Look, nobody in Louisiana is more disgusted with the weaselly idiocy of former LSU president F. King Alexander than we are. We’ve laid into his incompetence and the piss-poor, clown-show leadership he showed when he was on campus again and again, and just last week we had another go at him after he blamed his failings in his previous job on us backwards hayseeds in the Bayou State while trying to save his hide at his current gig running Oregon State University.
We don’t back down from anything we’ve said about Alexander. He was wrong in virtually every particular of decision-making and vision-setting on LSU’s campus and the current sexual assault scandal which is sticking to the university like molasses came 100 percent out of the directionless leadership Alexander showed while he was here. Certain people were protected and acted accordingly, and standards were low.
Everybody knew that. Within a year of Alexander’s arrival it was pretty commonly understood that LSU would stagnate under his direction, and it did. Worse, Alexander greatly accelerated the transformation of LSU from a perfectly respectable Southern flagship university which maintained the cultural traditions and experiences prevalent in its state to…something else. The university is now a social justice warrior factory where conservative and traditional perspectives are suppressed and oppressed, and its donors are increasingly refusing to foot the bill for that kind of indoctrination.
It’s so bad over there right now that we’re hearing LSU insiders are quietly telling state legislators they need to take a severe budget ax to LSU in order to force the university to get rid of the social justice warriors and pare itself down to teaching the basics (business, engineering, the hard sciences, etc.) and thus rebuild.
All of that is an effect of F. King Alexander. He’s a forgettable figure and a disaster who always saw LSU as a stepping stone to something else (what he really wanted was to work in the Department of Education in a Hillary Clinton administration, but the American public had other ideas about that). He had to take a lateral move to Oregon State when he became a political liability for Democrat governor John Bel Edwards as the latter was preparing to run for re-election, and Alexander never forgave Louisiana for that yellow mark on his resume.
And yes, Alexander deserved a rebuke when he told the folks at Oregon State that the problems at LSU were the fault of us rednecks down here and not his own poor leadership.
But this was not the right response.
“I feel confident that I can speak not only on behalf of my university, but also for my state, in saying that I am beyond offended by Dr. Alexander’s arrogant and condescending comments about Louisiana’s culture, our state, and our university. When sharing his opinion that Louisiana has a different moral standard than Oregon, he omits the fact that he enthusiastically counted himself as one of us for almost seven years. In general I think it’s a fair assessment to say that most Louisianans are, at their core, very similar to most Oregonians. They work hard, raise families, and look to their land-grant universities to educate their children while extending research to improve the state’s well-being. They look to us for the type of leadership necessary to make our campuses safe and effective educational environments. From Dr. Alexander’s remarks, his contempt for these hard-working people was evident enough to make me question his commitment to those we serve.”
That’s from Robert Dampf, the chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors. He couldn’t help himself and had to fire off a letter telling his counterpart on the Oregon State board about what a slimeball OSU’s current president is.
This is of a piece with a bitchy letter from state representative Aimee Freeman fired off last week to the same destination telling Oregon State their president has no business running their university.
Shut up already. Please. You guys look like babies.
It’s one thing when pundits give Alexander what-for in response to weaselly statements like he made when landing in hot water at OSU over the LSU scandal. That’s what we pundits do.
But Robert Dampf is not a pundit. He runs LSU’s board. As such. Robert Dampf is in a position of responsibility at LSU. Which means that if LSU has a scandal emanating from people in positions of great influence protecting coaches and players engaged in sexual misbehavior, Robert Dampf’s own kitchen is not clean. As much as he might like to pin all this on F. King Alexander, the LSU Board of Supervisors is by no means excused from that scandal.
Let’s not forget that the Board just gave an $800 million contract to farm out much of its physical plant operations to Jim Bernhard, a central figure in the sexual assault scandal in that his patronage of at least Drake Davis while the latter was beating his girlfriend to a pulp and getting away with it had something to do with this thing festering as long as it did.
If Dampf was as interested in keeping things above board as he is in pinning as much of the scandal on Alexander as possible, that contract would have been delayed if not canceled.
Now – that’s not to say this stuff is totally ineffective. After all, Alexander is now out at Oregon State.
On Sunday, FKA offered his resignation, effective April 1st.
Board will meet in executive session to determine if they will accept resignation
— Johnston von Springer (@johnstonvon) March 23, 2021
But if Dampf thinks this is his doing, he’s deluded. Nobody at Oregon State cares about what people in Louisiana think of F. King Alexander. They dumped him because they can see what LSU’s people should have seen far sooner than seven years into his tenure here – that Alexander is a lying weasel incapable of leading so much as a silent prayer and nothing good will happen the longer he runs their university. That, plus Oregon has a woke feminist governor and this sex-assault scandal attached to OSU’s president is bad for the politics there.
This isn’t our pure speculation, by the way. It’s informed by this…
Things would have been smoother and more dignified if LSU’s brass, specifically people like Dampf, had kept their mouths shut and simply said “what comes around goes around.”
Because let’s remember that LSU is still sitting on an interim replacement for Alexander almost two years after his departure, and there is little forward movement on the search for a new president. It doesn’t really look like anybody wants the job.
And the knowledge that LSU’s Board of Supervisors contains people who will chase after you and try to get you fired from your next job after you leave LSU doesn’t particularly make LSU marketable to high-profile candidates. It’s almost like finding out a girl you meet is Glenn Close Fatal Attraction crazy; do you really want to follow through on taking her to Ruth’s Chris on Friday night?
F. King Alexander’s career prospects are set in stone based on his character. He’s a failure, and he was always going to be run out of Oregon State. Nobody at LSU needed to help that along. Now the LSU community just looks petty.