Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:08 - Working for Chancellor Clark Kerr

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Dr. Oswald, I, I, thought we might begin--I was just mentioning to you before I turned the tape on that in your interview with, with, uh, Rick Smoot on the Medical Center, you all talked at some, uh, length about your, uh, your academic background, your personal life and career prior to coming to UK.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. John Oswald is introduced. He talks about working at the University of California Berkeley and being chosen as a faculty assistant to Chancellor Clark Kerr. He talks about continuing to work for Kerr when Kerr was chosen as president of the university.

Keywords: Chancellors; Clark Kerr; Department chairman; Faculty assistant to the president; Plant pathology; Research; Robert Gordon Sproul; University presidents

Subjects: College administrators--Selection and appointment.; College department heads; Higher education; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of California, Berkeley

00:08:53 - Interest in becoming a university president

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When did you decide that you would like to be a university president?

Segment Synopsis: Oswald discusses continuing to work for Clark Kerr, and his path to becoming vice president of administration. He talks about when he began to think about becoming the president of a university.

Keywords: Assistant vice president; Clark Kerr; Steve Diachun; University presidents; Vice president of administration

Subjects: College administrators--Selection and appointment.; College campuses.; College presidents; Universities and colleges--Administration.; University of California, Berkeley

00:14:34 - Impressions of the University of Kentucky

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So when Steve Diachun called you that, that morning and, uh, raised the prospect of, uh, perhaps coming to, to Kentucky, or at least to see if you were interested, uh, did you know much about Kentucky at that point?

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about coming to visit the UK campus while being considered for the presidency. He gives his impressions of the university and talks about why he was interested in the position. He talks about the initial support he received from Kentucky politicians and chancellors of the university for his ideas for the university.

Keywords: Changes; Governor Bert T. Combs; Governor Edward T. Breathitt; Growth; Reluctance; Reputations

Subjects: Campus visits; College administrators--Selection and appointment.; College campuses.; College presidents; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Evaluation; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. Community College System; University of Louisville

00:23:11 - Others' reactions to his acceptance of the presidency

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You had many positive, uh--much positive feedback from your initial visit to UK.

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about Clark Kerr's reaction when he was told Oswald would be leaving for Kentucky. He talks about his wife, Rosanel "Rose" Oswald, her acceptance by the people at UK, and her feelings on moving to Kentucky. He talks about his daughter, Betty Oswald, and how her life was impacted when he closed the University School of Education at UK.

Keywords: Betsy Oswald; Board of trustees; Chancellorships; Clark Kerr; Closing; Daughters; Decisions; Feedback; Involvement; Negative; Politics; Reactions; Rosanel Oswald; Search process; University School of Education; Wife

Subjects: Campus visits; College administrators--Selection and appointment.; College presidents; College presidents' spouses; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Evaluation; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings.; University of California, Riverside; University of Kentucky

00:35:14 - Dr. Thomas D. Clark

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I wanted to ask you if you recall, uh, uh, Dr. Clark has said that he really didn’t know much about you.

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about his impressions of Dr. Thomas Clark, and talks about their relationship at the University of Kentucky. He talks about how they initially worked well together and talks about how that changed over time.

Keywords: Changes; Dr. Frank Dickey; Dr. Thomas D. Clark; Relationships; Rotating chairmanship; Rotating department heads; Support

Subjects: College administrators; College department heads; College presidents; College teachers.; Educators; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

00:40:31 - Clark Kerr's influence

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Going back to your, uh, becoming a, a university president. Um, having, uh, come up through the system at UC with, with Clark Kerr, uh, I guess it’s inevitable that, uh, you would bring your own personality and your own sense of, of, uh, how administration should be done and all of this would be colored in somewhat by your experiences with, uh, Dr. Kerr.

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about how his leadership style was affected by his mentor, Clark Kerr. He talks about which of Kerr's ideas he implemented at UK. He talks about how his own personality differs from Kerr's.

Keywords: Attitudes; Centennial; Changes; Clark Kerr; Controversy; Diplomatic; Doug Schwartz; Faculty assistants; Leadership styles; Letters; Meetings; Mentors; Methods; Nonpolitical; Paul Nagel; Personality; Planning; Relationship with students; University presidents

Subjects: College administrators--Training of; College presidents; Universities and colleges--Administration.

00:52:50 - Dr. Frank Dickey

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What did you know about your predecessor?

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about his predecessor, Dr. Dickey. He talks about how much contact they had when Oswald became president, and gives his opinions on some of Dickey's policies.

Keywords: American Association of University Professors (AAUP); Comparison; Critical; Dr. Frank Dickey; Governor Edward T. Breathitt; Policies; Predecessors; Relationships; Retirement system

Subjects: College administrators--Rating of; College presidents; College teachers--Pensions; College teachers--Salaries, etc.; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of Kentucky. Medical Center

01:02:21 - Controversial issues

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Course in the Dickey administration there'd been some problems with, um, political interference, academic freedom.

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about an issue over academic freedom which he encountered early in his presidency and tried to avoid. He talks about his desire to change the retirement system for UK faculty, his plans, and what others wanted instead. He talks about a lawsuit that was still ongoing at the time of the interview over the new retirement plan.

Keywords: "Change of Work"; Academic freedom; Benefits; Clifford Smith; Controversy; Frank Peterson; Issues; Lawsuits; Maxwell Place; Political interference; Political pressure; Retirement system; Robert Kerley; Teachers’ Insurance Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund (T.I.A.A./C.R.E.F.)

Subjects: College administrators--Rating of; College presidents; College teachers--Pensions; College teachers--Political activity; College teachers--Salaries, etc.; College teachers--Social conditions; Educators; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges--Finance

01:13:28 - Clifford Smith

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Tell me about Clifford Smith.

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about Clifford Smith, a member of the board of trustees at the University of Kentucky. He discusses some of the disagreements he had with Smith during his tenure as president.

Keywords: Activists; Board of trustees; Clifford Smith; Controversy; Disagreements; Frank Peterson; Political; Robert Kerley; Special attention

Subjects: College administrators; College presidents; Universities and colleges--Administration.

01:20:22 - Humorous stories that caused him trouble

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I want to talk about some of the ad--administrators that you found in place when you came.

Segment Synopsis: Oswald tells several stories about jokes he made, some of which were later used against him by his opponents. One story is about owning a carpeted doghouse, another about accidentally using his office intercom system, and a third about always wearing a coat and tie when speaking to his mentor, Clark Kerr.

Keywords: Anne Wilson; Carpeted doghouse; Clark Kerr; Funny; Intercom systems; Leadership; Mentors; Pennsylvania Interest Research Group; President's office; Ralph Nader; Renovations; Respect

Subjects: College administrators--Rating of; College buildings.; College facilities.; College presidents; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Public relations

01:31:14 - Campus mood

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Do you think that the, uh, that the office staff was intimidated by you?

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about his staff's reactions to his personality and policies. He talks about the idea of having a mood of "healthy tension" on campus, in order to minimize fights between opposing sides.

Keywords: "Healthy ferment"; "Healthy tension"; Administration building; Bewildering; Campus mood; Changes; Office staff; Opposition; Renovations; Styles

Subjects: College administrators--Rating of; College buildings.; College environment; College facilities.; College presidents; College teachers--Social conditions; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.

01:36:08 - A.D. Albright / Dr. Albert Kirwan

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When you came, uh, to the university, s--looking at the--some of the top administrators who were in place--

Segment Synopsis: Oswald discusses the support he received from A.D. Albright as president of the university. He talks about their different but compatible working styles. He talks about Dr. Albert "Ab" Kirwan and the list of changes Kirwan wanted to be made at the university. He talks about Ab being more of a traditionalist than himself and gives an example of the types of gatherings held at Maxwell Place during each of their presidencies.

Keywords: A.D. Albright; Acting president; Balance; Cocktails; Compatible; Continuity; Controversy; Dr. Albert Kirwan; Helpful; Ideas; Influence; Maxwell Place; Nostalgia; Personality; Priorities; Retirement system; Rotating chairmanship; Rotating department heads; Supportive; Teas; Traditionalist; Working style

Subjects: College administrators--Rating of; College department heads; College environment; College presidents; College presidents--Dwellings; College teachers--Pensions; College teachers--Salaries, etc.; College teachers--Social conditions; Educators; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges--Public relations

01:48:38 - More on A.D. Albright / Dr. Lewis Cochran

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Now who were some of the other people?

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks more about Albright and his ambition to become president of the university. He talks about Dr. Lewis "Bud" Cochran who supported many of the policies Oswald attempted to implement at UK.

Keywords: A.D. Albright; Academic programs; Academic standards; Acting president; Ambitions; Dr. Lewis Cochran; Personality; Policies; Support

Subjects: College administrators--Rating of; College administrators--Selection and appointment.; College presidents; Education, Higher--Kentucky--Lexington; Educational change--Kentucky; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings.

01:53:41 - Policy changes

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, l--let's talk just for a minute about that academic program.

Segment Synopsis: Oswald discusses his plans for changes at the University of Kentucky which included raising faculty salaries, implementing a policy of rotating chairmanship, improving the academic curriculum, and including students in more of the decisions made. He talks about others' reactions to these policy changes.

Keywords: Academic programs; Changes; Curriculum; Deans; Faculty Senate; In loco parentis; Inaugural addresses; Plans; Policies; Priorities; Recruiting; Rotating chairmanship; Rotating deanship; Rotating department heads; Scholarly work; Student involvement

Subjects: College administrators; College environment; College majors; College presidents; College students--Social conditions; College teachers--Salaries, etc.; Education, Higher--Kentucky--Lexington; Educational change--Kentucky; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Curricula.; Universities and colleges--Evaluation; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings.

02:01:20 - More on the controversy over rotating chairmanships

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And it was--by the middle of '66, uh, I--I'd hate to count the number of department chairmen that had been reviewed and changed.

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about the members of the UK faculty that objected to his policy of rotating department chairs. He discusses the idea that his policy changes came from his experience at the University of California. He talks about faculty support for his policy changes.

Keywords: California; Changes; Comparison; Controversy; Dr. Albert Kirwan; Dr. Thomas D. Clark; Guidelines; Leaving; Lyman Ginger; Perceptions; Policies; Promotions; Robert Ezekiel Shaver; Rotating chairmanship; Rotating deanship; Rotating department heads

Subjects: College administrators; College presidents; College teachers--Selection and appointment.; College teachers--Tenure.; Educators; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of California

02:10:15 - Academic curriculum

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, some people have said though that, uh, one interesting thing about the University of Kentucky is that the board of trustees has traditionally, historically left the faculty alone--

Segment Synopsis: Oswald talks about trying to get the board of trustees more interested in the academic side of the university. He compares a liberal arts education to more specialized kinds of education. He talks about his idea of creating "Oxford at UK" by broadening the core courses undergraduates were required to take. He talks about support and controversy over this idea. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Academic philosophy; Academics; Board of trustees; Changes; Core courses; Curriculum; Education; Elitism; Humanities courses; Implementation; Liberal arts education; Paul Nagel; Planning; Policies; Pride; Progress; Sciences; Specialization; Students; Undergraduates

Subjects: College administrators; College environment; College majors; College presidents; Education, Higher--Kentucky--Lexington; Educational change--Kentucky; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Curricula.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.