Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Amry Vandenbosch, November 3, 1975

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Leaving Iowa State College due to political controversy

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Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Dr. Amry Vanderbosch, retired professor of political science and head of the Patterson School of Diplomacy...

Segment Synopsis: Amry Vandenbosch is introduced. He talks about leaving a teaching position at Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) due to his political opinion regarding farmers voting for Republican interests.

Keywords: Conservatism; Controversy; Recessions; Republican; Voting

Subjects: Agriculture.; Farmers.; Iowa State College of Agriculture and the Mechanical Arts; Iowa State University; Political science

00:05:37 - Impressions of the University of Kentucky and President McVey

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Partial Transcript: What were your impressions of the campus and the faculty when you came here?

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch compares the University of Kentucky to the University of Chicago and Iowa State College. He talks about the lack of state funding for UK at the time. He gives his impressions of Dr. McVey as a university president. He briefly discusses controversies over evolution and gambling.

Keywords: Buildings; Controversy; Disappointments; Dr. Frank McVey; Evolution; Former students; Funding; Gambling; Good Shepherd Episcopalian Church; Impressions; Iowa State University; Parimutuel betting; Rivals; Students; Teachers colleges; University of Chicago; University presidents

Subjects: Campus size; College administrators; College buildings.; College campuses.; College presidents; College teachers.; Educators; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings.

00:10:22 - Effects of the Great Depression on the University of Kentucky / Mrs. McVey

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Partial Transcript: How about during the Depression years?

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch talks about how the Great Depression affected the university, including faculty pay cuts and morale, and WPA construction on campus. He talks about Mrs. McVey's politics and the entertaining she did at Maxwell Place.

Keywords: Campus buildings; Entertaining; Funkhouser Building; Great Depression; Jobs; Landscaping; Mary Frances Jewell McVey; Maxwell Place; McVey Hall; Morale; Mrs. Frank McVey; New Deal; Pay cuts; Politics; Popular; President's house; Student Union Building; WPA

Subjects: College presidents' spouses; College presidents--Dwellings; College teachers--Job satisfaction; College teachers--Salaries, etc.; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Educators; Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945; United States. Works Progress Administration.; Universities and colleges--Employees; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

00:15:06 - Research in Southeast Asia which led to his work for the State Department during World War II

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Partial Transcript: Well you were very active in World War II, I know, working for the state department.

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch talks about traveling to the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) in order to write a book. He talks about how he was chosen by General Donovan for a special presidential committee due to his knowledge of the area. He talks about the difficulties he encountered during his work in Washington D.C. due to lack of access to information.

Keywords: Armed Forces; Documents; Dr. Frank McVey; Dutch East Indies; General Donovan; General MacArthur; Government secrets; Grants; Indonesia; Japanese invasion; Library of Congress; Office of Coordination of Information; Office of Strategic Services (OSS); Policies; Post-doctoral fellowship; Post-war planning group; President of the United States; Resources; Sabbatical; Southeast Asia; Specialists; State Department; Traveling; WWII; Washington D.C.; Writing books

Subjects: College teachers--Leaves of absence; MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964.; Political science--Research; Political scientists--United States; World War, 1939-1945--East Asia

00:28:35 - Work with the United Nations / post-war changes at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: So then I went to the state department.

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch talks about his involvement with a UN conference and discusses UK faculty's opinions of the UN. He talks about how the university changed after the war, including the campus and the number of students.

Keywords: Assignments; Changes; Collaboration; Community; Enrollment; Faculty members; Head of political science department; Ralph Bunch (??); Resentment; UN conferences; Working

Subjects: College campuses.; College department heads; College environment; College teachers--Social conditions; Educators; United Nations.; Universities and colleges--Departments; Universities and colleges--Employees; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

00:33:33 - Salary limitations in the state constitution

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Partial Transcript: Wasn't there some problem in the mid-forties or after the war that there was a provision in the state constitution that was being enforced which limited the salary of, uh, public employees--

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch talks about how faculty at UK felt about the limitations in the Kentucky state constitution on their maximum salaries. He discusses how this factored in to his contemplation of taking a job at Northwestern University. He talks about receiving a distinguished professorship.

Keywords: Chicago (Ill.); Court of Appeals; Distinguished professorship; Funding; Funds; Keeneland Association; Kentucky state constitution; Northwestern University; Professors; Retirement; Salary limitations

Subjects: College department heads; College teachers--Job satisfaction; College teachers--Salaries, etc.; College teachers--Social conditions; Educators; Universities and colleges--Employees; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

00:41:03 - McCarthyism at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: During the 1950s there was a rise in the common phenomenon called McCarthyism.

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch talks about whether McCarthyism affected the university, and discusses whether he knew of any communists at UK.

Keywords: Academic freedom; Dr. Herman Donovan; McCarthyism; Political pressure; University of Kentucky Alumni Association; University presidents

Subjects: College administrators; College department heads; College environment; College presidents; College teachers--Political activity; College teachers--Social conditions; Communism--United States; Communists; Educators; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of Kentucky. College of Engineering

00:45:45 - Black students at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Uh, around that time too I believe the first negro was admitted to graduate school.

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch tells a story he heard about students trying to speak to President McVey about allowing African American students at UK. He talks about the differences in discrimination between African Americans and Latin Americans. He talks about the university's position on allowing black students at UK, and talks about the court hearing that allowed them to enroll.

Keywords: Brazilians; Court orders; Day Law; Desegregation; Dr. Frank McVey; Governor Earle C. Clements; Graduate school; Latin Americans; Secretary; Separate law school

Subjects: African American college students--Social conditions; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; College administrators; College integration; College presidents; College students, Black; College students--Social conditions; Discrimination in higher education; Minorities in higher education

00:50:53 - University presidents

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Partial Transcript: Well you've mentioned the various presidents of the university.

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch compares several presidents of the University of Kentucky, including McVey, Donovan, Dickey, and Oswald, and discusses the faculty's opinion of them.

Keywords: Animosity; Appearance; Changes; Department chairman; Dr. Frank Dickey; Dr. Frank McVey; Dr. Herman Donovan; Dr. John Oswald; Personality; Political influence; Popularity; Prestige; Rotating deanship; University of Michigan; University presidents

Subjects: College administrators--Rating of; College administrators--Selection and appointment.; College department heads; College presidents; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

01:00:10 - Problems in the political science department

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Partial Transcript: Well you were, uh, chairman for a long time, you said.

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch talks about being the head of the political science department. He talks about an incident involving a faculty member and controversy over a promotion, and begins telling a story about another problem with a faculty member which is interrupted.

Keywords: Chandler administration; College deans; Controversy; Department chairman; Discussion; Dr. Frank Dickey; Driving; Governor Earle C. Clements; Political pressure; Problems; Professor Gladys Kammerer; Professor Jasper Shannon; Promotions; Students

Subjects: College teachers--Rating of.; University of Kentucky. Department of Political Science

01:06:05 - Committee involvement

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Partial Transcript: How active were you in the University Senate and faculty committees, and do they--you think they had a useful--served a useful purpose?

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch talks about why he did not participate in many faculty committees. He talks about his role on the Committee on Education, and talks about an incident in which he voiced controversial opinions on the state of education in Kentucky.

Keywords: Committee assignments; Committee on Education; Community politics; Controversy; Editorials; Faculty committees; Independence; Kentucky history; Lyman Ginger; Meetings; Newspaper headlines; Tedious; University Senate; World history

Subjects: College department heads; College teachers--Political activity; College teachers--Workload; Educators; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of Kentucky. Department of Political Science

01:11:51 - University library / students

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Partial Transcript: Uh, how useful, uh, did you find the library in your researches and generally have the library serv--

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch talks about the quality of the Carnegie Library at UK. He talks about the quality of students at the university, and discusses some of his former students.

Keywords: Carnegie Library; Former students; Improvements; Progress; Radio broadcasting; Success

Subjects: Academic libraries.; College graduates; College students--Conduct of life.

01:14:13 - Conflict between sports and academics

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Partial Transcript: I, I just something else that came to mind, I know Dr. Donovan in his book about the university mentions that, uh, there were certain state legislatures--

Segment Synopsis: Vandenbosch discusses his opinions concerning the university prioritizing sports teams over academics in order to receive more funding from the state.

Keywords: Academics; Basketball; Dr. Herman Donovan; Football; Funding; Paul Bryant; Winning

Subjects: College sports--Economic aspects--United States.; Universities and colleges--Finance

01:17:00 - Discussing donating his papers to the archive

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Partial Transcript: Uh, just one other question. Uh, I know, uh, many of your colleagues have deposited their papers here in the university archives.

Segment Synopsis: The interviewer asks Mr. Vandenbosch if he would consider donating his personal papers to the university archive. Vandenbosch talks about his correspondence with the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Donating papers; Dr. Frank McVey; Dutch foreign policy; Foreign Minister of the Netherlands; General Smuts; Letters; University archives

Subjects: Academic libraries.; College department heads; College teachers.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.