Mills College President Janet Holmgren Dogged by Controversy

One of the perks of working for a college president is that occasionally you get to rub shoulders with the rich and famous.  I, for example, once attended a Rose Garden swearing-in ceremony and met President Clinton, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan and General Colin Powell.  It was thrilling.  Another time I sat inches away from […]

Board of Governors, 1; Quincy College, 0

In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo. College presidents come and go, too. Some, as in the case of Liberal Arts College USA, blessedly sooner rather than later. As the door slams on his retreating derriere, let us pause to contemplate the achievements of his short-lived tenure. It’ll be but a […]

Administer with Care

Every enterprise has its own in-jokes, I suppose. In academic circles, and by that I mean in ballrooms of tony convention hotels in Washington, San Francisco, Miami, or San Diego where porcine college presidents, vice presidents and deans gather for top-level meetings on issues of national importance. In academic circles you are guaranteed a chuckle […]

Plus ca Change : Transitional Analysis

A former boss of mine was fond of needling me and various colleagues with a constant reminder that “change is hard.” He chose his words carefully, not so much to point out the obvious (although he did a lot of that, too), but to let us know directly how much pleasure he was taking in […]

Forget about Killing All the Lawyers; First Let’s Call the Consultants!

What comes to mind when you hear the word “consulting”? The folks at McKinsey who brought you Enron? Bob Shrum, who ignited the dynamite Kerry-Edwards campaign? Or perhaps that unfortunate laid-off fellow next door, who has added “consultant” to his resume in a futile effort to conceal his unemployment. When I see the words “consulting” […]

Hey Faculty! Your Priorities Need Alignment!

In June I wrote a post about Alexander Kemos, who faked his resume, landed a highly remunerative job at Texas A&M, rose quickly to an even more remunerative position, cozied up to the university president, got caught in his lies and was sent packing. Now comes word that another senior official at A&M has lost […]

A Faculty (Almost) in Revolt: Institutional Loyalty, Acts of Conscience and Votes of No Confidence

When the temperature hovers in the upper 90’s for weeks on end, not much stirs in Collegetown, USA. Most of the underpaid, underappreciated faculty have shipped their kids off to lacrosse or computer camp, or are busy packing for the Vineyard or Prince Edward Island. It’s a tough life. So I was mildly surprised when […]

New England All-Stars: The Best of the Best College Presidents

Earlier this week news crossed my desk that yet another (former) Rocky Mountain College employee had filed a civil suit, for wrongful termination, harassment and intimidation, against embattled President Michael “Mug Shot” Mace. I filed the report, thinking I would use it eventually as the source for another post on Mace’s uniquely hands-on management style. […]


Dear Readers: For those of you late to this saga, please check out College “Confidential,” Costa Rican Edition: What Did Darrel Do? for background. The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle has published the “CARE Team Report,” in its entirety. Late yesterday, a judge lifted the restraining order prohibiting the newspaper from doing its job. As one might expect, […]

Liar, Thief, College President: The Tragic Story of Ben Johnson

Sometimes a college president’s road to malfeasance ends not with a punch line to a bitter joke, but in genuine tragedy. Such is the case of Ben Johnson, the former president of Peru (Nebraska) State College, who offed himself on April 12. The walls of his handcrafted house of cards were falling down all around […]