As I mentioned about a month ago on the previously Official Steven D. Krause Blog, Sam Kirkpatrick resigned as president of EMU in the middle of June. The scuttlebutt on campus is that it really was something of a surprise to people like the provost and there is wide-spread displeasure that the board of regents agreed to a $500,000 or so “golden parachute” package. And there have been PLENTY of less than flattering letters to the editor in the Ann Arbor News about the deal and EMU in general as of late.
But on the whole, Kirkpatrick’s departure has been positive. Right now, the faculty union (the EMU AAUP) is negotiating a new contract, and while there’s a long way to go, I’ve heard through the grapevine that the talks have gotten more “positive” post-Kirkpatrick.
And I noticed another literal tearing down of a fence the other day. While Sam and Pam (Kirkpatrick’s wife) were installed at the infamous “House” (for more on that, see this previous entry, and this one from way back last December), there was often some kind of campus security out front and also a chain-link fence that surrounded the property. The fencing obviously wasn’t part of the original plan; it had the look of a temporary barricade put up in an effort to fend off protesters, actually.
Anyway, that fencing is gone. Maybe it will be back in a couple more years, the time it will probably take to hire a new president. But it’s nice to see it gone for now.