Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chancellor's demand for civility was itself dishonest and uncivil

    Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones has decided to engage in a bit of uncivil discourse.
     Jones disguises his lack of civility in a letter in which he accuses others of being "uncivil." Here is Jones' letter:

     Now let's analyze Jones' most uncivil letter. I say it is uncivil because there is barely an honest statement to be found in it. Jones repeatedly says things which he knows not to be true.
     Jones says there have been "anonymous, malicious and public attacks" on Pete Boone. Well, if the attacks have been public they certainly haven't been anonymous.
    Alumni involved with a group called Forward Rebels has been calling for Boone's firing for some time and apparently members of this group have met with the chancellor. Since he knows who they are, they cannot be anonymous. A few financial backers have chosen not to have their names bandied about, which is understandable. But the group has almost 6,000 public supporters on Facebook. Twenty-two of my friends are currently friends of Forward Rebels, and I must say they are the cream of the crop of my friend list when it comes to education and community leadership. Those who are complaining about Pete Boone are not anonymous.
     Jones says Boone has been the target of "malicious" attacks. Is he suggesting that someone has tied cans to the tail of Boone's cat? I know of no malicious attacks on Pete Boone. Certainly some have been very vocal in asking that he be fired. He holds a public position at a public university. The fact that one requests his ouster publicly does not make one "malicious."
    Jones then goes on to say that to maintain accreditation the university must operate “free from undue influence from political, religious and other external bodies.” The suggestion that the university might lose its accreditation for firing an athletic director with the worst football team in its conference is beyond stupid. Either Jones has some type of mental impairment or he thinks we do. Every recipient of this letter should be insulted by this false, outlandish and uncivil claim.
    Jones makes it clear that he really doesn't care what the alumni think; he's going to do what he wants to do. Oh, and those who disagree with him are uncivil and don't love Ole Miss.
    The chancellor calls for civility, and yet his falsehood-filled letter is the height of incivility. "Will we remain civil, reasonable people?" he asks.
    With ham-handed leadership like his, how can we?

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