In response to my esteemed colleague’s questions about today’s board actions, I can offer the following interpretation. I must emphasize that this is based on a reconstruction of what I think are available facts surrounding this “resolution” and may be inaccurate. I invite anyone with knowledge of the actual circumstances to provide an alternative perspective, or to correct any inaccuracies in my account.
What I think the board did today is simple: they retroactively approved Wayne Watson’s expenditures for legal representation and gave him basically a blank check to continue to squander university funds on his personal defense. University guidelines and state policy require that any professional services contracts exceeding $100,000 be approved by the university’s Board of Trustees. It seems like the board either did not know about the extent of our contract legal expenses or did not care. In any case, the board today told Watson he could throw more money away on litigation.
Once again, it seems apparent that there is no oversight for this administration. Neither our board nor the state legislators seem inclined to exercise any control over a president whose various misdeeds have already cost the university dearly. For the past several years our board has taken the position that the faculty opposing Watson are always wrong. Now, the persons responsible for the well-being of the university have underscored their support for this failed administration and have committed the university to untold additional expense for the defense of Watson’s various administrative excesses.
We can only hope the university will survive.