Monday, December 21, 2009

More Loftin trial balloons floated

The Eagle reports:
"Get two or more faculty together, and they're going to talk about the administration," said Slack, who admittedly has done a lot of the complaining in the past. "But the general feeling was people were positive about [Texas A&M Interim President R. Bowen] Loftin."

He continued: "He's taken a big bathtub splashing back and forth and just calmed it. He had the right personality and demeanor to keep the [A&M] System officials from the necks of the faculty and the faculty from the necks of the System officials."
Some at the CPI might disagree with the part about keeping System officials from the necks of the faculty. However, Vision 1920's faculty contacts have nothing but praise for President Loftin. The most common refrain: it could be a lot worse.

That's the standard around here these days.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Will Loftin lose the interim tag?

The Eagle updates the search news:
Texas A&M Interim President R. Bowen Loftin appears to be one of about four candidates still in the running for the university's presidency.

"As far as I can tell, I am still being considered," Loftin said during an interview in his office Thursday. "I can't tell you anything more than that."

The advisory committee is expected to forward three or four names to the Board of Regents, the Texas A&M System's nine-member governing authority, at the regents meeting scheduled for Jan. 22, Box said.

Aggies won't know who the new president is until regents decide on a sole finalist. The search is in an "opaque" period in which secrecy is key to protecting the reputations of the candidates, said Box, who also is a regent and a former campaign treasurer for Gov. Rick Perry.
Vision 1920 wonders whether we have ever been in a nonopaque period for this search. However, Regent Box's concern about the reputations of the candidates is valid. Who would want to risk being known as the kind of quisling who would be willing to work here, unless they were assured of the payoff of a contract?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Search an academic exercise?

The same piece in the Eagle updates the status of the Presidential search
Richard Box, chair of the search committee looking for Texas A&M's next president, said that the process is on schedule and he plans to forward three or four names to regents next month.

Box, who also is a regent, said there were now fewer than eight candidates but declined to give a more precise number, saying the number would fluctuate. The remaining candidates all are from academia, he said.

"We're in a period that I call the opaque period -- we can't be very transparent in what we do. Confidentiality is of major importance," said Box, who asked each member of his 16-person committee to sign an agreement stating they won't reveal candidate names.

Fluctuate is not the adjective Vision 1920 would normally associate with narrowing the field. But it covers the possibility of adding new candidates, given that the remaining ones don't include the nonacademics mentioned in earlier releases.

Vision 1920 points out to members of the search committee that they would not be violating a promise to not reveal candidate names by leaving information about their current positions in the comments.

Getting what you pay for

The Eagle describes how our Chancellor is trying to keep A&M cheap.
Texas A&M has been instructed to plan for how it would deal with no increase in tuition next year, Chancellor Mike McKinney said during a Board of Regents meeting Thursday.

McKinney wrote in a letter last month to Texas A&M Interim President R. Bowen Loftin and other leaders in the 11-university A&M System that any tuition increase recommendation should be between zero and 3.95 percent.

Vision 1920 expects that we will need to hire several new administrators to keep the tuition increase recommendations within these limits.