Deval Disses Own Council, Packs Hacks on Umass Board

Yesterday Deval Patrick shook up the UMass Board of Trustees by putting seven donors and campaign supporters on the Board.  Even the Boston Globe couldn’t help but notice how all seven were long time political cronies.…

As part of the move, he has also reappointed Fall River businessman James J. Karam — a close pollitical ally and fundraiser — as board chairman, just weeks after the attorney general found the search Karam led for a new president was conducted illegally behind closed doors.

The other six appointees are: Jeffrey Mullan, Patrick’s recently resigned secretary of transportation; attorney Margaret D. Xifaras of Marion, a long time activist in Patrick’s campaigns; Lawrence M. Carpman, a Democratic political consultant who is often a spokesman for the state party; Alyce J. Lee of Milton, former chief of staff to Mayor Thomas Menino; Richard P. Campbell, a Boston lawyer; and Zoila M. Gomez, a Lawrence attorney.

No doubt these appointments followed statewide searches for these august scholars (cough, cough).  The irony, of course, is that Mr. Patrick in 2007 created a Public Education Nominating Council ostensibly to:  “to strive for excellence in seeking out the best qualified candidates to serve Massachusetts’ public colleges and universities.”…

One wonder why Harvard Professor Judith Block Mclaughlin, billed as “a world renowned expert on higher education leadership and university boards” would see fit to approve the nomination of an individual who the attorney general found to be acting illegally in his capacity as trustee.…  Apparantly Dr. McLaughlin has no such problems with such an appointment as there are no items in the press suggesting that the Council opposed such an appointment.

The tragedy here is that UMass is an institution in desperate need of leadership.  The nomination by Mr. Patrick of political insiders with no apparent expertise in higher education leadership is a disgrace.  Given that UMass just axed its Chancellor and has a new President, one would have hoped that the Governor would have placed on the board individuals with the capability of providing the support and guidance necessary for his successor to succeed in the new job.…… Unfortunately, it looks like the new Chancellor will have to deal with a legion of Deval’s coatholders.  A very unfortunate day in Massachusetts higher education.


About yankeepundit