Seriously, this is ridiculous! It’s even redonkulous! Heck, I bet it’s even reduckulous!
Let me give you a brief history. In 1999, our President Joe Johnson resigned. He was pretty old. ANd while he’d gotten the job for being a good 'ol boy politician, there weren’t any major complaints. They hired J. Wade Gilley.
Gilley was maybe a bit intellectual to be a great administrator, but he was decent… except he started pushing people around and hired his mistress to a high-ranking position. As it turns out, he was dumb enough to send emails over the university computer about it. He was also bright enough to just leave town with his tail between his legs, but she got up and defended herself on television, and basically confirmed every stereotype about brainless mistresses you can imagine. I mean, she was dumb. Gilley was pretty obviously after something other than her bone-box.
Ugh. So they get Joe Johnson back in for a while.
Then they hire John Schumaker away from the University of Louiville. At exhorbitant cost and with ample salary and perks, I might add. Well… Schumaker worked out real purdy for a while. He was an energetic man, he was. In fact, it turns out he was maybe a little too energetic in front of audiences and a little too lazy away from them. He dashed from thing to thing, never really getting anything done. He never managed to botch up the UT system, but after requesting a new plane for UT, he hit the radar - and the wrath - of the local paper and the local politicians.
See, good 'ol Mr. Schumaker had been making some questionable expenditures. He wanted to redecorate… everything. He wanted a new plane. He’d been taking the old one on several very expensive trips to conferences to meet a certain women from the University of Georgia several times. (Purely academic, they claimed. So… yeah.) He wanted to take up the (somewhat ugly) UT-orange carpet in his office and put down University of Louiville color carpeting. He wanted his entire UT-supplied mansion (and this is a mansion in every sense of the word, believe me) redone. Then he wanted it done again. He bought $40,000 worth of liquor. He bought a several-hundred-dollar grill. Then he got rid of that and bought a $4,800 dollar grill. He bought a persian rug worth more than my car. His entertainment expensives amount to many times what I’ve earned in my entire life, including $165,000 just for football related entertainment.
He awarded a $300,000 no-bid contract to an old buddy who did some cockamamie study on opening a UT branch… in friggin’ China. Because that’s just what Tennessee needs to compete. (Needless to say, nothing ever happened with that and nobody wanted it. But Schumaker’s old buddy was $300,000 richer.) And suddenly, it seems that Mr. Schumaker was now getting divorced from Mr. Schumaker, and walked away with a handsome settlement… after having been real lovey-dovey in front of the UT officials interviewing them. Just odd, ain’t it? Eventually, Schumaker resigned (natch) and the Board paid him to go away without a fight.
His expense account people somehow all found “other opportunities”. Something about them having a “scratch my back - scratch your back” thing. But 'course that couldn’t be right… nobody never proved nothing y’all…
So Eli Fly showed up. I think he’s a jerk for stealing my old bosses’ office space, for which they carefully saved their furniture expense budgement and spent wisely to really spruce up a formerly dirty hole. He sat around, did nothing, and earned a fat paycheck.
There was another, extremely taxing and expensive, search. And finally, we get John Peterson. Finally, this guy was honest. Finally, we had a competent administrator.
Weeeeeeeelll, that’s not exactly wrong.
Unfortunately, Peterson seemed to think that “honest” and “competent” mean “demigod bestride the earth like a collossus”
He was paid an ample salary (considerably more than the President of the United States gets, and with almost as many perks). His staff were all hardened veterans of shifting administrations. He had a lot of people comitted to making UT work, because everyone else had been bloody well fired or had quit in exhaustion. He had every fucking advantage in the goddamn book.
See, Good 'Ol Johnny Peterson had what we like to call a People Problem. His People problem was that he and his wife were giant assinine douchebags.
First, there was the research farm. Ut has a lot of little research bits stuck here and there, particularly in the Knoxville area and aaround East Tennessee. For some ungodly reason, Peterson wanted them. As many of them as he could get. BY god, he knew better than anyone how to run and administer them! SO he got his little farm, at least.
Of course, what the hell he was going to do with the thing once he got control was never answered. Not once. Nobody knew why he wanted it except to control the thing. He may have made some weird claim about efficiency, but it was so incomprehensible as to fail to even arouse laughter.
Next, he fired Loren Crabtree. Now, Crabtree was the University Chancellor, and a damn good one. And OK, he technically resigned, but everybody knew exactly what happened. Apparently, Crabtree was more in line with the faculty who didn’t much appreciate Peterson tinkering around with their programs and departments (again, apparently “just because”). Crabtree wouldn’t play ball with Peterson, so he was cut from the team. The firing aroused near-mutiny among some of the departments.
Then, just a few months ago, Peterson’s bitch wife apparently managed to piss off a major UT booster so badly (and we are talking a tears-and-screaming-fight here) that said Booster basically took her money, and then calle dup every one of her wealthy friends and told them not to bother donating anymore.
This happened after Peterson’s Bitch and the President himself invited said booster over. Apparently, The Bitch was so increidbly rude and insulting (and we are talking petty “nonstop stream of insults about hair, clothing and makeup”) that she basically offended everyone, includng people who were not there.
Well, y’know what?
Good Fucking Riddance.
Oh, and the dude who was interim Chancellor now gets to be interim President for 400 grand a year.