CSU Service 1962 to 1976 and 1986 to 1992
Faculty, Department of Construction Management
Born in 1928, at Indiana Central College, (now University of Indianapolis), where my father was a student. My father went on to seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and was ordained a minister in the United Brethren Church (now United Methodist) and accepted his first pastorate in West Lima, Wisconsin. We then moved to Ontario, Wisconsin, where I attended first through third grades. He was then assigned to Lime Ridge, then Reedsburg, then Richland Center, (all in south central Wisconsin) where I attended seventh and eighth grades. My mother thought I should have some music education, so I had piano lessons in the fourth and fifth grades and started the tuba in seventh grade, which I played though high school.
Dec. 7, 1941
That day changed everyone’s lives, and our family was no different. My dad volunteered as a chaplain and entered service in the spring of 1942. That summer we followed him to New Jersey, where I attended ninth and tenth grades in Manasquan, New Jersey. In the spring of 1944, dad was assigned overseas to England and we returned to Richland Center, Wisconsin, for my junior year of high school.
The end of war came in the summer of 1945 and in anticipation of his return, the church administration assigned my mother as pastor to New Auburn, taking his place until he returned. In the summer of 1945, we moved from Richland Center to New Auburn, a rural community of approximately 300 persons. The senior class had 23 students and all of the upper grades were seated in one big room. For reasons I don’t remember, I was selected editor of the school paper and my younger sister, assistant editor and the next semester, we reversed roles. My mother thought the church service should have a bulletin and so I uncovered my dad’s mimeograph, and remembering the procedure’s dad used, cut the long stencil in half, turned it to go in our typewriter, typed on the stencil, removed it, taping it back together and then placed it on the mimeograph and after numerous tries, produced an acceptable printed bulletin-notwithstanding, black ink all over my hands.
Dad returned home at Thanksgiving, just in time for deer hunting and for the first time I went deer hunting but found I left my license home after arriving in the woods east of New Auburn. During our brief stay in New Auburn, I built model airplanes and flew them in our yard. The school’s principal could see me from his office and many years later, looking at my high school transcript; found he had given me credit for a course in “aeronautics”, which of course, did not exist in the school’s curriculum. Graduation was in the spring of l946. The folks had purchased an old cabin on Axe Handle Lake, just 10 miles from New Auburn. The family enjoyed a “one last” summer together at the lake, fishing, sailing, and swimming.
Experiences from younger years that influenced my life:
Building things began early-stick model airplanes in 4th grade, pushcarts in 5th grade, taking wagon wheels with me each time we moved. When we lived in New Jersey, with the help of an upper class student, built a one tube short wave radio and a 100 foot wire antenna, with which I could listen to the BBC news of the war in England. In junior high, I built a 10 foot canvas covered sailboat, with a wood frame like the boat my dad made several years earlier. During the senior year, I built another sail boat, only 12 foot, using drawings in a “Mechanic’s Illustrated” magazine.
Path to College
Given the financial status of our family (preachers were paid very little), it seemed prudent to join the Army, which would give me four years of college under the GI Bill. After basic training, the army sent most of us to Korea as occupation troops. My unit was the 17th Infantry, 7th Division. Our battalion camp was in Chongju and the regimental headquarters was in Taejon. Since I could type, my assignment was as company clerk, then to an assignment as “Regimental Courts and Boards” clerk. One responsibility was to record proceedings of Special Courts Marshals using my short own hand techniques, and then afterwards, typed the “story” of the trial. Military service was completed in July, 1948 and I returned home to Santa Cruz, NM where my father was chaplain of a private boarding school and pastor of a local church.
After arriving home, family discussions about college arrived at the decision to attend Indiana Central College along with my younger sister. Primarily a liberal arts college, attending might help me decide what I wanted to do with my life. A few weeks after returning and while attending a local fiesta in Espanola, my mother introduced me to Virginia Coldren, a nurse working in a mission hospital, part of the same church organization with which my father was involved. A relationship began to evolve during the first semester at college and in the second semester. Virginia became college nurse, while also attending classes. This relationship continued into the next year and on June 10, 1950, we were married in Hastings, MI, her parent’s home town. Our first “home” was my parent’s lake side summer cottage near New Auburn. At the same time, we decided that I continue college at Stout Institute, (now University of Wisconsin Stout) in Menomonie, WI.
A few weeks after we were married, the war was declared in Korea. As a regular army reservist, I was called up in January 1951, and the unit to which I was assigned, an engineering battalion from Menomonie, Wisconsin, was deployed to Camp Carson, Colorado (now Fort Carson). My assignment was that of battalion food service, another “one” man job. This included transporting food for over a 1000 men into the mountains south of Colorado Springs. However, for reasons unknown, an order came from higher headquarters, that any reservist registered in college would be released and returned to college. Since this service time was also under the GI Bill, the additional time would enable me to complete an M.S. degree in Industrial Education.
1953-1955 O & N Lumber Company, Menomonie, WI
During my senior year in college and through the masters’ degree program, I worked part time for the O & N Lumber Company. At graduation, the company asked if I would continue on a full time basis. Our primary work was preparation of residential and small commercial design and construction plans, for 31 lumber yards around northwestern Wisconsin. For ICM students taking the beginning architectural series in the l960’s, course work was designed around this experience. For a short time, Jim Paul and Jim Hallbeck, Architects, joined O & N to develop larger commercial and educational design and construction drawings. Working with these architects proved to be great experience, adding much to my skills.
1955-1956 Allen Park High School, Allen Park, MI
Industrial education teacher of mechanical and architectural drafting courses and drivers education. Summer Intern: Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI Draftsman, advanced vehicle studies. Offered a position Ford Motor Company at end of summer, instead accepted an offer to work for Paul, Hallbeck and Anderson, Architects and Engineers. It was a matter of preferring architecture to engineering drawings.
1956-l962 Paul, Hallbeck and Anderson, Architect and Engineers, Eau Claire, WI
Chief draftsman, responsible for working drawings, coordination of electrical and mechanical drawings of commercial and education facilities (nine man office). Architect-school board contract representative during construction of 200,000 sq ft junior-senior high school, to include field inspection, quality control, specifications, and bidding of equipment of the building.
1962-1976 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Associate Professor, Industrial- Construction Management program, responsible for development of curriculum, teaching of ICM courses , liaison with construction industry. Advising of students transferring into the ICM programs and student activities adviser. Taught architectural series, specifications, contracts at the beginning, later added new course in estimating and materials. Expected to develop industry awareness of the ICM program and maintain a continuing liaison with other universities with construction management curricula.
Arrival at CSU
Employment at CSU was not what I was looking for when I came to Fort Collins to talk with several Architects about a draftsman position. However, that position was already filled so I began the return trip to Denver where we were visiting my parents. Driving south on Railroad Street and turning left on Laurel St, a large round sign caught my attention: Industrial Arts Department and Industrial-Construction Management on the bottom of the sign. Since I had a M.S. degree, experience in architecture and knowing that all Industrial Arts program had an architectural drafting component, I decided to visit the department. After explaining my background to the secretary, she said “I think you are well qualified for a position in ICM”. I had no prior knowledge of the ICM degree program until I talked with the department head, Professor Les Gibbons. There was only one candidate for the position, a decision was to be made the following week and if I was interested, I needed to get an application letter and resume to the department by Monday. Returning to my parent’s home, using my dad’s old typewriter, prepared a resume and letter, put it in the mail and hoped for the best. We returned to Wisconsin and a week later, a letter from Prof. Gibbons indicated the committee had delayed the decision on the position and also indicated, that they would have a conference call interview with me the following week. The phone interview was with three or four faculty members of the ICM advisory committee. In another week, I received an offer which I accepted and then informed the architectural firm, that I had accepted a position with the ICM program at CSU. After a moment of silence, one of the Architects said, “I have to give you credit, you are not afraid to take on something new”.
My first classes were in the old Horticulture Building, now demolished. The Industrial Arts Department and ICM later moved into what is now the Industrial Sciences building. Professor Les Gibbons was department head and the ICM program was guided by a university interdisciplinary committee. That committee was eventually supplanted by an industry advisory committee that met once a year. I found that contractors were leery of the ICM graduate because it was housed within the Industrial Arts Department and graduate placement required marketing of the program. In the early ’60s, many students were transfers from other academic programs on campus, and growth of ICM was because of student “word of mouth” on campus. Many early graduates were placed in manufacturing positions. The name “Industrial-Construction Management” was an indication the graduate could go into “industrial management” or “construction management” Industry acceptance of the program was indicated by the increasing numbers of company recruiters interviewing on campus. Several construction companies made calls to me each semester, asking to recommend grads that would fit into their company.
Each fall at the CSU homecoming, the ICM club organized and operated a pancake and sausage breakfast. At first, the breakfast was set alongside the railroad tracks and shop building and later on College Avenue near a supermarket. Typically, the club served over 300 people, from 7 am to when supplies were gone. Even my children took part in the activity.
Development of new courses appropriate to construction relied on other CM programs. In l965, 13 other universities with CM programs met at the University of Florida and organized the Associated Schools of Construction. The ASC led in the development of courses and in efforts to have the CM curriculum recognized as an academic program appropriate to the university structure. The ASC, along with related industry organizations developed accreditation of CM degree programs. The American Council for Construction Education provided course and curriculum standards and made accreditation site visits to CM programs, with the end purpose of designation of an accredited program. Educators and industry professionals recognized the need for a “professional constructor” and organized the American Institute of Construction. I was fortunate to have had a part in these organizations and in the recognition of construction management as an academic program with a place in the university system, and more so, the industry’s source of educated and trained professional personnel who would provide leadership for the future of construction.
Employment and Projects
Summer 1963, 1964
Magerfleisch and Burnham, Architects Fort Collins, CO Architectural draftsman, and estimator.
Rural Industrial Technical Assistance Project, Bahia, Brazil Invited to join the team in Brazil, providing technical assistance on brick making and other rural industry projects.
Swinerton and Walberg Construction Company, Golden, CO Rocky Flats Atomic Energy Plant Internal management, and organizational consultant at the invitation of several ICM graduates were project engineers working for Swinerton and Walberg. There were 13 projects under construction at the same time, under the close control of the design engineers, along with several federal organizations also involved.
Hensel Phelps Construction Company, Greeley, CO Assistant to Joseph Phelps, President. Assigned various projects within the company, including writing a safety program, development of the “Field and Office Guide” (the FOG manual), a job site library, study needs of new hire field engineers, and a long list of potential internal projects to improve management of projects.
As student numbers grew we were able to hire additional faculty: Glenn Speece, Architect, took over the architectural and construction methods courses. Jim Synder, PE, took over estimating courses and developed a new course, construction scheduling. (We hired him away from Swinerton and Walberg, Rocky Flats project) We were also able to change course prefix’s to better identify ICM courses.
William Forkner, professor of woodworking in the Industrial Arts program, was a good friend and mentor. He kept after me to begin a doctoral program at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO. We started a series of night courses until I was able to obtain a sabbatical leave from CSU. In one evening class, the instructor was promoting the need for a person in his school that could get improvements organized and moving, a “change agent” that shook up the status quo. Without looking up from his desk, Bill said out loud “that’s Jim young). As good a compliment as one’s peers can give.
My most enjoyable activities were working with new and transfer students in setting up their course work to finish a degree in construction. I considered working the ASC, ACCE, and AIC important and absolutely necessary to move the CM programs forward. The least enjoyable was to grade all those plans from the several architectural related courses and reminding students, they couldn’t finish the required work in the last week of the semester.
1975-1980 University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, M.S.
Chairman, Department of Construction and Architectural Technology and Professor, Construction Management. Taught courses in construction administration, safety, architectural drafting, and construction methods. Administration of department budgets, curriculum planning, and student advising. Along with Dave Marchman, Assistant Professor, Construction Management, made presentations to contractor organizations on project communications, scheduling, and cost control. Represented the department in the planning of a new technology building. Extended course work to the Gulf coast as a refresher program for contractors.
Selected by students of USM to receive the “Excellence in Teaching” award, which included a $3000 stipend.
After much travel back and forth, completed a doctoral program at UNC, Greeley. Dissertation “Analysis of Construction Curricular Element s”, a study of what industry thought should be included in the education of a “constructor”, at the entry-level.
Summer: At the invitation of the US Department of Commerce, I hosted a marketing of education and construction product exhibits in Kaduna and Jos, Nigeria. The purpose was to exhibit products made by US companies that would support Nigeria’s plan for the construction of new schools. Attended by over 500 educators, architect, and engineers. The trip took 12 days, starting in Lagos, travel to Kaduna by auto, by air to Jos, and return by air to Lagos, including to and from Hattiesburg, MS Visiting a third world country in various stages of growth was an unforgettable experience.
1980-1986 Arabian American Oil Company, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Director, Saudi Technical Development Program, a technician level training program for Saudi high school graduates. Developed and implemented 2400 hours of instruction, including industrial manuals in English for five areas. Drafting, laboratories, inspection, surveying, and corrosion control. Contracted with external consultant curriculum writers and matched them with technical personnel in each training area. Hired trainees for each area, based on the need for new personnel for that discipline. Developed budgets, made presentations on the scope of training to senior level company management. Manpower, trainee salaries, and operations budgets were approximately $10 million per year, and trainee levels up to 300, spread over the five areas of training.
Other assignments: the supervised multi-national unit that published, updated, controlled distribution of approximately 500 copies of manuals in four different areas related to the construction of facilities.
Coordinated project management seminars for project personnel. Coordinated and summarized budgets of 17 departments in the engineering and construction business line, operating plan, midyear accountability plan, and five operations manpower and budget plans. Wrote presentations for senior vice president of the business line for presentation to senior level companywide management personnel of Aramco.
1986-1992 Professor, Construction Management, Department of Industrial Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
World situations in the oil industry combined with opportunities at CSU made this an opportune time to return stateside back into teaching in the CM program. Instructional area: project administration, construction methods, management of estimating processes, and marketing of construction services. Research and development: Wrote a proposal to the EPA for one of four national radon mitigation training centers, with the assistance of Ardith Neiman, assistant department administrator. Awarded initial grant of approximately $700,000. Training seminars were held in various parts of the country for several years. Professor Jim Parnell built a demonstration “basement” to show construction for radon mitigation, testing procedures, and ventilation techniques.
Teaching responsibilities included undergraduate and graduate courses, mentoring master, and doctoral students. Other areas included: director of department research activities, CM curriculum committee, industry-liaison for CM, and the CM program coordinator.
It was a refreshing experience to return to CSU and the CM program. Between the two periods of employment at CSU, many department and CM curriculum changes occurred. Dr. Gary Gehrig was assigned program coordinator; faculty numbers increased and relations with the construction industry were much improved. The master’s degree program was well defined and attended. The CM program had been accredited by ACCE and student numbers had significantly increased as did the employment opportunities for CM graduates.
Publications, Honors, and Affiliations
Professional Affiliations during my career:
Associated Schools of Construction: Charter member, national president 1978-1979, Board member.
American Institute of Constructors: Board member
American Council for Construction Education: (various offices) Accreditation team member before and after retirement: Washington State, Fresno State University, Northern Arizona University, preaccreditation program evaluation. Assisted University of Wisconsin Stout in development of accreditation document.
American Society for Training and Development
Sigma Lamda Chi, academic honor society for CM students, national president one term.
Associated General Contractor ( education committee).
Awards and Honors:
Epsilon Pi Tau, Academic Excellence in Education, l952
Excellence in Teaching, University of Southern Mississippi, l977
Sigma Lambda Chi, Construction Education scholastic honorary
Lifetime Achievement Award, Associated Schools of Construction, 1965-1992
Meritorious Performance Award, Colorado State University, 1989
“Analysis of Construction Curricular Elements”, Published dissertation, University of Northern Colorado, 1976. Only the second published study on recommended course work for construction management programs.
Criteria for Development of Undergraduate Construction Curricula, National Science Foundation, Project Number SED 76-18870, 1976. A handbook of recommended courses and structure used by old and new programs in justification of program content.
Education Master Plan, Strasburg, CO, Educational Planning Service, University of Northern Colorado, 1973. Developed in conjunction with my doctoral program, as project director, under a contract with the school board of Strasburg, CO.
Educational Specifications for a new high school, Emporia, Kansas. Editor and technical contributor, Educational Planning Service, University of Northern Colorado, 1973
I retired in l992 from the CM department at CSU, a total of nineteen years in the program in which I started my academic career. We relocated to a wooded area 10 miles east of New Auburn, WI, across the road from a premier 1100 acre lake. A longtime friend had a home on the lake and he allowed us to keep a boat on the lake. The summer before retirement, we began building a basement, garage, and putting in a well.. The day after official retirement, we moved “lock stock and barrel” to “Twin Oaks” and began a new adventure.
Construction of our new home was completed in January 1993, but adding, upgrading, maintaining, etc. has never really stopped. Besides that activity, my major interest is woodworking and projects are primarily “one of kind”, for family, fund raisers, church, etc. For the most part, the wood for my projects comes from our property: oak, maple, birch, and aspen. My shop does not lack for woodworking tools, so there is no excuse not to use them. A year and a half ago, I acquired a 28 x 30 ft. shed from our neighbor, who found it to be in the way of his new garage. We moved it across the road and now one half is woodshop and the other half is primarily storage. This past fall I installed a salvaged wood floor, making the shop a very pleasant place to work. The shop has air conditioning, TV, FM stereo but no computer-yet. And, after almost 20 years, we actually can put a car in our garage.
In l996, I was appointed to the Board of Directors of Citizens Telephone Cooperative in New Auburn. The next 11 years was an interesting experience working with six other directors to provide direction to the co-op, the manager, and staff. Four of those years were as President of the Board, which became an opportunity to improve board management procedures, began the installation of fiber optics, upgrade our internet services, along with communications operations. We were fortunate to have a far sighted manager, excellent staff, and a board of directors that worked well together. As I approached 80 years of age, I informed the board, it was time to change my direction and I recommended a neighbor to take my place on the board. A sign of co-op strength is that all members have fiber optics to the home, making it possible to have high speed internet, TV, and phone service, equal to any telecommunications company.
Jinny and I attend the United Methodist Church in New Auburn, where my father and mother were ministers in l945-46. Both of us have been involved with many programs and projects in the church, from administration to facilities improvement. In the fall of 2011, I supervised the recover (with sheet plastic) of the church’s priceless stained glass windows, a significant improvement in window protection, reduced heat loss, and lowering AC costs. Several of my woodworking projects are in the church: plant stand to match chancel furniture, storage cabinets, stair rails and repair of 100 year old pews.
In 1998, I was asked by two different school boards to be their construction representative on the remodel and additions of their respective schools. The New Auburn project was approximately $4.4 million and a lump sum contract, and the Chetek project was about $14 million and a design-build contract. Once a month (on the same night) I reported to each board, project progress, changes, and problems in the project. It was a challenge to work with two very different superintendents of schools, different architects, construction companies, and scope of work. From classroom to real world always makes for an interesting test of abilities.
While the “new” woodshop is a continuing hobby, with lots of projects in the queue, however, there is another non-wood project that needs to be completed, a personal history of my father’s wartime activities as a chaplain during WWII in England and France. By chance, my sister found his letters to my mother after she put them in the trash and then found I could obtain his monthly chaplain reports of his activities that had been sent to higher headquarters in the United States. In addition, there are numerous reports of military activities in his area service, all components of his history of service.. Recently, a chaplain in the army reserves (rank of General), gave me strong encouragement to complete the story because there are not many recorded stories of chaplains in service during the same period.
With an 1100 acre lake across the wood and great neighbors who let me dock my pontoon, fishing for bluegills, smallmouth bass, northern and muskies are always available, summer and winter. My largest musky so far is 42 inches, but local fishermen report up to 50 inches somewhere in the lake they just won’t tell.
Model building began in the fourth grade and continues now, just not as fast. The ceiling of the loft is covered with planes, shelves with ship models, some single plank hulls, another with a double plank hull, still missing its rigging-a ship from the period of the “Master and Commander” movie. In case I can’t get to the woodshop, more models to build are available.
We enjoy the area where we live, quiet in the winter (except now, a new house is going up across the road), summers pleasant (except for bugs), and fall can be spectacular. We have been around the world, back and forth to Saudi Arabia, to Nigeria and Brazil, guided tour to England, road trips to the west coast but now, the urge to travel is minimal, instead invite family and friends to visit us at “Twin Oaks”.
Jim's Recent History Before his Passing in January 2021
With my wife Jinny’s 90th birthday rapidly approaching and I in the mid-eighties, our activities are more limited than the first years after retirement. My woodworking shop is my primary activity with a long list of projects yet to do: refurbishing several pieces of antique furniture, making dresser boxes of Michigan cherry, upgrades of case work in our house, an entry bench for church and the list keeps on growing. Our home is 20 years old and the need to fix “this and that” requires another project list for this coming summer.
It is way past time to sort the hundreds of photos of family and travel. Early ones are black and white, later all in 35 mm color slides. Dividing them between the five children while keeping memory photos of past fun, plus tossing those that are in the category of “why did we take that picture and who is that?” Some ICM grads may remember all those 35mm slides used in one or more classes-those are in the “toss out” box.
Once a month, a small group of local volunteers meet at the high school (New Auburn) to fold the school’s monthly newsletter, getting them ready for mailing. It’s really the village “ladies aid” (except for me) news group but it fun to get back to school. I have made several projects of wood for the school and it’s great to see them in use. I belong to the local post of the American Legion and take part in the color for Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and in funerals of veteran’s. At present, I am the oldest member able to take part in these activities. Some years ago, the Legion decided to give the first grade class an American flag and a flag case to display it, along with plaque stating their graduating year. The flag and case follow them through the grades until that class graduates, then the case is returned to the next first grade with a new plaque. So far, I have made seven cases out of various woods, maple, birch, pine, and oak, all wood from our property.
The closest of our five children lives in Rochester, MN. Two live in Austin, MN., then Loveland, CO., and the farthest in Mc Allen, TX. We travel to Rochester and Austin several times a year and try to visit Colorado at least once a year but have yet to visit McAllen. It’s great to have the kids, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren visit us. With the lake across the road, the woods around us, and besides, grandfather can always find something to do. In early summer or in the early fall we might be favored with a visit by the local bears –so long as they don’t take my bird feeders.
We attend a United Methodist church in New Auburn and take part in activities of the church family. I have made several wood projects of wood for the facility with one major project to do: a new entry bench to match the chancel furniture.
Visitors are welcome, with September and October the best time to visit northern Wisconsin. In the fall the woods are in color and it’s the best time to fish for musky. It’s also a time to get ready for winter, cutting and splitting wood for our wood burning heater, which typically burns 24/7 from October to March. In late fall, it’s time to clean the koi fish ponds, plus the flower gardens, and get the pontoon boat ready for winter.