Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"During the interview of our presidential search, I will ask, 'What has been your commitment to athletics and to football and how much have you budgeted?' Not 'What are your plans, but what has your track record been?'"

University of Minnesota Regent

Johnson lauds ex-Kansas State president, Wefald

How out of touch can you be?

And if they have no track record, Mr. Johnson? Does this mean that they are not presidential material? If their football coach had a poor record, like President Bruininks, does this mean they are not a suitable candidate? Where are your priorities, Regent Johnson?

 [Added later, a reader emailed: Johnson had his office at the state capitol decorated with sports paraphernalia from Minnesota teams. He is a Lutheran minister.  ...he could have served as the model for Elmer Gantry in the novel by Minnesota native Sinclair Lewis...]

That a member of the Board of Regents whose responsibility is to find a new president is so out of touch as to laud Wefald, former president of K-State, is a pretty sad indication of how out of touch he is.

Minnesota regent Dean Johnson wants next school president to make an impact on struggling football program

Johnson was at the Bierman football complex Tuesday, as he has been other days since Tim Brewster was fired as head coach.

Johnson's responsibility as one of 12 regents isn't to find a new football coach. His responsibility is to help find a successor to departing university President Bob Bruininks. 

But Johnson, 63, who was majority leader of the state Senate for four years and was influential in the Minnesota Twins getting Target Field built as well as the university getting TCF Bank Stadium built, wants a president who can make an impact on the Gophers' perennially floundering football program. 

[How about our perennially floundering academic programs, Regent Johnson.  Why does Wisconsin kick our butts in both athletics and academics. Maybe you and the other regents might look into this?]

"The University of Minnesota has three things to do: teach, provide research and outreach," Johnson said Tuesday. "The first two are extremely important. The third, the outreach — I can think of no better outreach than to have a winning football team, a Big Ten championship and a competitive national football team.

[Ah, ever the politician.  A man's gotta have his priorities.]

"If the Golden Gophers were to go back to the Rose Bowl or be nationally competitive, that helps us get through the workday; that takes care of a lot of things."

[Does providing a quality education at an affordable price take care of a lot of things, Regent Johnson?] 

"We can see this in other universities," Johnson said. "My friend John Wefald I've talked to two, three times. I asked him about this. When he arrived at Kansas State, they had $8 million in their foundation. Today they have $108 million in their foundation.

"They went from the bottom of the barrel. They were actually thinking about putting Kansas State in the Missouri Valley Conference, kicking them out of the Big 12. He said there's importance to a president choosing and supporting a head football coach and the program and all athletics."

John Wefald?  K-State?  Surely you jest, Regent Johnson, or you are completely unaware of the athletics mess at K-State.  A homework assignment for you is: 

"The saint of KSU is a panting jocksniffer who has handed much of KSU’s money to a dirtily run football program. He has also engaged in nepotism and conflict of interest. Wefald is your basic long-running banana republic leader. Power went to his head. The Topeka Capital-Journal provides details of his conflict of interest."

Audit found conflict of interest for Wefald, Krause, Glasscock  [Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal]

Among other things, this shows that much of the bloom is off the rose in Kansas when it comes to Wefald and his record. An awful lot of people are very upset. You might check:

From my conversations around town, the tone is miles away from hagiographic. "Furious" and "disgusted" captures it much better. New President Schulz and new AD Currie have been beating the drum of openness and accountability perhaps because they believe it (and I think they do), but also because alums, friends, and taxpayers are insisting on it.

I have not heard or read a single defense of Wefald’s actions in this affair.

Puhleeze... Regent Johnson.  Do your homework. 

And maybe you should stay out of Bierman.  President Bruininks was/is a great athletic supporter.  And yet we have the current mess.  Explain that, please?

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