Wattenbarger, James L. 1922-2006

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Wattenbarger, James L. 1922-2006

(James Lorenzo Wattenbarger)


See index for CA sketch: Born May 2, 1922, in Cleveland, TN; died of heart failure, August 14, 2006, in Atlanta, GA. Educator and author. Wattenbarger was a retired professor of education who was credited with having a major role in the creation of Florida's modern community college system. A 1941 graduate of a community college himself—what is now Palm Beach Community College—he went on to earn a bachelor's in education at the University of Florida in 1943. This was followed by a master's degree in 1947 and doctorate in 1950. During his early career, Wattenbarger was a consultant, but in 1955 he was hired to be director of the division of community and junior colleges for the state of Florida. During this time, he was instrumental in outlining the state government's plan to vitalize the community college system. Thanks in large part to Wattenbarger, enrollment at Florida community colleges grew from about three thousand to seventy-five thousand by the time he left government work in 1967. He did so to join the University of Florida at Gainesville faculty. Wattenberg was a professor of education there until his 1992 retirement. While there, he was key in creating the university's Institute of Higher Education. Wattenbarger was the author or coauthor of over a dozen texts, including A State Plan for Public Junior Colleges (1953), Improving Statewide Planning (1974), and A Struggle to Survive: Funding Higher Education in the Next Century (1996)



New York Times, August 17, 2006, p. A24.

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Wattenbarger, James L. 1922-2006

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