Field of Science

Open letter to a new president

Dear New President,
Welcome.  TPP has lost track of exactly how many presidents this university has had in his academic career here; that's because most of them were pretty forgettable.  You always remember the good ones (exactly one) and the really terrible ones (my first), but most of them were inbetween.  If they managed to do one or two good things before moving on we considered ourselves lucky.  Our last one has done quite a few good things, mostly on the financial and PR side of things, areas where presidents tend to be pretty influential.  Try to do the same.  Most of the administration is competent and tries to help you do your job. At times the business office and provost seem bent on the opposite, mostly by failing to understand that a university does not actually run like a business.  This will not be a rant about the provost's pseudo-business policies other than if you want units to be financially responsible for everything then you have to give those units the fiscal resources they generate.  You're not a new president and you've been around the block a few times, so it's no news to you that coaches and ADs lack institutional loyalty, period.  So why do they always get golden parachutes when they stiff the university?  My advice is hire a lawyer that knows how to write a contract that will screw anybody that screws the university.  Glad you got a raise in salary; boy, those northeastern state colleges must really pay crap for top administrators if coming here to Lincolnland is a good fiscal move.  While on this subject, us faculty could use a decent raise, all of us; it's been a good long time since we had one of those and believe it or not, we got expenses.  Makes TPP wish it were as easy to move on as it is for administrators, coaches, and ADs.  It's hard to know where exactly you should start.  Everyone, like TPP, will offer you advice.  Us old-timers know what the bad old days were all about, so don't change anything that's actually working.  However, you need to do something positive to get the ball rolling, so here's my advice: get us some decent ice cream in the student union.  How can you be any kind of half-way decent academic institution without ice cream?  And not that frozen yogurt stuff that can't make up it's mind if it's a health food or not, we been there, tasted that, and voted with our pocket books.  It folded.  There's no shortage of good ice cream locally (have them tell you about Carl's), but the rent in the student center is such that a good business man knows a bad deal when they see it.  So screw the money, we need ice cream.  This would be a good way to make your mark on the university and improve the institution.  TPP has been complaining about this for over 2 decades, and clearly lacks any clout what so ever.  Hope the move goes well.  You got a lot to learn about the great midwest and Lincolnland in particular.  People out here didn't even know what bagels were when TPP arrived all those decades ago.  Lots of people from up East don't like it here.  They get depressed when they go outside the city limits and experience the maize and soybean desert.  Well, that's all for now.  Truly your success matters to us and you can count on us to let you know how you're doing. 
Best regards,  TPP.

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