Something to Think About - keep (253)

Losing your president like Emporia State University is experiencing is never fun, but this ordeal is made easier when you are reaping the benefits from an outstanding effort from the person you are losing.

          Obviously Michael Shonrock has been an extraordinary leader. It has been my practice to answer that old question: “how are things in Emporia?” with – couldn’t be better because Emporia State is on a tear and the guy leading that has energized not only the University, but our entire community!

          What made Doctor Shonrock so special?

          I’ll mention three things, but there are many more.

          First he’s the best “friend raiser” ever. Michael never misses an opportunity to introduce himself and give away a business card. Little kids might be his favorite, but he’s made friends everywhere he’s gone including the Board of Regents and the legislature.

          There’s nothing phony about Shonrock. What you see is what you get. Unbridled enthusiasm, corny jokes (often repeated) he says “thank you” over and over and the people love it.

Why: Because he never, ever has to fake the sincerity.

          President Shonrock’s second great trait is as a “possibility thinker.” He never looks for a reason to say “no,” but looks first for ways to get things accomplished. Not rocket science – rather – let’s find a way!

          He will leave ESU with a new positive attitude, a shiny Master Plan, an updated strategic plan, new techniques and leaders better prepared to face challenges.

          Michael Shonrock also proved to be a Pied Piper. He brought amazingly talented people to EmporiaState like Provost David Cordle, Business Dean Kristie Ogilvie, V. P. for Administration and Physical Affairs Werner Golling, DenaSue Potestio, President of the ESU Foundation and others. Not only did the president get these folks hired they all live in Emporia!

Also under his leadership many campus leaders have become better at their jobs.

          Good presidents like good coaches are hard to find and harder to keep. We need leaders at ESU with the ability to move on and up. Shonrock fits that model.

          So, after feeling like I’d taken a punch in the gut like most you felt when you received the news of Shonrock’s new job I’m ready to celebrate his leadership and start working towards carrying on the tremendous changes he implemented.

          We are better off to have had Michael and lost him than to never have known him and we wish he and Karen all the best.

          It is a Great Day to be a Hornet! Stingers Up!

          I’m Steve Sauder

    4-12-16

          Just because the question has arisen - today the rules for recall of an elected official in Kansas are being shared. This information came from the Internet – ballotpedia.org.

Officials subject to recall

Chapter 25, Article 43 of Kansas state statutes defines two separate categories of elected officials that can be recalled: state officers and local officers. National officeholders and judicial officers are not subject to recall.[1]

       State officers are those persons holding the following positions: Governor, State Senator, State Representative, State Board of Education Member, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner.

      

The Recall process

Grounds for recall

 

Conviction for a felony,

Misconduct in office,

       incompetence, or

       Failure to perform duties prescribed by law.

 

The Application for intent to recall

State officials

To launch a recall effort, supporters must submit the following:

       An application indicating the targeted official

       Statement of grounds for recall not to exceed 200 words

       List of 100 sponsors to circulate petition

       Signatures of registered voters equaling 10 percent of votes cast in the last election

       $100 fee[4]

The application is then submitted to the secretary of state's office and if accepted the recall effort has ninety days in which to collect signatures from 40% of the number that voted in 2014. If successful a state-wide recall election is scheduled within 60 to 90 days.

          0ver 848,000 votes were cast in the 2014 Kansas gubernatorial election, so you’d be looking at 85,000 valid signatures on the “Launch” petition and 340,000 signatures on the “Recall” petition.

          Dissatisfaction is running high with our state leadership but those are big numbers in a short amount of time. Existence of the Internet and vehicles like Face Book and Twitter could make a recall much easier, but if successful with say - Governor Brownback what would you get?

          Exactly – you get Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, MD who has been nothing less than in lockstep with his boss!

          Guess we’d better hope the college presidency rumors are real.

I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.

The administration of Donald Trump is nearing 100 days. That’s about the same time since my last “Something to Think About.” Guess that makes talking about President Trump logical?

          It’s often said discussing leaders is interesting. To say that about our new President is of course a massive understatement.

          His style is different from any other president, so some say we should have expected disruption and some degree of chaos. One pundit said - who the President fires is more important than who he hires and failures and mistakes are an accepted part of any successful entrepreneur’s activities. Adding most new ventures have to “fake it until they make it” to succeed.

          President Trump takes all those ideas to the max and seems to have an inability to walk back or own any of his mistakes.

          I didn’t vote for him, but I’m certainly not rooting for him to fail.

          I see big problems for President Trump because he tends to exaggerate virtually every thing he talks about and his imagination is so out of proportion to reality it is alarming.

          Entrepreneurs often dream bigger than they can produce, but they also have an ability to walk back or tone down their rhetoric. Mr. Trump has yet to do either. As the questions get more difficult – i.e., Syria, North Korea, Russia and Isis he will need to fix this trait.

          Imagination was code for the truth in my childhood.

          My mom used to say “Stevie, I think you are letting your imagination run wild again!”

          What she meant was I was telling a fib. Her style allowed me to live with my misstatements, but also challenged me on their truthfulness.

          President Trump has a massive problem with the truth and more importantly it appears he doesn’t appear to understand this!

          The size of the crowd at his inauguration or the number of illegal votes cast in the election are not that important in the truth or fiction score, but dealing with Russia, Syria, North Korea and Isis are more than important and we need a leader we can believe.

          Things not true make our President easy prey for the media in a contest that makes both sides look silly!

          President Trump loves to ad lib “believe me.”  

Wow! Of all the stuff he says those 2 words are the most difficult for me to take.

To lead anything and especially the United States of America we must have a leader who we can “believe.”

Thus far Donald Trump has failed that test and with the difficulty of his mission getting more severe each minute he needs to change this immediately.

Please start telling the truth Sir, because we have no future without it!

I’m Steve Sauder

This is Easter week and this year my heart will be heavy knowing my friend Loren Martin lost his battle with cancer. His services are Monday. He asked me to say a few words. I am so honored.

Loren also asked one of his colleagues from Ek Real Estate to speak. Jeff tells me he’ll concentrate on Loren’s character. Guess that means I get to talk about Loren “the character.”

Don’t hold me to it, but I’m thinking maybe I’ll suggest Loren was like my favorite pair of shoes - easy to put on, comfortable and always available.

I was 15 when I met Coach Martin and about to be a sophomore football player at Emporia High. He was our new coach. He was playing golf with Don Ek. I watched him absolutely kill a golf ball and I thought “what a stud.” That thought has never left me.

Like most new shoes Coach had a little breakin’ in period. His three years as EHS’s football coach weren’t much fun. He inherited a very sad situation. We weren’t only little, we were slow! We played a killer schedule and the results weren’t good. I’m not sure Bear Bryant could have made us a team!

Coach resigned after three years and did other things including 4 great years and C of E’s baseball coach. His Presby’s represented District 10 in the NAIA national tournament.

Loren found his calling as a real estate agent and to say he was unique in that job is an understatement. He was known for his honestly and willingness to always assist his clients and co-workers in a positive and constructive manner. His career spanned over 30 years and I doubt he ever made an enemy.

Loren and Nanette were the classic couple. They met at KU and she says she wasn’t easily convinced to become a part of this football and baseball player’s life. Once she agreed though they became a couple you could easily use as a role model.

As shoes grow older they get scuffed a few times and require some polish, but good shoes are hard to find – that was Loren always interested and willing to help.

Loren had a lot of life experiences: Gifted college athlete, semi-pro baseball star, golfer, card player, KU fan, father, husband, Christian, coach, businessman and friend – the list is endless.

Despite the fact our football team wasn’t very successful I always called Loren “Coach.” That’s a term of endearment I reserve for special people. Rest in Peace – Coach.

I’m Steve Sauder

Remember being at a ballgame where the guy yelled, “get your program so you can know the players!”

          That’s kind of the situation we have in Kansas with the governor’s race to be decided in November of 2018.

          Last week’s headline read: Eighteen and Counting!

          The filing deadline is June 1, for Republicans and Democrats and August 6, for all others.

          The fees?  $2,207 without five thousand signatures. $670 with the signatures and Independent candidates must get the signatures.

          So far there are 11 Republicans, six democrats and an Independent that have filled out requirements to raise money. There are also 4 high school students and NO women.

          Democrats in the race so far are: House Leader Jim Ward; former Ag Secretary Joshua Svaty; ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer; Dr. Arden Anderson: and salesman Robert Klingenberg.

          The R’s are: Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer; Secretary of State Kris Kobach; Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer; oil company owner Wink Hartman; former state representatives Mark Hutton and Ed O’Malley; former Emporian Dr. Jim Barnett;  and businessman and evangelist Patrick Kucera.

          Running as an Independent is Topeka minister Richard Kloos with Greg Orman expected to be an Independent candidate too.

          Holy Toledo ! How do you tell the wolves from the sheep?

          Dr. Barnett has been working hard and has put out some interesting ideas to think about. Like:

          He told me he plans to be a One Term Governor thinking leading Kansas as it tries to get it’s financial act together over the next four years will not be compatible winning re-election. That’s refreshing!

          In Abilene last week Dr. Jim said something Republican candidates rarely say responding to a question about the role of government.

          He said, “It puts me out on a limb because typical Republican mantra on how to solve our problems is to cut government and cut taxes, and that is not going to work. Any gubernatorial candidate who will tell they will cut taxes to get out of this mess we are in is trying to pull the wool over your eyes.”

          Risky, but refreshing because given the mess Kansas is in – new Education funding starting around $600 million plus highway funds that have been borrowed, KPERS loans to repay etc., etc., etc………. taxes are going to rise and being truthful about this has my attention.

          How about yours?

          I’m Steve Sauder

          Meet Nina as described in a TIME magazine article this week.

          Great friends, prosperous neighborhood and close relationship with her parents. Like most 16 year olds Nina spends lots of her time on her smartphone. Unlike many of her friends Nina has never been targeted or bullied on social media.

          Seems like a pretty solid situation and a seemingly happy young lady – NOT!

          Nina suffers from depression so severe she recently attempted to take her own life.  Her therapist called it “body-image insecurity.”

          Nina’s mom was caught completely off guard with her daughter’s problems calling her “funny, athletic, smart and personable.”

          What mom didn’t know was Nina was spending hours in her room stalking models on Instagram. She stayed up late and developed an eating disorder because of her concern for how she looked. She said later she “didn’t totally want to be gone, she just wanted help and didn’t know how else to get it.”

          There is total agreement that “smartphones are having a profound impact on the way adolescents today communicate and spend their free time.”

          Consider these numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

          Teenage depression has risen 60% between 2010 and 2016!

          Suicide-related thoughts are up 48% in kids using electronic devices more than 5 hours a day!

          One college professor said “The more we learn about kids and smartphones, the more we’re going to see limiting their exposure is a good idea.”

          Smartphones in hands of young kids absolutely have benefits, but we are also learning there are serious perils to be watched.

          TIME listed several ideas to consider:

1.     No smartphones in the bedroom.

2.     Utilize available Firewalls and Data cutoffs

3.     Create a contract between parents and kids for smartphone usage.

4.     Model healthy device behaviors! Kids do copy their parents.

5.     And finally – how about a flip phone for Junior?

Seems like a big old red flag to me. Smartphones are great, but hidden in their use can be major problems.

Look Out!

          I’m Steve Sauder

 

 

Last week at the Annual Meeting of the Emporia State University Foundation it was suggested calling Allison Garrett the “New President’ was not proper as she has now been on the job for a year and a half.

Whatever we call her President Garrett is gathering steam as her leadership and planning are starting to take hold.

A friend I used to play poker with would say “you have to take a step backward before you can go forward!”

That’s good description of Garrett. She followed one of the most successful and charismatic presidents in ESU’s history and has been challenged with keeping the ship moving in times where budgets cuts are common and students hard to find.

This year’s news that enrollment at ESU was slightly lower than hoped for was not surprising, but after hearing President Garrett speak last Friday I’m convinced she’s ready to lead a revival.

There are lots of good things happening at the school where state support has dwindled to 33%. Tuition accounts for 37% so grants, philanthropy other sources have to be found to fill the void.

Allison Garrett started her higher education career after spending ten years as a corporate lawyer with Wal-Mart. Often her corporate thinking pops up to help make good decisions in times of stress.

A campus initiative giving faculty a chance to suggest and plan new programs with potential for rewards is about to produce its first result - not only exciting, but good for morale.

The ESU Foundation has topped the hundred million mark with assets now listed at $107 million!

Emporia State recently was the only school in Kansas sited by the Colleges of Distinction with three programs singled out for special recognition: Business, Education, and Nursing.

ESU graduates were placed in jobs at a 98% rate in a recent survey upsetting both KU and K-State who reported 94% success.

Our school continues to be a bargain as U.S News indicated Emporia State graduates left school with the second lowest average debt in the midwest!

The groundbreaking on Saturday for a new residence hall on Market Street is not only the first new structure on campus in 15 years, but the result of an ongoing partnership with the Foundation which acquired most of the ground for the new dorm. It won’t be long before the same team breaks ground on the new home for the university’s president.

The speed of the leader determines the speed of the pack and Allison Garrett seems to be picking up speed daily. Add exciting leadership from Deans in most every department Emporia State is poised for long-term success.

Stingers Up and absolutely “Something to think about!”

I’m Steve Sauder

The article in this week’s TIME is titled: Making prayer safe.

          Someone who just woke up from a long sleep might ask: Are you kidding me?

          As TIME says: The violence (in Sutherland Springs, Texas) was all the more horrible because it felt so normal.”

          Institutions like malls, theaters and schools are working hard to find ways to defend themselves. Now with churches added to the list, we are asking: Are you kidding me?

          Efforts to develop ways to protect the masses became a priority during the Obama administration with training to combat active shooters at the top of the list. The Trump administration is carrying on these efforts and ramping them up, but how and what – exactly do we do?

          Big churches often have the resources to create security measures, but most congregations are strapped to just keep their doors open let alone hire someone to protect them.

          And, even if the resources are available what exactly is a security person going to do? One shot and everyone is vulnerable.

          Some suggest members of the congregation should carry guns and they actually do in some places, but while that might solve one problem it might create others. Evidently, none were helpful in Sutherland Springs.

          Lord help us if we have to start carrying guns to church!

          While I used to hunt I’ve never felt the need to have guns for protection in my home. Asked once why I didn’t have a pistol? I answered: because I might have to use it!

          Let’s return to the original question about making it safe to pray. It appears to me it’s an amazing oxymoron if we need to have security on hand in order to pray. I hope, no make that I believe my faith is stronger than that.

          Please, Lord, we don’t want to live in a world in which we need armed protection in order to assemble to praise you and hear your Word. Please give our leaders and all of us guidance in this area. We need your help.

          Amen and Amen!

          I’m Steve Sauder

          Lee Nelson passed away last week at the age of 90. He is best known as the founder and proprietor of Bluestem Farm and Ranch which he and his wife started in 1961. Today I share some memories of Mr. Nelson and end with something he is credited with doing that changed Emporia’s future in a very positive way!

          Bluestem may well be Emporia’s number one tourist attraction. It would be hard for me to count the number of friends and business associates I had in Emporia who demanded time to visit Bluestem while in town.

          Rick Tidwell shared this story: He was testifying before a Senate Telecommunications Sub Committee in Washington D. C. and when he introduced himself as being from Emporia, Kansas Senator Conrad Burns from Montana interrupted him to ask “Emporia, Emporia, Kansas – is Bluestem still open?”

          Lee Nelson was a good customer for things like telephones, long distance, and radio advertising. Rick Tidwell and Lee were friends making things easier, but Lee still asked the most penetrating questions of any of our customers.

          Lee was a long time and active member of the Emporia Rotary club. I have to admit I used the opportunity to sit with Lee at our weekly meetings often to lobby for radio advertising.

          Obviously, the rural community was important to Bluestem’s success and the Nelson’s returned the favor with strong support for 4-H and Extension activities. Memorials for Lee are to those groups.

          Longtime Emporian and former Mayor Dale Davis and I were talking just a few weeks ago about Lee Nelson. Dale suggested and I agreed that Lee is an unsung hero in our city for his opposition to the proposal to build a federal prison on the old College of Emporia campus.

          In case you don’t remember the C of E campus had been occupied by the Way College International since the school closed in the seventies. After the death of the Way’s leader, the school lost favor and the campus was about to go on the property tax roles. A federal minimum security prison was proposed and Emporia was giving this idea serious consideration - enough in fact that a city-wide referendum was called for by the city commission.

          While it was never confirmed it was believed that Lee Nelson was the chief supporter of the effort to vote “NO.” The proposal lost by a significant margin.

          Dale and I agreed if Lee was the leader of the opposition he did Emporia great favor.

          Lee Nelson was a good man, good family man, a veteran and good citizen - and in the final analysis a very interesting person.

 Rest in peace old friend, rest in peace.

          I’m Steve Sauder

          Lately, I've been experiencing an event that isn't fun and at times is embarrassing. Recalling names - especially names of sports figures has always been easy for me. But over the past year, I've noticed an increasing inability to call out names.

          My mom and her mom were victims of Alzheimer's Disease so that's always on my mind, but Paula my first wife and a learned student on Alzheimer's told me "if you can figure out a way to discover what it is you can't remember that's not Alzheimer's, it’s CRS - can't remember stuff."

          I have a lot of CRS, but always know where to look so Alzheimer's doesn't concern me yet.

          I suggested to Bobbi my current wife and a Registered Nurse I was experiencing Dementia. She said my situation is more likely Brain Fog, which is also defined as Brain Fatigue. Brain Fog is commonly caused by; lack of sleep, stress, neurological disorders, menopause, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, and side effects of medicines.

          I am not sure what or why, but I know my recall has slipped and at times it is embarrassing. I try to make notes to cover myself, but that doesn't always work. During Talk Shows on the radio is a bad time for sports guy to forget a home run hitter's name.

          Fortunately, Bobbi is a student of these things and is helping me cope. I'm doing a sleep study in a few days - not my first one, but with the knowledge that poor sleep might be causing my memory lapses here, I come again.

          Next Wednesday, December 6th, Bobbi will be our guest on the On-Air Chat to discuss new medical findings of how bacteria in your gut might be a clue to problems with your immune systems, brain or other far-reaching areas.

          I recently read an article in my Rotary magazine that said there is a strong case for increasing creativity even as we get older. There are two types of human intelligence: fluid intelligence which does degrade over time and crystallized intelligence which is our overall bank of knowledge and only gets larger as we get older.

          Ah ha - if I can stimulate my brain by sleeping and eating better and reducing my stress I might just start getting smarter and more creative!

          Getting older isn't for sissies and evidently, there are ways to cope with aging. Wish me luck!

          I’m Steve Sauder

         

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