Interview with Norman Kaylor, October 16, 2001 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database
Interviewee: Kaylor, Norman Interviewer: Lack, Adina Date of Interview: 10/16/2001 Series: Voices of UNCW Length 45 minutes
Lack: Good afternoon. It's Tuesday, October 16, 2001. My name is Adina Lack, UNCW Archivist. I'm here with Beth Kaylor, Government Documents. We're both employed at Randall Library and we're interviewing Norman Kaylor, Professor of Business, Cameron School of Business for the purposes of our "Faculty Oral History" Program. And, I'd like to begin by recognizing that Dr. Kaylor's been with us for a long time and I'd like to know when you came to UNCW and what it was like then? Was it... "UNCW" at the time?
Kaylor: Yes it was. It had been only two years. First of all, its "Professor Emeritus". I retired in June . And, I've been here thirty years... came in 1971. Uh... it had been the "University of North Carolina at Wilmington" for only two years. I came as part of the "Building Program" for the Business Program. They were adding Faculty.... and uh, we came here... mainly because I was looking to move from where I was at the time. I was in Augusta, Georgia, at the time, and we were looking to change. And, I'd been interviewing a lot of schools and uh, I'd never heard of this place, never heard of Wilmington. And, got a call, got an invitation to come up and visit and told my wife that we were going to visit Wilmington, North Carolina. And she said... and she'd already heard part of that... and she says... uh... "In no case am I moving to Delaware." [laughter] So neither of us had heard of the place. But I had a call from Mack West who was Chairman of the Business Department, at the time, inviting us up for a weekend. So we thought well, we'll have a weekend at the Beach and go up and interview. So we came and spent a weekend with some very, very nice people but uh... at the time, we were not overly impressed with what we saw. We came in through Dawson Street, across the Bridge, and came to the University. And, it was on a Saturday. There was no one on Campus. You can't believe that now. No one on Campus. We met some folks at Hoggard Hall and spent the day touring the town and visiting the Campus. And uh, the next morning we left to go home. And uh... stopped at the Battleship. My son was six and I said, "Let's do this because we will probably never be here again."
Lack: This was after the interview?
Kaylor: After the interview...
Lack: Oh, no...
Kaylor: So we got to...
Lack: May I just interrupt for a second? I'm sorry. Beth [Lack] has a special relationship with our interviewee. Was Beth around at this point?
Kaylor: Beth was uh... five.
Lack: Oh, ok.
Kaylor: Not quite five, she was four. [To Beth] No, you were four that December that we came. You were just three.
Lack: Oh... time flies...
Kaylor: My son was almost... he was five, almost six.
Lack: Great. So you're saying let's visit the Battleship...
Kaylor: Let's visit the Battleship because it might be our only chance. So we spent the afternoon at the Battleship and got home pretty late that evening. And, the next morning I got a phone call. Paul Reynolds, who was Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, at the time, offered me a job. And uh, frankly it was below what I'd been offered other places so we decided, "No". Well, a few days later I got another call and um, we decided to come as a Visiting Professor because I hadn't decided what to do then so we thought we'd spend a year here. And it would be a chance for the kids to have some time at the beach and us to be here and... (inaudible)
Lack: Temporarily, ok?
Kaylor: And that was thirty years ago. So we decided to stay and very happily we did. Its been a great place to be and um... I wouldn't change anything. But you asked how small or how large the University was at the time...
Lack: Part of what we're asking...
Kaylor: I came in the Fall of 1971. I think there were a total of eighteen hundred students on the Campus. Almost all of them were commuters. There was only one dormitory. Bear Hall was under construction. Um, it was not available until the Summer of '72. We moved into it and I became Chairman of the Department of Business and um, we started from there.
Lack: Oh, wow. Where were they before they were in Bear Hall?
Kaylor: We had a couple of classrooms in Hoggard Hall which is now where the Computing Center is... uh, we had a small suite of offices. An interesting side note to that, the suite of offices had a bathroom on either end and my office was one of those converted bathrooms and it hadn't been fully converted so I had to make sure nobody came in except to see me...
Lack: That's funny.
Kaylor: John Anderson had the other one. He was new that year also. He had the other bathroom. I don't know whether I had the "Men's" and he had the "Ladies" or which but uh, it was a converted bathroom.
Lack: That's funny.
Kaylor: We were that short on offices. Even though there were a few students, there weren't that many buildings either. We didn't have a lot of space. We had to share classrooms with the Math Department and some other Departments. Physical Education had their offices over there, too.
Lack: Bear Hall.
Kaylor: Faculty Offices.
Kaylor: So, it was pretty crowded. Then in '72 we moved into Bear Hall, which we thought was very large but it was a very small building. I think 24,000 square feet. And we were out of space in it in... within two or three years because the Business Program began to grow very rapidly.
Lack: And I suppose at this point it was the Department of... [cell phone rings] excuse me...
Kaylor: It was the Department of... [cell phone rings]
Lack: Um, well we understand, of course, it was a totally different place and what is it that changed your mind? Is it that when you got here you ended up liking the area and the University... yeah, the University, more than you thought?
Kaylor: Um, I think it was our first impression of the community and maybe our first impression of the University because as I told you, it was a Saturday and I didn't see anyone...
Kaylor: There were a few cars around the Library but... and maybe a few cars around the Dormitory but there were no cars in any parking lot around any academic building. So... we, you know, were wondering just what was going on here... what kind of school it was. Of course, we went back home, and I did some research. I had not done a whole lot before we came because it was sort of spur of the moment visit. But, I found out more about the University. The fact that it was one of the six campuses of the greater consolidated University...
Kaylor: And I met some people here...
Lack: UNC system...
Kaylor: Yeah, and I met the people here. I kind of met the Faculty. I was very impressed with the small core Faculty that we had. Uh, the Vice-Chancellor, Charles Cahill, who had just come. Matter of fact, he was not the one who hired me. Paul Reynolds was Vice-Chancellor at he time. He left during the Summer. And, as soon as I got here, in August, I met Charles Cahill. Very impressed with Charles and his plans for the University. Met Bill Wagner who was Chancellor at the time and impressed with him and the Faculty. And, then once I started teaching, students were very impressive. I was very happy and very pleased with the kind of students we had. We had a lot of... of course, the Vietnam War was winding down, we had a lot of Veterans... um, very good students. The productivity of the students was outstanding. This Library had just opened a couple of years before...
Lack: That's right.
Kaylor: I was very impressed with the Library and the Library Director and the services the Library performed. Student Services was very good. So I was impressed with what we could see as the "future". And, the future happened. We started growing very quickly. Bill Wagner used to describe the school as "the best kept secret in North Carolina". And I think it must have been because you see what happened now or since then. So its grown very quickly.
Kaylor: And we were very ambitious, the School of Business was very ambitious. We uh... I became Chairman of the Department in '72.
Lack: How long were you Chair?
Kaylor: ... until '79. We became a School in '79.
Lack: Oh, that's right. And is that when the University was kind of divided into the different Divisions, the School of Business...
Kaylor: Yeah, I was charged with three things when I became Chairman. As I said, we had a very small Faculty in Business, about eight or nine Faculty members. And, they wanted... first they wanted to become a "School", instead of a Department so that we could have some autonomy, which would mean we'd have to have a Dean. They wanted accreditation by the "American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business" which was very prestigious. And, at that time I thought, "... Impossible"... in an Undergraduate Program. They wanted an "MBA" because the closest one was a hundred miles away at East Carolina.
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: So I was in charged with of those three things and by 1979 we had accomplished all of them but the accreditation. And the accreditation came shortly after that. So we... and... the School grew...
Lack: It takes a lot of ...
Kaylor: ... the School grew at a rate of... probably about 10% a year, at least...
Lack: Throughout the Seventies?
Kaylor: Uh hmm... throughout the Seventies and Eighties.
Lack: Wow. Well then, now that rate is probably close to the same thing.
Kaylor: Yeah. If they were permitted to grow.
Kaylor: ... but because of budget constraints, its not. We had those same budget problems back then but... for example, we got our MBA Program approved. They told us that we could have the MBA Program but we'd have to do it under a couple of conditions. One, that we immediately seek accreditation which we were already working on and we would have to move it to an Evening Program which we planned to do because we wanted to serve the people who were working in the area. And, we'd have to immediately become accredited... Well, then we'd have to do it with our existing Budget.
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: And, that was the hardest thing because we couldn't hire additional Faculty members.
Lack: All right. Right. This is... well, the same kind of... always there's a certain kind of constraints that we face...
Kaylor: (inaudible) ...well, we were able to do it because with the increased growth we got additional Faculty positions mainly because we were getting all the additional students. And, that automatically generates Faculty positions.
Lack: Ok that's fine...
Kaylor: So we were able to do it and we're right please with it. So we became a School in '79. Chancellor Wagner immediately began working on getting the Endowment and along with President Friday who was President of the Consolidated University then... um... they started working on raising some money and we made some visits. And, Dan and Bruce Cameron both were very generous. And, we were endowed in the early Eighties and it became the "Cameron School". And with that we got the Cameron Hall building because Bear Hall had become... Bear Hall now doesn't look like it did then because it was only 24,000 square feet but since the Math Department moved in they've added wings on either side.
Lack: Yeah, they're nice.
Kaylor: We didn't have those but that was done about the same time Cameron Hall was being built and I think we moved in there in about 1987 or '88. And, its now almost too small for what's going on over there.
Lack: And by then the MBA Program had been around for...
Kaylor: Graduated our first class in '83
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: And, it took students three years to complete it, at night. And, uh... since then... we added... we also added a Masters Degree in Accountancy which Beth [Kaylor] went through that Program.
Beth Kaylor: I was in the first Class.
Lack: Oh, really?
Kaylor: Yeah, she was in the first Class. Um... and they've added maybe one or two additional Undergraduate Programs. Planning a couple of Masters Programs, I think now...
Lack: Oh, a couple of new ones...
Kaylor: Uh hmm, one in "Information Systems" and I think one in "Economics".
Lack: Oh, so that'll be an "MIS" perhaps or... (inaudible)
Kaylor: Yeah, MIS.
Lack: ... in a Masters of Arts or Science?
Kaylor: ... probably a Master of Arts in Economics.
Lack: That's what's amazing to me ... I've only been at UNCW since January but I've been learning about all these new Graduate Programs that everyone wants to have... and its... there's still quite a lot of growth, as you say, there's limitations from funding and legislative activity...
Lack: ... and what not, but there's...
Kaylor: Its been... its always been tough. North Carolina is one of the best systems of higher education in the United States but the last twenty-five years have been Budget crunch years, almost every year. And I think the University has done very well... especially with the Building Program... um, with all the new buildings that we've been able to add, one at a time, during all that time and you can see what's happened if you look at the ratio of commuting students we had in '71, '72, '73 where it was about 80% or 85%.
Lack: Was it?
Kaylor: Probably, I'm not sure about the numbers...
Lack: I can imagine.
Kaylor: ...and then you look to see now, how many students live on Campus, its been an amazing change.
Lack: Uh hmm. And, I think it will continue.
Kaylor: And, the number of new Academic Programs that have been added and the quality of the Faculty. We had good Faculty then but uh, the quality of the Faculty has increased uh... tremendously over those years. People now want to come here. We use to have to go out and look for qualified people because, like me, they hadn't heard of the place.
Kaylor: But now we have Faculty members who are wanting to come here, looking to come here.
Kaylor: Both of our Deans, the ones who came after me, uh... were very anxious to come here. And uh... they applied for the position and actively recruited themselves, I think, because its a great place to be and its a good School.
Lack: Yeah, and as far as all the changes in the School, we'll touch on some of those in a minute. But... I was interested... before the Interview started you said it used to... the life used to be so different here... it used to be you knew everyone and now... how would you compare it? Is it more like a small city now or sort of a small town?
Kaylor: I think I can put it in perspective by telling you I went to a reception a couple of years ago and was talking to a young man and uh... I thought he was a new Faculty member and he thought I was a new Faculty member and I'd been here many, many years. And, I asked him, "Did you come this year or last year?" and he said, "I've been here ten years." You don't know people now. You meet Faculty members across the Campus. Unless you've seen them in a Committee Meeting or have had some contact like that you might not know who they are. In '71, '72, we had uh... the back of James Hall, the wing where the Registrar's Office is, that was the Student Union, it was called "The Pub".
Lack: Oh yeah, right, we have some photos in Archives...
Kaylor: You heard of "The Pub"?
Kaylor: Well, "The Pub" was nothing more than a big empty room with a couple of ping pong tables... I think they may have had a pool table... well, the entire Faculty and spouses would go in there and have a dinner. We'd just get together and have a social activity where everybody would bring something. We'd have like a church ? (inaudible) round thing. You couldn't possibly do that now and you knew everybody no matter what Department they were in, no matter what they were teaching, everybody knew everybody.
Lack: You must still kind of a bond with people from that time...
Kaylor: Oh yeah!
Lack: Tomorrow I'm interviewing Thad Denkel (?). So you may have known...
Kaylor: Thad came same year I did.
Lack: Oh... I'll have to mention to him
Kaylor: You do keep in touch with these people. I'm active in the Retired Faculty Association. Matter of fact, I'm President this year...
Lack: Are you?
Kaylor: One of the reasons I wanted to do that was because I wanted to keep in touch with Faculty that I knew back then.
Lack: Oh, I'd love to talk to you more about that and maybe I could attend a meeting or so to see if other people would like to participate in this... because people who are going on retirement or people who are still active... I know sometimes people who are still active feel other pulls to do other things but ...
Kaylor: Well, I'll let you know when our next Meeting is and invite you.
Lack: I'd like to... there's someone else whose in sort of a similar situation... I haven't... I know Jack Levy, you might know him?
Kaylor: Uh hmm.
Lack: I know his daughter, she lives in the Triangle... but I'd love to bring her in... same sort of thing... have another daughter interview a father because he may have come around the same time as you?
Kaylor: Well, talking about daughters, you might be interested to know that Beth started her education here. [daughter] At the time we came, the University had a Kindergarten, I guess, over at the Education School and that's where she started. And, she was there... was it two years?
Beth Kaylor: I think so. And, Rachel Levy was in Kindergarten with me
Lack: Oh, you know Rachel? Oh...
Kaylor: Rachel was in it and Mark Wagner, the Chancellor's son.
Lack: Uh huh. Oh...
Kaylor: It was a good program.
Lack: When you said, "Went to school here", I imagined, "Oh, maybe there was a Pre-School". But it was actually a Kindergarten?
Kaylor: Yeah, Pre-School...
Beth Kaylor: School of Ed, Randall.
Lack: Uh hmm. Wow, well I'll have to... Rachel, she has some... a child now.
Beth Kaylor: Does she?
Lack: Yeah... so I'll have to catch up with her and say "Come up, come up to Wilmington... Next time you're out and we'll do an Interview. "
Kaylor: David Norris was in that program, Dr. Norris' son. He's now with... I think, the "Winnipeg Symphony".
Lack: Well that's just a different experience. What do you... when... this might perhaps seem obvious but I'd just like to hear what you think. When you make such a change what are the losses as well as the gains? I mean... I guess the losses, perhaps you touched on. You just don't know people as much but...
Kaylor: The gains I think are pretty obvious. You're able to recruit Faculty members... Faculty members with very good credentials...
Lack: Uh hmm
Kaylor: You can recruit very good students. Of course, the athletic program benefits. Uh... all of those things that come about with growth. You get better facilities. Uh... you... the buildings, the equipment... you have those things when you have a larger... And you have a wider range of programs that students can choose from. Those are on the good side. The down side is that it becomes like most large universities where you know only the people that are working in your shop. You loose some interaction with other Faculty members where I think the... cultural aspects diminish to some degree when you don't have daily contact with someone in other disciplines, people in other disciplines. But, to offset those you have a lot of cultural programs on a campus that you couldn't afford before...
Lack: Uh hmm
Lack: Like anything... you know... progress or growth, there's a double edge sword.
Kaylor: So, I think they offset each other. I prefer smaller schools because that's... I attended a smaller schools as a student. I started out teaching in a small school and when I came here, this ,as I said, was a very small school. But with its growth... I think its been very good for us, too. I think I grew with it.
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: I think we all do.
Lack: I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about uh... what you were doing in... you said you were in Augusta? How is it that you were there? Were you teaching at a school there?
Kaylor: I was teaching. Yeah, I was at Augusta College.
Lack: Were you from the Georgia area?
Kaylor: No. I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.
Lack: Uh huh.
Kaylor: My wife and I both grew up and went to the same high school. We uh... I started out uh... doing some other things that... I was in the music business for a while. Then I went to work for the Pillsbury Company. Pillsbury was going to transfer me to... Now this was after I left the music business. I left the music business because the Army took me. So did my two years in the Army, came back, and went to work for the Pillsbury Company. I had taken some Accounting Courses and I became an Accountant for them. I also got into their "Traffic and Transportation" Program. They were going to transfer me ... it was a promotion... they were going to transfer me to Iowa... Clinton, Iowa. And, I looked at the map [laughter in background] and thought about Iowa and we decided we didn't want to go. Working for large corporations usually you get an offer for promotion if you turn it down they're reluctant to give you another one. So we left. I left Pillsbury. Trying to decide what to do... I went back to school. I ended up, after doing my Undergraduate work at Middle Tennessee State, I went to Atlanta to do an MBA program because at that time, in the early Sixties, middle Sixties, Georgia State University, in Atlanta, had the only evening part-time MBA program in the South. So it was go to Atlanta or try to go full-time and I couldn't do that either...
Lack: Well... so you got your MBA.
Kaylor: So I got my MBA at night.
Lack: Was your Specialty "Accounting" at that point?
Kaylor: In Accounting. Um... teaching in a High School because I thought that was an easy way... easy job to have while I was in school... [laughter in background]
Lack: The hours might be ok...
Kaylor: The hours were great but the work was very difficult. We left Atlanta and went to Augusta and then later on went to University of Mississippi and got a PhD. Went back to Augusta and then decided to leave there.
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: Wanted to move on.
Lack: What subjects did you teach in High School, I'm just curious?
Kaylor: I taught Bookkeeping and Accounting.
Lack: Oh, all right.
Kaylor: And I was the Business Manager for the High School. I kept their books and ordered their... that school back then, it was almost a self-contained school. They ordered their own food for the cafeteria, ordered their own athletic equipment, so there was a fair amount of money coming in and out so I took care of that and then taught some, too.
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: And, went to school at night. And then we left there to go to Augusta because after I got the MBA... I was trying to decide what I wanted to do. I had interviewed with Delta Airlines and almost took a job in the Controllers Office at Delta but we decided... I decided I'd like to teach and my wife was very supportive. So sent out some letters and got an offer from Augusta and went in and talked for awhile and then later went back and got a PhD.
Lack: What would you say are some of the things you've learned through teaching or learned from your students? Or, what is it... what do you like about teaching on the college level?
Kaylor: What I've learned most from my students?
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: Humility. Students can be very challenging sometimes...
Lack: I can believe that.
Kaylor: Its a... I taught someone... I had a young fellow who used to rehearse his lectures. I think he still does. I think that's wonderful. Umm... because too many people go into class not completely prepared. I never could do that and one person was telling me, "When I get ready to go into class, my hands perspire." I said, "When they stop doing that, its time for you to quit." ...because you cannot ever go into a college classroom and not expect some kind of a challenge and you need to be prepared for whatever, you know, they're going to ask you. You're there to provide them with a source of information and you better be ready to do it...
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: Uh, so its a challenge. Its not... over the years, I've had so many retired folks who come to me and say, "I've retired now, I want to give something back to the community so I want to teach. They're not quite prepared for what they're going to face in the classroom. They don't know how much preparation is involved and what kind of challenges you're going to face. So I think, you know, that's the biggest challenge that there is...
Lack: That's interesting... sometimes I feel that the best teachers are the ones who... no matter how many years they do it, they still prepare... they still...
Kaylor: You have to...
Lack: ... are very focused on their plans and ... the lesson plans.
Kaylor: I think you have to do that and still be relaxed and be open to questions and be open to something else that might, you might want to do while you're in class. But, my program, of course, my discipline is pretty structured anyway. I taught Accounting for thirty-four years and uh and there's certain things that you have to do in that although some other things that are... There are a few controversial issues (laughs) in Accounting... especially if you start reading the newspaper and see things that have happened in the stock market, see things that have happened in the companies that are being audited and students ask about these things and you have to... you have to address them...
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: Also, teaching at the Graduate Level is very, very challenging, too. And, I did that for a number of years in the MBA Program and um... those students are very challenging because all of them have had some part of a career because we required that they have some work experience before they've entered. And, most of them... they were all working at the time they were going to school. And they would bring things from work to ask about or they would relate things going on in class to things at work...
Lack: That makes...
Kaylor: And you had to be prepared to talk about those things
Lack: ... which is more "real world". Are there any generalizations you can make about how the students have changed or how the Graduate Students have changed or is it... over the years? I'm sure there are more of us.
Kaylor: Basically students don't change. Young people are pretty much what they were. They have more opportunity now to learn from other resources then they did when I was coming along... with all the technology... television, internet, all those things that they can do now. The saddest thing is too many of them don't take full advantage of those things and sometimes they expect that since they've done so well coming along in High School, and so forth, that's going to continue in College with the least amount of effort and that's sad in some cases. But, for the most part, they're pretty much the same and they're productive. And, as long as you have people in the classroom who want them to learn you're going to get good productivity out of students. So, I don't see a lot of change in the students. They're still good.
Lack: [question posed to KAYLOR'S daughter] Well, I mean is your father or other professors able to make Accounting interesting? I don't know anything about Accounting, like I say... but I have heard... I was actually at a Commencement, at another University, and a Business School Commencement and the speaker was an Accountant and he was just so interesting and the graduating students loved it. So, I was just wondering what is the mark of... how do you make yourself interesting?
Beth Kaylor: Well, you know, Accounting seemed to me incredibly boring and when I was a senior... I was a History Major. And, when I was a Senior I was one hour short so I needed a four hour course. Well, "Accounting 201". I thought, "Well, it would fit." It would take care of the four hours and Dad was teaching it and it fit my schedule so I thought, "Well, I'll take it." I wanted to see what Dad was like as a Professor. And, I really enjoyed it and from there, then that Summer, I started taking all the Undergraduate Accounting courses. And, then did the Masters Program. So... it... you know, he... he really has the ability to stimulate an interest.
Lack: I can imagine that.
Kaylor: Thank you. [laughter in background]
Lack: I can really see that...
Kaylor: That was unsolicited. [laughter]
Lack: I'm sure. The enthusiasm, I think, that people have about their fields and their jobs come through when they teach. And, you know, what you were saying about being prepared and all... that can only really help. So...
Kaylor: I think the thing Beth learned quickly was that... I think she and her brother and her mother all wondered what it was that I did with numbers because that's what you think about in Accounting. You think, "Can I reconcile my checkbook?". But Accounting is much more than... much more than that. Its the decision-making process in business because all business decisions are based on money, whether we like to admit that or not...
Kaylor: ... They're all financial decisions because companies must earn a profit to exist and to grow. And, there is so much more involved. So you're providing information and advice to everybody within that company, whether its the president of the company, the people in marketing, the people in production. Whatever they're doing they must know what its costing and what its going to generate in revenue. So Accounting is a lot more than entering numbers in a book. And uh, the Accounting profession now uh... you'll see that they're doing financial advice, there are all kinds of consulting things for companies coming along...
Lack: Right, its about people, too... and making them understand decisions.
Kaylor: And many of our graduates are in that business. Not only here in Wilmington but all over the country and uh... they've done very well and many of them are doing it by working in consulting activities and management activities using that Accounting background along with their personal skills to provide service to others.
Lack: Yeah, that must be interesting to see where the Alumni go and what kind of ... probably some of them work abroad, too, overseas, I would think?
Kaylor: Yeah. We have an International Program in the School of Business now and we are helping students to deal with the world economy now, not just the national economy.
Lack: And, I understand that on an Undergraduate Level, I think the Cameron School seems like it has the most students just when I look at the Commencements.
Kaylor: It always has... uh... and I think you'll find that true of many regional universities. The Business School is one of the bigger units on campus.
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: Of course, our Marine Science Program, here, is very large but the Business School at one time had twenty-five percent of the students. And, I don't think its that large now but uh... we had twenty-five percent of the students, fifty percent of the Graduate Students. But I don't think that's true now because the other Programs have grown, as well...
Kaylor: But uh, its not usual to see a large number of students in the Business Program.
Lack: Oh, I see. In this type of university.
Kaylor: And sometimes its because students come in and, "Well, I don't really know what I want to do, so I'll do Business."
Kaylor: Then I hope that they find its more than just doing something because they didn't know what else to do.
Lack: Right, right. ... I'm sure quite a number of them get really stimulated along the way like Beth and get real excited about it. I'm trying to... we have a few more moments left, but uh... Just like to see... do you have any questions [to Beth Kaylor]?
Beth Kaylor: What year was the School accredited... the Cameron School accredited?
Kaylor: Um... it wasn't until... fully accredited until... you're talking about "The American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business"?
Beth Kaylor: Yes.
Kaylor: The University's always been accredited by the Southern (?) Association. Uh, we started the process of doing "self-studies" back in the late Eighties, or early Eighties, actually, and we went through the process three times but we did not receive final Accreditation until 1992.
Beth Kaylor: And that organization just re...
Kaylor: ... Just these past few months has reaffirmed our Accreditation... its an eight or nine year process and they review us. We had a "self-study" team in here in this past year and there are no questions whatsoever about the School. It was... matter of fact, all the comments were very complimentary...
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: ...and it was reaffirmed.
Lack: There was recent news about this Accreditation out here...
Kaylor: Its a... its a very important thing because out of all the Business Programs in all the colleges and universities in the United States, only about thirty percent are accredited by this Association so its a very important thing and its something to be proud of.
Lack: Uh hmm. When you met with... one of the things that was left, after you finished being Chair, that you had to keep... that you had to see happen was this Accreditation?
Lack: Its a long process.
Beth Kaylor: You chose to step down and go back to teaching when you knew... when you found out that you were going to be accredited.
Kaylor: We had been through the process and they had given us a few things they wanted us to do. So, I got that underway and then I decided it was time to let somebody else do it. So I went back to full-time teaching in '92 and taught until three years ago [1998?] and then I took "Phase Retirement" and taught part-time for three years and finished that in June of this year  or May of this year. And, now I sit at home and I do all... read all those things I didn't have time before.
Beth Kaylor: Play all the golf you didn't have time to play before...
Kaylor: Play a little golf now and then.
Lack: Well, you were Chairman of the Department from '72 to '79?
Kaylor: Chairman from '72 to '79 and then I was Dean from '79 to '91, '92, one of those years.
Lack: And then Dean of the School. And, then you were probably more than happy to go back to teaching?
Kaylor: I love teaching. I always have... I left Pillsbury and I left to go back and get a degree because I thought I wanted to work in a large corporation in the Accounting or Controller's Office. When I was a Senior in College, one of the Faculty members had a heart attack. The fellow was teaching Income Tax and the Department Chairman, at Middle Tennessee where I was a student, asked me if I would fill-in for him, for six or seven weeks to finish-up that Quarter. And, I did and it was like being reborn, I guess. I just loved it! I loved teaching and decided then its what I wanted to do. And then when I... that's the main reason I went on to Georgia State to get an MBA. But then, the salary of corporate America was attractive. So, I thought well... I did interview a few places but when "push came to shove" I decided I wanted to teach.
Lack: Right... tried both things and...
Kaylor: And, I've loved it.
Lack: ...tried both things and... came through. But, I suppose you must have liked Administration for different...
Kaylor: That sort of came about by accident. When I was in Augusta, one of the Department Chairmmen left in the middle of a Quarter, for some strange reason. And it fell upon me to do this and I did that for a couple of years there. Then when I came here um... I had been hired just as an Accounting Prof and I was very happy doing that. And, then the Chairman at the time, Mack West, decided that he wanted to go back to teaching and asked the Vice-Chancellor about him doing that and having me fill-in until they hired someone. And I said, "Yeah, I'll do it." [laughter] And, I thought that was going to be a temporary thing.
Lack: Right, anything... just going to be temporary.
Kaylor: That turned-in to be... what... seven years of that and thirteen, fourteen years as Dean. But, you know, I had something... that seemed to work... and I was willing to do it. And its been fun. I wouldn't change things.
Kaylor: I've been very fortunate in my career. Uh... things just seemed to happen for me and it worked-out well.
Lack: Well, I mean they... obviously, you had something to offer and they took you up on it.
Kaylor: Well... I hope so...
Lack: ...they took you up on it. And, the year you retired was?
Kaylor: This past year... 2001.
Kaylor: Thirty years exactly.
Lack: Thirty years of State service.
Kaylor: Here. And, ten years before that. So I've been teaching or doing something in higher education or public education now for forty years.
Beth Kaylor: Well, looking at the Business Department, Business School as a... in terms of numbers, approximately how many Faculty members were there in the Department when you came and how many when you left?
Kaylor: Including myself, I think there were eight of us in 1971, when I left I think there were sixty-five.
Lack: Eight in the Department of Business...
Kaylor: ... in the School of Business...
Lack: now School of Business...
Kaylor: in that Department, now School...
Lack: Well, did it used to be Department of Business Administration?
Kaylor: It was Department of Business and Economics when I came... until '79. When we separated then into... that's when Dan Plower (?) Became Dean of Arts and Sciences, Roy Harkin was Dean of School of Education, and I was named Dean of the School of Business. And then, a few years later we had a School of Nursing and Marlene Rosencanter (?) became the Dean of the School of Nursing.
Kaylor: None of us are Deans anymore... for various reasons.
Lack: I think its great to do well and enjoy your work. And its almost... its almost rare for people to... who really enjoy work to enjoy retirement, I think.
Kaylor: Well, working on a college campus is probably the most rewarding thing anyone can do because we're in the midst of education, you're in the midst of people who are wanting to learn, you're in the midst of people who are bright, energetic... people who are excited by what they do... so it's a great place to work. You're not only teaching you're creating... A lot of creative things going on, including research, and things that are being created in the Arts and Music. Its just a great place to be.
Lack: Well, that's certainly a good way to describe it. It seems like you're enjoying retirement as well..
Kaylor: Oh yeah. Its not over. One story I want to tell you before I leave...
Kaylor: Beth's heard this a couple of times. When I stepped down as Dean the uh... the students in the MBA Program honored me by uh... having a portrait done and hung in Cameron Hall. Its in the foyer of Cameron Hall.
Kaylor: And, after I went back to teaching... about two years ago, I was teaching a Sophomore Class in Accounting and this young lady came... comes in and she says... uh, "Dr. Kaylor, I just saw your picture down in the Auditorium." She says, "I didn't know you used to be somebody!" [laughter] I thought... I wonder how she relates that to being in charge of something? But, I am still somebody... And I enjoyed my career, it was great but even in retirement I'll continue to do things. I want to keep up, keep in touch with the Faculty, here, I want to do some things. I'll get enough golf out of my system and get back to maybe doing some writing. And uh... we do a little traveling and just enjoy things. But, it'll still be productive.
Lack: You mentioned that you have time to read things that you...
Kaylor: ...oh, its been great...
Lack: ... haven't had time to read...
Kaylor: We've accumulated a house full of books and we wonder what we're going to do with all of them. But, we spend most of our money, our entertainment money on buying books and we both read a great deal and its been wonderful.
Lack: [to Beth Kaylor] I guess Beth, your being a Librarian, you come to it honestly. [laughter]
Beth Kaylor: Education, in general...
Lack: Education, higher education...
Kaylor: Beth's always loved books, too.
Lack: Yeah, that's good. Well, I really appreciate your coming to talk to us, Dr. Kaylor. Beth do you have anymore questions or closing thoughts?
Kaylor: None. I think this is a wonderful thing you all are doing. I think its great to know where this University came from because it has a very good history and I think as we change Administration, as people change... we get new people in and other people going out... its important to know where we came from and what went on before. Its important for the community. This community started this School and I think we should never forget that. Very few schools are started with a local Bond Issue.
Lack: That's right it was a County Issue, right?
Kaylor: It was the County who came up with the funding and when it came out here to this location from downtown, where it was started at Issac Bear School which was an Elementary School at one time... By the way, Issac Bear Hall is named for that building down there. Its not named for a person, its named in honor of the founding of it in that school building.
Lack: It started at Issac Bear School before it was at New Hanover
Kaylor: Well it started out a few classes at New Hanover High School. Issac Bear School was across the street so they used that. And, they moved out here in the early Sixties and it was still Wilmington College for several years after it came to this location from '63 to '69. And, the State saw what a good thing it was so they took it. And its been great for everybody.
Lack: That is a good point though, to remember our roots. And as we always think when we do oral histories, any person or institution of stature and sophistication, has a history and needs to know its history. I guess a lot of people have a history but don't really feel like we need to know it... but we do.
Kaylor: Well there has to be someone to tell it. And, that's the sad thing, too many people go through life and have done great things but they don't have someone to tell what happened...
Lack: Uh hmm.
Kaylor: ... and that's sad. Its a loss...
Lack: Sure. I appreciate your being here. And, I'll certainly be in touch with you and the Retired Faculty Association, of which you're President.
Kaylor: Well, you've got an invitation.
Lack: Thank you, very much.