Interview with Lewis W. Cochran, March 28, 1985

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

Interview Summary

In this interview, Lewis W. "Bud" Cochran talks about the strategy devised in order to secure votes that would implement the new academic plan begun during President Herman L. Donovan's tenure at the University of Kentucky. The voting process actually occurred during President John T. Oswald's administration. Cochran was aware of the potential opposition to this, and recalls that some of the departments were "little fiefdoms", they had been headed by the same individuals for many years, and "they ruled with an iron hand and were very protective of their turf". Cochran describes the new plan in detail and says the operative word was change, and everyone was expecting it. President Frank G. Dickey had also recently resigned. He recalls he met with the faculty of each college at least once to discuss these recommendations. By this time, President John T. Oswald had already arrived and a senate meeting was held where Cochran made sixty-four motions, one for each recommendation; all motions passed. The biggest change to the curriculum was the implementation of an all-university requirement program for a baccalaureate degree.

Cochran remembers the goal was to develop a university with a stronger national reputation for quality, which was accompanied by "an infusion of new resources", from support by Governors Bert T. Combs and Edward Thompson "Ned" Breathitt, Jr. Cochran describes Oswald's cultivation of people in leadership positions around the state, how he kept them informed of the university's objectives, and secured their support. He discusses the movement during the 1960's to merge the University of Louisville with UK. This merger would be called Commonwealth University, and it would be located in Frankfort, Kentucky, the state capital. It was also discussed that Northern Kentucky University be part of this system. There was also interest in a "consortiumship" with U.K. and the University of Cincinnati. He remembers the Committee of Fifteen, which was assembled to plan the U.K. Centennial Celebration. He talks briefly about the integration of black students as well as black faculty and recalls most of the difficulties they experienced were off campus, and that "Lexington was a racially segregated society". Cochran discusses at length the curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and the changes to a more selective admissions policy. He talks about student leadership during the 1970's, and the unrest on campus during this period.

Interview Accession

1985oh072_af220

Interviewee Name

Lewis W. Cochran

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1985-03-28

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.

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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. 28 Mar. 1985. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Cochran, L.W. (1985, March 28). 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. March 28, 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/xt7rbn9x3h40