Interview with Thomas D. Clark, January 21, 1987

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Dr. Thomas Clark starts this interview by discussing the transition from President Frank Dickey to President Jack Oswald. Clark states that he believes that Dickey was unable to meet the challenges of a university presidency. He sees Jack Oswald as someone who was highly enthusiastic and had great plans for the university. Dr. Clark represented the faculty and made a speech at Oswald's inauguration which was hopeful and positive. Yet, Clark believes that Oswald was too easily influenced by members of the faculty. Clark talks about the reorganization of the university during Oswald's administration and explains his removal as head of the history department in 1965. Still, Clark does continue to give Oswald credit for his accomplishments during his presidency such as the development of the community colleges and increasing the number of faculty members.

In 1966, Clark was asked to represent Indiana University as a centennial professor. Clark explains that while he was in Indiana, the University of Kentucky went through a rough period especially after Jack Oswald left. Clark makes the observation that most university presidents did not have much security and their time of service was very short. Clark returned for one year, while he was writing "Kentucky: Land of Contrast," to insure his retirement pension and then returned back to Indiana.

Clark was at Indiana University for a total of six years. He describes it as a very pleasant, but busy experience. Clark taught classes, lectured, and wrote a history of the University of Indiana for the university's centennial. Clark did return to Kentucky, and even though he said he was not going to have any more association with the university or the state archival situation, he again became engrossed in both. Clark describes the personal sacrifices he made and acknowledges that he could have been more selfish with his time.

Interview Accession

1987oh008_af300

Interviewee Name

Thomas D. Clark

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1987-01-21

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.

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

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Clark, Thomas D. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 21 Jan. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Clark, T.D. (1987, January 21). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Clark, Thomas D., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. January 21, 1987, 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/xt71ns0kw395