U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield visits CU campus in town hall meeting

U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield visits CU campus in town hall meeting

March 5, 2012
For Immediate Release

U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield, right, (R-Ky.) looks at a new Campbellsville University academic/athletic poster given to him by Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, left. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – United States Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) talked to about 35 Campbellsville residents and Campbellsville University students, faculty and staff at a town hall meeting recently at the CU Technology Training Center.

Whitfield, who represents the First Congressional District, which is Kentucky’s largest congressional district of some 35 counties, said he was coming to Campbellsville to hear what the people in his district have to say.

“I feel fortunate to represent the county and the university,” he said.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville
University, signs one of the new Campbellsville
University academic/athletic posters for U.S.
Congressman Ed Whitfield.
(Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, presented him with a new, framed CU academic/athletic poster and signed it for him.

Whitfield said there is a lot of uncertainly about what is and not happening in Washington, D.C. He said there is a lot of policy debate about what can be done to stimulate the economy and create more jobs.

He said it is important to create more manufacturing jobs. And he said climate change is a hot issue, and the “United States does not have a back seat to any country as our environment is cleaner and carbon emissions are the lowest in 20 years.”

Whitfield said, in order to compete in the economic arena, the United States must be energy independent and there must be plans for climate change vs. economic development. He said the United States has serious problems in the economic and development area.

Whitfield discussed the minimum wage and said he voted for an increase in the minimum wage once. He said he hasn’t made a decision yet on whether he would support an increase in the minimum wage now.

He said the United States has to balance energy and create products and not a lot of service jobs.

“We want people to manufacture items and sell them to compete,” he said.

He discussed the national debt and said any reduction that is done in services is a “big deal.”

Whitfield said he is concerned about North Korea’s recent rocket launch, and about how close Iran is to making a nuclear weapon.

He also talked about the military in Afghanistan and said about $25 billion is spent each month on the military. He said he doesn’t think there is support from Americans on staying much longer in Afghanistan.

John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, thanked Whitfield for giving the university 38 tickets to the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Dr. Shawn Williams, assistant professor of political science, traveled with the students to the inauguration and said they were able to visit with Whitfield in his office and it was “amazing.”

Chowning discussed the state of higher education policies in Washington and said if PELL grants are cut, CU would be severely affected. He said 90 percent of CU students are receiving financial aid. “It would hit us hard if cuts are made,” he said.

He also urged Whitfield to “not let Washington regulate higher education to death.”

He told Whitfield that charitable deductions are “critically important” to CU in order to attract major donors.

Whitfield told the audience that Campbellsville University has done a great job and has one of the lowest debt obligations of graduating seniors in the Commonwealth, and he praised the university’s academic endeavors.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.

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