What are we going to do now that we are losing one of the all-time best nicknames SFN has ever originated?
NC State University Chancellor James Oblinger resigned effective immediately. Former UNC Charlotte Chancellor Jim Woodward will take over. This link will take you to a great profile of Woodward from a 2004 article.
It was a typical mission for Woodward, an aerospace engineer and MBA who mingles academics with big business and backroom finagling. The man Broad calls “the best manager in the system” recently announced that he will retire next year at 65. Major growth has marked his 15-year tenure–the longest of any chancellor in the system. Enrollment is up nearly 50%, the $84.5 million endowment is six times what it was, there are 12 doctoral programs where there were none, and there are nine new buildings, with another nine under way. The school’s research has spawned 24 companies.
Despite what he sees as his greatest accomplishment–hoisting the school into the ranks of Ph.D.-granting research universities–others laud his prowess as a diplomat, working effectively within the 16-campus UNC system, ever mindful of the concentric circles of statewide politics surrounding it, while at the same time cementing the school’s ties with Charlotte’s business establishment. This feat is akin to climbing a greased pole, and Woodward has demonstrated an uncanny knack for knowing when to press on and when to slide back.
I was kind of hoping that General Hugh Shelton would get the nod for interim; and, I also thought that the recent appointment of fellow Edgecombe County native, Norris Tolson to the Board of Trustees was a step to Shleton’s appointment. Oh well. No biggie. Chancellor Woodward appears to be a fine choice based on what we have gathered to this point.
BJD95 & SFN UPDATE: Here’s an e-mail from Bob Jordan regarding SQ’s resignation:
To the Students, Faculty and Friends of NC State University:
In a few moments, we will be announcing that James Oblinger has chosen to resign as chancellor of NC State. I wanted you to be the first to hear this disappointing news.
Chancellor Oblinger cares deeply for NC State. He has devoted 23 years to our university and his leadership will be greatly missed.
One of things I admire most about Jim Oblinger is that he has always put the university’s interests ahead of his own. He is resigning because he does not want the ongoing controversy surrounding the university’s hiring and employment of Mary Easley to continue detracting from the important work of our faculty and staff. He wants the university to move forward, and that is what we must do.
A copy of the official announcement of the chancellor’s resignation, along with a copy of documents that NC State submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s office today, can be found on the university’s Web site at 9:30 this morning at www.ncsu.edu.
I will continue to keep you informed about these developments and our search for a new chancellor in the coming weeks. If you have questions or comments, you can send them to me at: email@example.com.
Bob Jordan, Chair of the NC State Board of Trustees
Yep, this beacon of embarrassment loves and cares about NC State so much that he plans to NOT work for six months at full salary, in the midst of an unprecedented budget crisis. This is also a guy who most certainly does NOT need the money. Selfless. Honorable. Almost saintly.
How can this man resign wanting this money while simultaneously condeming Mary Easley for demanding the money she is legally due because of Oblinger (and Larry Neilsen’s) very own decisions and approvals?
We harken back to many of the comments that we made in this definitive entry on the topic. When you don’t have any genuine convictions and when are not truly driven by a tangible/measurable set of goals of achievement for your institution, then you will inevitably be exposured by gross hypocrisy.
This is what happens to people who do not any true convictions and passively ‘manage’ by avoidance and without driving to reach stretch goals. If the Chancellor and the folks at NC State were actually executing against a well-defined strategy, then all behaviors under that strategy can/could be explained and justified as supporting that strategy. But, when the bulk of your daily behaviors are construed by everyone around you as ‘risk avoidance’ and wanting to ‘do as little as possible to upset the status quo’, then you cannot truly strive for excellence or have any guiding barometer for decisions.
You see – it is all about being comfortable with the status quo all around you in Raleigh. Why would NC State dare bring in someone from the outside when the Chancellor can live in luxury along side his local buddy? Of course, you can’t really blame Chancellor Oblinger; it is the ‘NC State way’ to ultimately promote a food chemist from campus into the steward and leader of the entire University after the ‘good old boys’ and the tenured faculty had been pushed by someone who actually had drive and ambition to leave the zip code every now and then (Marye Ann Fox).
Does it surprise anyone that Oblinger is one of Bob Kennel’s heroes? Old Kennel sure has has kept a low profile on the internet in recent months. For years we’ve been leactured that any dissent against the leadership at NC State is atrocious since these leaders are so great. Yet, in the middle of all the *#($ hitting the fan the cheerleader has been muted. Maybe the evil internet made all of this happen? To his credit, I only count eight uses of the word ‘I’ in Kennel’s 100+ word letter to the N&O. That is SIGNIFICANTLY below the usual minimum standards of a 1:10 ratio of I:all other words.
Here’s a link to WRAL’s take.
Here’s a link to some developments from the weekend.
Here is a link to one of our definitive posts on this topic.
UPDATE (3:35): The NC State Board of Trustees has fired Mary Easley.