Here at The Watch, we have a generational divide but generally a hive mind.
After the initial celebration, euphoria, drinking, whooping, drinking, etc., died down a younger Watcher (as we call ourselves) said, “I feel like Jed Bartlett. What’s next?”
Bartlett, of course, was the highly effective president played by Martin Sheen on The West Wing.
Then another generation countered the thought. “I hate to be all Robert Redford from The Candidate, but ‘What do we do now?'”
Back in the earliest days of the Speck administration, (Speck, of course, was the highly ineffective president of MSSU played by himself. At least he showed for that role. b’dum boom ching.) he embraced Teri Agee and John Messick on stage. But they were soon out and he and Dwight Douglas continued to insist that things would take off when Speck had “his team” in place.
Instead, there was a revolving door in academic affairs, Sallie Beard (an alumna and university trailblazer) was forced out as AD. Robert Corn (an alumnus and university legend) applied and wasn’t even interviewed. During the Speck years, long-time administrators were forced out in favor of outsiders (not always a bad thing) and people that would be theoretically easy for Speck to control. Will a new president do the same?
Who might be out next?
VPAA Pat Lipira
We consider Lipira safe. She appears to be complicit in the whole international mission statute flap, but she is also an MSSU sports legend and she is close to retirement. If she leaves, it will likely be her choice.
VP Business Affairs Rob Yust
Yust flies under the radar and doesn’t attract much attention. That works in his favor. But he was quite loyal to Speck and a new president might want his own “money guy.” With a changing model of higher ed funding and the emergence of MOOCs, a person with both business and academic bona fides might be coming. 50/50
VP for Student Affairs Darren Fullerton
Like Yust, Fullerton is affable and seems harmless. But nothing really moves forward, either. His deputy has a PhD. Fullerton doesn’t. He is like so many of the administration under Speck. He was content to tread water because any innovation or initiative might draw RTV’s wrath. We guess he has been working on his doctorate and will be given a chance to prove himself. 60/40 he stays.
VP for Development and Director of the Missouri Southern Foundation JoAnn Graffam
Graffam is 40/60 to stay longer than a year. If she does, she will stick. She actually hasn’t sucked and the endowment has gone up. The problem is with Speck, she couldn’t be effective. She is local, an alumna and has contacts and she is professional. But the new president is guaranteed to be expected to raise money. And, again, he might want his own person.
Director of Athletics Jared Bruggeman
This guy is a real asshole. Plus he hired former volleyball coach Trish Knight who promptly went winless. For a fucking season. He gave The Chart holy hell about a story that made football coach Bart Tatum look bad and then fired Tatum a year later. ADs, like presidents, are expected to raise money. That hasn’t happened. And he isn’t well liked. Even in the athletics department. He is the one that demoted Corn and pulled his parking spot. The new group needs to — in political speak — appeal to the base. 70/30 that LL Cool J-Red is gone soon and Corn takes over.