Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Search For A New President


The University of Minnesota

A day late, a dollar short, and a stacked deck...

The Daily has an article on this situation.

My comments on the Daily site:

About time.

We've know for quite a while that PresB was going to be gone. Waiting until this late in the game to start looking was not very smart. Now we are under pressure to do this quickly because we need a person on board NOW. Not smart, not smart at all... Recall the fiasco when the current president was hired? Much chest-beating, no suitable candidates could be found, supposedly, and the present occupant was installed. What if this happens again? I hope that it doesn't, but it might. Not smart to take a chance on our future with so much at stake.

While foot dragging has gone on here, two pretty good people have been available with BigTen connections who would have made excellent presidents. Within the last month, Wallace Loh has gone from provost at Iowa to the chancellor of the University of Maryland. He has a PhD and law degree and an excellent understanding of the academic side of the university unlike the run of the mill law school dean. He also has experience at a University with an excellent medical school and academic health center. He has been doing an excellent job at Iowa, despite a cheap shot by one of the Morill Hall Gang. Because Iowa has had terrible financial experiences lately, he would have been an excellent, experienced, and knowledgeable leader, unlike the current situation in Morrill Hall.

The new president of Illinois, Mike Hogan, previously UConn pres, was previously a provost at Iowa. He would also have made an outstanding president.

Question: Why do provosts at Iowa go elsewhere as president and this doesn't seem to happen here? Is it the quality of the administrators or is it parochialism?

Questions: Why do all the BigTen schools but two (Minnesota and Michigan State) have presidents who came from outside? Does it have anything to do with the stature or rank of the institution? Do insiders make middle management (vice presidents..) at Minnesota uncomfortable? Perhaps this would be a good thing.

I hope the next president is the equal of the new presidents at Illinois or Maryland. But starting this late in the game is going to make it tough to get a good candidate from outside.

Maybe that was the idea?

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