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JMU Leadership in danger?
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Hart Foundation Offline
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Post: #41
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
I lean neither right nor left. I Have voted both parties and even a few independents during my life. The lack of integrity from Alger and any BOV members who are complicit in the 2 person mini-meetings is unacceptable.

I checked on BOV Meeting information from time to time in the past , but never knew dissenting opinions and debate were hidden behind closed doors in mini-meetings inaccessible by FOIA law. Most of my interest revolved around athletics related topics at BOV meetings.
I don’t care if JMU gets another backwards Cowboy hat wearing prez, just get a leader with integrity. Not once have I been proud that he is president of JMU. And now we see he is shady too.
10-19-2020 02:53 PM
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dirtdog85 Offline
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Post: #42
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" Casablanca...

I don't actually have strong feelings either way about Alger - my daughters have both had wonderful and successful experiences at JMU recently, as did I in the 80's. But I truly wonder sometimes if the outrage on this board is ever tempered with any actual sense of reality. I have been involved with boards and committees for decades, and this type of communication happens all the time, whether private entities or governmental. At one job, I used to sit in my office while the director was in his office next to mine calling each of the board members - sometimes individually, sometimes in small groups, and informing them of the agenda and getting concerns so he could be prepared for the meeting. He would ask one member if they could make a motion and another if they could second it. At first I thought it was improper, but then realized that it made for highly efficient meetings, and if members had concerns, they could be dealt with in advance as opposed to becoming the headline in the newspaper the next day. Some board members would not take the time to read their materials, get stuck on a point that was personal to them, and the meeting could get derailed quickly. No one was asked to do anything improper, but it helped us be prepared for the types of questions we may have gotten or the types of information that they needed. I also sat on a board for a fairly major foundation where this was done.

I think some of you are either really naive about how governing is actually done, or just desperate for reasons to complain. I am not speaking to donors' attitudes - those are complex and go far beyond this article and involve things of which none of us are aware. I'm not suggesting it in this case, but we once had a donor retract a multi-million dollar donation because they saw a longtime business rival seated nearby at a charity function and thought we were "inconsiderate."
10-20-2020 08:43 AM
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HyperDuke Offline
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Post: #43
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
Dirtdog thanks. The only person acknowledging that meeting prep is the norm. Do I like that it’s the norm? Not really. But can we credibly condemn Alger for it? Nope.
10-20-2020 09:22 AM
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Post: #44
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
(10-20-2020 08:43 AM)dirtdog85 Wrote:  "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" Casablanca...

I don't actually have strong feelings either way about Alger - my daughters have both had wonderful and successful experiences at JMU recently, as did I in the 80's. But I truly wonder sometimes if the outrage on this board is ever tempered with any actual sense of reality. I have been involved with boards and committees for decades, and this type of communication happens all the time, whether private entities or governmental. At one job, I used to sit in my office while the director was in his office next to mine calling each of the board members - sometimes individually, sometimes in small groups, and informing them of the agenda and getting concerns so he could be prepared for the meeting. He would ask one member if they could make a motion and another if they could second it. At first I thought it was improper, but then realized that it made for highly efficient meetings, and if members had concerns, they could be dealt with in advance as opposed to becoming the headline in the newspaper the next day. Some board members would not take the time to read their materials, get stuck on a point that was personal to them, and the meeting could get derailed quickly. No one was asked to do anything improper, but it helped us be prepared for the types of questions we may have gotten or the types of information that they needed. I also sat on a board for a fairly major foundation where this was done.

I think some of you are either really naive about how governing is actually done, or just desperate for reasons to complain. I am not speaking to donors' attitudes - those are complex and go far beyond this article and involve things of which none of us are aware. I'm not suggesting it in this case, but we once had a donor retract a multi-million dollar donation because they saw a longtime business rival seated nearby at a charity function and thought we were "inconsiderate."

Well said. I agree.
10-20-2020 11:26 AM
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olddawg Offline
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Post: #45
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
(10-20-2020 08:43 AM)dirtdog85 Wrote:  "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" Casablanca...

I don't actually have strong feelings either way about Alger - my daughters have both had wonderful and successful experiences at JMU recently, as did I in the 80's. But I truly wonder sometimes if the outrage on this board is ever tempered with any actual sense of reality. I have been involved with boards and committees for decades, and this type of communication happens all the time, whether private entities or governmental. At one job, I used to sit in my office while the director was in his office next to mine calling each of the board members - sometimes individually, sometimes in small groups, and informing them of the agenda and getting concerns so he could be prepared for the meeting. He would ask one member if they could make a motion and another if they could second it. At first I thought it was improper, but then realized that it made for highly efficient meetings, and if members had concerns, they could be dealt with in advance as opposed to becoming the headline in the newspaper the next day. Some board members would not take the time to read their materials, get stuck on a point that was personal to them, and the meeting could get derailed quickly. No one was asked to do anything improper, but it helped us be prepared for the types of questions we may have gotten or the types of information that they needed. I also sat on a board for a fairly major foundation where this was done.

I think some of you are either really naive about how governing is actually done, or just desperate for reasons to complain. I am not speaking to donors' attitudes - those are complex and go far beyond this article and involve things of which none of us are aware. I'm not suggesting it in this case, but we once had a donor retract a multi-million dollar donation because they saw a longtime business rival seated nearby at a charity function and thought we were "inconsiderate."

I'll never be convinced that the majority of University Board members (not exclusive to JMU) are anywhere near as versed as they need to be. I find it laughable that some of these appointees have as much sway as they do.
10-20-2020 12:49 PM
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Dukeman2 Offline
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Post: #46
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
The Breeze stands by facts as reported:

https://www.breezejmu.org/opinion/lfe-ad...81c20.html
10-21-2020 06:57 AM
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JMURocks Offline
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Post: #47
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
DirtDogs observations have merit, and perhaps some of this is status quo for large corporations and government bodies.

A few things still concern me:
- The original article documented a number of people, including members of the state assembly and prior board members stating these changes were implemented for the purpose of reducing transparency, and specifically to work around FOIA requirements. It seems it was a deliberate move to reduce public transparency. JMU’s board did not always operate this way.

- Alger’s response to the article had a bit of spin, claiming that these private meetings “increased transparency” when it appears the opposite is true. Perhaps it allows them to share some things with board members they can’t make public, but the rationale for this was not well laid out. It felt a little bit like PR double talk at some points.

- in the Breeze’s published response, they mentioned that letter/email had been sent from the head of PR that said “The Breeze has violated the most foundational journalist ethics”. That type of response feels a bit like intimidation or an attempt to setup a basis to fire Breeze staff. The Breeze has always been an independent voice of the students, and this comes across to me as a potential attempt to silence free speech. If staff at the Breeze are threatened/intimidated/removed that would make me very uneasy with the current leadership.
10-21-2020 07:35 AM
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HyperDuke Offline
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Post: #48
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
Yeah, I don’t like where this appears to be headed. I would prefer orgs not hold meetings before the meeting. Public meetings should have impact on decisions made. But it’s not a unique practice. Administrators vs responsible student newspaper never turns out well for administrators. The Breeze is doubling down too, so we’ll see where this leads.
10-21-2020 11:02 AM
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DoubleDogDare Offline
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Post: #49
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
This screams first world / high school drama to me. It seems like a hit piece honestly. Thankfully, I don't see Alger responding to the Breeze and I'm glad he has rejected the subsequent interview given his letter clearly stated "here is what I would have shared."

IF the meetings were to skirt FOIA laws, that's shady, but probably common. IF the pre meeting's goal was to streamline the official meeting, THANK YOU! There is nothing worst than 15-25 people being generally aligned on a decision, but having the discussion go 10x longer because each person wants to discuss their nuanced opinion. We have all sat in meetings that could have been an email or a 5 minute discussion and the pre meeting phone call/email to align a subset of the wider group is VERY common practice, something I have already done it several times times today.

With that said, (1) the Breeze not reaching out to Alger for comment (despite reaching out to 20+ people for comments), (2) not mentioning the annual donation has doubled since 2012 while noting that donors may not donate, (3) having to update the headline after publishing, (4) tweeting a story implying donors are abandoning Alger immediately before tweeting a story that JMU just secured its largest donation ever, and (5) publicly daring him to an interview after the fact; screams amateurism and/or bias to me. It actually makes me think more highly of Alger than I did before (which admittedly really only had room to go up).
10-21-2020 12:08 PM
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HyperDuke Offline
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Post: #50
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
The truth is more often found in live interviews, much more frequently than carefully crafted statements. I don’t think that challenge to give an interview equates to amateurism. However, I did not study journalism.
10-21-2020 12:43 PM
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DoubleDogDare Offline
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Post: #51
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
(10-21-2020 12:43 PM)HyperDuke Wrote:  The truth is more often found in live interviews, much more frequently than carefully crafted statements. I don’t think that challenge to give an interview equates to amateurism. However, I did not study journalism.

I did not study medicine, but I could tell Dak's ankle bending 90 degrees to the side wasn't normal.

Maybe I need to be explicit; The public offer for an interview on a live show after purposely not reaching out to Alger for the initial story about him, and after Alger has already responded stating what he has to say, and after Read has already confirmed that an interview isn't needed due to the response, screams amateurism to me.

The Breeze's inability to clearly voice their own gripe is amateur. Emphasis mine.
Quote:Given Read's and Alger's concerns, The Breeze invited Alger to an interview on the broadcast show Friday to follow up on the initial story and asked Alger if he’d be interested in an interview for a follow-up online story focusing on his perspective. Read never responded to the request for Alger to join the show and per Read, Alger declined to be interviewed for an online article and said the following:

“The time to ask for an interview with President Alger was prior to publication of the article, not following publication of a piece that clearly violated very basic journalistic standards,” Read wrote. “Mr. Alger is declining the invitation to interview as we have already responded in writing, in great length, to the inaccuracies presented in your already-published article.”
10-21-2020 02:15 PM
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HyperDuke Offline
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Post: #52
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
Yeah I was just saying I don’t have much insight into what’s typical or not in the journalism field. I was trying to acknowledge that I could be way off-base. It wasn’t intended at some sideways shot at your opinion. And the Breeze reply definitely comes across as defensive, considering the harsh tone coming from Alger toward the Breeze.

Journalism students seem to feel (in my limited exposure/experience) like they need to ruffle feathers to earn their stripes. This just kinda feels like that to me. I’m already on-record as agreeing with Alger’s perspective moreso than the Breeze. That said, I admire the student perspective asking for more transparency. Even if there are political motivations, the call for transparency in general is a positive one IMO.
10-21-2020 03:00 PM
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Post: #53
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
(10-20-2020 08:43 AM)dirtdog85 Wrote:  "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" Casablanca...

I don't actually have strong feelings either way about Alger - my daughters have both had wonderful and successful experiences at JMU recently, as did I in the 80's. But I truly wonder sometimes if the outrage on this board is ever tempered with any actual sense of reality. I have been involved with boards and committees for decades, and this type of communication happens all the time, whether private entities or governmental. At one job, I used to sit in my office while the director was in his office next to mine calling each of the board members - sometimes individually, sometimes in small groups, and informing them of the agenda and getting concerns so he could be prepared for the meeting. He would ask one member if they could make a motion and another if they could second it. At first I thought it was improper, but then realized that it made for highly efficient meetings, and if members had concerns, they could be dealt with in advance as opposed to becoming the headline in the newspaper the next day. Some board members would not take the time to read their materials, get stuck on a point that was personal to them, and the meeting could get derailed quickly. No one was asked to do anything improper, but it helped us be prepared for the types of questions we may have gotten or the types of information that they needed. I also sat on a board for a fairly major foundation where this was done.

I think some of you are either really naive about how governing is actually done, or just desperate for reasons to complain. I am not speaking to donors' attitudes - those are complex and go far beyond this article and involve things of which none of us are aware. I'm not suggesting it in this case, but we once had a donor retract a multi-million dollar donation because they saw a longtime business rival seated nearby at a charity function and thought we were "inconsiderate."

(10-21-2020 12:08 PM)DoubleDogDare Wrote:  This screams first world / high school drama to me. It seems like a hit piece honestly. Thankfully, I don't see Alger responding to the Breeze and I'm glad he has rejected the subsequent interview given his letter clearly stated "here is what I would have shared."

IF the meetings were to skirt FOIA laws, that's shady, but probably common. IF the pre meeting's goal was to streamline the official meeting, THANK YOU! There is nothing worst than 15-25 people being generally aligned on a decision, but having the discussion go 10x longer because each person wants to discuss their nuanced opinion. We have all sat in meetings that could have been an email or a 5 minute discussion and the pre meeting phone call/email to align a subset of the wider group is VERY common practice, something I have already done it several times times today.

With that said, (1) the Breeze not reaching out to Alger for comment (despite reaching out to 20+ people for comments), (2) not mentioning the annual donation has doubled since 2012 while noting that donors may not donate, (3) having to update the headline after publishing, (4) tweeting a story implying donors are abandoning Alger immediately before tweeting a story that JMU just secured its largest donation ever, and (5) publicly daring him to an interview after the fact; screams amateurism and/or bias to me. It actually makes me think more highly of Alger than I did before (which admittedly really only had room to go up).

Exactly. Well put.

The Breeze editors have their panties in a knot. They need to grow up.
10-21-2020 03:04 PM
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Dukeman2 Offline
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Post: #54
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
3 of our top 5 donors have ceased contributing to JMU until Alger is gone
10-21-2020 03:23 PM
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BleedingPurple Offline
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Post: #55
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
Why wouldn't you simply include three board members on the pre-meetings? One extra certainly is not going to make that much difference. I think we all know the answer.
10-21-2020 04:05 PM
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Deez Nuts Offline
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RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
(10-21-2020 03:23 PM)Dukeman2 Wrote:  3 of our top 5 donors have ceased contributing to JMU until Alger is gone

This is unsubstantiated. There's no evidence to back this up.
10-21-2020 09:25 PM
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NC Tribe Offline
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Post: #57
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
I have never taken a journalism class, but have now worked in the publishing/media business for 20 years. You never publish without attempting to get both sides of the story. Alger should have been asked for comment before the first article was published. It is an ambush when you publish the other side first and then ask for comment from the "accused" after publication.

I did this with one of my very first articles, remember I was not trained as a journalist. It took me several years to repair the relationship with the corporation who was not contacted for comment prior to publication of the story, which probably wouldn't have been published at all if I had contacted them first. What we published was factually correct at the time, but it was a sticky situation and the company wound up postponing the facility closure. Some would say the negative publicity helped change their minds, but I am not sure. A couple of years later, the facility was closed, sat empty for a few years, was then sold and reopened by new owners, who went bankrupt and closed. The plant is now being used for a different purpose.
10-22-2020 05:54 AM
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Post: #58
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
(10-21-2020 09:25 PM)Deez Nuts Wrote:  
(10-21-2020 03:23 PM)Dukeman2 Wrote:  3 of our top 5 donors have ceased contributing to JMU until Alger is gone

This is unsubstantiated. There's no evidence to back this up.

Yes, and to repeat (if it’s been missed in all the commentary on this topic) Hartman (who just made a huge gift to name the COB) was the Rector of the BOV when Alger was hired. I think if there were problems with major donors this gift would not have happened, nor would the gift naming the School of Hospitality, or the countless other successes in fundraising.

IMO...informed by the level of frustration during the pandemic I’ve witnessed by students, parents, faculty, staff and others who love JMU...the Breeze article was a thinly disguised (and poorly thought through and exercised) effort to hurt Alger and the administration over the student’s frustration with the on-again, off-again opening and then closing of campus and adoption of on-line instruction. Nobody likes what’s happened, is still happening, and nerves are worn thin and frayed. People say (and do) stupid things when their normal levels of control are absent, and often the first people who bear the brunt of our anger are those we love.

To be frank, I don’t like many of the decisions made by the administration in handling the pandemic. Hindsight is always 20-20, however, and so while I have questions about the actions taken, I don’t question the administrations motives. They were doing what they thought best for JMU.

Any person who has ever sat on a board (I have and many on this site have) know the worst boards are composed of people who haven’t done their preparatory reading before the board meeting and waste everyone’s time at the monthly (or quarterly) meetings in minutiae.

I believe the pre-meeting BOV calls by Alger to 2 members were designed and executed for exactly the reasons he wrote about in his response. The Breeze has naively come to the conclusion that they have the right to be privy to all administration communication with members of the BOV. They do not. Both as a matter of law, and as a matter of simply doing the BOV’s business in an effective manner that best serves JMU.

The Breeze editors are doing JMU a disservice by continuing to pout. This entire sequence of events reminds me of a dust-up when Dr. Carrier was President. On Friday, January 13, 1995 Carrier announced (by fiat) he was dissolving several colleges, reconstituting them in a new organization, and eliminating the old distributive education foundation into what today we refer to as “General Education” requirements. Well, the faculty were furious. A band of about 40 faculty put their money together and sued Carrier.

The case came to court, and the presiding judge pointed first to Carrier and then the the faculty reps, and said “he’s in charge, you’re not” and dismissed the case ruling in favor of Dr. Carrier. Carrier had a copy of the news article covering the decision (it was only a 2-3 inch piece in the DNR) framed and hung over his private toilet in his office suite.

The point is, the President...any President...is in charge. Unless the Breeze has real evidence of malfeasance or illegal behavior by Alger their continued harping is childish. Again, just my opinion. 04-cheers
(This post was last modified: 10-22-2020 06:54 AM by Longhorn.)
10-22-2020 06:53 AM
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Post: #59
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
I don’t KNOW all that to be true for this situation, but it certainly follows logically.
10-22-2020 06:58 AM
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Post: #60
RE: JMU Leadership in danger?
I may view this in a different light if the Breeze hadn't just publicly announced a few weeks ago that they were furious over not getting the COVID numbers before local media. The timing of this and the fact that they did not ask for a comment from the person at the center of it seems to print a pretty clear picture of what this is.
10-22-2020 07:23 AM
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