The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Roy Arnold Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Adam LaMascus.

September 6, 2013


“Serving Academia in Nebraska and Oregon”  September 6, 2013  Location: Arnold residence, Corvallis, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Arnold describes his upbringing in Nebraska, his early education and his high school experiences, and his entrance into the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From there, he reflects on the teachers who influenced his education, and discusses his academic and social experiences while a college student.

Arnold next speaks of his post-graduate work at OSU, including his study of the heat-induced breakdown of thiamine, or vitamin B1, while Ph.D. candidate. The interview then shifts into a description of his twenty-year career at Nebraska as a faculty member, advisor and administrator in various positions at the university.

The remainder of the session is devoted to Arnold's tenure as a faculty member and administrator at OSU, where he worked for another nineteen years. In this, he comments on the state of the College of Agricultural Sciences at the time of his arrival; major figures in the college with whom he interacted; his move into the role of University Provost; and the ramifications of the passage of Ballot Measure 5. He likewise shares his memories of working with two presidents - John Byrne and Paul Risser - his involvement with the Institute of Food Technologists, and his receipt of numerous awards. The interview concludes with details of Arnold's activities in retirement, reflections on his overall career, and thoughts on his proudest moments looking back.