An Open Thread

June 11, 2009
By Chris Richter

We’ve heard from many concerned alumni since Chancellor Oblinger’s resignation and the termination of Mary Easley’s contract on Monday. Use the comments section of this post to share your thoughts and opinions on the situation. We’re keeping the post “sticky” for a few days so it’ll be easy to find. Please keep in mind our comments policy. If you’d prefer to comment privately, drop us an e-mail at


14 Responses to “An Open Thread”

  1. David Hiscoe says:

    Thanks for the great interviews with the Board members. Very insightful.

  2. Ed Thomas says:

    I am really glad that all those who resigned did so. I am really disappointed that the new “interim boss” has stated that Mary Easley is gone because of funding problems. Sir you are starting off on the wrong foot. You are adding to the the cover up. Lets be honest about all this. She is gone because she should have never been there in the first place. This was nothing more than political high jinks and if not illegal is certainly morally repulsive. State is too fine an institution to be involved in such criminal activity. I am deeply ashamed of these events and hopeful that we will find a new broom that will sweep the house clean. Go Pack!!

  3. Harrison Dennis says:

    I am glad how the issue was resolved. It is important for the truth to come out. There are too many people taking advantage of situations for their personal gain thinking themselves above the law. The University will always endure as long as it is able to stand for honesty and truth and root out the people who do not. I am proud to be a graduate of N.C. State…”GO STATE”

  4. Michael A Herbin says:

    I have been concerned for several years about the promotion from within policies of the University. When I was an undergraduate, the policy was gennerally to look outside the system for administrators. I cannot prove that the only reason for the curent fiasco is that all of the participants are part of the current system, but it seems that when everyone is familiar with each other and obligated to each other a situation like this current debacle is more likely to happen. It is my hope and desire that the University hire someone who is highly qualified and motivated to become the new administrators of NC STATE.

    Michael A Herbin
    TAG 1980
    Alumni Association Member

  5. Josh Cox says:

    I would like to thank the Alumni Association for being so open about these issues. One question I would love to ask is why Oblinger and Neilson are still receiving a check from NCSU. I can not understand how two people in such high positions can get away with such blatant disregard for the university. Can some one please explain it with out using the word tenure.

    Josh Cox
    BS TE ’03

  6. Rad Davis says:

    The Alumni Association is doing an excellent job with an ugly and difficult situation. Transparency and full disclosure are always the best course in these cases.

    I suspect that Chancellor Woodward was chosen, as was Chancellor Montieth before him (the last ‘damage control’ chancellor in my memory), because of his PR acumen, actual academic credentials, and obvious relationship with the university as a working professor, rather than as a glad-hander, fund-rasier, and politician.

    So much for damage control. The real question – the only question that matters – is whether the Board of Trustees and other parties in authority have the strength of will necessary to change the system sufficiently that Chancellors will henceforward be chosen on the basis of their administrative abilities, rather than their political connections. The trend of cronyism and excessive political familiarity with elected officials over the decades is plain to see. Only a fool does the same thing repeatedly expecting a different outcome.

    If you want better chancellors who put the mission of the university ahead of their political ambitions and personal connections, then you’d better change the selection criteria, job description, and reward package. Everything else is hand waiving and political theatre.

  7. Stan Epstein says:

    I believe that neither Oblinger nor Nielson should be allowed to remain on the faculty and draw their salaries (plus retreat time income) after knowingly and intentionally lying and covering up. They are now negative role models and examples for their students. Who will believe anything they say? How can anyone be sure any grades they give are truly representative of what was earned?

    I think they should be relieved of all connections and income from the university. Is there no clause in any of the contracts (or whatever “common law” in academia) that clearly states that the behavior they exhibited should lead to firing??

  8. Chris says:

    NCSU should find another dynamic leader (or set of leaders) that will shake up the old-boy network and push NCSU to be the best, not to just be good enough. By continuing to promote from within, we have no new ideas and no realization that we should push to be better – just a rubber stamp reminder that the status-quo is okay.

    NCSU deserves better and the best possible candidate should be found who can truly lead NCSU to better things. We had that one with MAF and the status quo pushed her away.

    It’s time to find another one like her who can push the envelope for our university, not someone who will be content.

  9. backnine says:

    Glad to see the turnover – not a fan of Oblinger. The man did some good things but was not a visionary for elevating the university to new heights. He was too beholden to the faculty who empowered him. He would never make changes that might anger the old guard.

    Neither Oblinger nor Nielsen should remain on staff. Their presence will not be helpful for the new chancellor. Both should be asked to move on.

    New person should be an outsider not tainted with this mess. Someone who does not owe anyone anything and is not part of the state’s or university’s current layer of cronyism.

    Should be someone who understands how to use the media, as well as the school’s athletics department to further the mission and visibitliy of the university. State is squandering such a powerful tool and platform by underacheiving in athletics. The new guy should understand how to leverage athletics instead of de-emphasizing it. Oblinger clearly never understood what an opportunity the university was missing – he gave Lee Fowler an award for excellence a few years ago…???? Are you kidding?? Nothing could have said, “I’m not plugged in to athletics” more than that bone-head move.

  10. Nick DiColandrea says:

    I would like to reiterate from my email sent to the Association staff that I believe it is time we expect more from our membership than a fancy sticker and calendar.

    While I openly commend and appreciate everything the Alumni Association does for us alumni, such as the magazine, website, Facebook updates, and more, I think the recent crisis in NC State leadership shows a lack of respect for such organization from the BOT and Chancellor’s Office.

    We, as active and able alumni, have a new opportunity to mold the mission on our Association into something more than a rallying point for Homecoming games. We are one of the largest sources of revenue for progressive capital campaigns for anything the University needs, including scholarship money for current students. This is a fact that should not be taken light-hearted by the next administration of Trustees and Chancellor. By disrespecting the offices you hold, you tarnish the University we have given more than just money to over our lives, you tarnish our reputation.

    I would also encourage the next administration to pay particular attention to recent and new NC State graduates as another form of advice. We are going through one of the worst economic times in recent history, and the University should take a stronger role in making sure a degree from NC State is even more valuable and worthwhile for all North Carolinians. By tapping into that resource and securing their commitment to NC State, we can be assured these young Alumni are prepared to help NC State through the next fiscal crisis.

    PS BA ’04

  11. douglas l fowler says:

    I had planned to leave a considerable gift to my alma mater but after the last two decades of decline in its status in academics,atheletics and the quality of the administration I will be giving to another school.The treatment of M Fox,a fine chancellor, by the faculty senate was nothing more than a political move by a petty faculty.The ultimate embarrasment to me was the extortion of businesses by NCSU through the office of a pure political hack,M EASLEY, in order to help fund a liberal leaning political forum presenting itself as a speaker series.

  12. Robert says:

    “Standards for removing tenured personnel are high. There must be proof of incompetence, neglect of duty, or grievous misconduct. The wrongs that they have done, or might have done, that we have identified to date do not meet the standards that would have to be met” Woodward said.

    Incompetence? Check. Neglect of duty? Check. Grievous misconduct? Check.

    What are these guys doing? FIRE OBLINGER AND NEILSON NOW!!!

  13. Erv Thompson says:

    I know that the search committee and Board of Trustees will find a well qualified replacement for Chancellor Oblinger. I would ask is that they make sure the new chancellor is committed to making NC State’s athletics program one that we all can be proud of again.

  14. Ralph D. Stout,Jr. says:

    Why do we stil have the former Chancellor and former Provost receiving six months pay plus allowing them to resume staff positions after six months.? If we were looking to fill these two staff positions we certainly would not consider individuals who had been involved in their activities at other Universities.

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