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WHAT OTHERS SAY: Wanted: College president. No experience required

Monday, December 19, 2011 | 3:37 p.m. CST

The obvious problem facing the UM System Board of Curators and Timothy M. Wolfe, its out-of-the-blue choice as the university system's new president, was this:

How do you explain the selection of a former software executive with no significant academic credentials as the leader of a four-campus university system?

Answer: You take a sow's ear and turn it into a silk purse.

On Wednesday, Wolfe visited the university's St. Louis campus and said he plans a two-month "journey of enlightenment" to bring himself up to speed on the needs of the various campuses.

This is great. Next time we're lost, we're going to tell our spouses that we're on journeys of enlightenment.

On Wednesday, curators praised Wolfe's Columbia roots (he grew up there and got a bachelor's degree from Mizzou) and said he understood academia because his parents were professors.

And then there was curator Pam Henrickson's explanation that Wolfe would bring "fresh eyes. Somebody to come in and say, 'Why do you do this?'"

This would not be a good way to hire someone to, say, fix your car. Whatever happened to straight talk?

Copyright St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Reprinted with permission.


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Comments

Ed Lane December 19, 2011 | 7:26 p.m.

Transparency abounds just like in our current federal government (and I use that word loosely - in fact sarcasticly).

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith December 19, 2011 | 10:48 p.m.

Does the Post-Dispatch really have a problem with Mr. Wolfe's lack of academic management experience or is their problem Wolfe himself?

Why ask that question? Because if Mrs. Forsee hadn't developed cancer, Mr. Forsee would still be our university president and we wouldn't be discussing Mr. Wolfe. Mr. Forsee, like Mr. Wolfe, had no prior academic management credentials when he assumed the job of president. I don't recall the Post-Dispatch getting lathered up over that.

Wolfe and Forsee are both university alumni, from different campuses.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield December 21, 2011 | 8:02 p.m.

Considering that the Post-Dispatch's parent company just declared bankruptcy, they ought to be more concerned about their own president's abilities.

(Report Comment)
frank christian December 21, 2011 | 8:39 p.m.

"Copyright St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Reprinted with permission." Why bother reading it. Or, making comment.

(Report Comment)
John Schmidt December 21, 2011 | 8:45 p.m.

Say Jimmy, wasn't it you who said bad things about some of your family members?

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield December 21, 2011 | 8:50 p.m.

Yes, John, some of them are lazy bums. If you had experience running a business, you'd know that you have more control and options than in a family.

(Report Comment)
John Schmidt December 21, 2011 | 8:59 p.m.

So you're saying the people writing opinions at the post dispatch have control over the company that owns their individual newspaper.

(Report Comment)
John Schmidt December 21, 2011 | 9:02 p.m.
(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield December 21, 2011 | 9:18 p.m.

"So you're saying the people writing opinions at the post dispatch have control over the company that owns their individual newspaper."

Yup. An editorial board that's been doing its job right for many years has a lot of influence with ownership.

(Report Comment)

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