It might not be unusual, but officials have been mum on details about Gannett Foundation’s two $20,000 gifts to Western Carolina University, according to a post by Jim Hopkins on his Gannett Blog.
“Gannett CEO Craig Dubow recommended the company’s charitable arm give the money in 2007 and 2006 to Western Carolina University for endowed scholarships, public documents show,” writes Hopkins. But WCU officials won’t tell the inquiring Hopkins where the money went. “Clifton Metcalf, the university’s vice chancellor for advancement and external affairs,” Hopkins reports, said, “WCU offers student scholarships named for Dubow and his wife Denise. In a telephone interview, however, he refused to say whether the foundation money went to the fund honoring the Dubows, citing university policy on privacy of financial records.”
Is anything amiss? It’s suspicious, suggests Hopkins in a Dec. 13 post. Hopkins’ blog has provided more news of late — and misinformation, according to his critics — about Gannett’s layoffs and internal workings than any other media outlet in the world.
Hopkins’ Internet call for answers is spreading, and has been picked up by WNC Web site the Southern Highland Reader. Sooner or later, someone is likely to provide some answers to his questions.
One anonymous comment in response to Hopkins, posted “12/13/2008 10:45 AM,” mused: “More often than not, these … scholarships go to kids whose parents are corporate execs or local directors. I have seen that pattern all too often. And think about it, the ones with the money get the money!!!” Such surmissals are regularly found on blog comments, and only time and the Internet’s almost unlimited, resonating connectivity function to separate fact from fiction. Stay tuned.
— Jeff Fobes