The Richmond Register

Local News

June 20, 2012

EKU Arts Center board moving past Hoskins’ departure



With announcement of former executive director’s Debra Hoskins’ resignation Tuesday morning, the Community Operations Board of Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts appointed a committee Tuesday afternoon to seek her successor.

Hoskins also submitted a letter of resignation to the board.

Although the board’s newly elected chair Harry Moberly acknowledged that issues regarding the center’s governance remain, especially who is entitled to hire, supervise and dismiss employees, members of the 13-member board Tuesday afternoon seemed intent on moving forward instead of engaging in recriminations.

Moberly, the former state representative largely responsible for securing state funding for the $32 million center, said its partners “now need to come together” so the center can have a second successful season.

Six members of the community operations board represent EKU, while four represent the county, two represent Richmond and one represents Berea.

“It’s time for us to move ahead and find an executive director,” Moberly said, adding that an interim director may need to be hired first. Whether an interim director would be allowed to apply for the permanent decision would be a board decision, he said.

“We need an interim director as soon as possible,” Moberly said. “Our goal is not to miss a beat.”

He then appointed board member Jan Tunnell, a county representative, to head the director’s search panel on which six others will serve.

The committee includes three EKU representatives, Jill Price, Cheryl Stone and Mark Whitt; another from the county, Judge/Executive Kent Clark; and one each from Richmond and Berea, David Fernadez and Berea City Council member Diane Kerby.

The other three EKU representatives on the board are Dr. Richard Crosby, Keith Johnson and Barry Poynter. The county’s other two representatives are Kathy Eidson and Moberly. Richmond also is represented by Ginny Rollins.

Johnson joined the board for the first time Tuesday, replacing Dr. Bob Rogow, dean of EKU’s College of Business and Technology, who resigned last week after the board voted to resist the university’s move to dismiss Hoskins. Rogow, whose term as chair was set to expire this week, had about 18 months remaining on his board membership.

At a June 14 meeting, Rogow, then the board chair, informed the members that Hoskins was no longer employed by the university. A letter from Whitlock to Rogow and attached to the meeting’s minutes asked him to inform the board that Hoskins had ceased to be the center’s executive director on June 12.

Whitlock, who said he would have informed the board in person if not for a long-planned vacation abroad, asked the board to recommend an interim executive director for his consideration as soon as possible and to begin a nationwide search for someone to fill the post permanently.

According to the meeting minutes:

Rogow told the board it would not need to hear more from the university or from Hoskins regarding her employment because it was a personnel matter being handled through the university’s normal procedures.

The meeting’s purpose, instead, was to “move forward to ensure the success of the 2012-13 season,” he said.

Moberly disagreed, citing legislation he had authored a memorandum of understanding between the board and the university that gives the board “complete authority” over center personnel.

Center employees answer only to the board under state law, Moberly said, even if the memorandum cedes some authority in hiring to the university.

Not one of the center’s four partners — EKU and the three local governments — could take unilateral action against a center employee, he said. Because the board had not approved any change in Hoskins’ status, Moberly said he considered her still the center’s executive director.

He then moved that the board enter into executive session to consider “a personnel matter.”

Rogow said he would resign from the board if Moberly’s motion was approved. When it was passed, he left the meeting and submitted his resignation.

After the closed session, Fernandez, the board’s vice chair, distributed a resolution for consideration. Moberly read the motion, which included language from the 2012-14 state budget which states the center’s board “shall make all decisions regarding personnel ....”

The resolution also challenged the university’s move “to terminate Hoskins’ employment.” Hayward “Skip” Daughtery, Whitlock’s executive assistant, and Gary Barksdale, EKU’s human resources chief, had delivered a letter to Hoskins on June 12 information her of her termination and “commanding her to vacate her office,” according to the resolution.

Crosby said he would like to hear the university’s side of the personnel issue. The state law seemed “out of date,” he said, because it appeared to refer to the center while it was being organized.

Poynter said the board “does not have any employees,” and it should not be discussing personnel matters. He also said the legislation Moberly cited was “not well written.”

The board then voted 8-3 in favor of the motion that asserted the board’s authority over personnel decisions. Crosby, Poynter and Whitt were the dissenters.

Clark then moved to have Daughtery no longer be the center executive director’s supervisor, with the board overseeing the position until it could meet with Whitlock.

That motion also passed 8-3.

The board then adjourned.

The announcement of Hoskins’ resignation came in a news release from EKU spokesman Marc Whitt.

Moberly said Tuesday the university did not give the board any reason for Hoskins’ termination.

The resignation announcement from the university included this statement from Hoskins:

“As I move forward, I must express that I am immensely proud of what my team and I were able to accomplish during the center’s inaugural season.”

She listed several of the big-name acts that performed during the $30 million center’s first season, noting that attendance numbered more than 50,000 and generated more than $2 million in revenue.

Bill Robinson can be reached at

or at 624-6690.

Text Only
Local News
  • 7-12 Berea Craft Fair 5.jpg ‘A little bit of everything’ - More than 120 exhibitors at Berea Craft Festival this year

    A few minutes before it opened at 10 a.m. Friday, a line of people stretched through the gate of Indian Fort Theater and into the parking lot for the first day of the weekend-long Berea Crafts Festival.
    “It’s typical to have this kind of business on a Saturday, but I don’t know if we’ve ever seen it like this on a Friday,” said Cass Hensley, a 14-year staff member.

    July 12, 2014 9 Photos

  • Mother pleads guilty to allowing child rape

    Deanna Lawson, charged with 20 counts of complicity in the rape and sodomy of a minor, pleaded guilty in Madison Circuit Court on Wednesday.
    Between October 2011 and September 2012, Eric Kelley had sexual relations with Lawson’s two daughters, according to court documents.
    She was charged with complicity after police said they learned Lawson knew of the crimes but didn’t try to stop them or alert authorities.

    July 12, 2014

  • 7-12 White Hall principal.jpg Eversole returns to White Hall as principal

    The White Hall Elementary School-based Decision-making Council has selected Monica Eversole as the school’s new principal.
    Eversole was serving as guidance counselor at Lexington’s Dixie Magnet Elementary School.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board to save $53,000 yearly by refinancing bonds

    The Madison County School Board authorized issuance of almost $10.5 million in school building revenue bonds at its monthly meeting Thursday.
    The board approved a recommendation from the Madison County School District Finance Corporation to issue slightly more than $10.49 million in bonds to help finance renovation projects at three district elementary schools.

    July 12, 2014

  • McConnell warmly received at county officials convention

    Incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell told county officials from across Kentucky on Friday that electing his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, would mean “a dramatic reduction in influence in the Senate” for Kentucky.

    July 12, 2014

  • 7-12 Pets of the week 2.jpg Pets of the Week from the Madison County Animal Shelter

    The Madison County Animal Shelter is located at 1386 Richmond Road in Berea. Shelter hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Animals available for adoption can be seen from noon to close Monday through Saturday.

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-11 KY Changers 1.jpg Changing homes – and lives

    When homeowners Ann Redden, 94, and Wanda Grubbs, 85, both of Richmond, were asked to sign up for help from the Kentucky Changers, they both said no.
    “I didn’t know if I could talk to a bunch of teenagers at my house,” Redden said, laughing, “I know how they are.”
    But after a member of her church told Redden to consider it and pray about it, Redden had a change of heart.
    Her house has five “really bad places” in its clapboard siding, and Redden decided she needed help or they would never be fixed, she said.

    July 11, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-11 Salvation Army.jpg Salvation Army receives 2.7 tons of food from Bechtel Parsons, employees

    Richmond’s Salvation Army unit received a timely and much-needed donation from a local business this week that will help keep its food bank shelves stocked for a while.
    Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass and its nearly 1,500 employees donated more than 2.7 tons of food and $7,500 in corporate and employee contributions to the Salvation Army.

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • No extra jail time for parents on prostitution charge

    Anthony and Kathy Hart, two Madison County residents who pleaded guilty May 21 to prostituting their daughters, won’t be seeing any extra time in jail.
    Both parents, who served time in jail while their charges were pending, were sentenced to probation Thursday in Madison Circuit Court.

    July 11, 2014

  • RPD arrests three on drug charges

    A couple is facing several charges after police said they sold drugs to an undercover officer late last year.
    In December 2013, the Richmond Police Narcotics Unit purchased a quantity of suboxone strips from Ryan Anderson, 30, and Chastity L. King, 28, on two occasions during a covert investigation, according to an RPD news release.

    July 11, 2014

AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Mass. Mayor: Families Lost Everything in Fire Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup'
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

How far will you be traveling for your summer vacation?

Staying in Kentucky
Visiting a neighboring state
Driving or flying a greater distance
     View Results