When I retired as a college president, I moved to Charleston because I believed the Lowcountry would be a wonderful place to live. After 10 years, that conviction has proven true.
Recently, however, I think there must be something in the drinking water here causing some people to do bizarre things.
For example, a state senator — who is retaining his seat in the Senate — was “anointed” airport director without even the whiff of a job search for that critically important position.
Now, the names of Jenny Sanford, Glenn McConnell and Chip Limehouse are being floated out there as possible candidates for the presidency of the College of Charleston.
A supporter of one of these “candidates” confidently observed that his would-be presidential candidate is “experienced, connected and intelligent.”
Those are admirable qualities that could also describe more than half the people on my street — people smart enough to know that they are not otherwise qualified to be a college president.
I have flown in a plane here and abroad on many different occasions, but at no point did I suddenly imagine that my time in the air qualified me to be an astronaut.
So, to Jenny Sanford, Glenn McConnell, Chip Limehouse or other presidential wannabes, unless your resume and experience clearly indicate an acceptable and legitimate path to a college presidency, please do not think that being “experienced, connected and intelligent” are justifiable criteria in and of themselves for becoming a respected and successful chief executive officer of a college or university. Believe me, they’re not.
George C. Matthews, Ph.D.
Sale of law school
So the owners of the Charleston School of Law (CSOL) have decided to sell the school to a company that, according to some critics, specializes in running law school diploma mills.
Wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth, and a few letters to the editor appear to be the measured response from those CSOL alumni and current students concerned about the deleterious effects this change in ownership will have on their hard-earned prestigious diplomas. Fair enough.
In my experiences with lawyers, they are a crafty bunch. They seem to be able to argue for or against any situation, utilizing legal precedents to bolster any point they wish to defend. If this pending sale of the school is such a bad thing, where are all of the lawyers with CSOL ties?
Surely the school’s Alumni Association, which is full of CSOL-educated lawyers, could have legally forced the owners and potential purchaser to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding this unwelcome sales agreement.
They should have been able early on to legally compel the principals to reveal their future intentions for the school while influencing the S.C. Commission on Higher Education (CHE) to carefully sift through murky details of the transfer of ownership.
CSOL alumni, lawyers, counselors, attorneys-at-law, barristers, should stand up and exhibit the first-rate education they received by stopping the sale through some clever, legal stratagem.
Better yet, why not have all the concerned lawyers band together and buy the school?
If this is not doable, then allow the owners of this for-profit business to sell to whomever they wish and move on to more pressing issues at $300 per hour.
Thayer Hall Drive
Charleston artist Elizabeth O’Neill Verner in her charming book “Mellowed By Time” had this to say:
“It is in weary September that the city reaches low tide; even the flagstones which pave the streets never lose their heat. All day long they absorb, and all the weary night they throw it off. The city is listless and very, very tired. It is hard to realize then that October is only a few weeks ahead.”
When I was a teenager, a friend and I often visited Mrs. Verner on Saturdays in her studio.
On one such visit, she had a cigarette between her lips and was already lighting up another. She introduced us to her friend Emily Perry Brown who lived in a nearby carriage house full of treasures from the Orient. Her ancestor was Adm. Matthew Perry.
Mrs. Verner’s studio itself was a treasure. Originals were mixed in with prints. If only I had bought one of her originals during the 1960s when the prices were quite reasonable.
In the six years I’ve been reading Post and Courier editorials, I have been able to count on you to provide enlightenment on a variety of issues. Even when I have disagreed with your point of view, I felt rewarded to have read an intelligent opposing viewpoint.
However, your recent “My, my, my” editorial bashing President Obama for being cautious in response to Syria is beneath your intellect and ours.
Obama’s decision is one of the most difficult any president has had to make ... ever. Your casual attitude toward that decision process only serves to stir up the “shoot first and think later” crowd, which got us into Iraq, to say nothing of the people who oppose everything and anything that Obama proposes.
Please use your editorials in the national interest, forgoing local politics, to keep us informed and not opinionated on this momentous decision.
Riverland Woods Place
The governor and her Health and Human Services director want to “help the federal government” leverage the food stamp program to improve nutrition for the very significant segment of our fellow South Carolina citizens who depend upon this program (“S.C. wants to change food stamps,” Sept. 7), as well as for food stamp users nationwide.
This in a state where people still whine about having to wear seat belts or not being allowed to smoke in bars and restaurants, and where there is still no helmet law for motorcycles.
In this food stamp initiative, Gov. Nikki Haley and HHS Director Tony Keck may have bitten off more than they can chew.
Perhaps our two nutrition warriors already have an ironclad strategy that will sweep legislative and public opinion when matched up, as surely will be the case, against opponents like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, McDonalds and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
Even so, they’ll undoubtedly need our prayers (if not a Heimlich maneuver or two). I believe invocation of divine guidance might have been the only piece missing from Michael Bloomberg’s recent ill-fated Big Brother nutrition program for New York City.
Meanwhile ... Super Big Gulp, anyone? Hugo? Mega Jug?
North Edgewater Drive
Nothing to fear
Taking it as a given that the Syria issue is but a proxy to the much larger and growing threat posed by a nuclear Iran, I would think the Iranians have nothing to fear from this president.
His irresolute dithering and incomprehensible handing of the question whether or not to strike Syria should bring no comfort to our friends and certainly no fear to our enemies.
At this point, we are already well beyond the question whether the prestige of the office of the presidency and the credibility of the United States have been damaged, perhaps irreparably. Those questions have been affirmatively answered.
Olde Central Way