George Mason Law School

Staff Editorial: Nichol must release e-mails

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November 2, 2007

9:09 AM

College President Gene Nichol would be wise to release all e-mail correspondence he has had with former College President Timothy Sullivan.

p. Groups such as ShouldNicholBeRenewed.org are mounting a circumstantial case against Nichol, attempting to show that he ignored evidence of a withdrawn $12 million pledge when he announced the completion of the Campaign for William and Mary.

p. The withdrawn pledge put the campaign below its $500 million goal. The disgruntled donor claims he told Sullivan that he would not donate the $12 million in December 2006, two months before Nichol announced the end of the campaign. Sullivan has said that all information regarding the donation was conveyed to the College.

p. The Flat Hat is currently waiting to receive any e-mails between Nichol and Sullivan through a Freedom of Information request. However, the response of the embattled president should require no wait at all.

p. If, as Nichol claims, he was not aware of McGlothlin’s intentions in December, the correspondence between Nichol and Sullivan will reveal this. Voluntarily releasing these e-mails would clear his name and end some of the attacks from critics ­who have undergone extensive efforts to discredit Nichol and have frequently called for his resignation.

p. Many subscribe to the view that Nichol is being disingenuous — that he was notified by Sullivan in 2006 and chose to ignore the warning. If this is the case, the College would benefit from taking an honest stance by making the information public, as any efforts to hide important information will likely hurt Nichol and others in the future.

p. The students and the campus community are growing tired of this ongoing story. The BOV is engaged in a critical decision for the future of not only Nichol but of the College itself. In releasing these e-mails, the College has nothing to lose and the truth to gain.

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