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2004-07-13 Interview with A.D. Albright, July 13, 2004 2004OH105 KH 690 1:03:37 CC001 Community Colleges of Kentucky Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries University of Kentucky. Community College System A.D. Albright; interviewee Adina O'Hara; interviewer 2004OH105_KH690_Albright 1:|9(2)|22(1)|35(3)|47(1)|54(6)|69(1)|88(1)|97(12)|110(10)|136(2)|159(2)|166(1)|179(11)|197(2)|204(8)|215(4)|229(12)|240(2)|250(1)|271(5)|276(3)|292(7)|307(9)|322(3)|333(7)|350(6)|385(1)|398(5)|411(7)|429(3)|443(6)|454(2)|499(2)|516(5)|538(4)|545(8)|555(6)|577(4)|598(3)|613(5)|625(14)|638(3)|643(13)|661(5)|676(5)|682(2)|707(7)|731(5)|742(1)|762(9)|773(4)|784(7)|810(8)|838(6)|852(12)|865(6)|890(3)|915(1)|946(10)|959(1)|977(2)|993(1)|1014(7) audiotrans Legit interview O'HARA: This is an unrehearsed interview with A. D. Albright at his home in Wilmore, Kentucky on July 13, 2004, conducted by Adina O'Hara. Dr Albright, in the 1962 Legislative Session, a community college bill was passed authorizing the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees to establish a system of public community colleges. What was your role in the creation of a system of public two-year colleges? ALBRIGHT: Well, it was not, uh, initially a, a direct connection. Uh, at that time, the university had some forerunners of the community colleges in what were, what, uh, I guess was called extension centers. Uh, one was at Northern-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --Kentucky. Another one was, uh, at Madisonville, and the one at Madisonville was unique. It was unique in higher education in Kentucky. Uh, I, I can talk about that a minute or two. O'HARA: Sure, sure. You can elaborate on it. ALBRIGHT: It was at Madisonville, the extension center was ---------(??) students in that area could enroll in Murray State University-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --Western State University, and the University of Kentucky and, uh, any one of those institutions-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --in a given class, and received credit. Uh, now that, as I say, was unique. It was out of that, uh, background that the community college was located in the, in that area, was located in Madisonville; and, uh, it just, uh, almost, uh, moved from that extension center into a community college. Uh, at, uh, Northern Kentucky, it was not a, uh, a similar situation. It was, uh, more metropolitan. O'HARA: And that was the first one that was started, correct, in 1948? ALBRIGHT: I believe that's right. Um-hm. And so, uh, I guess that was my part, in the early days, anyway. O'HARA: Well, we know the outcomes of those talks about creating a community college system. We do not know how this agreement was reached. Because you were executive dean of extended programs from 1954 to 1960 and provost of the University of Kentucky from 1960 to 1962, you can explain how the recommendation for a statewide system of public two-year colleges was discussed at UK. ALBRIGHT: Well, I think, initially, the, the discussions were more heavily engaged in outside of the university. I think there was a, a, certainly, a-, an awareness that, uh, Kentucky was not keeping up with some of the other states in offering two-year college work. Uh, some of those states, you already know you've had, uh-- O'HARA: Florida and North Carolina? ALBRIGHT: Florida is one; North Carolina's another and South Carolina. O'HARA: Hmm. ALBRIGHT: Uh, the, so I think legislators and others, business people, became more interested in this, and I believe in one of the other interviews we talked about, uh, Bert Combs. O'HARA: Yes. How, how instrumental was his role? ALBRIGHT: It was instrumental. (O'Hara laughs) Uh, he was pretty much determined, I'm sure, by, with backing of quite a number of people who have interest, had interest in community college education. Uh, he was convinced that during his term-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --uh, there was going to be a community college system s-, uh, started in this state. O'HARA: Where do you think he got that idea from? Did he come into office with it already, or--did he-- ALBRIGHT: I think, I think he had some idea before he, uh, came into office of governor. Uh, I believe he understood very well, at least the needs in Eastern Kentucky-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --from which he came. Uh, but the education level needed to be, it was true of the whole state, of course, but, uh, it needed to be, uh, uh, the level, educational level needed to be, uh, increased. Uh, there was the, an emerging need for people with certain vocational or technical training-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT:--uh, that would supply, uh, prepared workers and operators, uh, for what was vision, visualized as being needed in the development of the economic and social conditions of the state. So, uh, he, uh, uh, he pushed it. O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: And, and of course, the university, uh, different individuals in the university, uh, had an interest in it, uh, "it" meaning the community college system. It did, didn't, it was not full-blown all at one, one time, uh, it, uh, developed over a little period of time, that is, where they were located and all that. O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: Uh, huh, the Governor did not, uh, I believe, want a, a community college placed at, uh, Cumberland in Eastern Kentucky. I think he preferred that it be at, uh, uh, Whitesburg. O'HARA: Is that his home town, or-- ALBRIGHT: Hmm? O'HARA: Prestonsburg was his home town? ALBRIGHT: He was at Prestonsburg for, yes, of course it had one, got one-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: But, uh, I, I think, uh, he preferred, uh, that there be one in Whitesburg, rather than in Cumberland. Uh-- O'HARA: Is Cumberland one of the extension centers of the University of Kentucky? ALBRIGHT: Uh-- O'HARA: That's my understanding. I think they were proposing or had started to create a-- ALBRIGHT: Well, there were-- O'HARA: Cumberland-- ALBRIGHT: --discussions, anyway. Uh, and then, uh, of course, the question arose if we're going to have a system, how do you set it up? O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: Good question. O'HARA: Um-hm, a very good question. ALBRIGHT: Uh, now, the Governor acted as though there was some urgency-- O'HARA: Hmm. ALBRIGHT: --to the establishment of community colleges. And of course if it were going occur during his tenure-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --as governor, uh, he didn't have a lot of time. So the big question came, I'm sure, well, how can you set these up, how, how can you, uh, get taxation so that, uh, they can be supported? Well, the university, I mean, uh, the state did not have taxing districts for community colleges; except there were two already in existence. They were not state community colleges, they weren't community colleges, they were junior colleges. One was at, at, uh, Ashland, the Ashland Community College, uh, Junior College, and the other one at Paducah. And, uh, those were when, when the others began to emerge, and the university became the, well, answer, really, to being the source of funding. O'HARA: Mm. ALBRIGHT: That is this, you mentioned the, uh, legislation? O'HARA: Yes. ALBRIGHT: Well, that meant that, uh, it would have taken time to have gone to taxing districts; for one thing, where you were gonna put the community college would have to be somewhat determined first; and then you'd decide whether or not, or people would decide, whether they wanted a taxing district to support the college in that place. So, uh, that's the main, contrary to what you may hear, uh, I believe that's, uh, why, one reason, the main reason, time available to get it moving, secondly, uh, a, a governance, uh, arrangement in the university, and third, the taxing district. O'HARA: Funding source, funding it. ALBRIGHT: Funding source, yeah. O'HARA: Quick funding source? ALBRIGHT: Right. O'HARA: Now how did the university provide, uh, funds that, that Combs could not find any place else? ALBRIGHT: Well, it, initially it was not, was not full-blown, anyway. So it wasn't as though you had twelve or thirteen or fourteen community colleges, uh, on, uh, Friday or Monday, and you had to have decided on the support on Friday. It was a bit more evolutionary than that, but, of course, the legislature, having passed that law, could provide funds to the university for the community colleges. You may have run into this, but later on, there was a, for, for several years, that the, the, the university was taken to, really to task, for not having put as much in the community colleges as some people thought the community colleges were entitled to. As a ma-, it came up in the legislature, uh, I can't tell you off-hand what year that was, but it was somewhat, uh, later than, uh, when we started. The university, uh, by and large, uh, looked on the community college, uh, system as a source of students. O'HARA: Hmm. ALBRIGHT: Uh, if, if, uh, the students were going to an arm of what amounted to the University of Kentucky, you would expect many of those students to transfer to Lexington. O'HARA: So the university was, um, open to the idea of having community colleges? ALBRIGHT: Well, some, I'd say, uh, generally yes. But there were some, in Kentucky you probably are always gonna have somebody, huh, who doesn't agree with what you want to do. (O'Hara laughs) But, uh, there was the feeling that the community colleges might take some things away from the university, things meaning support-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --uh, and, uh, service, and to that extent, uh, there was a bit of, uh, uh, a little anxiety. And, uh, as it happened, the reason this question came up in the legislature about the university, uh, not, uh, providing as much of the funds to the community colleges as some people thought the community colleges were entitled to-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --that's, and that was, uh, oh, that was fairly re-, recent. Uh, it was during Dr Wethington's presidency at the university. And some adjustment was made in the allocation, going to community colleges. But by, by and large, the, the university looked upon the community colleges as a source of students, additional students. There was also the matter of the political influence. O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: Uh, you have, uh, say, uh, twelve or four-, fourteen community colleges located all over this state, and, uh, to think that there is not a political interest--(laughs)--would be, uh, naive. And, uh, so that was viewed as another reason that the university would be interested in having this tie, or responsibility, for the community colleges. Uh, now one of your questions, uh, was, what about the, uh, regional? O'HARA: Yes. Yes. ALBRIGHT: Well-- O'HARA: How did they resolve the issue, um, documentation in the, in the archives and primarily through newspapers, um, showed that the regionals, uh, were not happy about the university of Kentucky governing the community college system. And in one case, the case of Morehead, they even proposed legislation, or had, had one of their legislators propose legislation that Morehead have its own community college in Prestonsburg. ALBRIGHT: Um-hm. O'HARA: This was in the '62 Legislative session. ALBRIGHT: Um-hm. O'HARA: So how, how did, um, how was the issue resolved with the regional colleges? ALBRIGHT: Well, uh, there was not a push to, uh, put a community college operated by the university right in the back door of the institution, the other institutions. But, uh, there was, there was some open, uh, opposition, I believe, uh, mainly voiced by Dr Doran, Adron Doran (??)-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --who was at Morehead for twenty-five, twenty-three or four years, uh, as president. But he voiced, uh, what, I believe was, must have been the feeling of the, all the regional institutions. But it, it, uh, it was, uh, after it, it had gained momentum, "it" meaning the community college idea, had gained momentum, uh, it was pretty difficult to thwart it, and the idea grew as communities thought about having a community college near them or close to them and what it meant for their kids and so on. Uh, so the, uh, regional institutions, I think decided not to, not to fight it, uh, politically, openly in the legislature. O'HARA: They had enough of their own, um, empire building, and-- ALBRIGHT: Yeah-- O'HARA: --they were expanding greatly-- ALBRIGHT: --that's tr-- O'HARA: --on their own campuses. ALBRIGHT: --that's true. Uh, some had visions of, uh, becoming comprehensive institutions. Uh, but, uh, and, uh, there was some interest in, I don't know in, whether in all of 'em or not, but one of the institutions proposed to start a law school. Another one proposed to start a school of veterinary medicine, and so on. This was a way of, uh, counteracting. I, that may not be g-, a good word in this instance, but of, uh, overcoming-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --uh, this matter of the, uh, the effect of the community colleges. Uh, neither of those instances worked, however. The, uh, veterinary medicine didn't make it and the law school, I know their law school didn't make it. Uh-- O'HARA: --this, um, this sort of leads into another question. In oral history interviews, after asking a person why a decision was made, we often ask next why a different result did not occur. During the discussions about building a community college system, did you at any time expect a different result, a different governing structure, such as an independent board or the regionals having their own? ALBRIGHT: Not at the time, because, uh, if they wanted, wanted to move and move quickly and for the reasons I've mentioned-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --there really wasn't a plausible alternative. And, uh, I think, uh, once, once it was launched, uh, there were an increasing number of people who got on board the train. Uh, it, had it, uh, started in another way, it probably might have been divided, uh, uh, the format would have been different, might have been more like, uh, let's say, Florida or North Carolina or South Carolina. Uh, the movement, uh, was going to, was going to come at some point, not as, maybe not quite as soon or quite as quickly as, uh, the way it did. O'HARA: Combs assured that it did occur, and he found a way to do it. ALBRIGHT: Right. O'HARA: Um, and that's what, um, has led to a unique governance arrangement, um, and has been considered unique across the nation, having a community college system under the state's flagship and land grant institution. ALBRIGHT: Um-hm. O'HARA: Some states developed independent government structures for their community college system, such as Florida and North Carolina. ALBRIGHT: Right. O'HARA: While, other states chose to develop four-year branch campuses of their institution-- ALBRIGHT: Um-hm. O'HARA: --as was the cases in Indiana and, uh-- ALBRIGHT: Right. O'HARA: --you see that in several cases. ALBRIGHT: Well-- O'HARA: --um-- ALBRIGHT: --excuse me. O'HARA: Oh no, go right ahead. ALBRIGHT: Uh, you mentioned Indiana. O'HARA: Yes. ALBRIGHT: Uh, there would be two of the major comprehensive universities that would go together in Indiana, like in Fort Wayne-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --or Indianapolis to establish a single, like, uh, Indiana University, Purdue University in, uh, we'll say Indianapolis. But there were other places in Indiana where they had don't, which was, um, I think, gave, uh, quite a few people elsewhere a notion that, uh, maybe it was time for cooperation between institutions with the same interests-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --not duplicating and, uh, so on. Uh, well, that's another story. (O'Hara laughs) O'HARA: Did that have an effect on Kentucky in the 1960s, the idea of cooperation among institutions? ALBRIGHT: Well--(pause)--let's see, it was a little bit later that there was a, a move to--a bit different than Indiana, put U of L and UK together into a commonwealth university of Kentucky. Uh, well, as I say, that's another story. (O'Hara laughs) But, uh, it was close to happening until it, the, the idea picked up some political-- O'HARA: Mm. ALBRIGHT: --uh, disassociation. O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: Uh, mainly in Louisville. O'HARA: Hmm. Let me take you back and, um, there's a key question I've been wondering about, maybe you could shed some light on. Governor Combs created, um, a commission on the study of public higher education in 1960 and soon after coming to office, and, um, I'm trying to understand the reasons why he called a commission together. The newspapers basically, um, you know, point out that, uh, with so many people going to the legislature and asking for extension branches in state colleges-- ALBRIGHT: Hmm. O'HARA: --there was a call to the commission. The commission, um, gave its report in November of '61 to the Governor; and in its report it had two proposals. It proposed a super board as a governing structure for all public institutions-- ALBRIGHT: Mm. O'HARA: --in Kentucky; it also proposed an independent government structure for community colleges. What do you think Governor Combs' intentions were in creating a commission that gave him such recommendations? ALBRIGHT: Well--(clears throat)--uh, this, this notion about, uh, the existing universities establishing, uh, outlying, uh, four-year centers-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --and so on, uh, I'd, would guess that that was one re-, reason that this was brought in. That could, because, uh, regionals would almost have to do it, and, and, uh, UK might have to. Western Kentucky is a long way away from Lexington. And, uh, there, there was this notion that, uh, that, uh, higher education ought to be brought closer to the people, available to more people, closer to home. Now, many of them might drive to Pittsburgh to, uh, go to a concert or something like that, but, uh, thirty miles was a little bit too long to drive to get an education--(both laugh)--uh, I think another thing along that line is, uh, I've forgotten the name of the fellow who headed that, uh, at the time-- O'HARA: The commission? ALBRIGHT: Um-hm. Uh-- O'HARA: He appointed, um, laypersons, um; Otis Amos (??) was one gentleman that was, I believe, the layperson-- ALBRIGHT: Um-hm. O'HARA: --in charge of the commission. And they also hired, um, several out of state consultants-- ALBRIGHT: Right. O'HARA: --to work on that. And then the Legislative Research Commission did a lot of the statistical analysis. ALBRIGHT: Yeah. O'HARA: So, and they of course brought the college president in to give their, provide their institutions and, and, you know, background and statistical information, input. ALBRIGHT: Uh, I don't recall when, and this refers to something we-- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. O'HARA: Hey, how are you? ALBRIGHT: You're-- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted--no, don't-- ALBRIGHT: --you're on-- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --is your-- ALBRIGHT: --you're on. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh. O'HARA: It's Okay. ALBRIGHT: Heh. O'HARA: (laughs) We can stop the tape if you'd like. ALBRIGHT: Uh, a couple of things, the institutions, the, the regional institutions could establish, uh, community college type programs. O'HARA: Oh. ALBRIGHT: Uh, Morehead had one, I believe, and Western had one, and, uh, they could do it within the institution itself, or they could do it as Western did in, uh, uh, nearby town. O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: And that, uh, before we get through, I, I want to bring up something that we have not discussed. O'HARA: Please do. In fact, um, one of my questions is, are there any questions I have not asked that you wish I had. ALBRIGHT: Hmm. You've done well, my dear. O'HARA: You, you're too kind. ALBRIGHT: You're just full of questions. (both laugh) O'HARA: No, please-- ALBRIGHT: --as you should, as you should be. O'HARA: Please share with me. I'm, I'm eag-- ALBRIGHT: Uh, the, uh, well, you asked me, uh, about this commission. O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: Uh, I didn't have much to do with it, not by choice. Uh, I was busy doing something else, mostly. Uh, but it represented a time when higher education needed to be looked at. O'HARA: Hmm. ALBRIGHT: Uh, eight institutions, how many more do we need? How many of the eight do we need? What about the locations, the accessibility in relationship to this interest of the people who want access, wanted access to education for their kids? And there was a multiple list of questions that, uh, uh, and Governor Combs, he was aware of those, and, uh, he was, uh, sensitive to those questions and interests and so on. Actually, that matter of a single board for all the higher education did not, uh, go out of style entirely, uh, after that commission. O'HARA: Really? ALBRIGHT: Uh, when I was at the, at the, director of the council on higher education, the Senator called me up and said, uh, well, said, uh,"When are we going to consider a single state board for higher education?" And, uh, huh, I remember what I said. I said, "Clyde, it's a good idea, but its time has not yet come." Well, a couple of years later he brought it up again. (both laugh) I said, "Still, its time has not yet come." (O'Hara laughs) And, uh, but, uh, Governor Combs wanted people, and especially people in higher education, to take a look at, uh, this bigger picture of the whole, uh, complex of higher education. O'HARA: So even though he didn't, wasn't able to implement, um, his commission recommendation, he still felt that there was a, a real purpose for looking at it. ALBRIGHT: Yes, oh yes. O'HARA: It wasn't just a, a, you know, well, let's do this to appease the groups and have a commission. ALBRIGHT: Right. O'HARA: It, it was a serious endeavor, it was a, very important to him. ALBRIGHT: And it was time; it needed to be done, and, of course, with his advocacy of the community college system-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --being, uh, developed, uh, that was, it fit, uh, at the time. Uh, it was kind of the i-, the notion that, uh, any good idea has its time. Uh, but he didn-, he was not going to lose, uh, the community colleges system, uh, by diversion either; it would be my opinion. O'HARA: And what do you mean by diversion? ALBRIGHT: To, uh, get wrapped up into say a state board, the proposition of a state board. O'HARA: Cause it takes so much more time? ALBRIGHT: ------------(??) Hmm? O'HARA: Because it's so time consuming? You think that, like you said, he, he-- ALBRIGHT: Well his-- O'HARA: --couldn't get it up and going. ALBRIGHT: It would, it would, uh, it would have brought on a, a squ-, a squabble. O'HARA: Mm. ALBRIGHT: And, uh, all of, each of the institutions had its following, and, uh, that was something that, at that time, needed to be reckoned with. There is a vestige of that now that, uh, really should have attention, but it's not going to, uh, for some time, in my opinion. That's, what about Kentucky State? O'HARA: It's been looked at multiple times, across its history. ALBRIGHT: Uh-- O'HARA: I think I read some, somewhere that, uh, at one point they, I read a news article, that at one point they even considered having Kentucky State become a community college. Were you aware of that? ALBRIGHT: Um-hm. O'HARA: What was that story? ALBRIGHT: Well, as far as I know, there is not, was not a, much of a push for that. Uh, there are some people who think, still, that it should be. There are others who feel that since it is a land grant institution, it should be a part of the University of Kentucky. Well, why isn't it? Huh. Well, we know the, we know the answer to that. And, uh, as a matter of fact, uh, that very likely will be up again before long. Uh-- O'HARA: History does seem to repeat itself. ALBRIGHT: Hmm? O'HARA: History does seem to repeat itself. ALBRIGHT: Well, yes, and some people don't forget their ideas. Um, the, uh, black people in Kentucky, uh, some of them, feel that it'd be a good, uh, idea, to meld it into, uh, higher education rather than as a separate institution for blacks. But, uh, they want to be sure that they get fair and, not necessarily equal treatment, but fair treatment. And they, they're not convinced, many are not convinced of that. That reminds me, and this is a digression, uh, Governor, uh, Ford wanted, uh, to find a, a black professional person in the state to appoint to one of the boards, and it, he asked me to do it, find somebody. And, uh, I found, huh, a veterinarian in Eastern Kentucky who was a, uh, well he got his, uh, degree out of Ohio State. He was a successful professional, well-respected and so on, and I'll swear, I believe if, uh, I'd have had to have found two, uh, I'd have probably been fired because ----------(??). (O'Hara laughs) O'HARA: But he was a great individual-- ALBRIGHT: --he had-- O'HARA: --the one that you found? ALBRIGHT: Um-hm. I had-- O'HARA: Excellent. Excellent. ALBRIGHT: But, uh, it was kind of fascinating, sometimes it's through urgency how things work. Now, you have another question? O'HARA: I sure do. (both laugh) Critics have attacked the UK community college system since its conception. You, you've (??) briefly noted different times that they brought issues--what were the benefits and drawbacks of having one government structure for the state research university and community college system? ALBRIGHT: Well, I've mentioned one already, and whether or not community colleges get a fair shake. O'HARA: Funding sources? ALBRIGHT: Right. And also, uh, did they, or were they getting enough of the professional help that you could expect from the faculty and the administrators of the university out here to help the community colleges. Up to, those were two things. Uh, the, uh, and maybe, uh, the university probably didn't pay as much attention to what they could have done to, uh, expedite or encourage or develop, uh, the community college system. And, therefore, some people thought they were sort of short-changed. But there's another side to that coin, while a, a major graduate institution or the one that proposes to be one, and where there is a great need in the state for the development of one-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --it's a-- [Pause in recording.] O'HARA: Well let's just say, I had a lot of questions. Um, you've brought some papers? ALBRIGHT: Um-hm. O'HARA: What would I, go ahead and tell me about those? ALBRIGHT: Uh, I don't know what that, what that says-- O'HARA: "Improving Higher Education's Quality" by A. D. Albright, Sunday, November 28, 1999 (??). ALBRIGHT: What? I don't know how that got in here. Huh. O'HARA: Well I'd love to read it. Let's look at that other one. ALBRIGHT: What, what does that one say? O'HARA: This one is, um, "Future may be grim for private universities if the state continues to, continues its policy of neglect to quality of education, schools may suffer." These look like some really good articles. You wrote this one. ALBRIGHT: Yeah. O'HARA: And, I'm looking for the date. ALBRIGHT: That appeared in the, uh, Owensboro-- O'HARA: Oh, really? ALBRIGHT: --I believe. Now what was this one? O'HARA: This one is, yes, in the Owensboro Messenger Inquirer on March 6 1994, "One Policy Needed for Public, Private Schools." ALBRIGHT: Yeah. Now, let me just talk about that situation a little bit. I had something to do with the, even though I was not a part of the community colleges, at the time I think I was, uh, executive vice president, but anyway, here was this, we established a community college in Owensboro, mainly because, uh, many of the citizens down there felt they needed that kind of an institution that would provide a lower cost education to an increasing number of kids in that area, or people. Well, here was the situation that it was in. There was a private institution, Brescia-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --a, a Catholic Institution. There was, uh, Kentucky Wesleyan-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --a private Methodist institution, and then here was this community college. In addition to that there was Western; and then in addition to that was some interest and work of UK in general. Now what kind of a, well, that is, uh, what that article is, you got, if, if, uh, if you'll, uh, make a copy-- O'HARA: Sure. ALBRIGHT: --and, uh-- O'HARA: I'd love to read these. ALBRIGHT: --uh, you're welcome to it, but it's a part of the history. O'HARA: Thank you very much. Yes. They're very interesting. You brought up a good, something, you brought up Owensboro, and a question that I was thinking about, even though I'm dealing with the early 1960s in my dissertation, Owensboro, sometimes it's important to ask, Why wasn't a community college put in Owensboro? Um, you know, sometimes it's good to ask, Why didn't something happen? ALBRIGHT: Yeah. Well I think, in part, was because of the presence of two private institutions, uh, helped, they, I think people down there did not want to diminish the two private institutions, but they needed something that the two private institutions didn't provide, that was more low cost infor-, uh, education. O'HARA: Greater access to, to low cost education. ALBRIGHT: Now Western, uh, entered the picture with providing certain programs, may have been in, uh, education, professional education. Uh, well, I don't, I'm not sure what it was now, but anyway, uh, and I think, uh, Murray was in to it too. So it was a ----------(??) mixture. O'HARA: So, uh, if, if for decades, all the regionals and the university of Kentucky have had these satellite campuses in one form or another, and continue to, correct, that they had satellites going on in the early 1960s when the community college was created, the community college system?. So it's been an ongoing mixture? ALBRIGHT: Uh-- O'HARA: Would you say, is that correct? ALBRIGHT: ----------(??)-- O'HARA: That-- ALBRIGHT: Uh, not, maybe not in the early sixties, but in the sixties. O'HARA: Okay. ALBRIGHT: The extension centers or that kind of thing. And, uh, then some established, uh, their own, well they, they could, according to the legislation, if I remember correctly-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --it was that other institutions could establish a community college type program. O'HARA: Oh. ALBRIGHT: And I, but I don't remember what the year that was, but it was, of course, after the community college, uh, legislation. O'HARA: I wonder if that's, uh, that's what resulted in Western creating a community college type program within itself, as it has today, as a two-year community college, but-- ALBRIGHT: --yeah-- O'HARA:--it's a part of the whole university. ALBRIGHT: Yeah. O'HARA: I'd be curious, I'll have to look that up. It'd be interesting. ALBRIGHT: Uh, it's an interesting development. O'HARA: Very much so. ALBRIGHT: Uh, and I think, uh, Murray has the one in Paducah, even though Paducah has a community college, which was formerly, uh, a, uh, junior college. O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: Uh, huh. O'HARA: Hmm. ALBRIGHT: I don't know what this is. This is a-- O'HARA: "An Agenda for Higher Education: Analysis of Social and Economic Conditions Affecting Higher-- ALBRIGHT: Oh. O'HARA: --Education." ALBRIGHT: That, those sheets were handed to Governor Patton after he and I had a conference of about forty-five minutes in 1996. And he was looking for something in higher education. That's what, that's what I gave him. O'HARA: When you say he was looking at something in higher education, had he already settled on the community college and technical college merger? ALBRIGHT: Unh-uh, not in '96. He was elected November of '95. Uh-- (clears throat)--I was encouraged by two or three people to talk with the governor. I guess they thought, Well old Albright's got some, maybe a notion or two about things. O'HARA: Oh, I'm sure they did. ALBRIGHT: Uh, and it was set up, uh, the meeting was set up by, uh, his, uh, chief of staff, and, uh, there were two other people, and one of the two, strangely enough, was, uh, Rocky Adkins, who is now, uh, in the, in a leadership position in the House. O'HARA: Hmm. ALBRIGHT: Hmm. O'HARA: Interesting how the world works. ALBRIGHT: Isn't it? O'HARA: It sure is. Well, this is fascinating; I appreciate you showing this to me. And, um, do you have any other questions you'd like me to ask, or any other, uh, information you want me to address on our interview? ALBRIGHT: No I, I think not, at the moment, anyway. O'HARA: Well we can always come back if we think of some more stuff. Definitely. ALBRIGHT: Well, if, if, uh, something hits you and you think, uh, think you want to spend a little time on it, w-, you just yell. O'HARA: Thank you so much, Dr Albright. It's been a real pleasure speaking with you. ALBRIGHT: And uh, you're a delightful person, interviewer. O'HARA: Thank you. Thank you. ALBRIGHT: And, uh, I, I'd be, you've got to promise me that you'll read your dissertation to me. O'HARA: Okay, we got it on tape, that's a promise. ALBRIGHT: Only in, heh, it needs to be on, perhaps only in part. O'HARA: I can do an abbreviated version. (Albright laughs) I think my husband's gonna want to hear the abbreviated version, too. (laughs) ALBRIGHT: (laughs) I expect so. O'HARA: (laughs) Well, very good. Thank you so much for your time. ALBRIGHT: And, uh, if there's some way, uh, I can be useful by telephone, I'll be happy to try to help you. O'HARA: Well, I will definitely keep you in mind. I'm sure that, um, as I'm writing it and I come across some other, uh, issues that need clarification, I'll give you a call. ALBRIGHT: Have you, excuse me-- O'HARA: Sure. ALBRIGHT: --have you interviewed, uh, Bert Combs' widow? O'HARA: Not yet. I, um, I have just recently tried to get in contact with her, and I'm, I'm hoping to hear back from her soon. So, she is on my list. ALBRIGHT: Good. O'HARA: She definitely is. ALBRIGHT: Now, my guess is she'll invite you to Fern Creek. O'HARA: I hope so. ALBRIGHT: And if she does, be sure to go. It's an interesting part of the country. O'HARA: I am very much looking forward to a trip to Eastern Kentucky; I've already got two days set aside that I told my boss I was gonna take off as soon as I could arrange it. ALBRIGHT: And she, uh, she's a delightful person, and she'll help you any way she can, I'm sure. O'HARA: Oh, I can't wait. I'm, I'm really, I'm really looking forward to it. I know she's a very busy lady, so, right now, so, um-- ALBRIGHT: She, uh, invited Mrs. Albright and me up one, one time some while back, it's, it's, uh, there's a, I think, quite a bit of material there, or was, on whether or not it's on this, I don't know, but you could bet that, that there's bound to be something there on this, because he thought it was pretty important. O'HARA: Yes. It sounds very promising. ALBRIGHT: Along that score, the ----------(??), as we've said, a lot of people felt that, uh, it would put the university, because that was, uh, where the Governor wanted it. The Governor (??) wanted that community college system going, that's what he wanted. And he, he was a good, uh, good enough architect to think, to know that in that time that's made sense. O'HARA: He found a way. ALBRIGHT: I, uh, remember one time, this is another diversion, you'll forgive me-- O'HARA: No, please, I enjoy them. ALBRIGHT: Uh, I don't know why I was over there, uh, in his office, one reason, I think, was that there was a friend of mine from Tennessee had been up here on business and to talk with him and, and somehow it got around to, well, to my going to see Governor Combs-- O'HARA: Um-hm. ALBRIGHT: --and we were just chatting and, uh, all of a sudden he said, uh, "Have you ever thought about, uh, becoming president of an institution?" I said, uh, "Not really, but, uh, my question to you is, Governor, do you think I'm qualified?" Hmm. We had sandwiches, and he said, "This is a pretty good sandwich, isn't it?" (both laugh) O'HARA: He evaded that one, but look at what happened--(laughs)-- ALBRIGHT: Well-- O'HARA: --and you did become-- ALBRIGHT: --he, uh, he was a good friend, yeah. I, I knew what he was talking about. O'HARA: Did you talk about the community college system with him personally? ALBRIGHT: Uh, we had, uh, oh, I don't think in detail. I know, uh, one occasion I talked with him in Louisville and, uh, there was a lot of talking going on. (laughs) O'HARA: (laughs) Important subjects to be discussed. ALBRIGHT: Uh, anyway, uh, he was a delightful fellow, and, I mean, a good governor. Hmm. O'HARA: He got a lot done; he got a lot of-- ALBRIGHT: Yeah. O'HARA: --a lot of things going for Kentucky. ALBRIGHT: Right. O'HARA: Sure did, sure did. ALBRIGHT: Yeah. And, uh, now maybe you'll--what do you want to do when you get your doctorate? O'HARA: That's a good question. Maybe you can help me sort that out, but, uh-- ALBRIGHT: You don't have to decide now, of course, but there'll come a time. O'HARA: Yes, you're right, very right. ALBRIGHT: Maybe I'll find out something from my granddaughter, in, in, uh, California. O'HARA: If you do, believe me I'm open, I'm open to, uh, suggestions, and, uh, very much so. ALBRIGHT: Uh-- [End of interview.] In this interview, former Northern Kentucky University president and longtime University of Kentucky administrator, A.D. Albright, reflects on the evolution of the community college system after its inception in the late 1940s. Albright focuses on the period relating to Kentucky Governor Bert Combs' effort to establish a statewide system of community college education in the early sixties and the ultimate decision to vest governance of those institutions under the University of Kentucky. Albright concludes with a brief discussion of the efforts universities and colleges around the state made to protect their own interests in community colleges and Kentucky Governor Paul Patton's 1997 legislation to consolidate the community college system. insert here