The Richmond Register

May 14, 2013

Report on former EKU Center for the Arts director called 'biased, unfair'

Cheryl Moorhead Stone
Letter to the Editor

BEREA — I am writing in response to the Richmond Register’s May 3, 2013, article concerning the former Executive Director of the EKU Center for the Arts. The article I reference appeared on the front page of your newspaper with the headline “Sexual harassment, other offenses alleged in Hoskin’s records in 740 pages of documents.”

Shame on both the Richmond Register and EKU for the content of this article that contained numerous allegations (unproven statements), as if such content should constitute news, let alone a headline.

The role of journalism is to provide a fair, balanced and unbiased presentation of the news. Your headline article failed miserably to meet this standard. It presented vile accusations and assertions without so much as one statement from Ms. Hoskins or her attorney.

These horrible, unproven accusation were reported, in my opinion, for their sensational value without regard to journalism’s standards, or the truth. They painted a picture based mostly on nothing more than gossip included within a personnel record of at least 740 pages.

I am a retired Executive Director from EKU, and a former Board member of the EKU Center for the Arts, and I have never heard of a personnel record consisting of 740 pages! For heaven's sake, Debra Hoskins was employed for only 15 months.

It was my understanding that personnel records contained official documents regarding employment, including hiring documents and personnel actions. While the content of the one official grievance filed by a former office employee who left the Center on good terms to go to work for the University Attorney would be included in the record, it still boggles the mind to have a 740 page personnel file at a public institution.

Instead, it appears to me that the personnel file was stuffed with unproven assertions and allegations that were then published by the Richmond Register.

Remember that the Board voted to retain Ms. Hoskins as the Executive Director of the Center because, in our opinion, she did an excellent job of launching the Center under very difficult circumstances, including insufficient support staff to handle the business side of the house while she was successfully lining up shows, soliciting sponsorships, and selling the Center under extreme time pressure.

I can only imagine the hurt and embarrassment your article caused Ms. Hoskins, and for that you should apologize. She did not deserve the unprofessional treatment she received after giving so much to the community.

Cheryl Moorhead Stone