Interview with Robert Hensley

  • Identifier1977 OH 017
  • Date3/25/1977
  • InterviewerEllis, William E.
  • IntervieweeHensley, Robert
  • DescriptionMr. Robert Hensley is a businessman and was a member of the Board of Regents of Eastern Kentucky State College from 1958-62.
  • LocationRichmond, KY
  • Time Summary0-6 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
  • Restrictionsno
  • RightsContact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, rights and permission to publish.
  • IndexerAaron Moore


“Interview with Robert Hensley,” William H. Berge Oral History Center, accessed June 25, 2024,