When You’re Around This College President, Better Carry Your Mace


Imagine, if you will, the following workplace scenario unfold. You’re on your way to your boss’s office with great news. The fundraising event you planned and executed was a complete success. You not only exceeded last year’s totals, but proceeds smashed right through the ambitious goal you set for this year, despite the chilly recessionary climate. Not one to pat yourself on the back, you are hoping nonetheless that the boss—a college president—will give you a well-deserved thumbs up.

Well, he gives you a finger all right, but it’s not his thumb. No, it’s his index finger viciously pounding the wall of the corner he’s backed you into as he screams invectives at you mere inches from your face. All the money you just raised for your college doesn’t matter to this enraged madman, nor does your exercise of professional judgment as a director of development, judgment affirmed by verifiable facts. All that matters is that you…you…had the audacity to spend more time cultivating Mr. and Mrs. Gotrocks at the fundraising event instead of Mr. and Mrs. Currifavor. Never mind that the Gotrocks have donated hundreds of thousands to your campus and promise to continue giving into the future, and that the Currifavors have given not much at all. How DARE you defy the president’s clear albeit unstated preference for the Currifavors?

If we were in The Twilight Zone, this would be the moment that Rod Serling steps from the shadows to intone, “consider if you will the small town of Billings, Montana, home of the small but scrappy Rocky Mountain College. A college run with an iron fist by a man possessed by demons of desire. Desire to beat up on women.” Rest his soul, Rod Serling’s been gone for years, so cue the do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do music and click here. Read the story. No hurry. I’ll wait.

Don't get me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Appalling, isn’t it? Of course Ms. VanDelinder’s civil suit contending that the aptly named President Michael Mace subjected her to all manner of abuse and intimidation has yet to be proven, but it is fair to point out that President Mace is no stranger to such tactics. In the summer of 2007,

Mace, 55, spent one night in the Hamilton County, Ind., jail after being arrested in Carmel, a suburb north of Indianapolis.

Home builder David Klain told The Gazette that he was sitting in his office in a townhouse development when Mace came in, told him he was angry with Klain and then hit the builder on the left side of his face, knocking him to the floor and breaking his glasses.

After Mace left, Klain called police, who then arrested Mace.

The story has a happy ending, though; in 2008 President Mike “Tyson” Mace beat the rap by

…complet[ing] requirements of a pretrial agreement….[by entering] a pretrial diversion program.

The program for first-time offenders charged with a misdemeanor crime helps resolve cases without going to trial. Defendants are on probation for a year and have to fulfill certain requirements. If they are not charged with another crime and they complete those conditions during that year, charges are dismissed.

Mace was to pay a $305 fee to the prosecutor’s office to pay for the program, continue seeing a counselor to discuss anger management and complete 40 hours of community service by Aug. 1, 2008.

Deputy Hamilton County prosecutor Jamie Campbell said Thursday that Mace met those conditions and that the case against him has been dismissed, but not erased, from his record.

What was erased, apparently, was any reason for the Rocky Mountain trustees to back away from their unwavering support for President Left Hook:

James Almond, chairman of the Rocky board of trustees, said that several trustees met with Mace on Friday morning [after the president’s night in the cooler] to discuss the matter.
….
As more information comes out about the case, trustees will comment further, Almond said.

Almond praised Mace for the work he has done since becoming the college’s leader in October 2005.

“Mike has been the best president we could have had and has done an outstanding job,” Almond said.

What every smart college president negotiates as a rider on his contract.

Careful readers will observe the consistency of the Rocky Mountain trustees by comparing former Chair Almond’s comments with those of the current chair, to whom it fell to explain away Sluggo’s latest contretemps:

Board of Trustees chairman Barbara Skelton said Monday afternoon that she had not seen the court document yet.

“I can’t make a comment until I do,” she said.

But, another happy ending is clearly in sight, for Chair Skelton adds: “the Board of Trustees hopes to move forward with the mission of the College under the leadership of President Mike Mace.”

The executive committee of the board meets to discuss the president's behavior.

In other words, bye-bye Shari VanDerlinder.

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3 thoughts on “When You’re Around This College President, Better Carry Your Mace

  1. You’d kinda hope some well heeled cattle baron would get a little rough with President Slugo at one of the college wine spritzer events, but I guess the old west is really gone.

  2. Pingback: New England All-Stars: The Best of the Best College Presidents « Call Me "Miss"!

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