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2005-08-11 Interview with Cindy Leonard, August 11, 2005 2008OH154 LCC 013 1:24:41 CC002 Community Colleges of Kentucky Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington Community College Bluegrass Community and Technical College Lexington Technical Institute Cindy Leonard; interviewee Rick Smoot; interviewer Lexington Community College 2008OH154_LCC13_Leonard_Public_Access 1:|14(9)|28(12)|43(9)|56(2)|72(1)|85(9)|104(7)|127(9)|155(2)|174(11)|197(1)|215(11)|238(9)|257(4)|273(1)|286(9)|315(9)|329(11)|345(14)|360(1)|391(5)|410(14)|429(4)|441(8)|457(12)|471(1)|484(2)|504(6)|536(2)|552(5)|565(1)|578(9)|608(4)|627(2)|642(6)|661(5)|676(3)|693(5)|707(14)|725(1)|767(10)|783(14)|797(2)|811(5)|823(15)|836(6)|851(11)|875(2)|889(2)|901(9)|918(2)|932(12)|960(7)|971(4)|986(7)|998(11)|1011(3)|1027(5)|1051(3)|1063(10)|1095(11)|1113(12)|1134(3)|1154(7)|1169(9)|1182(11)|1211(1)|1226(12)|1239(9)|1254(5)|1265(7)|1282(3)|1299(10)|1317(2)|1330(12)|1344(2)|1360(12)|1383(2)|1422(7)|1450(5)|1499(3)|1525(4)|1551(8)|1573(10) audiotrans CommuColl interview SMOOT: Interview with Cindy Leonard, August 11 2005, in room 246 of the Oswald Building Bluegrass Community and Technical College, formerly Lexington Community College at the University of Kentucky. Good afternoon, uh, Cindy, why don't you start, if you would please, uh, giving me a little bit of your own family background, where you were born, raised, schools you went to, family. Those kinds of things. LEONARD: Well, I was born in Danville, Illinois, which is in central Illinois, and then moved to northern Indiana in -- before I started school. I went to first through eighth grade in Hobart, Indiana outside of Gary and, um, then moved to Crystal Lake, Illinois, which is a northwest suburb of Chicago, and went to high school at Crystal Lake High School, graduated from high school in '68. Went to the University of Illinois in Champaign, and earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1972, and then I, um, moved to Chicago and met my husband and we were both working and living in Chicago and decided that we didn't really, um -- we didn't want to live in Chicago winters any longer. It was the winter of seventy-- I guess it was '76-'77. SMOOT: That was a harsh one. LEONARD: We said just -- "This is it." The whole month of, of January it never got above zero in Chicago and that means sixty below zero with the wind chill factor. So, we, um, put all of our stuff in storage, and set out to find the best place to live, and found Lexington, Kentucky. And prior to coming to here, we had done a lot of work in terms of what we really wanted to do with our lives, and I read Richard Bowles' What Color Is Your Parachute? And we thought, well, we would go about it the opposite way of a lot of people instead of looking for the best job and then living somewhere where that job was. We would look for the place we wanted to live and then try to find the jobs we wanted. But, I had thought -- I had done -- I worked for a private employment agency in Chicago and I had done some college recruiting for the agency, and I really thought it might be neat to work in a college appointment office, and Carl had interviewed for a job with Prentice Hall selling college textbooks and he, he was working as a copywriter in Chicago, and he thought that would be a neat job. He thought he'd liked that. He didn't get that job and so we -- but we decided, we kind of had in our minds that those were jobs we would like. So we came to Kentucky Derby Weekend, and it was just so beautiful and we said "This is it. This is where we are going to live." And at first, we thought we wanted a small town, so we, we really liked Midway a lot and we kind of hung out in Midway and couldn't really find anything to rent, because we didn't -- so we said, "We'll go to Lexington for a year. We'll just live and work in Lexington for a year, and then we'll go to Midway in 1977." And so, they -- we looked for jobs. We looked in the newspaper and they were looking for uh, sales reps for Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, and Carl interviewed for that job and got that job, and then they had a program at that time in Lexington through the Urban County government: it was called CETA. It was a soft money program, and you had to have a lot of, of qualifications; it was to help people who hadn't been employed for a while get jobs. And so, you had to have been out of work for three months or something like that to, to qualify. Because we had left our jobs in Chicago and moved to Kentucky, I hadn't worked since, I guess May, and, um, this was in September, so I qualified for the CETA money and I was hired as the first and really only placement officer that they ever had at Lexington Technical Institute, which we were at the time, so I started their whole placement program and I was paid nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars a year. This was in 1977. SMOOT: So about what we make now? LEONARD: Yeah. (Smoot laughs) Yeah, if you look at proportionately, but they could on-- that's the most they could pay. They had t-- like ten thousand dollar grants. They couldn't pay the full ten thousand; they could pay nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine dollars. So, that's how I started here in, um, November of 1977 and Paul Taylor was my boss, because I w-- I reported to student services. So, I did that for just a year and the money ran out. And so then, I was going to -- I was faced with losing my job. Um, LTI had like no money back then; they were operating on a shoestring. I mean, it's still not good, but it was really bad back then. But, placement in cooperative education were really important, because we were totally a technical school. So, our whole goal was for students to go to school for two years and get a job. So, as, um, pla-- the placement in cooperative education people reported directly -- I, I was under Paul Taylor, but we reported directly to the president. Because it was -- I was way up there on the hierarchy and there were two guys, Jim Connell and Jake Jettig who were doing cooperative education, and Jim left, so I moved into the cooperative education spot, and then they didn't ever have another placement officer. I, I -- that was the only time, that one year and cooperative education picked up placement responsibility, but that -- they -- you know, now, we don't have any placement person. We have, you know, Tammy, who does like five different things, and so that -- I was the only placement person ever, and, um, I was also the first female hired in an administrative position here. There were women who were division chairs, but they were like nursing people who -- or secretarial, instructors or faculty members who were division chairs, but, as actually someone hired into an administrative position, I was the first female. SMOOT: That's interesting. I would have thought somebody was doing it, and well before you. I mean, the program started in '65. LEONARD: Well, but really it didn't start till '76. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: Because they had a small program, but no location. You know, they were in Breckenridge Hall. So they built this building in '76; in' '76 is when they hired everybody. And so there was this, this big -- well, big; we had like twenty-five faculty members type of thing. They hired them all. And, and for the most part, a few of the nursing people came dancing from another community college to be the business officers. SMOOT: Dan Holm. LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: Yeah, and, um, so this building was finished in -- and this was when I really think, even thought they go back to '65, that's when LTI was officially started. When it really started was in 1976 when they moved into the building. So I came like a year and a couple months after that happened. SMOOT: What kind of programs were they offering then? LEONARD: They had only technical programs. There was nursing, radiography, which is called radiology -- or x-ray technician is what it was called then. Um, nuclear medicine, I think. I'm pretty sure they had nuclear medicine. Dental hygiene, dental lab. (coughs) They had a secretarial program, which had legal secretarial, um, medical secretarial, and general secretarial. Um, they had a data processing program, they called it. Accounting, um, business management, and they, they had the engineering programs. Electrical, mechanical, civil; and we had fire science, too. A fire science program. SMOOT: Okay. So -- LEONARD: I think that was it. SMOOT: All right. When did the gen ed programs begin? LEONARD: The gen ed programs began, um, officially when UK went to selective admission. SMOOT: 'Eighty-four. LEONARD: 'Eighty-four. And so, what happened is we used to teach -- like, we had English here, but we taught it technical English. It was called -- I, I forget what it was -- probably CMS. We used a CMS category, for some reason, for a lot of things. We taught interpersonal communication. I used to teach that. It was called CMS 101. SMOOT: CMS standing for? LEONARD: I don't even know what CMS stood for. SMOOT: (laughs) Okay. LEONARD: That's what most of our courses were: CMS though, for some reason. Those kinds of sort of general ed courses. SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: We had very few of them; just enough to, to meet the requirements of the, the degree. So we didn't have people who -- gosh, I don't even think we had a math person. We must have. Maybe the accounting people also taught math. But what h-- what our situation was that, if a student wanted -- say a student wanted English 101 instead of the technical English which, I think was 151 or something. They could go to UK and take English 101, because our tuition was the same as UK's tuition, and so our students could go back and forth. And that was what they said was the selling point, was that our tuition really sometimes as much as four times more than the other community colleges. SMOOT: Hmm. LEONARD: Because our students could live on campus and have the benefits and they could take classes at UK, but when UK went to selective admissions, then that just changed things tremendously for us, and we had to change those prefixes, like the CMS prefix -- we changed like COM -- CMS 101 became COM 252. Which at -- UK had been teaching it as COM 352, same course that we were teaching at CMS 101, so we -- they changed theirs to 252, we changed ours to 252 and we, um, ended up with the same course. And then we added so many courses, you know, history courses, speech courses, things that we had never taught before. And we grew like crazy. SMOOT: Okay. Uh, you mentioned that you reported, when you first started working here, directly to the president? Was it a president or a director? LEONARD: It was a director. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: We didn't change the name. Um, that came, I think, also in '84. SMOOT: Probably. LEONARD: Because we were, uh -- at that time, we had a director of the college and then the -- what is now our dean, Sandy Carrington (??), that was the assistant, or the associate director and the, um -- people like student services and counseling were -- they were -- I guess they were called associate director for student services, because no one else could be called the director because that was the head of the college. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: So like -- as, as coordinator of the cooperative education person, in other colleges, you would be the director of cooperative education, but I was the coordinator of cooperative education. Because we couldn't use that title. SMOOT: Okay. Hmm. Um, what would you say were the most important developments early on, uh, in your experience, uh, for this college? LEONARD: Well, the most important was, of course, in 1984 when we changed to Lexington Community College, and became a comprehensive community --[break in recording]-- prior to that, um, well, prob-- I'm sure 1960 -- or 1976, getting this building was a major development, because they weren't going anywhere without this building. Uh, getting the Moloney Building probably; the Moloney Building came in '88. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: We got the Moloney Building, and that's amazing when you think about what a long time we just had this one building. SMOOT: When, when this building opened, were all programs and all classes related to those programs transferred into this building? No more courses at UK? LEONARD: Yeah, all in this building. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: And, you know, the nursing programs, the helpers have always used UK facilities for clinicals and things like that, but everything was transferred into this building. But we had, at that time, that room down at the end of the hallway, which is now public relations. That was the faculty lounge and the entire faculty could fit in that, faculty, faculty and staff. We would have a Christmas party every year, and we would all fit down in that lounge -- SMOOT: Wow. LEONARD: -- and have a Christmas party. I mean, look at us now going to a baseball stadium for a meeting and we could all fit in that single -- in that one room, that faculty lounge. SMOOT: Yeah. What -- how would you characterize the relationship between this college and the university when you first came? LEONARD: The -- from my experience, the university didn't even know we existed. You know, I had an experience once when I was over, um, with a -- visiting with a friend in the College of Education, and he introduced me to a colleague in the College of Education and said, "She works at LC-- LTI." And the friend said "Which is?" So in the College of Education, they didn't even know what we were, and every time I went anywhere in town, people asked me where I worked, I had -- I always said Lexington Technical Institute, because if I said LTI, nobody knew what I was talking about. And we just -- we had very little name recognition in the community. SMOOT: Why is that? LEONARD: Well, I think that we, in many ways, have always been under UK's shadow. We were, we were here, you know, people know us because we are in the parking lot of the football stadium and that's always been the landmark, and, so, we are in UK's parking lot essentially is our location. The, um -- we had a much smaller population, student population. We stayed at about a thousand students, maybe up to twelve hundred now when -- before we went comprehensive. So, it was a small program. Now, employers knew and recognized our program, and as, um, the placement person in cooperative education program, when I was in cooperative education, we had one of the largest cooperative education programs in the state. We would have about -- even with that small of a population, we would have about sixty students every semester working in jobs in the Lexington area and we used to get recruiters coming all the way from Texas, um, for our engineering students, because they were looking for associate degree engineering students. And we would have nursing people calling us from all over the state, um, to -- wanting to recruit our nursing students. So it was kind of funny because employers knew we existed and we had a really good relationship with employers that I'm not so sure we have any longer. At that time, we had a really good relationship and, you know, I'd go out to employers, to companies, they'd take me out to lunch, they would -- I mean, they were very interested in our students. Um, but the general population of Lexington was not that aware. Now, I think that we have --(Smoot coughs)-- have really good name recognition. Everybody knows LCC [editor's note: Lexington Community College] and lots of people talk about sending their kids to LCC, but I don't think, personally, we are doing very much to help our students --[break in recording]-- and the ones that are in two-year degrees even, their -- maybe their areas are doing something for them. And certainly our nurses. They, you know, they have really good relationships with the hospitals and everything and, and they get jobs but, I don't think we're doing as much as we could do for our students who aren't sure if they want to go on for a bachelor's degree or would like to really try something else. SMOOT: Yeah, the only experience I have in, in, uh, observing anything along those lines would be with the architectural technology program. I have seen those guys do some leg work -- LEONARD: Yes. SMOOT: -- in trying to place their graduates. LEONARD: Yep. SMOOT: And apparently, they have had a good deal of success in doing so. Nursing, nurses are in demand, it seems, all the time. LEONARD: Yeah they don't really need to do much. Now tell me how to -- SMOOT: Some of the other programs -- LEONARD: She did have a, a job fair or something last year and brought in some people, I think --[break in recording]-- but I think that's one of the things that we've let slide. If you look at the fact that as co-op coordinator, I reported directly to the president and now the person who handles -- even though our population is eight to nine times what it was then, the person who handles that handles about five other things and is in the basement and reports to the head of counseling. For some reason, that's been pushed to the wayside, I think. SMOOT: Well, I would think, perhaps that's something that needs to be brought to the attention of our growing administration, that, uh, we could use a placement officer. Uh, I, I think that that is a very valid point. Okay. Um, if you were going to sort of map out the, uh, growth development of the college -- I mean, you started, of course, with your own beginnings here. Could you just sort of lead me down a path and tell me about, uh, how things have evolved here? LEONARD: Well, I think that as we became comprehensive then, and started offering more and more classes, then -- first we started getting students almost by default. They couldn't get into UK -- SMOOT: Right. LEONARD: -- so they came here. But over time, as we've developed a reputation in the community, I think people are realizing, what do you want? Do you want your child to take a logics class with six hundred students or with twenty-eight students? Or do you want your, your child to take a calculus course with a hundred and forty students or twenty-five students? And, so, some people that know what's going on have paid attention to LCC. At some point -- and I can't remember when it was -- it when Ellen Edwards was still here, our tuition was frozen. And -- because it had stayed the same as UK's all along, and when they froze our tuition the first year, it was like twenty-five dollars less than UK's, which wasn't really very significant, but then it got to, you know, several hundred dollars, which was enough to maybe make the difference between your books and whatever, and then -- now it's significantly lower than UK. So, I think that there has been this, this movement, you know, where the community is starting to recognize that, "Hey, you know, they are doing a really good job at LCC and it's a bargain. My child is not one that's not going to do very well in a class with five hundred students; maybe if I send them to LCC first, they'll get some individual attention." And I think just like you see too. You see a lot of students who say, "Oh, I applied too late to get into UK or my grades just weren't quite high enough. I am only going to go to LCC for one semester or one year," and then two years later are saying, "Are you sure I can't stay just one more semester at LCC?" So, I think that the students have sold it and they've sold it to each other as well. We have, um -- I don't know if you ever taught summer school? Have you taught summer school? SMOOT: Yes, I have. LEONARD: What I've heard -- I haven't taught summer school for ages, but -- what I've heard is that we get a lot of UK and Transy (Transylvania University) students and really some good students coming over here in the summer because they have heard that they can take calculus with twenty-five students. They can take history with thirty students instead of four hundred and so they are coming over here and taking some of those courses. SMOOT: Right. Now, and I've had students who have transferred on from here to UK and have come back here, uh, to take other courses that they found that they needed. Uh, rather than take the course at UK, I've had them literally tell me, "Well, I just like it better over here." LEONARD: Yeah. Yeah. SMOOT: You know, and, and you get to know your professors more readily here. LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: Certainly in the introductory courses than you're going to at UK. I mean, it's impossible -- LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: -- in a classroom with three hundred, four hundred, five hundred -- I know of one that has seven hundred. Uh, you're not going to know that professor. LEONARD: No. SMOOT: You're going to know the TA and, and the TAs -- you know, I was a TA once, I, I know that that can be very beneficial too, but, uh, an entirely different environment. LEONARD: Yeah. Yeah, and so, I think now -- I mean, LCC's growth is really limited only by our fiscal capabilities. Well, you know, we need, we need more space obviously. But, I think that we're continuing to have a positive response --[break in recording]-- from people in the community, and I go anywhere, I mean, I go to the dentist and my dentist says, "Oh, I have this son, he just didn't do anything in school, and so he went to LCC and he did great! He loved LCC and now he's at UK." You know, I hear that story over and over again. SMOOT: We've, uh, I think, done a good job as a college in preparing people by taking the people who were very poorly prepared initially, and making them, uh, capable of going through a four-year program at the University of Kentucky or elsewhere where ever they might choose. Uh, and I think that's one of the real, uh, success stories of the college itself. LEONARD: Oh, yeah, yeah and I think that's just continuing and, and I think that there was some concern when we, um, you know, when we merged with KCTCS, but I don't see that that's going to -- that that's any reason --[break in recording] -- SMOOT: How about you tell me about the development of your particular program and I -- I'm going to say communications and women's studies, if you'd tell me a little about those programs. LEONARD: Okay. Well, when the first -- like I said, we used to teach what we called CMS 101, which was the universal communications, which was the only communications course that we taught. And, um, Bonnie Hagan was here and she was hired, probably in the early eighties, right around 1980 I would imagine, ah, to be the coordinator of the, um, nontechnical program courses, which were so few. I mean, she taught technical English and she taught developmental English, and at that time we started the developmental writing program, and del-- developmental reading program. So, several people were hired in that program. People that are not here any longer, but she did that. Then she hired, um -- I started, in the meantime, working on a master's degree in communications at UK and I met Peggy Allen in one of my classes, and I said, "Oh, we need some part-time people," and so, I gave her Bonnie's name, and so she contacted Bonnie and started teaching the CMS 101 part-time for us. And then when we -- one of the first positions that we developed full-time here was a communications position, so the English positions, I think and communications were some of the first ones, and then Peggy Allen was hired as the first communications person here. And then, I was still working in cooperative education placement but I also, when I first started here, most everybody got faculty status. People who now are in staff positions, it was faculty for everyone. Paul Taylor had faculty status. But when he didn't get tenure, they just switched him to a, a staff --[break in recording]-- (both laugh) Just lots of weird little things. SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: And I was, um, in a weird situation because I had -- as a, as a placement officer, I was staffed, but then when I went into cooperative education, that was a faculty position, and the thought was that you're actually awarding grades and helping with -- supervise students and so, even though the grades were pass/fail, it should be a faculty position. But it was soft money, and we -- I would write a grant every year and so our president -- one year there were two of us, Jake Jettig and me and the money didn't come in, as much money as he thought. So, he wanted to just wipe out the program, but we said "we have contracts." We used to get contracts in the spring --(laughs)-- and salary letters and everything, in like March. And we said, "We have contracts. You signed contracts for us. You can't let us go, or we're suing. We're going right over to the lawyer." So they -- somehow, they kept the money and they kept us staffed. Well, then Bill decided, who was the president at the time -- he decided that maybe it wasn't a good idea having these co-op people on tenure tracks, because if I got tenure, but the money didn't come through for the grants, he's have to find out a way to pay me. And so, he switched our positions to, um, administrative positions from faculty positions and so, I was -- then - - so I was part of the time faculty then part of the time, I was staff. Well then, I was working at -- on my master's degree and I finished my master's degree, and by this time, we were down to one co-op person, me, Jake had left and the money kept getting to be less and less, and, so, I really thought I wanted to do something that was more stable -- I had been on soft money for eight years, and so they were going to hire another communications person just as I had finished my master's degree, so I applied for and got that job at that time. So I started teaching in fall of '85, communications. And so it was Peggy and me. We were the two communications people. And, so then at that point, we were teaching basic public speaking and interpersonal communication. And then Bonnie, who had -- actually, Bonnie had a master's degree in developmental reading. Well, when we became comprehensive, there really wasn't much she could do, other than teach developmental reading. SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: So then Bonnie decided she would get her master's in communication, so she went back to UK and got her master's in communication, and then so then it became the three of us. Well then, in 1988, I, um, took a leave of absence and we went to San Francisco for the year and they hired a part-time temp -- or a full-time temporary person, Vicki, whom, whom Peggy, Bonnie and I had met in graduate school. SMOOT: Vicki Wilson. LEONARD: And, so, then Vicki Wilson was hired, and then they got -- at the end of that year, when I came back, they got another opening and because they had gone through a search to hire Vicki, they were able to just keep Vicki without going through another search. So then it was the four of us. And it was the four of us for a long time and then we added, um -- we started adding organizational communication -- or small group, I guess. SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: Peggy started teaching a small group and we added that on, and we didn't get anymore communications faculty until we got Greg Feeny. And then that year, we got two people. SMOOT: That would have been '98? LEONARD: Greg got tenure -- SMOOT: I think Greg got tenure a year after me. LEONARD: -- a year ago. SMOOT: So, he came a year after I did, I believe, so. LEONARD: Yeah, so it was just the four of us for all that time. SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: Even though we taught -- you know, communications was a required course and we would have, like, you know, fifty sections every year. It was just horrible. And then that year, we got two people. We got Greg and Stacy, and then, the next year we got Kimberly, and then, um, we got Kimberly ----------(??) and, and then we got, um, Greg, because Peggy left. SMOOT: Greg Ricketts. LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: So that -- you know, they're -- and they've added now -- they're teaching, um, I think, um, I think Kimberly was teaching persuasion, and they teach COM 101, which is introduction to communication. So, we, we offered about five different courses, I think. But, I started getting -- well, I have always been really interested in women's issues, and, um, I took a course in -- I guess it was in 1990, probably. I took a course; Dorothy Mollero had already taken this course and she recommended it to Peggy Allen and me. And it was on gender in the classroom, gender issues in the classroom in the college of educ--[break in recording]-- and it was just really an interesting course. And at about the same time, Peggy and I had the opportunity to do a workshop with David and Myra Sadker, who had done lots and lots of research on gender issues in the classroom and they have, um, a book out. They were both education professors at American University in Washington, and they were going around the country, um, training teachers in terms of recognizing and dealing with, um, gender issues in the classroom. And, so, Peggy and I went to this workshop with the Sadker's, and in part of that, we were supposed to come back and help our faculty here deal with gender issues and so we did a lot of workshops and, and I subsequently wrote several grants on gender, um, equity in the classroom, and worked with the, in particular, the architecture program and did workshops for the whole faculty for probably about five years. And, so, in the meantime, UK offers a, a graduate certificate in woman's studies and so Peggy, Joy, and I all went through that program together, and earned a certificate in women's studies. And then, about that time there was enough of a interest in woman' s studies to start teaching the class. Oh, it was first taught by Dee -- I can't remember her last name. She was a teach-- she taught sociology here and she taught it for a year, I think. And then she left, and Joy and I started to teach the WS 200, um, team type and we - - what we did is we would have two sections, and she would teach certain chapters and I would teach certain chapters, and we would go back and forth into each other's class. So we truly team taught it. So I would teach chapter one in both sections and then she would teach chapter three in bo-- so, you know, we worked it out that way. We did that for quite some time, and it's really -- it worked really well for us. And then, um, Peggy wanted to start teaching it, and then -- and we stopped doing that team teaching, but I have been teaching the women's studies now probably for -- since the early nineties; at least ten years, and it's really evol-- evolved. We have, um, every semester, we have, uh, the WS 200. We have probably four, four or five sections, and then they're also teaching the WS 201, which is the arts -- women in the arts and humanities, and they have four or five sections of that every semester, too. So we actually teach more sections of WS 200 and 201 than they do at UK. SMOOT: That's interesting. How many, uh, graduate hours does it take to earn the certificate in women's studies? LEONARD: Ten. SMOOT: Ten of them. LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: Okay. So really you could do that in, ideally in a semester? LEONARD: No. (both laugh) Not really. I mean, if you were not doing anything else. Maybe. SMOOT: That's what I meant. LEONARD: But, you know, when you're taking -- and, and the way it's, it's set up is it goes with your master's degree. And we were kind of, um, unique cases because we already had master's degrees -- SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: -- and we were going back. What most students do is if, say you're getting your master's or PhD in anthropology you decide that you'll do the certificate in women's studies as well, and so you, you take the women's studies courses along with your other graduate courses. But there's, um, -- they -- I don't even think they offer everything in one semester so that you can take it, because there are different requirements of what you need to take. You have to do a reading seminar and you have to do things in different areas and everything to get it. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: So we did one course a semester, because we were all working here full-time. SMOOT: Let me step back a second, and, and, uh, see if you know if this applies. Uh, when this, uh, college was being developed and then when we had the transition from being LTI to LCC, from, uh, from purely technical to more gen ed, was there a model that was being used? Uh, were we looking outward and saying, "Well, this is what they do in Paducah, this is what they do in Ashland, this is what they do in Hopkinsville." Was there anything like that going on? LEONARD: Well, uh, you know, I'm sure that the president and the dean were looking at things like that. But -- and we were part of the community college system at that time. And so we were part of -- there were, I think, thirteen colleges back then. I don't believe Owensboro was built at that time, but we -- everything that we did had to be approved through the system. So, if we wanted to add a new course, for example, we would write the course and then it had to be approved by the systems committee, and every college had the right to teach that course. And so we didn't -- it wasn't like we were out here by ourselves. We -- it was this, um -- all the other colleges were already comprehensive community colleges, and they were already teaching courses that would transfer readily to other colleges in the state. So, I'm sure we just were doing what they were -- had been doing. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: Dr. Wethington was the, um, the chancellor of community colleges at that time and everything that we did went through Dr. Wethington and was done in the same way as all the coll--[break in recording]-- we had a unique situation, because of being right on UK's campus. But, I think that they were -- they did the same things that -- you know, we, we followed their role model. SMOOT: Were you very actively involved yourself with, uh, anything in the, uh, system? Um, the larger, uh, system issues, committees, uh, anything of that sort? LEONARD: Well, I was public relations chair for a long time here at LCC and that was a -- that was something that was sort of run by the system. You know, there was a, um -- we would have meetings with the, um, UK's public relations people, and they would help us plan campaigns. There would be campaigns that would go for the whole system. Everybody in each community college had a public relations person, and so they would plan these kinds of things. And so I was involved in that. I served on the, um, faculty, um, council. We had a faculty council and a faculty senate that was system-wide where we all met. I've, I've worked on numerous, numerous committees throughout my tenure here, and, um, all the -- I can't even remember all of the things that, that I've worked on. In terms of, you know, looking at the future, all these kinds of things. SMOOT: Do you think it's an efficient system? LEONARD: Well, it's really -- I think it's kind of unwieldy, and I think it's changed now that we are part of KCTCS. I'm not sure how, um -- since we are new in KCTCS, I don't know how it's, it's going to --[break in recording]-- with the problems that we used to have before. Is that, if we were developing a course and another college didn't see any use for that course, or really didn't want anything to do with that course, they could vote it down and we could be denied the right to teach the course, because another college that it didn't even have any relationship to, to fight it. Their representative could fight it that it wasn't a good course for the --[break in recording]-- so, it was difficult to get things done. SMOOT: Are you talking about an -- essentially a totally arbitrary decision here, or? LEONARD: Yeah, I -- well, I have, I have a personal example was, when I was, um, the coordinator for cooperative education, we had to get those courses approved by the system, because it was actually a cooperative education course and there was -- at one time there was a question about whether it should be a course that gets grades or not. And, it was, um -- people in the rest of the system said, "Well, no, we don't want it to give grades because what if students just -- instead of taking other courses, they would just do co-op, and they would meet their grades that way." And that would hurt. They didn't -- weren't having the population problem, where they were having the opposite keeping enough students. So they were leery about adding another course, because it might mean that they wouldn't take their history course, then maybe. And there wouldn't be enough to justify --[break in recording]-- and so that you saw those types of things happening sometimes. When we added the internship course to, um, the college -- we had a lot of trouble adding the internship course, because people didn't -- in other places didn't want to have an internship course and we had to be very careful about how it was worded. I actually took that course through with the help of Ben Carr, at that time, and we proposed to that course and it had to be only for students who were not in the technical programs, because the technical programs wanted to keep their, you know, their hold on their students. It was only for --[door opens]-- students who were planning to transfer to a -- WOMAN: Oops, sorry! (Smoot laughs) LEONARD: -- to a, um --[door closes]-- four-year college. And it could only be pass/fail and those kinds of things were not necessarily what would have been ideal for us at the time, but it was what we really hashed out as we went through the whole community college system. So any course you wanted to propose, let say you wanted to teach, um, World War II history and Paducah Community College said, "We don't have anybody to teach World War II history", or "We don't want to offer World War II history, because then our students would take that instead of American History. Let's vote this course down; we don't want it on the book." Then you may not get the opportunity to teach World War II history. SMOOT: And yet they're not obliged to offer the class, are they? LEONARD: Right. SMOOT: That doesn't make good sense, in my opinion. LEONARD: Yeah. Yeah. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: But it would be on the books, and they didn't want it on the books. SMOOT: Because then people might clamor, and say, "Hey this is -- this is --" LEONARD: "How come we're not teaching World War II history?" SMOOT: Yeah. Okay, let me stop here and, and change the sides. [Pause in recording.] SMOOT: How would you characterize the people at the college when you first came on? LEONARD: Well, when I started it was a very young faculty, a very young staff. It was a, a new college. It was really very exciting in a lot of ways. Our president, who was one of the oldest persons, was like thirty-five, and -- SMOOT: Really? LEONARD: Um-hm. SMOOT: That young? LEONARD: Yep. And most of us -- I was twenty-seven when I started, and most everybody was between twenty-five and -- if you looked at the staff and the faculty, I would say most everyone was between twenty-five and thirty-five. There were a few people -- I think, um, Jay Isert, Jay Isert and Anne Noffsinger were in their early forties maybe. I mean, they were the oldest people here and so, we were really young and really energetic. And we had a lot of fun. It was -- and it was small enough that we'd get together on Fridays, we'd all go out on Fridays after work, and we would, um -- we'd have, like I said, we'd all fit into the, the faculty lounge, and so we'd have a lot of luncheons and parties and things even at work that way. And I think it's kind of funny that they're planning a softball game at the Legends, because for years Paul Taylor and I had an LCC -- LTI, really -- softball team and we played intramurals, we played other teams at UK and we always won. We have -- we were the -- always the champions -- SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: -- and Carl used to -- my husband, when he worked for, um, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, every year, he would sponsor a faculty, um, staff intramural softball game. And we would play -- we'd have the LTI team, and we would play teams from sociology and history and other areas, and, and we'd all get -- we'd set up a whole tournament on Saturday and we'd play all day long, and we'd have kegs of beer at the end of the day, and we'd all get, the winners would get shirts and jackets and, and they'd all say Holt, Rinehart, Winston on them, and -- it was, you know, we did a lot of things like that, that -- just because we're so big, those things just don't happen anymore. So it was a lot of fun. We knew everybody. I always knew everybody. The year I stopped knowing everybody was the year I took a leave of absence, and that was in '88, and there were a whole lot of people hired in '88, like twenty people at one time. And from then on, I never knew everybody here. But from '77 to '88, I knew everybody's name. I knew everybody's desk at the college, and most of us did. It was still that small and that manageable. And so, the atmosphere here has changed a whole lot, and I guess that's really necessary when it's so big now. I don't even know how many faculty members that we have now. SMOOT: I am not sure either, and I certainly don't know them all. LEONARD: But even when we, um -- when people like Joe Anthony came here, and he transferred from Hazard Community College and he came in '85, and even at that time there were so few tenured faculty that I think he -- people, when they were going up for tenure had to get letters from outside of their division, because there weren't enough tenured people in their division to like meet the minimum requirements for, for tenure letters. And, so, we really were so new, that even getting tenure was -- there weren't that many tenured people, and people were willing, I think, to take more risks back then. We formed faculty, um, groups, um, essentially, we rose up against a president that we were unhappy with, that we had not wanted and that Dr. Wethington had put her in place, anyway. And we formed a faculty group, and we, and we even had, you know, had the conference at the Radisson. LCC faculty did. We had this faculty group and there was a way, it was called faculty assembly, and we had -- legally it's in our rights, we could have faculty assembly and we had a -- practically every faculty member was involved and we would have huge meetings, we paid dues, so we had money and even-- eventually, we dissolved the treasury and -- Martha Birch would be a good person to talk about this, because she was the head of that, which we donated the money to student scholarships. But, we had a good -- we had, we had a good treasury built up. We held a conference. We had, um -- we got companies to donate food and liquor to us for our conference, I mean, to the, the Radisson and they gave us bottles of wine that had been donated to like, you know, reps would send them bottles of wine to try out for their restaurants. They donated all that stuff to us and we held a huge conference. And, I mean, it was amazing the energy that we had. And, and I think part of it was because most everybody was -- they were young, they were enthusiastic. It was, it was the first place they had ever taught, and so, we did things that were incredible. One year, I remember our enrollment was down, and I had just been here a couple years, and our president, Bill Price, called a meeting and he -- everyone was there in the summer, because I signed twelve month contracts, and he said, "We've got to do something to get enrollment up." And we sat around the table in 210, and we all brainstormed and we said "Well, you know, where can we find students?" It seems amazing now, because now we want to turn students away practically, but we thought, you know, we can go to these social services agencies. We can go to these places, and then he sent us out. So we were out -- there was another woman and I -- who was, uh, the same age as me. We were in, you know, our late twenties, and she was in the counseling office and we went out knocking on the door of social service agencies and we'd say, "You know, we have these programs here at Lexington Technical Institute and we think that some of the people you service might be interested in these programs, and we want you to know about them." And, lo and behold, our enrollment was up. But, it was amazing, I think, to think of doing something like that today, to actually send your people out knocking on doors in the summer. SMOOT: I can't say that I've ever heard of that. LEONARD: Yes. (both laugh) SMOOT: That's pretty good. Okay. Hmm. LEONARD: So it was a very different atmosphere. SMOOT: Do you attribute that, in part, to the, to the atmosphere in the country? I mean, the sixties and seventies, you, you saw a lot more energy in protests, a lot of youthful, uh, movements -- LEONARD: Yeah, attitudes here are real -- it's interesting to me having been here so long and being a -- I guess, a real old timer --(Smoot laughs)-- it fits the, um -- in new faculty, I don't see that -- in a lot of them, I don't see that interest and enthusiasm. Um, even to going to faculty meetings; we all went to every faculty meeting. There was no thought that, oh well, I'm not going to the faculty meeting. There was no thought that, you know, "I'm not going to the faculty meeting." We didn't even think that that was an option, and even when we had a President, the one that we -- who -- that ended up leaving, Shea Jaggard. Shea did a lot of things that really angered the faculty and really that -- I can't see people putting up with it today. She would invite guest speakers into our faculty meetings and so maybe like the, the president of the chamber of commerce, she would invite over to speak at the faculty meeting and then we'd all be sitting in the auditorium, because we could all fit in the auditorium and she'd do things like walk him out to his car and leave us all sitting, waiting for her in the auditorium while she spent twenty minutes walking the ch-- the, the head of the chamber of commerce out to his car and leaving us. None of us left. We all just sat there and waited for her to come back. We grumbled about it, you know, "What is she doing," but we were there. And so, we were, we were much, much more involved than, I think, a lot of faculty are today, and I also think that there's an attitude, which is kind of unfortunate. "Well, I can't do this, because I don't have tenure." Back in the early eighties, none of us had tenure. So -- and, and we weren't going to just sit down and not do anything. And so we all -- it -- no one said, "I'm not going to join faculty assembly because I don't have tenure," or "I'm not going to go to this conference because I don't have tenure." And we knew the president didn't like us, or the director, as it was at the time, didn't like us having these meetings and, and doing these kinds of things. When we had, um, when she was the director, we called for her in faculty assembly -- this group of really almost no tenured faculty, we called for a communications assessment at, at LTI. And they -- UK gave it to us. They sent in consultants, who came in, went all around the college and talked to us individually about the lines of communication and how they worked and if we thought they were effective and how we got our information and did an actual communications assessment. SMOOT: Well, but now, let me, let me step back on some of this, because I, I, it's pretty interesting to me, uh, I think things have changed a lot too, uh, and actually, I've studied the development of the medical center, and, uh -- at UK, and, uh, other educational institutions but, you know, the culture of higher education generally has changed. Wouldn't you say that part of the reason why faculty today, uh, don't involve themselves like that in your earlier experience here is because of a, well, a sense of, uh, insecurity? You know, the job market is tough. LEONARD: I think there is a real sense of insecurity in the country right now and, you know, when my husband and I came to Kentucky, we, we didn't think anything of quitting jobs in Chicago, loading up our van and looking for the place we wanted to live, and we never had a doubt in our minds that we couldn't find a job anywhere. We had bachelor's degrees, we had a little bit of work experience, we figured, you know, and it worked for us. We both, you know, we did very well, and I think that that was more the culture of the seventies, and it's not the culture of today. And today, people are so worried about, you know, "Can I get a job? Can I get health insurance? Can --" I mean, back then, I wasn't even that worried about not having health insurance, because you could go to the doctor and it didn't cost you two hundred dollars to have them spend two minutes with you. It, it was a totally different culture, and I also think that my generation was coming off of the demonstrations in the sixties and that kind of lifestyle at the end of the Vietnam War, we were really optimistic and I don't think we have that same culture in this country today. SMOOT: Um-hm. --[break in recording]-- Now I am assuming your genera-- you're a baby boomer? Yeah, even the baby boomer generation itself is, uh, split in half, uh, as far as the culture that you mentioned. I'm in the second half -- LEONARD: Um-hm. SMOOT: -- and I've read studies on that, too -- actually, uh, uh, studies have placed my half of the baby generation and the generation after -- LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: -- because of attitudes, and approaches -- LEONARD: Um-hm. SMOOT: -- and, uh, experiences. LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: Interesting. Anyway. Okay, uh, who were some of the most important people that you would point to in the development of this college? LEONARD: There have been some really strong women at this college. Uh, Patsy Stites -- I don't know if you've heard Patsy's name before. Patsy Stites has -- did an awful lot for this college and for the system. She -- when I first came here she was the division chair for the business division. She taught um secretarial administration, and she's -- I would say Patsy's, maybe 65 now, and she was just the epitome of that, um, woman who was the perfect secretary. She had her master's degree in, in education, but she was so organized and she wa-- served in many capacities here at LCC. She was the acting, um, dean for awhile or, uh, assistant, or whatever we called them associate director, whatever, of academic affairs. She did that for awhile, and then, Charles Wethington tapped her to go over to the systems office and she worked, really, as his assistant in the systems office for many years, and she's retired now, and she's a master gardener, and she does all these things. And she really was a woman who contributed a lot. Anne Noffsinger. I don't know if you know if Ann was still here when you came. Ann contributed over and over again to, to LTI/LCC. She was head of the nursing program. She, um, Ann had -- she had a PhD or an EdD in education. She had a master's degree in nursing. She had a master's degree or a bachelor's degree in English. She had -- I mean she was a very well-educated woman and very professional. She rubbed some people the wrong way, but she was a very p-- and continues to be a very professional woman. She was -- her last job here, I think, was as development officer when Dr. Purdell was here. And -- before she retired. She stayed after Dr. Purdell, and, um, I think maybe she left when Dr. Chapman was here. Right about the time you came, I bet, was when she left. SMOOT: Right, right. LEONARD: She is -- certainly was a significant person here. And, and especially in terms of the nursing program and getting it started and she was one of the first persons with the nursing program. Um, Carol Webb, you probably have met Carol, she w-- she was another person sort of like Patsy, and Carol and Patsy worked together. Um, Iva Goya also coming out of that group. Those -- that -- all those women were in that division when I came. So, such strong women. But, you also have to realize that at that time, when which I say I was the first female administrator and I was the lowest administrator possible, but I was above a secretary. For women, there just weren't that many opportunities, and so when you've got somebody like Patsy, Carol, Iva, Bonnie Pagan, Peggy Allen -- standards were extremely high, because to get where they were, they had had to work twice as hard as any man, and so they had very high standards and they expected that of the people who worked around them. Well, the people were very professional. When I first started working here, for example, we all wore business attire. The idea was, we are a technical college. We're preparing these students to go to, um, into the work world. So, I wore, everyday, skirts and heels, suits to work. The men wore suits. Um, certainly those women that I was talking about, Patsy, Iva, Carol; they were -- they really felt strongly that they were the role models for the students, and so, they needed to show them what it was like to dress professionally. And so, the, the most casual that they would do would be a pantsuit. And now, you know, everybody is around in shorts and jeans and I don't, I don't, I never, I never hardly wear skirts here anymore, and I don't wear heels, that's for sure. But that was part of that time and what we thought we were doing in education. And community colleges, I think, have been, and continue to be a place that it's a little bit easier for women to break into than in four-year colleges. And when you look at, you know, who how many full professors there are, for example, at -- it -- proportionately male and female here at LCC, it's probably about equal, but look at UK, and it's maybe 20 percent of the full professors that are female. There's a much lower percentage, so, women have had the opportunities to rise and shine in the community college system, and I think that's why we see such strong women here, because this was the place for them. They maybe couldn't have done it at, at UK, or Eastern [editor's note: Eastern Kentucky University] or a --[break in recording]-- SMOOT: Would you say that holds true also for minorities --[break in recording]-- LEONARD: I don't know. (laughs) SMOOT: I believe it. LEONARD: I mean, I'm being totally candid. SMOOT: That's what we want. LEONARD: But I haven't seen that same progression with minorities here. I have not -- we have not -- we -- I'm sure we have more minorities employed now than we have in the past, but this would be a good time to introduce someone like Nolan Embry, I would -- or Charlene Walker. Uh, people that have been around quite a while, but Nolan has been around for quite some time, and see why he thinks that we haven't seen the same, um, benefits coming to minorities that we have for women. SMOOT: I know one thing I would, I would point to that, you know, that there are so many other opportunities for well-trained minorities today, that uh, why take a relatively low-paying job, and, and, uh, a pretty intense one as far as the workload is concerned, too -- LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: -- uh, when you can go out and make a lot more money and doing a lot less work? LEONARD: Yes. And, so we have had, like Eunice Beatty, who came from our ranks, really the only African American who has been hired in administration here. [break in recording] And I can't think of any other. We had, we -- we've had African Americans in the counseling offices, and we had one when I came, Otis Fluker (??) was the, um -- he was in the counseling office. In counseling, we've always had females and African American counselors here, but -- and we've had more fe-- but maybe more females are drawn to counseling than males because there are very few male counselors here. They mostly seem to be female. And -- but, you know, in terms of faculty members, we had that initiative. The year that Bill was hired, and the year that Stacy was hired -- [break in recording]-- initiative to hire African Americans -- SMOOT: I knew that. LEONARD: -- and so, Stacy -- that's how we were able to hire both Stacy and Greg that year, and then Bill was, um -- I think he, did he come the same year as them? We got like two thousand dollars for each minority we hired. SMOOT: Right. There was a, there was monetary incentive. LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: I remember that. LEONARD: Yeah, because we had so few minorities, we had Eunice and Nolan. (laughs) And I can't even think who else we might have had. SMOOT: Well, we hired then, Shelton -- LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: -- in history. Well, she left. LEONARD: Yep. SMOOT: -- although she still was with us as an adjunct. LEONARD: And see, that's the other thing though: people leave and it gets hard. Um, Tony Hartsfield left, um, Kimberly's taking a leave of absence this year. I don't know what she's up to, but, I mean, it just might be that, you know, she's got the little baby at home, and she wants to stay home for a year, but, you know, that just came up. [break in recording] -- so I think there's something to what you're saying, that there is a lot of opportunity for African Americans. SMOOT: Yeah. Okay. What other personalities would you identify as, as important contributors to the development of the college? LEONARD: Well, I think that, um -- notice I -- as I'm talking about people that I think are really important to the college, I haven't noticed -- I haven't named any president. (laughs) SMOOT: I had noticed that. (laughs) LEONARD: And I -- we've often said, throughout my time at LCC, we've said that the college -- that we've been able to grow and prosper and succeed, in spite of administration, not because of administration, and because we've had those strong people in the ranks -- you know, more recently, Irla (??) -- you know, you can't get anybody more organized and mo-- better. SMOOT: Top-notch. LEONARD: Yeah, than Irla (??). SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: And, because we've had people like this from the very beginning, I think that's why the college is a success. And so, it's sort of like the president was doing this --[break in recording]-- whatever it is he wants to have, we're going to stick to what we need to do and going to make sure things are working right in our areas and in this college. And I think that there's always been a lot of that attitude, and to me, that's why LCC is so successful. We have people who do really care about, um, who we are, our image in the community, what kind of job we're doing, and professionalism. You know, fortunately we have faculty members who fight against dumbing down; who have integrity, who say, you know, "I'm not going to give students an A just because they come every day if they can't write an essay or whatever the thing is, you know, however you set up your, your classes." We have many, many faculty members who have that professional integrity --[break in recording]-- and I think that's what made LCC what it is, not how it's --[break in recording]-- SMOOT: Uh, who would be some of the other people, perhaps, that you would point to as far as, as faculty leaders who have, uh, contributed to the college? LEONARD: There's so many people, and of course, I don't know people in - - that well in other divisions, er, as well as I do in our own division, but I think people have contributed in many different ways. I mean, I think it's important that we have people like James Goode, who is a published writer and, um, I can't think -- I've forgot his name right now, Don Ball, Ball, um -- no, not, not -- Don Boes, Don Boes -- is a book of poetry published and Joe Anthony is having a book published this summer. SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: And, you know that we have that kind of person, we have people like Joyce Ambularo (??), who is, is terrific at going out into, um -- to going to conferences and into the community and doing workshops and, and taking what she's learned and spreading it around, and -- in a fun, yet professional kind of manner. I think we have a real wide variety of people who have all contributed to the college. SMOOT: Do you think any one particular program has been especially important to the college's development? LEONARD: Well, I think that, over the years, different programs have played important roles. I think that when we were a technical college, the strength of our nursing program was really important and it continues to be. LCC nurses are really recognized. If you go to the dentist in this town, you're going to meet a hygienist who came from LCC. You know, I think in the dental community, we're really highly regarded, because of our students in dental hygiene and our dental lab technicians as well. And, so, those programs when we were a technical, really made a difference. Um, I think that because we are still in UK's shadow, a lot of times the UK faculty might not want to recognize the kind of academic job that we do in, um, terms of, you know, teaching those basic courses like you and I teach, but I think that, um, outside maybe of UK faculty --(laughs)-- I think the general, uh, population thinks we do a pretty good job in teaching those general kinds of courses here at LCC. I think we have a pretty good reputation. SMOOT: And I would suggest that, at least in my experience with the history department, that they do too. They have a pretty high opinion of us, because, uh, I have, in fact, even had students who are the sons and daughters of faculty at UK -- LEONARD: Um-hm. SMOOT: -- in my classes here, and they have been very pleased with the preparation that the students get here before going on the main campus. Okay. Um --[break in recording]-- LEONARD: -- before you sign your -- wait, I was just -- SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: -- just was thinking Peggy Saunier is another person, too, that has just contributed immensely to this college. And for years, Peggy had so much in her head, that it was almost scary. Because we would say, "What if Peggy Saunier gets run over by a truck or something?" -- (both laugh)-- she, she knows everything. She knows all the scheduling, she knows how everything is going to work. I mean, she's just been a tremendous asset to this college as well, and anoth-- again, another woman. SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: Another strong woman. SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: And when I look at the leadership that I have seen in this college, what more ----------(??) than women? SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: The, the real, in-the-trenches kind of leadership, we've only had one -- we've had two female presidents and neither of them were considered very successful as president. But, um, in terms of faculty and members and division chairs, women have really have been very strong. SMOOT: Um-hm --[break in recording]-- um, a few years ago, we were, uh, assessed by SACS, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, uh, and they came down pretty hard on the college, regarding our association with the University of Kentucky in a sense that we were just simply, uh, uh, lost in the shadow, losing our own identity. We, uh, we needed to have more autonomy. Uh, what's your take on, on, on that process and, and what happened, and, uh, perhaps where we're going? LEONARD: Well, I think -- of course, I -- having been here twenty-seven of my twenty-eight years as part of the University of Kentucky, I certainly saw that as a really good connection and I, I think that -- I understand the Southern Association has their guidelines, but to me, and to many people, I think the strength -- a lot of the strength that we had as a community college came from that association with UK. And the fact that students knew that there was going to be a seamless transition from LCC to UK, and that our, um, courses were so similar, and all of the things that we worked with UK faculty when we established courses to make sure that we were going to be teaching them essentially the same way that they teach them; that they'd have the same requirements. I think that that association was really important to us. On the downside, in all of the years that I was here, we never got much funding. We were always UK's step-child. We, um -- for many years, we had been one of the lowest-funded community colleges in the country. And, so, I don't think that UK took really good care of us financially, and I think that we were always kind of down the list, and what was important at UK was, and still is the big splash: the big med center, the big, the big things that bring in lots of recog-- recomm-- um -- recognition -- SMOOT: Recognition, yeah. LEONARD: -- and also money that comes with that, with us. And so when, um, Dr. Todd came in, and he said, "Um, why do we have a community college attached to us?" It -- from his point of view, what he sees for the University of Kentucky, and his vision is not with a community college attached with it. And so, I think that from that way, maybe we might get more money; we've already seen that, that there is more money with KCTCS. So, we might get more money to, to do more things. But, it, it saddens me to, to make that break from UK, because we have been with them for so long, and I think that we have been a real asset in many ways. It looks like, at this point, that, for our students it's not really going to make a big difference with us being with KCTCS or UK --[break in recording]-- but we're so new in this, you know, who knows what's going to happen five, ten years down the road. Are they suddenly going to say, "Well, you know, I don't like the way they're teaching History 108 over there. I don't think that, you know, students who take it at LCC are doing what they should do, so they shouldn't take history at, at LCC any longer." You know, could that happen? Or could they say, "Well, we can't let LCC students live in the dorms anymore, because we, we don't need them, we don't have enough rooms for our own students," or, "We don't want them using the Johnson Center, because the Johnson Center is too crowded, or --" You know, who knows, We, we don't know. I think it's been a really good association for all these years. Um, I have to just be optimistic that it's going to continue being good, the way it is now, but we don't know. SMOOT: Do you see the impetus for the change, the, the breaking away coming from Dr. Todd, SACS, our president, KCTCS, a combination somewhere else? LEONARD: Well, I think that it was probably a combination of Dr. Todd and SACS. I think that Dr. Todd didn't see LCC as a very high priority, and when the SACS issue came along, it solved his problems, because he didn't have to say," I don't want LCC any longer." SACS did it for him. And so, I think it was a combination really of those two things. --[break in recording]-- SMOOT: Yeah, sure. LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: What else do you think we should touch upon, as far as the history of this college is concerned? LEONARD: Well, I think we have hit the real high points of, you know, what -- where we've, we've come, since I came here, anyway, in 1977. Um, there's lots and lots of stories that, you know, interesting little tidbits of, of things that we've done, but, you know, those are more just things that have happened over the years and, and stuff, and, um -- SMOOT: Anecdotes are good. (Leonard laughs) If you want to share some, please feel free. LEONARD: Well, I'm going to tell a, a -- one that I was involved in that I thought was really pretty cool, is when we, um, were becoming a c-- a c-- LCC; when we were changing from LTI to LCC. I was chairing the public relations committee at the time. We didn't have a public relations person; we just had this committee that would run all of these events. And, and I think it has something to do with --(Smoot coughs)-- the energy that we had then, too, which was amazing, because we met for a long time once a week at eight in the morning, and everybody came and we would -- we did all the public relations for this entire huge thing, really: changing the name of the college, changing the mission of the college, everything. This group of full-time faculty members who were, um, running the public relations committee and there, there were a lot of things that shows you how accurate journalism is. Um, I remember a headline that I particularly liked in the Kernel that said, um, "LTI Is Changing from a Vocational School to a Community College." And, and then it had an interview with our president, now I know -- or our director at the time. I know she never said that we had -- were a vocational school and we were becoming a community college, but that -- those were the kinds of perceptions that were out there about us at the -- in 1984. You know, The Kernel thought we were a vocational school. And we had a lot of, of things like that going on, and so this big PR blitz that we were planning was really important, and we had a hu-- an afternoon where we had -- there was a woman here at the time named Patty Knox, she's at JCC [editor's note: Jefferson Community College] now and she was a real go-getter, too. She was also in that secretarial program. And we sat here, and we -- in this room, we sat here and we said, "Okay, we are going to invite in all the press from all over the city; we need to have food for them." And we had no budgeting. None. And, so, Patty said, "Well, let's just ask people for food." And we went to a restaurant in town, and we had -- you wouldn't believe the layout we had. Of pots, they brought their own things over, their own pots, pans and everything and set it up upstairs in the Oswald Building out in, in the hallway for us. We had this huge reception. We had every television station here. We had a media blitz, and the systems office comes over, Charles Wethington and his little entourage, and they look around, they go, "Who did your catering?" (laughs) We're just like, "Catering! You didn't give us a penny! Are you kidding?" We had the whole thing donated, we set the whole thing set up, we had just this incredible media blitz and it was -- I think it was a real neat example of how faculty were really willing to pitch in. We didn't have anything and we were able to do that. Now I can't -- I don't know if that's ever happened today. And now we have two or three PR people, and we have budgets, and we have all this kind of stuff. But, those were the things that, that I think were really, really nice about LCC in the past. That people really would do those kinds of things. SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: And now, I don't see -- well, and part of that is, I think in, in any corporation and you can liken us to a corporation, when it's starting off, there's like this excitement and people are -- they're willing to put in extra time and they're working on a shoestring and all this, but then, when it becomes a big place and then can say, "Well, why didn't we have any budget for this," or, you know, "The president can take care of that," or, "Have the PR person do it," because you have those people, and we didn't, at the time. So, that was kind of a fun time when we did that changeover, it was really exciting, and then hiring so many people, we had to just -- you know, we hired and hired, because we didn't have anybody. And we had to hire math people, and history people, and foreign language and just everything that we were going to teach. So you have a whole lot of people, if you look at our history, who came on in those mid-eighties, because that's when we were adding, you know, twenty faculty members, a, a year. SMOOT: I think there were quite a number that were brought on when I came on in, uh -- I was starting here in '95 as an adjunct, and in '97 became full-time, and I think that there were quite a number of people added that year, so. Of course, we've made such exponential jumps in our enrollment -- LEONARD: Yeah, yeah. SMOOT: -- um, even since I've been here, it's just been amazing, the growth. LEONARD: Oh, yeah. SMOOT: Uh -- LEONARD: -- every year it's up. SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: So, that's why I think, you know, that when you think of that year that we sat around and said, "How can we get more students here?" (laughs) It's, its so weird. (Smoot laughs) But, we used to come -- I used to pull up -- we didn't have to have parking tags or anything, and I would just pull up and park right there in the front every day. SMOOT: And you didn't have to pay anything? LEONARD: Unh-uh. SMOOT: Well, I don't think we should either, now. (both laugh) LEONARD: No. No, it's terrible. SMOOT: I think it's ridiculous. LEONARD: No, why should you have to pay to park where you work? SMOOT: Where you work? LEONARD: But, yeah, we didn't have to --(Smoot sighs)-- pay until-- now I can't remember when they started making us pay, but when I first came here, we didn't pay. SMOOT: And not exactly a small fee, either. LEONARD: Yeah, it goes up and up and up. SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: But then, there's some things that we didn't have, like when I first came, I earned my whole master's degree while I was working here full-time, and I paid for my whole master's degree, because we didn't have that --[break in recording]-- that came with the President before Wethington, who was only here for a year or so, and the basketball scandal came up, and -- I can't think of what his name was, but he was really a nice man. He invited every-- we, we were invited over to his house, everyone, the whole LCC faculty. SMOOT: Now, this is the man who's -- LEONARD: Before Wethington, the president of UK before Wethington. SMOOT: Oh! Uh, David Roselle? LEONARD: Yes. SMOOT: He was an excellent man. I met him myself, uh, on campus, I went down and forget running into him and he talked to me for like forty- five minutes this summer. LEONARD: We went to his house, we -- and met him and his wife, the entire LCC faculty -- SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: -- was invited over. He -- and one of the first things he did was say faculty and staff should be able to take courses here for free, and so, he's the person who did that. SMOOT: Well, he was, he was, uh, very concerned about, uh, faculty development and education and, uh, wanted to bring UK to the high-tech age. I think he's the president of the University of Delaware now. LEONARD: Is he? SMOOT: I think so. I know he left here, I think he went to Virginia Tech for a little while, and then I think he moved to Delaware. LEONARD: Um-hm. SMOOT: But, yeah, he's, he's excellent. That, that basketball deal -- LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: -- you know, he crossed the athletic department at UK -- LEONARD: Yeah. SMOOT: -- and you might as well -- it's like taking on God. Anyway. (laughs) LEONARD: We used to get basketball pl-- speaking of, um, basketball players, we used to get basketball players over here sometimes, too, taking developmental classes. SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: And I've actually had, um -- SMOOT: I've had tons of cheerleaders. And I've had -- LEONARD: Oh, yeah. The cheerleaders do, but, I mean, we had Stan Boyd over here. SMOOT: Oh, really? LEONARD: And, we -- and I had, um, I had his name and then I lost it, he was um, the-- Sutton. Eddie Sutton. SMOOT: Eddie Sutton was coach? LEONARD: His son -- SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: -- in a class of mine. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: And, um -- SMOOT: But, I don't think the NCAA allows that anymore, do they? LEONARD: But -- and they would come over -- Ben Abert, and Ben Abert's another interesting person that was here for a really long time -- SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: -- and he was in the counseling area, but he did -- he taught developmental studies, and he would teach introduction to college, and he used to work a lot with the athletes. I think they used to just come over here and, and Ben would work with them. And Ben used to work -- he was real interested in international things. He was actually married for a while to Jeannie's sister. Do you know -- SMOOT: Oh, boy. How about that? LEONARD: When I first came here, he was married to Jeannie's sister. SMOOT: Okay. LEONARD: And he was, he was a really nice man. He was here for a long time, too. And there was another person, too, Toni Spence, who was a counselor here when I came. And she was, um -- I think she, she and Ben were some of the people who really got the counseling areas going here at LC-- LTI at the time. SMOOT: Okay. --[break in recording]-- what do you think of our name change, now, uh, we, uh -- LEONARD: I don't like it. SMOOT: Yeah. (both laugh) Well, we have the -- we have such recognition in the community as LCC. LEONARD: Yeah, and you notice I'm still calling us LCC. SMOOT: I did notice that. LEONARD: And I am going to have a really hard time changing it to BCTC because I don't think anyone's going to recognize it for a while. It took a long time for us to get recognition -- like I said, nobody knew who LTI was, and for a long time, I always felt like I had to say I worked at Lexington Community College, because they'd get us mixed up with the Lexington Civic Center or the, um, Lexington, um, Christian Association or, or whatever. SMOOT: Lexington Country Club. LEONARD: Yeah. And so, I always, uh -- but then, you know, in the past ten years or so, I could just say LCC and everybody knows what LCC is, and I think if we start saying BCTC, they're going to be, "What?" SMOOT: It's kind of cumbersome on the tongue, too, right now, isn't it? LEONARD: The -- I think an interesting thing about our new name is that when changed our name from Lexington Technical Institute to Lexington Community College, there was also a big, um, discussion about what we were going to be called then. And the technical people pushed very hard for us to be called Lexington Technical Community College. And they were very angry, some of them, in the engineering division in particular when we dropped the "Technical" from our name -- SMOOT: Um-hm. LEONARD: -- and I think it's kind of funny; they're probably chuckling now that --(laughs)--we've got it back this time. But I would have much rather liked -- I -- if I would have had my choice, and I know that Bluegrass is probably reflecting the division for our college, but I would have rather seen Lexington Community and Technical College. SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: That old name that they suggested back in 1984. SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: Or Lexington Technical Community College, whichever, because then we still could just say Lexington Community College, which -- SMOOT: Yeah. LEONARD: I think it's going to take a long time for people to recognize that, that change in the community and everyone in the community is still calling it LCC. SMOOT: Yes, I know. (laughs) Anything else you'd like to add this afternoon? LEONARD: I can't think of anything else. SMOOT: Well, we'll think on this, and if there's anything you would like to add, I'd be happy to do another session with you, okay? LEONARD: Okay. SMOOT: But, thanks a million. I appreciate it, I enjoyed it. I hope you did, too. LEONARD: Yeah, yeah. It was fun to talk about it. [End of interview.] In this interview, Cindy Leonard, longtime professor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC), discusses her tenure at the college and how it has changed since her beginnings as a placement officer. She details her early life, including her education and her decision to move to Lexington, before expanding on the growth and development the Lexington Technical Institute has undergone in the last twenty-five years. In addition to explaining the college's organizational hierarchy, Leonard talks about the college's identity separate from the University of Kentucky and relates a few anecdotes about the faculty members who influenced BCTC throughout her tenure there. insert here