$25,000 and a call for divine intervention….

$25,000. 

 That’s the number…that’s how much the Chancellor decided to spend on commencement speaker and Brown Alum Hill Harper.  As I said in the post last week, Mr. Harper gave the best graduation address I’ve heard at WSSU in 20+ years.  There is value in that.  That value diminishes greatly when programs (and therefore, people) are being cut as we speak.  That value diminishes greatly when the University can’t effectively raise money (even to our modest standards).  That value diminishes even more when students can’t afford to stay in school. 

We all know the argument:  “$25,000 just isn’t that much money in the broader scope of things.”  We’ll….let’s consider what $25,000 would mean to the tax payers during the worst economic downturn most of us have ever seen.  $25,000 at WSSU buys:

–          14 tuition scholarships for needy students at WSSU.  Believe it or not, Chancellor, you’re surrounded with talented people who could have delivered a very similar message for free.  I heard you talk on Wednesday night…..YOU could have inspired the class in a 20 min. talk for free (and given the community an example if fiscal responsibility…a lesson our community still doesn’t get (Driving a Lexus and living in the hood…come on folks).

–          25 athletic fee payments

–          One housekeepers salary

–          5 sets of custom table linen (ok ok…enough with the linen, but they were quite nice.  For those who weren’t able to attend the dinner, see the Hill Harper on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wssuphotography/page8/

The point is that we’re not dealing so much with a bad person as we are dealing with a Chancellor with poor judgment and a propensity to not listen (even to his boss in Chapel Hill).  He knows his VC of Finance refereed to people on this campus as niggers, and he’s done nothing about it.  He knows Nancy Young’s hire was illegal, and he’s using his HR/Compliance group to hide it.  If he doesn’t know it by now, then he should know.  If he’s innocent of this and somewhat hasn’t brought it to his attention then THEY need to be questioned.    He needs to seriously question why this woman with no college degree was put in front of him as a qualified hire, even if on a temporary basis.  Whoever made that call for him and was part of executing that hire ought to be…..transitioned. 

And after all of this, after all of the negative press and horrible mistakes by his charges, do you know what his response is:  to call a meeting with local preachers last week.  Now, this is a guy who can’t be dragged into a local church with a bat and a crane and all of a sudden it’s time to meet with the men of the cloth.  Chancellor, the people of the community aren’t buying it and, just in case you were wondering, the preachers aren’t either.

Prayer is a good start, no doubt that.  Humility, however,  is far more effective.

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Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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