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.
Education a priority? Don’t believe it
They did it – more or less.
They got a budget, they got a road plan and they got out of town on time.
Did you miss small business health-care tax credit?
A Kentucky professional who owns his own business found that he missed getting the health-care tax credit.
Compromise is not that simple
It’s tempting for a casual onlooker to wonder why the Democratic House and Republican Senate can’t make what on the surface looks like the obvious compromise on pension reform.
The Senate passed a measure based on recommendations of a task force to move new employees into a hybrid, cash-balance plan but maintain existing defined benefits for current employees and retirees.
Frankfort plays ping-pong with public pension transparency
Legislation that would make the Kentucky Retirement Systems transparent for those paying its bills has danced into the spotlight during the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Passage of transparency bills filed by Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, and Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, would make the “names, status, projected or actual benefit payments” subject to our commonwealth’s superlative Open Records Act.
The case of the ghostly neighbor
Wilbur lived in a world of fears. Everything frightened him. The full extent of his courage was to admit that he had none.
Noises in the middle of the night, his own shadow creeping up on him and, most of all, black cats scared the wits out of him.
So, picture his chagrin, one day, when he came home from vacation only to discover that a mausoleum had been erected on property adjacent to his home.
Provisional concealed-carry law passes Senate unanimously
Things are staying busy in Frankfort. Many bills are making their way onto the Senate floor from various committees. This past week several important pieces of legislation were debated and passed.
I am particularly proud of the success we had in advocating for Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
I introduced Senate Bill 106 to allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional CCDW permit from the Kentucky State Police in one business day. In some of these cases, victims need this type of protection as quickly as possible.
50 years makes a world of difference
I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law.
But a few months later, I stood in front of the “Music Hall,” site of the Glasgow Junior High School located on a street named Liberty, and watched black kids “walk up the hill” of College Street on the first day of integrated schools in Glasgow.
Coal has kept Kentuckians warm this winter
This winter, temperatures across the country dipped to historic lows. Here in our home state of Kentucky, the near-arctic climate caused increased power demand which resulted in an incredible strain on the electric grid and rising energy costs.
Protecting citizens’ data is a no-brainer
Target Corp. is learning the hard way: The price is steep for retailers who don’t protect customers’ sensitive financial information.
Target’s profits fell a whopping 50 percent during its fourth quarter of 2013 as the result of a massive security breach involving as many as 110 million of its customers’ credit- and debit-card accounts, which began the day before Thanksgiving and extended throughout much of the holiday shopping season.
Making plans for spring planting
My brother Keith (Keeter) probably planted peas on one of those warm days last week, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that brother Steve did likewise to try to be the first two fellows in Letcher County to actually be digging the soil in their 2014 gardens.
Keeter’s father-in-law, the late Dock Mitchell, used to get my brother to drive him a 50-mile round trip to get pea seeds and potting soil for early February planting. Dock raised mammoth melting sugar snow peas and sugar snaps around every fence on the place.
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