I just got a letter from Gene Nichol, (former) president of William & Mary. He was just notified that his contract would not be renewed in July, so he quit, effective immediately.
You sorry sack of shit! I haven't been in the business world all that long, but I know that if you don't want to tank your future chances, you try to ensure that the transition to new leadership is a smooth one. He'd better not list W&M as a reference after this.
Gene recounted the 4 most controversial things he's done in his e-mail. He listed the Wren Chapel Cross, the Sex Workers show, his initiative to ensure that families with a total income of <$40K got a full ride without loans, and his insistence on an ethnically & racially diverse campus leadership.
Ok, the Wren Chapel thing was just wrong. He's got all the right ideas on the issue (separation of Church & State, inclusion, liberal blow-hard agenda, blah blah blah), but this is one of those issues that fails when the rubber meets the road: the Wren Chapel is an integral part of the College of William and Mary. Period. And the cross is a part of that chapel. You can no more study European history without studying Catholicism than you can understand the campus culture without appreciating what the Wren Building represents to the student body.
The Sex Workers convention was an odd choice, and again I appreciated his ideals of inclusion and free-expression, but it's a college campus supported by blue-haired grandmothers. Not exactly the typical supporters of the adult entertainment industry. It's like he just didn't care if the college was funded or not. Be damned to practical issues like "can we pay the electric bill this month": Gene wants diversity!
A free ride for anybody whose family doesn't make $40K? That's just nuts. And who pays for these students? Those same blue-haired grandmothers, you moron!
Ethnic diversity is groovy. I'm down with that. But, um, affirmative action is illegal in Virginia, so I hope those diverse folks were truly the best candidates for the job.
But what's this crap about just quitting? Come on, dude! You fought the good fight against the NCAA, you were pretty good about communicating the college's issues with the alumni, and by-and-large you kept your liberal agenda separated from your requirements as president of the college.
But this namby-pamby "If you don't like me I'll take my toys and go home" approach is queer as a football-bat. Especially with Sam Sadler leaving. Who's going to run the college from now until July? Who will help the new president transition into his (or her, or its) new role?
I just lost all my respect for this guy. But mostly I'm pissed because he left W&M out to dry. Have a nice life, Mr. Nichol. Don't call.