Interview with Lewis W. Cochran, April 16, 1985

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Lewis W. “Bud” Cochran, former University of Kentucky (UK) administrator and dean, discusses the events surrounding the UK campus demonstrations of May 1970. Cochran talks about the various figures who made important decisions during the demonstrations, including Governor Louie B. Nunn, UK president Dr. Otis A. Singletary, and Jack Hall, dean of students. He recalls the significant drug use on campus, which was in response to a national movement toward increased drug use on university campuses. He recalls the national events, such as the shooting at Kent State University and the negative response to the Vietnam War draft, which fueled unrest at UK. He discusses how students became more involved in campus politics and administrative decisions during the late 1960s, which also influenced their demonstrations in 1970. Cochran talks about the demonstrations during May 1970, which led to the cancellation of some final exams and spring commencement, and the burning of the campus ROTC building. He discusses the controversial decision by Governor Nunn to bring in the National Guard as well as city police. Cochran discusses his role in avoiding violence during the demonstrations, though he expresses regret at seeing many students arrested at random for their involvement. He talks about the aftermath of the demonstrations on campus life, including its effect on commencement ceremonies. He also discusses how the Kentucky Kernel became an independent student newspaper after the protests, as the publication had become vehemently anti-administration. Cochran talks about the decline of student involvement in 1973-1974, as the national demonstrations died down and students became more focused on their individual issues. He discusses how this decline in involvement was negative for the university, as it did not allow administrators as much face-to-face interaction with students as they had previously experienced.

Interview Accession

1985oh079_af225

Interviewee Name

Lewis W. Cochran

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1985-04-16

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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Cochran, Lewis W. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 16 Apr. 1985. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Cochran, L.W. (1985, April 16). 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. April 16, 1985, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7v416t1k9h