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2006-10-16 Interview with Lowell Webb, October 16, 2006 CC001:2006OH185CC01 00:40:22 History of Kentucky's Community Colleges Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Maysville Community and Technical College Lowell Webb; interviewee John Klee; interviewer 2006OH185_CC01_Webb 1:|16(5)|54(1)|90(8)|134(15)|191(6)|250(10)|279(13)|322(7)|367(6)|421(5)|446(4)|478(2)|514(10)|554(15)|600(9)|652(4)|698(2)|729(5)|763(3)|797(9)|843(5)|886(8)|929(8)|959(7)|997(8)|1036(7)|1067(5)|1100(9)|1132(3)|1178(2)|1228(3)|1257(12)|1298(2)|1348(2)|1386(5)|1434(6)|1464(9)|1503(7)|1533(14)|1585(2) audiotrans CommuColl interview KLEE: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Lowell Webb by John Klee for the University of Kentucky Libraries' Community College System project -- the University of Kentucky Community College System project. The interview is being conducted on October 16th, 2006, and we're at Mr. Webb's home here in Maysville. Let's start by just asking you to tell me a little bit about yourself, what part of the state you're from, your education, and so forth. WEBB: Eastern Kentucky, Jenkins, Kentucky. And University of Kentucky graduate, 19- -- KLEE: '58. WEBB: '58, yeah. (Laughter -- Klee and Webb) KLEE: I did some research. Growing up in Jenkins, did you ever hear anything about community colleges? WEBB: No, no. KLEE: So you were at the University of Kentucky, graduate in '58. WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: I -- before I leave your family background and so forth, do you think -- pretty good education there in Jenkins? WEBB: Yes, uh-huh. KLEE: They had a high school? WEBB: High school, yeah. KLEE: Uh-huh. Prepared you well enough to get to the University. WEBB: Yeah, uh-huh. KLEE: What did you major in there? WEBB: I majored in business. KLEE: Mm-mm. Came out of school and what was your next move? WEBB: I taught for ten years at Fayette County. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: And then I heard about this -- the job at Maysville Community College, applied for it. KLEE: Mm-mm. Before you heard about that job, had you heard -- the community colleges were just starting in that time period. Did you hear about the community colleges? What was your knowledge of community colleges? WEBB: My knowledge of community colleges was -- I had talked to Dr. [Ellis] Hartford at the Community Col- -- KLEE: Mm-mm. Now, who is -- identify Dr. Hartford for me. WEBB: He was with the -- he was the president of the college at that particular time. And he had wanted me to go to Hazard, which I didn't want to go back to Eastern Kentucky, so then finally the job at Maysville Community College came up. KLEE: How did you know Dr. Hartford? I mean, was that from your graduate work or there in the community? WEBB: Just in the community. KLEE: Mm-mm. And he was at Lexington or at the System? WEBB: System. Yeah, the Community College System. KLEE: So he had -- he knew you had this business degree and talked to you about going to Hazard? WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: And you just -- what was the idea about not going back to Eastern Kentucky? WEBB: I just didn't want to go back to Eastern Kentucky. (Laughter -- Webb) I liked Central Kentucky much better. KLEE: Uh-huh, okay. So there was an appl -- a job here at Maysville. WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: And who interviewed you for that job? WEBB: Dr. Wethington. It was through Dr. [Vernon] Musselman at the College of Education. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: He had heard about it. And then he had -- evidently, he had contacted or talked to Dr. Wethington about it, and then Dr. Wethington called me and asked me for an interview. KLEE: Okay. He called you. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Were you in graduate school at that time? Where were you teaching at? WEBB: I was teaching at Fayette County. KLEE: Okay. In the Fayette County system? WEBB: Uh-huh. Yeah, at Bryan Station. KLEE: Okay. Were you in graduate classes at the same time? WEBB: Yeah, I took some graduate classes then. KLEE: Okay. So Dr. Musselman contacted you -- or contacted Dr. Wethington. WEBB: Yeah. Uh-huh. KLEE: And what was that -- do you remember any of the particulars of that interview or how that came about? WEBB: With Dr. Wethington? KLEE: Uh-huh. Was that here in Maysville? WEBB: It was here in Maysville. That's when they were downtown. KLEE: Okay. Where was it -- where did they hold the interview? WEBB: The old -- that old -- what is the name of that building down there, the old Cox -- no, not Cox -- KLEE: Cochran Building? WEBB: Cochran Building, yeah. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: That's where it was. And I think at that particular time -- that's where I met Beverly Biddle, who was the -- KLEE: What was she doing? WEBB: -- accounts clerk at that particular time. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: And then Florence Whitaker was -- I think was his secretary. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: And he -- Dr. Wethington interviewed me and then brought me out to look at the college. And -- KLEE: Was it under construction? WEBB: It was under construction at that time. KLEE: Okay. Now, what year did you start here? WEBB: 1969. KLEE: '69. So were you the first business person, then? WEBB: I was -- no, I was the second. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: '68 was Dr. Bowers. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: Bob Bowers was his name. KLEE: Okay, uh-huh. WEBB: But I was the second. KLEE: And then -- WEBB: He only stayed a year. KLEE: Yeah. And they had not even gotten in the building at that point. WEBB: No, unh-unh. KLEE: Uh-huh. What did Dr. Wethington -- what were the particulars of the job? What were -- did he tell you what you were going to have to be doing? WEBB: Mainly the financial aspect of it was what he -- KLEE: Mm-mm, okay. WEBB: -- interviewed me for. KLEE: You were going to handle the finances. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: You -- had you been to Maysville before this time? WEBB: No, it was my first trip. KLEE: Okay. And what were your initial impressions of the community? WEBB: Well, I saw Washington, and I thought well, maybe this is Maysville. (Laughter -- Klee and Webb) But after a while, after I did see the town, I liked the town. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Of course, at that point in time, before there were -- I mean, there have been a lot of improvements in roads in forty years. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: It wasn't really even that easy a trek, was it? WEBB: No, it wasn't. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: Unh-unh, no. KLEE: Were you -- WEBB: They were building at that particular time. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: And you had to go around by Sardis -- KLEE: Okay. WEBB: -- the Old Sardis Pike, to get there, yeah. KLEE: I see. And were they -- were you afraid you were getting too far out of Central Kentucky? WEBB: I -- well at that point, I guess I was. (Laughing -- Webb and Klee) KLEE: Did they -- did you meet any community people on that first visit? WEBB: No, not on that first visit, unh-unh. KLEE: Did you ever hear who your competition was on -- for the position? Or did you think you were on the short list right from the start? WEBB: I never did know, never did know. KLEE: Uh-huh. You might have been the only applicant. (Laughter -- Klee) WEBB: I was thinking I might have been. (Laughter -- Webb and Klee) KLEE: And what was your family situation right at that point? Were you married? WEBB: I was married and had one daughter. KLEE: Okay. So you moved to Maysville -- that would have been in '6- -- WEBB: -'9. KLEE: '69. What time of the year did you get here? Do you remember? WEBB: Well, what happened at that particular time, Bob Bowers was still on the payroll. And I moved to -- of course school was out in May- -- in Fayette County, so we just moved on down. And really, I worked for about a month, free (Laughter -- Webb and Klee), because evidently at that particular time, UK would not put two people on the same payroll for the same job. KLEE: I see. WEBB: So I worked about a month. KLEE: Okay. And when you got here, were they -- they were ready to go into the new building at that point. WEBB: Yeah, uh-huh. KLEE: Okay. So you moved directly -- WEBB: I moved directly -- KLEE: -- into the building. WEBB: -- into the new building. KLEE: Okay. Right from the beginning, you had to work with community people, and I wanted you to just comment on some of those. And I'll give you some names, and you can, you know, tell me -- Mrs. [Jean] Calvert, of course, was very important. WEBB: Yeah. She was very important. KLEE: And what were your impressions of her? WEBB: I thought she was a great lady. I just thought she was outstanding, as far as an individual. KLEE: When you came in, they had raised money to buy this -- the land for the college. WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: And the money that was left over, what happened to it? WEBB: That, I don't know. KLEE: I was thinking that was beginning of the scholarship fund. WEBB: It might have been the scholarship fund at that particular time. KLEE: Yeah. So you had to work with community people to raise money -- or to watch the money, I guess. WEBB: To watch the money, yeah. KLEE: Uh-huh. And who were the people that were -- that you had contact with there? WEBB: Bill Akins [Akin] was one. KLEE: Okay. Bill Akin, okay. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: And how did -- how was -- what kind of individual was he? WEBB: Bill was a wonderful person. He was a real likeable individual, just right down-to-earth. KLEE: Yeah. And you had to, I guess, just kind of keep accounts of the funds. What was the fundraising like? Were they very actively fundraising or -- WEBB: Yeah, it was very active at that particular time -- KLEE: Okay. WEBB: -- for scholarships. KLEE: And -- scholarships -- I guess at that point, tuition wasn't very -- WEBB: It wasn't very -- KLEE: -- very steep. WEBB: -- steep. No, unh-unh. But I guess, in that particular time, it was still steep enough. (Laughter -- Webb) KLEE: Right, for people -- WEBB: For the people that -- KLEE: Yeah. You don't remember about what kind of money you started at, do you? WEBB: You mean my salary? KLEE: Uh-huh. WEBB: It was $9,500. KLEE: Ninety-five hundred. (Laughter -- Webb and Klee) WEBB: I remember that exactly. (Laughter -- Webb) I remember that exactly. KLEE: Was that a factor in taking the job? I mean -- WEBB: I think I just wanted a change. KLEE: Okay. Because I was going to say, it probably wasn't a whole lot more -- WEBB: No, it wasn't. KLEE: -- than you were making in Fayette County. WEBB: In Fayette County, unh-unh. KLEE: What about -- I was -- T. Frank Jones, was he active too? WEBB: T. Frank was really active, yeah. I would place him along with Bill Akins [Akin]. KLEE: Uh-huh. Now, was he -- he was kind of a fireball a little bit, wasn't he? WEBB: Yeah. Yeah, he was -- KLEE: Did you have -- do you have any stories -- or I guess you had to sit in on advisory board meetings and -- WEBB: Advisory board meetings. KLEE: Uh-huh. WEBB: Yeah. But no, he was T. Frank Jones. (Laughter -- Webb) KLEE: I mean, he had a strong personality. I mean, he kind of -- WEBB: He had a strong personality, yes. KLEE: As I recall. WEBB: Yeah, he did. KLEE: What were those meetings like with -- you had a -- how long was it before Dr. Wethington left, before Dr. Shires came in, in your tenure? WEBB: Let's see. About '71 is when he left, wasn't it? Yeah. KLEE: Okay. So you -- WEBB: About '71. KLEE: You worked with Dr. Wethington a couple of years. WEBB: A couple of years, yeah. KLEE: What was his leadership style like, in your relationship with him? WEBB: He was very, you know, businesslike, and is very understanding. And to me, he was a good boss. KLEE: Mm-mm. Was he pretty insistent on a hard work ethic? WEBB: He was a straightforward, hard-working (Chuckle -- Webb) individual, and he expected everyone else to do the same. KLEE: Mm-mm. Mr. [Edward] Greifenkamp, Mr. Orme, did you have any -- much contact with them? I'm trying to kind of explore the community leader kind of thing. WEBB: Mr. Orme, I knew quite well. But -- and then Greifenkamp. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: I knew them, but other than that, they were just -- KLEE: Yeah, they were just in on the meetings and -- WEBB: In on the meetings, yeah. KLEE: Uh-huh. What about the original faculty here? Were there -- anybody that stands out in your mind? WEBB: Let's see. Pete Burdine stood out. Ellen Malone. Well, Mr-- . and Bob Berry, naturally. KLEE: Right, uh-huh. WEBB: But those are the -- KLEE: John Crockett came in there at some point too, didn't he? WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Was that -- that wasn't -- was he here during Wethington's time at all? WEBB: He was here -- yeah, he was here during Wethington's -- KLEE: Okay. What about the local politicians? You were there, you know, during that time period. Did you have many dealings or were you aware of things -- how did politics impact in on the college, local politics? WEBB: I didn't see too much of it, too much politics. KLEE: Okay. Of course, we were in one building for a long, long time. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Did you have -- I mean, did -- at the advisory boards or those kind of meetings, did you have -- would we have much contact with, for example, Representative -- the elder Representative Denham, Mitch Denham. WEBB: Not necessarily, unh-unh. KLEE: Yeah, right. WEBB: No, unh-unh. KLEE: What about UK politics? What was your -- what was the college's relationship with the University? Discuss that a little bit. WEBB: In what manner? KLEE: Well, I mean, what -- how did -- was it a very -- I mean, for example, your business of taking care of business. WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: Guidelines came from the University or -- WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: -- came from the system? WEBB: In fact, we hadn't -- I mean, we couldn't make any guidelines ourselves. At the University, we had to follow their guidelines. KLEE: Were they pretty stringent? Or how -- I mean, how did they -- for example -- WEBB: It all depended on who was in the position at UK in the financial aid of- -- I mean, the financial office. KLEE: And you're talk- -- when you say at UK, you're talking about in the System office at that point. WEBB: In the System office, yeah. KLEE: And who were some of the people -- the early people there? WEBB: I was trying to think of this guy's name the other day, and I could not remember. KLEE: Uh-huh. One of the first ones? WEBB: One -- yeah. KLEE: One of the first ones? WEBB: One of the first ones. KLEE: Uh-huh. I remember [Albert J.] Hauselman. Was he in that department? WEBB: No, unh-unh. KLEE: Okay. That was a different -- WEBB: Hauselman wasn't in there, unh-unh. KLEE: Okay. Who else later? WEBB: Mainly -- I can't remember some of their names. KLEE: Mm-mm. I knew in -- was Dan Tudor -- was he one of those? WEBB: Well, Dan was in there, but he was not in the financial aspect. KLEE: He wasn't in the financial -- WEBB: He was -- KLEE: -- financial aid of it. WEBB: Unh-unh. KLEE: Mm-mm. Or financial part. What kind of budgets did the college have to work with and what kind of pressures were there on trying to get things done in those early years? WEBB: Well, it was kind of hard sometimes, if you get -- you know, if there was things that we needed to do. Sometimes it was really difficult. KLEE: For example, did -- as business officer, what other -- I know you took care of the books. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: But what other responsibilities had -- did they give you? WEBB: Grounds. KLEE: Grounds. WEBB: Grounds and the bookstore. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: And just all the financial aspects of it. KLEE: Okay. So on the grounds, what were your major problems there? Did you have enough help? WEBB: Well, the only thing I (Chuckle -- Webb) -- we had -- for that type -- one building, we probably had enough help. But the people weren't trained as much -- KLEE: I see. WEBB: -- when they hired them. And you know, you take somebody off the street and try to make them -- a cleaner out of them -- KLEE: Right. WEBB: -- it's kind of difficult at times. KLEE: Uh-huh. WEBB: So -- KLEE: And there's how many acres? I don't remember how many acres there are. WEBB: It's about 120 acres there. KLEE: Okay, so you had -- WEBB: That's quite a -- KLEE: Right. You had -- WEBB: -- quite a big -- few acres. KLEE: -- to keep it mowed. WEBB: Yeah, to keep it mowed and the building clean. KLEE: Right. WEBB: And of course, it was difficult at times. KLEE: Yeah. And the budgets were always tight, I guess, on those kind of things. WEBB: They were tight, uh-huh. Yeah. KLEE: And then the bookstore, how did the bookstore work in those first few years? WEBB: The bookstore was supposed to be self-sufficient, and actually it was what they called self-sufficient (Chuckle -- Webb) with no profit. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: And some years, there was a profit; some years there weren't. So I mean, it was just -- it all depended upon the -- who you had in there, and how well they managed the store. And of course, I had some good ones in there -- KLEE: Right. WEBB: -- really good. KLEE: Right. So they had to generate all their own income -- WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: -- pay for their salaries -- WEBB: Salaries. KLEE: -- and -- WEBB: Any workers or anybody they had in there, they had to pay for, unless they were through -- KLEE: Right. WEBB: -- financial -- KLEE: Now, did they have to pay for their space too? Or did that come -- was that later? WEBB: That was allotted. You had -- KLEE: Okay. WEBB: You had to pay for space back then. KLEE: I see. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: I'm trying to see my notes here. Dr. Wethington, you said, was a good boss. What was the -- where do you think the college fit into the community at that point, as far as an asset or not, or what? WEBB: I think it was an asset, because you had -- most people supported the college at that time. KLEE: When people knew that you -- when they met you, and you know, the first question people usually ask is what do you do? WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: And when they said the college, what kind of reactions did you get? WEBB: Just a normal reaction, I guess. KLEE: Yeah. People were pretty positive or -- WEBB: They were positive, yeah. KLEE: Okay. And what -- did -- do you remember any examples where you saw the college making a difference in the community? WEBB: Well, I -- you know, as far as the graduates, you know, the number of graduates we -- that we kept increasing -- KLEE: Right. WEBB: -- you could tell, just that the people were proud of the college. KLEE: Right. At some point the college became a -- had a role, as far as economic development. Were you in on -- were you one of those people that they brought people in and said, "This is the college." Do you remember any of those kind of visits? WEBB: Yeah, I was in on some of those. Yeah. KLEE: Yeah. Nothing comes to mind -- WEBB: Nothing comes to mind. KLEE: -- in particular? WEBB: Unh-unh. KLEE: Okay. What about the -- any problems you encountered? Were there any -- maybe there weren't -- as far as getting the books straight, self-studies? You had a self-study almost as soon as you got there, didn't you? WEBB: Oh, yeah. (Chuckle -- Webb and Klee) Yeah. We always dreaded those things, because -- I mean, they were -- I know they were essential to the college, but sometimes you wondered about them, because, you know, you never did follow those ten-year plans and all that stuff. KLEE: Right. WEBB: It's there. The university wanted them. But it was just something that had to be done. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: We did it. KLEE: Right. And generally came out pretty well, or not? WEBB: Yeah, we came out pretty well. KLEE: Uh-huh. No particular problems come to mind, then. WEBB: No. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: The only thing that really -- as far as the system and the college, the only thing that was so -- such a long turn-around on things. KLEE: I see. WEBB: Because everything had to originate -- it originated here, it had Wethington's approval or the director, whoever it might be, then it had to go back to the University. You don't know anything about it. You know, they'll pay it and all that stuff, and then there's always mix-ups and things like that, that you had to stay on the phone and try to get worked out. So there was a lot of problems with that particular aspect of it. KLEE: Getting a vendor paid, for example. WEBB: Getting a vendor paid and get- -- keeping the vendors happy and things of that nature. KLEE: And all those checks were cut at the System level. WEBB: They were cut at the System level; we didn't do any of that. KLEE: Yeah. And you talked about phones. Do you have -- did you have almost daily, weekly contact with people at the System? WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: Yeah, we did that. KLEE: Yeah. Where was that at? Where was the System actually housed? WEBB: It was at -- let's see, well, it's at Breckinridge Hall -- KLEE: Okay. WEBB: -- and that particular area. KLEE: Okay. What about problems with -- you were in charge of building and grounds. What were some of the problems with the building there that you remember? WEBB: I remember the library falling. KLEE: Okay. (Chuckle -- Klee) WEBB: And we had to prop it up. And then we always had problems with that building, roof and flooding and stuff of that nature. KLEE: What accounts for it? I mean, do you have any -- what were the theories you heard? WEBB: I think it was just the building of the -- the builders that built that building did not do a good job of it. KLEE: Right. WEBB: In fact, they didn't complete the job. It had to be completed by a bonding company. KLEE: Oh, I didn't realize that. WEBB: Yeah. But it was -- Y & S was the builders, but it was poor building. KLEE: Do you remember where they were from, do you? Or -- WEBB: They were from Tennessee, I think. KLEE: I see. WEBB: Down in Tennessee. KLEE: And someone else actually finished it? WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: It was bonded. KLEE: Okay. And so the -- you're talking about the library (Chuckle -- Klee) falling in. It was just sinkage or -- WEBB: Well, they -- I think somebody said there was a pond underneath that when they built it, and that sort of slippage just gave way. And of course, you know, the one corner of it did slide down. KLEE: Right. WEBB: And that's the reason they -- it took forever to get the concrete -- it was the messiest job, getting that concrete in there. KLEE: Right. WEBB: But -- KLEE: They poured the concrete in just to reinforce it, then. WEBB: Reinforce it, yeah. Push it -- well -- KLEE: Essentially put a new -- WEBB: It pushed it up -- KLEE: I see. WEBB: -- which I was surprised. Earl Damron was the engineer from the college. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: And he is the one that came up with the idea of doing that. I guess it had been done other places, but I -- you know, whenever they mentioned doing that, I had my doubts -- KLEE: Right. (Laughter -- Klee and Webb) WEBB: -- whether that's going to push the building up. KLEE: Sure. WEBB: But it did. KLEE: Pouring the concrete in the soil actually brought the building back up? WEBB: Brought the building back up, uh-huh, yeah. KLEE: Yeah. Talk about some of the people we worked with -- you worked with. The early bookstore managers, who were they? WEBB: Bob Burnett] was one. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: Shelby Bowman was the other one. KLEE: Okay. Now, these were people at the System level. WEBB: Yeah, uh-huh. KLEE: Yeah. That supervised the bookstores. WEBB: Yeah, supervised all the bookstores. KLEE: Okay. What -- was there a hue and cry at that time about book prices or -- WEBB: I think there has always been one -- KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: -- about the book prices. KLEE: Right. WEBB: But -- I imagine. KLEE: And then what about some of the local managers, the people you worked with at the college? WEBB: Oh, I had some excellent people. KLEE: Give me some names there. WEBB: There was Kaye. I had -- KLEE: That's Kaye High. WEBB: Kaye High. I had Mary Rideout, and I had Norma Weimer. Those are the three excellent bookstore managers. KLEE: Yeah. When -- you say that there aren't any incidents that stands out with -- you know, in partnership with Dr. Wethington there. Did -- had you heard rumors all along that were -- I mean, what was your impression? Dr. Wethington was a relatively young man. Of course, you were too. WEBB: Yeah, at that time. KLEE: Yeah. (Chuckle -- Webb and Klee) I mean, were there rumors that he was going to move on, you think? Or was it a surprise to you? WEBB: It was really a surprise at that time. I figured he eventually would. KLEE: Right. WEBB: But -- KLEE: It came pretty quick. WEBB: -- it came quick, yeah. KLEE: Uh-huh. The community -- did the community embrace the college pretty well? WEBB: Yeah. Yeah, they did. KLEE: The advisory board was very important in that. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: You all had advisory board parties. Do you remember any of those? Of course, in the late '60s, early '70s, they would -- might have been more intimate than they became. WEBB: They were very intimate at that particular time. We had -- I can remember one we had at Martha Comer's. Then we had one at Flemingsburg. KLEE: Maybe McCartney? I don't know. WEBB: McCartney, yeah, I think. KLEE: Okay, uh-huh. WEBB: So we had them at different places. KLEE: Right. WEBB: Different houses. KLEE: And when you're talking about faculty and staff at that time, what kind of numbers were you talking about in 1968, '69? WEBB: Oh, we were only talking about, maybe, twenty-five -- KLEE: Okay. WEBB: -- or something like that, so that made it more intimate. And then, too, along about that time, they had parties -- we had parties at -- like -- dinner parties at The Harbeson and places like that. KLEE: I see. Just the faculty and staff there? WEBB: Faculty and staff, yeah. So it was a very intimate group. KLEE: Mm-mm. And people got along pretty well in the faculty and staff? WEBB: Oh, yeah. Yeah, it was really good harmony among all -- KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: -- faculty and staff. KLEE: In your position, you said there was quite a bit of lead time, or time between, getting things paid for and so forth. WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: Was there a -- did that red tape increase over the years? What -- how do you characterize that? WEBB: It got better. KLEE: Mm-mm, okay. WEBB: It was -- at first it was -- you know, I guess it was just working a lot of the kinks out, but then it didn't get all the way good -- KLEE: Right. WEBB: -- until -- you know, until the System was -- KLEE: Did -- WEBB: -- gone. (Chuckle -- Webb) KLEE: Yeah. Did the System -- over the years, did it gain more independence or kind of the -- I'm thinking about with the relationship to the University of Kentucky. WEBB: The University of Kentucky? KLEE: Uh-huh. WEBB: No, I don't think so, really. I don't think they ever did, because they always had to answer to the University for -- KLEE: You would have meetings with business officers around the state. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: What was some of their group think, as far as -- and particularly in those early years, about how the system was going or the relationship with UK and so forth? WEBB: They were always disgruntled. (Laughter -- Webb and Klee) You wanted -- most of them were disgruntled about the whole situation. KLEE: Was it because of lack of funds or -- what was the main -- what were the main complaints? WEBB: Lack of funds and getting things done, that was the two things. KLEE: Right. WEBB: We always felt like that the University took their share, and what was a little bit left over they gave to the System, and then the System gave it to us. And maybe the System kept out a little bit for emergencies too -- (Chuckle -- Webb) KLEE: Right. WEBB: -- which I guess they had to do. KLEE: Well, that was one of the things I was curious about, what they thought, as far as whether -- you know, the University had all these colleges out here with a lot of students and so forth -- WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: -- but you know, there was a perception among some quarters that they used the numbers and the political clout, but didn't always get enough -- didn't give the proper kind of resources. WEBB: Proper, that's it, yeah. KLEE: Mm-mm. And that was kind of a feeling -- WEBB: That was the kind of feeling among everyone. KLEE: Yeah. What were -- over the years, as far as the -- either the college or the personnel community, what were some of the significant changes you saw? WEBB: In the community or the college? KLEE: Well, the both. WEBB: Both? KLEE: Mm-mm. WEBB: I guess the fact that we got a lot more industry in here, for one thing. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: I know that when we moved down here, there was not much, you know, as far as housing. There wasn't much housing. And then business finally started coming in. KLEE: Okay. You are -- I think you all are members of the Presbyterian Church? WEBB: Yes, uh-huh. KLEE: And you were welcomed pretty well there? WEBB: Oh, yeah, yeah. Several other churches tried to get us too, but (Chuckle -- Klee and Webb) we were born and bred Presbyterians, or Pat was. KLEE: Yeah. Well, I think that as -- as I recall, there was -- when the college brought in people, it was a bigger event than it became later. Isn't that -- WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Am I right about that? I mean -- WEBB: You are right, because I remember, the people that came in that year, their picture was on the front page. KLEE: Oh, is that right? WEBB: Yeah. So anybody new to the community, as far as the college was concerned, you got your picture on the front page. KLEE: Got visits from real estate agents, maybe? WEBB: Visits, yeah. (Laughter -- Klee) Yeah, (Laughter -- Webb) you got that too. KLEE: Where did you all live originally? WEBB: We lived on Shawnee Hills. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: Over in Shawnee Hills. KLEE: Yeah, okay. Was there anyone in the community in particular that you thought kind of made you all feel the most welcome and comfortable, maybe some families? WEBB: I would guess Mrs. Calvert did, Mrs. Calvert. KLEE: Yeah, yeah. She's quite a lady. WEBB: Oh, she's quite a woman. KLEE: Yeah. Now in the early '70s, Dr. Wethington left. WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: Did it help you in your position that -- now, he went first as vice president of the System -- WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: -- I think, didn't he? The -- I don't know what they called the position then. I guess Stanley Wall was there before. WEBB: Stanley was a -- yeah. KLEE: Did you have many dealings with him? WEBB: Yeah, quite a few. KLEE: And how did that work? WEBB: Really, if I compared the two, I liked Wethington much better. He was -- KLEE: Mm-mm. And why was that? WEBB: It seems like -- wasn't -- as I said, was more straightforward. KLEE: Mm-mm. WEBB: And Wall, you had to sort of read. (Chuckle -- Webb) KLEE: I see. Okay, yeah. So Dr. Wethington pretty much let you know where things stood and -- WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: -- how it was going to work. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: You knew that. KLEE: And did that help you, then -- did it help Maysville that Dr. Wethington became the head of the System, so to speak? WEBB: I think they hated to lose him. KLEE: Mm-mm, right. WEBB: But at the same time, I think they were proud that he was -- KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: -- he took the new job. KLEE: I was -- and I was thinking about for you, in your position, I mean, having that contact -- WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: -- did that help any? WEBB: You mean me? KLEE: Yeah. Did you ever have to go to him directly, you know, after he left here and was at the System level? WEBB: No, unh-unh. Not really. KLEE: Yeah, okay. Dr. Shires became the president at that point -- WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: -- and stayed with the college a long time. What was your all's working relationship like? WEBB: It was good. (Laughter -- Klee and Webb) Knowing Dr. Shires, it was good. (Laughter -- Webb) KLEE: Yeah. What was his leadership style like? WEBB: That's a good question. (Laughter -- Webb) KLEE: I'll let you think about it. WEBB: Let me think about it. No, he was -- he had -- his style was pretty good, when you got used to it. KLEE: Right. Was he more autocratic or -- WEBB: I would say he was more autocratic -- KLEE: Mm-mm, yeah. WEBB: -- as far as the college as a whole, but as far as I was concerned, he never did bother me, as far as financial. He always let me do what -- KLEE: What you needed to do. WEBB: -- what I thought I -- what was best. KLEE: Did your job change over the years, then? I mean, as -- WEBB: It just got bigger. KLEE: Okay. And did the help -- did you get more help? WEBB: I didn't -- well, not as much as they have today. (Laughter -- Webb) KLEE: Right. (Laughter -- Klee) WEBB: No, no sir. We -- there was only about two or three of us there at one -- well, Ruth and I -- KLEE: Sure! WEBB: -- for a long time there. KLEE: And did you all have to take care of financial aid at that point too, or those funds or -- WEBB: We had to distribute -- KLEE: I see. WEBB: -- financial aid, but it's always been up in the financial aid office. KLEE: Student services. WEBB: Yeah, student services. KLEE: They finally got another building. Do you remember any of the environment behind that, the first addition to the college? WEBB: I don't -- KLEE: Yeah. Did you have any special role in that as far as supervision of the building itself? That was all done at the System? WEBB: Most of it was done at the System, yeah. We just had to furnish the thing. KLEE: Okay, uh-huh. WEBB: But other than that -- KLEE: And how were those decisions made, as far as furnishing? WEBB: Well, there was a committee that did that. KLEE: Yeah, okay. And then you were in charge of taking care of the invoices and getting the things in? WEBB: Things of that nature, yeah. Mm-mm. KLEE: Setting them up -- WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: -- and so forth. Do you remember any of the specifics? That building didn't turn out to be, I don't think, as much as they had thought -- WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: -- that it was going to be. Do you remember any of that environment or what went on then? WEBB: Not really, unh-unh. KLEE: No. Yeah. I think that's when (Chuckle -- Klee) the state had one of their notorious budget cuts. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: What about the growth into Cynthiana and how did that affect your operation? WEBB: That mainly came after I left, to a certain extent. KLEE: Oh, okay, okay. WEBB: I mean, it had started. KLEE: Mm-mm. WEBB: But it -- KLEE: What -- I don't remember what year -- what year did you retire? WEBB: '92. KLEE: '92. WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: And what were your -- what was your-- you know, what was your thinking at that point? What were some of the things that entered into your decision? WEBB: I just felt like I'd been there long enough. And of course I'd already taught for ten years previous to that. KLEE: Right, right. WEBB: So I had about -- KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: -- thirty-three years. KLEE: Sure. Who was -- Dr. Shires was still president. Dr. Wethington had -- he'd left the System at that point or not? Do you remember that? WEBB: No -- yeah, he -- wasn't he -- KLEE: He might have been UK pr- -- I don't know if he was -- WEBB: UK -- I think he was UK president then. KLEE: I don't know if he was or not. I'm not sure. WEBB: Yeah, I think he was. KLEE: Uh-huh, okay. Looking back at it, what do you think the college did well, as far as the community and its growth up until the time that you were aware of it? WEBB: I think just reaching out to the community. KLEE: Mm-mm, yeah. WEBB: Like through community service -- KLEE: Right. WEBB: -- and things of that nature, letting the people in to see what was going on at the college -- KLEE: Right, mm-mm. WEBB: -- more so than anything. KLEE: And you saw lots of num- -- you saw the numbers grow during that time. WEBB: Grow, yeah. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: All right. What -- some of the people that we discussed -- and I know, I think, you've maintained some long-term relationships with people around the System. WEBB: Uh-huh. KLEE: Can you mention some of those? WEBB: Bob Keen. KLEE: Now, where was he at? WEBB: He was at E-Town -- KLEE: Okay. WEBB: -- a long time. Karen Blevins is at Ashland. KLEE: Now, are these mostly business officers? WEBB: Business officers, yeah. KLEE: Uh-huh. These might be some people I might want to call up. WEBB: Yeah. But most of the -- I guess most of the business officers have retired. Now, Karen wouldn't have been retired as yet. But Bob's retired. KLEE: I see. WEBB: He was one of my best friends. KLEE: Right. And do you all -- I think Pat might have told me that you all get together occasionally? WEBB: Ever once in a while, yeah. KLEE: Yeah, that's good. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: What did the college mean for your -- for you and your family? Did it -- I mean, did that career work out well for you? WEBB: Yeah, it worked out well. Uh-huh. KLEE: Explain that, as far as raising your children -- WEBB: I mean, I enjoyed my work, and it provided a livelihood for -- KLEE: Right. WEBB: -- my family. (Laughter -- Webb) KLEE: Right, right. And it didn't create too much stress? WEBB: No, unh-unh. KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: No. KLEE: I didn't ask you about the -- you worked with a lot of other academic deans, and you all were kind of a -- I don't know if you were rivals. Did -- how did that work out? I mean, did you -- I know there was probably competition for the limited funds. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: What was your working relationship like? For example, in the beginning, I guess it would have been Alpha Straub, and soon after that -- she was in student services. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Soon after that John Crockett. WEBB: Well, the one I really liked to working with was Harry Benson. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: Harry was really a fine person. KLEE: And what was his role? WEBB: He was the academic dean. And see, he was president there. KLEE: Right. WEBB: I mean, he was acting president for a while. And he was -- KLEE: Yeah. WEBB: It was a really good relationship. I'd rather not say too much (Chuckle -- Webb) about -- KLEE: Some of the others, right? WEBB: -- some of the others. KLEE: Yeah, I didn't know if you had any -- WEBB: No. KLEE: The actual facility changes, I know for a while there was a -- there were some tennis courts over there. Was -- were there any decisions had to be made about how the college was going to grow? I mean, even physically and with the grounds and so forth? WEBB: Yeah, there was that ten-year plan they had for the buildings. And of course, they didn't follow any of it, I don't think -- KLEE: I see. WEBB: -- as far as the growth, number of buildings, etc. But -- KLEE: We had a moon maze very early. Were you there when they -- WEBB: Yeah, I was there when they -- when that guy came from --------- -(??). KLEE: How did that happen? WEBB: He came from Cincinnati. I think he had a grant from -- some grant from Washington to (Chuckle -- Webb) do this moon maze. KLEE: Right. Which is what? Explain what that was. WEBB: It was just a lot of green area that they used. And I don't know, I just -- I never did understand it. I knew there was a picture downstairs in -- that Ben Lowe kept. And I think he hated that moon maze more than anyone. (Chuckle -- Webb and Klee) KLEE: Tell me about it. WEBB: Well, because he had to mow around it. KLEE: Right. Ben Lowe was someone you had to work with. Who was that? WEBB: He was the maintenance supervisor. KLEE: Was he there very early? WEBB: He was -- yeah, he was hired right when the college first started. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: I think he unloaded a lot of the stuff downtown -- KLEE: Is that right? WEBB: -- out here. Yeah, he was one of the first. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: I think he and Bob Berry was -- KLEE: Yeah, I remember -- WEBB: -- two of our first. KLEE: Bob Berry, I think, was the first faculty member -- WEBB: Yeah. And -- KLEE: -- as I recall. WEBB: -- I think Ben was the first staff. KLEE: Okay. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: I might need to talk to him too. WEBB: Yeah. KLEE: Can you think of anything I didn't ask you, I should have asked you about? WEBB: No, I think you've asked me quite a few questions. (Laughter -- Webb and Klee) KLEE: Yeah. I'm doing pretty good, I think. Okay. Why, I sure appreciate your talking to me. And if I can think of other things, I might -- WEBB: Just -- KLEE: -- call you up. WEBB: -- give me a ring, and I'll be right here. KLEE: Okay. Thank you. Oral history with Lowell Webb, business officer at Maysville Community College (MCC) from 1968 to 1992. Highlights include descriptions of early work life at MCC, campus construction--specifically the library debacle--and increasing student enrollment. Interview concludes with a discussion of the role of the college in the community. insert here