Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with William T. Young, Sr., September 20, 2000

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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 YOUNG: I reckon that's better than the obituary, so--coverage and--

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, it reminds me of a--professor I used to see after he retired around UK and I'd say uh, Professor Smith, it's good to see you. His answer would always be, "well it's good to be seen."

YOUNG: That's right, that's--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: Well I'd, I'd, I use that a little bit. Somebody this morning said they was glad to see me. I told them I was glad to see anybody, so uh--this is about the same difference, so--

BIRDWHISTELL: Let's see here-- [long pause]-- all that time and I still had to be in the wrong slot.


BIRDWHISTELL: All that time and I still had it in the wrong slot.

YOUNG: Yeah, Hmm.

BIRDWHISTELL: We're still looking, looking at your time at uh, at Transylvania 00:01:00and--what I'm trying to do in these interviews, Mr. Young is to, to--take our time and let you --------(??) you know, these wonderful letters you've written to talk about the award with the--in your business, and with Transylvania and with Overbrook--are really--excellent in terms of explaining what you did. And what I'm trying to do in these interviews is, is give us a chance to sort of expend on that and, and so that uh, people looking at these later on, will, will have a, a deeper understanding and perhaps even appreciation for the type of effort it took. Because you sort of underplay --(laughs)--the effort --(laughs)--

YOUNG: Yeah, well--

BIRDWHISTELL: --and, and I'm going to try bringing that out, if that's o--if that's okay. And, any, and that really fits with the Transy period because uh--you know, you've told me the last time about uh--going on the board of 00:02:00Transy, and--working with the, a couple of programs. But then when you become Chairman of the Board, that's when you--things really start to, to take off and you start to give so much time and effort to Transy. And I guess it, it starts out with the understanding that--at the time you become Chair--Chairman of the Board of Transy, it's future is not, is not clear at that point, in terms of--how well it can do, in terms of the, the situation that private colleges were in at that time--enrollment was low, endowment was low, and you--would implement programs to address both those issues.

YOUNG: Well it uh, it was an interesting experience and--of course I came from a point of very little ex--experience. That's sort of been a philosophy of mine 00:03:00all my life that you can know too much about something and--you wind up just really repeating or believing the party line. Uh, usually it's in a negative sense something can't be done for so many reason--

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right, yeah.

YOUNG: --people accept it and don't try.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right, don't do the --------(??)

YOUNG: When you were making your--introductory remarks a minute ago uh, you said when I became chairman. Uh, you know there is a general misunderstanding about boards, it just occurred to me, uh--


YOUNG: The head of the parent--planned parenthood--comp--corps of--effort here in town that I have always supported. They do a lot of good for young women and uh--and for women in general. And they have--they fell on hard times, oh eight or ten years ago. And I think six or eight or ten of us in town, we raised a good bit of money and paid off their debts and we re--got their, their building 00:04:00in order, and this, that and the other, and uh--after that uh, we, we weren't involved and the leadership out there, made a grave mistake by not tapping the interest that we had generated.

BIRDWHISTELL: That had been, yeah.

YOUNG: And the lady told me, they--you know, it sort of surprised she said, "well," she said, "you know" she said, you all had done so much for us, we were--s--sensitive about--going back to you for more help." I said, "well, my experience has been, once you've ever get, you've gotten anyone's interest, if it's a genuine interest uh--what you need is help over the long--period.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right.

YOUNG: And they have a very modest financial budget that uh, looked to me like that, that many of us could uh--with contacts if you will, could raise the money on the telephone. So, then I said, "let me look at your board." And I looked 00:05:00at the board and I didn't know a person on the board.


YOUNG: Had about twenty, twenty-five people and I said, "who is chairman?" And uh, they were all mell--well meaning people but when I found out who they were, they were the wrong--types to be on the board. And then they, then they--I finally told her, I said, "well it, it--for any board, for your board to work," I said, "you've got to get some nut--for a chairman that uh, that's--is so sold on your mission, that it can't fail." And I said, then it, then that occurred to me a few minutes ago. Uh, no matter how good--and my principle worry--that's a bad word--my--of principle, one of my principal interest in Transylvania was to improve the quality of the board, and I'll say quality I mean someone that would take an interest in the college, that, could get, could contribute intellectually and it's not vulgar to say that the, to consider whether they 00:06:00could contribute--financially--and would help financially with the, with other people. But the spark plug is the chairman. And I have never--I served on God knows how many boards in a lifetime. The boards very seldom make an organization and looking back it damn near always is the chairman. And uh, the board I had in Transylvania for twenty-five years, we greatly strengthened it so that uh--any initiative that I showed as chairman, was very easy to, to get implemented. And uh--that's what I told this lady the other day and since then I've called a few people that would be willing to serve on the board, help her in some way. I'm too old to--be involved uh--but the chairman is overlooked. He is the key, he is the key spark plug and uh, if he doesn't have initiative 00:07:00and a deep interest and maybe knowledge of the uh, project, either he learns or he comes in with it uh, uh--he is ineffective. Now Transylvania--been here since 1780. And it wasn't going anywhere, he wasn't going down the drain and it wasn't going o--up over the top either. It was just an ordinary school of a thousand students under financed and with a, enough, probably an underpaid faculty, and uh, and no particular mission outside a, a small liberal arts college, and it, and it had uh, a lot to offer even in, in that condition.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh yeah, yeah, absolutely.

YOUNG: And it would have continued indefinitely if they got in serious financial s--trouble, somebody, the board or what not would have raised some 00:08:00money. And of course it's church oriented. And I've gotten so cynical about churches that uh, uh--if it were possible, if it wouldn't cause so much consternation, I would have advocated--a break with the church. I don't see where the church does anything for Transylvania. Financially they probably gave them twenty-five or forty-thousand a year out of a budget of--you know, fifteen million. And uh, uh--really I think when you--identify with a church school, you automatically eliminate uh--interest, uh, maybe some good students that belong to another religion. And--but it really is not a religious school, but it still is connected with the Christians of--Disciples of Christ. When you think of Notre-Dame, you're thinking nobody up there but Catholics.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--Right it's not the same as say Georgetown College and the Baptist.

YOUNG: That's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's a much--closer--


YOUNG: That's right--and--

BIRDWHISTELL: --out front religion.

YOUNG: And, and I think Notre-Dame, by being so--completely identified with the Irish, they probably, they probably miss, and miss a lot of good uh, uh--Protestant students and probably a lot of good Jewish students or--

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm, you're right.

YOUNG: --or whatnot.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, hmm, yeah.

YOUNG: But that's a side issue.


YOUNG: But when uh--I was on the board thirty-three years at Transylvania, and I was chairman twenty-three, so ten years, I did what somebody asked me to do, if I could do it. And I showed a reasonable interest and I supported them annually with, with gifts that they asked for and that type of thing.


YOUNG: But I made no--startling contribution. When they elected me chairman, that's a whole new ball game. Then I have the entire responsibility and if I don't respond to it uh, uh--the school suffers and I would ashamed of myself. 00:10:00You should not take--a chairmanship of anything uh--and consider it uh--some kind of an accolade or an honor, if you are willing to be chairman and be the guide, well then the, it's selfish of you to uh, to take the position. And uh--I think fortunately uh--not based on prior experience, but maybe a practical experience in life uh--fortunately I realize, or I came to realize, that the fundamental mission of Transylvania and every other school is to educate the kids. Uh, most fund drives are attracted around a building or a Chair, or something. And they too often are simply ego trips uh, for the donor. And I 00:11:00think uh--the University Chairs are especially over done, uh. And that's another subject. But uh--the reason the Chair for the university is easy to raise is because it's got Terry Birdwhistell's Chair. So Terry shells out. You don't know what the hell the Chair does. Now if the Chair simply replaces a salary that the State is obligated to


YOUNG: --to pay, you've done nobody a service. And uh, uh--but anyway, we, we got to that, and it seemed to me like that I, I, I'm --(clears throat)-- I'm so anti--tenure uh, which I believe breeds mediocrity, in--our schools, and maybe our civil service. And a subject I can never raise with the faculty in 00:12:00twenty-three years uh--is based, the tenure simply based on length of service, it doesn't make any difference how stupid your are, or how bright you are. You're paid the same thing no matter what. And our society can't survive tenure. Now the school system has survived. But that's only a small fragment. If business were based on tenure, we would be an economically deprived nation, in my opinion.

BIRDWHISTELL: How, how do you protect, how do you protect faculty then, from uh--any --------(??)

YOUNG: They don't need protected, I w--

BIRDWHISTELL: You don't think there is any protection needed for their idealism, or advocacy?

YOUNG: Well the--ostensibly they were looking back in the twenties for academic freedom. But to me, all that--having watched it all my lifetime, I think that's a p--that's a purest case of pure bullshit of anything I've ever heard, uh. In, 00:13:00in business and in society, if you don't pull your oar, then someone is, is obtained to pull the oar. And you can't work for General Electric--(coughs)--or any company or any situation that d--or even if you work for yourself, that is based on merit, and it's the risk in our system that makes it so rewarding. If you have no risk there's no reward--and if a businessman goes into business for himself, and he doesn't excel and succeed, he fails.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--right.

YOUNG: It really is as simple as that. Now he doesn't have to expose himself that much. He can take a job in industry, and if he, if he does his part, the tenure is already there. But if he wants to excel, if he wants to g--advance to 00:14:00the next position, whether it'd be supervisor, or manager and so forth, he has to produce. And that's the, that's the basic philosophy of our society. And that's the reason America is wealthy. Now you can work out the rules where it's not done unfairly. And uh we do have some--practices that uh--another subject again where I think that I system could be a little more fairer than it is. Uh, you remo--you remove that from uh, uh, from academic--life. Uh, I feel that--without really knowing, that a high percentage of professors that achieved tenure never really stretched themselves from that day on. That's human nature. And if a guy is really talented, he may, should be, he may be worth twice what 00:15:00the guy next to him and--that's always been my philosophy in life, so I brought that philosophy to Transylvania. And the first thing I applied it to, thank God--uh, they needed money for everything. Hell there were potholes in the sidewalks. But that has nothing to do with education. You can teach--a good teacher can, can teach well in a wigwam, it doesn't make any difference where you are. The churches have gone batty on uh, on new construction, new Sunday school, new that and the other. That doesn't have anything with your faith or believing or de--or not believing. But uh--(Birdwhistell coughs)--so we, we concentrated first on scholarships. Have we talked about this already?

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, but I want to, I want to go through it in some details.

YOUNG: Well--

BIRDWHISTELL: We'd, we had mentioned the uh, the first two--

YOUNG: Now, now, the first thing we did on scholarships, I wouldn't, I would 00:16:00never think of--I think I am an average giver, or donor.


YOUNG: I've got a little more money than some other people. I can make a little larger gift.

BIRDWHISTELL: A little above average.

YOUNG: But basic--basically I'm a donor. I think that everyone re--that's a--that gives, whether he gives ten dollars or a million, they react to the same stimuli. Now it occurred to me that the only people that uh--are going to have scholarships, the only ones that I was interested in supporting financially, were those kids who had already pulled themselves up by their boot straps. They had already demonstrate [sic] they were achievers. And that meant in high school they had to make good grades. And it means they had to participate in the society at the school. Uh, athletics was no factor particular in that--on the other hand, if a guy was a--honor student and captain of the basketball team, that was a plus.


BIRDWHISTELL: That's a bonus, isn't it, yeah.

YOUNG: That's a positive.


YOUNG: Now if he were captain of the basketball team and a poor scholar, I'd have no interest in him.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right, right.

YOUNG: And I figure that every donor that I might approach would feel the same way. And I concluded that if we had scholarships, based on the national norm, which is scholarships based on need, that I couldn't raise a damn cent from anybody including myself.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm. Hmm. So you had to find an approach that you could first buy into, so that you could then go out and--

YOUNG: I, I consider myself average. And I've also had already learned that all the money that's contributed to our society voluntarily--comes from self made people. I think zero percent comes from old money. And today old money is almost disappeared. But even when it was here, it was stingy. Carnegie's money 00:18:00was self made; gave every cent of it away. I've never gotten a, I've never gotten a d--a donation for any cause in the city of Lexington in my lifetime, but what the donor was not self made. I can name you family after family that sup--that, that did have wealth, maybe they don't have it today, but they're supposed to have had it, and never give anything.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now you define self made as--new money as op--as opposed to inherited money, made money, really.

YOUNG: That's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Made money, where you go out and --------(??)

YOUNG: Opposed to inherited money.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oppo--as opposed to inherited money.

YOUNG: Now there has to be an exception and the Melon Family might be an exception because Paul Melon didn't earn it all. Uh, but he was uh, he was raised in a, in a philanthropic atmosphere. Uh, his father, the Secretary of 00:19:00Treasury, Andrew he gave the national gallery you know to the country and Washington and--Paul, which is very unusual, uh, went right along and did the same thing, but we're getting off the subject.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well it's all tied together.

YOUNG: But uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: It's all tied in.

YOUNG: I don't know what a meritocracy is but uh, uh--if I tried to define it, I would have to say that would be a miracle. See, in many societies they uh--it doesn't work. I don't know whether you have tenure or not, but you have nepotism--that's kin to it; little bit. And uh--so anyway we, we decided to have a, the first thing we wanted to do that was up the caliber of students. So we offered, uh, we offered merit scholarships, and we went to the faculty of Transylvania, very small faculty, about seventy men, and interestingly uh, there 00:20:00wasn't an active opposition. But there was an opposition to a merit scholarship by the faculty at Transylvania. I've told that to very few people.


YOUNG: Now they uh, uh, uh--they said, what they feared was that we would cr--create an elitist student body. The first time I've ever heard of an expression like that. How could you get the student body too elite--academically. But anyway they--

BIRDWHISTELL: That was what you were trying to accomplish.

YOUNG: --that was not a fun--an issue to be--a decision to be made by faculty. It wasn't a decision to be made by the staff, it was a decision that I made because I was the only son-of-the-bitch that was going to raise the money for it. And uh--so we just did it, and we arbitrarily uh, uh--decided that we would 00:21:00uh--I've forgotten what numbers, maybe ten--a year, and we were going to give them room, board--it was just a ter--a terrific scholarship, room, board, tuition and fees. And at that time, there wasn't a single such scholarship in Kentucky. Uh, my thinking has always been way beyond Transylvania, and I have always thought since I was a boy, that the biggest export that Kentucky ever had--or maybe Arkansas also that we exported our brains. The brightest boys that I went to school with all went to work outside Kentucky, including myself. And uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Because that's where the opportunity--was.

YOUNG: The opportunity was there, and uh--but my thought was there was a merit scholarship pulling these good kids in, and keep them from going to Harvard 00:22:00or--Duke or somewhere, where they, they might go. And if you go to school here, there might be a more likelihood, I think that's common sense that they would settle in Kentucky. If they settled in Kentucky --(Birdwhistell coughs)--they would furnish the leadership, and if they would, the type of person that we were trying to attract, they would be a superior leader. And uh--but that was the philosophy we went into it with and we quickly changed that from uh--and I went out and made a few calls. And I didn't fail to raise a scholarship for a boy on every call I made. I made five, or six, or seven--I called on Lee Brown, in Brown Foreman, he immediately--underwrote two of them. And I forgot else who I went to. I went to David Jones in Louisville. Uh, I went to people that uh--number one thought like I did perhaps and I also had the money. But uh, 00:23:00then I realized that we could make it more influential and then we took it to, to the twenty-five a semester. Now that means you have twenty-five coming in each semester. Once it reaches maturity, in three years you have a hundred students.

BIRDWHISTELL: Out of the thousand, so you have--

YOUNG: Out of a thousand--

BIRDWHISTELL: --------(??)----

YOUNG: --if you have a hundred students out of a thousand, that's ten percent--that's remarkable. And uh, what we found out instead of creating an elitist school or discouraging uh, less accomplished students, uh, we found that the student enthusiasm and uh--and academic uh, scoring of those students went way up. And a lot of the, and a lot of the applicants that we had for these uh--we first called them Jefferson Scholars and, and later the board in flattery to me renamed them after me. But we would take twenty-five in, the twenty f--the next twenty-five didn't get in, we might get fifteen or twenty of them to come--



YOUNG: --on their own, or come to a lesser scholarship. And what we found was that excellence attracted excellence.

BIRDWHISTELL: The rising tide.

YOUNG: That's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: The rising tide.

YOUNG: Today, every college in, in the, in Kentucky, including the University of Kentucky, have pure merit scholarships. And now Otis Singletary of--former president of UK is one of my closest friend and he denies that today--but--he never encouraged me. This is what? Twenty years ago. And--took the position that he wouldn't work at UK, that it was a--larger and more democratic and the state supported. Well the interesting thing is that uh--it finally, the university was embarrassed in going into it. One of the--in one of the first few years that we had those scholarships, Transylvania had about eight or ten, 00:25:00or fifteen merit scholars out of a thousand students and the University of Kentucky I think had one or two merit scholars out of what, fifteen thousand.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah --(laughs)--

YOUNG: So they went to uh--they went to merit scholarships and interestingly you know what they named them. They named them the Singletary Scholarships--(Birdwhistell laughs)-- And I applaud them. Center has the--

BIRDWHISTELL: --------(??)

YOUNG: Center College, for every school in Kentucky has a merit scholar program.

BIRDWHISTELL: And it's been a great think at UK. It's been--

YOUNG: Well sure it has.

BIRDWHISTELL: --it's been very important.

YOUNG: Why sure it is. Well that's where it started, it started in Transylvania. And--it started basically if I want to immodest on, on my philosophy that, that you reward excellence and you reward, reward results, which is the antithesis of tenure.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well you know that's uh--those are the kind of points I've tried to get to you Mr. Young, because uh--as you'd pointed out, Transy had been around for a long time. UK had been around for a long time, but no one had 00:26:00moved--toward these merit based scholarships.

YOUNG: Nope. Nope.

BIRDWHISTELL: And it, it seems odd in retrospect. You know it seems so obvious now--since it's been so successful, but it took somebody to take the initiative.

YOUNG: See, and my only regret is that uh, that's a very expensive program.


YOUNG: And w--we run--it's now endowed, I think, with about seventeen million dollars. It should be endowed with about thirty million, uh--but it's worth it to the school to dip into the budget to have it. But, even so, we uh--I got myself talked into backing up and the Young Scholars today is only tuition. They dropped room and board. Now before I die, I hope that they will--I've resigned now and I hope that the next regime will uh, will restore that to its 00:27:00full glory of room, board, tuition, and fees. And uh, this is not a commitment, but it is, but uh--I intend to challenge the next uh, chairman out there, that uh--if the board will go out and raise some money, then I'll contribute another five million--just for that purpose. If they'll match it two for one, that'd be fifteen million. That'd give them thirty-two million. And then they, and then they can raise that stipend and make it even more--rewarding.

BIRDWHISTELL: I agree with you that the room and board, while it doesn't seem like it matters that much, it matters a lot for these incoming students--

YOUNG: Well it does and I--

BIRDWHISTELL: --and it gives them the whole different feeling.

YOUNG: Well we started out but it, it really, when we cut it back, it didn't seem to affect things. But, in my heart I know that it--

BIRDWHISTELL: Yes, I think you're right--

YOUNG: --it makes a difference.

BIRDWHISTELL: --you're right.

YOUNG: So my guess is that'll be restored. Now the next thing--that came up, I never was close to the faculty. I'm not sure the chairman wants to get close to 00:28:00a faculty.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)----------(??)

YOUNG: But there were one or two or three out there that uh, would chat with me occasionally and--or, or, or talk to me and, and I kept getting word back from Charlie or one or two people I knew that, that the influx of these superior students--made their job--they're all tenured professors, tougher. And they found they had to either re-read their notes a little more before they had a lecture the next morning. And that in order to keep up with the bright kids, or they had to uh--maybe re-do their notes. My guess is, some guy teaching biology, he got the same god damn notes he had twenty-five years ago, and teaches just the same way, regardless of the advances in the science of biology-well this maybe an over statement. But anyway, it occurred to me that uh, we should have a similar program to--incent--incentify uh--teaching. The 00:29:00only way to address good students is to bring better teachers in. And that's more appealing to a good teacher.

BIRDWHISTELL: Or make the teachers you have --------(??).

YOUNG: But the teachers are like everybody else in society. They have to pay room, they to p--the, they got living expenses, they got children, they got all this, that, and the other. And to pay all of them in those sub-standard basis, in a sense, I don't think that's generally true anymore. I don't think their pay is substandard. But I'll say this, I don't have any feeling that the extraordinarily good teachers are anyway close to being rewarded. And uh--that was the, the origin of the thought for the Bingham Program, or the Bingham teachers. Now, I'm not the--I've never have gotten anywhere in life by, by confronting people. Uh, I get just as teed off, and I'm just as opinionated, 00:30:00erroneously a lot of times, as the next fellow. But I don't let it spoil my life and or other results I try to get.


YOUNG: Uh, I didn't think it was a chance of a snowball in hell, of me, one little guy out here, it, Chairman of Transylvania, of making a dent in the tenure system--no matter who I talked to out there, except the staff, and some of them probably agree, but uh--any thinking person you talk to in the United States has the same opinion about tenure as I have. You know, I think it's self defeating. But anyway, I've, I'd--and I will take credit for thinking this out, this is purely my thoughts. What I did, instead of attacking tenure, I finessed 00:31:00it. And uh--I c--my plan was simply this. The, the policy of the school was to keep--academic salaries, that mean all of the professors are the same, all the associate professors are the same, all the assistant professors are the same, the same way in all the schools. And uh--I approached the idea, that if--well my first--first the underlying philosophy was that the most important thing in the university was good teaching. And they got nothing but lip service in all my life, and I don't know any--anywhere i--at all where good teaching--has been rewarded. And uh, the idea was that we would have a program that would reward 00:32:00good teaching. And uh, I went to the uh, faculty, though a committee or something and they were unalterably opposed--to any such plan.

BIRDWHISTELL: They just told you flat out right in that meeting?


BIRDWHISTELL: They just told you flat out right at the meeting they didn't like that?

YOUNG: Yeah they didn't like it, that it wouldn't, wouldn't work.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wouldn't work.

YOUNG: Wouldn't work. And uh--they had to have academic freedom which--whatever it is, and so forth and so on. And but, but the biggest fallacy was that uh, they all took the position and no one could judge--good teaching. You and I Terry know--from our own schooling, who the good teachers were and who the bad teachers were, and we were just kids. There wasn't any doubt about it. So uh--anyway I'd, I've, I r--I refused to be deterred and uh, uh, uh--I started 00:33:00talking to--Barry Bingham [George Barry Bingham, Sr.] in Louisville who is--has reached the--one of the most influential man in Kentucky and, and his wife uh--Mary Bingham uh--I thought and think today that she is one of the few intellectuals that I ever known--


YOUNG: --by my own definition. And I approached them and we must have discussed it for a matter or years, not weeks but years.

BIRDWHISTELL: What was their first reaction?

YOUNG: Well their first reaction that--they were skeptical. They thought theoretically that good teaching, if it could be defined, should be rewarded.


YOUNG: Or they wouldn't have kept talking. And they had uh, they had an educational advisor in Louisville. I don't--never knew who he was, or if I did I have forgotten his name. But I, I reckon they paid him to uh--their position 00:34:00was so high in academia with other schools, this, that, and the other, that they supported a lot of effort and--I presume they run things by this fellow. He un--he unalterably opposed the idea. --(Birdwhistell coughs)--

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you ever get a chance to speak with him --------(??)

YOUNG: No, I don't think I did, I can't recall his name. And uh--I finally persisted. And uh--I remember one day, we had a--I went up there and talked to Mary and Eleanor. Eleanor is young and she is now on the Transylvania Board. Uh, and we talked, and we talked. And I finally talked them into it, and we evolved a, a plan to, to evaluate the teachers. We would not let--peer acceptance or judgment is faulty by definition. So that was out.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right. That would not have worked.


YOUNG: But we decided that we would uh, we would see if we could get uh--set up a board of trust--of responsible people from academia all over the world--all over the country. And they in turn would set up a committee of five distinguished professors from the top schools, that philosophically thought like we did, or agreed with us uh--to judge the teachers. This is--revolutionary. And I finally got Barry and Mary worked up so they said they'd do it. And of course--they uh, they kicked in three million and to induce them to do it, I kicked in two million, and we named the Bingham Program.

BIRDWHISTELL: It was the largest, gift--

YOUNG: It was the largest gift they had ever made. And later on before--she 00:36:00died, of course, Mary told me that, that was the most significant gift that the Bingham family had ever made.


YOUNG: And--so we came back and--to participate in it, we first assured the faculty, Charles did, I didn't appear--I think I w--whether I talked to them or not. We assured them that the policy of the school was to keep salaries, tenured salaries, on the same level of peer schools--

BIRDWHISTELL: Competitive.

YOUNG: And every school has a group that they try to stay with. Center is in, among ours and L--Albion and--some of the smaller schools. And this was absolutely a plus--for uh, for excellence. He was not controlled in any way. We didn't care whether they spent the money on whorehouses, or Mercedes cars, or 00:37:00additional training at Harvard, or just in the g--just take care of medical bills. There was no restriction on the, on the stipend. That'd be an insult to their intelligence. And we made it significant. Uh, the average salary out here at that time was--maybe around forty thousand or a little more. And I think the initial awards for a full professor was fifteen thousand a year. Now the key to the thing--was that this fifteen thousand a year was not tenured. That was a three year grant, and they had to come back up for review after three years. Now today that's has been enlarged by this trust committee. They think it's more sensible. It's now five years.


YOUNG: But that's, but that's a detail. So I waited three to five years. I felt that the c--that the signal that was an acceptable effective program was 00:38:00if--the selection committee would turn somebody down that should have been turned down. He doesn't face the reason that uh--you appoint ten professors that all of them are going to be, be effective from here in. Uh, on the other end, the policy was that we all hoped that they would retain these. Well on the first go around, about half the teachers wouldn't even apply for it--they opposed it so. And those that did, why, we had uh--the original five people. We had one from Pomona College, we had one from Williams, we had one from Smith. I believe uh--Mary Maples Dunn the p--she may have been a trustee, but she was a--I forget but these were distinguished people. There was one from Bryn Mawr and we had one from Wesleyan up in--Connecticut or Massachusetts. And they came 00:39:00down here, and they come--came twice, they come twice a year and stay three or four days. And they, they did the unprecedented. They visited--an applicant professor in Mathematics, he could not apply for a Bingham uh--grant unless he was willing to be audited.


YOUNG: Yeah. So half of them, they weren't going to have anybody--looking over their shoulder. The other half, they--smelled the money, I reckon. And maybe with a little further thinking and maybe they had self confidence.

BIRDWHISTELL: Or --------(??)----

YOUNG: They were invited in. And then they consulted with students, and they consulted with uh, with alumni, and any other source that made any sense to them. The staff, I'm sure they talked to the staff, but the staff had no input--either in the selection of the selector, or in his decision. And it's 00:40:00been absolutely pure, simon pure since then. And I give great credit to uh--Charles uh--out there. But I was one to g--I was one to carry the burden. I got, I got all the blame, but I get all the credit. But that's how it was and we completely finessed tenure. Tenure has never came up. That was the deal. That's the deal I raised the money on.


YOUNG: So if a person want to stay t--it didn't bother his tenure, his tenure stayed right along and it, if a general level of wages went up ten percent, it went up. This was on top.

BIRDWHISTELL: On top of whatever merit --------(??)

YOUNG: Whatever they had. And then after three, and now five years, they come back in. Interestingly, uh, this, these various, supp--and then they think so much of it that they came down here for--a very nominal honor--honorarium. We 00:41:00get the best teachers in the United States to serve on that committee. You can't believe how good they are. They're absolutely dedicated to it. And after the first three or five year period, two or three, sure enough, were not--re-granted. Now that means that another year, or another five year they can apply again. It's absolutely democratic in that sense. And it's gone on now, the, that, that endowment now is--the total is twenty-seven million. Uh, and uh, we cut back on our awards. Where we were giving fifteen, we may give twelve. Well now, as I go out of office, my ambition is to have it taken back where it was.

BIRDWHISTELL: Taken back up to --------(??)

YOUNG: And I think I will. And I think we raised enough money in that da--endowment, twenty-seven to do it. So that will be accomplished, I'm sure, if I don't die. But they have been the two most interesting and rewarding 00:42:00programs that I've ever been involved in, and especially the Bingham Program--to me is the most interesting program I've ever read about, or heard about, in all those, the educational world. Now, I took it on myself about a year ago, or a year and a half ago--

BIRDWHISTELL: --------(??)

YOUNG: I got a list of the--

[End Tape 1, Side 1]

[Begin Tape 1, Side 2]

YOUNG: I got a list of the presidents of the four hundred and fifty top educational institutions in America. That's a lot of goddamn schools. And I wrote a personally typed letter to each one. It wasn't a form letter. They were similar--to each one explaining, with a brochure of, of the success of the Bingham program. And all I got was a loud yawn. I got two or three polite letters. I think the president of Harvard wrote me a--innocuous letter. And you--knowing me, in about six months I sent another letter. I had more 00:43:00evidence. In the mean time, John G. McCoy who is the founder of Bank One, he is about--eighty-five or six now. He lives in Florida. He is a friend of mine. He called me one day. He'd heard me talk about this Bingham program. He said, "Bill," he said, "I've been waiting thirty years to make a major gift to Marietta College, my alma matter, for something that's worth while." He said, "the only thing I've heard in thirty years is your Bingham Program at--" he says, "if you'll--if Transylvania will help me in--get it installed there," he says, "I'll s--I'll give five million dollars." And he gave uh--this is two or three years ago, maybe four years ago. So he gave Marietta five million dollars and--our staff here go down and--shared all our experience. And I understand 00:44:00that it's uh--I've gotten some very complimentary letters I think from the uh--they're, they're around here somewhere, Charles has them. They are from the President of uh, Marietta and I think in my second letter to all these presidents, I sent his letter--indicating--now I think that this uh--Bingham is, is easier to install and initiate in a small school than it would in a giant school. But it's a question of size and uh, uh--but anyway that's what's been done. They are the most rewarding things we've ever done in Transylvania. And until they put us up with the big boys in this U.S. News and World Report uh, we are right at the top of the group, scholastically, and this, that and the other in that, in that survey, when they w--with peer schools, we excel. And then they, all of the sudden they excel too often, then they put us up with Harvard 00:45:00and, and we can't compare there.

BIRDWHISTELL: You know the uh--in the larger universities uh, going back to what you were talking about earlier, the uh--establishing a Chair--that a professor can move into is a, is somewhat similar, but it's --------(??)

YOUNG: It's a little bit similar but you'd have to examine it and I think that uh, the Herald Leader, who does good investigative reporting, they ought to go out and check every chair. Now if a chair--enhances--the state salary, that's one thing, that's what the Bingham does. But most chairs, to my knowledge pick-up the entire load.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, what they do sometimes is, is take the gift money and put it on top of the --------(??)

YOUNG: I, what I'm saying is I don't think that occurs very often.

BIRDWHISTELL: You're, you're thinking that doesn't occur, Hmm.

YOUNG: John Weinberg is a close personal friend of mine he is the retired chairman of Goldman Sachs in New York.


YOUNG: He is a graduate of Princeton. He was down here visiting last 00:46:00spring--got talking about education. And, I knew he supported Princeton. I said what do you doing, he said, "well," he said, "I give say three million dollar chairs," he said, "I went down there to, to, to see what the--what they done with it," and he said, "I jerked all three of them." He said uh, uh, uh, "I didn't approve of whom they appointed, and the way they managed it, and uh--it was just an another uh--tenured deal that he couldn't live with and--so he--that was an interesting, I think, never got the detail. But uh, the chair--is probably tenured.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, that's see, what I was going to say, the difference is, that doesn't come up for review. Once a person gets a chair, that's a life time--appointment, basically.

YOUNG: Nowhere else in our society is there any such practice--even in, even in 00:47:00the clergy, especially the clergy. Nowhere else do you find it in our society. And a good teacher, an able teacher should be the most secure of all people. They're a rare bird.

BIRDWHISTELL: Of course at the University--

YOUNG: If they are completely ineffective teacher, they ought to be windowed out of the system.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm, of course at the universities, this goes back to something we talked about last time, and I know your, your thoughts on that a little bit, but at the universities, the people awarded chairs--teaching is not part of the award. It's all about--the research.

YOUNG: Well it's research, and that's where they get all--see, Kentucky wants to be one of the top twenty research uh--institutions. I don't know how they'd ever do it, but they ought to be--among the top twenty teaching. See, I'm very 00:48:00skeptical again of uh, the, of the University research. Uh, for want of a better figure I--in my heart, I feel that ninety percent of all university research is bullshit. They go out and publish a paper in some esoteric subject and no one reads it except that these professors, it doesn't advance any science that I know of. Now there are exceptions. Now here twenty years ago we passed a half a cent sales tax, state sales tax on cigarettes. That was the beginning at the University of Kentucky of the Tobacco Research Council. And when I was more active uh, better informed, they'd, they had already thrown away eighty million. My guess is today they've thrown away a hundred twenty, a hundred and fifty million dollars, just to keep some people out there. They haven't come up 00:49:00with anything. They don't have a substitute for tobacco, they don't have anything. But they passed that tax and they, and had to spend the money. And the reason they passed the tax was that was a--that was a sop, S, O, P, to the tobacco industry, because they thought--they volunteered to give the half, go, go along with a half a cent, it was so modest, because they were l--it looked like that the state was going to hit them for something tough. And they put it into research and it sounds good. Who, who evaluates the research at the University of Kentucky? When I think of research, I think of Bell Laboratories. They invented the transistor. Before I think of any of this uh, General Electric or this, that, and the other, uh. This uh--but I think the University 00:50:00of Kentucky that all the salaries should be paid by the legislature or normal fees, whatever they have.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right, right.

YOUNG: And uh--then if you, if you plan excellence on the top of that, I have no objection to it, if you don't tenure. I believe that if--I believe that if uh--you examine every--chair, at the University of Kentucky, that the exposé will be sensational. That'd be my opinion, if it's done honestly--

BIRDWHISTELL: In what would--

YOUNG: --as to whether it was worth it or not. Now I am not criticizing the donors. The donor gets his name on it. Now you can make the same accusation of me, I gave five million to the library, the son-of-the-bitch got my name on it. I don't think that was a pure motivation but uh--and I was embarrassed a long time, but it's, it's a significant honor, and I've been so humbled by 00:51:00that--effort out there, that since, since this is--I have now giving fifteen million more to the University library.


YOUNG: My total donation to the, to the endowment and the library is, is to, is now at twenty million. Nobody knows about that. I don't want them to know about it. Maybe posterity, I've--'cause I'm telling it here.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm. Well people need to eventually know about it.

YOUNG: But uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: People know to eventually know. There seems to--

YOUNG: I, I thought it was ridiculous that for--a five million dollar donation that I get my name there forever on the, the heart of the, the heart of the campus, the library, but, but anyway that's--

BIRDWHISTELL: We were happy to put it there, and we had no way of knowing what would, what would --------(??)

YOUNG: But anyway, that's, that's what I've done. But uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: What about this--

YOUNG: You know you, you, you're listening hard on this because you're a 00:52:00tenured professor.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right.

YOUNG: Well I'm just being candid and I don't mean anything by it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, no-no, it's--these are the questions--

YOUNG: I, I, I--

BIRDWHISTELL: --these are real questions.

YOUNG: I think, I think tenure kills you talented people.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, yeah. Well I mean I--it's, it's a tough, it's a tough issue, and uh--

YOUNG: Well I think the--that the academy, academia or the academic world brought it on themselves. It wouldn't be perme--permitted anywhere else, because uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: If they--I'm go, I go back to your uh, your comment that uh, that faculty don't need protecting. And, and then I think about the uh--this tension that exist, and has forever it, you know, at least in modern times, between--academics and scholarship, politics and the business world. You know, there is a tension--

YOUNG: Well there is no tension with the business world.

BIRDWHISTELL: W--well, n--not like--the, the politics there is a tension in 00:53:00that uh--

YOUNG: Well, you know, I don't think, I don't allow politics gets, g--gets in there. I don't believe that--I don't believe that politics influences the selection of uh--professors, I wouldn't think.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, it has in the past and uh--and then politicians--

YOUNG: Well, no more--

BIRDWHISTELL: --try to bring pressures--

YOUNG: --no, no more then in business and somebody hiring a cousin or a friend.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh no, it's, it's not different from that, but--and that's why people think that it needs to be in there, to, to--make that academic environment different--rightly or wrongly.

YOUNG: I think they're dead wrong, how can the academic environment, if it's not based on merit and achievement, how can, how the whole su--you wouldn't even have an academic uh--world if it weren't for the success of the country.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well that, and, ideally the, the, the merit and achievement comes 00:54:00out in the--merit raises that--you are not guaranteed a salary, you're, you're not guaranteed to continue to g--make more money--over time. All salaries at UK, all faculty salaries, since I've been here, have been based on merit, no cost of living.

YOUNG: Well, basically, it's basically across the board.

BIRDWHISTELL: But it turns out that the--I, I'm just trying to lay out what, what people try to think ideally, and then, and then I agree with you what happens practically--in, in this approach. Uh--

YOUNG: But that's what tenure is, I'm, it, I believe that the all the faculty uh--in similar categories in Transylvania all make the same thing. I'll double check that, I think they're all paid the same thing.


YOUNG: And probably it's true at uh, at UK.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well at UK it depends more on what area you're in.

YOUNG: Well one area might--


YOUNG: It uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: You know, if you're in--education, you make less than if you're in--


YOUNG: But at Transylvania--

BIRDWHISTELL: --physics.

YOUNG: --and, and Marietta College is the only place I know in the United States, where qualified people, with no ulterior motive whatever, all tenured themselves, go in and evaluate--what's being presented--


YOUNG: --to the students.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, you know, the post tenure--

YOUNG: That's--

BIRDWHISTELL: --review is, is trying to get to what you're talking about there, and I am not sure it ever will, but--

YOUNG: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: --that, that's the issue that's trying to uh--well, see what you did, at Transy, what they're doing in Marietta, is implement post tenure review with the, with some ump behind it, in that--when people get reviewed--

YOUNG: Is, is anyone into your memory at the University of Kentucky ever been to--had their tenure re--taken away?

BIRDWHISTELL: I don't think so, I don't think so. If it ever was it'd be because of a morals charge, not because of a--lack of effort --(laughs)--but uh--

YOUNG: How would they get you on moral charges?


BIRDWHISTELL: Oh I, I think they--oh I just used that as a--

YOUNG: It'd be pretty dramatic.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: They couldn't, they couldn't veto Clinton--or uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--Well, maybe--

YOUNG: Couldn't terminate him--

BIRDWHISTELL: Maybe in today's world that wouldn't even work, Mr. Young. I'm, I'm not--I'm not sure. Huh--

YOUNG: Well that's my philosophy and uh, uh--I'm being perfectly honest and--

BIRDWHISTELL: Well I think that's excellent--

YOUNG: It's probably good that you do have a good view of the other side--


YOUNG: --but that's exactly the reaction out there at Transylvania.


YOUNG: And what we're getting back to as, as, as Chairman and what not


YOUNG: Now, if, if I had been unsuccessful in any of those attempts uh--I'm like anyone else, I only beat my head against the wall so long--


YOUNG: --they would have lost me.


YOUNG: And in the meantime, when we were doing this uh--and I say this uh--without ego, maybe uh--since nobody is going to listen to this, they have a 00:57:00hundred and twenty million dollar endowment out there. When I went into office they had two or three million.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right. Right, that's uh--

YOUNG: So if they had lost me--I think they'd lost a good bit more, so--

BIRDWHISTELL: I mean it uh--you know, I mentioned this the last time that uh--when you look at the history of Transylvania University, this time when you were on that board, is going to be looked at as the golden era for some time to come.

YOUNG: Well--

BIRDWHISTELL: It's going to be hard to maintain that type of momentum, it's--

YOUNG: Not if you have the right chairman.

BIRDWHISTELL: But not if you have the right, you have the right people.

YOUNG: Now you can have the right people on the board, but nobody on the board will assume leadership. American business is not democratic. It's not democratic, it's autocratic. And the only function that I've ever seen in 00:58:00industry, and I've served on a lot of boards, big companies and little companies. The only thing that a board can do is audit the chief executive officer and replace him when necessary. They don't do another goddamn thing--of importance. They don't run the business day-to-day, if they do they'll b--they'll, they'll ruin the business. And uh--that's the only thing I know they uh, they do and that's what, that's the same with the university board, almost. And uh--well it is the same thing.

BIRDWHISTELL: But you set a standard at the Transy board for a activist chairman. I mean you were, you were probably--

YOUNG: Well I never g--I, you go, you go talk to Charlie. I don't talk to Charlie--over twenty years, I don't s--I never, I don't go on the campus once a month--if that often.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. Um-hm. I mean activist in--working for that college, and, 00:59:00and, as a--with these ideas, and, and then--bring them --------(??)

YOUNG: If they have an emergency out there and some kid gets a p--you know, gets raped or something, I never get into it, I never hid--I--we have a perfect relationship because I don't, I don't function in anyway as chief executive. In all the years I was out there, I took the initiative only one time uh--with the board, on the presidency. We had to, we w--uh--I think Irvine Lunger retired, I f--I forgot what it-- Bill Kelly left. He left.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right, right.

YOUNG: We were glad to see Bill go. Then we had a committee, we looked around, looked around, looked around. And we finally found a fellow that was Chancellor. Unfortunately he was not number one, but he was Chancellor up at Miami in Ohio, David Brown. Do you remember him?


YOUNG: And we brought him down here, nice person.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm, September 1982.


YOUNG: But he had never functioned as a Chief Executive, there is a big difference.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh. Big difference.

YOUNG: And he was not a chief executive. And it was apparent--after eight or nine months. I must have been seventy something then. I couldn't see--holding his hand for five years and then doing what was inevitable. And I suggested to the board that we go ahead and recognize it, and the faculty was behind me on that. They felt same way.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, but that is the board's job.

YOUNG: So, it is, so--it is the board's job. But usually they--have a f--some mis--misguided wisdom or, or consideration, he led us on fin--fester. So he came in September and left in April. And then with, then I talked the board into char--in, into, into employing Charles Shearer whom I did know--


YOUNG: --and couldn't get him, I couldn't get him elected president before.

BIRDWHISTELL: I was curious about that, now--y--you know--


YOUNG: See, he is not a scholar, he came up, he was the Vice-President--


YOUNG: --of Finance.


YOUNG: He is the best I have ever seen. And while he was in that position, he had enough gumption and motivation. He got his PhD in whatever his specialty is, whether it's education, or philosophy, whatever it is. That indicated to me that he was a serious person. And I wanted to give him a chance, and we did. And I don't th--I, I, I don't know of a better president anywhere that I've ever worked with than him.

BIRDWHISTELL: I guess what surprises me, Mr. Young, is--that when, when you all chose uh--David Brown in, in that Fall of 1982, I'm surprised you didn't win the day for Charles, Charles Shearer in the Fall of 1982. How did you not win that?

YOUNG: Well, I am not a dictator and uh, uh, uh, you know, I really am not a 01:02:00dictator. People will let you d--lead anyway. They don't want the responsibility, but I didn't uh, I didn't feel comfortable forcing the issue, they felt they could get some splendid name from the outside. That's what the university is doing right now. The University of Kentucky, and in addition to that, and I'll say this for posterity, they're even having town meetings.


YOUNG: Can you imagine going to Litchfield, Kentucky, and having three hundred--citizens come out to tell the committee what to look for in a UK president. I mean, how stupid can you get?

BIRDWHISTELL: I don't know.

YOUNG: I tell you the first criteria you have for the UK president. He has to get along with the governor.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--Number one; get along with the governor.

YOUNG: He has to get along with the governor. He does not have to be a scholar, he has to be an administrator and a CEO. He has to be able to run a--he has to be able to run a billion dollar company.


BIRDWHISTELL: One point two billion.

YOUNG: That's what they have out there--

BIRDWHISTELL: One point two billion.

YOUNG: --one point two billion. Now for appearances he probably has to have a PhD on his--tail. That's what you go out and look for. See, Roselle was a scholar, and he couldn't get along with Wilkinson--so he left. Charlie is not a scholar and he can't get along with uh--Patton, so he is leaving.

BIRDWHISTELL: First get along with the governor --(laughs)--

YOUNG: You have to be practical.

BIRDWHISTELL: It seems to me--

YOUNG: It's a state school.

BIRDWHISTELL: It seems to me that --(laughs)--I went to the --------(??)

YOUNG: That tenure, that tenure doesn't work you see in that top job.

BIRDWHISTELL: You know most people think, going back to the tenure thing for just a second, most people think--that tenure will disappear.

YOUNG: I can't see any evidence of it.



YOUNG: In the thirty-three years I've seen no evidence of it, and uh, I've been in the thick of it, in the subliminal way, if that's the right word, than most anybody I know, and I've been ec--been exceedingly frank in these--few remarks.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah--uh, I don't think anybody thinks it's going to disappear--s--overnight or even soon, but most people think it will eventually--fall by the wayside.

YOUNG: If I raise a hundred million again, for Transylvania, I'd raise it only on the basis that they would drop tenure. I didn't have wit enough about me to make that deal.--(Birdwhistell laughs)--And no one would have believed we could have done it either.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well the problem, I think--it--I got to think and I di--I'm not, I, I'm not clear on this, but--one would have to be careful with these colleges and universities because of the accrediting agencies who, you know, the, would have to --------(??)

YOUNG: Well, you all have a, you all have the world's strongest union and uh--


BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, right.

YOUNG: I don't see how the educational system has survived it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm. Well some, and part of it hadn't, I mean it, it--


BIRDWHISTELL: In some ways it hasn't --------(??)

YOUNG: Well, it has--

BIRDWHISTELL: Well I mean that they're --------(??)

YOUNG: --I, I think, I think the greatest sin in that the gifted teachers, do make a difference in the world. Difference in the world has always been made by just a very few gifted people.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right, that's right.

YOUNG: History will bear that out.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right.

YOUNG: If they aren't supper awarded. See, I take the position, since I chose to go into business, became an owner, that I've had an edge over you--all my life. And I don't think that what I've done is any more important to society than what you do, or Charlie Wethington, or Charlie Shearer does. You all are absolutely taxed to the hilt. You realize that I don't pay near the taxes you do?



YOUNG: When I sold my, when I went into business, fifty some odd years ago, went in the manufacturing of peanut butter and I was--owned the business. You know, to this day, I have never paid a dollar tax on my gain. Now, if the Republicans repeal the inheritance tax--

BIRDWHISTELL: You'll never do it.

YOUNG: My children won't pay. Ninety-nine percent of the people don't pay inheritance, are you going to vote Republican or Democratic?


YOUNG: Well, I am too.


YOUNG: The Republicans will make millions for me.--(Birdwhistell laughs)--First place, they'd only tax--the first thing the Republicans do when they get in, they'll forbid ab--abortion, to all women--


YOUNG: --which is, I think a God given right to do what you want to do.


YOUNG: The second thing, they'll lower the capital gains tax--to nothing, which won't help anybody but me. And the third, they'll, they'll, they'll drop the 01:07:00uh, inheritance tax which has already passed Congress.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well you --------(??)

YOUNG: It won't help, it won't help, it won't help anybody but me.

BIRDWHISTELL: You better vote Republican --(laughs)--

YOUNG: Huh? No. Well I had lunch with a friend today. I won't tell you his name but--we got into the same discussion, but he is, he is all for the Republicans, he's just selfish. It will cost him a lot of money if they don't win.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm, isn't that interesting? Oh, hmm--

YOUNG: Are any of the faculty for Bush?

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh I would guess, yeah, they would be. You can probably find some.

YOUNG: Well I mean, you all talk around out there, what, what's the general feeling, what would be generally a, a Democratic swing?


YOUNG: How does your wife feel about abortion, for instance, is she a free thinker, or--

BIRDWHISTELL: She supports abortion.


BIRDWHISTELL: She supports abortion.

YOUNG: She is opposed to it?

BIRDWHISTELL: She's--supports it, yes.

YOUNG: Well, I do too.


YOUNG: Well how can she vote for Bush or any, how can any woman vote for Bush?


BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, I, I'm, well, not, you can't think--

YOUNG: She doesn't vote--because you tell her, do you?


YOUNG: She's not --------(??)

BIRDWHISTELL: No, she is a Democrat --(laughs)--

YOUNG: Well you got all my philosophical thinking is not really more complicated than that.


YOUNG: But I think that I have been more than amply rewarded for what talent I have in this life. And uh, uh--the system is the best the world has ever seen, may ever see, but it's still a little bit imperfect. And I, I firmly believe that the people that support--our institutions, are more important than businessmen. I think an aura is growing up around business--men. They use the word entrepreneur. The kids use, use the word bullshit, that's what I use. An entrepreneur uh, Terry, is only an owner. And uh, you've got an aggressive guy 01:09:00out there in that business school, what's his name? I'm, I'm very fond of him. Who runs the business school?

BIRDWHISTELL: Huh, Dean, Dean Furst.

YOUNG: Dean--


YOUNG: Dean Furst, yeah, Dick Furst. Well, he is trying to start a school of entrepreneurship within that school. Let me tell you, there's no f--goddamn way you can teach entrepreneurship. That's a complete wasted effort. Now he'll get some businessmen, he'll raise some money on that concept. And I told him the same thing, I said, "you're crazy!" --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- So--


YOUNG: But the owner is a--the owner--during the war I worked on war contracts, purchases war material for the Ordnance Department for four or five years, and I looked at thousands of companies and ne--negotiated with them, re-negotiated, looked at their balance sheets and statements. The only people in World War II 01:10:00that made any money, any money, were the owners. Everybody else sacrificed, all the workers, all the executives, the military, but the owners did not sacrifice. And that's when I first became aware that unless you were hell bent on being a librarian, or a college president, or a doctor of something, you better get in business. And I would have gone in business after the war, I don't give a damn what it was.


YOUNG: And the edge is too great. An entrepreneur is going to b--risk his capital and go into business, no matter what the tax rate is unless it's a hundred percent. And the only time in my life time that we ever had a fair comparison--was late in uh, Reagan's administration. He brought the capital 01:11:00gains tax up from 20 to 28. He took your tax and my personal tax--down from fifty to twenty-eight. Today it's now forty and twenty. And the Republicans would like to have it sixty and zero--(Birdwhistell laughs)-- . If they cut my taxes, they have to raise yours. --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- Cutting my taxes doesn't lower the cost to government.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm, that's right. That's right. If you had uh, if you had decided after the war--that you'd had a change of heart, that you didn't want to be an engineer, and you didn't want to be a businessman, but you wanted to go back and, and become a humanities professor, what kind of professor would you have become, do you think?

YOUNG: I'd been a good one, or I'd have gotten out of it.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right.

YOUNG: I would have been a good one or I would have gotten out of it. Uh, you can get into things, young people. They talk to me occasionally. I tell them 01:12:00the odds are extremely rare that they w--you take a job out of college, you'll like what you're doing.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm, that's right.

YOUNG: I say that's unimportant. I said if you don't like what you're doing, do it so well, that you're indispensable. And then look around for another job. Don't just quit out of--you don't like it. Do you see the point I'm trying to make?

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm, um-hm, right, no, you just--you'd be a success --------(??)

YOUNG: So if I were a Humanities teacher, if, if I concluded I wasn't superior, I would get into something else. Change is always good. Change is what's made my life.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. Wha--you know, one gets the impression that, that your--motivation, and the way you, the way you look at things and sort of break things down, you know, analyze it that uh--it wouldn't have mattered what--career you would have chosen.


YOUNG: Made no difference.

BIRDWHISTELL: It wouldn't have mattered. Because the same thing you --------(??)

YOUNG: You can't make up your mind at school, if you don't learn, you don't learn English--in spades, and enough arithmetic to survive, and literature and other basic skills, you won't have a chance. You can't learn to be an engineer. All I did, when I took engineering I took a little more science--than the other guys. I never functioned as an engineer, I was hired at an ordinary job. They hired me as an engineer up there at Cleveland, and I did clerical work and--went down in the, in the manufacturing area and--learned to do some like, but I was an engineer. I took engineering uh--I don't know why, it never occurred to me to take anything else but uh--and I, I have a better feeling today than I had 01:14:00then. You get all the solid subjects in Engineering, all the solid subjects. And the conversations when I was in college, was just to get by. We would meet over at McVey high on the third floor--that was called the Commons in those days. We'd get Coca Cola and, and somebody played the piano or something, be hundreds of us in there. And that, they all, th--I never had a vacant hour to go. I might go out sometime, but all they talked about was that they were--in this, this, the, the snap course in those days was the commerce college.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh really? Hmm.

YOUNG: That would be a degree in economics today, I suppose.

BIRDWHISTELL: It was over in White Hall I think, wasn't it?

YOUNG: That's right. And they took all that in, they all discussed the crip courses. I didn't take any crip courses. I took a lot of courses that were foolish. I took a lot of courses in engineering. The first two years, they 01:15:00must, I must have spent months, it seems like, in the workshops--making furniture, and learning to make metal objects, and er--operating a milling machine--all bullshit. You'd think that they had more intelligent, had no bearing on my skills as an engineer. And I put hours in those labs. What I needed was all the mathematics I could get, and especially all the English I could get, strength of materials and today you have to have--certainly would have to have uh, uh--c--computer science, and uh--so--


YOUNG: But I am opinionated. I don't know whether these are considered ideas, but that's, that's my essence and uh--motivation, I'd, I've concluded you're born with it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, I mean what you did at Transy with the, with the endowment, 01:16:00the merit bases scholarships and the Bingham Trust, you had to have an opinion to make that happen. Barry, Barry and Mary Bingham didn't say the first time you went down here--

YOUNG: Oh no, no, no

BIRDWHISTELL: --that's a great idea, how much do you need?

YOUNG: That's a hard, that's, that's the hardest sell I ever had, was with that.

BIRDWHISTELL: I don't see how you do it, I'd, I'd, that's the t--that's the--

YOUNG: Well finally, with intelligent people uh, anything that's well reasoned will register.


YOUNG: Now unintelligent people you can't make a dent.

BIRDWHISTELL: I guess the nice thing about trying to get this--

YOUNG: They didn't--Barry and--Mary knew I was right all along. They just couldn't believe it could happen.

BIRDWHISTELL: They just--they had, you had to convince them it could work. I was going to say the nice about spending time trying to persuade them, was that you got to spend time with them. Barry Bingham was a--

YOUNG: Oh yeah, he was a brilliant person--

BIRDWHISTELL: --wonderful guy.

YOUNG: --and Mary, he died first and--

BIRDWHISTELL: And these people that you brought in, you, you mentioned Wilson 01:17:00Wyatt and you've already said, in a previous interview that you think Wilson Wyatt might be one of the great--

YOUNG: One of these--he is one of the great Kentuckians, in my opinion.

BIRDWHISTELL: Kentuckian, Kentuckian.

YOUNG: Great Man.

BIRDWHISTELL: And then I--who first contacted--McGuire, Chandler, and Dunn. Who, who would contact these people to ask them to serve, did you do that yourself?

YOUNG: I did it yeah. I had learned to know McGuire through David Jones. David was a--big supporter of uh--that--promoter group out there.

BIRDWHISTELL: The Fairmont--

YOUNG: And I think that--the reason was, who was that grand--that old man out there?


YOUNG: He is from Austria.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. They have a center out there for him.

YOUNG: What the hell--I can see him--

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, I can't think of his name.

YOUNG: But we went out there once or twice when Humana was very young to get his business idea. What was his name? He advised General Motors, and General Electric and--he's still living, he must be a hundred. They have a school 01:18:00dedicated to him out there.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm, um-hm.

YOUNG: Peter--


YOUNG: Who was he, his first name was Peter.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right, that's right, uh--gosh, I'm sorry, I can't remember it.

YOUNG: Well I got to know John McGuire by going out there. They put me on some advisory board, trying to get a donation and uh, uh--I was attracted to McGuire and I think--he is the only fellow in academia that agreed with me on everything, everything we've talked about, he agreed a hundred percent. And he helped me. He helped recruit uh, Mary Maples Dunn, and uh, uh--all the good people we have.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well when you had Clairemont, Williams, and Smith, and, and--

YOUNG: I don't know where though, you w--well you can get all that, it's in my f--


YOUNG: Marie-Agnes is not here, but we've got all those names.


YOUNG: We got Bob uh--hmm--I want to say Greenbaum, that's not quite right. Rosenbaum--



YOUNG: One of the brightest, he is a mathematician from Wesleyan and he is one of the most respected man in the teaching field. And he came down, we, we had extraordinary people. We had--well we just had extraordinary people.

BIRDWHISTELL: And you had to.

YOUNG: Plus, plus John McGuire. Now John will be here, and some of them are still on the board. John, Joh--we have a meeting this fall. I stayed on that board. And uh--I reckon I'm still Chairman, but I'll drop off, but John McGuire will be here in October. And he found these super teachers. And they came, came twice a year and that's, that's a tough job. They--


YOUNG: --dealing with those professors, they didn't want to be messed with. But now we get feedback from the professors out there at Transylvania, that this is a good thing. So people can be sold.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well if you can sell a group of professors--

YOUNG: I don't see how they uh--and I think all of them out there uh, uh--all 01:20:00of them out there uh, uh--that have this stipend, they, they would--it's a practical reward for what they're doing. And those that don't get it uh--I don't know if some of them that have left of not, but, but--that's, that's part of the ga--I hope they have left.

BIRDWHISTELL: --------(??)------(laughs)--

YOUNG: The idea was not to restrict the reward, they w--the idea would be for the c--for the committee to say that the whole faculty qualifies.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right, right.

YOUNG: And the idea was they carry it until age 65.

BIRDWHISTELL: In an ideal world, the whole faculty would qualify--

YOUNG: That's exactly what happens in every other--area of our society. Peter's principle is the most valid of all the silly principles. We are all promoted to our--finally to our level of incompetence. Finally we go one step too more. And that's what keeps--private business pure. That a guy could be a 01:21:00super salesman, sales manager --(coughs)-- for General Electric.


YOUNG: It doesn't mean that he can--take what's his name's place up there--who's president of General Electric? He used to be up here in Louisville. See, I'm getting fuzzy on me, I know his da--I know him very well but, but anyway, it doesn't mean he moves up. Now he moves up and fails--he used to be out. There is now a little philosophy you put him back down here where he was a wizard, that's the way it should be.

BIRDWHISTELL: Where he could be successful.


BIRDWHISTELL: Next time uh--what I'd like to do is--sort of pick up and merge your t--your Transy uh--experience with Humana, because, there is a connection there, because part of the Transy endowment was based on--your uh, your decision to, to uh, to uh--


YOUNG: Well that was just an expression, really an example of my willingness to give and take a risk for the--I was trying to take a quantum leap and uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: But it paid off, didn't it?

YOUNG: But see the--Transylvania was never under any risk.

BIRDWHISTELL: But you covered the risk, right?

YOUNG: Oh I covered the risk.

BIRDWHISTELL: But that's where I want to pick-up next time if that's okay, because that will get us in uh--

YOUNG: Okay.

BIRDWHISTELL: --transition from uh, Transy into that Humana, and then we want to pick-up on the uh, on your state government service.

YOUNG: You got, gotten all the philosophy that I have, so--


[End of Interview]