This is a comment on our post about the appointment of Darren Fullerton. Our responses are in bold.
Give Mr. Fullerton the opportunity to prove himself. Why all the focus on not having a PhD and his degrees related to recreation? What has he done as interim that prevented him from being a very viable candidate for this position? Because when Glen Dolence left the job, it was not filled immediately. Why? Because the most qualified cantdidate, Doug Carnahan didn’t have a terminal degree. So he was made a dean and did the job. Fine. Top administrators need to demonstrate via a terminal degree a commitment to understanding academia. Why would the university go to the expense of advertising and bringing in candidates when a very qualified individual held the interim position? Define “very.” Why WOULDN’T the university seek via an advertisement in the accepted professional journal a top-flight candidate? Could Mr. Fullerton be the best choice? Sure. Should he have to compete against the best candidates we could get? You bet.
You complain about the way the university spends money, and sometimes the complaint is justified. However, why waste money on an extremely costly and time consuming search when we have someone that is very qualified? In fact, I would venture a guess that Mr. Fullerton has more managerial experience, work experience, advisory experience and is more published than many of the professors you listen to each and every semester. We would venture that you are off your rocker. We have not looked at Fullerton’s resume in depth, but we can just about guarantee that he is NOT as published as most faculty. To begin with, someone with a terminal degree must demonstrate scholarly research that is vetted by colleagues. Next, we would question whether his master’s degree involved scholarly research or an involved project in his field. Also, we wonder why a group of finalists wasn’t named to present to the campus community. Surely, if Fullerton was so qualified and above the field, we would have that demonstrated. We now just have the word of a questionable committee.
Give him a chance. We kind of did. That is the interim thing. Think about this: the one major policy initiative he undertook, the access to buildings by fine arts students, was an absolute failure. Anyone in fine arts will speak with vitriol about this. The Chart printed two pages of letters from these students. Look at the searches, a la Chronicle, that have been conducted in the past few years for key positions and who those brought in. Think about that. We have. In many cases, good candidates have been brought to campus and supported by many. The administration usually rejects those. (VPAA, Dean of the school of Business) In fact, the presidential search resulted in only one finalist — Bruce Speck. Nice to have a choice. Why would someone “more qualified” for this job not already be employed? So let’s not try to find the best candidate? Your argument seems to conclude we CAN’T get a good candidate. So they would leave their current position to come to this place you feel is in such shambles? Or would it make more sense that the candidate is on their way out at their current employer or is currently unemployed? Like Jo Kroll? Exactly.
Give Mr. Fullerton the opportunity to succeed in this position without the interim stigma, then evaluate him in a year or so if you choose. However, even as an interim he has made significant changes for the better. Financial aid has seen improvement, employees are receiving customer service training, allow him the opportunity to make a difference and build a strong Student Services team before you judge. You complain that Robert Corn wasn’t given an interview for Athletics Director, and you are probably right, but now they’re giving Fullerton the opportunity at VP and you squawk. Robert Corn was an assistant athletics director, was demoted and lost his parking space. Really? We don’t want Fullerton to be denied the opportunity. We just want an open, real process. The fix was in on this. And if you don’t know that, you aren’t dialed in.
I feel like you complain regardless of the decision that is made, sometimes it’s a viable complaint and sometimes it seems absurd. We support good things. Those two seven-figure gifts for athletics facilities are great. MSSU is getting a future foothold with Bright Futures. But when this university fucks up — “fag lion” and the anti-discrimination policy, trying to kill the Child Development Center before exploring all options, etc. — we will mention it. We just wish the real press would.If you want to see a change in this institution you seem to have a heart for, quit the anonymous complaining. Did you sign your name? Make reasonable suggestions to remedy the ills and present the proposed remedy professionally. Many have made professional, well-reasoned suggestions and faced the wrath of RTV and his benefactor, Dwight Douglas. You’re not up against the mob here, you’re making villains out of people that are trying to make good decisions for the university. People that don’t necessarily deserve the criticism you are delving out. Put yourself in their shoes for a while, walk a mile or two. Can you do that? Will you? We have. We walk the miles every day. As students. As faculty. As staff. As alumni. As parents. We are invested and on campus every day. How much time do Bored members spend on campus? Walk a mile in our shoes, asshole.
If you’re proud of this institution, and you should be, then support it. We do. Financially and otherwise. We don’t support bad management. There is a difference. If you’re ashamed of it, tell us why, and give good cause for it. We are not ashamed. We want you to recognize issues that need attention. We wear green and gold. And our dissent has been supported by facts, despite the ramblings of some. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone says things they shouldn’t. Forgive it and go on. When you say insulting things about lions’ sexual preferrence, for instance, and then delay action on a campus policy to address such prejudice, you don’t encourage forgiveness. If you start showing some pride in this place, maybe others will follow suit. Do you know how much pride we have in this place? We aren’t who you think we are. Many of us are people who wanted change in 2008. Many of us are people who still care and give and support the university. But we see a bad moon a rising. If you were as supportive as you are critical, we just might start to come together. Here is the deal, we have been supportive. But when things are going wrong, one shouldn’t support those things. We criticize because we love. If we hated, we wouldn’t care. All of the negativity gets old. All of the fucked-up, ridiculous decisions are getting old. This is my school too, and I won’t allow disgruntled students or employees to cast a negative light on it. Glad to know you have the power to not allow dissension. Are you RTV?