NU + Academic “Freedom”s Just Another Word for Nuttin’ Left to Lose

October 27, 2013


Rigoberto Guevara, president of the UNL Faculty Senate, is paraphrased as saying, “… non-tenure track faculty also don’t feel as empowered to speak their minds regarding controversial academic topics.”

Okay. Let’s get real, here Mr. Guevara. No one feels “empowered” to speak their minds in the non-egalitarian Ivory Tower milieu.

Exceptin’ KINGS Milliken, Mauer, Perlman, (perhaps, the two Christensen/Kristensens but probably not even them). One NU Regent recently point-blank told me that NU’s rubber-stamping Regents are afraid of – and awed into submission by – NU’s aggressive Top Dogs. The PUBLICLY-elected NU Regents do not feel they have “freedom” to speak truthfully about NU and some of its escalating sins. Nebraska POLITICIANS do not feel that they have the “freedom” to talk honestly about NU, let alone rein it in. Why should “Lecturers” be any different than duly-elected State Senators?

At least you Lecturers are allowed onto NU’s Palace Grounds whereas Nebraska taxpayers – aka PEASANTS – who pay for NU’s lavish salaries, are kept from the NU Kingdom with this royal accountability brush-off: “Give us your money and leave us alone to do as we please even if that means we break the law and/or waste your hard-earned money” aka “Let them eat cake.”

A recent Case in Point that just so happens to surround the appointment of Vice-Chancellor Weissinger whose NU taxpayer-paid salary is nearly $300 HUNDRED grand a year:

In 2010 + 2011, Nebraska taxpayers ended up footing the hefty bill for FOUR stellar out-of-state candidates to one-by-one-by-one-by-one travel cross-country to Lincoln to interview for the position that Ms. Weissinger now holds. Even after the Nebraska taxpayer was charged for FOUR lengthy candidate meet + greets, Chancellor Perlman “declined” to hire a single one of the FOUR outstanding candidates and, in a revealing move, “personally” asked long-time NU employee Ms. Weissinger to “apply for the job.”

Okay. Right there. What does that tell you? Who is going to be more beholden to Harvey?

Four out-of-state candidates whose academic careers were cemented elsewhere and who have not already worked at NU for 27 years or Ms. Weissinger, who worked at NU for more than two decades (part of that time under Mr. Perlman) and who was PERSONALLY recruited by Perlman to take a $288,000 (two hundred eighty thousand) dollar position?

Who – of those FIVE candidates – is more likely to carry whatever water the Good Chancellor wants carried, regardless of the “quality” of that water, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Who is going to feel more “freedom” to speak? Get my drift.

Below is a Lincoln Journal-Star (LJS) account of Chancellor Perlman’s “interesting” decision to bypass four heavily-recruited out-of-state candidates in favor of a hand-picked woman. (Oh, and for the record, I’m always glad that a Nebraska native gets any job at NU but that’s not the point I’m making.)

LJS ~ “A University of Nebraska-Lincoln committee seeking to hire a new senior vice chancellor for academic affairs has asked a longtime university administrator to apply for the job.”

“UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman declined to hire any of the four finalists identified by the [NU search] committee in November. A Monday news release said Perlman told faculty and staff in a Jan. 7 memo, he determined that while each was qualified, none had the right fit for UNL at this time.” [LGUR writing here. Yes. Sure. None of the probably-way-more “independent” candidates just weren’t the right “fit” which, of course, is utter bsh*t.]

“Weissinger, formerly dean of graduate studies, was appointed interim vice chancellor in December 2009 by Perlman. She has held numerous UNL administrative positions…”

“The four finalists originally considered for senior vice chancellor were:

*David Rosowsky, dean of engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

*Dennis Savaiano, associate provost at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

*Gregory Washington, interim dean of the College of Engineering at Ohio State University in Columbus.”

*Suzanne Ortega, provost and executive vice president at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.”

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