MILLER: This is the Kentucky Transportation Center Oral History Project.The date is April the fifteenth. It's 1:50 PM in room 112 of the Raymond Anderson building. This is Mardi Miller, M-a-r-d as in David-i Miller with the Kentucky Transportation Center of Technology Transfer program.
WHAYNE: And this is Laura Whayne with the Kentucky TransportationCenter. L-a-u-r-a, last name is Whayne, W-h-a-y-n-e.
MILLER: And we are here today interviewing Patsy Anderson.
ANDERSON: That's Patsy, P-a-t-s-y, Anderson, A-n-d-e-r-s-o-n.
MILLER: And this is a project, um, recap for the Kentucky TransportationCenter Oral History Project. Patsy, we're so glad that you could be here today to talk to us about your involvement, um, with the Kentucky Transportation Center, and, um, if you could just, um, let us know 1:00what your most recent position is with the, um, Kentucky Transportation Center and where your office is located.
ANDERSON: Uh, my office is located in the Center for Manufacturingbuilding here on campus at the university, and my most recent position is I'm director of technology transfer.
MILLER: And are you currently in that position?
ANDERSON: I am currently employed, yes.
MILLER: When did you first become involved with transportation, um,transportation here in Kentucky or the Transportation Center here in Kentucky specifically?
ANDERSON: Well, I am, I have the distinction of being the very firstemployee of the Transportation Center. I came to work for the center in January 1980. Before that, I had no background in transportation, uh, so it was a huge change in the sense of, um, why, you know, where I was and what I was doing. But my skills at, uh, policy research were 2:00important at that time.
MILLER: And what was your position when you began with the KentuckyTransportation Center?
ANDERSON: I don't recall that I had a title or--since I was the onlyemployee, my role was to more or less, uh, get the center started and to look at possibilities and ways that we could accomplish what the university's board of trustees wanted us to do.
MILLER: And the physical location of the Kentucky Transportation Centerat that time, was it at that time on the University of Kentucky campus?
ANDERSON: It was. It was in, uh, Anderson Hall.
MILLER: And how would you describe--I know that you stated that you werethe only or the first employee of the organization at that time. Um, was there then a structural organization, um, to the center, um, at that time? Um, maybe a board or some other grouping? 3:00
ANDERSON: At that time, we had, uh, what was called the Board ofTrustees Action--better known then as a PR8 action--um, that appeared on my desk my first day at work. At that time, I was reporting to, uh, David Blythe. David was the, uh, he was a professor of engineer-, civil engineering and also the head of continuing education for the, uh, College of Engineering, and his interest, well, he really was given the responsibility of bringing someone in who could actually get the program started. Uh, he had been successful in getting some money from the graduate school from, um, mister, uh, Dr. Royster, Wimberly Royster who was then the head of the graduate school on campus, and he 4:00provided us with a budget of $20,000 a year. And that was my salary which, as I recall, my very first salary here in 1980 was $12,500 a year, and the remainder I could spend with great abandon, uh, to try to bring together people to do transportation research and offer transportation services for the betterment of, uh, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens. And one of the first things, having never--at that time, I had--I was employed at the Council of State Governments prior and was very much active with, uh, policy research and, and working with all the fifty states, but I had no background in, uh, working in academia--which I look back on it now and I think that was probably a good thing because I had little knowledge of things 5:00like turf wars and, uh, the fact that on the University of Kentucky campus there was lots of politics and so forth. I was totally ignorant of that, and I look back and think that was probably one of the most helpful things that I brought to the table was my ignorance because, you know, when I came here and I read what I was supposed to do and I had basically no guidance other than David flying through the office. He was doing this strictly as a volunteer activity himself, and he would come through and give me a few words of wisdom and off he would go and I wouldn't see him for a few days. So the very first thing I did was think to myself, transportation research: who's interested in research and why on this campus? So I sent out a mass mailing to 6:00everyone on campus, and I set up a, uh, get together. As I recall, it was right after work, or at four o' clock, say, and it was basically an invitation like this. "Are you interested in transportation research and, if so, in what area?" And I put down all the ones that I could think of, um, and I was thinking a lot about the social implications. And, uh, so I sent that out, and I said, "Come, and we'll have a reception with food." Now bear in mind my limited budget, but David Blythe had indicated to me if you wanted to get faculty there and all these folks, it would be really smart to offer food. Well, when I got to checking my budget and so forth, we had--I mean, this literally-- bologna and cheese sandwiches and, um, iced tea and lemonade and, uh, 7:00probably potato chips. In other words, not very expensive food, but food. Well, when I sent it out, I had no clue if I would have ten or if I would have fifteen or thirty. I was utterly amazed to have about 125 or 130 people, as I recall, and even more amazing were they were from all parts of the university. We had people from home economics who were interested in the role of women in transportation. We had folks from, um, agriculture--especially Ag Economics. Lynn Robbins is one I remember--who had, uh, was very interested in transportation of produce from Florida and what possible, you know, how we could use the failing rail system as we saw the decline in the rail system. We 8:00were saying, "The rail system's there. Why can't we energize it by using it to bring produce out of Florida into the northern states and into this part of the county?" Uh, we had people from medicine who were saying transportation creates, you know, car crashes, creates all sorts of trauma, pedestrians being hit. It's also a problem. So on and on it went, and of course the standards that you would expect--we had, uh, folks in engineering and, so it was quite an array of folks. And what was astounding was even though they had similar interests, they had never met each other. So I took down--that was basically before the days when e-mail was rampant, but we had quite a good system of, uh, what do you call it? The little brown envelopes we have? The 9:00messenger mail. I got all the inf-, all the folks together and sorted through all the things I had learned there and honed it down to we had about three to four ideas for interdisciplinary projects. One was Lynn Robbins' project of transportation of agricultural projects. Uh, he was in Ag Econ. We put him together with the geography person. Uh, I'm trying to remember his name. It's not coming to me right now, and we put together several and they had my services to pull them together to talk to them about possible funding sources. We brought in OSPA, the office of special projects, uh, to talk about possible money sources in Washington. So we had that going and then we had, uh, the 10:00role of women in transportation with the home economics, uh, the survey center, and we pulled together there an interdisciplinary team. And that was the two main ones that I remember, um, other that--we had one with John Hutchinson on accident reconstruction. I guess that was the third project.
So I was serving, at that time, as a catalyst to improve communication,bring folks together, give them a place to meet and a reason, uh, to talk to them about things going on. With my background of doing interstate research, I had lots of contacts around the county where I could go and say, "What's going on in your state in this area?" So that was our first effort. Uh, the projects were quite successful. This 11:00came in, uh, we started this project when, uh, Roger Eichorn was dean, uh, and--
MILLER: When you say "this project" are you referring to the KentuckyTransportation Center itself?
ANDERSON: Yes. The Transportation Center and my employment began underDean Roger Eichorn, um, and others that were involved at that point as advisors but not actually workers was Jack Deacon and, um, Dean Blythe. And they were really about the only folks and very limited, of course. The dean, he had so many other things going on. He was very supportive, but it was basically us. And we got these folks to start talking, and that was, um, a very good reason for the center to exist and that was more or less its, uh, purpose at that point was to bring 12:00together various disciplines, um, to address transportation, research and to provide technology transfer which was--then we started moving in that direction, uh, since Dean Blythe, David Blythe was Dean of Continuing Ed. He also had that interest, and we discussed roles that we should be playing in that area. And the center, at that time, began to take on--and as far as I can see still mimics a bit--and it's on a much smaller scale--the Ag Extension Program. We, uh, offer citizens of Kentucky the ability to come to one location for information on transportation. We're also very proactive, even then, on providing policy-makers, elected officials with information that would help them 13:00make decisions on transportation. That was our biggest, that was our first effort toward, uh, technology transfer, and I think the first year that I was here--I can't remember the topics--but we put together three or four workshops that we offered and they were well-received. But again, they were just subjects that I, through reading, knew--uh, that I had identified as important topics, topics of interest to the general public. Does that kind of answer what you were asking?
MILLER: Yes, it does, and how would you describe those that attended,um, those beginning workshops? Um, what was their involvement? What agencies did they represent?
ANDERSON: Primarily they were, um, city and county government employeesand state government employees who were working, uh, within the cities 14:00and counties on transportation issues.
MILLER: Could you, um, describe for us just a little bit your memoriesof, um, the funding process that you went through with those, um, the four initial projects that you mentioned; um, maybe efforts, um, if it did involve any lobbying or, um, how you went about, um, soliciting funding for those?
ANDERSON: We did them primarily as unsolicited projects from federalgrants. My memory fails me as to where we actually gained the funding for all of them. I think the, the one on the rail system involved, uh, private industry money from railroads and I believe from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but again, it's been too long ago for me to remember with any clarity. 15:00
MILLER: Um, and you described the center beginning in 1980. When youstarted doing the technology transfer-related workshops, what year would you think that was? How long after the beginning?
ANDERSON: Well, I came in 1980. We had a new governor come into officein '81, in January of '81. The then secretary of transportation was Calvin Grayson. Mr. Grayson as is typical, you know, uh, left state government at that time. Calvin along with, uh, Dean--had been active as secretary of transportation with Eichorn and with, um, Jack Deacon and others in wanting to start a transportation research center or transportation center, and so they were working together to get that started. Well, when he came in, when he left his work at the state 16:00government as secretary of transportation, he came over, and I was telling him, "You know, I can do, I can do a lot of this work, but I do not have name recognition in Kentucky that will allow me to influence or to gain the interest of our state legislature. And we need money." You can't--by then this was like the second year of operation. I had gone with my hat in my hand to see Dean Royster again, and he continued the program. But I had no operating budget other than what he was putting out there, and I had no money to hire staff. So, uh, I had been thinking, if this thing's going to fly, we've got to find some money and find an organizational structure for it. At that time, there was actually talk about putting it in the graduate school so that it 17:00would be totally interdisciplinary and would not appear to be just a project of the College of Engineering. That's something that Mr. Grayson would need to help remember--because I can't--why that never happened. I don't remember why that never happened, but it didn't, obviously. Okay. So anyway, Mr. Grayson and I were sit-, we were having some sort of a meeting and I met him, and I said to him, "We need money for this center. How can we get it?" And he says, "How about I put together a proposal to the college that says--and to Dean Royster--that says if they will fund me for six months, they will provide partial salary for me for six months, I will use that time to 18:00find funding for the Transportation Center, and if I can't do that, if I can't cover my own salary, they have no more obligation to me. But I will find, you know, that will be my goal. I will work half-time, and I will work with you and we will go together and try to get money out of the Legislature to get some core funding." At that time, we had also heard of and was aware--in fact, I believe the university had applied for it. I was not involved with it--money from the Federal Highway Administration to fund a--what then they called a Rural Transportation Assistance Program. It had to have a state match. I believe, at that time the amount of funding was, I want to say, $150,000 a year 19:00but with inside funding, uh, by having match money that would take it up to a budget of about--although, I think maybe our first budget was $250,000. So maybe it was $125--so anyway, we wanted to go after that money, but we had no match. So Calvin and I decided to go see if anybody was interested in us doing, going after that money. We went to Frankfort. We, um, worked with, um, Hank Hancock who then was on the House Transportation Committee. Calvin and I drafted a bill--and I'm sure that probably wasn't totally what we should have been doing--but we gave some ideas, and magically there was a bill produced that went through the House to get funding for us. It was one-tenth of one percent of fuel taxes with a cap of $190,000. Now that was in '82--no, 20:00wait. It was in '83 when we were doing all that work. We got the bill passed, and we then started making an application for the funding from the Federal Highway Administration. We were successful and when we got that, we began a true technology transfer program to local agencies in July 1, 1984. That money allowed us to hire an additional staff person, an administrative staff person, but it was Calvin, me and then the administrative staff person and we were the Kentucky Transportation Center, the three of us. At that same time, the then governor--and again, I'll tell you who. Um, I guess that was Wal-, um, I'll tell 21:00you in a minute. I believe that was Wallace Wilkinson--uh, appointed a new Cabinet secretary of transportation, Frank Metz. Mr. Metz did not think the state should be responsible, the State Transportation Cabinet, should be responsible for research, so therefore he--and at that time, the building that is now known as the Whalen Building was the, um, actually a state government building, and it housed the State Division of Research for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The university wanted that building and offered the State Transportation 22:00Cabinet a deal that says we will accept, we will take your research branch, and we will keep your employees. In exchange, you will give us the building. So at that time--and that would have been in '81--in 1981, the university accepted responsibility and renamed the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Division of Research to the Kentucky--let me see if I can remember this--the Kentucky Transportation Research Program, KTRP. Uh, they appointed as the director of that, uh, Robert Dean. Robert Dean was appointed the director, so we had two things. 23:00We had the Kentucky Transportation Center headed by Calvin Grayson with me as his, um, assistant--and we had a secretary--so we had the Kentucky Transportation Center and we had the Kentucky Transportation Research Program; two totally separate entities with two totally separate missions, ours being one of service and interdisciplinary involvement and with theirs being applied research. Uh, the research that we had done at that point in the Transportation Center had been more theoretical research, basic theoretical research. So anyway, we now have a center for the Kentucky Transportation Research Program that 24:00reports primarily, that has funding primarily from the, um, state, and it was SPR money, State Planning and Research money from the Federal Highway Administration. And they had, they kept many of their same employees, and they had us. Well, back then there was some--it was a bad time for the research guys especially because they had been totally pulled away from state government, put into, you know, they then were part of the university, and there was, um, feelings of insecurity not knowing, you know, lack of direction. Uh, and they had to work through all those things, which they did over the next year as they continued to do research and, um, for the Transportation Cabinet. We realized 25:00that there was a need of blending the two organizations, to put the Transportation Center together with the Transportation Research Program.
WHAYNE: Who was involved in that, um, blending or recognizing the need?Who kind of initiated it or was it--?
ANDERSON: Well, Mr. Grayson, Mr. Grayson in conjunction, I'm sure,with the, uh, transportation folks in Frankfort and I would suppose--and Mr. Grayson would have to tell you that--I would think Jack Deacon and others. So that was in '81. Nothing happened at that time to combine the two. Unfortunately, I can't remember the year but I want to say 26:00about '85 maybe, and again we need to look up those dates. They should be findable. Uh, tragically Mr. Robert--Dr. Robert Dean passed away unexpectedly leaving the research program without a director. They appointed an interim director, and then the university looked seriously at combining the two operations which they eventually did and appointed Mr. Grayson as the head of the Kentucky Transportation Center, the director. Uh, he appointed me as the Associate Director for Technology Transfer and Mr. Ron Hughes as Associate Director for Research. And that became--and then I became, um, responsible for, um, a large training program that had evolved at that point. Our 27:00technology transfer was always very, very much customer-driven. When Calvin and I first started it--could I have a glass of water? Thank you. When Calvin first came in and we first began that program, we went to all the area development districts and met with every county judge in Kentucky. We said to them, "If you'll support"--and that was around legislation time--"if you support the legislation and if you support our training program, we promise you that we will, uh, it will be your program. We will be looking to you for guidance." And by doing that, we came away with a list of their needs. We used that list to create the first year's training program. As I recall, we did 28:00a massive twelve classes. You do know that now we're doing over two hundred classes a year. (laughs) So it, it grew pretty quickly and I keep, uh, backing up and coming forward again. Um, I think, um, I'm about to lose my train of thought. Ask me a question, somebody.
MILLER: That's fine. Um, would you say that Kentucky was unique, uh,nationwide in, um, the setup that you had at that point? Um, were there other states looking for similar programs, um, or that you looked toward as the model maybe?
ANDERSON: Yes. We looked at the Tennessee Transportation Center.At this time there were, uh, all sorts of needs for transportation innovation, and Congress had seen this and was looking at universities 29:00to provide leadership in transportation research and innovation. You know, by this time we're getting close to, um, most all of the interstates had outlived their lives, and we'd gotten to the point where our roadways, we had possibly--we were getting close to having enough roads. We just needed to maintain them and make them appropriate for the volume of traffic that was going to carry them. So Congress had, um, come up. You know, they had said, we need universities to be doing this. That was one of the catalysts for getting us to, um, start the center. The Tennessee Transportation Center was more or less our model. We looked to them as kind of the way that--we used them a lot as information. Um-- 30:00
MILLER: Do you recall the name of anyone at that time, um, that you mayhave worked with, um, at the University of Tennessee?
ANDERSON: Yes. There was, uh--I can see him now, and, uh, you must talkto my cohort, Mr. Grayson, because I can't recall his name. It seems to me it was Frank, but I don't remember his last name. He was the director there. He was quite helpful to us and hosted us several times to come down and, uh, see how his center operated and how his funding, how it was laid out--the Tennessee Transportation Center, and not long after that, there formed with Mr. Grayson--we were a charter member and quite involved in the development of the Council of University Transportation Centers. And I believe there were--I don't remember the number for sure--but probably about somewhere between fifteen and twenty centers at that time. Now, there's many more, and now they 31:00do have--some of them have hard funding from Congress as university transportation centers.
MILLER: Going back to those early workshops that you held, um,statewide, do you recall, um, just, you know, looking at transportation in Kentucky and how it has maybe changed over time, do you recall what needs were expressed to you by local governments at that time and maybe how you see that differing or having changed to the needs you see now?
ANDERSON: Well, I think the needs then, uh, are basically the same.How we address them may be different. Then, as now, maintenance of highways, maintenance of roadways--I think things as simple--then, the most important workshop we offered was drainage; still is. We used to say the three most important aspects of roadway maintenance is drainage, drainage, drainage. The other, uh, things like pothole 32:00repair, uh, how to lay asphalt; just very basic maintenance topics. How do they differ now? Uh, we have--we do more management now. We have computers now. We have GPS now. All of those things are very influential on maintenance of local roads especially. Um, but we still, to this day the most important way we choose what we are going to do is what our customers ask for. We are customer-driven a hundred percent, but there's much more to our program than just training. We have technical assistance where we will go out and actually, uh, review a project with someone to see and offer on-site, face-to-face discussion. We have publications. Uh, we have newsletters that 33:00we issue. We have our library, so there's many ways that we give assistance besides just training.
MILLER: Can you speak to the growth of the Technology Transfer Programover that time? Um, you mentioned, um, you thought that maybe it began with twelve workshops and that it has grown substantially. How would you speak to maybe the growth of, um, staff during that time, maybe the change of, of your, um, your location facility needs also?
ANDERSON: Okay. Well, yes. The first go around I think we hadsomething like twelve workshops, and we had to do a real marketing job. We'd have to call and beg people to come, so to speak, and then as we moved along and became a little more known, we were getting more involved. Uh, then we were made aware and I, I can't remember 34:00how we were. I know, I think Mr. Grayson reminded me that there was legislation that defined what a county road program is, and it says that you must have either a county road engineer or a county road supervisor who has certain qualifications--as I recall, it was three years' practical road-building experience--and who passes an exam given by the Highway District Office, um, to qualify him as a certified road supervisor. There was, at that time, no training available to these people. Many times you would have a guy who'd come in to be a county road supervisor, and his three years of experience was the fact that he was a farmer and he maintained his own on-farm roads. Um, he knew 35:00how to ditch because he had to ditch the road to the barn, et cetera. That was his experience and then as far as training there just wasn't anything available. So then we had--Milo Bryant was secretary when he approached us and challenged us to provide training specific to county road supervisors that would give them the information they needed to pass an examination that would be administered by the state. That was the beginning of the birth of the Road Scholar program. We decided the Road Scholar program, you would need to have all the basics of a good road. How do you build a road and how do you maintain it? Very basic operational information. So, we put together a series of workshops 36:00that did just that. We had things like maintenance of asphalt, maintenance of concrete. We had drainage--uh, gosh. That's been so long ago--equipment management. Use of computers was such a new thing at that time. Most people didn't know much about computers, so we had a very basic, basic information about computers as a course. Uh, we had, I think, one class in managing people and that was our Road Scholar program. And there was, at the time, there was about fifteen courses involved, and you can get--and of that fifteen, I believe, nine or ten were required to get your certification. And, you know, his-, there's historical documents that can tell you what those courses were. All right. So that began our Road Scholar program. Um, we-- 37:00
MILLER: Do you recall--I'm sorry--do you recall, roughly, the year?
ANDERSON: Yes. That was in, it was created and I presented thecurriculum and all that in 1987, in the fall of '87. Our first graduates were then in the fall of '88, and it was a huge, huge success; totally voluntary, paid for with registration fees. Each class had a fee which covered its cost, but they were very low, uh, fees and it was a very successful program. Uh, at that time it was geared primarily toward cities and counties, public works directors and roads--county road crews. Then there was a fellow named Joe Deaton who was an assistant state highway engineer in charge of maintenance and construction, and Joe Deaton, he was at one of the graduation 38:00ceremonies--and at that time, we had the ceremonies here on campus over at the student center until they got too big--and Joe Deaton says, "Why doesn't our state people get to come to these courses?" And I said, "Well, Joe, they can come if they want to. All you got to do is pay the fee." "Well, I want every one of my guys." I guess at that time he was the district engineer in Elizabethtown. That's what he was. He wanted his guys to come. He was a--like I say, he was a chief district engineer. So he started sending his guys, and the first year, uh, the second year I guess it was, second year, he graduated. He had four of his maintenance folks get their Road Scholar certificate and he became a champion for the program. He encouraged all the other district offices--district, uh, highway offices to send 39:00their people to training. So we saw a huge jump in the need for our training, and suddenly we were doing an astronomical forty workshops a year or something of that sort. We had gotten, at that point, where we hired another employee or two. I think, at that point, we may have had four or five employees. All right. That goes on for a year and then about nineteen--I want to look it up--but I think it was 1990 maybe, we kept having Road Scholars, guys who had gone through the Road Scholar program say to us, What do we do now? We want more training. I said, "Oh, my goodness. Let's see. What shall we do? Well, you're a scholar. Let's make you a master. You will now become Road Masters." 40:00The Road Scholar program was primarily, uh, operations, operational courses with a tiny bit of management. The Road Master program is mostly management with some higher level, uh, operational courses. So we now have a Road Scholar and a Road Master program, and the Road Master was eagerly, uh, attended by all the fellows who had gotten their Road Scholar. You've got to think these are people who are salt-of-the-earth guys who have never had the opportunity for this kind of training before. Um, they have never, you know--they are primarily high school graduates who have come up through the ranks, and that's what--where they are; intelligent, hardworking men. And now they have a source of information. They have a place where they can go and meet 41:00others who have the same needs as they have. So it was very, very successful. About that time, Mac Yowell who was, um, state highway engineer gets up at one of our Transportation Forums that we used to do many years ago--we should talk about that, too--um, he got up and challenged all of the state/county road foremen to become Road Scholars, and he says, "It's an excellent program and we support it, and we would love to see all of our county foremen to become Road Scholars." Well, again, a huge jump in attendance at our courses. Again, we were scrambling, looking for part-time people, anyone we could find to work 42:00with us at that time. I think by then we had, uh, maybe two or three coordinators. We had two coordinators and someone doing, um, uh, our publications, and I believe our library was in effect then. So, um, we worked with some part-time people, and we got the job done. Uh, so let's see. Then we had the Road Scholar, we had the Road Master and those were primarily our big programs except one that I didn't mention to you that Mr. Grayson started when we first started was we had what we called, he called the Kentucky Transportation Forum. The forum was designed to provide state-of-the-art information and information on what kinds of resear-, it was a, a showcase, so to speak, for research going on here at the university and nationwide for the benefit of all 43:00of the transportation community; private industry and everyone. That also was the, uh, that was the place we held our graduation ceremonies and all those other things that go along with putting on our programs. And that continued as long as Calvin was here as secretary--not as secretary, as the Transportation Center director. When he left I think we had one more, and then our new Director did not see the need and those were cancelled. We have not held one since then.
MILLER: Do you recall where all those early forums were held?
ANDERSON: They were all held here on campus. That was a big part of it.They were held on campus at the student center.
WHAYNE: Can you describe a little bit about those graduation ceremoniesfor the Road Scholar, Road Master? Some of the people involved?
ANDERSON: Yes. Yes. The ceremonies were--we believed that this was44:00a big deal to these guys and to us and should be treated that way. We worked to get the secretary of transportation to actually do the presentations of certificates and the state highway engineer to be there. Uh, we made sure that there was plenty of press. We made sure hometown newspapers knew that these guys had gone to this much trouble to improve their, um, knowledge and therefore to be better workers. So, uh, we would invite their families to come see them, their bosses and that continues today, and--oh, yes. Uh, we were very fortunate. At--uh, Paul Patton was the, supported us when he was county judge of 45:00Pike County by sending all of his employees to Road Scholar/Road Master training. I went and met with him and told him. You know, he was, he was--uh, Governor Patton was our education governor, I like to think. His platform and his "education pays". He wanted to see everyone in our state do the best they could with--get as much education and training as they could. Well, uh, he knew about us, and when he was campaigning, I talked with him and asked him if he would be supportive of our program when he was elect-, if he was elected governor. He said he most certainly would be. After he was elected governor, I reminded him of that, and I asked him to honor our graduates by acknowledging 46:00them by sending them a letter of congratulations. He was delighted to do that. So from that point forward, every one of our Road Scholar and Road Master graduates--we didn't have Road Master then--our Road Scholar and eventually Road--no. Just our Road Scholars--every one of our Road Scholars ever since has received a personal letter of congratulations from the governor, and all the governors through the years have, uh, continued that tradition. And many of--we always invite to those graduations the legislature, and they're still providing funding, some funding for us. So we invite all of them to come, and they are so wonderful to support the program. If they can't come, many times they will also send, um, commendations to the individuals that are in their precincts and districts and so forth. Do 47:00you have another question for me? (laughs)
MILLER: Um, do you recall over time, um, maybe other county judgeexecutives or mayors or other, um, elected officials at the local level who maybe played a significant role in supporting the program or, um, by sending employees or helping in other ways?
ANDERSON: Oh, there are so many, I would be hard-pressed to even beginto name them. We have such wonderful support from them, but one thing, um, whenever the legislature gave us that one-tenth of one percent of the fuel taxes they also put in place, um, a---an advisory board. The advisory board was made up of the secretary of transportation, 48:00the state highway engineer, the dean of the college as ex officio members. We had a, some one representative of the Kentucky County Judge Executive Association, the Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky League of Cities. We had someone on that board who was from industry, from the highway industry, and then we had two at-large members, and all those people have been extremely influential. And as I've--you know, I don't have the rosters here, and I know I would leave out a very important person if I tried to go through the whole list. One person that I remember, though, is Mike Miller, county judge of Marshall County. Mike was wonderful. He, to this day, never gets up in front of an audience at their meetings that he doesn't make mention of our program. Every--for years and years and years, everyone on his 49:00road department has been through the Road Scholar/Road Master program, um, so he's been a great ambassador for us. Um, Richard Tanner with the Magistrates and Commissioners Association--I was with Richard not long ago. Well, I went down to speak at their, uh, meeting in Louisville last week, and he asked me to talk to the magistrates and commissioners about the Road Scholar program, the Road Master program and ways they can save money on their roads by becoming better able, you know, talk about their--to learn more. Well, I had to reflect as I was heading toward that meeting. Richard was around--like me, he's been around a very long time--and he was one of our biggest opponents 50:00when we were trying to get money out of the legislature. Always money is tight with legislatures, and he was saying, "Why would you give them money that could be going to the counties to work on their roads?" Uh, so he was lobbying against us, and no matter how much we talked to him we couldn't get him to come around. And now from there, after all these years, Richard is one of the greatest supporters of ours and has been for years, but in the early days, we had to prove ourselves to him. We had to prove ourselves to just about everybody. Mr. Grayson, who is a fantastic person and a wonderful mentor for me, one of his things was, "Give us money for a year. If you don't like what we're doing, if we can't show you how beneficial we're being then take it away. We don't want your money unless you think we're earning it." And 51:00I'm happy to say we were--we always reported to the Legislature, gave them the information they asked for and they were--they, to this day, are still giving us that kind of support. Now we went along with just support from the legislature for several years, three or four years. Then we didn't have enough money. We went to the state transportation cabinet. I don't recall for sure under which one of our secretaries that was--Mr. Grayson might--but anyway, we asked them to put a line item in the governor's budget for us in transportation strictly for technology transfer to allow us a cushion of money that will give us an opportunity to develop new courses and things of that sort. We were successful in getting that done. Successful--it was in the governor's 52:00budget, not the House, and therefore it's readmit-, every budget cycle, it could be stricken out. It's a line item. We still get it. All these years, we're still getting that money every year. They consider, you know, it's some of the best money they spend. So now, you know, we're lucky to be at a place where we're getting $100,000 from the DOT. The transportation--and that's strictly for technology transfer. We're getting one-tenth of one percent of fuel taxes up to $190,000, which it's always $190,000, for the operation and management of the center. Um, now each one of our programs, as you know, is funded through--we have lots of research that is project-specific. Technology 53:00transfer is getting, um, our funding comes from those two sources I just mentioned plus the federal money from the, uh, Federal Highway Association Local Technical Assistance Program which is, at the moment, $140,000 a year and it must be matched.
WHAYNE: Matched by whom?
ANDERSON: Matched by, within state, in state. We use that $100,000we get from the DOT to match it, and, um, we also get--we charge registration fees, and that's our biggest source of income. I want to say last year it was, like, $800,000 for registration fees.
MILLER: Can you describe other partnerships that, um, your technologytransfer program has had over the years, maybe at a national level, um, and your involvement there? Um, uh, you had mentioned previously the 54:00council--
ANDERSON: Of University Transportation Centers?
MILLER: Yes, ma'am.
ANDERSON: Yes. Well, there are so many. You know, nothing ever happensalone in a vacuum. It takes partnerships. Our biggest partnership, the most beneficial I'm sure, is the national associat-, National LTAP Association. That is, every state in the union now has money, uh, designated for the LTAP program, and they have organized all the, the LTAPs have organized into an association. We exchange information daily, um, so we're always working, beg, borrowing and stealing for each other. Um, we consider plagiarism to be a compliment, and, um, so that's a really wonderful partnership with all the other states. We have a fantastic partnership with the American Public Works 55:00Association. Now back to the LTAP Association. I've served on many committees and so forth with that group. I've been on the executive committee several times. Uh, I work with the strategic planning committee and many, uh, as I say, I've been very active with that group. Currently, um, Valerie Pitts on our staff is on the, uh, executive committee. I think Kentucky's had someone on the executive committee for the last fifteen years, and, uh, other staff members serve on various other committees and groups. Uh, then we have a relat-, an excellent relationship nationally and in-state with the American Public Works Association. Martha Horseman is on their, uh, education committee. Um, she is also, um, president of one of the branches and is on the in-state, um, she is a state chapter executive 56:00board member. We work closely with the National Association of County Engineers. We are--that's a na-, a national--also the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, ARTBA. Uh, let me think. What others are there that we work with nationally? And, of course we--oh, the Transportation Research Board, we, I serve on some of their committees and so do staff members. Within our state we work very closely and very actively with the, um, Kentucky Association of Counties, the Kentucky County Judge Executive Association, the Kentucky 57:00League of Cities, uh, the Kentuckians for Better Transportation. Um, let me think what else. It's a wonder we get anything else done, but those partnerships are so important. We have a good partnership with the Plantmix Asphalt Industry of Kentucky, uh, the Readymix Concrete Association, and these industry partners are especially valuable because they provide us with state-of-the-art information and they often will provide us speakers without cost.
MILLER: How would you describe the, um, your program here in Kentuckycompared to other LTAPs across the nation? Are you similar in size and programming?
ANDERSON: Well, I really hate to boast or brag, but we've had thedistinction for many years, uh, as being considered one of the top three in the nation both in productivity and in quality of work by 58:00the association and the Federal Highway Administration, although they hesitate usually to make those kind of designations. I think the fact that, uh, our staff are often called to do peer reviews--I do a lot of consulting with other states that want to develop centers like ours, so I think that holds us in high regard. We're well-known nationally. Uh, our staff members are often on agendas, uh, for other centers, and I think we are definitely--our university strives to be one of the top twenty--I would definitely say we're in the top ten nationally.
WHAYNE: Can you describe some of the other programs, uh, that are offered59:00by the Technology Transfer Program here at the center? You've described the Road Scholar and the Road Master. What are some of the others?
ANDERSON: Yes. We have moved a lot into workforce development. Nowthat is, to me workforce development is anything that you have to do. You know, you have to develop your staff, your workforce, to do a specific task. These are programs that, uh, require certification, qualification in order to keep your job. Um, so we do things like the work zone traffic control qualification training. We do the Pesticide training, uh, certification. That one is in cooperation with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Um, environ-, we do, we run a project called KEPSC, the Kentucky Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control program, and backing up, you mentioned the Road Scholar and 60:00Road Master. Back many years ago, it became so important that, um, where it was written into state personnel policy that if you were going to be promoted to the first line supervisory position within the Transportation Cabinet you had to have completed the Road Scholar program. Um, I think you were given--either to have it finished or to have it finished within six months of accepting the, um, position. So we do a lot of, uh, as I say, lots of training that is, uh, geared toward qualifying someone to do something, and I guess that started--the first one was the Plantmix Asphalt training. We do, uh, it's Superpave qualification. We do a course in mix design. We do one in, uh, plant 61:00technologists, and those are required to fulfill those positions.
MILLER: What year did you, um, do you think that you started to moveinto some of the qualifications and certifications?
ANDERSON: I believe the, uh, Superpave started in '92 or '93; a longtime ago. I've been around a long time. (laughs)
MILLER: Um, can you tell us about some of the challenges that you'vefaced, um, over the years as technology transfer has changed and grown?
ANDERSON: Oh, my. There's always challenges. That's what makes ourjob so interesting, I think. We've had political challenges. We've had situations--you know, any time there's a budget cut, training is usually the first thing that goes. We've had to, we've had to overcome 62:00those kinds of issues; um, funding, always funding, lack of employees. We always have more work to do than we have employees, and in a university setting, it's not easy to add those employees. It seems--in fact, we're getting ready to go through a reorg-, reorganization right now and add one to two new positions--it seems like about every ten years we have that need. Well, we have it before then. We'll move from doing 150 programs a year to doing 225 with no additional staff other than temporary or, um, you know, trying to get people to come in just for a specific project. Uh, so that's always--I think anytime in work like ours when you are customer-driven, you need to be able to respond quickly. It's difficult to respond quickly if you are in 63:00a bureaucratic process as we are, as we must be, and your resources are limited. You know, you have certain rules to follow and you can't do things as quickly as your customer needs for you to do. We've had great--the University of Kentucky is a wonderful place to work, and they have worked with us in trying to get those, you know, where there are roadblocks, I usually can find someone to help us get that straightened out. Um, I think--other challenges, um--qualified instructors are sometimes difficult to locate. Our courses are presented all over the state of Kentucky which means if you're going to be working as an instructor you're going to travel a lot. Um, we like to think that we present a workshop within sixty miles of every road worker in the 64:00state, uh, so as I say, the travel for our staff, the workload--uh, our work is also seasonal to a certain degree, and when other folks are having a good time around the end of the year, the calendar year, our folks are run ragged putting our year-end training as well as our graduation ceremonies and that kind of thing. Um, I guess I have been so fortunate as director of technology transfer to have a very, very motivated, uh, qualified staff to work with who absolutely take care of the challenges in most cases before I know they were a challenge. I think that most people that I work with here in the center at the 65:00moment, our Technology Transfer Program, really like what they do, and when that's the case, the challenges, while they are challenges, um, we work well together and manage to overcome them pretty quickly.
MILLER: What do you feel is--just backing up to transportation ingeneral in Kentucky--what do you feel is, um, the most significant change that you've seen in your lifetime in transportation?
ANDERSON: Oh, my gosh. In my lifetime? Well, um, considering thatI grew up in rural Robertson County on a farm and, um, saw the interstates be built, um, gosh. That's a hard question. The most significant change? Hmm. 66:00
MILLER: And I guess we should ask what year you were born.
ANDERSON: I was born in December of '42. So that's almost '43.(laughs) So lots of things have happened. I would say the introduction of computer technology to transportation. I think we see, you know, um, I think it came by leaps and bounds, but at this point we have our roadways designed with computer technology. We, everything- -the computer technology touches every aspect of transportation now, and I think we are now seeing, uh, global positioning systems. Global information s-, geographic information systems is picking up where that left off. We are now seeing that as a, you know, it's doing so many things for us, but, you know, you mentioned, um, challenges. For 67:00every one of these innovations and these changes there's challenges. I was so amazed in my meeting with the magistrates and commissioners to find that while, you know, everyone is using GPS now, it does have its drawbacks and challenges, too. Uh, when I asked those guys, "What's the biggest problem you have maintaining your roads," they said, Semi, tractor trailers and other heavy trucks coming across our county roads. And I said, "Oh, my goodness. And why?" And they said, Because their GPS unit has directed them that way as the shortest route, and they don't realize they're on a county road until they're on a county road and nowhere to turn around. Who would have thought it? You know?
MILLER: Do you see the Kentucky Transportation Center playing a role inthese changes and these events?
ANDERSON: Oh, absolutely. There is such a talented group of researchers68:00here; uh, people, young people coming in every day into our research program. Um, I think it's a forward-thinking organization. I think we have wonderful leadership, and I do indeed think that the outlook for contributions from the University of Kentucky to national and global transportation is huge.
MILLER: And I do believe there's even, um, an exchange program, isn'tthere, in place, um, with Russia that maybe--have you also been involved with international--
ANDERSON: I have. Uh, this is, this came from the Federal HighwayAdministration's, um, funding through their, um--oh, shoot. What is it that they call their--
ANDERSON: --international, in their International Affairs Program.69:00Uh, they have highlighted, you know, they are looking for centers to provide services, exchange services with, uh, foreign countries, and Kentucky was selected to work with Russia. And I along with some of the researchers here and people from the Transportation Cabinet were, went to Russia. My role was to advise them on how to get information out to the hinterlands where people can actually use it, and in Russia that's an even bigger problem than here just from the, just from the huge size. Well, we had several projects over there and met a wonderful bunch of folks. We've hosted them here, and it is exchange. We went over there, um, and each year we choose or each--I'm not sure we have a project right now, that we've chosen one for this year--but we look at a different, uh, kind of technology that we can exchange 70:00with--bridges is a big one. Uh, we have provided lots of information to Russia, lots of help in Russia in improving their bridges. Uh, while we were there we discovered that they have so, they have excellent technology in tunneling. So while we gave them information on bridges, they gave us information and shared technical assistance on the development of tunnels. There's programs like this in--all over the country, you know. We, um, we share information, and that--I still share information with, uh, Perm, Russia. They will send me e-mails and I respond, and I have a relationship with some of those people where we share information. Thank goodness they speak English because I sure can't speak that Russian. 71:00
MILLER: Okay, backing up. You clearly, due to your national involvementand then the international program as well that you spoke of, have influence, um, over impacting, I guess, how transportation is handled within LTAPs nationwide and then within, um, Perm, Russia. Backing up a little bit to a smaller focus, how would you say the Kentucky Transportation Center has impacted the citizens of Kentucky?
ANDERSON: Well, uh, I think we've given them better roads. Um, we'vegiven them a voice at times. I remember so well some of the surveys that we have done of citizens of how they feel, uh, about what we're doing, what their big issues are. (coughs) We've given them a place where they can talk about that. I never will forget one year we were doing a, a, um, survey of road conditions and satisfaction survey by 72:00the people of Kentucky, and one guy when we asked him what he thought of Western Kentucky Parkway and Bluegrass Parkway he says, "Oh, you mean Ho Chi Minh trail?" (laughs) I've never forgotten that, but he wouldn't have gotten to speak that in a place where he would still be remembered if it wasn't for this program. (laughs) Yes, I think we've made a difference. I think if you would go to any--one, it's been such a rewarding career for me because we touch people's lives. The Road Scholar/Road Master program really, that is my proudest achievement throughout my career because it, uh, provides information to the people out there that can put it to use, and I always so very much remember 73:00an individual who was a very bright young man and he was county road supervisor. Very--and he was one of our early attendees and supporters. He went through his Road Scholar, and I congratulated him. I saw him somewhere, and I said, "Oh, I hear you're a Road Scholar now." And he smiled with pride, and he says, "Yes, I am, and three more classes and I'll have my masters," meaning the Road Master program. I have always remembered that, and when I'm doing something and I'm frustrated, I remember that because that Road Master certificate issued by the University of Kentucky Transportation Center was as meaningful to him as any master's of civil engineering is. And that is something that I feel--I feel that the staff has made a huge impact, and how 74:00could you not feel that way? How could you not when you have that kind of reaction?
MILLER: I'm sure it's satisfying as well, um, through the technicalexpertise that you're able to provide to communities to see how--or I should phrase this as a question, I guess. Do you feel like then the Kentucky Transportation Center and the expertise your organization provides, uh, improves safety, um, in Kentucky?
ANDERSON: Oh, my gosh. You know, we just completed--um, and again,because we just don't have the staff or the resources--but we had a circuit rider, safety circuit rider that went all over Kentucky offering assistance to cities and counties. We would take, he would take roads with the highest accident rate, crash rate on them, and he would go through and help them do audits to figure out why that was and to offer ideas on how to improve that road. By doing that, you would- 75:00-I think over a three-year period we documented a twenty-six percent decrease in crashes on rural roads in counties where we had been. Uh, we like to think that--uh, Lance Meredith was the guy fellow that served as our, and Freddie Goble served as our safety circuit riders, and those two guys saved lives, and it was simple changes. It was, um, trying to get sight distance improved. It was all sorts of things, and you didn't have much trouble getting the counties to support the program because everybody's got a teenager themselves or they have a niece or a nephew who's driving these little county roads and you want 76:00them as safe as you can get them.
MILLER: Can you tell us just a little bit background information, maybethe years and the process of, um, maybe how you went about having a safety circuit rider?
ANDERSON: Yes. We--the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safetywas looking for some pilot programs, and I put through a proposal and was successful in getting it funded. And most crashes do happen in rural areas, and local roads have--if you look at lane miles and- -have more than their share. So, uh, that's why the Federal Highway Administration was interested in funding such a program, and they funded, uh, as I say, five states to start those programs and we were 77:00one of them. The second year of that program, we received funding from the federal--from the Transportation Cabinet. I guess we had three years; two years funded by the Transportation Cabinet. Then with budget cuts and everything, it was one of those things that fell by the wayside.
MILLER: When a safety circuit rider went into a community, you mentionedthey were simple changes. Um, did they require, um, a lot of local funding?
ANDERSON: It, it--all of the improvements were funded locally. We havea workshop that we call Low-Cost Safety Improvements for Local Roads. Low-cost is anything under ten thousand dollars. Projects, uh, we had some roads where it was a matter of going in and improving sight distance, cutting trees, which is necessary sometimes to be safe, uh, putting up guardrail, pulling ditches; things as simple as that can have a huge impact. Uh, mowing--on some of these roads, you know, when 78:00I said twenty-six percent, some of these roads that we went in--that we worked with would go down, you know, once we straightened, you know, once we've sheared off, once you've kind of cut off a bank and leveled it back to where you can see around it some of them didn't have any more crashes. So, uh, yeah. They--and when we would go into a county, we would have the county road supervisor, the county judge, and engineer, in other words a little group of people who would go out and audit the road and make these decisions.
MILLER: Was there a cost to communities to be involved with the safetycircuit rider?
ANDERSON: No. We provided our services for free. The only time therewas any money involved--and the training was free--was with the actual improvement itself.
MILLER: Do you recall the year the safety circuit rider, um, first--79:00
ANDERSON: I do believe, I believe we started in 2005. Five, six--no.Maybe I take that back. I forget how many years have passed. Must have been--we did three years and last year was the last year, so if last year was '09, we must have started in 2006. Yeah. 2006.
MILLER: Do you recall roughly how many communities ended up beinginvolved with that?
ANDERSON: Um, I believe we had somewhere about a third of the countiesand probably what, ten percent of the cities. And we still would like- -we still are available to do that. We just can't do as much. Um, I would like to see it become a continuing program, but it needs, it's very difficult to find a person who has the expertise that we look for 80:00who can be on the road all the time. So if we were to do it again, we would do it regionally.
MILLER: Um, what do you pride yourself maybe most on in terms ofinnovation? Um, it sounds like Kentucky has been one of the first, um, in a lot of areas to lead the way across the United States in technology transfer. Um, is there a particular program that you've witnessed from inception that you're particularly proud of?
ANDERSON: Of course. The Road Scholar program. We were the first--Iand um--that name was created by, uh, Hank Lambert who was the, at that time was the Vermont LTAP director and I. We chit-chatted, and Hank, I think, was the one who actually said, "You know, Road Scholar. That sounds, hey that's wonderful." Okay. We were the first two to 81:00have road scholar programs, ours much larger than his at that time because he has a much smaller state, of course, and now there are road scholars programs all over the country that are patterned after Kentucky's. We also put together--I put together a, um, paper when I first started because it was a huge issue: when to pave a gravel road. Well, I put that paper together and researched it and didn't really think it was all that big of a deal. Before I knew it, that thing was being duplicated across the country and used. Um, another paper that we did that was--Tommy Turner, county judge in LaRue County, uh, presented--he worked with us to develop a list of the top ten ways to have a good road program. He put that little thing together with our help and suddenly it was everywhere. So those are three things 82:00that are Kentucky proud--(laughs)--Kentucky proud that we do. We've also been the innovators of many, uh, publications. The, uh, there is a publication on, um, work zone traffic control guidelines that we developed years and years ago that has been provided to other states, and we do a lot of sharing with our publications. We give it to them in a way that they can take the front and back cover off and put their own on and have their own publication. That's, um, a quite significant contribution, I think, and a tribute to our publication staff. Um, one of the things that we do that's used in state a lot--again, a publication--is the, uh, Kentucky Transportation Directory which is, 83:00uh, a directory of everyone who's anyone in transportation in Kentucky. Our library is unique. We have a--the only transportation library in Kentucky, uh, where you're able with a phone call to get a global literature search if that's what you need or you can get a video on how to fix a pothole if that's what you need. Uh, we like to say, we may not always be able to give you the information you need immediately, but you'll always hear a friendly voice and you'll always get the very best effort. If it's out there, we'll find it.
MILLER: Can you describe, give us a little background information on theformation of the library? Maybe, uh, who was involved with that?
ANDERSON: Well, when it was first started, uh, well, when we firststarted the Local Technical Assistance Program, one of the requirements was that we have a library of some sort. Now a lot of centers had 84:00nothing more than a bookshelf with materials. Well, at that time I was charged with finding a librarian to take over to--we had--our bookshelf had grown to where it needed organizing to where we had a small room full of materials and nobody to really be responsible for them. So I--we set about trying to find a librarian. Well, I decided I wouldn't know a good librarian if they ran up and bit me. I wouldn't know what to look for. So we struck a deal with the, um, library college here--I can't, what is the official title of that college?
WHAYNE: School of Library Information?
ANDERSON: Yeah. School of Library and Information Science, we workedwith them to--we said, "Okay. You all employ us a librarian and we'll 85:00pay the salary, but they're assigned to us." So through a partnership with library sciences they helped us get a full-fledged librarian, Laura Whayne, and Laura is still with us and we're quite proud of Laura. She is now a tenured, uh, she is tenured here at the university and has made quite a name for herself nationally with committees and so forth.
MILLER: And do you recall the year? The year the library--
ANDERSON: I believe--when did you come to work, Laura?
WHAYNE: I came, I started in 1989, and actually that was with the UKLibraries, not the School of Libraries.
ANDERSON: That was UK Libraries. Yes.
WHAYNE: UK Libraries.
MILLER: Is that unique to Kentucky?
ANDERSON: Yes. I don't know of any other state right now through theirprograms that has a faculty, a tenure-track librarian, a true librarian on staff. You all sure have talked me out. (laughs) 86:00
MILLER: Um, well, if there are no further items to discuss at this time,of course, we can always come back for a follow up, uh, interview, but, uh, we do appreciate your time very much for coming and joining us and helping with the KTC Oral History Project.
ANDERSON: Well, it's been my pleasure, and I so very much am pleased tosee us get this effort underway. Thank you.
WHAYNE: Thank you.
MILLER: This interview is concluding at 3:18 p.m.
[End of interview.]