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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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July 25, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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July 25, 2012

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iilil ~:~::~iiiiiii~ iii i ~ i ~ i i~i iiiii i~ ii-~i:~"~~:~:"~i ii / iii iiiiliill PAGE i!liil "No government ought to be without censors and where the press is free, ,~kq[~ no one ever will." -- Thomas Jefferson pirit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE Wednesday, July 25, 2012 EDITORIAL It's enough to keep any West ceration rates succeed at both Virginia public policymaker -- reduced rates of recidivisrrr from a good night's sleep, and substance abuse among Here's a state that once en- participants and graduates. joyed the lowest crime rate in Last week, state and local the nation now with the fastest officials celebrated the open- growing prison population in ing of a juvenile drug court the country, doubling between in the Eastern Panhandle.-The 2000 and 2009, and causing the court will be presided over by bill to house its average daily Family Court Judge David P. population of 6,385 prisoners Greenberg. Currently, eight to exceed $169 million in 2010. area young people are partici- A state where the incidence of pating in the program, which drug use is also escalating, offers those charged with a particularly among young peo- drug violation the opportunity pie- indeed, according to the to cleanse their record upon website of the state Supreme graduation. Court of Appeals, 7,000 young The addition of a drug court people day in West Virginia in the Eastern Panhandle is are gubject to a court-ordered part of a continuing expansion drug treatment program or a of the program throughout the probation officer. And a state state; currently 15 such court~ where policymakers are be- are in oPeration for juveniles, ing told by businesses and in- 13 for adults. dustry that jobs are relatively But, caution Lutze and van plentiful, yet in-state workers Wormer, juvenile drug courts, are hard to come by because despite their relative success, they can't pass required pre- don't succeed simply because employment drug screenings, of the structure of the program. If it wasn't for such a sober- Their study recognizes the need ing reality, perhaps the under- for a wide mixture of incentives stated simplicity of the state's and sanctions as a bulwark juvenile drug courts wouldn't against a one-size-tits-all ap- seem so sublime, proach that might show mixed The approach is a collabora- results at best. A n d tive one, blending an intensive that, they argue, will require a treatment regimen with judicial great degree of personalization, accountability and engaging training and commitment on not just the youthful offender, the part of the team members but also his family, involved. The participation of And that's part of the appeal family members in order to of such a court, according to address what the authors call Division of Probation Services "complex family dynamics" is Director Michael B. Lacy -- also necessary to the programs' these courts address genera- success. tional issues and in order for a we applaud the efforts on be- young person to be able to par- half of the youth and families ticipate his parents or guard- in the Eastern Panhandle. ians must enroll as well. The addition of such a court . The four-stage program in Jefferson County is a recog- includes supervision, drug nition by state and local lead- screenings, court appearances ers of both the need to address and meetings with probation the area's growing drug prob- officers with a formal ceremo- lem as well as its need to af- ny marking its completion, firm that better methods must And it is working, accord- be explored before consigning ing to a studY completed by young people and nonviolent Jacqueline van Wormer and adult drug offenders to what Faith Lutze, both assistant pro- most likely would be a revolv- fessors at Washington State ing door of court convictions University. Jurisdictions t at and jail time -- a remedy that is implement juvenile and adult, both exp nsive to the state and drug courts as a way to corn- costly to the lives of those af- bat illicit drug use and incar- fected. Ousted MSU president's words shed light on school woes With the news this week that itation trou- about half of Mountain State bles brewed, University employees will be they were 'without jobs come September, constantly it's impossible not to think of reassured by Charles H. Polk, the man cred- Polk that he ited wi h the massive expansion had the sit- that enabled so many to come to uation i un- work for the institution, der control. Fired as president of Mountain While Polk State earlier this year, Polk for hasn't granted interviews since he decades had been unquestioned was ousted from his post by MSU's. as the school's savior. Prior to his board in mid-January, his approach arrival in 1990, the school then toward leadership is no secret. known as Beckley College was There's plenty of insight into the per se; they also defer to what they think is power, to what they think is intelligence, or to what they think is strength. "Practicing control of the behav- ior of people who are subordinates, even on a limited scale, assures the oppommity to learn the power role. It is a continuing contest of wits that serves in good stead when building the strength necessary to be a chief executive officer. No one succeeds without enjoying the exercise of power. "One must gain some satisfac- a struggling junior college with a native Texan's mindset in his 2007 tion in the control of others. Those grand total of three buildings, all book, "Apex Thinking: A Guide to who don't enjoy amassing and us- in downtown Beckley. Long-Term Leadership for the Ris- ing it have no reasonto work to ac- Quickly, Polk began to building CEO" - a handbook that was an empire - with ever-expanding required reading in MSU's busi- campuses and a growing number ness leadership program, where he of programs not only in south- offers praise for power games and em West Virginia but in Martins- manipulation- as well as from me- burg, Florida, North Carolina and dia interviews and a rally he held Pennsylvania. less than a year ago as the school's Under his leadership, Beck- accreditation issues began to wid- ley College became the Cob en. lege of West V'Lrginia and then in 2001, Mountain State Univer- sity. Hordes of other student at- tended MSU online from across o~ globe. The school offered not y two-year degrees by mas- ter's programs. And by 2009, he was being paid close to $2 mil- lion a year for his work at MSU. Many associated with the school over the years place say without hesitation that it was Polk- who formerly had served as president of a junior college in Daytona Beach, Fla where he ran into problems with the state's Ethics Commission- and a man- agement style they call relent- lessly heavy-handed that created the bulk of the university's cur- rent problems. In its report revoking MSU's accredi'tation - a decision that school is appealing - the Chica- go-based Higher Learning Com- mission criticized Polk and the university's top-down manage- ment structure. "The University has a long history of control of the Univer- sity by a small group of admin- istrators, including and surround- ing the former president [and a] lack of shared governance, and lack of oversight by the Universi- ty's Board of Trustees of serious problems at the University." The HLC went on to criticize school officials for focusing on addingtoMSU'senrollmentnum- bets rather than on ensuring pro- gram quality and providing prop- er academic oversight. Members of MSU's board of trustees have said that as the school's accred- quire power. - "Apex Thinking" Harm to others "In issues of survival or non- survival, sometimes the deliberate misuse of power becomes the only way to survive, even though such misuse may involve unintentionally harming others. This tactic again re- A look at the man who created quires the chief executive to answer Mountain State University, in his that very important question How own words: far am I willing to go in the use of Hard work - my power in order to survive?" "In reality, working hard, per se, "The belief that one may, once at accomplishes relatively little. One the top, eliminate the use of force, discovers that it's not how hard he deceit, or power which may have works but how 'smart' he works been employed to get there in the that makes the critical difference, first place is not correct." 'Working smart' means using oth- - "Apex Thinking" er people, as often and .as advan- Being loved vs. being feared tageously as possible, to expedite " it is more important for a goals and objectives." chief executive to be feared than - Polk's book, "Apex Thinking" loved. Traditional ideology main-" Power and control tains that when fear can be instilled "An aspirant should concurrent- in subordinates; one can effectively ly develop a greater ability to in flu- control their behavior." ence, dominate, control and manip-"Apex Thinking" ulate. On scapegoating "Earning a good reputation as an "Depending upon the situation, individual leader also builds pow- rather than owning up to an error, er. Such a reputation gains respect a CEO might want to say, 'Well, it and eventually provides the poten- was not my fault. What went wrong tial for directing others. Remem- happened because either a subordi- ber people not only defer to power, nate or a board member or some- one else caused the problem.' More often than not, the best scapegoat technique is to pass blame along to some abstract agency or organiza- tion. Those kinds of institutions can be more easily blamed in many sit- uations when it is awkward or im- possible to refute the accusation. "When passing the blame, how- ever, recognize that one must iden- tify a target with which no one can argue. If possible, pass blame on to a scapegoat that is more theoreti- cal than real. That's an even better scapegoat game." - "'Apex Thinking" Accreditation "[Mountain State will be seen] as the best institution in West Vir- ginia - if we're not already. We Will deal with this as we deal with every challenge that comes our way. We will deal with it professionally, we will deal with it aggressively and we will deal with it thoroughly." - PolkatanAug.25,2011, cam- pus rally in Beckley that he orga- nized after news that the Higher Learning Commission had issued a show-cause order, a serious threat to the school's accreditation MSU's future "What has happened in the 20 years will really be dwarfed by what happens in the next 10 years. I wouidn't be surprised in the next 10 years to see Mountain State Univer- sity have 20,000 to 25,000 students. I suspect it will be a major, major player in this business." - Polk, in a July 2010 interview with the Beckley Register-Herald as he marked his 20th year with the school Life at the top "A misconception about life at the top is that those Who make it do so because they exemplify posi- tive hmnan behavior- honesty, in- tegrity, and morality. Unforamately there is another side of the success story which, sometimes, involves negative characteristics which we generally consider inappropri- ate within our leaders. [Those peo- ple who] have the ability to employ politics, instill fear in subordinateS, and make power plays that often re- quire hurting others also make it to the top." - "Apex Thinking" Preparing for failure "Unless you own the company, don't ever sit in any position and feel so comfortable that you believe nothing can happen to remove you from that position. "Those who become too com- fortable as chief executives are like accidents waiting to happen. They become dangerous to themselves?' - "Apex Thinking" 5 sR It's still more than three months until the November election in West Virginia and Democrats continue to enjoy a 2-1 voter registration edge over the Republicans. But it is still al- most certain that three Republi- cans will emerge as winners at the top of the ballot this fall. No one seems to doubt that Republican nominee Mitt Rom- ney will defeat incumbent Presi- dent Barack Obama just as John McCain defeated Obama four years ago. And Sec nd District Con- gresswom- an Shelley Moore Cap- ito seems certain to win over Demo- crat Howard Swint in the 2nd Congressional District race, while First District Congressman David McKinley will be favored to beat Demo- crat opponent Sue Thorn. There'is little doubt that U. S. Sen. Joe Manchin will win a full six-year term, and defeat GOP nominee John Raese and even less doubt incumbent Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will win out over Republican Bill Maloney. Veteran Rep. Nick Jo Rahall seems certain to win another two-year term in the Third Con- gressional District. His GOP op- ponent is state legislator Rick Snuffer, of Beaver in Raleigh County, who will be trying to defeat an incumbent who has had the job for 36 years. Snuffer also ran against Rahall back in 2004, losing that race by a 2-1 margin. But that's where the Republi- can influence ends. Don"t expect any of the other state officials in the executive department, all incumbent Democrats, to lose this election either. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Attorney General Darrell V. McGraw, Jr. State Treasurer John Perdue and Auditor Glen B. Gainer all will be heavy favorites. And State Sen. Walt Helmick, a Democrat, expects to win easily in his bid to become commissioner of ag- riculture for the next four years now that longtime commission- er Gus Douglass is retiring at the end of his current term. Likewise, incumbent Su- preme Court Justice Robin Da- vis and the other Democrat nom- inee Letitia (Tish) Chaf'm both figure to easily capture the two 12-year terms up for grabs over their GOP opponents. The Democratic party, with a 2-1 voter registration edge in this state, figures to continue to main- tain control of both houses of the state Legislature as it has for at least half a century. Half of the 34 seats for four-year terms in the state Senate will be on the ballot and several of the incumbents seeking re-election, including Senate President Jeff Kessler, D- Marshall; longtime Republican member Donna Boley, R-Pleas- ants, and Judiciary Chair Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, have no opponent this fall. Over in the House of Del- egates where all 100 seats are up for grabs every two years, House Speaker Richard Thomp- son, D-Wayne, and Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne, do have one Republican opponent, Ran- i dy Tomblin, but both these in- million at Marshall University, hopefully educators will have cumbents should win easily as the third most popular college for some new plans to cope with the should Majority Leader Brent National Guard members. Alto- growing problem of youngsters Boggs, D-Braxton. gether the state spent nearly $26 skipping school. House Finance Chairman million on tuition assistance at a According to a recent pub- Harry K. White, D-Mingo, also total of 56 different institutions, lished report, about one of ev- should win another term in the But the board of trustees for ery five students in this state's 21st Delegate district while two the Higher Learning Commis- public schools -- nearly 78,200 newcomers -- DemoCrat James sion, a national accrediting of them -- had five or more un- Lusk and Republican Roger Sta- body for colleges and univer- excused absences during the cy -- battle it out for the oth- sities -- discussing Mountain past school year. And more er House seat in that district. State's continuing accreditation than 29,000 of those youngsters House Minority Leader Tim last month at a meeting in Chi- missed more than 10 days dur- Armstead, R-Kdnawha, is also cago -- raised questions about ing the 2011-2012 school year. running unopposed in his dis- the school's ability to fulfill its Webster County High School trict. So any leadership chang: mission. And earlier this month, had the highest student truancy es in the House are unlikely this those trustees withdrew accred- rate in the state with nearly 70 fall as well. itation from the Beckley-based percent of the students -- 345 of Meanwhile, this state has school, a decision actually made them -- skipped school five or spent nore than $5 million in at lhat June 28 meeting but not more days without permission. the last seven years so that mem- announced until July 10. And nearly half the students bers of the West Virginia Nation- No wonder Major Gen. Jamesthere, 249 of them; were truant al Guard could attend Mountain Hoyer, now head of the state Na- 10 days or more. State University in Beckley -- tional Guard, has made his con- The state Supreme Court has the most expensive public school cemskngwn about the university's stepped in to connect circuit in the state -- through the West current status and how it could af- judges with school systems in an Virginia National Guard Educa- fect National Guard students there effort to reverse this trend while tional Encouragement Program. in a letter to the school's president State Superintendent of Schools The state spent a little more last December. Jorea Marple believes the solu- than $6 million for those Guard Finally, it won't be long un- tion is to offer a wider range of members who attended West Vir- til students begin a new public classes that makes students want ginia University and about $3.5 school term in West Virginia and to attend school. I