Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Beth Hilliard, October 24, 2007

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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HILLIARD: ----------(??) I got some, you know, things that I thought would be cute to give, give to--

LANE: Um, ten, twenty-four, '07. Beth Hilliard, Margaret Lane. Is just--I'd like to begin with your state government experiences, you know, what, what brought you here? What did you do when you, when you first entered state government? Kind of take us--take me through that and this, you know, is for the record, too. And then, um, your positions, responsibilities leading up to your position here at KCTCS.

HILLIARD: Okay, um, I got my MBA in 1988. Merl Hackbart was in the business school at that point in time in the administrative office. And he had an, uh, gosh--he had one of his staff people contact me and, and say, you know, or he sent out sort of a notice that we were-- they were hiring in state government. Or there were jobs open in state government.


LANE: What was Merl's position?

HILLIARD: (sighs) He was the administration--might have been some kind of a director of something--

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: --of the graduate, you know, the graduate--

LANE: Gotcha.

HILLIARD: --part of the business program.

LANE: Um-hm. At, you said UK?

HILLIARD: The University of Kentucky College of Business and Economics.

LANE: Exactly. All right.

HILLIARD: He, um, so I just said, you know, I expressed interest I was looking for a job. And, um, oh gosh, I'm embarrassed to say I can't remember Beth's last name. There was another Beth--she worked in that office for them. She sent her application and my application together over to the Office of Investment and Debt Management--I think it was at that time. Jim Ramsey was the director, executive director of and, um, we both ended up getting hired. Just kind of interesting. But anyway, I worked for Jim Ramsey in that, um, that setting for--and that was Wallace Wilkinson had just been elected in--this was late July, that, 00:02:00that the previous fall he was inaugurated that January and the, and they'd, um, started a bunch of economic development finance programs-- Kentucky Development Finance Authority was re-, redone.

LANE: -- invigorated, yeah--

HILLIARD: And, um, they did the KREDA, the Kentucky Rural Economic Development Authority where they issued bonds, and the, um--

LANE: --I remember some of that--

HILLIARD: --more rural and impoverished counties to, to fund economic development projects. Interestingly enough though, that, uh, Paul Patton wrote that legislation for KREDA, or had a lot to do with that. So I got introduced to him very vaguely in trying to implement that, and he was lieutenant governor--

LANE: --and--

HILLIARD: --the next--

LANE: --uh--

HILLIARD: --the next four-year term.

LANE: Yeah, with Jones.

HILLIARD: With Jones.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And so anyway, just working with Jim Ramsey, um, as my boss, I got familiar with a lot of that policy. Um, and implementation of those policies. So that was kind of fun. Then from there I don't know how many years--well it was '88 when Jones was elected. Jim Ramsey 00:03:00left to go to Western as vice president of finance, I believe. When he left--and I worked for him all that time. I got to be really--he was a great mentor and got--had a great relationship with him. He--when he left, um, he recommended me to a new secretary of finance that came in under, uh, Joe Prather was the first secretary. Pat Mulloy was the second. He recommended me to Pat as a potential, you know, staffer in his office. Um, lo and behold Pat ended up hiring me as deputy secretary of finance. So I moved--that was a big jump. Totally took me out of my comfort zone, but I went and worked in that office for a while. Um, then Crit came in to finish up the administration, um, for the last eight months or something.

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: And she wanted me to stay there, so but anyway, this is my exposure to all these people.

LANE: Great.

HILLIARD: Then after they thought for sure what Larry Forgy was going 00:04:00to beat Paul Patton, and the night before the election, Jim Ramsey called me from New York or somewhere. He--maybe DC--it was in a big city doing something at a conference. Skipper Martin had just called him--(laughs)--and said, "We're going to win this election, and Paul Patton wants you on his team."

LANE: Hmm.

HILLIARD: As, as budget director or as secretary of finance or something. Jim called me--he goes, "I don't know how to respond to that, but if that happens I want you to be with me. So be thinking about this as you watch the election returns tonight." (both laugh)

LANE: --no pressure, no interest there--

HILLIARD: And I said, "That's funny," yeah, I said, "That's funny that you say that because Larry Forg-, Larry Forgy's people are all over this office, and they've been going through files and, you know, just--

LANE: They did before the election?

HILLIARD: Um-hm. They were interviewing--they've interviewed Bonnie Howell and, you know, 'cause Bonnie Howell--

LANE: Oh I know Bonnie.

HILLIARD: --Bonnie came running up to my office and the secretary of finance--

LANE: That's sort of, that's sort of unprecedented, isn't it?

HILLIARD: Oh it was, it was very awkward.


LANE: But how do you handle that?

HILLIARD: It was very awkward.

LANE: When you're sitting there?

HILLIARD: Yeah, and everything they were asking for was--

LANE: And he may be the next governor?

HILLIARD: --exactly. And they were like asking for public documents--

LANE: --until transition, transition time. Ooh, how fascinating. (laughs)

HILLIARD: It was interesting--and so sure enough, he won by a very narrow margin, but he won. And Governor Patton won, and sure enough Jim called me the next day and said, "I'm coming in and I want you to go to the--meet with, uh, Skipper and the Governor.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And the lieutenant governor's--I guess they set up temporary shop. I think we were in the basement of the Lieutenant Governor's Mansion.

LANE: Were you really?

HILLIARD: And we went over there--

LANE: You know, I think you were.

HILLIARD: --we went over there--I remember an ironing board sitting there--

LANE: Yes.

HILLIARD: --and Stephanie Bell--

LANE: Yes.

HILLIARD: --was doing his scheduling, I think it was Stephanie. She was Bell. Her mother worked in, um, I saw her not too long ago. Stephanie--she's got-, she's married now. I know it was Stephanie Bell. She was his scheduler--his first scheduler. And she was a sweet as she could be, and, um, young and energetic. But, and just, 00:06:00managed--I think she managed his schedule almost the--I know for the first administration. But anyway she--

LANE: I remember him talking about that tran-, that transition team in the basement over there. Because they had been--they had lived there--


LANE: --as lieutenant governor--


LANE: --when he was lieutenant governor--


LANE: --and they knew the surrounds, and so that's where they had the war rooms.

HILLIARD: Right. Well, wasn't he lieutenant governor when he was elected to governor?

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: Yeah. So he was still there.

LANE: Yeah, yeah.

HILLIARD: So anyway--

LANE: --for Jones and then he went to governor.

HILLIARD: I remember Steve Henry being there, and coming in and shaking our hands and stuff. It was really funny. But, um--

LANE: In that basement--

HILLIARD: --I hadn't even thought about until--

LANE: --see I worked four years in that house--that, that basement--it was much better when they lived there frankly--

HILLIARD: --and it was, um, very, um, you know, just like, yeah, and, um, stone walls, you know, just like a cellar--

LANE: I hope it didn't rain while you were there.

HILLIARD: --yeah, probably--

LANE: --horrible water problems--

HILLIARD: --yeah, it did. Anyway we, um, so we had that meeting and Jim, of course, negotiated a deal with the Governor that, you know, I really value my job at Western. And he said, "Well you just, you can 00:07:00wear two hats, you know, you can stay at Western, but I would like for you to come up." And so Jim got--and then I think the Governor called. Tom Meredith was the president of Western at that time, and got, you know, of course he couldn't say no to the Governor. So, of course you can have Jim Ramsey part-time or whatever. But anyway so all that was going on and, um, but that created a unique position for me to actually operate out of Jim's office. You know, I kind of sat in the budget director's office and worked out of there, you know, with computers and stuff and kept him plugged in. I was his ears and eyes while he was in, in Bowling Green. And we just--it was just really unique situation to be in.

LANE: And how long did that go on?

HILLIARD: I would say the whole time he was budget director for Patton.

LANE: Is that right? The whole time?

HILLIARD: Yes. And so, and everything--the next thing I would say that I remembered being, um, pretty phenomenal was then his inauguration address. Well, let me go back a little bit, because I had worked with 00:08:00Governor Patton, and of course in implementing KREDA.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And he knew me--oh, and when he was lieutenant governor he, in-, um, initiated--and I was secretary, deputy secretary of finance. He was good friends with Pat Mulloy also, and they, they dated back to the Brown administration.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: So Governor Patton as lieutenant governor gave an economic incentives debate with a Lexington Herald-Leader, um, journalist, and I think his name was Bill Bishop.

LANE: Yep. I know--

HILLIARD: And they went back and forth about how tax credit incentives weren't good, and anyway. So Patton wanted to take him on, and wrote a letter to the editor, and he gave it to Pat to read. Pat gave it to me read knowing my background in working with Jim Ramsey, and, and all these economic impact studies. So I looked at it and said, "You know, if he's going to argue with him about this, he needs to pull this fact out here, and this fact out here," and it was in this big long yellow notepad. (Lane laughs) And Governor Patton was famous for writing 00:09:00everything out on legal--

LANE: --that's what I hear--

HILLIARD: --notepads. And so we worked on it and Pat and Pat Mulloy was an excellent, um--he was an attorney, but he was like the law review editor at Vanderbilt University. He was an excellent writer.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And so I loaded--I, I, I collected a bunch of facts and I knew where to get them. I knew where all that nuts were hidden, and, you know, I worked very closely with the revenue estimating staff, that I had--were my buddies when I worked for Jim Ramsey. Minosha (??) and Kerr (??) and, um, was an Indian econometrician. And, um, anyway so and I, you know, I just kind of threw it out to Jim, but was going on to and he just put together this, this factual--

LANE: --right--

HILLIARD: --tables and charts and everything to argue with Bill Bishop. And, and Governor Patton ended up getting it, you know, published in the Herald-Leader to refute that argument. Well anyway, when Governor Patton was running for governor, he wrote a little book about why he should be governor, and about his philosophy and everything. And one of them he dedicated to me which was really, really sweet.

LANE: Oh, that's nice.

HILLIARD: But, he knew me. So as soon as Jim Ramsey said, "I'm bringing Beth along," he said, "Oh yeah, sure--come on." You know, so anyway I 00:10:00felt very comfortable--it was a unique situation to work with somebody like that. But the next thing was Crit. And of course, she was his chief of staff. Or no, Skipper was chief of staff. She was secretary of the cabinet.

LANE: That's it.

HILLIARD: --and Jim was the state's budget director. And so that was sort of the great triumvirate, the three direct reports to the Governor. And I happened to of worked for Crit and Jim both, so that worked out really well. Um, Skipper I knew because he was one of Pat Mulloy's best friends. So it was kind of interesting how I just sort of knew all these people.

LANE: Uh, really.

HILLIARD: So they--

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: -- ----------(??) very well. Um-hm.

LANE: You had just, you know, had been with them.

HIILLIARD: And then Margaret, um--

LANE: What was her name?

HIILLIARD: She worked for Bell South, she ended up--

LANE: --not Handmaker?

HILLIARD: Um, no. But she was later in the Patton administration.

LANE: Yeah, she was.

HILLIARD: Margaret Green.

LANE: That's it.

HILLIARD: Is that it?

LANE: That's it.

HILLIARD: And she went to, um, I mean she wa-, actually she might have been secretary of the cabinet originally, and Crit was deputy--

LANE: --I think she, I think there's was something like that--



LANE: --she didn't stay long--

HILLIARD: --and she was a great person to work with. But she might be somebody--anyway, when the Governor delivered his inaugural address and he mentioned higher education, it was--

LANE: --which he hadn't mentioned before--

HILLIARD: --a huge surprise to Jim, Crit, Skipper and Margaret--

LANE: --is that right?--

HILLIARD: --and they were like where did that come from. You know 'cause they had all helped him work on his speech and everything. (Lane laughs) And they were like what is this? You know, it was a huge surprise--

LANE: Do you think it was last minute or do you think he was planning that all along?

HILLIARD: --I think--

LANE: What-- how do you think that happened?

HILLIARD: I think, I, I--later in hindsight I saw--I didn't put much, I didn't worry about it that much. You know, I just thought, 'cause we had so many other things to worry about--

LANE: --exactly--

HILLIARD: --I, I was--

LANE: --all those transition--

HILLIARD: --ya'll don't need--

LANE: -- ----------(??) nuts.

HILLIARD: --yeah, I was like--

LANE: --somebody's going to die doing those. (laughs)

HILLIARD: --exactly--

LANE: I've been through a couple.

HILLIARD: Exactly. So I was just more worried about getting the transition notebooks together, because, you know--

LANE: --yeah--

HILLIARD: --it was more grunt work, behind the scenes, pulling things together and everything which is kind of what I do here. And, um, so I was just thinking about that anticipating talking to you. I thought isn't it funny that--and they all were the--all of them were like what 00:12:00is he thinking, he's crazy. He hadn't talk to any of those presidents and--

LANE: And they had helped him with his speech?

HILLIARD: And Jim, and with Jim's background in higher education, um, he and working at Western--he was like this is going to be darn hard. You know, damn near impossible, and they were like, I don't know. And Jim goes well you can only hope, you can only hope. You know, and so he--they all kind of on a positive note. But Crit was more concerned he hadn't talked to any of those presidents before he got in here, and, you know, blah, blah, blah. So, um, anyway and I think that which in hindsight though I think it goes to show that Paul Patton asked for a lot of opinions, and a lot of--and I think somebody that--not Crit, not Jim, not Skipper, not Margaret--but somebody that he, um, fancied or, or, relied on and felt comfortable with advised him that that was something that really needed to happen. And then he saw that it needed to happen. And he saw that, you know, economic development--because that was kind of his forte--

LANE: Sure it was. He had written the book ----------(??) governor.


HILLIARD: --getting KCTCS, getting, I mean, you know, getting, um, not KCT-, getting Kentucky to the, you know, national average and all that kind of stuff, it's going to take higher education.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: And, um, you know--it just all came--it made sense to me just with my background and my exposure to him too. I was like, of course, he would say that--I'm surprised you all are surprised. But anyway, it was kind of funny.

LANE: Because he hadn't mentioned it that much--

HILLIARD: --you know that was just--

LANE: --on the campaign trail or anything.

HILLIARD: Right, right, right. So, um, anyway I think that was very revealing, in hindsight, of the kind of character he was, and how committed he was to doing the right thing for the right reason. Whether his advisors told him to or not.

LANE: Or not.

HILLIARD: Or whether they knew about it or not. (Lane laughs) So anyway, uh, so that's kind of how I got, well--

LANE: Then you were--what was your, your position?

HILLIARD: I was the assistant to the budget director. I was--it was not even--I don't even know--it was a one-of-a-kind position that had probably never been held before--

LANE: --okay--

HILLIARD: --and it was something was just within the Patton administration, that was just made up.

LANE: All right.

HILLIARD: You know what I mean?

LANE: Yes. I do.

HILLIARD: Um, just like Jim was state chief economist. There had never 00:14:00been one of those before.

LANE: Right. Right.

HILLIARD: And probably never will be--there might be. But, you know how each governor comes in and creates their own--

LANE: --of course, of course--

HILLIARD: --personnel structure.

LANE: Of course.


LANE: So that went on for, for just a little while--

HILLIARD: Till--well and then, you know, I had worked--we had worked, I think--the first thing he took on was workers' comp.

LANE: --oh yes--

HILLIARD: First thing Governor Patton took on--

LANE: --that was that session, yes.

HILLIARD: And, um, so I was on the periphery of that. I was not integrally involved, but I was on the periphery. Just coordinating getting that, you know--I didn't do a lot of the research or that kind of thing. And Jim was, you know, of course involved, because of his position. And, um, but Mary Lassiter was very involved at that stage. She did a lot of the--coordinated a lot of the research from the, um, what was--Office of Financial and Economic--OFMEA. Uh, it, it, the O-, I was hired in the Office of Investment Debt Management; it changed its name to the Office of Financial--Financial Management and Economic 00:15:00Analysis. That's when they took over the revenue estimating function and moved it into, um, which Jim did too, Jim Ramsey did. Um, anyway I digress. We, um--

LANE: No, you're taking me through which is good. You're--and we'll go back and talk about some of these--

HILLIARD: --my exposure to the whole thing.

LANE: Yeah. Kind of what you've been doing, uh, you were assistant to the budget director which was, uh, a high level position--

LANE: I probably went from state, um--I mean from secretary of finance to deputy secretary of Finance and Administration Cabinet, into assistant-- I was actually Ed Ross in the Finance Cabinet had asked, talked to me about being his assistant--

LANE: --um-hm--

HILLIARD: --with the new administration coming on. And that's why I had been working so closely with Bonnie Howell, because it was more of the accounting side of it. Which I really wasn't very comfortable with and so when Jim called me, said, "Well, you know, I think I've kind of struck a deal with Ed Ross," said, I'll, I'll talk to Ed--they were all old buddies and stuff, too--

LANE: --yeah, he could do that--

HILLIARD: --so, um, so--


LANE: So the workers' comp session was--

HILLIARD: --yeah, the next--

LANE: --pretty successful--

HILLIARD: --yes, very successful--

LANE: --for Paul Patton, because he did something for the, the work- force. You know, Kentucky's--

HILLIARD: --right--

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

HILLIARD: And he took on something that people said couldn't be done, and he got it done. Now he alienated a key figure during all that, Greg Stumbo. But, um, so I think that--my personal opinion and observation was, that a lot of the animosity that Stumbo had against the House Bill 1 post-secondary education reform effort. Was one he didn't like, he didn't like--he loved UK. I mean, you know, he cared-- a lot of legislators do.

LANE: Right. Right.

HILLIARD: And he thought and he didn't want anything bad to happen to that--and he thought, he didn't understand the merits of this--he couldn't see past, you know, like a lot of people couldn't--

LANE: --right, no--

HILLIARD: --and the fact that he kick-, --I got kicked in the face once by this governor. I don't want to be kicked in the face twice.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: And he took it on.

LANE: Yeah, yeah. Okay. So but that, um, that gave him a little bit 00:17:00of, um, leverage, you know, with the employers of Kentucky and economic development.


LANE: That sort of thing, because it was perceived as something good for them.


LANE: And then he decided--when was the first time you heard about this--

HILLIARD: Next special session?

LANE: Well, yes. And, and you knew he had mentioned this in his inaugural address. Did he continue to discuss that--did he kind of put that aside--

HILLIARD: --yeah, it was sort of like we got--

LANE: --work on workers' comp for a while--

HILLIARD: --yeah--from my perspective we got really, really consumed with that workers' comp session, and just the regular budget--you know, I was in the budget office. There's a lot that has to take place with the budget. In fact I think that's kind of what--why I didn't get so involved in the workers' comp thing, and that created--Mary Lassiter kind of filled that void. Because she, she was in the Office of Financial Management, and worked for Jim too, and she, she and I were both big--he relied on us a bunch as staff people. So she took that on while I tried to manage the day-to-day operations for Jim on--or keep my finger on the pulse of the day-to-day operations on the budget in 00:18:00general. So, um, so we kind of split duties that way. Um, so, yeah the next thing we knew, okay, we gotta, then we were getting ready for this higher education thing. And they started with this study. He had this huge task force. I can't remember the name of it. But I've got it written on that book that they issued. Well, there were a couple of studies.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: There is one that kind of under, uh--

LANE: Commission on Higher Education Institutional Efficiency and Cooperation.


LANE: That was May of '96.

HILLIARD: And then the task force on post-secondary education--

LANE: Uh-hm, that was '96 as well--separate, um-hm.

HILLIARD: They both--one kind of was, um--

LANE: Jody Richards lead that one, right? The legis-, there was a legislative task force--

HILLIARD: --yeah--one was done through a resolution, where there was just as many legislators, just as many, um, executive branch people and then, um, appoint-, appointees. I think Lee Todd was on one of them.


LANE: Yes.

HILLIARD: I'm trying to think of the, um, the education, um, secretary. Um--

LANE: Virginia Fox?


LANE: --at that time?

HILLIARD: No, shoot. She was way later. Um--

LANE: Way back then.

HILLIARD: --African-American woman--

LANE: Oh, I know who you are talking about who passed away--

HILLIARD: --passed away--

LANE: Yeah, okay. I'll think of it in just a second.

HILLIARD: Ed--was his name Ed?

LANE: Unh-uh.

HILLIARD: Anyway he was involved in that other--

LANE: --okay--

HILLIARD: --report, I think. He was on the--I don't know--as, as the education secretary he was involved in all of that--

LANE: Sure. Sure.

HILLIARD: --and I want to say he had, uh, his higher education background--I don't think it was KSU.

LANE: No, it wasn't. I want to say Western, but I'm not sure.

HILLIARD: It might have been.

LANE: I want--I'm not sure.

HILLIARD: It wasn't Eastern.

LANE: I know who you are talking about, but I can't think of his name.

HILLIARD: Oh. I can see him. I can hear his--he had--

LANE: We didn't cross paths--he was a very commanding presence as far as I--

HILLIARD: --yes--

LANE: --have heard.

HILLIARD: Uh, Peters?


LANE: Peters-, Roy Peterson.

HILLIARD: Roy Peterson.

LANE: That's it. It's Roy Peterson.

HILLIARD: Roy Peterson.

LANE: That's who it was.

HILLIARD: Anyway--I just remember him talking about one of the reports- -the report from the commission with the long name. Once it was issued, he said, "This is pabulum."

LANE: He did?


LANE: Called it pabulum.

HILLIARD: In, in sort of a public setting and then--but that task force on the--so that made everybody think, well this task force report has to be really, really strong and I think they ended up getting NCHEMS involved at that point in time.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And, uh, or I don't know how the whole--I don't recall the whole series of events, but I do remember that being an issue. That that other initiative wasn't strong enough--they needed more. And the Governor addressed it, he said, "You know, I'm not," I mean, I just kind of saw that as his diligence on this. He was not going to let it rest until.

LANE: Right. He was very stubborn.

HILLIARD: And it was some of those hearings I think, or when they were presenting the report of the task force, is when it really got nasty between, um, Dr. Wethington or the UK--the pro-UK anti--


LANE: --oh, yeah, oh, yeah--


LANE: --leading to that debate in '97, March of '97 KET debate.

HILLIARD: Yeah. Yeah.

LANE: But that was a little later. Um.

HILLIARD: Yeah, and then part of these task force things--he went on a road show.

LANE: Yep.

HILLIARD: And I think Donna Maloney was very involved in that, interestingly enough.

LANE: Probably was.

HILLIARD: She, yeah she was--

LANE: Where was she then?

HILLIARD: She did a lot of his set up, um.

LANE: Then, econ-, she was with economic development.

HILLIARD: Yeah, but she worked in his administration--

LANE: --and then she was special events coordinator.


LANE: I think she was high level.

HILLIARD: She did all his, um, roadshow kinds of things--

LANE: And they've been called Patton's worse than hell visits to community colleges, that's what Ed Ford--

HILLIARD: Yeah. Yes.

LANE: --that's what Ed Ford called it.

HILLIARD: --and they got heckled and--

LANE: --oh, awful--

HILLIARD: --yeah, it was bad--

LANE: --really ugly.

HILLIARD: Um, so, uh--

LANE: Um, so you all weren't involved in that that much?

HILLIARD: Um, we, I've had, uh, yeah, I was involved some.

LANE: Were you? Okay.


HILLIARD: I had to help set up some of those meetings and attend them and, and I ended--well, and then I got really involved with NCHEMS, started writing the report.

LANE: Did you?

HILLIARD: Ed Ford had been very involved in just--Ed just--they, um--the Governor called Jim and said, "I need help. I need somebody working with Aims McGuiness," and, um, his, his partner--I can't think of his name--wears the Western suits, um, anyway the NCHEMS folks--

LANE: --right, right--

HILLIARD: --I need them. And Jim, you talk your language and you know, how the finance--you know--because you can talk the finance with them and everything. I need you to take a--I need you full-time for a little while to get this report going. So Jim--that, you know, so I got involved a little bit at that point in time too, working with Aims, and, um, helping them--

LANE: --oh, I'll think of it, um-hm, okay, go ahead, okay--

HILLIARD: --piece together the report.

LANE: So that was after they had done all their meetings and their task forces and all that?

HILLIARD: Yeah, this is--putting that report together and making the case, and making the case--


LANE: --and now is time to put the report together--yeah, yeah--

HILLIARD: So, um, anyway those were tough tense days, too.

LANE: How long did--

HILLIARD: And then I also observed the Governor then, too. He had things set in his mind, that he wanted to prove the point, and then, you know, Aims would come in and say, "Well Governor, it's really better if you just focus on this, because we can't get a lot of facts to substantiate this." Or and if we did, or they'd say, "Yeah, you're right, it does say that, but the general public won't understand what that means." You need to, or, you know--

LANE: --right--

HILLIARD: --and I remember having those little work sessions and Margaret Green involved--Crit--that's when I first met Beverly Haverstock. She would come in and give their, you know, work-force side of the story, or help them find how things were set up. And, um, um, you know, he worked really, really hard to understand the existing structure and the flaws in it. So that, in his report he could expose all of that, so that whatever he recommended, moving forward was truly a correction.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And, um, but I just remember those days being really--and, we, I would walk around with this huge notebook of all this stuff 00:24:00stuffed in there. And I ended up being the one that kept it all. Kept it organized.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: You know.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: We'd come into these work sessions and, you know, and at one point in time he was going around the table trying to argue his case for this one chart. And then, and I can, I was kind of nodding my head, 'cause I was starting to understand what he was saying, and he goes, "She understands it--come here," and he pulled up his chair and he sat down. And Jim and Crit are looking at me like--(both laugh)- -the h-, no. It's not a good chart, and then Crit--I mean Crit, Crit kind of got--they were frustrated and they got up. They didn't want to be disrespectful of him. But, you know, it was one of those--there was really tense moments in getting that stuff together. 'Cause he, but he--again he was committed to getting it done the way he knew how to get it done and it worked. And I think--

LANE: --and they, that they--

HILLIARD: --it was that commitment--

LANE: --but they just wanted to be sure that what--he didn't get himself out there--

HILLIARD: --well, they were protecting him--

LANE: --they were trying to back him up. That's right--

HILLIARD: --and they had, you know, they brought their perspectives to the table. But on this one, this one little chart of information and I think it ended up being in the thing but nobody ever looked--you know, 00:25:00finally, I think Jim kind of came to the conclusion. Because he, you know, writes a lot of reports with data and stuff. Nobody will ever read it.

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: Let's just move on.

LANE: Just do it.

HILLIARD: Crit was concerned--what if Mark Hebert or somebody in the press--

LANE: --picks up--

HILLIARD: --and, and nobody can articulate what it means. And she said even, "He's told me what it means five times, and it means nothing to me."

LANE: I still don't know.


LANE: I think that he did.

HILLIARD: --I think it ended up being, you know, I'll have to go back and look. But I remember keeping probably a whole separate notebook on what that was supposed to mean, as back up, for a long, long time and carried it around me in case somebody ever asked. (laughs)

LANE: So he, he was the--

HILLIARD: He was the mastermind.

LANE: --the mastermind and then, and then how else, you know, who did-- who would he listen to next? Or was it just--

HILLIARD: --he listened to everybody--

LANE: --team effort--

HILLIARD: --yeah. It was a team effort. He never really favored one person over another. He would, he would respect, um, you know, he brought Ed Ford in because he had, he was such an educat-, education 00:26:00advocate--

LANE: --oh yeah--higher education guru--yeah--

HILLIARD: --and he respected Ed's opinion on the politics of it all.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: He res-, you know, he respected Jim, because he was an economist and they could talk spreadsheets. You know, he had, he just respected--he pieced it all together.

LANE: I see, so he absorbed it and then made, made a call.

HILLIARD: I, I heard Margaret Green one time said, it was perfect analogy. She said, "Okay, in putting together this cabinet or in putting together Governor Patton's government, we, we want the perfect brain. We want this component, we want this component, we want this component, this component. We need to put them all around the table, and that's, you know, that's how we're going to put together this cabinet." And sort of--I saw that he kind did that on almost every project. He would get the different perspectives--

LANE: --by calling Jim and saying I need this strength here--

HILLIARD: --he would get a financial person, he'd get somebody that understood the politics, he'd get somebody that understood--that knew the old way that it worked, he'd get somebody that's been in another state that, you know, the NCHEMS people, that had seen it work other ways. And put them all together--and that's how the sausage was made. 00:27:00And it was, you know, you don't want to see it until it's done. And it was, you know, kind of interesting to live through that. It was very stressful.

LANE: I'll bet. I'll bet it was, because you--

HILLIARD: 'Cause you're constantly trying to build consensus.

LANE: Well, and that report came out in March of '97.


LANE: With the five key findings and that sort of thing.

HILLIARD: And then from there they tried to write the legislation. (laughs)

LANE: So, you, but you spent how many months on that basically?


LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: --of time.

LANE: You did.

HILLIARD: Well, it lead up to the May--then it lead up to the May session.

LANE: Um-hm. Yeah.

HILLIARD: And then, uh, I think that task force, you know, what, went on for two, three, or four--I mean if not six months--with the writing of the report and everything.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: Um, was worker, worker's comp a special session?

LANE: It was.

HILLIARD: I can't remember if it was a special session or if it was regular session. And the regular--

LANE: I thought it was special. I could be wrong. But anyway--

HILLIARD: Yeah. I think you're right too. And I think he called it right away.


LANE: I think he called it right away and then--

HILLIARD: And he had a regular session. And then as soon as that other session was over he called the--

LANE: He let them know that, um, in February that he was going to call it in May, about higher ed and other issues.

HILLIARD: Yeah, I think that is when the task force and everything was coming together.

LANE: And then that was in February, and then, then the final report came out, according to my notes, in March. And then he went--the KET debate--

HILLIARD: --yeah. I think the task force--

LANE: --and visits to the colleges and the draft in April and, um, and then of course the signing of that May 30th.

HILLIARD: Okay. We didn't have a session that year. It had--

LANE: Uh, you had the January legislative session.

HILLIARD: It was in '07 though right--I mean in '97. They didn't have annual sessions then--

LANE: --remember--remember--

HILLIARD: --they didn't have annual sessions.

LANE: I don't think they did yet.

HILLIARD: So, I don't think they had a session that year, is what I'm trying to say.


HILLIARD: I think there was a special session in the fall, of worker's comp--

LANE: --and then not a January--

HILLIARD: --and not a January budget session.


LANE: Remember, there had been in that fruit basket turnover with those '96 fall elections--changed the General Assembly considerably. Five Democrats defected to Republican--remember all that business?


LANE: Eck Rose was out--

HILLIARD: Was that that year?

LANE: Eck Rose was out--Larry Saunders--

HILLIARD: --yeah, he was the big change over--

LANE: --that sort of thing yeah. Um--

HILLIARD: But, I think that--yeah I don't think they had annual sessions yet.

LANE: I don't think that began until maybe--

HILLIARD: --later--

LANE: --next few years.

HILLIARD: So anyway I think we had that task force going on all that--

LANE: All that time?

HILLIARD: --time.

LANE: Okay. Okay.

HILLIARD: And I think worker's comp--yeah because the year before that would have been worker's comp, when we had a budget session. So I was very--and so this was the off year. And I worked on this. Okay. That makes sense.

LANE: (laughs) Oh that would have been awful during budget time-- wouldn't it been horrible?

HILLIARD: Um-hm. So, anyway--

LANE: So now we're up to the point that the--they have done all their 00:30:00compromises, you're saying you were kind of in the background then? You knew, you know Stumbo and

Wethington and Patton and just lots of animosity, and poison pens--

HILLIARD: Oh, we'd come in ready for testimony, and, you know, someone was going to testify at a, at a, one of the hearings or whatever, and, um, I'd be, you know, like Kay McClenney, who was with the education commission in the state, I think.

LANE: She was.

HILLIARD: She came into testify one day. Cindy Read came in to testify one day. It was my first time I met her on behalf of UPS. For the--

LANE: Really?

HILLIARD: Um-hm. And I was--I remember distinctly meeting her, and you know, I was just trying to help. And I was meeting these people, and taking 'em--

LANE: Sure.

HILLIARD: --around and everything. And, and then all of a sudden, be like, uh, gotta go, you know. I'd come in ready to rep-, all this, and no Jim Ramsey. He'd be already in the governor's office, and he'd call and say, "I've been here since four o'clock in the morning." Like, oh my God. And he was actually--because his family was still in Bowling Green. He was actually, um, liv-, uh, staying in, uh, a guesthouse or 00:31:00gar-, garage--

LANE: At the mansion?

HILLIARD: Yeah at the mansion.

LANE: There were apartments--there were guest apartments over--

HILLIARD: --he was in one of those--

LANE: --the garage on the mansion grounds. They were very nice, but, uh--

HILLIARD: --but--

LANE: --it was over the garage--

HILLIARD: He said, "The good thing is, it was convenient, the bad thing was, it was convenient," because the Governor called him, you know, two o'clock in the morn-, I mean, you know, he was 24-7. (laughs) So I would get the low-down that way, but I would, I never really was in any--I mean, I didn't get to see any of these blow-up meetings. I mean, I'm not sure Jim really got to. Jim got the aftermath or the before--

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: --crap. And, um--

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: So anyway.

LANE: And so there's this announcement that during the session--that we have a bill. Were you--when you saw it the first time were you surprised? Did you pretty much know what was going to be in there?

HILLIARD: Oh. It was changing so much--

LANE: --there was a draft--

HILLIARD: --we never really knew, and, yeah--

LANE: --and then changes and then thirteen amendments.

HILLIARD: I know we got hung up on--

LANE: It was crazy.

HILLIARD: Yes, it was crazy. Um, I do remember, after it was all said 00:32:00and done though, going in and talking to, um, you know, right before we walked into a meeting with the Governor, on how to implement the thing. Ed Ford said, "I've just talked to Jack Moreland. He's going to work on the KCTCS blah, blah, blah. He's going to be the transition direct-, interim director." Ed was telling Jim this, and Jim goes, "We got," you know, I said, "How's he going to do that?" It says in House Bill 4, which was like the budget companion piece--

LANE: --right--

HILLIARD: --that the state budget director's going to do all that. I mean it was written--

LANE: --yeah, it did, it truly did--

HILLIARD: And, and Jim goes, "Yeah, that's what I thought," he said, "Okay." And, and he turned around and asked Ed that. And I was like, oh Ed didn't even know that. You know, so then they had this--

LANE: 'Cause Jack was with Workforce Development.

HILLIARD: Yes--well no. He had been the interim Northern Kentucky president, and then done some little stint--yeah at, he was on, he was in some kind of a temporary position.

LANE: At Workforce?

HILLIARD: At Workforce.

LANE: Yeah--which is where the technical schools were housed.


LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: Yeah. So anyway, that was a big kind of you know what.


LANE: Did Ed--what did Ed decide?

HILLIARD: Well. They got in there and Dr. Mc-, and I mean they were talking to the Governor and Governor goes, "Well, how's that going," you know, Governor said exactly what I said. "How's that going to work with Jim being the--" that's just one of those awkward moments--

LANE: --okay, oh gosh--

HILLIARD: --kind of things.

LANE: Okay. Okay.

HILLIARD: So Jack ended up being involved for the first transition period. And I would say his counterpart then was sort of like Tony Newberry. Because Tony came in, and in sort of the interim--

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: --head of the, um, community colleges.

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: So it was like Jack was sort of like the interim--

LANE: Yeah, Jack and Tony.

HILLIARD: --for the transition--

LANE: Um-hm. Yeah, yeah.

HILLIARD: So that's how we kind of creatively--I mean that that started that implementation discussions of how, who heads what and that kind of thing.

LANE: So you're in the budget office. And you're still doing what you need to do there--

HILLIARD: I'm still Jim's sort of assistant at that point in time--

LANE: --and Jim, the Governor said I need you full-time, Jim.

HILLIARD: At this point in time he was going to go back to--


LANE: --Western--

HILLIARD: --Western. He still had to be at Western part-time. Um, and I think, you know, having Tony and Jack helped with that.

LANE: Okay. All right. So you had Tony and Jack. Well, and then, you know, you have this whole list of things that has to be done. You'd have to invent this, this whole system--

HILLIARD: Um-hm, the transition.

LANE: --and CPE change, all that business has to be done. So who said okay, we got to have this committee, this committee, this committee for transition?

HILLIARD: The transition team, I'd say Jim kind of lead that a little bit. I mean he also had, you know, Ron Carson and Bill Hintze were pretty involved. Ron more so than Bill 'cause this fell under Ron's res-, responsibilities.

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: Uh, Sandy Gubser had worked very closely, um, on the governor's team before then, and so she and she had, she had worked on a lot of those kinds of transitions before. So they just decided that she--I think I remember Jim actually asking--Jim and Merl Hack-, Merl Hackbart 00:35:00talking to her and saying, you've got--to Sandy you've got to do this-- you've got to help us. She was very reluctant, but she ended up.

LANE: How is Merl involved now?

HILLIARD: Merl was Jim's friend.

LANE: Okay. All right.

HILLIARD: But Merl was, um, sort of on the team. Jim used him as sort of the sounding board or, you know, team--he was, he was on--

LANE: --okay, okay--

HILLIARD: --he was--I think he was on actually on that Postsecondary Task Force.

LANE: I--he was.

HILLIARD: And so he just had Jim's ear.

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: And spent some time with Jim, and so, um--Merl had been budget director before.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: Um, prior to Jim. I think that's maybe how they met.

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: And, um, anyway, Merl was just always around. He was in the background.

LANE: Yeah. Yeah, okay.


LANE: So Jim said, let's get this thing organized? Then--and you all just had the people on the teams. How did that all go?

HILLIARD: Well, the Governor appointed the, um, ----------(??) board.

LANE: Transition team?

HILLIARD: No, no, he appointed the board.


LANE: He did. He did.

HILLIARD: I'm trying to think when that happened--he appointed the first eight members.

LANE: He appoints the transition team in June.

HILLIARD: In July--yeah I think--

LANE: June and July.

HILLIARD: --July is when--

LANE: --Ron Carson, I have--

HILLIARD: --Sandy Gubser--

LANE: --Ed Ford, Dr. Ben Carr who was the chancellor of the UK Community College System.


LANE: Jack Jordon--

HILLIARD: Jack Jordon.

LANE: --vice chancellor for business affairs--

HILLIARD: Was Sandy on it? But or Sandy--

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: --just staffed it--

LANE: --Tony Newberry, Delmus Murrell--

HILLIARD: Murrell.

LANE: --who was commissioner of a Workforce Cabinet. Beverly Haverstock.

HILLIARD: Beverly.

LANE: And Sandy.


LANE: Those are the names that I have.

HILLIARD: And then--

LANE: So that was June--

HILLIARD: --I remember staffing it.

LANE: Oh, your name is all through the transition documents--

HILLIARD: --yeah--

LANE: --and I knew--

HILLIARD: --and putting together the--

LANE: --that somebody was pretty organized with all of that.

HILLIARD: And then, um, well and through all that too, we got Tony Newberry to get, you know, who in the community college system is, and they got Patsy Stice, we--

LANE: --right--

HILLIARD: --ended up getting her to come work with us, and she was very 00:37:00good about, you know, setting up the board.

LANE: Um--hm.

HILLIARD: And had a lot of experience with that.

LANE: Okay.


LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: --so she helped out a lot. Sue Hodges Moore was involved. I think she was involved in the transition team for a while. Um, and maybe just from the CPE perspective.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: Yeah. She never left CPE--I don't think.

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: Uh, Ken Walker I think, ended up kind of taking over--

LANE: --yeah, he did--

HILLIARD: --sort of the CP--worked very closely then with Jim Ramsey.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: Um--to help kind of implement some of the stuff that had to go on at CPE--see I was working it all. I was working--

LANE: --yeah, you were--

HILLIARD: --with CPE as much as I was working with KCTCS.

LANE: KCTCS--the components then, the major components were the CPE--

HILLIARD: --yep--the--

LANE: --the Council on Higher Education--


LANE: --morphing into CPE, and then of course the total creation of KCTCS, by removing those community college systems--


HILLIARD: See, I was having to do, I was working on all of that--aspects- -all of that. And, um, you know, if Jim was involved, I was involved.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And so it wasn't just KCTCS that I was watching. So I remember thinking we gotta get somebody that can be the sec-, and well then Jim, Jim or somebody said somebody needs to be this secretary for this. I remember Jack Conway saying that.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And I said, "I," and he kind of looked over in my direction and was like, "I cannot, I can't do all of this." We kind of had a little fight about it.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: Because, he was like, "Well I can't do it," well I can't, you know, I got too much going on--and we had a little fight about who was going to do it.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: And, um, so anyway I went out in search of people--(laughs)-- to help.

LANE: We've got to have help.

HILLIARD: I was like, yeah, so, um--

LANE: --we have to help--

HILLIARD: --that's kind of--I remember Patsy Stice being one of those that we, we, um, annexed.

LANE: Recruited.

HILLIARD: Um-hm. And Sue helped, Sue really helped too, on a lot of this stuff. Um, because she did all the--before that she had been very involved in putting together the CPE, you know, agenda books and or-, 00:39:00organizing their--

LANE: --right, right, right--

HILLIARD: --board and staffing their board and so forth. So anyway, um, another chaotic crazy time--

LANE: Just like a gubernatorial transition?

HILLIARD: Yeah, it was--

LANE: --golly--

HILLIARD: --it was constant transition.

LANE: Seriously.

HILLIARD: Um, I remember when he first appointed the board. Had them over for lunch at the mansion. You know, I was always involved in like calling saying, can you come--

LANE: --yeah--

HILLIARD: --can you be there?

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: It was not like you could ever give anybody more than a week's notice--I mean it was always, you know, oh, we just thought of this. Can you get here? Can you, can you attend? And they had a luncheon, and the Governor came in and gave his speech, and he might have eaten three bites and then whizzed out of there. And then Jim just happened to be sitting next to Martha, um, Johnson, who was one of the first appointees.

LANE: That's right.

HILLIARD: And she was asking like, "How is this going to be organized and how, you know, I'm familiar with the UK board and how that." And he goes, "Well we're just going to kind of make it happen." And, and 00:40:00he said, "We'll just do like with the transition team--we'll just have some interim structure until we get it going." And he said, "Would you want to be involved?" And she said, "Yeah, surely." He said, "Okay. Why don't you just be chair?" (both laugh)

LANE: That's how that came about?

HILLIARD: And that's how that came about. And he stood up at lunch, he goes, "I just kind of, we're kind of flying by the seat of our pants," and she agreed. So I think she's just gonna be chair. But, you know--

LANE: --from Ashland--

HILLIARD: --we were thinking like--for the first, you know, meeting or two, until they could get their officers elected--

LANE: --yeah, yeah--

HILLIARD: --and so forth. And sure enough, they ended up electing her, too. So--(Lane laughs)--that, it, that, it was kind of funny how we laughed about that. But she had gone to Western and, and, you know, they just kind of hit it off on the alumni thing.

LANE: Yeah. Well, now how did the Governor--what kind of advice did he take on who to appoint for those first, first board members?

HILLIARD: Uh, I don't know that I really know. He was--

LANE: --John Banks--

HILLIARD: --he was--

LANE: --Richard Bean--

HILLIARD: --very tied by the statutes. That was one of those compromise things that I think he gave into--

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: --where four of them had to be submitted by UK.


LANE: Yeah, that's right.

HILLIARD: And four were just his, basically. And so, uh, and everything I saw--observed him do, as you know, keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: So I think he really thought through that, you know, some of the detractors that he wanted on there were, and, you know, Richard Bean will admit he was one of the--he was against it totally.

LANE: Yeah. And he was chairman of the UK Alumni Association.


LANE: At the time.

HILLIARD: So when he got appointed, you know, I think he, I think--I don't know if Wethington thought--recommended him, thinking he'll make sure this doesn't happen. I don't know. You know, I was always suspicious of that.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: I was always very suspicious of it. And so it would be good to see, you know, one day I will talk to Richard and see what, what was he really thinking.

LANE: Yeah, at that time--

HILLIARD: Now that we're successful and--

LANE: --I've heard him discuss that--first he said no.

HILLIARD: I don't know that he would fully admit it.

LANE: Well he, he--when you all had the oral history last March, didn't 00:42:00he discuss that, and he said, um, "First I said no," Wethington had asked him, "I'm not going to do that." And then a couple more people did and he decided he would do it. But then last month I heard him speak at KCTCS Presidential Leadership Seminar--


LANE: --and it's--he is just totally committed--

HILLIARD: Oh yeah, he's--

LANE: --to KCTCS--

HILLIARD: --absolutely.

LANE: That's an interesting phenomenon--

HILLIARD: --absolutely.

LANE: How so many of those people came from thinking this is just kicking and screaming--this is not going to happen.

HILLIARD: Um-hm. I do think, I think he still, I mean he still cares a lot about the University of Kentucky--

LANE: Oh sure.

HILLIARD: --he even at one point in time told us that--well he ran for on the al-, for the alumni position on the board.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And didn't, didn't get it, but, um--

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: --so he--I mean while he was KCTCS chair--I think he was--

LANE: --right--

HILLIARD: --or right before he was chair, he was running for that or something. I don't remember the timing, but, um--


LANE: Fascinating, isn't it? How's it all just--

HILLIARD: --worked out--

LANE: --leveled a little bit.

HILLIARD: Um-hm. It's all worked out.

LANE: Quite a bit actually.

HILLIARD: Well, you know, nothing changes peoples' mind like success.

LANE: Like success. Well all right--now, you, let's, let's finish up your career history and then we can go back to some of this. Because-- and it's fun, because we always get side-tracked on this, but there part of the, the interview as well.

HILLIARD: Well, that's just how your brain works.

LANE: It is, it is. So now you completed that transition appointment, uh, the board was appointed--KCTCS. How long were you involved through all of that?

HILLIARD: I was involved through all of that, but I just remember--

LANE: And through Patton's whole administration?

HILLIARD: --some of the big transition teams stuff, um, I was also, you know, worried about the CPE stuff too, and budget.

LANE: Right. (laughs)

HILLIARD: You know, I was--there was a lot of things going on--

LANE: --and then there was the state budget--yeah--

HILLIARD: --yeah, so there was a lot of that going on, um, and then, you know, we went through the, the, the presidential search.

LANE: Yes.

HILLIARD: And I sort--well Jack Moreland was supposedly staffing that. 00:44:00And then it went awry after the first round, they did--

LANE: --that's right--

HILLIARD: --I'm not--

LANE: --had a new search firm?

HILLIARD: Yeah. I just--it was AC-, ACCT Search Firm.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: The Associate--which out of the American Association of Community Colleges--ACC-, ACCTS I think a branch or affiliation which is the American, uh, American Community College Trustees--it's sort of like a, a, uh, with a specific mission of assisting trustees and they had some kind of search. They used them as a search firm.

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: And it went very badly. And, um, I was not intricately involved in that--

LANE: --candidates were not--

HILLIARD: --Jack Moreland was supposedly running that--

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: Um, and I--poor Jack--we had run-ins all the time, 'cause he, he didn't have any support staff and he was just sort of doing some of this by the seat of the pants. And Jim Ramsey would say, "What's he doing on this? Will you find out?" And, you know, it was just kind 00:45:00of--I got caught--

LANE: --in the middle--yeah--

HILLIARD: --in some of that, a lot.

LANE: Gotcha.

HILLIARD: And, you know--then he'd say, well, I'd say, "Well did you write--did anybody correspond with these people?" "No." Said well, "Don't you think we need a letter?" (laughs) And he went like, "Can you write it?" I said, "No I--that's, you know, I'm not offering to be your secretary."

LANE: Gotcha.

HILLIARD: I'm just kind of, you know, offering to--

LANE: --prompting--

HILLIARD: --but that just sort of showed how we were so--it was sort of loose.

LANE: Well, that first search firm--you think that was part of the reason for its demise or, um--

HILLIARD: I don't think they had a lot of direction. I think they just kind of--

LANE: I see.

HILLIARD: --came in and thought they were going to direct us--

LANE: I see.

HILLIARD: --and then our board, you know, um, Dr. McCall was amazed when he first got here about how hands-on that board was--it was because they didn't have any--

LANE: Yeah--

HILLIARD: --anything not to be--

LANE: --leadership really. No, right, they were move involved in, uh, in other than policy, they were involved in operations--

HILLIARD: --they got very involved in the operations, because--

LANE: --as well, they had to, they had to have board committees--

HILLIARD: --they were charged with doing this and they, and they didn't- -they were flying an airplane while they were trying to build it.

LANE: Sure were. At the same time they were building it.

HILLIARD: So, um, anyway and a lot of us that were thrown in there had 00:46:00all these other responsibilities. So, you know, I, I was involved in, um, and tried to help and tried to clean up. And tried to fix before it happened, and I remember mailing out an agenda boo-, but being in charge working with some people to get the agenda book mailed out. And making sure Jim was good with everything in it--and Martha Armstrong [editor's note: Martha Johnson was the first KCTCS board chair] getting her copy of it--and she said, "Shouldn't the board chair have some say so in what's on these agenda books?" (laughs) I was like, "Yes, of course."

LANE: --of course you should--

HILLIARD: Jim, oh, back up--

LANE: --of course you should--

HILLIARD: --you know, next time we do an agenda--(laughs)--we need to involve Martha. (both laugh) It was that kind of trial and error.

LANE: I'm sure. I'm sure.

HILLIARD: And, um--

LANE: --I'm sure she--

HILLIARD: --you know--

LANE: --understood that as well--

HILLIARD: --and I think I had just come out of a CPE meeting, and she said that, and I said--and I--Sue Moore was--we were working on something for CPE. And I, she said, "Uh, yeah, that's what should happen, that's what we do with all our," you know, okay, yeah, you're right, we should have done that--

LANE: Of course, of course.


HILLIARD: --um--

LANE: So then that was the first search which was put aside, aborted, forgotten, and you hired a new search firm?

HILLIARD: Yeah. I'm trying to think who that was or how that happened.

LANE: Oh, well. It's in the board minutes--

HILLIARD: Uh, was it Korn/Fer-, --

LANE: ---nothing is going to work, let's start all over--

HILLIARD: --I remember doing, I remember being involved with that after the first one failed, I remember getting--having to get more involved.

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: And I remember--I think I've read the actual proposals so I think I was maybe on that proposal team--

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: --for the next search firm. I remember Korn/Ferry being involved, but I don't think we hired them.

LANE: I don't think that was it.

HILLIARD: Um, no we got Jeff Hockaday. No, no, no, no--that was the first round. Korn/Ferry was involved in the first round, I think, I think. Or maybe that was CPE--I'm getting them all confused.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: Korn/Ferry might have been CPE--trying to hire Gordon Davies.

LANE: Um-hm. Um-hm.

HILLIARD: Yeah. I'm getting it all confused.

LANE: I don't think Korn/Ferry is, is anything that sounds familiar to me on this one.

HILLIARD: No--I had, I just saw, I had, but, um, they ended up getting 00:48:00Jeff Hock-, --okay, Gordon got hired.

LANE: Yep.

HILLIARD: While ours was deteriorating. Gordon came on board.

LANE: Okay, okay.

HILLIARD: And Gordon I think had somewhat of a connection. He recommended Jeff Hockaday to come in and be an interim about this time, because it was--we needed--like I said we needed somebody to run the place.

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: Um, oh I know what it was--no, no, no, I don't think Hockaday- -no, no, no, let me back up. Hockaday didn't come until after Jim left, Jim Ramsey left.

LANE: That's true.


LANE: --the first search firm--

HILLIARD: --so I don't remember who was doing the second search.

LANE: That's okay.

HILLIARD: But anyway, Jim threw his hat in the ring.

LANE: That's right.

HILLIARD: And that's what it was--when the first search fell apart--

LANE: --then he did--

HILLIARD: --Jim, um, had applied for the Western, uh, position and didn't get it. Was real close to pulling his name out of it, and nobody would, you know, everybody kept telling him to keep it in there.

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: And it would look bad for him. So--but he had pretty much 00:49:00given up on the, you know, the way, he knew the way that they were going. Um, and then he--I think, I don't know somebody said, "Well, what about the KC-?" I don't know if it was he and Crit and Skipper and, you know, but anyway, he decided he would offer his services for KCTCS. So they did sort of a search thing and it was, and he, um, and he told them if it wasn't unanimous he didn't want to do it. And it wasn't unanimous, so and he didn't do it. He was also at that time interviewing for the chancellorship--


HILLIARD: --at, uh, UNC Chapel Hill.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: Because I--it was going on--all that was going on all simultaneously--(Lane laughs)--and I don't know how, and of course I was in denial--

LANE: --how are you gonna keep your sanity--(laughs)--

HILLIARD: --I didn't want to think that he was leaving--

LANE: --no, that's true, that's true--

HILLIARD: --so I was in denial, and sure enough about the day that--I mean within a week that the thing at KCTCS didn't go through, he was offered the UNC Chapel Hill thing. It was almost--I mean it was really close in time.

LANE: How was he--how did he feel about it?


HILLIARD: I think he was, um, I think he was more worried about the public scrutiny of the KCTCS thing than he was, um, I don't know. We, we often talked if he, if he really wanted to be a president or not, you know.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And, um, you know, and I think his, his experience at UNC Chapel Hill was good experience for him to see that, you know, he could do it.

LANE: Like Richard said last time, he said, "You know, we all just felt- -we loved Jim Ramsey--he done so much for us--"

HILLIARD: --but there were other things to consider--

LANE: --there were other considerations--

HILLIARD: --because of the Patton--

LANE: --but now he's, now he's--

HILLIARD: --now look where he is--

LANE: --he's gone and gotten this excellent experience, and he's back, and he is one of our heroes now--


LANE: I mean, I love the way he said that which--


LANE: --you know--I think everybody feels that way--

HILLIARD: And he is, he's--yeah--and he's--

LANE: --excellent--

HILLIARD: --right.

LANE: --doing an excellent job.

HILLIARD: Right. And, you know, he had some personal development going on at the same time too, but--yeah if he had stayed, um, because of his affiliation with Patton and the way he fought for Patton--

LANE: --right--

HILLIARD: --agenda and so forth he probably would have been a lightning 00:51:00rod.

LANE: He was almost a crisis; it was, you know, it's that crisis management issue--where a crisis manager can come in, get the job done. But it's tough for them to stay and maintain.

HILLIARD: Right. Well, and plus he would have carried the stigma of Patton's pers-, being Patton's person. And so it would have been you're doing this for Patton. Not because--and I think--in, in hindsight, I think everybody admits that somebody like Dr. McCall coming from out of state to do that was the best.

LANE: Freshest.


LANE: When did you first met him? Dr. McCall?

HILLIARD: Dr. McCall? Um, well I was going to say that right about that time, you know, Gordon Davies was on board--

LANE: Um-hm. Um-hm.

HILLIARD: --and then when Jim--that didn't happen and then Jim decided he was going to UNC Chapel Hill, all that transition and so forth. Uh, that's when, um, Gordon helped with that. And they got Hockaday to come in and be the interim. Now Hockaday then ran that other search.

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: And Hockaday since continues to work with us with searches--

LANE: I know.

HILLIARD: --because he's very successful. He's good at that. He knows community colleges.


LANE: I interviewed him--he's great.

HILLIARD: And yeah, he's great. So he, um, he--I worked very closely with him. You know, Jim left, so Dr. Hockaday and Gordon both, and I was helping, you know, helped Gordon a little bit in some of their transition stuff. But he didn't--they had a much bigger established staff.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: You know and he worked with Sue, and then, um, so I was positioned to be full-time for Dr. Hockaday--well no--when Jim left he said, "You know," because he, um, he was my connection to that office. And--

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: --and, um, he said, "What do you want to do? Do you want to stay?" And I was like, "I can't stay without you, I mean you're my, you know." I said, "I don't know what to do." He said, "Well you need to stay--you need to stay with KCTCS and keep working on that regardless of what happens." And so they were de-, you know, they just hired, um, Sandy and Beverly and Bryan. And they said, "We'll just throw you in that group of--" just, and he, you know, he talked to the board about it and everything. And so I was just hired by a letter which served 00:53:00as my contract for a while, and it gave me, you know, because I had to leave the merit system. It was a big jump, a leap of faith.

LANE: It was.

HILLIARD: Not even knowing who my boss was going to be or anything like that.

LANE: How long had you been in the merit system?


LANE: Since '88? Was it '88?

HILLIARD: I was in it, then out of it.

LANE: I see.

HILLIARD: Because I was a political appointment.

LANE: But state--yes. Exactly.

HILLIARD: But I still had like, the Kentucky Retirement System--

LANE: --oh sure--oh sure--

HILLIARD: --and all that stuff. I think they ended up--I can't, I mean I'm still in that--

LANE: Right, you could transfer that to KCTCS.

HILLIARD: I just was a leap of faith. I didn't know how it was going to work out. I just sort of like--okay.

LANE: Did--how did--but you felt like this new entity had some legs?

HILLIARD: Oh yeah, I was really kind of into it, and I felt like I was still connected with the Patton administration. And I felt like this was my way to help. This was a full-time project and I was actually kind of relieved to not have to do five things at once, and be able to work on one thing.

LANE: Um-hm. Yes.

HILLIARD: Little did I know--

LANE: --well you knew Gordon was there--

HILLIARD: --that there was going to be twenty-five of those things to do at the same time-

LANE: --always--always--

HILLIARD: --too. You know, and Crit had said, "You will always have our 00:54:00support and whatever." And she said, "You know, you know," and she kind of even--at first she was mad at me for not staying. And she said, "I would have found you something." I said, "I know, but you didn't exactly offer it right at the right time," you know what I mean--

LANE: --sure--sure--

HILLIARD: --it was one of those communication things. But I--it all was just better. I was really looking forward to working on something, you know, I'd worked on a lot of legislation.

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: And I had never gotten to see any of it through fruition. You know, and I was feeling a little bit of that with, you know, I was working a little bit with CPE, and little bit with KCTCS.

LANE: And then Jim goes.

HILLIARD: Yeah. Then he was gone. And I was like, I can stay with KCTCS, I can work with Sandy. I can work with Beverly. I can work with Bryan. You know, I'm very comfortable, I'm comfortable with the board--I like Martha Arm-, --uh, Johnson.

LANE: --Johnson--

HILLIARD: And I met Dr. Hockaday, and I was like okay, I can do this. And then--but Dr. Hockaday--back to your original question. He's the one that introduced me to Dr. McCall. And when they brought in the interviews he, he had such a subtle way of doing things. He said, "Beth, I need you to pick up this candidate, Sandy I need you to pick up this candidate," and, you know, he had me hooked up with 00:55:00Dr. McCall. And he later told me, which is kind of obvious, but he later told me, "You know, I wanted to make sure you all met, because I thought he was the one, and I wanted him to like you." And because I-- he--I told him that you would be key to helping him get on his feet, and all that kind of stuff. And I thou-, I said, "Dr. Hockaday I totally appreciate that--it was very nice of you." You know, so, and it worked. It's worked ever since, I guess.

LANE: Exactly. So when, when Dr. McCall was hired and he came on board, you were part of his first circle basically?

HILLIARD: Yeah. I was sort of in that same position of just, you know, getting the board work--getting the board together, getting them put together. Had Patsy Stice actually kind of serve as the secretary to the board, you know. Um, yeah I mean we were dealing with issues--I was working with Beverly all the time trying to interpret the statutes and, you know, I knew Sheryl Snyder from, you know, the Patton administration.

LANE: And you knew Kentucky--he didn't know.


LANE: Somebody had to tell him who--



LANE: --who he could trust, where the bodies were buried.

HILLIARD: Yeah but, um, Governor Patton welcomed him with open arms and Gordon. And Gordon of course, had known him, too.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: So that helped. Um, he wasn't a foreigner--I mean he wasn't an alien. He came in and people embraced him right away. The board really embraced him. Um, so it was good--it was all just, you know, the moon and the stars were aligned on that one. But Dr. Hockaday worked--he was, he--

LANE: --key to all of that--

HILLIARD: --he was key to all that--gluing all that together.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And laying the groundwork and making sure the right people talk to the right people and had right understanding of things.

LANE: Exactly. Exactly.

HILLIARD: And, um, legislators embraced him right away. You know, he just had--

LANE: Did you have, did you have this, this title? And what is your title now? Did you have it at the beginning, or did that evolve?

HILLIARD: Did I have a title? And what was my title--no, I wouldn't have been, my title currently was created with Dr. McCall. I don't know if I really had a title with Dr. Hockaday.

LANE: Okay. But when Dr. McCall came in--

HILLIARD: I had never been one to get hung up on titles.


LANE: --did you create that title?


LANE: Right away?

HILLIARD: Because well, when we had to go through the whole, um, job analysis, um--

LANE: Personnel system?

HILLIARD: Yeah. JAQ's--job--

LANE: Gotcha.

HILLIARD: --analysis qualifications or whatever. Um, questionnaire- -that's what the Q stood for--(Lane laughs)--so we just kind of and he, he, you know, I did a little research and looked it at other organizations, with people like me, and we just kind of developed it from that to make it make sense and fit in with the rest of the organization.

LANE: So give me an overview of your responsibilities now.

HILLIARD: Oh, geez. Um, I still work with the board. Um, I work for President McCall who is hired, hired by the board. But I'm technically the assistant secretary to the board.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And, um, work with his leadership team, president's leadership team. Which I did all along through the transition and everything else too. And, um, work with this cabinet. So those are kind of my--and 00:58:00everything we do is somewhat connected through those three, you know, anything that goes up and down goes through those in and out of those three, um, structures--

LANE: --exactly--

HILLIARD: --and back out. So I sort of coordinate, orchestrate, oversee that kind of stuff.

LANE: Okay. Let's talk about his leadership style. How much did he bring with him, and how much would you say has developed since he has been here?

HILLIARD: Oh. I think his foundation was pretty strong in terms of being able to understand the importance of relationships with the legislature and the executive branch. You know, the Governor and the, um, um, the general public and a very fractionalized--factionalized, um, work-force under him. Or you know--

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: --uh, leader-, the--

LANE: --work-force, community colleges, that sort of thing--

HILLIARD: Yeah. The--and the people that were directly reporting to him.


LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: You know, he had these technical colleges that had, that were all of a sudden called colleges instead of technical institutions or schools. Um, and various backgrounds there. He had the community colleges who, you know, didn't want to be, even though they were the forgotten stepchildren over at UK. They weren't sure they wanted to be in this organization either.

LANE: Right. Right.

HILLIARD: So he had to, you know, endear himself to all of these people, and he did, I think. And he got, um, effectively saw that, you know, he had the vision, and everybody else was able to buy into it. But, you know, it took a while to get it clearly, you know, bought into. I think he always had the vision.

LANE: The vision? It was just the implementation?

HILLIARD: No he sa-, because he had seen it done in other places. He knew it could work. You know what I mean?

LANE: Yes, I do.

HILLIARD: And, um, but he was able to finesse it all.

LANE: There were so many details.

HILLIARD: Um-hm. But he, he is a great delegator, too. He lets 01:00:00people do what needs to be done. Um, and he had, you know, he had to basically--he had to train that board to be a board. And he worked that a little bit with Dr. Hockaday's help. You know, he had to bring in, you know--

LANE: --seminars--

HILLIARD: --some experts and have, you know, work on that a little bit- -get them at a policy level. Transition them from the operational level to the policy level.

LANE: Exactly.

HILLIARD: We spent a lot of time doing that, um, he's had to work with the Governor to, you know, get the appointments.

LANE: Um-hm. Several governors.

HILLIARD: Um, uh, with people that we can, that can help governor the system. Um, he's had to work with legislators of course, to get all our, you know, various legislative hurdles--

LANE: --cleared--(laughs)--

HILLIARD: --cleared and jumped, and--now we're focusing on, you know, continuing to fund the system like you need to. Um, it, I think, um, 01:01:00being totally embraced by the executive branch that created 'em, helped to get him a strong foundation.

LANE: Right. He was supported totally there because Patton was in office several more years.

HILLIARD: And there wasn't a whole lot he could do at that point. But other than just to make sure nothing got in the way.

LANE: Exactly.

HILLIARD: And he did that very well. He didn't tell him what to do and, you know, he, he was good about not saying--you know what you need to do, you need to do this, this, and this. He'd never would do that.

LANE: He didn't micromanage?

HILLIARD: No, no, no, no. He, uh, and I think Dr. McCall even has a really, really nice letter from the Governor.

LANE: Did Jeff Hockaday introduce Mike McCall to Paul Patton? How was Paul Patton involved in all that?

HILLIARD: How were they formally introduced--yeah, he wasn't involved, yeah. I think--

LANE: He wasn't involved at all--he allowed that process to take place without him?

HILLIARD: I think he was keep apprised but I'm not sure he--I don't, I don't even know if the three candidates met the Governor. But I think Gordon kept his finger on the pulse of things, too--


LANE: Gotcha. Gotcha.

HILLIARD: --and I think, uh, Crit, Crit definitely kept her finger on the pulse of things. She would call on a regular basis. And actually I think Dr. McCall had weekly meetings with her. I used keep a Crit list--

LANE: Is that right?

HILLIARD: --for him. I, I think they had regular, it wasn't weekly, but they had regular meetings where he was keeping her apprised, because, because of all the political--

LANE: --so she was kind of the Governor's voice?--

HILLIARD: Well, and you know, she had SACS connection.

LANE: Sure.

HILLIARD: Her--you know, she was a Centre alum and Centre president during all this time--

LANE: Was on the board.

HILLIARD: --was the chair of SACS--he was on the board, and I think he ended up being chair--

LANE: --chair--she had to call him in at one point when he was a little bit of a--

HILLIARD: She had to clarify some things and, and actually say--UK's trying to say you can't do this, this and this. And he said, "That's absolutely not true," and connected us to, you know--and Jim Ramsey was involved in that too--connected us with, uh, some of the staff people at SACS and saying no, that's--and Gordon helped too. I mean in 01:03:00getting some things implemented with KCTCS.

LANE: Well that's, that's--I have that listed later, but while we're talking about Crit, and then we're going to come back to Mike McCall in the early days. But I would, I'd like to get your impression of how--yeah, when do you have to go?

HILLIARD: No, we're good.

LANE: Your impression of, of her role in the study, the task force, the writing the bill, the whole nine yards.


LANE: Yes.

HILLIARD: Oh she was very involved. Um, I would say Jim was involved academically, um, policy-wise. She was policy and politics.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: I mean she really worked the that, but I mean, they overlapped.

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: Jim and Crit would overlap on policy part of it, but Crit could manage the people, getting the right people at the table. And the, you know, like she would make the phone call to the SACS guy, even though Jim knew--you know what I mean? Jim knew all that, but it-- 01:04:00you've got to split duties. You can't do it all. And they were--I mean they were two peas in a pod. They worked very, very closely together on all that.

LANE: She--that's the one interview that they can't find at UK that Myk Garn did with all the movers and shakers and players. Crit's is not in my mix, so I called them and said please look for this, because I know we interviewed her. But I'm, I'm going to go talk to her myself.

HILLIARD: You need to go talk to her, she'd love it.

LANE: I mean she is on my list anyway. But--I want to go back.

HILLIARD: And I think, I think she was involved in this whole Fran Ellers project too, because I know Fran was a--

LANE: Oh. Okay.

HILLIARD: --I got to find that for you.

LANE: Yeah. Yeah that will be great. All right. Now when--these are the early days.


LANE: Mike McCall's here--you all have gotten your relationship, you know, your working relationship worked out and things are going a mile- -a hundred miles a minute. At what point did you know it was really going to work and work well? This whole new thing?

HILLIARD: I think I knew from the beginning.

LANE: Did you?

HILLIARD: I think, you know, and, and I think a lot of--I don't know, uh, because of my relationship with them--Jim, uh, I don't know. I, I 01:05:00just knew. At that point in time I didn't think Jim wanted--I didn't think it was good that he'd be president. I didn't think he would have been a good president at Western. That was my personal opinion and I told him. Said, "I don't know that you're up for the schmoozing part of it. You're just too--

LANE: --other skills--

HILLIARD: --you're too," yeah--

LANE: He's budget director material.

HILLIARD: Yeah and I think, you know, yeah you're just, you've got other capacities--

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: --that are, you know--

LANE: --stronger--

HILLIARD: --stronger.

LANE: Well how's that worked out at U of L?

HILLIARD: --and so I think, well, see, but I think it all came to a head--

LANE: --he gets glowing remarks--

HILLIARD: --it's all come to a head and, you know, I don't see U of L--their board at that point in time were economic development people--

LANE: Yeah. Yeah.

HILLIARD: --that he'd worked with in the past and that kind of thing. And they saw that Louisville needed to go somewhere else, and it was going to take--

LANE: A different approach?

HILLIARD: --a more, um, substantive less schmoozy, you know, you know what I mean?

LANE: Not a figure-head--

HILLIARD: --not a figure-head--

LANE: --but a real mover and shaker--

HILLIARD: Not somebody that's, that's so concerned with fundraising and--


LANE: --you're right--I see what you're saying--

HILLIARD: --those kinds of things. We need somebody that can, you know, that can put it together and sell it. And he did--he--I think he was the right person for Louisville at the time--he was the right person for UNC Chapel Hill at the time, because they had some financial issues that were a big deal, and he--

LANE: --yeah, and he knows it in and out--

HILLIARD: --um--

LANE: --yeah.

HILLIARD: And Louisville is a different culture than these other two institutions were.

LANE: Definitely.

HILLIARD: And he could have done the KCTCS and been successful--

LANE: --oh, yeah, he could have--

HILLIARD: -- it just would have been politically harder because of the affiliation with Patton.

LANE: And Wethington was still there.


LANE: Wethington was still at UK, and you knew, and I think this is what Richard Bean said--

HILLIARD: --it would have been just too emotional--

LANE: --you just knew that there were too many bridges that had been burned during this whole process. So yeah I, I--looking back I can see it clearly--

HILLIARD: You know, legislators want, um, outside experts. You know what I mean?

LANE: Yeah, yeah.

HILLIARD: It, it just--we needed somebody with outside expertise to come in and give credibility.

LANE: Well and the fact that Mike McCall had done it before--had pulled 01:07:00the systems together.

HILLIARD: He had worked in systems that worked before so that--and, and he came through a system. I mean he--I think he was a professor then a, a president, a college president, then a system level--

LANE: --coordinator--

HILLIARD: --yeah, I think it was just really, really good. And he--he's a strategist and he had a vision. And as soon as the board could see all that they're like well yeah duh, he's the one--this is perfect.

LANE: This is it. So you, you had to develop, and to me, when I think about just walking in--(laughs)--with no paper--nothing and just saying we have to develop a personnel system and we have to pull people from state government, from the UK system and, and maybe others. We have to develop a system. We have to make sure that all of our colleges can talk to each other, and all the students get registered.


LANE: I mean you just had to invent--

HILLIARD: We were flying an airplane--

LANE: --the system--

HILLIARD: --while we were putting the wings on it--

LANE: Yeah. You were.

HILLIARD: --and fixing 'em--

LANE: You were.

HILLIARD: --and making them better. (both laugh) And it took a lot of 01:08:00commitment, and I think a lot of happenstance and luck and everything else. But, it--

LANE: Now, where were you located physically? Were you still in Frankfort during this early time, when Mike McCall came on board?

HILLIARD: I was in Jim Ramsey's office till the day he left. Working out of the budget office then from there, um, Sandy Gubser and I and Beverly Haverstock, uh, Angela Fields, Dana Easton, who is our tech--I mean she was a support staff person at that point in time, for Sandy Gubser. Um, we were in this little bitty office in the bottom of the tower. Uh, what's it called? Pla-, Plaza Tower?

LANE: --Capital Plaza Tower--

HILLIARD: And, um, Bryan Armstrong was there--Dr. Hockaday had an office.

LANE: That was the transition office wasn't it? So you, you moved over there after Jim left.

HILLIARD: Yeah. I think, I think actually transition team was there first.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: I think Sandy and Beverly were already there, and they moved--and Bryan to an extent. And they moved me over there when Jim 01:09:00left. And, um, yeah Dr. Hockaday had his office in there. And then when Dr. McCall got here he had an office in there until they were able to get us over to the Council of State Governments which was Merl Hackbart's idea--I've got to say. He's the one that first threw that out. Why don't we move everybody over there? And, you know, it's, it's close to Lexington--yet away from Lexing-, you know--

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: --it's close to UK, but away from UK.

LANE: Yeah, yeah.

HILLIARD: You know, so I gotta give him credit for coming up with that idea, and then it just sort of got tossed around and everything. And it took hold with the Governor, and he said, "Yes, it's not a bad idea."

LANE: But then, but then you were requesting major financial support to build a headquarters at some point, weren't you? Before this Versailles business came on?

HILLIARD: I'm not sure--

LANE: Seems that I have read that--that there was a proposal to request so much for a building--

HILLIARD: --I think there were people saying we should do that, but I don't think, I don't think Dr. McCall ever sunk his teeth into it.


LANE: Okay. Okay.

HILLIARD: I think people--I think they pretty much said, politically, that is not going to happen. You can't do it.

LANE: The Governor really thought the bill--I mean it getting too big. Um, Sandy kept saying, Sandy Gubser kept saying you can't operate on this, you know, you've got to have more and but at that point in time we had this sort of agreement with UK for them to continue to do our payroll, you know, all that kind of stuff. And Sandy--

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: --had seen the vision of that's not going to work. It's going to all have to be here, but Dr. McCall wasn't here yet. You know, things were going on and I think Hockaday, you know, since the Governor was, you know, that they just weren't ready for that yet, because politically they couldn't take it. You know, you couldn't just turn around and say you created this new bureaucracy--


HILLIARD: --so it just had to like, get its sea legs first. And I remember Sandy just being really frustrated with that. Because she, she had a vision too. She just wanted to implement it right that minute.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And it wasn't going to happen.

LANE: Right. Right.

HILLIARD: Um, so--


LANE: So you were at Spindletop--

HILLIARD: I don't know if--

LANE: --was everybody ever at Spindletop, or were some people still in Frankfort?

HILLIARD: No. We still had IT in Frankfort.

LANE: Yeah. Yeah.

HILLIARD: Um, it wasn't until we got here that everybody was all together. And even still, you know, I don't know the Kentucky--KBEMS was here yet, you know--(Lane laughs)--probably just taking them on.

LANE: I don't know what's going on with--

HILLIARD: And, um, but this, this was Dr. McCall's brain-child to come here. I don't know where he was on the Council of State Governments. I can't remember if that was decided before he got here, or if he was part of that decision.

LANE: So his first few days really were in Frankfort?

HILLIARD: They were in the Tower--

LANE: --and there is a picture in the early ninety, uh, -nine of him-- January 11th was his first day at work, so that was in Frankfort.

HILLIARD: Ninety-eight.

LANE: No, '99.

HILLIARD: Ninety-nine, you're right.

LANE: He was hired in '98.

HILLIARD: Ninety-seven, yeah, sorry--it took that long.

LANE: Yeah, it did, it did, and there was a lot that went on.


HILLIARD: I think he was hired, I think December--yeah.

LANE: He was, yeah, he was hired in December of '98--came in January, and then you didn't inaugurate him until September, technically. The, the big celebration--


LANE: Wow. So he was there--he was--and then when you moved to Spindletop, of course, he went there as well. And then in 2004 you all came to Versailles. How did you feel about that?

HILLIARD: Coming to Versailles? Oh, it was, it was good. It was the right thing to do.

LANE: Because you could all be together?

HILLIARD: Oh, yeah. Yeah. No, it was definitely the right thing to do. Um, I don't think anything, you know, all the moves that we've made were the right thing to do at the right time.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: It just all made sense, it was, uh, to get over there were we could have--be separated from Frankfort, you know what I mean?

LANE: Thought that was important.

HILLIARD: Oh, yeah, just to not look like we were, uh, political being.

LANE: Um-hm. You were education.

HILLIARD: Yeah. We had to get out and be an education being.

LANE: Yeah, makes sense.


HILLIARD: And get out from under the Patton lightning rod, you know, even though he was responsible for doing it. It's just, you know, just like Jim couldn't be the president because he would have been too associated with the battle. He needed to get away from the battle and let us be independent. Just like UK's independent. Just like Western is independent. Just like Eastern is independent. From that--all that.

LANE: Did you have much political, um, pressure during those early days, from legislators, from others, to do things a certain way? Or was everybody pretty much intent on following the letter of the law in the bill and all of that?

HILLIARD: Oh, yeah. We had--we read--Beverly Haverstock and I, I mean I spent a lot of time--we read that statute--I mean, I had sections of it memorized, because it was so much, you know, and then being challenged by, like by, yeah there was a lot of political pressure. Greg Stumbo challenging whether we could even issue degrees, and I mean it was some statement about that--a quarter will get you a cup of coffee--

LANE: Yeah, yeah.

HILLIARD: --about our degrees.


LANE: The quality of the degree--yeah.

HILLIARD: Um, and all that and the SACS, um, scrutiny of what we were doing. And then, um--

LANE: Of course LCC stayed with UK.


LANE: Until--

HILLIARD: I'm not sure legislators really understood--

LANE: --yeah--had they read the whole bill--

HILLIARD: --well I don't think they really, you know, I don't think they really understand higher education and how higher education works.

LANE: Few of them do, very few--

HILLIARD: --beyond basketball and football tickets and those kinds of things and, um, yeah we got phone calls. If somebody didn't get their degree printed in blue like they thought it should be, they'd call their legislator and call, you know. Our first board meetings were in auditoriums where all these people could come and watch. And all I remember legislative staff, as much as it was--because the legislative interest still. You know what I mean?

LANE: Yes. I do. Go over there and find out what's going on--

HILLIARD: Yes, all the CPE's people were there. Um, Sandy Deaton who worked in education committee staff, LRC, of LRC. Audrey Carr, who's 01:15:00still there--Sandy I think retired--

LANE: I haven't heard.

HILLIARD: I think what put Sandy out--she and I, we, we talked--Sandy and I talked on a regular basis. Um--

LANE: Sandy?


LANE: Deaton.

HILLIARD: Redhead, um, and she might be retired, too. She was semi- retired for a while. Um, the Ming-, Mrs. Mingor (??)--she ended up having to work directly with her. And, um, got assigned to her--

LANE: --oh--

HILLIARD: --somehow. And I think that put her into retirement.

LANE: Gotcha. Decided. (Hilliard laughs)

HILLIARD: And she liked her, she, she, I mean it was just--

LANE: --I know--

HILLIARD: --so weighty--

LANE: --tough, yeah--

HILLIARD: --yeah, it was such a hard thing to do--

LANE: --yeah, yeah, tough. Well, and then I understand too, that those board meetings that you had, you had community college people sitting on one side with their arms folded--

HILLIARD: --oh, absolutely--

LANE: --and Workforce on the other side with their arms folded--

HILLIARD: --leering at each other--

LANE: --not knowing--

HILLIARD: --right--

LANE: --what was going to happen. Fear does that.

HILLIARD: People positioning themselves for jobs.

LANE: Oh, boy.

HILLIARD: Jockeying for favors and--

LANE: --yes, yes, yes, yes--


HILLIARD: --yeah. It was messy.

LANE: I'd say it was. I'd say it was. And you just had to--somebody had to keep the vision in, mind didn't you?

HILLIARD: Um-hm. Well and Dr. McCall did that for us. And he did it for the PLT and, uh, he's a great comm-, --his leadership style and the way he, um, brings everybody to the table--

LANE: --yep--

HILLIARD: --gives everybody, uh, some people laugh about it, you know, the illusion of inclusion. But it is inclusion. It's not just an illusion. Because he listens to feedback, and there is often times where we thought we had a plan--throws it out there and it changes, because he discussed it with that group. And he does that with, you know, the board's the same way. Um--

LANE: Well. I think a lot of people think I'm not, I'm not included if it doesn't go my way and that's not the way it is--

HILLIARD: --that's right--

LANE: --you've got to gather all those opinions, and then somebody has to make the call.

HILLIARD: Right. Well and the board definitely operates that way--

LANE: --but you had been included if you've given your opinion--

HILLIARD: --the board didn't operate that away, but now they definitely 01:17:00operate that way. Um, largely because of his leadership--

LANE: Those first board meetings compared to board meetings now? What's the major difference? Practically?

HILLIARD: Beverly Haverstock one time said, "The prisoners are driving the bus." Because we had so many faculty and staff--

LANE: I see.

HILLIARD: --elected and they were elected by, um, labor factions--or the factions. And so they, you know, and they, uh, and, and Martha Johnson though, was as a leader of the board wanted their opinion, and she wanted them, she wanted the inclusion, too. And she wanted everybody to be heard, and it was more--it was just sort of hodge-podgy--and it was all, it was factionalized, it was fact-, it was bitter and nasty and, um, we had faculty and staff chairing committees, and they would try to finesse agendas, and question everything and, and, you know, the labor, um, the union people not labor. The union, uh, KEA, came to 01:18:00every single one of our meetings. Um, I can't even remember--the AFT.

LANE: Oh, yeah.

HILLIARD: And it was at every--they had a representative, if not three or four, at every one of our meetings, in addition to the legislature. And, you know, Charles Wells was a regular attendee. Um, and then Ernie Fletcher got elected, and he decided to pick on him instead of us. He took our place I think--(both laugh)--'cause, you know, with all the, the employee issues that were raised--all of a sudden he wasn't in the paper quoting KCTCS--

LANE: --less picking on you--

HILLIARD: --yes--

LANE: --less picking on you then. And honestly, you know, having come from state government, and I look at your personnel system. It's, it's imminently fair, you tried, you had to take the broadest--

HILLIARD: --they took the best of--

LANE: --of it, of each--

HILLIARD: --it, of everything--

LANE: --yeah--

HILLIARD: And Beverly Haverstock was very involved in that and advises on that. We had a lot of personnel consultants come in and so forth, and so on, but I, I give her a lot of the credit for saying we're going 01:19:00to take the best of everything and put it out there.

LANE: So no one is hurt who's already in the system.

HILLIARD: Right, and then the board also had a philosophy of, you know, in order to make this manageable with six different sys-, you know, 'cause it was faculty, staff for the community colleges. Faculty, staff for the technical, and then KCTCS thrown in there, the new system for faculty and staff. Because there was a little bit--

LANE: --that is six--you're right--

HILLIARD: --six systems and, um, anyway that would--and the board saw that yeah, to get it all to be one system you're going to have to have incentives somewhere. So, because why would you, you know, and, and I think even Richard and some other, uh, our board members that lived through corporate mergers, well Martha Johnson lived through a corporate merger.

LANE: Yes.

HILLIARD: They knew that that's what worked. You know what I mean?

LANE: Yes, I do.

HILLIARD: If to, if to keep people happy and so forth--well in a corporation, you come in and say--if you don't like it, go. We weren't in--we didn't have that luxury.


LANE: You really couldn't do it.

HILLIARD: No, we couldn't.

LANE: You couldn't do that. Wow. So that was the big difference between those early board meetings and an awful lot of faculty and staff involved.

HILLIARD: There were people that just still didn't want us to make it.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: There was an awful lot of people--

LANE: --a little sabotage going on--

HILLIARD: --that wanted to see it fail. That--they wouldn't say it that way, but that's essentially what it was.

LANE: They just knew it wasn't going to work out, so they were going to set out to prove it.


LANE: That happens.

HILLIARD: Or it's, you know, my agenda--I just got to make sure I'm safe and taken care of.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: It doesn't matter what's best for the most or, you know, for the common good. It's not something any of those people brought up--

LANE: --and whose, whose common good?

HILLIARD: Yeah. Who defines that?

LANE: State government, UK, Charles Wethington--

HILLIARD: Well, and Dr. McCall was really good about and the board, too--it's about the students guys. We wouldn't exist if it weren't for the students, and so they were really good about imposing that in, with the strategic planning exercises and all that, that we went through, it really made a difference.

LANE: Let's fast forward to 2003 in July--your fifth anniversary. How 01:21:00are you feeling then? You had a big party in July--(Hilliard laughs)-- July 2003--you were five years old here at the System office--

HILLIARD: We were here?

LANE: It says that there was a party here at the System, at the System office. That doesn't mean here though, because you didn't come here until 2004.

HILLIARD: Yeah, I'm trying to remember--

LANE: That would have been at--did you have it at Spindletop then?

HILLIARD: I think so.

LANE: Yeah. I think, I think it was July--System office is this, but it wasn't always so.

HILLIARD: Yeah. I vaguely remember it.

LANE: But--

HILLIARD: I'm really bad about--

LANE: --it was five years into it, and Mike McCall had been here for, let's see--three or four years--

HILLIARD: --for all but a year of it probably, eighteen months of it--

LANE: --yeah, he had, he had--

HILLIARD: --I think he was--he's been involved in all but the first eighteen months, I would say. Depending on when you click--that clock starts ticking. And for me it ticked way back.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: So if you go to May '97--

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: And I think I actually signed on in July of '98, June, July 1 of '98 was prob-, where I signed over to be an actual KCTCS employee. 01:22:00I think.

LANE: Okay. That was--what was going on then? I have my timeline. (laughs)

HILLIARD: The board, um, was appointed.

LANE: Um-hm. Um-hm.

HILLIARD: Um, we were starting to have board meetings.

LANE: Yeah. And you got your first approval to grant your degrees, and start your associate programs--

HILLIARD: 'Cause Dr. McCall's first day was January 20, '99--yeah. So there's a six month period where I was kind of--

LANE: Yeah. Okay.

HILLIARD: --squishy.

LANE: You were there. Right in the middle of it.


LANE: Um--

HILLIARD: But the five year anniversary?

LANE: Yeah, yeah. And that was even before the LCC thing happened.


LANE: You know--that was a year before that. I don't, I don't sense it was a big--it was a party, said it was a party--your fifth anniversary party at Spindletop.

HILLIARD: Yeah. I don't think--I don't see that as a landmark kind of thing. I remember doing five year pins, I remember--

LANE: You probably had so much going on.


HILLIARD: You know, at that point in time I still didn't have time to celebrate. You know Dr.-, that's another thing Dr. McCall's come in and really imposed on us is that we need to have celebrations. And I'm--I find it as a, it slows me down from going forward, you know--

LANE: Right. I know what you mean.

HILLIARD: --I had to-

LANE: But then after you've done it, you're probably glad, aren't you?

HILLIARD: Right, we need to do it. Yeah, absolutely.

LANE: --you, we celebrate our own accomplishments--

HILLIARD: Yeah we need to, to mark it and, and largely that's why you're here.

LANE: Of course.

HILLIARD: Is because--

LANE: I applaud KCTCS and him for his vision, and saying we're going to collect now before it's too late.

HILLIARD: Well, and we get asked constantly by other states and other, other school systems--what do you all do? What do you, you know, we're seen as a best practice, and so we're constantly being asked, so you might as well write it down so you don't have to say it over, you know what I mean?

LANE: Here it is.

HILLIARD: So, um, and gosh I can't--if we counted the states that have called and have made inquiries--

LANE: Really?

HILLIARD: --Louisiana really has tried to replicate what we do, but they're and, and I think Dr. McCall has observed--which he would know 01:24:00better than me, but I'm relying on him--that nobody had the leadership that Paul Patton--nobody has done it yet, because they haven't had the leadership and the commitment that Paul Patton had.

LANE: That want that he just had.

HILLIARD: The tunnel vision almost.

LANE: He sure did. He sure did.

HILLIARD: It's got to happen because that's the only way KCTCS--or that's the only way Kentucky--I keep saying KCTCS--substitute Kentucky for--was going to be able to go forward.

LANE: Um-hm. What's your opinion of this latest development by CPE, announcing right away that we should freeze KCTCS tuition?

HILLIARD: Um, I didn't know how to take it at first, 'cause--

LANE: I didn't either.

HILLIARD: --with my budget background, and I'm a little rusty, on, you know, thinking like a budget person except that I'm always very frugal. And I know that, um, having children in private school, I know how tuition is always continue--

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: --and having been on boards of private schools--tuition is always going to go up. Because if you expect peoples' lives to, you know, employees to better their lives or stay there you're going to have to at least do the cost of living kind of thing. And then expenses are, you know, it's just an economic fact.


LANE: It's just a major factor there.

HILLIARD: Right. So at first I was like how's that going to work. And then as I thought through it, and chatting with Ken Walker my, you know, other, the budget brain of our table. I was like, oh yeah, well of course that would imply--if CPE's proposing that implies [clicking sound] that CPE's willing to say that some of the budget is going to have to fill some of that gap. That subsidy is going to have to fill in the gap. And, um, so when I understood it in that kind of context, I said, "Yeah, well, let's see if anybody else buys into that." I also know how the legislative budget process works. And they will just assume that oh well, they can, they can absorb that--with all that money--they can absorb that, they, you know, not knowing how our money is actually broken down and spent. So it's, it's a little scary in that, uh, but if it happen-, you know, getting the commitment of the officials to recognize that there's got to be some other--


LANE: Well you knowing the legislative process--

HILLIARD: --filling in the gaps--

LANE: --like I do, too. I don't know as much about that CPE budget process, but you don't know till the final hour, the final stroke of the final pen.

HILLIARD: And I did hear at the last meeting when they talked about it that, uh, one of our--Christina Whitfield who works here went and she said that she heard even the Council members, saying, that works fin-, and Ginny Fox, that works fine as long as the subsidy is there to enable it to happen. But they have to be together. You can't--they need to be Siamese twins.

LANE: I think I heard--

HILLIARD: They can't be separated.

LANE: --Dr. McCall quote that in the--something I heard him say recently, too.

HILLIARD: But it was nice to hear that somebody on the Council understood that as well--

LANE: Good.

HILLIARD: --and Ginny would, of course--

LANE: --of course she would, of course she would--

HILLIARD: --with her KET background, and knowing how finances work for public entities, but--or under-, chronically underfunded--(laughs)--

LANE: Always, always. Well listen we're, we're about to the end of our 01:27:00two-hour period which you were very kind to agree to give--

HILLIARD: Except I was late.

LANE: No, you're fine, you're fine. Um, and I want to make another appointment with you and talk about--I want you to think about this publication, and I'm going to give you the general outline of what we're thinking about including. But I need your help with how we portray the years from '99 to, oh--1998 to 2008 that's what we're using, '98 to '08. Do we say here's the two-year period here were the highlights, here were the challenges, here are some stats? See, I want you to help me think about physically how we make it interesting, and we'll talk about the audience. Tim, Tim's been kind of guiding on some of this, and, but I need your, your thoughts on that, so I'd like to have another--it won't hopefully be a two-hour session, but this has been great.

HILLIARD: Okay. So sort of how to organize this story?

LANE: Yeah, how you feel, um, the story would be the best presented. 01:28:00I mean we can do pages like an annual report, but I, you know--I'm thinking we might think--

HILLIARD: --chapters--

LANE: --about something else--

HILLIARD: How do you do the chapters kind of?

LANE: Um-hm. Yeah. Just, just how, uh--

HILLIARD: --sections--

LANE: --I want to make it personal, but yet, yet it has to be professional. We've got a real interesting mix here. This will be a little--

HILLIARD: --the audience--

LANE: --than a, than a, an annual report.

HILLIARD: The audience is gonna be internal and external.

LANE: And as Tim and I've talked about it--and according to his direction this will be the ultimate PR document. So okay, we'll talk about that more, but be thinking about that because you have a good handle on, you know, we need to pick out highlights. I've got all Dr. McCall's reports. I have, have bins and folders for each year. Um, and I'll need some help on, on kind of picking out highlights and that sort of thing, and somehow to present that.

HILLIARD: Yeah it is--I mean, you know, you could, you could focus on like little sub-era, era, you know, like the transition period, and, this and that uh--

LANE: --chapters for those.


HILLIARD: Or, you could even take on topics like how do board governments evolve or.

LANE: Yeah. I've thought about the chronology or chronological approach--

HILLIARD: And they could overlap that way too.

LANE: Yeah. You'd have to make it logical. I get, I get confused when I read a book that's topically organized--like you take a topic and go through it chronologically--

HILLIARD: --that covers, yeah--

LANE: --and then another top-, my mind doesn't absorb that well.

HILLIARD: Right. Well and it being a history you would want it to be somewhat chronological.

LANE: I think so, but anyway. I would love to talk with you about it.

HILLIARD: The chronology you could have themes that merge--

LANE: --oh, definitely--and I, I'm--

HILLIARD: --like transition too--

LANE: --I love sidebars, I love personal stories. I don't know if you remember the, uh, um, the Smart Growth report that was--

HILLIARD: --yeah--

LANE: --put out, um, it was a, it was a paperback, but I remember when I read that I thought, you know, this is well organized. Because--

HILLIARD: Long-Term Policy Research Center do it?

LANE: No, it was the Heritage Council and Governor's Patton office, I think--wasn't that Patton? Smart Growth? Yeah. Yeah. Crit--but, but 01:30:00there were these wonderful sidebars of, of explanation or, or a human interest story and we--I'm gathering every human interest story of student and faculty that I can find. So anyway. Look back a little bit. I mean, are there moments in your memory, uh, that really stand out in the last eight or nine years?

HILLIARD: I think I've told you a lot of them today.

LANE: You have. You've hit a lot of really good ones. But just some three or four highlights?

HILLIARD: Hmm. Right this minute?

LANE: You can think about it. (laughs)

HILLIARD: Three or four highlights?

LANE: Yeah. I mean it was--like Dr. McCall coming on board obviously just a real highlight of this whole thing.

HILLIARD: Turning points, yeah.

LANE: Yeah, the turning points.

HILLIARD: Jim leaving was a turning--for me personally was a, was a turning point. Because that was, uh, you know, my daughter is applying to college, app-, colleges right now, and college application essays and she said, "Mom I'm really struggling with something that took me outside of my comfort zone." You know, talk about something that took you out of your comfort--and of course my way to be able to articulate 01:31:00to her is I have to think--

LANE: --me?--

HILLIARD: --what me--

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: --then how do I relate that to something that she can understand. And then to let her come up with her own idea. And one of the things was--well one--my first one was when Patton asked me to be deputy secretary of finance which Jim Ramsey was involved in. The other one was Jim saying you need to just do this--really pushing me to--you just need to stay with KCTCS. And it really was taking me out of my comfort zone.

LANE: Because it would have been more normal--easier for you to have stayed with state government?

HILLIARD: Except I would--yeah I was really--I knew in my heart of hearts that is not what I wanted to do--without him.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: Because he always insulated me from the political aspects of it.

LANE: Yeah that was not your favorite part.

HILLIARD: He insured that I could work on policy and keep me out of the politics part.

LANE: Yeah. Right.

HILLIARD: Um, you know, like I said, um, Jim tried to stay out of that too where that was Crit's forte. So he--with Crit around he didn't have to--with Skipper and Crit together--


LANE: --that worked well--

HILLIARD: --and then--I just loved how the three of them--if Skipper was all people--

LANE: --oh, yeah--

HILLIARD: --you know, and, and in that position was all politics and relationships. Jim was all academic, substance, spreadsheets, economic principals, budget, you know, technical. Uh, and Crit, you know, if you drew a triangle--Crit was policy. She overlapped with both those two. She actually connected those two. You know what I mean?

LANE: I do.

HILLIARD: It's almost not even really a triangle--

LANE: --she had both--I worked with Crit for many years--

HILLIARD: --it's almost linear, where she does both. She has the right and the left brain kind of thing.

LANE: Yeah. I think your right.

HILLIARD: And she does both and that's why I think she's--

LANE: So you were very comfortable with that team?

HILLIARD: Oh, yeah. Except that, you know, I was, you know, not comfortable just pure politic thing. In just dealing with legislators and stuff I just, you know, I mean I would help people get ready for those meetings, but I didn't--I would attend them but I didn't speak at them--

LANE: Skipper loved it, yeah, yeah. I got you.

HILLIARD: Do you know what I mean?

LANE: Sure.


HILLIARD: Because I just--

LANE: I want to observe.

HILLIARD: --I want to observe and I can--I understand the politics of it but, you know, it's very hard for me--I, you know, I end up getting emotionally attached to issues. Doing the right thing for the right reason. And sometimes politics it's seen as doing that--

LANE: I know--then they start asking those questions and you think where did that one come from--(laughs)--

HILLIARD: --yeah, yeah--

LANE: --you just see from the mindset of what--

HILLIARD: --and I enjoy observing it, but I can't--I don't like to--

LANE: --participate--

HILLIARD: --because, I'd probably get a little too one-sided.

LANE: Are there other people--you mentioned somebody I probably should talk to that I didn't have on my list. Any other--I have, you know, the usual, the players in the early days--

HILLIARD: I think if you could find Sandy Gubser--she has just kind of disappeared.

LANE: Yeah. I think--did she retire from state government?

HILLIARD: Yeah, she retired--no she retired from here when she left.

LANE: Oh, okay.

HILLIARD: And I think she just got as far away as she could from--

LANE: Did she?

HILLIARD: --I think she got pulled in from retirement sort of to do this and then--

LANE: Then, you know, so many people have I've met and I thought I know you--I used to work with you in state government. Well, they brought me back.

HILLIARD: Beverly Haverstock.


LANE: Yeah. She--I've got Beverly. She said she would love to talk.

HILLIARD: Merrill--I keep saying Merrill, because I heard--I was reading about Merrill Lynch earlier today. Merl Hackbart, I don't know--

LANE: I had Merl on my list and, and we vetted that through Tim and Dr. McCall, and they didn't even know who that was, but I still think that is probably important.

HILLIARD: Tim would know--he would have insights on the early days in those early reports that, that, he was not very involved in the implementation of KCTCS as--I mean he might have been on the transition--as long as Jim Ramsey was there he was involved. And when Jim left he faded out, but he stayed--I think on the first CPE, the first, you know, when they first became the P instead of the H.

LANE: Gotcha.

HILLIARD: He was a faculty representative.

LANE: Okay.

HILLIARD: On the CPE so he would have some perspectives from that--

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: And he did have--from my observation it was his idea for us to go to the Council of State Governments, because he was also involved with the Council of State Governments.

LANE: Um-hm. Yeah, he's, he's--

HILLIARD: --it was his idea--


LANE: --he's--yeah, you have brought him up several times so I, I still had him--I had picked him out from the written materials and, and may still. Some of these people I'm just going to--

HILLIARD: --he, he's probably got a broader higher education reform perspective than just KCTCS.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: And see I overlap on that too, in the early days.

LANE: Sure you did.

HILLIARD: Because I was going both--it wasn't until Jim decided he was leaving that I really anchored in on the KCTCS. In fact I kind of fought getting too involved with KCTCS, because I had so many other responsibilities. You know what I mean?

LANE: But then after it happened it was kind of a--

HILLIARD: --oh it was, yeah, and it wasn't two months later and remember talking to Beverly and Sandy saying--woo it is so much easier to just- -not that it was easy. But it's--there is a benefit to being focused on one thing.

LANE: Yeah.

HILLIARD: And being able to give into the detail.

LANE: Even though it's really not one thing, but I know what you're saying. Versus one or the other--

HILLIARD: --and, and, and to be able to actually watch something that you worked on, because I worked on a lot of legislation in my tenure at, um, state government. It's nice to see something to fruition.

LANE: Right. Is that your favorite part?


HILLIARD: And personally--

LANE: --is that really your favorite part of, of all this--just, just seeing it be--and it is successful. I don't think you can argue about the success.

HILLIARD: --and think about how stressed out I was in those days. But, uh, it's not--and in any given day when things feel like they're crashing around it's like it's still not as bad as was--

LANE: No--I lived through that I can live through this.

HILLIARD: And I think I've got a little, you know, as you age you get a little bit of seasoning to you and you think I, I, I've been in a stressful situation, and I know that there is life after death so--I can get through this, you know what I mean?

LANE: Sure I can. I, I think you're right--

HILLIARD: But also through all that time you try--I was able to be a mom.

LANE: Um-hm.

HILLIARD: Easier just having that one KCTCS and in hindsight, you know, that whole academic--the, the cycle of an academic calendar--

LANE: --yes--

HILLIARD: --fits my lifestyle a little bit better, so and, you know, and Jim knew that and encouraged me to pursue it--

LANE: Right.

HILLIARD: --at that point in time when I wasn't sure that that was 01:37:00something I could do. But in hindsight oh gosh, he was so right.

LANE: Or so much better.

HILLIARD: He was exactly right.

LANE: That was my big, um, that was, that was kind of the big change for me when I went from the academic world to state government. You mean--

HILLIARD: There's no break.

LANE: --just two weeks vacation? If I'm lucky. It was just, you know, you just love the academic calendar with kids. I'm sure it's just--

HILLIARD: --yeah, and well and then, then--

LANE: --so much better--

HILLIARD: --I was in the budget at finance and budget arena and there is no--

LANE: --oh, hours and hours and hours.

HILLIARD: There is no break. I mean, there is one, period maybe in the summer after the legislative session, where you can really kind of-- when the laws start--

LANE: --think about vacation--

HILLIARD: That you can really kind of relax a little bit.

LANE: Those early days--did you all just work day and night--the early days? In the transition and the first days of Dr. McCall? Or were, was it pretty--

HILLIARD: --yeah, and Jim was pretty good about, you know, you've got, you've got a four and five-year old--go home.

LANE: Yeah. Go home, yeah.

HILLIARD: And that's why I'm saying I didn't personally observe a lot of those midnight things, because I just wasn't--it wasn't feasible for me.


LANE: Sure. No.

HILLIARD: And I, I sought the comfort of being behind the scenes and emailing him saying what are they doing, you know, I liked being able and I--there were other things I could be useful doing, while they were hammering that out, so. But I would also--come--I would see them come out of those meetings, and the frustration and the debriefing, and the steam coming off--I can't believe--

LANE: Got really personal, didn't it?

HILLIARD: --Walter Blevins didn't vote--he left the governor's office and went straight to the floor and did the exact opposite of what he said he was going to do.

LANE: That story just, just--I've listened to three versions of that and it--none of them are the same--(laughs)--so who knows.

HILLIARD: Yeah, and you know--funny--I was at a UK ball game, football game, I believe the Louisville game in all the chaos. And somebody taps me on the shoulder, you know, the crowd going to concessions--I turn around and it's Walter Blevins--I said, "I can't remember believe you remember me."

LANE: Oh my gosh.

HILLIARD: Because I've been out of that arena for so long.

LANE: Oh, yeah, yeah. How about Jim? Do you still see him? Are you 01:39:00still buds?

HILLIARD: Yeah, we keep in touch.

LANE: That's good.

HILLIARD: On occasion--and occasional email here or there. You know, "Hey, I saw this and, you know, thought of you," and, um, if I run in to, you know, I've run into Jane on occasion. But, um--his wife and she's always asking about my kids and stuff. She's--

LANE: Yeah right. Personal touch. I do. It's been--this has really been very, very helpful. I've gotten so many notes. Now what I do is take this back--this is the coolest little recorder--and I transfer it to the computer. And then--

HILLIARD: So you have a transcript?

LANE: Um-hm. Then make an outline. I'm--I don't have the luxury right now of doing a word for word transcription. I just--I have my questions and an outline, and I put the general answers.


LANE: And then make notes of where this is--but these, these interviews and there will be about fifty of them are all going to be part of your all's archives.


LANE: And then we will use quotes. We'll pull out quotes and facts for our, for our written publication and our interactive exhibit that we're going to install in the--

HILLIARD: Cool, yeah that will be cool.


LANE: Won't that be great?


LANE: So it's all very, very helpful.

HILLIARD: Okay, well good. So tell me my assignment for the next time.

LANE: Well, you're going to find whatever it was your--

[End of interview.]