Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Lewis W. Cochran, January 28, 1986

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:15 - Reorganization of Kentucky State University

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Partial Transcript: Dr. Cochran, this morning we're starting our 27th session of interviews.

Segment Synopsis: Cochran speaks about some positive impacts of the reorganization at K State as well as some of his own accomplishments.

Keywords: Issues; Lack of staff; Policy manual; Regulations; Reorganization

Subjects: Campus planning.; College environment; School administrators.; School management and organization.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

00:04:02 - Changes that should be made at Kentucky State University

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Partial Transcript: You're talking about some very basic, fundamental type things that need to be done at a university. Now is it unusual to find a university without this in place?

Segment Synopsis: Cochran addresses the things he believes need to be altered at the university during the reorganization as well as changes in administration. He touches on the type of people he believes should be in the administration.

Keywords: Administrators; Discrimination; Fundamental issues; No established policies; Students' rights development; Uneven pay

Subjects: School administrators.; School discipline; Universities and colleges--Examinations; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

00:12:17 - Internal and external changes at Kentucky State University

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Partial Transcript: Um so, so really when you went to, to K State you were, you were battling on two fronts. One, the very fundamentals of organization and management policies, and two, uh, the the thing we talked about a lot last time was developing the academic, academic programs.

Segment Synopsis: Cochran talks about how he has never seen a university change so much in such a short time before K State. He introduces some of the physical renovations and introduces the audience to K State’s desegregation plan.

Keywords: Aquaculture; Financial audits; Fixed physical plant; Private giving; Renovation; Substantial budget increases

Subjects: African American college students.; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; School management and organization.; Universities and colleges--Finance

00:21:53 - Drawing in top-tier staff and reducing staff turnover

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Partial Transcript: What about the money?

Segment Synopsis: Cochran touches on fundraising for the renovations, as well as planned changes of the staff, while slowly introducing the president of the university at the time of the interview.

Keywords: Academic administrators; Centennial documentary; Foreign-trained; Investment in teachers; Operational styles; Top talent; Turnover in staff

Subjects: School administrators.; School discipline; School management and organization.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges--Finance

00:29:00 - Attention on Kentucky State University

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Partial Transcript: Could I ask at this point, uh, in regards of Burs you mentioned the, uh, problems he had with the custodial staff, the radio station all these things got fairly major attention in the, in the media, uh, especially in the, in the newspapers.

Segment Synopsis: Cochran goes into deeper detail on altercations the president has had with the staff and how it has affected the public image of the university.

Keywords: Criticism; Institutional development; Media; Over-exaggeration by media; Press; Public image; University presidents

Subjects: School administrators.; School management and organization.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges--Public relations

00:35:43 - Quality of staff

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Partial Transcript: The, uh, the next, uh, next problem is still quality of staff.

Segment Synopsis: Cochran talks about how the test scores of the students reflect upon the university staff and management at the time.

Keywords: All staff; Inadequate employees; Low income; Low level work; Staff performance; Universal problem in universities

Subjects: School administrators.; School attendance.; School management and organization.; Universities and colleges--Examinations; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

00:45:53 - Ideas for improvement for the future of Kentucky State University

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Partial Transcript: We were talking about, uh--

Segment Synopsis: Cochran speaks on the funding for the changes still left to be done. He mentions many centers in the university as well as the specific changes planned. He also speaks on the reorganization and what is complete and what still needs to be done.

Keywords: Higher education; Integration; Kentucky; Leadership; Liberal arts; Race

Subjects: College discipline; College facilities--Planning; Universities and colleges--Faculty

00:55:27 - His thoughts on the future of higher education in Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: I thought maybe, uh, since we're, since we're concluding this series that, uh, in the time we have left, if you're willing, we'd talk a little bit more about higher education in Kentucky in general.

Segment Synopsis: Cochran talks about the state of higher education in Kentucky in 1986 and where he thinks it will be in the future.

Keywords: Academic wealth; Funding; Fundraising; Robotics; Sustainability

Subjects: College facilities--Planning.; College facilities.; Universities and colleges--Departments; Universities and colleges--Finance

01:06:29 - Impact of Toyota plant in Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: But look at, um, look at the, uh, the Toyota expenditure there.

Segment Synopsis: Cochran references the multi-million dollar Toyota funds and how they could possibly impact the University of Kentucky. He also brings up how the 3,000 jobs introduced by the new Toyota plant would impact Fayette County.

Keywords: Commitment; Consequences; Cutbacks; Perceptions; Toyota

Subjects: College discipline; College publicity; School administrators; School management and organization

01:11:29 - Kentucky State University plans and changes over the next decade

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Partial Transcript: I guess, uh, you know, it's what you once said about Morehead: they need to do a lot of little things right for a long, long time.

Segment Synopsis: Cochran introduces the shifts of funding throughout the departments as well as explains the time it will take for the efforts to be recognized and patience the people must have.

Keywords: Changes; Funding; Improvement; Patience; Research

Subjects: Campus planning; School management and organization; Universities and colleges--Finance