"The Tragedy at the University of Southern Mississippi" ...
An anonymous friend from Mississippi recommends this piece in the Hattiesburg American by Neil McMillen, a prominent historian now retired from the department at USM."Trouble at Southern Miss? You bet," says McMillen."But more than trouble. There is tragedy. No other word will serve. There is tragedy, not least because this crisis was avoidable. Put ... nearly any wise, sensible and experienced chief executive officer in charge - and try to imagine such an unseemly mess.
"The tragedy is everywhere to be seen. ...." McMillen hits all the right notes, it seems to me. Read the whole thing, as they say.
Update: The Jackson Clarion Ledger reports that Mississippi's College Board discussed the situation at USM for an hour this morning and announced that it is asking the state's Attorney General to monitor the process at USM.
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Ralph E. Luker - 3/18/2004
Robert, It is very telling that not one of the 9 deans applied for a position as one of the 5 deans.
Robert L. Campbell - 3/18/2004
McMillen's letter does a great job. It draws special attention to the way that the Provost at USM has been kept out of the loop on academic decisions.
A source at USM tells me that the reorganization of 9 colleges to 5 was simply announced by Thames with no buildup and no consultation--and all 9 deans were required to resign. Perhaps "purge" is a better word for it.
Ralph E. Luker - 3/18/2004
Grant, I can't say that this is the conversation I had in mind with this post -- but we'll have it anyway. This is by no means the first time conservative alumni have entered the arena to attempt to influence the direction of an alma mater and much of it is, no doubt, well intentioned. Do resist the temptation to weigh an alum's intellect by his bank account, however, and I hope that you do not recommend that trustees take agency in decisions about staffing the faculty at Dartmouth. I don't recall ever dismissing a conservative as "stupid." You and I disagree about David Horowitz, as I recall. I don't think "stupid" is the word for DH. Whether in his left-wing or his right-wing incarnations, I think the word "vile" comes closer to the mark.
Grant W Jones - 3/18/2004
The alumi are getting frisky. T.J.Rodgers founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor is running for the board of trustees at Dartmouth. Rodgers, Dartmouth '70, is concerned with too much "political correctness" and academic fads. He is supported by Superior Court Judge Quenton Kopp, Dartmouth '49, mainline Bay Area Democratic politician.
Cypress did $863 million last year. I don't think he can be dismissed as "stupid." Go to the online SFGate for the complete story.
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