Monday, November 23, 2009

Phil Gramm knows how to say no without saying no

Former Senator Phil Gramm was a faculty member at Texas A&M before he got into elected to the House of Representatives. As a former faculty member at A&M, Gramm probably knows that it's a terrible job. But as a prominent possible choice, how do you make sure you don't get stuck with it? You can't actually say you don't want the job, especially when you've previously said it's your dream job.

Gramm had to face this dilemma in 2002, when he was being touted as a stealth candidate. The George W. Bush appointees stuck with Gates while the Perry appointees (plus Erle Nye) wanted Gramm. But Gramm made sure that he would lose support from the Ag constituency by voting against the 2002 Farm Bill.

Now, out of the Senate, with another search for an A&M president ongoing, how can Gramm make sure he's not asked to fill the job? Like this:
Gov. Rick Perry backed Phil Gramm's stealth 2002 candidacy for Texas A&M president, but the former U.S. senator isn't returning the favor in the governor's re-election bid.

The 67-year-old was one of more than 60 Aggies or those with ties to the university who pledged support earlier this month to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Perry's rival in the March Republican primary.

Friday, November 20, 2009

We can understand going after the Seahawks...

But forcing the Reed Rowdies off campus?
The MSC Bookstore has decided to enforce a rule that gives them exclusive merchandising rights to the entire campus. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, except that they haven't enforced it for anything or anyone else in the last five years (that the guys have heard of.) They are not allowing the Rowdies to sell their shirts this season inside the arena, and have said that they will fine them $100 for setting up anywhere else on Reed Arena property (i.e. outside entrances, parking lot, etc).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

10 years ago

It's been 10 years since the Bonfire tragedy.

There has been much debate since then about whether or not to bring Bonfire back, and whether or not it can be done. Today we should focus on remembrance.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Elite 8

The Eagle reports
At least eight candidates remain in the running for Texas A&M's presidency, officials said Thursday.

They include both men and women, but an exact breakdown wasn't immediately available, said Richard Box, chair of the 16-person search committee looking for the university's next leader.

Box said that there also were two "alternates" and that, though the soft deadline for applications passed last month, he hadn't "completely closed the door" to exceptional candidates who hadn't yet applied.

The committee met on campus Oct. 30 for about two hours and whittled the pool of about 50 applicants down to the current list, Box said.

"It was a process of elimination," said Box, an Austin dentist who once served as treasurer to the governor's campaign fund, Texans for Rick Perry. "The members of the committee had a very active and deliberate manner in which they went about it."

The candidates come from academia, government, the military and the business world, Box said. He declined to elaborate further.
Vision 1920 wonders if the finalists have been sent copies of Chancellor McKinney's Inside Higher Ed interview, so they know what our expectations are around here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Loftin's hat is in the ring

In the Eagle:
Texas A&M Interim President R. Bowen Loftin said that he would accept the university's presidency post if it were offered to him and that it would be an honor to lead his alma mater.

Loftin suggested that he was a candidate for the position but didn't directly say that he had applied.
For how this might be received on campus, we get the views of noted faculty relations expert Regent Gene Stallings:
"He has the ability to communicate with faculty. He's got the respect of faculty," said Regent Gene Stallings. "I'm sort of outside looking in, but I think he's done an outstanding job under some pretty tough circumstances."
Faculty Senate leader Bob Bednarz reacts as predicted by Vision 1920 in June:
"Faculty have generally found his decisions reasonable," said Robert Bednarz, speaker of the Texas A&M Faculty Senate. "They've been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt."

Bednarz, who was speaking as a spokesman for the faculty, also is a member of the 16-person search committee that is looking for Texas A&M's next president.
An alternative wording might be:
The faculty are resigned to their concerns being ignored