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Charles T. Wethington UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: A - B: UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Barnhart - Betts

This guide will help you find primary source oral history interviews pertaining to the history of the University of Kentucky, its faculty and alumni.

Annotated Guide to the Charles T. Wethington UK Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Barnhart.

If not available online, audio copies and/or transcripts of the interviews in this project are available in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.

 

85OH118 A/F 240

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  May 30, 1985

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  1 hour 20 minutes

Audio Conditions:

Transcript:  No

Restrictions:  No

Dr. Charles E. Barnhart was dean of the College of Agriculture, director of the Kentucky Experiment Station, and director of the Cooperative Extension Service of Kentucky. He was born in Windsor, Illinois in 1923. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from Purdue University in 1945, a Master of Science Degree in Animal Production from Iowa State University in 1948, and a Ph.D. Degree in Animal Nutrition from Iowa State in 1954. Barnhart states that his family’s move to a central Indiana farm, his activities in the 4-H program, and a mentor led to his early decision to become a county agricultural agent.  Barnhart discusses his work as assistant county agricultural agent in Tippecanoe and Henry counties in Indiana, and recalls that advisors at Purdue strongly encouraged him to pursue graduate studies at Iowa State rather than becoming a county agent.

Barnhart came to UK in 1948 where he taught and completed swine research.  Barnhart recalls several outstanding UK graduate students.  He states that UK has one of the top swine research programs in the United States and mentions a few projects and the awards he has received.  Barnhart was associate director of the Agricultural Experiment Station under Dr. William A. Seay from 1962 until 1966. He discusses their mutual goals. He mentions the expansion of land resources at the Princeton, Kentucky facility and the acquisition of the Coldstream farm facility. In 1966, Barnhart became the director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.

On May 1, 1969, Barnhart became dean of the College of Agriculture.  He also kept his positions as director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and director of the Cooperative Extension Service. He describes the administrative organizational system and his role in it. Barnhart emphasizes the national need for the 4-H program. He mentions the regulatory services program at UK and the College of Agriculture’s international agriculture work through the Agency for International Development. He reminisces about his most satisfying experiences, especially his relationship with Dr. Lewis Cochran and the development of the Robinson Forest. Barnhart notes the need to maximize the use of funds at the university. He mentions his family and his many appointments and awards.

 

96OH135 A/F 557

CHARLES E. BARNHART 

Date:  August 20, 1996

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length: 2 hours

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  First Draft

Restrictions:  None

University of Kentucky professor, Charles Barnhart describes his early life.  He was born in Windsor, Illinois.  His mother’s family was from Gallatin County, Kentucky, but moved to Illinois where they acquired 160 acres outside of Windsor. He describes his father’s automobile business, which failed after his partner absconded with money from the business during the height of the Depression.  The Barnharts were then forced to move to the family farm outside of Windsor.

Barnhart describes the one-room school he attended while living on the farm.  He remembers this more primitive life with no electricity, running water, or plumbing.  Barnhart emphasizes the relationship between life on the farm and nature. He states that he feels that this connection to land and nature is being lost in today’s society.  Barnhart discusses the changes in agriculture over the years, remembering how people came together in the community for certain projects. He also notes the changes in machinery and the increasing capitalization of agriculture. He mentions the dangers of farming and the necessity for farm safety education.

In 1936, Barnhart’s family moved to Greenfield, Indiana, and his father went to work for the Kraft Cheese Company.  Barnhart states that the family went through a series of properties in Greenfield and Wilkinson, Indiana.  Barnhart recalls his 4-H experience in Indiana and mentions that there was a Future Farmers of America (FFA) program in Greenfield. Barnhart discusses his father’s interest in politics, and mentions that his father was a Republican. He also describes his high school days.

 

96OH136 A/F 558

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  August 27, 1996

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:

Audio Conditions:

Transcript:  First Draft

Restrictions:  None  

In this interview, Charles Barnhart discusses his involvement in the Tobacco Institute.  He describes “tobacco culture” as well as his opinion on the issue of young people smoking. Barnhart describes his support for research to produce a safer cigarette.  He discusses how the move to alternative crops and the Winchester, Kentucky vegetable co-op evolved into the Farmer’s Market in Lexington, Kentucky.  He recalls working with Southern States Cooperative to find ways to market other cash crops such as corn and soybeans, and talks about the University of Kentucky Tobacco Institute.

Barnhart recalls how his 4-H experience while growing up in Greenfield, Indiana, helped determine his career and he discusses the impact of the 4-H program on the development of young people. Barnhart describes his experiences with Indiana State Fair Competition and his involvement in the 4-H Junior Leader Program. Barnhart also talks about the county extension structure in Kentucky. Barnhart began college at Purdue in the fall of 1941 and he describes the impact of the war upon his education. Barnhart discusses his reasons for pursuing a double major in Agricultural Science and Agricultural Economics.

 Although he interviewed for a graduate position at the University of Illinois, Barnhart decided to take a job as assistant county extension agent in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. After one year, Barnhart took a position as the assistant to the state director of the Kraft Cheese Company. He mentions his marriage to Norma McCarty and remembers his decision to go to graduate school at Iowa State. He then describes being encouraged by Dr. Wes Garrigus at the International Livestock Show in 1947 to accept a teaching position in the swine program at UK in order to do research. He talks about his relationship with Dean Thomas Poe Cooper, and mentions an incident between a student and Paul “Bear” Bryant.

 

96OH137 A/F 559

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  October 8, 1996

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length: 2 hours

Audio Conditions:

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions:  None

Charles Barnhart describes UK’s comprehensive graduate program in agriculture. He recalls the attempts made to offer graduate level courses through the developing community college system and the successes and difficulties with this plan. He talks about the national agricultural library system, and mentions the importance of education to the economic development of a state.  Barnhart notes Dr. William Demmick’s and Dr. E.S. Good’s early research to develop a hog cholera vaccine.

Barnhart remembers the controversy regarding the expansion of both the College of Agriculture and the Medical Center, and the subsequent disagreement between Dr. Herman Donovan, Governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler, and Dr. Frank Dickey over the location of each. He discusses the various plans implemented during Dr. John Oswald’s tenure. He describes functions of the various agricultural labs in Scovell Hall and remembers the remodeling of the building for Agricultural Economics. Barnhart discusses the various state and federal funds used for building projects. He recalls the formation of the Blueprint Committee for Kentucky Agriculture.  He states that this committee was created around the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, and boosted funding by visualizing long-term facility needs.

Barnhart talks about the transition from Dean Cooper to Dean Frank J. Welch. He discusses the argument over Kentucky 31 Fescue, a type of forage. He also talks about his graduate work at Iowa State and being granted sabbatical leave for research work towards his dissertation. After taking an extended leave of absence, Barnhart returned to UK and received his degree in June of 1954. He was named to the graduate faculty in August 1955. He talks about maintain his connections with Iowa State and Purdue.

 

96OH138 A/F 560

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  October 23, 1996

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this interview, Barnhart describes the University of Kentucky’s uniqueness as both a state university and a land grant institution.  Barnhart talks about UK’s involvement in active research programs at the national level, and mentions some of the top animal scientists at UK and the merit evaluation system. Barnhart remembers cooperative research programs between UK and industry. He mentions President Charles T. Wethington, Jr.’s vision of increasing the land grant commitment of the university, and notes the differences in the land grant commitments of UK, Purdue, and Iowa State.

Barnhart states that the UK College of Agriculture was isolated from the community at one time. He remembers forming friendships with Charlie Field of Field Packing Company, Owensboro, Kentucky and Carl Fisher of Fisher Packing Company, Louisville, Kentucky.  Barnhart also notes UK’s participation in improving commercial production of country hams.

Barnhart talks about the appointment of William Seay as dean of the College of Agriculture and his qualifications for the position. He also remembers Clifford Smith, and the various business dealings of Frank Peterson, particularly his involvement in ensuring that the Interstate 75 underpass would connect separate parts of the Coldstream farm. Barnhart recounts his own appointment as associate director of the Experiment Station in 1962.  He explains how the animal science department was isolated from the rest of the agricultural campus. He recalls talking with the Dean Seay about new approaches to research and funding. He mentions UK President John Oswald’s desire to combine the agricultural and biological science programs, and the College of Agriculture’s decision not to participate.

 

96OH139 A/F 561

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  October 29, 1996

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

Charles Barnhart discusses his appointment as associate director of the Experiment Station in 1962. He mentions key personnel who helped him to adjust, and notes the need for stability and a hands-on approach.  Barnhart also remembers the relationship between Dean William Seay of the College of Agriculture and UK President John Oswald.

Barnhart was appointed as director of the Experiment Station in 1966. He discusses the differences in various administrative plans for the College of Agricultural during the mid-1960s.  Barnhart describes these how these changes would affect funding of the two federal programs, the Extension Service and the Experiment Station. He also talks about some of the problems UK experienced regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Cooperative State Research service. 

Barnhart recalls a few anecdotes about Dean Seay, including his experience as an airplane pilot. He talks about the reorganization of the statewide Extension Service around 1962, which proved to be unsuccessful. He states the plan was opposed by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation and that he tried to dissuade Seay from implementing  it. Barnhart says he terminated the plan when he became dean in 1969. Barnhart also remembers Seay’s death when his plane crashed in February 1969.

 

96OH140 A/F 562

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  November 6, 1996

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:         

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this interview, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart talks about the transition of UK’s College of Agriculture administration from Dean William A. Seay to himself. He recalls Dean Seay’s plane crash in early February of 1969, and talks about the search for a new dean. Barnhart states he was appointed dean in May 1969, and he mentions the quiet support he received from the Kentucky Farm Bureau. He talks about his communications with Acting UK President Albert Dennis “Ab” Kirwan and Dr. A.D. Albright regarding the transition. He describes the transition process as “smooth” and explains this is because much of the administrative staff was already in place. Barnhart also describes his interview for the position of chairman of Animal Science at Iowa State University several years prior to his appointment as dean.

Barnhart describes the organization of the county Extension Service, and recalls that the controversy over the extension organization became more noticeable during this time.  He describes his decision not to make any changes during his interim deanship. He discusses his interaction with various farm groups and the political implications of this controversy.  Barnhart also talks about reassigning Dr. John Snyder from dean of Extension Services to dean of Horticulture.

 

97OH08 A/F 563

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  October 15, 1996

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length: 1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this interview, Dr. Charles Barnhart discusses some of the theses and dissertations involving animal husbandry (primarily swine) authored by graduate students at UK. He recalls the cooperation of commercial companies and farmers with these research projects. A major project mentioned was research work with nitrofurans and controlling baby pig scours. Barnhart describes the veterinary science department, now located at the Gluck Equine Research Center and its willingness to support all aspects of animal husbandry. Barnhart recalls how the center was funded through a large gift from Maxwell Gluck, and notes that the equine industry also set up a foundation to receive future gifts and endowments for the center. He talks about Dr. Roger Dahl and his contributions to vaccine research, about the patents received for this work, and the policies of the Kentucky Research Foundation on sharing patent royalties. 

Barnhart then discusses the decision at UK to focus on agricultural research rather than developing a veterinary medicine program citing limited resources. He talks about several of his graduate students at UK from the period of 1957-1964, discussing their research work at UK, and their subsequent careers.  Barnhart also mentions the land grant system of which UK is a part.  He sees Abraham Lincoln as a visionary in the establishment of the land grant systems. He talks about the impact of land grant agricultural work, agriculture’s role in the world hunger problem, and criticism of agribusiness and agri-research. Barnhart discusses the participation of women and blacks in the agriculture programs across the country in relation to other university programs, and mentions affirmative action.

 

97OH53 A/F 568

CHARLES E. BARNHART 

Date:  June 24, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses the declining emphasis of agriculture in Kentucky in terms of UK’s land grant mission. He also talks about the separation of the community colleges from UK. Barnhart describes the structure of the state budget, where the university fits in and how each college negotiates with central administration for funding. He talks about the fundamentals of a great research institution, the incompatibilities of the community college program with research opportunities, and the separation of research from instructional programs. He talks about other community college systems and how even forty years ago, UK and the state were concerned about the “brain drain.”

Barnhart describes his plans for the College of Agriculture in terms of reorganizing the administrative structure, becoming a hands-on administrator, and focusing on the graduate program. He talks about the Main Chance farm controversy, where several prominent Thoroughbred horsemen (Rex Ellsworth, Joe Johnson, Arnold Pessin), vied with UK to purchase the farm. He mentions the suspicion, especially by Joe Johnson, that the Keeneland Association, a Thoroughbred racing and horse sales facility in Lexington, Kentucky, conspired with UK to prevent competition from this venture. Barnhart describes how UK devised a plan of bidding on the land as a business investment for the Kentucky Research Foundation, thus freezing out these businessmen and obtaining the property. He talks about the plans for use of the land and the subsequent lawsuit which UK won. He also mentions the development of Spindletop farm and the Kearney Hills Golf Course at the Blackburn Correctional Facility.

 

97OH54 A/F 569

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  July 15, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses the problems of modern day agriculture in this interview. He talks about the difficulties agricultural food producers have had in keeping up with population growth. Barnhart describes the advantages of UK’s purchase of Main Chance farm and discusses the controversy surrounding the purchase and the funding through the Kentucky Research Foundation.  Barnhart describes the history of Main Chance farm. He also discusses the Keeneland Association, and its support of the College of Agriculture, the veterinary science department, and the local community.

Barnhart talks about how salaries of the university president and others are funded or supplemented by individuals in an attempt to circumvent state regulations on salary limits. He describes his appointment as dean of the College of Agriculture at the same time Dr. Otis Singletary was appointed to UK’s presidency.  Barnhart discusses the campus unrest in 1969 and the security measures taken regarding the College of Agriculture’s buildings and farm properties with the assistance of the Student Agricultural Council.

Barnhart also talks about the work of Dr. John Robertson, UK’s associate dean for Instruction, in developing cooperation between the College of Agriculture and the agribusiness community in the central United States in the early 1970s.  He explains revisions to the agriculture curriculum and his concern for the future of agriculture.  He discusses the idea of county extension working with the schools to guide the best students towards a career in agriculture. He also mentions his open door policy at UK.

 

970H55 A/F 570

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  August 5, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses the development of the graduate program in the College of Agriculture. He indicates that his involvement from the administrative point of view actually started prior to his appointment as dean in 1969, while he was associated with the Agricultural Experiment Station.  He explains that he was a member of the animal science faculty during the time when the department began to develop a high standing graduate program during the 1950s.  He describes the development, in the late 1960s, of the various disciplines at the graduate and doctorate level while Dr. A.D. “Ab” Kirwan was dean of the Graduate School. Barnhart mentions the development of the Forestry Research Program during the administrations of governors Bert T. Combs and Edward T. “Ned” Breathitt, Jr.

Barnhart also talks about the creation of the Kentucky Tobacco Research Board, why it was created, and how Congressman William H. Natcher’s support for federal funding for tobacco research made a significant contribution to these newly approved graduate programs. Barnhart describes the development and selection of faculty appointments to the agricultural graduate program during this period. He talks about budget appropriation and salary adjustment problems in the College of Agriculture during Dr. Otis A. Singletary’s tenure.

 

970H56 A/F 571

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  August 12, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours 15 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses issues relating to tobacco. He mentions the legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1972, which established the three and a half percent tax on cigarettes.  The funds from this tax went towards the study of tobacco and health-related issues.  Barnhart recalls the formation of the University of Kentucky Tobacco and Health Research Institute, and states that one of the main objectives of the project was to develop a safe cigarette.  Barnhart describes how the College of Agriculture and the Medical Center worked together with outside evaluators for these research projects. He discusses types of research projects such as tobacco plant hybridization and fertilization and chemical control in regard to tobacco leaf production. Barnhart discusses some of the sources of funding for the program, indicating the enormous increase in donations by the tobacco industry.

Barnhart describes learning about the tobacco industry, and he discusses the relationships he developed with people in the tobacco companies. He mentions the Young Farmer Leadership Program sponsored by Phillip Morris for young tobacco farmers to study tobacco production. Barnhart also talks about funding support for other agricultural programs, and how it was allocated. He describes how fundraising fits with the original mission of the land grant university.

 

970H57 A/F 572

CHARLES E. BARNHART

August 19, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses UK’s Tobacco and Health Research Institute (THRI) in terms of its growth and the growing problems and publicity surrounding tobacco and health.  He talks about Dr. Gary Huber, who was appointed director of the THRI in 1980, and explains that Huber was a tenured medical faculty member. He remembers some of the politics during Huber’s tenure as director, recalling some of Huber’s decisions regarding various research projects and staff appointments.  Barnhart also talks about the Kentucky State Fair and the difficulties of scheduling the fair around school schedules and other state fairs in surrounding states. He discusses the issue of excused absences from school for students in 4-H programs and other programs such as athletics.


97OH58 A/F 573

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  August 26, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions:  None

In this interview, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart talks briefly about Dr. Arthur Stein, a consultant who worked for the Kentucky Tobacco and Health Research Institute. He describes the director, Dr. Gary Huber, and his style of administration and the problems it created for the Institute. Barnhart mentions several subsequent directors and discusses how the College of Agriculture moved forward after this controversy.

Barnhart describes his experiences with the Indiana State Fair and other fairs he attended during his participation in 4-H as a child.  He recalls his first visit to the Kentucky State Fair in 1948. Barnhart compares the Kentucky State Fair to others in terms of facilities and quality of livestock, stating that Kentucky is in the top tier of state fairs. He describes how the facilities have improved over time so that Kentucky now has one of the best in the country. Barnhart remembers how the State Fair Board was created and how smoothly operations of the fair have run over the years.  He describes several past board members, talks about the state fair’s operating budget, how it is administered, and notes the impact of tourism and public buildings on Kentucky’s development and history.

Barnhart discusses some of the subsidiaries of the State Fair Board and recalls the controversy when the board was chosen to oversee the construction of the Commonwealth Convention Center in Louisville. Barnhart also reminisces about Mr. Al Sneider, owner of the Galt House, Executive Inn, and the Executive Inn West, which is located near the fairgrounds.

 

97OH59 A/F 574

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  September 2, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses his position as the dean of the College of Agriculture and his responsibilities in addition to running the college.  He recalls that his tenure on the State Fair Board ran concurrently to his position as dean. He talks about the Kentucky State Fair, the interaction between Louisville politics and tourism development, describing his involvement in total State Fair Board business and his support of many non-agricultural activities that surrounded both the Fair and Exposition Center and the Commonwealth Convention Center. Barnhart talks about his responsibilities as a member of various State Fair Board committees, stating that he was chairman of the State Fair Committee more than once and discusses the politics of some of these appointments.

Barnhart talks about the remodeling of the baseball stadium (Fairgrounds Stadium) into a football stadium for the University of Louisville, and how it was eventually named Cardinal Stadium. He discusses the issues surrounding scheduling and uses of Freedom Hall in terms of exhibitions and college basketball and the plans for its renovation. He recalls the conflict with Governor John Y. Brown, who wanted to make Freedom Hall a better place to play basketball, while Barnhart wanted to preserve the characteristics of the Freedom Hall arena to maintain the continuity and prestige of the World’s Championship Horse Show.

 

97OH71 A/F 576

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  September 9, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses the history of the North American Livestock Exhibition, now known as the North American International Livestock Show, and how it came to the Kentucky State Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. He states the show began at the turn of the century with a goal of building a great livestock show.  He relates how the show was originally held at the Union Stockyards in Chicago and mentions that a separate building, show facilities, and an amphitheater were eventually constructed.

Barnhart describes his introduction to the show, the process of preparing pigs for show, and taking these pigs to the exhibition while a student at Purdue.  He talks about the procedure for getting livestock to market and how that changed during the 1940s when packers started buying direct, building packing plants locally, and downsizing operations in Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois. He describes how, due to the decline in interest and thus the quality of livestock entries, the show was eventually moved from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky in the early 1970s. Barnhart discusses the efforts of commissioner of Kentucky agriculture, Wendell Butler, to get the show to come to Kentucky. He mentions Robert Alexander, a native of Scotland and an early pure-bred cattle breeder, who immigrated to Woodford County, Kentucky and bought an estate which he named Woodburn.

 

97OH72 A/F 577

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  September 16, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours 30 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart remembers the discussion of bonds for capital projects in Kentucky during the 1960s.  He states that at the same time the land grant university meetings were held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He recalls a meeting with Kentucky’s agricultural leaders to discuss asking Governor Louis B. Nunn for more money for a new agricultural building. He notes the difficulties of attracting top faculty without these crucial improvements to physical facilities. He also describes the controversy surrounding the merger of the animal, dairy, and poultry departments.

Barnhart discusses the transfer of responsibility for the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Laboratory to the UK College of Agriculture in January 1978.  He also mentions the western Kentucky diagnostic facility in Hopkinsville which became attached to Murray State University. Barnhart remembers the pressure to start a veterinary school in Kentucky, and notes that many undergraduate students came to UK before attending veterinary schools at other Southern land grant universities.  He discusses collaborative programs between UK and Auburn University. Barnhart talks about research completed at UK, mentioning the vaccine for Equine Viral Arteritis (E.V.A.) which was developed at UK in the 1960s, and research on the contagious equine metritis (C.E.M.) virus.

Barnhart describes the formation of rural electric cooperatives and their relationship to the College of Agriculture. He talks about UK’s policy not to become involved in specialty debates, and mentions the debate over Kentucky 31 fescue, a type of forage. Barnhart remembers how the extension program in Kentucky was reorganized from the county system to the area system and talks about the Kentucky Extension Council. He also discusses the funding controversy for the Agricultural Engineering Building. He talks about the State Home Economics Association and their funding efforts during the Nixon administration.

 

97OH73 A/F 578

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  September 23, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours 15 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

Dr. Charles E. Barnhart describes his duties as dean of UK’s College of Agriculture as a resource facilitator.   He talks about Dr. Howard W. Beers and his importance to the entire university, especially the College of Agriculture. Barnhart explains that the College of Agriculture needed its own computer center by the 1970s, since the Agricultural Experiment Station was the most sophisticated research unit in the university. He describes funding shifts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture during this time, and points out the need for money to support computer systems, research laboratories, and physical facilities, and to offer competitive salaries to faculty members.

Barnhart also discusses farm organizations, namely the relationship between the College of Agriculture and the Kentucky Farm Bureau while he was dean.  He states that the dean of Agriculture at UK is a member of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. He mentions Mr. Tommy Bryant, the first associate director for Extension, who represented the deans of agriculture on this board for fifty years. Barnhart describes the purpose of the Farm Bureau, explains how it is organized, and notes the close relationship between the Kentucky Farm Bureau and the UK College of Agriculture.  He talks about the Farm Bureau’s role in lobbying for UK in the state legislature.

Barnhart describes the history and purpose of the National Farm Organization (NFO), the perception of its similarity to labor unions, and comments on the issue of representation of small farmers.  He mentions that one president of the NFO was a College of Agriculture graduate. He recalls when cattle trucks were shot at on Interstate 65 in the late 1960s, and the involvement of the NFO.

 

97OH74 A/F 579

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  September 30, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions:

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this interview session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart continues his discussion of the relationship between the National Farm Organization (NFO) and UK’s College of Agriculture. He states that the Kentucky Farm Bureau and the NFO had completely opposite views. He describes how the College of Agriculture dealt with the conflict in the late 1960s regarding scientific agriculture and subsistence or organic farming. He discusses the impact of this movement which forced the College of Agriculture and the larger scientific agricultural community to rethink the prevailing attitude towards chemicals and practices at the processing plants. Barnhart talks about family farming and agribusinesses mentioning the reliance on mechanization and the investment required to start a farm operation. He discusses zone restrictions and regulatory facilities for animal production and describes concern for “the demise of the family farms.”

Barnhart also talks about his views of the mission of the land grant university. He emphasizes that agricultural experiment stations, agricultural extension services, and agricultural instruction were all enacted in land grant college legislation. Barnhart mentions his discussions with Harry Caudill regarding the rural heritage of Kentucky. He then talks about the relationship between the College of Agriculture and tourism development.

 

97OH75 A/F 580

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  October 7, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions:

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

Dr. Charles E. Barnhart talks about the hemp movement and its impact on the College of Agriculture, especially the problems of growing illegal marijuana in Kentucky.  He states that he and some of the associate deans worked with Gatewood Galbraith on this issue and completed research on marijuana.  He recalls the history of hemp production in Kentucky.

Barnhart discusses the plans for reorganization within the administration of UK during the mid-1980s. He explains that his relationship with the administration did not change and he did not see any new opportunities for better communication between agriculture and the central administration. Barnhart mentions his discussions with Albert Clay, who was a member of the UK Board of Trustees regarding the College of Agriculture, the Tobacco and Health Research Institute, and new chairman appointments. Barnhart describes the controversy regarding the development of the Kentucky Horse Park and the suggestion of Coldstream farm as a possible site. He talks about his relationship with John Gaines, one of his former students. Barnhart describes the administration’s budgetary concerns of the early 1980s. He also mentions Toni Powell (now Greider), who he considers one of the leading agricultural librarians in the United States.

Annotated Guide to the Charles T. Wethington U.K. Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project: Barnhart - Betts.

If not available online, audio copies and/or transcripts of the interviews in this project are available in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.

97OH76 A/F 581

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  October 14, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  3 hours

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions:  None

In this interview, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart describes the history of Coldstream farm.  He explains how it was first established as a cattle and hog farm, and later became a well-known Thoroughbred horse breeding farm in central Kentucky. He talks about the old experiment station farm and the decision to move the research program from its location in town. Barnhart states that 800 acres of Coldstream was sold to Elizabeth Arden Graham, which she renamed Maine Chance farm. UK purchased the remaining 1100 acres for use as the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. Barnhart recalls that at about the same time plans for the interstate were being developed.  He recalls the controversy of the location of the interstate, and the negotiations for a private underpass to provide access for Coldstream, Maine Chance, and Spindletop farms.

Barnhart talks about the decision of the Department of Agriculture to build a new diagnostic facility near Lexington. Barnhart mentions Murray State University’s supervision of the new lab near Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Barnhart discusses the decision to locate the new facility at Coldstream farm rather than in Lexington, despite the misgivings over possible disease transmission to the healthy research herds. He describes the “slow but steady” progress to improve the facilities, the suggestion that athletic facilities be located at the farm, and the fifteen-year period where Coldstream was operating as an experiment farm for the college.

Barnhart details the development of the area around the farm, the controversy over contamination of Georgetown, Kentucky’s water supply, and the opposing viewpoints involving outgoing President Dr. Otis A. Singletary and incoming President Dr. David Roselle regarding the possible sale of Coldstream for development. He emphasizes the need for anyone in a leadership role at a land-grant university to have or develop political skills. Barnhart talks about a bill in the legislature to fund a new retirement system for county extension personnel.

 

 97OH77 A/F 582

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  October 21, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours 15 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses various UK presidents while he was at the College of Agriculture. He describes the presidential search process after the retirement of Dr. Otis A. Singletary, and the complications that arose after the selection of Dr. David Roselle as Singletary’s eventual replacement.  Barnhart also talks about the federal appropriation of $1.3 million for a new retirement program for county extension personnel.

Barnhart states that the College of Agriculture was always more or less self-contained in terms of campus participation in social activities, and states this was based on individual choice by the faculty members. He talks about the social aspects of faculty life on campus and the visibility of various university presidents.  Barnhart recalls his plans for retirement and his desire to continue teaching.

 

97OH78 A/F 583

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  November 4, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

During this interview session, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart discusses some of the problems of being an administrator and the relationship between the dean and the faculty of a college. He describes how “early academic professional experience is necessary to understand the problems of the people you are trying to help through your administrative efforts.” Barnhart talks about the mission of the university and the continuing evolution of the educational system. He points out that the challenge to administrators is to understand the innovations and what is needed.  He recalls some of the political challenges of his position in terms of appointments and funding and the effort required to work towards attaining the maximum benefits for the College of Agriculture’s program.

Barnhart reminisces about his personal life away from the university. He talks about his family and his hobbies. He recalls his involvement in professional societies, especially the American Society of Animal Science and points out the influence of his career on his personal life. He talks about meeting and marrying his second wife and their retirement places at Herrington Lake, Kentucky and in Florida.

 

98OH48 A/F 591

CHARLES E. BARNHART

Date:  August 18, 1998

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions: None

In this last interview, Dr. Charles E. Barnhart talks at length about the history of Robinson Forest. He describes “cut-over and bare” condition of the land.  He recalls that in the 1920s Mr. and Mrs. E.O. Robinson wanted to lease the property to UK for educational purposes, but that College of Agriculture Dean Thomas Poe Cooper convinced them to instead give the land plus several tracts of land around Quicksand, Kentucky to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the benefit of the UK Agricultural Experiment Station. He describes how Dean Cooper obtained then the mineral rights for this property. He also talks about the problem of attracting hardwood manufacturers to the state and how strip mining has destroyed timber growth.

Barnhart describes the Kellogg Project, a 1961 federal grant for a wood-processing center at Robinson Forest to stimulate employment. He mentions parallel improvement projects at this time for corn and hogs at the substations in Princeton and Quicksand, and the Eaden Shale Research Farm in Owen County, Kentucky. Barnhart recalls President John W. Oswald’s plan in 1964 to sell the coal rights to Robinson Forest to finance building plans. He also describes the controversy over the royalties and the decision that the money would belong to the Agricultural Experiment Station. Barnhart remembers Dr. Otis A. Singletary’s refusal to allow strip mining at Robinson Forest in 1971.

Barnhart mentions the McIntyre-Stennis Act for special forest research and water quality work in the eastern United States. He mentions Dr. Tim Lee Carter’s work to halt surface mining around the Buckhorn Watershed near Robinson Forest. He talks about illegal core-drilling of coal in the 1970s and threats made to UK’s Forestry chairman Tom Hensbrow after he reported this. He states that Tom Harris, the Secretary of Natural Resources, then declared Robinson Forest a state park. Barnhart talks about the effects of logging versus strip mining on research and reclamation.

 

90OH311 A/F 411

MRS. JOHN BARROW

Date:  September 28, 1977

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Charles Talbert

Length:  1 hour

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript:  No

Restrictions:  None

Mrs. John Barrow is the granddaughter of Dr. Frank McVey, and she remembers her experiences with her grandparents while she was growing up.  Barrow considers Mrs. Frances Jewell McVey her grandmother, although they are not related by blood.  She states that she was very close to her grandmother and that when she found out she was ill, she would go and spend time with her after school.  Barrow talks about helping to catalog Dr. McVey’s book collection and states that her grandfather instilled in her a love of books.  She states that the McVeys pulled her into their daily routine and never treated her like a child.   She remembers family vacations with her grandparents.

Mrs. Barrow states that her grandfather was a man of routine, but she can only remember one thing that he was not good at and that was washing dishes.  She recalls helping Mrs. McVey with her Wednesday teas, and states that the teas gave her grandmother much pleasure.  Barrow describes a visit by Eleanor Roosevelt, and explains that her grandfather was a great admirer of Roosevelt.  Barrow also explains that Dr. McVey was a very religious man, but that she remembers him defending evolution.  She describes her grandfather’s love of sailing and fishing. 

Mrs. Barrow lived at Maxwell Place while her mother was sick.  Her room there was next to her grandparents.  Mrs. Barrow remembers Frances Jewell McVey’s love of candles and a fire caused by one of the candles.  She recalls how much Dr. McVey missed Frances Jewell after she died.  She describes the smell of her grandfather’s pipe, and remembers her grandfather’s death.  Mrs. Barrow states that Dr. McVey had a great vision for education.  

 

84OH143 A/F 164

GARLAND M. BASTIN  

Date:  November 21, 1984

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  No

Restrictions:  None

Garland M. Bastin was born in Hardyville, Kentucky in 1920. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky. He describes his early experiences and individuals who inspired him to work in Extension Services, specifically the 4-H Club at Monroe County High School. He talks about his first project, an acre of corn.

Bastin secured his first job for the Extension Service as assistant county agent in Logan County after leaving the military at the end of World War Two.  He remembers his primary responsibility was 4-H Club work. Bastin came back to UK in 1948 to work as superintendent of the dairy herd and states he was responsible for personnel, the research projects, and the training of 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) judging teams.  In 1953, Bastin became a state specialist in Dairy Extension. He discusses the changes in milk production and describes his activities and goals in this position. He also mentions several leaders of the Kentucky dairy industry.

Bastin was a district leader for Extension Services between 1961 and 1964, and in this position he supervised 21 counties. He was both program specialist in Agriculture and acting chairman of Agricultural Programs under Dean William Seay.  He remembers the changes in UK’s College of Agriculture after Dean Seay was killed in a plane crash in 1969. He was a 4-H specialist, area program director in the Louisville area, and then came back to UK as an extension specialist for the animal sciences department. He retired from UK in 1977 to serve as a farmer’s advocate for the Kentucky State Government under Governor Julian Carroll. Bastin states that he helped begin the Sale of Champions at the Kentucky State Fair, and re-establish Farm-City Week. He recalls serving as the executive director of the 14th International Grassland Congress in 1981. He also talks about his family, his many awards, and scholarship created in his name.

 

75OH44 A/F 14

TED BATES 

Date:  December 18, 1975

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  55 minutes.

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

Ted Bates, former UK student and staff member with the UK extension office, describes his experience as a student at the University of Kentucky as “a three year condensed lifetime”, where he first learned to “operate and function in a large melting pot of people.”  He discusses the political climate while he was at UK and the changes that occurred when Dr. John W. Oswald arrived from Berkeley, California. Bates talks about how much UK has grown and changed in relation to the Lexington community. He talks about the admittance of black students to UK, and recalls that even after 1948 some African American graduate students were denied admission to UK.   Mr. Bates also recalls that the white students did not fraternize with the black students.

Bates talks about various changes on the UK campus, in particular the student newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel.  He states that the campus radio station helped to disseminate agricultural information. Bates left UK in August of 1950, three hours short of his degree. From August 1950 until 1952 he was involved in the Thoroughbred horse business, and he mentions the Kentucky 31 fescue controversy.  He explains that he worked for the university’s extension office between 1952 and 1955, and then went back to the Thoroughbred horse business. He discusses UK’s academic image through several administrations, and the university’s overall academic improvement over the years.  Yet, Bates recalls that although Lexington is the center of the world’s Thoroughbred horse industry, he felt that there was a lack of classes at UK on the industry while he was a student.

 

00OH70 A/F 599

JOSEPHINE BEATTY

Date:  April 15, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Sharon Childs

Length:

Audio Conditions:

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions:  Permission of Sharon Childs Required

 

85OH34 A/F 195

HOWARD W. BEERS

Date:  February 18, 1985

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Grace M. Zilverberg

Length:  1 hour 30 minutes

Audio Conditions:

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

In this interview, Howard W. Beers discusses the implementation of the Center for Developmental Change (CDC) at the University of Kentucky as part of the national post World War II planning effort. He talks about his association with the Committee for Kentucky, and how Dr. A.D. Albright brought together these various educational, public groups, and committees to form the CDC in the early 1950s. Beers was in Indonesia during this time, but due to political tensions, he came back from Indonesia to UK in 1964 where he made his first contact with the CDC. He states that he was eager to develop a relationship between Rural Sociology and Sociology to help make these fields more practical. Beers became the director of the CDC in 1966.

Beers talks about the Peace Corps training program at UK and states that he wanted to study developmental change from a research standpoint. He describes the shift in the Peace Corp’s program from the idealism he admired towards a more technical approach, where training was undertaken in the country in which the work was completed. Beers states the function of the CDC eventually became facilitating the organization and financing of projects so that they could become autonomous. He felt the concept of the CDC’s cooperative planning effort with various departments such as Sociology, Anthropology, and others, required it should be attached to a central administrative unit, ideally the Office of the President. Beers describes the changes that occurred when the CDC was moved to the Graduate School.

 

85OH106 A/F 235

HOWARD W. BEERS

Date:  May 16, 1985

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length: 2 hours 5 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript: No

Restrictions: None

Howard W. Beers was born in Gouverneur, New York in 1905. He recalls his parent’s rural upbringing and recalls his family’s move from New York to Choteau County, Montana. He relates the experiences of his upbringing in Montana on a prairie homestead.  The family then moved to Bozeman, Montana, where his father was an agricultural administrator, and Great Falls, Montana, where Beers graduated from high school. He explains that his career grew naturally from his upbringing.

Beers completed his Ph.D. in Sociology at Cornell University in 1935. He recalls working for a year as a field worker with the Federal Relief Administration in Washington, D. C.  He mentions his positions at Washington State University at Pullman, Rutgers University, and the University of Wisconsin.  He states that he attended the Conference of Rural Sociology Extension Workers at the University of Kentucky in 1938, and then was invited to take an appointment in Rural Sciences at UK.  Although reluctant to move to the South, Beers became Professor of Rural Sociology at UK in 1939, and was named Distinguished Professor of Rural Sociology in 1954. He remembers programs in Europe and Asia he was involved with between 1954 and 1966.

Beers recalls that Rural Sociology was made a required course in the UK College of Agriculture to augment the technical courses. A Department of Rural Sociology was eventually implemented and he discusses the development of the curriculum. Beers says the initial research work focused on population changes in rural communities, rural families, and rural groups and organizations. The Departments of Sociology and Rural Sociology were finally integrated, and Beers became chairman of this department in 1951. He talks briefly about the history of the Center for Developmental Change (CDC). He also emphasizes his wife’s invaluable partnership over the last 56 years.

 

90OH333 A/F 431

HOWARD W. BEERS

Date:  June 21, 1972

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Charles Talbert

Length: 35 minutes

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript:  No

Restrictions: None

In this session, Howard W. Beers recalls that while teaching at Rutgers University he came to the University of Kentucky for a meeting of the American Country Life Association, where he met Dr. W.D. Nicholls, the Chairman of Agricultural Economics. During this visit Beers was asked to come to UK.  He accepted the appointment of Professor of Rural Sociology in February of 1939.

He remembers the McVeys.  He states that Dr. Frank McVey and his wife Frances Jewell McVey were very interested in a training program for rural social workers. Beers remembers the McVey’s social gatherings at Maxwell Place and describes each of them.  He recalls a controversy on campus after he first arrived at UK over the use of some so-called pornographic literature by the English department. He states that Dr. McVey always upheld academic freedom in a tactful manner, and mentions Dr. McVey’s fight against the anti-evolution law in 1922.

Beers describes the structure of the land grant university, explaining that Thomas Poe Cooper was dean of the College of Agriculture and director of both the Experiment Station and Agricultural Extension Services, because this fit the original land grant administrative strategy. Beers also talks about the resistance he experienced when first he introduced the discipline of Rural Sociology and explains the struggle with conservative faculty members regarding the perception of “social work” as opposed to “sociology.”  He explains there was a perception of possible conflict with social work course offerings, and he describes working with Dr. Vivian Palmer, chair of the Department of Sociology, to avoid this.  Beers also recalls when Dr. Cooper was acting president at UK during the transition from Dr. McVey to Dr. Herman Donovan in 1940 and 1941.

 

00OH75 A/F 604

HOWARD W. BEERS

Date:  June 4, 1997

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Sharon Childs

Length:

Audio Conditions:

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions:  Permission of Sharon Childs Required

 

85OH66 A/F 215

FRANCES HACKWORTH BENGE

Date:  March 19, 1985

Location:  Somerset, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Mike Duff

Length:  40 minutes

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  Yes

Restrictions:  None

Frances Evelyn Hackworth Benge was born in Salyersville, Kentucky in 1936. Benge attended elementary and secondary school in Magoffin County and graduated from Eastern State Teacher’s College (now Eastern Kentucky University) in 1958. She attended one semester at the University of Kentucky in 1950 and received a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. She remembers that she always wanted to be a home demonstration agent.  Benge was appointed assistant county agent-in-training in Boyle County, Kentucky in 1964. She describes learning the duties of a county agent and a 4-H agent on the job.

Benge was a public information specialist, and then a home demonstration agent for Bracken County from 1961 until 1967. After taking sabbatical leave, she was the home economics agent in Russell County until 1971, when she became a 4-H area agent. She describes her duties and training programs, and discusses the difficulties of this work. Benge talks about the Extension Councils (State, County, and Area) and the responsibilities of each. She describes the services offered by various organizations such as the Kentucky Farm Bureau, and the contributions of the UK College of Agriculture in her work as a county agent and area specialist. She talks about her membership in various professional organizations. She describes her experiences with Extension Services as both satisfying and dissatisfying. Benge also recalls her work with the Home Interest Council.

 

87OH109 A/F 310

THEODORE BERRY

Date:  July 2, 1987

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Doris Weathers

Length:  30 minutes 

Audio Conditions: Good

Transcript:  First Draft

Restrictions:  None

Theodore Berry was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1947. He completed both his undergraduate degree and his J.D. at the University of Kentucky. He attended UK from the fall of 1965 through spring of 1970 and then attended law school.  Berry discusses the racial climate on campus while he attended UK.  He recalls the establishment of the Office of Minority Affairs and states the first college preparatory program for minority students began at UK in 1967. He talks about the national Black Student Union movement at this time and states that he was the first president of this group at UK. He also mentions the activities of the Human Rights organization, which was an integrated group, and talks about other campus organizations. Berry notes that at this time there were no black athletes at UK and no black teachers or professors. He says there was an atmosphere of prejudice on campus, recalling that there were few black students and no activities for them. 

Berry describes how several groups as well as individuals organized in order to help recruit athletes and other students.  He recalls that the college prep program was instituted during this time to assist in recruitment and adjustment of minority students. He remembers some of the problems of recruitment during this time and talks about the importance of developing the Black History program. He discusses the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) founded in Washington, D.C. in 1968 and the summer pre-law institute similar to CLEO which began at UK in 1972. He also talks about the positive influence of the campus media and several teachers, particularly Michael Adelstein, on minority student enrollment at UK. Berry says that it is unfortunate that the programs were not continued by the university “on a viable basis.”

 

90OH283 A/F 407

RAYMOND F. BETTS

Date:  October 16, 1990    

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Terry L. Birdwhistell

Length:  2 hours 15 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Good

Transcript:  No 

Restrictions: None

In this interview, Raymond Betts, at the time of this interview a University of Kentucky professor and member of the UK Board of Trustees, discusses the administrations of UK Presidents David A. Roselle and Charles T. Wethington, Jr.  Betts describes what he calls the beginning of the end of the Roselle administration, and recalls a rally that students held in support of Roselle.  Betts also remembers hearing of tension between Roselle and Wallace Wilkinson, the governor of Kentucky.

Betts discusses the relationship between Singletary and Roselle.  He talks about other significant people at the university at this time including Art Gallagher and Ray Hornbeck.  Betts describes Roselle’s resignation and how Roselle handled the basketball scandal that was occurring at this time.  Betts discusses the board of trustees’ meeting to appoint an interim president.  Betts talks about the nomination of Charles T. Wethington, Jr. and his opposition to it.  Betts also describes some of the frustrating internal politics of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Betts gives his opinion of Foster Ockerman, and talks about the student representation on the search committee after Roselle’s resignation.  Betts discusses political problems with the ability of the governor to appoint the members of the board of trustees.  He also mentions the unique academic environment in Kentucky and in Lexington, and the need for UK to perform more service for the community. 

 

92OH116 A/F 480

RAYMOND F. BETTS 

Date:  March 31, 1992       

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Claire Heister

Length:  45 minutes

Audio Conditions:  Poor

Transcript:  No 

Restrictions: None

Raymond F. Betts was born in New Jersey, and at the time of the interview was both a history professor and the director of the Gaines Center for the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. He describes his family, and explains that he attended Rutgers University where received his Bachelor’s degree in history.  He immediately began his graduate studies at Columbia University, but left to serve in the army during the Korean War. He returned to Columbia to finish his graduate work, with a major in History and a minor in French, and received his Ph.D. He states that being a teacher is an enjoyable and inspiring experience. 

Betts came to the University of Kentucky in 1971 in the capacity of Professor of French History. He describes a typical day at work and states that most of his work is self-generated including his course development, research, and teaching.  He states that his responsibilities are similar to that of a chairperson, but that he prefers teaching to administrative work.  He feels accessibility to the student is one of the most important qualities of a good professor and emphasizes that it is important for any historian to travel to the area related to the field they are studying. He discusses his conversations with other colleagues who have similar interests.  Betts laments that the academic tradition at UK is not seen as strong as the sports tradition and mentions the lack of a campus-wide community.

 

92OH161 A/F 499

RAYMOND F. BETTS

Date:  April 14, 1992

Location:  Lexington, Kentucky

Interviewer:  Claire Heister

Length:  50 minutes

Audio Conditions: Fair

Transcript:  No 

Restrictions: None

Raymond F. Betts discusses the current racial climate at the University of Kentucky.  He believes that the climate is “open and healthy.”  He talks about the differences in the academic sector and private sector, and he describes the work environment at the Gaines Center for the Humanities.

Betts discusses the role of a university professor.  He believes accessibility to his students to be a part of his responsibilities, and also emphasizes that being a teacher is a privilege. He talks about social interaction with colleagues and students and notes the differences in his experiences at UK from his previous experiences at two smaller liberal arts colleges.  Betts stresses that any professor must be able communicate well with both colleagues and students. Betts describes his own teaching method formulated to encourage “enlightened discussion,” and discusses opportunities to teach overseas. He explains the difficulty of using evaluation forms to measure teaching and the need for more educational funding.  Betts also talks about the support of his family in his career, the challenges of balancing both, and mentions some of the his extracurricular activities.  He states that he has published two books that he feels are significant to the historical profession. 

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