Phi Beta Cons

Gallaudet’s Dysfunctional Governance

John and Candace have already weighed in here on the ongoing crisis at Gallaudet University. ACTA is quite disturbed by the goings-on there; indeed, we deemed the university’s governance “dysfunctional” and the whole episode “pathetic” in this morning’s Washington Post. Further thoughts can be found in our two recent press releases (calling on the board to stand by Fernandes and condemning its failure to govern) as well as in several entries on our blog. Also of note, both Jonathan Last (in the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Weekly Standard) and Inside Higher Ed have published good histories of the situation.
History is particularly important in this case, as this week was not the first time the Gallaudet board backed down from a presidential search in the face of protests. The same thing happened during the last search, as an official Gallaudet website points out.
Suffice it to say that the past two presidential searches have not exactly been a profile in courage for the Gallaudet trustees. It is their unique prerogative to select the institution’s leader, but they have essentially surrendered that legal and fiduciary obligation to the loudest students and faculty.

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