A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York

Oral History Interview with Allen Ballard

This oral history interview was conducted on April 4, 2014 at SUNY Albany. Allen Ballard grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and arrived at the City College of New York in 1960 as an assistant professor of Political Science. He was one of the three black faculty members on campus.

In this interview, Ballard describes his role in initiating the SEEK Program, which stands for Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge. He provides insights into the history and implementation of the SEEK Program, including the role of black political mobilization in launching the program in 1966.

Open Admissions, seen as a product of the SEEK Program, is discussed extensively in this interview. Ballard discusses the constituencies that advocated for Open Admissions, such as black and Puerto Rican students, as well as the white opposition at many of the four-year colleges. He concludes by reflecting on the success of graduates and notes that student achievement is a “cumulative and slow process.”

Source | Medina, Douglas
Creator | Medina, Douglas
Date Created | April 4, 2014
Interviewer | Medina, Douglas
Interviewee | Ballard, Allen
Rights | Obtain From Medina, Douglas
Item Type | Oral History (Digital)
Cite This document | Medina, Douglas, “Oral History Interview with Allen Ballard,” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed April 24, 2024,

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