So a colleague at another university asked me what I expected from our new president when he arrives. Given a list of more than forty items on the Faculty Senate's Fix Matrix, there is much to be repaired but my first concern is the protection of the academic enterprise at the university. That said, I told my colleague it was imperative that the new president find a real provost to manage the academic affairs division. The university cannot stand the incumbent for one more incompetent moment. Her list of failure is long and deep. From academic dishonesty to no university experience, to wrong headed decision after wrong headed decision, even my thirteen year old daughter when presented with the data surrounding her performance, asks me why is she still there. Given that she is still a child, I don't dare share with her how the adult world can work sometimes. So I just tell her that the world is often about who you know and that merit doesn't always get you a job. Bless her heart when she says "Daddy, that isn't fair", a sentiment shared by most at the university.
I was asked by another colleague if I would share these feelings with the new president before or when he arrives and I told them I was professionally obligated to protect our students and my colleagues from any further damage at the hands of an incompetent and failed provost. More succinctly, I will tell Dr. Calhoun when he gets here that a new provost, even an interim if he isn't bringing someone, is absolutely necessary. I would prefer that person be on the ground before the spring blood ritual known as the class cut session. The departing provost should have nothing to do with the academic enterprise and given her zeal for eliminating courses that our students need, she should be given other duties.
Given the university's propensity for having employees with terminal degrees man the admissions desk, maybe that would be a good place for her to end her employment with the university.
There's a great leadership maxim about not having others do something you wouldn't do yourself. Well here's a great opportunity to show some leadership. Resign as provost and ask to serve in an admissions capacity. The many other opportunities that have been presented have ended in failure. Maybe this last one won't.
And then again.....