Saturday, February 5, 2011

Steve Aufrecht on UAA Chancellor Tom Case Appointment

Retired University of Alaska Anchorage professor Steve Aufrecht has published his second essay on this past week's appointment of retired USAF General Tom Case to replace Fran Ulmer as Chancellor at UAA. His first article, posted at his blog, What Do I Know?, on Tuesday, was titled Alaska's Military-Industrial Complex - Gen. Tom Case To Be UAA Chancellor. It was, as is usual with Steve's essays, a thorough analysis of all available information on this appointment, with comparisons to the history of such appointments there, and in the wider University Alaska system.

I forwarded a link to the article to several colleagues and friends at UAA. Through the week, we learned that the UAA Faculty Senate was disappointed in how the appointment process had played out.

Early this morning, Steve published a followup article, UAA Faculty Senate Upset about Chancellor Appointment Process. Aufrecht prefaces the article with this short statement:

[Some people I've talked to this week said they really aren't aware much of the University. That's a shame because it has a large budget and its mission is to educate the people who will be Alaska's future. The ADN simply cut and pasted a brief version of the University's press release.]
All too often the ADN, with a staff somewhat smaller than your local MacDonalds, has to resort to either cut-and-paste of local or national apparatchiks' public relations stunts, or - an even worse policy - craft some sort of "bootlicking ode."

Aufrecht's coverage of the reaction to Case's appointment is, among other things, a censuring chronicle of how the UA administration let almost a year pass between being informed by Fran Ulmer of her impending retirement, and then acting in a way entirely at odds with the known concerns voiced by educators' representatives at UAA. His description of Friday's Faculty Senate meeting is, in spite of Steve's nuanced, empathic writing style, quite damning of the anti-democratic and autocratic tendencies by the UA administration in this matter. "We don't need no goddam democracy in our system," is my take on how this went down.

All this - digesting Steve's outstanding coverage - while listening to one inside-the-beltway pundit after another on early morning National Public Radio declare that Egypt is NOT ready for democracy.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The University chose a USAF retiree to head the Kenai Peninsula College also. Someone might want to investigate how many other positions are held by the military.

Anonymous said...

Dude, this is Alaska. Ted and Don walked, Polar Pen is all but a flop with no hope for an encore, what do you expect ?

The CBC lives on, long live the CBC.

Seth said...

A great move for diversity! Finally, a man who isn't a liberal leftist.