Interview with James Sublett

  • Identifier1977 OH 020
  • Date8/9/1977
  • InterviewerSmith, David
  • IntervieweeSublett, James
  • DescriptionFrom 1950-53 Mr. James Sublett worked as Director of Instruction of Jefferson County Schools and from 1953-56 he was Assistant Superintendent of Jefferson County schools. In 1955 Mr Sublett was State Campaign Chairman for Robert R. Martin's race for Superintendent of Public Instruction. From 1956-58 he served as Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction and from 1958-70 he served as Executive Secretary of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System. Since 1970 Mr. Sublett has been Executive Director of the Ohio Teachers Retirement System.
  • LocationColumbus, OH
  • Time Summary0-3 Introduction
    19-24 First recollections of Martin
    24-30 Martin's involvement with Minimum Foundation Program; involvement probably greater than anyone else
    31-43 Sublett's chairmanship of Martin's campaign for office of State Superindent of Public Instruction
    43-54 Reasons why Martin ran for superintendency; altruistic nature of his character; excellent reception accorded his candidacy by educators in Kentucky
    55-94 Martin's reorganization of Department of Education; Sublett became Assistant Superintendent; Sublett's responsibilities as Assistant Superintendent; successful reorganization of Department of Education; Sublett's recollections of Butler controversy
    95-100 Sublett's opinion that Martin's chief accomplishment as Superintendent was his outstanding administration of the Department of Education
    101-128 Major problem facing Kentucky education was money. In addition to foundation program, enactment of sales tax had greatest impact in improving Kentucky education. Martin's stance on desegregation; practical stance, neither a segregationist nor an integrationist
    128-150 Martin's relationship with Happy Chandler. Martin worked well with Chandler-appointed State Board of Education
    150-180 Martin's heavy involvement in politics; involvement primarily limited to state offices, controversy surrounding Martin's decision to act as chairman for Combs' Gubernatorial race in 1959, smartest move he ever made. Combs' favorable attitude towards education stemmed from relationship with Martin
    180-237 Martin's close relationship with Combs, viewed things in the same way; Earle Clements-most maligned Governor that Kentucky had in recent history as far as education is concerned. Breathitt-enjoyed good relationship with Martin. Martin enjoyed good relationships with the Governors. Martin more successful than others in obtaining funds for Eastern. Martin enjoyed tremendous relationship with General Assembly; won bipartisan support for education
    237-263 Martin's political aspirations for higher elective office; trial balloons floated for Lt. Governor in 1959; would have been interested in presidency of UK
    263-282 Sublett's recollections of Martin's selection as President of Eastern. Political considerations may have created some dissension over his candidacy
    296-308 Relationship between politics and education in Kentucky
    308-343 Relationship with Martin since Martin left Frankfort for Richmond. Martin's involvement with Kentucky Teachers Retirement System. Sublett's observations on the growth and changes in Eastern; his administrative abilities
    343-357 Martin's philosophy of education: the greatest good for the greatest number. Strong belief in the universality of educational opportunity
    371-410 Sublett's characterization of Martin's personality; a strong, dominant character; a weakness may be that he is unaware that some cannot or will not meet his demanding pac e and as a result he dismisses their qualifications; he expects more than some capable people can deliver
    410-451 Anecdote concerning Martin
    451-483 Martin's relationship with the press, basically good with reporters, but the relationship with the editorial board of the Courier-Journal has not been very good; primary reason stems from a difference in educational philosophies
    483-492 Martin's relationship with Kentucky Education Association has been pretty good
    493-531 Martin's main contributions to education in Kentucky: establishment and funding of foundation program; on higher education: establishment of strong regional university at Eastern (Law Enforcement, Nursing programs); participation in national educational associations
    531-548 Reaction to Martin's campaign for Kentucky State Senate, Martin is outstanding Kentucky educator of this century
  • Restrictionsno
  • RightsContact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, rights and permission to publish.
  • IndexerAaron Moore


“Interview with James Sublett,” William H. Berge Oral History Center, accessed February 29, 2024,