Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Marvin Jolly, August 11, 2004

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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O'HARA: This is an unrehearsed interview with Dr. Marvin Jolly at his home in Hazard, Kentucky, conducted by Adina O'Hara on August--

JOLLY: Thirteenth.

O'HARA: --thirteenth 2004. Thank you, Mr. Jolly. (laughs) Mr. Jolly, in the 1962 legislative session, a community college bill was passed that authorized the University of Kentucky to establish a system of public community colleges ar-, across the commonwealth. What was your role in the creation or establishment of community colleges in Kentucky?

JOLLY: I was not aware of the Kentucky community college movement until 1967 when I was contacted by Ellis Hartford (??) who was the Dean of Community Colleges at the time and he contacted me about becoming 00:01:00the director of Hazard Community College, which was to be established at, uh, a later date. And it was there that I became familiar and became involved with, with the '62 legislation and all that under the leadership of Bert Combs had already been accomplished.

O'HARA: While we know the outcomes of those talks about creating a community college system, and as you said, you weren't there at the time, but you might be able to help me understand possibly why the University of Kentucky was chosen in this state. Do you know some of the history and background?

JOLLY: I can help you some. Uh, Dr. John Oswald, who was president of the University of Kentucky at the time, came from California, whi-, which has a rich heritage in junior community college movement, with 00:02:00Mississippi, one of the pi-, early pioneers in the nation, and he realized that none of this existed in Kentucky, and yet, at the same time, Kentucky had--

O'HARA: You're fine.

JOLLY: --Kentucky had, uh, low educational statistics, which made him think the need was even greater here than in, than other places.

O'HARA: Um-hm.

JOLLY: He made contacts with, uh, Governor Bert Combs and they'd sit down and it's my understanding and as I was told, and together designed, and thought this system through, and Dr. John Oswald thought it should be a integral and vital part of the University of, of Kentucky which would allow all of the good things that he saw at the University of Kentucky to be not just located in Lexington and 00:03:00Central Kentucky but to reach throughout the state and he saw each community college being an outreach point by the entire University of Kentucky. He saw the College of Agriculture county extension agents, like his goal for Hazard was to have the adjoining counties' Ag agents and the peer county Ag agents all be on our faculty and located on our campus. Each one of them would have a different specialty including things like economic development, and then they would provide structure and leadership to this co-, community, the, the larger community, the whole region, whole region. And, as the ----------(??), uh, Dr. Joe Altar came with us, when we started the college in 1968 as a field professor of community medicine. He was a joint appointment between the University of Kentucky Med School and the University of Kentucky Community College System. He would have gained, had he stayed with us, 00:04:00he would have gained ranking tenure into, into both systems. Uh, and this was, for him, for the University of Kentucky Med-, Medical School to reach out and to provide upgrade, new information, skill up-change, you know, to help the current practicing, uh, medical doctors in, in our region. So those are two examples o-, of the vision that Bert Combs and John Oswald had for the university to reach out t-, to.

O'HARA: The university's land grant service mission--


O'HARA: --to serve the entire--

JOLLY: It was done in a different way, not the same old way that it had alrea-, always been done, and time had passed. See, I was a high school principal, and a couple of the places where I was a high school principal, the Ag teacher knew less about, because he was a general Ag major and you put him in the middle of a citrus grove, and the, the farmers knew more than he did about the citrus farming. So, John Oswald realized things, time had changed things so the system of 00:05:00delivery of these educational benefits had to change. And that's what he was trying to do. It was an extremely forward-looking, pioneering approach.

O'HARA: Wow. I didn't realize that. That, that's great. Um, I want to step back for a minute and, um, could you tell me about how the geographic location, how Hazard was chosen as the spot for a community college?

JOLLY: In, uh, -----------(??), uh, Governor Bert Combs made a commitment to the state senator from Letcher County, and I'm sorry I cannot remember his name, uh, that if he would vote for the community college bill, that you previously referred to, and bring some of his friends, that they would put a community college in Blackey, Kentucky, which is part of Letcher County, isn't Letcher located in Letcher County? (??) 00:06:00Now, later on some of the university people like Dr. Oswald quarreled a little bit with, with Governor Combs and said this was not a good location and his rejoinder to them was that it got us the community college system in the state. And it went that way. The, his successor is Governor Ned Breathitt, uh, got caught on the political speaking and unknowingly made a commitment, or unintentionally made a commitment, to continue Governor Combs' pledge. Now later, the University of Kentucky and, and the leadership of Ellis Hartford and John Oswald hired a consulting firm to come in here and to do a big study and so forth, and they arrived at the conclusion that the college would be much more appropriately located at Hazard. Some people have inferred that the consulting team were given the conclusion prior to the starting of the 00:07:00study. I would not been able to verify that.

O'HARA: But, I don't think that's an uncommon thing. (Jolly laughs) In oral history interviews, after asking a person why a decision was made, as far as why the community college was put with the University of Kentucky, we often next ask, why a different result did not -cur, occur, as it did in other states. Uh, during your discussions, um, in your involvement in the beginning of Hazard Community College, did you, at any time, expect that the community colleges would not be associated with the University of Kentucky, that perhaps an independent system or something else might develop?

JOLLY: Of the people who were involved in those early days, the late sixties and early seventies, I probably was the most vocal about 00:08:00being lo-, being organized as a part of the University of Kentucky, was not the best way to serve the educational needs of Kentucky. I only reached this position after Governor Bert Combs, uh, President John Oswald, and, uh, Dr. Ellis Hartford, Dean Ellis Hartford, left the picture; because it became their original mission, which I've previously described, became distorted and lost, and it was no longer a functioning part of the community college system, and we become an appendage to another system to be used for the, the other system's, uh, advantage. Uh, and it was, it was just not a, a successful arrangement. Uh, one of the employees in the early days made the 00:09:00statement at a recent, uh, public event that, the Kentucky passed a law saying that the University of Kentucky would have a community college in Kentucky and Hazard, Kentucky, and then they left the rest of it up to us, and that's not bad amiss (??). Here was a group of people brought in, set down here at the University of Kentucky with, uh, with very little support, very little help, very little assistance and they, it just was not a match. It didn't not fit. It took a long time and it has always been a disappointment to me that it took a politician like Governor Patton instead of an educator to be able to see this and say something should be done different.

O'HARA: Why, uh, or, my question is, I've been told that when the, back before there were community colleges, there were extension centers, the 00:10:00University of Kentucky, and that actually in '48 had one in Covington and then in the late fifties, Ashland--.

JOLLY: ----------(??)----------well there was one at, uh--

O'HARA: --Cumberland.

JOLLY: Cumberland and one at Henderson, I believe.

O'HARA: That's correct and Fort Knox had, had, uh, was one of the, the fifth one. And those five were, when the legislation was passed in '62, those five were converted, well, actually, all of them but Fort Knox were converted into community colleges. And, my understanding is that in those early years when they were extensions was that, and then possibly even when they were community colleges at the beginning, each academic department on the main campus at the University of Kentucky, for example, the department chair of Mathematics was responsible for hiring and firing the community college instructors in, in lieu of the director. Can you, did that happen when you came on board in '68?


JOLLY: That's close but not exactly.

O'HARA: Okay--

JOLLY: Let me--

O'HARA:--please. Yeah.

JOLLY: Okay, let me use a specific example. As the director of the community college, I had to find the candidates. I had to interview them. I had to do all those normal steps in the hiring process, but when I found the one I wanted to hire, then the department chairman at the University of Kentucky had the yes or no say to it. And things, strange things happened. Uh, we're a community college at Hazard. We're teaching general psychology. At the time, the psychology department at the University of Kentucky was a d-, a psychology department emphasizing experimental psychology. So, if I found a faculty member who would be really good at teaching two or three courses that we were offering in general psychology, the, the head of the department would not approve hiring if he didn't have an 00:12:00extensive background in experimental psychology. He could have had little equipment to teach general psych, but mess with the rats in the lab a long time, and he would be qualified. Now, we found ways of circumventing and bypassing. Uh, when that rule was still in existence, the last three psychology, uh, faculty members I hired were hired with approval by somebody that was given because the head of the department was out at the time. I sought their approval. So you, you, you found ways, but it was a bad system when the people who had the final say on who was being hired didn't understand what the person was to be teaching--

O'HARA: Right.

JOLLY: --and what his role was. And they certainly did not understand that every community college faculty member had an extensive obligation by policy from the University of Kentucky and the law to do community 00:13:00service. They had no grasp of that.

O'HARA: Um-hm.

JOLLY: But it was a vital part of the job. And, so it was not a good system. That was not, like I previously mentioned that, uh, the faculty at the University of Kentucky could not tolerate the thought that the community college faculty would have the traditional faculty ranks of instructor, assistant proofs-, professor, associate professor, and professor. So they created instructor, senior instructor. And the truth of the matter is, maybe those were truthfully more appropriate terms for a community college faculty member, but it, it indicates the, the power struggle that occurred in, in what existed.

O'HARA: What years were you director of Hazard Community College?

JOLLY: I came in the summer of 1968, and we accepted the first class that fall. And then I left in 1989, and the last three years at the 00:14:00college I was, served as a, as a faculty member as opposed to the president; because of a basic disagreement I had with the chancellor of the community college system. I refused to work under the, under the arrangement that existed.

O'HARA: Well, you had quite a tenure, that's great. (Jolly laughs) Um, I was curious as to when this, this situa-, when did the setup of, of the department heads on the main campus having ultimate authority, when did that end and, and you were given the ultimate authority?

JOLLY: I, to be honest with you, I don't really remember and the reason I don't think I remember is because it was never done as an official declaration, it was just kind of eased in and done, and, and without people realizing it, and then the, the president of the university didn't have to battle with his faculty and the department chairman 00:15:00and the deans up there. We just kind of started doing it and didn't tell anybody and went on in, and, and it was done and long gone before they ever realized what was happening. Now, I will not, everything I've told you up to this time I'm pretty sure is accurate, but that's ambiguous in my memory.

O'HARA: Well, it, it, it does, um, explain how things operated and give me an idea. I know you told me, um, before we started the interview about, um, the three men that really had a mission for the community college system and that would be Governor Combs, um, and John Oswald and--

JOLLY: Yeah. Ellis Hartford

O'HARA: --Ellis Hartford; because I don't, I'd love to have that on tape. I think it's very significant, the role in the mission they had with the community college and how you said it then changed later. Could you go back and emphasize that?

JOLLY: I'll, I'll summarize it as best I can.

O'HARA: Great (??).

JOLLY: John Oswald came to the University of Kentucky as president after a nationwide search and it was an attempt, the commonly held concept 00:16:00at the time, it was an attempt to move the university forward and to not promote somebody within, within the ----------(??) state and, uh, had a very, he was, uh, an extremely h-, high reputation across the nation, with it. He came in, and with the idea of changing, and he looked with this extensive California background and saw no community junior colleges. He then went to the Governor Bert Combs, sold him on the idea, and they jointly, and mostly John Oswald, went and got Ellis Hartford because they envisioned his ability to lead this kind of, uh, movement with them. And it was, John Oswald was the idea behind all of this, and Bert Combs was buying in people who could see the good stuff he was selling and, and bought it with, and it was, to move it, as we 00:17:00previously said, move the university out into, into the whole state in every possible way that it, that it could be done. Plus, you always have that basic community college college course structure whereby you are reaching to people who are refused admission and they're not wanted on other college campuses, giving them some special helps and assistance, upgrading, and then they become successful college degree people--

O'HARA: Expanding opportunities, horizons.

JOLLY: And, and reaching for people who had been ignored and forgotten.

O'HARA: Excellent. This is fascinating. Um, documentation leading up to the creation, the decision to put the community colleges with UK is, is quite informative in the, um, archives and the records and a historian can reconstruct how the issue was emerging, but the records are blank when it comes to explaining how the, the regional colleges, 00:18:00with their response to the University of Kentucky getting the community college system. At the time that, in 1967 and '68 and later on, do you recall that being an issue?

JOLLY: Very much so. Uh, particularly, there were some personalities involved in that: Bob Martin who was President of Eastern and Adron Doran who was president of, uh, Morehead State. Both of these men had built up, prior to becoming president of those institutions, an extremely strong political influence. They were powerful, state- defined politicians. They became presidents of those institutions; they became, used that to become even more powerful. Most people felt like they could get appropriations through for the regional universities when nobody else could. Some maybe thought Western had a better university, but they didn't get state appropriations as, as well as 00:19:00Eastern and, and, uh, Morehead. And I'm not, don't mean nothing about ----------(??). They were just strong men, powerful men, and they fought this going with the university with everything they were worth. Uh, after it occurred, they resisted in every possible way, uh, that they, that they could. Uh, they never did like it, never did buy in on it. Uh, but the truth of the matter is, at the time it was occurring, Bert Combs had the strength, politically, strength to do it anyway and to, and to take care of those people, and that's part of the reason of having to trade-off votes for the Letcher County location, was getting enough votes to get this through with some people like Bob Martin and Adron Doran resisting. Is that what you were asking--

O'HARA: Yeah, yeah, that's what I was looking for, and also, um--

JOLLY: Years later, um, new presidents and everything else, there 00:20:00wa-, that animosity still existed. And, uh, one of the Richland universities came in and, and wanted to offer a freshman composition class at, in, in Hazard, in the north campus classroom. And we had a, you know, we had fifteen courses of that all through the day--

O'HARA: Wow.

JOLLY: --and into the night where, what was available, but they were, they were cutting a deal with the vocational school to do that and not let anybody but vocational faculty members into the course so that the course would not be as rigorous, academically, as if they had taken it with us. But, it was, uh, the reason Eastern agreed to do that was that continuing battle of turf.

O'HARA: Turf and food. Just, everyone working together and--

JOLLY: Yeah. Now, later on, council on higher education passed some rules and regulations, assigning counties for certain area institutions 00:21:00and certain stuff and, like, uh, we were assigned with the Leslie County's (??), any freshman, sophomore-level work, it was all for both campuses and Leslie County, we did it--

O'HARA: Huh.

JOLLY: --and it was an opportunity to see, for us to reach to another place and the vocational schools were just as generous as generous could be in providing us a place, no cost--

O'HARA: Great.

JOLLY: --and we went into, over there and opened several different courses and then pretty soon, I sometimes wonder now where all of the community colleges were building these big elaborate buildings centers (??) off campus, and we got it done for free. (laughs)

O'HARA: Yeah, I was going to say, if you pair, once you pair up with those vocational schools--

JOLLY: Well, see the vocational schools weren't using them in the late afternoon and early evening. They weren't using the buildings. They were delighted for us to have them.

O'HARA: Good use of resources.

JOLLY: Yes. Yes.

O'HARA: Um, do you know--

JOLLY: You mentioned, excuse me--

O'HARA: Oh sure.

JOLLY: --you mentioned the, the good use of resources?


O'HARA: Yes.

JOLLY: I do not believe there was any doubt in anybody's mind who was knowledgably informed about state government or education in the state of Kentucky in the mid-sixties on up through the early eighties that the best return per dollar of tax money invested in education in the state of Kentucky was community college system, and Governor John Y. Brown made such statements publicly and he made it to the public forum here in Hazard. The state had never dreamed of getting as much return per dollar on anything as it does out of the community college systems.

O'HARA: Wow.

JOLLY: Which is, was also ----------(??) that we were underfunded (??). (both laugh)

O'HARA: Yeah. (both laugh) Yeah, it's good for them, but--(laughs)- -there's two sides to every coin. (laughs) Very good. Did you, um, speaking of when the, the council on public higher education, um, do 00:23:00you remember the year or the time frame when they started just deciding who gets what counties and everything. Was that, was that in the seventies or eighties, or--

JOLLY: It would have been in about the mid-seventies (??). I'm, I'm guessing. I can't remember for sure.

O'HARA: Okay.

JOLLY: Like '75, '76, somewhere along in there.

O'HARA: So ----------(??)---------- a little later ----------(??) research--

JOLLY: And, uh, we went, uh, over in Leslie County and got some of our friends, uh, the local school superintendents, the mayor--

O'HARA: Um-hm.

JOLLY: --uh, and a couple of people that had been very helpful in the battle of locating Hazard Community College in Hazard, Letcher County, had been leaders in helping Lowell and Hazard to be the location over there and formed them in a committee and said, "Here's what we'd like to do." And they became a standing group that advised us in how to go and then this becomes kind of the standard operating procedure for the rest of the state, is to how to go into these communities and to, and not just trying to add numbers but to, to serving the community, as it 00:24:00should be.

O'HARA: Helping them--

JOLLY: Sure. Yeah.

O'HARA: --in the areas they need help with. 'Cause every, every community's unique.

JOLLY: Every one's different.

O'HARA: One thing I'm learning in, in all my research is, not every community has a unique story about how their community college came about and even though they have a lot of similarities, too, they're never exactly the same.

JOLLY: Because they were all different.

O'HARA: And therefore, neither is every state exactly the same in how they came about building their community college systems; although there are some similarities. And I think that's what makes it so unique, is, is getting down into the understanding of the culture, the politics, the economics, and the educational need.

JOLLY: George Luster was the director at Southeast Community College in the early seventies and after a few years there, he left and went to Elizabethtown Community College as associate director. And he s-, said 00:25:00that you cannot imagine how much easier it is to do, start continuing ed courses at E-town, in comparison to what it was at Southeast. He says it's like being in different worlds. Because there was a, the, the, the educational level in the Elizabethtown area was significantly higher, the employment factors were significantly higher than it was in, in Southeast. Now, ultimately, Southeast and Hazard, that's our, we always felt like we were sister institutions. We got it going. It just took more work and longer to get there than to do those continuing ed and other kind of--but it shows the differences that you were talking about.

O'HARA: That is a good example, very good example. Do you recall that the regional institutions had an alternative plan for, uh, did they 00:26:00propose anything that you were ever aware of? If they didn't like--

JOLLY: It was my, it was my understanding that they wanted all of the community colleges in each one of their regions assigned to them, as it was en-, assigned statewide to the university with it. And I ------- ----(??), I have indicated to you, I didn't think it worked well after the initial period with the University of Kentucky. It would have been worse with the regionals--

O'HARA: Yes. That would have, that would have been a worse--(laughs)-- situation. And neither of them were, neither the University of Kentucky or the regionals, were keen on the independent board. Why do you think an independent board idea wasn't popular? You know, like the one, the kind we have today, where now we have an independent community and technical college board that is not associated with one--

JOLLY: Uh, it's just traditional power plays. You know, you get somebody else and, and they've got their own board and they'll go straight to the legislature and get some of our money and, and stuff; it was just very traditional power plays and that's why I said, previously, I don't 00:27:00know if it was before or after we started our interview, it was such a disappointment to me that it was never an educational leader who came up with the plan. It took a politician like, uh, Patton--

O'HARA: Um-hm.

JOLLY: --to come up with the plan, and, and he had to drag the educational leaders into it, you know, almost force them in, into it, to, to looking and saying, how can we do this better? But that's exactly what Paul Patton did. He says, "How can we do the same thing and make it better for the, for the people of Kentucky?" And he was correct.

O'HARA: And coordinate, like you were talking the situation here in Hazard--

JOLLY: Yeah.

O'HARA: --coordinate a system.

JOLLY: We always, we always got along well with our vocational colleagues and so forth. But it's not the same as what's happening now.

O'HARA: Right.

JOLLY: And the quality in both places are better.

O'HARA: And, and I think things change over time as far as the size in the early and late sixties, the size of your campuses, um, perhaps 00:28:00there wasn't a need to merge it real early on. You know, I'm thinking, I'm wondering if it, if that was more of a need as, as the enrollment increased--

JOLLY: Once, once--

O'HARA: --later.

JOLLY: --the university became what it was going to be and its leadership, and direction and growth and so forth, any time from that point on, I believe it would have been better to merge the two systems. Uh, the, some people in vocation, ----------(??) and will not appreciate this, but the truth of the matter is, the appointments in the vocational educational system were much more political patronage more than people became heads of, the c-, uh, regional c-, uh, vocational schools, technical schools, because of pure political connections with it (??), and, uh, I negotiated a teaching position once with an individual who was a member of the faculty of the local, 00:29:00uh, v-, a vocational school and he ultimately turned it down and he told me the reason he turned it down, he never could find the political connection to protect his job. That's because there was not one. But there was, he had his job protected in the, in the vocational school. So I think we could have lent something to that part of them.

O'HARA: Sure.

JOLLY: And they could have helped us with some real, real-world stuff to. So, it was, I've always said it was marriage of, of quality for both parts.

O'HARA: That's a good point. I've often wondered with the, with the vocational schools being embedded in state government, you can't avoid the politics of that.

JOLLY: I don't want to ignore, though, previously I mentioned to you, we had, uh, Alice Lloyd and Lees real close to us?

O'HARA: Yes, yes. Please (??).

JOLLY: Okay. The one thing that helped us very much in those early days, was the label "University of Kentucky." That gave a feeling of 00:30:00quality assurance and guarantee to people, even though we were brand new, beginning--

O'HARA: Um-hm.

JOLLY: --never had had a student, people felt like, it's the University of Kentucky, it's bound to be pretty decent quality. So the use of that name, certainly in the early days was a great, great help to us. Now, after a while, that evaporated and, and, uh, people realized, seeing the University of Kentucky and seeing the community college meant significantly different things.

O'HARA: But, initially, like you said, it did make a difference.

JOLLY: Yes, it did.

O'HARA: Do you think that the, um, that if it had not been for that affiliation, that the community colleges, if they tried to, if they tried to establish on their own, do you think that their survival rate would have been as--

JOLLY: It would have been slower and a little more plodding through the first three, four, five years. After that, it would have been better and more rapid. (O'Hara laughs) I'm consistent at least. (both laugh)


O'HARA: Yes, you are. That's very, that's, uh, that's very interesting. That's a neat way of putting it. Um, now you, you have, uh, had experience working in other states.


O'HARA: In, in both, um, higher education, when you went to school, and at Peabody, correct? Um--

JOLLY: I went to school at Peabody at, in, uh, Colorado State College of Education.

O'HARA: In Colorado. And then also you taught public school in--

JOLLY: Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

O'HARA: So, you might be able to lend me a little information about what other states did. Um, the decision to place the community college's system under the state's flagship, because UK is a flagship and a land grant institution, was considered unique in the United States. What, how does this compare to what other states were doing in the sixties?

JOLLY: Uh, in the sixties? It, it was unique. Uh, now there were 00:32:00some places like Georgia that had some old junior colleges in place, uh, and, uh, they were a part of a, a, a state-wide system as the University of Georgia and the state's run institution and so forth, instead of having their own board of regents, they had a statewide board o-, of regents. So you had a statewide system of higher education, and when they started adding state institutions, four-year institutions, they converted some of these old junior colleges and they were junior colleges, they were not community colleges, they converted some of those into four-year institutions and I taught for a short period of time at Augusta College, which, which was one of those that had been converted, and then they went out and started new, uh, community junior colleges across the state. But they also had a, a 00:33:00system, some of the old ones that, that, that stayed. So they had a statewide system, but it was not part of the land grant, uh, flagship as, as you have indicated, and it was, it was different. It was not, and there was certainly no sense of mission that John Oswald and Bert Combs and Ellis Hartford had for this system.

O'HARA: How would you differentiate a community college from a junior college in, in the case of Georgia?

JOLLY: Well, anywhere, but as far as I'm concerned.

O'HARA: Yes. Okay.

JOLLY: Okay. Junior colleges, the older institutions, and they were de- , designed to be the first two years of college. If you go back up into North Carolina plateau regions in some, you find some old finishing schools, and they were the last two years of high school and the first two, two years of college. But it followed the old traditional town and gown, where the town was separate from the gown. Uh, separate, now, when you came to state community colleges and you are saying (??) 00:34:00the exact opposite. The community colleges faculty should be involved in the community, continuing ed (??), you offer a continuing-ed course from your competency as a faculty member, to share with members of the community. That is not in a college course, credit course. So it is to reach out. Uh, Hazard Community College started, uh, having a drama series. It was made up of college people, students, and community people. They have a concert series that is to reach out to the, to the community. Uh, all of these are reaching out and pushing, taking the advantages of having these educated leadership people in this community and sharing it with the entire community. That's what a community college is about. And Ellis Hartford said one of those purposes was, is as important as the other. The college credit was not the top and the rest of it was leftover. There was, there was three purposes: 00:35:00vocational, technical education, college credit, and community service, and all three of them were three co-equal things. And the junior college had one of those. That answer your question?

O'HARA: Yes. Yes. And the junior colleges in Georgia, were they private or state?

JOLLY: State.

O'HARA: They were--

JOLLY: Yeah, there was a couple of privates around, like there was throughout everywhere, especially in, in the South, and the same thing was true in Florida. They were, Florida had a separate community, uh, junior college system. But see, they were created earlier, same thing with Mississippi. They were created earlier. They were created before the concept of the community college.


JOLLY: See, the, it was one of the changing evolutions of, of education. Look, my view of, narrow view of, of history of higher education, the land grant colleges were designed to reach out to the farmer's kid who wouldn't normally go to college.


O'HARA: Um-hm.

JOLLY: Okay. They got snotty and sn-, uppity (??) and the old normal schools, or teacher's colleges replaced them and they, they did this, and then they got snotty and uppity. (O'Hara laughs) So then you created t-, the community colleges, and there's always been this need to reach out to these people who are underserved by higher education, and as society goes along we find different ways of doing it. Right now, for the last twenty years, thirty years, it's been the community college system, and they've been the most successful in doing that of any of them.

O'HARA: They have the highest enrollment out of any--

JOLLY: Yeah.

O'HARA: --group of higher education sector.

JOLLY: Yeah. My wife is, is fond of pointing out that, uh, at one-time, uh, community colleges had the, the majority of their enrollment of the University of Kentucky and about 4 or 5, 5 percent of the budget. (both laugh)

O'HARA: Ooh. (laughs)

JOLLY: Well, they'd say some other things because, you know--

O'HARA: Sure. Yeah. I think, I think there was probably something to that. Um, critics have attacked the UK Community College System since 00:37:00its conception, on different issues. But, what were the benefits, and I think you sort of highlighted this. What were the benefits and the drawbacks of having one governing structure for the state's flagship and land grant institution and the community college system?

JOLLY: The biggest benefit would have been, had to (??), or the original mission is, we described previously, was implemented through the state. I think that would have made Kentucky, the whole world would have been looking at Kentuckians and looking at what can be done. Now, as we previously indicated, it lost, they lost their way, uh, in doing that, and then it became very little advantage. It become another burdensome bureaucracy to deal with. It was taking, using the resources for purposes other than, uh, us. Uh, that can be easily documented with, 00:38:00to the, the, it lost its, uh, advantage. And that's when I contend it should have been rearranged. And ultimately it was. It was just slow getting there. What was the second part of that question?

O'HARA: Um, well, what were the--

JOLLY: Advantages and disadvantages?

O'HARA: Yes, so you said both--

JOLLY: So I've kind of thought of both.

O'HARA: Yeah. I was curious, um, I was just trying to formulate this in my mind. What was it during those, it was really the 1960s, it sounds like, when the mission was set, you know, to serve the region, was the funding, at that time, a good setup with UK--

JOLLY: ----------(??)--

O'HARA: --or was it never from the beginning?

JOLLY: The funding for the community college system has never been adequate.

O'HARA: Okay, even since it has changed.

JOLLY: It has never been adequate. No, the, uh, the University of Kentucky used the community colleges to gain state appropriations which 00:39:00were never passed on to the community colleges. Never. And, uh, Dr. Jay Box, who's the current president of Hazard Community College and I had a discussion when they were doing, naming the building after me. And I pointed out to him, his salary is now more than the entire faculty's salary was when we started in 1968.

O'HARA: Oh my goodness.

JOLLY: Yes. Yes. Yes. (O'Hara laughs)

O'HARA: Uh, times have changed.

JOLLY: Oh, uh, Louie Nunn--

O'HARA: Um-hm.

JOLLY: --after he was a governor, he was out and then he came back and ran again for governor, he made a political whistle-stop in, in Hazard, came by the community college, and we had a rather extensive di-, er-, uh, discussion and got into funding and he asked me what our funding was, at that time, what my budget was. I can't remember; it seems 00:40:00like it was eight hundred thousand dollars or something, and he could not believe that it was that low in comparison to his knowledge of, of what other institutes of higher education was getting. So we were just used. We didn't know if it was a vehicle profit center, as I had mentioned and, uh, there, let me tell you if, really, for instance, it describes some of the stuff. It, and this is a little bit small and pity and I will acknowledge before telling you that it is, but remember when, uh, the, the craze about, uh, tile and ceilings having, uh--

O'HARA: Asbestos?

JOLLY: Asbestos in it. We went to a meeting, which we had about every two months, with all the directors and the chancellors and the deans and etcetera, and we were informed that the decision had been made that the asbestos removal program would start on the Lexington campus, and 00:41:00when it was successfully completed, it would then move to the community colleges if there was a need. Now, a lot of our buildings were newer, so there would be less need. And the question was asked by one of the directors, "Well, what if the press comes and interviews us and asks us about this?" And they says, "If you like your job, you better lie." Now, you know, there was not a quality, the students at Hazard Community College, or Elizabethtown Community College, or Paducah Community College, should know more breathe asbestos than a, than a med student on the Lexington campus or an engineering student. But that sh-, explains to you the part and the operation of, of the way things were done. And if you liked your job, you'll give them the right answer.

O'HARA: That's a real, that gives me real insider's view on, of how things operated. Very good. Very good. Um, both economic and 00:42:00political factors, as we've--(laughs)--discussed, played a key role in the decision to initially grant the University of Kentucky, um, trustees, the Board of Trustees, control of the community colleges. How did this debate over governance of Kentucky's community colleges change over time?

JOLLY: I'm sorry, but I don't understand your question.

O'HARA: That's fine. Um, basically, did, did the issues that you-all had back in the early, well, I mean, also the late sixties when you were director, were they the same issues that you had, that we saw in the nineties?

JOLLY: Your question embodied the term of the Board of Trustees from the University of Kentucky?

O'HARA: Um-hm.

JOLLY: The truth of the matter is, the Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky made little to no decisions or input about the 00:43:00operation of the community college system. It was an administratively controlled and done thing. Uh, if it went to the commite-, if it went to the Board of Trustees, it was an action of ratification.

O'HARA: Oh, okay.

JOLLY: Not a discussion. They didn't, the Board of Trustees, didn't have anything to do with the community college system. And it's been a, a shortcoming, in my opinion, still--(laughs)--that the, that the Board of Trustees have not been more active now.

O'HARA: That's interesting.

JOLLY: Well, in the last, ----------(??), the Otis Singletary was president and, uh, Julian Carroll appointed Charlie Wethington president. That was an accurate statement. He told the board what they would do, and he had enough of them on there, they did that. Not Julian Carroll, uh, Wilk-, Wally Wilkinson.

O'HARA: Oh, okay.

JOLLY: I'm sorry. Wally Wilkinson, awarded t--the job of president of the University of Kentucky to Charlie Wethington. Now you go back 00:44:00and talk to Ned Breathitt and some of them, you talk to anybody, but that, that, they will, they know this, this is what was done, uh, with it. Uh, now, the Board of Trustees, a, they were yes-men. They, that's the way they did it, isn't it? Now, when the, can I, I'm sorry. Told you that's not anything (??). A man from Owensboro was chairman of the Board of Trustees when Wethington's time was up. And it was a retirement, and he grabbed a hold and would not let them extend Charlie's term beyond the sixty-five, uh, age limit. And it's the first time since 1968, that I've been in Kentucky, that the Board of Trustees ever had anything to do with anything. (O'Hara laughs) That's the truth. Listen (??). Now they get together and have dinner and talking--

O'HARA: Right.

JOLLY: --and visiting and stuff, but they don't make the decisions. They stroke 'em and stroke 'em and stroke 'em and, and, and, and the appointment of this gentleman as president of the University of 00:45:00Kentucky was a trustee done thing, and that's the first time they've ever appointed a pre-, the, the president--

O'HARA: Well, that--

JOLLY: --and--

O'HARA: --gives me some light on that 1962 legislation; because if the community colleges were given the UK Board of Trustees--

JOLLY: I promise you that there was not a member of the Board of Trustees that knew that the budget for Hazard existed in 1967, and the money was split between the community college system and the College of Arts and Sciences. Not a one of them knew it.

O'HARA: And yet, in the law, it, it says they're the people that are in charge. (laughs)

JOLLY: Well, you stack up enough paper and run through it and I tell you, "Yep." And then, and they have not. See, uh, I believe that the Board of Trustees should approve the president and all those positions who directly report to him. Now, that's unheard of. But they have to have control of the personnel, and they need to get into the details of 00:46:00the budget, and all they do on the budget is ratify. You know, they, they make the speeches about, we wish we could give faculty more money. They don't know what's in there, and they don't know how much money they've pulled out and put over here for something else.

O'HARA: That's, I didn't, I hadn't come across that before. So, now I'm seeing why--

[End of interview.]