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White Smoke

Written by Richard “Sarge” Garwood on .

The white smoke is blown up our skirts and we may all say Hallelujah!

LSU has a new system President and Chancellor of the Baton Rouge Campus. Fieldon King Alexander was selected, anointed and fitted for his robes as LSU System President. Long live King. May God save King. He doesn’t have a clue concerning the pile of political crap he’s stepped into. He has NO idea the political fall-out will soon dribble down from the hallowed heights of Ellessyou.

Let’s look at his qualifications. He’s got degrees. Okay. That’s a plus. He’s articulate. That’s good in some ways, as long as you don’t “talk down” to people. He’s got different ideas. Uh, different ideas? He’s not from Louisiana; he’s from California State University, Long Beach by way of the University of Wisconsin–Madison the University of Oxford for his Masters and he received his Bachelor’s Degree from St. Lawrence University. Alexander became president of Murray State University in Kentucky after his father Kern Alexander.

So; he’s no stranger to working a system. First he follows his father into a presidency of a school. That shows he knows how to make alliances to get what he wants. He knows internal school politics. His Ph.D. says he knows how to research and present findings. He’s a master theoretician. This has served him in good stead as he managed to keep his selection process, along with the process used to make him the SOLE candidate for the job, a secret.

But this man has done something I’ve not seen before: he’s managed to get a vote of NO confidence from the LSU Faculty Senate. That’s a new one for me. But, it doesn’t look like it’ll hurt him right away. That may take some time. He is soon going to learn about Louisiana Politics as it pertains to our Flagship University. The flagship of a fleet carries the Admiral’s Flag and in general doesn’t do much more in maneuvers other than call the shots and pray nobody runs aground. Other than that it’s pretty useless.

But in the State of Louisiana, a state noted for its ability to size a person up with three simple questions, he’ll soon learn about Louisiana Politics and the hidden reefs threatening his tenure.

Here, in Louisiana, the three simple questions are: Are you Catholic? (Dunno; but it’s asked.) The religion question is designed to determine your sense of right and wrong and how far you’ll go to defend the moral institutions you’ll gain control of. Alexander’s “faith” is questionable in this circumstance because it shows a lack of propriety in the first place. He’s already challenging questions concerning the secrecy involved in his selection and he’s making excuses like a pro. (He’s blaming the press for the problems with the selection process. A smooth move; attack and shift blame as quickly as possible. Saul Alinsky would be proud.)

Numero dos, concerns; “Who’s your Mama or interchangeably; your people?” (This determines your Louisiana bloodline; a qualification necessary to assure no inbreeding takes place.) This particular question looks like it’s produced a stone in the Red Beans. The LSU Board of Supervisors stealthily assured Alexander’s ascendancy to the hallowed throne without public access to the selection process, the proceedings leading up to the selection, the monetary negotiations or any real and substantive disclosure of the candidate’s qualifications before selecting him. This seems to indicate inbreeding in the selection process.

The last question is most important even though it appears whimsical. “Can you make a Roux?” (I doubt he knows how.) This is the real whopper in the process because it asks can you function in the very distinct, specific and challenging kitchen whose heat you’ll soon be able to feel. Louisiana politics controls the money and decides the processes you’ll have to overcome to get it. The Guvna isn’t in favor of extended higher education funding.

That means challenges like you’ve never seen before. The Louisiana Taxpayer was ignored and kept in the dark again by a bunch of shady people operating in a shady manner.

Some of us are getting tired of being played for fools by the system operators.

Thanks for listening

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