This thing could go either way.
This could be a Board of Governors triumph or it could be a sign that nothing was learned from the presidential fiasco that was Bruce Speck. So how should they handle it?
Here is our take.
First of all, Cassie Mathes has to be in the room for everything. She can’t be shut out or she can’t protect you.
Next, name an interim at Thursday’s meeting. The Vegas odds are on Dr. Alan Marble who Speck hired in an irregular manner to do his job anyway. If the Board was going to negate that hire, they shouldn’t shift that position and should name Pat Lipira as interim. She seemed to be in on the international mission foolishness, but she is an excellent manager, motivator and public speaker. Just name someone.
Next, hire a head hunting firm. This was not done last time. Don’t do last time again. Here is how Mighty Dwight handled it last time:
- Placed an ad and named a committee.
- Applications placed in a sealed room with windows papered over.
- Only the committee could view applications.
- Name two finalists. Lose one. Hire the other with no public vetting.
- Introduce hire at a press conference in which the press had to submit questions in advance.
Next, look for a pool of candidates who have proven skills in fundraising, are effective public speakers, are willing to learn or already know the local culture and players, respect faculty and practice transparency. Call these candidates The Anti-Speck.
And don’t do it on the cheap. Bring in prime candidates for more than just a half-day dog and pony show on campus. Put them up for a few days. Assign someone as their guide that isn’t on the Board or presidents council. Show them the city and the adjoining communities. Introduce them to the Chamber of Commerce and public school administrators and city council members and state legislators. And don’t ask for generic feedback from these people, either. Ask for real, thoughtful assessment that isn’t just rating the candidates 1-5 on arbitrary categories.
Give the local reporters (and the Globe) a crack at them, too. See how they react to tough questions in a tense situation.
The worst thing that can happen on Thursday is MSSU’s Board dragging this out. Looking indecisive — like it did with the two weeks of Speck twisting in the wind — is not an option here. It has to look like a Board that is ready to move forward. Boldly. Differently. Openly.
Anything else is just a bunch of old fucks jacking off again.