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University Administrators Thought Process

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by pyrdek, Apr 19, 2007.

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  1. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Came across an article in the March 23, 2007 Chronicle of Higher Education which sheds some light on the thought processes of some high level academic administrators. See if you can see any similarity to VT.

    It seems that when Laura Dickinson was found dead in her dorm room last December the administration of Eastern Michigan University announced that did not suspect foul play in the death. In February police arrested an EMU student for rape and murder in her killing. Court documents revealed that there was more than ample evidence to indicate that the death was a homicide. At least that is so if you consider being found dead in her room, laying on the floor, naked from the waist down, with her legs spread wide apart, with a pillow over her face as suggesting something other than natural causes! She was only found after her father could not contact her for days and when an RA smelled an odor from her room and opened the door. Upon seeing the body, the RA called Police.

    EMU did not disclose any information about the circumstances of Miss Dickinson's death until February 23 when the county prosecutor charged Orange Amir Taylor III with her murder. That was almost two months after the killing!

    There were a number of comments from students who indicated that the President of the University seemed to be more concerned with image than student safety and made a scapegoat of the vice president as a means of protecting his own image and the finances of EMU. The students indicated that they did not trust the administration and felt that they were lied to right from the start.

    In forums, many students said they felt betrayed by administrators (Gee, Do you think so?) The President of the University placed the vice president on administrative leave.

    Now, did you notice anything similar to VT? Avoid notifying students and staff of a killer in their midst? not letting the info out until it was impossible to hide? Trying to duck responsibility? Nah, nothing similar between the two cases now is there?

    The full article requires a subscription but the URL listed gives you a teaser.


    By going to http://chronicle.com you can see the online version of the newspaper and see its numerous articles about VT.
  2. comp 1

    comp 1 Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Pyrdek,don't surprise me any--almost all university presidents are just p.r. people whose main job is to solicit money and cover their asses.WE PAY TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD TO DO NOTHING EXCEPT RUN THEIR MOUTHS.
  3. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    I find it hard to equate the EMU situation with the VT tragedy. VT, we're talking hours,a crime scene investigation was surely still ongoing when the second shootings began....
  4. JohnBT

    JohnBT TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    "Now, did you notice anything similar to VT?"

    Has it been 2 months since all those folks were killed at Tech? No? Let's see, they're both schools you attended? No, wrong again. Let's see, you don't like college administrators. Did I get it? ;)

    Can't even wait for the formal inquiry, can you?

    VPI Class of '72
    NRA Patron Member
    Member www.vcdl.org
  5. Joe P.

    Joe P. TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Hey JohnBT

    It seems like I touched a nerve with you. Which part of "SOME" didn't you get? I simply reported what the Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Guess who is the primary type of subscribers to this newspaper? I will give you a hint. You will most often find it in College Presidents' offices. College Vice Presidents' offices, College Provost's offices, College Dean's offices and College Department Chair's offices. In case you have not figured it out, this is a newspaper oriented to the higher level of college administration.

    I have had the honor of working with and under some very good higher education administrators. They are the ones who are willing to listen to the facts that are presented, ask relevant questions and make decisions, sometimes very quickly when warranted, for the good of the school, even if it may not cause them personal advantage. I have also had the misfortune of working with and under some administrators that were afraid to make a decision, would not ask or answer questions and virtually all of their decisions, if any were made, were delayed so long that when they were finally made, they were no longer relevant. This second type is more interested in CYA than making a decision in case it may turn out to be wrong. They are the ones who, because of fear, never try anything new.

    Are there some good administrators at VT? Undoubtedly. Are there some (like perhaps the one that heaped personal ridicule on a student who suggested to idea of licensed adults being allowed to carry concealed) that are so CYA oriented and unwilling to consider opposing views? You bet your bippy that type also exists. EMU is a classic example. Anytime an administrator puts out a direct lie (as evidenced by the police report and the fact that EMU is now facing possible sanctions for the cover up) I can pretty well figure out what their primary interest is.

    If an administrator is unwilling to make a decision until he/she "checks with the committeeā€¯, especially in a situation with fatal consequences needing a rapid response, well that leads me to question their primary interest. Some of the earliest news coverage where the President was televised gave me the impression that he was already in a mode where the conflicting interests were being analyzed and the decision was to initiate a protection of the University and his Office mode and try to blame the police for mishandling the first murders. Going for the wrong suspect, not considering a motive other than domestic violence, not even considering the possibility that a killer remained in the immediate area, the notification procedures used, the lack of student awareness all lead me to believe that the handling of the initial situation was far from optimum. Was the mishandling, as I currently see it, avoidable? Parts of the initial handling could have and should have been done differently, primarily the notification process, and the initial ruling out of anything other than domestic violence, is also questionable but I would wait to see what the investigation shows as to who made this analysis and what the administration was told and by who and when.

    Were all the decisions made at VT the absolute best? I doubt it. Were all the decisions made at VT absolutely wrong? I doubt that too. It is too late to help those who were killed but VT will be helped through the transition period if the effective administrators are given the freedom and opportunity to do what they must do. If the CYA crew takes the lead, VT will have to suffer the continuing consequences long after the police, media and presently enrolled students are gone.

    I could suspect from the tone of your response that you would be more a supporter of the second type of administrator but that is only based on your one response. I would have to wait to see additional responses from you to better determine if my initial evaluation is right or wrong.
  6. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    These days, a University President is just a "Bag Man" who collects money.
  7. phirel

    phirel TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    An important function of a University President is rising funds. Is that bad?
    Pat Ireland
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