Interview SummaryThomas Clark, former Chairman of UK's Department of History, describes the campus immediately after World War II. He discuses the end of army programs on campus. Clark recalls that faculty members of other departments helped out in the history department during the war, including Dan Hagerman of the German department. When these faculty members returned to their regular positions, Clark was left with almost no staff at all. He discusses the difficulties created with the influx of former G.I.'s as well as an increase in women on campus while the history department was so understaffed. Clark recalls that he was able to keep peace within the department by hosting monthly departmental dinners to discuss various affairs. Clark also talks about his drive to create a strong department. He states that he never wanted to serve in a mediocre department or a mediocre university and he saw endless possibilities in the both the University of Kentucky and its library. Clark also recalls the lack quality of students during this time but also lists various students who did excel.
In 1945, Clark became vice president of the Southern Historical Association. He later became president. He also served as editor of the Journal of Southern History for four years. In 1946, Clark was named a distinguished professor, and he describes the role of this award as a way to stimulate the professorship on campus. Clark takes time to give President Frank L. McVey plenty of credit for the development of the graduate program at the university. He states that McVey also wanted to develop the University Press. Both Clark and McVey saw the importance of the press in stimulating the research and writing of university faculty. McVey even became chairman of the press committee after he retired. Clark talks about some of the success of the press.
Interview KeywordCollege administrators College environment College students--Social conditions College teachers--Rating of. College teachers--Selection and appointment. College teachers--Social conditions College teaching. Universities and colleges--Administration. Universities and colleges--Faculty. University of Kentucky. Department of History University of Kentucky. Press World War, 1939-1945
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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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Clark, Thomas D. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 24 Jan. 1986. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Clark, T.D. (1986, January 24). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. Thomas D. Clark Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Clark, Thomas D., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. January 24, 1986, Thomas D. Clark Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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