Well, finally the third candidate for the UCF president has been announced. Alexander Cartwright, current chancellor of the University of Missouri at Columbia.
So, for those of you keeping track, this was announced on Wednesday morning, and the decision is to be made this Friday. That date hasn’t changed. Two days. During a campus shutdown, with everyone distracted by the coronavirus.
For a search committee that claimed to be committed to transparency and campus input, this is the most opaque, in-house process I’ve ever seen. After all the scandals we’ve had over the past couple of years, you’d think we would take some care to do this right. Nope, it’s an in-house annointing of a chosen one, with almost zero consultation with anyone.
What do we know of Dr. Cartwright? Well, he was at the forefront of program cuts at Mizzou.
Missouri has also been a hotbed of protest over the past few years. Cartwright was brought in after the previous chancellor proved divisive and unable to find a way to deal with the issues. How has this gone? I don’t know. I’d want to talk to Black students in Missouri to find out whether things are better. I doubt he’s going to get questioned about any of that in his micro-interview for the job at UCF.
I don’t know this guy at all. Maybe he’s great. Can we make that determination in two days? I doubt it.
Steve Fiore has started a petition to delay the decision of this. It’s at 90 signatures now, and he’s trying to get 100 before this gets presented to the search committee and the upper admins. If you’re at UCF and haven’t signed, please do so.