Interview with Steven Burton Karges, 12/02/2016

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Alex Magestro, Interviewer | uwocs_Steven_Karges_12022016.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |


AM: Okay so we are recording here. My name is Alex Magestro and I am interviewing Steven Karges. How are you doing Steven?

SK: Good. We are having a little trouble putting a door on, but I'm doing fine other than that

AM: Okay do you want to just start off by giving me a little bit of background about yourself?

SK: Okay, first of all my dad Burton Karges was chairman of geology department. He taught there for many years, let's see probably mid 30s probably until 1970. I've been [unclear] what's going on about the university for a long time.

AM: Okay so where did you grow up when you were a kid?


SK: I grew up in Oshkosh. I could tell you where our house was but they made it into an access road to highway, near businesses near highway 21. We backed out onto the golf course before that was a big deal there was a lot there for sale, my folks bought it.

AM: Okay what did your parents do for work?

SK: Well, as I said my dad was a professor at UW Oshkosh for a long time, he was basically the geology department, because in the early years there weren't numerous people who were teaching in any one department, well the [unclear] department may have had more, and chemistry. But it wasn't until the tremendous 2:00expansion of the university that he was able to hire more people. I don't know how many they have now. They moved from Dempsey Hall up on the third floor across to Harrington on the first floor. And he lectured to a classroom full of 50 or 60 in it and then they were split into lab sections in smaller sizes. If that helps I don't know.

AM: Yeah so your dad was a professor here and what did your mom do for work?

SK: Well she raised me and my sister. It wasn't until after we were [unclear] 3:00she worked in the gift shop over at Evergreen Manor the retirement, rest home, or whatever it's called. But, before we were married she was an English teacher in 2 small schools in western Wisconsin, and both of them were from River Falls which is pretty close to the Hudson and the interstate across Minnesota.

AM: Alright, so in the neighborhood you grew up in what was it like? Did you have a lot of friends around?

SK: No I really-- there weren't many kids around. There would be even fewer 4:00today I'm sure but you have to remember that whole area around highway 21 hadn't been developed yet. There were a couple of friends I played with. Robins and his father was [Lowell?] and instead of being Lowell junior he always went by the name of Robin and he was 2 years ahead of me in school. But that was the only people living in the neighborhood who had kids.

AM: Okay, could you tell me a little bit about the schools you attended before you came to Oshkosh, so your grade school and your middle school?

SK: Yes, I went to, at that time was the [Rose C Shwart?] training school there on campus for kindergarten all the way through ninth grade. And then 3 years of 5:00high school at the old high school down on-- between high street and Algoma. No I'm sorry that's not right, that's north of Algoma. Now that's been all changed and the school is gone. And other things have happened in there. There are now 2 high schools in Oshkosh and the class I was in demonstrated in all sorts of things for a new school. Which would be Oshkosh West, but that didn't take place until-- My sister who is five years younger than I am and went to the campus school same as I did. And they were able to get a referendum passed and that's 6:00how north, or west got built. So I never had a chance to go there. So after I graduated from high school I knew I wanted to go on to graduate school. I wasn't quite sure what-- after looking over things it's funny how people make decisions on what school to go to. I thought long and hard about going to Harvard and being in history. I had excellent history teachers in UWO and I decided I probably wanted to be a historian. Unfortunately JFK had taken a lot of the good historians from Harvard to Washington. I gave some thought to going to Stanford. 7:00It's funny because I think they had an application, a non-refundable application [unclear] Oh one hundred dollars, which was a lot of money in those days. I looked at a few other schools but we had a guidance counselor at Oshkosh high school. I was a national Merit finalist. I didn't get a scholarship but I was a finalist. People would come, recruiters would come to Oshkosh and she would regularly pull several out of our classes and have us talk with the recruiters. Finally my folks thought I was missing too much school and they just said don't take him out of anymore classes, so I didn't. And by that time I pretty well 8:00figured out that I wanted to go to Madison. It's a tremendous-- at that time was a tremendous place for historians to go to, very fun. But in the end I said-- and my folks talked with me. A lot of my friends were going to Madison as freshman, but I decided I'd be going there as a graduate student. So I went to UWO. And it's funny, the first year, freshman year, I already made a deposit for dorm room and all sorts of things like that at Madison. The last day to cancel I went down and mailed a card saying I wasn't coming. The second year, my sophomore year, I really wasn't sure I wanted to go. I had a lot of friends by 9:00that time and was a leader on the campus and all-- so I think I sat down about a month before the closing date and said I'm not coming, and then I graduated from Oshkosh. I went to graduate school at Madison at that time, and still today is one of the finest history departments in the world really. So let's see... I graduated in 63. I was in graduate school for 5 years doing my master's thesis. Taking classes all the time. My PhD Thesis is on David Clark Everest, who is president general manager of marathon paper mills. I got interested on him 10:00because my master's thesis on Neenah and Menasha and the great depression. They were water-- paper driven and they hardly knew the depression occurred. Oshkosh on the other hand was a lumber town at that time and they were laid flat on their backs. So I... besides Everest had given his papers to the state historical society. So they were readily available. And it was through a master's thesis that I learned about Everest and what he had done and he was an entrepreneur and interestingly enough often businesses are-- you start in the middle, you start producing things, and then you expand and you have sales 11:00personnel and you expand backwards and you have control of the raw materials. Well, Everest did it a little different. He started out at the raw material end of things. Then he brought up the company in Menasha that they were making cardboard for, bread wraps and butter cartons, things like that. They didn't do any newsprint or anything like that. They did do some fine writing paper but not that much. They were more-- they were a paper converter they're called, and they converted the raw or rough paper they got from Wausau into various things. Then rather than hiring a company to sell things, he built his own sales organization 12:00and he liked to tell that he controlled everything from tree to trade. Meaning they bought the raw materials, they converted the raw materials into paper. Then they converted them into products that salesmen would sell and he liked that. It gave him an enormous amount of control, just like Carnegie did in steel, it's much the same.

AM: Okay so just taking a step back here [yeah] before you decided to attend Oshkosh did you have any previous knowledge of college? What did you think it would be like?

SK: Well I had tremendous knowledge of college. Remember my dad was a prof, and 13:00I knew I wanted to go into education by the time I graduated. I can't teach, or I couldn't teach, I can't! In a high school or a grade school. I don't have the proper course background or the credentials or anything like that. I think maybe with a PhD you ought to be able to teach anywhere but you have to be licensed and have to meet certain  requirements. Essentially I graduated from Oshkosh as a liberal arts major, history liberal arts. History was my major and liberal arts was the college that I was in.

AM: Here at Oshkosh what dorm did you live in your first year?

SK: I lived at home.

AM: Oh you commuted?

SK: Yeah.

AM: Okay at your time here at Oshkosh did you meet any lifelong friends here?


SK: Yes I did. A number of them. One of them-- well especially particular is a fella who is a year younger than I was, Russ Hutchison and his wife. He's the one who they just gave major scholarship to kids who-- this was the first time in the family that they gone to college. He became a lawyer eventually and moved around and then moved back to Wisconsin. Then rather than just letters, we have dinner or lunch about once a month with the four of us. There were other kids that were friends, not as tight as Russ and Jean, but there were a number of 15:00others. I was a leader on campus, lots of people knew me. I was president of my class I think 4 years in a row, maybe not that, I'm not sure. I was not in a fraternity, because you know I didn't have to be. I had enough friends that, I didn't need that. And there are other people that I know quite well still. Russ and Jean are probably the closest ones. We had a get together in [Stoten?] 2 weeks ago, set up by my wife's-- one of her friends and got to meet one of the 16:00guys who I hadn't seen in 50 years. We were friends but he's an architect and moved to California. He's now moved, he and his wife moved back to Madison. As I say, this is the first time in 50 years we had a chance to say hello and we spent a very nice evening talking about our experiences.

AM: That's very cool. So you said you were president of your class multiple times. That's pretty impressive, did you party at all? Did you go to the bars or anything on the weekends?

SK: Not really, I'm not a big drinker, so not really. I also was dating a girl who was a Methodist minister's daughter. Especially if I knew it was going to be 17:00a wild party and I didn't want to go and sometimes she did, but I'd say you know I don't know if your fathers congregation would really like to know you've been visiting these bars [unclear] so we didn't. But there were a lot of other things you could do besides go out and drink until you were blind. And it's a long-- there used to be a bar down across from what Scott I think it was, and the lights went out. And everybody was searching around and they told this one kid that well what's the trouble with you? Well it's dark in here I can't see anything. And they said well we can see everything, you must be blind! They caught him into believing that until the lights came back on about a half hour 18:00later. As I said there were lots of things you could do: of course go to the athletic events, and then go out and have something to eat, or go bowling, and things like that. Part of it was not only Mary's father but I was pretty sure my dad wouldn't have and mom, wouldn't have grounded me or anything like that, but I think they would've been a little disappointed if the police had raided one of these underage beer parties that were common, and my name in the paper too. So we didn't go to many of those.

AM: Okay so you mentioned you were dating this girl Mary, is that who is your 19:00wife now?

SK: No, no there were 4 couples that did a lot together and everybody expected these 8 kids would someday get married. We all did get married, but not to the people we were dating in high school and college which is sort of strange. The girl that I was dating, it's very hard for me to get my hands around it. She got married, she was an English teacher in Madison and what was it 2 summers ago he died and it's very-- it's hard for me to put together for me that she is a widow, because most of the widows I know are a good bit older than she is. So no 20:00I married a girl I met in graduate school.

AM: Okay so you were friends with her before?

SK: What the girl I married?

AM: Yeah

SK: No. I didn't even know her.

AM: Oh you met her at graduate school in Madison?

SK: I met her at graduate school in Madison.

AM: Oh okay, and what is your wife's name?

SK: Lynn. l-y-n-n. It's really [Margery Lynn?] but that's what her mother-- was [Margery Lynn?] as well. But she was an independent gal and she didn't want to be called the same name as her mother so she was Lynn. Whenever you need something official, like driver's licenses or passports, and things like that, she does write [Margery Lynn?] Karges rather than just Lynn.


AM: So either here at Oshkosh or when you went to Madison for your bachelor's degree do you remember what your favorite class was?

SK: Well let me correct something, I got my bachelor's degree from Oshkosh. I got my masters and PhD from Madison. Let's see what was the question?

AM: Do you remember what your favorite class was?

SK: Oh yeah, I had several. I have-- well History was my major and I had some excellent teachers in that. Also, my dad-- the chairman of the history department-- I won't say anything nasty because this is recorded, but anyway the 2 of us worked together to set up my schedule and courses and all of that. So I 22:00could pick-- and I knew who the good teachers were, and ones I didn't want to be with. So I had some excellent teachers, [Nev?] James who was our neighbor on [Amaro?] road, was chairman of the English department. John Taylor, who taught Shakespeare was excellent. I had some very fine chemistry teachers, and then I had a minor also in geology. At that time they didn't have a major in geology. I gave some thought, not a whole lot, but I gave some thought, because I enjoyed physics and mathematics very much becoming a geophysicist. I couldn't get the things I wanted to take, or needed to take to do that. So I had just fabulous 23:00historians as teachers.

AM: Excellent. Do you recall what your least favorite class was?

SK: Yeah, I took-- I probably was one of the only history majors to have math and calculus and analytic geometry. We had a fellow teaching calculus who didn't like the book so he went off on his own. He also was having an affair with a student I knew. He eventually got fired. But it was terribly hard because he didn't follow the textbook. If you got a textbook you ought to be able to figure something out. One of my friends who was in the class used to go down to one of 24:00my dad's labs which had, oh, blackboards on two sides of it. And we could figure our calculations out in chalk until we got-- which was very helpful. Then I also had a man by the name of [Rad Owen?] in math and he was an excellent teacher. Unfortunately he worked on the Norden bomb sight which was one of the tremendous advantages that the American bombers had when they went over to Germany or went over to Japan. He had worked on that and he was a fabulous mathematician, but he 25:00didn't have a PhD and so he stayed there they liked Oshkosh and the administration liked him. He couldn't be chairman, I don't think, he may have been but I don't think so. He was a fabulous teacher. Of course I thought my dad was a tremendous teacher too, and he really was. All my friends [unclear] they meant it. What other classes would I-- well mainly history, math, English, and chemistry where I had the most classes.

AM: So it seems like you were pretty close with your professors, you mentioned 26:00some history teachers, your dad obviously, and your math teacher, so you had some good relationships with your professors? Because I have some classes here where there is 200 students and the teacher doesn't even know my name.

SK: Haha, and you don't have quiz sections either, I don't think. Well first of all you have to remember that when I was there-- in the late-- graduate from high school in 59-- 63 from Oshkosh-- 5 years later got my PhD, you have to remember that Oshkosh was a much smaller school than it is today. One time we figured it out and I think there were more teachers, or more students in the campus school, than in the university. Because there were 30, at least 30 in 27:00every grade, and there were 2 kindergarten sections. Down in Dempsey there-- well there are a lot of offices there now but there is a corridor, a main corridor that runs from like the gym clear true to what was the president's house. Then there's another that was east and-- no that was north and south. Then there was an east west corridor, on that there were a couple of bulletin boards and kids might write I need a ride home to wherever. Official notices were posted there. The athletic teams-- especially I should tell you that my dad 28:00was the athletic rep from Oshkosh. Anyway, we were going to the NAI tournament in Kansas City and Russ and I got called in by the president at that time, not chancellor-- called in and he asked us if we could organize a demonstration of support. And we did. We put down on the chalk boards that we were going to have a rally here at 12:15 or something. We got some people to speak, and got a couple band members to play some music. We had a good size rally. Sent the team off to Kansas City. That's when they were in the NAI. You have to remember the 29:00school was a good bit smaller than it is today. In fact it wasn't until I had graduated that one of my friends who was a year behind me. It was before the student teachers in education had practice taught and there were enough-- there were few enough teachers, student teachers, and enough kids that they did their student teaching at the campus school. Now it was beginning to get so big that one of my friends had to go out to [Amaro?] to do his student teaching. Pretty soon they were going all over the place. Early on there weren't that many education majors I guess.

AM: So I see here that you had some extra-circulars too, you were a part of 30:00student government?

SK: Yes that was part of being president of my class got me. A number of people suggest that I go for chairman, or president of the student government. I never did that. I was happy where I was because I could voice opinions and things like that in the student government meetings. I wouldn't have been able to do that if I was chairman, president. We were about to approach some very rocky times. If you think about it the Vietnam War is a police action I guess or whatever it 31:00wasn't a war yet. There was no draft when I was in college. When I got to graduate school there was. I applied for a deferment, a 2 [unclear] deferment. Which meant I was a student or a teacher. And when I went to Whitewater just to teach quiz sections before I got my PhD, one of the guys in the department was a major I think in the army reserve and connected to selective service. So every year when I had to report by letter, he'd help me write the letter. He knew all the buzz words, everything else. You wouldn't believe how vital I was to the educational institution of UW Whitewater. You know what they say, and I never 32:00was drafted, but I was on the Madison campus when all hell broke loose down there. In Oshkosh there were a couple of racial-- anyway it was funny because by the time we graduated we had quite a few foreign students. At the time, that to most people meant we've got a lot of African Americans, and they were troublemakers. And that wasn't true! We had a few, but we also had a bunch of Iranian students, and other students from the Middle East. And they caused a lot of problems. Their morality codes were much different than the kids in Oshkosh, 33:00and a number of girls complained to the Dean of women. That caused some friction, but not [unclear] during the Civil Rights movement.

AM: So you said there was some racial problems around campus?

SK: Yeah, but the funny thing was, it wasn't black versus white. There weren't enough blacks there, and all of them-- one of them was a star on the track squad and another was very good in debate or something. It wasn't-- Well first of all we didn't have that many and then with the Iranian students that was more code 34:00of morals or ethics, but that was the friction there.

AM: Okay, also you were a part of the Reeve Union Board is that correct?

SK: Yes, yes I was chairman of the-- you must have been looking through some old yearbooks-- I was chairman of the program committee. I was on the program committee and then became chair. Then I was the head of the whole union board. I think that probably was my senior year. If you've gone through the yearbooks there's a picture there that I wish I could change. I didn't realize we were going to be having pictures taken. I did have a sports jacket and tie on, but I also had white tennis socks, I had brown loafers on and I thought well I'll 35:00never see those. And of course, it's in the book!

AM: That's funny. The last thing I have here is you were a student lab assistant, was that with your dad?

SK: Yes, with my dad yeah.

AM: For geology?

SK: Yeah. The freshman of course-- there were tables in there, in his lab up on the third floor that seated 4 people and first semester he wanted kids to be able to identify sedimentary and metamorphic-- oh what's the other one, can't think of it right now. So there were samples in the drawers of the tables and 36:00there was an acid bottle and there was a streak plate and a glass plate, and by using these you could determine various things. For example, about the only thing that would cut the glass plate would be a diamond, or something similar. On the other hand hematite or iron ore streak plate would leave a reddish color so you could know that. In lab I-- well I don't know how many there were, there were a lot and more than a single person could go around and answer questions. So my dad had lab assistants and it didn't pay virtually nothing, but it helped 37:00me get to know a lot of people, which I enjoyed very much. I'm very much of a people person. That's one of the reasons I enjoyed teaching, being with kids.

AM: Cool, so obviously your dad worked at Oshkosh and you grew up here, would you say you were pretty comfortable here going to Oshkosh for college?

SK: Yeah, not at first, because a lot of my friends were going to Madison. Some were going to other schools out east or west. But there were good teachers here, and there were good students. It was much smaller obviously at that time. Scott and the matching one, hadn't been built yet. Of course the field house wasn't 38:00there. They hadn't put additions on the science buildings, there was only one of them. It was a much smaller place, and it was easier to make friends, and I did. My mom and dad were very-- well after games sometimes my group of probably 8 or 10 would come up to the house, or go out to a restaurant and have a hamburger and something like this. My dad had some of his upper division classes out for supper and then they'd-- one time they made taffy, and one time they had various 39:00games. Board games and card games. 10 or 15, probably 15 of the students would come out and enjoy-- my dad and mother liked to do that. They wanted it to be a more personal experience. A lot of these kids were not from Oshkosh and one of the stories that I like, every fall my dad taught, among the other courses, he taught freshman geology. The first field trip that they went on was to walk to the cemetery north of town. It's still there you probably-- if you've gone on highway 110 you've gone by it. He would take the kids in and there were a 40:00variety of headstones and he'd point out to some Civil War headstone that you could hardly read what that was because it was made out of sandstone or limestone and other [unclear]. Then they'd see some granite often from Wausau, the Wausau ruby red. Then he always ended at a mausoleum, the Gibson mausoleum up there. They had been quite an influential and wealthy family. When their folks died the kids had this mausoleum built, and it's made of this rock called gneiss not spelled that way at all, but it's charitably hard too. It's right up there along quartzite and things like this. He always ended when you go there, 41:00he said isn't it too bad that the kids waited till their parents had died before they built this beautiful mausoleum? I want all of you to go home, or we'll walk back to campus and when you go back to wherever you are living I want you to write a letter to your folks, because they're probably putting up some of the cost of this, on and on, they're terribly proud of you and they'd like to hear from you. When I was out there as a freshman I thought well dad that's so [unclear] how could you-- By the time I was a senior, thought hey that's a real neat way to end the field trip. As far I know a lot of them did, so, that was fun. And in some ways I'm glad he had the pancreatic cancer, and they haven't 42:00done much. They've done a lot with breast cancer and lung cancer and all of these, but very few people beat pancreatic cancer. It was about the time the students were changing. It was a different world. He died in, when was that, in the early 60s. He liked being with students. He liked them and he hoped they liked him. It was a friendship sort of thing. He didn't have any classes with 200 kids in it and not know them all by name. That was happening and the respect of teachers, that college teachers had, was disappearing and more and more and 43:00this may seem simple, but you saw kids with their baseball cap on, boys, coming to class and not taking them off. Some of the faculty began to look pretty [unclear] too. My mother always said if she could lecture to all incoming faculty, she'd set them straight. They weren't in graduate school anymore. They were college university teachers and you ought to dress like one. You know that's kind of funny to people of our day, of this day to think that. Sometimes Profs, it's hard to tell them from the students. So I of course would have loved-- we have a daughter, they both died before Tim was born. I wish they'd 44:00been able to be part of her life, but on the other hand, it would've-- the respect that isn't there for many teachers, and some of them don't deserve to be respected, I'll mention that. It isn't as, oh what do I want to say, it isn't a little school anymore. Teachers don't know your name, and things like this. I also should correct something. What I refer to as the campus school, used to be called the [Rose C Shwart?] training school. When we'd go on trips, and we'd go on a lot of them, because my dad would like to have slides to show and samples 45:00from various areas, and I'd see these kids with their t shirts, Washington school, or Roosevelt Elementary School, or something like that. And I kept begging, couldn't I have a t shirt, I'm proud of my school. They always refused to do that, and finally I guess I wore them out or something and he said well Steve the reason why you don't have a shirt like that, is that training schools in most areas were reform schools rather than educational things. So that's why I couldn't do it as a kid.

AM: So you went to both Oshkosh and Madison. How would you say they compared to each other? Other than obviously Oshkosh was smaller.


SK: Yeah Oshkosh was smaller, and you have to remember too that I was an undergraduate when I was at Oshkosh. I was a graduate student when I went to graduate school. We used to say that on Bascom Hill you could always tell the freshman, and the beginning graduate students because they were totally completely lost. Especially the graduate students. They had no programs, they do now, and it's magnificent, the things that they've done, orientation and all. The first time that-- I was a teaching assistant, for what, 3 years and then I had a scholarship the other 2 years. One time the chairman of the history 47:00department called me in and said Steve I'd like you to sign this card. And it was a card saying that yes I was using the money wisely and well, you know, or something like that. And it was from the National Science Foundation. I said, that's from the National Science Foundation, I didn't work in science, you know, I'm a history major. He said yes I know you're that, but to get you your scholarship we had to spring from various places. Sure as heck part of the grant is from the National Science Foundation, don't worry about it. And, Madison is a great place to be. I met-- I lived in the dorm there. I lived in Sellery for 1 year and Witte for 4. We had kids from all over the world, and all over the 48:00United States. The first football game, home game, at Camp Randall, guys on the floor were going to walk over together. Bob Oakman came up and he's in a suit and a white shirt and tie on. We said, Bob what are you doing? He said, well I'm going to the football game. We said Bob, at Ole Miss you might have done that, but not at Wisconsin. We're more casual than you folks are. So he went back and changed. The facilities that are available on the Madison campus-- remember this is before days of computers, and digital, well computers. You know you went to 49:00the library, that was usually where you did your research, or at Madison State Historical Society. I did most of mine there. Today you can sit down and pull up virtually anything you want on your computer and do research that way. And I think some of the kids in sciences, physics and chemistry especially, Oshkosh didn't have all the equipment and all the, well equipment, microscopes and things like that. They just didn't-- they weren't available. Budget was tight, and it went other places. And even there it was nothing like the budget at 50:00Wisconsin. Part of the thing that you don't know about me is that after I went to Whitewater and got tenure, we faced a layoff of tenured faculty members. Oshkosh did too. Most of the campuses did. I interviewed for a job there, because by that time history jobs were almost nonexistent. I interviewed for a job out in Missoula Montana, yeah. They were very interested. They wanted to replace one of their Profs because his daughter had serious kidney problems and had to have dialysis once a week. Things were looking real good. Then the chairman called me and said, look I'm sorry Steve we really would like to have you but the hospital has gotten a new dialysis machine so prof so and so doesn't 51:00have to drive 200 miles with his daughter to have treatments. Well, you can't fight that! I interviewed at several other places. I was already teaching historical-- they tried at Whitewater for a while to do like in Madison, have like a large lecture section, and then quiz sections of 30 people. I was doing that already and one night the chairman called, asked me, he saw me in the office, I did most of my teaching at night. He said Steve when you get done with your class, would you come over to my house I want to talk to you. I went and 52:00taught my class. I had no idea what he wanted. I went over to their house and we sat down, began talking about various topics, and it suddenly dawned on me, Steve, this man is interviewing you for a job. You know, in those days, which was 69, affirmative action was not there. You didn't have to advertise your jobs all over, meet affirmative action rules and all sorts of stuff like that. So I got hired. In, what was that, the early 70s, all of the schools went through an enrollment crunch. Since the schools are funded on the basis of how many students they have, we used to have, at Whitewater, a lot of Illinois students 53:00coming there, because it was close to home, it was cheap, out of state students paid very little more than instate students in terms of tuition. Then the Illinois schools got unhappy because their schools weren't going up. They put a kibosh to that, of Illinois students going to, not the Wisconsin schools, but to-- they want them to go to their Illinois schools. They worked out with Minnesota, reciprocity agreements so that at that time a student from Minnesota paid the same tuition and fees as a Wisconsin resident did. Well that really 54:00clobbered us at Whitewater, and went through a tenure layoff. It was unclear the tenure rules, and this is just after the merger of the Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and the rest of the university system schools. It was a mess. But time was running out. The time that you were notified that you were going to be laid off, was drawing close. So they decided to hire someone to, what was it, relocate, reeducate, or relocate I guess. Fortunately I got that job and for 10 years I was in central administration in Madison trying first to get people on layoff 55:00new jobs, new training, whatever. I was working in the academic section of central administration. Unfortunately, we got a new chancellor. He didn't want to come in with that kind of a cloud. So we were able to kid of rehire at Whitewater and most of the other schools. Most of the people who had been facing layoff. So then I went into student affairs in Madison [unclear] with the various themes of students. Often they were called vice presidents, the students. We also worked with the border regions. And you know, sort of carried out-- got information for them that they wanted to have, and hadn't seen it yet. 56:00So that was a lot of fun. Lots of merger questions that had to be settled. And I-- Normally the schools let a person who had tenure, have at most 3 years off campus and they had to come back after that. Well I think the chancellor at Whitewater decided, Karges is our boy. Central administration, let's leave him there. So I was there for 10 years rather than 3. Then I came back and taught at Whitewater.

AM: Wow, very interesting. So just to wrap it up here, if you could give one piece of advice to any current students at Oshkosh what would you say to them?

SK: Well, I think I would say to them, plan your time. The students that I had, 57:00well I had 1 business student who came in. When I went back I taught business history. Whitewater and Oshkosh have excellent schools in business. But the history department, and business students had to take some liberal arts credit. They didn't have a history business, so I developed that course. So I had lots of kids, I never had worried that I wouldn't have enough students. I had one young lady who's in business. The second day after I handed out syllabuses she came in with her planner and she said Doctor Karges I'd like you to help me fill this in. When are these things due, and when are your tests, and things like 58:00that. And you know, beginning of the semester she was already looking to the future. She was an A student, not surprisingly. She knew how to use her time. There are an awful lot of distractions when you first come to college. There's parties and there are games and there are maybe new girlfriends, all sorts of things. All of the sudden it's the end of the semester and oh my God I've got a final exam tomorrow and I haven't cracked the textbook. I think time management is crucial for beginning students, or any students really, but beginning ones especially, because in high school you're pretty highly regimented and you have 59:008 or 9 classes and they follow one right after another and then you go home. Well a 5 credit course may be meeting every day of the week, but a lab course might be 2 lectures and a lab and count for 5 credits. If you don't understand you have to plan your time, you find yourself pretty quickly on the road out of town. I would say get acquainted with your teachers, I never regarded it is brown nosing or anything like that. And if you have some kid of disability Whitewater had a special mission at one time of working with handicapped kids. 60:00So we had a big program and I knew a couple of the people in the disabled student services office. My own daughter has autism. My wife was a teacher and then principal of an elementary school. She knows I just don't have skills that she does, I've got some of them now. I regularly would ask, you know is there anybody-- I don't want to stand in the way of any student not graduating or not getting good grades in here. Here are my office hours, if you have some kind of a disability that I can't see. You know I don't see anybody in wheelchairs and 61:00things like that. Let me know so we can work things out, and get you through my course. They do that over at disabled student service and I used help a lot of kids. But it's partially because I knew them and they knew me. I guess I kind of feel sorry for you in this class of 200, and I know that can happen because I taught as a teaching assistant. One of the classes, it was an auditorium, I think it seated probably 4 or 500. The teacher would lecture 2 days a week, and his teaching assistants would have 4 sections of students, and probably 30 in the class. We usually did 4 classes. But as a graduate student I got to know my 62:00teachers because I had to come into the history office and things like that. I guess I've come back several times, I'm a golden titan, whoopee, to graduations at first semester. That was satirical. I'm very proud to be a golden titan. It does remind me of how old I am but anyway, it was one thing when it was a class of 400 and there were maybe 6 teaching assistants, as opposed to I think you mentioned 200, and teacher didn't know who you were, and that's probably true! Professors are busy grading papers, preparing, all sorts of things, committees 63:00and all. But that's one of the things that, I'm terribly proud of Oshkosh and I'm very pleased with the kind of development that's gone on there. Had some excellent, excellent chancellors. It isn't probably until you get into some of your upper division courses that they'll be smaller. Then you will get to know them I hope. But I think, you asked me for one, I would say 2. 1 is learn time management as quick as you can, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Either in the Profs Office or after class or whatever. Most of the Profs, or teachers that 64:00I've been associated with were more than willing to spend that time with students. This would be a pretty rotten life if you didn't like people, didn't like teaching. That's bad for you, that's bad for the kids. My door was always open and when I was chair of the department my secretary would-- someone come in and say is doctor Karges in? She'd say yes he's just around the corner there. So that was very nice. I hope I haven't bored you or talked your ear off.

AM: No no, not at all. I just want to thank you for your time you have a very 65:00nice story.

SK: Thank you.

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