Interview with Wendell Butler


  • Identifier: 1977 OH 006
  • Date: 2/2/1977
  • Interviewer: Ellis, William E.
  • Interviewee: Butler, Wendell
  • Location: Frankfort, KY
  • Duration: :59:46
  • Time Summary: 0-5 Introduction
    24-29 First recollections of Martin
    29-61 Martin's involvement in Kentucky politics; The development of the Minimum Foundation Program; Martin's decision to run for State Superintendent of Public Instruction
    61-82 Difficulty in amending Kentucky constitution prior to implementation of Minimum Foundation Program
    82-90 Implementation and funding of Minimum Foundation Program
    91-109 Controversy between Martin and Chandler concerning surplus property division; Martin's chairmanship of Combs' gubernatorial campaign
    109-118 Butler's opinion that State Superintendent should be appointed
    119-128 Superintendent's involvement in politics; close relationship between education and politics in Kentucky
    128-147 Reaction to Martin's chairmanship of Combs' campaign
    147-212 Martin's effectiveness as a politician; Martin's background as a good preparation for presidency of Eastern; Martin's selection as president in April, 1960; Accomplishments of his presidency
    213-229 Recollections of Martin's tenure as Commissioner of Finance; how Martin's financial expertise aided his administration at Eastern
    230-261 Circumstances surrounding Martin's selection as president of Eastern
    273-320 Martin's relationship with Board of Regents; Martin's reaction to student protests of late 60's and early 70's
    320-350 State Superintendent of Public Instruction's role in overseeing state regional institutions
    350-366 Evaluation of Martin's leadership of Eastern
    366-385 Martin and the Council on Public Higher Education
    385-298 Recollection of regional institutions achieving university status in 1966
    398-422 Role of regional universities in Kentucky
    422-444 Controversy over continuation of Eastern's development of law enforcement program
    445-524 Martin's relationship with other Kentucky political leaders: Clements, Combs, Chandler, Breathitt, Nunn, Ford, Carroll, Perkins
    525-545 Martin's expertise in financial matters
    545-556 Martin's relationship with the press
    556-616 Characterization of Martin's personality; Martin's main contribution to education in Kentucky-in field of higher education
    642-684 Assessment of Martin's strengths: vision, planning, discipline, as a leader and education administrator
    710 End
  • Restrictions: no
  • Rights: Contact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, rights and permission to publish.
  • Indexer:
  • Funding Source:


“Interview with Wendell Butler,” William H. Berge Oral History Center, accessed April 1, 2020,