Why 100 K?

By

Leonard Zwelling

            I
have no idea.

            Nothing
in my experience has surprised me more than the response to this blog in the
form of page views, emails, letters, calls and just conversations in the hall.
I believe that we have made an impact. It was not the one I had hoped for which
was a real exchange of views between the executives and the rest of us, real
shared governance, and some semblance of either courage, leadership or
intelligence from the Faculty Senate and I have seen none of these. Too bad.

            Nonetheless,
we have had a good time writing this and I hope you have enjoyed reading it.
Someone must be because we just went over 100,000 page views, which is amazing.
We have readers in Florida, California, Chicago, Boston, New York, Canada, and
goodness knows where else. We have contacts with various media outlets that
want to know what we know. We have managed to be a strange combination of the
loyal opposition and the Urgun. As I have said many times, I am driven by a
deep sense of affection for MD Anderson, its true mission—no, not that Making
Cancer History stuff—but rather caring for sick people and investigating ways
to treat, detect and prevent cancer. We also are training the next generation
of cancer leaders (despite the fact that they won’t be needed after Dr. DePinho
cures cancer). I am proud to be part of the faculty even though I wish those
same people would rise up as one and voice a loud plaint of independence as I
wrote on July 4. Yes, they might have to wager their BMWs on that one, but
think what the Founding Fathers risked on July 4, 1776.

            See,
for me, tenure is not a reason to lay back and cool your heels. To me tenure is
a license to bitch. Tenure is the guarantee of a revenue stream, albeit only 7
years long, so that academic freedom, truth telling, honest research and
exemplary patient care can continue even as the executives running the place
make a mess of things. We tenured faculty are supposed to be the keepers of the
flame not the moths flying into it. The onus is on the tenured faculty, especially
the professors, to step up and be counted. It is my belief that these
individuals have done exactly the opposite and in assuming this ostrich-like
posture have made themselves complicit with the nonsense that Dr. DePinho is
perpetrating on this institution with his profligate spending that would make
even John Mendelsohn blush and the rest of the litany of bad behaviors that
have attracted the attention of the Cancer Letter, the Houston Chronicle and
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

            So
thanks again for reading. You might consider doing something to improve things
around here because you will be here long after this Old Dog is gone.

Leonard Zwelling