by Max Brantley
But two good sources say Wooldridge has been sacked as the $150,000 lobbyist for the group of public universities. The group will be evaluating whether it needs a full-time lobbyist, office and staff in the future, for one thing. Wooldridge's record is short of achievements.
But Wooldridge earned few friends in the higher education community with remarks during his unsuccessful race for 1st District Congress, particularly a video interview he gave to the Family Council in which he said he opposed legal protection in the workplace for homosexuals. He said if people "chose" to be gay, they should not be legally protected from discrimination. Many of the colleges that pay Wooldridge's salary have written anti-discrimination policies on sexual orientation.
UPDATE: Rankin still won't return my calls, but I have received a release from him through an aide at Southern Arkansas University that confirms Wooldridge is gone from the AAPU.
Statement from Southern Arkansas University President Dr. David Rankin, chairman of the board of the Arkansas Association of Public Universities:
“The board of the Arkansas Association of Public Universities has decided not to continue the employment of Tim Wooldridge as executive director of the organization. We appreciate Tim’s service to the association and wish him the best in his future endeavors. The presidents and chancellors of the association’s member institutions will discuss the future leadership of the organization in the coming months.”
The Arkansas Association of Public Universities is a nonprofit organization engaged in the improvement of higher education and in higher education policy advocacy, representing the collective interests of its member-institutions.