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Interview with Roger P. Hill, January 19, 2007 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Roger P. Hill, January 19, 2007
January 19, 2007
Dr. Hill summarizes his career at UNC Wilmington as well as prior to UNCW. Interview includes his description of meeting with Dean Paul Reynolds before deciding to come to UNCW in the Fall of 1970. At UNCW, he was the first professor with a Ph.D. in economics. He was charged with developing the program in finance. He discusses the Economics and Finance department, which he chaired for 12 years, as well as his service for the university. He was one of the organizers of the first Faculty Senate and he served as chair of the first Promotions and Tenure Committee (P&T). Dr. Hill took phased retirement beginning in 2004, making Spring 2007 his last semester teaching.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Hill, Roger P. Interviewer: Riggins, Adina Date of Interview: 1/29/2007 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 60 minutes

Riggins: Hello. My name is Adina Riggins. I'm behind the camera here. I'm the archivist and I am interviewing a very special guest that we have, in archives today. Today is January 29, 2007. Dr. Hill, please state your full name for the tape.

Roger Hill: My name is Roger Post Hill. H-I-L-L.

Riggins: Your middle name, Post?

Roger Hill: Post. P-O-S-T.

Riggins: You go by Roger P. Hill?

Roger Hill: That's right.

Riggins: Thank you very much for coming here today and contributing to our oral history interview. This is going to be very valuable for the archives collection. Please state, describe your education background. Well, let's start off when you were growing up. Where were you born and where did you go?

Roger Hill: I grew up in Pink Hill, North Carolina, which is able 75 miles north of here. I did my Undergraduate work at NC State and my Masters at Okalahoma State. PhD at Michigan State and then onto the years post doctorate at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Riggins: So you were big with the land grant universities.

Roger Hill: Land grant universities. That's right, exactly.

Riggins: So you're bachelor set was at North Carolina State. What did you study there?

Roger Hill: I studied agronomy and economics.

Riggins: Agronomy and economics. Did you like the economics part better?

Roger Hill: Well I don't know if I liked it any better. I just got a Bachelors Degree in it quicker than I could in agronomy. So that's the way I went.

Riggins: You're masters was in agronomy.

Roger Hill: No my Masters was in Economics. Agricultural Economics. But, no, I enjoyed the agronomy too. But it just took a long time.

Riggins: How did you go to Okalahoma State from NC State? Was that where you got the best deal?

Roger Hill: Well yes we got-- there was some people from Okalahoma State who were coming to NC State, working on a PhD program. And some of the professors at Okalahoma-- at NC State were sending the their Master students to Okalahoma. So that's where we went. I worked a year before I went to graduate school. I was up in Onslow County. Up in Jacksonville, yeah.

Riggins: What were you doing there?

Roger Hill: I was an Agricultural Agent-- Assistant Agent-- in charge of 4-H club program. I stayed there for a year and then I went to Okalahoma State.

Riggins: It must have been different from academics. Worked with a lot of people and...

Roger Hill: Yep, really worked with a lot people, a lot of different people, young people and community people. And then from-- after I left Okalahoma, we went to New York City. I worked in New York for two years with Allied Chemical in market research. And left. It was too cold in New York for me. So we left New York and went to Florida. I went to the University of Florida, where I was on the faculty there. And I did what they called-- I was Agricultural Extension Service in public policy. And so I got to travel the state of Florida where it was-- agricultural leaders there. And so we had a good time there. Left Florida, then when to Michigan State. That's where I got my PhD. Then from Michigan State, we went to...

Riggins: What was your PhD in?

Roger Hill: Economics, Sociology, Statistics, you know, the usual fields. From Michigan State we went to University of Georgia, where I was on the faculty there. The Department of Agricultural Economics. We were there two years I believe. And then came to UNCW by a strange series of circumstances.

Riggins: Please tell.

Roger Hill: Well I really had never heard of UNCW, to tell you the truth. It was Wilmington College, is all I'd ever heard. And my dad was-- he was sitting (inaudible) Right Away Agent for Carolina Power and Light Company and was traveling in the area. And he always wanted to get back home. So he stopped in one day-- in the area, stopped in talked to Paul Reynolds who was, at the time, Dean of the college. And he said-- told Paul, said, "you know my son got a PhD in Economics, don't you need somebody here?" Paul said, "well we might, go ahead and come see me." Well, I don't know, this was in maybe the fall of the year. And we came home for Christmas and-- to Pink Hill. And my dad was talking about it. He said, "You need to go down and talk to him." I said, "Well dad, I really don't have any interest in going to Wilmington." I said, "That's just not something I want to do." He says, "Well go ahead and talk to him." So just to satisfy my father, I came down to UNCW to talk to him. And I don't know what you heard about Paul Reynolds but he can be a very persuasive man.

Riggins: I don't know much about him. I know he hired a lot of people.

Roger Hill: He hired a lot of people. And Paul said, "Yeah I think we could really use you here." He said, "You can make a real contribution here, we don't really have a PhD trained economics person." So, he made me an offer. And, you know, I didn't mind coming back to NC State. I mean, back to North Carolina. And so, we came back in the fall and the rest, as they say, is history.

Riggins: What year was that? Do you recall?

Roger Hill: 1970.

Riggins: 1970?

Roger Hill: Yeah, 1970.

Riggins: So, you weren't the, you're not the original old timers but...

Roger Hill: I'm the oldest right in the barn right now. I think I've been here longer than anybody else that's currently here. But, you know, I met all the old timers. And they were all real nice folks. And I got to know most of them. And they all had the best interest of the University and the students at heart. It was a real interesting place.

Riggins: Do you remember some of the things Doc Reynolds said to bring you in besides the fact that you can be coming home? Was there some opportunities that he spelled out for you?

Roger Hill: Well, he said you can build the department. He said you can build-- doesn't amount--you know, at the time it was Business and Economics, which included, you know, Marketing Management and all that sort of thing. And so, we didn't have anything in Finance. So, I was here for a year and then I went to Chung Lille [ph?] for a year's post Doctrine in Finance. And that's where I got into the finance area. And came back and then I developed a track in Banking and Finance. Just kind of moved on from there. And then in several more years before I had the School of Business with-- it was the Department of Business and Economics to start with. And I can't-- I don't remember the year now that it became the School of Business. It must have been 10 or 15 years later.

Riggins: Yeah it was around 1980.

Roger Hill: '80 something.

Riggins: It was around when they divided up...

Roger Hill: Yeah the interesting thing about Paul Reynolds was, he hired me and I never met the Chairman of the Business and Economics department. He just hired me. That's the way he ran things. Paul ran things, you know, he'd been to Florida State, I think, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. And he was kind of-- that's the way he ran things. He didn't ask anybody anything. I think Bill Binder [ph?] gave him full authority to run the college the way he wanted to and he did-- and he did. But, I liked Paul. You would like him. Paul either liked you or he didn't. If he didn't like you, you know, you had a little tougher time. We got along fine.

Riggins: When you came in, was Mac West the Chair?

Roger Hill: Mac West was the Chairman, right. Yeah, Mac was the Chairman. And I got along fine with Mac. He was a-- he taught Business Law. And I'll never forget-- to give you some idea of how things have changed. I needed a desk chair, that broke in the back, the seat didn't come up when you lean back because of my leg. So I told, Mac, I said, Mac I need a chair. And so we ordered a chair, 1970, this chair cost $270 and that was 50 percent of our 3,000 budget. That's how much money we had. We had no money, we had no money. So, and I've still got that chair. It's been reupholstered twice but I've still got the chair we bought in 1970.

Riggins: It was made well.

Roger Hill: Very well. It's a good chair.

Riggins: That was a hard purchase probably from the department.

Roger Hill: That was a tough purchase for Mac. That was a hard buy.

Riggins: But you said, you know, if I'm going to teach, I need this chair.

Roger Hill: That's right, that's right.

Riggins: So you started in the fall of 1970. What did you teach from the outset?

Roger Hill: I taught Principles of Economics. I taught Intermediate Micro, Intermediate Macro. And then when I got-- I taught Money in Capitol Markets. I introduced that course when I got back to Chapel Hill. I think-- I'm trying to remember. See a whole bunch Econ courses. And back in those days, one person teaches about everything. Well that wasn't what I was used to because I came out of large land grant institutions where you had a lot of people. And I tell you what was really strange. Well, since I had come out of a land grant institution, well I'd be sitting in my office and I'd be thinking about something or reading something, and I wouldn't quite understand it. And I realized that nobody on campus understood it. There was not another Economist within 100 miles, which was very unusual. Of course, that's changed over time. We have a lot now.

Riggins: You couldn't go and just knock on someone's door and say what do you think...

Roger Hill: The guy next say what do you think about this? Nobody knew. That was strange. It really was.

Riggins: So you were there with the changing of the Chair. There was somebody in between Mac West and Dr. Kaylor. Was there an intermediate person?

Roger Hill: No that was-- When Mac retired, no one took over. Yeah.

Riggins: What do you remember about that search?

Roger Hill: There was no search.

Riggins: Any committee?

Roger Hill: Back in those-- no there was no committee, no search. Charles Cahill announced to the faculty one day, had a faculty meeting over at Bear Hall. Said Mac was retiring. He was appointing Dr. Kaylor as a Chairman of the Department. I says, "What do you mean?" "You're not going to have a search?" "No I think he's the best man for the job." Well I didn't much like that. But it turns out that he made a wise decision made a wise choice. Norm is a really good Department Chairman and I get along well with him. But we did things different-- they did things different in those days. But there was no search. No committee, nothing.

Riggins: Sounds like it was top down.

Roger Hill: Top down. You went to the top down, which is one of the reasons we organized the Faculty Senate. I don't remember just what year that was but-- have you heard the name Betty Jo Welch?

Riggins: Yes.

Roger Hill: Well Betty Jo and I became very close friends and she was a wonderful person. And she and I and some others organized the first Faculty Senate here. And, gosh, I can't remember when that was. I think it was in 19-- probably mid to late '70s. It would be something-- there ought to be something in the archives that'll tell us when that was.

Riggins: Oh yeah. We have the minutes of the first one. But I'm not, even though I'm an archivist, I'm not a dates person. I can't pull it right out of my head. It may have been '75...

Roger Hill: That's what I think, I think mid '70s. In any case, we-- that was interesting. I remember I was chairman of the Faculty Senate, first organized and then for a year following that. And I'll never forget Dr. Wagoner who you may recall had been Superintendent of the Schools here in the county. And Superintendents have a little different relationship to the teachers than College Presidents do to the faculty. And Dr. Wagoner called me one afternoon and says, "Roger," said, "I'm having a function over at my house next week." Or whatever he said, "I wonder if you could get some faculty members to help me with the parking." And I said, "Dr. Wagoner, I have to inform you that that's not what we do here. We're faculty members, we don't help with parking and that sort of thing." He just assumed that we were like school teachers, I guess. I said that's not what we do. That's not my job and it's not anybody else's job. And so we got along great after that. I never had no problem. I didn't have a problem with him. I just told him that was not what we did. I said I wouldn't consider asking a faculty member to help with parking. So, anyway, that was the mindset 35 years ago.

Riggins: Apparently bringing Dr. Cahill in, did he do a lot of interactions with the faculty?

Roger Hill: Yeah and he was a-- well he was a Provost. And, you know, after that, Dr. Benton [ph?] didn't have a lot of interaction with the faculty. It was-- and of course Paul Reynolds done the same thing. But nobody interacted with Paul Reynolds. Paul says here's what we're going to do and here's the way we're going to do it. And Charles Cahill came in and, you know, he's pretty good-- he was a good Provost. He's good Provost. He instituted some changes and supported the faculty. He kind of represented the faculty to the Chancellor and the Chancellor to the faculty. You know how that goes. And so I think he did a good job. He was here a good long while.

Riggins: Those are some great stories. So after that, he didn't think to ask you guys...

Roger Hill: He didn't think to ask me about parking anymore. No, I told him right straight up front that was not what we did. Most of the-- if you recall, most of the early people here had come out of the public school system. And so they were of that mindset. Well not most, but many of them. And that's what Principles and Superintendents had the teachers do. They do all kinds of stuff. I said no. We're the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, we don't do that now. And it was a transition.

Riggins: It's interesting that we had that local mindset. Well, not even local but so connected to the high schools.

Roger Hill: That's right. Exactly, but the mindset here in Wilmington was-- I'll never forget this. The community supported this institution, tremendous support. I was downtown at Harry Panes [ph?] Clothing Store. He said, "Well, you're new in town." I said, "Yep, sure am, I joined the university." Well, Harry was one of the original founders of guys who kind of help put this thing together. And he went on and on extolling the virtues of UNCW. What a great place. How proud they were to have me here and all that sort of thing. Just made you feel real special, real welcome.

Riggins: Really? That's great.

Roger Hill: And so it was kind of true all around. The original people-- Board Members and people who'd given the money-- Trask, for example, they were all very proud to have people coming into the University. They're proud of the University. They supported it through their tax dollars, early on. And so they were real supportive.

Riggins: They're connected to it.

Roger Hill: They're connected to it, that's exactly right. They really were.

Riggins: That makes a difference. Well, yeah, you had been at some big places and been in some bigger towns. What did you think when you first came here to do...

Roger Hill: To Wilmington?

Riggins: Yeah. Did you think you'd like it?

Roger Hill: Well, I was raised in North Carolina originally. And my wife and I spent our childhood out at Topsail, Wrightsville Beach. So, you know, it was kind of coming back home. But I got to tell you the truth. In 1970, coming back here was like we'd never left. It hadn't changed a bit. It was absolutely incredible. It was just all the same. And we'd been a lot of different places and thought great, this back to the future. Back in town. And, but we enjoyed it. I mean we had a good time because we were familiar with it.

Riggins: Yeah being away from North Carolina for, what, 10 years?

Roger Hill: Fifteen years.

Riggins: Fifteen years.

Roger Hill: Yeah, gone 15 years. It was like we'd never left. Had never left.

Riggins: Not like that now.

Roger Hill: It was very provincial. Well, it just was. But then things started to happen, things started to change. And roads started to change and we have had an influx of people from other regions of the country. And in my opinion, that's been very beneficial to the entire region, to the entire culture. And we allow out-of-state students. Now we got faculty who've been around everywhere. We have people coming to town, just retiring here. So it's a much different place now than it was then. Much different. And in my opinion, much more exciting. We lost some of the charm of the old days where you-- no traffic, you know, plenty of boat ramps and no traffic on the waterway and all that sort of thing, we've lost some of that. But we've gained also.

Riggins: Right, it's not a small...

Roger Hill: No it's not a small country town anymore.

Riggins: ...sleepy southern town anymore.

Roger Hill: No way. We had two good restaurants in town, was all we had. And they're both gone now. But, no we had three, there were three. But it was interesting back then. We moved to the beach. We lived on the beach and had a real good time there.

Riggins: Really?

Roger Hill: Yeah, we moved to-- my wife didn't want to move to the beach and I said, well I'm going to move down there for one year. And if you don't like it, then we'll leave. Well of course she fell in love with it. So we bought a house there. We stayed there 24 years. And had a really good time. Raised our children there.

Riggins: Out in Wrightsville?

Roger Hill: Out in Wrightsville Beach.

Riggins: Really?

Roger Hill: Yeah, had a really good time. So it's been a good experience.

Riggins: Right, sounds like it. So the University has certainly evolved since you first came...

Roger Hill: Oh absolutely, absolutely.

Riggins: What were some of the things that changed due to Dr. Wagoner or just university wide?

Roger Hill: Well, early on, let's see, Dan Plyler became Dean, that was at-- I can't think of when that was. Well, in any case...

Riggins: Right about 1980 or so.

Roger Hill: Yeah, Dan and I developed a close relationship. Before the promotion tenure had been just as-- Paul Rosely [ph?]. He decided, you know, he did it. Well we got the faculty involved after we got the Faculty Senate we organized, we had some committees. And one was a Promotion Tenure committee. University-wide Promotion and Tenure Committee. And I'll never forget the first year. I was Chairmen of that committee, first year we had the committee. And I think we had about 100 faculty members total, total. And we had 50 something applications for promotion and tenure that we had to go through. And I forget (inaudible) we just put everybody forward and see what happens. We don't know what this committee's going to do. And so we each kind of went by the guidelines. And a lot of people didn't get promoted and didn't get tenured. But Dan was very supportive of the fact of that structure. But prior to that, the faculty had not had much input in promotion tenure decisions. And so we started that and got that pretty well ingrained. Pretty well got to get by that hurdle now before you get tenured.

Riggins: Oh yeah, and it's, you know the faculty from the different departments had to interview.

Roger Hill: Well that was not the case before.

Riggins: Really?

Roger Hill: No.

Riggins: What about Dr. Cahill? Was he involved in the reappointment of tenure also?

Roger Hill: Yeah. He became involved-- it went to him as a Provost. He had to help-- you know, it would be recommended by the-- we have recommendations from the department that went to the Committee on Promotions and Reappointment and Tenure. Then it went to the Dean of the-- we got Deans of College it went to them. Before that it had gone to Plowler who was the Dean of the college. And then so the duty went ultimately over to Cahill. And then onto the board of trustees. But it was pretty much-- I won't say perfunctory but once it got to that level, you know, it was pretty straight forward. You know, it would be rare that he would turn them down, or-- and I don't recall ever promoting anybody that the faculty didn't recommend it. Maybe-- I think there was one case but I won't get into that one. Where the Administrator was promoted. But anyway, that's-- and the requirements for promotion, began to include some research. And that's when the university, the character of the university started to change. See when I came, it was strictly a teaching institution. And in order to-- see we had just become part of the university system in '69. That was the first time. And before that, it was just Wilmington College, a teaching college. And so then as we got the promotion and tenure documents in place. The research started playing a more important role. And it's contingent (inaudible) today. More important today. Sometimes I think too important. Too much emphasis go on research and I hope we don't lose our focus on what were here for and who our clients are. I get an uneasy feeling sometimes that-- we're using a lot of adjunct faculty. But some are okay but I think you can overdo it. That's just my opinion.

Riggins: I know the faculty are very stretched, you know, because...

Roger Hill: Yeah.

Riggins: ...they're teaching a lot...

Roger Hill: That's right.

Riggins: ...and still expected to do all the research. So, it's certainly more than a 40 hour a week job.

Roger Hill: It's a hard-- more expectations are much higher than they used to be. Yes they are.

Riggins: Right. So, when you came, research wasn't emphasized?

Roger Hill: No.

Riggins: When did it start being emphasized?

Roger Hill: Well I got to think. It became important. Now when I say it wasn't emphasized, I don't mean there was no research going on. People do papers. We presented papers. Various (inaudible) places. But it wasn't our highest priority. Highest priority was teaching. And that's what we did. If you didn't do that well, you didn't stay here. I got to think-- the '80s, it became more important. And it's increased in importance every since. It really has. And I attribute that to-- we had some administrators that came in who were research oriented. And Dr. Cahill was research oriented. And then Marvin Malls [ph?] was very research oriented. So it evolved and so the new faculty that you hire obviously become more interested in research. One of the reasons I came here-- I was at University of Georgia, which is a research institution. Well I did research there. But I concluded that I preferred teaching. Now you do some of both. In order to teach well, you gotta stay up on field. So it worked out well for me. Worked out good.

Riggins: Then you came here...

Roger Hill: We loved it here. We loved it, oh yeah. We lived on the beach and I think I had 12 hours teaching and advising. You got to know the students real well. I had a really good time. I had a really good time.

Riggins: I know the accreditation process was a big thing for the Cameron School of Business.

Roger Hill: It was. It was a big thing for the university to start with. See there were a number of people for Fred Tonning [ph?]. You might have heard that name, myself and Betty Jo Welch and some others were on that first university accreditation and that was a pretty big deal. And we were fulfilling our mission, is what we were doing.

Riggins: Is that with the SACS [ph?]?

Roger Hill: Southern Association, yeah, SAC. And Dr. Rodney did some...

Riggins: That was back in '72 or so.

Roger Hill: Yeah, '70 something. He did some visitations and he got me involved with that. I had to go as part of a team to other universities to look at their accreditation studies. Self Study, it's called. And so I was pretty-- I was involved in all the things that one should be involved in, I reckon.

Riggins: Assessments.

Roger Hill: Assessments. And then we had the Cameron School of Business. They we sought a AACSB accreditation. And that was a pretty big deal. And that took us a couple of years to get that. But we got that. And, let's see, Norm got us well into that and-- Norm Kaylor. And we had a few things yet to do. And I think John Anderson came in as acting Dean for a year. I believe that's right.

Riggins: Yeah, that could be.

Roger Hill: And then we got accredited and then I think Larry-- Larry's been here several years. And he was-- so he got us-- any way, we were accredited. It was a process you go through and you've got to have certain things in place. But it worked out okay. It worked out alright.

Riggins: I know that it took a little while but Norm Kaylor did a lot of work for it.

Roger Hill: He did all-- yeah.

Riggins: All the...

Roger Hill: All the stuff. He did a lot of working on that. And he built that-- he built that school, that department. Norm did a wonderful job. Now Norm and I are buddies. We've been friends a long time. He and Bob (inaudible) and I were close friends. And did a lot of things together. But he did the best job over there. And every leader builds on the shoulders of previous leaders. Nobody comes in to vacuum and really takes it all. You build on what other people have done. And that's exactly what's happened.

Riggins: Sure, you've got to. You can't start everything from scratch.

Roger Hill: You don't reinvent the wheel every time.

Riggins: That would be overwhelming. Who were some of the other people who influenced you while you're here. You mentioned a good number already, you know, you mentioned...

Roger Hill: Well Jim Sabella is one a good close friend of mine. Just a wonderful person. I enjoyed knowing him. I think he's retired now too. Well...

Riggins: He's on my list of people to call.

Roger Hill: Yeah, he'd be a real good interview. A great guy.

Riggins: How did you get to know him since he was in the Anthropology? It was smaller?

Roger Hill: You got to know everybody. You knew everybody-- and the Faculty Senate. You walk across campus, we used to go over to the Student Union and play ping-pong at lunch time. It was just a really close knit faculty. You knew everybody. And Jim came a year or two after I did. Not too long after I did. And back then you just got to know people. And he-- well they're all good guys. And women, but we hung out some and we talk-- talked a lot. I say hello to Jim. He did a lot of swimming. No, he ran I guess and I did some swimming. Just people you run into. So Jim was a-- he was a good guy. Oh let's see. Well Tom Mosely [ph?] was here but he died. Have you heard that name?

Riggins: I think so. I've heard the name, what department was he in?

Roger Hill: He was in History I think. Interestingly enough, Tom Mosely was one of my high school teachers at Pink Hill.

Riggins: Really?

Roger Hill: And I came here and there he was. Couldn't believe it. So I got to know him.

Riggins: That's funny.

Roger Hill: Harold Hulon was here when I got here. We came about the same time.

Riggins: He was the first Chair of Education.

Roger Hill: Education. That's right. Mary Bellamy is a sweet little person. Let's see. We just all were, we just got-- got to know 'em all.

Riggins: Harold Hulon hired Betty Stike.

Roger Hill: Betty Stike, that's right. If you look at the order of-- what's that-- the order of Issac Bear. Those are the kind of old original people and...

Riggins: Are you a member of...

Roger Hill: Yes I am. Those are real old timers. Those are real old timers.

Riggins: Oh yeah, the ones who are still around.

Roger Hill: The original.

Riggins: I've interviewed a lot of them still trying to get in touch with a few. But some of the folks who taught over in the Isaac Bear Building. Well I've met with (inaudible)...

Roger Hill: Yeah.

Riggins: ...or Tommy Belton [ph?].

Roger Hill: Tommy Belton. Knew Tommy real well, yeah, Tommy. And then Marshall Crews, been here for ever. And Dorothy Marshall. She was a Registrar. And she was sort of-- Dorothy had an appointment in the Department of Economics and Business. I can't think what she taught now. Well, actually she hadn't teached at the time. She was in registration. And who else is over there.

Riggins: Over there in the old days? Well, David Miller, oh he was a student.

Roger Hill: David, I knew David. Yeah, David came back for a while a couple of years ago too. And Larry Honeycutt [ph?] been here forever.

Riggins: Larry Honeycutt?

Roger Hill: Yeah, Larry Honeycutt's been here a long time. Nice guy. A real uproar. Pretty soon after putting the Promotion and Tenure Document in place because, we had a lot a people who were not terminally credentialed. That's what it was. And mostly-- actually in the Library and in the P.E. Department. (inaudible) who had Masters Degrees. And who taught, what do they teach, I don't know what they, you know. And so-- but these were people who'd been here a while and were doing a really good job but they weren't tenures. And they couldn't get tenure under the tenure document. But it had kind of work out a deal so it basically-- stayed where they were and keep on doing what they're doing. And in some cases it redefined what terminally credentialed meant. In many cases, in ours, it was, you know, Master of Fine Arts was kind of considered-- you could get a PhD but the MS-- Master of Fine Arts considered terminally credential, I think. But all those things were-- hoops we had to work our way around and it's...

Riggins: Is it correct that if you came in under the previous Wilmington College guidelines, you could stay but you couldn't go past an Assistant Professor maybe or something like that.

Roger Hill: Right. You couldn't get beyond that, yeah.

Riggins: So there were different tracks?

Roger Hill: Yes two track-system, that's right. But it all worked out. I don't know that we lost any, really. We might have lost some people, I don't know. But then it got to be so large we just didn't know anybody. I don't know people now. We have people- the School of Business has more faculty now, than the University did when I came here. That's about what it amounts to.

Riggins: I can only imagine.

Roger Hill: In 1970 we brought in a pretty good class there were several new faculty that particular year. Thad Dankel came about '70, '71. (inaudible). You talked to Fletcher.

Riggins: Yes.

Roger Hill: Yes, he came early. Paul Thayer. You heard that name?

Riggins: No. Paul Thayer?

Roger Hill: Paul Thayer. Geology. He came about '70, '71. Paul was very active for a while. Then he kind of just disappeared. I don't know. He's still here, I think. But he just kind of went underground. Not underground. I don't know what Paul does. I think he does a lot of consulting. So he's not around much. But he's one of the old timers. Be interesting to talk to.

Riggins: I talked to Dr. Dankel around when I talked to Dr. Kaylor. So a long time ago. When he was still around.

Roger Hill: Still alive.

Riggins: Still alive and doing phased retirement.

Roger Hill: Yes, Paul was- Thad was one of the good guys. All the people were as I recall. You know, Thayer would be a good one. He's been here a long time. And let's see did you talk to Hildalisa Hernandez?

Riggins: Yes. Yes.

Roger Hill: Okay, she would be a good one.

Riggins: She was energetic. She was very energetic.

Roger Hill: Yes, she's the high energy type.

Riggins: Yes and she loves teaching. You could tell.

Roger Hill: Oh yes, absolutely.

Riggins: Yes, and her husband. Well, I can't interview him.

Roger Hill: Yes he was-- he taught Spanish, I reckon. Yes I think so. So it was a-- and now they're all-- lot of them are gone. They are not here any more.

Riggins: Right. Yes, it's amazing. There are a lot of retirees now. But they're all people who came a bit later. A lot of people seem to have been hired around '75, '76.

Roger Hill: That's right.

Riggins: There were a number of people also, who left to get their Doctorate and then came back. Like they got some leave time.

Roger Hill: Yes, John Anderson did that. Did you talk to John?

Riggins: Yes. Right when he retired. He's kind of like you. It was a little hard to bring him in. But once I brought him in, he was great.

Roger Hill: In fact John was- the year I came John was gone to somewhere working on his PhD, as I recall. And then he was here for a long time too. Most of the old timers are fading out now.

Riggins: Anyone else in his department that I should talk to who has been here a while? Information Systems and Operations Management. I know it's changed its name. I talked to John and my predecessor talked to Tom Burke before he passed away.

Roger Hill: Oh that's good. Oh yeah. Tom was an interesting guy. We called it the Alphabet Soup Department, because they changed the name all the time. Yeah, Tom Burke, I knew him real well. He was one of the most fascinating guys I've ever known. He really was. He could do anything. He could do anything. Photography, boat building, fishing, navigation.

Riggins: Writing? He was a writer.

Roger Hill: Writing, everything. He could do everything, which was one of his problems. He was too diverse.

Riggins: Right.

Roger Hill: He wouldn't stay focused on (inaudible). But he was a talented guy. Lee Sharman [ph?], Lee was here for a little while, one of the early guys. Charlie West [ph?]. Sheila Adams [ph?] Have you talked to Sheila?

Riggins: I haven't yet.

Roger Hill: She's retired (inaudible).

Riggins: I have to convince her to come in.

Roger Hill: Yes, she's tough. She doesn't get out much anymore. Albert Anderson [ph?] was here for a little while. He's retired. They all came probably in the mid '70s. Something like that.

Riggins: John Gerress [ph?] in Information Systems?

Roger Hill: Yeah.

Riggins: He's on phase now.

Roger Hill: He's on phase. You'd better get John [ph?] quick too because he's-- John [ph?] is not well. He's not well. I mean I don't think his demise is imminent but he's just not well. And Claude Farrell. I wish you would talk to Claude too.

Riggins: I would love to.

Roger Hill: Claude [ph?] would be good to talk to.

Riggins: Okay. Yeah. He was always quoted in the newspaper. With your Department of Finance, were there always a lot of students interested in that department and a demand for those courses?

Roger Hill: Yeah, Finance has been a very popular field. And in Econ, we've got some young, dynamic guys in Econ now. And there's still old guys that did well too, but Econ is a very popular field now too. So Econ and Finance is pretty popular. It's just a tough field. So you don't get-- a lot of people would like to do it and they're not willing to work hard enough to do it.

Riggins: Well, I never took Finance Class, but what I remember hearing was that it's not like personal finance.

Roger Hill: It's quite different.

Riggins: It's very different.

Roger Hill: Very different. We offer Personal Finance. I introduced that course here, and that's a good course for the general college student. Assuming no background at all.

Riggins: Oh so they do offer that?

Roger Hill: We offer a course in Personal Finance, we do. But when you get to Corporate Finance, different deal.

Riggins: Different story?

Roger Hill: Different story.

Riggins: So it's quite heavy on the math?

Roger Hill: Well, not so much math, as- well yeah I reckon you could call it that. Statistics and Probability and Time Value Money. It's mostly analysis as opposed...

Riggins: Analytical thinking?

Roger Hill: Analytical thinking, yeah analytical. But it's a good field. Good field.

Riggins: Well now Cameron School of Business can claim something like a quarter of all the Majors I think.

Roger Hill: We have too many Business Majors, too many people majoring in Business to tell you the truth.

Riggins: Why is it too many?

Roger Hill: Well the world only needs so many business people, in my opinion. I always thought of College, in my opinion-- in the Cameron School of Business for example, we've got five, five or six different Undergraduate Majors. That's too many. You don't really get a full understanding of Marketing or Management or Information Systems at the Undergraduate level. I just-- in my, opinion we would be as well off just to have three Undergraduate Degrees in Business. Accounting, Economics and Business. And then you've got your MBA. Or you go on to-- you get a Masters in Information Systems or a Masters in this. Sometimes they can have too much specials. Try to impart too much specialization at the Undergraduate level. After all, it's undergraduate. Well, you know, when you start you know nothing about a field.

Riggins: And when you're 22 are you really a specialist?

Roger Hill: No you're not. You still don't know anything about a field. That's the whole point, you really can't. So anyway, what it is is what it is. But I think Economics is a broader of the disciplines. It asks the interesting questions. Accounting of course is a more detailed one so, and everything in between. Finance is a good combination of Economics and Accounting, a good way to define Finance.

Riggins: Did you teach pretty much equally in Economics and Finance?

Roger Hill: No, in the later years I taught primarily in Finance. I taught an Investments, and Investments course. I taught Corporate Finance. We had two Corporate Finance courses. I taught at the MBA level for a number of years. Corporate and investments. And taught Money and Capital Markets. A couple times I taught personal finance, which is an interesting course too. It was a very popular course.

Riggins: Very different students, right?

Roger Hill: Very popular. Met some wonderful people. And as a matter of fact I've got some students who had not been to the School of Business, who decided they wanted to major in finance as a result of that course.

Riggins: Wow. Really?

Roger Hill: So, yeah it's a good course. Very good course.

Riggins: And I think Macro Economics and Micro Economics are great courses depending on how it's taught.

Roger Hill: The worst course I ever remember taking in my whole life was the first course I took in Economics. The instructor was absolutely horrible. And I promised myself- I've always thought of that guy. He knew what he was talking about but he had no interest in teaching. He was very- he just didn't do a good job. And I thought to myself if I ever get teaching, I'm going to remember that. And I did. So I've been fairly successful in teaching. Enjoyed the students and they have enjoyed me. But you've got to act like you're interested in what you're doing. First off you've got to know what you're doing. But then you've got to act like you enjoy doing it. So I think enthusiasm rubs off on the students. If you're enthusiastic, they're more likely to be, seems to me. So that's my method anyway. Get them interested in it.

Riggins: Get them interested in it. The enthusiasm rubs off.

Roger Hill: Oh, Gerald Shinn is another guy.

Riggins: Oh yes. I've heard a lot about him. He was a...

Roger Hill: (inaudible)thing about Gerald. He was a very unique character. But he's no longer with us. Did you get a chance to interview him? I don't reckon?

Riggins: Well actually my predecessor did. Sherman interviewed him.

Roger Hill: Oh, he did?

Riggins: Yeah.

Roger Hill: Oh good.

Riggins: Yeah (inaudible) I think. And he's still in Albemarle County.

Roger Hill: I think Gerry died.

Riggins: Did he?

Roger Hill: I think he passed away. I could be wrong.

Riggins: Oh, I'm not sure.

Roger Hill: I'm not either. Could be wrong.

Riggins: But, yeah, he was one of those folks who just got things moving, whether they were ready or not.

Roger Hill: It didn't matter. Gerry was, oh, the other guy, who was the other guy in Philosophy and Religion? Frank Hall. B. Frank Hall. I used to tell my students, you need to take a course from the big Frank Hall just for the experience of taking the course.

Riggins: Why? What was special about him?

Roger Hill: Oh he was this big, bombastic, knew a lot about The Bible, about religion, about philosophy And you just need to hear a guy like that. You just need to be exposed to a person like that. He had this wide range of ideas and thoughts. It was just a, I enjoyed hearing him lecture myself. He was an interesting guy. Jim Megivern. How about Jim?

Riggins: Yes I did interview him before he moved away.

Roger Hill: Good, good. He was a... John Scalf [ph?]?

Riggins: John Scalf [ph?], he was a...

Roger Hill: He passed away. Sociology, he was head of Sociology and Anthropology. He was one of the early guys too. But he did a nice job. Didn't you get to interview him?

Riggins: No, sir.

Roger Hill: Yeah, but Jim Megivern was...

Riggins: Very active.

Roger Hill: Very active. Yeah he was a nice guy.

Riggins: And yeah, what's interesting about your generation of people here is you got to know people from all the different areas.

Roger Hill: We did. So now you don't know anybody except your little (inaudible).

Riggins: If you're in Faculty Senate, you might get to know people on a committee, but not personally.

Roger Hill: Not very well. No I knew people all over campus. It was kind of fun. It was more collegial then, whatever that means. But we had interactions with all the faculty. And now most people, I don't know. I kind of lost interest in going to faculty meetings myself. Didn't know anybody.

Riggins: In the department or?

Roger Hill: Well either one really. Well at my age, and the position I'm in. I didn't want to- nobody's interested in what old people think anyway. You understand that. The new people don't really care.

Riggins: I am.

Roger Hill: Well you, maybe. You're recording it.

Riggins: That's my job. You're right.

Roger Hill: But nobody cares how you used to do things. And the only reason they should care how we used to do things is so they don't repeat the mistakes we made. Nobody expects you to do things that way, but you at least ought to have a benefit of what has happened.

Riggins: Well, that's why Archives is interested in getting your stories, because they're not anywhere else. And we want to hear about the mistakes, but we also want to hear about the progression. Like you were saying things build upon another.

Roger Hill: They do.

Riggins: Like I had no idea about how you worked with Betty Joe Welch and some others to form the first Senate. And that was probably a big effort. That was changing the culture really.

Roger Hill: Big, big effort. That changed the whole culture. It did, because from that came your Promotion and Tenure Committees. And then we operated on the Faculty Governance, University wide, but when I say University wide, UNC system wide. And so we came out of that code [ph?]. And so we were just a fledgling institution kind of getting started. And that's where we started. We had to start right at ground zero. It took us a year or more to get that written. The way we operate (inaudible) operate. The committees that we had, the structuring committees. And so it was pretty...

Riggins: I have to make sure I have that document in archives.

Roger Hill: Yeah, you've got to get that document. You really had.

Riggins: I'll have to talk to Carol Ellis [ph?] about that. Carol was one of..


Roger Hill: Carol Ellis [ph?], that's another one. That's exactly right. Mel Mcline [ph?] came on the scene not too far into it. He was not one of the original ones but he'd been here a while. I've got to think 25 years maybe.

Riggins: Oh yeah, he's retired now.

Roger Hill: I'm trying to think who else was here originally. I can't think of it right off. But it comes to me kind of at different times, you know.

Riggins: Right.

Roger Hill: But we used to have a good time. We really did. We thought it was us against the Administration. Boy we were going to get organized. And we did, we did. And there was no rhyme or reason why anybody got raises or didn't get raises. We tried to- through this Promotion and Tenure Committee, we tried to bring some sense of order. And how and why. You know a measure of performance. There had never been a- it depends on whether somebody liked you or not. We really didn't think it was a very good way to run a University. So we tried to give the Administrators and tried to do something to hang their hat on in terms of here's what I've accomplished. Here are my goals, objectives and I've met them and so on. So, I think it worked to the benefit of everybody. I think the Administrators needed something like that.

Riggins: How long did you stay on that committee?

Roger Hill: I was Chairman for, oh gosh, three or four years I guess. Seemed like a long time.

Riggins: Right. It was a lot of work. And being the first one.

Roger Hill: It was a lot of work. We spent hours. I can't tell you how long we met deliberating on before making our recommendations. And then we had to write those up and present them to Dan Prowler [ph?] who was a Dean of something. And then I would meet with Dan and we would go over it together. It was a pretty long involved process. He didn't always agree with it, but that was his right. At least he did us the courtesy of hearing. And he might say, "No, I just can't promote that person. I can't go along with that." And then we'd have a good repartee and he'd say, "Well, what was your alls reasoning for that?" And I'd explain it to him and we'd talk back and forth. So it worked out pretty well. It worked out pretty well. And everybody knew or everybody thought they were getting a fair shake because it'd been reviewed by their peers and then represented to the Administration. And I think everybody was...

Riggins: In those days were they reviewed by the senior members of their department.

Roger Hill: Theoretically. Yeah, theoretically. And the Chairman had to write-- See it was a very convoluted process, the senior members could not recommend someone and yet the Chairman could. But the Chairman had to consult with the Assembled Senior Faculty. That was the way the document read. Thinking of course, that the Chairman would not recommend somebody that the senior faculty didn't recommend. But sometimes they would. And so we would have to read between the lines. And sometimes we'd call people up and say, "What's going on? Are you recommending this guy or not?" And if they-- it was funny it really was. Because they would recommend people who hadn't been recommended by the full faculty. Chairman will do that. And at one time before we can stop it...

Riggins: Can it happen now? I haven't read the most recent P and T document.

Roger Hill: I don't think so. You could recommend yourself for promotion and tenure. And I think that was-- and we had to kind of close up that little loop-hole. That's when we'd get everybody recommending themselves. But you don't want to, you know, tenure somebody unless the faculty basically want to have them in their midst.

Riggins: Was there a reappointment phase?

Roger Hill: Oh yeah, the whole deal. Reappointment, promotion or tenure. Either one. You could be reappointed which normally was not automatic. But unless there were reasons not to, but you still had to be recommended for reappointment, the second, three year contract.

Riggins: By your Chair?

Roger Hill: By your Chair. And then--the then you could be tenured, at the Assistant-- originally, you could be tenured at the Assistant Professor level. Or you could be promoted to Associate Professor and that gave you automatic tenure. I think that's been eliminated now. I don't think you'd be tenured as an Assistant Professor. You'd either get promoted or you're- you're out. And in fact I had a young man talk to me a year or so ago. He'd been denied tenure, but he had like two years and he was complaining about it. And I said, "Well that's better than a regular corporation where you'd have today to get your desk cleaned out and be gone. You've got two years to find a job." So, anyway it's changed. But it's improved.

Riggins: And so as associate professor you get tenure?

Roger Hill: You can be a tenured Associate. Yeah.

Riggins: And then in order to get promoted to professor, back in those days did you have to show a research record?

Roger Hill: You had to have some research. There were three basic areas, teaching, research and service. And you had to have- teaching was the most important back in the real early days. Service and research I guess were kind of equal. You had to some, scholarly-- we called it scholarly activity. And that's making presentations at professional meetings. That's sort of like writing in your field. I used to write newspaper articles for the Star News here in Wilmington. And you have some little conferences, have some bank leaders in and talk to them. A lot of professional activity that was not publishable research in peer reviewed journals. That was not stressed so much. And of course when I came, I came as a full professor. So I'd been an Associate Tenured Professor at The University of Georgia. So, Paul brought me in. And there again, he brought me right in as a tenure full Professor, which is unheard of, sort of. But he did it. He did it because he could I guess. And so, but anyway I knew that we needed to improve the research record, but not at the expense of teaching. At the time we taught 12 hours a week. That was normal teaching level, which is not so bad if you think about it. You can't mess the week up too bad with 12 hours. So that's kind of what we did. You'd have three preps. And that's, there were not a lot of research requirements at the time. It was teach, service and that was it. So it was okay.

Riggins: And now I would say teaching and research about the same, right?

Roger Hill: Well, yeah per class. A lot of people teach six hours. And that's fine. And we hired people that way. I hired people that over in Economics and Finance, some guys that I knew were going to be really strong researchers, who would not be-- and are still good teachers. But who would not be teaching nine or twelve hours. They could teach six hours and do some research. Because they could get grants in the fields they were in. Report it to us. And they'd done a great job.

Riggins: Were you Chair of Economics and Finance?

Roger Hill: Yeah. Thirteen years. Thirteen long arduous years. Twelve years I guess and then I stepped back. And then when Howard Rightness [ph?] was- I stepped down a year before Norm did. Or maybe we stepped down the same year. I tried to beat him out, but I think he might have retired at the same time, stepped down as a Dean. And then a few years later we were kind of in between and Hardrock just asked me to step in as Interim Chair. And I was going to do it for two years, and I went back in for one year and I said, "I don't need this." I you know, it just-- it had changed and I didn't like it. So I just said, "This is enough for me." So I just did it for one year with Howard. We got along fine with Howard [ph?] but I didn't like it. So I said, No (inaudible).

Riggins: It's changed.

Roger Hill: It changed. Too many changes, yeah.

Riggins: So in 12 years- were you the first Chair of Economics?

Roger Hill: Yeah, first Chair of Economics and Finance. I was there for 12 years. And then one year...

Riggins: Who were some of the people you brought? Was there a lot of expansion at that time?

Roger Hill: Oh yeah, I hired Bill Wildman [ph?]. Oh I know someone. Jack Morgan [ph?] who is retired.

Riggins: Yeah, okay. He just retired.

Roger Hill: He retired a few years ago.

Riggins: Yeah. He's still local, right?

Roger Hill: Oh yeah, he's still local. I hired Luther Lawson [ph?]. I hired Claude Farrell. I hired Chris Howell [ph?] that just retired.

Riggins: Yes, Chris Howell. I've talked to her on the phone. She said, you know, maybe. Maybe she'll come in later.

Roger Hill: Yeah, she wasn't here all that long though.

Riggins: Seventeen years, I think she said.

Roger Hill: Yeah, I think that's right. Well I hired everybody that was on board then actually. Oh, I hired Kevin Zeigler [ph?]. I remember him. He was one of my Finance hires. And then Luther [ph?] came on when Claude was chairman. I guess we hired I forgot who (inaudible) hired Steve Robertson [ph?]. I don't think I was Chairman then. And I hired a number of people of course who've left. Have since moved on.

Riggins: So were you a democratic Chairman? You involved the faculty?

Roger Hill: Oh yeah. Yeah I did. I did most of the off campus interviewing. I would take somebody and then we'd bring them on campus. And let the faculty look at him. And one guy I really wanted to hire, the faculty said, no they just don't want him. So, I didn't, no. The faculty had to agree. If the faculty didn't agree then you didn't need to bring somebody on board. And one person we got, the Search Committee wasn't even going to bring him on campus. I said, "You've got to bring this guy on campus." Because I knew the guy. I knew who he was.

Riggins: So you weren't on the Search Committee in those days?

Roger Hill: I wasn't on The Search Committee. But I said, "You've got to bring this guy..." I think that might have been the year I was Acting Chairman. I think it was. I said, "Just bring him on campus. If nobody likes him, that's fine." Well, they didn't think they could hire him. They didn't think he'd come here. He was graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, a major institution. He had gone to The North Carolina School of Arts and Sciences. Bright, bright guy. I said. "Just bring him. I'll talk to some people. Bring him on campus." So they brought him on campus and of course they all fell in love with him. And they hired him. But I almost had to- I did have to insist that they bring him on campus. That was Chris Dumas.

Riggins: Oh and he's still here.

Roger Hill: He's still here. A wonderful young man, doing some wonderful things. He really is. See, I knew his mother and father. He grew up here in Wilmington. So they didn't know that. The Search Committee didn't know where he was from. They didn't know that...

Riggins: That he had some ties?

Roger Hill: That he had some ties here. And I talked to his-- I talked to him and his research advisor wanted him to go to The University- to Gainesville, Florida. But he said he wasn't ready to go. He didn't want to go right then. Florida wanted to hire him, but his thesis advisor wouldn't let him go. And so I said, "Well maybe we can get you down here." So we got him down here and that was a real coup. And then around him we hired two other young, really good Economists. So we were in good shape, more or less. But yeah the faculty had to agree. If the faculty doesn't want somebody you shouldn't bring them on board, absolutely not.

Riggins: It would just be a lose-lose situation.

Roger Hill: Oh, it would be terrible.

Riggins: Well, about winding down?

Roger Hill: Are we about winded down?

Riggins: Sure.

Roger Hill: My voice is about winded down anyway.

Riggins: Well this is great. I really appreciate hearing about the Committees that you served on and your role in the Department and the University. And how it's changed. Just to close, what are you doing now? What's keeping you busy?

Roger Hill: Well, that's interesting that you say that.

Riggins: You are doing phased retirement.

Roger Hill: I'm doing phased retirement. And this is my last semester of phased retirement. Well I'm pretty- we are very involved in the community. I mentor a lot of young people in the community. I do work with. I'm very involved in Church Committees and things like that over at Wrightsville Beach. And we travel a lot. We've got grandchildren. We're just having a good time.

Riggins: That sounds great.

Roger Hill: We're just having a good time. I'm enjoying being back in the classroom, this semester. But...

Riggins: Are you teaching two classes?

Roger Hill: I'm teaching three.

Riggins: Three? What?

Roger Hill: Three classes. Full time.

Riggins: Full time. That's great.

Roger Hill: That's full time. But, yeah I've enjoyed it. And I think some people retire too early. I think some people wait too late. They should have retired last year or the year before. I think mine's going to work out just about right.

Riggins: That's great. You're still working with young people.

Roger Hill: Oh, it's wonderful.

Riggins: Here and elsewhere?

Roger Hill: That's right. That's exactly right.

Riggins: That's great.

Roger Hill: So it works out good.

Riggins: That's great. Well thank you very much.

Roger Hill: Well, thank you. I enjoyed it.

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