Interview with Robert Hensley

Dublin Core


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.


Interview with Robert Hensley

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Ellis, William E.


Hensley, Robert


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





“Interview with Robert Hensley,” William H. Berge Oral History Center, accessed May 21, 2018,

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