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Centennial Campus Interviews — Claude McKinney
Tape 6 and 7
McKinney: Claude McKinney
M: Unidentified Male Speaker
F: Unidentified Female Speaker
M: All right, how about a few words into the microphone so that you can know that it’s working okay?
M: Go ahead and start. Would you ____ him please?
Q: Okay. Mr. McKinney, before we begin the interview, could you tell us your name and spell it, so we have it for the transcribers?
McKinney: It’s Claude McKinney, C-L-A-U-D-E, middle initial is E., and my mother always referred to me as Eugene, and I knew when she called me “Claude Eugene,” that I was in trouble. But M-C-K-I-N-N-E-Y is the way my family has chosen to spell it, even though that’s not the same way it should’ve been spelled. If I’m from—if you go back to the documents that are in the courthouse, I guess, in Henderson County, it’s McKinnna—K-I-N-N-A. So I—my father and his brothers came down from the mountains and just started the name—used the name McKinney because they found more people using McKinney than they did McKinna.
Q: Okay, that’s interesting.
M: Paige, it’s all yours.
Q: Okay, I just wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me this morning. I wanted to start out talking to you about—if you could briefly go over your career before you came to NC State. Just tell me some of the things that you did.
McKinney: Well, I guess my career started when I was a student in Chapel Hill, which is an unusual place to go to school when you’re working at NC State. But I enjoyed my time there, and I was a painter and a designer, and I guess if I had—and it was through that responsibility that I met George Burline, who is the painter who’s done a couple of prints, one behind Bill, here, and the painting that’s over leaning against the sideboard. George and I were graduate students in the painting department—in the art department in Chapel Hill, and we spent time together in Cherokee, on the Indian reservation, because I was in the show with Mimi “Unto These Hills.” She was a dancer and I was a crook, which was a pretty good background for being a dean, I guess. So at any rate, I enjoyed my time there. I taught for a while in Alabama, and then went into the service during the Korean conflict, and worked for the Rouse Company in Columbia, Maryland, which was the space—the __ I was working when I met the dean that wanted me to come down and lecture to the students in the school of design. It was a fascinating place that—I had been a student, or an applicant. I guess if I’d had good advice in high school, I probably would have been in Henry’s first class as an architect. But I did not, so I came there as an artist transfer and worked on my degree with the faculty. I’ve never had a more creative group of people in my life to work with than the faculty of the school of design. But that was my beginning before I went into the service of the Centennial Campus. But when Bruce Poulton came here, as I was telling you before, Paige, I thought he was a very strong candidate for the chancellor’s job. Consequently, he impressed all of us in the dean’s committee—they were talking to him. I had spent an hour with him before this whole opportunity to do the Centennial Campus emerged. We were able to talk to him about _______for an hour, and I talked to him for about 15 minutes about the Research Triangle Park, and about the _____ campus that we were trying to build there. Later, we talked about the campus at NC State, and I felt that we were, in fact, looking on the inside—interior of the campus—and should have been looking on the outside, because the context of the campus has pretty well shaped who we are and how we are perceived by the public. Bruce was—I guess I learned that you don’t tell the commanding officer that you have a problem unless you intend to help him when he says, “Well, that’s your responsibility to do something about it.” So I was able to work with him on the planning council, which has _____ pushing a rock up a hill, I guess, on the city council in Raleigh to do something about the streets and the sidewalks on Hillsborough Street, which was a pretty ratty place when I first came here in the ‘70s. The campus was wide open kudzu and red dirt—lots of both. At that time it was considered to be a place where—more students seemed to go over there to the campus for hanky panky than for so-called research, or doing what we would refer to now as research. But I enjoyed my time on the Centennial Campus, and I appreciate the fact that the University allowed me the freedom to work there for as many years as they did.
Q: Let’s back up and start with the idea of Centennial Campus. I know you’ve mentioned Bruce Poulton’s role. Can you talk about the origins of Centennial and who the major players were who were involved with the idea of it?
McKinney: I think the idea emerged from Bruce’s head—that he wanted to have industry, government, and the University work together. It was very clear to me from the very outset that we should never have this campus become a so-called “my campus.” It should belong to the chancellor. The chancellor is the one who is in turn—he’ll be the person responsible for making it work. And Bruce had the vision and the determination to go to the council of State and get them to—with Jim Martin’s help—and those involved in the Democratic party that were members of the council of State at that time—to convey the land to us that is now... The land is owned by the people of North Carolina, and we use it only—its intent is to have it become just that: it is a place that is more of a process and collaboration. I had had some sense of what that meant, because I had worked on the executive committee of _______, which is the Triangle University Center for Advanced Study; this was a collaboration between Chapel Hill, Duke, and NC State. We knew that it was unusual to have three universities of this strength in such close proximity to each other, and therefore we were trying to find a way to make them able to collaborate easily. That has occurred in a couple of instances between Chapel Hill and NC State; we have some joint departments, and in particular, there is an organization that has been formed—a corporation—that has a professor from Chapel Hill and a professor from NC State: Ruben Carvanel and Joe D. Simone from Chapel Hill. They are both chemists, and I think that Marianne Fox, as a matter of fact, is a member of the team that worked on that. It’s been a very successful venture; it was a great collaboration for the university and for the campus to facilitate. We were able to have a laboratory adjacent to Ruben’s laboratory in Partners One, which was built, I guess, in the early ‘90s, or mid ‘90s, perhaps. I retired from the university in 2000 in December, or in June of 2000. Consequently, Bob Jones, who was my principal assistant, I guess, became the director, and Bob has now gone on to establish the Automotive Research Institute in Greenville, South Carolina. They made him a very attractive offer. The young man who was the dean of—he was on faculty when I came to the school of design—has become the chancellor at Clemson, and he was the one who made the offer to Bob and to _____ to come to Greenville and establish the new facility there. We have become, not by intent, but by, I guess, our success, a collaboration of university, government and industry; we have proved that it does work, and if you have proximity, you can have that collaboration. It’s not easy when you’re 15 or so miles away, but I think that the fact that we are across the street from an existing campus has been a great boon to us. But my first challenge was to get the faculty to believe that this was a project that was theirs not mine, and therefore we wanted to have the faculty become our sales people. They were the ones who told us who we should bring to the campus. Obviously, ABB was one of those first corporations. ABB was headed at the time by Percy Barnabich, and it was Fortune magazine’s interest in him as a guru of management that made them come here and do a story on North Carolina, and therefore the _______of Centennial Campus. We have been successful in attracting many kinds of companies here, and there are over 60 now, that are on the campus. The occupancy rate, even though we’ve gone through an economic downturn recently, is better than 90%. So I think that our success has been a boon to the success of the campus, and a lot of other universities around the country have looked at us, and have become envious, and would like to have one of them themselves. I think that’s good for us, but it does mean that some of the things that I assumed were givens have not been, like our conference center, our hotel, and golf course; I thought that was set when I retired in the year 2000, but it’s apparently going to get started in May next year. The golf course will be open in 2008, and I can’t tell you when the golf course will have its conference center and hotel associated with it, but it will be soon, I hope.
Q: You touched on several things in that last bit, and I just wanted to go back and ask you –you talked about how important it was to get the faculty on your side, and to support the idea of Centennial Campus. What kind of tactics did you all use? How did you get the faculty to buy into Centennial Campus?
McKinney: Well, I think my first role with the faculty was as a dean, and I was able to work with them because I had done so with some degree of success with the school of design. It was a challenge, but I can tell you that when Bob Barnhart came here as Dean of the College of Textiles, that his faculty signed a petition saying, “If you build over there, we will not come.” And so he was presented with a fait accompli by his faculty, and I think that history has proven that that was not necessarily a good position to take, because the College of Textiles has done very well since they moved there. Up to that point it was more of a collection—it had a more of a museum character when it was in Nelson Hall over on the western end of campus. It is a case where I think that I had a number of deans that were very helpful, Winton being one of _______, followed by Dan Sullivan, who is his successor. And Bob Tillman—I guess all the deans that were here when I first came here: Phadem in engineering, and Legates in textiles, or in agriculture, are now gone—they are deceased. But we were able to make the faculty understand that their opportunities were greater with corporations being here on campus than the were if they were in the park, or some other location. So it wasn’t a challenge. The biggest challenge we had was trying to tell people who came to the campus that you can’t buy land here. “We can only lease you the land.” Leasing was a strange phenomenon in North Carolina; it was the norm in California and Hawaii, but it was unusual here, and you had a number of people, Cotton, Inc. being one—they just wanted to own the land. If they were going to build a building on it, they wanted to own it first. And we said, “But you can’t do that.” So they, in turn, bought land out on Western Parkway, I guess, and moved to Cary instead. So some of the early people that we thought we would be able to attract to the campus, we were not able to get there for that very reason. I think that one of our objectives—I remember Frank Hart and I drove down to southeast Raleigh to talk to people at the SBI, because they were interested in coming to the campus. Dan Blue, who was a very powerful member of the House at that time, was able to scotch that idea. I think that our own faculty taught me a lesson: that you have to work with them first and let them, in turn, tell you who they want. Because they were concerned that the SBI would be thought of as the fuzz, and they did not want to have the fuzz coming onto the campus. This was during the time—early ‘80s—you can imagine that we were going through the Vietnam struggle, and therefore a lot of the companies that our faculty was working with were not necessarily companies that we’d like to have on the campus. But we have since, with Craig Davis’s firm, developed the whole Venture Center complex, and that’s been a plus for us, because the Venture Center is a marketing achievement of the private sector. It does prove that you have to, in turn, have people who are accustomed to marketing their buildings as a place for collaboration to companies that want to, in turn, be here. I think that our whole relationship with Craig has been a very healthy one. At the time we began it, we did not—there was a certain amount of agnosticism [sic.] on the part of the faculty; they felt that Craig would start cutting corners somewhere in the process. Well, it was a revelation to all of us that a developer knew how to develop a building and make it attractive better than the faculty did. Because the faculty would, in turn, put all of the money into the building, getting the proper number of laboratories and offices, whereas the developer is concerned about the overall image of the company. He built a facility in Venture One that had a good building, but also had good grass, good trees. By the time most of our buildings were built on the campus, we would have very little money left for anything other than just the building itself. So I think that Craig’s acumen as a developer has been very good for the campus. We went through a very deliberate process with our trustees to select persons who would be candidates for being on the campus. Consequently, we had a number of people who were good candidates for the position of developer on the hotel and conference center. We chose a firm out of Woodlands, Texas, because they were the strongest firm that we could think of. The trustees made the choices. I want you to understand that—I know you already talked to Charlie Moreland and George Worsley about this—that if we did have Charlie and George saying grace over the financial strength of the company and the ____research capability of that firm with the university, you would never have anyone come here. They were the ones who signed the letters of invitation; I can recall when we first had ABB come to the campus, it was not engineering, necessarily, that was the attraction. They were interested in their opportunity to work with us in terms of engineering, yes, but in PAMS, in particular: physical and mathematical sciences. So I think that ABB being here has been a plus for us, and the weather service, the same way; the weather service is the first governmental agency that we had come to the campus, and I can tell you that it was not an easy sell, I guess you would say, to get the weather service to come here, though Frank Hart, as vice chancellor for research—when the Centennial Campus was an idea—wrote a letter to the head of NOAH, and said, “We understand that you’re going to modernize the weather service; would you consider coming to a new campus?” It was through that process that we started a conversation with the weather service, and they are on the third floor, now, of our building, right above my office. Steve Harden, who is in charge of that, has been a very strong collaborator with Dr. Whitman and Liv Vitrofasa, who were strong candidates for us in the office of the dean at PAMS. I think that Jerry Whitton and his associate dean, Ray Forns are to be given a lot of credit for their ability to attract firms here that want to work with our faculty. We have said we wanted to have the deans sign off on everybody that came to the campus. It was not so much that we wanted their financial support; we wanted their commitment that it would work. That was the secret of success: I can recall talking to a number of my colleagues around the country about the campus as an idea, and the fact that we were going to market the campus based on the dean’s recommendations. One of the agnostics from the audience out in Tempe, Arizona said to me, “How do you get a damn dean to return a phone call? I can’t even do that.” Well, we did, and they did talk to the candidates. The ______ that—you’ve met, I’m sure, with Bob Geolis and his staff—was built as a place of conversation between researchers from corporations and industry, and those from government, and those from the university to say, “This is what we’re doing. Is this of interest to you?” And of course we discovered—I don’t want to say by accident, but we discovered it slowly—that our best corporations wanted to hire smart young people—not necessarily with degrees in the computer science field—but they wanted to have people who were knowledgeable about the sciences and technology as a way—and of course the campus has always been a place where you would live, work, and play together. That has been the intent from the outset. The team that worked on the building design was made up of Land Design out of Charlotte, and Arthur Ericson’s out of Vancouver, British Columbia. As a matter of fact, the model that’s in the anteroom there, as you walk into the facility on the second floor—Research 3—was designed and built in Vancouver. It was a challenge to get that model to come across through customs from Canada to the United States, but we did, in fact, do that. I can tell you that we started out with Bruce Poulton as chancellor, and then Larry Monteith was chancellor. The third chancellor as I was there was Marianne Fox, and there will be a fourth coming soon, I’m sure. I can’t tell you who that’s going to be, but I do know that Bob Jordan, who is chairing the committee, is going to select a strong person. The word that I’ve gotten from other interested graduates of the institution is that we should always aim high and get a strong person here. We would never have been able to get a person like Marianne—a _____ of her significance_______ Centennial Campus. That was a concern that I had when I first came here: that we needed to show them that NC State was an institution of some significance. That must be my son coming in.
M: Hi, Dad.
McKinney: Hi, Kev. How are you today.
Q: Hi. Okay, they’re going to switch tapes.
[END OF SIDE A—END OF TAPE 6; TAPE 7 BEGINS]
Q: I wanted to go back to the early history of Centennial, because in the interviews that I’ve been conducting, there seems to be some discrepancy, so I’m trying to get everyone’s different perspectives and accounts. You were speaking about Bruce Poulton and his role. How was the land originally acquired? I know it came in pieces, but what do you know about that part of Centennial’s history?
McKinney: The land was originally owned by the Department of Agriculture. I guess you would say it belonged to the State Farm Commission. That land was transferred by the Council of State to NC State. It was assumed that NC State would make better use of the property than if they gave it to someone else or made it available to someone else. I think our intent at the time was to have the land continue to the people of North Carolina, and therefore it was very helpful for us in terms of our petition for a zoning change, that we told the city of Raleigh that we were intending to have the campus be by the people and for the people of North Carolina. Consequently, we have made that work, and leasing seems to be the way for us to have achieved our objective, and also for others who are in a similar field do the same thing.
Q: Maybe you can clarify something for me that I’ve been finding a little confusing: as far as the chronology goes, did NC State approach the Council of State with this idea for Centennial and suggest that the land that belonged to the department of agriculture could be given to NC State, or did the Council of State approach the campus first?
McKinney: I think it was a case where Bruce, in conversation with Governor Martin and Governor Hunt, later, was able to convince them that this was a good move. The Department of Agriculture was a partner for the Centennial Campus, but I can tell you that Jim Glenn and I, while we are good friends, we are not cut from the same piece of cloth; you can tell that for certain. But I spent a lot of time with Jim. He was interested in some property that we had over on the state farm—the west side of Blue Ridge Road, and we were able to do some trading with him for that property, and we got some land on Centennial Campus that was part of the State Farm Commission. It was assigned to the campus, and it has been a good relationship. It’s been good for the Department of Agriculture, and good for... As a matter of fact, one of the most recent agencies to come to the campus has been this agency out of the Department of Agriculture that deals with veterinary medicine and foodstuffs.
Q: APHID—is that what it is?
McKinney: Yes. We would never have had them here had it not been for the fact that we were aggressively going after getting someone from agriculture to come to the campus. It was because of the opportunity to work with our college that it made so much sense. And the buildings that are under construction are biotechnology. The building that is the Y-Life building, which will be just across the street from Venture 3 and 4... That’s been a very strong thing for us, to have state government representing the campus. We were unsuccessful in getting so many other people to come here. I can tell you that some of our pursuits were not always met with enthusiasm. We were interested in having Cisco come to the campus; Cisco was more interested in working with land that they owned. Therefore, Cisco has worked with the Park. ABB started with the Park and then came to us because they wanted to work with the College of Engineering. I think our relationships have been appropriate ones. It’s clear to me that Cisco had a much more aggressive view of development than we could ever accommodate. They have built eight or nine buildings out in the Park. Their intent is to have them all occupied by Cisco at some point. We could never have accommodated them with that kind of growth plan.
Q: You’ve mentioned the Research Triangle Park several times. In my research, I’ve come across a confusion on the part of a lot of people between Centennial Campus and Research Triangle Park. Why is Centennial Campus distinctive? What makes it different from Research Triangle Park.
McKinney: Its proximity to one university is one of the biggest distinctions that we have. And we have never put ourselves forward as being competitive to the Park; we’ve always considered ourselves a compliment to it. For that reason, the Park has been—it is the largest facility in the world. To think of trying to acquire 7,000 acres for a group of employees as large as that—as the Park—would be impossible today. Consequently, Jim Roberson, who has been the CEO for the past several years, has been a good friend, and a person with whom I’ve worked closely. Jim has understood that the Centennial Campus is not to compete with him, but is a complement to what is going on out there. I think our objective has been to show that it’s possible to work right across the street from the faculty, and that has worked in a satisfactory way for our corporations and for faculty and for agents of government on campus. I don’t believe that there’s any competition between our two so-called “parks.” Even though Centennial Campus is often referred to as a park, it’s not really a park, it’s a campus; it’s part of the continuing campus. And that’s been reinforced in this most recent search for a new director: that this is part of the existing campus, and at some point, it was called the Centennial Campus because the trustees named it that. The land was first conveyed to us about the time of our first centennial. Now we’re talking about another celebration. The campus is going to become, I think—one day it will just become the university campus _____. There is no distinction between it being Centennial Campus or being the existing campus. The historic campus is very important. I believe that it is a place of quality, and we should find ways to enhance it. The intent of the Centennial Campus, remember, was to relieve, and let some of the growth take place over there and give us a chance to enhance the quality of the buildings and the spaces in between the buildings. So our objective has been to have the campus—have the Centennial Campus become a similar part of this university and also to take its place with Chapel Hill and Duke. We don’t have buildings of that caliber, but we have some very, very interesting buildings and I think our objective has been to be a place where people can work together. We refer to the Centennial Campus as the Acropolis; it’s a place where you can work and play and live together. And our objective has been to see that happen, and it will be interesting to see over the next 35 or 40 years—if it takes that long—to see what happens with it. But I do know that there are condominium units that are being planned, now, for the campus. And it’s going to be a great place to live. I’d like to, in turn, have a unit right on the edge of the water there and look at the conference center development in the next few years.
Q: Speaking of the conference center and the golf course and the hotel that you’ve mentioned before, what do you think have been some of the obstacles? Why has it been postponed?
McKinney: Well, I think the number of objectives—objectors—they seem to have clout, and they were able to say that the university shouldn’t be putting speculative money into a facility like that that would, in turn, compete with the private sector. But in fact, the private sector conference centers tend to create a tide that raises all the boats in the harbor. Our objective has been to do just that, and to have the conference center which is the right place for people to come here for meetings, and a place within the state that’s very close to downtown. Our objective has been to make the two campuses compatible with a transit system which would be monorail, for lack of a better term, between the existing campus and this campus, and even downtown. You know, during Governor Hunt’s administration, we did a master plan which showed that there was corridor that we could in turn have an access of the monorail into the downtown area. And whether or not that will happen, or when it will happen, I can’t tell you, but it has been our plan to accommodate that. It is critical for us to have a facility that is easy for student’s to get to by some means other than bicycles or skateboards or Wolfline, or whatever else. Students are very into that—they all want to, in turn, figure out a way to get to where they want to go. But I think our challenge has been simply to find—we have not found a way to make that work satisfactorily or fully.
Q: When you were working—from the very first time that you were involved with Centennial, up to your retirement, how did you deal with different groups of people were against Centennial Campus—who opposed it? How did you deal with their issues and their concerns?
McKinney: Well, I responded to their issues by just saying what we intended to do; our objective has been to create a place of quality, and I think I have stood for that all my life. As [INAUDIBLE], we should find a way to be committed to that, in all the buildings that we do in the main campus and around Raleigh. As a matter of fact, I responded to a lot of critics about the Centennial Campus by saying that we would not do anything that would, in turn, jeopardize the quality and character of the neighborhoods that are here. Our objective has been to create a compatible working relationship with the neighbors, and we had a number of so-called CACs—community action councils to support what we were doing. I think it was because of that initiative that we had absolutely no objectors at any time to getting the zoning changed. And the zoning which was approved in 1987, I believe it was, was a unanimous decision by the city council. We have intended to create a community that will be a place for the university and for its faculty, for its students, and for university researchers to be collaborating with us, either from agencies of the government or from the private sector. Our objective has been to create a place of some character and distinction so that the entire city of Raleigh and Wake County can, in turn, take some pride in it. We would like to believe that the campus is a campus for the people of North Carolina, and that our objective has been to create a place of some quality that people could, in turn, choose to live and play on if they wanted to. Our objective has been to accomplish that, and we’ve started, and I can tell you that I didn’t by any means complete the task; I just started it. It will be the task of the next chancellor and the next director of the campus to see that it goes further than it has to date.
Q: You’ve mentioned a lot of the successes and the positive aspects to Centennial Campus. Is there anything that you—during your time, or now, away from Centennial Campus—stepping away from it—that you would like to see changed or different about the way it’s being handled now?
McKinney: I don’t have any objections to the way it’s being handled now. I think its management has been appropriate. I do know that the fact that the trustees are able to make the choices of who is going to be the developer is probably a good move. I can tell you this: when I was dean of the Design School, that I had no interest in becoming a king maker, in terms of anointing an architectural firm to be in charge of this or that. I knew if I did that I would make one firm happy, and about 17 very angry, or disappointed at least. So the campus has been an opportunity to do just that: it’s a case where the trustees make the choices; the are politically capable of doing so, and they’ve made the right choices in my opinion. They would ask us our opinion and we would tell them, but the decision was theirs. They were the ones that made it stick. In retrospect I would not change anything about the master plan. I believe it was a good master plan at the time, and it continues to be an appropriate one, even today, for us.
Q: Do you—I’m not sure how much you were directly involved with the development of the middle school. Do you have any thoughts about that—how it’s changed the school system, how it’s changed the local community, NC State’s campus? What kind of influence has the middle school had?
McKinney: Well, the middle school was something that we went aggressively after because as a dean of the design school, I can tell you that a lot of times students who are in high school have pretty well determined what they are capable of doing or not capable of doing, or interested in. We knew that the best way to get students interested in science and technology was to start in middle school. And it so happened that NC State had a middle school program that was sanctioned by the Department of Public Instruction, so we started working with Wake County Public Schools to have a campus in place there. They, in turn, agreed to acquire, through lease, the property to have the school come. I can tell you that the initial association with the college education —but I can tell you that over time, I believe every college in the campus is going to have some role in what the middle school may become. Ken Branch is very aggressive, and a good management principal. He’s going to, in turn, make the middle school the best in the state. It deals with the innovation and with exploration, and I believe that that will be as much involved with engineering as it is with agriculture and even veterinary medicine, as it is with education today. So I think that the middle school will grow, and will be a better place for the campus. And it may be that some time over the next umpteen years, there’ll be a high school, and maybe even a school over there that has younger students—elementary schools. But I don’t have any question but that the Wake County school system will, in turn, do well by its relationship with NC State. We are both public institutions, and both have reasons to collaborate I think.
Q: Okay. The idea of Centennial using industry and government and university partnerships—do you think that’s had an influence on other research parks or other campuses in the United States and abroad?
McKinney: Yes it has, and I think it will have—we’ll have a reason for them to come here in 2006. The Organization of University Research Parks will be coming to the Centennial Campus to explore what we’re doing, and they’ll learn from what we’re doing, and some will in turn ___ the so-called “Millennium Campus,” which is a plan that emerged from _______’s office—is an attempt to legitimize the process. With youngsters graduating from college today, they want to work in industry and government, or in some form of research—some sort of inquiry—and it’s reasonable to have people on the campus for them to do so. I can tell you that there will be many organizations on the campus that will have more interns than they’ll have employees—interns from NC State. And that’s fine. I think that’s good for the students, it’s good for the corporations, and it’s good for the companies as well. So I believe that it will be a plus for all of us if we can make that work even stronger than it is today.
Q: When did Centennial Campus come to be thought of as a successful project? When do you think that it really became clear to North Carolinians that it was a good idea?
McKinney: Oh, probably about the time ____ chose to step down.
Q: Oh, really?
McKinney: Yeah, it was a successful venture in the latter part of the 20 th century and the early part of the 21 st century. It’s a case where I knew that in the year 2000 it was time for me to step aside and let someone else be in charge of it. And there will be some refinements made, I’m sure, over the next decades before the campus is completely built out. But I see that we are becoming a bell weather for new ideas and innovation. I think it’s a case where the university has come into its own, so to speak, because of it. Science and technology was not considered to be a very important activity when I first came here in the 60s and 70s. It is becoming much more significant today. The campus has been a success, and it’s been a pleasure to me to work on it. I give Bruce a lot of credit for his vision for having the campus be what it is. I told Bruce when I became his assistant that I would never do anything that would embarrass him. My objective was to see the campus develop, and therefore it was easy for me to, in turn, make the campus a product that could be owned by a lot of different individuals: those in government as well as those in industry, as well as those within the university. So my objective has been to share the so-called successes of the campus with a lot of different individuals. It’s been my approach to the development process over there.
Q: What do you see for NC State and Centennial Campus in 50 years? What’s it going to look like?
McKinney: Oh, I think that Centennial Campus will become a much more significant place; it will prove that you can make it work by having more people living there, working there, and playing there. It will become—I was talking to Dave Winberg about this the other day—he was a candidate for this new position—that we have a lot going for NC State, but it’s—going from 15,000 to 50,000 students is a challenge that’s more than just a matter of doubling the size of the institution. You have to, in turn, find ways to manage it in different ways. I believe that the campus will have to become a single part of the process of the university, and it may be that 50 years from now it will have a different character. But today it’s referred to and thought of as a successful picture for all of us in North Carolina who live here and play here. I’d like to think that that would continue—we will see—for the next 50 years if that will [INAUDIBLE].
Q: How has Centennial Campus improved the university?
McKinney: Oh, I think it’s been able to—we’ve been able to attract a stronger faculty here than what we would have been able to have otherwise. The fact that Marianne came here is an important addition to the university’s reputation. It has been a plus for all of us, and I think that we’ll continue to show stories of success with the ways in which companies can be on the campus and do well here because they are on the campus. It will show a closer working relationship with the university faculty, its administration, and its management, along with those in industry. I believe that the university has some things to learn about that, and I can’t tell you that we know all the answers to questions that will be asked, but it will challenge us to think of the new answers as more and more youngsters want to, in turn, improve with their experiences in the university system.
Q: Well, those are all the specific questions I had; is there anything you would like to add about Centennial Campus and your experiences?
McKinney: No, at this point I just wanted to say to the people of North Carolina, “Thank you for letting me become the developer of record for the campus; I enjoyed the relationship, and I look forward to seeing it grow over the years. I know I’ll watch it with a great deal of interest for the next four or five decades, assuming I’ll be lucky enough to be around that long.
Q: Ron, did you have anything you wanted to add?
M: No, I’ve got everything I need.
Q: Okay, well thank you so much.
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