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Interview with Robert Hensley



1977 OH 017




Mr. Robert Hensley is a businessman and was a member of the Board of Regents of Eastern Kentucky State College from 1958-62.


Contact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, rights and permission to publish.


Ellis, William E.


Richmond, KY

Time Summary:

0-6 Introduction
14-22 First recollections of Martin
23-38 Martin's relationship with Clements, political protégé of Clements
38-50 Hensley's lack of knowledge concerning Chandler-Martin rift over surplus property
69-74 Martin's role in adoption of Minimum Foundation Program
74-83 Evaluation of Martin's tenure as Superintendent of Public Instruction
84-90 Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction should remain elective position
90-132 Reaction to Martin's management of Combs' gubernatorial race while Superintendent of Public Instruction; Martin's effectiveness as political campaign manager
133-148 Martin's qualifications for Commissioner of Finance
148-157 Hensley's recollection of when Martin first expressed interest in presidency of EKU
157-174 Chandler's choice for presidency of Eastern; Clyde Reeves
175-180 Hensley's lack of knowledge concerning Attorney General's opinion regarding appointment of a successor to O'Donnell
181-235 Board of Regents meeting of April 13, 1960; Martin's election to presidency of Eastern: Regents concerned with selection of most highly qualified individual; conclusion of some Regents that Eastern ready to expand its mission and function, become a regional university
235-265 Strengths of Martin's candidacy; previous educational experience determined experienced educational leader; political effectiveness and experience important in Martin's success
265-279 Relationship of politics and education in Kentucky, necessity of the relationship
280-310 Comparison of Martin and former President O'Donnell, attributes of O'Donnell's administrative abilities; characterization of Martin's personality
342-389 Martin's first months as president; immediately began laying foundation for development of Eastern into a multi-purpose regional university
390-429 Activity of Board of Regents during Martin's first 2 years in office; expanded role for Board developed by Martin; lack of any major problems; opponents of Martin's election quickly become strong supporters of Martin's administration
430-452 Martin's strong management of fiscal affairs
453-456 Relationship with Martin since Hensley left Eastern's Board of Regents
456-479 Relationship with Kentucky governors: Combs, Clements, Chandler
479-501 Martin's relationship with the press
501-541 Characterization of Martin's political philosophy "right in the middle"
545-576 Characterization of Martin's educational philosophy; teaching philosophy would be related to political philosophy
576-594 Description of Martin's personality
595-669 Comparison with other university and college presidents in Kentucky
619-688 Martin's main contribution to education in Kentucky; development of Eastern into a multi-purpose regional university
689-722 Major changes at Eastern since Hensley attended Eastern in 1932
723-799 Summary- Martin's transformation of Eastern
799 End of interview