University Diaries
A professor of English describes American university life.
Aim: To change things.
Contact UD at: margaret-dot-soltan-at-gmail-dot-com

Read my book, TEACHING BEAUTY IN DeLILLO, WOOLF, AND MERRILL (Palgrave Macmillan; forthcoming), co-authored with Jennifer Green-Lewis. VISIT MY BRANCH CAMPUS AT INSIDE HIGHER ED

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(Tenured Radical)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"So, uh, what's it pay?"

The firing/resignation of Evan Dobelle, ex-president of the University of Hawaii, was mysterious. UD remembers trying to follow the story a couple of years ago -- trying to post about it -- and being frustrated by the lack of information when clearly something postable was behind the meltdown of his job. She let it drop

But here’s Dobelle, back again, under intriguing circumstances -- as reported by today’s Chronicle of Higher Ed:

The soon-to-be-open job of chancellor at the University of Maine System is already drawing interest. In fact, someone calling from the cellphone of a former college president, Evan S. Dobelle, appears to have impersonated an intern at The Chronicle to ask a Maine official about the departing chancellor's compensation.

The system's office of external affairs got a call this week from "Scott Northfield," who claimed to be an intern for The Chronicle working on a survey of executive compensation. The caller wanted details on the salary and benefits earned by Joseph W. Westphal, who announced two weeks ago that he would step down as chancellor at the end of June.

The Maine official who spoke with the caller did not have the information on hand and offered to call back. However, the phone number the caller left, which had a Washington, D.C., area code, proved bogus, and no Scott Northfield works at The Chronicle.

The university's caller-ID records led to a different number: a cellphone in Springfield, Mass., that, when dialed by a Chronicle reporter, was answered by Mr. Dobelle, a former president of the University of Hawaii System. He was fired by Hawaii in 2004, but the firing was subsequently rescinded in return for his resignation and the university's payment of a mediated settlement of $1.6-million.