As most faculty know, much of the summer of 1999 was taken up with the controversy over the Wethington contract extension.  What you may not be aware of, however, is AAUP's involvement in the situation.  Starting in mid-May, the AAUP Board held emergency meetings with a number of faculty leaders, including the faculty trustees and Roy Moore, the Senate Council President.  AAUP actions taken over the summer included submission of a complaint to Chair Ned Breathitt, meetings with UK Board members, sending opinion letters expressing our disapproval of the Board's action and our position that the act violated both the Open Meetings Laws and the UK regulations to the news media.

May 4, 1999:   The Board of Trustees  (BoT), after a legally-suspect closed meeting, voted to extend the term of President Charles Wethington by an additional two years which extended past the retirement age of 65 mandated in the Governing Regulations.   His original term should have  ended  on June 30, 2001; the new term was scheduled to end on June 30, 2003.

May 5-6, 1999: Editorials that were critical of the process appeared in the Lexington Herald- Leader and the Louisville Courier-Journal.

May 10, 1999: The Senate Council met with 20-30 senior faculty and AAUP representatives in attendance to discuss the great concern of the faculty about this event.  Two resolutions were discussed and a decision was reached to call a special Senate meeting open to all faculty at which both resolutions would be presented for a vote with no recommendation on either from the Senate Council.

May 14, 1999: The AAUP Executive Committee held an emergency meeting  with Dan Reedy, faculty trustee, and Roy Moore, UK Senate Council President. Several conclusions resulted from the discussion: 1) that the closed meeting of the BoT  violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the Kentucky Open Meetings  statute; 2) that the lack of notice of an action item in the written agenda on the extension of the Presidency violated the customary procedures of the BoT; 3) the failure to cite at the general meeting the specific statute that applied to the need for a closed meeting violated the statute on open meetings; and 4) usual procedures for extending retirement age of administrators were not followed. The normal procedure that has been to have both a prior listing of  the item in the agenda and announcement of a closed meeting. After a discussion of the statutes governing open meetings, the group agreed that AAUP chapter President Michael Kennedy acting for AAUP should submit a complaint to Chair Ned Breathitt as the first step in the appeals process.  Following the meeting, AAUP members Alvin Goldman and Jesse Weil drafted a complaint to Gov. Ned Breathitt.

May 15, 1999: Herald-Leader published an editorial about the Board's lack of concern for faculty opinion.

May 17, 1999: UK Senate special  meeting.  In an open meeting with a large number of faculty attending, the two resolutions were vigorously debated, after which  the Senate voted in almost unanimous favor of both resolutions. Both condemned the procedure which the BoT followed in deciding to extend President Wethington's term of office.

May 17, 1999: The AAUP complaint was delivered to Gov. Breathitt by Michael Kennedy.

May 18, 1999: The Lexington Herald-Leader sent a complaint to Chairman Ned  Breathitt alleging violations of the Open Meetings Act.

May 20, 1999: The AAUP  received a reply from Gov. Breathitt disclaiming any wrongdoing in the Board procedure.

May 21, 1999: Pamela Luecke, editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, received a response from Gov. Breathitt disclaiming any illegalities in the closed meeting procedure.

May 24, 1999: At a special meeting the Senate Council voted to request a ruling from the Attorney General as to whether the Board violated the Kentucky Open Meetings statutes. As a first step, the Senate Council  endorsed their letter of complaint to Gov. Breathitt, which was delivered to Gov. Breathitt on the same day.

May 24, 1999: Kennedy made an open records request for the stenographic report for the closed BoT meeting on May 4, copies of the new and previous contracts of Charles Wethington, a stenographic copy of the open part of the BoT meeting, and notes of any sub-quorum meetings of the BoT following the May 4 meeting.

May 25, 1999: The AAUP Executive Committee met with Bill Fortune and Roy Moore, members of the Senate Council, and Faculty Trustee Loys Mather to discuss strategy.  It was decided that both groups would submit a request for a ruling to the Attorney General.

May 28, 1999: Kennedy requested copies from the Open Records office of all of Wethington's employment contracts as President, as well as the record of his receiving tenure at the University of Kentucky.

May 30, 1999: Kennedy sent a recruitment letter to all Arts & Science faculty, asking them to join AAUP.

June 1, 1999: The AAUP Executive committee received a copy of the June 1 reply to the  Senate Council from Gov. Breathitt denying any wrongdoing.

June 3, 1999: An AAUP editorial-page opinion letter opposing the Board decision appeared in the Herald-Leader. Kennedy received copies of Wethington's contracts.

June 3, 1999: BoT member Steve Reed met with AAUP members Michael Kennedy and Jesse Weil and Senate Council Chair Roy Moore to hear first-hand some faculty opinions on the extension of President Wethington's contract and the procedure by which it occurred.

June 8, 1999: At the regular  meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Board voted 10-10 on a motion to rescind its prior decision to extend Wethington's term as President. The prior vote stood.

June 11, 1999: Kentucky's two largest newspapers, the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Louisville Courier-Journal,  together with the Kentucky Press Association  filed a law suit against Gov. Breathitt and the Board of Trustees for violation of the Open Meetings and other earlier statutes on UK BoT meetings.

June 29, 1999: At an emergency meeting, the BoT  rescinded its previous extension.  It was replaced by an agreement that Wethington would step down as President in 2001, but would continue employment as a fund-raiser.

September 16, 1999: BoT member Steve Reed met with Michael Kennedy, Jesse Weil, and Roy Moore to report on the status of a campaign to elect a completely new slate of BoT officers.

September 21, 1999: The Board of Trustees elected new officers by a series of 11-9 votes which replaced Gov. Breathitt and other previous officers. Billy Joe Miles was elected as President, Steve Reed as Vice President, and Dan Reedy, Faculty Trustee, as Secretary. This took the control of the Board of Trustees out of the hands of the tight-knit group which had monopolized all the committee positions in the past, allowing them to dominate Board policy and actions.

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