Answer: Nobody, technically.
As this article from Saturday’s paper put it, “No replacement yet for EMU president.” Technically, there isn’t an interim president or, well, anyone, currently running the show.
From my angle on things, not much has changed. I taught my classes, handed back essays, went to an interesting meeting (really!), etc. It wasn’t like the place had descended into chaos. Well, hadn’t descended further into chaos.
But the real danger here is the faculty is negotiating a contract right now. I will leave some of the other scuttle-butt of the process out of this, but there’s no president and Provost Schollaert isn’t exactly enjoying the respect of leadership at this stage. The faculty have called for him to resign (which I don’t really agree with– see earlier posts on this), and the board of regents has also not named him as the interim president, which would be a natural move since, as provost, he is basically the “senior VP” of the place. So, just who are we negotiating with?
Another kind of interesting tidbit is Schollaert sent around a letter to everyone on campus asking for unity in these troubled times. I don’t have the letter in front of me, but he said something along the lines of “we made mistakes” and “we all need to come together for the sake of our institution.” Well, unless he’s using the “royal we” there, I have to take issue with his pronoun choice. It wasn’t my idea to build that stupid house, to spend money out of accounts in a clearly inappropriate way, to send Kirkpatrick packing with over a half-million dollars. They made mistakes, and they are going to have to come up with a solution.
Schollaert is in a tough spot because the house probably wasn’t his idea, either. But I don’t really see how “we” at EMU can “pull together” until the folks responsible for this mess, the board of regents, step down. That’s the “they” that has to go.