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Keeping the University Free and Growing

Keeping the University Free and Growing

Herman Lee Donovan
Copyright Date: 1959
Published by:
Pages: 178
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  • Book Info
    Keeping the University Free and Growing
    Book Description:

    During the fifteen years of Herman L. Donovan's presidency (1941-56), the University of Kentucky entered a new era of maturity as an educational institution.

    The period was characterized by many administrative crises, such as those arising from the flood of veteran students following World War II, the rapidly rising costs of maintenance and expansion, and the apathy or active opposition of many Kentuckians to the concept of a free and developing university. Nevertheless, during this same period tremendous advances, both in material assets and in the less tangible qualities of academic life, were made.

    Realizing that evaluation of his administration must wait for the perspective of future historians, Mr. Donovan has not undertaken a history of the University during his presidency. He has chosen, instead, to give his readers something which only he could give -- an intimate view of the president's personal, day-to-day struggles during this crucial period of the University's history.

    Mr. Donovan's account of the problems and satisfactions of being a university president is humorous and sincere. His story will be of absorbing interest to college administrators who face similar problems, and to all friends of the University of Kentucky. In addition, President Donovan has included a valuable appendix of statistical material which will be useful to the historian of higher education, and he has compiled a reading list of works of special interest to the college administrator.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6272-0
    Subjects: History, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Leo M. Chamberlain

    Herman Lee Donovan was President of the University of Kentucky from July 1, 1941, to August 31, 1956. The intervening years witnessed tremendous advances in both the scope and the quality of the University’s program. In a sense it can be said that the institution came to maturity during this period.

    However, it was not an easy fifteen years. The educational problems growing out of World War II and the avalanche of veteran students that followed were many and difficult. And they were by no means the only problems. Throughout the entire period the costs of nearly everything the University...

    (pp. ix-xii)
    H. L. D.
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. CHAPTER ONE The Role of the University President
    (pp. 1-14)

    OnApril 1, 1941, the Board of Trustees of the University of Kentucky met in Lexington and appointed me President of the University. During the next fifteen years I never had a day without its problems, most of them minor, some major and exceedingly harassing. There were decisions to be made that gave me genuine pleasure, and others that cut me like a knife. But there was no way to escape the unpleasant choices without injuring the University. I had to saynoto requests much more frequently than to sayyes,for if I had acceded to every demand,...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Financing the University Program
    (pp. 15-27)

    Itis hard to say with assurance just which one of a college president’s duties is his heaviest responsibility. For my part, I am inclined to say securing the funds with which to finance the institution’s program, whether the institution be a college or a university, a state or a private school. Money for education is not easy to raise. No people in the world profess more insistently than Americans their faith in the value of education; but when it comes to providing funds for schools and colleges, they put a good many things ahead of education.

    The most wearing...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Emergency Building for a University
    (pp. 28-36)

    Thefifteen years between 1941 and 1956 were years of emergency building for the University of Kentucky as well as for many another university in the United States. Table 2 in Appendix A lists the buildings constructed on the University of Kentucky campus in this period, giving name and use of each building, date of construction, and cost. A study of this table shows that from the standpoint of construction these buildings fall into three distinct groups, each characterized by its own type of emergency.

    While the total number of buildings in this list is 36, it is noteworthy that...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Relations with Faculty and Staff
    (pp. 37-45)

    Onemajor activity of the university president is working with his faculty. Many presidents delegate this function to the deans and heads of departments. I admit that in larger institutions most of this work will have to be done by deans and vice presidents. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the door to the president’s office should never be closed to a professor. In my own experience I have seen professors rejuvenated in their professional growth as the result of an occasional conference with the president. When these professors realized that the president knew something about their work and that he...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE New Colleges and Departments
    (pp. 46-55)

    Theyears of my administration, especially after the close of World War II, were times of great expansion in the University. The faculty and the staff doubled in numbers in these years. Practically every department added new professors in its expanding program to provide for a student body that had more than doubled.

    During the war we spent all new income in attempting to strengthen the old, established colleges and departments rather than to create new colleges and departments. While there was constant pressure on the administration to extend its services into new fields, the trustees and faculty supported us...

  10. CHAPTER SIX When a University Goes to War
    (pp. 56-59)

    Itis something of a coincidence that President McVey started his administration (1917) at the beginning of World War I, and that I, too, became a wartime President of the University less than six months after arriving on the campus in 1941, for in December of that year the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

    Immediately many of the objectives of the University were shifted from a peacetime program to preparation for war. We began to think in terms of a world at war and of the survival of our kind of civilization. The day after Pearl Harbor the deans met in...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN Puhlic Relations of the University
    (pp. 60-68)

    Oneof the grave responsibilities resting on the shoulders of a university president these days is the maintenance of good public relations. This is true for both public and private institutions. For an institution of learning, public relations means interpreting the service of the school to the people. Business and industry spend millions of dollars on their public-relations programs. Colleges and universities cannot ignore this function.

    Many of our educational institutions today have a director of public relations and a staff of several persons working full time to create a climate of good will toward their institution both on the...

  12. CHAPTER EIGHT Keeping the University Free
    (pp. 69-78)

    Theaverage citizen has only a meager acquaintance with the various and sometimes vicious pressures which a college president must be able to resist. Upon his resistance, in a considerable degree, depends the survival of his college. I do not hesitate to say that one of the most serious problems I have had to face has been to keep the University free.

    Many kinds of pressure are applied to educational institutions. Nearly always the pressure is applied subtly, is executed with fine art, and is ingenious. The most insidious pressures applied to state universities are those by politicians who have...

  13. CHAPTER NINE The Vanishing University Trustee
    (pp. 79-84)

    Sincethe establishment of the earliest colleges in America, both public and private, charters and statutory provisions have provided for boards of trustees or regents to determine and administer policies for these institutions of higher learning. In order to provide for the greatest amount of freedom in teaching, our founding fathers saw the necessity for independent governing bodies for institutions that were created to give instruction to the youth of our country. On the whole, the charters, body of laws, and, in a number of instances, state constitutions have given these governing boards very broad authority and have not encumbered...

  14. CHAPTER TEN Student Citizenship on the Campus
    (pp. 85-94)

    AsI mentioned in a previous chapter, President Patterson enrolled every student and was each student’s adviser. I have often coveted this privilege and wished I could have such intimate contact with students. It is from these associations with students that the most satisfactory rewards come to an educator. In a large institution enrolling several thousand students, the contacts with students must, of course, be limited; but the door to the president's office should never be entirely closed.

    The president has a great responsibility to communicate to the students as well as to the faculty what is going on in...

  15. CHAPTER ELEVEN Integration at the University
    (pp. 95-101)

    In1948 a young Negro named John Wesley Hatch applied for admission to the College of Law. Until that time we had never received an application from a Negro for admission to the University. We recognized immediately that we faced a delicate problem which must be handled with care and wisdom. We presented the request for admission of this Negro applicant to the trustees for their advice, and were directed to obtain an opinion from the attorney general.

    This official advised us that the so-called Day Law made the teaching of Negroes and white students in the same school an...

  16. CHAPTER TWELVE The Athletics Program of the University
    (pp. 102-116)

    TheUniversity has had an athletics programs since about 1890. However, it was for many years a very informal program, largely directed by the students interested in sports. Its first professionally trained coach was John A. Thompson, who served as early as 1893. The students at that time had to purchase their own uniforms and such equipment as was necessary to play the games. The institution put no money into the program and took very little interest in its management and control.

    There were but few rules and regulations. The story is told that in one of the early football...

  17. CHAPTER THIRTEEN The University’s Library Factlities
    (pp. 117-121)

    In1907 Andrew Carnegie, a good friend of President James K. Patterson, gave the University $26,500 for the construction of a modest library building. Prior to this date, collections of books were to be found in some departments on the campus, but they could scarcely be said to constitute a University library. The number of books in these collections did not exceed 15,000 volumes, and their value was about $22,000. The Carnegie Library was officially dedicated on November 24, 1909. There were but few books in it at that time and it grew slowly for a number of years. The...

  18. CHAPTER FOURTEEN The University Press and Foundations
    (pp. 122-125)

    In1943 the Board of Trustees authorized the establishment of the University of Kentucky Press. The Press is maintained by an annual grant from the Haggin Fund, an appropriation from the general fund of the University, and the revenue derived from the sale of books.

    The director of the Press is Bruce F. Denbo, who has proved to be a dynamic leader in this field. A committee of the faculty appointed by the President serves in an advisory capacity to the director in the formation of policies of the Press and in the selection of manuscripts for publication.

    The Press...

  19. CHAPTER FIFTEEN A University Prestdent Views Three Professions
    (pp. 126-136)

    Threeprofessions? Yes. Administration, teaching, and research.Take the university president first.

    A timid president will be an unhappy administrator, feeling only a limited pleasure in his office. Long tenure is not to be desired at the price of compromising his ideals. College presidents have been losing their jobs ever since the first president of Harvard lost his job six years after his appointment. The average tenure of college presidents in America today is about five years. The general public is under the impression that the “dangerous” job in colleges and universities is that of coach; this is not the case,...

  20. APPENDIX A. Table 1-4
    (pp. 137-139)
    (pp. 140-144)
    (pp. 145-156)
  23. INDEX
    (pp. 157-162)