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  • Oral Histories

Interview with Albert W. Johnson Ph.D., 2009

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Interview with Albert W. Johnson Ph.D., 2009
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Interviewer: Resnik, Susan
An oral history conducted by Susan Resnik, Ph.D. with former San Diego State University Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Biology Albert W. Johnson on June 29, 2009.

In 1964, Johnson was offered a position as an associate professor of biology at San Diego State College. He taught ecology, genetics, botany, and biology. Then, in 1969, he became the Dean of the College of Sciences. In 1979, President Day officially appointed him Vice President of Academic Affairs. During his tenure as vice president, Johnson was extremely active in the faculty senate, and served as the liaison between administration and faculty.

In addition to Johnson's university activities, he also served as a member on numerous boards and organizations, including the Board of Trustees of the Thorne Ecological Institute, the Environmental Advisory Committee of the San Diego Port Authority, the Research Committee of the San Diego Natural History Museum, the U.S. Polar Research Board, the Arctic Consortium of the United States, and the Institute of Arctic Biology.

Albert Johnson retired in 1991.

Johnson's oral history illustrates Johnson's childhood, education, and interest in plant ecology, particularly in colder climates. He also gives an excellent account of the development of San Diego State University, focusing on the creation of colleges, the role of the faculty senate, the implementation of the teacher-scholar model, and the changing structure of the administration. In addition, Doctor Johnson reflects on his participation in the arid lands agricultural program in Egypt and Israel. Although unrelated to his years at SDSU, Doctor Johnson gives an account of the "Firecracker Boys" and the Cape Thompson Research Project in conjunction with the Atomic Energy Commission and "nuclear engineering." Johnson also discusses his love of Mark Twain and his collection of Mark Twain books.

This oral history was made possible by a grant from the John and Jane Adams Endowment for the Humanities and is part of the University Archives Multimedia Files Collection.
Al Johnson; Susan Resnik; Administrators; Oral Histories; Morticians; Undertakers; Furniture dealers; John Marr; Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research; Doctoral degrees; San Diego State University (history); Secret committees; Malcolm A. Love; Glen Dumke; Arne Wick; Thomas Day; Brage Golding; Walter Waetjen; Jim Cobble; Athletic programs; May revises (California); Nancy Marlin; Provosts; Agency for International Development; Hosni Mubarak; Shimon Peres; Firecracker Boys; Atomic Energy Commission; Edward Teller; Cape Thompson; Alaskan Conservation Society; Dan O'Neill; Susan Johnson; Mark Twain; Samuel Clemens; GI Bill
Oregon - Portland
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  • Oral Histories
San Diego State Oral Histories
JOHNSONALBERT-2009t; ; 004-019-184Z; per-pr-g-093; cat2000-2001-040; per-tr-001; slide-4005; slide-3531; slide-6265; slide-4672
  • San Diego State University Library and Information Access, Special Collections and University Archives
San Diego State University Library and Information Access, Special Collections and University Archives
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