Interview with Raymond F. Betts, April 14, 1992

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Raymond F. Betts opens this interview with a discussion of racial issues at the University of Kentucky in terms of equal opportunity for all nationalities and believes that climate is currently "open and healthy." He talks about the differences in the academic sector versus private sector in terms of "personalization and autonomy" of an individual's work. He describes the work environment at the Gaines Center for the Humanities as "informal and friendly, an easy environment to work in and a work culture with a combination of intensity and informality." Betts says he considers accessibility to his students to be a part of his responsibilities as a professor. He talks about social interaction with colleagues and students and notes the difference in his experiences at U.K. from his previous experiences at two smaller liberal arts colleges. Betts stresses that any professor must be able communicate well with colleagues and to express their thoughts to students in a "convincing, imaginative, metaphorical, and analytical way so that a student may able to assess the various facets of a problem." He talks about the support of his family in his career, the challenges of balancing both, and mentions some of the extracurricular activities he pursues alone and/or with family. Betts describes his teaching work as "a reciprocal or dialectical arrangement" which he hopes "promotes enlightened discussion" and says he has published two books that he feels "have contributed significantly to his profession." He says that sometimes vacation is combined with teaching opportunities overseas. He discusses the difficulty of using evaluation forms to measure teaching and the need for more funds for education. Betts finds it personally satisfying in his career to have students say "he inspired and cared for them as a student" and to be told by students that "he made history interesting and showed me that education is significant." He states that being a teacher is a "privilege and an awesome responsibility."

Interview Accession

1992oh161_af499

Interviewee Name

Raymond F. Betts

Interviewer Name

Claire Heister

Interview Date

1992-04-14

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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Betts, Raymond F. Interview by Claire Heister. 14 Apr. 1992. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Betts, R.F. (1992, April 14). 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. April 14, 1992, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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