Brummett's laser gets to the point today. The question is not whether Lu Hardin CAN survive as president as UCA. His turnout of supporters this week (including the bodacious assertion that he somehow single-handedly landed HP in Conway) and other media manipulation (whoever heard of a free-shot interview on Arkansas Week like Hardin got -- and did well on?) shows he has the immense political and marketing tools to get that job done.
The question is: SHOULD he survive after all we know and perhaps more that we are yet to learn. Bottom line:
The issue of one public institution's underlying integrity gets subjugated to the more burning issue of numbers and dollars and the still-greater one of a political man's survivability.
Oh, and I can't help but arch my eyes at Sen. Gilbert Baker's comment to the Democrat-Gazette, reported this morning, that he just forgot for six weeks to pay for that UCA tent used at his campaign fund-raiser at a UCA trustee's house -- the tent set up by UCA workers. He remembered this, I'd note, after questions were being raised fast and furious about insider favors at LuCA.
The Democrat-Gazette didn't bother to follow the housing insider scandal. They've apparently been deterred by the defensive smokescreen that other kids in addition to Baker's, Sheffield Nelson's grandkid and trustee Michael Stanton's kid have had cushy houses, too. (And many of them had the requisite connections of staff relationships, etc.) But what about the dozens -- hundreds -- that didn't know such houses were available and languished on housing waiting lists unawares? Or endured the much less comfy conditions in campus housing. To use Gilbert's phrase, his defense is a "half-truth." And that's being generous.
A Board of Trustees wanting to do right would order this fixed instantly. All University housing is published and a rational procedure is established for students to apply for it. Special pleading to the president isn't allowed.