0:00

SMOOT: Test one-two-three, test one-two-three, test one-two-three.

[Pause in recording.]

SMOOT: That seemed to do the trick.

SAUNIER: Okay.

SMOOT: Good morning, Peggy.

SAUNIER: Good morning.

SMOOT: To start off, would you tell me a little bit about your own background, where you were born and raised, your family, your education?

SAUNIER: Oh, okay. Uh, I was born and raised in Lexington, and I went to school at UK, all of my degrees are from UK. I got my bachelor's degree, and then while I was getting my master's degree, I was a TA. That's when I started teaching, and when I finished my master's, 1:00I went to work for two years down at Southeast Community College in Cumberland, Kentucky. So that's how I got into the community college system, and then after two years, I came back to UK to start working on my PhD, and that year, I worked in the developmental studies program at UK and I took courses toward my PhD, and an opening came up at LCC [editor's note: Lexington Community College], and so I applied for it and got the job here, and I was still working on my, uh, course work, and--while I got the job here. And then I finished after I was employed here, but all my degrees are from UK, and I'm from Lexington.

SMOOT: And are all your degrees in mathematics?

SAUNIER: No, my bachelor's and master's degrees are in math, and my PhD is in higher education.

SMOOT: Okay. (clears throat) Now, what year was it that you came to, uh-- what was, I guess, at the time, was it LTI?

2:00

SAUNIER: LTI, yes.

SMOOT: Lexington Technical Institute.

SAUNIER: I came in 1980. That was the first year that LTI hired what were called general education faculty. Bonnie Pagan, who was an English faculty member who had taught at Ashland Community College, and I was a math, uh, person and I had taught at Southeast, and we were hired as the first two general education faculty members that they had here. Before that time, all the LTI students took their gen ed classes at UK. So they went over there and registered in the classes over there and took any gen ed that they needed there. And this was the beginning of, um, the time when we taught technical math and technical English at LTI. So, if a student wanted to take a transfer course, like college algebra, they still went to UK and took that. But if they 3:00wanted to take a technical math class, then we taught that here. And they had had some of those courses here before, but they'd never had a full-time person teaching them. So we were the first full-time people doing that.

SMOOT: So you had, uh, some--something that's essentially the equivalent of, uh, college algebra being called, uh, technical algebra?

SAUNIER: Um, we had a technical business math class, we had a technical math class that had more health applications, we had a technical calculus class that was roughly equivalent to the general education calculus class, but it just had more applications in it. But the students who were taking these needed the background to get their associate degrees, and the intention wasn't necessarily that they would transfer, whereas the students who were in engineering technology, they 4:00had to have college algebra and trig, and then they took physics over at UK, so they had to have those courses.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

SAUNIER: So, but the, the people who were taking this as just support for their technical course, took their courses here.

SMOOT: Let me step back just a second, since you, since you come from Lexington, and went to school at UK, were you aware of LTI in its earliest stages? Did you know about the programs it offered, or had you heard about it?

SAUNIER: No, I had not heard about it until I finished my master's degree and I was applying for teaching jobs, and they had a listing of the colleges in the community college system, and LTI was one of the colleges listed there. So I had--when I came back here to, uh, 5:00go to school, I applied here part-time the year that I was, uh, going to school full-time, and they didn't have any part-time openings that year, but the next year, when they had a full-time opening, then they contacted all the people who had applied part-time and said, "Do you want to apply?" And that's how I found out about it. But I, I found it from a list of the whole community college system. The building was here at that point, the building opened in '76, or '77. Okay, and so it was established. I just hadn't had any contact with it, other than I had had LTI students in my classes at UK when I was a TA over there.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

SAUNIER: But I, I hadn't had any contact with the college.

SMOOT: Okay. (clears throat) I suppose then you have learned something of the early history, since you've been associated with this college. Wh-- what can you tell me about, uh, this school, what you heard, what 6:00you know about the earliest stages of LTI's development leading up to LTI becoming LCC.

SAUNIER: Okay, well, the early stages, I don't know that much about, except for what I've read that it started with just two programs, nursing and dental lab. I think there were about twenty students when the college started the first semester, and they had space over on the university's campus. This was in the mid-sixties, I think '65.

SMOOT: That's right.

SAUNIER: All right. And, um, they expanded their offerings and grew until they, uh, ended up having their own building. I don't know much about how it grew in there or when the programs expanded, but, in about '82, or--I'm not sure when the discussion began, but, uh, UK decided 7:00that rather than being an open admission college, at that point they took any student who had a high school degree from any high school in the state of Kentucky, and they decided that they wanted to have a selective admissions policy. So, in order to, uh, provide access to higher education for all the people in central Kentucky who might not now meet their selective admissions policy, UK decided that we should become a community college and we should provide open access for anybody who wanted to come. So the initial part of this, it was in 1983, and the board, uh, minutes, if you find those, in December of '83, approved that we would change from LTI to LCC and that change 8:00actually took place July 1, 1984.

SMOOT: Right.

SAUNIER: But that, that year, uh, we, we were planning to add another piece to our mission. That was the big change in the college: that we had continuing education classes, and we had technical programs, and that was our mission. We were a technical institute. So we were adding this whole part, where we were going to now have pre- baccalaureate courses, and we, we began slowly and we started playing this in '82. In '83, we hired a couple of faculty who taught the general education courses for our technical programs. So, for example in our area, we had physics. So, the students no longer had to go to UK to take physics, we taught the physics here, and we started teaching Math 109 here, the college algebra class. We started teaching the 9:00courses that our students that had been going to UK for, and then in fall of '84, we started offering all the general education classes you might need to get an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree. So it, it--that was a big change for the college.

SMOOT: We're still offering the technical math and that sort of thing, too?

SAUNIER: It, it's very limited now. We have three courses that we still offer in that--we have one that's a business math class that some of the technical program students take. We have one that is a technical math class that is primarily architectural technology and dental lab students, and then we have one that's applied math that is primarily health students. But the enrollments in those classes have dropped drastically over the years, because more of those programs have gone 10:00to require the general education math courses that would count toward a degree at UK. Um, I don't know if we have numbers to bear this out, but it seems the programs are thinking that more of their students might want to go on and finish a bachelor's degree at some point in the future --

SMOOT: Um-hm.

SAUNIER: --so they're requiring the basic math class that they would need for the bachelor's degree, and they can also use it for their associate degree. So nursing made that change last year to go from allowing this technical math class to count as part of their associate degree requirement, to now requiring college algebra, contemporary math for their associate degree requirement. So the curriculums have changed along the way.

SMOOT: Okay. What would you--what was your impression of the leadership of the college, when you came on board here?

SAUNIER: When I came, um, Bill Price was the president, and Ben Carr 11:00wa-- he was the president, I'm sorry. He was called the director. Okay, Bill Price was director, and Ben Carr was the associate director. So, they were the equivalent of the president and the dean of academic affairs. And I guess I had more interaction with Ben Carr just because, as a new faculty member, I didn't really have much reason to, um, have many, uh, conversations with the president. I saw the president mainly in, uh, faculty meetings--

SMOOT: Um-hm.

SAUNIER: --and I don't remember a lot, other than that of, of seeing him. We were housed in the business division, because they had no general education area, so English and math was part of the business division, and my main, um, leadership role was Patsy Stice, because 12:00she was the chair of the business division, and the chairpersons of the division had a lot of, uh, responsibilities. So, that was my main ----------(??). I, I really couldn't tell you much about Bill Price; I, I just didn't have that much interaction with him. And Ben Carr was here for one year as the associate director, and then the next year, Dr. Wall retired as vice president, I think he was called, of the community college system, and Dr. Wethington became the vice president or chancellor, whatever the title was at that point. And Ben Carr went over to the systems office and became the vice chancellor, or whatever, the second in command to Dr. Wethington at the systems office. So, that role changed quickly, and, and Shay Jaggard came to 13:00be the associate director that--so, she was associate director for a couple of years, and during that time--now, I did have more interaction with her. She was into professional development things, and different activities is what she had worked on at the systems office. And when she came over here, we were in this transition to becoming LCC. So they moved English and math, and we also had a full-time psychology faculty member, a full-time communications faculty member that were hired, Peggy Allen--and we were put into an area and we were called the Academic Support Program. We weren't a division, because we hadn't regrouped the divisions yet formally to do that. So our non-division 14:00area wa-- had a--we didn't have a division chair, because we weren't formally a division. So we had a coordinator-type, Bonnie Pagan was our, effectively division chair, but that wasn't her title, and Shay was our formal division chair. So she was the one who led all the discussions about planning for the transition, and, uh, what kind of courses we would need to teach, you know, what the curriculum would be to change and become a community college.

[Pause in recording.]

SMOOT: Were you looking outside of other community colleges in the Kentucky Community College system at that time, uh, for models, uh-- were you looking on it nationally, were you looking at all of these or something else?

SAUNIER: At that point in time, I don't remember that we had any choice. We looked at the community college system requirements for the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degrees --

15:00

SMOOT: Um-hm.

SAUNIER: --and those were what our requirements were going to be. Now, at that time, um, UK had eight areas of general education, and at UK, to get your bachelor's degree, you had to fulfill certain of these eight requirements, and it depended on what you were majoring in, which ones you had to do. And so, the community college systems general education requirements were defined in terms of UK's eight areas of general education. So, if you wanted to get an associate of arts degree, you had to satisfy three of the last five areas of UK's general education requirements. If you--maybe it was two of the last five--because, if you wanted to get an associate of science degree, you had to do two of the first three, and--

SMOOT: Okay.

SAUNIER: --so everything was defined in terms of UK's general education requirements and those were the requirements at the other community 16:00colleges. And that--since we were part of the community college system, that's what we used, so, we did not, as far as I know, investigate it outside. We went with what was already established.

SMOOT: (clears throat) Do you remember anything about the debate on, on changing the name of the institution?

SAUNIER: Yes, in fact, at that point in time, math had moved again and we were a part of the, uh, engineering technolo--engineering and related technologies division. So our division had, uh, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, architectural technology, and math and physics, and we had some very vocal members of our division who were, uh, just sure that the name--the word technical 17:00had to be in our name, and they much wanted our name to be Lexington Community and Technical College. They would be pleased now that we're changing our name to Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

SMOOT: I would think so.

SAUNIER: But, they, they thought it was really important that we keep the word technical out there in itself, in our identity, people would know that that was still an important part of our mission, that we were a technical college. But, um, the input that we heard from the system's office was that all the other colleges in the system were called something community college, Jefferson Community College, or Elizabethtown Community College, and that that was a comprehensive title that meant pre-baccalaureate, and technical, and continuing education. So, we became Lexington Community College as that. Um, 18:00but some people in our division were adamant that it should have 'technical' in there, and they let their voice be known.

SMOOT: I'm sure they did. (clears throat) What else do you remember about the transition that would, uh, be relevant to, um, historical record? Anything in particular that stands out?

SAUNIER: I can't remember anything. The big adjustment, as a relatively new faculty member--I guess I had been here four years when this happened, was the change in the curriculum. All of the sudden, rather than having two or maybe three courses to teach, we had this wide variety of courses to teach, and the, uh, uh--and some different students, because we had students who were coming here with the purpose of transferring to UK, where we never had that before. Everybody 19:00before had already--always been enrolled in a technical program. The main thing that you saw after that was just the growth, at--it was a relatively small college before that--

SMOOT: Relatively small meaning--

SAUNIER: --had, uh, two-thousand and twenty-five hundred students, when I started, there were fifty faculty members.

SMOOT: Hmm.

SAUNIER: You knew all the faculty members, you, you knew a lot of the students, it was a small college. We started growing, and I don't know that we grow--grew drastically that first year, but over the next several years, we grew quite a bit quickly, and it, so in that way it changed the college, just because when we got to have about five thousand students, a lot of the processes that we had used before had to be reworked, because things that you could do that weren't written 20:00before, and you could just do, because you knew who did that. When you got that big, you started to having to write things down and to, to change the process to be more efficient with just more students and more faculty and everything, so that was the change. There was also a change, I guess, at that time because we got a new division, so that separated the faculty again, that re-divided the faculty. (Smoot coughs) So there were organizational changes like that. But to me, the biggest change was just the growth that--it made it so at first you knew everybody, you knew every faculty member and, and after a while, you just didn't know everybody anymore.

SMOOT: Did you see most of the growth in gen ed? Did you see most of the growth in tech? Was it a combination? Um-hm?

SAUNIER: I think it was a combination. I--the fast growth was in the general education part, but I think probably in that first five 21:00years, after about five years--(Smoot coughs)--I think maybe half of our students were technical and half were pre-baccalaureate. I'm not sure the exact classification because we had a number of n-- undecided students, and you could be undecided, but intend to go and get a bachelors degree, or you could be undecided but intend to get a, an associate degree, a technical degree, and those students I'm not sure they were separated out, but it, it felt like it was about half and half. So the biggest growth still occurred in the pre-bac area, but the, the technical programs were still growing, I mean.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

SAUNIER: I think that's something that was unique about LTI--maybe not unique, but different than a lot of colleges, because there're a number of community colleges that started as community colleges with the junior college idea, the pre-baccalaureate programs, and then added the 22:00technical components, where we started the other way, we started with the technical and then added the gen ed, so.

SMOOT: Yeah, you would think--I, I guess, what I think of, uh, perhaps as more along the lines of what I saw in my hometown, Ashland was, uh, the vocational school was where the technical programs were.

SAUNIER: Right.

SMOOT: And that later was brought in, I guess, with the, uh, merger of, uh, so many technical schools with the community colleges in Kentucky.

SAUNIER: Right.

SMOOT: And we, we're doing it in a very different way here.

SAUNIER: I, I think so, and I think the, the difference here has been organizational. Our vocational programs were organized under the state--the high schools--

SMOOT: Right.

SAUNIER: The vocational--

SMOOT: Right.

SAUNIER: --programs were part of the high school.

SMOOT: Right.

SAUNIER: But I don't know what their--official leadership title was, but the vo-- then the technical programs were sec-- post secondary 23:00education. They weren't part of high school education. So--

SMOOT: Right.

SAUNIER: --there was a real distinction at the vocational school. The easiest example I can think of is you could be an LPN, you could be a Licensed Practical Nurse, you could do a one-year program and get that credential. If you went to the community college, you could enroll in the nursing program, but it would be a two-year, at least, program, and at the end of your time you would get, you would be an RN, so that the technical programs were really college-level programs--

SMOOT: Um-hm.

SAUNIER: --that, that, um, and so maybe the distinction we made between technical and vocational is not the same as other places have made, but technical really meant a college-level curriculum versus vocational was a secondary level curriculum.

SMOOT: (clears throat) When I first came here, I--one of the things that I, I found peculiar, or seemingly peculiar, was the mixture of 24:00division programs, uh, you know, I was in social sciences and graphics technologies, and I just thought, not only was a, a curious, uh, mixture, uh, it sounded odd. Uh, I was used to traditional, you know, this would be social sciences, or humanities, or whatever.

SAUNIER: Right.

SMOOT: (coughs) When did those divisions form?

SAUNIER: The six, those six divisions that we had when you came, formed in nineteen--[recording error]--ninety-three. We--when we opened the AT building, all right--

SMOOT: Okay.

SAUNIER: --that's when we switched divisions, and, um, the impetus behind the organization was our president at that time. Alan Edwards was-- started as president in '90--no, I'm sorry, '87, ----------(??), 25:00okay. And so, he had been president for several years, and, and the college had grown a lot while I was here, and we had four divisions before that. And we had a, a division that was allied health, we had a division that was business and related technologies. That was the division that had history in it--(laughs)--as well as a number of social sciences, because the business and social science divisions at other community colleges had been combined, other community colleges in the state of Kentucky. We had physical sciences and engineering technologies, and then we had a humanities division, and the humanities division, at its origin, did not have any technical programs, but Dr. Edwards was adamant when we re-- re-organized, and the reorganization had a lot to do with just our growth. We had gotten so big that the divisions were so big, that it was difficult to maintain all the 26:00communication you needed to have. So they, instead of having four divisions with thirty-something faculty per division-- full-time faculty per division, we reorganized to, uh, six divisions with twenty-something faculty per division. And his instruction, when we began that, was that every division had to have at least one general education area and at least one technical program. So, a number of the divisions came from groups that had been together before. History had always been with the social sciences, so it stayed with at least the sociology-anthropology part of that. Um, math and physics had always been together, so those stayed together, but some of them were re-organized for reasons that curriculum that matched, and some were 27:00for numbers. The allied health people before had had all allied health programs and all the biology. That was a huge division, because they had nursing, and we had respiratory, radiography, nuclear medicine, dental lab, dental hygiene, and all the biology which had all the, uh, anatomy and physiology as well as the transfer biology. That division was huge, so when it split up, nursing and biology was a natural pair, it seemed, to put into a division, but it left all the other allied health people without a technical program. So a program that seemed compatible was the chemistry faculty, so they went into that division to be their gen ed part, so some of it was what seemed to 28:00mesh together, and some of it was, um, we had to control the numbers in the divisions. So, they had to have--[recording error]---not exactly equal, but you didn't want one division with forty people and one division with fifteen. So we tried to even it.

SMOOT: Who was making the decision on, on the pairings?

SAUNIER: There was lots of discussion throughout the college, and there were many models that went out at that time of possibilities of what it would be, and it came down to Dr. Edwards made the decision on what would be where. And I'm sure he heard comments from many, many people- -(laughs)--about this. People had strong views about what would happen and, again, our division was atypical in that all had--that happened in our division was that a few of the programs that had been with us went 29:00to other divisions. We didn't add any new people, we didn't change much. Our division had previously had engineering, architecture, math, chemistry, physics, and computer graphics, and so we became engineering, math and physics, and then the other --[telephone rings]-- people went to another division. So we didn't gain any new people and, uh, some of the others moved, and that was it. We-- that was unusual. Most of the divisions got some new people in there, and--the biology and nursing was the other division that was kind of like us. They just, they had been together before, they stayed together. They just lost some of the people in their group.

SMOOT: Hmm. Okay. (clears throat) Um, how was Edwards as a, as a leader in your view? Uh, strong leader, a good diplomatic type of guy? 30:00Um, not?

SAUNIER: Um --

SMOOT: Or whatev--what is, uh, what is your--

SAUNIER: Let's see.

SMOOT: --evaluation there?

SAUNIER: I think he had the ability to identify people who would work hard and get the job done, and who had expertise in a certain area and put them in that area and let them have it. Now how diplomatic, or not diplomatic, he was, depends to me very much on who you talked to. I mean, people had very different perceptions of that, and I guess it was just their interactions with him. I, I was in a position where I, I was doing things at the colle-- at the college level as being 31:00the advising coordinator and the scheduling coordinator, and I mean my interactions with him, you know--I, I worked well with him, so it, all that was fine, and he, he tapped people, he, he found Cindy Leonard to do the television program, and you know, he, he found people to do things that were--that they had skills to do, but there are other people who, uh, didn't like his leadership style. And I think that happens in any situation. I mean, I can't imagine any president not having certain things they do better than others and not having certain people that they work with better than others. I, I just can't imagine anybody not doing that.

SMOOT: Why did he leave?

SAUNIER: He got a better job. He got a job, I think, that was at a 32:00bigger college that had more perks to it. Um, our presidents were very poorly paid--(Smoot laughs)--and there were no --(Smoot clears throat)- - additional benefits in terms of a house, or a car, or, uh, any of the things that might come along with a, a presidential appointment. I mean, basically, they--that--they were often, I think, people who were new presidents and it gave people a way to get started into the job, and then there were presidents in the system who had been there for years and years, but I think that our pay was so low that we got a lot of people who were first-time presidents, and I think that that 33:00happened for a while. I know that happened with our deans, because it, when you looked at our deans' salaries and others, uh, our deans' salaries were--[recording error]--not competitive outside the state.

SMOOT: (clears throat) Well, that's kind of across the board really, isn't it? Uh, a lot of our faculty salaries don't compare well--

SAUNIER: Oh yes.

SMOOT: --at all either.

SAUNIER: Yes, that, that is true and that ha-- has been true for a while. We could look in the SACS self-study. They--that--in 1990, uh, part of the self-study that I worked on was the area about educational programs and faculty, and there were some information in there about our faculty salaries and I, I think Kentucky was at the bottom of the south. The south was at the bottom of the nation, and LCC was either at the bottom or near the bottom of the ones in Kentucky. So--it--our 34:00salaries were low.

SMOOT: Now is this the SACS study of 2000?

SAUNIER: Nineteen ninety.

SMOOT: Ninety.

SAUNIER: Right, and--

SMOOT: You--

SAUNIER: --in 2000, I did not originally start with the part on faculty. I ended up, uh, chairing that section because Pat Leffler started as the chair of that section, but then the last year she went on sabbatical to work on her PhD, and so, I took over that part. But I don't remember the numbers, and I don't remember the comparison being the same, because by then we had benchmarks--

SMOOT: Yes.

SAUNIER: --when we did this in 2000, we were part of UK, and the other community colleges were not. So we did not compare ourselves to the other community colleges in the state of Kentucky. Rather, we compared ourselves to the other benchmarks that had been identified for us at 35:00UK. So the comparison was different--[recording error]--and I would have to look at what that was. But I mean we, we really had a low budget as well. When we went through the transition, and from being part of the community college system to being part of UK, we looked at the budget of our school versus the budget of, uh, all the other colleges, and our per-student funding from the state was so far below every other community college in the system, that if they had just given us what the next, what the next lowest college had in per-student funding, we would have gained millions of dollars in our budget. And what happened when we were part of the community college system, what we were told, and I, I would think Marilyn Childre or Dan Holt could 36:00probably address this more--in more detail, but your budget is made up of your income you generate from tuition, as well as your state appropriation. And the state appropriation went all to the community college system office, and then they doled it out to the individual community colleges. Well, our students paid higher tuition because they paid UK tuition for a long time. And then in, I think it was about '92, it could have been '91, uh, the Council on Higher Education froze our tuition. We were so far ahead of the other community colleges because we were charging UK's tuition. They froze ours, so UK's tuition rose, ours stayed where, where it was, the other community colleges rose, so eventually, we got to the point where we were almost equitable with the other community colleges.

SMOOT: In terms of tuition.

SAUNIER: In terms of tuition, but because we were so much higher at that point, we were generating a lot of tuition income, so the systems' 37:00office gave us very little state revenues. So in, in fact, our state allocation was very low and that kept our budget very low. So--

SMOOT: Okay.

SAUNIER: --it was, it was an interesting time. But one of the people in the business office really could probably tell you more about that, because I think it did--I think the administrative organization of the--of that affected how the college grew.

SMOOT: Right.

SAUNIER: Yeah.

SMOOT: (clears throat) Yeah, I was--(clears throat)--now you worked very closely with, uh, the SACS self-studies in '90 and 2000, correct?

SAUNIER: Yes.

SMOOT: Could you, uh, sort of compare and contrast that--what, what's happening over the decade of the nineties that is of significance here? What, what did the studies show yo-- you, and, uh, and others, uh, 38:00about what, what did they tell you about what was going on here?

SAUNIER: Well, I guess two things. The growth was still a big issue, because we again grew tremendously between 1990 and 2000. That also, that ten years we had thr--[recording error]-- three presidents and two acting presidents. Um, Alan Edwards was the president when we began the nineties and he left in, um, fall of '93, and that fall, uh, Ben Carr was the chancellor of the community college system, or the vice chancellor. I think he was vice chancellor at that point. He came over and he was our acting president, and then Janice Friedel 39:00became our president in '94, and she left in the summer of '97, and Dr. Chapman came from UK and was our acting president for one year, and then in probably July of '98, Dr. Kerley came and became ours, so having five presidents in a ten-year period, makes it so that there is lots of change--

SMOOT: Right.

SAUNIER: --and I think that was a big part. In that period also, we had at least five dean of academic affairs, and in that period also, the legislature decided that all the other community colleges should not be part of UK, and so, we separated from all the colleges that we had 40:00always been a part of before, and became part of UK by ourselves, we had always been part of UK but just not by ourselves before, so I would say what happened over the-- in the 1990s was change, continuous, I mean, everything changed all the time, and so it was just you got used to things were changing and you should continuously ask what we were doing right now, because that might be different.

SMOOT: Right. Um, noted already, um, Edwards as president. Um, then Carr, was he effective, or was it just to, you know, somebody as a caretaker until the new full-time president comes on, or--

SAUNIER: I, oh, I mean, he was clearly a, an interim, um--

SMOOT: Okay.

SAUNIER: --appointment and, and he did not, uh, have--apply for the 41:00job or anything. He already had a higher-level position, but just the community college system was right across the street, so it was easy for them to send him over here to work over here part-time and to give us the opportunity to have a search in finding a--

SMOOT: Where were the headquarter, were they in the Main Building on UK's campus?

SAUNIER: No--

SMOOT: Or edu--

SAUNIER: Breckinridge Hall.

SMOOT: Yes.

SAUNIER: The, the community college system--

SMOOT: The quadrangle.

SAUNIER: Yes, in the quadrangle, that's right. And the community college system had Breckinridge Hall, he--I don't know, but that may have been where LTI was housed. I, I think I've read that. When they were--in '65, but it was, uh, uh, the community college system organization, administratively wasn't a huge number of people, I mean, I don't, I don't know how many people were in that setup, but it was the chancellor, and the vice chancellors and the people for business 42:00affairs, and academic affairs and all that, that were in that office, so it--I mean he, he was here part-time, he wasn't at the college full-time at that point. So he--[recording error]--he was here to be the acting president to make decisions that, that needed to be made in that-- no, wait, maybe I've got--Tony Newberry was here at that time. I got it mi--Ben Carr was here before Alan Edwards came, I'm sorry--

SMOOT: It's fine.

SAUNIER: --I have mixed it up, okay. Ben Carr was our acting president before Alan Edwards came. Tony Newberry was our acting president when Alan left.

SMOOT: Who's he?

SAUNIER: He was at that point the vice chancellor of the community college system (both laugh) because Ben Carr had become chancellor then.

SMOOT: Okay.

SAUNIER: So, Tony, uh, had been the dean at a community college in the 43:00system, I can't remember which one, and he had been a faculty member, and he was now the chancellor in the community college system, and he was our acting president in '93, he was the person who was there, and, and again this, um, he was, he was here, but he also had his role as the, uh, vice chancellor over there, and Tony is now the president of Jefferson Community College.

SMOOT: Okay.

SAUNIER: He was also a history faculty member. He, he taught at Jefferson Community College before he started his, uh, administrative duties and, and moved around, and he was in the community college system office until the system separated, and he was, he worked with forming the new KCTCS system. He, uh, worked on the community college side, when they put the community colleges and the technical colleges 44:00together, but he was our acting president at, at that time, and again, I mean there were--a lot going on, but he was here to do what needed to be done until we got a president.

SMOOT: Then we got Janice Friedel.

SAUNIER: Right, and we got Janice Friedel.

SMOOT: Uh, your impressions there, in terms of, uh, leadership, uh, interaction with faculty and staff, uh--

SAUNIER: I think she had a lot of potential in terms of leadership, and I think her interactions with the faculty and staff, from what I've heard were, um, very much less than successful.

SMOOT: I would say controversial from what I heard--

SAUNIER: Okay.

SMOOT: --too, because she was the president, uh, whe-- I was hired as she was leaving--

SAUNIER: Oh, okay.

SMOOT: --as a full-time faculty member; I taught here two years previous, uh, as, as a part-timer, but I didn't pay any attention to 45:00the administrative--

SAUNIER: Right.

SMOOT: --at that time.

SAUNIER: Right, you had no reason to--

SMOOT: Right.

SAUNIER: --be a part of that. And, and, again, my interaction with her was very limited because I had been division chair from '90 to '94. She came in April of '94, and, um, they--so, I, I don't know, maybe at the beginning, I can't remember how, she was here maybe two months while I was division chair, then my term as division chair was over, a new person took over in our division, and I was not in a position to have interaction with her. So, I think the division chairs probably were the people who could address that more. But I, I think that certainly things did not work out as the faculty had hoped, and 46:00it, it was, it, it got to the point where there were some issues of faculty governance that arose and, an issue, uh, came up about some rules of the faculty that were passed by the faculty, and, according to our rules, they don't become official until they're sent to the chancellor's office for approval, and our understanding was that the reason for sending them to the chancellor's office is that the legal, uh, people could make sure that they were, uh, consistent with state law and federal law, and, and university regulations and everything else they should be consistent with, and these were rules about--or at least one of the rules was about who was eligible to serve as officers 47:00of the faculty, and whether they were tenured or non-tenured faculty and things like that, and the rules were passed by the faculty here and never sent to the chancellor's office, and--[recording error]-- so there were some question about how that process should have worked, and what should have happened with that, and then Carr came and spoke with the faculty and there were, there were a number of other things going on but, uh, that was a, a big issue, because for a community college, faculty governance is, uh, very much a part of this institution, more than I think might be at some other colleges, I don't know, community colleges. I don't know that it's as strong as you might find at the university, but I think that's a different setting. But I think the faculty very much take seriously their responsibility for the 48:00curriculum, and the educational policies, and the admission standards, and the things that affect the quality of the education that you have, so I think that, that was a big deal with, uh, the faculty's right to make decisions was a, an important issue.

SMOOT: Yes. There was a faculty alliance that was, uh, fairly active at the time, as I understand?

SAUNIER: Uh, yes, and I was not part of that. I don't know anything. But Jake Gibbs could tell you about that. He was very active in that, and at that time also, there was a, uh, effort to start a union of community college faculty members statewide, and, uh, Jake was also involved with some of that, so --

SMOOT: Mmm.

SAUNIER: --he, he knew about several faculty efforts throughout the 49:00state and had worked with them.

SMOOT: Yes.

SAUNIER: And that effort, I think in some places, continues, and at some places, it's more active than others. Some community colleges are more active than others. I don't know that we've ever had an active group here.

SMOOT: The American Federation of Teachers.

SAUNIER: Okay, right.

SMOOT: Through the AFL-CIO.

SAUNIER: Oh, okay. I, I don't know if that's a big group here.

SMOOT: I, I don't know how big it is.

SAUNIER: Yeah.

SMOOT: But it's still here.

SAUNIER: Oh, okay, so--

SMOOT: It's very quiet, is--I don't guess there's really been a need for, uh, loud protestation lately.

SAUNIER: Right. I, I think that very much is true. It seems to me that, uh, if everything is moving along and there isn't any big issue of concern, then faculty groups are quieter, and when issues come up of concern--things get organized and people come together to address them, 50:00which se-- seems to me a very efficient way to work, you know?

SMOOT: Sure, it sounds like democracy.

SAUNIER: Yeah.

SMOOT: --to me--

SAUNIER: That's it. I mean it very much works that way. But I, I've never been a part of that, so I couldn't address that, but there were some people here who could.

SMOOT: Okay. (clears throat). Uh, under--but I will say, some duress it seems, um, Friedel left. Uh, a lot of controversy--

SAUNIER: Right.

SMOOT: --uh, and others in the administration also left were associated- - people who were associated with her leadership, um, and in--another interim president comes in, Jim Chapman.

SAUNIER: Right.

SMOOT: Impressions again?

SAUNIER: He was a budget officer-type person. I'm not sure exactly what his last position had been at UK. But he was a UK person, and 51:00that made perfect sense, because--at that point in time, we were becoming part of UK and the other community colleges were leaving, and we knew that when he came. The legislation that separated all the other community colleges from UK passed in May of 1997, and Dr. Friedel left that summer, sometime before August, I don't know if it was June or July. So we knew at that point that we were going part of UK and the others weren't, so our new presi-- acting president was appointed by UK, and it made sense that it was a UK person. I think he knew well how to work within the UK system. That was a big advantage for us, because we had been part of the community colleges, our, uh, 52:00comparisons, uh--for example, our part-time faculty salaries had always been compared to the other community colleges, and we paid what the other community colleges were, and for years we had discussions and tried to put forth arguments that we were in a different position here, because we were in the same city with the university and our competition was UK. People could teach English 101 here, or they could teach the same class at UK, and they were paid considerably more for teaching that same class at UK than here. He helped us within one year raise our part-time rate enormously. Within that one year, many, many faculty got computers on their desks. We didn't have computers on our desks before then. But he knew how to work within the UK system to 53:00make this happen. So, I think that we got a lot done that year, even though it was an acting presidency, because of his familiarity with what was going on over there. That now, um--how he worked it out, I, I don't know all the ins and outs of that, but I think at, from a faculty perspective, it, it was very helpful for us, so that was a good thing.

SMOOT: Of course he stirred things up a little bit too with faculty, didn't he? Do you recall?

SAUNIER: I don't know what--

SMOOT: Evaluations.

SAUNIER: Oh eval--yes, he had a very different view of evaluations and, um, some faculty expected the status quo, and that's not what they found. And I think that that view also probably came from a UK 54:00perspective rather than a community college perspective, so I think that, that he had a different view of that. It's not altogether clear that we didn't need some shaking up in that area. I'm not sure we needed a drastic change, but sometimes, at least, it begins the discussion, and I think that that, that did occur. I think it started the discussion of how that happened. But then, when Dr. Kerley came, because he came from being president of a smaller college to bring, to here, he brought with him already some ideas of how things could or should work, and because he was part of the community college system before, he knew about a lot of the, the syst-- the pieces that we had in place here. I think he had a different perspective than our other presidents, just because of his background, because he was 55:00at Hopkinsville and, and he had been used to using a lot of the same processes we had, so I think he was able to get things started faster than somebody that would have to learn from outside.

SMOOT: That makes sense.

SAUNIER: Yeah, that, which was an advantage for him, certainly in becoming president that he'd already--[recording error]--

SMOOT: --involved the, the selection process?

SAUNIER: Yes, I chaired the search committee for that, and we really-- I, I'd chaired the search committee before that as well--we really had a lot of good, well-qualified candidates, I mean, enough so that it, it was a job to go through and, um, determine who, who to interview. But I think, and I hope, that it was a very inclusive process. The committees were faculty, primarily faculty, but also had staff and 56:00students and a board member on both of the committees. It was, uh, Dick Blanchard was our advisory committee chairperson. We didn't have a board of directors then, we just had an advisory committee, because our board was officially the UK board.

SMOOT: Um-hm.

SAUNIER: So he was our community personnel and we were very lucky, because his profession was that he ran a company that, uh, did, did placement, management-type placement things, headhunters, I don't know the title for this, but it was a management company.

SMOOT: Headhunters works.

SAUNIER: Okay. And so he, he knew a lot of things for us to consider. I mean, not that he controlled the process but just that he brought a lot to the table, and he could make very good suggestions to us, so, he, he was very helpful in that--[recording error]--which sometimes 57:00I'm not sure that people from the board are as active, but he really helped in that. And then the faculty members on there did it, but we had large pools of candidates, and lots of people to chose from, so it really was what, in my opinion, a search should be, trying to find a match for the college, and it's that we have all these really well-qualified people, and it wasn't about the qualifications, it was about finding somebody who matched the needs of the college, at, at that time, and I think that we were in a good position to do that, and I think that LCC also was a--an attractive college. I mean it's, you know, it's a nice place to live, and it's a, a, a fair size college, and it, it's a place we've gotten faculty member from a lot of other community colleges around the state, you know, that were interested in 58:00living here, so I think that it was a, it was a good place, and that probably is why we got so many applications, but we did, and it was a good thing to do and I think it was a, a good process, but it's a very busy time as well, and Dr. Kerley now has been here for seven years, which I don't know all the links of time for presidents in the past, but for our recent past, that's a long time, so--(laughs)--

SMOOT: Right. Let's pause.

[End of interview.]

Search This Transcript
SearchClear