Say the magic word | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Say the magic word

Posted By on Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 6:24 AM

Gerard Matthews of the Times talked yesterday to various UCA officials about reports that administrative restructuring and cost-cutting measures were ahead in Conway as the school straightens its financial affairs.

He didn't ask the magic questions, apparently, because none of those interviewed mentioned $157,000-a-year administrator Barbara Anderson's coming forced departure from UCA or the disclosure in the Democrat-Gazette this morning that the school had been spending $300,000 or so a semester on "discretionary" scholarships awarded by former president Lu Hardin absent a public application process or requirements of demonstrated need or academic ability.

Fine stories in the D-G by Debra Hale-Shelton, particularly the one on scholarships. Tough medicine at UCA, but necessary.

Lingering question: Since Republican state Sen. Gilbert Baker and trustee Michael Stanton have been reported to be among those with children who received discretionary housing deals from former President Lu Hardin (and, in Stanton's case, a free wedding reception on campus), it might be interesting to know if their kids received discretionary scholarships, too. Also, who else on the insider roster might similarly have benefitted?

An upright public official wouldn't accept benefits for his or her children not available on an equal basis to all students, wouldn't you say? Wouldn't you, acting UCA President Tom Courtway? Er, no, on second thought. I guess Courtway isn't in a position to answer that question comfortably. Who was on the UCA dole?

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