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Hear UK College of Education Professor Discuss College in the 1960s


Anyone listening via radio to the University of Kentucky football game against Middle Tennessee on Nov. 17 may have heard UK College of Education professor John Thelin during the broadcast. He was interviewed for “UK at the Half,” which airs during each UK football and basketball game broadcast and is hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Strategic Communications.

Click here (or above) to listen to an audio file of the broadcast. Or, read the transcript below.

UK at the Half Transcript (11/17/2018):

Thelin: I think my aim has been to make sure that the University of Kentucky has a voice at the table in national discussions about the future of higher education.

Nathe: John Thelin is university research professor and a member of the Educational Policy Studies (and Evaluation) department at the University of Kentucky (College of Education). He also is one of the foremost experts anywhere on the history of higher education.

Thelin: American colleges and universities are the marvel world-wide. When they are good, they are very good.

Nathe: As opposed to many countries around the world who limit access.

Thelin: What’s most distinctive about American higher education and its entire educational system is a commitment, increasingly, toward universal access. The idea that any American who wishes to go to school and to college, that there is an affordable, accessible place.

Nathe: I asked this former Brown University wrestler and Cal Berkley doctoral student what fueled his passion for the subject which became a life’s work

Thelin: I was studying history and also became serious about the history and economics of higher education. No one was writing about the importance of college sports. So, I actually wrote a great deal about athletic conferences and their imagery and what it meant to be ivy league or Big 10 or Southeastern Conference.

Nathe: Here’s a john Thelin nugget about for those of you who might think big time college football is only a recent phenomenon.

Thelin: It goes well back into the late 19th century and there has always been commercial offers, sponsorship, branding. In the early 1900s ministers in New York City would cut short their Thanksgiving Day sermon so everyone could get to the polo grounds for the Princeton – Yale game.

Nathe: Thelin’s latest book, being released this month by the Johns Hopkins university press, is titled Going to College in the 60s.

Thelin: I think what happened in the latter years of the decade, there was this collision of numerous ideas, conflicts, causes, the Vietnam war, concern about federal policies. And the result, it was really a very contentious and tumultuous time.

Nathe: Author, teacher and mentor, John Thelin, who also writes op/ed pieces which are published nationally on a regular basis.

Thelin: I am one of those very fortunate people whose work is also his play.

Nathe: For more, visit uky.edu. There, you can find our UKNow news page, as well as how to engage with us via social media on, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Seeing Blue, I’m Carl Nathe with UK at the Half.