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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

MSU's President Dunn

I received the following email from a friend in reference to the local university in Murray, KY:

"What's going on with MSU? All I know is that apparently there were illegal secret meetings and Randy Dunn has been questionably non-renewed.

Is this just cyclical or is it to bring more attention to MSU or what..."

Here is the way it works.  
Every few years Deno Curris comes to Murray to stir things up and keep  us all from getting bored.
In the first instance he was the university president from 1973-1983.
In 1974 he fired a bunch of people contrary to the principles of the AAUP.  
In 1981 the board attempted to fire him contrary to the principles of contracts.
In 1982 his minions attempted to fire this author contrary to reason and justice - see My Tenure Biennium .  

In the current iteration he is the chairman of the Board of Regents.

So, seriously, what is happening? 
Stories can be found in the school paper, the Ledger and Times, and the Courier Journal.

My thoughts are below:

I don't think that the "illegal board meeting" has much substance.  It was a party the night before.
By 7-4 the board (in a regular meeting) voted to not renew the contract of MSU President Randy Dunn..
That they may do so is not really in doubt and so this is nowhere near on the same plane as the Curris Controversies of the seventies and eighties.

Why they are not renewing Dunn is not too clear.  

My personal explanation of what is going on would be based on the following general pattern, which is related to, but not exactly the same as, what some people call the seven-year-itch.

It goes like this:  Boards of regents collect tickets to athletic events and they hire and fire presidents.  They really don't have much else to do .  A newly hired president is "the board's guy".  They are attached to him.  But, by and by, the members of the board are replaced and the new members do not think of the current president as "their guy".  This normally takes 6 to 8 years.  Many things weigh on the minds of the new members- their own abilities, their good judgment, and their quality acquaintances, ... . One day the newbies realize that the president's contract is up for renewal, that they are in the majority, and that they have never hired a president!!  Duty calls. 

President Randy Dunn came here 7 years ago. 

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