Monday, October 26, 2015

UA 'white noise' not going away

In his State of the University address UA President Scott Scarborough told us that people who don't understand something tend to be against it.  In embracing the Scarborough Era,  the BJ's Mike Douglas told us that he was struck by signs of "group think"  from those  "cudgeling Scarborough at almost every turn, even in the pettiest ways." That was a takeoff of an earlier column by former UA trustee and common pleas judge Jane Bond, who rightly wrote that the Board of Trustees  were victims of their own "group think".

And as one who has written a column or two to protest the playbook of the folks so smugly  running the university these days, I happily accept the BJ's editorial page editor's reference to the unforgiving petty critics like myself,  one of the perps.

So allow me  to respond pettishly with the Scarborough manuevers since he brought his caravan of friends to the downtown  campus from Toledo University with the full approval of the screening committee and then the Board of Trustees, a near-anonymous group  even for people who have been following this travesty.

May I begin  with the the fat salaries of  the new Scarborough team
despite the alarm bells of a $60 million school debt (with salaries of predecssors in parentheses):
Todd Rickel, vice provost, and former White Hat Management player), $295,000 ($119,579).
Lawrence Burns, vice president advancement, $285,000. ($121,400).
Godfrey Ovwigho, chief information officer, $226,000 ($100,000).
Lateesha Ransom, Honors dean, $266,000 ($97,880).

And more pettiness:

A new Corp of Cadets  stressing discipline  and obedience, even though UA has an ROTC program.  As a former ROTC student at the University of Illinois, I  recall the same behaviorial goals were in force right down to spit-polished shoes and starchy shirts. At UA, it's a  $100,000 salary for the Corps leader

And more pettiness:

The hiring of Trust Navigator, which was born without prior experience three days before  its $840,000 UA contract to serve as a student success coach, which UA already had before it got rid of 54 jobs in the UA Division of Student Success.

And more pettiness:

The dismantling of the school's baseball team to "save" $700,000 - while adding more than $650,000 for new athletic scholarships.

Finally, more pettiness:

The chaotic handling of the E.J. Thomas Hall improvisation... Etc. Etc Etc Etc.Etc.

Scarborough reportedly is telling friends that the boos are nothing more than "white noise" - that strange ever-present nearly-silent sound  that has also come to mean a distraction in whatever the moment.

So Mike, if all of the above is petty, make the most of it. It appears that white noise, or not, it's going to be around for while for those who are paying close attention.

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