Letter to the Editor: No to Oldham’s contract renewal

March 6, 2018

Just when it appeared that there was no way in hell that any force could keep TTU President Phillip Oldham from being awarded a 5-year extension on his contract, Julia “Merkel” Gruber on a white steed burst upon the scene and tossed a bombshell.

The president of the AAUP chapter presented Tom Jones, chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees, with an AAUP resolution that called for the Board to take no action on the contract until the ongoing investigation into possible violation of the university’s policies on research misconduct and Trustees Bylaws.

Not only that! The AAUP RESOLUTION called for the entire Board to recuse themselves because of potential conflict of interest.

What was the response to this devastating turn of events?

“The AAUP does not have any authority in this matter,” said Chairman Tom Jones.

Now it is not unusual for Tom Jones to respond to facul- ty correspondence in this curt manner. After all, he is chairman of the Board.


March 29, 2018

Let’s say you’re president of a university and for the past three years you’ve raised the hackles of the faculty by appointing persons without proper credentials to some key posts at exorbitant salaries without consulting the faculty.

And you’ve inserted various academic programs without going through proper academic procedures. And in various other matters you’ve neglected to share in governing matters with the faculty. 

Then you have also, through administrative mismanagement, caused 19 persons to lose their jobs and caused the university to be in financial distress.

Now, just as you are up for a 5-year extension of your contract, a partnership with a trucking company that you’ve associated the university with, turns sour. Faculty are howling at what they say is a fraudulent research project for the company which you endorsed through a letter to a politician. To top it off, the Faculty Senate and the AAUP have passed resolutions calling for the Board of Trustees to postpone its vote on your 5 yr contract. What would you do to get that contract for another 5 years of doing what comes naturally to you?

You would do just what TTU President Phil Oldham did. He did not seem concerned. He knew what Chairman Tom Jones would do. He led the Board, ever in his thrall, to a resounding approval of that 5-year contract.