Interview with Frank G. Dickey, April 22, 1988

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Frank G. Dickey begins this interview by talking about the Board of Trustees that was in place during his tenure as President of the University of Kentucky, and recalls the board addressed questions of policy as well as administration. Dickey remembers the board's decision to name the new U.K. Medical Center after Governor A. B. "Happy" Chandler. He remembers that the President's job of asking for money was the one he disliked the most. He felt that the state was responsible for supporting a state institution, and that he was not always comfortable with the political aspects of his job. Dickey briefly talks about the family's adjustment regarding the move to Maxwell Place. He describes the responsibilities of his position, and mentions several individuals he "turned to for aid and counsel". He recalls his relationship with the faculty as "friendly and supportive" throughout his tenure.

Dickey discusses the establishment of the Committee of Fifteen, a group that was formed to plan for the 100th anniversary of the university. Dickey describes the changes in the makeup of the student body after World War II, the increase in the foreign student population, and the movement towards a more active student body in terms of participation in university policy decisions. He remembers the situation with Coach Adolph Rupp and the integration of basketball and university athletics at UK. He talks about the expansion of U.K. with Chandler's support and the purchase of the Coldstream and Spindletop properties with the assistance of Fred Wachs, the publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader. He describes the retirement system that was finally implemented on the last day of his Presidency.

Dickey resigned as President of U.K. in 1963, and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to assume the position as the first Executive Director of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1965, he moved to Washington, D. C. and became the Executive Director of the National Commission on Accrediting. He discusses other appointments he has held since his departure from UK. Dickey recalls Oswald's impact on the university and mentions Dr. Paul Sharp, who had accepted the position as Dickey's replacement, who was suddenly replaced by Oswald three weeks later. He talks about Presidents A. D. Kirwan and Otis T. Singletary. He discusses the history of Kentucky's perception of the importance of education. He mentions the things he hopes his administration will be remembered for.

Interview Accession

1988oh072_af320

Interviewee Name

Frank G. Dickey

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1988-04-22

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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Dickey, Frank G. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 22 Apr. 1988. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Dickey, F.G. (1988, April 22). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Dickey, Frank G., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. April 22, 1988, 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/xt7w3r0psx8v