Links, letters, and lots of thoughts from a rabble rouser at AU. All the information one could humanly find on the situation at American University is posted here. Get informed and get involved.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

In response...

I had a very lengthy response written to the letter sent out today over Today@AU by Tom Gottschalk and Gary Abramson. And then Blogger ate more than half of it because of an HTML issue. Sigh.

So, to summarize my thoughts, since I should be writing a paper.

First, this is too little, too late. The Board is reacting to the letter from Leslie, Paul, Len, and George, they're reacting to the media, they're reacting to all of the schools' and groups' statements. There is a tidal wave going against the Board, and this is their attempt to placate the AU community. For me, however, this did the opposite. In the letter, they admit they would have fired Ladner "for cause" had he not taken the sweet resignation package they offered him. And only a fool wouldn't have taken it. It's bad enough that they padded the amount they gave to him, but what's worse, and much more offensive, is that they gave it to him at all. The Board, completely untrustworthy as it is, was still smart enough to pull it together and decide to 1) fire him for cause, 2) declare Ladner an "at-will" employee and the '97 contract invalid, and 3) determine that he should not receive a severance package. But they decided to be nice: offer him one last chance to resign. And regardless of what they say, this was not out of fear of litigation (Gottschalk said in the faculty meeting on Monday that there was a "Strong" chance of winning, although no lawyer would ever say a case was "iron clad") but instead out of that same misplaced loyalty for Ladner.

Furthermore, they've decided to add insult to injury by trying to move onto the Presidential search without fully focusing on their own internal problems. Ah, Gottschalk says, we have a subcommittee for governance! Well, we all know that. And you also say that you want to be more involved on campus. Yet, there are no students on this subcommittee, no faculty, no staff. Sure, you might not trust the students, fine. With your track record in mind, that's not surprising. But how about a faculty member or a staff member? Surely, they are people on campus who have the "Specialty" knowledge you're looking for. I'm not going to trust the Board to reform itself when they've shown no indication they want to change. Every single decision they make looks the same: ethically and financially stupid. If I was a Presidential candidate looking for a job at AU, I would love the community that I see after this event... the way the deans, faculty, students, and staff have come together after this crises. The only thing that would make me hesitate is the Board. AU is strong, the Board is not.

The Board is on the run. With every resolution passed, with every student's comment that they can't be trusted, they lose ground. They know that the AU deserves better. And this Board will never, ever, be able to deliver that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on!

9:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The letter is a complete crock of shit.

How fake can they get?

11:26 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home