Legislative meddling in UA job further exposed | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Legislative meddling in UA job further exposed

Posted By on Sun, Aug 19, 2018 at 8:28 AM

Jon Eubanks: Applied pressure on hire
  • Jon Eubanks: Applied pressure on hire
Michael Wickline of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette expanded substantially today on the heavy-handed response when the University of Arkansas didn’t hire a legislator-preferred candidate to head the Arkansas Leadership Academy that works with school leaders.


I had reported earlier that Rep. Jon Eubanks of Paris had belatedly fessed up to putting a hold on a raft of UA spending requests because UA hired the Huntsville school superintendent instead of a candidate preferred by him and other bigshot Republicans. Rep. Jeff Wardlaw did the budget pressure dirty work and initially refused to tell me or Wickline who he was working for.

The candidate lawmakers such as Eubanks and Speaker Jeremy Gillam wanted hired was Education Department administrator Tina Smith, whose resume includes time as a teacher in Ozark and a stint with the Walton-financed Arkansas Public School Research Center.

GODFATHER OF SWAMP GAS: Governor’s deputy chief  of staff, Bill Gossage.
  • GODFATHER OF SWAMP GAS: Governor’s deputy chief of staff, Bill Gossage.
One key to this puzzle can be found in past reporting touched on today: It is former legislator Bill Gossage, now a top staffer for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and his promotion of almost $13 million in no-bid consulting work for Solution Tree, the latest in methods for school improvements, or so advocates believe, particularly those who’ve junketed with them. Gossage is a former Ozark assistant superintendent, by the way. Which is funny because if you believe Eubanks and Gillam, the problem here is hiring superintendents in the belief they can improve education.

Apparently those who believe in Solution Tree are more trustworthy. Asa’s Education boss, Johnny Key (the uncredentialed leader plucked from GOP legislative ranks) cited Smith’s work for Solution Tree as a plus.

Wickline provides evidence that legislative pressure forced out David Cook as head of the UA unit.  So you can see why they got out of sorts when their pick to replace him got passed over.

This is no way to run a university. To run a swamp? Absolutely.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Marijuana makes Harding University grad a billionaire

    Meet a new Arkansas-native billionaire — Michael Blue, who grew up in Searcy and graduated from Harding University. He owes his wealth to marijuana.
    • Sep 21, 2018
  • Walmart begins home grocery delivery in Little Rock

    Walmart has announced it will deliver groceries ordered online in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Bryant for $9.95  per order. The service begins Tuesday, Sept. 25.
    • Sep 21, 2018
  • Are the Razorbacks out of their league?

    Ouch. The Southeastern Conference football schedule hasn't yet begun and the New York Times offers an article suggesting the Arkansas Razorbacks aren't up to playing in the league.
    • Sep 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Trump tariffs hit farmers hard

    Well, the trade war has begun and the early returns for farmers are not good — sharp reductions in the prices for soybeans and corn. You may have heard that Arkansas, which overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump, has some agricultural interests, particularly in soybeans.
    • Jul 6, 2018
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017

Most Viewed

  • Are the Razorbacks out of their league?

    Ouch. The Southeastern Conference football schedule hasn't yet begun and the New York Times offers an article suggesting the Arkansas Razorbacks aren't up to playing in the league.
  • French Hill carefully vetting crowd for Mike Pence visit

    Mike Pence will appear at a campaign rally for Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill today in Little Rock and the campaign is monitoring carefully who'll be allowed to attend or cover the event. Hill is running a hide-and-seek campaign, making himself available only in safe settings. Maybe 1,200 of the right sort of people will atternd.
  • Six Supreme Court justices found to have violated ethics code

    The Arkansas Judicial and Disability Commission has announced the filing of formal charges of ethics violations against six members of the Arkansas Supreme Court for their handling of a case involving Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.
  • Walmart begins home grocery delivery in Little Rock

    Walmart has announced it will deliver groceries ordered online in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Bryant for $9.95  per order. The service begins Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation