Get a load of the weird analogy CSU Chancellor Timothy White used today when talking with Michael Krikorian, who is reporting for The Bee from the Fresno State presidential-selection meeting in Long Beach. When White was asked to justify the secrecy of the process, here’s his response:
“It’s like you’re looking for a new spouse and it doesn’t work out. When you go back home and your spouse asks you, ‘Where have you been?’, you don’t tell her you’ve been unhappy and are looking for a new spouse.”
So now White is equating hiring a new president to cheating on your wife? What is going on here? It used to be just fine for the CSU presidential selection process to be public — until just a few years ago. Now suddenly the brass at the top of a state university system so massive that it’s basically unaccountable to local concerns is treating the presidency like it’s some murky position best filled in the shadows. Don’t university presidents usually come from other universities? Isn’t there a natural progression for candidates for such positions — they start out at smaller institutions, then move on to bigger ones? Is being interested in a job at a larger institution really a kiss of death for the candidate if his or her current board of trustees find out? (And, if so, why are 50% of university-president searches nationwide conducted in the open?) Why is the idea of a qualified candidate pursuing a better job suddenly being painted as if it’s some nefarious betrayal akin to skipping out on a crime family, or, at the very least, shopping around for a “better” mate? What are those people in Long Beach thinking?