Editorial Roundup: Kentucky

Frankort State Journal. October 25, 2021.

Editorial: Committee to play big role in KSU president search

A committee of 10 stakeholders and Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) Vice President and General Counsel Travis Powell will be trusted with some of the most important decisions in the 135-year history of Kentucky State University — selecting candidates for the institution’s next president during an unprecedented period of financial uncertainty.

The presidential search committee will be composed of two K-State students to be voted on by the university’s Student Government Association, two faculty members and two staff members selected from their respective senate bodies, two alumni elected by the KSU Alumni Association and two Frankfort community members — one a local K-12 educator and another “at large” resident.

CPE President and former Kentucky State interim president Aaron Thompson will choose the two Frankfort members and the names of the eight remaining presidential search committee members must be submitted to Powell by Nov. 9.

The group will be charged with conducting the search process, providing a summary of candidates and evaluating two to three finalists for the board of regents to vote on.

“Board members are not involved in the initial vetting and search for the candidate because we have the final vote, so we don’t already have a bias on who we think we need or want,” said Board of Regents Chair Elaine Farris, who added that she likes the composition of presidential search committee — the majority of which will include those who either work at, attend or have attended the university.

One thing is evidently clear whoever is tapped to lead the institution will be undertaking a monumental task. At last week’s board meeting, the CPE stated that financial reporting submitted to K-State and the CPE was inaccurate and inadequate. The university is asking the state for $23 million to make up for a $15.7 million shortfall due to prior year deficits and $7 million due to a cashflow imbalance this fiscal year, as well as $1 million per year for the next three years for strategic initiatives.

It is our hope that the presidential search committee and search firm, which has yet to be announced, will do their due diligence and properly vet all potential candidates for the job. Kentucky State needs a president that can right the ship and look to the future.

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Ashland Daily Independent. October 22, 2021.

Editorial: TRUTH out there, but not this site

Former President Donald Trump announced this week he will launch a social media platform called TRUTH Social. We don’t think such a social media platform will be successful, because Trump doesn’t seem to know what the truth is. After all, he’s been out of office for nearly a year and still believes he’s still President.

We are not the only ones who doubt the strength of this concept.

• Pundits have pointed out TRUTH is another social media site, of which there are plenty. The difference with TRUTH is, Trump is allowed to use it, unlike Facebook and Twitter, which are dominant sites and which have banned him for spreading misinformation.

• Not only are there already plenty of social media, there are plenty of conservative social media; and they aren’t doing well.

Last year, the site Parler was touted as the new site for conservatives. In December 2020, the site had 517,000 downloads; by June 2021, it was down to 11,000. A Trump associate began Gettr, which is much like Twitter. The site was almost immediately hacked and 85,000 email addresses of users were taken and published.

• TRUTH is hypocritical. Its rules say users aren’t allowed to “disparage, tarnish or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the site.” This rule is the same rule other sites have had that Trump complained about and violated.

• Trump is less relevant and less important now that he’s no longer President. The site is being created to give Trump a voice, but it’s a voice most are no longer interested in hearing.

In a nutshell, we are confident Trump’s TRUTH will likely not be very truthful; he has proven himself to be untrustworthy in terms of the information he disseminates. TRUTH is not a reliable source, just an attention grab by a man who is no longer in power.

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Bowling Green Daily News. October XX, 2021.

Editorial: Philanthropic work brings well-deserved honor to Scotts

If Scotty’s Contracting & Stone was asked to pave a road connecting all of the organizations its founder, Jim Scott, and his wife, Rita Scott, have supported over the years, the nation’s asphalt supply could become as scarce as $2-a-gallon gasoline.

It would be a long and winding road, stretching from the Housing Authority of Bowling Green and the Boys and Girls Club to Western Kentucky University and the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center.

The Scotts have supported those organizations and more over the years, leading to their selection by the Community Foundation as 2021 South Central Kentuckians of the Year.

We couldn’t think of any more deserving winners of this award.

They join such past winners as Romanza Johnson, Bob Kirby, Robert and Cora Jane Spiller, John and Linda Kelly and Fred Higgins in receiving an award that, according to the Community Foundation, “celebrates those who make giving back a priority.”

Like the previous winners, the Scotts have done just that, fashioning a lifetime of philanthropic work that has touched lives throughout Bowling Green and the region.

The praise they received at the Oct. 21 awards luncheon from a group that included former WKU President Gary Ransdell, Arts of Southern Kentucky President and CEO Jeff Reed and former Boys Club Executive Director Stan England demonstrates just how far-reaching the couple’s generosity has been.

England recalled the time when Jim Scott bought bicycles that were given to youngsters in need at the Boys Club.

Ransdell lauded the Scotts for “their willingness to roll up their sleeves and help the community.”

Jim Scott founded the Scott Center for Construction and Engineering and established the James D. Scott Professorship that has helped WKU students pursue engineering degrees.

Reed was effusive in his praise of the Scotts and their support of the arts, and rightfully so.

The Scotts, after all, earlier this year had the primary performance space at SKyPAC named for them after they gave Arts of Southern Kentucky a $1 million gift.

Their munificence isn’t limited to those causes. Rita Scott has supported the Senior Medication Program at the Commonwealth Health Free Clinic, helping provide free prescription medications to seniors in need, and she has led fundraisers to help the Commonwealth Health Foundation.

Other organizations – including Kids on the Block, Operation PRIDE, the Salvation Army and Hospice – have benefited from the generosity of the Scotts.

Small wonder that a list of the Scotts’ awards and recognitions in a Community Foundation news release stretches for more than 30 entries.

That list will probably grow longer as this couple continues to give back to their community.

As Jim Scott said of his wife of 26 years: “Rita will help anyone, and she wants to do that.”

The entrepreneur, who developed The Club at Olde Stone residential community and golf course, said he adopted that same giving nature after being around business mentors like the late Ervin Houchens.

“I learned that you get more out of giving than you do out of receiving,” he said at the awards luncheon.

All of southcentral Kentucky can be glad that the Scotts have learned that important lesson and taken it to heart.

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