Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Angela Fields, September 21, 2007

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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LANE: We are here at KCTCS system headquarters. I have Angela Fields. This is Margaret Lane and it is September 21st 2007. All right. Now, you Angela--you're an employee here at KCTCS, so give me an overview of when you came, what you do here, and that sort of thing.

FIELDS: Okay. Uh--I came in January, 1998--uh--we were in Frankfort, on Wilkinson Boulevard. Came in Frankfort in '98--um--

LANE: --were you at the Capitol Plaza--down at the Capitol Plaza--

FIELDS: --yes--

LANE: --offices?


LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Yes. And--and it was a very small office space that we had.

LANE: Um-hm. And that was your first job? Is that your first job?

FIELDS: That was my first--yes.

LANE: Real job? Real job, out of school?

FIELDS: Real job, yes.

LANE: Yeah, cool. So that's what I find fascinating. That you started really early here in January, '98 was just--


FIELDS: --turning point--

LANE: --right after the reform was signed in May of '97--

FIELDS: --that's right--

LANE: --there's just been six months there. So tell me--okay, let's go over what--up to what you do now, and then I want to go back to that. So, then you worked in Frankfort?

FIELDS: Worked in Frankfort--uh--of course we then moved it--and actually I wasn't hired--um--until August one of '98, because we didn't have a personnel system.

LANE: Okay. (laughs)

FIELDS: So during the--the January to July one phase we were working, you know, personnel committee was working on--um--pulling policies together so that we could hire as KCTCS, because prior to that everybody was either a U.K. Community College person or they were--

LANE: --Workforce--

FIELDS: --Workforce.

LANE: Well now how did you hear about the job? Who recruited you?

FIELDS: Actually, I went in, I took some time off from college and went in--uh--a friend of mine worked at an agency, and she said, you know, 00:02:00I said, "Oh, I just need something to do for a couple of weeks," you know, " just to kind of kill some time during--getting ready to go back to school." And she said okay,--so we're all sitting there--Bryan Armstrong called and said--um-- We need somebody to come in and--and kind of manage the office a little bit while, you know, while we're out--we need somebody that's going to be here, because there's only three or four of us--we're out a lot. And the next day, I was there-- the next morning.

LANE: So Bryan Armstrong was one of the principals there? Who else was there at that time?

FIELDS: Let's see Bryan was there--

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --Sandy Gubser--

LANE: Bryan Armstrong had been where?

FIELDS: He had been at Workforce.

LANE: Workforce? And Sandy had been at Workforce?

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: Sandy Gubser--she was an attorney right?

FIELDS: No Sandy was the--um--the financial--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --Beverly Haverstock was our--

LANE: --was she there too?--

FIELDS: --legal--she was there--

LANE: --early? Okay.

FIELDS: Jack Moreland.

LANE: Okay--

FIELDS: --was there and Jack was--um--serving as the--um--kind of the 00:03:00chancellor over the technical college branch--is what they called them.

LANE: Okay, right. Uh--where was Beverly, from Workforce as well?


LANE: Okay. So most of those early folks were from state government Workforce, right?


LANE: Okay. Okay so that's good.

FIELDS: Let's see Jack was there--

LANE: --Jack--

FIELDS: --then Tony Newberry--Dr. Newberry--but he wasn't physically located there, but he was part of that team--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --but he was physically located in Breckinridge Hall at U.K. But he did come in, you know, a couple of days a week for meetings--he had kind of an office that he satellite out of when he was in Frankfort.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Um--and then Beth Hilliard was at the Governor's Office. Um-- she was there and then Jim Ramsey was--uh--kind of our--I believe that he was the acting president at the time.

LANE: Okay, and of course--and a lot of this I know it's obvious, but 00:04:00I'm saying it for the record. Of course, Jim Ramsey was the State Budget Director at the time--

FIELDS: --that's right--

LANE: --he was assigned to be the head of the transition team--

FIELDS: --right--

LANE: --to lead the transition team after the reform act was signed, and he began immediately putting together this transition team.

FIELDS: That's exactly right.

LANE: Okay. All right. Is that about it then?

FIELDS: That was it--

LANE: --and were they all coming and going issues back to the governor's office, or were they located there?

FIELDS: Well in the beginning--uh--they were staying at the Governors Office. But then once, and I believe that this--you would have to check with Beth for sure on this, but I believe once they were hired- -once she was hired as a KCTCS person, that's then when they came to Frankfort with us. So in the beginning, they were not there, they stayed in Frankfort at the Capitol--

LANE: --and that all--that official part was August one, after they had developed the personnel policies?

FIELDS: July one, '98, is when the policies actually were implemented, 00:05:00and we were KCTCS on policy personnel system. And it was in that July- -August range.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS:--that we were hired--

LANE: --so were you still going to college?

FIELDS: Well, I took a break during this time, and so I wasn't--and we were so busy--

LANE: --yeah--

FIELDS: --said oh, I don't think I can start back just yet--

LANE: --yeah--yeah--

FIELDS: --because, you know, we were going through the presidential search -- so I stayed.

LANE: How about that. Well, you were in on the ground floor of all that action. I have all those transition meetings--the minutes of all those meetings--it sounded very interesting. It's--I knew, I could tell from reading those documents that there was somebody pretty organized behind all of that. You know--I knew they had good staff in the office, because there wasn't a lot of flailing around--they had a task, they went forward, they made assignments and they got it done.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: But they knew they had to.

FIELDS: Um-hm.


LANE: Was that your sense of the--of the efficiency of the operation? It was probably difficult because you were really in transition.

FIELDS: It was--but to be honest, there were those--few of us that were there and whatever the task of the day, you know, whatever it was going on we just had to do. And--and it's just like it is today--at eight o'clock in the morning it might have been different that it was at three in the afternoon. But--at that point, it was, there were main goals--to get the personnel system up and running--

LANE: --um-hm--[clicking sound]--

FIELDS: --and the second thing was--um--the presidential search--

LANE: --okay.

FIELDS: Now also, during that time period--um--is when they brought in Nelson Grote.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: To be an, I can't--you may have to look up his official title but it was something like executive director, or--

LANE: --okay, gotta go interview him soon.

FIELDS: Um-hm. So Dr. Grote came and kind of was our leadership there on-site.

LANE: Now when did he come?

FIELDS: That I don't know--I know we were in Frankfort--so we were at 00:07:00Wilkinson Boulevard, so it was some time in that 1998 period, but as far as what month exactly--

LANE: --no, that's okay.

FIELDS: It--it was early on though. Uh--that they brought Dr. Grote in.

LANE: So he was actually on-site?

FIELDS: He was on-site.

LANE: In the offices with you?


LANE: Okay. And what did he do, generally? What was his--did he take over for Jim Ramsey or--?

FIELDS: I think he was more the--I think he was more the liaison--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --, you know, communicate-- he was the communicator between and to lead the group and--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --make some of those on-site decisions and things like that.

LANE: Okay. And Dr. Grote, for the record, was the retired president of Morehead University, is that correct?


LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: I believe so.

LANE: He was retired from--I think he had been retired at that time. We'll confirm all of that--

FIELDS: Yes, I think he had already retired at that point.

LANE: Yeah. So you were in Frankfort then from January, '98, and then 00:08:00did you move to Lexington?

FIELDS: We moved to Lexington--that must have been January of '99?

LANE: Um--let me see--I have a timeline here. This is not the big one-- this is just the--

FIELDS: --it's hard to remember--

LANE: --I know--I know it is--

FIELDS: --I believe it was January, '99--

LANE: --don't worry about all of that--I will confirm if there is something I don't know date- wise--I'm--I'm just trying to get the general gist.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: Forty employees in March of '99--forty employees of the KCTCS central staff moved--were at Research Park Drive--

FIELDS: We moved--

LANE: --and in April, the plans were to move to a new headquarters in April--is what this note says--is that not right?

FIELDS: Maybe that would--I thought it was a little earlier than that--I thought it was January--but--

LANE: --actually because Dr. McCall did start to work in Lexington didn't he?


LANE: --so did you all go up then?

FIELDS: Uh--he--well, we hired--we did the presidential search--that was really kind of really big task number two--um--was the presidential search which was very interesting in itself. And once he was hired-- 00:09:00um--he did visit the--the Frankfort--we were still in Frankfort when he was hired. But when he came on board--

LANE: --he came in '98.

FIELDS: Yes. And he came--when he came on board I'm--I know that was-- I'm fairly sure it was January--

LANE: --his first day was January eleventh.

FIELDS: Okay, then we were--we were in Lexington, because I believe Dr. Bird then came in February--

LANE: --yes, he came later--

FIELDS: --and we were there--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --in Lexington, but what they did, they moved us in phases, because they only had so much of it ready--so that first group that went were the ones we were in Frankfort ------------(??) that's probably accurate that in spring--

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --the forty came--

LANE: --came because they kept adding people

FIELDS: --they kept adding--

LANE: --as they needed--okay. All right. So that--so then we're saying that you then went on to Lexington, but, let's back up and talk about the presidential search. Just give me your impressions of that.


FIELDS: Oh my goodness.

LANE: I know. Well, obviously they hired the board--now the boards- -let's say the boards started meeting as well. There was a board appointed--

FIELDS: --that's right.

LANE: Governor Patton appointed the board--

FIELDS: --that's right--

LANE: --and--um--I believe they began -- in--

FIELDS: --I think they had their first meeting in '97--they had their first meeting right before I came--

LANE: --right, because the--the--the bill was signed in May, and then they went right into the transition team in June, and then in July the governor appointed the Board of Regents. And they had their first meeting in July. Now were you involved in those? They met over at the capitol--did you have to go take notes or were you just kind of- -

FIELDS: --that would have been July '97--

LANE: --seven--um-hm--

FIELDS: --no, because I didn't come until January '98.

LANE: That's true--that's true. So all of that was going on before you came--

FIELDS: --right--

LANE: Okay, when you came in--then in January--um--were you involved at all in any of the board meetings? Because they pretty much traveled 00:11:00around--they probably never met at your office?

FIELDS: Right. We went to the colleges--we went to all ----------(??) different colleges.

LANE: --okay--okay.

FIELDS: Um--but one of the interesting things I remember, that they came in--and at the time we were working with the folks at CPE very closely. Ken Walker was there--um, you know, in the finance area. Sue Hodges Moore was in the academic area. And I remember Sue coming in and saying we have to put together a board book for these board meetings.


FIELDS: And I don't know what they had done prior to that, you know, they had just kind of been thrown together, so I don't know if they just had documents. So we had to have a meeting over at the Capitol to--

LANE: --this was right after you came now?

FIELDS: --it was right after.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: It was in '98--

LANE: --okay.

FIELDS: It was before one of those board meetings.

LANE: Okay.


LANE: --so she said we have to put together the board book?

FIELDS: --we have to put together this board book, and we all kind of, were like, okay, well what do we do? (laughs) And nobody knew, really, you know, we had to think about how are we going to do this and how do 00:12:00we create and what do they want to see and we were new, so who knew.

LANE: Sure.

FIELDS: What they were going to want--um--so we went to the governor's office to have a meeting with staff there--

LANE: --okay.


LANE: --who led that meeting?

FIELDS: That, you know, that's what I was trying to recall--

LANE: --was it Beth?

FIELDS: Beth? Must have been there--

LANE: Did Ramsey do it?

FIELDS: Beth was there--we were meeting in--in--uh--Jim Ramsey's office.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: And I remember we were all kind of cramped in there, because there was, you know, Sue Hodges Moore was there and Patsy Stice, and myself. Beth wasn't in the room at that time but she--I'm sure she was there for the meeting at some point.

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: And we were all kind of cramped in there and Jim--and we must have been gonna start the meeting--[clicking sound]--with Jim--um--he had to go onto something else, because there was not enough room to sit down, and he said oh, just--he kind of pointed to me--said just 00:13:00come over here and sit in my chair. He said you can sit over here, said I'm heading out of here. So I did--I sat down and everybody else had kind of scattered to go to the restroom or something--gather stuff together, and I'm sitting there--while I'm sitting there the governor walked in--and I of course I'm sitting in Jim Ramsey's chair --(both laugh)--and desk--and then Governor Patton looked at me and he said, "Oh Jim, you're looking better" (both laugh). And I was, you know, here I was nineteen years old and I--I know my face had to have been, you know, shades of red. And, you know, I kind of stood up and said, you know, good afternoon or something--shook his hand and laughed, and he said, "What did you do with Jim?" (both laugh). And I said, he went to a meeting, you know, that's all I know.

LANE: That's funny--

FIELDS: --it--um--

LANE: --that's funny--

FIELDS: --it was a--it was a little bit of an awkward situation--I'm sure it wasn't for him--he didn't think anything about it. But I did- -I thought here are all of these empty chairs, and I'm sitting in Jim Ramsey's--

LANE: --desk--(laughs)--

FIELDS: --but that's not how it started--(both laugh)--so yes--that-- 00:14:00that was kind of how we first started the first board booklet, and then from there, you know, we did the process--

LANE: --now who came--was it Patsy at that time officially in charge of that--the board--whatever?

FIELDS: That is what her position evolved to be was--she helped Dr. Grote a lot and--but really working on that board book. That became, you know, part of her major--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --focus.

LANE: Okay. Okay. Okay. All right. So you're--you're--so thereafter then, you helped get those board books together when they had a meeting there at--at the office?

FIELDS: Everybody did--everybody just pitched in and--and did what pieces of it, you know, that needed to be done.

LANE: Okay. Good. And then Patsy and those folks would go out with them to the board meetings? Right?

FIELDS: Different ones of us--there were different committees, and we 00:15:00would take minutes--um--and make sure the rooms--the arrangements were taken care of--

LANE: Okay. So the whole staff did that?

FIELDS: So most everybody--there just wasn't, there weren't enough of us. So we all just did whatever task needed to be done.

LANE: Then they said we're going to have a presidential search.

FIELDS: They said we're going to have a presidential search.

LANE: Do you remember when that was? They started that early--

FIELDS: --that's what I was going to say--it started very early. When I came in January that was the big thing going on and really other--I mean, I did do phone answering, the greeting--um--anything I--I remember the first time an open records request came in and I said what am I going to do with this?- -

LANE: --what am I supposed to do?

FIELDS: And Beverly Haverstock spoke--this is open records and your getting ready to learn--(laughs). And I said, okay--so yeah, you know, kind of got thrown into the fire with that--

LANE: What did they want to know? Do you remember what they wanted--what the request was concerning?

FIELDS: Um--oh gosh--the first ones tended to be the AFT asking information about positions--salaries--those types of things.


LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: So anyhow we started the presidential search--it had already started, but we were really in the midst of it and working very late hours to--to get those finalized and for the committee--um, you know, have final candidates, and they did get--get to two candidates. Uh-- and for whatever reason it--

LANE: I read through those.

FIELDS: Very long board meeting, -but it didn't work. It didn't work. They said we're starting over, and--um--it was one of those moments when it was like, oh, no, we're starting over.

LANE: You were hoping that would be the end of it.

FIELDS: But--but, you know, it wasn't.

LANE: It tended to be, "We need a new search firm."


LANE: That's--that's the impression I get in reading those minutes and those documents.

FIELDS: Yes, we got a new search firm, that's correct.

LANE: Okay, and then that one was obviously ultimately successful right?



LANE: That was the second try.

FIELDS: Um-hm. We had three candidates that came in and we arranged meetings--um--that were at the Lawrenceburg campus, that we had the three presidential candidates come in for. And--um--it was--um--at the same time, and Tim Burcham could confirm this, but at the same time I believe that's also when they decided what our logo was going to be. The KCTCS logo.

LANE: Um--okay.

FIELDS: And they had a ballot vote box that there were either two or three choices, because that was a time when we knew a lot of faculty, staff, were going to be coming in, because they wanted to see these presidential candidates and their presentations.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: And that's when you had the community college all sitting on one side--the community, and you had the technical college community sitting on another--and then you have-

LANE: --so they came for those meetings--and they would just sit on separate sides of the room?


FIELDS: Yeah. They wouldn't sit together--I mean it was--it was like, you know--

LANE: ------------(??)--

FIELDS: --the North and the South, and--um--and then there were people like me that were like, I don't know where to sit--(both laugh)--it was like, you know, because, you know, we were a different group, you know--from them--

LANE: --right--

FIELDS: --we weren't classified any way--we were just there to do the work. Um--

LANE: --isn't that something--that happening--its amazing--

FIELDS: --and it's amazing to think that in ten years--when we sit in a room now, I don't ----------(??) even think about it or, you know, I think most people don't. I'm sure some still do.

LANE: I can see it to a degree of, in some other interviews I've had-- uh--Jackie Bondurant who of course, was with the community colleges--UK, and she said we were just--we just didn't know what to think. And she said a very nice thing--she said we started having these joint meetings with the people from community colleges and Work Force. And she said, "When I sat there and looked at people like Gary Cloyd, and thought well, if that's the kind of people we're going to work with--we're gonna be just fine." Now, I think it all had to boil down 00:19:00to personalities--you all looking at each other from different sides of the room and saying well, you know we're all here for the same reason.

FIELDS: Well, and really in the beginning for the folks that didn't want to be a part, or were absolutely not going to come on board. They jumped off pretty quickly. They said, I'm UK. and I'm not changing.

LANE: Yeah--yeah--

FIELDS: And they--they didn't.

LANE: Right.

FIELDS: And then you had the folks that said no way--I'm sticking with the state and that's where I'm going.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: So, you know, you did see some of that, but, you know, for the most part, that was--

LANE: --that was a small percentage of individuals from both do you think?

FIELDS: I think--I think it probably was.

LANE: Who had the hardest time with it in your opinion? The community colleges, or the--the Workforce Development folks? There's an echo in here--I hope this records--picking--not picking that up--

FIELDS: You know I--I think that's hard to say.

LANE: Is it?

FIELDS: I think it depends on the issue and--

LANE: --yeah, the individual.

FIELDS: --and I think it would be more specific.

LANE: Okay.


FIELDS: Overall, I think probably the technical side had a harder time. Because they didn't want to be labeled the academic, you know, they didn't--that was not them--they were the hard workers, and the Work Force, and on the job training--

LANE: --yeah--yeah--

FIELDS: --skilled, you know, where they felt like more of the academic folks were just a bunch of people with, you know, ABC's at the end of their names.

LANE: So, and let's think about this, too. The--it was--they were two different cultures. Community colleges were located on the University of Kentucky campus. They were--they're staff people--they were staff and faculty. They taught so many hours--they kept a few office hours- -uh--they were--their salaries and all their benefits were determined by the UK Board of Trustees. On the other side you have state government, you know, you have to come to work at eight o'clock--eight to four- thirty--they taught on different credit systems than--


FIELDS: --um-hm--

LANE: --than what the colleges did. Their instructors were--were state employees--uh--it was--and there are other differences--have I left anything major out? Their salaries were set by the governor with everybody else in state government--

FIELDS: --um-hm--

LANE: --per the budget--

FIELDS: --right--

LANE: --so it really was two different cultures--work cultures, coming together.

FIELDS: --totally--um-hm.

LANE: Ultimately they were all doing the same thing. They were educating and preparing people for better lives, but getting--getting together on the details of all of that was the hardest--

FIELDS: --and recognizing that they, you know, they were working towards the same mission.

LANE: Same thing.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: Yeah. So those meetings were interesting, and you had the logo contest with votes- in those meetings?

FIELDS: Now I, you know, definitely confirm that with Tim but that's what I recall--

LANE: --that would be late--late '97--like November I think is when those meetings--

FIELDS: Late '98. Because the president didn't come--Dr. McCall didn't come until--wasn't hired until '98.


LANE: Right.

FIELDS: So the votes would have been late '98.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Because he was there with--uh--doing his presentation; he and the other two candidates.

LANE: Okay. Now let me get my dates right. You are so right. Uh-- yeah, '99--'99--so it would have been when they were doing the search-- they went on from the time this was signed--'97 until the end of '98--it was a year and a half of--

FIELDS: --yes--

LANE: --interim presidents and that sort of thing. You're right.

FIELDS: Yes, Dr. Hockaday came in there--we haven't even talked about him.

LANE: We'll get back to him--that's good, '99--so this was late '98? And--so there were three logos proposed? Was this--and is it the one with the starburst, or sun- burst and Kentucky?


LANE: That was the same one that--that's lasted for ten years?

FIELDS: Yes. Um-hm--that's correct.

LANE: Was that your choice? Where there other good ones?

FIELDS: No, that wasn't my choice--(laughs)--


LANE: --okay--do you remember what they were?

FIELDS: It wasn't mine. I--I can recall one of them but I can't recall- -but it does seem like there were three, but maybe we had narrowed, you know, I know we narrowed it down to so many, but I don't remember the--

LANE: --who prepared those? Did Bryan and those folks--his team?

FIELDS: Bryan--um--Bryan and Tim may have worked on that some.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Um, and I'm wanting to say--oh, what were the names of the people that we did a lot of our marketing stuff with it at the time--

LANE: --agency--an ad agency maybe?

FIELDS: Um--I can see his face. I'll have to think of it.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: I know him so well.

LANE: Uh--that's okay. You'll think of it when you're not trying to. (laughs) All right so we have, you're in Lexington now--let's go back to Lexington--presidential search is over, Dr. McCall comes in. What was your impression of--of the candidates before they were voted on and chosen--in general? No I'm not going to--you don't need to worry about 00:24:00this--

LANE: --uh--

FIELDS: --the first three you--I think most people the first two from the very first search--

LANE: --the first two they were very split. One was a woman--one was a man, and there was definitely a split.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: They were very split. Then also thrown in there was--um--Jim Ramsey's name at the end.

LANE: Yes--yes.

FIELDS: And that after continuous executive meetings, you know, didn't come to fruition, so that's when we started over and got to the three that we ended up having. And all three were men. Um--and Dr. McCall was one of those. I can--I can remember this--this was funny. There- -there was a gentleman from California, and I can remember the other guy's name, but I can't remember exactly where he was from. Um--and then Dr. McCall. Dr. McCall and the other gentleman. I believe it was Russell--his last name was Russell. Um--were definitely the two 00:25:00clearest choices, that you could--you could feel that among the faculty and staff. The guy from California, he was far, very far out there. You could just tell by reaction and response of the faculty and stuff, and for what reason I really don't know, because I, you know, had a totally different perception than they did of it, you know, because they were looking at either their academic side or their technical side--

LANE: --right--right--

FIELDS: --I remember right off, they, you know, you could hear the rumblings, but I didn't think that there was any question the day that we left Lawrenceburg--I didn't think that there was any question that-- um--Mike McCall would be the president.

LANE: Um--that's interesting.

FIELDS: People--um--were very pleased with him and--um--and brought the most common ground--

LANE: --you from the inside knew what it was going to take to--you knew what it took right then to run this system.

FIELDS: Right--

LANE: --because I've always felt in searches, the people who are in the trenches need to be consulted, because you know what it takes--you know 00:26:00what kind of person--

FIELDS: --right--

LANE: --is going to be effective--

FIELDS: --right--

LANE: --so did you all have a vote in this? I know it was ultimately the board's decision, but were there votes on this?

FIELDS: Yes it--the best that I recall there was like a comment- ballot type survey--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --that was completed.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Um--and I recall something about that, and that, you know, and faculty, staff--whoever was present, you know, got to leave comments and obviously the board had the final say.

LANE: Of course. But your input was solicited?

FIELDS: Yes. Um-hm.

LANE: All right, so you left feeling he would probably be the clear choice. Let's go back to Jim Ramsey. That was sort of a ticklish, tough thing. Jim had done a great job with the transition team, obviously. He had the respect of the governor--he's very smart in his field of finance. He was always known as being very smart. What was--what was the--kind of the mood and attitude in the office, when 00:27:00it was determined that he was not going to be the president? I mean was it--was there surprise--was there dismay? Uh--I've interviewed several people and there have been things on each side of the--

FIELDS: --Well, of course there were only, you know, however many--five or six of us that were in there, and when we were working on the presidential search--um--Jack Moreland and Bryan basically were the liaisons for the presidential search and that kind of guided me as far as to what our task and duties were. Um--and arrangements, and at the very last minute, they said we have this--we have another candidate and I remember thinking, we have another candidate? Because we had already gotten down, you know, to these other two and--and they said, yes. So I--I was--so even being in that small of an office I, you know, we didn't have any idea of what was about to happen. And--um--and--and at first I--I think people were very pleased. I mean we were excited--we 00:28:00were like, that's great--

LANE: He was a known--um-hm--you knew him--sure--

FIELDS: --yes--we--we felt like, you know, or at least I did--I thought, you know, this is great for us--this will be great for the system, and Jim has a lot of knowledge. He'll pull us together and--um--so--so I can't speak for everybody else but I think there was disappointment--

LANE: --sure--sure--

FIELDS: --on my end, you know, it was like oh, you know, and one other thing it was like, oh man, you know, we've been through this for so many months now. It was very grueling--the process and--um-the arrangements and the meetings and to think we have to start from scratch again.

LANE: --(laughs)--that was the tough part--

FIELDS: --but looking back you can see how, you know, it worked out, and we got the right person--and it wasn't that Jim wasn't the right person, but because he did have a political affiliation, because he did serve as that, you know, in the state side of things, um, I think he perhaps maybe would not have been accepted by some and couldn't--he 00:29:00wasn't neutral enough I think, you know, they and, I don't know. I mean that was very--and really it was pretty closed, you know, it was just we are reopening the search. As far as other than that, I don't think there was ever a lot of rumblings about it.

LANE: Well, that's--uh--Richard Bean who is--uh--of course chairman- -half-chairman of the board here now, did a history last March in the board meeting. And they talked about this time, and Richard put it very well. And he said we are--we were so--we are so indebted to Jim Ramsey. We still are, and we hated for him to leave the state, but when you look back on it now he's back and he's one of us and he's doing a wonderful job, and I think in essence what Richard said was he was part of the crisis team. And they needed somebody fresh from the whole situation and neutral--

FIELDS: --right--

LANE: --to pull both sides together. So it--it seems very logical, but 00:30:00I just wondered what the mood was, within, about that. So it makes sense.

FIELDS: Yeah, you know, I think that there was some disappointment in some ways, but I think everybody else though could sit back and say, you know, we see how we have to move forward and--and this might not have done it.

LANE: Something new. Well, there were those who thought he deserves it--he's worked hard and he's helped pull it--

FIELDS: --right--

LANE: --pull it together-- there was that--uh--argument, and they're all valid arguments I think.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: So I--I'm really glad he's back. He is doing a wonderful job at U of L and gets glowing--glowing marks. I'm anxious to talk with him too.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: Okay. Um--let's talk about you, as an eighteen year old. This is 1996, and Paul Patton is campaigning for governor. Did you have--were you involved at all--were you a political person, excited about voting and all that? Did you have and- - you didn't know you were going to be working in education at that time?

FIELDS: I didn't know I was going to be working in education, that's 00:31:00right. I was a student at Lexington Community College.

LANE: Okay. You were?

FIELDS: Um-hm. And I was a--and I was there the day that his helicopter landed and they made the announcement--[clicking sound]--about--uh- -KCTCS.

LANE: Really? [clicking sound]

FIELDS: --and, you know, the plan to--um--pull the community colleges from the university.

LANE: Which was probably heresy --

FIELDS: --and let me tell you--

LANE: --on campus wasn't it?

FIELDS: It was, it's--I mean is nothing you could ever imagine. People were--the faculty, you know, here we were sitting in class and the faculty instead of teaching the class got on their personal campaign about how this was going to be so destructive, you know, for students and for the faculty and--uh--the governor was trying to, you know, take over. And it--it was very interesting and from there it then got the students--even the ones that didn't know, you know, what was really going on or not so much in the know as far as--


LANE: --right--right--

FIELDS: --politics. And everybody was in an uproar. So, you know, for a couple of weeks that's what classes would, you know, be about.

LANE: This was spring of '97?


LANE: That--because these--these visits to the different community college campuses have been called, and I quote: "Patton's worse than hell visits to community colleges,"--(laughs)--

FIELDS: --and it was--

LANE: --they were pretty ugly weren't they?

FIELDS: So I was a student, and of course I had no idea in a year from then that I was going to be part of the hell I guess--(both laugh)-- that they described, but--

LANE: --well, the visits were pretty tough huh?--

FIELDS: --but no. I had no idea and but it was--it was an interesting time in--uh--and very ironic to look back and think, oh my goodness, there I sat, you know, and I can remember going home and saying, well what are--what is the governor thinking, you know,

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --I'm--I'm a very proud, strong Democrat, so I just kept thinking, what is going on, you know, what--why is he wanting to do 00:33:00this and so, you know, it piqued my interest--

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --but even I went to work there in January, I really didn't know that's where I was going to work, because nobody knew what KCTCS was. All I knew is I was going to work to help out for a few weeks somewhere, you know, that they needed some office help.

LANE: Tell me about your first day. Tell me about you arriving. You had been asked to come and help out in the office.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: What was your impression when you found the office? You walked in--what was going on?

FIELDS: Well, let's see. It was early morning--went in, and Bryan Armstrong met me at the door and greeted, you know, welcomed me. And said, here's--here it is--here's what we're going to do--here's the phone--here's the fax machine--

LANE: --was there a desk?--(laughs)--

FIELDS: --here's the desk--(both laugh)--we did have a desk. He said-- um--they're not here. He kind of told me who the key players were there 00:34:00in the office--just him--this is Sandy's office--this is Beverly's office--and probably won't see 'em a lot. Take messages for them if anybody comes in, you know, I'm back here for a little while and, I mean, that was it. There--you could not prepare anyone for what we were in--there was no way.

LANE: What was on the desk? A phone--were there--did they have letters yet or paper or anything?

FIELDS: No. We didn't have letterhead.

LANE: No supplies--(laughs)--

FIELDS: --I don't think we had letterhead, maybe we did--I--I think there were just creating the letterhead. They were still using things on the community college ------------(??)--

LANE: --okay--okay--

FIELDS: --the best I remember. Um--but the letterhead was created while we were there. Not the letterhead we use now--

LANE: --okay.

FIELDS: But the letterhead that--um--

LANE: --do you have a copy of that--would you have any pages of that?


LANE: --I would love to put a copy in the archives.

FIELDS: I will look--I'm sure we have one somewhere.

LANE: You probably have something on it. But that's fine.

FIELDS: But I know what I do have that has what the KCTCS--what it 00:35:00looked like is a coaster--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --it was the very first--

LANE: --well we could just make a picture of it if you want to keep that--

FIELDS: --piece of marketing that we had--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --it's a little--

LANE: --I think that's great--

FIELDS: --coaster--it was the first thing we ever had with the KCTCS and our--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --type font that we were using.

LANE: If you would--if you wouldn't mind letting us photograph that--

FIELDS: --um-hm--sure--

LANE: --and then that first letterhead would be interesting to me.

FIELDS: Okay, let me see if I can find something.

LANE: Yeah, that would be cool. Anything else that you think really should be a part of the history. Somebody's going to come back years later and look at all of this beginning, and its--its in pieces--it's in boxes here, and things here and things there. And we just kind of want to pull it together and just have a timeline--

FIELDS: --sure--

LANE: --of all that and, just start building on it. So anything we can find or you think is important would be great.

FIELDS: Okay. Because yeah--even though there was a computer--there was a phone--um--that was it. There was a Cheesery Deli--(laughs)--


LANE: --I know--I know--I used to eat there too.

FIELDS: And he said--do you want to go to lunch, sister--but you couldn't go to lunch, because there was nobody to watch the office.

LANE: --you didn't have keys or anything?

FIELDS: Well, he said--he gave me--uh--he gave me a key to the building--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --and--um--a parking pass for right there underneath the parking garage. And he said if you have to go to lunch you just lock the door, and put a note on that says gone to lunch be back in a minute. You know--

LANE: --who's there now? I'm trying to get my bearings on--is that Work- -isn't Workforce Development or something maybe there now? It was that suite of offices--Julian Carroll's office is down there--was it close to that? How--where was it --I know where the Cheesery is?

FIELDS: We were on the front facing Wilkinson Boulevard, in that little set of suites that were--that are not tiered. We're not part of the tower. We were part of--

LANE: --right--right--

FIELDS: --um--the shops. I want to say--

LANE: Out in the middle?

FIELDS: No, we weren't over there.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: We're back--actually right next adjacent to the hotel.

LANE: All right--okay.


FIELDS: If you came--if you come down the hotel steps and you made a right--

LANE: --okay--all right--

FIELDS: --going like, out of town, like you're coming toward Versailles. Do you know what I'm saying?

LANE: Okay--yes I do. I know where you're talking about now.

FIELDS: I want to say something like the River Authority --or something now--

LANE: --okay--okay--

FIELDS: --I don't know why I'm thinking that--

LANE: --okay, great. So you just put a sign on the door--go get your lunch--

FIELDS: --get your lunch and come back.

LANE: And what kind of phone calls were you getting?

FIELDS: Well. I don't even--(both laugh)--

LANE: --and what did you tell them?--

FIELDS: --well, we got phone calls for everything. I--I--really it's hard to even say what we got phone calls for--it could be anything. Um--

LANE: --did you know what to tell them the first few days, or did you just make a lot of notes, or--?

FIELDS: I took messages mainly--

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --and then would tell, you know, just tell them that we would have someone get back with them. Because that's all I knew to do, and there was no, you know, most of the time there was--there may have been one person there, but they couldn't take all the phone calls all the time.

LANE: No--no.

FIELDS: You know--we had so many questions coming in, but something interesting that did happen during the time that the presidential 00:38:00search was going on, and I was there in Frankfort answering the phones. All of our folks were at a meeting and--and they were at a meeting about the presidential search, but it wasn't an announcement of the presidential search or anything like that. This reporter calls me and he says--um-so and so from the, I believe it was the Courier- Journal, or something-- I'm from the Courier- Journal --and said I'm just calling to confirm that you have announced your president. I know what this was--it was during the time they were deciding on Jim Ramsey. (clears throat) And I kind of am thinking, okay, there is nobody here to answer this question. And I said, "Well," I said, "Tell me again what you're asking?" And he said, "Well, we have received word that you have appointed a president today." And I said, " No--not to my knowledge, " of course, I think I would have known that--no to my knowledge we haven't--I said, "We are having meetings today, but it's not any kind of a last minute, you know, presidential announcement, or anything like 00:39:00that." And, what it was, was the appointment of, because he went on to say, well, I have the name Gordon Davies, and I said, well, I said, that's the Council on Post Secondary Education--and you have reached-- and I tell him who he is talking to, and I said, anything like that you would need to call the Council to confirm. So I mean, even at that time, people, they didn't understand who CPE was--who KCTCS was and--

LANE: --that's right--

FIELDS: --I remember it, you know, being like--we've hired a president?- -(laughs)--for just a second I thought, I didn't know that--

LANE: --what's going on here--

FIELDS: --but when he said, you know, Gordon Davies, then I said, well, you would need to call the Council, because, you know, I thought, well, that has to be CPE.

LANE: Now who was--who was keeping you all up to date? Was Bryan doing daily briefings? Was he sending out emails on the news like we do, you 00:40:00know, here at KCTCS we have the News Today, which I find very helpful. Or did you--did you all have meetings and he--he would update you or just hear things?

FIELDS: Just heard things.

LANE: Okay--so it was casual?

FIELDS: In passing--it was going to the coffee pot and saying, "By the way,"--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --you know, "today we're going to appoint two co-chancellors"--

LANE: --okay.

FIELDS: And during the time Dr. Hockaday came, more--that became more formal. He was having more leadership-type meetings there.

LANE: Okay. Now when did he come? Dr. Hockaday?

FIELDS: Now that I really don't know. It was '98. I want to say maybe around--

LANE: --let's see if it's on--

FIELDS: --it is when Jim left. So I want to say around June or July.

LANE: First in early '98 was Nelson Grote--was before--

FIELDS: --that's right--Grote was before--

LANE: --because Jim Ramsey needed to go back and concentrate on the state budget, basically.

FIELDS: That's right.

LANE: And then, I have that, in March of '98, Tony Newberry is 00:41:00chancellor--is chancellor.

FIELDS: That's right. Yes.

LANE: And then June of '98, Jeff Hockaday.

FIELDS: That would be correct.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: And about that same time, right before the co-chancellors for the technical college were named, that's when Jack Moreland left--Jack Moreland leaves in-between Dr. Hockaday coming and when Ann Cline and Tara Parker are named co-chancellors.

LANE: That was July. Okay. So--so then Jack Moreland left between June and July of '98? So anything else you want to say about that?

FIELDS: No. I mean just I know that--uh--the two ladies were--

LANE: --Jack Moreland then was chancellor of Workforce Development. Is that what they called him?

FIELDS: Chancellor of the--it wasn't technical college--we didn't call 00:42:00them then. Technical--

LANE: --schools?

FIELDS: Branch or schools--

LANE: --oh that's true--I think you're right.

FIELDS: Technical branch.

LANE: Then who was chancellor--was that Tony Newberry at the community colleges?

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: So then Jeff Hockaday came in and then Jack Moreland left, quit soon after that--

FIELDS: --right.

LANE: And then Dr. Ann Cline and Tara Parker were co-chancellors?

FIELDS: Correct.

LANE: Okay. Now who was Herb--Herb Parker is Tara's husband?


LANE: Okay. And they're both on my list to interview. So I will--I will do that--

FIELDS: --um-hm.

LANE: What did he do--uh--Herb? What was his position?

FIELDS: I'm not sure.

LANE: Oh, okay. I mean he was not one of the officials? He was in--he was in--

FIELDS: --he was in Workforce but I'm not sure where his--

LANE: --okay--all right--

FIELDS: --duties were assigned.

LANE: Okay, that's fine. Uh--so they were co--so now we have Jeff Hockaday--

FIELDS: --um-hm--

LANE: --and still Tony Newberry and Ann Cline and Parker? Okay. I've 00:43:00got that all in my mind here. Um--about that time then, in July of '98 KCTCS received their approval to grant its first degrees in five new associate programs.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: Was that exciting for you all?

FIELDS: It was, it --it was really exciting.

LANE: It's a nice--Uh--did somebody announce it? Did you know it was coming? Did you--because you did the board booklets, so you knew.

FIELDS: We knew that it was coming--

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --we knew that it was coming and--um--but then in some ways-- [clicking sound]--even though it was an exciting time it was like, it was just another step--you know. I mean really at that--

LANE: --you knew there were many steps.

FIELDS: At that point even, though that was very significant, we had so many significant things going on that we didn't have time to celebrate them or think about them--it was like--

LANE: okay great--check one off and --

FIELDS: -- take a breath and go--you know.

LANE: Well now, what difference did Jeff Hockaday bring to the office? 00:44:00Where was he--where did they find him--how did they get Jeff and that sort of thing?

FIELDS: I believe he was from North Carolina. I think he had served in the Carolina area.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Carolina--maybe Virginia area. Um--he had a very--um--he had great leadership. He had great leadership presence, and really I think brought the unity that we needed.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: You know during that time we had been through so much--[clicking sound]--those first months. And he--he really brought everybody together and--and had a--he was very strategic in thinking, and had a plan for us. How we were, you know, gonna move on and--and very supportive of getting a president. And, you know, getting the right person to Kentucky and--um--he--he was really--um--I mean he had an admirable role here. And still does. I mean we still have relations with him--

LANE: He's coming back--he's coming back in October, I'm going to interview him while he's here doing your PLS [editor's note: 00:45:00President's Leadership Seminar] thing. Um--now how long was Jeff with the system? Was he there until--um--was there another one between him and Dr. McCall?


LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: He was here just before McCall.

LANE: It was Jim Ramsey, technically Nelson Grote and then Jeff Hockaday.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: Okay. Good.

FIELDS: And that's a lot of people, you know, really in--

LANE: --well, in a way it is. They just felt like Nelson was just doing that--Dr. Grote was doing it part- time or--or he'd just agreed to fill in.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: And then they felt like they needed to bring somebody in permanently. Now did Jeff move up to Spindletop? Did you all--is that when you moved to Lexington?

FIELDS: We were still in Frankfort when Dr. Hockaday was here.

LANE: Okay--okay.

FIELDS: And he stayed in the hotel, next door. That's where he--um- -stayed here during the week, and then on weekends he would go home. Most weekends. And in fact, a major snow storm came while he was here and, it was very--very entertaining. That was funny.


LANE: (laughs)--I think it was you who mentioned to me that you all would just fax him when he would go home--you would just fax him all this material. And he would call and say, "You're burning up my fax machine."

FIELDS: He called one day and wanted us to fax something to him, and so we did and--um--a few minutes later and it was just--it was just maybe three or four pages, I mean it wasn't a long fax. And he called a few minutes later and he said, "Would somebody turn that damn fax machine off? I got a hundred and fifty pages--(both laugh)--on this end". And we don't know what had happened. And whenever he would get excited, or he would get--angry is not the word, but I remember he'd get real passionate about something he would stomp--[stomping sound]--his foot. You know--so I could see him on the other end--there's a hundred and fifty pages here--(laughs)--stop the damn machine.

LANE: Now what age person is--uh--is Jeff, at this stage? He would have been ten years younger then, but--forties---fifties--sixties?

FIELDS: I would say in his sixties.


LANE: Then?

FIELDS: I guess and--

LANE: --oh, okay--all right. That's good to know. I--

FIELDS: --it's hard to--

LANE: --I don't have any way of knowing--

FIELDS: --he has grown children. I would say he's--

LANE: --okay.

FIELDS: I would have said late sixties if I were guessing, but don't tell him that.

LANE: Then or now?


LANE: Okay--okay. All right.

FIELDS: Well, maybe he's not that old. I don't know.

LANE: Okay. Well that gives me an idea. He's not forty. That's--I'm just getting a picture--a mental picture.

FIELDS: I do have another great story--

LANE: --all right--

FIELDS: --about Dr. Hockaday though--

LANE: --good.

FIELDS: He--uh--he drove--you'll have to confirm this with him, but I believe it was a--I believe it was a Mercedes, that he drove. I can't remember--anyway, you'll have to ask him about this, though.

LANE: I will.

FIELDS: But he was--um--he and Sandy Gubser and Bryan Armstrong had to--um--present-- Dr. Hockaday was presenting somewhere, and they had to travel to wherever--[clicking sound]--they were going to, and I don't know where it was that they were going. But anyway--(clears 00:48:00throat)--they were in a meeting and--um--I--I think they were running late, because they come to just drop Dr. Hockaday off and said--you know, "Go on in and we'll get parked," you know, "and be on in in a little bit." So they did--well in the meantime they had called me about something, or I had called them--I'm on the phone with them, and I'm talking to Bryan--and all of a sudden Bryan says, "Oh my gosh", and he hangs up. And I'm like something's just happened. I--I--you could tell by the panic, you know, something had happened. And he was like, oh, my gosh, I'll call you back," and he hangs up. So I don't know maybe five or ten minutes later he calls and I'm just--"What is the matter--are you all okay?" And he said--he said, "Yes we're okay," but said just as Sandy was opening her door to get out--she was just about to put her leg out and somebody parked up next--pulled up next to them and took off the car--the car door--

LANE: (laughs)--oh no--

FIELDS: --here they are, and they were driving Dr. Hockaday's car--


LANE: (laughs)--

FIELDS: --and I--you really--you'll have to ask him about this, because--

LANE: --I will.

FIELDS: You know--all the details. I mean it's been ten years ago, but I'm sure he will remember it. But it--

LANE: --can you just see their faces having to go back in and tell--

FIELDS: --that is exactly what it was, they were--they were saying--now they are on the phone--and they're saying we don't know how we're going to tell him. How are we--and he's like this car is his baby--(laughs), you know, I mean really. It's the only thing he's got in Kentucky and it's his baby and--uh--he, you know, he's thinking how--how are we gonna--how are we going to tell Dr. Hockaday that we lost the door to his car--(both laugh).

LANE: Just from the time they let him out till the time they were parking.

FIELDS: They were parking or something.

LANE: Oh, my gosh!

FIELDS: Of course, it could have been worse, because Sandy was--

LANE: --oh it could have hurt her--

FIELDS: --it could have taken her leg off. But anyways, you'll--

LANE: --how did he react to that?

FIELDS: I, you know,

LANE: --I'll probably just say something like, "Why, I understand during 00:50:00those years your staff was a little hard on your car, and you tell me about it".

FIELDS: (laughs)--If he'll even remember. I don't know there was so many things--

LANE: --oh, he will--I would say he will.

FIELDS: It was--it was very--um-- it was entertaining. And he--shortly after that, the car had gotten fixed, or he had another car or something and he said--he was picking up tickets from Carlson Travel there and--in Frankfort--

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --and Angela, he said, "You just go use my car." He said, "It'll be fine. I don't want you using your gas--you just use my car and go pick those tickets up, if you don't mind, for me and Dixie." 'Cause I was going out at my lunch hour. I said, "No, Dr. Hockaday. I don't need to take your car."--(laughs)--I mean it's just how he was--

LANE: --that was after that--

FIELDS: --yeah. I wasn't taking his car.

LANE: No way.

FIELDS: Anywhere--(both laugh).

LANE: That was interesting.

FIELDS: No way.

LANE: He loved that car?


LANE: All right. All right. Okay we've done the board meetings. We've done--that's--okay--okay. Tell me about when Dr. Bird came in--where 00:51:00were you then? You were in Lexington weren't you?

FIELDS: We were in Lexington.

LANE: Of course Dr. McCall early--and then Dr. Bird.

FIELDS: Um-hm. Um--Dr. Bird came in February '98, I believe. And, it really, at that time, it was still, you know, technical side--community college side. So he was, you know, chancellor of that area. And Cline and Parker were still chancellors. Well. I don't really know what they became. I don't know if they became vice chancellors after that or what happened. I really can't remember that.

LANE: It seems that there were two for awhile, but quickly it became one.

FIELDS: Once Dr. Bird came--yeah. Their role diminished as chancellors, which--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --I think Ann was fine with.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: As far as Tara I'm not sure.

LANE: Okay. All right. Um--had Dr. Bird and Dr. McCall worked 00:52:00together? They were--they're both from the same area aren't they?


LANE: Am I mistaken there?

FIELDS: They worked--I believe they worked together in South Carolina for months--

LANE: --seems that they did.

FIELDS: --a few months or a short amount of time, because I remember Dr. Bird saying at one point, people think that Dr. McCall and I have worked together for years. And--

LANE: --yeah--

FIELDS: --you know, it was really a short period of time that they were in South Carolina together--

LANE: --I think I had that impression too, and then when I looked at the dates, I realized it wasn't that long.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: Okay. Um--so Dr. Bird--anything else that stands out in your mind during that time period? We're talking about--um--the new degrees and--uh--Dr. McCall--Dr. Newberry--Dr. Bird? You're right. I had figured '99. I may be wrong there.

FIELDS: That's right. February, '99.

LANE: Good.

FIELDS: Did I say '98? I'm sorry.

LANE: That's fine. Good.

FIELDS: February, '99 was when Dr. Bird came.

LANE: I'm just confirming all of my dates.

FIELDS: That's right.

LANE: He was formerly the chancellor of technical schools in New Hampshire--in South Carolina--so he came from a technical school 00:53:00background basically, didn't he?

FIELDS: Yes--yes.

LANE: Okay. Um--I have that in March of '99 there were forty employees that moved to the Research Park Drive.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: Plans are for the staff in Frankfort, and now on the U.K. campus, to move to the new headquarters in April. You were already there?

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: But the rest of the staff.

FIELDS: You're talking about the ones like in the Tower.

LANE: Um-hm. And then in May of '99, Travis Todd becomes the first KCTCS graduate?


LANE: Do you remember that?


LANE: Do you?

FIELDS: Well, he was at the inauguration.

LANE: He was?

FIELDS: We had him at the inauguration.

LANE: He was, because that was in September of '99. Dr. McCall was here for several months, so were you involved in all of that planning?

FIELDS: Yes. Um-hm. I was--um--well I did, you know, different pieces at different times on the inauguration, but the main area that I was-- um--in charge of and working with was with Judith James.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: Um--on the lineup, and the processional and--


LANE: and the base--

FIELDS: --getting everybody together and--yes--

LANE: --all right.

FIELDS: It was very fun.

LANE: Was it? I'm--I'm sure it was stressful, but--and when did Tim come on the scene in your tenure? Tim Burcham?

FIELDS: I, you know, I first met Tim when we were still there in Frankfort.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: He was working, you know, at U.K., and I guess their advancement area, so that's where I first met Tim. As far as when he became part of KCTCS and his role here, I'm not sure on that.

LANE: Um-hm--okay. But, but--but I think he was working during this end--um-hm.

FIELDS: Time--yeah.

LANE: Early on.

FIELDS: He was here.

LANE: Coordinating things there. Okay. So--um--Travis Todd spoke. He was your first graduate, I'm gonna interview him. Ten years later, see how he's doing. And--um--then the foundation was--was formed in '99.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: And then--then in the inauguration--so when you moved to Lexington 00:55:00were you--what office were you in and what did you do?

FIELDS: When we first moved to Lexington--um--I stayed downstairs and-- and kind of was the first person for people to see and to help them know where, you know, folks were, and located.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: Um--we didn't have security to the building so you didn't, you know, you just walked on it and--um--that's the difference in ten years.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: Answer the phones--um, you know, did meeting rooms things like that. Um--because at that time they still really didn't have a lot of administrative--

LANE: --right--

FIELDS: --staff support.

LANE: Right.

FIELDS: Um, you know, the cabinet level folks--of course then I don't even know that we were calling them cabinet at that point.

LANE: Right.

FIELDS: But the leadership.

LANE: Right--right.

FIELDS: Some, you know, they did have some staff, but, you know, it was so limited.

LANE: So as--after Dr. McCall came and then everybody was--you all were in Lexington, who were the--who was his inner circle at that time? This 00:56:00is--this is during '99, the first few months.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: Immediately after that.

FIELDS: Dr. Newberry.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Dr. Bird. Beverly.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: I believe Bryan still was at that point.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: And I don't--I don't remember when Candace came.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Um--I'm trying to think if there is anybody I've left out. Trying to think who was doing the--um--

LANE: --who was doing boards? Where you still doing boards then?

FIELDS: No. Patsy was doing the board work.

LANE: Stice? Okay.

FIELDS: Patsy was doing that--I'm trying to think who was over the finance. Ken came--Sandy was still here.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Sandy was still here at that point. The other part I'm trying 00:57:00to think about is the information technology section.

LANE: Yeah. Jon wasn't on board then. Hesseldenz.

FIELDS: I don't--I don't think so.

LANE: No, it seems like that was later. Let me see if I have--

FIELDS: I mean, Ron Moore for a while from U of L was our person.

LANE: That's right.

FIELDS: That did a lot of our--

LANE: That's right, that's right, he was. Was he on-site or did he stay at?

FIELDS: No he did more--

LANE: That's right. He--he was kind of the--the person that they brought in from U of L to help get this organized.


LANE: The very first one.

FIELDS: The networking and things like that.

LANE: That's right.

FIELDS: Of course Debbie did a lot of the--Debbie Tichenor--did a lot of the--

LANE: --she was there--

FIELDS: --floor work, you know, hand work.

LANE: She came from Workforce?

FIELDS: She came from GOPM, over with Jim Ramsey's office over at budget. She'll be a good person to interview.

LANE: That's what I was going to ask you. So I'll write that down. Yeah, I have her on my list. She doesn't know it yet, but she's on 00:58:00my list.

FIELDS: She--um--she, actually, you know, in the very--very beginning. She set up computers--

LANE: --okay--

FIELDS: --and all--

LANE: --I will talk to her.

FIELDS: --there in Frankfort.

LANE: I was kind of giving them time to get their part done on all this move, and then--then I want to talk to her. Um--yeah this is when Ken Walker came, in June of 2000.

FIELDS: That's probably about right.

LANE: And the Fire Commission came before that--they may not have come over there--did they come to Lexington at all--the Fire Commission? They became a part of KCTCS in April of 2000.

FIELDS: I don't recall actually when they moved to Lexington, but they were there.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Um--for a time period they were--um--in the barn. Some of them- -it wasn't all, I don't believe.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: But--once, once, see once we get that far you start--I start losing the detail, because we got too big. I can't help you with all that--

LANE: --that's right. You were there, there, in Lexington, until you 00:59:00moved over here in 2004--the end of 2004.

FIELDS: Right. When I was in Lexington--very shortly after,--it must have been about '99. I--um--[buzzing sound]--worked--I worked-- um--with Dr. Newberry in the chancellor's office in Mary Ida and Annalee Scorsone. Annalee--[clicking sound]--was the assistant to the chancellor. And so I worked when we first moved over--after--when we were in the--well we were in phases in Lexington. This is kind of confusing. We were in the Council building, that was the first phase.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: We were in the Council building, so when I'm there I was kind of doing the, you know, the greeting--the reception line. Things like that.

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --then they had the staff opening position-- and really they--my 01:00:00role, even though I had been hired, was well--didn't really know where I was going to be.

LANE: Right.

FIELDS: I just knew I was here because I had done so many different things.

LANE: Right--right.

FIELDS: You know. I'd paid the bills; I had done the legal part. Just did whatever.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: So now I went to work in Dr. Newberry's office.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: And did that--uh--and pretty much remained there, did some work with, you know, Judith James, during the time, because her assistant was Amy Jennings. And Amy was on maternity leave, so I went down and filled in for Amy while she was gone, to help Judith. Um--then returned to the chancellor's office, and continued to work there. So I was in the chancellor's office from about '99--mid- '99 until 2001.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: And then from 2001 until fall of 2004 I worked in Workforce 01:01:00Development, which was out of the chancellor's office but I worked with the Kentucky Wins Program.

LANE: Um-hm. Out of--out of the chancellor's office?

FIELDS: It was still part of the chancellor's office, but I specifically worked on Kentucky Wins Project.

LANE: Tell me about that. Tell me how that came about and what it is. I think I know, but I want to commit it to the record.

FIELDS: Its--uh--it was--um--dollars that were--that were set up by the state for Workforce Development training, and--uh--job retention and, you know, incentives for Workforce. And it was, you know, large-- [clicking sound]--pots of money that we had--um--to use, but it had very strict guidelines on, you know, how the colleges could use--

LANE: So they applied for grants?

FIELDS: Yes, they applied for the program and it had a match.


LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Um--and I really don't know what it is today, because, you know, I know that--I think there have been details of--have changed as far as what qualifies, just by, you know, virtue that the state changes and the needs change. So it could be different today.

LANE: Right--right.

FIELDS: But that's what the--the basic overall program is--is workforce training.

LANE: So you worked with that a couple of years?

FIELDS: I worked with that for a couple of years.

LANE: Okay. When was the first time you heard that you might be coming to Versailles? Where do you live actually?

FIELDS: I lived in Versailles.

LANE: I lived in Versailles? You went to Frankfort first?

FIELDS: I lived in Versailles the whole time this was going on.

LANE: And Lexington, okay. So what was the first time you heard about the possibility you might be coming to Versailles?

FIELDS: I think '98.

LANE: Dr. McCall--

FIELDS: --that was very early--

LANE: --was it really?

FIELDS: It was even before Dr. McCall came.

LANE: Really?

FIELDS: Um--at the board meeting that we had in Henderson, I believe--

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --I--I remember Martha Johnson saying at some point, you know, we don't know where the headquarters are going to be, and I'm not sure 01:03:00she used the word headquarters--the office--the system office was going to be. But she said, you know, I look at Louisville and I look at Lexington, and I look at Frankfort, and she said, you know, if we're trying to be common, and find common ground. Because you had people saying, well, I work in Lexington. I don't want to drive all the way to Frankfort. And I, you know, I live in Louisville, and I don't want to drive all the way to Lexington.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: And she said, so, you know, between--[clicking sound]-- Louisville, Frankfort and Lexington, she said, if you map it out, that puts me right smack in the middle of Versailles, Kentucky. She said that in 1998.

LANE: What did you all think?

FIELDS: Well. I'm sitting there thinking, okay--I've lived in Versailles, and I don't know where you're going to put that place--(both laugh)--I don't know where you're going to put these people. There's not anywhere. You know--so that was my reaction, and I thought--

LANE: --so you think that was a strategic decision to look for Versailles? I didn't know how that all came about.

FIELDS: Yes. Yes.

LANE: Wow--because of the central location.

FIELDS: They looked for a long time. They looked for somewhere.

LANE: They were going to build, weren't they?



LANE: They asked for money to build.

FIELDS: I believe so, yes. And then, you know, so you would hear rumblings of that and then it would die down--then it would kind of come about again. And--and then of course, you know, the building became open, they started working a deal. It was going to happen--not going to happen.

LANE: And you're thinking, Texas Instruments? Did you know where it was?

FIELDS: First of all--

LANE: I lived in Versailles forever.

FIELDS: That's what I was going to say--I had no idea where Texas Instruments was.

LANE: I'd never been back here.

FIELDS: Until we had already made a deal--we're going to be here and they had started work on it. Even though I lived a mile and a half from here, I had no clue where it was.

LANE: (laughs) And that's not unusual.

FIELDS: And my husband is from here--and I said, "Well, where is it--I don't even know." He said, "Its right in the middle of town." I--I said, "It can't be in the middle of the town, or I would have seen it." I'm not, you know, that far out there.

LANE: One little street--one little corner.

FIELDS: And you think, how did this big place get behind this? And of course--you know it's--we have to tell everybody we're behind the funeral home. We've got to get a better marker than the funeral home-- 01:05:00(laughs)--but it's just--its what--

LANE: --its 84 Lumber now--(both laugh)--that is where we come in by--

FIELDS: --but, so yeah, that's actually when I first hear about Versailles and--um--it was--

LANE: --so it ebbed and flowed--it was--it wasn't--it was on--it was off. Well, that whole process was amazing. I'm going sit Bruce Bailey and Mayor Siegelman probably--Joe Gormley in a room and just let them do an interview. Which I think would be very interesting --

FIELDS: -- It'd be funny--

LANE: -- about the way this--about the way this happened.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: Oh, yeah. I will--they're all characters. Um--So it did happen and--and they said you all need to get organized--get packed or?

FIELDS: Here we are.

LANE: Did you have--was Bruce on board that early? When did they bring Bruce Bailey on?

FIELDS: Bruce was still working--uh--in Workforce--

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --when we first started KCTCS, he was over at--in--

LANE: --Human Resources or something--

FIELDS: --state government--Facilities Management, over there. Because 01:06:00I don't think he actually retired until once he came into KCTCS.

LANE: I think that's what happened.

FIELDS: He may not have retired--but, you know what I'm saying--

LANE: --they lured him back out of retirement--

FIELDS: --yeah--that's right. So he's been on--he's never left--we can't get rid of him--(both laugh)--he'll tell you that.

LANE: That's right. That's right. Um--so--so you--during that time too--now we got this Versailles thing going on--but what else happened- -uh--was the--um--the issue with LCC. See we know--we know in--in the House Bill One, the Lexington Community College stayed with U.K. It was not a part of KCTCS. But, I believe it was, oh wow--it was later.

FIELDS: It was when we were in Lexington.

LANE: Later--um--late 2003 or early 2004, Lexington Community College, or U.K., received notice from SACS--the accrediting body--that there was a problem with their, I think it was oversight, maybe. Do you 01:07:00remember all that? Can you elaborate on that?

FIELDS: Not really. Not--

LANE: --what you heard and what people were saying or? - -you'd been a student there.

FIELDS: Yeah. But at this point, I mean I--I guess because I had been here for so long, I just knew it was inevitable it was going to happen.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: And so once--once I heard that there was the problem with SACS and, you know, I--I didn't think there was any question that LCC was coming. You know--it made sense--it had been seven--eight years--

LANE: --you didn't mess with SACS right?

FIELDS: Well, and--and it--people had had time to see that we were successful, you know, somebody said one time, I'm sure you can go back and find it, that KCTCS diplomas not going to be any more than getting yourself a quarter cup of coffee. You know--and we've proved differently.

LANE: Yeah.

FIELDS: I mean, enrollment now is over ninety thousand.

LANE: Unbelievable.

FIELDS: Who would have known in ten years that, you know, so I think over time--I think everybody knew it was going to happen. But people 01:08:00were still resistant.

LANE: ----------(??)--

FIELDS: --even though those folks, you know.--

LANE: --well the difference, too, being that--that facility was located right in the middle of the U.K. campus.

FIELDS: They were the heart. That's right.

LANE: Right there in the middle. And those folks wanted to keep their tickets and their perks and be--be a part of U.K., I'm sure.

FIELDS: And the dorms--

LANE: --well sure--so that's true, I hadn't thought about that--some of the LCC students lived in the dorms.

FIELDS: That was the--um--that was really the major complaint from the students when I was a student and all that, you know, had the uproar and then the classroom was, you know, we're going to lose the benefit of the dorms. And I will never forget this one girl saying, why, I came all the way from Idaho, so I could be a student at the University of Kentucky. And--and she--I mean she was very serious--she was very--

LANE: --there was a lot of that--

FIELDS: --[clicking sound] --to be a part of UK.

LANE: And they had just won the NCAA championship.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: A few years before that.

FIELDS: Yeah, so, you know, you had a lot of that going on--and so I 01:09:00don't know--even though, I'm sure that there were some folks probably surprised that LCC came, I guess, when we had, you know, I had been hearing--seeing the success that we had had--

LANE: --right--

FIELDS: --and what good things were going on for the state and how--

LANE: --you felt good about it.

FIELDS: - -you know, I thought it was going to be a good positive change for LCC.

LANE: And July of 2004 they had--KCTCS officially assumed governance of LCC. Uh--now you all didn't move over here until October of '04--is that correct?

FIELDS: September --um-hm.

LANE: But in 2003 you celebrated your fifth anniversary here?


LANE: Tell me--tell me how that worked? Was the--the building wasn't finished, was it?

FIELDS: We didn't celebrate it here--we celebrated it--um--I don't guess we celebrated--I was on vacation that week--

LANE: --system office in Lexington--it would have to of been--

FIELDS: --yeah, we were in Lexington when they celebrated it.

LANE: Okay. That's my mistake. I will correct that.


LANE: Okay, good. Um--so in September and October you all moved over 01:10:00here. Was that kind of a- -was it crazy? Did they organize it pretty well? How did you feel about it?

FIELDS: I think they organized it as well as they could have. We were colored coded, you know, schedule you were going to go on--

LANE: --yeah--yeah--

FIELDS: --and the facilities, you know, crew worked hard. Many long hours putting that together to get everybody --

LANE: Um-hm. How was it for you? Driving just a few miles to get to work?

FIELDS: It was different. You know--to, you know, because I had always driven thirty minutes, and I was like, well okay, it's five 'till--I'd better go to work now.

LANE: I--I had the same thing in October--last October, I came here and I had driven twenty years to Frankfort--thirty minutes down--thirty minutes back. Never really minded it because the drive was--was peaceful--

FIELDS: --um--hm--

LANE: --but, the first few months I was here I didn't feel like I'd really gone to work. It was very odd.

FIELDS: It is--

LANE: --ten minutes over.

FIELDS: It makes a difference--it's--it's a strange, you know --

LANE: And I miss the--I'm sure you miss probably Lexington--Frankfort places to go to lunch and all that sort of thing, but I'm really kind of enjoying it now.

FIELDS: Yeah. I like--in the--it's not--we're close to things, but 01:11:00we're not in the heart of the city. The drive--

LANE: Personally, I think it's wonderful.

FIELDS: I was just going to say I would prefer this way more than being on U.K.'s campus.

LANE: KCTCS is adding to the traffic of Versailles, but that's a good thing. That--that's really good.

FIELDS: Yeah. I think Versailles is wondering what's hit them, maybe.

LANE: Well. I--I understand--

FIELDS: --it's a good hit--

LANE: --that they're still very, very pleased with the whole thing--it was a win-win for everybody. Um--let's see. I--um- -okay I want you to go ahead now. You told me what you did in Lexington. Now we're coming to Versailles--now finish the chronology of what you did when you came over here. Where you were located and how that's changed to date.

FIELDS: Okay, once--actually at the same time that we were moving here, I had--um--taken a position in Human Resources.

LANE: Okay. Who was head of that, Human Resources?

FIELDS: Lewis or Judy--

LANE: --was he already there?--

FIELDS: --Lewis--

LANE: --was he already there?

FIELDS: When? When do you mean, in 2004?

LANE: Well who--who did Human Resources first? And then who did it?


FIELDS: Well, first who did Human Resources was Sandy --

LANE: Sandy?

FIELDS: --or, whoever at the moment.

LANE: Okay.

FIELDS: Those first few, you know, first year was just whoever.

LANE: Okay--all right.

FIELDS: Lewis came in about--I think it was somewhere around 2000--

LANE: --I think I have that on here.

FIELDS: He was really the- -

LANE: --one of the first--

FIELDS: --first Human Resource--

LANE: --where did he--where did Lewis come from?

FIELDS: From one of the banks in Frankfort, I believe.

LANE: Okay. I have that on here somewhere. Okay. All right. So he's- -he--so you went over--you came over to Human Resources?

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: Okay. And what are your--are you still doing the same thing now?


LANE: Have your responsibilities changed?

FIELDS: Yes. I do a lot of--um--just project management--project assistance--um--employee--I work with employee relations. I really touch all areas of, you know, employment. Really just whatever the 01:13:00need is for the day.

LANE: Were you ready to kind of get out of the frontline business? Or is this something that you wanted to do?

FIELDS: Well, for one thing, time had changed for me, because, you know,

LANE: Sure.

FIELDS: I had been married when I started here, but didn't have children.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: And so once I--once I started having children, you know, my first child was born the end of 2002, and you, just can't--you can't commit as many long hours and long days.

LANE: Right.

FIELDS: To a job--um--when you have little ones. And my husband worked evenings, so I didn't have the, you know, options of being here until seven or eight o'clock at night.

LANE: Right--right.

FIELDS: And--um--specifically with Kentucky Wins. It--it took, you know,

LANE: --really --

FIELDS: --and being in the chancellor's office, and a lead administrative role in there, it took--

LANE: --right--right--

FIELDS: --considerable amount of hours and time, and being in Human Resources is at least--even though you may have--we have busy projects we're always busy and a lot going on--most of the time I--I felt like I 01:14:00could leave here at four-thirty--five o'clock and not feel guilty that I cant get something done or--

LANE: --sure--

FIELDS: --or feel guilty, you know, when my kid is home sick, and I've got to be with him that, you know, there's nobody there to assume the responsibility.

LANE: So your life changed just--

FIELDS: --it did--

LANE: --made you have a change in position.

FIELDS: It did and, you know, it's not to say in ten, fifteen years that I won't want to do something differently-

LANE: --sure--

FIELDS: --and, you know, I'll be ready for that, but, you know, at this time in my life I, you know, work is important, but my family is important.

LANE: Of course. Um--now talk to me then from your perspective--from walking in that office door in Frankfort the very first day and there being nothing, to where we are today. I'd just kind of like your thoughts on, let's start with--uh--just the progress that you see having been made by drawing these two systems together which we've 01:15:00discussed. You have a whole new animal. A whole new -obviously it's a system, but it's a whole new creation. It's an innovative product.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: You know--what are your feelings about being involved with it, and then we'll talk later about, you know, how you--where you feel it might be going, as far as what we--what we need to do.


LANE: But how--how have you--how have your emotions run? Are you proud to be a part of it? I would think you would be.


LANE: But, what have been the highlights for you, I think--that's what I'm trying to ask you.

FIELDS: Okay. Well, you know--(clears throat)--if--if you start from the first day that I walked in 'till today there's--[clicking sound]- -there's absolutely no comparison in--I don't think anybody now could ever imagine what it was like, ten years ago.

LANE: Um-hm--no.

FIELDS: Because it's nothing like this. And when I look back it--it's almost like--and I don't think most of the leadership people would 01:16:00feel this way. You feel like it's your baby a little bit. You're very protective of it. And I mean I'm very proud. I'm proud to be here. I'm proud to be a part of this system. Um--and to look at what all we have accomplished. I mean I never--you know--would have in a million years thought that enrollment would have been this high.

LANE: Um-hm.

FIELDS: That we would have had the two systems come together the way that they did. That we would be in this beautiful of a facility. I mean when guests come in here--I mean they are just overwhelmed-- they're like, this is beautiful.

LANE: They're awed, they are.

FIELDS: And we usually have somebody every day that's in, that I'll see--you know--so, when I look at things like that and think about, you know, I can't believe that Dr. McCall has been here ten years. You know--and I know he has to feel a huge sense of accomplishment. And that he, you know, that even at the time, ten years ago, there wasn't a whole lot of--uh--leadership in Frankfort that was for this. I mean 01:17:00the governor got a lot of flack and he got a lot of opposition. And to think that, you know, the president has been able to bring those people on board and they like us. You know--we're their friend, and that they say, look what--look what they're doing. You know--look what KCTCS is doing. I mean, there was an article this week in the paper about, you know, CPE and the enrollment and that--

LANE: --wasn't that great?--

FIELDS: --the Kentucky Community and Technical College System was--

LANE: --responsible for most of it--

FIELDS: --leading--yeah I mean that is--

LANE: --it makes you proud--

FIELDS: --it's huge.

LANE: It is huge.

FIELDS: To think, you know, that we were once referred to as something about a quarter and a cup of coffee--(both laugh)--you know. I mean really, and--and it happened in about nine years. So, I mean I don't think all those things--um--but, you know, when you go back and you look at it. And unless you were here you can't describe it to somebody.


FIELDS: And it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It's never 01:18:00probably going to happen again in mine. And it--and it doesn't in most peoples. And ten years ago, when I'd tell people where I worked-- they'd be like, do what? And I would tell them.

LANE: What is that animal?

FIELDS: Well, now when I tell them where I worked, they're like, oh yeah, you know, my son goes to school there. Or, you know, do you have,--I get questions all the time if I'm at a restaurant or something. Well, do you all have a culinary arts program at such and such college? You know--so we really are being recognized and--um--we're a leading force in this state. I don't think there is any question about that. Um--

LANE: --I think your right. I think your right.

FIELDS: And where it's going to go. Gosh.

LANE: Where would you like to see it go?

FIELDS: Oh gosh. You know--that is--that's a really hard question.

LANE: It is hard. It--I know we have plans maybe to teach some classes here--I don't know that that will ever happen but--but I think the local community would be delighted.

FIELDS: Let me just say, that is just what I was going to say. You know--I wish I had a dollar for every person that said, when are you all going to start having classes? People want a campus here. I think 01:19:00it would be great if we offered just--

LANE: --one or two--

FIELDS: --two classes. Two classes. You know--just something to get our feet wet a little bit here and let the community know. We've had people out here in the community that are just, you know - doctor's offices, the dentist when you go, they're always talking about it. When are we going, you know, when are you going to start having classes there? I thought you were going to have classes. You know--so it--

LANE: ----------(??)--

FIELDS:--you want to be able to say, yeah, we will. You know--but you know--I said, well--I said, I think everybody hopes for that. And that's the only thing you can say. So that would definitely be something--

LANE: --um-hm--

FIELDS: --not only for the community, but for the people here in the office.

LANE: Well, that's true, too.

FIELDS: I think it's one of the things that we do lack, being in the system office, that the other colleges don't lack.

LANE: Well that's a thought--I hadn't thought about that.

FIELDS: They can go to class.

LANE: Yeah.

FIELDS: You know--and--and--and take, you know, take a course to continue their education.

LANE: We have to travel.


FIELDS: We gotta travel somewhere and do it. Which adds into your flex- time and--you know--we're in the business of educating people.

LANE: Looks like we could get a--a--one of the instructors over here and do a rotating thing. We're going to offer a variety of classes--

FIELDS: --right--

LANE: --this semester and this and that.

FIELDS: Yeah I think that would be a great--I mean we're in the business of educating--we need to be educating our own people, including myself. Everybody can learn and there are people here that have degrees that would still like--

LANE: --that's true--

FIELDS: --to learn things. So I--that would be probably the top of my wish list, would be to see us have some classes for the community, for ourselves. Um--I don't know--I don't know what's going to happen. I--I can't imagine, its--its hard to believe we've come this far in ten years. And it's hard for me to imagine where we're gonna go in ten years. And hopefully I'll still be here, so I get to see it.

LANE: True.

FIELDS: Hope you're sitting here doing this in twenty years, Margaret.

LANE: I do too.

FIELDS: It would be great--(both laugh).

LANE: Um--um--how--this may not be a fair question and you don't have to answer. But how do you characterize the--the mood, the atmosphere, 01:21:00the morale, that really comes from leadership. And I don't mean just Dr. McCall - but the leadership team. Is that viewed as a generally positive--generally efficient? Um--but stuff. When I was asking about the planning for this building, and if you, the staff, were involved in it. So.

FIELDS: Yeah um-hm and they--(clears throat)--basically came in and set up, you know, three or four different examples for the employees to look at.

LANE: Bruce coordinating this? Okay.

FIELDS: Yes, so that we could once we got here, you know, and--and- -folks voted on them and I'm assuming they used the top one or two choices, but that would be something Bruce could definitely tell you about. But they had a planning committee and each area had a representative from it. Um--so--

LANE: --I think that seems still ------------(??)--

FIELDS: ------------(??). Yes, it does. Even, you know, they brought swatches in of what the carpet and paint was going to be. They brought all that to Lexington. But even when they did that, to me after having 01:22:00been, you know, in Frankfort in an office that--(laughs)--barely holds six people.

LANE: Really.

FIELDS: To Lexington--to the couple of places that we were there, at Spindletop, and then coming here. And I remember telling the president this--[clicking sound]--it was far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

LANE: Yeah.

FIELDS: And a far better place to work. I mean we really are lucky to have a place like this to work.

LANE: Gorgeous.

FIELDS: Yes. You know, its' tight corners in some places, and yes, you can hear other people's phone conversations.

LANE: In here (??).

FIELDS: You know--it's the nature of the organ--you know, an open environment. But overall it's great.

LANE: I find--I sense that they're very responsive to those needs. For example, we're getting this week--how many new private meeting rooms?

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: That we haven't had. There was a great need for that. So, we're 01:23:00very, very fortunate to have the space. Because you don't have to go build it. You just retrofit it. Which is still expensive.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: But that's worked beautifully. It appears.

FIELDS: I--I think so. And--and they're always, you know, responsive as they can be to--if something needs to be--

LANE: --exactly--it's very open here--

FIELDS: --here and there--

LANE: --very open here, I find. I think those daily communications you all get. Which some people may read--I read every word of every one of them because I'm collecting your history.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: And the Friday communication, who's meeting here next week. I--I think--

FIELDS: --I think they're good.

LANE: --its very positive thing.

FIELDS: Um-hm. I agree.

LANE: And then you can go online and read your board minutes if you want to, which is just a matter of open record.

FIELDS: Right.

LANE: So I find it refreshingly open to a degree. I'm sure there are-- there are examples of ways you wish it would be better, but in general-- um--I have found it to be a very positive place.

FIELDS: And I doubt there are very many places that, you know, if you went to go get a job that you would find that are this nice, well accommodating and--and really this pleasant of a facility.


LANE: They provide coffee and, what, free coffee and water for employees, which, I know it seems like a small thing, but there's something psychologically nice about that.

FIELDS: Um-hm.

LANE: I think.

FIELDS: I agree.

LANE: Yeah. Neat. This has been great.

FIELDS: Yeah, it's been fun.

LANE: You are so knowledgeable.

FIELDS: Well, thank you.

LANE: You really are. Um--I--

[End of interview.]