Manuscript collection 4- Stetson papers

Chandler A. Stetson Papers 1975-1977

Physical Description:   0.4 linear feet  (1 box) 

Arrangement Notes:  Files arranged loosely in chronological order, dating from the period of his tenure as Vice President of Health Affairs.

Biography:  Chandler Stetson, MD, served as dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Florida from 1972 until his death at age 55- in 1977.  He also served as vice president for Health Affairs from 1974-1977.  He was born in Boston, and received his MD from Harvard in 1944.  He went to the New York School of Medicine (New York University) in 1957, and served as professor and chairman of the Department of Pathology before coming to the University of Florida. His research and publications were in the fields of pathology, immunology and cancer and he was a member of the American Cancer Society’s Advisory Committee on Immunology and Immunotherapy and was a former president of the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists.

Agency Note: Dr. Stetson worked as Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Florida and Vice President for Health Affairs. The office of Vice President for Health Affairs was originally known as the Provost.  This office- either as Provost or VPHA has changed over time, and has at times been abolished.  The Provost oversees all six colleges within the Health Science Center and originally had oversight of the hospital.  The first Provost was Russell Poor, who originally acted as Director of the Medical Center Study.  He became provost after the Health Center came into existence.  He was replaced by Dr. Samuel Martin, first Chair of the Department of Medicine, College of Medicine.  (The first university provost was Bob Mautz who started in office in 1958.)  The Director/CEO of Shands became a separate office under Russell Jordan in 1959, although Russell Poor held the title for a year while he was still Provost/VPHA.

The Health Science Center was first conceived of as the Medical Center, and was planned over a period starting in the 1940s, when the decision to site a medical school at Gainesville was first reached by the state legislature.  The first two colleges in the center were Medicine and Nursing followed in 1959 by the College of Health Related Services (later named Health Related Professions in 1964, then Health Professions in 1996, and now is known as the College of Public Health and Health Professions).  The College of Pharmacy moved down from the main campus in 1961.  The College of Dentistry opened in 1972, Veterinary Medicine in 1976.  The hospital opened in 1958, and was first overseen by the provost/VP but its administration was separated in 1959.  It later became a separate, nonprofit organization, officially not a part of the University.  The VA Hospital opened in 1967; physicians at the VA have joint appointments at UF-COM.  The first three provosts each served for fairly lengthy periods, but when Dr. Chandler Stetson passed away after two years in office, there was a period of relative instability with Dr. Finger serving as interim VP on several occasions.  In fact, in the period from 1974-1982, there were 5 vice presidents, with Dr Finger serving 3 times- twice as interim and once as vice president.  During the vice presidency of Dr. David Challoner, 1982-1998, there was a move to reorganize the administration of the health center and the vice-president position was actually abolished in 1996.  It was reinstated in 1998, however when Dr. Kenneth I. Berns became Dean of the College of Medicine and Vice-President of the Health Science Center.  The strength of the position tended to depend on finances and the ability of the provost/vice-president to control finances.

Provosts/Vice Presidents

  • Russell S. Poor, PhD- 1954-1961
  • Samuel Martin, MD 1961- 1969
  • Edmund S. Ackell, DMD, MD 1969-1974
  • Kenneth Finger, PhD 1974-1975 (interim)
  • Chandler A. Stetson, MD 1975-1977
  • Kenneth Finger, PhD 1977-1978 (interim)
  • William B. Deal MD 1978-1980
  • Kenneth Finger PhD 1980-1982
  • David R. Challoner, MD 1982-1998
  • Kenneth I. Berns MD, PhD 1998-2000 (interim)
  • Kenneth I. Berns, MD, PhD 2000-2002

The University of Florida College of Medicine opened officially for students in the fall of 1956, after a long period while the legislature approved a College of Medicine located in Gainesville, and during which the Medical Center Study was conducted.  The first Dean of the College, Dr. George T. Harrell, was hired in 1954 and shortly thereafter began to hire faculty. 

Deans of COM:

  • George T. Harrell 1954-64
  • Emanuel Suter 1964-1972
  • Chandler Stetson 1972-1977
  • William Deal (interim dean and dean) 1977-1988
  • Lee Dockery (interim dean) 1988-1989
  • Allen Neims 1989-1996
  • Edward Copeland (interim dean) 1996-1997
  • Kenneth I. Berns 1997-2002
  • C. Craig Tisher 2002-

Contents note: Files contain correspondence concerning Stetson’s career, his death at age 55, and his memorial service, as well as some correspondence related to his work in the vice-president’s office.