Friday, October 31, 2014

Bob Wineburg: UNCG, Do Something Bigger Altogether

Today the following letter was sent to UNCG Deans and Administrators by Bob Wineburg.

"Dear Deans and High Ranking UNCG Administrators:
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It sure would be heart warming to see you demonstrate some collective leadership and go to bat for this faculty, those fired and humiliated employees, and memory of some of the former academic leaders of our university: Those who had soul and chutzpah, especially Harriet Elliot.  Demonstrate to us that our day-to-day leadership can “do something bigger altogether.” The woman, at whose pleasure you serve, has “lost” the university, the Greensboro community, and perhaps her marbles.
I would hope, that despite your serving at the pleasure of this Chancellor, who has shown a huge dearth of eptness, that you would use your collective voice and urge the chief to come to her senses and simply do three things: Give those people their jobs back without sinking them and us deeper in the quicksand, send Paul Mason back to Corporate America, and muster up some sort of apology for dragging all of us, but particularly those decent human beings, through a skunk scented cow pasture of dishonesty. WHY did we have to go through this mess?
You know as well as the rest of us, that the Board of Trustees unofficially fired the Chancellor. Yet, she was allowed some dignity to “retire with a golden parachute.”  Linda gets to save some face, while our humiliated colleagues’ faces were plastered in the paper. And your chief held on vigorously to this queasy line: This was an egregious misuse of university resources that had a direct impact on these employees’ ability to perform their day jobs.
Every single one of us, in his or her sensible minds, knew that line was as quixotic as the chief's dreams of making us a Division I Basketball Powerhouse.
Has such frivolousness replaced Minerva?  Seriously?
Despite serving in your administrative roles, you are still one of us when you step down. But the faculty has, without you out front, faced the bully again and again, risking imagined and real retaliation. This time faculty,  did “something bigger altogether in public.”  You are faculty first, and sort of loaned executives second.  I pray that you weren’t insider bystanders getting better glimpses of what was truly happening than we got. Even if a glimmer into an answer to my prayers never comes to light, it sure would be nice for a dream to come true. Stand up to the Chancellor for the faculty, the community, and those loyal colleagues. 
Ask yourselves whether Harriet Elliot, the mother and soul of this university, would or would not speak out for the healing and repair of this once great institution.  It would be a great day for healing and repair, if you collectively signed a letter appearing in tomorrow’s News and Record calling for a restoration of balance at UNCG. Tell the Chancellor to (1) Hire those people back, (2) Fire Paul Mason (3) Apologize.  I would never ask anyone to do something bigger than I or other faculty would not do or haven't done, especially if it were truly bigger altogether.
Bob is right. Until proper amends are made the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the city for which it was named cannot and will not mend. Both need one another to be whole. In the coming days and weeks this website and other news sources will begin exposing the underlying problems that brought about the entire fiasco in the first place. Considering what UNCG is about to face it does not need to still be dealing with this. Show good faith and do as Mr Wineburg suggests lest I start exposing more individuals.