A Brief Comment About Today’s Chronicle Article




       While the piece by Ackerman and Berger
(link above) is quite good and very accurate as far as I can tell, it misses
the real story, just as I initially did.

       The story is not about MD Anderson’s
term-tenure system which is an oxymoron if ever there was one. It is about the
manner in which power is wielded by the President in matters that affect the
lives of real people who happen to be MD Anderson faculty members. And that’s
always been the problem since Dr. DePInho’s arrival.

       All of us who ever were faculty at
Anderson knew the job was dangerous when we took it (to quote Super Chicken) as
we did not get nor could ever get real tenure. However, for the most part, over
the many years, the President has allowed the faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee to control the approval
process and abided by its decisions, particularly unanimous ones.

       That the President would pick a fight
over this is sufficient grounds to remove him for bad judgment and thus unable
to perform the duties of his office. Let’s face it.  This was just plain stupid as was CNBC,
CPRIT, FurnitureGate and some of the things he has said about curing cancer.

       Let me be the first to openly state that
I do not think that Ron DePinho has the skill set or judgment to be the
President of the number one place for cancer care in the country. He doesn’t
even have the credentials and he never did. The only real question is when will
the Regents wake up to their error, when will they do something and then when
will they too be replaced for showing such awful judgment in hiring this

       All they needed to do was ask anyone in
Boston about him and his crew and they would have moved on with the search if
they did not like the other two candidates. Just as Dr. DePinho’s judgment is
seriously flawed, so is the judgment of those who selected him and they too
must be held accountable for incompetence in performing their fiduciary duties
to the UT System. (Note both the Chancellor who was in power when Dr. DePinho
was chosen and his Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs will soon be
distant memories in Austin).

       As a final gesture of good faith, on the
way out the door of the Governor’s mansion, Mr. Perry ought to fire all those Regents
involved with the hiring of Dr. DePinho for they have shown such awful judgment
plus inadequate effort in due diligence.

       The last three years have been MD
Anderson’s Watergate. Where’s Sam Ervin, Howard Baker and John Sirica when you
need them? Of course, I always did want Dustin Hoffman to play me in the movie
now that we are both old enough.

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