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Retired General's University Appointment Denied

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posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 09:35 AM
Original WaPo Article Title (too long): A retired general was tapped for leadership at Northwestern, but opponents derailed the appointment

The dispute at the elite private university in Illinois reflected the power of faculty dissidents as a check on university administrators, as well as conflicting views on the value of military and diplomatic experience for advancement in academia.

Forty-six faculty members signed a letter in February describing Eikenberry as a “non-academic career military officer” who was a bad fit for the job. An online petition emerged to oppose Eikenberry’s appointment.

The article contains some liberal excuses for why Eikenberry would be a bad fit with the school. Things like, 'He spent his time out in the real world learning how things really work ... not in The Land of Academia, where everything is theory' ... paraphrased, of course.

This is really what caught my eye:

There was no hint of the controversy to come in January 2015, when Northwestern President Morton Schapiro announced a record-setting gift of $101 million from Roberta Buffett Elliott, billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s sister. Her donation endowed what is now called the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, which aims to advance issues such as “the spread of democratic political systems, economic development in impoverished regions of the world, immigration policies and forced migrations, the impact of cultural exchanges on societies, global religious movements and global communications, media and technology,” according to a university news release.

I've got a feeling Northwestern will pay for this. 'Bout a hundred million dollars worth of suffering if my estimates of the financial elite are correct.
Eikenberry is probably one of the least war-mongering generals I've ever heard of ... think Petraeus and all the Academic Institutions with which he is favorably associated. Might have been a good compromise for Northwestern just to go along. They might have actually learned something.


posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 10:36 AM
a reply to: Snarl

I think the General himself hit it on the nose when he said this:

“When people are uncertain about their organization’s future, and conclude that they are not being consulted, they assume the worst and withhold their support,” he said. “This is widely known — not only by change management specialists – but to most who work in the world of institutions. Still, it is surprisingly easy to overlook.”

The faculty claimed they were not consulted; and, as such, did not feel comfortable.

On another note: PhD scholars being hired by an executive with (lots of worldly experience, but) no PhD, at a university? I can see where there might be some dissent there.

posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 10:44 AM

originally posted by: Atsbhct
a reply to: Snarl

On another note: PhD scholars being hired by an executive with (lots of worldly experience, but) no PhD, at a university? I can see where there might be some dissent there.

While I kind'a agree with you ... somebody could have take care of that with an honorary.

posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 10:53 AM
a reply to: Snarl

For sure. But honorary degrees are often praised by impressionable undergrads and the ad men at universities, while being laughed at or outright opposed by PhD holders and the like. This is mostly in the case of celebrities, so I'm not sure how it would fall for a General with two masters degrees.

I'd be slightly annoyed if my boss happened to be less educated than me in a field where that mattered. (Still acknowledging that the man has a lot of real world experience.)

posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 11:33 AM
Um. The role of the President at a University is about leadership. A PhD is a very specialized degree and doesn't mean that the recipient has any clue how to put together the massive pieces of an organization and have them function well as a unit. I would argue that being a General is equivalent to a PhD in organizational/operational leadership and that, in that role, the General is vastly more qualified than his PhD colleagues. The General is not a surgeon, nuclear physicist, pilot or supply chain expert, but would have had to have called upon those experts in his units to operate effectively.

I'm guessing the academics didn't want a leader who actually held them accountable to something.

posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 11:43 AM
a reply to: cosmania

? The general wasn't slated to become the President of the University. He was opted for the role of the Executive Director of the Global Studies Institue. Part of his role would be to hire PhD's in the fields related to global studies for research and faculty positions, and to further the curriculum as it relates to global studies.

A lot of academics would argue that one would absolutely need a PhD and publishing experience related to global studies to do the job with proper authority.

posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 01:18 PM
a reply to: Atsbhct

change management specialists

A technical term for I dont know a dang thing about nothin , but I got a job here...

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