An admissions scandal involving certain colleges, universities and people across the country has come to light, so I thought it important to express my thoughts, as president of Kentucky Wesleyan College, relative to what all in our region and beyond should know about our college and, to the extent that I am able, about colleges and universities across the country.
Our students are admitted to Kentucky Wesleyan College based on their individual merits. That is a fact. Our students work extremely hard for everything they accomplish. That is a fact. Our students and their families each make varying degrees of financial sacrifices after the students arrive here as investment in hopes of dreams being realized and worlds being changed as a result of what happens here at Kentucky Wesleyan College. Those are facts.
We have some of the most academically accomplished and gifted students anywhere who choose to receive their college education at Kentucky Wesleyan. We also have students who may not be sought after at the highest level, but in whom we see the potential for achievement at the highest level. We have students from affluent families and we have students from financially challenged situations. We have them ALL. We help them ALL. We challenge them ALL. We are proud of them ALL. We want them ALL.
We also admit our students to Kentucky Wesleyan College based on their uniqueness and their individual possibilities when we see them as fitting well with our mission and their objectives. In other words, a student could never "buy" his or her way into Kentucky Wesleyan College or find some "side door" to be admitted. Our students have earned admission. We would never cheapen the degrees of alumni base, or dilute the work of the students currently enrolled as they pursue their life and career goals and objectives. Further, we would never allow a student to be a pawn in an adult game which involves a totally misguided pursuit of goals that are not in the best interest of a potential student or of Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Often times when scandals such as this current admissions scandal come under the national spotlight and microscope, many in the same business, profession, or other category as the alleged perpetrators, are then painted by many in the public with the same condemning brush. My hope is for that to not happen in this instance. The vast majority of colleges and universities, and the vast majority of people who serve them and their students, operate with the highest levels of integrity. They do so while keeping in mind the best interests of the students they serve, the families supporting those students, and the world that the institutions strive to make better for all of us.
While the facts in this particular scandal will continue to be revealed and we must always restrain ourselves from drawing early conclusions, it is clear that bad things happened. I trust that those things will be handled appropriately, with justice and fairness.
But I encourage all to keep faith in our institutions of higher education as a whole. Higher education is a vital component to the success, survival and growth of our democracy. I encourage you to continue to believe in the promise that lies within in ALL people, and the opportunity that truly does exist in the overwhelming majority of schools for ALL students.
Barton D. Darrell, J.D.
President, Kentucky Wesleyan College