Interview with Lewis W. Cochran, July 2, 1985

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

Interview Summary

In this interview, Lewis W. "Bud" Cochran talks about University of Kentucky President Otis A. Singletary's administration. He recalls this was during the period of increased inflation during the 1970's and that Singletary's "more orderly, long term management approach began to get under way" after the turmoil of student unrest on campus. Cochran discusses at length the issue of internal academic leadership. He remembers that Singletary "felt very strongly that the initiative for all things academic should come from the faculty", and never saw this as the role of the president. Cochran adds that "it's very difficult to produce constructive change in a university". He recalls the process of revisions made in degree requirements for the undergraduate students throughout the university, and mentions the overall effort to improve the quality of the institution.
Cochran talks about his visits to various departments, his interest in their projects, and he felt that this approach "had a positive effect overall on what people did", and contributed to a more positive attitude. He describes the loss of top people despite these efforts due to a perceived lack of academic support or personality conflicts.

Cochran discusses the public attempt during the state budget and inflation crisis in the mid 1970's to put a veterinary school at Murray State University, part of the university's effort to implement "specialty programs that weren't duplicated elsewhere in the state". Cochran mentions how the needs of the livestock industry were met by the veterinary science department in UK's College of Agriculture, through its exchange programs with Auburn and Ohio State universities, its work with the Grayson Research foundation, and the state's Livestock Disease and Diagnostic Laboratories. He states that very little big money in Kentucky "has ever been devoted to any good public purpose", but notes this situation has started to improve. He mentions monetary gifts from individuals such as Hilary Boone. Cochran discusses the crisis in the Communications Department in 1975, when they lost their accreditation status, and the actions taken to correct this. He describes the difficulty of defining the role of UK's on-campus FM radio station, the first one in the country. He talks about the mistakes he made with the Home Economics department when he moved it from the College of Agriculture to the College of Education. Cochran discusses at length the concept of urban centers versus rural areas in terms of growth and purpose regarding state universities, and points to Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky as primary examples.

Interview Accession

1985oh162_af263

Interviewee Name

Lewis W. Cochran

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1985-07-02

Interview Keyword

Bud Cochran

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Cochran, Lewis W. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 02 Jul. 1985. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Cochran, L.W. (1985, July 02). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Cochran, Lewis W., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. July 02, 1985, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt71c53f1f83