Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Adron Doran, April 18, 1991

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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SUCHANEK: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Dr. Adron Doran for the University of Kentucky Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project. Dr. Doran served in the General Assembly in the 1944, '46, and '50 legislative sessions and was Speaker of the House in 1950. The interview was conducted by Jeffrey Suchanek on April 18, 1991 at 111 Woodland Avenue, Lexington, Kentucky at one p.m. [Pause in tape]. This afternoon I'm talking with Dr. Adron Doran. This is the second session of the Doran interviews. Dr. Doran, what did you do after you graduated from Freed Hardeman?

DORAN: Well, I graduated from Freed Hardeman in 1930. That was a two year school, and I transferred to Murray State Teacher's College in Murray Kentucky and did my baccalaureate. And, then that was in nineteen and thirty-two that I graduated, and I 00:01:00started teaching in August of that year and taught for three years at Boaz High School in North Graves County.

SUCHANEK: How do you spell that?



DORAN: The Bible spelling of it is Boaz, but they always called it Boaz. Family named the school. And, taught there for two years and coached basketball, and the last year I was there I was principle of the high school and coached basketball.

SUCHANEK: That was in '34?

DORAN: That was '32 to '34; '34 and '35, it was '35 when I left there and went to Sylvan Shade in Fulton County.


SUCHANEK: How do you spell Sylvan?

DORAN: And-S-Y-L-V-A-N S-H-A-D-E, Sylvan Shade. And beautiful little rural farming community high school and we stayed there for three years during which I was principle and Mrs. Doran taught music. And then in 1938 we left Sylvan Shade in Fulton County and returned to our home county of Graves, and I became principal of Wingo High School. And we stayed there for ten years, and then I resigned in nineteen and forty-eight and came to the University of Kentucky to do my doctor's degree. Now, during the time that I was at Wingo, I completed my master's degree at Murray State, and also served during the '44 and '46 and '49 and '50 session of the state legislature. So 00:03:00I did my master's at Murray finally in 1948 before I came to Kentucky in 1950 to do my doctorate.

SUCHANEK: Okay. Now, when you were a principal, did you still do teaching and-

DORAN: Yes, I taught all the time that I was a principal. Usually taught what we didn't have anybody else qualified to teach (Suchanek laughs), not that I was qualified to teach it, but I think I could bluff my way through some of the courses that some of the other teachers were not willing to do. And most of the time, also, I coached basketball. Did in my early days at Boaz and Sylvan Shade, and during the war years at Wingo I coached basketball because I was the only one left to do it, and then women didn't coach basketball. Since, they have begun to do so, but they didn't then.


SUCHANEK: Um-hm. And what grades did you teach?

DORAN: Well, in high school. I taught seventh grade if that was the course that needed to be taught, we were on the six/six plan, and from the seven through the twelfth were in the upper grades, and the one through six were in the lower grades, and the lower grades were on the first floor and the high school was on the upper floor. And I had taught seventh grade history, or eighth grade, freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. But during the war years the United States Armed Forces instituted what they called a V-5 and a V-12 program, which they took some outstanding high school students and 00:05:00admitted them to colleges and gave them, what later became officer's candidate school, but they would offer them courses in advanced training for the Navy. So a number of our students from Wingo went to Berea over here to a V-5 and a V-12 program in which they took advanced courses in science and math. Some of them wanted to be aviators, pilots, so I organized a course in aeronautics for the high school seniors who wanted to go on to advanced training as a part of the Army program. I didn't know anything about aeronautics, but I got a good textbook and some reference materials. So the senior boys and I learned aeronautics, what we could, you know, during that time. We did a number of things like that, and I taught a course one time in advanced math, in which we took 00:06:00students who were advanced in algebra and who were good students in geometry and trigonometry and calculus, and just put them all together in an ungraded situation and taught that advanced course. Some of them took it for Algebra II, some of them took it for Geometry, and some for Trigonometry and some for Calculus. We did a lot of that work back in those days that we didn't advertise, and nobody gave us credit for it, they think now that to organize on an ungraded level is a new thing, but many, many educators have experimented with ungraded programs and ungraded disciplines for a 00:07:00long, long time, and successfully.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, Dr. Doran, you were teaching way before the Minimum Foundation program was instituted.

DORAN: Oh yes. Yes. In fact, the business I was in, the state Department of Education, Jeff, when the legislature authorized the amending of the constitution to amend section 186 of the constitution and provide for the distribution of funds other than on a per capita basis. Before that, as you know, school districts received per capita funds from the appropriated funds of the legislature, whether children were in school or not. And Wendell Butler was superintendent of public education at the time, and I was director of teacher education certification, and much of the promotion from the state level 00:08:00for the amendment of 186 fell on our department and I led community meetings and all that among teachers and parents and interested citizens.

SUCHANEK: Now, I don't think we talked about this last time, but how did you get in that position in the education department?

DORAN: In the state Department of Education?


DORAN: Well, it's, some of it's personal. In nineteen and forty-seven, I was going to run for state superintendent of public instruction. I was president of the Kentucky Education Association and resigned the presidency to run for state superintendent. And it finally boiled down to the fact that the governor's race was so significant, some of us thought, to education that it would be better for me not to run and endanger the risk of 00:09:00Harry Waterfield not being nominated for governor that I withdrew from the race and served as his liaison man in the headquarters. Well, he lost the primary to Earle Clements, and then I went in to Earle Clements's headquarters after he was nominated, before he was elected. Well, that was in the fall of '47. So then I went back to Wingo to teach during that following year and didn't run for the state legislature. And in 1949, the fellow who was representative of Graves County resigned, and there was a vacancy, and I ran for the vacancy and was elected in '49. And went to the legislature and they were having trouble with the fellow who was the speaker, he didn't know much about handling parliamentary affairs and handling the administration's program, so they 00:10:00changed speakers during that '49 session and I served as speaker. But, I said to the governor, at that time, "now, I'll preside and I'll serve as speaker during the '49 session and try to engineer your program through the special session," which had to do with changing the assessment of real estate and the allocation of the funds from it, "but, I want to be speaker in 1950. Now, if you will promise me that you'll support me for speaker in 1950, I'll go up there and place my neck on the block, and," so he said he would, and did.

SUCHANEK: So, you approached Earle Clements rather than the other way around.

DORAN: Oh yes. Well, he approached me to be speaker in '49, because, I didn't 00:11:00have any idea if I'd be speaker during the special session that he called, but he approached me and said, "I want you to be speaker."

SUCHANEK: Who was the speaker before you?

DORAN: Well, he was a fellow from up here in northern Kentucky whose name I cannot remember now, but he didn't do very well in the '48 session. And they were, you know, during some of those sessions, there are periods of lull, and you're not doing much, so some of the smart wags in the legislature in '48 introduced a resolution to indict the speaker for conducting a disorderly House. So, it was that kind of a thing that went on, and the governor had called a special session for important legislation, and he just didn't want to risk getting it all emasculated with him there, so he asked me to do it. Well, then 00:12:00I wasn't going to lay myself liable, you know, until, unless I had some consideration for the future. And I said, "I will, if you'll be for me for speaker," and he said he would. And back in those days, you didn't get to be a legislative leader unless you had the support of the governor, whether you were majority floor leader or speaker, or whatever it was. So, I said that I would be, and I was in '50. And during the '50 session we had great problems with the KEA. In nineteen and forty-six while I was president of the KEA, we developed a legislative program in which we proposed an appropriation for public schools of $34,500,000, which was ten million above anything that had been 00:13:00appropriated. Harry Waterfield ran a campaign on that platform and said he would do that, and I ran back for the legislature in '50, and said I would help provide the leadership. But when we got to the legislature, the governor would not accept that appropriation, and so I argued for it, and others argued for it, but to no avail. And so the schoolteachers just marched on Frankfort, they called it, and we had some critical days during that time, but finally we compromised on some transportation funds and other funds to appease it. And then in'53, Clements went to Washington as United States Senator, and Lawrence Weatherby who was lieutenant governor became governor. And so he called me one day and said, "I want you to come up here, I want to talk about a 00:14:00special session to appropriate some more money to public schools. I'm going to run for governor, and I don't want to run on the basis of what has happened in education under Clements." And so we talked about it and found $9 million of surplus funds, and so he called a special session of the legislature in '51 to appropriate this $9 million dollars. Well that eased the pressure, and the legislature, or the schoolteachers decided that the road block was Governor Clements, and not Weatherby and Doran. So we got out of the special session in fine shape, but in the meantime in '51, Wendell Butler ran for superintendent and he was elected in '52, and so he came to me after the election was over in '52 and said, "I want you to come in to the state department of education, and I 00:15:00want to talk to you about a job." And I said, "well, the only job I'd be interested in," and there was a vacancy in the teacher education and certification job that I would be interested in. They had a woman who was acting director and I said I'd be interested in that job. So he said, "well, I'll give it to you when I become superintendent of public instruction, so on January 1 of '52 he became superintendent and gave me the job, and I went in as director of that division and stayed there for two and a half years until I went to Morehead as the president.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, I think we might have mentioned this in our first session. When you and Weatherby found that $9 million, that irked Earle Clements a little bit, didn't it?

DORAN: Oh, indeed so. Indeed so. This, we were-I know he'd already called a 00:16:00special session, and speaker's office was on the third floor, and his office was on the first floor. So, one day he had talked to Clements on the telephone and told him what he was going to do, and Clements was very vehement as to how it was going to make him look, you know, if we did this. And Lawrence came up to my office, and he was very dejected. He had raked him over the coals pretty hard, and he said, "let's talk about it." And I said, "well, now Lawrence, we've done all for Governor Clements that we can do. We supported him when he was governor, and we supported him to go to the United States Senate, and he's in the United States Senate now, and we ought to run Kentucky like we think Kentucky ought to be run. And you're the governor, and I'm Speaker of the House, and we ought to decide what to do and do it." And, it gave him courage, or 00:17:00whatever would happen to a fellow under those circumstances, and so we proceeded and appropriated the $9 million to public schools. And that increased their salaries considerably over what it was the year before.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Did Earle Clements ever say anything to you about it?

DORAN: Oh no. No, no. That was all we ever heard about it. Nobody ever, and that was wholly and solely private and secretive. Nobody, that's the first time I've ever said anything about it, and I don't suppose Lawrence ever said anything about it. But, we got into this thing with Clements in 1946, during the '46 session. The governor was Governor Simeon Willis, he was a Republican and the leadership of both the House and the Senate were Democrats. So he offered a budget in '46 that held the appropriation at $15 million, 00:18:00what it was the year before, and he was not going to raise it any. Well, we thought it ought to be raised at least $3.5 million, and the House which has the responsibility, you know, of writing the legislation and passing the bill, we wrote into the budget an appropriation of $18.5 million. Well, we could pass it, and we did pass it, but the Senate was pretty well under the control of Earle Clements who was majority leader of the Senate at the time. And there was a strong cleavage, though it was not out in the open between Waterfield, who was going to run for governor in '47, and Clements who was going to run for governor in '47. So Clements did not want us to pass our budget, but he wanted some input. Well, we gave him all the input we wanted him to have to hold the 00:19:00$18.5 million. So, never could agree on it, so we went ahead and passed the budget and sent it over to the Senate, and they rejected the $18.5 million and sent it back to us and asked us to-oh, they passed an amendment or something, and we wouldn't receive. And the question then came, how can we compromise it? So, we said to the Senate, well, let's appropriate the $15 million if that's all you think is going to be in there, and all the governor thinks is going to be in there, and let's attach on to it, attach to it what we called an escalator clause, that said if there were $3.5 million in additional revenue, it would be distributed thus and so: $1 million of it to go to the public schools, and $.5 million to go 00:20:00to the College of Agriculture here at the University of Kentucky that Dean Thomas Cooper was dean of, and a great favorite among all the farmers and the rural people, let us pass that. Well, we amended the budget to include $3.5 million distributed, and I don't remember all of the formulas, some of it for health, most of it for education. We sent it over to the Senate and asked them to concur in the amendment. Well, they still didn't want us to get full credit for it, you know, and Henry Ward was a senator from Paducah, and Henry wanted to be Commissioner of Parks. And so they took Henry and I don't know whether they promised him he could be Commissioner of Parks or not, but after the session was over they appointed him Commissioner of Parks. And he led-


SUCHANEK: What a coincidence (laughs).

DORAN: he led the fight in the Senate to reduce that to $2,235,000, and that was just a semantic kind of thing, you know. Well anyway, they passed the amendment for that, sent it back over to the Senate, to the House, and asked us to concur in their amendment. Well, I led the fight on the floor that we rejected their amendment and sent it back over there and asked them to recede. Well, in the meantime they adjourned and went home and we were caught there that night when the Senate adjourned, and the House still in session, with nothing done on the budget. So, we talked about it that night, and conferred with everybody, and we were pretty well convinced that the Senate was so stubborn and so set and under the control of Earle that they were not going to change. So 00:22:00we finally came back in and withdrew our amendment and accepted their amendment, and passed the $2,235,000. So, that was a critical thing, so far as education was concerned, that I was right in the middle of it. In fact, the business, I was in, right in the middle of all of the educational fights that took place during the time I was there. We had a strong fight one time on adding the superintendents to the tenure bill, and I sponsored an amendment to the tenure bill that said if a superintendent met all of the qualifications that the teachers were required to make for tenure that he would be given tenure too. Well, we had a strong fight on it, and I won the battle in the Senate, in the House, but lost it in the Senate. And there was a strong element, at that time, that you 00:23:00could win most anything in the House, but you had no assurance that it would pass in the Senate. And one time I sponsored a bill that set up a study group in 1944, I think it was, to study education in Kentucky and find out how much more money we needed, and what our real situation was. And, got the bill passed in the House, Courier Journal was strong for it and all the newspapers were, education was strong for it, you know, and I talked to the leadership of the Senate to support it, even the Republican leadership of the Senate. Ray Moss was the Republican leader of the Senate, though it was a minority leadership, and they all agreed with it, and it passed, it passed both the House and the Senate by good majorities. So, then I went back to Ray Moss and said, "now, Ray, I 00:24:00want you to go with me down and talk to the governor about signing." Said, "No, no. No, I'm not going to do that." Said, "I just promised you that we'd pass it in the Senate, I didn't promise you that the Governor would sign it." Well, I found out later that that was the pawn, see. They'd go ahead and pass it with the understanding the governor was going to veto it, and did veto it, so we had those problems that operated between the House and the Senate, and then the Republicans in the Senate had enough influence with the governor that they'd get him to veto it, and then of course we couldn't override his veto on that kind of a matter in the House or the Senate either, both of them would have had to have overridden it. But all of that had to do with why I went to the legislature. Now, I wanted to run for the Senate in our district down in western Kentucky in 1943. A fellow John McDonald was the Senator, and he'd been there for a number of years. A 00:25:00good lawyer, well thought of in the area, and a very close friend of my father-in-law, who was a strong Democratic leader in Graves County.

SUCHANEK: Oh, he was?

DORAN: And, so he, I talked to him about it, and he said, "now, Adron, I don't think you ought to run against John McDonald, he's a good friend of ours, and we ought to support him." "Well," I said, "then I'll run for the legislature, for the House." Well, as it came to pass, John finally decided he would run, but I'd already announced for the Senate, for the House, and Charlie Waggoner, who used to be sheriff of the County announced for the Senate, and he ran and was elected to the Senate, and I ran and was elected to the House. But, the prime reason that I went to the House was because of the way the executive branch, at least, and I thought the legislative branch, were treating the 00:26:00appropriations to education. Now, in the early part of, or the latter part of, 1942 after the- no, it was '43, in the early part of '43, the treasury showed a $10 million surplus in the budget. Well, many of the schoolteachers went to Frankfort to try to persuade Governor Keen Johnson to call a special session of the legislature and appropriate this $10 million to public schools. Well, we were just living on minimum wages, almost. I was teaching school then for $64.10 a month-

SUCHANEK: This was what year?

DORAN: and, the principal was drawing $512 a month, you see. So that was typical, and we had one of the better paid school systems in the state, and some in eastern 00:27:00Kentucky were drawing $40 and $50 a month. So, we tried to get him to do it, well he wouldn't do it, and he was very frugal, he said, and he was going to leave a surplus in the treasury for that. Now, Dick Moloney, talking about him later, said that Keen Johnson was frugal all right, and he frugaled the Democrats out of the governorship (laughs), you know, because Sim Willis followed Keen Johnson. And so we, a number of us decided in education to run, to see what we could do about it. There were ten or twelve of us, all good friends, and so we did, and-

SUCHANEK: Who were some of those friends?

DORAN: Well, Roy McDonald was in the Senate over at Cadiz, and Fred Creasey was in the House over in Webster County, and Charlie Burnley was in the House from 00:28:00Paducah, and then some of the people from eastern Kentucky. One of them was Bert Combs' brother-in-law up in Clay County, Marcum. I can't think of his first name now, but they were just spotted around over the state that decided to do this. So, I had a right to-Ed Marcum was his name, he was a brother-in-law to Bert Combs-

SUCHANEK: I didn't know that.

DORAN: whom I didn't know at that time, but he was a Republican, and of course Bert was a Democrat. But, I had a rather advantageous situation in the county, because had all the education for me, and in the first race that I ran in '43 I had one opponent, a 00:29:00fellow from Mayfield-




DORAN: Orr. Ed Orr was the fellow who ran against me, and he carried only one precinct in the county, and carried it-

SUCHANEK: Well, he had another one too.

DORAN: Not on that first one.

SUCHANEK: Yeah, he had-

DORAN: Jones didn't run until the second time.

SUCHANEK: No, he ran in the first one.

DORAN: Did he run in '33? Well, that's how absent minded I am. But, he didn't do any good at all then, but Ed Orr carried one precinct, Sullivan Barn, carried it twenty- nine to twenty-eight. And then Wingo, where I lived, it was two of the best, the largest precincts in the county, and I carried both precincts, and only lost two votes in one precinct and three votes in the other precinct. And of course I knew who they were, they 00:30:00were people who were sore at me for something that had happened in the school and not in politics. But, in, I was elected, and Harry Waterfield had been in the legislature for some time, since '38 I believe, and he had managed Bob, Ben Kilgore's campaign for governor, and Ben was defeated in '43 by Lyter Donaldson. And so Harry Lee decided then that he wanted to be speaker, and he got Lyter's people to support him and had Ben Kilgore's people to support him, and he was going to become the Speaker of the House. At that time, well, Harry Lee and my relationships were very close, we went to college together and graduated in the same class together, and so we lived in the next counties together. And I had supported him for the legislature when we were in Fulton County 00:31:00and he was in Hickman County, they were in the same district. So, he wanted to run for speaker, but during that time, '43 the gasoline was rationed and you got coupons to buy gasoline, and they were A, B, and C coupons. And, being a high school principal and a basketball coach, I was eligible for additional coupons. So, I got the rationing board to grant me these extra coupons on this C sticker that I had. So I took my car and took Harry Lee all over the state of Kentucky to talk with the democratic legislators about being speaker. Well that way I got acquainted with all of the Democratic legislators who had been there, and the new ones who had been elected, and so, he was elected speaker. Well, that gave me a very advantageous relationship with him and with the other people, 00:32:00because they knew the closeness of Harry Lee and me, and I was not an officer of the legislature, but sort of an informal Man Friday for Harry Lee, and that gave me a great position. The old legislative council had been in operation for some time, and in December of '43, before the session met in January, Harry Lee was a member of this legislative commission, and the governor was chairman of it, Governor Johnson. Well, Johnson said, "I don't want to have anything to do it, I'm going out, you all take it." So, Harry Lee named me as a member of that council, and we met for a number of weeks in December, and we employed, as our attorney, Ed Pritchard. He was just out of law school at Harvard and had been close to Frankfort and all those big brain stormers up 00:33:00there, you know. We hired him as the attorney for the legislative council, and we spent that time in contacting legislators and all about legislation and what we'd do under a Republican governor. That gave me a strong advantage in the early days of the legislature. So, when the legislature met, the officers were selected and leaders and all. I became chairman of the Committee on Education and all, speaker referred all education bills to my committee, and became a member of the Appropriations Committee, and a member of the Rules Committee, and whatever important committees that were significant to the speaker; he always named me on those committees because of his confidence in me and 00:34:00my relations with him. And, the other thing that gave me a right good advantage, the first part of the '50, the '43 legislature,'44 legislature, was the fact that I had been a very close friend to John Fred Williams, who was superintendent of schools up here in Johnson County at Paintsville, and he had been elected superintendent of public instruction, as a Republican. But I was a very close friend of his, and he knew my relations with the schoolteachers and with the KEA and the First District Education Association, I'd been president of it. So when the time came for the Republicans to fulfill their commitment, which was a commitment to appropriate $3.5 million retroactively to teacher's salaries. He asked me and Ed Marcum to introduce that bill for the administration, and Ed was a 00:35:00Republican schoolteacher and I was a Democratic schoolteacher, so the first bill we introduced was House Bill 5, I believe it was, or 3 or 5, I believe it was 5, was a bill to appropriate $3.5 million retroactively, that is retroactively to the beginning of the '43 school year, '43 and '44, and put that $3.5 million in teacher's salary. And so we passed the bill and they distributed that money, and that became the basis on which we were going to make the appropriation in '44, was to add that $3.5 million to the $15 million that would give us $18.5 million and bring us up to where we were the year before. And that's where we got in on this $18.5 million, or adding $3.5 million, which we had already done retroactively. And, all of those things gave me a very favored position, and 00:36:00I was always thankful for it.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. If I can ask some follow-up questions now. As you said, you began teaching and were a principal way before Minimum Foundation was established.

DORAN: Oh yes. Yes.

SUCHANEK: What was teaching-

DORAN: That was in '62 and I started teaching in '32, that's twenty years before.

SUCHANEK: Well, what was teaching like in western Kentucky as opposed to Lexington and Louisville before Minimum Foundation?

DORAN: Well, I think it was about then like it is now. I don't think we've changed the equity in public schools in Kentucky, and I don't think this reform act will. I don't think it was attacking the equity of educational opportunities. You're just not going to have the same educational opportunities in a rural county like Graves, or Bell County, or 00:37:00Clay County that you're going to have in Jefferson County and Fayette County and Kenton and Boone, and those counties, and Campbell and northern Kentucky. So the disparity may not be as great as it was then, but the disparity is still great. Now, the state support was equitable when you were doing it on a per capita basis. We got as much money for every child in Graves County as they got in Fayette County, but they had so much more resources to tax than we did, and that was one of the areas in which I first got in political trouble. When we went to the legislature, in an effort to try to bring about a 00:38:00greater source of local support, a fellow up here in Carter County, and I don't remember his name now, was a Republican, and I sponsored a bill to raise the rate from 75 cents per $100 to $1.5 per hundred dollars. And we passed the bill, but I got a lot of flack at home, you know, when the, and this was an effort to bring the local effort up to the local effort everywhere else to equalize educational opportunity. So when, the next time I ran, the farmers had gone into the sheriff's office to pay their taxes, and their taxes had been 00:39:00doubled. They'd been paying 75 cents, they're paying $1.5, and they began to-

SUCHANEK: They must have been pretty angry.

DORAN: mumble and complain about it, and you can imagine what the sheriff said, "I didn't have anything to do with this, Adron Doran did that (Suchanek laughs)," you know, "he sponsored this bill." So, that was the only political problem that I ever had in the legislature, but it was all in effort to get more money from the local level to move toward equity in educational opportunities between the, and among the districts of Kentucky.

SUCHANEK: Well, how did you assuage the farmers in Graves County then?

DORAN: Well, I didn't have much opposition. They ran, they ran a boy, Wayne Taylor, against me and he didn't, he was supported by the local labor union, and labor was not very strong down there. But they thought they were going to beat me, and they came down to Wingo and talked Paul Smithson into running for the legislature. And Paul 00:40:00had graduated in high school there when I was the principal, and family were good friends of mine. But they came down there and took him up on Pisgah and Mount Nebo and showed him the land of promise down there, and oh, how easy I would be to be beat, and he could do it, you know. So he went up to file, and I found out about it, and so I called the county court clerk and said, "now, Paul Smithson is going to come up here to file against me for the legislature, and I want you to check and see if he's ever voted." Well, they checked and he hadn't voted, so he wasn't eligible to file and run. And then another time-

SUCHANEK: Did you have any inclination that he hadn't?

DORAN: No. Well then the Taylor boy, the labor union got the Taylor boy to run, and he didn't know anything about politics, and I don't know how many districts or how 00:41:00many precincts he carried, but not many. And then after that happened-

SUCHANEK: Well, were you seen as anti-labor by the labor unions?

DORAN: Well, it wasn't any labor down there, it was just, it was agricultural. And in nineteen and forty-three and '45, there just wasn't much of an organization of labor union, and what it was was those people who had worked in Paducah on the defense plants, we called them, during the war. Well, they came back over the war was over and the defense plant closed, they came back to Mayfield, and they thought labor ought to take over, you know. Now, I was always for the labor people in the railroads, because we had a lot of railroad workers, and a railroad that ran through there, and I never had any trouble with the labor union of the railroads. But, when you got into the Pipefitters Union and some of those, there just weren't enough to make any difference. It wasn't that I was against them, they just wanted to have preferential treatment. And then we had a fellow 00:42:00who was a merchant in Mayfield, and he'd always wanted to run for the legislature, but he never did have enough courage to take the incumbent on, a fellow Edwards, Claude Edwards. So, Claude decided that, I was up here in school in nineteen and fifty, and Claude decided that my being up here in school that I'd be easy picking, you know, that he could just run and would be elected. So he wrote the attorney general and said, "now, Adron Doran is a member of the state legislature, and he's running for re-election, and he's moved out of the district and has moved to Lexington. Is he eligible to run?" Well, on those conditions the attorney general wrote back and said, "no, he had forfeited his 00:43:00right to run because he's out of the district." Well, then I had to go to the attorney general and say to the attorney general, "I still have my home in Wingo, I didn't sell my home, I'm up at Lexington going to school because that's the only University in Kentucky that offers a doctor's degree. And I can't get one except I go to Lexington, and I can't commute from Wingo to Lexington, and I'm just as much a resident of Wingo as I've ever been." And, so he reversed himself and ruled that I was eligible to run. But that's the kind of picking at that I got, and most of it was because of the legislation I supported that raised the taxes. You know, you get into a fellow's tax bill, and you're in right big trouble. He wants you to promise him that you won't raise his taxes, but he doesn't do much about it after it's over with, you know.


SUCHANEK: (Laughs), let me turn this over.

[End of Tape #1, Side #1]

[Beginning of Tape #1, Side #2]

DORAN: And another area in which the House had great problems with the Senate was on the Legislative Research Commission. We wanted to organize, and we wanted to pass legislation that would authorize a Legislative Research Committee, which would be a tool of the legislature, and we wouldn't have to depend on the governor for executive budgets and recommendations without our knowing something about it. So, Mr. Waterfield was very strong for it, and most of us were, and so we finally passed the first Legislative Research Commission in 1946. And Clements was not for it. Though he was in Congress at that time, he still had a hold on the Senate, because most of the Senate was 00:45:00for him. So, he decided that it would not be good politics to let the legislature pass this Legislative Research Commission, but it ought to wait until he became governor in '48. So when he became governor in '48, he took up the concept of the Legislative Research Commission and passed it, and the lieutenant governor and Lawrence Weatherby became chairman of it, you know. And he had some executive people on it, later they were all taken off, and he named Arthur Lloyd, who is the father-in-law to Brereton Jones as the first executive director of it. It became a good arm of the legislature, but it wasn't 00:46:00intended to be so by Clements, but it was intended to be so by Mr. Waterfield and the people in the House. And that added to that conflict between the House and the Senate with Clements running the Senate and Waterfield running the House.

SUCHANEK: Yeah. I know Waterfield has always been given credit for the creation of the LRC.

DORAN: Well, Waterfield ought to have, history ought to record him as the father of the leg--, as the Legislative Research Commission though he didn't get it passed while he was in the House. He later became lieutenant governor and served as chairman of the Legislative Research committee twice while he was lieutenant governor.

SUCHANEK: Right. So, before Minimum Foundation program took effect, did you have trouble getting supplies or books? Did you have enough money to do that type of thing?

DORAN: Oh indeed so. And now, the state furnished some of the books, but they were, as I remember when I was teaching, up until '48, the only books we had were in the 00:47:00elementary grades, didn't have any high school books.

SUCHANEK: Is that right?

DORAN: And the, either the student had to buy them, or the Parent-Teacher's Association had to put on programs to raise the money to buy them, or the school itself had to put on fundraising programs and activities to buy them for the students who couldn't buy them. But, practically all of the teaching materials and aides were bought by the individuals. Now, in some cases, the county board had enough money to buy some of the science laboratory equipment, and some of the agriculture and home economic equipment, but they didn't have enough money to buy them the teaching materials that 00:48:00we needed to use.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Well, this is going to be, I realize, a general type question, but still I think it can give us an indication on the times or the period. How was education viewed by the people of Graves County? I mean, here you are, you went to Freed Hardeman and had gone to Murray for your masters, and eventually you'd gone to UK for your Ph.D., but apparently you were, I'm assuming you were atypical of-you know, where did you get your appreciation for higher education? Did that come from your parents? Where did that come from?

DORAN: No, no. My parents were not, they were not highly educated, though both of them could read and write and cipher, they went through the Ray's Arithmetic, and 00:49:00the old Blue Back Speller, and those kind of books back there, but they didn't, they were not educationally minded, in the sense that they knew you went through the elementary school and you went to high school, and then you went to college, and then you went to professional school. Though they were anxious for us to go to school and not miss any days in school, but they were not, the motivation didn't come from that. I don't know where it came from. I don't know whether it came from within or some of my teachers. I think I said the last time that Alonso Williams, who was my high school principal, and my basketball coach and my debate coach, and supervised the school paper that we printed and all of those things may have given me a little insight into higher education, because I 00:50:00don't know at what time when I was a high school student that I thought about going to college. And it must have been in the latter days of my senior year that he talked to me about going to Freed Hardeman and took me down there and enrolled me in school and helped to finance me. Then, when I got there, I decided that I wanted to teach school. That's a good thing to do. And, so I went on to Murray and got my certificate to teach, and then once I found out that there was an advantage to an individual who, beyond the baccalaureate got his master's degree. And then when I found out that there were advantages to individuals who beyond their master's degree had doctors degree, I guess 00:51:00it was just that process of seeing somebody else at that level, and how good their lives were, and what their contributions were, and that if I pressed hard enough to get in the position they were, I could do what they did. I think that same thing happened in the legislature. I now never was in the House until I went there to claim my seat, seat fourteen on the right when I went in, but I overdramatize this, I guess, but big stage up there, platform up there, and podium up there, and a big black chair, high-back and all. I asked somebody, "What's that?" Said, "that's where the speaker sits." "Well, what's the speaker?" "Well he's thus and so." "Well, how do you get to be speaker?" "Well this is the way you get to do it." And, I guess, seeing he legislature work and operate as it did 00:52:00that I decided I wanted to be speaker. If you're going to be in the thing and there's a top man, why not try to be a top man? I think that's why I wanted to run for the superintendent of public instruction. I found out about the organizational pattern of state government and education, and if you're going to be in education, why not try to get in a position you can influence it, not just react to it, but give some leadership to it. And, I guess it's that same sort of philosophy that led me to want to be a college president. If you're going to be in higher education, why not look at the highest level that you can get. But, I think, Jeff, in the whole process, and I've said this many, many times that Mignon, my wife, had a far greater influence on me than anybody else to create within me the 00:53:00ambition and desire, and the determination and the decision to rise above the mediocre in the rural community where we grew up, where people were satisfied to till the same land, raise the same crops and get the same cash out of it, you know, and wear the same type of clothing, and have the same means of conveyance, and live in the same kind of houses, you know. Majority of people in that day really were perfectly content to do that. But I guess, and we married early in our lives, and neither one of us was twenty-one when we married, and-

SUCHANEK: When was that?

DORAN: And, we were in school at the time that we married-

SUCHANEK: At Murray?

DORAN: At Murray, yes. And so I guess, I know, consciously and unconsciously 00:54:00that she contributed far more greatly than anybody, or even I realized at the time, toward this motivation that moved me from Boaz High School to Morehead State University.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. But I can, I take it that that type of determination or ambition was not shared by the majority of Graves Countians.

DORAN: Well, there were some that came out of it, out of my class. John Milton Sisson became one of the great surgeons. Finally wound up in medical school, at Detroit, Michigan, and Miami, Florida. Harlan Taylor was in my class and he wound up as a good educational administrator in Illinois, and served in that capacity. Now, of the three of us in that class that's what happened to us, but the rest of them, I don't remember how 00:55:00many there were in the class, fifteen, twenty, I guess, I don't know of a one of them that did more than go into public work, which was an honorable thing to do, or stay on the farm and, which was an honorable thing to do. None of them were motivated highly enough to do what Harlan and John Milton and I did through these struggles. Now, when I went to Freed Hardeman to college, I had $5 and I had no more idea where the rest of it was coming, but the president said, "you come on down, we'll credit you, and admit you," and Mr. Williams gave me $50 a month and that was the limit of it. I guess I did not know enough about the casualties and the obstacles to be afraid. You know, there's a 00:56:00narrow gap between courage and ignorance. Sometimes we do things and they say, "he's courageous." Well, he's not, he's ignorant, he doesn't know the consequences of it (both laugh). So, I may not have been as courageous as I was ignorant, in just not knowing what the consequences were.

SUCHANEK: That's funny. So, you were married in what year?

DORAN: Thirty-one.

SUCHANEK: How did you meet Mignon?

DORAN: Well, we had, our families had known each other, we lived in the same county, about eight miles apart, and at that time, they had high schools all over the county, I think thirteen of them. There's one at Sedalia where she grew up and one at Cuba where I grew up, and her father ran a general merchandise store in Sedalia. And as I said the other day, we would go to Sedalia which had a gristmill and have the corn and 00:57:00wheat all ground into flour, and meal, and our families would trade at his store. My mother had a set of dishes, we called them, that she bought at Mr. McClain's store, and so we grew up families knowing each other, but we didn't know each other, except I played men's basketball, or boy's basketball at Cuba, and she played women's or girl's basketball at Sedalia and we'd see each other in ballgames when we played. But, that was of no significance. But, after I had gone to Freed Hardeman to college, and had come back to Murray in February of '31, she was teaching at Sedalia, teaching music and handling all of the dramatic work and all. So on a Saturday in February, I went out to 00:58:00Sedalia, because the Cuba basketball team was playing in the district tournament, and it was being held at the Sedalia High School. So, we went over there, I went over there that morning with a young man who'd been to high school with me and had taught, did teach later with me, James Pickard. So, we went out to Sedalia to see the ballgame, and Mignon had a friend, her last name was Adair, can't think of her first name now, but she and Mignon were together. And Pickard knew the Adair girl, and I knew the Adair girl's people so we sat on the stage. They had a big stage, in the auditorium was the gymnasium, so we set up on the stage, sat close together, and we visited, and had conversation, and so I was very stricken with her. Very, very stricken, she was the 00:59:00prettiest little thing I'd ever seen in my life. And, so I said to Pickard and some of the others that afternoon, "I'm going to have a date with her tonight." "Well, you can't do that, she's engaged to Will Storie to be married, and you can't break that up, he's already given her a diamond ring," and all that kind of stuff, and he had an automobile and I didn't have one. He ran a filling station in Mayfield and had cash income, and I had none. Well I said, "I'm going to try tonight." So, that night I went out there a little early and waited at the front door of the gymnasium for her to come in, and when she did, I said, "I want to sit with you tonight, and you can decide where we sit, but I want to sit with you." And she said, I don't know whether she'd thought about it or not, but she said, "all right," so we went and sat together that night. And she lived across the street 01:00:00from the high school, so I said, "I want to walk home with you," and she said, "well, all right." So I walked home with her that night, and after, I didn't even go in, I just stopped at the door and bade her goodnight. So the next day was Sunday, that was Saturday night, and the next day was Sunday, and my two older brothers and I had a trio that we sang on the radio in Paducah, old WPAD, and in Union City, Tennessee, WOBT. So, that Sunday afternoon, we were singing in Union City on what they called the Mayfield Hour, and it was sponsored by Bob Roberts' Funeral Home, and he bought the time and we sang gospel songs. And we did right well, had a good following all over that whole 01:01:00region down there. So each Sunday afternoon, we took it time about singing a solo, and dedicating that solo to somebody of our own choice. Well it was my Sunday afternoon to sing a solo, and they backed up music, vocal music behind me. And so I dedicated it to Mignon McClain in Sedalia, Kentucky, and she was listening and her boyfriend heard it in Mayfield. So he struck out out there and said, "I want you to tell me what Adron Doran was doing dedicating a song to you on the radio today?" "Well, I don't know," she said, "I met him last night, and he just did it." Well, he made his bed hard, because he never did get it straightened out. So the next weekend was the regional tournament at 01:02:00Murray, and the high school principal, Cromer Arnad(??) and his wife were good friends to Mignon, and they invited us to go with them over to Murray, I was in school over there at the time and she was teaching, to go over to the regional tournament. And we did, and we went together, and that was the, that was the second Sunday, second Saturday. And so then the next Sunday, following the third one, she had to take her sister and brother- in-law to Fulton, they lived down there and they'd been visiting up at Sedalia and she wanted me to drive to Fulton with her to take them, so we did, and we got along very well all of those occasions. And before we got back to Mayfield that night where she let 01:03:00me off and she went on to Sedalia, I asked her if she would let me talk to her daddy about his willingness to let her marry me if she were willing to, and that was three weeks after we met. And then in August of that '31 we married.

SUCHANEK: Well, was she still engaged to the other-

DORAN: Well, she broke that off. He came out there one night to have it out with her, and she wanted to give his ring back to him and he wouldn't take it, so she just, the parlor was a big fireplace, that's the way we heated our houses, most of them then, and this parlor where she was courting, where we courted had a big fireplace, and the coal ashes dropped down under this grate you know, you've seen those. So he wouldn't take it, and so she just took it and threw it in the ashes under the grate, said, "now, you can take it, or it'll melt in there, because I don't want it anymore." He fished it out and took it 01:04:00home with him, and that was the last of it (both laugh).

SUCHANEK: Did you ever have any harsh words with him?

DORAN: No, I never did talk to him about it (Suchanek laughs). I never did see-I knew him, and quite well, I used to hang out around his filling station when I was-I lived in Mayfield and I'd hang out around Will's station, and we were well acquainted and good friends, but when, to the victor belong the spoils, and when I got the spoils, he wasn't very happy with my victory (both laugh).

SUCHANEK: Well, what I wanted to ask you too was, how did you get to be principal? I mean, was that a political job? Or-

DORAN: No. No, it was not. I got my first job on the recommendation of the superintendent, who was my high school principal at one time, John B. Hardeman. He was my principal when I was a freshman and a sophomore at Cuba, and then he was 01:05:00elected by the county board to superintendent. Well, when I graduated at Freed Hardeman I wanted to teach, and there was a little two room school outside of Mayfield called Labrie(??), and he gave me the job of head teacher in it, which would be the principal of Labrie(??) school with eight grades and two rooms divided up. Well, I intended to teach, and he, I couldn't get certified because the fellow who was director of teacher education and certification then was not very good friends of Hardeman, and he wouldn't certify me, though I had two years of college, and people were teaching in Kentucky who were not even high school graduates, you know. And when I went into the department, I renewed certificates for people who were still renewing them on one credit of high school credit, but he wouldn't certify me because he said I hadn't had a 01:06:00course in classroom management. And, of course, Freed Hardeman didn't teach a class in, of course, in classroom management, it was not a teacher institution and he would not certify me. So I went, which was a godsend, I think, I went on to Murray then and did my baccalaureate degree, and so then he gave me a job teaching history and coaching basketball at Boaz. And Guy Warren, who was the agriculture teacher and principal, and it was not uncommon then for agriculture teachers to also be principals, because you could hire an agriculture teacher to be principal cheaper than you could hire just a regular high school principal. So, he served as principal for two of those years that I was there, and I coached and taught history and some other courses, I don't recall now. But, after the second year, he resigned, and went to Ballard County as the county agent, 01:07:00agricultural agent over there, and so Hardeman gave me the job as principal. I don't know when I would have been principal, if ever, except that thing happened in which he resigned and they gave it to me. Now, I got the job as principal against the wishes of the trustee. Back in those days they had a trustee for each school, and he was supposed to make the recommendation. And I didn't get along with him, he was an old renegade, and the principal got along with him because he'd go with him on womanizing in Paducah, and I never would do that. So he didn't like me very well, and he wasn't going to recommend me, but Hardeman said, "well, you don't have any authority in it anyhow, we'll just go ahead and elect him." And that's how I got to be principal. And then I moved to Sylvan Shade as the principal, because they were having problems down there, 01:08:00serious problems, and it looked like that I always had to go into a situation, and this may have helped me, because I was always able to solve a difficult situation, and they'd fired the principal, and the woman that was teaching in the Sylvan Shade school, she had elected a board member from her district over there. She thought she was going to run it, and it was in bad shape, we worked it out, and when I went to Wingo, a year before I went to Wingo, they had fired the principal and the basketball coach, and the students had been on a strike, it was a very difficult thing, but got it worked out, and-

SUCHANEK: Well, what was the problem?

DORAN: Morehead had had trouble before I went up there, I was successful in getting it done, so I just gravitated I guess.

SUCHANEK: Well, what exactly were the problems that you encountered at Sylvan Shade and Wingo?

DORAN: When I went to Wingo?

SUCHANEK: Yeah, what, and Sylvan Shade, what kind of internal problems were they having?

DORAN: Well, the principal and the basketball coach were having trouble, they 01:09:00were at each other's throats, and the-

SUCHANEK: This was at Wingo?

DORAN: At Wingo, and Pop Wagner was the basketball coach, and Jess Hanes(??) was the principal. And Jess Hane's(??) father-in-law was the banker, there was only one bank in Wingo and he was the president of the bank, so he had some pretty strong political ties in there. But when they fired the basketball coach, the students struck, and they just closed up school, all left for a few days. So finally it just got so bad that the board decided that they must let this principal go too, and I knew him quite well, and was in school with him at Murray. So they just decided to fire both of them, and Mr. Taylor was the board member from that district, and back in those days the board 01:10:00members had a strong influence on who was recommended to teach in their five districts. So Mr. Taylor was a good friend of ours, had been, and his daughter Betty was my teacher when I was in the third grade at Boydsville, so I knew them like that, and they asked me to come and take the job at Wingo. Now, a number of them were on the side of the coach, a number of them were on the side of the principal, but we were successful in settling it down and getting some good faculty to replace them, and everything went well and I stayed there ten years. Could have stayed longer, but I wanted to come and get my degree at the University.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Now, you said your wife's father was politically active in Graves County. Did he help you at all in your political races?

DORAN: Well, they always knew that I could rely on him. He helped me in my 01:11:00campaigns for the legislature, and his son, Mignon's brother did. They were strong supporters.

SUCHANEK: What was Mignon's last name, her maiden name?

DORAN: McClain.


DORAN: Yeah, O. P. McClain was her father. And he ran for sheriff one time and they stole it from him, and he would have won the thing if it hadn't been for the fact that they stole it.

SUCHANEK: How'd they steal it?

DORAN: And they-well, they just stuffed the ballots. Stuffed the ballot boxes. Then, you voted in a precinct, and you just marked a ballot and then put it in there, and then these ballots were, in the boxes, were taken to the county seat, and were counted at the courthouse. Well, many of those ballot boxes could be stuffed with additional ballots, you know. That's what happened to Ed Pritchard when he went to the penitentiary over 01:12:00here in Bourbon County was for stuffing the ballots over there, and he just come out of Harvard and heard those big fellows in Washington talk about how they got elected, and how they pulled all these big deals, so he went over there and decided he'd pull a big deal and got in bad shape about it.

SUCHANEK: Well, since we're on Ed Pritchard, why don't you give me your impressions of Ed Pritchard?

DORAN: What, what?

SUCHANEK: Since we're talking about Ed Pritchard, why don't you give me your impressions of him, what can you tell me about Ed Pritchard?

DORAN: Well, he's gone now and couldn't defend himself against me. He has defended himself against me when I, when he and I disagreed on the council on public higher education. I think Ed Pritchard was a highly intelligent, and that's why I, as I said a while ago, we hired him as the counsel for the legislative commission a long way back there, because he was smart as a whip. But he was well-read and remembered everything 01:13:00that he ever heard, or anybody ever told him, and he could make you believe that he was here when the Lord said, "let there be light, and there was light on this world, without form, and void," you know. He jut had that knack of doing so, and very, very attractive. He and I were very close friends, but we just disagreed on how higher education ought to be run, and sometimes he won, sometimes I won. And then, later, he got in on this commission that was created to provide excellency in education in Kentucky and somehow they named it the Pritchard Committee. He was always the fair-haired boy of the Lex--, of the Louisville Courier-Journal. He was the epitome of intelligence and 01:14:00ability and everything else of the Bingham dynasty, you know. And he was not the kind of legal advisor, or political advisor, to governors that the Courier-Journal said he was, you know. They kept him under wraps for a long time while Clements was governor and Weatherby was governor. But, when Ned Breathitt became governor, he brought him out of wraps and used him as an advisor and a counsel and so on. I think he was, I think he was a victim of his own ambitions on that ballot stuffing thing, you know. And he was a good friend to Phil Ardery, and Ardery's father was the circuit judge, and it was just an 01:15:00untenable sort of thing that he got into.

SUCHANEK: Well, did he talk to you at all about it?

DORAN: No, I never did talk with him about it. Fact of it is, I don't suppose he talked about it to many people after he got out of the penitentiary. I don't remember how long he stayed, it was a very unfortunate thing, but he came back and was a very effective fellow in Kentucky. And, had a great influence on people like Ned Breathitt and Bert Combs and some of those fellows in governmental affairs.

SUCHANEK: Yeah. Well that's kind of how he's been painted, is that he was kind of the power behind the scenes.

DORAN: Well, he got the credit of being the power behind the scenes, a kingmaker more, but he was a, Ed Pritchard was a very brash fellow. He'd rush in where angels feared to tread, you know, that kind of thing. He was sort of like Bill Moyers with 01:16:00Lyndon Johnson. He had all of the brass and all of the nerve that anybody could command, and he was just always there, and he was a volunteer, and would make his voice heard, and make himself present and all, you know. That if you're there at the right time with the right people, you know, and they're asking questions and you've got some answers, then that puts you in a pretty good stead.

SUCHANEK: Well, it sounded, by your description, as that could also be used to describe someone who's obnoxious.

DORAN: Somebody who's what?

SUCHANEK: It sounds, by your description, that could be used to describe someone who's obnoxious.

DORAN: Well, it could be, but he wasn't. He wasn't an obnoxious fellow, he was just, had all the brass in the world, and he was very kind, and very gentle, and very 01:17:00affable, and unfortunate in his latter days he lost his eyesight, you know, and had to be led around wherever he went. But he never did lose his sense of humor, and never did lose his intellect.

SUCHANEK: Well how did you two disagree on higher education?

DORAN: Well, Ed was more of a University of Kentucky flagship man, and I was a regional university fellow, because I knew you couldn't put all of your eggs in one basket, that you could not build a flagship university in Lexington and let the regions go to pot. Because I wouldn't have gone to University of Kentucky, I had to go to Murray, and many, many others did, and I thought we ought to do that sort of a thing. We disagreed 01:18:00on the community college plan. He thought it ought to all be under University of Kentucky, and I thought that they ought to be independent to start with, but if they were not going to make them independent, they ought to be under the regional universities in the area where they served. And I got in bad with the Courier-Journal, you read articles in that about their taking me to task, and we disagreed on some of the organizational pattern of the Council on Public Higher Education. They were not personal disagreements at all, they were just basic disagreements on how higher education ought to be run. He didn't think the presidents ought to have the kind of influence they did with the council and with the executive budget. He thought that the money ought to be appropriated, and 01:19:00the council ought to tell everybody how much you're going to get, and you take it and go on back home and make the best of it, you know. Well, some fellows like Robert Martin and Kelly Thomson at Western and Ralph Woods at Murray and old Doran at Wingo, at Morehead, just didn't agree with that kind of thing, and we labored long and hard (laughs) over some of those things, you know. But I would not discount his ability. He had great ability, but I do think that he has been accorded far greater honor in excellency in education as the Pritchard Committee than he really merited and earned for himself.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. We also have an alumni faculty oral history project at UK, and I thought, we've interviewed Frank Dickey, and John Oswald, and Otis Singletary, 01:20:00and as part of that, I was just wondering if you'd care to comment on your relationship with those three individuals who were presidents at UK when you were president at Morehead?

DORAN: Well, my relations with President Donovan was very well when I was in the legislature, had a very warm relationship with Dr. Donovan. Came here as a student to do my doctorate under Dr. Donovan, and he got his bookstore manager's wife to let us have an apartment over on, which is now the part, the University owns it now, it's on Limestone over across from the experiment station there. I think it's, who is the fellow who is head of the history department? Tom Clark. It's now the Tom Clark building. He got me an apartment in there when I came here to school, so it was a very, always a very 01:21:00warm relationship with him. And when I was a student there, and he was going to retire, he asked me if I would help him discern what the people in the college of education thought about who should be dean. And I did and reported to him without any hesitation that the general consensus was Frank Dickey ought to be dean after Dr. Taylor died, and so he named Dickey as dean. And I was still doing my graduate work and Dickey was a member of my committee, and helped me with my dissertation, and we were very close friends. And then when Donovan finally retired as president, Dickey was in line to be president. He and I both were in line to be president and Chandler was governor, and 01:22:00Waterfield was lieutenant governor. And I firmly believe that they had reached the decision, I talked to them about it, talked to Frank about it, he and I talked about it, that if they decided to go off campus to get a president that I was in line to be elected president. But, if they stayed on the campus, Dickey had the inside track against all of the rest of them, Emily Starr and all the rest of them. So he was elected and we understood each other full well that I wanted to be president, but the board just decided to stay on and named Dickey who was the dean of the school of education at the time. So our relations were very warm all during that time.

SUCHANEK: Um-hm. Just as a quick follow-up question, obviously Chandler must have had some input into, you know, who the next president would be.

DORAN: Oh indeed, he was chairman of the board.


SUCHANEK: Yeah. What was your relationship with "Happy?"

DORAN: With Chandler?


DORAN: Well, first vote I ever cast, I cast it for him for lieutenant governor, and so I had just grown up under the Chandler influence. And I was for Harry Waterfield, and Harry was elected lieutenant governor under Chandler, and that bound our ties closer together, and I always got along well with Chandler. And, nothing other than just good feelings, and he knew that I was his supporter, and I think he thought I'd be a good president of the University of Kentucky if it came down to the point that I was named, but he, at that time-now, they talk today about the governors having influence on the selection of presidents, governor doesn't have any influence today compared with the influence that governors had in that time, because he named the boards and served as 01:24:00chairman of the boards. And he decided what the executive budget would be and how much everybody got, so he was the key, and-

SUCHANEK: So, he apparently wanted Dickey to be president.

DORAN: He did. He finally decided, the board did, with whatever help he gave them, or he, with whatever help the board gave him, decided that it would be better to stay within the University family and name Dickey than it would to go outside and putting some person in who was a relative stranger to the University, though I was in school there for that period of time. But then, after Dickey left and went to the Southern Regional, or Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as the executive secretary, they elected John Oswald. And frankly, John Oswald and I never did get along, he never did get along with anybody. He didn't get along with any of the college presidents, and 01:25:00came in here determined to change everything. He was going to change the Council on Public Higher Education, he was going to change the way money was allocated from the legislature, and just everything that he had relation with the college presidents and universities was at absolute odds. And nobody ever got along with him, and nobody ever thought well of him. And that's why I think he didn't stay very long, and when Louie Nunn became governor, then they moved immediately to send him on his way. We had a meeting of the Council on Public Higher Education over at the University of Kentucky right after he came, and it was a conference we were having. And so at one of the 01:26:00sessions I was presiding, and so Oswald had no business being up and talking, but he took the floor and he ranted and raved about what a poor system we had, and how poor the Council on Public Higher Education was being operated, and how it was dominated by the regional universities and so on. So everybody was infuriated with it, you know, and when he got through, I said, "Dr. Oswald, you, your speech today reminds me of the story they tell about the father who was reading his paper, when he came home in the evening, and the little boy came and kept asking him questions and asking him questions, and finally the father, rather exasperated said, 'Well, go ask your mother.' And the little 01:27:00boy said, 'Well, I don't want to know that much about it (Suchanek laughs).'"And I said, "I don't think anybody wanted to know as much about the question as you gave an answer to it." Well, this is just the way we, that the relations we all had with him, and nobody liked him and nobody got along with him.


[End of interview]