it is. Uh.. they did an article on me, when I went through-- a couple of years ago, when I went through the scholarship deal. And they quoted Alan in that article. _______________.

Riggins: Wow. So let's talk about that; you have a scholarship that you--

Barbara Ann Greim: Right uh.. I started an annually funded scholarship, called the-- I named the Computer Science Chair Scholarship. Because I did not want it named for me. I had quite a fight over that. It's a cultural thing. Pennsylvania Dutch don't do that. And I would not have that. I had to get pretty testy with uh.. the development office w-- later on. But the beginning, I mean, this was an-- this was an annually funded scholarship for a Computer Science major, based on academic merit. That again, this is something that I have believed in for a long time, that we don't have enough recognition of academic merit.

Riggins: Definitely not enough aid for--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, well, not just aid, but even recognition. Uh.. I'll come back to this. But let me get off the track a minute while I'm thinking about it. Uh.. I started, very early in my teaching career, about the second or third year, when I was doing full time teaching. Recognizing the top student in each of my classes, by giving them in-- in the class, you know, usually the last meeting before the--

Riggins: In front of everyone.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. In front of their classmates, a book in recognizing that this person-- and sometimes, there's a tie with two people. But going into the final exam with the highest average. It-- and it would state-- 'Cause I don't think there's enough recognition, particularly, for freshmen and sophomores for academic achievement. And what I would do would be, I would take a book that I got from-- as a publisher's rep samples. And I checked this with the reps. And they said they were fine with my doing that with the books. You know, there-- there are some things, like, reselling them that they don't approve of. But yeah, I would write something, in the beginning, you know, awarded to so and so for outstanding achievement in this course and sign and date it. And I will never forget this one girl. She was in Math 101, which is the math for non-math majors. And she had done very, very well. She was clearly gonna get an A. And she got the book award. Well, her father came-- called me later. And he said, "What did you do to my daughter?" And I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "I'm a salesman for such and such a company." He said, "I was in," I believe, it was Brazil or Argentina, you know, one of the South American countries. And he said, "We were in a meeting. And the secretary runs in and said my daughter has called--'Your daughter has called you. You have to come right now.'" And he said, "I was thinking she's been in an automobile accident or something terrible. And she pulled me out of that meeting, prime time, long distance, person-to-person, to tell me that she had won a math prize." (Laughs)

Riggins: Aww, she was proud.

Barbara Ann Greim: She was so proud.

Riggins: Ecstatic.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, and her father came from an engineering background. So it meant a-- you could tell it meant a lot to him. And it was really, I think, I-- underneath all of this, you know, "She could, at least, have waited until I was in my hotel room that night."

Riggins: Yeah, yeah, yeah, grumble, grumble.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, but underneath that, I think, there was a lot of pride. But he-- it did mean a lot to a lot of those students and their families. And particularly, in a course like that, that they won a prize in math.

Riggins: Um-hum. Right.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, or in Computer Science, later on. But uh.. to get back to the scholarship, I wanted to have this recognition uh.. for the students. And Fletcher Norris did the same thing, as far as the scholarship. Uh.. Fletcher's scholarship, uh.. he was working to obtain contributions to make it an endowed scholarship. While I was Chairman, that was one of our top priorities, the fundraising. Uh.. after I retired, I decided that one of the things I wanted to do-- and you have to understand that I don't, at this point in time, have any family. I've never had any siblings. I've never been married. I've never had children. My parents are dead. So I don't have any family. And I decided that one of the things that I wanted to do in my will was to make sure that this scholarship continued. So I've made provisions in my will to turn this into an endowed scholarship. And of course, there's, you know, my attorney and the people in the development office got-- it took months, literally, months. Almost six months to get all the details worked out. But that- that is a formal agreement, the Dean signed it. It's incorporated, by reference, into my Will, so it's a sound, legal document at this- at this point. And so-- but even after I die, there will be a Chair's scholarship.

Riggins: And be awarded every year to a major in Computer Science.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, yeah, I-- the way it's set up, one or more will be awarded. The minimum award is $1,000, and the maximum is the instate tuition and fees. So depending on how much money goes into that endowed scholarship fund.

Riggins: That's wonderful.

Barbara Ann Greim: Will be-- you know, it-- and the uh.. number and amount of the awards within those parameters is up to the Department Chair. So it's in there.

Riggins: Well, see you'll be affecting students--

Barbara Ann Greim: But it-- this is the point--

Riggins: Long after you're gone.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, well, you know, it- it's what I decided I wanted to do. I want-- you know, it's very selfish. It gives me a great deal of pleasure. It's worth it.

Riggins: That's wonderful.

Barbara Ann Greim: But that's when they decided to do that article in the UNCW Magazine.

Riggins: I'll look it up. We have that in our Archives.

Barbara Ann Greim: I'm sure you do. Yeah.

Riggins: Oh, yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: Complete with picture. A picture of me with the-- uh.. one of the winners that- that year's winner for doing that.

Riggins: That's great, you know, when people do that. You've talked about A. Carl Milson [ph?], Carl Milson in Math did something.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes. Right. Yeah, the- the same. Yes. Yeah, and of course, Adrian Hurst [ph?] did the same thing in math.

Riggins: Well, that's great. It's great to hear about. Well, since we're here and we're still talking. What about research? Were you involved in research?

Barbara Ann Greim: I was uh.. never that active in research. I really didn't have time to be that active in research. Because, you know, I was on the faculty senate from the beginning and uh.. was Vice Chair of the faculty senate for a while. And of course, you know, on a bunch of committees. Plus, a- a typical teaching load, for me, during the '80's was five courses a semester, three different preparations, 400 students, every semester.

Riggins: Because you were, essentially, you know--

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, I mean, that was--

Riggins: (Inaudible) you were coordinator--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: So this program that wasn't really a program, but you have--

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: But you have. So it was, like, you were all administering and teaching it and doing everything.

Barbara Ann Greim: I mean, that uh.. this is what I think a lot of people don't realize. That those were typical teaching loads. I mean, it wasn't just me. Now, I did have some courses that were large. But uh.. yeah, I would, very typically, that- that was what was expected as a normal teaching load. If you have that kind of teaching load, you can't expect Chapel Hill type research. The Lord only put 24 hours in a day. (Laughs)

Riggins: Oh, yeah.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, and you know, we all have responsibilities outside the job, as well as things, like liking to sleep and-- you know, a few things like that.

Riggins: You need to do that, you know, and you need to pay your bills, take time for all that.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, spend some time with friends. You know, just the ordinary-- get your clothes washed. (laughs) Yeah- yeah, run the vacuum cleaner once in a while and all of this sort of stuff that has to be done. And you need to take-- you need to take time to play with your daughter, you know. That's-- So I mean, there's all of that that-- anyway.

Riggins: It's all just a juggling act.

Barbara Ann Greim: Of course it is. That's one of the nice things about retirement, is you have less of that.

Riggins: You just structure your own time, now, which is, you know.

Barbara Ann Greim: Well, there's still more things-- For me, at least, there's a lot more that I want to do than I have time to do. But I'm setting my own priorities, now.

Riggins: Do you have any closing thoughts for this discussion? It's been great. I've learned a ton.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: Anything else about the University that kind of-- reflections or anything? I believe I've covered a lot. If I have any other questions, I'd like to give you a call sometime.

Barbara Ann Greim: Sure, yeah.

Riggins: Set up another time.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, all right. Yeah.

Riggins: But I want to thank you for allowing me to come here and talk about the university and the department. Oh, I did have one clarification, as I was thinking about things. At the time when you were hired, you were the only PhD, other than the Chair?

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Do you know if you were the second PhD at, like, in the history at the time?

Barbara Ann Greim: I have no idea. I really don't know what happened before.

Riggins: That's something we'll check into.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah.

Riggins: We've actually done a database of Wilmington College faculty. But you're probably the first woman PhD in math, I would think.

Barbara Ann Greim: Uh.. yeah, there were not too many of us around at that time. Because, as I indicated earlier, many of the graduate programs actively discouraged women. Uh.. not just graduate programs, uh.. it went all the way back to high school. I mean, in my high school there-- they had a prize that was awarded annually. Someone had left them money for a- a prize for the best student in mathematics, determined by the best score on an examination. Well, uh.. my senior year, my girlfriend and I tied for the top position on that examination. The principal called us into his office and absolutely cussed us out. Told us that as long as he was Principal of that school, no girl was ever going to win the mathematics prize. He declared the results of that examination null and void. He was gonna give a new examination. And if my girlfriend or I chose to show up for that examination, he would personally see that we were permanently expelled from school. That's how welcome women were in math.

Riggins: Can you imagine? Oh, my goodness.

Barbara Ann Greim: I-- imagine? I can remember very clearly.

Riggins: Oh, yeah, you can imagine very well.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes-- yeah.

Riggins: Oh, my gosh.

Barbara Ann Greim: But I mean, this was not unusual. It was not illegal. There was no avenue of appeal. You know--

Riggins: What did you do? You couldn't take the exam?

Barbara Ann Greim: No. And I ended up winning the English prize, instead. Because the English prize was uh.. donated by a donor who said it was to be given to the person who got the highest score on their SATs in English--

Riggins: Wow.

Barbara Ann Greim: In school. And that they couldn't cancel.

Riggins: Yeah. Oh, that's great. Did you work with Grace Burton or know Grace Burton?

Barbara Ann Greim: I knew Grace Burton. Yes. Yeah.

Riggins: I know she addressed some of these issues.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right. I'm sure she did. Yeah.

Riggins: Math education. You know--

Barbara Ann Greim: Sure. Well, I mean, it- it was very much an issue. Uh.. you- you said that you thought I was one who wasn't likely to just lay back. I think that's true of- of most of the women of my generation in the science and math areas. Uh.. we had to fight.

Riggins: You had to. Um-hum.

Barbara Ann Greim: I-- starting back in high school, we had to fight.

Riggins: Right. If you're gonna get anywhere.

Barbara Ann Greim: Right, and so we learned how to win the fights. Because if we didn't, we didn't get where we were. But we also learned the cost of battle, so that we didn't just pick a fight over everything. You know, that- that we considered the cost of the battle, before we decided, "This is an issue I'm gonna fight for."

Riggins: Yeah, like, in high school, you know, we said, "Uh.. if it's my life or the prize, I think I'll pick my life."

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah- yeah. But I mean, that-- well, I-- we hadn't learned at that point. You know, we were still-- I was 17 for Pete's sakes.

Riggins: Okay.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, and my father was--

Riggins: You were intimidated.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, my father was about to die. He was in his final illness. I mean, math prize was not the issue at the-- the--

Riggins: Yeah, in your life.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yeah, but you know, by the time you make it through to having a PhD and getting a job, you had to fight so many of those battles that you learned you- you don't need to fight every little thing. And you decide, "Is it worth the cost?"

Riggins: Well, I think that's an important note to end this on.

Barbara Ann Greim: Yes.

Riggins: Especially for any future students who will be reading this transcript or viewing the tape.

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