Interview with David A. Jones, Sr., August 6, 2014

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: It's August 6th, 2014, I'm with David Jones in his office in Louisville Kentucky. I'm Arwen Donahue, and we are doing an interview for the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: David Jones, Sr., talks about his educational background. He talks about the value of education and his family's support of social activism.

Keywords: G.I. Bill; University of Louisville; Yale University

Subjects: Education; Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

00:13:51 - Jones' legal and business career

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Partial Transcript: At what point did you become interested in business?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about starting a business partnership with Wendell Cherry building and running nursing homes. He laments the early death of Cherry from a smoking related disease.

Keywords: Certified Public Accountant (CPA); Wendell Cherry; Wyatt Law Firm

Subjects: Nursing homes.

00:20:11 - Nursing home venture

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Partial Transcript: Uh, well, did you have any sense when you started out, any glimmer of what kind of, uh, enterprise you were getting into?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about engaging in entrepreneurial business opportunities with Cherry in order to make a better life for themselves and their families. He talks about the encouragement he gives to young people starting their own businesses.

Keywords: Healthcare; Hospitals; Humana; Subdivisions; Wendell Cherry

Subjects: Nursing homes.

00:26:28 - Early involvement in educational advocacy

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Partial Transcript: Can you talk about how you became involved with educational advocacy issues and how you became aware of the, of the need for that?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about how his interest in education began as he encountered unqualified prospects when hiring employees. He talks about completing his own education using the G.I. Bill. He discusses the need for literacy and early childhood education.

Keywords: Early childhood education; Literacy; Masonic home; Public schools; Supporting Educational Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK Formula); Wallace Wilkinson

Subjects: Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

00:39:59 - Support Education Excellence in Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Uh, when you think back to 1990 when, when KERA passed and, and education reform was at the top of, of the agenda--political agenda in Kentucky...

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the details of education funding using the SEEK formula under KERA. He talks about his business colleagues who have supported public education.

Keywords: Ashland Oil; John Hall; Kent C. "Oz" Nelson; Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA); Partnership for Kentucky School Reform; Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK); United Parcel Service (UPS)

Subjects: Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

00:47:49 - KERA and education funding

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Partial Transcript: Do you recall what it was about, uh, KERA at the time that most appealed to you?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about how he favored increased funding of public education under KERA. He talks about lobbying the governor to get KERA passed, and working with the Business Round Table to promote education reform. He says education in Kentucky previous to KERA was "sub par."

Keywords: Bob Sexton; Business Round Table; Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA); Leadership authority; Partnership for Kentucky School Reform

Subjects: Kentucky. Education Reform Act (1990)

01:00:17 - Individual and business influences on education reform

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Partial Transcript: Uh, how, how did it happen that the Prichard Committee, uh, coordinated the work of the partnership?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about Bob Sexton's work coordinating education reform with the Partnership for Kentucky School Reform. He talks about the working relationships within the partnership. He discusses the importance of education to business success.

Keywords: Bob Sexton; Kent "Oz" Nelson; Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA); Partnership for Kentucky School Reform

Subjects: Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

01:10:08 - Definition of a well-educated person

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Partial Transcript: I--the Prichard Committee was, w--as you know uh, the precursor to the Prichard Committee was the Committee on Higher Education in Kentucky's Future...

Segment Synopsis: Jones says that an educated person should be able to read comprehensively, write coherently, and understand basic math. He adds to that basic education level, erudition, awareness of current events and a commitment to "lifetime learning." Jones relates anecdotes to illustrate the importance of a liberal arts education.

Keywords: In Pursuit of Excellence; Liberal arts education; Peter Drucker

Subjects: Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; Prichard Committee on Higher Education in Kentucky's Future

01:23:37 - Bob Sexton and the committee's legacy

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Partial Transcript: Would you reflect on, uh, what you think ha--made the--made Bob Sexton's work special, what you think his legacy was?

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses the people with whom he has worked on the Prichard Committee and what he believes will be the legacy of the committee. He recalls his first introduction to Ed Prichard through his work at the Wilson Wyatt law firm. He talks about Kentucky's leadership in education reform. He describes an exchange program for medical professionals with Romania. He emphasizes the importance of volunteerism and teamwork.

Keywords: Abbott Laboratories; Baylor University; Boon Powell; Common Core; Ed Prichard, Jr.; George Rogers; Humana Foundation; Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA); Virginia Judd; Wilson Wyatt

Subjects: Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

01:35:19 - The future of healthcare and education

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Partial Transcript: Well, I wondered, uh, for one thing, it's, it's striking to me that you have had a long career in health care and as you mentioned early on in our conversation, uh, healthcare is a very intimate, uh, undertaking.

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the Affordable Care Act and its relative complexity. He talks about the importance of healthcare and education policy and the challenges of simple, efficient public policies.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act; Healthcare policy; Humana Incorporated; Medicaid; Medicare

Subjects: Health insurance.