Interview with Dixon Barr


  • Identifier1988 OH 114
  • Date4/19/1988
  • InterviewerHay, Charles
  • IntervieweeBarr, Dixon
  • DescriptionProfessor of Education and Dean of the College of Education at EKU
  • LocationRichmond, KY
  • Duration:46:33
  • Time Summary0-010 Introduction
    010-017 Background information. Born on January 14, 1932 at Crown Point, Indiana. B.S. degree from Ball State University. M.S. and E.Ed. From Columbia University. Came to EKU as Director of Model School in 1961.
    017-047 First meeting with Dr. Martin and first impressions. How he got position as Director of Model School
    047-058 Mutual acquaintances at Columbia, such as Dr. Paul Mort, Alice Mile and Lawrence Cremin. Wife told Barr of Martin's dynamic leadership and ability to get things done.
    058-067 Discusses Martin's perception of the role of the Model school. Martin set aside money while Commissioner of Finance to build Donovan Building.
    067-078 Characterizes Dr. Martin's personality. Physical stature used by Martin to get things done.
    078-099 Discusses Martin's philosophy of education- a common sense approach dedicated to growth and progress. Could accept new ideas, especially in curriculum development
    099-117 Martin characterizes the Model school as the heartbeat of teacher education
    117-141 Discusses Martin's concept of teacher education and the changing mission of Eastern
    141-156 Martin loved to plan campus building programs, yet could work simultaneously on building up academic programs. Characterizes Martin as a human workhorse.
    156-167 Martin expected others to work hard. Detested untruthfulness and laziness.
    167-207 Evaluates Martin's administrative abilities. Had some problems in delegating complete authority. Martin's activism alienated some of the older faculty members when he came, yet he could be very humane at times.
    207-227 Martin not overly concerned what others though of him, too busy pushing ahead. Difficulty for Martin to accept criticism, especially from the Louisville Courier Journal
    227-275 Discusses Martin's position on student and faculty activism. Could not accept alcohol in dorms or extensive open houses for students in part in response to conservative nature of this region. College of Education had no faculty activist. Great deal of faculty from public school experience and therefore placid.
    275-292 Martin worked well with J.C. Powell, M.E. Mattox, Ralph Whalin, and Dr. P.M. Grise
    292-354 Discusses Martin's ability to acquire funding from state and federal agencies. explains how Martin could obtain funds. He read extensively and knew current trends in financing and curriculum development. Worked closely with Congressman Carl D. Perkins- both believed in education for the common man, a vehicle to improve society
    354-380 Recalls Martin's interest in presidency of U.K. in 1962.
    380-405 Discusses Martin's relationship with professional education association
    405-481 Discusses Martin's relationship with professional education associations
    405-481 Discusses Martin's relationship with the Richmond Community and his involvement with the Presbyterian Church
    481-534 Barr discusses his responsibilities from the time he came to Eastern in 1961 to the present and how Martin encouraged him to move up the academic/administrative ladder. Open, honest and loyal to Martin
    End of side 1, beginning of side 2
    534-560 Continuation of his relationship with Martin. Martin detested disloyalty
    560-602 Assesses Martin's attitude toward the College of Education. Martin closely monitored college self-study visits and reports and how he handled visitation teams. Again compares Martin and Carl Perkins' personalities and habits
    602-615 Martin placed little emphasis on faculty getting doctorates
    619-664 Granting of University status, and how regional universities worked closely together to achieve this
    664-670 No emphasis on offering a doctorate at Eastern
    670-704 Discusses Martin's involvement with the Council on Higher Education. Martin opposed to increased centralized power of the Council and receiving orders from Frankfort. Martin strongly influenced by philosophy of Dr. M.M. Chambers who espoused institutional autonomy.
    704-711 Discusses Martin's position on role of athletics and higher education
    711-726 Discusses why Martin decided to retire in 1976
    726-757 Recalls interesting stories of Martin's social life and quick wit
    754-774 What history will remember about Dr. Martin-totally dedicated to the institution.
    End of interview
  • Restrictionsno
  • RightsContact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, rights and permission to publish.


“Interview with Dixon Barr,” William H. Berge Oral History Center, accessed July 19, 2024,