While I am a supporter of the Governor and at the risk of being reminded that I’m also a Marty Meehan supporter – let me say that I’m not happy about the Governor waving-off Marty Meehan as a candidate for the University of Massachusetts Presidency because he served as an elected official in the United States Congress. Academics in a university are taken care of, overseen and are the purview of the Provost… The image, endowments/scholarships and public perception – and more – of a University come from the work of the President – it’s a small “p” political job.
Just as College and University Presidents come into politics and elected office – Woodrow Wilson was President of Princeton University before serving as governor of New Jersey and President of the United States… Dwight Eisenhower was President of Columbia University and then served two terms as President of the United States… William Fulbright was President of the University of Arkansas before becoming a member of the U. S. House of Representatives and then the U. S. Senator for Arkankas …but it also goes the other way. After serving in the Congress -Senator Bob Kerrey became President of New School University in NYC… former Oklahoma Governor and U.S. Senator David Boren became and is the President of the University of Oklahoma… former U.S. Representative from Indiana John Brademas served as President of New York University. There are probably more examples. The skills of a member of Congress like those of a teacher are many, varied and transferable.
Let the search, interview and finalist selection process play-out as determined by the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. Whatever happens – happens. Stay tuned.
Disclosure: Lowell State College Class of 1964 (now UMass Lowell), member of the GSE /UML Board of Advisors.