Today There Is Very Little Bliss In The Unawareness…

I must admit that I am not in the loop of all the high level goings-on at NDSU. I hear things here and there, but I do not have a pipeline into the What’s Really Happening at NDSU network.  I think that is a blessing on some fronts – to be blissfully unaware.  Although, I must say that as of late there is very little bliss in the unawareness.

I was shocked when President Chapman cut and run because of the house and DC trip pressure.  Alas, I didn’t know anything about what was really going on.  Those details only trickle out later.  All the money issues that have come to light since Chapman’s departure have been disheartening.  Somewhere along the line things started going south and when the heat in the kitchen intensified Joe Chapman too went south (actually he went west, but you get the point).

I am not a big dog mover and shaker, as such I have no appreciation for the difficulty of being the top administrator at NDSU…it seems like a lot of pressure.  Yet, it seems that a top administrator should appreciate that the bigger you are the harder you fall.  As I learn more and more about the Chapman years at NDSU (particularly the last couple of years), I have to wonder what he was thinking in regard to some of his decisions. 

Yesterday our VP of Finance, John Adams, resigned.  I don’t really know the actual facts of the situation – as I said – blissfully unaware.  I did have a chance to work with John Adams in his time at the university and I liked him very much as a person.  I know that liking someone has little relevance in regard to whether they are the right person for a position, but I can say that I think John Adams is a good guy who generally had good intentions. 

I don’t know to what extent John will be portrayed as culpable over the next few months.  I don’t know what type of decisions he made and whether they were right or wrong.  I don’t know the level of pressure he was under from Joe Chapman.  Really, in regard to the performance of his job I know very little.  I do know that I have always found him to be personable and a strong proponent of emergency management and continuity of operations on the campus.  I also know that Joe Chapman ruled over the campus in a way that did stifle some voices.  Whether that was the case with John I do not know, but I suspect that the environment was better for some folks than others.

I am tired of watching the Chapman facade fall away and seeing others’ reputations in the rubble.  Frankly, and I know this will not sound ladylike (sorry mom),  I am getting a little pissed off at Joe Chapman.  I would like to see him here explaining some of these things instead of watching others explain.  If he created an environment where the only acceptable answer was "yes" and  that was part and parcel of the great leader he has been portrayed to be, why didn’t he own his actions and explain his strategy?  Instead he cut and run and now the staff, faculty and students that he said he valued so much are left here to deal with the fallout of what now appears to have been a series of poor choices.

Yes, I am blissfully unaware of much of the high level goings-on at the university…at least until the fallout of those goings-on float down to my level (which is quite a way down).  Now I am aware of one thing that I wish I didn’t know – there was trouble in the house that Chapman built and he won’t be held personally accountable as the failures become more widely known.  This is not to say that others are not culpable; it is to say that Joe Chapman should be standing with them and be made to answer.  Instead, he got out when the getting was good and left the answering to others.  Very disappointing…where is the integrity in that Joe?

Day two hundred and forty-two of the new forty – obla di obla da


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