Make Custom Gifts at CafePress

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.

No comments: