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I agree: what on earth? by ndtnguy

This is an excellent little piece. But really, it's even more befuddling than ACross indicates.

A lot of people blame decline on "the priests." But the priests ran ND much more tightly during its years of brightest football glory than they do now.

A lot of people lament that Monk and Jenkins aren't Fr. Hesburgh. But Hesburgh ran Leahy out of town on a rail and started many of the institution-transforming policies that Monk and Jenkins have developed.

ACross criticizes a lack of transparency. But nobody could see inside the decision-making process at all before the board of trustees was created. Nobody would care about transparency if things worked.

Etc., etc. etc. Objection, sed contra, respondeo.

There's a terrible lot in this world that is broken, and there's a terrible lot at the University that's broken, under the Dome and in the Gug. Maybe it is fair to criticize the clerical leadership: not because clerics are inherently lousy leaders but because the CSC has been saddled with feckless men. Maybe it is fair to criticize the lack of transparency: not because transparency produces effective results but because it would help identify the causes of the poor ones. Maybe it is fair to lament that Monk and Jenkins aren't Fr. Ted: not because Fr. Ted was a great president but because two decades of flabbergasting failure at every level makes his tenure look great by comparison. (Let's all pine instead for Fr. O'Hara: he knew what was what.)

It's a terrible situation, and a terribly complex one: a decades-long train wreck in which all sorts of things you love are destroyed. I certainly don't know what to do about it.