Interview with Robert Tarvin


  • Identifier1978 OH 225
  • Date6/19/1978
  • InterviewerBerge, William H.
  • IntervieweeTarvin, Robert
  • DescriptionMr. Robert E. Tarvin was born in Kentucky and educated in the public schools of Williamsburg, Ohio. He came to Eastern Kentucky University as a football player and obtained his A.B. and Ma. He completed a doctorate at Indiana University. Mr. Tarvin worked closely with Dr. Martin when he was Director of Student Activities during Martin's presidency at EKU. Mr. Tarvin is presently the President of John A. Logan College, Carterville, Illinois.
  • LocationCarterville, ILL
  • Duration1:25:48
  • Time Summary0-1:0 Introduction
    1:0-2:20 Background on Mr. Tarvin. Education; Williamsburg, Ohio public schools, Eastern Kentucky University, and Indiana University
    2:20-3:40 Director of Student Activities for two years at Eastern Kentucky University. Relations with Robert R. Martin and student unrest.
    3:40-4:40 Indiana University
    4:40-11:30 John A. Logan College. Associate dean of Baccalaureate, transfer program and president. Ideas on technical programs at John A. Logan College. Influence from Eastern Kentucky University at John A. Logan College.
    11:30-14:10 Why Tarvin came to Eastern Kentucky University, football.
    14:10-21:30 First relationship with R.R. Martin because of racial problems- housing, "Dixie".
    21:30-26:10 Tarvin goes to work for Robert R. Martin and Eastern Kentucky University- a sounding board. Problems with architects, engineers, personnel and Deans, etc.
    26:10-27:30 Influence of Martin and Tarvin. Tarvin became Director of Student Activities
    27:30-28:0 1969-1973, Tarvin saw R. Martin as much as anyone.
    28:0-31:0 Student problems and "Black-White" problems. Martin considered himself a "liberal".
    End of side one, beginning of side two.
    0-3:30 Black students, Martin and Eastern Kentucky University Vice- Presidents
    3:30-4:30 R.O.T.C. and Martin.
    4:30-6:0 Martin had a good sense of timing
    6:0-7:0 Martin and loyalty, Martin and caliber of administrators
    7:0-9:0 Martin, as a "judge of people".
    9:0-10:30 Dr. Martin and Herman Wells.
    10:30-14:0 Martin's influence in Kentucky politics. External power base rather than interior power base.
    14:0-15:0 Martin's source of power.
    15:0-15:15 Martin in State Senate
    15:15-19:15 College presidents and power. Martin and F.D.R.
    19:15-23:0 Martin and faculty, Liberal Arts
    23:0-26:0 Martin and Tarvin's salary at John A. Logan
    26:0-31:0 Martin and Tarvin's employment after graduate school. Football coach.
    End of side two, beginning of side three.
    0-3:0 People at Eastern Kentucky University who had influence with Martin
    3:0-6:30 Martin's knowledge of Eastern Kentucky University and "loyalty".
    6:30-7:30 Martin as a "benevolent despot".
    7:30-10:0 Tarvin's ideas on college presidents.
    10:0-13:30 Tarvin's recollections of Eastern Kentucky University
    13:30-15:30 Eastern Kentucky University staff members who influenced Tarvin- Berge, Algier, Robinson, Shannon, Oakley, Barr, Stratemeyer, Thurman, and Odum
    15:30-19:0 Eastern Kentucky University administrators
    19:0-19:30 Martin's style
    19:30-22:40 Martin's influence upon Tarvin
  • Restrictionsno
  • RightsContact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, rights and permission to publish.


“Interview with Robert Tarvin,” William H. Berge Oral History Center, accessed June 18, 2024,