The Richmond Register

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June 27, 2012

Hoskins worked without contract at Arts Center

RICHMOND — Debra Hoskins, the former director of the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts, was an at-will employee who worked without a contract.

Only the university president and a few employees of its athletic department have contracts, the EKU counsel’s office stated in a reply to a Freedom of Information request from the Richmond Register.

The newspaper had requested a copy of Hoskins’ contract as well as her salary.

The university did release the amount of Hoskins’ annual salary, $108,120.

EKU denied the request for a copy of any settlement the university may have reached with Hoskins in exchange for her agreement not to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.

It also denied the Register’s request for any list of reasons the university may have complied as justification for Hoskins’ dismissal or any written criticism of her job performance or reprimands issued to her.

Complying with those requests would “create an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy and/or be contrary to the records’ preliminary nature” under state law, KRS 61.878(1)(a), (i) and (j), the response stated.

The Register intends to appeal the denials to the state attorney general.

The university has not entered into any agreements or reached financial settlements to avoid contract disputes with acts booked to perform at the center, the counsel’s office stated in reply to another FOI request.

Although the university stated in a June 19 news release that Hoskins had “resigned,” the minutes of the center’s community operations board’s June 14 meeting indicate that Hayward “Skip” Daughtery, executive assistant to EKU President Doug Whitlock, and Gary Barksdale, the university’s human resources chief, informed Hoskins on June 12 that her employment was being terminated.

A letter from Whitlock to the operations board read at its June 14 meeting stated only that Hoskins was no longer employed by the university and did not characterize the nature of her departure.

Whitlock was on a long-planned vacation when the board met, and he apologized for not being able to address it in person.

Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@richmondregister.com or at 624-6690.

 

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