Interview with Robert M. Ireland, April 13, 1992

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

Interview Summary

In this second interview with Robert Ireland, Chair of UK's History Department, he describes his work in both teaching and research. He talks about the rewards of his career choice including flexibility with time and the ability to be your own boss, but mentions some frustrations with advising. Ireland describes the role of communication within the department of history and states that it is a myth that if you are chair you know everything. Ireland also discusses the organizational structure of the history department mentioning committees and merit evaluations, and his role in dealing with inter-departmental conflict.

Ireland describes his personal life and habits. He states that he and his wife both work full-time, and that they attempt to keep their work at work. Ireland talks about receiving a teaching award and role of research and publishing in academia. He states that he did not truly understand the "publish or perish" motto until after he received tenure. He describes his research projects which focused on Kentucky history for the first fifteen years of his career, but has expanded into national legal history. He tells a story about trouble that he had doing research at the Maryland Historical Society for his dissertation, and talks about his latest research project on the role of honor in the nineteenth century criminal justice system in the U.S. especially the unwritten laws protecting avengers of sexual dishonor.

Ireland discusses teaching and mentions his classes on American Constitutional History and American Legal History. He explains his teaching philosophy and his idea that students should be taught to think for themselves, and provides his opinion of student evaluations. He discusses comments that Governor Brereton Jones made in regards to research and teaching at UK. Ireland mentions how his time is divided between teaching, research, and administrative work. He also explains how he would like to see further changes in higher education in Kentucky for more flexible arrangements for teaching.

Interview Accession

1992oh148_af495

Interviewee Name

Robert M. Ireland

Interviewer Name

Bryan Beauman

Interview Date

1992-04-13

Interview Keyword

Nature of Academic Work

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

No Restrictions

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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Ireland, Robert M. Interview by Bryan Beauman. 13 Apr. 1992. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Ireland, R.M. (1992, April 13). Interview by B. Beauman. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Ireland, Robert M., interview by Bryan Beauman. April 13, 1992, 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/xt73ff3m0225