Friday, December 12, 2008
Quote of the Day
Like Mr. Summers, who is now President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to be chief White House economic adviser, Mr. Kerrey was recruited in part for his star power and management acumen. And like Mr. Summers, he has often found university politics more difficult to navigate than electoral politics.
I liked that. Earning a purple heart in Vietnam, getting elected governor, dating Debra Winger, doing two terms in the U.S. Senate, and reaching the point of being shortlisted as a Vice Presidential candidate? No problem! But academic administration? Now that's a challenge!
For reasons I still don't understand, people from outside academia often fail to understand that the culture of academia is fundamentally different. Better in some ways, worse in others, but markedly different. That's not to deny that it needs to change in some fairly fundamental ways, but those changes will have to be facilitated by people who understand where it's starting.
The guy was briefly among the dozen or so people most often mentioned as possibly running the country someday, and he can't even run a university.
If he's looking for work, I hear that Illinois needs a governor...
I will always remember the day he asked me to lunch in order to inform me that he did not consider me to be a, 'trustworthy' employee. I was puzzled, because I consider myself to be highly trustworthy, i.e. you can depend on me to do what I say, and tell the truth. Only then did I learn his definition, which was, 'having the President's back'. After surviving two 'No Confidence' votes, he moved on to become the head of our state board for CCs. We hired a new Prez from another college, how now at least understands his role in the institution.
I suspect that it was more "trust to do what I want, without question".