The hiring of the new UNR president is a done deal and I have no intention of tracking Marc Johnson’s career on whether he is competent or incompetent but I am going to comment on the way he was chosen as president.
The interference by The Nell J. Redfield Foundation in the process of choosing a president of UNR is beyond anything I have ever experienced. It colors every part of the choosing of a major administrator in the higher education system. Whatever the final motives and reasons of the Regents for choosing Marc Johnson, they will forever be suspect. Even creating a scenario where a donor believes that the donor can, through financial coercion determine the outcome of the appointment of a high ranking higher education official, creates the impression that those positions can be bought.
I know of no other institution in the United States where such a blatant effort was made to control the hiring of the chief executive officer of a university.
It would seem to me that Regents, and especially the Chancellor, must take a look at their own set of values to determine how they made so little of such a major event. It appears to me that with the exception of just a few, the Regents missed the point and compromised their judgment in all areas.
Incidentally, our station just called Gerald C. Smith and asked to interview him about the situation. He hung up on us.