Interview with Aims McGuinness, September 4, 2014

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

 

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00:00:00 - Introduction / relationship with Governor Patton

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Partial Transcript: This is James Savage. Today is September 4, 2014. We are at the Katz Library at the University of Maine - Augusta. And I'm talking to Dr. Aims McGuinness.

Segment Synopsis: McGuinness talks about how he came to be involved in Kentucky education issues. He describes meeting with Governor Patton and others to discuss the education reform. McGuinness discusses his relationship with Patton and Patton's passion for the reform.

Keywords: Dennis Jones; Gary Cox; NCHEMS; National Center for Higher Education Management Systems; Paul E. Patton; Task force

Subjects: Community Colleges--Kentucky; Education, Higher--Kentucky.; Educational change--Kentucky.; Technical education--Kentucky.

00:14:56 - Kentucky's need for education reform

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Partial Transcript: So that first visit to Kentucky, you were, you were just there--was it, would you characterize it as a favor to a friend, or?

Segment Synopsis: McGuinnness discusses Kentucky's need for the restructure of higher education. He compares the community college systems of other states, the politics surrounding education reform, and the poor funding of community colleges.

Keywords: Charles T. Wethington, Jr.; Funding; Gary Cox; Leadership; University of Kentucky; University of Louisville

Subjects: Community Colleges--Kentucky; Education, Higher--Kentucky.; Educational change--Kentucky.

00:19:59 - Early challenges of higher education reform

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Partial Transcript: Is there a point where you say this is going to fail. This is going to be tough. In other words, how aware are you, individually, of the difficulty that was ahead?

Segment Synopsis: McGuinness talks about the early challenges of the community college reform. He describes the legislative process, the attack of Governor Patton, and the opposition to removing the University of Kentucky affiliation. McGuinness talks about the issue of accreditation.

Keywords: Accreditation; Charles T. Wethington, Jr.; Controversy; Paul E. Patton; Task Force Report; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Community Colleges--Kentucky; Education, Higher--Kentucky.; Educational change--Kentucky.; University of Kentucky. Community College System

00:30:04 - Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997

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Partial Transcript: I suppose the question, then, would be, is there a point, when you're involved in this. Living and breathing it, along with a lot of other folks, that you or Paul Patton or someone else, turns and says, it's not gonna happen.

Segment Synopsis: McGuinness talks about those involved with the process of reform, and what role he served. He speaks about the political aspect and academic aspect of the reform. He describes his commitment to the reform, preparing reports and presentations for the reform, and his opposition to establishing a university in Pikeville.

Keywords: Beth Hilliard; CPE; Charles T. Wethington, Jr.; Council on Postsecondary Education; Gordon Davies; Greg Stumbo; House Bill 1; Jim Ramsey; NCHEMS; National Center for Higher Education Management Systems; Patrick Kelly; Paul E. Patton; University of Pikeville

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky.; Educational change--Kentucky.; Pikeville College

00:41:53 - Reorganization of the community college system

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Partial Transcript: Let's go back to, to reform efforts. Once the bill passes, um, and you've mentioned several times that the KCTCS issue is just one part of the bill. Which--but it's the, it's the fun part, you know, when the mud--trying to get that mud through the keyhole, or through the pinhole, I suppose, is the more compelling story.

Segment Synopsis: McGuinness discusses the rewarding impact of the education reform. He talks about Governor Patton's ideas about the organization of the community college restructure. McGuinness talks about those appointed as leaders during the reform. McGuinness talks about staying involved in Kentucky education in more recent years. He describes the strength of Kentucky's community college system. He praises Dr. McCall and the first KCTCS boards.

Keywords: College presidents; Crit Luallen; House Bill 1; Michael B. McCall; Paul E. Patton; Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997; Reform; Trustees; University of Kentucky Community College System

Subjects: Community Colleges--Kentucky; Education, Higher--Kentucky.; Educational change--Kentucky.; Kentucky Community & Technical College System

00:50:32 - Need for KCTCS leadership

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Partial Transcript: There's an eighteenth month period between the time the first legislation is passed, the first board is selected, and Dr. McCall is hired. There's an eighteenth month period of, uh, two interim presidents.

Segment Synopsis: McGuinness talks about McCall's ability to make KCTCS function as a comprehensive system, choose good leaders, and have a clear vision of the future of the system. He describes the lack of unity among Somerset Community College and describes the opposition Governor Patton had to overcome in the community college restructure.

Keywords: Charles T. Wethington, Jr.; Crit Luallen; House Bill 1; James R. Ramsey; Jeff Hockaday; Michael B. McCall; Paul E. Patton; Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997; Somerset Community College

Subjects: College presidents; Community Colleges--Kentucky; Education, Higher--Kentucky.; Educational change--Kentucky.; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky Community & Technical College System

01:00:31 - Community college restructuring / Michael McCall

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Partial Transcript: I suppose in the, the perspective of seventeen years on, it's easier to say, well we got the foundation in place, and we can fix the bricks later. The foundation is there, it will be a lot easier to come back and fix the problems. Which certainly happened with the accreditation issue.

Segment Synopsis: McGuinnness discusses his participation in the development of community college systems in other states, and his general opposition to complete reorganization. He speaks more of the significance of McCall's leadership. He elaborates on the controversy of merging the community and technical colleges and the success of Tony Newberry as a leader. McGuinness summarizes his role in the formation of KCTCS and the successful leadership of McCall. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Certificate programs; Conflict; Consolidation; Leaders; Michael B. McCall; Reorganization; Somerset Community College; Tony Newberry

Subjects: College presidents; Community colleges; Education, Higher--Kentucky.; Educational change; Kentucky Community & Technical College System; Schools--Centralization.