Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Paul Taylor, October 29, 2004

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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ADAMS: This is an oral history interview with Paul Taylor for the Lexington Community Fortieth Anniversary Oral History Project. The interview is being conducted by John Adams in Paul Taylor's office here in the Oswald Building. And just for the record, I would like to know what your full name is.

TAYLOR: Paul Franklin Taylor.

ADAMS: Paul Franklin Taylor. Um, a few side notes. Um, when and where were you born?

TAYLOR: I was born in, uh, October twenty-eighth, yesterday was my birthday, 1946, in Portsmouth, Ohio.

ADAMS: You came a good ways. Um, could you tell me a little bit about your parents as far, you know, as what's your father's name, your mother's name, what they did for a living?

TAYLOR: Yeah, my dad's name was Frank Taylor and he was the president of, uh, Shawnee State Community College. He was a leader in vocational education in Ohio in the early seventies, before--actually the late 00:01:00sixties. Um, he, um, my mom was a high school guidance counselor. Her name was Ruth Taylor. And, um, she retired from the local public high school there after x number of years of being a counselor.

ADAMS: So both of your parents were in education. You were beamed in to--

TAYLOR: --predestined, yeah.

ADAMS: What--what town did you say they were from?

TAYLOR: Portsmouth, Ohio.

ADAMS: Portsmouth. Where's that at?

TAYLOR: It's on the river between Ashland and Maysville. Southern Ohio. Appalachia--

ADAMS: --southern Ohio. Um, was--was your family from there originally, your--your mom and dad?

TAYLOR: Yeah. My mom--my mom grew up there. Her, uh, dad and mother owned a store, a--a--a grocery store. And my dad grew up about thirty miles--uh, right across the river from Ashland in Ironton--Colegrove, Ohio. And his dad was a concrete, uh--worked--worked in a concrete- 00:02:00cement plant. And my grandmother was a--a cook in a children's home.

ADAMS: Did you know both of them fairly well?--

TAYLOR: --yep. Yep. I didn't know my grandfather on my mother's side. He had passed away, but everybody else was, uh--yeah I knew 'em all.

ADAMS: Kind of a close family?

TAYLOR: True. Um-hm. Um, out of my--on my dad's side he had a sister that was, uh, a high school--or pardon me, an elementary school teacher and became a principal. And in the sixties, for a woman to be principal of a, you know, of an elementary school was huge. Because women at that time, you know, weren't--weren't principals. So she was in higher-ed. Uh, my dad's brother's' wife was in higher-ed. She was a teach--not higher-ed, they were both in--in secondary education, teachers. So, you know, I come from a long background, uh, of teachers, and counselors and university people.


ADAMS: Do you have any brothers or sisters?

TAYLOR: Nope. Only child, spoiled rotten.

ADAMS: (laughs) So, um, where did you go to, uh, elementary school, high school?

TAYLOR: I went to, uh, Stanton Elementary School in New Boston, Ohio, and Glenwood Middle School and then graduated from Clay High School in Portsmouth in 1964.

ADAMS: Graduated high school in '64?

TAYLOR: Yep. Came immediately--and that's going to be your next question; came immediately to the University of Kentucky, where I spent, uh, five-plus glorious years in an undergraduate career. Uh, majored in, uh, education with, uh, a history secondary. Did student teaching. Um, got out in '70. Didn't know quite what I wanted to do. Went back home and took a job, um, in a community college, in a 00:04:00technical college.

ADAMS: Really?

TAYLOR: And I was a high school--or I was a college admissions counselor. So, I at that time put, uh--(laughs)--Dave would laugh at this but, you know, we'd take the old slide projector and a bunch of catalogs and hit the road and go do recruiting. Uh, so I--I realized I really liked what I did and came back and went to, uh, went to Georgetown to graduate school: got my master's at George--Georgetown in, uh, counseling, education. And, knew also that I wanted to come back to central Kentucky; this is where I wanted to live, and ended up then taking a job as a, um, counselor at the Central Kentucky Tech. Which is now Central Kentucky Technical College, so as we blend back together, it's a return to the--return to home for me.


ADAMS: You mentioned that, uh, you took a college admissions--admissions officer at a community college in Ohio, uh, what was the name of it?

TAYLOR: Scioto Technical College. S-c-i-o-t-o. Uh, Indian name. Scioto Technical College.

ADAMS: What year was that that you went there?

TAYLOR: 1970.

ADAMS: So right out of--right out of college----------?

TAYLOR: Right out of college.

ADAMS: What made you choose, uh, coming to UK?

TAYLOR: Um, it was a, gosh, it was such a small, um, we--we came through here on vacation actually. I never meant to come here. I was going to--my two finalists were Northwestern in Chicago and Denison, a small private school, uh, in Ohio. We came through here on vacation and my mom, of course, the old guidance counselor said, "you know, we ought to just stop and see what this is like." And people in Lexington at that time were so friendly, so laid back, so easy going, so, everyplace you'd 00:06:00go look, everyplace we--we'd go in a store, people were just incredibly friendly. And I was just--it knocked my socks off. So I applied here and withdrew applications with the other two and never looked back.

ADAMS: Vacation selected where you--

TAYLOR: (laughs) Yep.

ADAMS:--well, you must have been very much impressed?

TAYLOR: Well I mean, you know, it was close enough. It was a couple hours from home, so far enough to be away from home. I didn't want to go to Ohio State. I had gone to Ohio State football games since the time I was, uh, I guess in the third or fourth grade every Saturday, and it was so big and so familiar. And so, you know, I didn't want to go to OU. That was kind of out in the--at that time, out in the sort of boondocks and--and still maybe a little bit in the rural end. So I really liked Lexington. I liked the town. I liked the people. I liked the college. Um, I liked the football, you know, because I grew up a huge football fan. That's why I guess I still--I'm a 00:07:00bigger football fan than a basketball fan. Just because of that, you know, there's roots in--steeped in Ohio State history. (Adams laughs) Unfortunately, the Cats have never, only once have they, uh, lived up to--(laughs)--to the Ohio State, uh, type of football program. But anyway, that's neither here nor there.

ADAMS: So when you was a student here at UK you got involved in the athletics? Watching?

TAYLOR: Watched. Yeah. Sure. Wasn't--obviously when you come to a school like this you're not big enough to play, but, uh, yeah, went to all the basketball games and football games. And, you know, Lexington was a lot different then in the '64--in '64.

ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: The campus was a lot smaller. The town was a lot smaller. Um, I think I mentioned this to you, you know, when I was in college--where we are in this location now, off the corner of Cooper and Nicholasville Road was a farm. It was an Ag experiment station. And Cooper Drive actually did not go--you could not go from Nicholasville Road to Tates Creek Road on Cooper Drive. There was a fence and the road stopped.


ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: So it was much like down--if you go down to Berry Lane and you start driving to the end of Berry Lane there's a fence there. Uh, a chain link fence before you--to the--to the, yeah, right down here. Right before you get to the football--right before you get to the baseball stadium there's a chain link fence. And that's the way-- that's the way Cooper was--

ADAMS: --across it, blocking that road (??). Right.

TAYLOR: So you had the university on one side of Cooper, and I believe you could possibly walk through. But I'm not even sure of that. I'm not sure you could--I'm not sure if you could walk through that fence or not. But this was all farmland.

ADAMS: When you were a student was the KET building there?


ADAMS: Do you remember when that building was put in?


ADAMS: Do you remember when they opened the road?

TAYLOR: Now KET could, you know what; KET could have been there, because you could have accessed it from Nicholasville Road. KET maybe was there, I just don't know the answer to that. But you would have accessed it through Nicholasville Road and you could not have driven on 00:09:00to Tates Creek at that point. The--the KHSAA, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, when they built the stadium--and that was in, what, '70? I think they built the stadium in '70. Um, KET was probably there as was, um, I know KHSAA was there in '70--at least in '72 or thereabouts, so. Perhaps I have a bit of a fogged memory on that, but- -but the bottom line is I know that the road was closed between there.

ADAMS: Do you know when it opened?

TAYLOR: John, you know I really don't know for sure. My guess is probably about that time, you know, about the time of the stadium coming in; about the time of the construction over here; about the time this farmland began to be, you know, began to be changed. They built, um, you know, when I was--early in college they didn't have the 00:10:00dorms. The dorms went up--I'm talking about the high-rise dorms. You had Haggin and Donovan when I came. And so the high-rise dorms, they weren't built until probably '67, '68, '69, in there. So, you know, at that point in time, as things over here began to open up, as the Seaton Center and those kind of things were developed, that made this--that just made the development start moving more and more south.

ADAMS: So the--the road opening up--it was probably opened up more for the football stadium than it was for LCC--

TAYLOR: --my guess is the road would have--my guess, oh yeah, for sure. The road would have been open before LCC was built.

ADAMS: Okay. Now the community, uh, over here, uh, between, was already there. That was built, what, in the forties? Forty-three, something like that?--

TAYLOR: --forty-four (??). Yeah. Yeah. A very desirable, I mean a very desirable place to live. That--that always has been, still is, 00:11:00you know, this section bordering on UK Um, Eldemere, Montclair, all those streets are, you know, still prime--prime locations, beautiful. Old great trees.

ADAMS: Now--now when you were a student. You said between 1964 and 1970, is that correct?

TAYLOR: Off and on. (both laugh) I want to make sure people didn't think I--you know, was here for six full years. But yeah, off and on.

ADAMS: Uh, you came here with the intention of being an education major? Or did you come here decided--undecided?--

TAYLOR: --no. Came here--no I came here absolutely decided. I was going to be a pharmacist. And, uh, the reason I chose pharmacy, you know, unlike now when we got career tests and all kinds--and my mom of course being a guidance counselor that's always been amusing, but, you know, back then people came to school for something that they already knew what those kinds of things were. So, you know, what choices 00:12:00did I have? I could be a doctor. I could be a lawyer. I could be a pharmacist. Uh, would I have ever thought about something like, uh, being an admissions officer or registrar or higher-ed, or, you know? No, I came to be a pharmacist. I'd worked in the ,uh, I worked in a drugstore as a junior and senior. Um, and, you know, I just wanted to be a pharmacist. I had no idea what a pharmacist did other than dispense drugs. I could tell you some funny stories--(Adams laughs)- -about--which--which couldn't be on this tape, about my days as a--as a pharmacy employee. (Adams laughs) But we'd better not go there. But, you know, so I came with a real thought of doing that. Now here's-- here's the irony of this. I hated physics. I didn't like chemistry. And I didn't much like math. So in high school even though I--I'd got good grades in those, uh, subjects. I came here pursuing a degree for which if I'd a simply thought, you know, pharmacy: chemistry: physics; 00:13:00math; science. No way would I have picked that. So I--I was a typical college student who took, uh, history; and took sosh; and took psych; and took chemistry. And, you know, pretty much at the end of my first five hour chemistry class with Dr. Black. Dr. Black I hope that somewhere you can hear this. He was the worst, absolutely the worst. And we had chemistry with about, God I don't know--(Adams laughs)--a bazillion people. And Dr. Black was just a horrible teacher. And so, maybe I should, you know, Johnny, you said I could take some of these things off. I don't want to take that back, Black I know you're dead, but, you know, you were terrible. (Adams laughs) But, anyway after my experience--(laughs)--with Dr. Black, uh, I was pretty sure I didn't want to do--so I just kind of, you know, I did a lot of history courses. Really liked history. Really liked political science. Decided, you know, at some point you going to have to decide to do something. Well maybe I'll go to law school. But you have to graduate in something, 00:14:00so I kind of picked education just out of--you know, I thought that would be an okay thing. It was interesting, I was interested. And did student teaching and liked that and thought, you know, this is not a bad degree to have, still having no idea what I was going to do with my life. You know, I just luckily found that--that job in admissions. Uh, because once I found that then I was pretty sure what I wanted to do, you know, for the rest of my life. And it was going to be something in higher-ed, although I didn't know what it was going to be.

ADAMS: What did, uh, what did you mom and dad think about when you came home Thanksgiving, Christmas, say, "I've selected education?"

TAYLOR: I think, you know, they were probably much like with my own children, mercifully none of them did choose education, but I think they were pleased. I think they felt like, you know, they were happy that, uh,--they knew I was never going to make very much money. But they knew I'd probably found something that was gonna, you know, I was going to enjoy. I think they were just happy I found something--(both 00:15:00laugh)--They wanted me off the payroll.

ADAMS: Well, I'll tell you what, just for the record, what made Dr. Black so bad?

TAYLOR: Um, well I had three or four really bad teachers. Um, and--and forty great ones, you know. Forty that----------(??) some of the, some of the, gosh he was just, he was unbelievable. And I had Tom Clark, you know, I had some of the really great teachers. But maybe it was the subject, and maybe it was the way Black delivered it. Um, it was a big class. It was in the chemistry-physics building and it was basically a class that he didn't want to be teaching and we didn't want to be taking, um--

ADAMS: Gotcha.

TAYLOR: I--I also remember Dr. Lundy and Lundy was, uh, he was in the history department. Now we--again I had some fabulous teachers. I'd have to go back and look at the names. Uh, a couple of guys who were really great in British history; a guy who was really great in, um, 00:16:00um, uh, Greek and Roman history. Um, just fabulous teachers, but Lundy read from Cliffs Notes.

ADAMS: Oh, no. (laughs) No way.

TAYLOR: I swear to God. And I had that course on--it--Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4:00 to 5:00

ADAMS: Oh geez--

TAYLOR: --I had it at Frazee Hall. And I swear on a day like today where it's seventy outside, you would sit in there and be listening to him and you--you could hear the marching band--

ADAMS: --oh, no--

TAYLOR: --so they practiced over there, and ,you know, you'd just be thinking, God how much longer do I have to sit here. And you could just follow along in the Cliffs Notes with him.

ADAMS: Word for word? (laughs)

TAYLOR: It was not good. But anyway, we had some great teachers. But that's--Black was not a very good teacher. Not a very good subject and the--the classroom situation was just, you know, as bad.

ADAMS: Now you said that you--you, chose, uh, education because you 00:17:00thought you were going to go on to get into law?

TAYLOR: Well, I mean I--I was looking for something that's gonna--gonna- -and I never thought I would teach. Although I almost did, but I really didn't ever teach. I was looking for something that was gonna, you know, move me to law school or some place I want to go. Um, but then I did student teaching and I kind of got turned on to that, so I wasn't, you know, wasn't sure.

ADAMS: So when you, uh--and you said you just got lucky for the college admissions officer? I mean, did-- how did you hear about it, was it something somebody told you: hey this is open?--

TAYLOR: --yeah it was someone back in my hometown and my dad knew about it and I'd finished and I didn't have a job. You know, I'd come home every summer and work in the steel mill. I knew I didn't want to do that--(Adams laughs)--and he said, you know, here's something that might interest you for awhile while you try to figure out what you want to do, so.

ADAMS: You just kind of fell into that and liked it?

TAYLOR: Um-hm. And then realized that if I'm going to go on I've got to have a master's. So Georgetown had a really unique program. Um, I 00:18:00was able to come summer, and they--they really catered to high school guidance counselors and people in education. So I was able to come summer and I drove. I'm trying to think if I drove one night a week or two nights a week. I drove back down and took classes in the fall and spring. And, then went another summer and finished my master's in, uh, one, two, four semesters, so.

ADAMS: That's pretty impressive.

TAYLOR: It was a lot of hard work, but it was, uh, you know--and then I did a practicum at Central Kentucky, and that's how I ended up connecting back with Central Kentucky. And that's how I ended up coming back here.

ADAMS: So after graduating from Georgetown with your master's in education, you then started working at Central Kentucky? Is that correct?

TAYLOR: Um-hm.

ADAMS: What--what was your first job there?

TAYLOR: I was a counselor.

ADAMS: A counselor.

TAYLOR: Yeah. When you talk about counselors that's got a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people in a lot of different 00:19:00settings. Counselors then, at that time, weren't people who, you know, talked to you about issues and problems and concerns. We were admissions counselors who talked to you about what kind of program do you want to go into, yeah, much like we do--much like the counselors at Central do right now. Uh, yeah, talked about programs, talked about what you liked to do and didn't like to do and tried to match you--help you as a student--a prospective student, find your field.

ADAMS: Now when you were a--a student here, from '64 to '70. Did you ever hear anyone mention Lexington Technical Institute as a student here at UK?


ADAMS: So that never came up?


ADAMS: Even though that was all transpiring right when you were a student here?

TAYLOR: That's correct.

ADAMS: Okay. And where, uh, LTI was located through the various buildings, like in third floor Breckenridge and had their classes, none 00:20:00of that?

TAYLOR: No. None of that transpired into, uh, the major univers--the major--the--the--a big university campus, no.

ADAMS: So in your opinion LTI at that time was just like another department. It really wasn't really seen as a technical college? In other words where you can go through a college and not even hear about some of the other departments.

TAYLOR: Yeah. I mean, I think more like a small department, because if you look at the numbers, you know, if--if it was geology or geography or even, you know, Slovak and oriental languages, I took some classes. You know, even those were bigger because there were more students. And the problem was--or not the problem, the situation was, I think is LTI was developed--it was developed for such a mission that--(clears throat)--um, the--the----numbers were so small for dental lab tech and- 00:21:00-and nursing that, you know, think about it. There's fifteen thousand students on campus and twenty of them are at LCC. That's what, you know--[telephone rings]--

[Pause in recording.]

ADAMS: So while you were a student here nothing really came up, none of your buddies said: hey I'm taking--


ADAMS: So unless you were really taking a technical course it's very possible, as in your case, to go through UK and never even hear about LTI?--

TAYLOR: --Um-hm. Um-hm. My guess is that happened for a while, John. I mean even after these buildings, this building, was built in 1976. In the beginning, when I first got here, students took courses at UK and courses here. So they took their gen-ed at UK They took their 00:22:00technical courses here. My guess is that a lot of students didn't know this place was here even then. Because again, with, you know, um, in 1960, pardon me, in 1976, uh, we probably had--I'm going to say twelve- -thirteen hundred students. And, you know, if--if they didn't--touching somebody, I mean the people sitting in those classes over there, unless they said, "Hi I'm an LTI student," probably didn't even know the difference.

ADAMS: So in '76 you'd say there was twelve hundred enrolled students?

TAYLOR: We can go back and look, maybe fifteen hundred.

ADAMS: At most?


ADAMS: Okay. Now you graduated what year from Georgetown?

TAYLOR: I got my master's in '72.

ADAMS: Seventy-two?

TAYLOR: Um-hm.

ADAMS: Then you went to work at Central? Okay. How long did you work 00:23:00there?

TAYLOR: I worked there until '74. And in the--March or April of '74 a guy named Jim Parsons had written, uh, for a federal grant that was called the CETA, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act. And CETA gave monies to local governments to provide training to, uh, disadvantaged people. And when Parsons wrote this grant he used to laugh at me. He was--he was at the vocational school at that time. Actually, I guess, he had gone to work for the mayor and was writing this program, and he'd come out say: Taylor, I'm writing this--I'm writing this job for you, it's a job--I've got this job in here that you-- it's gotten you written all over it. The guy came out and convinced me to take the job as the director of training. So I was the director of training for the mayor's Employment and Training Program, which was funded under CETA. And so, for--from March of '74 until 00:24:00fall of '76, two years, I worked as the director of training.--(clears throat)-- And part of that was we set up training with LTI. Uh, set up training in nursing. We probably had a couple of hundred students here that were in a variety of programs; from nursing to business to dental lab, you know, a lot of--because our--our students--this was a good place to go. CETA would only allow you to train for two years. So this was a good, you know, this was a good spot in which to bring them. Well, as we worked with a couple of hundred students here, it became clear to me that what we really needed was somebody here that would be the liaison. In other words, somebody here that would--that would be primarily working with our students and--but yet would be attached the, you know, attached to the college. So we set up a position. We actually funded a counseling position here. And, 00:25:00once we had it funded and ready to roll, I went in to the director and said: "You know, I think this would be a better a job for me than being director of training." It was a cut in pay, but it was, um, I just felt that--that was a much better job for my skill--for my skills and--and--and, um, I guess really my likes and dislikes. So much to his chagrin he allowed me to apply. Went through a process, LCC did the hiring. They did the--they did the hiring, and, uh, so here I came, and worked here I guess for a couple of years that way. And then the funding moved on and they had a position open and I was moved into that, you know, that position And that would have happened, uh, that would have happened in '77. So over that year, I guess it was a year I worked there. The coordinator of Student Services, whose name was Toni 00:26:00Spence; she was a faculty member and, uh, took sabbatical. And when she took sabbatical--I've never known how this all worked, probably don't want to know, uh, she and the president at that time--actually we had a director at that time, not a president. The director's name was Bill Price, William N. Price. And she and Dr. Price negotiated that she would get a sabbatical, and when she came back, and I don't know whether this was--I have no idea how this was negotiated, but she was going to come back as a counselor. She didn't want to come back into this role as coordinator of Student Services. So they asked me if I would consider--he asked me if I would consider this on a one year, you know, basis. And I said yes, so I came into this office that we're sitting in now in July of '77. And I've been sitting in this office, 00:27:00some people would say only sitting in this office for the last what's it been, twenty-seven years.

ADAMS: So you first came to LCC as a counselor? Right? And that was in 1976, correct? Through--

TAYLOR: --October 1 '76 was my official date. The building had opened in August. They hired about ten, um, I don't know, maybe--maybe eight or ten faculty members. Uh, I remember when I first came--because I was working with students, see I was still working with the students who were here. But I remember the day it opened, uh, in the fall. They barely got in. They didn't--they were sitting on boxes and, uh, they uncrated chairs, and it was, you know, it was hysterical because they were making this you, know, they were making this transition, this move for the fall of '76. And then they--they had--we created this 00:28:00position that took until October to become a full-time position. So October 1 1976 I came as the counselor, and in July 1 1977 I moved into this--this job.

ADAMS: Which was the coordinator of Student Services?

TAYLOR: Student Services, right.

ADAMS: Okay, so actually your first dealings with LTI was when you were working as a trainer?--

TAYLOR: --yes, from '74--'74.

ADAMS: trainer--director of training for the mayors training program?

TAYLOR: Right.

ADAMS: And that's when you became familiar with who LTI was and?--

TAYLOR: --no, I became familiar in '72 when I returned, because as a counselor at the technical college we, you know, we were never, uh, and never have been, here or there, involved with trying to recruit people that--I mean, we were trying to help--help people find their right place. And so sometimes for me over there at Central I would find a student who really: you probably belong at LTI. They'd get the kind 00:29:00of program you're looking for. LTI, a guy named Ben Averitt. There's another guy you probably may not have on your list. Um, Ben was here for a long time. Uh, he was a recruiter, and everybody did everything at that time, but Ben would come over and send students to us. So we had some reciprocating agreements back as early--when I say agreements I don't mean written down, but I mean contacts as early as '72 for me.

ADAMS: And your first day of--your first official date of being an LTI employee? October first 1976--

TAYLOR: --October 1. Um-hm.

ADAMS: Was a counselor until 1977 and offered the coordinator job July 1? And been in this office a couple days. (laughs)

TAYLOR: Yeah. Yeah, a few.

ADAMS: And--and you may not know the answer for these, but in your opinion, who and what was the LTI created for, and what purpose was it 00:30:00going to serve?

TAYLOR: I'm pretty sure I do know the answer to that. Uh, John Oswald was the president of the university and there was a need--see, what- -what we sometimes lose sight of is that in central Kentucky, UK is the only game in town. There was a need for a--a registered nursing program. It--I'm not quite sure how, but there-it--it became, there became a, um--needs not the right word, I don't know what the right word--there existed a need to provide training for dental lab technology people. And so I think that UK didn't really have a way to do this. They couldn't, they didn't award associate degrees. That wasn't what they were about, so they created Lexington Technical Institute. The board of trustees, uh, created LTI, not the legislature. And it was--


[Pause in recording.]

ADAMS: As, uh, you were saying, the--the board of trustees at UK actually created LTI. It wasn't set up like the other community colleges?--

TAYLOR: --right. No--well it's--it was--the other community colleges were a hodgepodge. Everybody wasn't--didn't come about the same way. Ashland Community College had been in existence, uh, wow, I don't know how long, John. It would have been actually Ashland Junior College; and Paducah Junior College. So those were two junior colleges that'd been around for a long--for quite a while, way before there was ever following the system. So, you had an interesting, uh, mismatch--mixed bag would be the way to say that, of colleges. Some created by the legislature once they decided that what's going on at Ashland, and 00:32:00what's going on at Paducah ought to be going on in a lot of other places. They then began to form that quote-unquote community college system. And the idea there was that there would be a community college within driving distance of every citizen in the state of Kentucky. So they put in Paducah; they put in Southeast; they put in Maysville; they put in Jefferson. And then joining those along the way, once there was a system, came uh, Ashland, Paducah: I want to say there was another one, but I'd--you'd have to go back and historically research that to make sure. But I thought that there were at least three that were JUCOs. Um, and--and so then we--we, as LTI, because there--we didn't really fit within the university. Where'd we fit, you know, where do you fit? So we--they gave our governance, if you will, to the community 00:33:00college system, just because it made more sense. It made more sense for our faculty to be tenured in a community college setting. It made, um, you know, just dealing with all the--all of those issues of governance, it was just more simple for us to be part of the community college system, which had then been, um, put together. So, yeah, that's how we ended up.

ADAMS: Now you mentioned, uh, they established the other community colleges. They meaning the legislature?

TAYLOR: Right.

ADAMS: Correct?

TAYLOR: Right. And I think that, you know, at that time perhaps Breathitt, um, was--again you'd--you'd have to research that because I was so uninvolved that any of that--and that would have been in the sixties when this was going on. And I was in college, you know. Community colleges really boomed after World War II in the fifties and the sixties. So, uh, but they, yeah, they--they, the legislators, the 00:34:00governor, they wanted us to set up, um, a system of community colleges. And they--they gave the governance for a lot of political reasons if you think back about this. The governance to be at UK, that was a very shrewd political decision. Because that then gave the university not only the extension agents and home economics agents in the counties; that gave UK some clout for delivering postsecondary education across the state. Much, I'm sure, to the chagrin of the University of Louisville and, you know, Eastern and some of the other colleges.

ADAMS: In--what--you're gonna understand this is for the record. You said, uh, JUCO. I guess that--that was the acronym for Junior College, correct?--

TAYLOR: --correct, yes.

ADAMS: And when you say junior college it's what one would think of a community college today? Or a technical college, or?--

TAYLOR: --not exactly. Just the opposite. A junior college in the--in 00:35:00the--in the early infancies, a junior college was a college--was a prep college. It was a college that--that gave the gen-ed, but it was junior college, only freshman and sophomores; and then those students transferred to universities. So when you think about JUCO--junior colleges, junior colleges originally, you know, the technical training came about historically because these junior colleges were able to be more flexible. They had more--they had less university bureaucracy. They could, you know, you could go to a junior college and say--and this is how I think that--I think technical education came into being. This is how Scioto Technical College came to be, where I started out. They were a result of needs of--of industry, so the majority of those programs were technical. Plastics; uh, dental hygiene; engineering, 00:36:00uh, civil, uh, electrical, mechanical. Uh, what were the other programs we had? We had, um, um, we had an electromechanical program which was a combination of the two. We had, um--plastics was big, because in southern Ohio there were plastics plants.

ADAMS: Right.

TAYLOR: Uh, you know, so I think that those tech colleges were on one side and junior colleges were before the technical colleges started springing up. And sometimes you had a junior college that became a junior--a community and technical college. But JUCOs in the beginning, if you had a junior college--Ashland Junior College, they didn't have any technical programs. They were preparing people from Ashland to get ready to go to Marshall or Huntington--or OU or Morehead. So they were totally teaching, uh, gen-ed courses.


ADAMS: Similar to our community college here if you took all the technical aspects out of it?

TAYLOR: Um-hm. Exactly.

ADAMS: Now--now you mentioned earlier, and this is what I think, uh, myself, sets LCC separate from the other community colleges. It was actually created for--University of Kentucky created it, to enable the technical--

TAYLOR: --yeah. Created it and I think we started to talk about this and then we had a little interruption there. Um, access. The University of Kentucky had total access for as long as I can remember. If you were a high school graduate within the state of Kentucky you could go to the University of Kentucky. It didn't matter what your ACT scores were, it didn't matter what your high school grades were. If you graduated you could come to UK Well as UK then began in the eighties to look at more selective admission, there was a need to not 00:38:00cut off, um, the local--see because then, we're still in the early eighties, students were still the taking gen-ed across the street. They're taking their technical programs here. So we are--we are doing exactly what UK wanted us to do. Now we have dental hygiene; we have accounting; we have, um, we have RAD and respiratory and, you know, we've got our technical programs. And--and the only gen-ed we're doing, people walk across the street and get it and come back; and cross the street and come back. Well as UK then became more selective, became being more concerned about selectivity, they couldn't cut off access. Now how does somebody--if I'm going to be a selective institution in Lexington, how does a Lexington constituent, how does a Lexington person who doesn't met my admission requirement, where do they go? Well you look around, they'd have a long way to go. To get 00:39:00public they'd have to go to Morehead; they'd have to go to, uh, gosh, Eastern. So they didn't want to cut that off, so while they created us to--to solve a political and economic--and a need that they had, they expanded us to be a full-blown community college for the same reason. They didn't do it because they loved us. They did it because this is the right--we can't become selective and not have a port into which people--I mean that'd be--that would not be very smart on their part to say: we're going to become a selective institution and if you live in Fayette County, you'd better go to Eastern. So we became a full-blown community college and that changed a lot of things. That was a huge, uh, that was a gigantic change for us, because as we began to teach our own English, and our own psych, and our own soc, it caused our faculty to look different. You know, it caused, um, our divisions to look 00:40:00different. It caused our alignment to look different. It caused--oh, it caused a lot of things. Um, it was the beginning of the explosion of Lexington Community College. If you look out--and--and I mean I know that over the past seven years we've probably had our greatest enrollment growth, but I wish now--(laughs)--I had the chart, and I--I do have that someplace, that would chart back. You know, we began to spike in the eighties when we became a full-blown, you know, community college. Changed our name from Lexington Technical Institute to Lexington Community College. Um, so that was a big, you know, it was a big time for us there in the mid-eighties when we made that change.

ADAMS: It was 1984 wasn't it?


ADAMS: Now do you know what the, uh, and I think we've talked about this a little bit. But do you know what role LTI played in the other community college system, because UK created LTI for its reasons--


TAYLOR: --um-hm--

ADAMS: --to allow--because they could not offer technical classes at that time.

TAYLOR: Correct, couldn't offer an associate degree. Still can't, I don't think.

ADAMS: No. So they created--they created us. We were truly--LTI was truly an entity of UK--

TAYLOR: --absolutely--

ADAMS: --UK created them?

TAYLOR: But to be managed effectively they moved us immediately. I mean it didn't take very long, I don't think the university administered us for very long. They put us in that community college system where we would be with peers and that was a very--that was a very strategic thing to do.

ADAMS: Which up until recently that whole community college system was actually controlled by UK?

TAYLOR: Absolutely.

ADAMS: I mean, so.

TAYLOR: So it wasn't like they lost anything--

ADAMS: --they--they didn't lose anything--

TAYLOR: They just slid us to the side and said: this is going to be a lot easier way for us to administer this. Let you be like the other- -at one time there were thirteen, like the other thirteen community colleges and, you know- we'll all be in it together. And well that 00:42:00was a very--I mean there--there are a lot of things that--that people have made mistakes in--in higher-ed over the years, but you know, the formation of L--of LTI and subsequently LCC, and the administration of LCC is, um, there's pretty--pretty--pretty on target really.

ADAMS: Do you think because we were created separately, in other words, not by the legislature, that the other community colleges looked adversely at LTI like: oh, you're the favorites, you're?--

TAYLOR: --oh, probably. I think, oh I don't know. You know, I think that the, uh, the people who live in Lexington, um, always think of themselves, whether it be following the University of Kentucky football team, or, um, I think whatever--I--I mean I think there is some thought that people in Lexington, LTI, thought it was, you know, I-- a step above. But, you know what, that's because we were.


ADAMS: Explain.

TAYLOR: (laughs) Well, we had--and we are different. And it's a good difference, and it's a bad difference, and it--it cost us a lot of anxiety here over this last--this last year, 2003-4. But because we were in Lexington; because we had the relationship with the UK, we were a very nice place to be. Um, we had students from a hundred counties. We've always had students from a hundred counties. We had the benefits of being able to live in the dorm; be associated with a major--I mean I've always thought we were the most unique community college I ever saw because we're sitting right in the middle of a major university. A land-grant institution who has NCAA division one big-time sports; big-time activities; big-time, uh, libraries; big-time 00:44:00services, and yet we're a community college that gets all of the bang for not very much of the buck.

ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: Um, as UK became more and more selective we became more and more, um, advantageous for somebody in E-town who wanted their child to go to the University of Kentucky, but either for lack of being able to gain admission or as we grew as--as LCC became more and more, um, I don't know what the word is--as we--as we grew as an institution, our reputation grew to where we became a place that it wasn't just, you know, an alternative if you couldn't get in. We became a choice for a number of people.

ADAMS: Well, do you think that a lot of people saw , you know, that we 00:45:00had all the facilities and everything--

TAYLOR: --sure--

ADAMS: -- and some of the other community colleges thought: well, they probably think that they're a little bit better and so forth?--

TAYLOR: --sure. And--and I mean I think the other thing is that we had some good leaders here who allowed us as individuals, and I think our faculty would say that--I think--(laughs)--our faculty would say the same thing, to be able to go out and be a little cutting-edge, you know; to be able to go out and take a chance and do some things. We were never quite as restricted on travel. We, uh, had an opportunity to interact with university people. We used their software system. Now that helped us a lot from the student's standpoint. Because we were able before, uh, everybody else--before everybody else was, we were able to do some things that other people weren't able to, you know. So, uh, because our enrollment grew, our budgets grew a little bit. We have always been chronically underfunded, but I already 00:46:00think we've done an amazing job with what we had just because of the spirit of this place. This place has an incredible spirit and an incredible heart. And I don't mean that from being kind of a jerk, being a--you know, I'm not playing a violin here. This institution has, uh, incredible momentum. It does. It's always had--that's-- that's why a guy like me--people say: how can you stay in one place for twenty-five--how do you work in one place for twenty-five years? That's archaic. But I have never spent one year where things work the same. There's always been something. Um, we were the first college in the state , uh, community college to have computers. We were the first community college to have computers on every desk. We were the first community college to go online. We were the first community--I mean so there has always been an excitement and an aura of enthusiasm and 00:47:00this is a--I mean, this is a great place to be. So I sent three kids here. They all crossed this--this way at one time or another in their educational pursuits. So, you know, this is a good place with great people who work hard, really hard. Um, so it--it--so yes, we were envied a little bit out there. "A" we live in Lexington and everybody in Lexington thinks that, you know, they live in the best place in the United States. And "B" we have an institution that's pretty vibrant, willing to change. You know, faculty, I-would you--this is going to sound terrible: would you rather teach English at Lexington Community College or would you rather teach in Madisonville or Hazard or, you know? So I think we have attracted quality faculty members who, for the same reason the students like to come here and the administrators like 00:48:00to live--it's a good place to be.

ADAMS: You--you touched on this just briefly. You know, LCC, or LTI at that time, was looked at as--as getting all these perks.

TAYLOR: Um-hm.

ADAMS: You know. They're--they're--they're----------(??) the children-- --------(??) --

TAYLOR: --yeah--the chosen, chosen--chosen children. Yeah.

ADAMS: But, at the same token, if you look at funding.

TAYLOR: Yeah, we're chronically underfunded.

ADAMS: We never received the funds.

TAYLOR: Well here's what happened. This is--you--you could ask Ben Carr. You could ask--and, and now Ben might not tell you this, but, uh, if he didn't he wouldn't be quite up front. We were the cash cow for the rest of the system.

ADAMS: Uh-hm.

TAYLOR: Our tuition was higher than anybody else's, and what happened was the community college system under Charles Wethington, um, a--a truly fine person and a guy that I've always respected. Uh, feared a 00:49:00time or two, but always respected. Uh, but he was--he was one that ran the community college--I think Charles would be the first to tell you he was probably a bit of a micromanager. Now this was when he was the, I guess at that time he'd have been vice president, or whatever he was; the leader of the community college system. They at one--they--they became chancellors. I can't remember what Charles' title was actually, but when Charles ran this, he ran it like you run a Senate, not like you run a House of Representatives. So it didn't matter who was the biggest or who was the smallest. He tried to take care of the needs across the system. So if we're generating ten times more dollars than Hazard, we're not necessarily getting ten times more dollars back, because to fire up a building in Hazard to pay the heat; to build a building; to run the lights; to do snow removal, is no different in 00:50:00Hazard than it is in Lexington. So our tuition never came back to us. The tuition went to the system. All--where now all the dollars generated come back to the institutions. Then, all the dollars went to the system and then the system doled out the money back to the institution. So, you know, if we generated a net income of, it doesn't matter, five dollars, we might get back eighty-five cents. We might get back fifty cents, because ten other community colleges might get back fifty cents or--so it was never equitable. And so once--once you begin with a lack of equity you never catch up.

ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: Because, you know, your budget is--comes back to be what it was- -your budget is built on what it was the previous year plus whatever additional funds you get. Well, when you're, you know, if you never 00:51:00get your fair share you--you--you lose twice. You lose from the first time, but then you lose because your budget's not building--

ADAMS: --right--

TAYLOR: exponentially, it's building just on whatever they hand you back. So, you know, we--if you look, we're the low--I think we can find this, I couldn't point--I couldn't point to it this minute, I'm pretty sure that we are the lowest-funded community college of all the community colleges in KCTCS. I--I know we are. If they--if they fund us equal to the other community colleges--well they can't do it, because I think it probably takes $15-20 million dollars just to being us up--up to equity. So eventually we will, but, you know, right now it still hurts us.

ADAMS: Well, we'll be adding more money into their pool, so hopefully we can get a larger chunk of that back.

TAYLOR: Well we get it all back now. So we get it all back. But what 00:52:00they need to do, is they need to take some of their state appropriation and move to us, to move us up to where--because you know, if the, if the community--if KCTCS, the average head count expenditure's a thousand dollars, which it's not, and ours is six-hundred, well we need to move ours to a thousand, so everybody's expenditure per head count is a thousand. They can't make that difference up in a year. But I think they will make it up over a--over a period--

ADAMS: --over time. Going back to LTI, do you know what its original mission was?

TAYLOR: Yeah, to award associate degrees.

ADAMS: Do you think it accomplished that?

TAYLOR: Absolutely.

ADAMS: Who do you think, and this you may, may not know. In your opinion who do you think was pushing in the corporate-slash business slash community for LTI to be formed? Do you think the push came from here in Lexington? From like, IBM and companies that--or did it happen 00:53:00politically and that's?--

TAYLOR: --no, I--I think it--I think what happened--this is my opinion. I think what they saw is that--well, they saw a need for nurses here. So nursing, that--that drove a need, so the hospitals they need ADNs, associate degree nurses. They need those people. So we need to provide a vehicle to be able to supply those people. So I think that was part of it. And then I think that they saw across the country there are more and more. So yes, IBM might have looked at, well gosh, in Dallas or in, um, San Antonio, you know, they're providing us a--a trained workforce who doesn't have a four-year degree, but who does have skills in X, Y, Z. See, I think all that was--and I think we had people who were politically and educationally astute in that. I think 00:54:00John Oswald probably saw the vision before a lot of people did. Um, so I think he was, you know, as we're sitting in the Oswald Building it's not for Lee Harvey, it is for John W. (Adams laughs) Um, and I think he saw the vision and allowed--not only allowed it to happen, but encouraged its happening.

ADAMS: Why was it--why was this current location selected for LTI? Why was it--because the Oswald--Oswald Building was completed in '76, correct?

TAYLOR: Um-hm. Yep.

ADAMS: Why was it built on this particular spot?

TAYLOR: (laughs) You know John, I don't know if I ever thought about that before. My guess is it would be out of the way. It would be way south. It would have parking that wouldn't have to-- it would already 00:55:00have the parking here. Uh, and it would still be on the fringe of the campus and yet, you know, it wouldn't have to be part of UK. I mean at that time it was still kind of fringe, so--

ADAMS: --right. Because everyone I've--I've spoken to has said that, you know, John, UK created this entity for its purposes, to meet its political and community stress, you know, we're really stressing for this. The reason it was put where it was, was because of the ample parking. The close proximity, you know, to the dorms. It just fit.

TAYLOR: Um-hm.

ADAMS: But, do you know--the land, and like the other community colleges where the land was--the state appropriated that land for that purpose. This land was for UK

TAYLOR: Yeah, this was the AG experiment farm. So it was owned by UK, 00:56:00yeah--

ADAMS: --the dairy farm. The Good Barn and other--but the money from the legislative was allocated for the purpose of LTI, the building--

TAYLOR: --yep, yep. But if you think about it, and, you know, we went through all of this over the last couple of three years. The budget request would have gone to the legislature from UK It wouldn't have come from LTI. UK would have made that budget request. And for that building which was call--which was for Lexington Technical Institute, but it--LTI didn't make that budget request. We were part of the university--

ADAMS: --so the request was made by the university?--

TAYLOR: --yep. Absolutely.

ADAMS: The land and the buildings themselves then would--okay.

TAYLOR: Up for debate. (Adams laughs) Because the building was what housed LTI. But LTI had no more ability to put that building in a state legislative budget than you and I would.


ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: That had to come from UK as part of their budget request.

ADAMS: Do you--when you were working with the, uh, the mayor's training--

TAYLOR: um-hm--

ADAMS:--can you remember when this actual building was being built?


ADAMS: What was that like?

TAYLOR: Oh it was just, uh, you know, it was, I mean I--I can--I guess the--the biggest thing I remember is having being a football fan here, and at that point you didn't have blue or green parking. Everybody just, you know, you just came and paid, and parked. The--the structure--that fence--

ADAMS: --um-hm--

TAYLOR: -- separating, you know, you just saw this thing going up. It looked like a big old boat. (Adams laughs) At that time, I-I mean it did, it looked like a big ship. Think about it, if you look outside. People were curious. People just, you know: hmm, wonder what that is; wonder what that's going to be. LTI, what's that mean? Uh, but yeah, I 00:58:00definitely recall. Because see they probably started construction, I- -I don't have any idea, but I'm going to guess they got in--in October seventy--I would think they broke ground sometime in seventy--late '74. Uh, maybe not, but--but I bet--certainly by the--by the football season of--of '75 this had to be, you know. And, uh, as the football season again of '76 they weren't in yet until October--until, no, they got in August, so that's right. Those fences would have started coming down and people would have been parking out there.

ADAMS: Do you remember when they put the, uh, because if my memory serves me right these pillars that are right here behind your back, Dan Holt said that they--they took these pillars and he said it was very odd the first construction you came out and there were all these giant round pillars just everywhere.

TAYLOR: No, I didn't. See , I wouldn't have had any reason to care.


ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: Because that would have been--I would have still been at the mayor's Employment and Training Program. Um, or if it was in '74 I might still been at, uh, Central Kentucky, depending on when con--no I don't remember that.

ADAMS: When, uh, you came to this building, what sense or feeling did you get from the faculty and staff about them actually being located in the same building instead of scattered throughout numerous buildings on UK's campus?

TAYLOR: Um, I think people were relieved. Um, again, think about being a student and having to park somewhere; find your way. I mean you're obviously--probably in those days you were probably a little older, a little more, uh, intimidated by UK It would have been awful, you know, to have been stuck over there in some--so I think there was a sense of, uh, pride. This was a very nice building. The furniture is all brand new. Um, I mean that's a good, you know, that's a good feeling when 01:00:00you come in to someplace. All--like being in a new house. All the paint's new. You're going to make the first scratches on the walls. You know, it was--I think it was a great sense of pride of moving here. It solidified--I don't know how many programs we had then. Um, I'd have to go back and--into my--I just heard today that stress creates this, uh, enzyme in your brain--this chemical in your brain that causes you to lose part of your memory. (both laugh) That's--I think that is--so whoever's listening to this in twenty years, God help you for, uh, having to listen this but. So what--what I was saying was that I think there was great pride, and I think people were really excited about, uh, an opportunity to do something neat and something kind of different.

ADAMS: Did you get any sense, uh, because you were dealing with students, correct?

TAYLOR: Um-hm.


ADAMS: What did they feel? -----------(??)---------- --

TAYLOR: --oh, yeah. I mean they were--they were, yeah, sure they were.

ADAMS: Now un-until the merger, or 'til--I mean until the creation of Lexington Community College in 1984 as--as you've mentioned earlier, students took their general education, that's what we mean by gen-ed, over at UK


ADAMS: They took their technical courses here in the Oswald Building.


ADAMS: Were they dual-enrolled? Or if you were a UK--in other words did you have to physically be registered as a Lexington Technical Institute student and the University of Kentucky student at the same time. Or were you just a University of Kentucky student?

TAYLOR: Wow John, see I told you. I'm glad--I'm glad I just made that statement about the memory loss. At one time you had to be--you were just an LCC student and you accessed courses there. But you had to 01:02:00physically go there at one time to do this. Then it became, we--well, let's see. Because you had to--the--the first--the first year I got here I was in a meeting with Jack Blanton and Judy Marshall, and they were trying to figure out fees and how fees were going to work. And Blanton was pounding the tables, it's my first time I ever met him, him saying: godammit Judith we've got to figure this, he had this Virginia accent, godammit Judith, talking to Judy Marshall. The--the tuition part was always difficult, because at that time part of the financial aid was there, part of it was here. It was really kind of convoluted, but we were able to work through that, where students would to register for courses in only one place. They stopped having to go there to--to 01:03:00make it happen. Of course in '84 when we started off on our own--

ADAMS: --right--

TAYLOR: --that was--automatically came--became no problem.

ADAMS: Prior to 1984 would a student have two transcripts? An LTI transcript and a UK? Or--

TAYLOR: --no, that--that was the beauty of it. We--there was one trans- -now, yeah there--no there was one transcript. All the trans--and Jay Hauselman, a guy who's passed away and Jay--A.J. Hauselman was in the community college systems office, and he worked to make sure that the academic record became one. So students would go there, and actually we had, I mean you had times that you'd be able to go; places you'd be able to go to get class--back then you used class tickets. You had to have your class tickets. And you brought those tickets back and somebody keypunched those into the machine. So you would have UK classes, LCC classes, the--but you would have one schedule.

ADAMS: What--can you spell that gentleman's name just for the record?


TAYLOR: H-a-u. H-a-u-l. H-a-u-s-e-l-m-a-n. H-a-u-s-e-l-m-a-n. Jay Hauselman.

ADAMS: So, you're not for sure whether you had to actually register at UK and register at LTI and whether you--

TAYLOR: --it all came back here, but you had to go there to be able to do it.

ADAMS: So on your diploma, would it show--if you--I guess if you got an associates degree it would be an LTI diploma, would it, and UK? Or would it just be a UK?

TAYLOR: University of Kentucky, Lexington Technical Institute, just like it was until--

ADAMS: --recently? So from the very go you had UK on basically all the documents?

TAYLOR: Yeah, because we were a part of UK

ADAMS: In, um, in 1984, just--just briefly, in 1984 when, uh--and--that is glorious like you said, UK could say they were selective, but at 01:05:00the same time kept the open--and, uh, I guess that's when--and it may have been even before then, that LCC became labeled a feeder college. ----------(??)----------.

TAYLOR: --I'd say we were probably always labeled a feeder institution. But that's the point at which we became a comprehensive community college, where we were offering everything here. And--and to go back, you know your memory always--always comes back as you think about things. Our students actually had to go to the coliseum. They would go to the coliseum to add their classes on Monday and Tuesday just like every other UK student. So they'd go and get in line, and stand in line. (coughs) They had hours that, you know, they were in the same alphabetic distribution, but they brought the stuff back to us. We actually went and set up in the coliseum. We had an LTI table, so--

ADAMS: --um-hm. For all intents and purposes, like you said, you could 01:06:00be in an English class--class and an LTI student and you--they were no different?

TAYLOR: No, the only difference was there'd have been a class roll generated as an LTI student, and a class roll generated for UK students so your faculty member over there would only have--because you see they were controlled by class cards. So when you went over there, if you went to the English department and you got an English 101 section 13 add card, brought it back and turned it in at the LTI table, then you were in English 101-13 over there. Because they--their cards all went to be processed someplace, Breckin--, not--uh, uh, their computing center. That faculty member would end up with eighteen students from UK and then two students who had cards from LCC. So we'd have to generate transcripts and send them--not transcripts, class rolls and send them to UK So the guy teaching English 101-13 would have a class 01:07:00roll of UK students and a class roll of LTI students.

ADAMS: Okay.

TAYLOR: And ultimately that was in--that was, we got better at that so there was one class roll which showed LTI and UK.

ADAMS: You started to work here in--in '76 when this building opened. When did space constraints become such an issue that the next building was built?

TAYLOR: Well, the next building that was built didn't do too much to eliminate space--it wasn't built as much for space. We needed faculty space, needed a place to expand our faculty. And this was about computerization. This is when we had architecture, uh, uh, CIS programming, um, information systems pro--this was more--that building 01:08:00was built more with technology and labs and computer labs and graphics labs and architecture and faculty office space. That really didn't address the issue of space. So, because your gen-ed classes are all here as that building was being built that's when we suddenly began to realize we got a space problem. We've got a, uh, a classroom problem. And, then remember this too, John, in '84 as we added all the gen-eds we didn't have any lab space. We didn't have a chemistry lab. We didn't have a--a biology lab. Not to mention mic--now we did have micro--anatomy and physiology, but we didn't have any lab space. So 01:09:00you had to take classrooms and turn those into labs. You had to take technical labs and turn those into gen-ed labs. And then as--as space began to disappear and as the enrollment continued to grow, now you're out of--now you're out of physical space. You don't have any place just to put additional classrooms. So the AT building was built to try to eliminate, to try to address the overcrowding issue.

ADAMS: And when was it built? You know?

TAYLOR: I mean I--no, if I guessed I'd be guessing plus or minus five years. Um, that's funny, but I just can't tell you that. But--but when we built it and when we put it up, by the time it was built we needed more space, right then. I mean that building--we never, ever fixed our space problem. Because now we're exploding.


ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: Now we're just, you know, we're--we're just exploding; in terms of--of students, more faculty, more office space, more of everything. You know, we're just--we're just bludgeoning, we're just exploding, that's all you can say.

ADAMS: What year was the Moloney Building--because that was the next; it was Oswald, AT, Moloney?

TAYLOR: Oswald, Moloney and AT.

ADAMS: Okay.

TAYLOR: So we just have to go look, um, because I--I can't tell you without--without going to look at what year those buildings were built.

ADAMS: So the Moloney Building was built more for, uh, the labs, techs, that sort of stuff

TAYLOR: Uh-huh.

ADAMS: Then the AT Building was added in later for, uh--

TAYLOR: --classrooms--

ADAMS: --classrooms?

TAYLOR: And--and faculty--and faculty office space.

ADAMS: Okay.

TAYLOR: But by the time it was appropriated and built, we filled it. And we were out of space again.

ADAMS: Okay. So when--when did you think that the, uh--because that is a huge, major issue right now--


TAYLOR: --oh, yeah--

ADAMS: --because of the, uh, mushroom. When the--when did it first become an issue. Because, I mean, in '76 when you moved in here, there was actually some floors not even completed, that weren't even occupied. Uh, there was a, uh, a gas shortage. Central actually came over here and ran some of their stuff out of this building--

TAYLOR: --yeah, that's right. They--they sure did--

ADAMS: --because there was so much ample space--

TAYLOR: --they sure did. Well--

ADAMS: --when did it become an issue?

TAYLOR: I--you know, John that's--that's a question that's, uh, there's an easy, quick answer to but it's really not. Because until you don't have any space you don't know how creative you can get. As an example, if we went to Central today and talked to them, they'd say: "We need more space." You know, we'd go over there--and you're smiling, you're laughing, because we'd go over there and think, God, we'd kill for this space. But what'd we do is we go in and start slashing and moving and fixing and renovating and, you know, we would--well, I'd 01:12:00kill for the space they got over there. But they think that they're overcrowded. So, you know, when you said, "when did you realize," I think it's a--it's a situation that grows. And when you've finally taken every--you know, we said we were out of space three or four times here and yet we've been able to cut rooms in half, divide rooms, build walls. I mean we've got faculty members sitting on top of each other. There's just a lot of--of different, um, you know, there's a lot of different things here that, um, that cause us to say: well we got crunched for space X. I think Sandy would probably say we got killed. Sandy Carey, the academic dean. We got killed for space when we found that there is--there are no classrooms that we can use at ten o'clock 01:13:00on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We've been creative. I think we've been incredibly creative. That's why we have a--a large night program; evening. We can--look what we did at South. We opened South and said, you know, if we could be at a thousand students. We moved from East, which was a good conceptual idea, but just in the wrong place. East just didn't work. People didn't want to go to East. East was on Winchester Road. It--it hit Winchester Road about the time Winchester Road was going, you know, sleazy. And, um, but when we went to South we said, you know, if we could grow this to a thousand students in three of four years. It hit twelve hundred in the second fall we were there--

ADAMS: ----------(??). Um-hm.

TAYLOR: So, you know, luckily we have taken a lot at South. Winchester has taken some, but I--I guess we've been--(laughs)--out of space is a relative term. When you're out of imagination, that's when you're out 01:14:00of space.

ADAMS: That's a good quote.

TAYLOR: It's the truth.

ADAMS: Um, describe briefly what the feeling was like in '84?

TAYLOR: Oh again, exciting. Um, our students were so excited they weren't going to have to go over to UK to take those classes. I mean we felt like we'd made a humongous step. Um, to move from just a technical institute to a comprehensive community college. It meant a lot to us across the country, um, as--I mean I was--I was proud, um, to--to be able to tell people, you know, I'm not just a technical institute anymore, I'm a full-blown community college. Um, so I--great excitement, uh, again, great, great thoughts of our vision and where we were going, and, you know, it was a really good--really good feeling.


ADAMS: Do you think that is when LCC, 'cause--'cause it was then renamed Lexington Community College, is that when we truly formed our identity?

TAYLOR: I think so. Sure, yeah, I do think so.

ADAMS: Became more than just a--a no-name department of--

TAYLOR: --technical school. More than a technical school. We became a full-blown comprehensive community college that had great technical programs, but also had great gen-ed.

ADAMS: And became more than just a small department of UK?

TAYLOR: Um-hm. Yeah, we were a--I mean we were a force to be reckoned with.

ADAMS: What was the enrollment in '84? Do you know, just approximately?

TAYLOR: We'd have to go back and look, John. I'm afraid I'd tell you the wrong number. Um, we should go back and insert that. If you want to turn this off, we'll look it up and--

ADAMS: --nah--

TAYLOR: --okay.

ADAMS: No. I was trying to get a feel. If we started out with like 1500 students in '76, what was it in '84?

TAYLOR: Actually, we probably--you probably ought to go back and have-- 01:16:00and I'm sure that as--as this evolves somebody will just chart that.

ADAMS: It will be.

TAYLOR: Because it would be--I mean we used to have, and probably Linda could--could put her hands on one, you know, we used to have fact books that would show, you know, each year, pinpoint enrollment. And I promise you in '84 we began to spike; began to move.

ADAMS: And--and we've grown tremendously since '84.


ADAMS: Because--do you think that a lot of that's because, um, UK became selective and some of the students prior to '84 that would be entering there still wanted to go to UK. Not--not force them, but it was the best alternative because they could come here, they could get their GPA up and then go in to UK Is that one of your things that you think caused the enrollment to grow?

TAYLOR: Yeah, sure. And I think it happened for those two reasons. One, some students couldn't get into UK and had to come here. And 01:17:00the other was, which I think has become more true over the years, more students chose to come here for two reasons, price--see price was another thing. Back then we had the same tuition. So our tuition rate was the same as UK's. So back then price wasn't a driving factor. But as we moved on then price--our price went down, their price continued to go up. So you've got two factors driving enrollment at that point. But, yeah, I think it was a--it became a college of choice for many because of size, reputation, and it was also a place that you could come if you weren't accepted to UK.

ADAMS: What do you think, um, have been some of the early challenges and accomplishments of Lexington Community College?

TAYLOR: Recognition is I think the, you know, I don't think there is any doubt that we suffered from lack of recognition.


ADAMS: Do you think that lack of recognition was because we were overshadowed--

TAYLOR: --sure--

ADAMS: --by UK? Some of the things and some of the great accomplishments we were doing just wasn't making it through the big blue veil, so to speak--

TAYLOR: --well, if--if you, if you take a look at a typical community college, uh, whether it be our size, smaller, or whatever. In Hazard, and, uh, that--this is as good a place--I mean it's as good--as good an example as we could have--or in Portsmouth, Ohio, for that matter. Where are you from, John?

ADAMS: I am from Rockcastle County; Mt. Vernon, Kentucky.

TAYLOR: What's your closest community college to you?

ADAMS: I'm sitting in it. It would be a toss-up between Lexington Community College and Somerset Community College--

TAYLOR: --Somerset. Okay, let's take Somerset then. At Somerset, that's the only game in town. So, if anything's going to happen in that town from a per--my guess is, from a performing arts standpoint; from a small concert; from a lecture, where're they going to go?

ADAMS: True.

TAYLOR: Now here, if we had--or a dance, a--some kind of social event. 01:19:00Here, if LTI brought in a speaker they wouldn't--nobody would even know it. Because it wouldn't be the UK, the Transy, the Eastern. It wouldn't be the big-time big name. And hence, in--in communities where community colleges have flourished--that's not the right word. In community--in--in most communities the community college is the focal point of what happens in that community. Now when you get into cities it doesn't work. But in Owensboro, in E-town, in Ashland, in Portsmouth, Ohio, in Somerset, man, the community college is where it's at. And you can go on to their Web sites and see who is speaking, and you can, you know. But in Lexington we're an afterthought. I mean think--if you had to spend your dollar tonight, Friday night, I'd--I'd 01:20:00bet there would be twenty things that you could do. And if LCC was one of them it would--the--the level of person that we could bring here would be such that you would go to the university series. You would go to the university.

ADAMS: Right.

TAYLOR: So anyway, I just think that's--

ADAMS: --an overshadowing, so to speak?

TAYLOR: Um-hm. Sure.

ADAMS: What do you think the accomplishments have been?

TAYLOR: Well, I mean I think we've, uh--we've generated a lot of graduates. We've given a lot of people options. We've given a lot of people hope. Um, we have introduced a lot of people to higher-ed. That's one of the reasons that I am adamant about, um, personally, not losing our orientation programs. Uh, particularly in the summer where we bring parents in. Now I am convinced that introducing people 01:21:00to higher-ed is something we need to do every chance we get. And while bringing your mom up here or your dad or your grandmother to a parent orientation, you might not make it here. But being on this campus, that's why they put kids on campus. That's why Duke has programs that they bring in; you know, the highest achievers across the country. They know that by introducing people to higher education, you got a chance. And some people are going to be successful and some aren't. But we have--we have exposed a lot of people to higher-ed. We've made a difference in central Kentucky and in this state. Because we've offered hope. We've offered an entry point. It doesn't get any better than that.

ADAMS: That leads right into the question I was going to ask you. When 01:22:00in-in your opinion, so to speak, LTI, LCC was formed to give more to the community, so to speak. To offer things to the community that other institutions in this community couldn't offer. The technical programs; the--the gen-ed; the--the smaller classroom sizes. Do you think LCC has lived up to that?

TAYLOR: I think we've overshadowed that. I think we've gone way beyond what anybody ever thought we'd be. I think originally they thought: well here's an option where we can offer a few associate degrees. But the nature of higher-ed, the nature of, um, the faculty and staff, the quality that have come here have far, I think, far overshadowed expectations. That may be just because I work here.

ADAMS: That's what I was going to ask you. What would you think 01:23:00somebody in the community would say? Would they say--

TAYLOR: --oh, I think most people would say that. I--I think the more we become--now I guarantee you, you would be able--(laughs)--to go into the community and find people who said: Lexington Community College? Where is that? Is that--where is that? Is that out on Leestown? Where are they?

ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: But you know, John, I've been doing these orientation programs for all my life. Um, I can't go into a restaurant; I can't go into a bar; I can't be in a--I can't have a server come to me in any restaurant in this town; I can't go to, uh, a--a department store where somebody just doesn't say, you know, I know you, you work at LCC don't you? And, you know, my--my wife, who's the registrar at Northern, when we lived here and experienced that, you know, it was always somebody about: I go to LCC. I go to LCC or I go to col--I go blah-blah-blah. But now that we're in Northern and we sit around, she's got the 01:24:00students. (Adams laughs) So, you know, up there we always say: are you in school? And somebody will say: yeah, I go to Northern, I go, you know, to UC, wherever. So, um, you're gonna have to tell me what that question I just answered was. (Adams laughs) Because I went off on this tangent. Yeah I think that, you know, we--I think the people in the community, the majority of people, know who we are and what we do. We touch a lot a--we touch a lot of people here.

ADAMS: And--and--and you're--and you're pretty unique. Not only, uh, not only in the jobs you've had here, and your education, and your family background. What are you particularly disappointed with, with this institution? In other--in other words, what do you think that we could have become?--

TAYLOR: --could have become?

ADAMS: Yeah.

TAYLOR: Oh, well, you know, I think we've only failed in--let me turn 01:25:00that around. We--we aren't what we are going to become yet. So, maybe our failure was living under the shadow of a university for, uh, forty years. You know, I think this time last year, John, if you and I had this conversation we would be talking about: oh my goodness, oh what's going to happen to us, oh poor us. You know, we might not be with UK I think we're about to experience, uh, I guess for a lack of a better word--and somebody listening to this someday of will say: what the hell is he talking--hyperspace warp. We are about to become what we can be. I really believe that. I wouldn't be here. I mean I'd be retired and doing something else. Because this drive every day is--is not--(laughs)--but the point is we are about to become--we're about to become really great. And I--if I didn't believe that I wouldn't be--I 01:26:00wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be in those staff meetings, pushing the people, trying to motivate the people to move forward in our unit. We're about to become great. We're about to become greater than you imagined when you came here. And the reason for that is because we're going to have a chance with some money, some funding, with joining with another technical institution and being out of the university's--I mean, the--the neat thing was being able to fly under the radar screen, we got to do a lot of what we wanted to do. We--we didn't--as long as we didn't rock any boats; do anything stupid; do anything illegal, we were kind of--but we never had the funding. We never had the resources. We never had that recognition. Uh, this week, while we were at PeopleSoft training, for one day we were the largest community college in the state. We--we were bigger than Jefferson. Jefferson 01:27:00has this year and that's it. After this year they will no longer ever be--because they--they entered some more people. So they're about six or seven hundred students ahead of us. We'll be the biggest community college in the state. Be a pretty large, we'll be a pretty generally large community college if you look across the country. We are about to--we are about to be great. I'm telling you.

ADAMS: Well this leads into a perfect--perfect because we're--we're talking about, you say, merging with Central. And I think it's important for the record to, uh, to--to discuss, uh, the separation--

TAYLOR: --um-hm--

ADAMS: --from the University of Kentucky. You know, we briefly talked about that. Um, just for the record, explain to the person hearing 01:28:00this tape why the separation. Because in 1998--

TAYLOR: --um-hm--

ADAMS: --and bring that from 1998 forward with this separation of the community colleges from UK to KCTCS.

TAYLOR: Remember, I'm trying to leave here by five (both laugh). Uh, I'm--I'm gonna do this in--in a short time. In '98 the legis--the governor of the state decided that he was going to take on--now this again, all--everything we've talked about. Kentucky is a political state. If you don't know that I don't know where you're living. The governor decided that he could beat the University of Kentucky and could break up the community colleges, and give them back to something else. Take them away from UK But he was hard-pressed. He was the first governor that ever won two--two terms--

ADAMS: --um-hm--

TAYLOR: --and he was determined, Paul Patton, that he was going to 01:29:00strip the community colleges. Hence, think about this, gaining some popularity with constituents from Eastern, Murray, Morehead, blah- blah-blah-blah-blah, who felt like UK had too much stranglehold on the community colleges. So Paul Patton broke them up. Uh, I am convinced to this day he knew he had the votes; he knew he was going to win. And it was not without its bloodshed as far as people who didn't think that was the way it should go. LCC felt like we escaped the, uh, uh, grim reaper because we stayed with the University of Kentucky. The only one of the community colleges to stay. So it was those community colleges were--

[Pause in recording.]

TAYLOR: All right, John, you messed me up changing that tape there, but we're talking about the split of all the community colleges going to a central system. And, you know, Patton was not--I mean, Patton was a 01:30:00lot of things, a lot of things, uh, but brilliant he wasn't but stupid he wasn't either. So he looked at some other states who had systems and so, you know, from that standpoint, he--he at least bought into or tried to bring people into a system where it was going to be controlled by one board. And the board was not going to have affiliation with any specific university. So, we stayed with UK and we felt like: man we have escaped--I think the word was the grim reaper. We have, you know, we've made it, because all of these other poor people are going to the system and we are still with the flagship of the University of Kentucky. Well, you know, we--we believed that. I think I believed that this time of last year. So, as they moved to become a system, we didn't like some of the things we heard about that. We heard: oh, gee, they're a lot more flexible. Gee, you know, their academic--sometimes they accept credit for people who are in the workforce, for something 01:31:00that they do that's not in a class--I mean, you know what, they have embraced change in the Kentucky, uh, community and technical college system. They not only embraced it, they grabbed change and they moved forward with change. So this time last year you and I were probably woulda been talking about: oh my God, we're going to have to go to them? Oh God, how much worse could that be? Well, you know, that was this time last year. Now I think that those of us who are able to look at the fact that we're going to be the largest community college; the flagship. This is one of those times when, you know, you always felt like: well gosh we ended up on the--this is all UK gave us and, uh, you know, this is all we could get from them? This is all that we could--you know, now we're--I'm in meetings with people across the state that say, you know: because of LCC joining the system we are going to do online registration in April for all students in community colleges. Because 01:32:00LCC has come forward and has done some things differently, we want to change. So, I--I mean, I just see this as--(clears throat)--something that, you know, a couple of years ago I'd have been really fearful of, and now I see this as the greatest thing that has ever happened to LCC. This is, not 1984, not 19--when we were established in '63. Not '63, not '84, not '98. This year is the year that LCC--this is the year that people will look back and say: that is the year. That is what transformed--that is what caused the transformation of this from a, you know, very good, very comfortable community college into a kick-ass institution that--you know, we are all going to look back and say: man, I'm so proud that I was part of that. And you have to hear me say this in staff meetings and all--(Adams laughs)--but--but in listening to me 01:33:00here you know I believe this. This is not just BS. This is true.

ADAMS: When you--it's very obvious, you can tell it's not talk?

TAYLOR: (laughs) Okay.

ADAMS: You know, I mean you--you mean the--the people listening to this tape can't see the emotion that's in your face when you say these words. Um, now in 1998, correct?--

TAYLOR: --um-hm--

ADAMS: --the community colleges went to what was then known, or still is known as--

TAYLOR: --KCTCS, a new system.

ADAMS: And that's stands for Kentucky?--

TAYLOR: --Community and Technical College System. And what they did, and again, not without a lot of blood--not without a lot of bloodshed. Bloodshed not meaning physical, but not without a lot of angst. They combined the community colleges into districts, sixteen districts in the state. And then--and now they are, um, forcing is not the right word, but, uh, encouraging, encouraging without accepting a no 01:34:00answer--(clears throat)--those institutions to merge with the technical colleges. So now the place that I started, Central Kentucky Tech, will merge with Lexington Community College to become--some name that we don't know what it is yet. It'll be some community and tech--some- -something community and technical college. So, as these institutions merge, now you have sixty-two, or sixty-nine, or seventy-three--some large number of institutions who are all coming together to be a part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Tomorrow night is one of those things that I usually don't enjoy going to. It's the big gala for the system. And at that point they'll be talking about the enrollment of the system. But you know what? There are going to be 700 people at this. And it's an expensive little get-together, 01:35:00but people are coming because there's pride. There's a sense of, um, doing, something and doing something right. And, you know, again, this is just the beginning of, uh, whatever our new name is, blank community and technical college's explosion. And that's the only thing I can call it. It is going--it is an explosion and is going to be really exciting to be a part of. The only more exciting than this is going to be--and John, we'll laugh about this in a few years. When somebody decides, whether it be the legislature or whether it be KCTCS; it's time for these people to have a new campus. And at that point it will be high-tech. It will be high-touch. It will be space as we need it, not as it currently exists, and we divide rooms in half, uh, to offer classrooms. So I'm looking forward maybe--if that happens within the next four or five years, old PTs gonna be around to watch that. Now, you talk about fun--something I've never gotten to do, but I'd love to 01:36:00build a campus. And, uh, you know, maybe I'll get the chance, maybe I won't. But if I don't, you will.

ADAMS: (laughs) But I think it will be very nice not to have your faculty have to share offices like a submarine bed.

TAYLOR: Oh yes.

ADAMS: I mean they rotate offices. Now the rest of the community colleges and--and we both agree probably this was very political, went out on their own, but, also just as political, LCC stayed--

TAYLOR: --um-hm. Well, LCC stayed (??). That was a gift. That was a gift to the legislature; to the Lexington delegation; to Charles Wethington. That was the pawn. Um, that was the, uh, crumb that-- that UK got. They got to keep us. That's--and it was legislation-- legislatively in there. LCC will stay with UK, and I'm telling you, there was celebration in the streets here. Because we thought, as I said, we escaped the, you know, the horrible fate. Little did we know 01:37:00we just, uh, we could have been doing this for the last five or six years, and who knows where we'd be now.

ADAMS: Leads into the next question, then. So, when did this come back to haunt us? When did staying with UK--because all it did was basically was buy an inevitable time that would be coming in the future.

TAYLOR: Um-hm.

ADAMS: When did it become a problem that we stayed with UK?

TAYLOR: (laughs) This is probably one of those times when I should say, you know, John, we better turn that tape off here, because I'll never know the answer to this and probably don't want to know. When SACS came in for our visit in 2000, and when they came in and talked to us. Now what SACS does--that's the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, they come in and make sure you're doing quality work and they make sure that things are good. Well, you know, they often ask you: what things would you like to see us, you know, what things do you think you need more of?


ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: If I was a betting man I would say that somebody, or some group of people, or a lot of people, said: we need more autonomy from UK You know, we need to be able to make--we--we just need more autonomy. So in trying to help us--this is my thought John, I don't have any proof of this. And--but I bet other people would sit in that room--in trying to help us gain that autonomy they wrote a recommendation says: you're not autonomous enough. That recommendation was the beginning of the separation for us. Because when SACS--this is more than you're going to want to know. Um, when--when SACS gives a recommendation they give one--they give one of any number of recommendations, and you've got an opportunity to come back and write a response to that recommendation that satisfies them. Here is the recommendation, we think that, you know, this should happen. And you write a response and say: Here is 01:39:00the way we have evaluated this; here's the way we're attacking this, and here's how we've satisfied this response. We tried to do that. And we tried in working through the university to do that. But every time you write a response--now you remember you have to think about this in a--if you put it up on a board, originally you get ten recommendations. So you're sending ten responses back, probably five or six pages each. So somebody's looking at sixty pages. And one by one they're--the- -the responses get approved. In other words: this is taking care of this recommendation; this is taking care of that recommendation. And so it's a sieve--or it sifts down to where in the end we only had one recommendation that we couldn't get them to--to buy into And that was this autonomy. We keep sending stuff and they'd send it back. And we'd send it back, and they'd send it back. So what happens is though, 01:40:00originally you had ten and you've probably got sixty pages and you've got a half a dozen people looking at sixty pages. Well, suddenly it becomes when you got one recommendation of six pages and sixteen people looking at six pages, it becomes more difficult to satisfy those people that you've made--you've done this recommendation. And ultimately, because Lee Todd wouldn't change some things--all about politics. Lee Todd is hired to be the guy who turns the University of Kentucky into a top-twenty research institution. Now you tell me that's how--that's how he's hired, that's what his contract says. How does LCC fit into him becoming a top--UK becoming a top-twenty. Okay, we could all--we could all get on board. We're all smart enough to know how we could fold that in. But in reality, when it comes to budget; when it comes 01:41:00to money, and money is where you're mouth is, you tell me how LCC is going to help Lee Todd and the University of Kentucky make the top-twenty research, research institutions. Not teaching, research. So, because he's--because he has to move in that direction. Because he can't make LCC's building number one. Because he can't give everything that he--and number two, he doesn't want to do it anyway. So "A" you've got--you've got a mission-driven president who is hired to achieve this goal. We don't fit the goal. He is doing things that make his goal work. He is setting up his entire administration to make this work. We don't fit in there. He's not going to let the president of Lexington Community College report to him when the dean or the college of medicine doesn't. Because what does that do to him politically? So, you know, here's Lee Todd sitting in a place where "A" 01:42:00he doesn't care much about us to start with, and "B" he can't put us to the forefront if he wanted to, which he didn't. Now had Wethington still been there this would never have been a problem, ever. Because the letters would have been written. Things would have been done to make this work. Lee Todd, because he's hired to do "this" he's not going to make it work. There is no pay-off for him to make this work. So he has to let us go. Now, does Lee Todd win lots of friends? Does he make a great friend of Mike McCall, who's the president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System who would love to have LCC as its shining star? Does he make a friend of people within the legislature that would like to see us become part of something better? Sure. He has to give up some things, but he was willing to give up a lot. He gave up a lot in order to let us go. Now, John and I don't 01:43:00think he gave up much, because obviously we had to go and we had to go through lots of change. But when you think about what he gave our students, and that is the option to purchase those benefits after 2006, UK gave up the farm. So, um, does that answer the question?

ADAMS: When you said, uh, he gave up the farm. You know, just for the record--

TAYLOR: --well, I mean--

ADAMS: --what type of money here are we talking?

TAYLOR: Uh, currently LCC students probably pay in the neighborhood of--it--it depends on how you want to look at it. But I would say that we could probably come up with somewhere in the neighborhood of six million dollars a year to UK And for that, most of them don't get anything. They have an--wrong--wrong way to say that. Most of them 01:44:00don't have anything tangible. They're contributing to the student center. They're contributing to UK student activities. They're contributing money, if you can believe this, this just makes me want to gag, they're contributing $7.50 apiece to UK student services. How much of that money do we get back? Well the answer to that is a fat zero. Although we did put in the memorandum of agreement--another place they bought the farm, that they would give us $25,000 dollars out of that this year. Pat Till (??) almost choked to have to do that. (Adams laughs) But, you know what? I loved watching it. Anyway that's--we--we digressed. We--we get into personalities here. Um, the point is that- -what--what--so our students have to pay the Johnson fee, they have to pay technology, they have to pay student center. And other than Johnson and UK athletics tickets and a few students who want to belong to the health service, they don't get anything back. Well come 2006 UK 01:45:00is just giving up six million dollars a year because the students have the option to buy. So, you want to go to basketball games? You buy basketball tickets. You want to go to football games? You buy football tickets; for $12.50 for a semester. That's the current charge. You want to go to the Johnson Center, you pay them $60.00. You don't want to go, you don't pay 'em anything. So UK's going to take a several million dollar hit. And they gave that up because they weren't going to fight that in public. Because they wanted to let us go. They could have--they could have kept us but they didn't want to.

ADAMS: So, who do you think forced the separation of LCC from UK? Was it SACS? Was it Lee Todd? Was it, who?

TAYLOR: You know John, that's, uh, that's probably the best question you've asked. Because I could probably sit here and talk about, you know, I could just get all weird. I could probably talk--(Adams laughs)--I--I could. I could talk about, you know, you could--you 01:46:00could get weird about this. We can all say without fail--without fail that SACS was the--the SACS recommendation was the beginning of the end. Now, when you start talking about how could it have been fixed, and how easily it could have been fixed in the beginning. So, because see we--we fought this SACS--we didn't fight, we--we responded to this SACS recommendation for two years. And they finally put us on probation because they said: we're not satisfied, and if you don't fix this you're going down. You're--you're going to lose your accreditation which--that--that's the deathblow for an institution. You know, we could get into conspiracy theories. We could talk about who wanted this to happen. And who knew from the very day that that SACS recommendation hit. You know, here it is, here's our chance and we're gonna get rid of them. Or, here's our chance we're going to get 01:47:00them. We're going to have an opportunity to get them. And, you know, when people sit in a rooms like you and I are here where there's no tape recorders on and where people are thinking about bigger things than you and I think about. You know, John, it's just amazing what you and I could sit here and conjure up. And they'd look back at us and say: those two guys, they were--those guys were nuts. (Adams laughs) What are they talking about? How can they poss--how could there possibly be somebody who would want to get rid of them? Who would think about that so early that, you know, here's our chance. Who would think about--we want them so badly within our system? Who would think about- -how often do these guys meet and have drinks and talk about things that are big things, big things for higher-ed, big things for higher-ed? How many legislators were involved? You know, you and I will never know 01:48:00the answer to that. Ever. No matter how many histories are written nobody's got the answer to that. Or at least nobody will ever tell the answer to that--

ADAMS: What's--(laughs)--what's your personal opinion?

TAYLOR: Um, you know, I've retired from the University of Kentucky so they can't hurt me. Um, if I got fired from KCTCS I guess that'd be a blessing in disguise. (Adams laughs) At least, uh, the at least the stress would begin to minimize. Here's what I told people the day, the month, after we got the first SACS letter saying we were on probation. That was in--that letter came on June--that--Dr. Kerley called us back, called me out of a meeting that I had with your supervisor and all the other supervisors. We had a retreat on Friday, June thirtieth, whatever year that was. And I got this message. Got to come back. All--all the deans have to be back to meet with Dr. Kerley. I said: look I'm in, you know, I'm in this scheduled retreat--doesn't--get back 01:49:00here. So when they read the letter that you're on probation and, you know, that you're--(laughs)--that when we knew the severity of that, within, I don't know how long, John, and then I don't want to brag, but within two or three weeks I came back to this institution and told people: You know how this is going to end up? This is going to end up with a great press conference at some point in time with Lee Todd, Mike McCall and Jim Kerley on the same platform. All of them shaking hands. All of them talking about the good for the Commonwealth of Kentucky; for the citizens of the commonwealth. It was going to be everybody was winning and everybody was smiling. Now you know what kind of year we had. You know, we were at the--people were at the board of trustee's meetings; people were meeting with legislatures--legislators. Tim Cantrell was threatening to march you know, take tanks to Frankfort, 01:50:00who knows what. But in the end what happened? The only thing I missed was that--I actually thought Paul Patton would--would also be one of those smiling heads.

ADAMS: Um-hm.

TAYLOR: The only thing I missed was, Mike McCall, Jim Kerley and not Dr.--not Dr. Todd but Dr. Nietzel, who is the provost, stood-- everybody smiled and talked about: what a great day for Kentucky! Their heads nodded and I just sat there and smiled thinking, you know, this is the only way this could have turned out. The only way.

ADAMS: Some people have said that, uh, Lee Todd not being there sent a message--

TAYLOR: --well, I mean it--

ADAMS: --sending Nietzel in his spot. That is wasn't important enough for a president of UK to attend something like that.

TAYLOR: Yeah, that's probably true. Probably true.

ADAMS: So, but--but the initial, in your personal opinion, the initial autonomy issue was actually something that was brought out by someone 01:51:00here--

TAYLOR: Well, I mean--I--

ADAMS: --it wasn't brought out by somebody at UK who said they don't have enough autonomy from us, or it wasn't brought out by SACS in general. We made it visible?

TAYLOR: Well that's what--what SACS is--SACS is an introspective look at what you are and what you do. So had--had it not come up that--there's a--you know, there are questions that have to be answered and maybe somebody would have looked at an organizational chart and picked that out, someplace, somehow. And I will say that SACS has begun--has changed a bit in--in their look at autonomy over the last four or five years. But no, I really believe that we felt we needed more autonomy. We felt we needed more autonomy particularly given the new president of the University of Kentucky. And we just needed to be able to make some decisions. And I think that we didn't feel like the best way for us to report, I don't believe it either, was through Nietzel, uh 01:52:00who is a research, graduate school--and so, you know, I think when you say those things SACS just--I mean, we had--John, you'll have to go back and look, but I believe, you know, the--in 1990 we had four recommendations. Now SACS changed their whole process. I'm pretty sure in 2000 we had forty recommendations. Most of those, you know, we took care of real easy. This one, we were never able to go back, only because--now had Lee--in--in the beginning, when you got forty recommendations with six pages each, 240 pages, nobody is concentrating on every word of every--but, you know, as we couldn't answer, as Lee Todd said: I can't do that. I'm not going to let you do it. The--the longer we progressed in this cycle, the more difficult it became to fix that. Because if--if you fix it the first time and you wordsmith 01:53:00it and everybody's satisfied and it--but, you know, as it went on and they said: No, this isn't enough; no, this isn't enough; no, this isn't enough. Then it got to where that's the only recommendation left. And so, you got a whole group of people looking at six pages which-- they're not getting more autonomy. Now they're concerned we don't have autonomy. It's not just us, they're concerned. So, you know, that's what I think.

ADAMS: Do you think Lee Todd could have fixed this if he had wanted to?

TAYLOR: In one letter in July of last year. I'm not talking about--I'm talking about July just as we were about to go on probation. We brought a consultant in, who met with Lee Todd and she came back and said: you guys are in trouble, because he is not--he is not going to give what SACS wants to do. You know, then people start looking at your business card, which has University of Kentucky--


ADAMS: --right--

TAYLOR: -- and LCC's logo. Which is uky dot--all of our--all of our e-mail address is uky.edu. You'd come in, you'd walk in the building and see these, uh, I don't know what you call them, for a lack of a better word, a place to kinda wipe your feet that had the UK logo. Not that we want to wipe our feet on the UK logo. (Adams laughs) You know, UK, UK, UK, UK. And--and I think it was funny; Sylvia brought the consultant in and she said: oh, this is our football stadium here. And she said that making a joke, you know, smiling and being--being--Sylvia being friendly. Um, so, you know, it--it--I mean, it did begin to point out that, you know, look at that catalog sitting right there, UK Lexington Community College, that we weren't an autonomous institution.

ADAMS: But in 1998 when the other community colleges went with KCTCS and we stayed with UK, wasn't there a driving force then to make us even more a part--the connection?


ADAMS: So a lot of this UK Lexington Community--the rug, we made that--


TAYLOR: --sure, sure. We wanted it. Sure, sure we did.

ADAMS: So, at one point--

TAYLOR: --well, I mean--

ADAMS: --we tried to show the connection. But--but, you know, after all this said and done, you know, um, SACS came in, we're put on probation. We went through all of that and--and now we're going to be part of, uh, KCTCS. The laws have all been--have they all been passed for us to become part? Because actually, by law--

TAYLOR: --yeah, there's a--the memorandum of agreement that--yeah the legislature fixed that so we're--we're good. We're all set--

ADAMS: --um-hm. So everything's set. And currently--and I can say this because of what I'm going through. We're talking with Central and getting ready for the merger that'll probably take place within a year or so or less. All of that being said, in--in Paul Taylor's opinion, because as this interview says you've been here, what, twenty-eight years Paul? What, what--you started out as a counselor, coordinator of 01:56:00Student Services, what then?

TAYLOR: Yeah, dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management got tacked onto that title. And now acting vice president for, oh God, the title is just in--uh, acting vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Management.

ADAMS: All of that--I think you would be a person that would be able to give a good opinion on this question.


ADAMS: Do you think the separation from UK is a good or bad thing for the institution as well as the community of Lexington?

TAYLOR: Yeah, I mean I think we've alluded to that before 'cause I think we're about to step into a realm that we've never been before. Uh, if you'd asked me this, John, maybe even as late as March or April, you know--but as--as I see the opportune--I would--I might have a 01:57:00different answer as--as, you know, six months ago I might of answered you differently. I think that the opportunities that this change is going to give us are going to be such that we'll be much better for the community. Much better for our students. Now I don't know how individual faculty and staff, uh, I mean I think the benefits are going to be similar, and healthcare's going to go up, but--but I think for the students and the community, and--and for most of us who are employed here, we're gonna be in much better shape than we were before. New opportunities. New--new--some challenges, but the challenges are going to be challenges that lead us to be bigger and better.

ADAMS: For more programs that the community needs? More space?

TAYLOR: More, uh, more seamless. You know, they talk--that's a--they talk that seamless stuff, but in reality seamless means being able some 01:58:00day to go to Central--actually to go to, um--now--now this is not going to be for everybody, but to go to Southside; be a student at Lafayette, go to Southside. Get a few auto body courses while you're finishing up high school. Go to Central, get your auto body, take some--take a few college courses. Come to Lexington Community College and through Southside, through Central, get an associate degree and take that associate degree--probably not in our lifetime to UK, but to Eastern and to K-State and to Western. Get a bachelor's degree in technical studies. Why shouldn't an auto body, why shouldn't an auto mechanic who, you know--you had your car tuned up lately?

ADAMS: (laughs) Uh, no.

TAYLOR: Uh, you--you seen a plumber lately? Why shouldn't somebody--now I'm not talking about giving somebody something. But somebody who can pass Math 109, who can--who can get through college Algebra; English 101; English 102; Psych; Sosh; History. Why shouldn't you be able 01:59:00to get a bachelor's degree with an emphasis in auto mechanics? If you can pass the courses, is it any different than somebody who gets into Geology or into History or into whatever it is they're into? You should be able to get a degree. Not, not where all your hours are in auto body but where thirty or forty of them--

ADAMS: --right--

TAYLOR: --we'll--our kids will see that--

ADAMS: --and I think that'll be better.

TAYLOR: And you can see that in other states. That's not--

ADAMS: --right now--

TAYLOR: -- that's not a dream. Yeah, that's not a dream. Technical--a degree in technical education.

ADAMS: And then that'll be better for--for everyone.

TAYLOR: Sure. I mean then that auto body, that auto mechanic, that-- that sheet metal, HVAC person, that child that grows up in that family, they know. My wife and I was talking just today, you know so and so's going to college. We know, because that's all they ever known. 02:00:00That's all this auto body kids ever going to know too. My dad went to college, my mom didn't, my mom did, they went to--I'm going to college. You know it's about the future of Kentucky; it's about the future of higher-ed in-in America. It's going to be great. I won't see all of it, but I'll see a lot of it.

ADAMS: Well Paul, uh, I can't appreciate--you know, thank you enough.

TAYLOR: John, it's been fun. I mean, honestly, a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. (Adams laughs) You know, just listening to me, uh, spout off for a while, I guess, maybe--that's a--probably not something a lot of people want to do, but you--honestly, you know, I am committed to this. My family was committed to this and, you know, I think it's kind of amazing to come from, um, uh--two generations removed, you know, a--a grocery store owner and a--a homemaker, and a--a cement----------(??) that walked to work and probably died of 02:01:00inhalation of the dust and the cement----------(??) and a cook.

ADAMS: And now a vice president.

TAYLOR: That's not about me, it's about these kids and grandchildren coming on, so.

ADAMS: Paul, I appreciate it. Thank you--

TAYLOR: --all right, John. It was fun. Thank you and I mean that.

[End of interview.]