How Can We Move Forward?

Last weekend, during the impromptu homecoming activities that took the place of ‘I.K. Jordan’s Homecoming,’  I sought out student leader of the ’88 DPN protest Tim Rarus and had a few moments to discuss some alternatives with him. One suggestion I inquired his opinion of was to have the Board of Trustees invalidate Dr. Fernandes’ appointment for failure to lead since May 1st, and instead, install an interim President for a limited one year contract, who would take over the day to day operations of Gallaudet beginning October 31st, and have I.K. Jordan retire two months early, on this same day. This, I argued with Rarus, would give the Board one year to search for and appoint a replacement for Fernandes, who is irreversibly crippled at this time. It would also remove Jordan, who has become persona non grata to the community for his mishandling of the crisis.  Fernandes, of course, would be welcome to place her hat in the ring once again, and Jordan, or course, would be welcome to reaffirm his support of her, but they would do so not as employees of Gallaudet, but private citizens. The process would be resumed and the search for a new President would be reopened to any applicant. Rarus replied at the time that this was an idea most likely already under consideration, and was a possible solution. Today, I read with interest a letter from James F.X. Payne, from the  Board of Associates of Gallaudet. It appears that Mr. Payne is of the same opinion as I am:  “Find an interim neutral president and during this transition period begin the search anew…” I believe a scenario along these lines is the most likely outcome of this weekend’s Board of Trustee’s emergency meeting. Even if an interim President is HEARING, I believe we will be able to move forward knowing it is a temporary one-year-only appointment, and this person will not be considered a permanent hire.  What are your thoughts on this scenario?

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11 thoughts on “How Can We Move Forward?

  1. I, too, would be comfortable with the idea of an interim president (NOT Fernandes).

    To people who say she “hasn’t had a chance” to show her leadership, I remind that

    1. She was provost for six years on campus, and headed Pre-College Programs on campus for five years before that. Most of the people who say she is a poor leader are basing their comments on their personal observations of her for the past 11 years in which she DID have a chance to show both her leadership and her management/administration skills.

    2. There is a crucial difference between MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP. True, she is not currently authorized to MANAGE or ADMINISTRATE. But this does not prevent her from LEADING by coming to campus and listening to all parties. The protesters say she has not done this to nearly the extent she claims to the media (for instance, claiming to stay up to 3 a.m. negotiating with protesters when she has not). This is one of the reasons why many people continue to criticize her leadership skills.

  2. I absolutely support the appointment of an interim president. Like Delia Martinez said, we are all tired. Everyone is exhausted, everyone knows this is a stalemate. We simply MUST find a way to move forward, to put this behind us and look to the future.

  3. Freespirit and Anne Marie –

    I would think it is better to have Davilla be one of the people who can become President in a year, rather than just an interim president for one year. I’d be happy to wait a year under an interim if Davilla could become our President for a much longer period of time. He did a fantastic job at NTID. I have an article coming up today on that very subject, so keep your eyes glued to the set! – ken @ Bibliomarket

  4. Jay – IKJ has said that he handed over the day-to-day reins to Fernandes SIX years ago when she became Provost. She’s been running the show ever since. Since May 1st, when the protest erupted, she could have, despite no longer being Provost, shown leadership by initiative. ACTUALLY meeting with and having dialogue with all those groups who oppose her, rather than just telling the media she ‘met with them round the clock.’ She chose instead to sit in her ivory tower, and ‘lead’ by manipulating the media with the great Gallaudet PR Spin Machine. She could have doused the fire to some extent, through many means, but instead chose to fan the flames, inciting further outrage by her choice of words to describe those whom she would ‘lead.’ Terrorists. Mob. Anarchists. Riotors. Dissenters. and so forth. That might be YOUR President, but she’s certainly not MINE.

  5. “failure to lead since May 1”??? she had to resign as provost and has not yet taken over the presidency. she has no position to lead from yet. it has been up to IKJ to lead in this time period. if there is blame to be placed it is with IKJ. also, it is IKJ that has been president for the last 18 years when these problems have not been fixed. yet, he was beloved until JKF was appointed. this makes no sense to me.

  6. The protest is somewhat hurt the deaf community and the world. However, there are some issues that needs to be worked out between the BOTs and students. In my opinion, I think giving Jane Fernandez a one year to see how she does her job on campus sound like a better choice whether they like it or not. With the hunger strike going on, I think its ridiculous because they are doing this on their own free will.

  7. Please don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

    King is a smooth and diabolical manipulator of people. Keep in mind, not only is he brainwashing the entire Board of Trustees and manipulating them (choosing who is put on the Board and what they read in their information packets)–he ALSO is manipulating the ENTIRE US CONGRESS through the Gallaudet PR machine.

    I can’t stress this enough. People are dying slowly in a hunger strike, and Jordan is STILL continuing in his self-delusions.

    Is he severely mentally ill? Or is he a white-collar criminal?

    I cannot think of a third option. If someone can think of one, let me know.

    Brian

  8. You know, Anne Marie…I also have a hunch Davila will be the one who becomes interim president until they find a permanent one.

    Whatever, happens, it looks like this coming Sunday, will be a watermark for our community.

    I hope peace comes soon…

  9. There are deaf leaders who can easily fit in this slot. Think of Davila.. I would avoid hearing because it would distort the concept of DPN.

    (if some of you are wondering why I am reading in wee hours..it’s our baby rocking ‘n roll inside me, he is indeed a party hardy)

    Anne Marie

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