The Marine Science Consortium

by
Ben Oostdam

page 15


The Consortium expanded rapidly and soon the annual budget reached over $ 600,000; considering that most of this was generated from grants, contracts and user fees, the colleges got a pretty good deal just contributing their annual fee and receiving tuitions in exchange for faculty salaries. The Consortium benefitted from not having to provide faculty salaries and benefits - which costs run as high as 90% of college budgets. Our overhead was exemplary low, but we did pay our own insurance costs while colleges typically did not have insurance arrangements for fieldwork.
In the early seventies, the office staff consisted of myself, one or two part-time secretaries, a part-time administrative assistant and a full time bookkeeper. Secretaries included Laura Ducker/Zercher/Jack, Jeannie Walker, Gloria ... and Barbara Lathrop. Graduate or older students who served as administrative and research assistants were Earl Frederick, Tom Patrick, Bob Swift, Bob Chase, Jim Palmer and Win Richardson. Ermon Postles, the retired Millersville State College business manager, did a marvelous job of doing the bookkeeping, while I myself did the day to day accounting ,budgeting, scheduling and most of the writing of proposals and reports.
Originally, an executive committee of three ran the affairs: Dr.Gilheany of Catholic University was Vice-President, Prof. Mary Mobley of Kutztown State College, Secretary, and I served as President/CEO. Annual elections were held for these positions and the President appointed chairs of committees. Later, the standing committees were chaired by five Vice-Presidents: Operations, Finance, Research, Academic Affairs, and P.R., who together constituted the Executive Committee which was chaired by the President. (who was also ex-officio member of each committee)
Because of the wide separation of the member institutions, meetings were few but rather long: usually at least twice a year for each committee, but four or more for the Executive. Much business was by phone, and would have been by Email if it had existed...
Each of the fieldstations (Lewes, Wallops and Erie) had its own staff, headed by a station manager who had full authority over operations. The first one was Don Wiggins, at the Delaware Bay Marine Science Center; succeeded by Bob Swift. At Wallops, Dick White was "inherited" from his supervising job he had held there for years at the community college which first occupied the Wallops center. At Erie, we only operated one or two summers, with Cdr Richard Laird as operations manager.
The field-staff consisted of one or two skippers to run the medium sized boats (say 50ft and smaller), an equipment manager, cooks and cleaners, and usually part-time secretaries.
We also conducted a Pre-College Program originally headed by Tom Patrick and subsequently staffed by our upto six of our own graduates. In 1971, we purchased the 90 ft Norwegian Sea Rescue Cutter/Icebreaker - subsequently research vessel (R.V.) "Annandale" which had a permanent crew of five and which was also scheduled from the President's Office. I think that the largest number of employees at any one time was about 40.

NOTE added on April 28, 2008: My successors as president were:
(1)Herb Hayes of Shippensburg University who served for about 7 years
(2)Bruce Haase of East Stroudsburg University, also about seven years
(3) -Prof.Answini of Kutztown University for more than 10 years; at the end of his presidency, the administration of TMSC was taken over by the Presidents of East Stroudsburg University and Kutztown University, retaining the two directors of each institution as an advisory board. Recently, when I alerted Millersville University to the fact that in December, 2008, TMSC will have its 40th Anniversay, I was told that the new TMSC had received a $ 15million grant for a new building to be conmpleted by next summer! Congratulations to the new leaders on this excellent way of celebrating the Anniversary!

BLO 990319 transfered 20080428.
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