Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Thomas D. Clark, June 15, 1981

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

 

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00:00:57 - Impressions of the University of Kentucky upon arrival in 1928

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Partial Transcript: Professor Clark, you came here, uh, 1928, joined the history faculty. Um, that was a bit before my time.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Thomas D. Clark talks about his impressions of the University of Kentucky when he arrived as a graduate student in September 1928. He talks about the size and quality of the faculty when he arrived. He talks about the financial status of the university at that time, the expansion and growth of campus, the beginnings of the first graduate programs at the university.

Keywords: 1928; 1931; Doctoral programs; Doctorates; English departments; Finances; Graduate students; Growth; Harry Lynn; History departments; Inheritance taxes; Library; Materials; McVey Hall; PhD programs; PhDs; Psychology departments; Quality; Research; Surveys; Town dumps; Virginia McClure

Subjects: College buildings.; College campuses.; College environment; College teachers--Rating of.; College teachers--Social conditions; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Educators; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. Libraries

00:04:57 - University of Kentucky during the Great Depression

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Partial Transcript: What year did the, uh, the Depression hit hard here?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Clark talks about why the Great Depression did not really hit the University of Kentucky until February 1932. He talks about the effects of the Depression on the university, including pay cuts for the faculty, and lowered student enrollment numbers.

Keywords: 1931; 1932; Alben Barkley; Effects; Enrollment; Great Depression; Happy Chandler; Inheritance taxes; John Y. Brown; Loan interest; Loans; Salary cuts; Scrip; University extension; Washington's Birthday; Wellington Patrick

Subjects: College campuses.; College environment; College teachers--Salaries, etc.; College teachers--Social conditions; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Educators; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges--Finance; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:08:35 - Quality of the faculty at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: The faculty was small and inadequately trained.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Clark talks more about the quality of the faculty when he arrived at the University of Kentucky.

Keywords: Air conditioning; College of Engineering; Loyalty; Margaret Hotchkiss; Morris Scherago; Publication; Publishing; Ralph Weaver; Reputations; Research; Size; Teaching loads; Untrained

Subjects: College campuses.; College environment; College teachers--Rating of.; College teachers--Social conditions; College teachers--Workload; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Educators; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:10:05 - President Frank L. McVey's influence on the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: I've heard people say over the years, and, and you lived through much of it, um, that President McVey had a great deal to do with transforming the institution...

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Clark discusses President Frank L. McVey's influence on the University of Kentucky's transition from an agricultural and mechanical college to a state university. He talks about the search committee to find the new president of the university and describes their first impressions of McVey. He describes McVey's personality as well as his two wives' personalities and Frances Jewell McVey's influence on the university.

Keywords: A&M colleges; Afternoon teas; Agricultural and mechanical colleges; Appearances; Attitudes; Board of trustees; Dean of Women; Deaths; Dr. Frank L. McVey; Edward Tuthill; England; Formality; Frances Jewell McVey; Henry Barker; Hiring; Intellectuality; Liberal arts education; Mabel Moore Sawyer; Maxwell Place; Personality; Politics; President's house; Reception; Search committees; State University, Lexington, Kentucky; Titles; Transitional phases; Transitions; Universities; University presidents; Wife

Subjects: College administrators; College administrators--Rating of; College administrators--Selection and appointment.; College campuses.; College environment; College presidents; College presidents' spouses; College presidents--Dwellings; College teachers--Social conditions; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Educators; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:17:11 - Quality of the faculty at Morehead State University and University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: I think when I came we had, uh, of course, agriculture and engineering colleges, and arts and sciences.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Clark and interviewer Lewis Cochran describe and compare the faculty of the University of Kentucky and Morehead State University during the 1920s and 1930s. They discuss people such as Otto Koppius, Dr. Black, William Snyder "Bull" Webb, Paul Prentice Boyd, Margaret I. King, and Martin White.

Keywords: 1936; Accents; Ages; Character; Commencement ceremonies; Dr. Black; English (Language); Faculty meetings; Graduate students; Influences; Instruction; John Howard Payne; Lewis Cochran; Margaret I. King; Martin White; Morehead State University (MSU); Oil; Older people; Oldest; Otto Koppius; Otto Townsend Koppius; Paul Prentice Boyd; Personality; Physics; Quality; Research; Seniority; William Snyder "Bull" Webb; William Snyder Webb

Subjects: College administrators; College administrators--Rating of; College campuses.; College environment; College presidents; College teachers--Rating of.; College teachers--Social conditions; College teachers--Workload; College teaching.; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Educators; Morehead State University; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Departments; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:23:29 - Commencement ceremonies at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: On that commencement line, we took those things right seriously in those days.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Clark describes the importance of commencement ceremonies at the University of Kentucky when he arrived in the late 1920s.

Keywords: Alben Barkley; Alumni Gym; Commencement ceremonies; Dr. Frank L. McVey; Ex-governors; Former governors; Happy Chandler; John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham; Memorial Hall; Political speeches; Rain; Speeches; Stoll Field

Subjects: College environment; College teachers--Social conditions; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Educators; Kentucky--Politics and government; Politicians--Kentucky; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:25:31 - Dissolution of the senate and faculty at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: We were talking the other day about the, uh, the development there, I think it was in 1940, and the dissolution of the, the senate and faculty.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Clark discusses the dissolution of the senate and faculty at the University of Kentucky in 1940, which he says was a low point in the history of the university. He talks about how a disagreement between Pat O'Bannon and James H. Graham in the College of Engineering led to O'Bannon being transferred to the College of Agriculture. Clark gives his opinion on how President McVey handled the situation. He talks about how Graham drew up a plan that proposed the dissolution of the senate and faculty, which was passed by the trustees. He talks about H. L. Donovan being brought in as the next president. He talks about Graham's influence on the University of Kentucky. The interview fades out into part two. [See link below.]

Keywords: Board of trustees; Dissolution; Dr. Frank L. McVey; Enrollment; Faculty senate; Great Depression; H. L. Donovan; Heating plants; Herman Donovan; Influences; Interim presidents; James H. Graham; Lafferty Hall; New Deal; Pat O'Bannon; Powerful; Retirement; Thomas Poe Cooper; Transfers; Upset; Voting; W.D. Funkhouser Building; Works Progress Administration (WPA); World War II

Subjects: College administrators; College administrators--Rating of; College buildings.; College campuses.; College environment; College facilities--Planning.; College facilities.; College presidents; College teachers--Rating of.; College teachers--Social conditions; College teaching.; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Educators; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Departments; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky. College of Agriculture; University of Kentucky. College of Engineering