Archive for March, 2010

Speck closes “open door” policy

March 30, 2010

Greg Assolano of The Joplin Globe is good at reporting news in a way that calls bullshit on people when it is part of the story.

For instance, the Ass Man reported Rod Anderson’s shitty phone ettiquitte before The Chart did. (Keep it real, Trey)

From a November story on the VPAA search fiasco:

Rod Anderson, president of the Missouri Southern Board of Governors, declined to comment on Johnstone’s withdrawal, saying it was a personnel issue.

He hung up before the Globe could ask further questions, saying, “I’m through talking.”

Well Ass Man is at it again. This time he reports the news straight, but the U provides high comedy. Apparently, Rod Surber is the most powerful man at MSSU.

The Globe’s efforts to obtain direct comment from MSSU President Bruce Speck were unsuccessful Monday. A Globe reporter who called Speck’s office was referred to Surber, and was told that the university will be applying a policy that was adopted June 17, 2008, by Speck and his top administrators.

The policy states that reporters attempting to contact university employees or students are to be first referred to the university relations and marketing office.

Speck did not respond to an e-mail request for an interview, and questions about the new hires and the media policy.

This flies in the face of some well-known Speckitudes. Like these from a Derek Spellman/Ass Man story in October 2009:

When Speck arrived in the winter of 2008, he signaled a new era. He said he would take — and later said he did take — measures to be more accessible and transparent than his predecessor. He said he would institute a culture of planning and accountability. He would educate faculty and staff about the finances. He would help the university transcend its traditional methods, territory and outlook.

Or this one from earlier in the same article:

He curbed the president’s power and presence on the faculty senate. He announced an “open door” policy. He conducted summit meetings with faculty and staff. He sent e-mails and memos. He has deferred to a committee charged with devising a strategic plan — a vision — for the university, saying he does not want to foist his own vision onto Missouri Southern.

But Ass Man keeps it comin’ love. He looks at the dollars. He wanted to talk to talk to the “Baritone of the Bunker,” but just got more from Surber. And this was on a day the university made a major announcement regarding administrative positions. Darren Fullerton just got a $46K raise and the reporter notes:

Before Monday’s announcement, the university had added $170,000 in administrative salaries since last November.

The Ass Man ends with a quote that speaks for itself:

“Our policy is not unusual for universities or private businesses,” according to Rod Surber, director of university relations and marketing. “We will continue to be as open and responsive to the media as possible.”

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This guy signed his name, too.

March 26, 2010
Will Lynch is an intern in Jefferson City. He is assigned to Sen. Jack Goodman’s office according to an MSSU press release from November 2009.
He is a former president of the MSSU Student Senate.
Ben Hinkle is a former president of the MSSU Student Senate.
As we recall, both sat as acting student representatives to the Bored of the Governors.
Sounds like student leaders like The Chart, Trey.
From The Chart’s website comes this comment about the pesky little paper’s latest open records request:

Will Lynch

posted 3/24/10 @ 11:18 AM CST

I’m proud of the Chart. This is another positive move that is not only beneficial to the University, but also is especially beneficial to the students and others interested in the community for having the opportunity to view important information that could potentially have a large impact on the way our university is run.

A copy of the Chart was brought to Jefferson City this week and everyone in our office was impressed with the layout and content of the paper. It is among the best I have ever seen, including large city newspapers. I especially commend this years staff for the credit they have brought to the University by putting together a great piece of journalism.

Seeking nominations for Asshat of the Week

March 24, 2010

Send your nominations to:

watchingsouthern@gmail.com

Is it just us, or does Trey look like Lex Luthor?

March 24, 2010

Separated at birth?

March 24, 2010

Beuller? Beuller?

He ain’t a clock, but he’s right on time

March 23, 2010

Well Trey went and did it.

He called out Ben Hinkle. And Ben is all over The Chart’s website making comments and shit.

Here is our take. Just imagine Johnny Cash singing Big John to the intros to the quotes from Ben. Big Bad Ben.

Kind of broad at the shoulders, narrow at the hip.
And everybody knew you didn’t give no lip to Big Ben.

Matthews/Plaster Auditorium, packed full of students, standing room only, all clamoring to speak in support of the mission at lunch time on a friday, not even having enough time for everyone who wants to talk to have the chance. Local businesses who need graduates with international experience and linguistic competence, now more than ever as our economy implodes. The entire faculty in an uproar. Your education. State law.

Nobody seemed to know where Ben called home
He just drifted into town and stayed all alone.

What do all those things have in common? The Board over the past couple years has consistently shown a blatant disregard for all of them, and at times even appears to hold them all in open contempt. The students spoke, the faculty spoke, the Board ignored all of them, and now it’s everyone’s businesses and everyone’s educations that will continue to suffer as the number of qualified students who can operate in an international environment and who graduated within a 60 mile radius of Joplin continues to dwindle.

Through the dust and the smoke of this man made hell,
walked a giant of a man that the minors knew well.
Grabbed a sagging timber and gave out with a groan,
and like a giant oak tree he just stood there alone, Big Ben

Nixon demands that you freeze tuition costs in exchange for taking state funding cuts so that he can make good on his contradictory campaign promises. Get out of that deal, any schmoe can tell it’s one that sets you up for failure. Southern’s academics at my last check accounted for an embarassingly small fraction of the budget costs and about 100% of the budget cuts, find something else to cut back on already. Part of SB 389 that everyone keeps crying about gives Student Senate the unchecked power to raise tuition any amount it wants. That sounds like a group of people I’d want to chat with, if for no other reason than to see where they stand on using it.

There might not have been a vote on it, but you guys better open your eyes and realize that Speck isn’t the only one that people don’t have confidence in anymore. There are a lot of budget options that anyone can see, and that anyone can see you not taking advantage of. You were appointed by the state to guide this institution through precisely this type of situation in one piece. Act like it.

Unless of course you have better things to do, like nitpick the word choice and grammar of anonymous online news comments, or whine about the comment policies adopted by basically every newspaper in America. Which state statute is it that makes you guys the editors in chief for every newspaper in Missouri, again? I can’t seem to find it.

Now they never re-opend that wortheless pit,
they just placed a marble stand in front of it.
These few words are written on that stand,
‘At the bottom of this mine, lies one Hell of a man, Big Ben’

Big Ben
Big Ben
Big Bad Ben
Big Ben.

Looks like the U needs a new medical pal

March 22, 2010

Call me, Bruce.

The Kansas City Star and Joplin Globe are reporting that KCUMB is suing former prez Karen Pletz for various financial no-nos.

No word yet if the Joplin Chamber has an economic impact statement about her expenses while in Joplin.

The bald and the “short” of it is this: The prairie is safe for now.

They won’t get anywhere

March 22, 2010

And it is a shame.

But the MSSU group Project EQUALITY deserves a hearing and deserves some respect. We don’t think they will get either, and we think they should get more aggressive  But that is up to them.

Here, we will be, we think, the first media to print in full an open letter to the MSSU Board of Governors.

Their letter:

To the MSSU Board of Governors:

Many thanks for lending your ear to Project EQUALITY while we discuss a few of our concerns. We are a student-led alliance committed to seeing sexual orientation and gender expression added to Missouri Southern’s non-discrimination policy.

We would like to point out that federal and state law neither require not prohibit the adoption of the requested amendments. Many neighboring institutions have already taken the initiative to specifically take a stand against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender expression in their non-discrimination policies. To provide the Board with a few of the many examples, our research indicates that The University of Missouri, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Missouri State University, Pittsburg State University, and the University of Arkansas all include clauses regarding sexual orientation and/or gender expression in their non-discrimination statements. We feel strongly that the addition of sexual orientation and gender expression to our policy would demonstrate commitment to the creation of a progressive, inclusive educational atmosphere.

We understand that plans may be in place to assemble a committee tha twould research and analyze the issues regarding possible revision of the university’s non-discrimination statement. A great many members of the Missouri Southern community are invested in our cause, and the Board should know that this move toward a broader understanding of the current situation is sincerely appreciated. However, given that the interest in the Board’s response to the issue at hand is widespread and mounting, we ask that the Board make all minutes from these committee meetings available in an easily accessible online location within one day of each committee meeting. Furthermore, in an effort to understand not only relevant legal concerns but the collective sentiment on our campus, it is evident that the inclusion of a student representative is vital to gaining a comprehensive view of the situation. Should the Board find these two small requests agreeable, we ask that you make this known by the end of today’s meeting.

Project EQUALITY and the Board of Governors share a deep concern for the welfare of MSSU and the well-being of all members of the Southern community. We share a hope for a university environment where all are safe and welcome. For this very reason, we peacefully and resolutely insist on the incorporation of sexual orientation and gender expression into the MSSU non-discrimination statement. We await your response.

Sincerely,

Project EQUALITY Leadership

Ruth Eichinger

Ashley Trotnic

Ivy Love

Hello, you have reached an asshole who is unavailable

March 22, 2010

Trey is not in the house. But it is kinda like he is.

According to a post on The Turner Report (almost as hated as The Chart, us and the health care bill), Lynn M. Ewing III, esq. is not only a tool but a tool you can’t get ahold of.

Every wannabe journalist/blogger/smartass is Googling this guy looking for something fun because he picks on kid writers. He is like the guy he might send to prison for a crime guys in the joint don’t like.

Welcome to our world, Mr. Ewing. You are now Public Figure Number One.

And no one on your cell block has your back. Not even DD.

Sweet dreams.

First Official Bored Photo of Trey

March 20, 2010

The Chart is mean!