[Intro Slide stating:
UB School of Social Work
University at Buffalo] [Denise Krause speaking]: Great. Well, thank you again for coming out. I’m just going to mark the interview. We are at Parker Hall, South campus at
the University of Buffalo. It’s Friday, October 21st, 2005. I’m with Gerald Miller of Snyder, New York, and I’m Denise Krause. And also here interviewing is Sue Green and Dave Coppola. So, that is a, marking our first interview. So, thank you very much. We have a lot to talk about, because you were
with the School of Social Work for a long time. There are some kind of specific
questions that I might ask you, just some areas we’ve, in particular, want to know
about. But, but for the most part, we’re interested in hearing your experience,
and what being at the school was like for you. What it meant to you, and just
things that you remember about the school. So, if you just want to start with
maybe when you joined the faculty. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Right, yeah. I was appointed to the faculty in August 1961 at the same time as Paul Edwards and Frank Hodges. So, the three of us, you know, came on at that time. Frank had been here for a year, and then
left for a year, and came back. We were all three World War II veterans, and
Ben Lyndon who was dean, was also World War II veteran, and he had been
dean at, I think, a school in New York. Not Columbia. NYU, I think he was a dean of NYU, and then came here about 1957. I’m not sure of the exact date. But at that time the school, I am told, had really
dropped as far as a number of students entering the school. After World War II,
on the GI Bill, quite a few men went for Master’s
degree in Social Work and there are a number of prominent of Buffalo Social
Workers who did that, and got their Master’s degree on the GI Bill, and in
the early 50s. But by 1957, most of the people on the GI Bill were gone, and the
enrollment declined, because social work didn’t have very good status
and didn’t pay very well, and so forth. So, Ben had the role trying to build up the
school, and Lyndon Johnson came along and helped him out by starting the Great Society,
and the War on Poverty, and when I joined the faculty in, in August of ’61, I knew
that it was going to that, the University of Buffalo, which was private and having
financial difficulties, was going to become part for the State University of
New York in 1962, which it did. And during the 60s, Governor Rockefeller poured all
kinds of money into the whole state university system, and UB just exploded.
We were all on this campus. When I joined the faculty, we were over in Foster Hall,
which is just down the road a little bit, and this building was an engineering
building. [Denise Krause speaking]: Okay.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: In ’62, the faculty began to expand, and you have a picture in that history booklet, I think, that was taken in ’62.
There are about 11 people on the faculty then, and it went from 11 up to, I don’t
know, about 30, maybe. [Denise Krause speaking]: Oh wow.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: And during the 60s, Schools of
Social Work are great places to be, because money came in, in terms of
federal grants. When I started in ’61, I think the only scholarships we had were
for vocational rehab for about six of them, but during the 60s, we began getting
all kinds of money from was called Health Education and Welfare at that
time, and we applied for training grants, they were called. And we got them in mental health, mental retardation, child welfare, vocational rehab, and some others that I probably don’t recall right offhand. But these were great training grants for students, because the student got a stipend, and in the mental retardation grant, there even stipends for families. So, if a guy was
married, and had kids, he would get a bigger stipend. And, I find the
mental retardation training grants particularly interesting, because
practically no students coming into the school are interested in mental
retardation, but when they found out they could have a training grant, you know,
then they were willing to take a field placement in mental retardation, and over
the years, I was amazed at the number of these students, that actually then saw the
employment in the fields of mental retardation. And of course, mental
retardation came into focus because John Kennedy’s sister was mentally retarded.
[Denise Krause speaking]: So, did the student body grow in proportion to the number of faculty? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Oh, yeah, it expanded. Schools of Social Work throughout the country, because the War
on Poverty, and the Great Society put an emphasis on social work. There was kind
of a mystical belief that this was going to solve all these problems, which it
didn’t, but it attracted a lot of students to graduate schools. And, uh … [Pause.] Frank Hodges had come out of the field of Corrections. He graduated from, from college after the war. Before the war, he really didn’t have enough money to go to college. So, with the GI Bill, he got his
Bachelor’s degree, and then went to the University of Chicago, and got a Master’s
degree. And Ben Lyndon got his PhD from the University of Chicago. At that time,
about the only people that had PhDs were deans of Schools of Social Work, and a
few faculty. But in 1961, you could get a job on any faculty with just a Master’s
degree in Social Work, because that was the professional degree, and there
weren’t that many PhDs available for faculties. [Denise Krause speaking]: Oh, okay.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: And I point that out,
because today, if you’re going to join the faculty of a School of Social Work,
you better have a PhD or be in the process that will guarantee you will have it, because you won’t get tenure without it. We were able in the 60s to
get hired, and also even to get tenure with just a Master’s degree, and that was
typical of Schools of Social Work throughout the country.
[Denise Krause speaking]: And you were
coming from Monroe County? Is that right? [Gerry Miller speaking]: I came from Rochester. I was working for Catholic Charities in Rochester. And I was a field instructor for students, and I got
to know the dean and so forth, and he offered me a job. Yeah, there were a lot
of students. We had about 20 students at that time coming from Rochester, working
on their Master’s degree. They come here two days a week for classes, and then
they’d have their three day a week field placements in Rochester, and Rochester
had excellent social agencies, and the Social Work professionals in Rochester
were desperate to get a School of Social Work in Rochester, and they approached the University of Rochester, and U of R said, “We’d be glad to start a School of Social Work. All we’ve got to have is somebody who give us the money to start.” And that person never appeared, and during the 60s, Ben started offering a few courses through the University of Rochester in Social Work with some people from our
faculty going to Rochester to teach and hiring a few agency’s practitioners to
teach selected courses, like caseworks, you know, clinical courses and so on. And two of
the people who went to Rochester were Cornelia Allen, whom I’m sure you’ve
heard of. And um, now I’m blocking, and I’ll probably think of it. If you taught a course in Rochester one night a week, it meant traveling an hour and half each way in the winter, you know. But people were willing to do
it, and didn’t get paid that much more to do it, you know. But, uh, and these courses were
successful, because it did recruit students to the MSW program, and actually
when I was thinking of going into um Social Work, because I, I started out with
a Master’s degree in Biology, and I was working in a research lab, and so forth,
but I got interested in Social Work through a friend of mine, and decided
that’s what I wanted. So, I took a course in Rochester, and I even took a six-month
sha’ban in a Monroe County Department of Welfare to make sure that I was making
the right choice, and at that time this was a great experience, because I was in
Monroe County Department of Public Welfare, and the head of child welfare
there had a national reputation. [Inaudible] was very well known. And so, I got, had
a good work experience for six months, and then I decided, I’d go to graduate school.
[Denise Krause speaking]: And when you were here, what, did you have a specialty or particular area of interest?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, when Ben hired me, it was with the understanding that I would
be the Roch-, Rochester liaison person. So, for the first, let’s say three years, I
had carried all the students in Rochester, and drove back and forth a lot myself. And I remember, I was driving back from Rochester when John
Kennedy was assassinated came over the radio. And then, we went from the Kennedy
administration into the Johnson Administration. Johnson actually was an excellent president as far as national policy and politics. His big mistake was
getting into the Vietnam War. [Denise Krause speaking]: So you, so you were at the school for three decades, in the 60s, 70s, and 80s?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: I retired in ’94. [Denise Krause speaking]: So, what –
how would you characterize what happened to the school over thirty some years?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: When I joined the faculty, I thought, oh, I’ll be there, maybe two years, three years. And then I’ll go back to working at an agency, because I liked agency work and so forth. But the 60s were so exciting in the School of Social Work, all the Schools for Social Work, that I just stayed. It’s great to have a job where you never know what’s going to happen next week, you know? And that’s the way it was in the 60s, you know, with the student riots on campus, and, and the School of Social Work was very much involved in the Vietnam War controversy. Ben Lyndon left school for a variety of reasons, which I guess I won’t
try to define. But, he went to Brockport in the Social Work program there, and I
think he had a plan to try and set up a regional thing, but that never came off.
He stayed at the School of Social Work in Brockport until his health deteriorated. Well, when Ben left, Frank Zweig came in as dean, I’m sure you’ve heard about Frank.
And Frank was a very liberal-minded person in the School of Social Work, became very involved in the student unrest on campus and so forth. [Denise Krause speaking]: So this was the late 60s and early 70s? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Yeah, I don’t know exactly when, I’d have to check that booklet to see when Zweig came, but the whole UB administration
turned over at that point. Hired a new president, hired a new provost. Tried to shake things up, and a lot of it didn’t work out very well. [Denise Krause speaking]: How did the faculty react with the new dean and some of the changes? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, Paul Edwards, we became very close right from the beginning, and I would say that working with Paul had a lot to do
with keeping me at UB, because between the two of us, we could see the humor in
almost everything that happened. [Denise Krause speaking]: It sounds like you needed to.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Whereas other people got depressed, you know? Oh yeah, yeah. And, uh … [Pause.] As you know, Paul was black and had a great attitude, you know, toward the racial problems. [Pause.]
He had gotten his Bachelor’s degree, I
think, I’ll fill you in on this because there’s nobody else to tell you, you know.
He got his Bachelor’s degree after the war on the GI Bill, from I think, Boston
University, but after he got his Bachelor’s degree, then he got his Master’s degree
from Boston University, and came to Buffalo to work at …
[Pause.] Again, I’m blocking but it’s an agency
that had a settlement house type thing. [Pause.] He served on that faculty, their staff for a
couple years, and then he went to the Buffalo Urban League, and had a different
kind of job there, and got fired by the executive director of the Urban League, this is no secret.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Nice, nice. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Because he had, you know, more modern ideas, and wanted to make some changes. He went from there to the Association for Retarded Children, and was executive director there for several years, and really with
the new money coming into retardation, built that agency up to an, an
excellent agency, and that’s when Ben Lyndon invited him to join the faculty. Our interests were quite different. Paul was not a clinical social worker. I was. He was more interested in administration and, and running agencies and that sort of thing. He was assistant dean. He served as director of admissions for a while, and was Ben’s right-hand man, really, when it
came to administrative problems. [Denise Krause speaking]: Were you also assistant dean?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: At one time. I was assistant dean. And then when Sherman Merle came, I was director of the undergraduate program, and spent a lot of time and effort getting the
undergraduate program accredited, because at that time, academically, if you wanted,
if an institution wanted to succeed in social work, they, they had to become
accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, which is still there today. But
at that time, undergraduate programs were just beginning to get accredited, and so,
after about three years hard work, we got it accredited, and then were immediately
told, “This is fine, but we don’t need two baccalaureate programs in Buffalo.”
Because, you see, Buff State at that point had also developed an undergraduate program. So, it was decided that the resources for graduate education
should go to UB, and the undergraduate program would be at Buff State. There’s a
moment I’m not up to date on that, see I’m out of touch with a lot of things, but
maybe 75% of their faculty are graduates of UB. There’s some real good people.
[Denise Krause speaking]: So, you put all that work into the undergraduate program? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, I got paid
for it. It was a challenge, and it was interesting, but this was part of a
thing, if I’d had to do that for 20 years I probably would have gotten real bored with it. [Denise Krause speaking]: So, when … what was working with Sherman Merle like? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Sherman and I did not get along.
[Denise Krause speaking]: No? [Gerry Miller speaking]: No. Sherman had been on a staff of the Council on Social Work Education. He came here as dean, and actually I would say
that because he couldn’t get along with the administration, he moved on. We
had a couple of acting deans. I knew I should have made a list of names, but we had —
[Denise Krause speaking]: Hugh Petrie, was that one of them? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Who?
[Denise Krause speaking]: Hugh Petrie?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: That was the name I’m looking
for. Hugh Petrie was Dean of the School of Education, and he came on as dean,
acting dean for about a year, I think. And I have the greatest respect for
Hugh Petrie. He was a first-class administrator, you know? He didn’t really
know Social Work, but he knew how to administer a department in the university,
and, and he listened to the faculty, and you know, it worked out just fine. But of
course, he, that was only temporary. He had education to worry about.
[Denise Krause speaking]: And after him, was it Elizabeth Harvey? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Harvey. Actually, she came
on the faculty, because she had been the Director of Clinical Services in the
Association for Retarded Children, and Paul Edwards, you know, recommended her to Ben Lyndon, and Liz came on as a classroom professor at first. But then, she, she eventually ended up as dean for about a year, I think it was. I’m not sure and unfortunately, she died a couple years ago. She fell and never recovered from the injury. Liz was a clinical person, you know.
[Denise Krause speaking]: So, you were
clinical and Liz was clinical? And so was, there like a clinical, and more of an
administrative or community organizing? [Gerry Miller speaking]: That’s a good question. Because, you see, during the 60s, the Council on Social Work Education, specified that schools had to develop concentrations, and in the, in the 60s here, we had casework and group work.
We only had a few students in group work in that faculty picture. We had a
part-time faculty member from a Jewish Center, and he taught enough group work
courses, so that students could major in group work. They only had to take about
three courses in group work, you know, and have a group work placement in an agency. And this was fairly typical of Schools, Schools of Social Work; casework and group work. And case work had evolved into medical case work and psychiatric case work,
and the concentrations really didn’t make too much sense, and they kept
changing in terms of what schools wanted to do. We even had a concentration in
administration for maybe three years or so. Where students and Paul was a key
person in that program, taught administration, and they had placements
and agencies were like they were assistants to the administrator of the
agency. This didn’t work out, because they were recognized as very good, very
confident, very smart, but nobody wanted to hire somebody who just got an MSW
to head up an agency. Yeah, so, if they were going to capitalize on their
administrative experience, it would be later on, you know? We dropped the administrative field placement. [Pause.] Case work and clinical social work was really the core of the curriculum, you know, and human growth and behavior, and
so forth. The Council of Social Work Education specified areas that you had to cover, you know, and under human growth and behavior, psychopathology was a very important course, and Arthur [inaudible], who wasn’t a social worker. He was a clinical psychologist; had a PhD. He was hired and the whole time he was with us, he taught psychopathology and it was very popular as a professor. Arthur had grown up in Holland. I guess he got his PhD over there, then came to the States, and I was amazed later on to realize in talking to him, and he did to, that um, he was running around in Holland as a teenager and I was flying missions over Holland, you know, out of England in the 8th Air Force. I found this very interesting.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Yeah. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Arthur’s still alive. He’s down in the Carolinas.
[Denise Krause speaking]: I was going to ask you. So, you had Art [inaudible], and then Lou Schwartz, who was — [Gerry Miller speaking]: Lou Schwartz came from a law school. He was a faculty member in the law school, and that was another
concentration that we developed, it was law and social work. There were very few
students in it, but if you went into that program, you got both a Master’s degree
in Social Work and a Law degree. Took another year, as I remember. I know you
have students here in that kind of program now, and I can’t really tell you the
difference between then and now, [laughter]. And I was, I wasn’t against it, but I wasn’t a large proponent of it, because as far as I could see, everybody who got a Law and Social
Work degree ended up in law. They really didn’t go into Social Work, although one of our graduates started out, and is still I think working with
immigrants. And I don’t remember his name, but I could come up with it, you know.
[Denise Krause speaking]: So, what was it like? I’m trying to envision a fac-, a Social Work faculty that had
people from other disciplines on the faculty. So, you had Art from psychology and
Lou from law. Was there ever debates or differences? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, it was felt that
students in the School of Social Work needed courses that had law content in them. And I can go off into that as an aside, because I still don’t think we
teach students what they need to know about the law, and this is from my own
experience with Paul Edwards’ death. I better not start on that. [Pause.] Your questions … Oh, Irv Fowler, who is in that picture. [Denise Krause speaking]: Okay.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: He was a PhD in Sociology, and he taught the research courses. Because most of the MSW people were not that
knowledgeable about research. So, Irv was the PhD, and at that time – that was a good
question – at that time, all the schools of Social Work expected their MSW students
to do a thesis, and this was impossible. Because if you’re in class two days a
week and in a field placement three days a week, when do you have time to turn out
a Master’s thesis with research and all that goes with it? So, a lot of students
just never got their MSW, because they didn’t finish their thesis. Now, Ben
Lyndon, after he became dean, we and I was part of that, we set up a moratorium, and
notified all the students who didn’t get their Master’s degree, because they
didn’t complete their thesis. If they finished the thesis within the next, I
guess, was two years they could get their MSW. And quite a few students did that,
you know? It was really unfair to students to expect them to be in a
program where it was almost impossible to complete the requirements. Now, all the
schools have dropped the, the en-, the thesis, MSW thesis. But if you go to the, what would I call it? The library’s storerooms, you will find literally dozens of very interesting Master’s theses that were done by students. A lot of them did a history of the agency that they working in, you know? [Denise Krause speaking]: Oh, that makes sense.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Yeah, there’s some excellent stuff there. And I’m sure doesn’t get used, you know.
[Denise Krause speaking]: I, one of the documents that I came across, was a document talked about
shared governance with students. It, it was called a bicameral legislature?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: This was part of the, part of the Zweig regime. He got into
a lot of this sort of stuff. And when we went for accreditation, and I think this
had to be done like every four years, I can remember the documents that went in
were like this, you know? [Indicating a stack of documents.] Well, when, when Zweig was dean, and had to send in documents, we had a pile this hight [indicates a pile of documents twice as high as before] to get accreditation with, and he was great on, you know,
developing all this kind of stuff, and I wasn’t opposed to it. It seemed to me we
were spending too much time on stuff that didn’t accomplish very much. And, and Zweig hired a few faculty who were of his philosophy, so to speak, and so, we had a
lot of friction between the faculty. You know, Frank Hodges, a World War II
veteran; not for the war in Vietnam, but not really in favor of all the student
unrest either. He ended up with a big paperweight on his deck, desk which
was a rock that somebody had thrown through his window.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Oh, really?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: I must tell you a little bit more about Frank Hodges. Frank came from Indianapolis,
and I guess the local bishop there got interested in Frank, and really kind of
steered him in their own direction, so, he didn’t become delinquent. But when World
War II came along, Frank had always been interested in guns, and shooting, and so
forth. He got drafted, but he got drafted late in World War II, when he was about
30 years old. When he got drafted, and he volunteered to for the Air Force, was
Army Air Corps at that time, and they made him a gunner on a four-engine
bomber B-24s, I remember correctly. So, he flew 35 missions in Italy, in the 15th
Air Force there, and I don’t think he disliked the military, but he was on an airplane with ten, nine other people, all of whom were about 20, 21 years old, and here Frank was 30, and all these kids just drove him crazy.
When he got out of the service, he was shaking like this. [Demonstrates his hands shaking.] And he never got on an airplane again. He wouldn’t fly commercially, wouldn’t go near an airport, you know? He’d had it. And Frank and his wife, Judy, who was a, became a very good
friend of ours after Frank died. They didn’t have any children, but they were
animal lovers, and they had dogs and cats, and had to buy a place where they
could keep their menagerie. Frank and Bloom were very good friends. Marvin Bloom
can tell you more about Frank Hodges than I can. Frank taught courses like
Social Welfare and Policy, and so forth. And I can remember him coming in in the middle
of a semester, and saying, “What do I do next, you know? I’ve covered everything in the course, and I’ve got half a semester left.” [Laughter.] But students told me he was an excellent
lecturer, you know.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Did a lot of the faculty socialize? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Yeah. Some, you know. We had a poker club at one point, that met regularly. The men did at least, you know. And then I think we lost
that because the women didn’t like being isolated, you know? Not part of the poker club. [Pause.] But um, Ben Lyndon’s wife was a great
person. Ben and Clara were Jewish, and she was a superb cook, as far as Jewish delicacies were concerned, you know. And, uh, they had parties which were very popular, and Clara Lyndon, who also had a Master’s degree in
Social Work and worked for one of the agencies for a while, you know, provided a
very nice climate at all the faculty parties and so forth. [Denise Krause speaking]: And what about the
connection between faculty and students? Did faculty feel connected to students or disconnected?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: It varied from faculty member to faculty member.
Cornelia Allen, it’s really a shame that you can’t interview Cornelia Allen. And
let me back up a little bit on the history of the school. It’s my
understanding, and a lot of this I can’t document, but it’s what I heard. In the
early 30s, in the sociology departments, you had … [pause]. I’m blocking on names again. Anyway, the man who became the first Dean
of the School of Social Work.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Niles Carpenter? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Niles Carpenter. You got it, thank you. And in the sociology department, that there was a professor who had a national
reputation in the field of Criminology, you know? And as I understand it, these
two were kind of vying for top role in the sociology department. So, some
creative administrator decided one way to handle this would be to make Niles
Carpenter Dean of the School of Social Work that they wanted to start. [Laughter.] Niles Carpenter had no training in Social
Work. He had a Divinity degree from Harvard or
someplace like that, and he was a great guy, I guess, everybody liked him. But I’ve
heard he didn’t like social workers. So, you know. [Laughter.] He worked at it very hard, but
he didn’t have the kind of background in social work that I feel is essential for
a faculty member. I mean, I don’t think anybody should go on, on a faculty of a
School of Social Work, unless they’ve worked in an agency for a while, you know?
I’ve gotten to know the field. But Niles was a good administrator, and he
had hired Cornelia Allen and Grace Russo. Grace was a UB graduate, and uh, when I
joined the faculty. She was director of field inspection and Cornelia Allen
was a social worker who did everything. She worked at the Protestant home for
children. Would take kids out on camping trips on weekends. And, and she was one of
the key people at Cradle Beach Camp, you know. In fact, one of the, the students that
worked at Cradle Beach Camp that she, I would say developed as a social worker
was our alumni, alumnus now who is with the FBI. Or was with the FBI. and I’m blocking on his name.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Bernie Talbert? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Bernie Talbert. He was one of Cornelia’s proteges, and after the experience at Cradle Beach Camp, and so
forth and so on, he got into the Master’s degree in social work, and then, as you
know, he left that to go with the FBI and so forth, where he’s done very well. But Cornelia had all kinds of followers like that. And she was on the
faculty when I came on and stayed on until she retired and
I guess this is appropriate to this interview. When I joined the faculty I
was impressed with academe and so forth. So, we had our first commencement after I
joined, on the steps of the library and I mean the student body
was small enough. So, that if the weather was good you could have it outside on the steps of the library. [Laughter.] I didn’t have an academic gown, so I had to rent one. Anyway, after I
came in and sat down Cornelia Allen was in line, and Cornelia came in and sat down
right in front of me. And then, the reality begins to set in. Her father had
been a professor in New England. I can’t remember which college there, a
prestigious college and so forth. And, uh, the academic robe that she wore was
something she had inherited from him and it was all wool and full of moth holes. [Laughter.] A little thing like that didn’t bother Cornelia. Everybody liked Cornelia, but she
certainly wouldn’t fit into a modern-day faculty in the School of Social Work, you know. And I
can remember her taking, after she retired taking a bunch of kids on a
weekend, you know? Kids from the Protestant Home that most people couldn’t even
handle for a couple hours, she’d take ’em for a weekend some place, you know. And uh, excuse me, I said Grace Russo became Director of Field Instruction which she did, and because she came on during the 30s, she was very loyal to Niles Carpenter, and and, the changes that occurred in the
60s were very difficult for Grace. She finally retired, and became the first
Director of Social Work at the West Seneca Developmental Center which at
that time was mental retardation. But then, because she was developing an eye
problem which made it difficult for her to drive at night. And I mention
Cornelia and Grace Russo because they were on the faculty probably the
longest of any of the faculty at that time. [Denise Krause speaking]: When you retired, what was different about the school? Like what, what resonated with you when you look back on your, gosh, your very
long career with the School? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, it’s interesting, you know. When you talk about, when do people retire, I was going along and I had no desire to
retire, and I thought, you know … And I was here for 32 years, and I was 72 when I retired.
[Denise Krause speaking]: No.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Oh yeah. [Denise Krause speaking]: I’m doing the math.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Yeah. But all of a sudden, I
realized you know that health-wise it didn’t make sense to try and continue.
I’d had some surgery, and so forth. And so, I retired. Paul, Paul Edwards
retired in ’93, and I retired in ’94, and I guess that was part of it, too. I thought,
I’ve been here long enough. And, uh, it wasn’t the same after Paul left. I didn’t – I
can get along with the all the other faculty, but it wasn’t nearly as
enjoyable as it was when he was here too. [Denise Krause speaking]: And Fred was here then, right?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Yes. Yeah, Fred was dean at that point, yeah. And then Fred had gone through the
school, you know. He got his Bachelor’s degree, or Master’s degree here, and then I
think he got his PhD in Wisconsin, didn’t he? Yeah. He came here on his motorcycle from Wisconsin. [Laughter.] [Denise Krause speaking]: Now there was a period in there where the school was on probation? Was that, like in the 70s? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Yeah, at the time that that booklet was put out –
[Denise Krause speaking]: Yeah, ’82. [Gerry Miller speaking]: – as part of this. They got a lot of community support, and so on, and so forth. And rallied, and I guess you would say saved school. But this was part of a general decline in interest in social work after the Vietnam War, you know what I mean? The Great Society was gone, the War on Poverty was gone. Social work was almost a
dirty word, you know? And I think universities were losing interest in it. But then, the doctoral programs developed in Social Work. At the time, I got my Master’s degree in 1958, and at that point there were only a few schools that offered a PhD, you know? Columbia and then, uh. [Pause.] Where Zweig got his PhD.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Ilinois?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: No. In New England. [Pause.] I’ll think of it.
[Pause.] Anyway, the PhD programs obviously gave status to social work that it hadn’t had before all these PhD programs. I started working on a PhD in Sociology which I never finished. Got all of course
work done but never got into doing the thesis and that wasn’t uncommon. Frank Zweig got a law degree while he was here as dean at the School of Social Work.
[Denise Krause speaking]: You’re kidding?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: No. [Laughter.] Now how do you do that?
[Denise Krause speaking]: I don’t, I don’t know. Holy cow. The note that Sue just wrote me was asking if we wanted to take a break. I don’t know if you need to or not?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: It might be a good idea, just for a couple of minutes. [Denise Krause speaking]: Okay, okay.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Cause I want to think of a couple of these names that we’re trying to … [Denise Krause speaking]: One of the things that I was meaning to ask you about was, what your perceptions was – now I know this is, there’s 30 years here – but just overall,
or even any changes you notice of how the community perceived the School of
Social Work through your tenure at the School? [Gerry Miller speaking]: It’s a good question. When I first came on the faculty, there was a an organization called The
Social Workers Club in Buffalo, and we also had NASW. But the Social Workers
Club was made up with people who are doing social work and a lot of them were
Bachelor’s-level people out of the Welfare Department or the private
agencies, and this would – we’d have a lunch- they’d have a luncheon meeting of the
Social Workers Club once a month or so and it was very well attended. That’d be
done at one of the restaurants downtown, you know. And it was easy for people to get
to from the agency and so forth. And it was very popular. The Social Workers Club
over the years collapsed, you know?
[Pause.] Social workers became more identified as
MSW people. Whereas up until that time, they weren’t, and the caseworkers and the
welfare department were seen as social workers and so forth. But part of this
had to do with a whole structuring of public welfare. When I worked for Monroe
County Department of Social, of Public Welfare, public assistance clients were,
were divided then into old age assistance, aid to the disabled, unmarried mothers,
and I want to go a bit further with that, because that’s very important. And, uh, I
don’t know, there were 4 or 5 categories. Well, you didn’t just qualify somebody
for public assistance on the basis of a means test, financial means test. They had
to be put into one of these categories, you know? And uh … [pause.] Now this was in the late 50s. Since then,
that whole thing has changed, so that some of these categories of people
qualify under, uh … now I’m blanking. [Pause.] Social Security, oh, federal programs. In other words, they could qualify under a federal program. So that they get a check into
their bank account every month, you see? And this changed the whole public welfare
thing and the perception of, of Social Work. Now, at the time we had all those
child welfare grants, there was one in … there was a Children’s Bureau
in Washington, and the history of the Children’s Bureau goes back to about 1910, when the great women in the Settlement Houses got the Children’s Bureau going, and one of them headed it up. It really focused on children.
That’s when you got the child labor laws established, and so on and so forth. In the, in the 60s, this woman who was a major person in the Child Welfare
Training grants, her goal was to have every child welfare worker in the
country with an MSW degree. Of course, it never happened, because it was too
expensive, and didn’t have the support of general population and as you know today
if anything gets cut in the welfare department, it may be child welfare, because who’s going to scream for these kids, you know? [Pause.] Also, the agency’s changed. Now, when I was
starting, you had two big agencies in the community. One was called Family Service,
and the other was called Children’s Aid Society and the Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty of Children. That had both of these functions. And Marguerite Gain was the
executive director and she was very dedicated to Social Work education and
she had a national reputation for standards in the field of child welfare.
And she had five departments, I think it was five. One was foster care, one was adoption, one was the SPCA function, you know? Because
this that was the only agency in the community that dealt with protecting of
abused children, and a lot of communities didn’t even have an agency that did that.
So, eventually at the federal level it was, laws were passed so that every
welfare department had to have a Department of Child Welfare that dealt
with neglect and abuse, and so forth. So, the whole program of that agency changed with these laws and also, I wanted to mention
that in ’61 when I started you still had Homes for Unmarried Mothers in the
community, Anglicized Home was one of them. Salvation Army had a home. Baker Hall over in Lackawanna, they all had programs for unwed mothers, where women could go to have their baby, and they weren’t forced to put it into adoption, but at the time
they had the baby, they had to decide whether the baby was going to be adopted or
they were going to keep the baby. And with the change in the abortion law, all
of those agencies closed, you know? And at one time, I was on the faculty, but I became
president of Ingleside Home, and, and those agencies, like Ingleside
Home, the structure is still there. It’s, it’s a beautiful building, brick building. You have prominent women in the community who wanted to be on the board of Ingleside Home, because you were doing something for unmarried mothers
and babies and so on and so forth. And I remember, one of the women that came to
Ingleside Home to have her baby was the daughter of a very important diplomat in
Washington, DC. And she didn’t want Washington to know what was going on. So,
she came to Buffalo, and had her baby here. And also, the attitude toward the
family … Washington changed, so I can’t remember who still had this annual
conference on the family. You know, social workers all over the country came to
this conference in Washington, on the family, and they finally just dropped the
whole thing, because they couldn’t agree on a definition of family, you know? [Laughter.]
The traditional family no longer sufficed. And uh, of course then students became more, and
faculty became more involved in, in addiction, because, until fairly recently,
it was just alcoholism, you know? You didn’t have all the drug problems that
we have today, which I see as one of the big changes in the practice of social
work. You have to cope with addiction, chemical abuse in every agency now. [Denise Krause speaking]: You mentioned in, we just talked briefly about, the point at which the school was, you know about to be cut from the University and
people that rallied, and how, how did that happen? Like how did the community come
together to support the school? Any sense about that? [Gerry Miller speaking]: There were some prominent
agency board members, like Ruth Kahn. [Denise Krause speaking]: Okay.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: You know, who became part of this, and I’ve got some pictures of meetings, you know. Paul Edwards was on this
committee. There was an advertising executive in Buffalo, who became very
important because he backed the school and turned out stuff that they could
use to … [pause.] Not glamorize, but to provide an
accurate picture of what the school was doing and so forth. And, uh. Ask Ike about that when you interview Ike, because some … [pause.] He may have a better picture of that than I do.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Were people worried? Were students worried? Were faculty worried? [Gerry Miller speaking]: I don’t know. I don’t remember being worried myself. I just felt, this isn’t going to happen, you know?
But, um …[pause.] And I don’t think any, any university
dropped its School of Social Work, you know, in cities across the country. Interestingly
enough, my wife and I both have Master’s degrees from the University of Rochester,
and the U of R is a very fine academic institution, but they dropped their
doctoral programs on sociology a few years ago. [Pause.] They still teach sociology courses, but
they don’t offer a PhD in sociology. I thought that was very significant.
[Denise Krause speaking]: How about at the time you left the university? What was your sense about how the School of Social Work was connected to the community? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, we had started
offering courses in Jamestown. I went to Jamestown a couple of semesters.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Did you?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Oh, yeah. Yeah, that was fun, I enjoyed that. Because you had a bunch of students down there
who were very interested in the courses, you know what I mean? They were good students. Fredonia was interested in getting an
undergraduate program going. I believe they have now. Don’t they? A BSW?
[Denise Krause speaking]: Mm-hmm.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: And so did, uh, the school outside of Rochester.
[Denise Krause speaking]: There’s a couple now.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: It’s a church school. [Denise Krause speaking]: Roberts Wesleyan?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Roberts Wesleyan. And uh, of course Brockport, got a program going. So, one of the big changes though was the fact that, and Paul, you know, was
unhappy about this, is that as a social worker salaries deteriorated, the number of
men attracted to social work decreased. [Pause.] And certainly, I did much better
financially by joining an academic institution, then staying in a social agency.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Interesting point. What about the this, just your thoughts on the student body, itself, in terms of diversity. How did that change in the, your tenure there?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, the first year I was on the faculty was 1961, and I
was very impressed with the students that we had at that time. You know, Mike Moran? Mike was in my first casework class and there’s a black woman who was in
that class too – and I’m gonna block out her name, but, but she was outstanding in
public welfare. And she left Buffalo to become president of a four-year college down in one of the Carolinas maybe. Or Virginia, in that area. I can get her name. I should remember it, but I don’t. There was another person in that class who, Franchin, Carl Franchin, a good friend of Mike Moran’s. He’s out in California. Oh, and another thing, out of the scholarship
programs, this was interesting. They, in order to encourage people to get an MSW,
they allowed public welfare agencies to grant an educational leave, I think it
was called, for a year at full salary to go work on an MSW, you know. And then,
after they got their MSW, they had a commitment to come back and work
for the welfare department, for I don’t know, two or three years. It wasn’t, you
know, overdone but after they got there MSW, there were quite a few
people who didn’t want to go back to the Welfare Department, you know, and work with an MSW. And I think it was down in Warsaw, we had one male student who, you
know, really fought on [inaudible], big legal hassle with the Welfare Department. But see, there was all this
encouragement for students to get there. [Denise Krause speaking]: And we were talking about the diversity of the student body. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Oh, what uh, well, I was saying, in ’61, I was very impressed. It isn’t that we didn’t have good students, but … [pause.] That’s an interesting question. I really would need to think about that more to answer it fully. [Pause.] After the 60s, without those training
grants, students didn’t come into the school focused on some particular field
of child welfare, or of social work that they were going to work in after they
graduated, you know. And in the 60s, when there were more men, a lot of these guys
headed for probation or parole or Corrections, you know? And I think the
interest in Corrections stropped. I thought, are there any students in the school interested in Corrections?
[Denise Krause speaking]: One or two maybe. [Gerry Miller speaking]: They’re badly needed there, but …
[Denise Krause speaking]: Well, one of the things we see now, a lot of students who are interested in becoming private practitioners. And I’m curious if that was the case … [Gerry Miller speaking]: No, I mean that, that
developed, probably started developing in the 70s, you know. It was a late development, and a lot of it was financial. I mean they, they found that they could make more money in private practice and also they had freedom to do what they
wanted to. One of the frustrating things in all of public welfare or public agencies
is the documentation that the social workers hate, you know? [Laughter.]
[Denise Krause speaking]: I was, wanted to ask you earlier, we were talking about the 60s and one of the things that read
about a lot is the storming of Foster Hall. And in, in that, it’s mentioned that
Social Work students were arrested and a Social Work faculty was arrested and I’m just wondering who that faculty was? This is ’69. [Gerry Miller speaking]: I don’t remember
who got arrested. I know one of the – I’m glad you asked that question too, because, one of the, the most outspoken and aggressive and difficult people on the faculty at this
time was a woman. And, and I don’t, God … Frederickson. What was her first name? Anyway, her last name was Frederickson. And among other things, she was one of
the ones who, there was a large group, but she was, she was very adamant, and very
active in this group that really got the the Air Force ROTC program removed from
the campus, you know? They just gave up the ROTC program, because this group
that, you know, is so adamant. This was all a Vietnam War type thing, and she was
encouraging students to do all kinds of things and she loaned them a car which
she had checked out as a faculty member and they were picked up on the Thruway
on their way to Rochester or Brockport or something. And she may have been the one who was arrested, because this was strictly, you know, forbidden. She had no right to give that car to the students, you know. And also it could have caused all kinds of legal problems for the university, if they’d had an accident. Connie Frederickson, very outspoken at faculty meetings. I mean not just the
School of Social Work, but general faculty meetings. She attacked one of the, verbally
attacked, one of the top research people in the medical school. But there was so much tension on campus over all of this. You’ve seen the pictures with the tear gas, and so forth? Cops on campus. So, we didn’t get into it anything is as bad as a Kent State, you
know, where several students were shot and killed, you know. But I’m told if you talk to the
current set of students at Kent State, they don’t know anything about this.
Yeah, they don’t know the history, you know. But that was, I mean it was very
unfortunate that it happened, but you could see how a bunch of very young
green guys in the National Guard or whatever it was, you know, they got guns.
Guns are to be used, you know, when you feel threatened, and it was really a sad thing.
[Denise Krause speaking]: What would, how would students describe you, if we were interviewing students and
we said, “Well, tell us about professor Miller?” [Gerry Miller speaking]: That’s not a fair question. [Laughter.]
[Denise Krause speaking]: What would they say? [Gerry Miller speaking]: You’d have to ask students.
[Denise Krause speaking]: What was your reputation? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, I think all faculty members were liked and disliked, you know? There
were very, very few faculty members that were totally liked, you know? It depended on
what you taught for one thing, you know? I mean, I think Krine’s was, was very well
liked, because he taught psychopathology and he was so knowledgeable, you know.
And it was of course that students needed. I feel that the psychopathology course is
really one of the breaking courses for social worker. If you can’t handle the
psychopathology course, you’re going to have trouble doing clinical social work, you know? And but the knowledge he imparted was
as a psychologist, not as a social worker. [Denise Krause speaking]: Remind me again what you taught?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Many things. I was basically a case work teacher in the beginning, you know. And as
time went by, and we needed people to teach things and we didn’t have them,
I taught research, I taught the social policy course. I taught history, and then, we got the undergraduate program going, you see. The courses were, were different in the undergraduate program. I taught several different things in the
undergraduate program. Yeah. [Denise Krause speaking]: So, would it be fair to say case work was your favorite?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, I was clinical. [Pause.] Yeah, but I, I also got to, I guess feel as a faculty member, that if you just learn case work, you were too narrow as a professional case, social worker, you know? And I was involved with NASW. I was president for one year of the local chapter, and that was an experience, but that was also an interesting experience, because at that point, NASW had money. I
can’t remember why we had money, but I had a bunch … we even
hired a part-time person to work for NASW. [Denise Krause speaking]: Do you remember what year that was?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Not without looking. It had, had to be in the 70s. I would say. I
know it wasn’t in the 80s, it was in the 70s. And I was active in the Social
Workers Club, because I thought that was a very fine organization, you know? It really provided
camaraderie and cohesiveness for people that were doing social work. You could
only find somebody who they could talk to in the Social Workers Club, you know? They
couldn’t talk to their relatives about it; they couldn’t talk with their friends about it,
but they could talk to other social workers, you know? About the
problems they are struggling with. [Denise Krause speaking]: What do you think is important for the people who are going to watch this or read about you? What would you like them
to know about you and the School of Social Work? [Pause.] [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, I think the changes that have occurred in the practice of social work since 1961 when I came on the faculty. The
changes that have occurred in, in the practice of Social Work, and in agencies, and
then you brought in the private practice thing which I think is very
important, and also, the research. I was very impressed by the Social Work Day
this year when they brought back graduates of the PhD program. There were
some outstanding people in that program doing very important research. [Pause.] I’m not sure I’m answering your question.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Well, it’s kind of a hard question, because you, you have 30 years of history to make sure we know, you know? I want to make sure we were knowing what it is you
think is important for us to know. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, I think that one of the places where we’re failing miserably is in the field of Child Welfare. We’re not willing to spend the money. We’re willing to condemn some poor case worker who’s got too many cases, and, and something goes radically wrong in one of her cases and she doesn’t have training to deal with it, and she’s got five times as many cases as she should have, you know? I can say that, but it isn’t going to change
anything, you know? [Denise Krause speaking]: And would you have said that in 1963? [Pause.] [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, I think there was better support for Social Work and Child Welfare at that time than there is now, you know. The
fact that the Children’s Bureau was willing to give out — well, let me describe
what a training grant was like. See, if you had a training grant in Child
Welfare, you could hire a new faculty member who would spend three days a week
in an agency instructing students as a faculty field instructor. And agencies were glad to get them, because they couldn’t devote enough time on the part of their staff to supervise six students.
But, if you gave them a new staff member who would take the six students, you know,
they were happy to get them, and we had them – Ike wrote one training grant program in Child Welfare where we put an MSW in the Urban League, you know? Which was not
all case work, you know. It had to do with all kinds of child welfare problems, and so
these training grants you were able to do some very good things for agencies, you know? Oh, I left out. We were talking about
Children’s Aid and Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children. As that
agency changed in response to the funding and laws and so forth, it was
decided that that agency and Family Service could merge. And Family Service –
Art Swanson was the executive director. He had just built a new building for
the Family Service Agency, beautiful offices for clinical social workers, you know? And they, they decided that, the United Way decided it couldn’t fund both agencies
the way they had in the past, so they sold the Family Service Association’s
new building and collapsed the two into the agency which is now Family and Children’s.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Really? I didn’t realize that. [Gerry Miller speaking]: See, they only needed one executive director. They, ah …
And most people don’t know that, you know, this, this kind of change represents
what was going on in society. And I am very unhappy with the fact
that when it comes to awards for students, you have an Art Swanson award,
but you don’t have a Marguerite Gaine Award – and she had more of a national
reputation in Child Welfare than Arthur Swanson did in Family Service. [Denise Krause speaking]: What’s your most memorable experience? Good or bad, but … or both? [Gerry Miller speaking]: Most memorable experience. I don’t think you can expect that beefy answer to that. Just a general kind
of thing. I say, when I joined the faculty, I didn’t really expect to stay here more than two or three years. So, I think that was the most memorable thing about it, is the fact that it became such an interesting and exciting place to work, because everything that was going on … and so there wasn’t a particular event. And I liked some deans and I disliked some deans.
[Denise Krause speaking]: And when you
dislike them, which, would, when the faculty wasn’t so happy with the dean,
what hap-, what changed in the school? [Pause.] [Gerry Miller speaking]: You, it lost a lot of its creativity, you know? In order to really come up with new ideas, and, and develop them, you have to
have a climate that fosters that. Whereas if you got a rigid climate that says, you
know, this is the way to do with this is the only way you do it, then so forth all
you do is end up arguing about it, you know? And you look after …
[Denise Krause speaking]: So, what
did you think about Fred and his guitar playing kind of …?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: I liked Fred. Fred and I got along well. Yeah. [Pause.] His guitar playing was much more important to him, then it was to me.
[Laughter.] [Denise Krause speaking]: I’m trying to picture who else he played with? Dean Santos, Fred, and then, there were three of them. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, there was a faculty member in this undergraduate program in Rochester. Was that Dean Santos?
[Denise Krause speaking]: I think it was, yeah. [Gerry Miller speaking]: And who was the third one? I mean, it seems to me there are three people. [Denise Krause speaking]: They called it The Hull House revival.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, and I got his tape, you know? [Denise Krause speaking]: Do you?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Never play it, but I got it. Wasn’t my kind of thing, yeah. But I think Fred was a very competent musician, and that, that got
a lot of support, and so forth. We had different interests. [Pause.] And I knew, you know, his wife Anne, who
was on the faculty of the School of Nursing. [Denise Krause speaking]: Oh, yeah, that’s right.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: I met his kids,
but I really didn’t get to know them. [Pause.] Fred had different interests and a
different perception of … [pause.] … social work. Not like that research
conference that I have the pictures of, you know. He was hoping to make that an annual
event, you know. An annual event in Social Work research and you’d have to ask him
why we never got beyond the first year with that. And I think Fred’s, I mean, I
really applauded Fred’s interest in Social Work research and I think we we
can’t do too much research. It’s a question where you get the money and the
people to do it that’s the problem.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Right. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Oh, Irv Fowler was our research person, as I said, and he was a PhD sociologist, but his only concentration was on
getting students through their theses production. He didn’t do research himself. And Irv had, I think, three heart attacks in the classroom. [Denise Krause speaking]: Really?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: He finally died of a heart attack.
[Denise Krause speaking]: The students were that stressful, huh? [Gerry Miller speaking]: [Laughter.] Well, he was a World War II veteran. So, I don’t remember he wasn’t real young when he died of a heart attack.
I don’t really know the history of his, of his heart problems.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Now, were you
with the school when school was in Alumni, Alumni Arena, the gym?
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Oh, yeah.
[Denise Krause speaking]: How did that happen? [Gerry Miller speaking]: There were [inaudible] there, on the North Campus, and see, when I first
joined the faculty we were in Foster Hall on the ground level and School of
Education was upstairs, for the most part. And those were good quarters, I never
really had any problem with them. And then we got, when Sherman Merle was dean, we got shuttled into one of these temporary buildings, over here. Do you remember reading about that?
[Denise Krause speaking]: Yeah. [Gerry Miller speaking]: That was a, that was a poor location. And when Frank Zweig was dean, I had an office out in Williamsville, okay? And then we ended up in Allen Hall, down at the foot of the hill, down here, and actually that wasn’t a bad place. You see, whether you liked where you were not,
demanded as much on availability of parking, as much as anything else. [Laughter.]
[Denise Krause speaking]: I understand.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: So, if you’re
an Allen Hall, parking was easy and when we went to the North Campus actually the
offices were fine. And at that point, I was trying to enhance my physical
condition. So, it was great to have your office in that building. You didn’t have
to go outdoors to go to the gym you just had to go down to the locker room and
change and so far I liked it out there I thought it was fine and the parking,
wasn’t that bad, you know? If you got there at the right time of day and I think that
the present location did I yeah I have an office over in there too – how many,
four or five times I moved. And I always had too much stuff in my
office, just like I had to go in my home. But if you think I’m bad, you should talk to Ike Alcabes. He had enough stuff in his car so he
can operate his office right out of his car. [Laughter, inaudible.] If you’d like to tell him, I’ll reintroduce you.
[Denise Krause speaking]: I will mention that to him though. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Ike has a good sense of humor. He’ll appreciate that, yeah. Where they are now though is is I think much more difficult to negotiate
from the parking standpoint, if nothing else. And, uh, they’re in a crowded academic building. Paul Edwards and I had frequently had adjacent offices, so, it was easy to go next door and commiserate or laugh about the of the day’s events. And
interestingly enough there were people in the school who are very important, who
weren’t on the faculty, like when Ben Lyndon was dean, he had Fran Burke. And she was a secretary, but she was more like an assistant dean, you know. If you wanted to get something done, you didn’t go to Ben Lyndon, you went to Fran Burke. And Helen Wallace who was an
administrative assistant for, under a couple, two, three deans. Helen was a very
helpful, competent person, you know?
[Denise Krause speaking]: Mm-hmm. I remember Helen. Anything else that you can think of that
would be important for us to capture? [Pause.] [Gerry Miller speaking]: Let me think about that, and I’ll try to give you some feedback after the interview, [inaudible.]
[Denise Krause speaking]: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Because I’m anticipating that after the interview, I’m gonna think, “Oh, I should have asked him that.” And I’m thinking, you might be thinking,
“Oh, I should have told them about this.” Well, some of them, some of the questions
that you’re asking, I think are good questions, like how was the
community how was the school viewed in the community I think you should
interview some people from the community and one of the ones that comes to mind
immediately is … [Pause.] He was head of the … the, um … [pause.] Research and … No, he was head of the United Way. [Denise Krause speaking]: Oh, Bennett. [Gerry Miller speaking]: He’s an alumnus of the school, you see, but he had a, because of his involvement with so many agencies in the community I think he
could answer that question very well in terms of how the school was viewed. And he’s no
longer in the job that he had where he was doing that, but he’s on … he’s very
active, I think, every day on the board of some, some foundation in Buffalo.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Oh, we’ll have to have to look him up.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: I can give you his name. [Denise Krause speaking]: It must be the guy before, Bennet, Bob Bennet.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Yes, I think that’s right. [Denise Krause speaking]: Anyone else or anything else that comes to mind in terms of capturing something? I, I when you were talking about Paul Edwards I was thinking, “Oh, it would be wonderful to interview his wife.” But unfortunately, she also is deceased.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: And one of the people he worked for as I said executive director
AARC, and one of the people on his board was a pediatrician researcher from
Children’s Hospital, who had a child that was born with PKU, you know? And with PKU
a child develops mental retardation because of the chemical imbalance in the
blood and so forth we got interested in that problem and actually he came up
with a test for PKU that’s given to infants now so child has it they can
prevent its developing, the child developing mental retardation. Well, he
was on Paul’s board and Paul had several people like that in the community that
he was close to. This man is dead. I mean some of those people will be interesting
to interview in terms of their perception of the school. Marguerite Gain
would be another one I’d love to have had, love for you to have an interview
with Marguerite Gain. Marguerite Gain was never married. She was, as I said, an expert in child welfare. She ran the Children’s Aid for years, and she lived with her sister in an apartment building
on Delaware Avenue, you know, all those big apartments. I think her sister died one day, and Marguerite Gain died the next day. I
think she didn’t have to take care of her sister any longer, so, you know, it was time to go. [Denise Krause speaking]: I’m impressed by all of your connections. You know, it seems like you, you’re kind of the keeper of the people, you know? That’s awesome.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: Well, if you’re 32 years of Buffalo and in the School of Social
Work you run into a lot of stuff, you know? [Denise Krause speaking]: Yeah.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: And I think you’re fortunate to have Denise Branson as dean. I’m very impressed by Denise. I feel if the drug
problem is one of the things that we really don’t know how to cope with. And I
don’t have the answers.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Yeah, I don’t know who has the answers and we don’t have money,
right? Either. That’s the other thing, we don’t put our resources where they need to go. Well, thank you.
[Gerry Miller speaking]: I’m sure I’ll think of
some things after. [Denise Krause speaking]: Well, I hope that you do, and that you call any of us. This has been wonderful. Thank you very much. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Thank you for having me. Yeah, okay. I’m glad to have been around long enough to do it. [Denise Krause speaking]: Well, we’re glad you are, too, yeah. Yeah, and we look forward to interviewing you and Ike, hopefully together. And maybe we
can get Howard to join us. That would be nice. [Gerry Miller speaking]: I think it would be good.
[Denise Krause speaking]: Yeah, I think so, too. [Gerry Miller speaking]: Bill, the guy whose name I was trying to think of … [end of video.]
[Closing slide stating:
UB School of Social Work, University at Buffalo]