Dinners, Graduation, and Leadership. Did I say leadership?

First, congratulations to the class of 2009 on a job well done. Second, congratulations to Hill Harper for delivering a dynamic and inspiring address to those in attendance on Saturday. If you didn’t take anything from that speech you don’t have a pulse. Lot’s of money (I’ll get the amount soon…don’t you worry and, again, I hope it was discounted), but, lots of substance!!! In normal times this would have been money well spent. Truly brilliant in all ways and, without a doubt, the best commencement speaker WSSU has had in 20 years.

And now to dinner at the Chancellor’s house. A lovely affair…..Larry Womble chatting up Mrs. Reaves for what seemed like half the evening (what a site….you talk about keeping your enemies close….Larry takes this to a whole new level), Mr. Harper offering to sign a book for every WSSU graduate, good food and good company all around. And then, it happened: The Chancellor acknowledged the blog!!! No, no, he didn’t directly acknowledge it. Instead he stood and announced “…and you will be happy to know that this event has been underwritten”.

Thank you, Mr. Chancellor. The staff who are in jeopardy and the tax payers are thrilled that you decided to do the right thing AFTER you were caught with your hand in the tax payer’s pockets (and, of course, authors are always excited to know that their work is being read). We’ll await the proof that this underwriting actually happened. Perhaps a good time to produce that proof would be at the Community Forum on Wednesday (I’m POSITIVE the question will be asked…..I can’t IMAGINE who would have the guile to do it). Word has it that 150 chairs just won’t cut it Wednesday…perhaps a move to KR Williams would be more appropriate? If the number of unique hits to this blog is any indicator (1700 as of 12 Noon today) you may want to consider it.

For those who will attend do not be deterred by the guard dogs who will attempt to hand pick those folk they want to ask questions. Be steadfast in your insistence on being heard. Protest, but do so with dignity and with respect for the University.

Ask him the tough questions:

Ask him why his choices for cabinet level appointments are all, to a person, not respected as competent in Chapel Hill or Raleigh?

Ask him why his choice for Provost has never been a Dean or Chair of a department (anywhere)?

Ask him why he thinks that the entire educational community doesn’t know that she is, quite literally, being run out of Brown?

Ask him why, when he had an opportunity to hire a former Chancellor and well respected administrator to be his Provost, he chose a career Diversity Officer instead?

With all due respect to the incoming Provost and her extensive vita of publications, this is the UNC System for gods sake….there are standards that should be kept. I don’t blame her for taking this opportunity at all. If I were in her position I would do the same. However, I dare you to look at her experience next to any other Provost’s in this System and tell me that she fits the mold. Another Brown hand out…..a favor to an old friend at Brown who likes the new Provost personally and is trying to help “smooth out” a rough exit? Another expensive handshake at the tax payer’s expense and another blow to the academic integrity of the HBCU.

Why do the taxpayers and the people of WSSU get:

– A career diversity officer for a Provost – A small businessman with some distant HR background in a non university setting for an HR director (who just happens to be a close friend of the family).

– A law school drop out as CFO from a school that went under while he was the CFO. I repeat….they ran out of money while he was the CFO!!!!

– A failed politician as Director of PR who doesn’t have a college degree. (Oh..yes yes, excuse me…she did “attended” Wake Forest. Key word… “attended”).

– And a Chancellor who calls black people Spooks and allows his subordinates to refer to them as Niggers.

Again I ask you, President Bowles, why is this sort of blatant vainglorious behavior being allowed to take place? What will it take for you to demand the same type of principled leadership at HBCUs that you expect (and generally receive) at the State’s majority schools? The people of Winston-Salem and the University believe in your leadership. If you don’t believe the University is on fire, just send one of your subordinates to the show on Wednesday. Just like this past Friday, I will have courtside seats.

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 6:53 am  Leave a Comment  

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