Editorial Roundup: Kentucky

Frankort State Journal. December 7, 2021.

Editorial: What qualities should KSU seek in new president?

What qualities should Kentucky State University look for in its next president? What are the challenges and opportunities that the new president will need to address? These are two of the questions the newly-formed KSU presidential search committee will be seeking answers to at its first public forum via Zoom on Wednesday.

The 11 members of the search committee — Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education vice president and general counsel Travis Powell, faculty representatives Dr. Jens Hannemann and Dr. Peter Smith, staff members Christopher Cribbs and Paul Cable, student representatives Savion Briggs and Jiya Alcorn, KSU National Alumni Association representatives Richard Graves and Donald Lyons, community representative Frankfort City Commissioner Katrisha Waldridge and local K-12 educator Paul Thompson — will host the public forum at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Carl H. Smith Auditorium in David H. Bradford Hall.

Answers from the public will assist Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting — the firm hired to assist in the presidential search — in the development of a leadership profile that the committee will adopt as part of the advertisement to be published in order to attract candidates for president.

“We will produce a position profile, it’s about a four- or five-page document,” said Kenny Daugherty, president of Myers McRae. “It’s four pieces. It’s about the institution, it’s about the position, it’s your qualifications for the position, and it’s about Frankfort and the region. It’s the foundation of our recruiting because it’s who you say to us that we want you to recruit.”

The session will also be broadcast via Zoom — at https://kysu.zoom.us/s/95604050702 — and listeners may submit comments to be read by the meeting moderator during the meeting. Comments may also be submitted via email to presidentialsearch@kysu.edu.

The Frankfort/Franklin County community is invited to participate in a community conversation regarding the KSU presidential search during a town-hall style meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall. The community can also watch the meeting via the City of Frankfort’s Facebook page and on Cable 10.

At its first meeting last week, the presidential search committee also discussed the possibility of putting out a survey in order to collect input from both the KSU community and local residents. The goal is for the search committee to approve a presidential profile by Dec. 17.

Former K-State President Dr. M. Christopher Brown II resigned on July 20. Clara Ross Stamps is the current acting president.

We encourage KSU stakeholders and the local community to take this opportunity to share their ideas with the presidential search committee and let their voices be heard.

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Ashland Daily Independent. December 3, 2021.

Editorial: Good year for farmers

Kentucky’s farm industry yielded good numbers this year, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, low commodity prices and global trade fights.

Statewide farm cash receipts this year are projected to exceed $6.7 billion, which would eclipse the $6.5 billion record set in 2014; the past five-year average has been $5.5 billion.

Kentucky’s net farm income — the amount left after farmers’ expenses — is expected to approach $2.5 billion in 2021, which would be the highest level since 2013.

UK Agriculture Economist Will Snell said the nationwide farm economy has grown in the way the state’s farm economy has thrived.

Strong crop yields, surging grain exports, lower production costs and favorable weather worked together for near-perfect conditions for production.

In Kentucky, corn, soybeans and poultry were the state’s top agricultural commodities, accounting for 18% of all projected sales. Equine industry comes in at 16% and cattle at 11%.

While we can revel in the farmers’ success now, things might not remain on the upswing in coming months. Production costs are expected to rise on the farm.

“Farm input costs will likely be up double-digit percentages in 2022, with much higher fuel, fertilizer and feed prices,” Snell said. “Labor costs and supplies continue to be a concern, not only among farmers but throughout the entire food supply chain and the rest of economy.”

Snell’s predictions sound as though not only farmers but consumers, too, are in for it in 2022. We hope that turns out to be false. We hope farmers continue to thrive and consumers can afford to buy groceries.

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Bowling Green Daily News. December 7, 2021.

Editorial: SKyPASS program will benefit many local residents

The arts should never be just for one part of the community to enjoy.

Those were the words last week of Denise Lubey, director of development for Arts of Southern Kentucky, in speaking about SKyPASS: Arts Access for All – a new program that will provide free tickets to certain performing arts events to local residents who receive state financial assistance.

We agree with Lubey’s sentiments, and we are excited that Arts of Southern Kentucky has launched this initiative, which will open the doors to many Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, Orchestra Kentucky and BG OnStage events for members of the community who otherwise could not afford access.

Our first thought upon learning recently of the SKyPASS program was about how it has the potential to profoundly touch and enrich the lives of children and young adults. SKyPASS membership grants up to four complimentary tickets per household for most performances, creating a pathway into the performing arts that under normal circumstances likely would not exist for these young people – some of whom just might be drawn into the field as a career or as a lifelong passion.

Of course, the program is structured to benefit people of all ages, not just the young.

Elise Charny, Arts of Southern Kentucky education director, said Boys and Girls Clubs, the Housing Authority of Bowling Green, family resource centers, foster care groups and senior and assisted living centers are some of the groups already handing out membership cards.

“We wanted to make sure that SKyPAC is accessible to anyone who is interested in seeing the top art in the southcentral Kentucky area,” Lubey said of the program’s mission. “Anyone who wants to see art will have the opportunity to do so. We have seen great community love for the program already. People are just so excited to come and not worry about the cost associated with coming here.”

We applaud Arts of Southern Kentucky for developing the SKyPASS initiative, and we hope for robust participation from eligible residents. Bowling Green and Warren County is a vibrant regional hub for the performing arts, and our community will only be strengthened by expanding access to these events to a broader segment of the population.

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