LEXINGTON—The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees passed a unanimous resolution to float the University of Kentucky Athletic Association (UKAA) a $3 million loan so the scoreboard at Commonwealth Stadium could be upgraded. The loan is to be issued at 1.64% APR, otherwise known as the “University of Kentucky General Fund Good ‘ol Boy Rate.”
“We shopped around to come up with the cash we need for the scoreboard project, and this is by far the best interest rate we could find,” said UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart. “Not even the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union could offer terms this generous,” he said. “The best they could do was an 5.4% APR on a home equity loan.”
Barnhart said that he had first tried to ask UK Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari for a personal loan, to come out of his $6 million dollar annual salary, but Calipari said that he would not make a loan with anything less than a 10% yield.
“We also explored the option of taking out some money with Check Into Cash,” said Barnhart. “But their policy is to lend no more than $500 at a time, with an APR of 700%.”
To many faculty members, the decision by the Board of Trustees to lend the UKAA such a large sum of money is the final insult.
“This is the ultimate violation of the divide between college sports for entertainment and education,” said Ernie Yarinella, a member of the UK Faculty Senate. Yarinella is circulating a petition to repeal the “loan.”
“One would think that some how, some way, the Athletics Association would be able to save a slice of their giant pie that is the television contract revenue and come up with the cash to make this improvement,” Yarinella said. “Or, why can’t they just ask those old K Fund donors to step up to the plate? Read more…
LEXINGTON—Mark Ransfield, a beleaguered Professor of Musicology at Northwest South Dakota State University, reached a $215,000 out-of-court settlement with the University of Kentucky. Ransfield, a devout and open follower of Yazidism, filed suit after he had been denied a job as the Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts. Confidential court documents, which surfaced early in the legal proceedings, revealed that Ransfield had been a leading candidate but was denied the job when the search committee decided his religious beliefs would interfere with his ability to guide curriculum and produce research in his discipline.
“I hate to see the university part with $215,000, but this is certainly better than having a fundamentalist and tenured Yazidist on faculty,” said Michael S. Tick, Dean of the College. “It’s in everyone’s best interests that we cut our losses and get out of this mess.” Tick indicated that several members of the UK administration wondered whether Ransfield’s arcane faith tradition would sully his role in leading a college that offered programs in humanistic disciplines like art and music.
At the fore of the lawsuit was the suggestion that Ransfield’s religion was hostile toward the interpretative liberties and creativity valued by the arts. Yazidism, a strange religion, purports that a seven-pronged holy deity is responsible for creating the earth. The religion bears many traces to staunch secular scientific empiricism and stipulates that all knowledge is able to be ascertained and expressed by human research. Each year, its estimated 425,000 followers worldwide make a pilgrimage to the Alter of Technology and Progress, where they present data in honor of the mysteries of the Gods. Read more…
LEXINGTON—The University of Kentucky’s Department of Geography, a unit within the College of Arts & Sciences, announced that it has contracted the services of Greenwood/Asher & Associates, a corporate head-hunting firm that specializes in hires for the education sector. The firm has been selected to locate a suitable Visiting Assistant Professor for the upcoming 2011-2012 academic year. While the final cost to the University of Kentucky has not yet been determined, the consulting services are rumored to run upwards of $300,000.
“When the geography department approached me and asked about subcontracting its search for a Visiting Assistant Professor, I was a bit skeptical, said College of Arts & Sciences Dean Mark Kornbluh. “It didn’t make sense to me at first that we would spend a quarter-million dollars on a search for a two-year, non-tenure track position in which the employee would make $38,000 per year and teach a 4-4 load. But then I realized how important it is that we get this search right and find the correct candidate, so I went ahead and approved the request,” said Kornbluh.
Department of Geography Chair Prof. Sue Roberts said that the decision to work with Greenwood/Asher & Associates would lighten their load significantly.
“The members of our search committee for this VAP position were getting bogged down in applications, CVs, and cover letters,” said Roberts. “It became almost impossible to sift through the paperwork and decide on which candidate to hire. Now our faculty can get back to stuff that matters, like their research.” Read more…
Note: This article is by new Colonel contributor Contraband Hawkings
LEXINGTON—ProgressLex, a popular satirical organization, passed away without much notice at the end of September. In the tradition of other satirists like Jonathan Swift, writers of The Onion, and the Republican Party, ProgressLex aimed to show the ridiculous side of local politics, often by valorizing unimportant concerns to show how our efforts are often misguided. The organization’s most popular ironic activist push was for an aesthetically pleasing CVS at the gateway to downtown Lexington.
“People often miss the point of real social justice being about the poor and under-represented and think, instead, about some sort of neoliberal agenda,” explained Graham Kohl, board member of ProgressLex. “Therefore, what we wanted to do is show what happens when you pay attention to trivial details.”
In a brilliant campaign, ProgressLex voiced concerns over the proposed CVS store’s architectural style. Thousands of Lexingtonians, unaware that they were part of a satirical plot, signed a petition in favor of a more aesthetically pleasing store.
“When we actually got the store we wanted, we were shocked. The power of our own voice scared us a little,” said Kohl. Read more…
LEXINGTON–The University of Kentucky Athletics Association announced that the football game between the Wildcats and the Vanderbilt Commodores, scheduled for Saturday, November 13, has been canceled. By playing, UK would have violated its $80 million contractual agreement with the independent sports, entertainment, and media marketing firm, IMG. UK’s contract with IMG stipulates that the Wildcats may not use Commonwealth Stadium to play any collegiate opponent which considers academic achievement to be an integral part of its overall brand image. By SEC rule, UK forfeits the contest, and their record moves to 5-6.
“This news comes an a particularly inopportune time,” said Head Coach Joker Phillips. “All season long, I’ve been telling my men that no matter how bad things get, no matter how many yards we give up, we’ve still got Vanderbilt as an easy conference win on our November schedule. So much for that.” Read more…
LEXINGTON—University of Kentucky President Lee Todd, Jr., a longtime whipping boy of this publication, announced plans to resign from his post at the end of the current academic year. The news came in the wake of allegations that Todd’s hand-picked wunderkind, Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Calipari, had recruited a professional athlete and thus had violated NCAA regulations once again.
However, any connection between the resignation and UK’s impending basketball sanctions were downplayed. Todd said in an e-mail that he was growing tired of his job and that the decision to retire was a difficult one.
“10 years is a long time to serve in a position that really is 24/7. So this is the right decision at the right moment,” Todd wrote in an e mail.
“This is no hyperbole,” said University Trustee Joe Miles, who tried his damnedest to make Todd reconsider. “I really did see his light on no matter what time of the day or night. He really did work 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and after ten years, he’s just tired.”
Todd leaves behind an institution in shambles. Strung along by the empty promise of Top Twenty status and hung out to dry by budget cuts and top-heavy administrative overhead, the University of Kentucky is reeling. After ten years under Todd’s leadership, the university remains at best a bottom-feeding diploma mill that is comparable to the satellite campuses of nearby states, like UNC Greensboro or UT Martin.
“Good riddance to that asshole,” said Wershawn Hung, a newly-hired professor of English Literature at UK. “Bad leadership begins at the top, and from what I hear, this guy did anything but lead by example.”
Todd joins a growing contingent of Presidents at aspiring Top 20 research institutions who have lost their resolve in the wake of state legislatures who pinch pennies. Two weeks ago, SUNY Buffalo President John B. Simpson announced his intention to retire after less than a decade on the job.
“While my retirement plans are motivated by a personal desire to be closer to family, I would be disingenuous if I did not also note that this difficult decision has been made somewhat easier by Albany’s failure to give UB and SUNY the policy tools and stable support needed to fully achieve this university’s great potential,” said Simpson. “UB’s promise, and its potential to transform this community, have been threatened severely by repeated budget cuts and, most recently, by the latest setbacks from Albany.”
Todd also feels bad about the budget constraints and admitted that he couldn’t live with the hypocrisy of drawing a salary with bonuses while freezing employee pay.
“It’s no secret that I’ve been frustrated with the economic and budget conditions that surround the University,” Todd said in his e mail to the university community.
Todd’s Top Twenty Business Plan, a veritable relic of overblown corporate psychobabble cum marketing strategy, is an abject failure.
“Surely, the document will go down with ‘See Blue’ and all that other garbage as a signifier of Todd’s arrogance,” said Hung.
Also a failure is Todd’s ongoing attempt to “clean up” the university’s independently-owned and operated Athletics Department.
“When he got here in 2001, the football team was on probation for various violation, and now the basketball program awaits the same fate,” said Merlin Asmann, a Mechanical Engineering major at UK. “I find it convenient that Todd announces his decision just as we’re in the process of getting nailed for Enes Kanter.”
Asmann referenced the impending sanctions UK will face for recruiting Kanter, who was paid to play professional basketball in Turkey.