My love of Eastern Kentucky University runs long and deep.
In 1967, I graduated with an M.A. in History in the first class after the school was granted university status the previous year. Eastern redirected my life and the faculty encouraged me to continue my graduate studies. I was granted a Ph.D. in history from the University of Kentucky in 1974.
After three years of teaching at Lees Junior College I came back to teach at EKU in 1970, eventually retiring after 29 years in 1999.
The University Press of Kentucky published my history of EKU in 2005 and “A History of Education in Kentucky” in 2011.
I have developed rather strong, and I think well-grounded thoughts, about what faces Kentucky higher education in the future.
The days of boundless growth, such as in the post World War II years through the early 1970s are gone.
Eastern has settled into a 16,000 or so enrollment. Unless, the General Assembly develops the backbone to push higher education to new levels in Kentucky, there will not be much growth if any in the coming years.
Perhaps improved educational standards will help by preparing more Kentucky high school graduates for college. However, even that is problematical.
If Eastern wants to keep its high standards, maintain a fine faculty and appeal to not only Kentucky students but to those in other states and abroad, I agree with the current administration that “branding” is of utmost importance.
With all my years of experience as a teacher, historian, and participant in the Eastern community, I offer this suggestion. The time has come to drop the “Colonel” as Eastern’s mascot/logo.
Eastern’s original nickname was “the Maroons,” which was changed in the 1960s at the insistence of President Robert R. Martin. Centre College had had that same designation since the early 20th century.
The Colonel mascot was anachronistic even when it was chosen and is even more out-dated in the early 21st century. Even the modern redesign of the Colonel logo a few years ago is of no help in separating Eastern Kentucky University from a bygone era.
Is EKU now going to join the 21st century as a modern, forward-looking university? It has already in so many ways. It’s undergraduate and graduate programs are nationally ranked. Why don’t we say goodbye to the old Colonel and get a new branding what will have a wider appeal?
My love of Eastern Kentucky University runs long and deep.
Farming Misunderstood and Under-appreciated
As you look at your (I hope) full plate this Thanksgiving, take a guess at what percentage of your annual income you spend on food.
Whatever you guessed, you probably guessed too high.
“We pay as low as 6 percent,” Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture, tells me at a conference table in his office. “In most other industrialized countries, it’s 20-25 percent.”
And if you were spending that much on food in America, Vilsack asks, “how big a house would you have? How nice a car?”
Recalling the day JKF died
This is written on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. A year ago I demonstrated my exquisite sense of timing: I wrote my personal remembrance of that dark day in Dallas last year on the 49th anniversary of the horrific events in Dealey Plaza.
Is the pipeline to career advancement broken?
“Honey, have you checked our financials this month?” An individual asks their spouse.
“Yes, and it’s not looking good. Our investments aren’t growing like we’d hoped, and the healthcare crisis is affecting the premiums and co-pays we’re paying every month,” replies the spouse.
The individual asks another question, “Do you think we’ll ever be able to retire?”
The spouse shakes their head and replies, “It doesn’t appear we’ll have that option anytime soon, especially if we want to maintain the lifestyle we have now.”
Life Lessons from lawyers, journalists and 10 years as a columnist
I have little in common with Walter White, the chemistry teacher turned drug lord in the TV series Breaking Bad, but the line about his motivation hit me.
In the decade that I wrote a weekly column, I touched a lot of lives.
At least one man stopped his planned suicide and got help after reading my column. (I still hear from him and he is doing fine.)
Register columnists share room for a day at Telford rehab center
So here we are, coming to you still alive from Telford Terrace Rehabilitation Center in Richmond where I am recovering from two strokes that kept me in St. Joseph’s Lexington Hospital for the better part of last week.
I was transferred to Telford where I intend to learn to walk again.
Memo to Merkel: Tell Obama to Take a Hike
Chutzpah. I believe that’s the word for it.
Just days after learning the Americans have been tapping her phones and taping her conversations, Angela Merkel has been publicly upbraided by the U.S. Treasury for being a bad global citizen.
What did she do to deserve this?
Congressionally Duped Americans
Last week’s column, “Is There a Way Out?”, generated quite a few responses, some a bit angry. Some people were offended by my reference to Social Security and Medicare as entitlements or handouts. They said that they worked for 45 years and paid into Social Security and Medicare and how dare I refer to the money they now receive as an entitlement. These people have been duped by Congress and shouldn’t be held totally accountable for such a belief. Let’s examine the plethora of congressional Social Security lies. I’ll leave the Medicare lies for another column.
Needed: Consumer-driven reform, not Obamacare
Supporters of the insufferable Obama administration’s misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continue to rope low-information Americans into believing that needed health care reform will be achieved only by a policy like “Obamacare,” which forces healthy individuals to pay for policies filled with services – and costs – they neither want nor need in order to provide lower-cost coverage to the sick.
Does anyone think before speaking?
I wonder sometimes if politicians ever listen to what they’re saying. If it weren’t so depressing, it might be funny.
Start with that maverick, Republican Sen. John McCain, who has of late taken on the tea party members of Congress, calling them “wacko birds” and the government shutdown engineered by people like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee “shameful.” Except for the wacko birds, who would disagree?
The Case of the shapely partner
Sam was the victim of a blisskrieg. After meeting the shapely Helen, he couldn't sleep, eat or even think about playing the ponies, his favorite pastime.
He was so smitten with her, in fact, that he finally packed his bags, left his wife and set up housekeeping with his Helen of Joy. As security for her future, he promised her that she would be his equal partner in any business venture in which he might engage.
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