The Richmond Register

Viewpoints

March 3, 2013

We’re all in this together

RICHMOND — Although it took them about eight months, the EKU Center for the Arts community operations board and the university finally agreed last week on who would be the center director's boss.

We can applaud the agreement, but no one can be happy about the embarrassing squabble and the harm done to the ambitious center. The search for a new director has been on hold pending settlement of the dispute.

Whether the new EKU president who will take office in a few months will approve of the memorandum of understanding between President Doug Whitlock and the board remains to be seen. But, as Whitlock’s assistant Skip Daughtery pointed out as the agreement was finally settled, the next president’s attitude toward a university subsidy for the center may be more crucial.

All but $19,000 of a $240,000 university contingency fund put aside for the center’s first season was used, and the remainder has already been used for the second season. The center also has received a $200,000 annual operating subsidy from the state.

Interim director Jill Price has done an admirable job, especially in difficult circumstances, in keeping the center going, but the center needs a permanent director who can book the type of shows that will fill its seats with paying customers and recruit corporate sponsors.

Even in the best of times, neither the university nor the state could be expected to provide the center with long-term subsidies. And, these are certainly not the best of times.

The center is a great asset to both the community and the university, and both have a right to see their interests, especially their liabilities, respected. But, for the center to be successful as a partnership, both partners need to remain in close communication and always act in good faith. This is a high-stakes game, but it needs to be played so that both sides will win. Playing a trump card to win it all, or “going for broke” is not a good strategy.

Let’s hope everyone learns from this unfortunate incident and the center prospers, enhancing the life of the university, Madison County and the region for generations to come.

•••••••

As the university sets out to cut its $230 million budget by 10 percent, more than a subsidy for the performing arts center is at risk.

Programs that either don’t pay for themselves or serve Eastern’s core mission in a way that justifies their costs may be eliminated. That will no doubt include programs that may benefit the community more than the university.

Members of the campus community have questioned why the order to start looking for budget cuts, attributed to the board of regents, came soon after a regents meeting at which the move was not publicly discussed.

Obviously, the issue was discussed somewhere out of public hearing, which did nothing to foster the kind of cooperation the university said it wanted to determine what should be preserved.

The campus and larger community are rife with rumors about what could end up on the chopping block. One such object of speculation is Model Laboratory School.

Many teacher colleges once operated their own “model” schools, but EKU's Model Laboratory School is one of the few that remain anywhere in the country. However, if Model is closed abruptly, the county school district may have trouble absorbing its 700 students.

Years ago, the county district agreed to share some of its tax revenue with Model to keep it open. But, the future of Model may be the next issue that tests the spirit of cooperation between the university and the community.

Let’s hope one partner won’t seek to serve its own interest by running the risk taking both to the brink of unacceptable consequences before a mutually beneficial outcome is reached.

We already have enough of that in Frankfort and Washington.

We can’t afford to have that here. Even if we could afford it, aren’t we better than that?

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg 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.

    March 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG 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.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jack Strauss-BW.jpg 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.

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    March 8, 2014

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg 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.

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 02.23 Mike Duncan mug.jpg 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.

    March 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG 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.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams 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. 

    February 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Cynicism, optimism both on display in Frankfort

    Those who spend little time in Kentucky’s Capitol and who read columns by cynics who cover it should be forgiven their disillusionment about how the people’s business is conducted.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Even Scrooge would enjoy library mystery

    Saturday afternoons and evenings are usually down time for Loretta and me.
    We simply don’t get out much after we’ve used up the movie gift certificates the kids gave us for Christmas. That means we mostly go to the movies to avoid guilt trips because our kids do work hard for their money.

    February 20, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results