Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with A. D. Albright, October 25, 1988

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:13 - How the University of Kentucky changed in the late 1950s due to the provost position

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Partial Transcript: As I said last time we talked about, uh, politics in education and, uh, before that we were, uh, uh--had talked some about the Dickey administration...

Segment Synopsis: The University of Kentucky changed in the 1950s when Albright became the provost. He created a tour of programs, meeting with all 40 deans and department chairmen to discuss needs and desires to make the university a better academic institution.

Keywords: 1950s; College of Education; Frank Dickey; Provosts; Social Sciences Department; Tour of programs; University of Kentucky

Subjects: College environment; College presidents; Educational change; University of Kentucky. College of Education

00:05:43 - Albright’s evaluation of UK's academic programs

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Partial Transcript: What, uh, what, what impressed you the most about that tour of the programs that you did?

Segment Synopsis: Albright specifically asked all deans/department chairmen for ideas and tactics, and the type of support needed. The university’s stronger programs included Southern history, chemistry, and sociology; weaker programs included mathematics until the growth of computers. Strong programs received extramural funds more easily.

Keywords: Academic community; Chemistry; Computers; Dr. Yeeves; Extramural funds; Library; Mathematics; Meetings; Paul Sears; Research money; Sociology; Southern history; Strong programs; Support programs; Tour of programs; Weak programs

Subjects: Academic libraries; College presidents; Universities and colleges--Departments; University and colleges--Research.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. College of Arts and Sciences; University of Kentucky. Department of History; University of Kentucky. Department of Sociology; University of Kentucky. Libraries

00:13:18 - The desegregation movement

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Partial Transcript: I--in 1955, I guess it was, I had been fairly active in the desegregation movement.

Segment Synopsis: Albright utilized Howard Beers' method of community reconnaissance to include people of color. This method involved finding congruence in thoughts, beliefs, and objectives. It was approved and incorporated by both blacks and whites.

Keywords: Activism; Community reconnaissance; Desegregation movement; Howard Beers; People of color

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

00:15:38 - University outlook in 1960 prior to classical academic program change

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Partial Transcript: In this position of provost, you had the academic deans reporting to you.

Segment Synopsis: In 1960, the university moved from an agriculture/mechanical education to classical education. In order to make this change, all programs needed improvement, especially liberal arts, foreign languages, and English. The medical program set up their own science department with extra strength in biology.

Keywords: 1960; A&M colleges; Academic programs; Agricultural and mechanical colleges; Biology; English; Foreign languages; Liberal arts; Patterson; Science

Subjects: Agriculture; Universities and colleges--Departments; University of Kentucky. College of Arts and Sciences; University of Kentucky. Department of English; University of Kentucky. Department of Languages

00:18:48 - Professor recruitment and retention

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Partial Transcript: What about faculty development?

Segment Synopsis: Since the university was changing its focus, faculty needed to be added and retained. Programs were designed to reward leadership and research. Salaries of new professors are high to attract them; salaries of existing professors are increased to encourage retention.

Keywords: Academic marketplace; Advancement; Commitment; Department of Spanish; Faculty; John Oswald; Nomadic professors; North Carolina; Policy change; Professors; Program leadership; Retention; Rewards; Salary

Subjects: Academic Programs; College teachers--Job satisfaction; College teachers--Salaries, etc.; Educators; Teachers--Salaries, etc.; Universities and colleges--Departments; Universities and colleges--Faculty

00:24:31 - Student body from 1960-1962

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Partial Transcript: In the position of provost with the, with the deans--academic deans reporting to you, uh, and, and as you said, major programs such as the library and other support programs...

Segment Synopsis: In the mid-1960s, the University of Kentucky student body was comprised of 80% students from central Kentucky. As the university changed to a classical education, the university attracted more talent.

Keywords: 1964; Bluegrass institution; Central Kentucky; Educational institution; In-state; Student body

Subjects: College campuses; College choice; College publicity; College students.; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Education--Kentucky

00:27:18 - Why students chose the University of Kentucky over vocational and regional institutions

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Partial Transcript: In, in 1960 when you became provost, if a student coming out of high school in Kentucky or in the region...

Segment Synopsis: Students chose to attend the University of Kentucky because of its state school status, prestige, social life, and familial attachment. Additionally, it was accessible to most students in Kentucky.

Keywords: Accessibility; Familial attachment; Prestige; Regional institutions; Satellite; Social life; State schools; Status

Subjects: College choice; College environment; College students--Social conditions; Universities and colleges--Accreditation; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings

00:32:06 - Reasons Albright is recruited and selected as provost

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Partial Transcript: Let's go back to your appointment as, as provost.

Segment Synopsis: UK president Frank Dickey recruited Albright as provost to further the University of Kentucky academically, and to provide coordination between its colleges. Albright was chosen because of his leadership skills, research, education beliefs, and contacts.

Keywords: Academic movement; Contacts; Coordination; Disciplines; Education; Frank Dickey; Isolation; Kellogg Foundation Program; Leadership; Lexington Singers; Music; Provosts; Reputation; Research

Subjects: Academic programs; College discipline; College facilities; College presidents; College teachers--Job satisfaction; School discipline; Universities and colleges--Departments; Universities and colleges--Research

00:42:56 - Impressions Dr. Dickey’s leadership style

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Partial Transcript: Looking back at your, uh, at the time at provost, uh, I guess two questions come to mind.

Segment Synopsis: Albright says that Dickey had difficulty making decisions. Politically, Dickey struggled because he gave into influences.

Keywords: College of Agriculture; Controversy; David Roselle; Difficult personality; Frank Dickey; Medical centers

Subjects: College presidents; College teachers--Job satisfaction; Universities and colleges--Departments; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges--Ratings and rankings; University of Kentucky. College of Agriculture; University of Kentucky. Medical Center

00:47:54 - Albright’s biggest contributions as provost

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Partial Transcript: Did you try to advise him along the way in terms of things he might do to ease the pressure...

Segment Synopsis: Albright’s major contributions to the University of Kentucky include breaking down isolation between programs, building relationships between the Medical Center and the campus, and moving programs together (ex. rural sociology and sociology). Additionally he implemented changes to faculty policies with regards to rewards and promotions, and to the campus by developing the Center for the Development of Change. He would have liked to have seen a January intersession in the curriculum, but this did not happen.

Keywords: Campus; Faculty policies; Increased academics; January intersession; Medical centers; Promotions; Reward system

Subjects: African American college students--Social conditions; College facilities; College presidents; Educational equalization; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Departments; Universities and colleges--Faculty; University of Kentucky. Medical Center

00:57:26 - Albright’s progression to Executive Vice President and its problems

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Partial Transcript: Of course, uh, in 1962, uh, you were appointed Executive Vice President by, by Frank Dickey.

Segment Synopsis: Albright quickly progressed from managing extended programs to Provost to Executive Vice President. He was in charge of academic affairs, support services (library), and the budget. There were problems with budget construction, as well as relationships between the science departments and the growing Medical Center.

Keywords: Academic affairs; Budget; Executive Vice President; Library; Medical centers; Support services

Subjects: Academic libraries; College presidents; College teachers--Social conditions; Universities and colleges--Public relations; University of Kentucky. College of Arts and Sciences; University of Kentucky. Medical Center

01:04:02 - Albright’s accomplishments and criticisms as vice president

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Partial Transcript: Moving into that level of administration, did you--you had studied leadership...

Segment Synopsis: Albright accomplished creating a good atmosphere at the university by making centralized decision-making more decentralized (similar to a democracy). He is criticized for being frugal in the allocation of resources, and not being accessible due to working long hours.

Keywords: Accessibility; Accomplishments; Atmosphere; Community; Criticism; John Oswald; Long hours; Money allocation; Separate responsibilities

Subjects: Campus planning; Campus size; College buildings; College department heads; School management and organization; Student housing; Teachers--Salaries, etc.; Universities and colleges--Departments

01:08:15 - Monetary funds allocated to building

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Partial Transcript: One criticism that, uh, comes up with the Dickey years and I guess, you know, this would fall into...

Segment Synopsis: In 1962-1963, the University of Kentucky had a surge in enrollment and needed to build more dormitories. Revenue bonds were issued as collateral to student fees.

Keywords: Construction; Dormitories; Enrollment increase; Frank Peterson; Revenue bonds; Student fees

Subjects: Academic Programs; Campus planning; Campus size; College department heads; College presidents; College students as consumers; Student housing; Universities and colleges--Departments

01:11:54 - Dickey’s resignation as president of UK

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Partial Transcript: Your career had, as we've said, changed pretty quickly...

Segment Synopsis: Dickey‘s resignation was expected, however, Dickey was bitter about how it was handled, as well as his financial settlement. After he resigned, he maintained contact with Albright and Ann Wilson, but cut ties with the university.

Keywords: Ann Wilson; Bitterness; Clifford Smith; Financial settlement; Football victory holidays; Frank Dickey; Frank Peterson; John Y. Brown; Letter; Resignation; Senate apology; State administration

Subjects: College presidents; College teachers--Job satisfaction; College teachers--Leaves of absence; College teachers--Pensions; Teachers--Salaries, etc.; Universities and colleges--Public relations; University of Kentucky