Unhappiness with yearbook cover’s color costs KSU a pretty penny

KENTUCKY — While the frustration of waiting for a rulingby the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Kentucky StateUniversity yearbook and newspaper adviser censorship case continues,lawyers for the school may be the only ones still smiling.

Documents obtained from the university by the Student PressLaw Center indicate that the university had — as of April 19– spent more than $60,000 to defend against charges that it hadillegally confiscated the student yearbook and transferred thestudent media adviser to a secretarial position for refusing tocensor the student newspaper.

The records indicate the Frankfort law firm of Johnson, Judy,True and Guarnieri, LLP, billed KSU between $45 and $125 an hourto represent the university in two cases. The first, Cullenv. Gibson,which was brought by the former student media adviser,cost the university just over $26,000. That case ended in 1998.The second case, Kincaid v. Gibson,has cost the schoolabout $34,500 so far and remains active. The amount does not includethe cost to the university to argue Kincaid v. Gibsontoa full panel of the Sixth Circuit on May 30.

By contrast, the school’s president, George Reid, has saidthat private gifts to the 2,400-student school totaled less than$100,000 in 1998. According to a May article in the Louisville,Ky.-based Courier-Journal,KSU has not been able to raiseenough money to tap into matching funds the state set aside foran endowed professorship.

The students’ and adviser’s lawyers, Bruce Orwin and WinterHuff, also of Frankfort, have worked on both cases without chargeto their clients.