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Cliff Trow Oral History Interview, November 19, 2008

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ERICA WOLTERS: Okay, my name is Erica Wolters and I'm interviewing Dr. Cliff Trow November 19th, 2008, at 10 AM. So, thank you for your time.

CLIFF TROW: You're most welcome, Erica.

EW: So, you were born and raised in Kansas and you went to school there as well?

CT: I did, I did. I was born in Topeka Kansas but grew up in Salina Kansas, and I went to the public schools there. I had a good experience, although I was not really a dedicated student until I went onto the university. I went to Kansas Wesleyan University, which is also in Salina, and then my scholarship improved and I came through there in good course and then went on to university training in the University of Colorado, a master's and doctorate there.

EW: What was your undergraduate degree in?

CT: My undergraduate degree had - was a major in history, a minor in political 00:01:00science. And I began also teaching - and also studied to teach in public schools - began teaching right out of college at a little town called Burlington Kansas, and then taught at Courtland Kansas and taught for a total of five years there. And then, after I started my master's at the University of Colorado, I got a job teaching in Boulder Colorado, and I taught the high school at Boulder Colorado, taught history and political science mostly, government classes.

And then came here to the university after completing my degree. Since I was teaching, I taught, really stayed at Boulder for eight years as a teacher, and had been there and I was doing my degree mostly in the summers and taking courses while I was teaching in Kansas, and then when it came to Colorado, I continued to take most of my courses in history at the university during the 00:02:00summer period and gradually accumulated enough time over about eight years that - in Boulder - that I finished the degree just as I came here.

I came here in '65. I started teaching, graduated in '51 and started teaching that year in the high school, taught 13 years of high school, five in Kansas and eight in Colorado, and then came to the university and was there 31 years in the History Department.

EW: Did you know when you were an undergrad, did you know what career path you wanted to follow?

CT: Well, I had a great love, even in high school, for history. And so, I knew I liked that and I would take a lot of history. I did not that at the time I started that I would be a school teacher. In fact, that was the furthest thing from my mind, but gradually, as I took the courses and began to love the subject 00:03:00matter, I also thought that gee, wouldn't it be nice to teach this. And so, then I began to train to become a teacher.

EW: What did you like most about teaching high school?

CT: Well, it was exciting teaching and I enjoyed interacting with the students. I think as one begins to teach, one is always fearful that there will be discipline problems, and once I felt secure that that wasn't really going to happen in any major way - you always have a few, but you don't have anything major - that I really enjoyed the students and I enjoyed what I taught. And it was a new kind of life for me. When you teach at small schools in Kansas, you get to do a lot of things that you never expected you would be doing, like 00:04:00directing plays or running a library or teaching courses that you really had not trained that heavily to teach, but nonetheless, in a small school, if you're going to have a variety of offerings, why you get called upon to teach things.

So, I found it tremendously, especially the five years in Kansas, a learning experience. And then, of course, once I came to Colorado and taught at Boulder High School taught mostly history and government, but I got to teach a number of new history classes. We did one on far eastern history, which I taught, and I just learned a lot. It was a great education, as well as a meaningful interaction with students, and I really enjoyed my students. It was not only work, but it was fun to teach in high school. Never was quite as fun as teaching at the university level. It's a different level and a different degree of 00:05:00seriousness, but I've certainly liked my university students as well, and I like the subject matter.

EW: It was in 1965 that you came to OSU, is that...

CT: Right, '65, uh-huh. Fall of '65, and I was there on the staff until 1996 although, oh, about eight years into my university teaching I was also elected to the state Senate. So, I was doing both. I would - the Senate is a biennial, the legislature is biennial, so it meets every other year in full session, and so when that happened I would leave without pay and I was at the legislature full time, but in that alternate year I was a university faculty member, and then I could teach one quarter in the year that I would go to the legislature.


So, that's usually the way it was done. I sometimes taught summer school, depending on if the legislature was out in time, or if that was the alternate year when I might do that. But I didn't do that very often; a couple, three times, I think...

EW: It's nice to have summers-

CT: ... over those years. I was in the legislature for 28 of those years although, actually, the last five or six years it was after I retired from the university, so I was full time at the legislature. At least I could go every day if I wanted to.

EW: Okay. What classes did you teach at OSU? You were in the History Department.

CT: Well, yeah, right, in the History Department. Certainly to begin with I taught a lot of western civilization, which was our survey course, basically for freshmen students, although lots of older students taught it. And it's kind of a world history, mostly, not so much related to other countries other than - well, 00:07:00excuse me, I'm not doing that well - it's a course, basically, that has - when you think of western civilization, you think of the ancient Middle East, and then you think of Greece, and then you think of Rome, and then you think of the middle ages in Europe and so forth, and then it sort of expands as the European expansion occurred over the globe.

But basically, it is not a course that concentrates on ancient Indian or ancient China, or some of those courses, some of those areas. But anyway, I taught that. I also - the reason I was hired, though, was because one of my colleagues in the History Department was taking a sabbatical, and he'd been the Latin American history professor. And I had had, as part of my study at the University of 00:08:00Colorado, one field of study in Latin American history, modern Latin American history, and so I qualified to teach that course for him while he was away. And I was hired basically as a one-year appointment, with the idea that he would be back and would be teaching that course. And he did come back and he did teach that course, but they kept me on and I did western civ and then gradually I moved into U.S. history because that was my best training, and taught a lot of United States history, varieties of U.S. history.

EW: Your interest is in diplomatic history and intellectual history?

CT: I did teach Latin America after my colleague who was there retired. He was an older faculty member. And then I taught the Latin American history for a number of years, as well as western civ, and then U.S. history; the surveys in U.S. history and then other kinds, other courses and in U.S. history.

EW: What was your favorite? You had mentioned before the diplomatic and 00:09:00intellectual history kind of was your-

CT: Well, my best training was in U.S. diplomatic history.

EW: Okay.

CT: And so, I like aspects of that very much. But I also taught a course that had been around in the department, but each person who taught it sort of added a new dimension to it. It was called American Thought and Culture, and I enjoyed that. Teaching that, I learned a lot, obviously, and always felt inadequate as a teacher because there's so much to know and it's such a profound kind of topic. But nonetheless, I liked it.

EW: Yeah. I taught political science for five years at a community college and-

CT: Did you? Great.

EW: -And you always feel like you don't quite know enough and that there's always more.

CT: Oh, that's right, yeah, that's right, yeah. Well, after I had begun to serve in the legislature, I would help out with the Honors College and teach a course 00:10:00about the legislature, which was fun to do. And I did that only maybe five or six times.

EW: So, being at Oregon State, what was your memorable thing? What did you like most of being at Oregon State University?

CT: Well, it's a very congenial department and there were very - a lot of good friends made among them, my teaching colleagues. And when I ran for the legislature, a number of them helped me with my campaigns, which I really appreciated, and they were really supportive. Occasionally, we'd have a special session to the legislature and one of them would fill in a class that I would be teaching, especially if it a U.S. history - my U.S. history colleagues would do that, and I really appreciated that. It was - so, I liked that. I liked the students. We had good students and a variety of students.


So, I enjoyed that, and I liked the subject matter. I was able to publish an article that won a national prize while I was there, early in my service there, and that was kind of a reward. I served in the faculty Senate and I enjoyed doing that and got a little bit of experience in that kind of activity before I got elected to the state Senate. And so, that's was good.

EW: How did Oregon State change during your time there?

CT: Well, it certainly grew in numbers. When I first came, it was about 10,000 in size and it was up close to 20,000 I think, at times, before I left, although it was growing and was about 17,000 and had grown fairly large, and they put a 00:12:00limit on the size of it for years and didn't let it grow anymore after that. So, but it was - oh, it wasn't quite 20,000 I think, when I left.

Once I was in the legislature, especially in... I was able to interact some with the administration of the university, as they would be concerned about what was happened at the legislature. And so, I was able to get to know some of the presidents better than I'd known the first ones when I was there, and to interact that way.

I liked the freedom I had at the university. There was academic freedom and good 00:13:00college support. It was just a very good experience. I liked it. It took a while to get promoted, and especially since I was - I got my early promotion; I moved from assistant professor to associate professor fairly quickly, but then stayed at associate professor for a long time. Promotions became more difficult, and so I was delighted when I did get appointed as a full professor.

One of the things that happens when you're in the legislature is that that's an additional demand on your time, and so it meant that it was a little more difficult to do the research and to write the papers that I would like to have written. But I think I compensated in other ways by teaching in the honors class, honors course, and doing other things; extending my experience at the 00:14:00legislature into the university. Always had a lot of students who interned with me at the legislature, political science students mostly, some law students. And that was very rewarding. In fact, my staff often was composed of students from Oregon State University who were staff people. And just recently, one of my earliest legislative assistants became an attorney and went to Alaska and was involved in a law practice there, and eventually, he moved his practice, or he was able to move anyway, to Portland. And he brought his family back, family that we watched being born during early in the legislative session. And his son is now a student at Oregon State University just completing his Ph.D. in engineering, and so that's been fun to watch that happen.


And I've had a number of really fine student employees, some of who have gone into the legislature. One was Student Body President at Oregon State, and a number of them are quite successful, really fine people. So, it's fun to kind of involve the two careers because you could in some ways.

EW: What was your motivation to run for the state Senate?

CT: Well, I had a... I always wanted to, and I'm somebody who believes that government service is important and that government, if peopled by the right kind of people, can be very productive of good things, and I wanted, if I could possibly do that, to serve, and to serve and hopefully have a meaningful tour of duty so we could get some things positive done. And I hope I succeeded at that. 00:16:00You always make your share of mistakes, but I think it was a pretty good tour of duty in the legislature.

EW: What was campaigning like?

CT: Well, I lost my first campaign. I ran against an incumbent state Senator, and that was way back in 1970. I lost that campaign but did surprisingly better than people had anticipated that I would do. So, I was viable for another four years, to run again. And I did run again and then I was elected. And it was right after Watergate and I was a Democrat [Erica laughs]. Democrats fared well after Watergate.

EW: That helped a little, yeah.

CT: It helped a little. Also, the incumbent that had defeated me before didn't 00:17:00run again. So, I was able to win the first time and then I was able to win six more times, so I was - had a total of seven terms in the state Senate, and that was 14 sessions of the legislature.

EW: Did you enjoy campaigning and meeting people?

CT: Well, I certainly did, to begin with.

EW: Uh-huh [laughs].

CT: I think over time it got to be kind of onerous, but I really had never served on a legislature before, but I've watched campaigns and been involved and helped with the campaigns because I'd been in the Democratic Party, helped out in some campaigns and also had been chairman of the party before I was elected. So, I had been interested in campaigns, and so the first one that I lost, I learned some things about it and I got over some shyness about knocking on doors 00:18:00and trying to sell yourself, which helped. And then the second time, stars were pointing the right direction I guess because I was able to win, and been able - was able then to win each time after that.

EW: Did you notice that campaigns changed at all during the time that you - from the first time you ran?

CT: Well, they certainly became more expensive.

EW: Yeah.

CT: No question about that. Lots more money involved. When I first ran, I ran against an incumbent who had been in office about 12 years and was considered really not to be vulnerable, and I was the big spender that year and I think the recorded spending was $3,400 that I spent. He spent $1,000 and he won anyway, despite the fact that I was the big spender, but then over time the amount of money that you spend in campaigns increased to about $100,000 it would take to 00:19:00win the seat.

EW: Yeah.

CT: So, I believe that there really is too much money in politics, and I think money can lead to distortion and lead to problems, and certainly it's an advantage if you can raise the money, and a disadvantage if you can't. So that's a problem, clearly. We try to keep a lid on the expenditures you can make, but - and we voted them in our legislature, to have an expenditure limitation, in terms of what you could spend, but Supreme Court decisions that money is free speech, and virtually all those laws were stricken because they were not constitutional, according to that interpretation of what's constitutional. I think it's a mistake, that Supreme Court decision, but...


EW: Yeah because it limits - do you feel like it limits people from being able to compete and-

CT: Yeah, it limits states from being able to effectively control the amount of money that's involved in campaigns, and I think that too much money's involved and there ought to be other ways of campaigning without that expenditure. And also, what you're expending it for is not really a deep discussion or exploration of the issues but more superficial kind of sound bites.

EW: Right. So, during your 28- year career - is that correct?

CT: Mm-hmm, right.

EW: Yeah, you had leadership roles in the Senate like president pro tem, Senate Democratic leader. Can you tell me a little bit about the work that you did in these positions and if you enjoyed the work?

CT: Yeah, well 1993 session was the one which I was - no, no, that '93 session I was chair [stumbles] chair of ways and means, which is an important role that I 00:21:00played then, but that's not the year. It was the 1981 session that I was the president pro tem of the Senate. And that was an interesting session. The president pro tem is basically kind of the vice president. The president of the Senate is the president and presides and makes appointments and all those things, and the president pro tem assists the president, part of the leadership team, but also I chaired committees, and I chaired two committees during that session. I shared the education committee and the, eventually the labor committee. And I took over after one of my colleagues, who had been sharing the committee, got in trouble because of involvement with lobbyists and had to be removed from the chairmanship, and I took over that committee. And there was discord on the committee and some feeling that the Senate president - not me, 00:22:00but the Senate president - had interfered in that. But I was able to chair that committee. I had been on the committee before but was not on it when I was brought in as Chair.

And so, on that committee are two people who became governor of Oregon. One was Ted Kulongoski, who's our present governor, and the other was John Kitzhaber. And both of them, I think didn't think it was appropriate, first that the other person had been let go as the chair of the committee, and that I should come into to take it over. And so, there was - there was a little while before they became accepting my leadership.

But we had an important package of labor law that was coming through. Basically, it was unemployment compensation reforms that Governor Atiyeh had suggested that 00:23:00we do. It was his program, and he'd had a special task force working on it and had a whole lot of recommendation. And so, we had to deal with that, and we dealt with it very effectively, divided it up into subcommittees. Kulongoski headed one, Kitzhaber headed one, and I headed one and got it done, and we had a good feeling about it.

But the pro tem experience was a good experience. And I'm trying to think. Yes, Fred Heard was the president of the Senate that year. Toward the end of the term, he got into some problem. I can't remember exactly how that worked out, but I think he did... I think he served until the end of his term. He may not have. But anyway, I did not assume the presidency.

So anyway, that was interesting. I was Democratic leader during a period after, 00:24:00after we'd been in - we were the majority party for the first 20 years of my service, and so we were controlling the legislature in a sense, as a party, and as a caucus. But then, in the last six years of my service, last eight years of my service, we were in the minority. And so, I was the Democratic leader when we were in the minority, so I was essentially the minority leader at that time. So, that's a different role. But we built our numbers. We got down-

EW: [Whispers] sorry. [Tape cut]

CT: [Tape resumes]-we were talking about the... as Democratic leader. And we talked about we were building our numbers because I was Democratic leader basically for three years, and the previous leader had resigned his leadership 00:25:00sort of in the interim period, and then I took over and became the leader through a session, and then I...

EW: Okay, so you served on several different committees-

CT: Right, yeah.

EW: Ways and Means and Rules Committee. What was your favorite committee that you were on?

CT: You know, I liked a lot of them. I was chair of education I think for seven sessions, or six sessions, something like that, so I obviously enjoyed those issues. And my district was an education district, and that's a subject that I really care a lot about, so being chair of that committee over the years I think was useful. And I was really disappointed once I was out and the other party took control, because of the direction the committee took. So, that was a problem.

I was on the Ways and Means Committee, and I think the biggest challenge I ever had was that Ways and Means Committee chairmanship in 1993 because we had 00:26:00divided parties and some really controversial issues related to funding state government especially, and whether or not we would have money, basically, to fund our existing responsibilities, plus some other responsibilities that were clearly in front of us.

And so, that was a real challenge. That committee, the joint committee actually broke up during the middle of the session and we went and created, in both houses, separate Ways and Means Committees, and I chaired the one in the Senate. And then we got together in conference committees afterward to work out the budgets. It ended up that we were able to do a good job at the end, with the budgets existing. Things were funded reasonably well, considering the problems, 00:27:00although school funding was not as, certainly as solidly funded as I would have liked, public schools especially.

But that was a real challenge, that session. It was a long session, a difficult session. And so, that's one that I do indeed remember, and I liked being on the Ways and Means Committee. And I often was on the Education Subcommittee of Ways and Means, and so that's a committee involved with the funding, and so that was a good experience.

I chaired the Executive Appointments Committee when Governor Atiyeh, who was a Republican governor, was the chief executive making the appointments to fill government positions, and that's what the executive appointments committee did, was to confirm or deny those appointments. And so, that was a real challenge, 00:28:00and I like that because you got to see people who were volunteering their time coming into boards and commissions and working, and it's such an important part of state government that I didn't understand all that well, as an old political science junkie [Erica laughs].

I liked that. And generally speaking, I got along really well with Governor Atiyeh. He was a good executive, from the standpoint of appointing good peoples to committees. There was only one time, the Facilities Siting Council, which sites nuclear facilities, among other things. Well, nuclear's not the right word perhaps, but facilities involved with various kinds of energy projects and so forth. And he did make one appointment that was controversial, and that one was 00:29:00finally denied. But it was done, I think, in a way that... made the system look good, and I think it did not make Governor Atiyeh terribly angry, but he didn't get his choice that time. But most of the time he got to appoint the people he wanted to, and I believe that's important.

Later on, when that committee got into other hands and parties changed, they became a much more vindictive committee and they often would not appoint people who had strong environmental credentials, for instance, to those committees.

EW: Did you ever have to go head to head or toe to toe with anyone about something that you were trying to - a person you were advocating for, or...?

CT: Well, you did at times, and you had to stand firm. When I was the Democratic leader of the Senate, you also had to stand up to some things that you thought 00:30:00were disrespectful or that were bad policy. I had to defend a governor who sometimes had a problem getting things done.

One of the things had to do with prison building when Governor Kitzhaber was the governor, and I know the Senate leadership, Republican leadership, had created a committee full of critics on the governor on a particular choice of a location for a prison, and he was not going to be well treated in that committee. Clearly, they were going to use that. And so, as Democratic leader, I just simply said I'm not going to have any of our people be on the committee, and if 00:31:00you want to have that kind of committee then - and he tried to appoint some Democrats, the Senate president did, to the committee, Republican president, and I urged them not to, not to become a part of the committee. And they followed my leadership and did not go on the committee, and I think that blunted the attack on the governor on that particular issue. And I thought that was the thing to do because I didn't think the attacks were fair.

EW: Right. And would you say, do you have a moment that you're most particularly proud of, of your time in the Senate?

CT: Well, we got a number of things done I think that were quite good. I chaired a couple task forces for the state library and for libraries generally, throughout the state, and those task forces achieved some changes in the way 00:32:00things were going. We established a Ready [to] Read program out opening in libraries over the state, which I'm proud of. When I was the Education Committee chair, we finally made a requirement that all schools provide kindergartens, and that's something that I really felt was an important thing to do.

EW: Working as both a professor and a state Senator, how did you balance your work? And you talked about it a little bit before, but did you ever feel sort of overwhelmed that it was two different things that you had going on?

CT: Well, I think it was a heavy responsibility at times. And generally, though, I took leave without pay so I could freely concentrate on the legislature when it was in regular session. And so, I didn't have many responsibilities. Occasionally, I was on a graduate committee. Then I would have to come back for 00:33:00a graduate exam of one kind or another. So, that posed a little bit of a problem.

During the time when I was teaching in that alternate year, generally, everything was fine, but I was appointed to the Emergency Board, and the Emergency Board meets periodically about every six weeks or so, for a two-day session. And I would have to figure out how I could manage to do that, so I scheduled my classes early in the morning if I could. And I was able, basically, to get away and get to those meetings okay. The university was supportive of my doing it, so long as I did not visibly neglect my classes. Occasionally, a colleague would cover for me, but generally, I was able to cover the classes and 00:34:00do the teaching, which I like to do. And then I think I compensated for that by teaching in the honors class and teaching about the legislature, I think. That was a kind of a voluntary extra thing.

EW: I was going to say, do you feel your position in the state Senate as a Senator enhanced your teaching at OSU? It sounds like it.

CT: Yeah, probably. I think also having a lot of students as interns and working in getting that experience was good as well. And I certainly enjoyed them, and they made the office a very enjoyable place, so that was good.

EW: So, now that you're retired from both of your jobs. I know you're working on some other things. What is some of the volunteer work that you're engaged in now?

CT: Well, one of the things that I had done while I was in the legislature has continued, and it looks like it's going to continue into the future for a while. I've been on the Hunger Relief Task Force for a long time. I was a Senate member of that while I was still in the Senate, after we were in the minority, though. And that's continued. And so, that's something that takes me to Salem once a 00:35:00month, usually. Our meetings are usually in Salem, in the capital, and we often have a legislative agenda which we try to get past.

We especially work cooperatively with the food banks, make sure that they get appropriation, have facilities they need and so forth. We also work closely with Governor Kulongoski because we had a situation where hunger in Oregon was a real, not only a crisis for people who were hungry, but also an embarrassment for the state because we were regarded, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture studies, as the hungriest state in the country in many ways. And one wouldn't expect that in Oregon, but - and we didn't really - but that was true, that there were people in Oregon who were hungry.


And so, the governor decided to make that an important state project early on when he came into office, and the Hunger Relief Task Force sort of was the point. We developed a 40-point strategy to combat hunger, and some of those things we were trying to do have to do with fighting poverty. And I think it's very meaningful we're working on our strategy for this time. So, the Hunger Relief Task Force has been interesting, a good group to work with.

On the Hunger Relief Task Force, you have some still current legislators as well as former, and you have state agency people that deal with the hunger issue people, the Department of Education. There's a deer out in the yard, see?

EW: Oh [laughs].

CT: And so, anyway, that's been a good experience. I've just been appointed to 00:37:00the State Library Board.

EW: I saw that, yeah.

CT: And I enjoy that. I've been serving locally on our library board here; we have a good public library here. I also always help the university library when I can. And another good feeling that I had while I was in the Ways and Means Committee, I helped move along a way to refurbish our library on the OSU campus, and that's something that I'm glad that we were able to help do. And while I was there, we were able to do a number of things to help the campus in one way or another, so that's good.

EW: Do you miss being in the Senate or working at OSU?

CT: Excuse me?

EW: Do you miss being in the Senate or working at OSU?

CT: Well, you sure both of them in many ways. They were really fine jobs, fine experiences, very learning experiences. It's amazing, the complexities involved 00:38:00in a state, the state government, and what the legislature's responsible for. And at the university, that's tremendously good. Jo Anne was a university person, as you know. She was a vice president for Student Affairs for a while at the university. So, we've remained very closely tied to the university because it's our interest, and we retired here and we stay involved with the university in many ways.

So that's good, and also, you know, the student contacts, the people who worked in my office over the years. It's been wonderful to have some of them still doing things. Steve Novick, for instance, who was our leader when I was the Senate majority leader, was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the primary, didn't win the primary, but we supported him. I went door to door for him here. And he won Benton County and he also won Multnomah County, lost the primary to 00:39:00Merkley. Merkley, I know as well. And that's kind of interesting too because you know a lot of people who are very prominent in the state political machine, even today. And so, that's good. And I'm - I was supportive of him.

Gordon Smith, I knew as well. He was - when I was the Democratic leader, he was the Senate president for a short time. And then he began to run for the United States Senate and was elected to the United States Senate while I was still the Democratic leader. And that - he lost - the first time he ran, he lost to Wyden, and that happened while the Democratic leader, I know because... the Republican 00:40:00majority leader had asked if he was going to assume the presidency if Gordon was elected, the presidency of the Senate. And he asked if the Democrats would cooperate if Gordon was elected and we have some kind of a session of the legislature in which we honored the president who was leaving, and we said, of course, we would if that happened. While I didn't support Gordon for election, but we would, you know, go through that formality and be gracious minority party people if that happened.

But he lost, and so he did come back to us for a short time and stayed as our leader. But then he ran for Hatfield's seat and was elected to that, when Hatfield didn't run. I'm not sure that happened while I was still the Democratic leader or not, but the first part did.

EW: As you look back on your career, do you ever think about having taken a different direction? Or if you were doing it all over again, would you do the same?


CT: I have good feelings about the decisions I made to get me where I was. I think it fit me and what I wanted to do and what I felt was meaningful, and I have a good sense that, although nobody's legislative career is perfect and you make your share of mistakes, also I think we got some good things done and I think we tried to provide a good government for the state. So, I have a good feeling about that. And I love the subject matter. I'm still involved in the Academy for Lifelong Learning and I probably have given more of the lectures than any single person. You know, we have lots of lectures in the academy. So, I've given maybe 20 or 21 lectures during that period. I've given some lectures on U.S. during the Civil War, especially on Lincoln. I did kind of a book review 00:42:00of his book on his cabinet. What do they call it, I've forgotten the title of it.

But anyway, I'm preparing - we're doing a series on the s-more deer is out there, more deer out there - the sesquicentennial of Oregon statehood. I'm doing a lecture on statehood, how Oregon achieved statehood, and that will be given in the winter quarter coming. So, I'm working on that, and that's fun. I really enjoy the subject matter and I like getting back, and one of the nice things about teaching in the Academy for Lifelong Learning is it's allowed me to keep reading history and to learn some new things, and I like that.

Also, one of the things I did for... for intellectual I guess excitement or 00:43:00involvement, while I was going back and forth to the legislature and I would drive back and forth, is I could listen to a lecture on tape in the car, and I would - and I don't know if you've ever heard of the Teaching Company, but they do a whole lot of lectures on lots of things. And so, I've listened to lectures on philosophy and listened to lectures on political science and on various histories of literature and so forth, and that was fun. You could - you just had time to listen to a lecture each way you drove, and that - from our, from my house to the capitol right here is 35 miles and it takes, oh, almost an hour to get there, driving at the right speeds.

And so, I could listen to a lecture, and that was fun. I did that a lot. And some of my colleagues in the Senate, we'd exchange lectures or book reviews and 00:44:00things like that, and they also drove in and they listened sometimes too.

EW: Learning, sounds like education and learning and-

CT: Excuse me?

EW: It sounds education and knowledge is a very important aspect of your life, and to continue learning and...

CT: Well, yeah. Sure, sure, you bet, yeah. Keep the mind active. As you get older, your mind is not as sharp as it used to be [Erica laughs], so you need to do things to keep it active.

EW: Yeah. So, sort of more philosophically, looking at kind of taking this a step above now, having taught history, and you having been deeply involved in politics, what do you see as the greatest challenges for the United States right now? This is taking it completely out of context, but just interesting for your background.

CT: Well, I was born just as the Great Depression started, and we were a family that was mightily affected by the Depression. Things didn't go well for us. And so, I've always been concerned about the economy, although I didn't study 00:45:00economics, but I've been concerned about it, and this present crisis I think is something that is a great concern, and I hope that we're able to make the right decisions to turn it all around and get the economy back in good shape. It's very disillusioning.

Of course, I grew up at... I was in high school during World War II and the Korean War, and then our involvement, since my interest in diplomatic history was such, I certainly had been involved in those things.

EW: Did you serve in the military?

CT: Excuse me? No, I did not. And so, I didn't have military background but I had a lot of interest in all of that. I liked the United Nations for a while and hoped that it would work out as a kind of intelligent way of managing the world. 00:46:00So far somewhat disappointed at the way we have used it and other countries have used it, but I still think we need to work at the international level to create institutions to handle problems. And I think it's been a real mistake, this kind of market mania we've had, believing that the free market should handle the economy, and letting it go unregulated without really looking at things that need to be kept in check. And I'm really disappointed at Wall Street for the problems we're in now because I do think that they let greed get in the way of good judgment.

EW: So, if you were talking to a student coming in to starting as a freshman at OSU today who maybe was cynical about politics or, you know, feeling like eh, what's the point of getting involved, what would be your advice to them or the 00:47:00way that you...?

CT: Oh, my belief is get involved. Get good people involved and get good people with good values, so who will want to make decisions that are good for all of us, that show respect for people, and not tied up in being exclusive or being...

EW: Did you ever lose your optimism?

CT: Oh, I think you have times when you're not as optimistic as other times, but no, I think it's important to be optimistic and to believe that we can make the world better, at least try to do that, and that's a good way to lead your life, to have values that are hopeful, that... that you think the world can be made 00:48:00better, even if sometimes you get discouraged and think well, it's not getting any better, it's getting worse. But even so, you keep plugging away.

EW: And as a historian, you probably have the perspective that things ebb and flow and...

CT: Right, yeah, yeah.

EW: ...hopefully get...

CT: The pendulum does seem to swing back and forth, at least in politics. And I think the last eight years, just from my vantage point - perhaps my prejudicial view, although I don't think so, that it's that prejudicial - but I do think the policies that the government has ascribed to in the last 15 years or so have been not as wise as they should be, and I think we've gotten off course and I think what's happened to us now with our economy is partly attributable to that.


EW: Do you worry about the U.S. image in the world?

CT: Yes. Yes, I think - and I do think that the United States has the potential of being the leader in the future, and I'm hoping that the new leadership we're getting now will be able to utilize that and we can begin to build I think the international kinds of understanding and policies that will make the world work for all of us, rather than just for a few.

EW: So, that's the end of my formal questions, but if there's anything that you want to add or wanted to talk about, that would be great if there's anything.

CT: Well, I think just going back to the idea that it's a great experience, having been involved politically and also at the university. I've met some really fine people and worked with them, and including five governors. And 00:50:00they've all been different but they've, I think they've wanted to do a good job and wanted to do well by the state, and I think we've been lucky, if from that standpoint. And I worked with many fine legislators. And the university experience has been really a fine experience for me. I've liked basically what I did.

I think there was a time when I was disgruntled that that promotion didn't come as quickly as I thought it might, but it came and it was fine. Not always - salaries aren't as good at the university, especially in the College of Liberal Arts, as we would like. But then again, that's relevant. Once I was in the legislature and I realized that we were really pretty well-off, despite our 00:51:00feelings about them, as compared to other places maybe where salaries were better, but basically no, it's been really a very good experience, and we're comfortable.

EW: And what do you see for your future? Your continued volunteer work? That seems like it's a very important part of your life.

CT: I would like to continue to do that, be active. I like what I'm doing, so long as I can continue to do it. One experience I've had is chairing the board for the Center for Public Policy, which is a group that is involved in tax and spend issues, primarily. And I don't know if you know the group or not, but they look at economic policies, especially taxation and expenditure policies, based on what's good for the average Oregonian, the working, average working Oregonian, and try to advocate those things, and stand against some things that 00:52:00get in the way of that. That's been a good group. I've really liked that, and I think we've done a good job.

EW: So, completely aside from your professional life and your volunteer life, what is it that you enjoy doing now?

CT: I like to read. And so, one of the things that I like doing is preparing the lectures that I've been preparing, and actually, I think preparing them is a real joy, and I like that. We got to a lot of Oregon State events. We like drama, we go to plays, we go to Ashland, we like music, we go to the symphony, have been very supportive of it. So, we like choral music and a great number of fine music things that are here. You wouldn't think that the kind of university we're in would have such a fine music department, but it really does, and we 00:53:00enjoy that. So, we do the athletics, football, basketball, going to go to the women's game tonight and they've got a - the women's team is really quite good, so they're going to be good this year.

EW: I need to take my daughter. She wants to go really bad to see women's sports because...

CT: Yeah. We like gymnastics, you know, go watch the team, and I think they're going to be very good again this year as well. The men's team we've watched over the years, and really we're proud of the team all the time, but we had some really good teams, so men's team, men's basketball. I've always liked basketball, played a little bit just as an amateur kind of activity, but like basketball.

So, we've found staying in Corvallis is quite, quite meaningful. There's plenty of things to do. I'm just taking on being on the local Cultural Trust 00:54:00Commission, I guess we call it. And so, trying to help basically raise money for the Cultural Trust, which is a statewide group, and then the Cultural Trust allocates money back that can be spent for various kinds of cultural activities in the - in our area. And so, we're involved - I'm involved in that for the first time, and that's an interesting new assignment.

Haven't been on the library board for - the State Library Board - for very long, but I'm going to have a meeting next week, I think it is, and going to Hillsboro to have a meeting in the library there and talk about some library issues. With 00:55:00the current economic crisis, a lot of libraries may be in trouble.

EW: Yeah. But it sounds like you've really made Corvallis as home, obviously, for how many years you've been here now, and...

CT: Yeah, it's a...

EW: ...you've probably seen the town grow.

CT: ...it's a great place. Yeah, right. We get involved locally in some of the political issues, and Jo Anne's on a whole number of things. She works with the Folk Club at the center where they distribute used goods, and she is on a kind of a criminal justice council, works with state government that way. She's very active in a number of things. She's on the School Foundation, which helps raise money for the public schools, so...

EW: How wonderful.

CT: ...privately. And so, we try to be good citizens and to help.


EW: Do you mind me asking how long have you been married?

CT: Oh, we got married in '69. We came, just finishing our doctorates, and got to know each other in the first year. We were both here at the same year, came in '65, got married in '69, and so... And she continued at the university and so did I, although there's a problem when people get married back in those days, as to whether or not there might be some embarrassment if one person was directly over the other one, to continue to work there.

EW: Right.

CT: Anyway, that worked out fine.

EW: Good. Well, thank you so much for your time.

CT: Oh, you're welcome, you're welcome.

EW: I very much appreciate it.