Behind closed doors at UA | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Behind closed doors at UA

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 6:56 AM

John Brummett writes further about former Hog football player Jim Lindsey's effort to install his cutout, farmer/lawyer Stanley Reed, as the next president of the University of Arkansas in a fait accompli backroom deal.

Brummett and I wrote about it earlier in the week. Brummett says that the deal won't happen this week, at least. Our little bit of blog sunshine, he says, slowed the coup.

I'd take nothing for granted when it comes to Lindsey, who Brummett describes as politicallly "naive." To which I say, "hah."

Reed manages farm land owned by Lindsey, a real estate and construction titan. I've also been told Lindsey is in a condo deal with one Board member; buys goods from another. He has done business over the years with the UA, not illegal, but you don't get away with this sort of related-party stuff without a fair amount of political acumen. For years, until recently and to his great displeasure when the situation changed following Frank Broyles' retirement, he was the puppeteer behind UA athletics, probably the apex of political sophistication in Arkansas. He yearns to continue that influence off the Board, barring his reappointment as trustee, through a new UA president. (Lindsey doesn't take my calls, else I'd be happy to let him respond to all this.)

As I further understand it, it was arranged for one Board member to have a private interview with Reed to relieve her resistance to Lindsey's hand-picked man taking the post after a phased-out retirement of current president Alan Sugg. A job interview for a job that doesn't yet exist.

Naive? Like a fox.

But while we're talking about the UA, I think it's worth quoting Jim Lindsey, from Brummett earlier in the week, on what's paramount for the person heading a multi-campus university system that stretches from Monticello to Fayetteville through every level of higher education, including community colleges and, soon, TWO, medical schools.

If other board members want to do a nationwide search, “so be it,” says Lindsey. “But, personally, I want somebody in there who knows what ‘woooo, pig, sooie’ means.”

I'd rather the candidate knows what Ph.D. means. And not be a religious ideologue.

 

 

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