I thought that Caleb Hale did a nice job in his piece in the Southern today, I noted in the last blog entry (Carbondale, Illinois - Business and SIU Commentary: Seems like Poshard's section has problems too.) that he seems to be missing a pretty important part of the story. There have been times where the SI has treated me kindly, so I guess I shouldn't complain.
I have a nit to pick with "Questions about Southern at 150 need answers" By James Bennett where he wrote - "In July, the group accused Wendler and SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift of plagiarism in speeches." Just to be clear both Wendler and Vaughn did give speeches where some speech writer did indeed commit plagiarism. Both men apologized in public and said something like that their speech writer did it or their dog ate their homework or something silly like that. I Japan they would have resign in shame, but that is one of the reasons that the USA is a better place to live. Been trying to figure out why these gentlemen need speech writer every since. There is a big difference between accusing and being publicly proven to be correct. If "the group" was on top it might have read - the group has a history of finding real plagiarism problems at SIU and making them public. We have yet to see them accuse anyone without being correct.
I liked his observation about Poshard moving to get in front of this by appointing a panel to investigate and not being blackmailed.
Where I think that both articles missed the mark -
Neither article pointed out that the Walter's Way building project is going to be voted on by the SIU Board of Trustees next week. Seems like a bad time to be voting on a plan that is based on a potentially plagiarized Texas University plan instead of one written here in Illinois. I'm fairly sure that a football stadium would be job 1 in Texas, even before text books for children. Here in Illinois, maybe we think we should hug our traditional SIUC values of Basketball, partying and academics (I'm just an alumni, what do I know?). Generally, when the champion falls like this it is hard to accomplish their plans. Wonder what the board will do, this is going to burn more money than SIU has and religate academics to a secondary role for 10 to 20 years.
In large organizations you often find a fall guy in times like this and dump all the blame on them. Even though I think Wendler has done a poor job for the last 5 years, I don't think it is fair to blame him alone. It seems hard to believe that no one in the administration, who worked so hard on Southern at 150" (can I put a :) here?) didn't know they were ripping off an existing plan. Unless Wendler wrote the whole thing himself as if my magic, they must have known. Didn't anyone on the search committee that hired Wendler know about Vision 2020 and notice they were almost same plan? Should be interesting if the smoking gun memo turns up from someone who did notice and was told to be quiet.
The big questions in my mind are how it is possible that no one noticed. If someone did notice, was management pressure put on to silence state employees (which would be heading toward a legal crisis). Who was on the chancellor position search committee, that didn't end up reading Vision 2020 and Southern at 150? Can we assume that the next search committee will be all new people? What will the board do next week about this unaffordable building project. The BOT doesn't think that football, basketball and administrators are the heart of the university are they?
Side note to my fellow blogger Dave, two unethical things in one post! Both plagarism, but that is what is there today. That is as many good management initiatives as I have come up so far. Check out my art blog for an example of one of my management initiatives at BoundlessGallery.com. Where we can't have a better search than Google, we are trying to have the best search of any art website. I have a few more initiative coming soon (I like to win). My only unethical things for the last couple of months is that I'm going to DQ for dinner tonight and haven't been to the gym in 5 weeks. :)
Should be a fun week.