Letter to the editor: Tone-deaf KU

To the editor:

Thank you for your article “KU requests more time to consider controversial tenure policy” on Feb. 6.

In her email, the provost wrote, “Because financial exigency applies to an entire institution, and our fiscal challenges are primarily on the Lawrence campus, this is not an option that we will pursue.” This statement, undoubtedly authored by general counsel, is disingenuous and tone-deaf, even for them. In fact, the rules governing financial exigency state, “the terms ‘University of Kansas’ and ‘the University’ refer to the University of Kansas (Lawrence campus).”

No, the administration won’t go through the process of declaring financial exigency because (a) it is difficult, (b) it means sharing decision-making authority with the campus community; and (c) they do not want to open the books — which, I suspect, would reveal where the bodies are buried. It’s another instance of a bunker mentality and a culture of secrecy — which, someone once said, is like cat pee on a carpet: It stinks to high heaven, and it’s hell to get out.

Joe Harrington,



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