Monday, November 2, 2015

Scarborough file adds new critical voice

We can now add the Beacon Journal's  editorial page editor Mike Douglas to critics of  UA President Scott Scarborough's bleak performance since his sceptered arrival from Toledo University.  For many months, Douglas offered his readers a virtual politically correct touch-and go job rating.

Not this time.  From the tone of the Douglas piece, the prez  has fallen more deeply into the mire of a badly scripted promise to  ease the school's $60 million debt.

Moreover, for the first time, the question appeared from a top row of the ivory
tower of whether Scarborough is professionally fit to manage the school.  Douglas wrote, in what can ony be a desperate shot across the bow:

''Is Scarborough, for all the promising ambition for the university, the right person to get the school there?   Jonathan Pavloff, the chairman of the university board of trustees,  describes the  president as possessing the 'precise talents' for the job.  Actually that isn't clear..."

Since the new Maestro took over the university with the sound of silence from the cowering trustees, it's been one thing after another as he  ignored critics and insisted that only those who don't understand his format for change  are now complaining.  He  was the model of the right way, some of it even shaped by his deeply religious Texas background that has referenced church people as the ones who stooped to pick up trash.

His campus culture was to be one of discipline, discipline,  discipline - an "organization engaged in disciplined thought and action."  He even initiated a new uniformed Corps of Cadets as a campus role model.  Meantime, he became embroiled in a badly executed name change for the school, which soured more people than he cared to acknowledge.

Throughout the upheaveal on the campus, he seemed to be conducting the thunderous Ride of the Valkyries as a lilting Strauss waltz.

Things are finally catching up.  From Douglas to mega-philanthropist Eileen Burg to the UA Women's Committee to the AAUP and to those of us who questioned his muddled game plan, the clock is ticking faster. At least we  are having more reason to hope .

I once worked for an editor who defended an unpopular decision by shrugging that if you want to make an omelet, you have to break an egg..  In the editor's case, his own egg was finally broken as he headed out the door.

1 comment:

Ron said...

As Paul Henreid said to Humphrey Bogart at the end of Casablanca: “Welcome to the fight"