Ugh, Now We’ve Got alt-right Jerks

Well, this is just great. Now we get to deal with alt-right/neo-nazi-types.

Here’s how I found out about this on Facebook:

A friend found this in the Halle library, one who is a Middle Eastern WoC. It was not left on some random table. This was on a sign next to the elevator. This is absolutely unacceptable. Eastern Michigan University this is hate speech and needs to be investigated. No Nazi propaganda on our campus.
#TruEMU #OurHouseEMU
Spread this like wildfire.

I posted this on the EMUTalk Facebook group, and according to the conversation there, the administrative office of the library did verify that this is for real, the cards have been removed, and they are going to “investigate further to ensure this sort of material isn’t anywhere else.”

Mark Maynard has posted about it on his blog, and I’m guessing we’ll be hearing more about this in the MSM soon. Stay tuned.

Update #1: The Office of the President sent an email about all this, and apparently, these cards were all over campus this past weekend. Here’s a PDF of that email.

Update #2: There is this article in Mlive– perhaps best not to read the comments.

I have to say that one of the dilemmas/challenges here is trying to figure out when how much is too much when it comes to paying attention to these tings. On the one hand, yes of course, the EMU community should be made aware of this and should condemn it. On the other hand, at what point are we just giving these people what they want in the form of too much attention?

Heather Lyke Leaving EMU (Good Riddance, IMO)

The Freep web site reports “Sources: Heather Lyke to leave Eastern Michigan to take Pitt AD job.” There are a couple of interesting tidbits in this article. First, the piece rehashes a lot of the ongoing controversies about spending and football at EMU. But second, it gives a bit more of a taste of what the plans for spending upwards of $35 Million on athletic stuff might look like:

The plans currently call for the outdoor track to be removed from around the football field. The existing soccer fields would be reoriented in direction and a new track placed around it.

The existing football building in the far end zone of Rynearson Stadium would be torn down. In its place would be a new 70,000-square-foot building that would have a turf field inside for the football and soccer teams to use. There would also be a 300-meter indoor track and improved weight room, big enough for entire teams to train at one time. The building would also allow the university to have nine or 10 suites facing the football stadium. The current 68 premium seats in the stadium are sold out. A new scoreboard would be added to the stadium.

A new 22,000-square-foot building for wrestling and gymnastics would also be built, allowing them to move out of Bowen Fieldhouse and Warner Gymnasium. That space would then be available for academic programs and intramural sports to use, most likely.

Sure, why not? The best thing EMU could spend money on right now is this nonsense, right? Oh, and the “improvements” to intramural athletics and things like the REC/IM are basically going to amount to letting students use these other spaces once the athletic programs move out.

I wrote a bit about Lyke in a blog post on my own site last May, “An Open Letter/Blog Post About Sports at EMU.” I was following up on an open letter from the administration about the HBO Sports story about the ridiculous amount of money being wasted at EMU (and similar places) on football and also about an interview Lyke did with Michigan Public Radio.  Just to quote myself a bit about Lyke here:

It turns out that the guy interviewing Lyke, Lester Graham, has a child attending EMU. At the 4:35 or so mark in that interview, Graham asks flat-out “how does my EMU student benefit” with EMU being in Division 1 athletics.

Lyke responds “What your student gets, you know… when you chose Eastern Michigan, and the time that they chose they knew they had division 1 athletics–”

“–not a factor,” Graham interrupts. “Was not a factor.”

Then Lyke, digging furiously, says something like “Correct, so it’s, um, it’s not a factor in wether or not they um they… you know, I would hope that that student find value in adding diversity to the, you know, landscape and the culture of the university. There are kids that have unbelievable talents in all sorts of things. We have an unbelievable forensics team, we have an unbelievable slam poetry team at Eastern Michigan, we have fabulous art…” and so forth.

Graham pointed out that none of these things have anything to do with support to the athletic department, and Lyke goes back to the earlier statement that we are not thinking about getting out of the MAC or football, full stop.

So yeah, I don’t see a great loss in leadership here. Goodness knows I don’t know how these kinds of hiring decisions are made, but hey, good luck, Pittsburgh.


The Four Finalists for Provost: Some Initial Thoughts

Yesterday, VP for Communications Walter Kraft sent out some basic information on the candidates coming to campus for the Provost position. Here’s the meat of that email:

Students, faculty and staff:

Below are links to information about each of the four finalist candidates for Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, along with their respective schedules:

Rhonda Longworth, Ph.D.: Monday, March 13, 8- 9:20 a.m.

Robert Knight, D.M.: Tuesday, March 14, 8-9:20 a.m.

Louay Chamra, Ph.D.: Wednesday, March 15, 8-9:20 a.m.

Ricardo Brown, Ph.D.: Thursday, March 16, 8-9:20 a.m.

All sessions will take place in the Student Center Auditorium.

Each candidate has been asked to prepare a brief introductory presentation. The remainder of the time is for questions and answers.

I won’t be attending any of these interviews, but that isn’t going to stop me from offering some thoughts on all of this (and I of course encourage your comments as well, especially after these sessions happen). More after the break. Continue reading

Quick! The Provost Candidates are Coming!

I (and I think everyone else at EMU) just got an email from VP for Communications Walter Kraft about “open campus” forums for candidates for the Provost position. And these forums are going to be happening very soon and very early:

Candidate No. 1: Monday, March 13, 8- 9:20 a.m.
Candidate No. 2: Tuesday, March 14, 8-9:20 a.m.
Candidate No. 3: Wednesday, March 15, 8-9:20 a.m.
Candidate No. 4: Thursday, March 16, 8-9:20 a.m.

All sessions will take place in the Student Center Auditorium.

Now, I realize that these interview days are probably jam-packed with all kinds of other activities for these candidates. I also realize that ultimately the decision on who will get this job rests entirely with the search committee and the president– that is, these forums are really a courtesy and/or good public relations. No one is going to get hired or not based on their performance at this. Still, I have to say that one way to assure candidates for this job have as little contact with the general EMU community as possible is to announce these events with a week’s notice and to schedule them all for eight in the morning.

Also interesting is we aren’t going to get information on any of these candidates until “later in the week;” I’m not sure why they couldn’t just tell us now, but whatever.

I might be able to go to see “Candidate No 1.” and “Candidate No 2,” but alas, I’ll have to miss the other two for because I’ll be at a conference. Anyone else planning on going?