Kentucky State fires president who led university during Kincaid yearbook censorship case

KENTUCKY — Kentucky State University’s board of regentsfired President George W. Reid late last week, rescinding on thethree-year contract extension that it had given him in November.Reid was put on paid leave until his contract ends on June 30.

Reid has already contested the decision in state circuit court.A judge refused to halt the dismissal on Monday. Attorney ThomasClay would not say if negotiations with the university to reacha settlement or severance package were taking place.

"Deficiencies in Dr. Reid’s performance as president ofthe university have been brought to the attention of the board,"Ishmon F. Burks, one of the regents, said in a board motion, TheChronicle of Higher Education reported. "There was nomeeting of the minds."

During Reid’s tenure at Kentucky State he allowed the universityto appeal a court case involving the student yearbook. Kincaidv. Gibson was decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for theSixth Circuit in January 2001. The court found the administrationhad violated First Amendment rights of student journalists whenit stopped circulation of the school yearbook based on objectionsto the color of the cover, its title, the inclusion of a currentevents section and a lack of photo captions.

Reid’s tenure was a rocky one overall. He took control in 1998of an office that was accused of mishandling funds, and in October2000 the faculty cast a vote of no confidence in his leadership.In April 2001 the state auditor’s office found problems in theuniversity’s financial operations during fiscal year 1999.

View a timeline of the Kincaid v. Gibson court battle or read past stories from our archives.