Is Ron Resigned To Not Resigning?


Leonard Zwelling

From the reports in the press and the town hall outtakes I saw, it looks to me like Dr. DePinho isn’t going anywhere and there is no plan to move forward for MD Anderson. You can’t have the leader resign and not have a plan going forward. You can’t not have answers to obvious questions. With whom, in what direction and how does Anderson move forward? To not have these answers is amateurish and once again, I am very concerned about the street smarts of the Chancellor when it comes to negotiating complex political situations.

There should have been coming attractions on that video DePinho recorded that tells the institution what comes next. The right answer isn’t “Trust Us, We’ll Figure It Out.” What’s wrong with these guys?

Let’s review.

Dr. DePinho was an ill-considered hire by people who are no longer on the scene to answer for their poor decision.

Dr. DePinho behaved dreadfully, annoying many, terrifying some, and intimidating all who came close. He tried it with me. It didn’t work. Obviously.

His ethics are seriously to be questioned in matters of conflict of interest, nepotism and self-dealing.

Now he is applauded for his leadership? What am I missing? Gag me with a spoon!

Even Nixon had the grace to get out of town once he resigned the presidency. Why can’t The Ronald?

Here’s how this should have gone.

DePinho finally resigns. It should have been in person, but I guess he liked the Nixon approach and had to use the TV one last time.

The Chancellor appears in person before the collected faculty immediately after DePinho’s resignation and sets out the agenda for the temporary replacement, the future short-term governance, and the start of the search. The chairs of the search committee should already have been named and the members, too. That should be made public. That is what a real leader of a university would have done. Instead, Steve Hahn has to get up in front of the faculty and put up with the nonsense of a standing ovation for a guy they all couldn’t wait to have resign and who is sitting there in the audience. Talk about hypocrites!

The institution is almost half a billion in the hole. The morale is at an all-time low except for five minutes before DePinho quit. It’s time to clean house and rebuild.

This charade of mourning is not becoming of the mourners. Dr. DePinho should vacate the premises immediately and leave all business of MD Anderson to others and none of those he chose. If the new leadership with Dr. Hahn has to struggle to get through what it doesn’t know, that will be a test of that leadership. This silly bit of crocodile tears by DePinho himself and by those who worked for him is as disingenuous a display of false public affection as any we are likely to see until the Republicans can get rid of The Donald and get back to governing instead of apologizing for silly tweets and contacts with Russia.

Is there anyone in government or at MD Anderson capable of acting like an adult and speaking the truth?

Something like:

Ron did a lousy job. Heck, even he said so. Now Ron is moving on to other opportunities outside of MD Anderson and outside of Houston. He will no longer be drawing his seven-figure salary and he is no longer welcome on the north campus. In fact, he’s not welcome on either campus. He can go to the Good Ship Mendelsohn on mid-campus to pick up his severance.

Dr. DePinho and Dr. Chin wanted to make MD Anderson more corporate. Let’s grant them their last wish and say good-bye like a Wall Street firm would do.

Good-bye. Don’t let the door hit you too hard in the rear on the way out.

Leonard Zwelling