Anyone go to hear Dr. Campbell this afternoon or this evening? Preliminary thoughts or responses?
I did —
He was very glib (or talks good, if you prefer …). He has the appropriate patter (“that’s a very good question”), he has the standard avoidance techniques (“I’m here to learn from you”), and he has the vocabulary (“student-centred”, “collaborative”) He had clearly been briefed on Saint John — he even mentioned the fact of having his visit here first on the schedule
BUT (and you knew there would be a big but)
He didn’t ask. If I ask a question or make a comment to someone who contends he is here to learn from me, then I expect he might say “What causes that concern to be forefront in your mind? Do you have something specific in mind? etc. He didn’t ask (nor did he really answer, but that’s another story).
If I were him, I would pick up on the fact that the chair of the board of governors didn’t seem to know many of the senior faculty in that room — and more tellingly, some (most?) of them didn’t appear to know him by sight. He was there, apparently, to take notes of who asked what.
Third, this was clearly a pre-coronation exercise. There was not even the pretense of anything else (“as he proceeds on the path to the Presidency of UNB” from the chair; “very much hope and expect [note that: expect] to be your next President” from the heir presumptive).
I see that the terms appointments of presidents of MUN are public (http://www.mun.ca/regents/president_terms.php). Take a look, remembering that is the one for 1999. It would be enlightening to see what UNB offers Dr Campbell — in fact, I think we should see, given that had he become president of MUN, it would have been public so he should have no ready objection AND given that we have already trimming budgets in various departments.
What’s that? oh, I’ve been informed no one really wants to hear this but there you go …
I was disappointed. I had heard good things about him from others but I was underwhelmed by his answers to questions and his lack of vision or ideas. Perhaps, to be fair, he is actually interested in our ideas and concerns before going off half-cocked with a plan of action as others have done. However, as Linda points out, we were given no other candidates from which to choose.. It is clearly a foregone conclusion that he is going to be our President…the visit was a courtesy, nothing more.. More importantly, he did not seek clarification from the many good questions asked and his answers was not very sophisticated nor reassuring. On the other hand, the fact that Williams did not want him might be a signal that he is eminently qualified to lead us into our province’s quest towards self-sufficiency so that our education system continues to be market driven (sarcasm clearly intended) so desparately desired by some in our community.
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