Interview with Howard W. Beers, February 18, 1985

In this interview, Howard W. Beers discusses the implementation of the Center for Developmental Change (C.D.C.) at the University of Kentucky as part of the national post World War Two planning effort. He talks about his association with the Committee for Kentucky. He recalls how Dr. A. D. Albright brought together administratively these various educational and public groups and committees to form the C.D.C. around 1951. Beers states he was in Indonesia during this time but, due to political tensions, he came back from Indonesia to UK in 1964, where he made his first contact with the C.D.C. He was ambitious for a relationship to develop between Rural Sociology and Sociology to help make these fields become more serviceable. His goal was to be of maximum service, which extended to encouraging the interdisciplinary social science groups to collaborate and converge in order to help people to develop personally or as a group. Beers became the Director of the C.D.C. in 1966. Beers talks about the Peace Corps training program at U.K. and says he wanted to accumulate and study developmental change knowledge from a research standpoint through systematic observation of their methods, but, to his disappointment, this collaboration never happened. He describes the shift in the Peace Corp's program from the idealism he admired towards a more technical approach, where training was undertaken in the country where the work was to be done. Beers states the function of the C.D.C. eventually became not to organize, initiate, and operate projects but to facilitate the organization and financing of projects to be "shucked out" in order to be autonomous and independent on their own. He felt the concept of the C.D.C.'s cooperative planning effort with various departments such as Sociology, Anthropology, and others, required it should be attached to a central administrative unit, ideally to the Office of the President. Beers discusses the interdisciplinary as well as organizational changes that occurred when the C.D.C. was moved to the Graduate School.

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