Posted May 9,2016
Since early February, there have been discussions and questions regarding Kentucky State University closing or surviving. I take full responsibility for those discussions. In February, I outlined the potential consequences of the then-proposed gubernatorial budget. Those consequences (if felt) would have been dire. That statement was the reflection of a potential reality. Having said that then did not mean KSU was not going to survive and thrive as a freestanding public institution of higher education in Kentucky. It was the statement of a potential reality.
I am here today to say Kentucky State University is not closing, and it will have continued existence (at least 130 more years) ahead of it developing to where we must be for our tomorrow. A few indicators of the vibrancy and the life ahead were demonstrated last week by the following:
1. On Friday April 30th, we held what we called “Fresh Friday”. Fresh Fridays are an opportunity to bring the Campus community together to fellowship, be entertained and have a good time. What I witnessed this past Friday was absolutely unbelievable in terms of the life on the KSU campus. It reminded me of Homecoming, which will be coming in October. KSU is a very special and active campus.
2. The School of Business held its ‘Student Research Day’ in which students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate
programs presented posters and oral presentations on the results of their research. The presentations and the posters were outstanding. We have a cadre of students at Kentucky State University who are serious about their studies and their academics, and can articulate the results of their inquisitive minds working (critical thinking). The day’s activities were capped with an awards ceremony where the winners were recognized. In my opinion, each and every student who presented a poster or made a presentation was a winner. The KSU School of Business is on the move!
3. Not to be outdone, the Music Department presented its Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop“Gala”in which students in the workshop performed. Their performances were superb. I thought I was at The Met! They demonstrated the talent which abounds within the Music Department here at Kentucky State University. I kidded with the students about how they can learn Italian and French, and speak and sing it fluently and correctly, providing just one indication of their mental acumen and ability to master anything before them that should spread to all of their academics. What made the performance even better was the presence of a large contingency of our community family from Frankfort. Hats off to Dr. Caroline Gibson and her colleagues in the Music Department.
4. Dr. Herman Walston topped off an exciting week through The Promising Youth Center for Excellence program, which presented a literacy and arts showcase for the young people enrolled in the program. Students – ranging from fourth grade to high school – demonstrated their skills, abilities and talents beyond expectations. It was a great evening of performances.
5. We honored retirees with a combined total of 425 years of service to KSU, and the anniversary of service for other employees with a combined total of over 1,000 years of service to KSU. The retirees were thanked for their service, and the anniversary service honorees were thanked and encouraged that their collective experiences will be what moves KSU forward.
To top off all of the above, Governor Matt Bevin signed last week the 2016-2018 biennial budget in which Kentucky State University was exempted from all budget cuts. In the budget was also one sweetener for KSU. KSU is to receive additional funding to bring our state match of federal funds for the land grant programs to 100 percent. That was a monumental step for Kentucky State University and its land grant programs. Visible results and impacts are on their way.
What I have outlined above tells you that active learning is in full gear on the KSU campus and the educational enterprise is running and running full steam ahead to deliver measurable results and outcomes. We are engaged in making KSU the best that it can be. The central ingredient to our being the best we can be is to continue to enroll, retain and graduate students. We need your help in assisting us to enroll more students who can benefit from the KSU experience, which is an experience in pursuit of “In All Things Excellence.”