Crucial Hearing at the University of Southern Mississippi Begins Tomorrow
Tomorrow morning, at 9:30 AM Central time, the appeal hearing begins for Frank Glamser and Gary Stringer, the tenured professors who were fired on March 5 by Shelby Thames, the President of the University of Southern Missisippi, for questioning the credentials of Thames' handpicked Vice-President for Research and Development, Angeline Dvorak.
The hearings will be taking place over the next two days, in a room too small to seat the faculty, staff, and students who want to attend. WUSM, the university radio station, is planning to carry the hearings live over its Web site, but there are serious questions about its ability to handle the demand. Updates are also promised every 15 minutes on the Web site of the Hattiesburg American. And you can be sure that every word said at the hearing will be discussed and dissected on the message board at the Fire Shelby site.
News is breaking too fast just now to keep up with, at least for this tenured professor who has a pile of term papers to grade. But surely the most important development is a gutsy move by USM's Graduate Council, which, in a unanimous vote, has declared Angeline Dvorak, the VP for Research and Development, ineligible to serve on the Graduate Faculty at USM. Reactions to the vote by the university's (er, the President's) official spokeswoman reveal how desperate Shelby Thames and his cronies are becoming.
Tomorrow Glamser and Stringer's supporters will be carrying brooms, or wearing broom pins, to signify that Thames and his entire crew of underqualified, overweening administrators must be swept out. A lot depends on the outcome. For if Thames wins, administrators at a great many other universities will lose no time convincing themselves that everything will run just swimmingly at their institutions, so long as they can do whatever they want, and no one is allowed to criticize them.
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