The Candidate

The candidate for the top administrative position at my school is horrid. He’s all into Big Data, dashboards, and gadgets. He said the words “Big Data” so many times during his talk that I felt I was at a Silicon Valley meeting of venture capital for techie startups. The words scholarship or research didn’t appear at all. (Obviously, the big data he loves isn’t for research but for administrative purposes).

He also said that the physical appearance of of engineering graduates tells him we don’t have equity.

11 thoughts on “The Candidate

  1. Don’t worry, if you hire this person he will stay there for 2 years maximum and will use the position as a stepping stone to getting a high level position at a shinier University.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what my very experienced older colleague is saying. 🙂 This candidate seemed unsure what our university’s name was, so you are probably right.

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        1. “how much damage can he do in 2 years?”

          Depends… if he sees the job as a stepping stone he probably won’t do much beyond making the lives of his staff miserable and sending out press releases on how awesome he is.

          If he really wants to show what he can do (as part of his move up the ladder strategy)…. a lot. Really, a lot. It can take years to recover from an ambitious and opportunistic mover and shaker.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I once saw an entire political party destroyed by the actions of a single individual. Imo if you can dig something up about this guy to cancel him before he gets the job, do it, because that is almost certainly what he is bringing to your school.

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    1. “I once saw an entire political party destroyed by the actions of a single individual”

      I went through a work situation similar to that on the surface. There were… other players behind the scenes but their plans would have completely failed had they not been able to weaponize a single malignant narcissist to do what they couldn’t, which was rupture years long working relationships and tear several departments (and the larger unit housing them) apart.

      Literally years of drama and trauma, dramatically worse programs built back in place of the ones destroyed and real harm done to students’ learning experiences all because of one person who could not accept any criticism whatsoever or every hearing ‘no’ as answer about anything.

      The behind the scenes players dumped the narcissist like an old sack of potatoes once they achieved their goals and he was publicly fired in a humiliating way and now there are law suits between him and the university (both ways) and he occasionally still sends email rants which are…. not exemplars of mental health….

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      1. That’s interesting, thanks 🙂 Your story is no surprise, since I’ve seen narcissists used and abused in similar ways.

        To round the conversation out from my side, what happened with the political party was that a single senior party member insisted that there was no need for any new politicians to be trained or promoted from the ranks of the membership, because the existing batch of mostly middle aged politicians would be sufficient for a long time in that persons opinion.

        What that meant was that many younger party members who expected to be elevated to become candidates were instead relegated to doing free campaign work for the existing politicians, while political donors who had donated modest sums to the party to support as-yet untried candidates were let down and disappointed as well, since the party used their donations to support the existing politicians who provided them no favour.

        At the same time, the existing candidates and politicians realised that they did not have to work to maintain their position, which made them lazy and also reduced the volume of promotional material put out by the party.

        At the next election, the majority of candidates lost their position, leaving the party with so few elected politicians that they did not qualify to be an opposition.

        Since the young members who had wanted to be candidates one day had been relegated to doing free work at the time the bad decision was made, they left the party altogether, which meant that there were no replacement candidates to run instead of the ones who had just lost.

        At the election after that, the party was forced to run stale politicians who had already been rejected, which upset loyal voters who had wanted new politicians, further drove political donors away, and scattered the membership.

        The party never recovered from the decision and insistence of that single person.

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        1. “a single senior party member insisted that there was no need for any new politicians to be trained or promoted”

          Okay, that is just such a spectacularly stupid idea that the minute it was voiced he should have been removed from any position of influence in the party. They should have beat him with sticks and thrown him in the river for even thinking something so massively wrong.
          If the party accepted that then it’s for the best that it disappear.

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          1. It’s the same with us. We have no Assistant Professors at our department and several others because we haven’t been allowed to hire anybody in a decade v

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          2. “Okay, that is just such a spectacularly stupid idea that…”

            Yes I know, but that isn’t how their brains work. In their minds, the decision not to promote anyone anymore was fantastic and was unfairly spoiled by all of those haters and idiots who weren’t in the party at all yet who ruined everything by making comments on social media – which includes me by the way.

            Sadly since parties are institutions, they take a long time to die. From what I can see, they become dysfunctional as they are strip mined for benefit by opportunists, hangers on, and former members, which imo is of concern regarding Clarissa’s college candidate.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. “He also said that the physical appearance of engineering graduates tells him we don’t have equity.”

    Is he White, male and American? In that case you could tell him that his face does not portend much in terms of DEI and that he should put his money where his mouth is and do everyone a favour by withdrawing from the running.

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