Nichol’s future remains unknown

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February 8, 2008

6:05 PM

p. The College’s Board of Visitors made no announcement at its meeting Friday morning about the status of College President Gene Nichol’s contract renewal.

p. “All I’ll say is there’s no announcement today,” BOV Rector Michael Powell told The Flat Hat. “I don’t ever want to characterize where we are. It’s just the right way to do it. I’m not going to characterize the future.”

p. Powell also addressed last night’s student rally outside the Muscarelle Museum of Art, which drew more than 400 students, faculty and local citizens in support of Nichol.

p. “Anytime our students want to express themselves in a respectful and thoughtful way, to me that’s their right, and their pride.”

p. Powell said, however, that the BOV — while considerate of large movements — does not simply listen to the loudest voice.

p. “It’s about the complexity of the college’s direction, its leadership, its finances, which is one of our biggest strains,” he said. “We deal with issues, strategies and directions, we don’t add up constituencies. We don’t listen to screaming. We would be an irresponsible board if we were so easily pushed into a decision.”

p. Powell also stressed the technical matters that the BOV must consider in assessing the president.

p. “[The BOV is] the supreme governing body of the College, above the president,” he said. “Do you think the average person knows the financial investment portfolio? Do you think the average person knows what the Real Estate Redevelopment Foundation’s doing in buying real estate so you guys will have a bar to go to in three years?”

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