Interview with Raymond F. Betts, March 31, 1992
Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project
Interview SummaryAt the beginning of this interview, Raymond F. Betts states he was born in New Jersey, politely declines to give his date of birth, and briefly talks about his parents, siblings, and family. He is jointly appointed as a professor in the History Department and Director of the Gaines Center for the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. He attended Rutgers University and received his Bachelor's degree in History. Betts began his graduate studies at Columbia University immediately after graduation from Rutgers after serving in the Army during the Korean War. He returned to Columbia to finish his graduate work, with a major in History and a minor in French. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia. He says being a teacher is an enjoyable and inspiring experience and that education is "the most formative element next to love".
Betts came to the University of Kentucky in 1971, in the capacity of Professor of French History. He is asked to describe a typical day at work and says most of his work is self-generated in terms of course development and research in addition to his teaching, and that his responsibilities are similar to that of a chairperson. Betts states he prefers teaching to filling out university forms and mentions a few of his activities in the "extramural world". He feels accessibility to the student is one of the most important qualities of a good professor and emphasizes that it is important for any historian to travel to the area related to the field they are studying. He discusses his conversations, literary versus historical, with other colleagues that have similar interests, and notes "this is his best academic experience". Betts says the academic tradition at U.K. is not seen to be as strong as the sports tradition and mentions the lack of campus-wide community.
Interview RightsAll 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 UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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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Betts, Raymond F. Interview by Claire Heister. 31 Mar. 1992. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Betts, R.F. (1992, March 31). Interview by C. Heister. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Betts, Raymond F., interview by Claire Heister. March 31, 1992, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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