First of all, those with legal antenna up knew that Scruggs was a goner. Those more than 400 letters requesting that Judge Biggers cut some slack for this upstanding citizen and local philanthropist [e.g. hefty contributions to Ole MISS] represented desperate and dumb strategy. Of course, Judge Biggers would probably be annoyed with the flood of mail to his chamber. Scruggs, as we anticipated, got the max sentence: Five years. Why would the head of a university, which has so many ties to diverse constituencies, associate his institution so directly with this lost cause?
Secondly, there is a line between our voice as a person and as a representative of anything. Khayat didn’t understand that basic career reality or chose to ignore it. This leader should be driven out because the university and its constituencies can’t trust his judgment. Analogy: I could send a letter-to-the-editor at THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL about lead paint as a private citizen contemplating re-locating to Rhode Island or as author of this blog. The two points of identification are very different.
Third, this situation has become a public issue. Yet, Khayat, who will be on vacation in the Bahamas until August, is silent on the matter. He has no response. This can be interpreted as yet another example of questionable judgment and perhaps some of the All the King’s Men-type arrogance.
As we know from Crisis Management 101, this information vacuum created by Chancellor Khayat will escalate the crisis. It could blow up into his forced resignation, and before he returns from his little vacation.
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