The plot thickens at UVa – Kington resigns

The man whose namesake “Kington Chair” (Joe D. and Helen J. Kington Professorship in Environmental Change) that was supposedly to be given to Michael Mann, has resigned from UVa amid the turmoil of the recent ouster of president Teresa Sullivan in a shady weekend coup that bypassed the normal Board of Visitors schedule and several board members.

I don’t have a lot of time to cover ths subject this morning as I have deadlines looming, but here is a WaPo story:

U-Va. board member, professor quit amid uproar over President Teresa Sullivan’s ouster

The widening controversy over the university leadership claimed Mark Kington, the vice rector of U-Va.’s embattled Board of Visitors and an architect of Sullivan’s ouster who stepped down in a gesture of conciliation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/u-va-board-appoints-interim-leader-mcdonnell-to-talk-with-reporters/2012/06/19/gJQAHAJ3nV_story.html

They really have a mess on their hands now.

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46 thoughts on “The plot thickens at UVa – Kington resigns

  1. Has anything emerged that links these events to the Mann business? I’m rather sceptical about such a link.

  2. It can only help if they get politics out of science. Fighting like cats and dogs in the street makes for good entertainment though.

  3. dearime:

    To answer your question: no.

    Another episode of short answers to stupid questions….

  4. dearieme says:
    June 20, 2012 at 11:35 am
    Has anything emerged that links these events to the Mann business? I’m rather sceptical about such a link.
    ==========================================================
    There are dots. Do they connect? I don’t know. Waiting for more dots.

  5. I’ve tried to read between the lines, but haven’t been able to see any connections with Mann. Can someone provide the conspiracy here?

  6. Politics being practiced by amateurs, kind of cute.
    At least they aren’t in the White House.
    Sarc/

  7. I had my doubts about a connection to Mann et al, and was of the mind that this was related to Elizabeth Warren the senate candidate from Massachusetts her(Sullivan’s) co – author on a reportedly dodgy research book. With this resignation I am begining to have second thoughts.

    Curiouser and curiouser. ;)

  8. In Burrito says:

    June 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Wow, she gets to return to teaching sociology at $170,000/year? $170,000/year?????
    =========================================================
    That is peanuts, try googling professors pay. Yes those teaching socialism are part of the one percent. In fact many do not even teach much, their assist professors do that. This frees them time to research and publish, or often to write books, from which they often recieve more revenue.

    Many are publicly supported at pay scales in excess of $350,000 to $1.5 million, and it is a shame.

  9. Instapundit has the link to an Inside Higher Ed piece that is based on “stolen” emails between Rectors Dragas and Kington and the rest of the Visitors, regarding their strong desire to get UVa involved in online education, while President Sullivan pooh-pooh’ed their ideas. Partly because she was worried what the faculty would think, and the effect of this new effort on the faculty, and whether it would be a financial net gain.

    See, when you repeatedly blow off the Board, eventually they get pissed and can you. Everybody has a boss. If you can’t or won’t do what the bosses want, they find somebody who can and will.

    And notice how Rectors’ e-mails are quickly stolen by the student newspaper and distributed (no executive privilege at UVa), while employees emails are sacrosanct. The University of Topsy-Turvy.

    [... formatting fixed. -w]

  10. President Sullivan wrote a book 20 years ago with Elizabeth Warren. At the time the book was published, Sullivan and warren were accused of scientific misconduct, and that allegation has come to renewed focus because of the current Senate campaign of Elizabeth Warren, who has also made fraudulent claims of being Cherokee.

  11. Rattus Norvegicus says:
    June 20, 2012 at 11:51 am

    dearime:

    To answer your question: no.

    Another episode of short answers to stupid questions….
    ——————————————————-
    Here’s another question: How do YOU know?

    Short answer is you don’t, unless you are applying the rules of climate science and can divine the future.

  12. The ‘star professor’ who resigned might be the same Dr William Wulf on the NAE, IEC, ACM, NRC and reviewing editor for ‘Science’ and ‘Popular Mechanics’. A remarkable CV, but a dyed in the wool warmists. I did have phone and email exchanges with the good professor in Spring of ’09, during which he ‘denied’ that there could be any error in government funded climate science. As always, the ‘star’ is in the eye of the beholder.

  13. Could you have a least linked to a story other then that lefty spin-machine that calls itself a newspaper? Can’t trust nary a word in the WaPo.

  14. From reading “most popular” comments at Hffpo, and huge hyperlink above, I get the impression that Kington and Dragas wanted to turn the uni into a place with a lot of online courses, as app. Harvard and Stamford are doing successfully, and no doubt with privatised financial gain in the crosshairs, and that Teresa Sullivan dug her heels in.

    I also get the impression that Sullivan was glad Cuccinelli lost the last court case.

    Perhaps Ms Sullivan saw the “danger” of online education, with open access to the likes of WUWT. But there’s no gainsaying she was liked. Yet likely committed similar sins to Mann (data obstruction).

    A complex situation with embarrassing material on all sides? – requiring attempted “silence” all round at the top, an action guaranteed to fire up the youth at the bottom.

  15. Keep in mind that kerfuffles in Academe are so vicious because the stakes are so low. It amounts to no more than a mosquito biting an iron bull.

  16. DesertYote says: “Could you have a least linked to a story other then that lefty spin-machine that calls itself a newspaper? Can’t trust nary a word in the WaPo.”

    Careful not step on wapo.

  17. I’ll buy the online classes resistence for the canning. Sister just retired from a State U. after they had her digitally record her lectures. She said the accreditation racket has added triple the number of administrators. They can’t afford teachers anymore.

  18. MSM are claiming this may be related to plans to continue / increase on line courses. Some alumns object. Who knows.

  19. In Burrito says:
    “Wow, she gets to return to teaching sociology at $170,000/year? $170,000/year?????”

    Do you think this may have something to do with why tuitions have gone through the roof and students are graduating with massive debt?

  20. Big Academe is facing an existential threat from on-line courses, which threaten, in the future, to teach virtually all undergraduate level and many graduate level courses, for reasonable amounts of money. Currently, Big Government interests have maintained control over accredation, and this is how they’re holding back the growing tide of online courses. But they’re probably going to be swamped, eventually, as private colleges (including good ones, like Stanford) are beginning offering on-line fare. The CEOs of Big Campus Administration, Big Campus Security Apparatis (which purchased more electric Segways than all other markets combined), Big College Sports, Big Tenured Professors and Big Government Funded Climate Change Based Campus Research could not be reached for comment.

  21. Meanwhile at Harvard, Sullivan’s buddy Princess Hokum Honkus is dragging in big bucks to campaign for office: Elizabeth Warren’s Salary at Harvard: $429,981. Warren earned the sum from 2010 to 2011, excluding her earnings as an expert witness in an antitrust case ($90,000), as a consultant on a case involving asbestos victims ($43,938), from royalty fees ($136,946), or from the stuff that gets complicated: investments, real estate, renting out her multi-million-dollar home, and, you know, earnings from government appointments. from: http://blogs.bostonmagazine.com/boston_daily/2012/01/13/elizabeth-warren-salary-harvard/ Sullivan does not fall far from her co-author’s tree. Yes, they are both nuts.

  22. In Burrito says: @ June 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Wow, she gets to return to teaching sociology at $170,000/year? $170,000/year?????
    ================================
    David says: @ June 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    That is peanuts, try googling professors pay. Yes those teaching socialism are part of the one percent. In fact many do not even teach much, their assist professors do that. This frees them time to research and publish, or often to write books, from which they often recieve more revenue.

    Many are publicly supported at pay scales in excess of $350,000 to $1.5 million, and it is a shame.
    ================================
    What is even sadder is the number of young folk going into hock up to their eyeballs trying to pay for a college education. School loans are NOT subject to bankruptcy laws in the USA BTW.

  23. Looks like Mann won’t be getting the Kington Chair, but maybe he can now get Kington’s chair.
    ===

    DesertYote siad on June 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm:

    Could you have a least linked to a story other then that lefty spin-machine that calls itself a newspaper? Can’t trust nary a word in the WaPo.

    On the political/truthfulness equivalence ratings, remember NYC and DC have their names reversed:

    NY Times ~ Washington Post
    NY Post ~ Washington Times

    Analyze accordingly.

  24. from the Richmond Times Dispatch
    “Sullivan will go on sabbatical for one year when her tenure as president ends Aug. 15. She will receive her current base salary of $485,000 and perform duties at the direction of the board, including research and consulting. She also will receive a total of $50,000 for staff and office support for the sabbatical year.

    Beginning Aug. 16, 2013, Sullivan will have the option of remaining at U.Va. as a tenured professor in the sociology department at an annual salary of $363,750″

  25. Correction

    “architect of Sullivan’s ouster who ” should read architect of Sullivan’s ousting who

  26. James Ard says:
    June 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    I’ll buy the online classes resistence for the canning. Sister just retired from a State U. after they had her digitally record her lectures. She said the accreditation racket has added triple the number of administrators. They can’t afford teachers anymore.
    —————
    In the 1960s, when my dad became a prof, admin accounted for 1/10 of the university personnel in his Canadian university. Today administrators outnumber the sessionals and professors who are doing the teaching. This is the case in every university I am familiar with. Students are paying more and more so that the equity administrators can grow their offices, and research and teaching offices can justify their existence through largely useless seminars and sessions that no prof. wants to attend and from which few stand to benefit. Its an appalling situation.

    Some students fare better with on-line courses, and of course, some profs are real stinkers … but for many students the classroom interactions are stimulating and enriching, and this is equally the case for professors, who are sometimes challenged to rethink their basic positions by bright and skeptical students.

    But the administrators love the online stuff. I’ve taught an online course – an entirely dismal and alienating experience, and the recorded lecture material, on information technology, was embarrassingly out of date. I’d have to side with Sullivan on this one – if indeed resistance to online and distance course is the reason for the rupture between her and the BOG. Hopefully her history of scientific misconduct was the real reason for this situation.

  27. vigilant fish said:

    I’ve taught an online course – an entirely dismal and alienating experience, and the recorded lecture material, on information technology, was embarrassingly out of date.

    I have taken one of the Udacity.com on-line course (From Stanford, I believe) and I found it stimulating, challenging, and worthwhile. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete it, but I want to go back and take more of their on-line classes. As long as I can find the time during the week to view the lecture material and do the homework it is great. Their courses are very flexible.

    I’d have to side with Sullivan on this one – if indeed resistance to online and distance course is the reason for the rupture between her and the BOG.

    Well, on that matter, I think Sullivan is trying to hold back the tide. The issue of scientific misconduct is entirely separate, and should be dealt with on its own merits.

  28. kadaka (KD Knoebel)
    June 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Looks like Mann won’t be getting the Kington Chair, but maybe he can now get Kington’s chair.
    ===

    DesertYote siad on June 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm:

    Could you have a least linked to a story other then that lefty spin-machine that calls itself a newspaper? Can’t trust nary a word in the WaPo.

    On the political/truthfulness equivalence ratings, remember NYC and DC have their names reversed:

    NY Times ~ Washington Post
    NY Post ~ Washington Times

    Analyze accordingly.
    ###

    I was thinking about this very thing as I typed my comment.

  29. Bottom line is – do you want Sullivan, with her “pedigree”, or Warren, the native American, anywhere near controlling anything in the future? People should be careful what they wish for.

  30. Despite battles with some local teachers, I pulled my children from local schools in the 1990’s, and was able to erect a satellite dish in my yard and get some really good classes. My sons were able to learn far more than the children of my friends learned at the state-sponcered school. They were done by noon. They scored high on all tests, and went on to colleges that involved medicine and engineering, and not “social science.”

    The things I was most concerned about a satellite-education, at the time, involved my sons missing lab work, sports and social skills. It sure didn’t involve them missing “social science” classes.

    I think on-line classes must be very threatening to “social science” teachers. A thousand such teachers can be replaced by one. Their political slant can be avoided, (whether it be left-wing or right-wing.) The gravy train can be derailed.

    One thing I learned while Home-schooling is that the Teacher’s Union hated it, and tried to make it illegal. Parents had to become politically active to stop the Union. I expect to see the same hate towards on-line education among trachers of “social science.”

    Another thing I learned was that doing things more cheaply and efficiently and effectively, which is what Home-schooling boiled down to, shocked people who were set in their ways and did things simply because “that is the way things always have been done.” When I started to home-school my kids the general belief was that only far-left “moon-bats” and far-right “wing nuts” became involved in such radical behavior. Once middle-of-the-road people started doing it, (and it involved 25% of the children in my small, rural town,) the local state-sponcered schools recieved a wake-up call, and knew they had to shape up.

    Perhaps we are seeing the same dynamic play out at UVa.

  31. DesertYote says:
    June 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Could you have a least linked to a story other then that lefty spin-machine that calls itself a newspaper?….
    _____________________
    I thought there was no other type of News Media except lefty spin-machines…..

    Just out of curiosity I check out the US “Right-Wing” news media Fox News, otherwise known as the controlled opposition. A really interesting bit of info came out of that search. I swear I thought I was researching the Huff ‘n Puff!

    I have listed the more interesting members of the Board and provided comments and links within the blockquote.

    The Board of Directors

    Rupert Murdoch
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer …
    [ Murdoch's British papers solidly backed Conservatives Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and then Fabian Tony Blair. The hypothesis of man-made global warming was elevated to the status of a major international policy issue by Margaret Thatcher. John Major replaced Thatcher as Prime Minister. When the ‘coal crisis’ arose in 1992 "Global Warming" was used as an excuse for its policy of closing coal mines. Blair became Prime Minister in 1997 and committed the new UK government to strict action to cut CO2 emissions. link None of the three were anti-CAGW ]

    José María Aznar
    Former President of Spain
    President
    FAES – Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis [see below]
    [ José Maria Aznar, President of SPAIN, noted the need for an international economic environment, including trade policy, that favors sustainable development. He said educating young people was the best tool and stressed sustainable tourism. ]

    James W. Breyer [he is investigated for insider trading]
    Partner
    Accel Partners

    Viet Dinh [ Who was the chief architect of the USA PATRIOT Act.]
    Professor of Law
    Georgetown University

    Sir Roderick I. Eddington [He has served as NonExecutive Chairman, Australia and New Zealand of J.P. Morgan since 2006 ] currently chair of the Australian government body Infrastructure Australia [See below]
    Non-Executive Chairman for
    Australia and New Zealand
    J.P. Morgan

    Joel I. Klein [was Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system in the US.. You really need to read the WIKI on this guy, a Republican he is NOT!... ".. was rumored to be one of Barack Obama's candidates for Secretary of Education..." ]
    Executive Vice President
    CEO, Education Division
    News Corporation

    Andrew S.B. Knight [was Editor of The Economist ]
    Non-Executive Chairman
    J Rothschild Capital Management Limited

    John L. Thornton – John L. Thornton China Center
    Thornton was former President and Co-CEO of Goldman Sachs.In 1983, Thornton founded and developed Goldman Sachs’ European mergers he is Chairman of the Board of The Brookings Institution. Brookings on sustainability see also America’s ‘Pivot’ to Asia: Substance and Sustainability
    Professor and Director of Global Leadership
    Tsinghua University of Beijing

    Stanley S. Shuman (Director Emeritus) [Member, Council on Foreign Relations, Member, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Appointed by President Clinton, 1995–2001,Trustee Emeritus, National Public Radio Foundation, Executive Committee, Board of Overseers of Harvard College, Member, Financial Control Board New York City, 1977–1997 link - PHILLIPS ACADEMY ]
    Managing Director
    Allen & Company LLC

    So what is FAES – Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis? ~ Another Trojan Horse.

    Our view is that ideas have consequences and that different schools of political thought produce different social models. We also believe that ideas should be used to prompt and shape political agendas….

    FAES upholds the ideas and principles of liberalism and works to disseminate and promote these ideas. As a foundation we are dedicated to spreading the values associated with freedom, liberal democracy and western humanism….

    The Foundation is also aware of the existence of new anti-liberal ways of thinking and we are therefore constantly monitoring the development of a number of ideological trends that have a negative impact on the freedom of the individual. These trends include populism, anti-globalisation, relativism, exclusive nationalism and “buenismo” (buenismo can be explained at the practice of putting forward well-intentioned but empty propositions as a way of dealing swiftly and easily with difficult issues).

    Infrastructure Australia

    Looking to the future we face escalating energy costs, the need to reduce carbon emissions, and the need to adapt to unavoidable climate change.

    Australia needs the development and coordination of urban action plans, significant investment in public transport networks, improved governance, and integrated long-term strategies to manage land use planning, density, population and urban congestion….

    Infrastructure Australia believes that, to maintain the economic success and environmental sustainability of Australia’s cities, the time has come for an unprecedented commitment to the creation of world-class public transport in our cities.

    Infrastructure Australia is therefore recommending, for the first time in Australian history, significant Australian Government investment in public transport in our cities….

    http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/cities/

  32. vigilantfish says:
    June 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    …. Today administrators outnumber the sessionals and professors who are doing the teaching. This is the case in every university I am familiar with….

    Some students fare better with on-line courses, and of course, some profs are real stinkers … but for many students the classroom interactions are stimulating and enriching, and this is equally the case for professors, who are sometimes challenged to rethink their basic positions by bright and skeptical students…
    ___________________________
    I have taken a few on-line courses. The only thing good about them was the convenience and cost. You learn more and understand it better in a real classroom situation, IF the prof is decent.

    Thanks for the info on the administrators. It seems that everywhere you look these days the bureaucracy is growing like a darn cancer.

  33. u.k.(us) said on June 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm:

    This is not even fair:

    [pic]

    All is fair in love and war. Which one were you referring to?

    Maxim 37: There is no ‘overkill.’ There is only ‘open fire’ and ‘time to reload.’

    Is that large flexible duct part of a CARB-approved emissions capture device? The People’s Republic of Kalifornia would gladly cite “climate change prevention” as justification for the controlling of CO2 emissions from burning gunpowder.

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