A fond farewell to Parwinder Grewal, the president of Vermont State University who didn’t even make it to the first day of VSU’s existence.
Grewal has “resigned for personal reasons” without further explanation from himself or anyone affiliated with the nascent university. I can think of two ways this might have gone down, and neither is flattering to the VSU board.
First, Grewal realized he had an impossible job and decided to GTFO. He was tasked with merging three institutions into one while imposing severe spending cuts and somehow making the thing more attractive to students, but couldn’t count on the backing of the board or Vermont’s political class. In fact, he’s the guy who was encouraged to go out on a limb only to turn around and realize all his friends are wielding saws.
Second, the board got cold feet and fired the guy. That would be a spectacular display of gutlessness. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of severance package he’s getting, all at taxpayers’ expense of course.
Look, I was loudly and repeatedly not a fan of Grewal’s plan to close the system’s libraries. In addition to all its flaws, it seemed unlikely to save any money. But the board thought enough of him to hire him in the first place, and then they balked at the first sign of trouble. I wonder what kind of luck they’ll have in their search for a successor. If you were a potential candidate with the kind of administrative chops needed to guide VSU into a successful future, would you want to step into this political briar patch? I don’t think so.Continue reading