Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Frank G. Dickey, October 14, 1985

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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SMOOT: Dr. Dickey, to start, uh, would you tell me a little bit about your background, your family, uh, educational history and so forth?

DICKEY: Well, I suppose the best place to start is with, uh, birth, so I was born in Oklahoma. My parents were actually from Kentucky. My father was a lawyer and he started practicing in Oklahoma and my mother was a teacher and she went to Oklahoma to teach in one of the Indian reservations. They met and I was born in Wagoner, Oklahoma in the year of 1917. Shortly after World War I was concluded, we moved to Texas where my father was a lawyer and a judge and when I was ten years old he died and since mother's family was from Kentucky, we moved back to Lexington and so Lexington is really more home than any other place. Uh, we lived here, uh, from 1927 on until, uh, we left in 1963, with 00:01:00time out for World War II and a year away at Harvard University. But I graduated from Henry Clay High School, did my undergraduate work with a major in English and a minor in history at, uh, Transylvania University here in Lexington. I began teaching in the Lexington and Fayette County schools and, uh, working on my masters degree in English literature at the same time. I finished my master's degree in 1942 and went into military service in World War II in 1943 and was in the service until 1946. When I concluded that, uh, military experience 00:02:00I decided that-- under the G.I. bill--it was a wonderful opportunity to go ahead with my doctoral work and I came back to the University and completed my doctorate in the field of educational administration in 1947. I stayed on the faculty, um, became an associate professor and in 1949 became dean of the College of Education here at the university. Nineteen fifty-two, '53 I was on a leave of absence to accept a Carnegie, uh, fellowship at Harvard University for study in the field of public administration and came back to the deanship of the College of Education, remained there until 1956, when I became 00:03:00president of the university and served as president from 1956 to 1963. So that briefly is the--(Smoot laughs)--history of the educational experience. Our family, uh, uh, grew during that period of time. We have three children. Frank, Jr., who is an attorney here in Lexington and also has been very, uh, much involved in the University of Kentucky alumni affairs since he graduated from the, this institution, both as an undergraduate and his law degree and then our second son, Joe, who is a professional singer and entertainer, lives in Las Vegas and our daughter, Pam, and her children live here in Lexington, so that just about tells the whole story, I think.

SMOOT: (laughs) Well, I hardly think the whole story, Dr. Dickey, but a very, uh, uh, well done as far as covering a, very briefly, uh, very 00:04:00important, varied career. Uh, let's just jump right in if we may--

DICKEY: --um-hm--

SMOOT: --to the, to when you became president of the university. Um, could you describe the University of Kentucky to me, the environment of the University of Kentucky when you became president?

DICKEY: Well, the University of Kentucky in 1956 was still a growing institution. The, uh, G.I. bill, of course, after World War II had brought about a tremendous and sudden growth and Dr. Herman Donovan, who was president at that time, uh, had done a superb job of, uh, keeping the university alive, vital, growing. During the period when, 00:05:00as was true of many institutions, the, uh, the political forces were trying to, uh, take over some of the, uh, aspects of academic life and as a consequence, Dr. Donovan had, uh, had, val-, very interesting experience in fighting off some of the attempts to politicize the university. Uh, as a consequence, when I became president, uh, the university was in, what I think you could be described as, good condition, uh, as far as being free to grow and to develop in the directions that seemed most appropriate at that time. The university, however, was--and still is I suppose--uh, um, beset by a lack of funds. Kentucky has never, uh, been, uh, extremely generous in funding 00:06:00any of its, uh, state institutions and, uh, as a consequence, the university salaries were not as high as, uh, they should have been. The recruitment of faculty was, uh, difficult at that time because, uh, all institutions were experiencing growth and without, uh, the funds it was very difficult sometimes to get, uh, people to leave other institutions to come to the University of Kentucky. Uh, so it was in that sort of, uh, uh setting that the Medical Center was, uh, developed and, uh, brought forth and it, it, I think, uh, certainly speaks well for the administration of the Medical Center that, uh, it has been so successful when it started in a period that was, uh, really a very difficult one for any growth and development in any institution. Um, 00:07:00Kentucky, uh, at that time, was a much more rural state than it is now. Um, the, um, uh, students came from all parts of the state, of course, but I would say that, uh, a good, uh 60 or 70 percent came from rural areas of Kentucky.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: And, uh, came from schools that, uh, were not always as, uh, adept in preparing them for collegiate work as one might have wished.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Uh, on the other hand, uh, the period during which I served as president saw a tremendous growth in the quality of students and also in the expectations of students. The, uh, uh, entrance requirements, uh, were raised; the, uh, uh, students were required to, uh, maintain 00:08:00higher standings to remain in school than had previously been the case. So it was a very interesting period of time in the history of the university.

SMOOT: If I may back up just a moment--

DICKEY: --um-hm--

SMOOT: --of course when, uh, uh, you were serving as, as dean under President Donovan--

DICKEY: --um-hm--

SMOOT: --I'm sure you came across some of these forces that were trying to politicize the university. Could you describe those a little bit? Uh, what it was that was trying to be done and what was done to counter that sort of measure?

DICKEY: Well, I think, uh, basically it was an attempt to, on the part of political forces, uh, to dictate appointments, to, uh, determine how funds would be spent from, uh, Frankfort rather than from the, uh, 00:09:00university level, and as a, uh, consequence there were, uh, times when there were differences of opinion, uh, with the governors and with the legislators, uh, relative to the directions that the university would grow and develop.

SMOOT: Who were these individuals that were involved with, uh, attempt to politicize and control the university more?

DICKEY: Well, I suppose that Earle Clements, who later on became a very good personal friend of mine--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --was the person who was, uh, more, uh, responsible for conflict between the state administration and the university than any other and, he and Dr. Donovan were always, uh, at odds and had, uh, a considerable amount of difficulty in seeing eye to eye and I think that it affected 00:10:00the, um, uh, appropriations for the university as a consequence.

SMOOT: Um-hm. What, why do you think that they had difficulties in, in understanding each other's positions, um, relative to the administration and this university? Was that, that was more personal, uh, ideology, was it, uh, difficulties that they had in, uh, some other area? I'm, I'm really not sure, I'm kind of grasping.

DICKEY: No, no, I would say that it was, uh, personal differences, uh, uh, and the fact that, uh, Governor Clements--later on became Senator Clements--uh, uh, did have political aspirations. He felt that the university was a, uh, vehicle for furthering some of his political aspirations--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --and if he could, uh, use it for his benefit then it would, it 00:11:00would be a very constructive sort of political, uh, vehicle for him.

SMOOT: Did this carry on with Governor Wetherby? Of course he was very closely aligned with Clements.

DICKEY: Uh, yes, to a degree. Um, there was certainly some difference of opinion between the university and Governor Wetherby at that, that point.

SMOOT: Okay. We'll get back into this--

DICKEY: --yeah, um-hm.

SMOOT: --a little bit more when we get into the development of the Medical Center. Let me just ask, what are your earliest recollections of the beginnings of the University of Kentucky Medical Center?

DICKEY: Well, my earliest recollections, uh, go back, uh, long before I ever even, uh, realized , uh, that I might have anything to do with it because the discussion of the, of the development of the medical school, not a Medical Center originally, but a medical--

SMOOT: --um-hm , um-hm--

DICKEY: --school at the University of Kentucky had been, those discussions had been going on for a long time. I'm sure that, uh, in 00:12:00your, uh, other interviews, uh, you'll go, or already have gotten more deeply into this, but, uh, Dr. Chambers, Brick Chambers, was, um, always, uh, uh, of the opinion that the University of Kentucky should have a medical school and he and some of his, uh, colleagues in the medical profession here in Fayette County and over the state, uh, had made overtures on a number of occasions, uh, oh, I suppose for fifteen or twenty years prior to, uh, the establishment of the Medical Center here and so those were the first recollections that I have, uh, just the general discussions of the need for a medical school at the University of Kentucky. More specifically, however, uh, my recollections of the, uh, establishment of this enterprise, uh, really came along in 1954 00:13:00or '55, uh, when the discussion really became, uh, a very serious one as to the establishment of the medical school and the Medical Center and, uh, by the time I was selected as president of the university, of course, the decision had already been made to establish the Medical Center and the, uh, process of selection of personnel, the dean of the medical school, the vice-president for medical affairs, uh, was a paramount, uh, issue at that point and Dr. Donovan was extremely, uh, generous and thoughtful in, uh, his including me in all of the decision making, uh, areas at that point. As I say, the decision to establish 00:14:00the Medical Center had already been made, but the details were still to be worked out, and as soon as, uh, I had been named president-elect of the university and I guess it was June or July, July of 1956, to assume the presidency in September. Uh, I became very much involved in all of the interviews and discussions and so forth from that point on.

SMOOT: Um-hm. What was the attitude pro, con, uh, of the university community towards the establishment of the Medical Center?

DICKEY: I suspect one would have to be very, uh, candid in saying the, uh, attitude of the faculty was, uh, uh, in opposition to the establishment of the medical school. Um, perhaps antagonistic would be too strong a term, but, uh, certainly not, uh, enthusiastic about 00:15:00it and I think one can understand that position when you go back to the fact that the funding for the university had never been very satisfactory up to that point and as a consequence, uh, they said, well, if you're going to expend all of these additional funds, uh, it's going to mean that it has to come out of our hides and, uh, as a consequence we will be worse off than we are now. Um, once the decision had been made, however, I think that, uh, there were some who, uh, on the faculty, and who, who took the position, well, so be it, let's, let's try to do the best we can under the circumstances. My own position was, uh, that, uh, yes, it was going to cost additional money. The salaries for the medical faculty would probably, uh, initially, be higher than those for the rest of the university, but in the long run 00:16:00this would mean that the university faculty would be better off because by, uh, comparison and contrast of salaries theirs had to go up.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: And I think that, uh--I'm not trying to say that it always works out this way--but in this case it, it did work out that way and, uh, I think that now the university faculty, uh, recognizes the fact that the, uh, Medical Center, uh, was a situation that, that really brought about additional compensation for general faculty of the university and other areas than medicine and dentistry and so forth.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: But I, I would have to say that the general attitude was one of, uh, um, quiet opposition.


SMOOT: What about the board of trustees? What was their attitude toward the establishment of the Medical Center?

DICKEY: I'd say generally the board of trustees was, uh, um, favorably inclined toward the establishment of the medical school. One has to recognize that at that point in the history of the university the, uh, um, makeup of the board of trustees was different than it is now. For example, the--uh, under law, Kentucky law--the governor of the Commonwealth was chairman of the board of trustees automatically and he did wield a considerable amount of influence and power. Uh, of course, uh, he could not appoint all the members of the board of trustees because they were staggered terms, but, uh, um, Governor Chandler was a very influential and, uh, persuasive individual and the members of 00:18:00the board, I think, uh, were basically, uh, very favorable toward the establishment of the Medical Center.

SMOOT: Um-hm. And the community, Lexington-Fayette County community?

DICKEY: Well, when you say that I, I have to assume, uh, that we're talking largely about the medical profession--

SMOOT: --that's right--

DICKEY: --dental profession--

SMOOT: --yes, sir--

DICKEY: --um, there was a, str-, very strong division in the attitude and opinion within the Fayette County medical and dental profession. Um, Dr. John Scott, uh, was, uh, I, I suppose one might say almost the leader of the opposition. Uh, Dr. Scott and, uh, his family, he had a son and daughter who are in the medical practice, uh, were very outspoken in their opposition to the establishment of a medical 00:19:00center here at the University of Kentucky. On the other hand, there were equally as strong proponents for the establishment of a medical center--Francis Massie, Dr. Chambers, others that, I don't recall all of them now, but those were the leaders of the two factions and so the, the, uh, profession was, was fairly strongly and fairly evenly divided. But, uh, again once the decision had been made, once the, uh, faculty and staff of the, uh, Medical Center was, uh, here and at work, the opposition began to diminish and actually, uh, after a few years, um, Dr. Scott was not a, not an open, uh, opponent of the Medical Center 00:20:00at all. He became a very, uh, constructive person in giving support to the Medical Center and so I would have to say that, uh, it was a period of time there that, uh, uh, saw the, uh, factions square off against each other, but, uh, once the Medical Center had been established, uh, it began to fade out and there was a fairly solid block of support for it.

SMOOT: I have seen sources, uh, that indicate that President Donovan was not really, at first at least, very favorable towards the establishment of a medical center.

DICKEY: No, he had to be persuaded, I think and his, uh, uh, lukewarm support of it at first, I think, did stem from his recognition that the faculty of the university was, uh, opposed to the establishment of the 00:21:00Medical Center. Dr. Donovan though was a, uh, education and political realist and, uh, once he saw what the, uh, uh, decision of the state administration and the legislature was, he then said, yes, we will go along with it and, uh, he then became a very strong advocate of a, of a top notch medical center.

SMOOT: How about the University of Louisville's attitude towards the establishment of a medical center at the University of Kentucky? I've seen mixed reports and obviously there was some opposition in Louisville.

DICKEY: Yes. Uh, I would say that, uh, was probably more serious, uh, opposition than that experienced here in Fayette County in the long run because Louisville then as now, uh, because of its population, uh, 00:22:00carried a tremendous amount of political weight and, uh, the University of Louisville, the Louisville, uh, Medical Society and doctors over the state who were graduates of the University of Louisville and there were a great number of them, uh, had their very strong doubts about the wisdom of establishing a school because even at that point, the University of Louisville was receiving state, uh, funds for the, uh, support of the medical school even though the University of Louisville at that time was a municipal and independent institution. So they felt that this might, uh, uh, diminish their support, it might, uh, create, uh, a conflict, uh, but the, again, uh, once the decision had been 00:23:00made, this opposition quieted down to some extent so that it was not a, a major problem after the, uh, decision had been made.

SMOOT: The decision-making process, of course, had taken place. It was necessary it seems, at least on the face of things, that, uh, the support be forthcoming from the governor's office, and in 1955, uh, Happy Chandler took office.

DICKEY: Um-hm.

SMOOT: What was his attitude, obviously toward the Medical Center and, and his, uh, influence on the development of the Medical Center?

DICKEY: Uh, Governor Chandler, uh, had been a long time advocate of a state, uh, supported Medical Center at the University of Kentucky. 00:24:00Um, there's an interesting little story that, uh, I mentioned in the interview with Tom Wayne, uh, that I will repeat, more briefly than I did then. But very early in Governor Chandler's, uh, uh, boyhood, I believe it was a brother, I'm not sure whether it was brother or sister, but I believe it was a brother, uh, died as a result of an, uh, operation that had been performed on him that, uh, really was just an unnecessary sort of death because, uh, had they, had he had proper medical, uh, attention he would have survived without any question, but that persuaded Governor Chandler of the importance of medicine, of the importance of a good medical school, the importance of good physicians in every part of the state and his, uh, uh, reasoning was that the only way that you could have a, a medical profession that, uh, extended 00:25:00to all parts of the state would be to have a state supported medical school at the state university. So his, uh, interest in medical school and medical center was one on long standing and, uh, obviously he was, uh, the person who, uh, presented this to the legislature and, uh, uh, maneuvered the, uh, appropriations and the, uh, uh, legislation to start the Medical Center.

SMOOT: So your own impressions of Governor Chandler's motivations in the development of the Medical Center were really a deeper and more personal than they would have been, say, for just, uh, pure political, uh, advantage?

DICKEY: Yes. Uh, I, I think that his, uh, advocacy of the medical school, um, came from this long standing, uh, feeling that, uh, 00:26:00Kentucky deserved better than what they, what they were getting at the particular time and as a consequence he wanted to make it possible for medical attention to be, uh, uh, spread throughout the rural areas of the state as well as through the larger, more populated areas.

SMOOT: Um-hm. The legislature met the following year, I guess in 1956 -- they meet in ev-, even years--

DICKEY: --right--

SMOOT: --and funds were appropriated for the Medical Center--

DICKEY: --um-hm, um-hm--

SMOOT: --and the same year you, you became president of the university.

DICKEY: Um-hm.

SMOOT: Had Dr. William R. Willard been chosen as dean? He had, hadn't

He? Before you?


SMOOT: No, he had not?

DICKEY: No. Uh, this was one of the things I admire so much about Dr. Donovan.

Um, the screening committee had, uh, been at work for, I suppose, four 00:27:00or five months--

SMOOT: --um-hm.

DICKEY: --prior to my selection as, uh, president-elect, but when I became, uh, the choice for president. Uh, Dr. Donovan said, "Uh, the decision is going to be yours and I, I don't have to work with the new individual." So as a consequence, I was involved in the final interview process of, uh, four individuals, uh, who were the four final people under consideration and it was, uh, after we had interviewed Dr. Willard that his selection was, uh, made and was announced. I believe it must have been in August of 1956. It was a very, uh, rapid progression there. I think there were two or three interviews in one week, and then, uh, Dr. Willard, and then one other interview, and then, um, Dr. Willard, uh, was selected and came to the university 00:28:00within just a brief period of time after that--maybe sixty or ninety days--as soon as he could wrap up things at, uh, um, the State University of New York, uh, Upstate Medical Center there.

SMOOT: What factors led you to decide that Dr. Willard was the type of individual you wanted to lead the new medical center at the University of Kentucky?

DICKEY: I suspect that the basic, uh, factor was, uh, um, administrative ability, the ability to, obviously to, relate to, uh, uh, factions that were opposed to the medical, uh, school because we recognized that if a person who came in was abrasive, who was, uh, um, going to be, uh, 00:29:00leading a crusade to try to crucify those who were opposed, that we were in for a very rough situation. Dr. Willard had a quiet effective way of working, uh, with people and, um, he also had a tremendous, uh, knowledge of the, uh, um, strong medical schools across the country and, uh, as a consequence, we felt would be able to, uh, head up the recruitment process in a more effective manner than practically anyone else with whom we had interviews.

SMOOT: Was the recruitment process left to Dr. Willard's own designs? He was completely in charge of recruiting for the Medical Center?

DICKEY: Um, basically, at least for the major, uh, department, uh, chairpersons. Um, had a very interesting philosophy that I think, uh, 00:30:00should be known and probably has been mentioned previously, but, uh, after our first conversation, uh, Dr. Willard said, you know, he said, "It's, it's perfectly obvious that the University of Kentucky and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, uh, do not have the, uh, funds to attract the top people from such institutions as Johns Hopkins or, uh, Stanford or California or any of the other major medical schools." So he said, "I think our best procedure is to go after the second person probably in a department. The one who is younger, who is on his way up, who will be able to make a name for himself and for this institution," and as a consequence, that was generally the procedure involved in, uh, recruitment of the department chairman. After those department 00:31:00chairmen were, uh, um, in place, a good part of the recruitment, of course the remaining faculty, would be left to those persons, but Dr. Willard came and at the time he came he brought with him, uh, Howard Bost and Bob Straus. Those were the first two, I believe, to, to come along with him and, uh, they began then to shape the economic and the social structure of the Medical Center and at the same time they were doing that, uh, Dr. Willard was involved in interviewing and in bringing department chair, chairmen to the university. So he did have a tremendous influence on the, uh, shaping of the Medical Center. Uh, obviously he selected, uh, along with a few others of us that were involved in it, uh, uh, Al Morris as dean of the dental school, uh, 00:32:00Marcia Dake as dean of the School of Nursing and then when it came time for allied health to come in, uh, Joe Hamburg and others, so it was, uh, a cooperative venture, but, uh, Bill Willard really, uh, bore the heavy brunt of the, uh, uh, selection process for other members of the Medical Center.

SMOOT: Wasn't it kind of interesting, at least seems interesting to me that he brought in a, an economist and a sociologist first? (laughs)

DICKEY: Uh, yes, an-, it, it was a rather, uh, unusual, but I think a very wise decision--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --because obviously, uh, uh, one has to make certain assumptions, certain decisions, uh, about the economics and about the, uh, structural, uh, aspects of a new entity such as the medical 00:33:00center and, uh, these, uh, individuals were very influential in, in making certain of these decisions. For example, uh, the, uh, decision initially on how, uh, to structure administratively the Medical Center and how to, uh, what the salary arrangements would be and all of those factors along with the, uh, decisions that had to be made relative to the, uh, building process, the economics of the, uh, uh, building process, and how to allocate funds for certain aspects of the construction of the Medical Center and the hospital and so forth.

SMOOT: Well, there were several changes that had to be made, were there not, in the, uh, in the university regulations--governing regulations- -and so forth that, uh, uh, dealt with problems such as, say, salaries? Uh, how was, how was that handled? Uh, you needed to increase salaries 00:34:00for Medical Center personnel and yet there were limitations, were there not, on the salaries?

DICKEY: There were no limitations, uh, uh, of a legislative nature at that point.

SMOOT: Okay.

DICKEY: Um, those had been worked out and eliminated, uh, just several years previous to that time.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: And, um, the real, uh, problem, I suppose, was one of trying to, um, determine how far above the average, or of the top salaries, of other personnel on the, uh, campus one could go in setting salaries.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Um, one of the early decisions, uh, I recall quite vividly. We, we, Dr. Willard, Dr. Bost and I made a trip to the University of Washington at Seattle because at that point they had a salary, 00:35:00uh, situation and salary system that, uh, was initially, uh, put into effect here where, um, the individual professor was not, uh, uh, permitted to retain any of his, uh, income from private practice, but it went into a pool that was then distributed over the medical center. Of course after a few years, uh, that, uh, changed, but for the beginning of the Medical Center it probably, uh, was a very, uh, wise plan and, uh, it was, it was that sort of decision that decision-making process that had to go on in terms of salaries rather than one of limitations, uh, uh, of a legal nature.

SMOOT: Um-hm. What about funds from outside sources for salaries? Was that explored, uh, foundations, trusts, et cetera, those sorts 00:36:00of things?

DICKEY: Yes and, uh, uh, even from the very beginning the, uh, Medical Center was, uh, fortunate in receiving some outside income. In the beginning it was more from, um, federal, uh, resources than from individual, uh, benefactors or from trusts and it's, has been only since the university really achieved a, Medical Center achieved a degree of success and, um, fame that, uh, they've been able to secure grants from other foundations and, uh, trusts and so forth, but in the, uh, early period, it was largely grants and, uh, um, programs that were federally initiated.

SMOOT: It must have been pretty exciting, uh, for something like a, uh, 00:37:00major medical center to be going up on, on your campus when you were president in the fifties and, and early sixties. Could you describe to me what it was like? (both laugh) That's a broad ranging question, I perhaps can hone it down as we go along.

DICKEY: Yeah, it was an exciting, uh, period and, uh, uh, I sometimes feel that, uh, perhaps it took an inordinate amount of time of the, uh, central administration of the university and yet, as one looks back upon it, uh, perhaps this was one of the reasons that, uh, we were able to move as rapidly as we were. Um, the university, uh, um, as I have already mentioned, was in a period of general growth and, uh, to have the Medical Center coming along at the same time, uh, was a very exciting sort of venture. I suppose one of the things that took 00:38:00more time and effort than almost anything else in the early period was, uh, that of, uh, the, uh, construction process of the, uh, uh, buildings themselves because, uh, this was far and away the largest, uh, uh, building, uh, program that the university had ever encountered and for it to come at one particular time along with several other buildings, uh, going up on the university campus at the same time in other fields, uh, meant that, uh, there had to be a considerable amount of time given to working with the architects, contractors and so forth. We were fortunate in having, uh, a vice-president for business affairs, Frank Peterson, who was just a superb person in working with the contractors and, uh, architects. Uh, I'm sure that one of the things that has come to your attention as the interviews 00:39:00have progressed was the necessity for bringing in, uh, uh, consulting architect to work with the architect that had been appointed because in those days the university--by the way, this, this was one of the basic, uh, uh, problems that I had forgotten to mention between Dr. Donovan and Earle Clements earlier--the, um, state administration named the architects for, uh, all building projects on all state projects, whether it be the university or the state colleges or any place, so the state administration had designated the architect for the Medical Center and it really became quite evident after just, uh, a few months of experience that, uh, they were not going, this architect and his firm were not going to be large enough and, uh, knowledgeable enough 00:40:00to handle the whole situation, so at that point, uh, an additional contract was established with Ellerbe and Associates of Minneapolis, I believe St. Paul, uh, to serve as the consulting and supervising architects and so it really meant adjusting to two sets of architects and trying to work out differences between the two, uh, groups and, uh, I suppose that it's almost a miracle that the building came out as well as it did--(both laugh)--because when you have that sort of, uh, situation it, it is a very time consuming and difficult one.

[Pause in recording.]

SMOOT: Continuing along the same lines with the, uh, development of the Medical Center amd construction process--

DICKEY: --um-hm--

SMOOT: --now, hadn't bids been let for, uh, these contracting, uh, companies to build the Medical Center and choose the lowest bidder? Is 00:41:00that the process used then?

DICKEY: Yes, that was, that was the process that, uh, the contractors were, uh, selected by low bid.

SMOOT: Okay.

DICKEY: And, um, but the architect was not, uh, selected on that basis, it was a--

SMOOT: --I see, okay--

DICKEY: --decision made by the, uh, state administration.

SMOOT: Um-hm. So that had, they really didn't look into the capabilities with the architects--

DICKEY: --not particularly, no--

SMOOT: --I see, okay. A lot of other buildings were going up across campus as you mentioned, uh, at the same time that the Medical Center project had begun, the construction, uh, of the Medical Center.

DICKEY: Primarily dormitories. I'm not sure about all of the, uh, dates of these, but Donovan Hall for men, uh, um, Haggin Hall, Blazer Hall, 00:42:00those and then of course the, uh, uh, married housing units in both, uh, Cooperstown and, uh, Shawneetown--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --were going up at the same time and toward the completion of the, um, Medical Center, the, um, Physical Sciences Building and, uh, others were under planning and construction then.

SMOOT: So a very exciting time as far as the University's development and physical plant was concerned.

DICKEY: Yeah, it was a tremendous amount of, uh, growth. I, I, I can't remember the, uh, figures, but, uh, I'm sure today with construction costs being what they are now that we would have the equivalent of somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred or a hundred and fifty million dollars worth of buildings going up. In those days I don't think it cost more than probably twenty five or thirty million, but all together that was a tremendous amount of building, uh, under 00:43:00construction at one time.

SMOOT: Um-hm. What were the problems being faced, uh, between the Medical Center and, say, uh, people on campus, uh, departments on campus, uh, in the initial stages when it was first being developed? What did they have to face, uh?

DICKEY: Well, uh, there was a certain amount of rivalry and jealousy amongst, uh, some of the, um science departments in particular--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --who felt that the Medical Center was usurping some of their prerogatives and some of their, uh, uh, income perhaps. Uh, that was particularly true in such fields as, uh, microbiology, um, some of the other sciences, physiology and anatomy, and the, uh, process 00:44:00of trying to work out, uh, arrangements between those departments that were customarily working with, uh, students who were, uh, not so strongly oriented toward medicine, uh, but nevertheless had, uh, some possibilities of going into medicine, uh, those, those, uh, arrangements had to be worked out and, uh, some still, I suppose, are in that process of, uh, uh, adjudication and, uh, trying to work out differences of opinion about how, how they should be structured and, uh, uh, administered and under whose, uh, jurisdiction they fall and so forth, uh, but the, uh, decision really was one that was left to, uh, the, uh, department chairmen of the several departments and the 00:45:00department chairmen in the Medical Center and they, they did a very commendable job, I think, of working out those differences, although some of them were not always, uh, completely happy arrangements.

SMOOT: We've already mentioned a little bit about Governor Chandler's support of the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

DICKEY: Um-hm.

SMOOT: How about his successors? Uh, Governor Combs, for example, fir-, first to succeed him?

DICKEY: I was president during the major part of Governor Combs' administration, and, uh, he was certainly, uh, supportive of the Medical Center--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --and the total university. I suspect that, uh, if one went back and checked the figures that, uh, one would see more growth in 00:46:00funding under his administration than practically any other period in Kentucky's history.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Uh, so I'd have to say that Governor Combs was, uh, uh, supportive of the

university and the, uh, uh, Medical Center and the university, uh, really was, uh, fortunate to have continuation of support because, um, it's such a well-known fact that Governor Combs and Governor Chandler were never very friendly, so it--

SMOOT: --indeed--(laughs)

DICKEY: --followed perhaps that, uh, a project that, uh, one governor had started would not be so well supported, but there was support given and it was, it was a good continuing situation.

SMOOT: How about the, uh, relationship between the overall administration of the university with the Medical Center?


DICKEY: Um, I'm not quite sure that I know what, what you have in mind there.

SMOOT: Well, not just, of course, obviously, you, your own office had good relationship--

DICKEY: --um-hm--

SMOOT: --with, uh, with the Medical Center's--

DICKEY: --um-hm--

SMOOT: --staff and personnel. I suppose that I'm looking for something farther down the line --the trickle down, uh, sort of thing.

DICKEY: Oh. Well, uh, probably there were some differences of, uh, opinion as to, uh, how fiscal affairs should be, uh, carried out.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Um, and if there was any difference of opinion that I had, I, I was always of the opinion that a Medical Center is a, an integral part of the university. It cannot stand by itself, it cannot have its own, 00:48:00uh, authority to go to the legislature for its budget, it goes with the university as a part of the university budget.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: And as a consequence, uh, in the early days the tendency of the Medical Center was, uh, to, uh, to make the attempt to secure special funding through, uh, separate appropriations for the Medical Center and as a consequence, uh, there was some, uh, difference of opinion between the vice-president for medical affairs and the vice-president for financial affairs of the university. Um, Dr. Chamberlin, who was, uh, executive vice-president of the university, uh, was a person who, uh, grew up in the, uh, kind of classical tradition of the 00:49:00university and, uh, was perhaps more inclined to side with the general university faculty and as a consequence, uh, it became necessary sometimes for me to, uh, adjudicate differences between Dr. Willard, Dr. Chamberlin, Dr. Willard, Mr. Peterson, but, uh, I think after the first, uh, experience that we had in terms of, uh, of the approach to the legislature that, uh, things began to settle down then. I can understand, I think, uh, more readily now than I did then the feeling of the Medical, uh, Center faculty and staff and administration and particularly in view of the fact that Dr. Willard had come from an institution that did, uh, make up its own budget.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: It did not go through any other institution. They went to 00:50:00the State University system of New York and, uh, with their own budget and so it, it was a different experience for him and, uh, it was a different experience for us to have a particular part of the university that, uh, uh, wanted to be separate from the university. So it, it was a matter of trying to have a shakedown cruise and work out the differences and I, as I say I think within a period of two or three years those differences, uh, did settle themselves and as a consequence, uh, things have been much more peaceful, and quiet-- (laughs)--than they were in the first several years.

SMOOT: That's an interesting perspective because I, I've heard that the, that one of the things that Dr. Willard was very much interested in was being able to operate on his own. He'd had that experience at Syracuse--

DICKEY: --um-hm, um-hm--

SMOOT: --and, uh and wanted to get out and do a little bit on his own and s-, and obviously there was some of that and did create a bit of 00:51:00tension wh-, which you had to mediate, uh.

DICKEY: Um-hm.

SMOOT: Uh, did that tension, uh, ever result in anything, uh, that was, uh, detrimental to the development of the Medical Center in any, any way or any shape, form?

DICKEY: Not that I know of. Now, they, the Medical Center administration--(both laugh)-- may have some different opinions on that, but I, I think that, uh, when all the chips were down, uh, they fared exceedingly well under the circumstances that we were operating under in those days with the limited funding and the limited resources of Kentucky.

SMOOT: Um-hm. One organization that had been formed before you had become president of the university and, uh, at least in the early stages was very much tied to the development of the Medical Center was the Kentucky Medical Foundation.

DICKEY: Um-hm.


SMOOT: Um, what can you tell me about the early, uh, stages of the Kentucky Medical Foundation and its relationship, not only with the development of the Medical Center, but with the university administration?

DICKEY: Uh, the Kentucky Medical Foundation, um, really, uh, was a very, uh, constructive force. It, uh, worked outside the structure of the, uh, university in ways that the university could not work and, uh, as a consequence it, uh, it served a very worthwhile purpose because they were able to secure funds, they were able to, uh, do some lobbying to, uh, make approaches to, uh, both legislators and to other, uh, outside benefactors that the university probably could not and should not 00:53:00have made because, uh, had we done so I think, uh, we would have been criticized for, uh, a type of lobbying that in those days was frowned upon and was not, uh, accepted. So, all in all, I, I would say that the Kentucky Medical Foundation, uh, made a very great contribution to the growth and development of the Medical Center. Uh, obviously it was made up primarily of the people who were most supportive of the Medical Center and they did a superb job in persuading those who were opposed to the Medical Center that this was a worthwhile enterprise and as, uh, as a consequence I, I'd just have to say that it, it was a very powerful and very constructive force. We did not have, uh, any formal relationship between the university per se and the Kentucky Medical 00:54:00Foundation because we wanted to keep it at arm's length so that they could operate in a way that the university could not.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: But they, for example, uh, developed publications--a beautiful brochure on the medical school that, uh, I have no idea what it cost, but we could have not in any way approached it, uh, because, uh, we would have, uh, not had the funds nor would we have had the support of the people if we had, if we had done it because they would have said there you are wasting the university's funds, state money and so forth, but they were able to do those things when the university could not.

SMOOT: Um-hm. So in essence they could really not work very closely with the administration because that was not--

DICKEY: --that's true--

SMOOT: --an acceptable--

DICKEY: --that's true--

SMOOT: --relationship at that time.

DICKEY: Yeah, um-hm.

SMOOT: What about with the Medical Center, same sort of, uh, hands-off policy?

DICKEY: Yes, to a degree, although, uh, Dr. Willard and other members 00:55:00of the univer-, of the Medical Center administration did, uh, work rather closely with the leadership of the Kentucky Medical Foundation.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Uh, I would say it was a much, much closer relationship there than it was between the university administration and the Kentucky Medical Foundation.

SMOOT: Um-hm. Now, seems that it might be possible that this could've created certain problems, uh, as well as been something favorable since they could operate, uh, outside of the, uh, university administration and do those kinds of things that, uh, were needed, but yet were not proper in one respect or another for the administration to do. On the other hand, it seems that there might have been some, uh, uh, difficulties that would arise, for example, uh, in coordination of efforts of, with, with individuals in the state, uh, government.


DICKEY: There could have been some, there could have been some difficulties, I suspect, but, uh, they, uh, were really kept, uh, at a minimum--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --because the leadership of the Kentucky Medical Foundation was very aware of the possibilities of such a, a conflict and as a consequence, I, I think ran many of these plans by Dr. Willard and his staff that, uh, and I'm sure on occasion they, they said, uh, Dr. Willard and his staff said no, this, this is not a good idea, don't do it because you may get us into trouble.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: It's, it's, uh, your, your point's well taken. It's somewhat similar to the, uh, rabid alums--(Smoot laughs)--who, uh, enter into the recruiting process in athletics and you can get into very serious difficulties there, but, uh, because they were, uh, more professional, 00:57:00they were aware of these things, I, I would say that, uh, any conflict was really kept to a very minimal level.

SMOOT: Um-hm. I know that one of the major, uh, coups, I suppose, of the Medical Foundation was the gift from Will Clayton, the, uh, of Cave Hill--

DICKEY: --um-hm--

SMOOT: --to the university and the original idea, uh, at least from what I have read on this gift, was that that home would be made available to the new dean, vice-president of, of the Medical Center. Did that create some problems with the administration, with the personnel within the university?

DICKEY: Well, yes, uh, because the, first of all--(laughs)--the dean of the Medical School did not want to live out there. (Smoot laughs) If you have tried to approach, uh, Cave Hill on a snowy day on a one 00:58:00lane road, uh, that in those days was never plowed out there was no point in a person who had to be at the office every day trying to live out there. So, um, the problem really became one of what, what do you do with a house, uh, that, uh, is designed or, or was given to the university for the purpose of the residence of the dean. Uh, secondly, uh, the wording of the, um, um, le-, the legal documents was that the dean of the medical school would live there and then in a very short time he became the vice-president for medical affairs and was no longer the dean, now, who lives there then? And, uh, uh, then there was another element. If you have a residence for, uh, one dean 00:59:00or two deans, because the dean of the school of agriculture, College of Agriculture, had always had a home furnished him why don't you furnish a home for all of the deans? And, uh, so there were, there were some problems there. Um, the, um, um, that was one of those situations where the, uh, Medical Foundation did not run all of the factors by everyone, uh, before the decision was made, but, uh, it was, was a generous gift and, uh, obviously, um, um, has paved the way for other gifts from various and sundry foundations and individuals, but it did create some problems, yeah.

SMOOT: Did they have any, uh, uh, influence on the developments that came to be associated with Spindletop, with, uh?

DICKEY: No, no, there was no, no connection whatsoever between 01:00:00Spindletop and the Medical Foundation.

SMOOT: Okay.

DICKEY: That, uh, was a gift, uh, purchase that, uh, was worked out entirely through

Mr. Fred Watts of the Lexington Leader and, uh, I remember going down

to Beaumont to talk with Mrs. Yont or Mrs.--later on Mrs. Grant--but, uh, Mrs. Yont at that time about, uh, the gift, and I don't think there was any, uh, relationship, uh, with the Medical Foundation whatsoever there.

SMOOT: Okay.

DICKEY: The selection of students, uh, was a very, uh, important, uh, part of the early stages of the development of the Medical Center.

SMOOT: Um-hm.


DICKEY: And they had some interesting philosophical, uh, discussions, uh, relative to what the beginning classes should be like, whether they should be the, um, scholars of their own, of the undergraduate schools or whether they should be people who had well rounded, uh, uh, activities records, uh, as well as good scholarship and of course the mix of out-of-state and in state students was a very important, uh, aspect of it and the general tendency of the legislature was to say, um, it should be entirely in state

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Uh, but, uh, I think we were successful in persuading them that, that would be a very provincial sort of, uh, student body to have and so there was a mix of, uh, out-of-state, in state, uh, student body. 01:02:00The, uh, students in the first classes were, uh, good students-- excellent undergraduate records--but they also were selected because they had, uh, other qualities and traits that they felt would, uh, make them successful physicians and dentists and so forth.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: So, I would, I would say that the early classes of the, uh, uh, medical and dental, uh, schools were really outstanding groups and the records that they've made since then I think would, uh, attest to that fact.

SMOOT: Um-hm. Were the students as they were chosen--uh, did this reflect the, I suppose I should go back and ask the philosophical considerations that were involved with the development of the Medical 01:03:00Center from, uh--

DICKEY: --well--

SMOOT: --Dr. Willard and his staff and I'm sure with the overall administration.

DICKEY: Well, one of the, uh, philosophical considerations was that, uh, if the, um, Medical Center was going to fulfill the mission that, uh, had been expected--uh, namely that it would serve the entire state and--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --that the physicians would be available to rural areas as well as to metropolitan areas. Then the experiences that, uh, were developed for students should, uh, attest to that, uh, philosophy and as a consequence one of the most interesting aspects of the, um, program was the kind of, um, uh, experience that the students were required to have, uh, namely, to go out into the field even prior to an internship to work with physicians out in the field and it served 01:04:00a combination of purposes. It gave the student a feel, uh, for the, uh, experience that might be his or hers, uh, if they went into those areas. It gave the, uh, physician out in the field a feeling of, uh, um, belonging to an ongoing enterprise and also forced the faculty member of the university, uh--could've become a kind of an ivory tower individual--to go out to supervise the student and as a consequence the practicing physician received inspiration and motivation and help, uh, from the, uh, faculty member, the faculty member became more realistic about the problems of the field, the student had that experience and that was one of the interesting, uh, uh, decisions that was made early in the development of the program and I think it, uh, was essentially 01:05:00based on a philosophical consideration of the type of individual that needed to be developed, the type of program that would develop that individual and then hopefully that the experience that he would have would persuade him to move out into some of these areas that had not been as, uh, fully staffed as might have been desired.

SMOOT: How did this fit in with the overall philosophy of the university?

DICKEY: Well, I think it was very consistent with the overall university philosophy. Dr. Donovan had developed, early in his, uh, um, tenure as president, a statement that the campus of the University of Kentucky is the state of Kentucky and, uh, so this, I think, was very consistent with the total philosophy of the university, uh, both in terms of, uh, agricultural extension work or in terms of, uh, working with teachers, 01:06:00uh, in the field all over the state and, um, other elements of the university that had already, uh, been involved in that type of activity.

SMOOT: Um-hm. Were most of these efforts directed, uh, with, uh, students going out into the field, et cetera, towards Eastern Kentucky? Was the emphasis on Eastern Kentucky rather than Western Kentucky?

DICKEY: No, I don't think so. I think it was, uh, uh, fairly, uh, wide, widely spread over the state. Of course, the, the needs of Eastern Kentucky might at that point have been a bit more publicized.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Uh, but, uh, no, the, um, the western areas of the state were, were equally as important to the university in terms of the, the well, 01:07:00all of the field activities not only the Medical Center, but, uh, agriculture and engineering and--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --education as well.

SMOOT: You often, today at least, you hear that the University of Louisville looks more towards Western Kentucky and the University of Kentucky more towards the east. Uh, that cer-, you say that that really was not the case, uh, then.

DICKEY: No, if that, that, that may be the case now. I don't know. I haven't--

SMOOT: --um-hm, um-hm--

DICKEY: --really, uh, kept that close touch, but if it is it's, it's a fairly recent development, uh, because it was not originally, uh, started in that, in that way.

SMOOT: Um-hm. Was part of the idea of the, uh, Medical Center to take care of, of indigents when the hospital was being developed? Uh, was that seen as one of the major functions as far as you are aware?

DICKEY: Um, it was recognized that it would, uh, uh, have to, have to do 01:08:00something in that area.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: It was always hoped that that would not be the primary source of patient, uh, uh, population.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Um, and one of the, one of the problems of any institution is how do you, uh, support, uh, a hospital that has that sort of, uh, uh, patient population. Um, the, um, appropriations, uh, don't always, uh, keep pace with, uh, the increase in, uh, hospital costs and so forth. I would say that, uh, the, the original intent was that it would be a fairly good mix between paying patients and indigent patients, although it was recognized that as a state institution, uh, we were going to have, uh, our share of indigent patients.

SMOOT: Um-hm. Was this going to be a terrible burden on the university 01:09:00to take care of this sort of, the costs are incurred when--

DICKEY: --well--

SMOOT: --you take care of a large number of indigents?

DICKEY: It, it all, yeah, it, uh, all depends on how generous the state is in its appropriations. I've always had a, a feeling that the university was getting, um, unfair criticism, uh, sometimes because you look at the appropriation for the university or for the hospital and it appears to be excessively large, uh, because of the cost of indigent, uh, care and my contention has always been that, uh, the appropriation should not be made directly to the university, but should be made to the welfare, uh, portions of state government who in turn would reimburse the university for-- the hospital--for those services because that's, that's essentially what it is. It's a 01:10:00welfare, uh, appropriation, uh, and to include that as a part of the total university appropriation makes it look as if the university is receiving an inordinate amount of support which in turn is not, not really for the support of the university per se, but, uh, is a kind of welfare grant to indigent patients.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: But this, this, uh, has not been, uh, done in Kentucky. It is done in a few states, I think. I don't know exactly which states, but, uh, it would be interesting to see some, uh, experimentation with that approach.

SMOOT: Yes, it's, it's, be, ask, follow up on that because that, that seems like a very logical sort of way of dealing with the problem, uh, as with, one would have indigents and they would be compensated for each indigent as they would come along rather than trying to build it into a budget. Uh, why has Kentucky failed to at least experiment with 01:11:00this particular form of, uh, of reimbursement?

DICKEY: I can't, I can't answer that. I, I really don't know.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Uh, it was suggested, I think, back in 1960 and again in '62 when

I was, uh, here and I don't know what has happened since that time. Uh, it was suggested to legislative, uh, budget committees. Suggested basically to the governor at that time because in those days it was more of an executive budget than it is now and so, uh, the, uh, governor's staff, uh, pretty much made up the budget and then presented it to the legislature, but I can't answer the questions to why it hasn't been, uh, followed up on.

SMOOT: What efforts were made, uh, aside from regular budgetary considerations, and of course we've, we've also discussed the Kentucky Medical Foundation, but to secure federal and state funding for the 01:12:00various medical programs that were taking, uh, taking their, uh, initial courses here at the university.

DICKEY: Well, of course the, the first, uh, uh, real consideration was that of the, uh, building, construction, uh, costs and, uh, the Hill- Burton Act was, uh, very helpful in, uh, giving support to the, uh, building of the Medical Center.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: So, uh, the first re-, approaches to, uh, federal agencies, uh, were for the purpose of securing Hill-Burton funds. As, uh, the staffing patterns emerged and, uh, developed, uh, new funds were being, uh, um, allocated in federal government for, uh, for , uh, various types 01:13:00of programming--for example, in allied health. Uh, the whole allied health field was just emerging then and, uh, there were tremendous numbers of funds that were available in, uh, those fields. The medical and dental, uh, uh, student assistants, uh, appropriations were, uh, uh, considerably higher than they are now and as a consequence, uh, I suspect a, a good 50 percent or maybe even more of the time of, uh, people like Howard Bost and others, uh, would be spent in, uh, uh, Washington, uh, working on various grants and proposals that, uh, meant a great deal to the, uh, Medical Center in its early days. So the federal funding, uh, came at a time--and that, that, that's one of the 01:14:00fortunate aspects of the timing of the development of this Center--that the federal funds were more available and were much more generous than they are at the present time. It would be pretty difficult, I think, to establish a Medical Center of this magnitude at this point.

SMOOT: Um-hm. Mention the dental school and I recall from some of my own research that, uh, there was, uh, a lot of opposition to the development of the dental school just as there had been originally to the development of the medical school--

DICKEY: --um-hm.

SMOOT: --et cetera. What are your recollections along those lines? The development of the dental school?

DICKEY: Um, the development of the dental school was not as, uh, traumatic an experience and I suspect largely because the, uh, dentists were not as well organized, not as, uh, accustomed to, uh, fighting 01:15:00these battles as the medical profession had been. Uh, there were individuals who were opposed. Uh, don't know that the Kentucky Dental Association per se ever took a, a strong stand one way or the other, um, but, uh, the dental, uh, program was, um, successful in its early days largely I think because of the tremendous, um, impact that Al Morris, the first dean of the dental school, had. Uh, he was a very persuasive person, a very, uh, uh, fine person in, uh, getting out into the state, meeting with dental groups and as a consequence they were, uh, pretty well sold on the dental school after the first, uh, uh, year 01:16:00or two of classes had, had already gotten underway.

SMOOT: Hmm. It's my understanding that, uh, because of some, um, savings in the bids that, uh, the actual development of the physical plant for the dental school could proceed at an earlier date than had been originally anticipated. Is that correct?

DICKEY: That is correct, yeah, yeah, it, um, I suspect was at least a year ahead of schedule because of, uh, the, uh, different planning that went, uh, into the development of the, uh, construction and the arrangement of rooms and so forth and, uh, once more, that, uh, can largely be attributed to the innovative ideas that, uh, Al Morris presented.

SMOOT: Um-hm. What do you think ha-, the, has been the impact of the 01:17:00Medical Center over the past several years, uh, on the university community?

DICKEY: Oh, I don't think there's any way one can really, uh, uh, give a very, uh, definite answer to that. Uh, you can only guess that, uh, it's, uh, factor that has, uh, brought tremendous attention to the university community and to, uh, the entire, uh, state for that matter. Um, being one of the relatively few medical centers that, uh, has been developed, uh, uh, over the last half century practically, uh, people have had an opportunity to look at it much more closely than they 01:18:00would if it had been developed in, uh, 1900, for example, or 1920, uh, and, uh, I, uh, think that the fact that it has been successful, that it has, uh, provided, uh, leadership, uh, for tremendous numbers of other, uh, medical schools. This, this, this is one of the, the, uh, impacts that I think is, is discernable, uh, and it goes back again to the basic philosophy that Bill Willard and others, uh, had, namely to select people for leadership positions here who were on their way up.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: Uh, it meant that the University of Kentucky did not always retain all these people as, uh, long as we might liked. On the other hand, when they moved on, they have moved into positions of, uh, responsibility and leadership that, uh, cannot help but reflect, 01:19:00uh, favorably upon the University of Kentucky because they provided them their opportunity for the stepping stone. So on that score, the university, uh, Medical Center has made a, a very great contribution. Uh, secondly, the, uh, students who have graduated here have, uh, made excellent contribution, records so I would say that, uh, it has been a part of the university that has brought a tremendous amount of, uh, respect to the entire institution, to the state.

SMOOT: So you, you would say then that the, um, viewpoint, following by extension--well, let me stop just a moment.

[Pause in recording.]

DICKEY: Um-hm. One other way I think that one might, uh, assess the impact, uh, is a kind of a personal experience here. When I left the 01:20:00university in 1963 I went into the field of accreditation and, uh, worked for a couple of years with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and then went to the National Commission on Accrediting, which was a non-governmental agency that supervised and monitored the accreditation of all of the professional fields, so I had an opportunity to work very closely with the, uh, medical accrediting groups, the allied health accrediting groups, dental, as well as engineering, law and others and over the period of almost eleven years with that National Commission on Accrediting, I had the opportunity not only to meet with the, uh, leadership of the professional groups, but, uh, to go on a number of other campuses, uh, to monitor and to 01:21:00supervise the accreditation of those institutions and their programs, and I think one of the most satisfying experiences, uh, growing out of that was the tremendous amount of respect that I found for the University of Kentucky Medical Center wherever you went. They knew about it, they felt that it was a, uh, worthwhile, uh, highly respected, uh, program and as a consequence I, I think that it not only has had a, a worthwhile impact here on the university community and in the state, but, uh, on a national basis as well.

SMOOT: Hmm. So the original ideas and, and , uh, observations of those that have written various reports such as Dr. Chambers, who had done some work with the Anderson-Manlove reports of the AMA, all these sort of things really seem to bear out true, uh, in the long run of thing.


DICKEY: Yeah, I suppose that one could say that the, if the first twenty-five years is any, uh, indication that, uh, the future is a go-, a bright one for, for this, uh, Medical Center.

SMOOT: Are there any other subjects that you think should be discussed in relation to the, uh. Medical Center per se, specifically with the Medical Center that I have not covered?

DICKEY: You have done a superb job and I'm not just saying this to get it on the tape, but, uh, you have asked the right questions to, uh, cover the waterfront in a, uh, very commendable way. No, I don't think I, I have anything else that I think of that might be, might be included because you've, you've hit not only on the problem areas, but also on the strengths of the medical and, uh, Medical Center programs.

SMOOT: Okay. I have one question and I, I'm really not, I'm not sure 01:23:00that this, I, I've seen nothing relating to this. Uh, why was it named the Albert B. Chandler Medical Center rather than just say the University of Kentucky Medical Center or, uh, the Bert Combs Medical Center, the John Chambers Medical Center--(laughs)--the Lawrence Wetherby Medical Center, this, I'm curious as to that?

DICKEY: Oh, I think the, the answer is that had it not been for the, uh, interest and the, uh, um, persuasiveness of, uh, Governor Chandler the Center probably wouldn't, would not even have been established, so it was a, uh, matter of the, uh, board of trustees, uh, uh, expressing appreciation for the contribution that he had made. It, uh, it created some problems at the time, but, uh, it was a unanimous decision of 01:24:00the board. It was not one that was recommended by the university administration per se, but, uh, came from the board members themselves--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --and, um, as I say, I think it was because of his, uh, influence on the establishment, uh, of the, uh, legislation that started it and the appropriations and so forth and, uh, there was no other person who was quite as important in the establishment of the Medical Center as, uh, Governor Chandler.

SMOOT: Why did you decide to leave the presidency of the university?

DICKEY: Um, two or three, uh, reasons. Um, one, uh, I had, when I came to the presidency I had established what I kind of, in my own thinking 01:25:00was, uh, might be called a ten year program for, uh, development.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

DICKEY: After seven years as president and, uh, the beginning of the Medical Center and, uh, certain other, uh, physical changes in the university, and the upgrading of, uh, uh, student requirements and so forth, I felt that most of those objectives had been reached and that, uh, it was a good time to change. I've always had a philosophy that ten years in any position is about as much as anybody ought to have because I think after that period of time he runs out of steam and it's time for someone else to, uh, come in, uh, with some new ideas and new enthusiasm. Uh, a second reason, uh, to be perfectly frank about it, uh, I did not enjoy the political, uh, maneuvering that had to be 01:26:00a part of a university. Um, I recognize that is a part of any state university presidency, but I did not enjoy that aspect of it and I decided that there ought to be some other way that I could live a more peaceful--(Smoot laughs)--pleasant life so those two factors, uh, were the determining, uh, ones, and then the final one was that I had had a long time interest in the evaluation and accreditation and when the opportunity came to move to that type of a position it seemed that it was just the most appropriate move to make.

SMOOT: Um-hm. Uh, I had heard that, from some people that the, one of the major problems that you had to deal with, uh, was the growth 01:27:00and the power and the politicizing, if you will, of, of the athletics department. Is, is that, was that part of it? I, I don't mean to point a finger at them necessarily, but--

DICKEY: No, no, um, um, that, that's part of any institutional--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --leadership--

SMOOT: --um-hm--

DICKEY: --program and, um, that, uh, was not, uh, not a part of the decision-making process at all. Um, in fact, I, I take considerable amount of pride in the fact that, uh, during the period that, uh, I was president, the, uh, University of Kentucky did not, uh, get into any, uh, predicaments where it had trouble with the NCAA--(Smoot laughs)--or the conference or any other group and it came at a time, uh, when there were radical changes taking place in the athletic program because it was during the period of desegregation and we had problems with other, 01:28:00uh, institutions within the conference, uh, that did not wish to play integrated teams and so forth. It's interesting to observe what they're doing now, but, uh, no, that, uh, that was not, not necessarily a part of the decision-making process. I would say it would be more in terms of what the new position offered and in terms of the, having met certain objectives that I had set and then finally just the fact that as I say, I was not, uh, always very much at home in working in the political, uh, domain.

SMOOT: Um-hm. Are there any other subjects you would like to discuss that I have not covered?

DICKEY: No, I think not. Uh, this has been a most pleasant and interesting, uh, uh, interview and I, I've enjoyed it and I appreciate 01:29:00the opportunity to visit with you and to put on tape some of these, uh, recollections and reminiscences of the, uh, development of a very important part of the university.

SMOOT: Well, I've enjoyed it too, very much, Dr. Dickey and I hope I have the opportunity to talk with you again sometime.

DICKEY: Thank you very much.

SMOOT: Thank you.

[End of interview.]