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30 June 2012

Holy fuck, what a storm...

Hope you're safe and keeping cool. We lost our power around ten last evening and got it back about noon, thank the heavens. Felt so sorry for our little Monty, that double coat doesn't help you in the summer, and the uncomfortable sleepless night was punctuated with his panting away...

And by the time I got around to try to buy ice in the morning, everything was sold out. All of this has helped to reaffirm my belief that I have no survival skills whatsoever and in a postapocalyptic society I would be one of the first ones eaten. I would be hard-pressed, for example, to build you a fire without matches, unless my coke-bottle glasses could produce a flame a la Piggy's specs in Lord of the Flies. But you would have probably sliced my jugular with your razor boomerang and just put the glasses in your ammo kit, all the while roasting my skin dry for a nice bag of jerky to munch on as you trudge back to your tribe in New Blood City...

It hasn't helped that I just read "The Road" either.

Well, stay cool!

28 June 2012

Doesn't the sky seem especially bright and blue today?

I swear, if someone told me on Monday that President Sullivan would be reinstated, and the Affordable Care Act would be upheld, albeit by an unnecessarily razor-thin margin, I'd have told that person to put the pipe down! But sanity, for a day or two, has managed to prevail! So sleep well, everybody!

27 June 2012

A few more thoughts about yesterday...

- This comment by GT Shin on Cvillenews sums up beautifully the extent of chicanery that occurred at the hands of Dragas and her cohorts, and why her sticking around (for now) is a little hard to swallow.

- Having said that, I honestly have no idea what McDonnell's going to do about it. My first impression was that the vote of confidence (eyeroll) for Dragas at the end signaled she was going to stick around, but I don't know if the guv would necessarily want to reward her for the unnecessary shitstorm she stirred up. Not reappointing Dragas would signal that he has at least a bit of concern for UVa's reputation, but up to this point he hasn't shown much to me beyond a desire to have it all blow over.

- I can't help but wonder how Mark Kington and Peter Kiernan are feeling; it seems that they were helping Dragas with everything, yet they fell on their swords while she (so far) gets off scot-free.

- And almost needless to say, I received a fundraising e-mail from the College today. But I think I'll follow the lead of the Facebook group that formed to reinstate Sullivan and send a token donation to the President's Fund For Excellence.

26 June 2012

Well, THAT was surprisingly anticlimactic...

President Sullivan was voted back unanimously; as an obvious sop to the BOV, Dragas was given a vote of confidence as well as a good tongue-bathing by Fralin... Hey, I'm all for moving forward and working together, especially if that's what all the parties involved TRULY want, but I will say that all the forceful assertions that Dragas was a person with integrity wouldn't have been necessary if she hadn't facilitated this unnecessary crisis.

25 June 2012

UVa 1, WSJ 0...

As Waldo documented today, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial on the Teresa Sullivan firing that was a crime against good writing and sound logic. The comments section ran like Bizarro Yahoo, as the audience took it upon themselves to correct the numerous errors and false assertions.

The most glaring error concerned a statement signed by ten of the eleven UVa deans calling for Sullivan's reinstatement. The WSJ supposed that since the business school dean was the holdout, it was proof that the faculty were anti-business and saw the Sullivan firing as a threat to their tenured positions. Of course, the only dean that didn't sign was in fact the dean of the undergraduate School of Commerce, Carl Zeithaml, who had just been named interim president and was not asked to sign the letter out of respect for his difficult position.

Meanwhile, Dean Bruner of the Darden Business School provided his own smackdown, noting that not only had he signed the Deans' statement, he was one of its writers.

While the Wall Street Journal has noted the correction, the actual content of the editorial has not changed, with "UVa faculty vs. Dean of Business School" becoming "UVa faculty vs. business in general". When your unsupported conclusion is already in place before you begin to write, shifting and removing inconvenient facts isn't that difficult.

What is all the more galling is that this piece of dreck screams Hill & Knowlton, the PR firm that's being employed by Rector Helen Dragas to repair her reputation and paid for with funds from a UVa foundation. I wonder how donors will feel about their philanthropic dollars being used this way.

And when it all shakes out, I hope McDonnell remembers what happens here should he decide to run for Senator later. Because Virginia will.

24 June 2012

I stand with President Sullivan...

I attended the rally today and came away very impressed with those that spoke out in favor of her return. And as shocked as I have been over the past two weeks, I was resigned to it happening, and as excited co-workers talked about the Faculty Senate's actions, I, sad to say, was dismissive and cynical.

"Oooooh, the faculty's not happy! What are they going to do, tear off the leather patches off their jackets? Have sex with their hot grad assistants in protest?"

Shame on me. And good on them for keeping the noise up and making forceful yet reasonable arguments. McDonnell's mealy-mouthed statement was disgusting; the bulk of the letter is spent chastising the alleged "tone" of those seeking Sullivan's return, but the graffiti on the Rotunda was nowhere near as offensive as the action that precipitated it.

I hope against hope (and despite what I think will happen) that President Sullivan will be back. No one deserves to lose their job like she did, but she didn't deserve to lose it in the first place.

UPDATE: Silly me for not mentioning Waldo Jaquith for his fantastic reporting on this issue. The Daily Progress has been surprisingly good as well, but I only look on that site on my smartphone because I'm afraid the malware that pops up on that website from time to time would destroy my ancient computer...