Why Can’t DePinho Be Like
De Speaker and De Walker?: Could It Be Like Bugs In the Bugs?


Leonard Zwelling


         In yet another scandalous business story, Volkswagen has
demonstrated that if it had taken the same time to design better diesel cars
that it took to undermine their testing by the EPA, they might have spared the
company the loss of its very existence. But much like the tragedies at Enron
and ImClone and a host of other companies before these, it looks like the scandal
at VW could have been avoided with just a little oversight by its corporate
board. As this story in the NY Times relates,
VW was an accident waiting to happen. And then, it did. The Bug may well have
squashed itself due to corporate infighting, family feuds, unfit members being
placed on the board, and a general lack of independent directors on that VW
board. I guess no one was watching the store.

         By contrast, John Boehner was watching the store and didn’t
like what he saw. In all fairness, he seems like a decent public servant
committed to actually getting something done on Capitol Hill, but had the
misfortune of being the leader of two parties simultaneously, the Republicans
and the Tea Party and the latter would just as soon blow the place up as
actually discuss solutions with the minority Democrats. Now these fringe Mad
Hatters want to shut down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood.
Surely, Planned Parenthood has given the Congress much to discuss, but shutting
down the government is the equivalent of holding your breathe until you turn
RED (in this case). Boehner, acting like the adult he seems to be and still
flying high after finally getting the Pope to the Hill, has called it quits,
from the Speakership and from the House itself. Good for him. I wish him well.

         Scott Walker needs to get some props, too for calling off
his campaign for the Presidency. He shot out of the blocks with lots of money
and Iowa momentum, but found difficulty putting two words together under the
Presidential spotlight and finding any space to the right of Donald Trump. This
preempted his attempts to become a favorite. He, like Mr. Boehner, is trying to
put country before self and backed away. Good for him, too.

         Which, of course, brings me to The Ronald who is every bit
as ineffective as Walker, as frustrated as Boehner, and as untethered as VW.
When is he calling it quits so we can all get back to work (OK, not me, but

         The answer to that is never. He does not have an ineffective
board overseeing his work. He has NO board overseeing his work. The only people
watching him from above are the Executive Vice Chancellor who has proven
ineffective in his own right, the Chancellor who has given DePinho marching
orders about shared governance and may well prove to be the the only hope to
get The Ronald out, and the Board of Regents who seem to be too busy fighting
about whether or not UT should be doing research or teaching like this isn’t a
false choice.

         Like VW, and for about the same reasons, DePinho is an
accident waiting to happen. Like VW, DePinho too has no respect for the
environment into which he emits the products of his combustibility. Instead he
is focused on fooling us all into believing that his emissions are non-toxic
and under control. They aren’t.

         The PR campaign, the Moon Shot nonsense that is now half way
through the time it took the real Moon Shot to reach the Moon, and a demeanor
that is demeanest one I have ever encountered, all indicate that someone ought
to send DePinho on his way and start that Presidential search all over again.

         This time, perhaps the selflessness of Boehner and Walker
ought to be written into the job description while metrics as rigid as those of
the EPA should be part of the job as well. The real job of the President of MD
Anderson is to represent the 20,000 people who work there many of whom actually
want to be productive if they could be supported in a reasonable and
cost-effective manner. The current President does that poorly and as such needs
to do a Boehner or a Walker before the Chancellor has to do a VW on the Moon Shots
of Dr. DePinho like was done on the couches of Mrs. DePinho.

Leonard Zwelling